I'm just on my way home from a long weekend at Brown University, Rhode Island, USA. I was invited to take part in the amazing Water Fire event on the river in Providence as well as create some art within the campus store that sells my collection.
My creative collaboration with Brown University has resulted in a best selling collection of giftware and homewares, made by my licensee in the States. Bags and blankets, tea towels and T-shirts, water bottles and window stickers are all printed with my illustration of Brown in their iconic red and black colour palette.
Our collaboration has now extended to include my colourful illustration of Rhode Island printed onto lots of wonderful merchandise and looks lovely set against a stunning sky blue or grey marl background on T-shirts.
I spent the day in the campus store, creating two painting featuring the iconic landmarks at Brown, including the Van Wickle Gates, Bruno the Bear and Carrie Tower. It was fabulous to meet some of my super fans too and to hear that they have purchased gifts from other universities where family members have studied. Having created about 500 illustrations of America's finest educational institutions, there's a lot to choose from and you can see a snap shot of them here on my Collegiate Collection.
The following day I toured Providence on foot and fell in love with so much wonderful art and artefacts within the Rhode Island Museum of Art. In the evening, I joined the team at Brown University to create my own art and sell Julia Gash branded merchandise down at the Water Fire event on the banks of the river. Seeing the live fire on the water, with gondolas sailing past inspired me to create two more paintings, which I absolutely loved.
It's motivated me to get some paints and canvas and to start painting landscapes of my homeland when I return.
For now, thank you Rhode Island and Brown University for a wonderful weekend of warmth and creativity.