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Emily Hanigan Posts

2018 Art Updates (& Studio Reno News!)

My exciting news update is that…I’m officially an artist and proud member of Swell Artist Collective here in Boise! I’ve already been so inspired by many of the artists in Swell.  Swell puts on a lot of local art events you may have already gone to in the past couple of years.  As for my newness to the group, I feel like I’ve already been able to participate in all sorts of goodness.  Earlier this year I was part of the Howdy Show at Swell, the Art Deck-O 6 Show at the Visual Artist Collective and next month, I’ll be doing this summer’s Art Crawl (June 23rd).  Want to stay up to date on Swell events?  Check her out here.

Also! For those that follow along on IG and have been watching my stories, you already know this but for any new peeps, I’m also stoked to share that we’re in the middle of our studio renovation! Our studio is a sun room attached to our house, right off the kitchen.  It’s the perfect size for my art needs.  But there is one downside to our studio space…it’s not insulated or temperature controlled.  Er go, it’s definitely going to be worth it to get it insulated and up to code.  So we are in the process of making that happen!  We’re getting new walls, windows, door, floor and all that jazz.  It should be done within a few weeks! More on that soon. (Follow along on IG for more day to day updates).

Before the studio was torn down for the reno, I was a busy bee. I worked on some abstract pieces and a new mixed media piece as well. I hope you enjoy!

My most recent completed works:


I hope whatever you’re up to, you’re having a hoot doing it.  πŸ˜€



Black and White Photo Challenge

I was challenged by a friend on Instagram to take 7 photographs over the course of 7 days, all in black and white.  The only rules were the photos couldn’t have any people or pets and also no explanation for your photos.  Challenge accepted!  Each photo was taken on my handy dandy cell phone.  This challenge has inspired me to actually want to use my camera again…which I have a horrid habit of keeping tucked away in my closet.  Welp, we shall see!  Below are all the photos from the challenge. Enjoy!

Sometimes when I’m in a rut creatively, it helps me to have a set goal in mind or a challenge like this to get my creative on.  What helps you get out of a creative rut? 




Do It For The Process

Back in early July I was a participating artist at a gallery show at Studio Boise Photography Center.  They hosted “Idaho Places, Idaho Faces,” their 2nd annual photography contest AND! Studio Boise was celebrating their 1st year as a business.  So already this was set to be a pretty fun night. Family, friends, artists, live music, celebrating local artists and local business.  Win win win win win.  
The photos displayed during the gallery show’s opening night came from photo submissions that were hand selected by a panel of three judges.  I was lucky to be included in those top photographs.  Even just clicking the “submit” button when applying for these contests takes courage and by allowing yourself to be vulnerable and by putting yourself out there, great things can happen. What’s the worst that could happen? You submit your work and don’t get into the show? It’s a bummer of course but doesn’t make you any less of an artist.  Instead just think, okay, onto the next one. Carry on.  You are STILL AN ARTIST even if they don’t select you for that specific show.  It’s true. I promise.  I know because I finally believe that for myself.
I was so happy to see everyone who came out to the gallery show’s opening night and to support my photograph and enjoy a (free, wee!) glass of wine/beer or two.  Everyone who joined for the gallery opening was given one token to vote for one photograph. The winner would receive a $1k cash prize!  Runner up would receive free studio rental time.  As the night went on and the votes came in, we all chit chatted and drank and admired photographs with the theme,” Idaho Places, Idaho Faces.” At the end of the night the votes were counted.  I stood among my wife, family and friends and as the owners began to speak into the microphone, I thought, ah geez, that’d be super cool to win, but also just super cool to see all my people in one place rooting me on and to be part of an art community again…and then…runner up announced…and then…the winner was announced and I heard my name. WHAT?!  I kissed my wife and walked up to where the studio owners were standing, all while fashioning the giddiest of grins.  I shook the hands of the wonderful couple who opened Studio Boise’s doors one year ago and graciously accepted my prize.  Celebration ensued and hugging of my dear friends and omg moments continued throughout the night and several days after.
This event was the start of me believing in myself as an artist again.  By believing in myself, I’ve had the confidence to put myself out there as an artist more than I ever have.  Following that night, I have been involved in so many more art opportunities and have been invited to join an Art Collective here in Boise!  (More to come on that later!)  
Who would have thought that by going on a walk with my camera and photographing one lone goose, that it would be a key element in helping guide me back to art and helping me build my confidence again as an artist.  Self doubt is a tricky one, and when it creeps in, knowing how to climb out from under it is the hardest part. My advice, stop wishing and hoping and start doing.  DO without a guarantee of anything necessarily “coming from it.” Do it for the process, do it because IT MAKES YOU HAPPY.  Submit to that call to artist, because why not?

