"Some people thought that perhaps Frances had taken the Ikat trend a bit too far...."

(click on image for larger view)

As much as I love art, design and decoration are very close, if not equal, contenders for my passions. After all - what is design anyway -but art applied to function? For as long as I can remember, I have loved to pore over design and shelter magazines, examining every detail, trying to absorb all the elements of the rooms. I was probably the only teenager ever who looked forward to Dee Hardie's column in House Beautiful. Sister Parish was a hero. I even had my own file of decorating tear sheets, the way most teens collect posters on their walls. Yes, I was and AM a decorating nerd. So this original illustration is dedicated to all of my designer friends and design blogging buddies. Those people who are insanely into decoration and cannot wait for their issue of House Beautiful, Southern Accents, Veranda or Elle Decor to arrive so they can be the first to post the choicest photos on their blog!


Acrylic on gessoboard (6x6)
This was the second painting in my series of desserts! It's an English Trifle, a traditional and delicious British dessert that's been in existence for over 3 centuries and is especially great to serve when you entertain, and a great addition to your holiday tableau. For my fellow blogger Suzie, (who is living in Beijing, China but restoring a home in Calabria, Italy) I have included the recipe! Hope all of you have a wonderful and festive weekend!

English Trifle (c.1997, M.S. Milliken & S. Feniger, all rights reserved)
1 (10 3/4ounce) frozen pound cake
1/3 cup sweet Sherry
1/2 cup raspberry jam
3 cups mixed berries (sliced strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries)
2 kiwi fruit, peeled and cut into chunks
2 peaches, peeled, pitted and cut into chunks
8 egg yolks
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups whole milk
1/2 pint whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
strawberries, for garnish
Cut pound cake in half lengthwise and trim halves to cover bottom of glass trifle dish, or a 9 inch straightsided glass bowl. Sprinkle cake with Sherry to soak, and spread cake with jam, heating jam if necessary to facilitate spreading. Place berries, kiwi and peaches on top of cake.
Heat the milk in top of double boiler over mediumlow heat until film forms on it. Beat the eggs with the sugar and vanilla in a double boiler until it forms a ribbon. Then slowly pour the hot milk into the eggs, beating all the time. Place the mixture in a heavy saucepan and stir over low heat until the custard coats the back of a spoon, 10 to 15 minutes. Don't let it boil. Strain it through a fine sieve. Cool the custard in a bowl set in ice water, stirring occasionally. Pour cooled custard over the fruit. Refrigerate, covered, at least 4 hours.
Whip cream to soft peaks. Beat in powdered sugar and continue beating until stiff. Spread whipped cream over the trifle and garnish with strawberries.
If anyone actually makes this, take pics and let me know and I will post them!



Elkins Silhouette on Lilac by Anne Harwell
16 x 24 x .75 inches * 2008
Mixed Media (acrylic, painted paper, board)

This original is for sale now on my Etsy site. It's a much larger scale work than most of my prints and previous collages. Features a large hand-cut silhouette, painted black, of an Elkins chair on a lilac strie background. Surface is 3/4 inch board. Black finished edges, no frame necessary, ready to hang with groove and wire on back.


My "Aqua Interior" original painting is one of my pieces being featured for sale in the "New Views" exhibit at Nashville's Bennett Galleries from now until July.

Palm Beach Chair - Anne Harwell 2007
Many of my original paintings, as well as some prints, are for sale as part of this exhibit of new and emerging artist's work on paper at Bennettt Galleries. It is called "New Views:Photographs, Prints and Illustrations". The exhibit features the art of several different artists and runs from April through July. It is the first exhibit of this kind and will be a rotating exhibit that changes artists every 3 months. Bennett Galleries, a well established and upscale gallery in Nashville, TN specializes in contemporary fine art. It is family-owned and has been in business for over 30 years.

Boston Vase - gouache/ink on paper
This is another of the smaller original works being featured.

Ikat Cartoon - 2008 This original gouache/ink sketch is also in the show.

This original hand-cut paper collage is a new work I created for the show.

Bennett Galleries - hours are Monday-Friday 9:30-5:30 and Saturday 9:30-5:00

Bennett Galleries carries the work of many well-established as well as emerging artists. It's located at 2104 Crestmoor Road in Nashville, right in the heart of Green Hills.

I sent over 20 pieces for the show, so if you live in or near Nashville, please come by and check out "New Views" exhibit at Bennett Galleries.


Some of my work at Art Senoia, a show opening tomorrow evening. It's located in a historic, rustic gallery in the Atlanta area. (click for larger image)

The show includes the work of many fine artists from the Atlanta area.

