As I created an inspiration board for our AW20 collection, I found myself being drawn to quilted patterns, rural scenes, and there was one huge commonality: about a third of the images were screenshots of Loré Pemberton’s paintings. Loré has this incredible ability to make even the most mundane life experiences magical and infused with life, love, and warmth. I immediately knew that bringing her into the designing of this line would be critical to inspiring the postpartum mother this season. Is there anything more that we could ask for while quarantined than to infuse daily life with more life, love, warmth, and a little bit of magic?
Without further ado, here’s a little meet-and-greet with the ever-talented and intentional Loré.
Can we start by asking you to tell us a little bit about yourself and your work?
Hello! Yes! I am an illustrator and I run a small online shop where I sell my fine art prints with my husband and two daughters in the hills of Vermont. We moved here almost five years ago, and I’ve felt so incredibly inspired by the landscape as well as the beauty in watching my girls discover the natural world around them.
How did you become connected with Solly Baby?
I found Solly Baby when I was expecting my first little one! I had just started selling my paintings and I used the funds from one of the sales to purchase a beautiful indigo wrap. It was one of the first things I bought for the baby and I remember how wonderful and surreal it felt to get it in the mail and to imagine snuggling a baby in it in a few short (yet long) months! It seems wonderfully full circle now that I get to create this line!
Tell us about the inspiration behind the line.
When I think of this collection I picture the safe feeling of home. Those sleepy days and nights while caring for a baby. The coziness of the changing season. The rich and subtle earthy colors that you can find in nature.
What did the process of creating it look like?
For the palette, I looked at plant-dyeing colors, which didn’t stray far from the colors I usually incorporate in my illustrations! I painted so many little swatches that I mixed and matched until I finally narrowed down my favorites. It looked like I was making a lovely little paper quilt.
Describe the collection in three words.
Gather + Shelter. one of the things I love the most about fall is the feeling of home and the safe shelter it brings as the weather turns cool, rainy, and even snowy in Vermont by late October. Wrapping a baby close during this season perfectly encapsulates this feeling.
Autumn. The colors remind me of the the last of the goldenrod, the crabapples falling from the trees, the dark blue of sky as the sun begins to set early, heavy quilts being pulled out for the cold nights, frosty morning, muted greens and the bright golds, rusts and reds you find in the changing leaves.
Describe your process in creating the Bramble print.
Bramble makes me think of the quick inky sketches of a nature journal. In fall, as the greenery begins to die back, the silhouettes of all the plants become more noticeable and I always have a new appreciation for the simple structure of a seed head, the ferns turning golden and feathery and the last blooms of aster and goldenrod. I tried to capture these elegant remnants of summer with the Bramble print.
What role does homesteading play in your life?
Right now we are baby homesteaders. We would LOVE to someday have a larger piece of land for animals, and a garden big enough to feed our family and friends. I have found such joy in planting seeds with the girls and harvesting (what survives) in summer. It is such pure magic to see what is possible with tiny seeds and a bit of earth. We care for a handful of chickens and ducks, as well as two fluffy bunnies. It’s a perfect start to what we hope to expand!
What early motherhood rhythms were part of your routine?
The early days of motherhood can feel like a blur of feeding, rocking, napping, and cleaning. One of the best things I did and still do is to take my cup of coffee or tea outside every morning. I tried/try not to plan my day or rush, but to just take ten minutes to be fully present, breathe in the air, and notice the things around me. Those moments have stayed in my memory bank even when everything else gets fuzzy. Sometimes it can feel like an effort to just get out the door, but I have never regretted any effort spent on it. Taking this moment can set the tone for your whole day. Also, in my experience babies often become the calmest when they are outside, which is a magical thing when you’re still trying to wake up!
Midday/afternoon is usually when you can feel a slump in mood and energy. If the house is overwhelming, I choose one room to clean (and by clean, I mean just picking up everything off of the floor), and then sit down to drink a huge glass of water. That has always helped!!
In the evening, taking a family walk has always been one of my favorite things! It’s usually a time where you can reflect on the day and step away from any distractions in the house and any things left undone. Spending this time being present with the ones I love has always been the most important and meaningful time of everyday.
How has motherhood inspired your work?
When I first started painting, it was always from the viewpoint of a mother watching her children and all their explorations and imaginings. Now it often comes from the viewpoint of memories from early motherhood. I love trying to capture those moments where you can feel alone or unseen but that are, in fact, the same magical, tired, sometimes chaotic, and yet precious windows of time that so many of us have and never want to forget.
Your paintings tend to reflect the simple magic of childhood. How do you make space for it in your own life?
Keeping things simple is key for me! Childhood doesn’t like to be rushed and yet it will go by so quickly. Too many plans and to-dos can muffle the natural ability a child is born with to imagine and explore. It always amazes me how a bit of yarn, a stick, and an open place to move is all you need to activate the magic of imagination.
Thank you so much, Loré! It’s such an honor to work with you and to observe your process and the thought you put behind everything you do, especially in celebrating motherhood and parenting.
Our AW20 Collection Arrives 9/15