Happy 2019!

Happy 2019! 

Happy 2019

I don’t usually make resolutions (mostly because by the end of January, I’ve all but forgotten about them.) But I am going to make one this year. I resolve to say yes to my ideas and plans and bring them into fruition.  

Do you know how many ideas i have that i think are so awesome and fun that I start to do, or begin planning, but then i end up talking myself out of doing? I begin to think that my ideas are dumb, or that no one would care, etc. I have a long list of blog post topics and tutorials that I have never written, a ton of ideas for new listings in my shops that I have never added, ideas for paintings and sketchbooks that I think would be super fun to do that I have never started, a ton of garden projects that I haven’t done yet. All because I start to talk myself out of them. I begin tell myself that these ideas are dumb, they are a waste of time, no one will care about them, or see them, so why bother. How many people I cheated out of seeing or reading something that delighted them, or helped them in some way? How many opportunities have i missed out on because i talked myself out of putting myself and my ideas out into the world? How much joy and satisfaction have I missed out on because I didn’t do the thing? 

This year I will write the blog post, even though no one may read it. I will add new listings to my shop even though no one may buy it. I will paint and play in sketchbooks even though it may be silly and frivolous and I cant sell it. I will start my garden projects even though no one but me and mom mom will see it. I will do the things, all the things, because I will enjoy it. Because I love doing those things. Because it will make me happy. Because I will express myself.

What are your New Years Resolutions?

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2018 Year in Review

Happy New Year! 2018 was a pretty okay year (again, if you didn’t read or watch the news…) I stretched and grew as an artist, I made A LOT of art, we suffered a terrible loss and then a few months later, discovered joy again. Here are some of the highlights (and a low) of 2018.

2018 Top 9 instagram posts.jpg

January. I started off the year painting (which is always good!) two new cactus paintings. Clearly, I was still feeling the cactus and succulent love! We found out at the end of January that I was pregnant (WHA?!?!) I had lots of emotions, and it was a pretty wild ride.

February. February was tough. We went in for our 8 week ultrasound to finally hear our Little’s heartbeat and the doctor couldn’t find one. Maybe our dates were off and baby was measuring only 6 weeks old. I went back the next week only to hear that we experienced a missed miscarriage. Our little had stopped growing and was not viable. G and I were devastated.

March. Despite the funk and sadness of our loss, I started painting again and I threw myself into preparing for my first Gallery show/Art market at the Swell Gallery in West Dundee. This was my first Art Gallery! I also on a whim applied (and got in!) to the Spring Art Market and Gallery at Gallery 1070 in Chicago.

April. I decided to participate in #The100DayProject again. This time, my goal was to paint 100 tiny 3”x3” mini paintings. My Gallery show opened at Swell Gallery and we went to the opening artist reception. It was so awesome to see my paintings and photos hanging on the wall and on display throughout the gallery. And it was amazing that so many family and friends came out, despite the rain, to support me. In addition to all of this, I was painting and prepping for the upcoming opening of my gallery market and show at Gallery 1070. It was a crazy few weeks!

May. May was all about my 100 day project and planning and working on my patio garden! The weather was exceptionally nice, so mom and I had a chance to pick up a lot of our annuals and start planting. I think this was our prettiest patio garden yet!

June. We turned a non functioning water fountain into a super fun planter and finished setting up the patio garden only to be told that we had to take everything down in order for the patio to be refinished and stained.

July. We were finally allowed to put our patio garden back together in time for the 4th of July holiday. I also successfully complete my second #The100DayProject! Just before finishing that project, I started a new, quite large painting of one of my favorite photos that I had been dreaming about for a while. We also went on a long weekend vacation to Seattle and despite the out of character 90+ degree days, had a fantastic time! When we got home from Seattle, we discovered I was pregnant again! (WHAT?!!!)

