Hi, I’m Cara, and I am so glad you are here!
Thank you for dropping by this space to learn a bit more about my work and process. You might be surprised to hear that I am actually a former writer turned painter. After a decade managing homes and families as a nanny/house manager, I had set myself up in a financially stable position to do what I had always longed to do: write a book. I set off on an exploration of language and story, procuring a manuscript that took me absolutely nowhere (in terms of success or notoriety) and taught me everything about how I wanted to speak into the world.
After a particularly stressful four years writing and feeling like I had come up unforgivably short, I suffered a huge health crisis. What began as a tension headache quickly manifested into chronic, widespread symptoms that no doctor (and I saw 11 specialists!) could diagnose. I spent the majority of a year in bed, unable to sleep from acute insomnia and unable to exert myself beyond hobbling to and from the bathroom.
Then one day I decided enough was enough.
I decided that IF I was in fact dying, I wasn’t going to go quietly about it. I asked Jesus to use me, my prayer a simple. “Lord, give these days meaning,” and in His great love, He met me in the darkness.
Graves Into Gardens
I picked up a pencil and I began passing the excruciating hours by losing myself in portraiture. I was terrible. But I didn’t care. Because I was doing something, and it distracted me from my bleak depression and debilitating symptoms.
Eventually I was diagnosed with a both a thyroid condition (Hashimoto’s thyroiditis) and Fibromyalgia, which is disorder that causes widespread pain and exhaustion, and was believed to have been triggered by the traumatic conclusion of finishing my book. Medication relieved some but not all my pain, and it was another two years figuring out how to take care of myself properly and avoiding health spirals.
I also kept drawing. I passed many, many days this way, and eventually I found my way to watercolors. This is where my creative curiosity bloomed into creative passion, and after a few sales here and there, I started seriously considering a career.
I devoted myself wholly to my work, and without any children at the time this was easy to do. I found my calling in the form of flowers. I could paint them for hours, and I did, and I’ve never wanted to paint anything else. My style began to emerge and I became a recognizable brand through the articulation of my loose florals.
I grew my social media presence by collaborating with fellow artists, and attending local markets where I was able to connect with the community. Later in the year I was hosted by West Elm and Pottery Barn, and went on to design patterns for Laura Ashley, Monika Hibbs, Darling Magazine and Bangs Shoes. In early 2018 I was picked up by Kirkland Home for my first licensing partnership.
In Full Bloom
In 2017 our lives changed forever when my husband and I welcomed our first child, daughter Hazel Gwen, into the world. As a first-time mother I was utterly out of my depths caring for a colic newborn, and soon found myself struggling to adjust to this new way of life. The days were long, as they say, and I found it challenging not having consistency or a reliable schedule to guide the ebb and flow of life; yet, during this time God grew my heart and taught me how to trust in His timing.
Slowly, little by little, I began to discover the person I had become - a much hardier version of my former self; someone willing to make mistakes and Show Up and work extremely hard, if it meant she could do what she loves each day. Hazel rekindled a fire deep within me, forcing me to learn how to blend mother and artist into one, and ultimately helping me realize there was space for my art in this great, big world.
In 2019 I became busier than ever and equally more passionate about flowers. I worked when my daughter slept, my desk filled with custom projects and brand collaborations. I began to teach live workshops locally in Orange County, California as well share my education on Skillshare, an online learning platform. That year I was delighted to be featured as a Top Teacher.
Be sure to visit my Skillshare page if you're interested in learning how I paint florals!
2020 brought us another blessing, daughter Violet Fiona, and once again it was a time of growing and refining and deep, deep reliance on God.
In 2022 I signed with Page Street Publishing, an imprint of Macmillan, and released my very first book! It's a real dream come true, and I feel honored to be able to give back in this way, sharing my knowledge and passion for floral art with students all over the world.
Today my work appears fabric, gift wrap, stationery and baby swaddles, to name a few things. I also continue to have the privilege of painting custom wedding bouquets for hundreds of brides, and recently expanded this endeavor to offer custom wedding vows paintings, with the help of a wonderful calligrapher.
I am a woman, wife, mother, artist, connoisseur of hope, chaser of beauty, child of God, and a believer in Good Things take time.
Thank you again for being here,