Last week I shared Part 1, you can read it here.

When I began my art business I knew “zilch” about licensing art. It was a huge learning curve, thank goodness for t’internet! (as we call it!) Don’t know how artists did it before. So I researched products that I wanted my work to be on, and then I set out to create designs in my style for those types of products. I did my degree in illustration, so I focused mostly on childrens’ products to begin with.

In 2008 I launched my website, I submitted designs to companies that I wanted to work with, it was hours and hours of work. Companies don’t respond, only if they’re interested because they don’t have time to respond to everyone. One day I got an email from a company interested in my transportation art, they asked for more samples, so I created more. They liked my designs, and to my surprise they asked me if I would be interested in creating some art for Target stores. I was absolutely floored!!! Of course, I said YES!!! I spent the next few months creating seven pieces of children’s wall art for Target. It was quite a process, going back and forth. It required lots of patience, but it was still very fun! They had the final presentation and called me the next day. I was thinking they might take one, if I’m lucky. They took all seven, I just could not believe it. I felt like all my dreams of being an artist were coming true and that all my hard work and patience was finally paying off. In 2010, my children’s wall art was in Target stores, nationwide. You can see a picture here. I love the idea of children looking at my art in their rooms, hopefully inspiring some young artists out there. After that, I created more pieces for them and it continued to be a great relationship to this day.

I wanted to go to Surtex, a tradeshow for licensing. so I saved my pennies for a couple of years and in 2011 I had my first booth. It was such a great and nerve-wracking experience but I felt like it was a successful first show. The “interesting person” I mentioned in the previous post, who came to my Surtex booth, was an art buyer from the manufacturing company I left. Remember the lady who had me making labels and filing? Well, I ended up working with her again to license my work on their products. It was fun to work with them on that project.

One thing I have learned over the years, is that every artist’s journey is different. I had and still have artist that I admire and look up to but it’s important to find our ‘own way’. There is not certain way to become an artist, my advice is to follow your heart and be open to trying new things, don’t hold back. Start with ‘one thing’ and ‘it’ will grow from there.

Next week I will share Part 3, what came after Target and my first trade show with Surtex.

America The Beautiful

My Artist Journey Part 1

I told you I’d do another post today! I’m actually excited to share this with you because it’s been a long time coming, I’ve had my two cups of coffee, so here goes! BTW I am no were near a writer, so all you writers and grammar people, please excuse my writing!

To write this post, I have to think back to when I first started in the licensing business in 2007, 5 years after my son was born. It’s been a wonderful experience, both ups and downs along the way. Looking back I wish that I shared more of it on my blog, but I honestly didn’t have the confidence in my work to share so much, now I know how important it is to share both, the good and the bad.

I got my BA in illustration and art, then soon after I had kids. So I put my career on hold to be a stay home mommy, the best career I ever had, then this one. All the years I was being a mom, I had this dream of being a full time artist, I didn’t know how I was going to do it, I just knew that I would. The excitement, the possibilities and the mystery is what kept my dream alive.

Once my youngest son started kindergarten, it was then I began my long road of becoming what I always dreamed of. It started with a very unusual part time job that I did not like to say the least. At the time, I didn’t know this would lead me into licensing, but God had his plan and I was just beginning to see some of it!

While my son was in Kindergarten, I got a job working part time with a local company who manufactured Christian products with licensed artists. I was hired to design the products, but my manager, at the time wanted to do it ALL herself instead of managing! She would give me the super creative jobs, like making the product labels and filing. Woohoo I was thrilled everyday! The good news is, I learned about licensing and thought to myself, now this is what I want to do. I actually showed them some of my work one day and they just was like, hmmmm! I asked my manager time and time again if I could do something more than labels and filing with no luck. So after 6 months I couldn’t take and went into her office and said, “I want to leave”, she said with a disappointed look, “ok, when” and I said, “Now!!”. I’m kinda gutsy like that! I just knew I had bigger fish to fry!

