Artist Feature: Jennifer Moreman

Dallas-born Jennifer Moreman knew at an early age that she wanted to be an artist: a popular aspiration for many children, but Jennifer learned the challenges of turning that dream into a reality.  She chased her passion through her studies, trial-and-error, and some risk-taking along the way, and in the decade since her graduation from Baylor University, has found success and emerged as an artist whose paintings are recognized and appreciated not only in her native Texas, but around the world. 

"Smitten"

We had the opportunity to talk to Jennifer, who now resides in Tyler with her family and stays busy with commissioned projects, about her journey, her style, and her inspiration.

TB&B: Is art something you've always had a passion for?  When did you decide to pursue it as a career?

JM: I've been fond of art my whole life.  I colored for hours as a small child.  I was an aspiring artist in middle school and decided I would major in art during my junior year of high school.  I had amazing art teachers at Trinity Christian Academy in Addison, Texas, and then again at Baylor.  I'd say if it weren't for them, I would not have become the artist I am today.  They pushed me to take risks and have fun.

TB&B: Which media do you usually work in?

JM: I use a lot of different types of paints, including acrylic and oil.  I once even used finger nail polish, though that may be a one-time deal. :)  I like to experiment and use paints in unusual ways to get them to do what I want.

TB&B: How would you describe the typical aesthetic of your artwork?  How has that style changed and evolved throughout the years?

JM: I think I am a bit different from some artists because I have two completely different styles that I paint in.  I love to paint my whimsical, drippy animals, and then I love to experiment and play with my abstracts.  Both styles are very colorful, and I hope people find them exciting.  When I get frustrated or stuck on one I go to the other.  I'd also say both are a beautiful mess.  I never take myself or my paint too seriously, and if I'm not covered by the time I wrap up, something didn't go right.  I think I've gotten better with that through the years.

"Olivia the Octopus"

TB&B:  Tell us about some of the pieces you've had commissioned.

JM: A lot of the work I do is commissioned.  I work with a lot of talented designers and clients.  I recently finished a longhorn for the University of Texas, my husband's alma mater.  It is going in their Student Union building.  I also did two pieces for suites in the new Baylor football stadium.  I have giant chevrons in Beverly Hills and bulls in New Zealand.  I need to get a map and start pinning where I ship my work.  It would be fun to keep track!

I love the challenge of a commission.  Some clients know exactly what they want and others just give me a couple of pointers and let me go with it.  I'm usually about 4-6 weeks out and they keep me busy.  I am very thankful to be a booked artist.  Blessed for sure!

TB&B: From where do you draw your inspiration?

JM: Through my art, I focus on everyday moments taken for granted in life and encourage people to notice the simple splendor in the details.  I depend on my capability to pause and recognize the natural beauty of the world and the interesting features found in God's creation that most people walk past each day and often overlook.  My enthusiasm and joy as an artist comes from the ability to remind people that life is beautiful.

It was such a joy to get to know Jennifer a little better.  Her paintings really do excite - seeing the beautiful colors in person puts you in awe and lightens your mood.  The longhorn paintings are my personal favorite - but how great would any of these beauties complement your home, no matter what your décor style?  Whether your vibe is more rustic, contemporary, or traditional, Jennifer's paintings bring a bold, visually interesting and gorgeous pop of color to any room. 

To see more of her paintings available for purchase, shop the links below or visit her Etsy shop.

Photographs of Jennifer byJessica Grammon Photography

Find Jennifer Moreman on Facebook or on her website here.

Images courtesy of Jennifer Moreman, used with permission.  Please do not use or copy any of the images from this post without express written permission from the artist.

Bridal Portrait Feature: Chelsea

Get ready to pick your jaw up off the floor - Chelsea's bridal session, shot by Misty Doyle, is ethereal, beautiful, and one-of-a-kind.  Misty Doyle Photography is based in Wichita Falls, but for this session, the ladies actually traveled to Western Oklahoma to get these stunning shots.  Going for an editorial vibe with artistic influence from Native American culture, Chelsea went out of the box for her portraits, showcasing her unique style while paying tribute to traces of family history. 

TB&B: What was your inspiration for these portraits?

