Local Collaboration with Mira Jean Designs and Red Barn Mercantile!

mira jean1.JPG

Recently, Red Barn Mercantile hosted a lunch and learn for interior designers at its store in Old Town Alexandria. In addition to highlighting the new design services at Red Barn, the event featured amazing textiles by Mira Jean Designs and some of my newest paintings.  

Kate Hougen, a talented and inspiring artist, owns Mira Jean Designs ( Prior to the Red Barn event, we collaborated in advance to pair our works together in some exciting ways. One of my newest paintings, Fading, was inspired by her colorful and energetic coastal collection. Given our shared love of vibrant colors, I keep picturing Kate's fabrics as a central element of my future lake house! I had a wonderful time getting to know her and her beautiful work!!

Beyond her own designs, Kate can also use your children's art to create the most priceless fabric, pillows, or blankets! As a mom with very artsy kids, I think this is a special way to capture their work permanently. 

Our event with local designers was successful, and it was fun to meet several people I've connected with on Instagram. I even got a little choked up sharing my art journey, and the powerful way art and design can touch people. We don't just make things beautiful, we really change lives. I'm so grateful to wake up everyday to do what I love and collaborate with others as passionate about their work in the design world. 

I also have the great privilege of working with Amy Rutherford, owner of Red Barn Mercantile, on a daily basis as her design coordinator- just one more great collaboration to add to the list! It's been a really great year working together and I can't wait to see who I get to work with next! If you have any design projects you would like help with contact me at Red Barn!! And if you are interested in collaborating with my paintings please reach out! 

Have a great week!

G & G Celebrates 1 YEAR!!!

One year ago today, I launched Gingham and Grosgrain! I am so blown away by the past year- from all the collaborations with designers, collectors, boutiques, galleries, and fellow artists- to my growth as an artist and creative. I have faced many fears head on and come out stronger and more assured this is the right path.  

I didn’t shy away from putting work out there when I was still working on my style as an artist, which I learned is an evolving process anyway so waiting until I was ready would have meant never taking a leap of faith.

I’ve learned that failure is your friend, if you aren’t failing how can you be growing? A lesson I try to instill in my girls daily.

I now know the impact of taking an opportunity to reinvent yourself, your career, and your hobbies. These opportunities can happen at any age and in pursuing what you dream about day and night you can truly change your life and others.

I’ve learned pursuing art and design aren’t just about making your surroundings beautiful but they have power to personally impact others in life altering ways.

And lastly, I’m a firm believer in always doing what is right and sharing our true self because that can inspire others to take the first step towards their own dreams. I try to share my wins as much as my failures here to help you move forward…take that first step. I want to share a glimpse of the real and messy life not just the beautifully curated images we are all so used to seeing. Success is messy and takes time. I can’t wait to see what the next year has in store for G & G and all of you. Thank you so very much for sticking with me and for allowing me to share my paintings with you. 

Creative Living is Magic

Creative living is magic.

I’m fascinated with creative minds and what makes people happy.  This weekend I happened to pick up Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert since I love learning all I can about the creative process. I didn’t love Eat, Pray,Love, in fact I never even finished it but, Big Magic is different. Gilbert nails the creative thinking process and it has me wanting to give this book to every high school student or every adult that feels something is missing in life.

Growing up I never thought of myself as artistic or creative but I enjoyed doing crafts, art, reading, swimming and playing. As I grew up there was less and less time for creative pursuits and I focused on finding a job that would help me make the world a little better and support me financially. The harder I worked at my career the more I had a nagging feeling something was missing. Somewhere along the way I had the notion that career and creativity didn’t really go together. Big Magic changes that thinking for me and hopefully you too!

Gilbert discusses responsibly taking care of ones self financially while never letting go of those creative pursuits that make us feel alive. To me the magic is these creative pursuits don’t have to make you money to bring you so much happiness and they don’t need to take much of your time either. They may also challenge you in ways you are never challenged in any other way. Creative living takes courage and also brings you face to face with your fears but sticking with your gift you move beyond.

Painting and creative pursuits enhance my life in ways I’ll never be able to express through words, but I’m so glad that with my staying home with my girls I went back to school for some “creative” college classes in interior design and art. My art and interior designs may never earn a lot of money or bring fame and I am very ok with that thanks to finding my creative life again. This passage from Big Magic explains it all…

Pure creativity is magnificent expressly because it is the opposite of everything else in life that’s essential or inescapable (food, shelter, medicine, rule of law, social order, community and familial responsibility, sickness, loss, death, and taxes, etc.) Pure creativity is something better than a necessity; it’s a gift. It’s the frosting. Our creativity is a wild and unexpected bonus from the universe. It’s as if all our gods and angels gathered together and said, “It’s tough down there as a human being, we know. Here- have some delights.”