City of Geese

“I felt lucky meeting one of Boise’s many geese as I strolled through the Boise Depot.  As I slowly approached and lifted my camera, this curious goose walked a few steps closer then paused and looked right at me, as if posing for the shot.  I walked away that day with a new favorite photo.” -Emily Hanigan


Cheers to art.
Cheers to supportive loved ones.
Cheers to community love.
Cheers to getting your make on.

How To Make A DIY Wedding Sign

When two of your best friends ask you to make their wedding sign you say YES PLEASE!  They are the coolest, the nicest and most deserving couple.  Being able to make their wedding sign was an honor.   And let me tell you, it was such a gorgeous and amazing wedding.  Congrats to Katie and Phil!  

They wanted their wedding sign to include a gold frame, glass, a few pops of color and a simple yet pretty easel.  Since it was a welcome sign, they wanted the welcome message, their names and the date included on their sign.  (And some pretty flowers for festive flare).  They got married outdoors so everything needed to be sturdy enough to hold its own on a grassy surface.  This was the first wedding sign I’d made working with glass.  And I am officially a HUGE FAN of painting on glass. It glides on so smoothly and the finished product is just stunning.  Take a look at the items I used and what I learned during process of making this custom wedding sign.  

Click the images below to find out more about the sharpies and other supplies I used.


  1.                                                                  2.



    1. I used Sharpie’s brand of oil paint pens with a medium point. I like the boldness of the medium point, especially since I wanted people to be able to read the sign from pretty far away.  You’ll notice using these oil paint pens on glass makes for such a smooth and effortless application. 
    2. This is the gold I used and it also comes with a silver paint pen. When you’re drawing with the gold and it seems really dark, don’t worry!  It’s super gold and shiny in the light, especially outdoors!
    3. These colors are great for flowers and leaf accents.
    4. I used a lot of white so a I would recommend having at least 2 white pens to make sure you have enough for you sign.


The couple provided the glass, frame and easel. Although I believe they purchased their frame and glass from a local art shop here in Boise, I found similar and affordable, nice quality items on Amazon as well.



An acrylic glass sheet will work perfectly!  Be careful of the size of your frame/glass to make sure they match.  I recommend buying the frame first and then buying the glass.  Just to make sure everything fits!

7) Simple and elegant easel worked perfectly and was sturdy even on the grass during their outdoor wedding.

I sketched out the entire sign on butcher paper before I began. I measured the frame to make sure it would be centered on all sides of the glass and would sit just right inside the frame. I then taped the drawing to the back of the frame.  Having the frame and glass already assembled is key.  This way you know exactly how it will looked as a finished and framed piece.  If you keep the glass out of the frame while you make it, there’s a chance some of your drawing/text might go beyond what’s visible and land behind the edges of the frame. And we definitely don’t want that!  Note, I was fortunate enough to have the frame already assembled and ready to go which made it easy peasey.  Also, make sure the hooks on the back of the frame match with where you’re drawing the top of the sign!

What I learned in the process: you can wipe off mistakes and even scrape off parts after they’ve dried. The magic of oil paint!  You also use more white than you think to make the letters as opaque as possible. It’s still not 100% smooth (the large white parts in the names) when you look up close, but perfection is boring anyway. πŸ˜€  I also learned when you first start to put the paint pen on the glass, your paint pen touches the glass faster than you’d expect!  I’ll explain…since the glass is clear and you’re staring at your sketch/outline that’s behind the glass, all of a sudden your paint pen is on the glass when your brain thinks you still have a ways till it hits the paper still!  At least my brain did!  But it’s no biggy b/c you can fix anything along the way!


The final product!  Photograph by E+E Photography.



Happy Making!




Items used (or similar items used) to make this DIY Wedding Sign:
Clear Acrylic Plexiglass Sheet – 1/8″ Thick Cast – 24″ x 36″
Sharpie Oil-Based Paint Marker, Medium Point, White Ink, Pack of 3
Sharpie Oil-Based Paint Markers, Medium Point, Bright Colors, 5 Count – Great for Rock Painting
Sharpie Oil-Based Paint Markers, Extra Fine Point, Assorted Metallic, 2 Count – Great for Rock Painting
Sharpie Oil-Based Paint Markers, Medium Point, Assorted Colors, 5-Count
Craig Frames 314GD2436DAC 0.75-Inch Wide Picture/Poster Frame in Ornate Finish, 24 by 36-Inch, Ornate Gold
Loew-Cornell 65-Inch Natural Wood Floor Easel

Custom Cow Painting

I am so excited to share this new custom cow painting I made for @jeff41005!  It just arrived to his home in Kentucky and the kind words he said about the piece warmed my heart!  That is why I do what I do. Making people happy, adding some joy to their home and spreading love through art, you really can’t beat that.

