L to R: Laura Rhodes, Marybeth Wydock, Rebecca Ladikos
Velvet Lime Girls
The three talented Southern women of the Velvet Lime Girls just celebrated their 5-year anniversary as Painted Planet artists. In that time, their bright, colorful and uplifting artwork has graced everything from garden flags and gift items to greeting cards, calendars, fabric and stationery. They currently work with: Dicksons Gift, Divinity Boutique, Demdaco, Enesco, Evergreen Enterprises, Legacy Publishing Group, Red Rooster Fabrics and Sagebrush Fine Art.
Marybeth: I always wanted a new box of 64 crayons (now there’s the mother lode of 120 crayons) for Christmas from the time I could hold one. My grandma worked at a paper factory and bought me boxes of extra paper… and I've been drawing ever since.
Laura: It was the smell of my mother’s linseed oil when she walked in the house and when I saw she had joy in painting.
Rebecca: The first dip of my finger in a pot of paint.
What do you draw inspiration from? Which artists inspire you?
We draw a lot of inspiration from nature and our gardens. Bible verses are always a big inspiration for us, too. With all the art history we took in college, we of course draw inspiration from the timeless masters but also from art we see in up-and-coming artists on Instagram or in stores. We are always looking for the current trends.
Do you have art educations or are you a self-taught?
Marybeth: University of Florida (GO GATORS!) BFA in Graphic Design.
Laura: BS in Health/Physical education with double minor in Art and Education at Oral Roberts University.
Rebecca: Degree in Business/PR from Georgia State University.
How would you describe your signature style?
Whimsical, layers, textural, graphically oriented, inspirational to evoke a sense of joy, colorful.
Usually start out with good ‘ol paper and pencil…this is translated into the computer with a Wacom Intuos tablet using Illustrator and Photoshop. Lots of times, we’ll make our own textures with paint on paper and scan those into the computer.
Describe the most difficult part of your process.
Sometimes actually coming up with brand new ideas that haven’t been seen or used is difficult. Other times, we just try to start drawing and whatever comes out is what comes out... we like to try different styles and looks to keep evolving, to see what works.
Who’s your go-to person for providing honest feedback on your work?
Each other and our kids (kids can be VERY honest!)
No question – messy! We started in our spare time in an architectural/design firm with a good foundation, which has given way to kitchen tables and smaller desks (but dreaming of a new studio). Stacked papers, notebooks full of ideas--Marybeth has an old dog who lays beside her all day and a cat who wants constant attention.
Is there a piece or project that you are especially proud of? Why?
We are most proud of our Inspired Grace line that Divinity carries. Those small books and the rest of the accompanying collection were a labor of love and we were grateful to Divinity for giving us the opportunity to have so many products on the market.
Someday dreaming of a collective studio (we’ve got ideas about it already!) and making some of our ideas come to life with the right company. And somehow find a way to make more studio and brainstorming time a reality (it’s difficult with kids!).
What is your dream project?
Painted Planet actually made one of our DREAM PROJECTS a reality: working with Demdaco! We are excited about that! We’d love to do a children’s book, have a Target line of SOMETHING, create an inspirational line of books for teen/women/children…could probably name a million things. Time is usually the curtailing factor... but someday. We try to chip away at something every day.
What is your favorite color?
Marybeth: ORANGE (Florida Gator color, of course)
If you were not an artist what would you do?
Laura would be a professional gardener (and she could be a professional chef, too); Marybeth would have done something in the medical field (or maybe a professional triathlete.)
What are your hobbies (besides art)?
Gardening, run/bike/swim, photography, outdoor exercise of any kind, driving kids to activities (OK, maybe that’s not a hobby but it takes a lot of time!).