Chelsea: I certainly don't fit the model Indian having blonde hair and blue eyes, but I've always been intrigued and obsessed with Native American culture and history.  Buffalo, war horses, feathers, turquoise, beading, teepees, you name it, I've got it in my house or closet!  The Cowboys and Indians era is definitely my favorite to learn about and I so wish I could've lived during that time.  I have started research into my ancestry and found that my great, great, great grandfather on my mom's side lived in Township 7, Chickasaw Nation in the early 1900s.  I don't know many more details right now, but we're working on learning more.

TB&B: What did you enjoy about working with Misty?

Chelsea: Misty is amazing and her work proves it!  I am pretty shy and awkward when the focus is all on me, so I was a little nervous about a photographer I didn't know coming to take pictures of me.  When I decided to go a different course than the traditional bridals, I was afraid she would think I was crazy - but she was so excited!  That was a huge relief.  She drove two hours to some stranger's house in Western Oklahoma to photograph a bride she had only spoken to through email, text, and phone, but there was an immediate connection.  It was a HOT and humid July evening, the gnats and bugs were attacking us and the horses were running around like crazy.  If she had any doubts, I never knew. 

All she cared about was making me happy and getting the exact pictures we wanted.  How can it get any better and easier than that?

TB&B: Before the dress and the portraits comes a love story - let's hear yours.

Chelsea: Clay and I met at the Stockyard Saloon during the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo.  How romantic, right? :) Neither of us walked into that bar with our friends expecting to find our soulmate.  Apparently, when he saw me he told my friend, "She's the most beautiful girl I have ever seen."  Of course I was flattered and eager to meet him.  To this day he tells me that I am beautiful every single day and I love it. 

I was working on the road and he was on the rodeo trail so we didn't see each other after that night for two months.  We lived almost five hours apart so it was tough at times to find a spare second to see each other; a full weekend was very rare, but now you rarely find us apart.  There was no doubt in our mind that the Lord had definitely brought us together.  They say "when you know, you know" - that is the truth.  Met at the beginning of February 2013, I moved from San Angelo, Texas, to Sayre, Oklahoma in August 2013 and married on August 2, 2014.  Short, sweet, and to the point and we've never looked back since.  He is my favorite!

He's her favorite and these portraits are ours.  Bold, colorful, and intriguing.  Misty Doyle, your work is fabulous.  Thank you for sharing these incredible shots with us.  Chelsea and Clay, best wishes to you two! 

Misty is based in North Texas and serves brides and families with wedding and lifestyle photography. 

Images used with permission. 

Ringgold Ranch Wedding - Macy & Clint

There's something so special about backyard weddings, and when that backyard is the ranch where you grew up, it takes on a whole new meaning.  Macy and Clint's big day was filled with beautiful personal touches that helped tell their story. 

TB&B: How did you meet Clint?

Macy: When I met Clint in Snook, Texas, I had just moved to College Station.  I saw him as soon as I pulled up to the arena where he practiced, sitting on an old picnic table fixing his spur leathers, talking with his friend.  We were acquaintances, then friends, and then dating.  We actually started spending the most time together on the day we both graduated, he with his masters, and my undergrad from A&M.  Little did I know the rest of the story would be so wonderful! 

TB&B: Tell us the abridged version of the Hopping love story.

Macy: Saw him, had to have him, married him.

(Ha! Pretty much how it goes, right??)

Really, it had more to it - a move or two, a few jobs and job changes, summers, winters, etc.  We both know that the Lord matched us.  He says he always felt God's presence around me, I say I'd never met anyone like him.  We both knew the rest of the story early into it.

Y'all.  Is that cowhide rug aisle not genius?!

TB&B: Which little details of the day were most special to you? Had you always known you'd want to get married at your family's ranch?

Macy: Each time we greeted a different friend or family member was memorable.  It was a whole weekend's worth of fun, so having everyone dear to us there was the most significant.  And having those friends with us at my home made it even more special, because I have always dreamed of getting married there.  I remember feeling very full and so much peace with everyone we love with us.  Being married and having all those memories in a place we know we'll be often is special - it's easy to vividly remember.

TB&B: Tell us what you love most about the guy you married, and what makes you two "click."

Macy: We spend about 95% of our time together.  We work together every day, travel together every weekend, and help each other with one another's chores on the ranch. We're exactly the same in our humor, our work ethics, our goals, and most importantly, our faith in Jesus.  My sister would also include weirdness in our commonalities.  In her Maid of Honor speech she said, "I don't understand your jokes, and I quit trying to understand them a long time ago." We both think we are hilarious.  Laughter is probably the theme and our favorite part of being together.

