Merry Christmas!

This year, I did three Christmas prints, two as part of the Pine Curtain Project, and another as part of K.Co Travel Art, a collaborative project that James and I are working on with our creative travel guide business, K.Co Press.


This print is my grandparents, on what is probably their first Christmas together in East Texas. I was told they’re at my grandfather’s parents’ house in Huntington, TX.

“Christmas 1950s.” Acrylic Monotype by Stephanie Khattak.

The next print is my aunt and two cousins. I believe they were at my grandmother’s house in Homer, Texas, all dressed up.

“Christmas 1970s.” Acrylic Monoprint by Stephanie Khattak.

“Vintage Truck, Palestine, Texas.” Acrylic Monoprint by Stephanie Khattak.

We saw this festive truck on a day trip from Dallas to Palestine, Texas. We met my parents there for some (extremely socially-distanced, outdoor, etc.) holiday time. We aren’t visiting our families at home this year since home is full of oldsters who we want to keep safe. We found Palestine to be the perfect place for a holiday visit, and this truck was just one fun scene in Old Town Palestine. I’ll write up a blog post for K.Co once James edits the rest of his photos, but I will go ahead and say that if you find yourself in Palestine, don’t sleep on Oxbow Bakery, aka the pie shop. (Literally, don’t sleep! Get there when it opens because many flavors sell out!)


This will be my last post for 2020. What a horrible year! I truly believe that next year will be better, maybe not immediately, but eventually. May your holidays be festive and your new year be hopeful. Thank you for your support, and I’ll see you in 2021!

Travel Art Prints

The Texan Theater, Athens Texas. Monotype Print by Stephanie Khattak.
Grand Theater, Paris, Texas. Monotype Print by Stephanie Khattak.

I’ve been missing our more ambitious travels, but at the same time, I am enjoying the day trips that my husband and I have taken recently. Because of the pandemic and the fact that we have two rambunctious kittens at home, we are choosing day trips to scratch our traveling art adventure itches.

James enjoys photographing facades, historic downtowns and other iconic scenes of the places we visit. As I looked through the photos and admire the retro details and colors of these buildings, I wondered how they would look translated into a monotype print. I like it!

The Pine Curtain project is still my priority, but it is nice to have creative options, and to extend our travels a little further.

Travel Art Archives

In the spirit of consolidating and simplifying my digital platforms, I’ve moved my “Have Paintbrush Will Travel” content to this site. Click here to see past posts, and stay tuned for new travel content as our travel season picks up again. We do most of our traveling from April – December, to coincide with James’ work travel schedule and tag on sightseeing to the places he goes. On the 2019 agenda so far: Houston, New York City, Palm Springs (Fingers Crossed!) and Washington, DC.

New York

As an artist who loves to travel, I tend to distill my trips down to what I consider to be the essentials: art, books and coffee. As long as I have those things in place, I know everything else about the trip will be icing on the cake – or gilding on the canvas, for a more artistic analogy.

With that in mind, here are my top tips for travel to NYC if you’re an artist or just an art appreciator.

Art:

Kremer Pigments. I know I have mentioned this store before, but visiting in person was a real treat! With just a few exceptions, Kremer focuses on the raw materials needed to make paint, and has walls and walls of pigments in every shade and luster imaginable. They’re also known for their high-quality pigment paint palettes made in-house. Their pearl luster palette was a special investment during one of their rare sales, and I have enjoyed it so much that I treated myself to a souvenir of their landscape colors palette while I was in the store.

International Center for Photography. My husband is a photographer, so this museum topped his list of places to visit in NYC. We both really enjoyed the main exhibit, Henri Cartier-Bresson’s “The Decisive Moment,” but my favorite was found downstairs, in “Multiply, Identify, Her,” which showcased various women artists across different mediums. I was excited to see collages by Wangechi Mutu, whose “Water Woman” sculpture is one of my favorites at Austin’s Laguna Gloria. I wasn’t aware that she made other types of art, so this was nice to see. I also really enjoyed Lorna Simpson’s “Redhead,” “White Roses,” “Big Yellow” and “Blue Wave” mixed-media collage pieces

New York Historical Society. We saw the Bill Cunningham exhibit here, which was small, but very impactful. He was such an interesting man, and did so much to make women feel special and beautiful through his artwork, without ever objectifying them or making them vulnerable to ridicule. The exhibit also showcased some of his hats from his early career as a milliner. I love that he had many acts in life.

Books:

The Strand. Everyone knows about the Strand book store, but I must list it anyway! We only made it through the first floor and somehow still left with a bag of literary goodies to wedge into the suitcase.

Coffee:

Irving Farms Coffee Roaster was around the corner from our hotel, so we went there a few times to start our day.

Daily Provisions was about a half-block closer, for when we needed caffiene but our feet hurt.

Two thumbs up for the large ice cubes in the latte at Jack’s Wife Freda, where we had breakfast on our last morning in town.

Austin Art Travel Kit

Getting ready to pack up my Found Leather Goods art portfolio and hit the road again! This time, I’m heading just a few hours south, to Austin where I lived for many years and love from the bottom of my heart.

What’s in the Bag:

Because it’s a short weekend trip, and because it’s home to one of my favorite art stores and I know I will make a stop for more art supplies, I’m packing my artist travel bag pretty light. Just my charcoal sketching pencils, a few different water-soluble pencils in summer colors, and a sparkly blue gel ink pen for capturing that beautiful Central Texas sky. A glitter brush pen can capture shine without the potential mess of an ink jar.