So in 2008, began my journey of creating art for licensing. I set up a little area in my home for painting. I painted and painted and painted, and loved every minute of it. I felt like I was finally doing what I was meant to do. Next week I will share part 2 of how I started in the licensing business and a very ‘interesting person’ that shows up at my first art trade show. I hope you enjoyed reading Part 1 of my story. Have a great weekend everyone!

IMG_3380_058_058In Lake Tahoe with my babies. My kids are 19 and 14 now! 2006



Pottery Barn Kids


Photo credit: Pottery Barn Kids

Hey everyone! I know it’s been soooo long right! Truth is, I tend to put my blog last because I’m so busy with business and home stuff. I find Instagram so much easier and quicker. I just finished a whole bunch of deadlines, so I’ve made a commitment to you that I’m going to try and post once a week. Yay, I do love speaking to you and sharing stuff that’s going on.

So about a year ago I was asked to submit to my abstract art to Pottery Barn Kids, I was so excited but I didn’t want to get my hopes up. Yunno being an artist has it’s ups and downs, just like everything else. So after many presentations and lots of hard work between many people, my art is now available at PBK.You can see the canvas art HERE 

Next week I’m going to share more about how I took my business from children’s illustration to abstract painting.



Photo credit: Pottery Barn Kids


I take inspiration from everywhere, nature, surroundings, feelings, experiences, interiors, life!!! I also love to do series, inspired by a specific theme of thought. Recently I’ve been exploring making marks, then responding to each mark, and how each piece evolves into another piece. I love to explore line, color, form and texture in my sketchbook. I usually start out in my sketchbook, kind of like warming up, it gets me into a flow. I love listening to music while I work, often a song or a will inspire a whole painting. What inspires you?

In Time

In Time_GraingerIN TIME – 20 x 20″ original on canvas

Happy 2016 everyone! 2015 was a really great year, it was a year of change, growth, testing, and really stepping out in faith with my business. As you know I launched my online shop in December 2014, I spent the year growing my online shop. There are so many facets to running an online shop, it has truly been a learning curve. People ask me lots of questions about how to do things, but honestly the answer is always the same, you have to figure out ‘your way’ of making things happen through trial and error. I’m best buds with the postal workers now :)

The piece I’m sharing with you today is titled IN TIME. Very pertinent! I’m always very excited about the beginning of a new year. But it’s also a little daunting, so I have to look where I am now and not try to figure everything out, all at once. January is usually a time of reflection, collection and planning. I reflect on what I’ve done, I collect my thoughts and plan my next steps. Not completely planning, but by setting goals of what I would like ‘to do’ and by ‘when’, then process each step as I go along. For example, one of my goals for 2016 is to have a line of prints in my shop by Spring. When I’m ready to get started, I will begin to plan each step. I’m very excited to see what God has planned this year for me and my family. Please leave any question you have in the comments and I will do my best to answer them :)

I wish you blessings of love, health and happiness for 2016!



Biz Update



This year has been a big change for me, I started my online shop a year ago this month. It was a huge step of faith to expand my business from licensing art into selling original abstract paintings online. I am so pleased with how things progressed, I have learned so much and enjoyed every minute of it. It was a scary thing to do at first but I knew it was my passion and that is what pushed me forward. I have no regrets, I’m now planning what I would like to accomplish in 2016 and I’m very excited about ideas I have lined up. One of them being to find a studio that’s separate from my home studio and add a selection of prints to my shop. It’s my dream to have a studio where people can come visit, also my husband would love to get his garage back.

I did a huge sale by offering 50% off original paintings for black friday, small biz saturday and cyber monday. I wanted to offer a discount that would bless people. THANK YOU to everyone who has supported me throughout the year, you help make doing what I love possible.

