How we got to Europe!

Hello!  It’s been a while.  Last time we blogged, we were trying to sell our house in a hurry so that I could go to school in Barcelona.  So much has happened since then!  We have been on an interesting adventure to say the least.  It has been nothing short of a series of uncanny miracles, almost too many to write about in one blog.  So I’m going to start where we left off on our blog last summer when we were thinking about selling our house.  This was the start of our adventure: a faith journey of believing our dreams could come true. Last summer, there were so many serendipitous events that surrounded my ‘By Endurance We Conquer‘ exhibit at Bromwell’s.  Between 2014-2016, I made 19 paintings about Sir Ernest Shackleton and his brave crew going to Antarctica on the SS Endurance. I exhibited them at Bromwell’s to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the crew’s rescue.

The exhibition opened in July of 2016, and it was during that time when I felt like God was challenging me to apply to the Barcelona Academy of Art, an atelier offering courses in classical approaches to art.  I didn’t have the money to do this at the time that I applied.  In fact, I barely had enough money to cover our living expenses in Cincinnati.  And I didn’t know how it was going to possible for me to have a house, pay the mortgage, while paying tuition and paying for an apartment in Barcelona.  So it seemed impossible and impractical.  But again, I felt God challenging me to believe that all things are possible with Him!  So I applied.  And I got in!  Over the next several weeks, we were caught up in a whirlwind of activity, packing our house and studio up into boxes.  We still had no idea how we were going to pay for going to Spain, but we took steps of faith.  And just in the nick of time, we sold enough art work to go!

20160829_180320It was like a wink from God that we even received a check in the mail from a client of ours on the very day that Shackleton set out on the SS Yelcho (a boat loaned to him by the Chilean government) to successfully rescue the rest of the Endurance crew who were waiting for him on Elephant island.  The check was postmarked exactly 100 years to the date!  You can see for yourself on the PBS NOVA website how the timeline matches up: August 25th 1916 and August 25th 2016!  I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried!

the-good-news(This is a painting I did in June of 2016 about Shackleton’s rescue of his men on Elephant Island.  The ship he left in on August 25th 1916, the SS Yelcho is in the distance.  He made it to Elephant Island on August 30th.)

Not only did God provide the financial means for me to get to school and get an apartment, He also provided a solution for what to do with our house while we would be away.  And what is funny about that is the fact that it was an answered prayer that I’d actually forgotten about.  Let me explain:

Early in 2016, I was dreaming about spending time in Europe and going to Barcelona Academy, but I didn’t see how it could be possible.  And I didn’t know what would be the wise thing to do with our house.  So I took a day to fast and pray and ask God what to do.  I was willing to lay my dream down if that was what God’s best plan was for me.  So I asked God, ‘should we sell our house or should we rent it?’   The next day, I walked out my front door and I’m not kidding, there was actually a ‘for rent’ sign laying right there on our front sidewalk!  I had no idea where it came from.  I was on my way to the grocery store with Evan, and when we got back home, the sign was gone!  So I said to Evan, ‘hey, I think that was God’s answer to my question!  We are supposed to rent our house!’  At the time, Evan didn’t like the idea of being a landlord, and he preferred to sell it.  So I let it drop and continued to wait to see what might happen.

Fast forward several months later: It’s the end of July and I just found out I was accepted into Barcelona Academy.  It’s exciting news, but we had no money and only six weeks to sell our house.  We met with a real estate agent, who said to us basically, it would be very difficult and next to impossible to pack up our house, get it ready to sell and actually close a sale on it in time for me to get to Spain.  Well, that same night after meeting with the real estate agent, we went over to visit our neighbors and told them about our good news of me going to school and our house dilemma.  And it just so happened that our neighbor’s daughter was wanting to leave Indianapolis and head back to Cincinnati.  Our neighbor encouraged Evan to contact her and see if she’d be interested in renting our house.  When Evan messaged her that night, she happened to be out with a friend talking about how she wanted to move back home.  She responded right away to Evan’s message and said, ‘I’d love to rent your home!’  And on top of that, she even agreed to take care of our cats for us!

(Our black cat, Moshi loves to hang out in the bathroom!)

It all worked out perfectly!  And this was just the beginning of our journey.

Stay tuned for the next blog where we tell you about some of our adventures in Europe!  

* Gifts for the Holidays *

 

THE GIFT OF INNOVATION

Evan has been busy in the studio making hundreds of painting sketches, exploring new ideas and new directions for his work.  The result has been some beautiful innovations in his larger works, as well as a studio full of small paintings!

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In an effort to clean out the studio for 2016 and make room for more work, he will be selling these small pieces for very affordable prices.  These beautifully unique and one of a kind paintings are perfect gifts for the holiday season!

 

INVEST IN A DREAM

Every work of art you purchase helps us to pursue our dreams, and when you buy our work, you are investing in an object made by two people who are committed to continual improvement and growth.  Because of our commitment to excellence, your investment will continue to appreciate in value as the years go by.