August. I spent a lot of time resting during the month of August. While I didn’t suffer from morning sickness, I felt extraordinarily tired all the time. We kept things pretty quiet until our 8-week ultrasound. I was so worried that I would have another missed miscarriage. We did hear a heartbeat at 8 weeks, and I finally let go of (some of) the anxiety and worry and started to get excited.

September. The beginning half of September was spent preparing for an art/craft show in McHenry. We revamped my table design, whittled down my selection to mostly little paintings from my 100 day project and my best matted prints. Unfortunately, this show wasn’t very successful for us, but mom and I still had a great time.

October. I worked on creating my 2019 digital calendars and finishing up the cutest gnome photo calendar (in addition to a few other designs.) I also started one of my most favorite paintings I’ve created to date— my large peony painting

November. We had our second art show of the season and it was way better! We also made our pregnancy announcement “facebook” official over Thanksgiving and told all of our family and friends we were expecting.

December. We had our last art show during the first weekend of December. It was really successful and fun. I really do enjoy participating and exhibiting in these shows. I also found enough energy to start a new, very ambitious painting that I hope I can complete before our Little arrive in early April!

Whew! What a year!

Thank you so much for all of your love and support. Thank you for the comments, the emails, the encouragement. I could not have done this without you. I'm looking forward to spending 2019 with you!

Happy New Year!

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Top 10 Most Popular Posts of 2018

It’s that time of year again! Time to get all nostalgic and reflective and look back at what happened over the past year. This year was really good (again, as long as you didn’t read or watch the news.) In fact, it was really REALLY good. More on why later. In the meantime, here are my 10 most popular posts on the blog this year:

Spring Lilacs by april bern photography

  1. 10 more DIY Flower Pot Painting Ideas

  2. 10 More Super Cute Ways to DIY Your Flower Pots

  3. 10 Super Cute Ways to DIY Succulent Planters

  4. My Distressed Painted Flower Pot DIY

  5. 10 DIY Flower Pot Painting Ideas

  6. DIY - Turn a Water Fountain into a Planter

  7. Mermaid Theme Smash Cake Session - Baby Ellie

  8. 40 Spectacular Botanic Gardens, Arboretums, and Conservatories in and around Chicagoland for Photography

  9. WIP - New Pilea Plant and Succulent Paintings

  10. Patio Garden Tour - Part One

Seems to me that you like my DIY and garden posts! Perhaps I should rebrand as a garden blog! Just kidding. I love the DIYs and gardening stuffs too. Creating my patio garden oasis is always one of the highlights of my year. I’m glad that you seem to enjoy it as well.

Thank you so much for stopping by and the the emails and comments. I totally appreciate every one of you. And I look forward to spending 2019 with you.

Thank you!

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WIP - New Succulent Garden Painting

Hi! I hope you had a fantastic Christmas holiday! Mine was quite lovely. We got to spend a ton of time with family and ate soooo much. I did find a few quiet moments to start a new painting that’s been rolling around in my head. I feel like this one will be one of my most ambitious paintings yet. There is so much going on here. Usually, I stick to a larger, single flower/succulent type of image. This one is PACKED with succulents!

WIP - Succulent Garden Painting

First, I loosely sketch out my drawing to make sure I can fit everything on my large 24”x24” canvas. I just want to get the basic shapes down. The next step is a more detailed drawing, where I start to draw in the actual leafs and petals.

Work in progress - succulent garden painting on easel. First step: Drawing it out.

Just a note: I love my new neutral grey glass palette. It’s fantastic! It’s easy to clean and the colors appear more true than the white plastic palette I was using. This cost a little more than the plastic palettes, but it’s really worth it.

WIP - Succulent Garden Painting. Starting to paint!

Finally, it’s time to paint! I didn’t finish drawing all the details on the right side. I was too eager to start painting. I will continue to make slight adjustments as I go along.

Work in progress - Succulent Garden Painting. Starting to paint.

I am so excited to paint again! Hopefully I’ll be able to finish this one before April of 2019…

What projects are you working on? What are you going to start next year? Let me know in the comments section below!