I’m still doing the art licensing, in fact I’m working on two children’s books right now. Some of the new things I have accomplished in my business this year that I’m so happy about are: starting my online shop, offering commission work, my first solo art exhibition, working with great clients, selling art with Serena & Lily, teaching my first abstract class. I’m hoping to add a lot more to that list this coming year. The life of an artist is ever evolving and exciting if we embrace who we really are and not be afraid to take risks to grow!

And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Mark 11:22-24


summer rain

I have some NEW abstract pieces exclusively with Serena & Lily. You can check them out HERE! 

Warm Afternoon Sun

Some of these pieces have been influenced by the weather here in California. As you know we are having a major water shortage. It’s been a really hot summer, but we had some gorgeous summer thunderstorms. These pieces are inspired by those moments.

what happens next


This_Beautiful_Life_Lesley_GraingerTHIS BEAUTIFUL LIFE  |  16X20 original on paper  |  SOLD HERE

HELLO! Yes I’m still here! I know it’s been such a long time and I should have shared more but it’s been a crazy busy time for me and my family. I opened my online shop in early January and I’ve been focusing on that quite a bit. We’ve also been busy with my daughter graduating High School. There was so much going on, I had to juggle a lot of stuff. She graduated June 19th and then we surprised her with a ticket to England for a month with her best friend. We have a lot of family in England so thankfully they have places to stay.

So I wanted to share a long overdue update of my business. In 2010 I started licensing my children’s art on multiple products. I love creating art for kids! I was blessed with some wonderful opportunities and connected with some fantastic people.

‘Behind the scenes’ I was painting abstract for my personal enjoyment. Something just for me that I wasn’t selling or sharing. Painting is a spiritual thing for me, helps me to really look deep into myself and push my creativity and intuition. The more I painted the more I felt the need to share my work. So I began sharing on social media and over time realized this is what I truly love doing. So I took a leap of faith and launched my online shop selling original art. Since it opened in January, I’ve been so blessed with people liking and purchasing my original work. I will continue to create children’s art, surface pattern and illustration because I love that too. But somehow I needed to be able to do ‘all of it’. In the beginning I thought I had to choose between one or the other, but that’s the amazing thing about being an artist, having the ability to create whatever the imagination has to offer!

I have a lot of great things happening that I will share more about later. I will be teaching an abstract painting class in September at the Saddleback Ex Creatis Art Studio. Details to follow soon.

I do a lot more updates on my Instagram, you can follow me HERE. 


This is my favorite spot in Laguna Beach, it has such fantastic waves there’s no swimming allowed. The day I took this picture was cold and windy, well as cold as California gets, 60 degrees!! The beach always inspires me, I’m doing an abstract series on water. I’ve posted a few on my INSTAGRAM. If you follow me on IG, I’m doing a special every friday, #lovemyabstractart. I think everyone have should have original art, so every friday I sell an original at a low price. Only available on IG, look for it tomorrow. Here is the one from last week…

LAGUNA DREAMS – 11×14 on paper

Hello again!


Wow it’s been a while since I posted on my blog. Sorry about that! Just been busy with stuff. Surtex is just around the corner, I’m seeing lots of posts for people that are going. I will miss it but it’s kind of a relief because then I can focus on the other things I have going on. If you are going to Surtex and would like me to post your ad on my blog, send it to me and I will be happy to post.

So what’s been going on with me… So much, first of all my daughter is graduating high school. I really can’t believe it! It’s gone way too fast. She’s going to community college and then transferring, to be honest it’s the smart way to do it these days. I could give you 50 reasons why! She wants to go into the medical field. Who knew! We made an offer on a house, it’s a short sale and taking way too long. It’s also a fixer, so I can’t wait to get my hands on it. I’ll be posting pictures of the re-model, if we get it. I’ve been working a lot on my shop, that was a learning process, but I’m really glad I did it. I love having my own little shop. Lots of other little things going on but that would make my post way too long. If you follow me on Instagram, I’m doing a print GIVEAWAY. Announcing the winner tomorrow so go enter HERE. I’m also doing 20% off originals in my shop, use the code: sold at checkout. Have a great day!