When he emailed me about his custom painting, he wrote that he wanted something similar to my giraffe painting with blues/greens and to make it extra fun and funky.  As a lot of you know, I’m a big fan of incorporating collage and mixed media into my paintings.  I used portions of paper and also portions of a 1947 Life Magazine to create the mountains.  Below are a couple in progress shots specifically with the cow.

I had a BLAST making this for him and love knowing this will be hanging on his walls. πŸ˜ƒ  Thank you Jeff for your appreciation in my art and I hope your cow enjoys its new home!

The finished piece!  So happy with how she turned out!  

Thinking about getting your own custom piece?  Let’s chat!  If you want a custom painting for a Holiday gift, now is the time to reach out and get the ball rolling!  You can be as involved or not involved in the process as you like.  Jeff gave me a few things he wanted and then said just go for it.  If all you want to say is “Make it similar to this piece with these colors, with this animal,” I can definitely do that!  Or if you’re more of an abstract art fan, I can do that too!  Fill out the contact form here and I can’t wait to get started on your custom painting!  No size is too small or tall. πŸ˜€




Progress Report

Here is a progress report on a new giraffe painting, current shot of the studio, custom cow painting in progress and our Halloween decorations so far.  Enjoy!  

Zoomed in on my little giraffe friend. 



Why I Changed My Business Name

This is my old logo and business name, Happy Home Studios. I still love the name and the logo.  I was Happy Home Studios for close to 5 years and it was hard to let go…at first.

After focusing more on painting/drawing and fine art prints, I realized my passion was in making art, not necessarily in crafty items.  I still love making concrete planters and coasters and am still debating adding those back to the shop, but my inner “ness” is all about paint on canvas and ink on paper.

I think with Happy Home Studios I was trying to be what I was “supposed to be” as a brand. Although I did enjoy everything I made while working under the name HHS, something didn’t feel quite right.  It felt like I was trying to fit myself into this box.  A box constrained to home goods and home decor.  Also, nothing was really BLOWING MY MIND as far as fulfilling my creativity.  While I was making the tote bags and coasters, all I really wanted to do was draw and paint.  Okay cool, so why not keep HHS as your biz name but switch to paintings/drawings primarily?  Great question.

My name has endless opportunities, no matter my passion, my name comes with me, it follows me wherever I go.  I’m proud of my name.  I feel lucky to be a Hanigan. So to me, the change just made sense.  I thought, if it’s that important to me, I should just make the switch. So I decided to go for it – make the transition and update the old website to guide people here, to my shiny new website. Right after I made the decision, I bought new business cards, made a sign and participated in my first local art show as “Emily Hanigan Art” and my oh my did it feel good!

It may sound like it was an easy peasey quick decision, but I hesitated for a quite awhile. My original hesitation to make the switch came from thinking, “But I’ve made a following with Happy Home Studios already! What if people don’t know I changed my name?!”  Um, first off, I’m not necessarily raking in thousands and thousands of website views a day or anything…yet πŸ˜‰  And I can guide people here with the wonderful power of social media.  My business is still growing and I’m still learning. So I figured why not grow and learn doing something I’m 100% passionate about and with a business name easy to take with me anywhere.

Owning a website with my actual name makes me feel like the possibilities are endless.  Stay tuned for more painting and drawing collections…hoping to do a “Seasonal Collection” down the road. πŸ˜€

What do you use for your business name? Your actual name or a different moniker? What made you decide one way or the other?



If you’d like to get super into all things related to my art or support my work financially, follow me on Instagram (my fave), subscribe to this blog and/or support me on Patreon


You Can Become a Patron of The Arts!



1) a person who supports with money, gifts, efforts, or endorsement of an artist, writer, museum, cause, charity, institution, special event, or the like:

a patron of the arts.

Patreon is a site to support artists, musicians, podcast creators and a variety of other wonderful creative pursuits. When I first came across the site, I read other artist’s profiles, read reviews and soaked up as much information about this whole idea of “Patreon.” Afterwards, I realized this is exactly the type of community I wanted to be part of.  Artists supporting other artists, fans supporting their favorite musicians, visual artists, podcasts and so much more!  A community of fans who become “Patrons” aka supporters, aka members, aka pledging their favorite artist(s) and helping them $1 at a time to develop and focus on their craft. Also, there are perks for those that do become a Patron!  Depending on the tier, there are a variety of perks aka “Rewards” Patrons receive.  I thought, wow, way cool!  Where do I sign??