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Come Visit Me at HoneyCraft Indie Art and Craft Market - Last show of 2018

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. Now that it’s officially after Thanksgiving, it’s time to switch gears into the Christmas holiday season! If you need to start your holiday shopping and you’re in the Chicagoland area, be sure to stop by the HoneyCraft Indie Art and Craft Market this Saturday, December 1st, in Woodstock, IL.

HoneyCraft Holiday Market {Dec 1}

  • Saturday, December 1, 2018

  • 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

  • Mixin Mingle-Woodstock

    124 Cass Street

    Woodstock, IL, 60098

    United States (map)

    Google Calendar

I will have a selection of matted art prints, original paintings, brand new 2019 calendars (including my most popular gnome calendar) and more for sale, just in time to start shopping for your friends and loved ones. I will also have a selection of my mom’s brand new, gorgeous, and one of a kind Christmas cards. You can check out her etsy shop here: OldLadyBern Designs

Be sure to check out some of the other amazing vendors that will be there too:

Willow and Copper

Max & Bean

Xanadu Art Studio

InSpirit Adornments

The Hippie Homesteader

RedHead by Design

Karin Lekan Illustrations

Belle & Bark Designs

Jo Williams Design

Oak Spring Design

True North Berry Farm

Elizabeth & Co.

Casting Whimsy


Annabelle’s Bees

Naughty Body Boutique

…and more!

You will definately find something for everyone.

See you Saturday!



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Happy Thanksgiving - What I'm most thankful for

Happy Thanksgiving!

This year, in addition for the usual things to be thankful for (our wonderful families, amazing friends, good health, a great job, food on the table, etc.) I’m especially thankful for this!

let the adventure begin - baby cohn arriving soon

Glenn and I would like to introduce you to our upcoming adventure! 

If you’ve been wondering why I’ve been a little more quiet than usual, this is why. Growing a baby is no joke! Also, pregnancy hormones are no joke.

After 6 years of trying to grow our family, we experienced a devastating miscarriage in February. We feel insanely blessed and lucky to have conceived again so soon and to be able to carry baby though this far!  

Expect our adventure to begin in April, 2019!

WIP - Pink Peony Oil Painting - COMPLETE

Yay! My pink peony painting is finally complete. I LOVE how it turned out and I’m super excited to give it as a gift this year for Christmas.

Pink Peony Oil Painting by april bern

This painting is done in oils, measures 20”x24” inches and is 2” deep. I carried over the painting design onto all four sides. This baby is ready to hang!

Pink Peony Original Oil Painting - side view
Pink Peony Painting - Top View

What are you working on? How’s it going? Let me know in the comment section below! I’d love to see!

Happy arting!



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Come Visit Me at the Home Grown Holiday Fair in McHenry, IL

What are your plans this weekend? Have you started your holiday shopping yet? I hope whatever you do, you have a chance to stop by the Home Grown Holiday Fair in beautiful downtown McHenry, IL. I will be there selling my brand new 2019 calendars, matted art prints, original paintings, and fun and functional canvas tote bags.

Home Grown Holiday Fair McHenry IL

Home Grown Holiday Makers Fair
10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Mixin Mingle
1118 N. Green St. 

Home Grown makers fair is an exciting way to get to know and support me and many other local makers. You’ll also enjoy live music and makers demos, meet-the-maker opportunities, amazing shopping, makers basket raffles, food and beverage tastings and much more.

Here are a sampling of who’s going to be there this Sunday:

M. Leigh Rose POTTERY
Just-Joshin Custom Creations HAND-SEWN GIFTS  
Little Lady Impressions BABY/CHILDREN'S CLOTHING 
Beauty Wellness Pharm WHIPPED BUTTERS, SOAPS, ETC.
Cuginos Gourmet Foods, Inc. SOUP 
Two Fat Guys Gourmet Sauces BBQ SAUCES

Guy Meets Girl

Fat Tomato Inc.

I can’t wait to see you!



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