Painting Everyday

I paint everyday, whether it’s brush strokes and colors in my sketchbook or painting on canvas. It’s my absolute passion and makes me feel happy, I never get tired of painting. It’s important to keep the flow and working those art muscles. I find my sketchbook is the most free because I’m not thinking too much, I just let it happen from my soul. Painting relaxes me, it takes me to a place that gives me peace and calms my mind and thoughts. It’s like everything that was swirling in my head before just goes away in that moment I begin to paint. Don’t you just want to go paint something now :)

Saddleback Art Exhibition

My art exhibition at Saddleback Church was so amazing, I wanted to share pictures of the installation but I didn’t have time to actually get any shots. The whole process took three night with lot of awesome people from Ex Creatis volunteering their time. The first few pictures are of the final day of installation from my sweet friend Karen who thankfully did get some shots.








This is the opening night, it was so amazing to see everyone enjoying my work. I got some wonderful feedback and questions.




























Thank you to the EX CREATIS Team


This is Jason Leith, he helped me organize the whole show. He is an amazing artist with a huge heart for the Lord. He uses his artistic talents to help the homeless, you can read more about him on his website SACRED STREETS.


My Husband Iain, my daughter Lily and my son Ethan with me at the show.

Thank you to Karen Shattler Photography for the photographs. Karen’s Facebook Page.


March is my birthday month and I appreciate my followers so much I wanted to celebrate by doing a BIG spring SALE. The sale starts March 1st and finishes March 31st.

Being An Artist

One of the most interesting things about being an artist is that you can create anything you want to. I started with licensing my art on children’s products now I’m selling original art in my online shop and licensing it with great companies. It’s such an exciting and rewarding career. I literally never stop thinking about what I want to create and there is not enough hours in the day. There are so many options for being an artist these days for people starting out. From Interior Design, Architecture, Graphic Design, Web Design, Painting, Licensing, Fashion Design, Illustrator, the list goes on. When I decided to become a full time artist I never knew where it would take me or even how I was going to do it. I just knew that is was what I was suppose to do. Everyone’s journey is different and unique, there is no exact way to go about it, just follow your heart and it will flow from there. It’s never too late to start, I finished my art degree in my late 20’s and didn’t really start my career until my 30’s.

The above painting is a recent one, sold in my shop. Click on the image to view more details.

Saddleback Church Art Exhibition

Saddleback Exhibition

Excited to share with you my first art exhibition. This has been on my to do list of for a long time and it’s finally happening! I’ve been preparing for this for the last couple of years. I have been going to Saddleback Church for 16 years, they recently opened an art gallery in the main worship center. It’s so beautiful, I feel so very blessed and thankful to have such an awesome church that embraces Art.

You can find the show information here. It is presented by Ex Creatis Arts Initiative. I will be exhibiting a series of abstract paintings that I hope will bring joy to your senses and speak deep into your soul through the language of color.


Ex Creatis is a community-focused arts initiative within Saddleback Church. This is a center for artists to come together and serve, using our individual creative talents to speak as a collective group and spark imagination, connection, and illumination. The regular happenings in Ex Creatis include Thursday night Studio Collective, art exhibitions and installations, and community engagement through art.

I will post pictures of the show in March.


The English Room




A great big THANK YOU to Holly Hollingsworth Phillips at The English Room for the lovely post about my work. So excited to be featured on her amazing blog. You can read the feature HERE.

Holly Hollingsworth Phillips is a residential interior designer and co-owner of The English Room, which is based out of Charlotte, North Carolina. Holly’s style is elegant, eclectic and colorful. She has completed homes all over the east coast that have ranged from the super modern to very traditional while keeping it true to her style. She loves overseeing the design process from beginning to end. The best part is when your clients really trust you and set you free to do what you do best. Her love of color, pattern and layering of old and new can be seen in all her work. According to Holly, “Color makes people happy!” She loves the mixing the tradition of the past with the modern style of the future.