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creative people: visual arts

I’ve been thinking about creativity and how wonderful it is that we all have talents and different ways of expressing ourselves. I am lucky to know so many incredibly creative, talented people. Amazing authors, incredible cooks, fantastic organizers, kind and gentle teachers.

So I think it would be fun to spotlight some creative people I know. And for this post I thought I’d focus on people I know who are creative visually (and of course they are also amazing in a myriad of other ways as well). I am absolutely terrible at art, design, photography, you name it. So I am very glad to be surrounded by people who excel in all these areas!

My mom, Arlene Braithwaite. She painted the gorgeous picture above. Click here to see more of her art. I grew up in a home with paintings like this on the walls and I think it influenced me profoundly to be able to live in the midst of her creativity. (And once, as a toddler, I ruined a painting by coming in and drawing a big red smiley face on it–sorry, Mom!)

She retired this year after 30 years of working as a professor at SUU, and now she paints more…and she also is the one who drives up from southern Utah and takes care of my kids if I have travel. She’s so fun and creative and it makes me so happy to know that while I’m gone my kids are soaking up Grammy time. She has won many awards and been in many gallery shows and was named Utah Art Educator of the Year, and she will still use her talents to draw dinosaurs for my kids at their every whim. I adore her.

Erin Summerill…there is nothing she can’t do. She writes, is a photographer, a mom, a fitness instructor, and she doesn’t eat sugar. (I know!) She has taken our family photos for the past two years and done a great job. Her site is here and you will love her work. She is also one of the few people in the world who can make my kids laugh when they are having their picture taken and they all think she’s very fun. Erin is magic. I’m feeling extra grateful for Erin today because she is helping us get our family photos ready for framing (her husband Mark makes frames and they are seriously gorgeous–click here to see more).

My friend Brook Andreoli is also a photographer and has a beautiful, beautiful blog. She isn’t currently booking photo shoots but I am lucky enough to have her take my author photos. Brook was my first new friend when we moved back to Utah in 2007 and I am so grateful to know her.

My friend Mariam makes watches and bracelets and she just sent me a watch she made that was inspired by the colors of the cover of MATCHED so that I could wear it (the watch, not the book) on tour. I was really touched. Mariam was a senior on the cross country team when I was a freshman. She was one of the team captains and she was (and is) incredibly kind, grounded, gracious–the kind of person I wanted (and still want!) to grow up to be.

And Rachel Coleman (blog here) designed the banner for this site and is supremely talented in many, many ways. I love everything she designs. It’s all so clean and lovely.

So there you have it: creative people, the visual arts version. My life has been made more beautiful because of them and I very much appreciate it.

P.S. I haven’t forgotten about the last stop on the Breathless Reads tour–I’ll post about it on Thursday. And if anyone was there and has a picture of the event they could e-mail me, I would love it!




+ comments (15)
  • Emy Shin
    March 1, 2011

    That painting by your mother is beautiful!

    Thank you for spotlighting all these wonderfully creative people. I do draw, a little, but have chosen to concentrate on writing instead, and believe that visually creative individuals are really amazing.



    • ally
      March 2, 2011

      Emy, thanks for your comment! I really admire people like you who can do many things.



  • Shari
    March 1, 2011

    What a gorgeous painting. Here’s to the visually creative! And what a wonderful tribute to some of the creative people in your life.



    • ally
      March 2, 2011

      Thanks, Shari! I do love that painting. I love all her work, but that’s one of my favorites. When CROSSED comes out it will be obvious why. 😉



  • Ruth
    March 1, 2011

    I attended SUU many years ago. I seem to remember a Braithwaite arts building. Any association to your family?



    • ally
      March 2, 2011

      Ruth, yes! It was named after my grandfather, who was the college president for a long time (and also a really fun grandpa).



  • warnagirl
    March 1, 2011

    You surely know some wonderfully talented people! I love the Matched-inspired watch, since the book cover is one of my favorites. I always enjoy reading your posts Ally!



    • ally
      March 2, 2011

      Thanks, warnagirl! I loved the watch too. Obviously. 😉



  • Olivia
    March 1, 2011

    I am in a writing group with Rachel & can attest to her UBERNESS. I’m pretty much floored by her writing, clothing style, sewing projects, & graphic designs.

    Lovely post.



    • ally
      March 2, 2011

      Thanks, Olivia! And best wishes with your writing–that sounds like a GREAT group.



  • Mariam
    March 2, 2011

    Hello friend,
    Wow, what a tribute you did to me. I am blushing. I love the other sites as well– so much talent. Your Awesome Ally!



    • ally
      March 2, 2011

      Mariam, you are awesome. I’m so glad to know you. Thanks again for the beautiful watch (and for being nice to me in high school)! 😉



  • Allison R
    March 2, 2011

    Ally, you’re so sweet to include Mariam on here. She was so excited to be apart of this post. I guess I’m saying thank you. Mariam is so kind and generous to everyone and never thinks of herself. It makes me happy when people put her in the spotlight. You’re awesome.



    • ally
      March 2, 2011

      Al, it was my honor to be able to blog about Mariam. I was so floored when she told me about the gift. I couldn’t believe she went to all that trouble! And it’s so beautiful.

      And Mariam (and you too) deserve to be in the spotlight all the time. You guys are great.



  • Erin Summerill
    March 3, 2011

    Wow Ally,

    I’m speechless. Thanks so much. I just came back from Florida and this is the best welcome home ever.
    I love you.erin




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