So I took the time and created my profile.  I then stared at that glaring “0” number of patrons like I had already failed.  WTF?  Why do I think this way?!  Then I thought, okay, obviously this isn’t going to just take off and go crazy over night.  I know it’s not good to compare yourselves to other people, but I had tinges of OMG no way when looking at other artist’s pages who have hundreds and even thousands of patrons supporting their work.  Okay first off, that’s incredible and I’m stoked for them.  And 2nd, how the H did they do that?!  Well, I don’t know just yet.  But I’m going to continue posting on Patreon and pouring my heart into my art.  I’m going to be as active as time allows and focus on being my true self as an artist and as a human.  It’s time for me to stop overthinking all this and just do.

Here we go Patreon world! Thank you for having me.

If you’re comfortable donating and supporting my work, please take a look at the rewards I’ve created! Depending on the tier, you’ll either get monthly digital downloads, access to early coupons, more candid journal entries and all sorts of other goodies.  Also you can simply donate and opt out for receiving any rewards. Whatever floats your boat!  Take a look at my Patreon Page to see more.

Thank you in advance for your support and for even just reading this post.  That too is showing support and you’re pretty cool for taking the time to stop by.

For those that haven’t seen my new profile photo, here it is!  This is me posing as naturally, ahem, as humanly possible in my art studio.  Did I put on a fresh shirt and earrings for this photo?  Maaaaaaybe. Goodness, you should see some of the other photos I took. Eek!  Perhaps I’ll post an outtake reel for Patrons at some point down the road.

Also, I wanted to mention that I’ll still be super active on this site as this is home base for me.  I’m all about having other bases to help me out though. Er go, Patreon. πŸ˜€

Lastly, I’d like to send love and hugs to everyone in Las Vegas and those affected by the tragic shooting. If you’d like to donate to the Las Vegas Victim fund, you can do so here. 

Enjoy the rest of your day!



Studio Refresh & Shop Updates

Last weekend my studio was a hot mess!  The anxiety I felt when looking into the studio was unbearable. Until now.  Now my anxiety is completely gone when I’m in my art studio.   It took a lot of gumption for me to finally tackle this project.

Some of you may already know that I use our home’s sunroom as my art studio (and Hayley’s puzzle table lives here as well because she’s the cutest).  How did the studio get into this horrible state of clutter you might ask?  Well, after the show at RAW Boise a couple weeks ago, the studio was a hot mess and I said “eff it” consistently about a week before the show.  I would walk in the studio and my brain would instantly go into freak out, stress mode.  I am very much the type of person that an empty space is a peaceful space.  Having clutter and “stuff” everywhere really impacts my creativity, efficiency and motivation…in a negative way.

It was daunting to begin the process but I knew it’d be worth it in the end.  I’ve been reading Fay Wolf’s book, New Order.  (The moment you’re done reading this post, go BUY IT!  Ah heck, stop reading this and go buy it now!)  For reals though guys, with that books help, along with some massive motivation, a couple cups of coffee (and then a beer or two) and several of Spotify’s Daily Mix playlists on repeat, I am done!  I can proudly say that at this very moment, the studio is now a decluttered, peaceful oasis.  

I spent several hours last Saturday filling boxes and bins and throwing away junk I was never going to use again.  I was letting go.  Letting go of this “stuff” that I might get to one day.  But really, every time I looked at that stuff I felt guilty that I hadn’t even touched it or started the project at all!  How about get rid of said stuff and focus on what you’re passionate about at this very moment? So simple!  Yet life changing.  I filled trash bags and donation boxes and my “other rooms” box to the brim.  (“Other rooms” is a reference from Fay’s book.  Which you just bought, right?!!)

Here’s the chaotic BEFORE photo:

Here is the AFTER photo showing the studio in its current state.  I feel free!  For me personally, having less is definitely more when it comes to a creative work space.

Another AFTER photo. Work table, storage and an easel.  Feels amazing in here now!

Also!  I recently added a “Shop” section for you to peruse.  Prints of my original paintings and drawings and an affordable custom 11×14 painting or drawing are ready for checkout.  Great stocking stuffers (too soon?) or gifts to treat yo self!

I have a lot of ideas and  plans for this site, my art biz and for future art projects.  Stay tuned! πŸ™‚

Now I’m off to put pen/paint/ink to paper and get to work in my newly refreshed and decluttered studio. 

Cheers to art.  Cheers to a clear head.


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