Recently, we made a major investment in our careers by participating in two very prestigious art fairs in San Diego and Miami,  Art Spectrum.   These Spectrum fairs are a great opportunity for us to get our work seen by wider audiences and we are very grateful for the chance to do this through the efforts of the wonderful team of  folks at Art Design Consultants.  You can help us with the costs of these investments by purchasing our work.  Every piece of art you buy helps us to stay creative and keep making work.  We appreciate your support more than you know!

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This brings us to the next exciting topic of news:

The Collaborative Art of Evan and Alison at Art Spectrum Miami!

We are happy to share with all of you that we are showing several pieces at Spectrum Miami this week, December 2-6, including Day Lilly Metamorphosis!
This will be our first time showing our collaborative work outside of Cincinnati and we are excited to see the reaction to our work.

Day Lily Metamorphosis. Shepard Hildebrandt

If you cannot make it to Miami, Evan and I have a brand new show up at Bromwell’s right now with lots of new work. The Holidays are a great time to visit Bromwell’s, so we hope you can make it down to see the show.  We are both very proud of this show and have several collaborative pieces in it.

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We also plan to have lots of smaller, art gift items available at Bromwell’s starting this weekend.  If you are looking for a unique hand made gift item or if you want to start your art collection, these art pieces will be perfect for you!  Stop by Bromwell’s this Saturday to see the show, the beautiful Christmas decor, and for a private tour of our studio!

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NEW WORK AND NEW LOOKS

We have also just completed our newest collaborative website shepbrandt.com and have updated both of our personal websites with a new look and new content!
You can view our personal sites here: http://www.alisonshepardart.com/ and here: http://www.evanhildebrandtart.com/

We are currently accepting commissions for 8 x 10 collaborative paintings of birds that combine abstraction and realism.  If you would like to find out more about these paintings, or would like commission one, email us at shepbrandt@gmail.com

Bird Lover 1    Bird Lover 3

Abstract backgrounds by Evan and birds by Alison

 

Portrait of a Soul

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“Every child has the right to feel special. Portrait of a Soul provides these young heroes with the opportunity to shine like a star. ”

-Sue Schaefer

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Evan and I have had such a wonderful time working with Cincinnati philanthropists, Lee and Sue Schaefer, founders of Portrait of a Soul.  Portrait of a Soul is a non-profit organization that pairs artists with children and young adults who were born with craniofacial conditions.  Each artist spends time getting to know the child and then paints a portrait of them that depicts their inner and outer beauty.

Check out this wonderful news clip about Portrait of a Soul that features an interview with Logan Brinson, his mom Rene, and Lee Schaefer in our beautiful art studio at Bromwell’s:  New organization redefines portrait of healing. Organization provides patients optimistic outlet.

10669036_941407302545589_8101475724992605936_o  Loren

This has been such a special experience for me and Evan.  It has been a creative endeavor that has enlarged our hearts with love and hope and purpose.  Painting Logan and Loren has been one of the most important things we have ever done.

We hope that on on Saturday, June 13th, you will join us between 10am-3pm at Eisele Gallery to see the many wonderful portraits of these children by some of Cincinnati’s top artists.

Eisele Gallery is located at 5729 Dragon Way, Cincinnati, OH 45227

For more information, be sure to visit Portrait of a Soul on Facebook and Portrait of a Soul’s website

 

 

In-progress works for our show “Meditation” at Wash Park Art Gallery

this February, Evan and I spent many of our snow days indoors painting butterflies for our show at Wash Park Gallery.

It was a fun way to make the most of being stuck inside!

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Once we were able to get back to the studio again, we had the challenge of placing all of the butterflies and the koi fish we had been painting at home during the snow days.

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Here we are the day of our installation, just finishing hanging the koi painting.

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GIVE GOOD STUFF

Bromwell's give good stuff

It’s the time of year to give BACK Good Stuff.  We are so blessed this holiday season, but there are many who are not.   Want to help me help those who are in need?   The wonderful Bromwell’s crew is helping me create a way way to share some of the good stuff this season with others.   When you buy a piece of art from my unique collection of Cincinnati Icons, priced $150-$175, 20% of the purchase price of all of these pieces goes to City Gospel Mission.

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Find out more about their great work at https://citygospelmission.org, and visit the store to select one of these thoughtful gifts right off the gallery wall.  Bromwell’s is conveniently located in the heart of downtown Cincinnati, Ohio at 117 West Fourth Street.  https://www.facebook.com/Bromwells

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Hope begins with a meal, shelter and lifesaving care.  When you give to City Gospel Mission, you are helping provide someone with food, shelter, recovery, and education.  This wonderful organization is doing some amazing things to transform our city:  https://citygospelmission.org/us/

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Mural Day 10

It has truly been a busy summer so far! My time off from Thomas More has been very much full of work! And although I’m ready for a little respite, I am so incredibly GRATEFUL for the work I’ve done these last weeks on the mural and getting prepared for the flower painting classes. It has been such a wonderful experience! The flower painting workshop at my home is full, but there is still room in the one I’m teaching at Bromwell’s on Wednesdays 430-7. Feel free to email me for more info: shepbrant@yahoo.com

Here’s an image of Day 9:
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