Some of my talented photographer brother, Jeremy Harwell's work. He took all these photos in this post.

Found metal sculpture by Zack and David Moye

Tomorrow night marks the opening of Art Senoia in suburban Atlanta, Georgia. I encourage anyone who lives in the area to come out for the opening reception, complete with REFRESHMENTS! If you know someone who lives in the area, please spread the word or pass on this link.

A great way to kick off Spring and celebrate the arts. Set against the rustic brick walls of a century-old building, "Art Senoia" will debut April 25th with an opening reception from 6:30 to 9:30 at 20 Main Street in Historic Downtown Senoia. This is the first event of the newly formed Cultural Arts Committee of the Senoia Downtown Development Authority. "Art Senoia" will feature a range of beautiful paintings along with fine photography and art quilts. The art is for sale, and a portion of the proceeds goes to support the Cultural Arts Committee. Local shops and restaurants will also be open the evening of the reception.
Local painters taking part in the show are David Boyd Jr., Victor Dallas, Anne Harwell, Martin Pate, Jane Whitehurst, Joy Whitley and Yun Liu. Photographers showing their artwork are Paul Conlan and Jeremy Harwell. Found metal sculpture by Zack and David Moye and fiber art and quilts by Claudia Wood are also included in the exhibit.
After the April 25th reception, the exhibit will be open Saturdays 11:00 to 5:00 and Sundays 1:00 to 5:00 through Memorial Day, May 26th. It can also be viewed during the week by students and other groups by appointment. The reception and art show are free and open to the public.
Art Senoia is sponsored by the Senoia Downtown Development Authority and The City of Senoia.


The poster I created for Art Senoia, a fine arts show in historic downtown Senoia, Georgia. My brother, Jeremy Harwell, an award-winning photographer, runs his studio in downtown Senoia. Jeremy left NYC in 2003, after years working with Ralph Lauren as Creative Director for his New York stores. He built a charming farmhouse with his wife, Karrie, and 3 children and refurbished the historic bank building his photography studio is now housed in. More on Jeremy, his home and studio in the future. He is one of the artists participating in Art Senoia, as well as myself. The show opens with a reception on Friday, April 25th and is open every weekend for a month. The show will feature the work of fine artists and photographers from around the Atlanta area in a gallery setting. Senoia is a unique place named after a Native American princess located about 45 miles south of Downtown Atlanta, GA. It has been the setting for several films in recent years, including Fried Green Tomatoes, Sweet Home Alabama with Reese Witherspoon and The Fighting Temptations.


This handcut silhouette collage features the classic lines of a fine French Louis XIV chair in deep pink on a delicate leaf-patterned green background. This is a limited edition, completely hand-cut and assembled collage. Very strong graphic quality. Sort of what I'd call neo-traditional pop art. Work is mounted on an 6x6 gesso board, ready for framing or even perfect on its own! Complete with protective finish. Limited edition piece signed and numbered by artist on the back. Shipped via USPS in an acid-free clear sleeve.


This is the second in a series of brightly hued quote prints I have designed. This one features a vibrant green background with white lettering reading "It is better to be kind than right". This is a favorite adage my 90 year old grandfather taught me! This is larger than my usual prints at 11x16 and is printed with archival, high quality ink on archival paper. It's available on my Etsy site.


Here's a look at the first in a series of new brightly colored quote prints I have designed. This is in a sunny orange with one of my all-time favorite quotes: "Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves". Great for a cheery and positive reminder to brighten up any space or give to that special person who is a ray of sunshine in your life! Print measures 11x16 and is printed with archival inks on archival paper with a margin for framing. Signed and numbered by artist. It is available on my Etsy site.


Gouache/ink on Arches 9x12
This is the latest addition to my ever-growing chair collection. I painted this lady in red with a complementary green cushion. Some of you may recognize this beautiful chinoiserie chair. Let's see if you design sharpies out there can guess it's origins?? When I first saw it, I knew I just HAD to paint it at some point. It is now available for purchase on my Etsy site.
*As a footnote, I would love to invite some of you many lurkers who I KNOW read this blog EVERY day to leave a comment. I would love some feedback from you. Let's liven things up a little....



I just wanted to let you know that I have now ventured into the world of pet portraiture. I know you've all been waiting on pins and needles to hear this. Not!! (did I really just use that beyond stale term?) Yes, I know. I, too, have heard the proverbial jokes and defamatory jibes applied to the "desperate" artists who resort to painting pets. Truth is, pets are a big part of people's lives and sometimes loved even more than humans (especially here in Florida). The illustrious artist George Stubbs certainly didn't think animals too lowly a subject!