TB&B: What song did you two dance to for your first dance?

Macy: Ray Lamontagne, You Are the Best Thing

TB&B: And finally, tell us what marriage means to you as a couple.

Macy: We both believe in the covenant of marriage, that it was a promise made first to God and then to each other.  Like the Gospel, marriage is about love, sacrifice, and grace.  God brought us here and we will spend the rest of our lives with one another.  "We love because He first loved us." -1 John 4:19

Thank you to the Hoppings for sharing their story and giving us a glimpse into their special day, and to Ashley Monogue of Ashley Monogue Photography (based in College Station) for sharing her work.

Say What?? Commonly Mispronounced in Texas

First, let's just issue an apology to the Spanish language in general.  Texas commandeered a lot of its words and then proceeded to follow almost none of its pronunciation rules.  We've made up our own rules, fallen deep into our gringo ways, and sometimes, we're just lazy talkers - regardless, there are several towns and landmarks that Texans pronounce completely differently than you might expect.  Let's take a little lesson in Tex-speak (in alphabetical order):

Bexar (San Antonio's county) - mispronounced BECKS-ahr (cue the cringes from San Antonians). 

The Texan way: Bear. Grizzly, polar... bear.

Blanco (town, river, and county west of Austin) - sometimes said BLAHN-co.

Locals say: BLANK-o.  Again, apologies. 

The Blanco River flowing through Wimberley.  Photo by JMoore Outdoor.

Buda (south of Austin) - commonly said like BOO-da/Buddha.

Tex-speak: BYOO-da.  Say it with me now - Buda is Beautiful!  Same sound.

Burnet (northwest of Austin) - occasionally said burn-ETTE.

Really said: BURN-it.  Dern it.

Dumas (Panhandle) - we'll let you guess how this might be pronounced.

Correct: DOO-muss.  

Humble (Houston area) - commonly said just like you would say Humble Pie.

Tex-speak: UM-bull.  The H is silent.

Iraan (West Texas) - commonly mispronounced as I-ran or Er-ahn, like Iran, the country.

Ready for it?  It's eye-ruh-ANN.  Tricky!  

Ranchlands in Iraan, Texas - photo by Lands of Texas.

Italy (East Texas) - looks pretty simple, right?

Wrong.  Locals say IT-lee.  No "uh" in the middle.

Lamesa (West Texas) - sometimes said la-MAY-sa. 

The Texan way: La-MEE-sa.  Gettin' gringo, here.

Leakey (west of San Antonio on the Frio River) - commonly mispronounced as LEE-key, like a faucet.

Correct: LAY-kee.  

Blue Hole, Leakey, Texas

Kuykendahl (busy road in Houston) - it looks scary but it's really not!

Instead of KOY or KOO-ee, just say KIRK. Kirk-en-doll.

Manchaca (Austin area town and road) - occasionally called Man-CHOCK-uh

Tex-speak: MAN-chack. Just forget the A on the end even exists.

Mexia (East of Waco) - this one's a doozy.  MEX-ee-uh? Meh-HEE-ya?

Nope.  Meh-HAY-uh.  Horses eat HAY in Mexia!

Miami (Panhandle) - welcome to Miami?

The Texan way:  My-AM-uhh.  Don't ask why.

New Braunfels (between San Antonio and Austin) - all too often said New Bronze-fulls.

There's just one braun, people!  One braun.  New BRAUN-fels.  Your fellow Texans thank you.

Palestine (East Texas) - not like the country!

Tex-speak: Pal-es-TEEN.  

Wolf Creek Lake, Palestine, Texas - Photo courtesy of East Texas Film Commission.

Refugio (near Corpus Christi) - occasionally mispronounced as Re-FYOO-jee-oh.

Correct: Reh-FURY-oh.  Just stick an imaginary R in the middle there.

San Marcos (south of Austin) - commonly said with extra emphasis on the O in Marcos.

The guy may as well have been named Marcus.  Lazily (locally) pronounced San MAR-kiss.

Waxahachie (south of DFW) - commonly mispronounced as WACKS-uh-hatch-ee

Think WOCKS, as in rhyming with Rocks.  WOCKS-uh-HATch-ee.  

Did any pronunciations surprise you?  Texans love to do things their own way, so we know there are several more. Which ones would you add?