Now go add the frosting to your life and share your gifts with the world! 

Kristin Try in the studio, 2015

Kristin Try in the studio, 2015

What do you love? Creating an art collection

This week I challenged you to comment on your favorite Gingham and Grosgrain paintings on Facebook and Instagram and I want to know how you create an art collection you love. I know I have an imaginary art collection filled with some pretty amazing pieces of art. I love southern artists like, Emily Jeffords ( and Sally King Benedict ( I am also so drawn to paintings by Jenny Prinn ( from New England. Each artist's work is so different but their colors and textures speak to me. I also like to keep my art fun and lively since much of life is serious and challenging. Colorful and playful works of art keep my mood positive and happy.  Please share with us here some of your favorite artists and what you think about or want as you build your collection. 

And since I'm asking you which of my paintings is your favorite, it is only fair that I share with you my favorite and why. My absolute favorite at the moment is April Showers. I loved working on this painting. It has layers and layers of love. The color palette is based on a favorite interior and the brushstrokes were so therapeutic.  Each and every time I look at this painting it makes me happy and I love remembering the time it took to create each little detail. I will be a little sad to see this one find its permanent home, but I have plans to work on similar pieces in the future. 

April Showers, Kristin Try Original Abstract 2015

April Showers, Kristin Try Original Abstract 2015

And a final reminder to comment on my Facebook or Instagram paintings by Saturday to be enter to win a 12 x 12 commissioned piece of original art. Commissions are a favorite aspect of being an artist for me and I look forward to collaborating with the winner to add just the right painting to his or her art collection.

Gingham & Grosgrain Launch a success!

Just over a month ago I launched G & G with my original abstract paintings. It has been such a rewarding experience and I'm learning so much and meeting so many new people! I'm definitely painting a lot more too!

Painting often since the launch has been so helpful, because it has had such a calming and positive impact on me. As someone who has battled serious anxiety, I never would have expected painting and the launch of a business to help me manage my stress. Sending my art into the world has been a true gift of confidence. It has been a long time since I have felt so empowered and happy. I no longer wake up with a long list of fears facing me, but a long list of happy things I can't wait to tackle!  

If you are fearful and waiting for the perfect time to go after your dreams I say, go for it now! You might be amazed at how much the simple act of facing your fears may take you soaring into your dreams. There is such power in facing those nagging thoughts and fears that run through our heads. I know it will take me awhile to grow my creative business, but I've already been unbelievably rewarded with a positive outlook on life. 

I'll be releasing new artwork on my site later this summer and you can catch a sneak peek on instagram at ginghamandgrosgrain and on my Facebook page at Gingham and Grosgrain Fine Art Studio.  I'm also having a summer sizzling sale on my website at, 25% off your purchase with the code sizzle until June 30!

Thank you for all your support, advice, and inspiration! And if you need advice or a cheerleader to start taking steps toward your dreams contact me! The creative community has been so welcoming and helpful - I would love to pay it forward. Launching G & G has been such a blessing! 

Gingham and Grosgrain Launches!!

Time changes everything. Five years ago, I was a busy professional working in the non-profit world with a happy three year old girl who brought so much light and joy to my husband and me. We had started to think with the stress of work and life maybe we wouldn’t be blessed with another child, but then I found out I was pregnant.

In one of life’s coincidences, our second daughter came into our world in a truly amazing way when she was born on her terminally ill grandfather’s last birthday. My father-in-law was so proud of being a grandfather to our first daughter and was very much looking forward to meeting his new granddaughter. He passed away just a few short weeks after her birth but had the chance to hold her. This period of our lives was filled with such highs and lows that I felt a bit lost. I had stopped working to care for our daughters and help our family heal from such a painful time. Now that I wasn’t working, I still needed a way to stay connected to myself since work had been such a strong identity for me. I knew I needed a more creative outlet and decided to channel my thoughts and emotions into art and interior design classes.  

Now five years later, I am the proud mother of THREE daughters and am launching Gingham and Grosgrain - my very own original paintings! I am an artist…I AM AN ARTIST, it seems so unreal, but I finally feel I have found my way to make sense of life and bring more beauty to this world. I never thought I would be launching my own small business or painting, but I feel at home and peace in a way I can’t describe but can paint. So many emotions and life’s highs and lows make sense to me when I create and share my passion with others.

I feel so honored to share my paintings with you. My goal is to help you find pieces that bring you joy and inspire you to be your best self. I am truly humbled to see my art on the walls of so many dear friends, family, and new clients! Thank you for your encouragement and support in this new adventure! I also thank my dear husband and daughters for all their love and support, they are constant reminders to me to always follow dreams and never settle!