I'll be honest with you, I don't have any pets. My olfactory is far too sensitive and I have allergies to pet hair and dander. I am the type of person who sneezes, on average, about 5- 7 times in a row (yeah, I know - fun!). Now, I have known some people with such dirty and vile smelling animals that keeping my food down when I was around them posed quite a challenge (the animals, not the people -well, mostly the animals). I can tell you that experiences like that are not ones your senses quickly forget and furthermore don't help any to get me on the pet bandwagon with the majority. However, I do have my moments when I see people like Patricia Gray and her adorable little Yorkie, Nicole, and a wave of pet-envy sweeps over me. Then there is my fellow blogger and friend, Joni Webb of Cote de Texas, who has two dogs, Sammie and Georgie, that are adored by her family. I can't imagine that she lets them get gross. I can see it.... a furry, loyal and adoring creature who guilelessly looks forward to nothing more than waiting for you to come home (besides being fed, maybe). I recently had the honor of immortalizing Joni's dogs in gouache from photos. I am now looking for some new subjects, so please don't be shy and feel free to contact me about painting your favorite little (or big) furry friend or giving a pet portrait for a special occasion.


The 4 interior paintings featured in my new notecard collection

It's a new year and, as promised, I am introducing some new items on my Etsy site. Today, I've added a new set of notecards. Featured in the collection are 4 of my most popular interior paintings: Aqua Interior, Lulu Guinness' Tea Table, Lily's Desk and Tented Conservatory. There are 8 notecards/envelopes in each set - 2 of each painting. They are a very nice way to write a thank-you or let someone special know you are thinking of them. Buy one box for a friend and another for yourself! Check them out here on my ETSY SITE!


A recent painting - gouache on paper 8x10

Happy New Year! I hope that everyone had an enjoyable Holiday Season and that this year holds many good things for you. I, for one, am not a big fan of making New Year's Resolutions. My experience is that a lot of people (including myself) can spend more time making lists and less time actually taking action to meet their goals. In the end, the list can serve as more of an indictment than an inspiration. Case in point: the sudden increase of fitness memberships in January that result in fervent devotion to exercise that diminishes by the day and ends 11 months later in Holiday feasting and added pounds (how's that for a run-on sentence?) Then, there's the things we THINK we want or need, that, when we pursue, often result in our ultimate disappointment or injury. On the reverse side, many times our most difficult and heart-wrenching experiences can be the crucible by which the greatest growth and blessings in our lives come forth. Treasures can come forth from difficulties and challenges that we would never have chosen to go through and even avoided at all costs, had we known what was ahead. As human beings, we have definite limitations on clear foresight and there are a million things that can cloud our perspective. Let's face it, some things in life are just out of our control, no matter how much we'd like to deny that fact. We are human and fallible. As much as hindsight is 20/20, oftentimes foresight is equivalent to legal blindness or worse. That said, I am hardly espousing accepting the status quo or settling for mediocrity. I've learned that, for me, it's better to just pursue what is important rather than talk about it or make promises to myself. There are certainly things I can discipline myself to strive for, but then, inevitably things will crop up to challenge or delay even my most ardent efforts. However, I do believe that life should involve constant re-examination and that it is very worthwhile to establish your priorities and continually seek ways to grow and develop. It is important to take stock of life and find ways to pursue what is truly worthwhile and will help to enrich the lives of others. So whether you want to label them resolutions or, like me, just keep a mental list before yourself of what you are going to invest your efforts in, I sincerely wish you all the best in the coming year. I will be heading in some new directions, including featuring more interviews with artists and expanding both my Etsy shop and commissions into new areas that will be fun to share with you. Thank you for enriching my life in 2007 and I hope that my blog will continue to be a small source of inspiration or cheer or something good in your life in 2008.


A commission I just finished painting last week

I hope you all had a nice Christmas! It was a gorgeous day here in Florida - sunny and in the mid 70's. For Christmas dinner, seafood replaced the traditional turkey (or worse still - ham! hate that stuff!) Instead of feeling groggy and slug-like post-meal, I felt energized and decided to take a turn around the neighborhood and get some exercise. For someone that used to have to wear socks to bed in the Winter, I am not about to take for granted the sheer luxury of wearing flip-flops in December. The ducks were out on the pond and the breeze was gently rustling the palms. Perfect! As much as I love my work, it is nice to have a couple of days that I don't have to pick up a paintbrush.


I just wanted to thank Courtney Barnes of StyleCourt for her post today on my work appearing on Domino online. The actual chair in the painting is Courtney's own. She commissioned me to paint it last Summer and it also serves as the icon on her blog banner that I designed. It's been one of my most popular paintings and is now featured on note cards and greeting cards as well as a print. Thank you, Courtney, for all your support.