Tastemaker: Erin Donahue Tice
Erin! We're thrilled to feature you - can you briefly introduce yourself (and your work) to our audience? Thank so much for having me, I'm such a huge fan of India Amory. I'm an abstract artist based in Austin, TX. My medium of choice is painting - and most of my works are mixed medium. I use everything from acrylic paint to oil pastels to charcoal to "found objects" like paper, cardboard, foam board, you name it. I like to layer lots of materials on my canvases to give them interest. My work is sold via galleries as well as directly on my website. Aside from painting, I have a huge interest in home decor and design, and entertaining...which is how I found India Amory! I love to showcase my tables on Instagram as it's another fun creative outlet for me.
I've read that you're self taught. How and when did you start your creative venture? That's correct! I actually spent over 12 years working in PR for companies in Chicago and New York before taking some time off in 2017 after my second son George was born. I loved my career in PR, but wanted to focus on the full-time "mom" thing since my boys were so close in age. While I loved my role of mom more than anything else, I realized I missed having an outlet just for me and was struggling a bit with the "baby blues." At the time, I was also searching for some abstract art for my home in Austin, and couldn't really find anything in our market that "spoke" to me. I decided it wouldn't hurt to try and create some myself. I'd always been a fan of art, but had never picked up a paint brush. I bought a bunch of supplies and started experimenting for hours on end. It was so freeing and gave me the outlet I needed! After about six months, some girlfriends and my husband encouraged me to try and sell it...and I guess the rest is history!
Can you describe your artistic style and what inspires you? My style can be classified as "Abstract Expressionism." I'm inspired by so many things, including my travels. Many of my paintings are inspired by the Hamptons where we have a second home. The colors, smells, sights, everything about this special place gives me so much inspiration. I also love looking at gorgeous interior design photos and using the color schemes as jumping off points. Some of my current favorite designers are Caroline Gidiere, Mark Sikes, Shelley Johnstone and James Farmer. And finally, old photographs ALWAYS inspire me. Especially those of Jackie Kennedy, Lee Radzwill and anything taken by Slim Aarons.
Tell us a bit about your beautiful home - love seeing glimpses of it! Thank you! It's been such a fun project. We purchased our current home in 2019 and spent almost the entire year renovating it. It's a 1940 home that was stuck in a bad 1990s makeover. We wanted to freshen it up, restore some of the traditional elements of the home, and make it super comfortable and cozy for our family of four. We worked with the interior design Kristen Nix to make our vision come to life. I'm so grateful we completed construction before the pandemic as it's been such a haven for us as we spend so much time at home. I think my favorite element of the home is the painted entryway floor. We chose a light blue and white check for the original wooden floors, and it breathes so much life into the home as you walk in, and it's totally inspired by Bunny Mellon and her use of painted floors!
You set the most beautiful tables, do you have any particular secrets or tips? I always recommend mixing elements - similar to how I approach my paintings. If there's something soft and feminine, like a pink block printed tablecloth, then add something textured and modern like a rattan charger. Or if you use your grandmother's china, then mix in some Italian pottery. It's the constant mix that provides interest to the eye and keeps your guests guessing. I also almost always use grocery store flowers. If you stick to a monochromatic theme and use an interesting vase, you can't go wrong. Sometimes I don't use flowers at all! Lots of votives and some interesting objets gathered from around the house can give your table all the edge it needs.
What attracts you to the India Amory product - do you have any particular favorite prints? I've always been a fan of block prints! I love a good block print dress - it's the definition of easy, breezy chic. So it makes sense that I'm attracted to the same look for my tables. I actually leave an India Amory tablecloth on my formal dining table at all times - but constantly switch out the pattern. It instantly gives my space a fresh vibe. I also love the price point - it's such a well made product, but I've been able to collect several different patterns of tablecloths, napkins and placemats because it's affordable.
You've talked about your love of the Hamptons - what are some of your favorite spots out here? Any other favorite vacation spots? Yes! The Hamptons is where I met my husband, and where we were married in 2014, so it holds a special place in my heart. It will forever be my "happy place." My favorite local restaurant has to be The Clam Bar - there's not too many places like it! You can literally eat fresh flounder that was just caught in Montauk Harbor 45 mins before it lands on your plate - it's divine. I also love this little gourmet market called Round Swamp farm...and you can't beat the corn from Balsam Farms, a farm stand right down the street from my house. It literally melts in your mouth! In terms of other vacation spots, I have an affinity for France and have lived there for short stints on four separate occasions in my life, starting when I was 10! I also loved Bali where my husband and I honeymooned in 2014. It was so serene and spiritual, and the people there always have a smile and positive attitude!
You wear our India Amory x Sue Sartor SO well, and loving how you've styled the Ecru for Fall....what's your "uniform" for the upcoming season? Austin is still SUPER hot into the fall months, so my India Amory X Sue Sartor dresses will be a staple because it's the perfect transition piece and so lightweight. I'm also a t-shirt and jeans girl...I love my tees by ATM and my "painting uniform" is typically cut-off jeans and a comfy tee!
Where do you envision your art career in ten years? Oh goodness! I'd absolutely love to be a "household name" artist - meaning that people recognize my work and continue to invest in it and collect. I also want to keep pushing boundaries and find new styles that are unique, but feel true to who I am as an artist. The sky is the limit, and I've truly learned that anything is possible with creativity, hard work and hustle!
Where do you find inspiration on instagram - any accounts that you particularly love following? Aside from @indiaamory, I'm loving following @tallwoodcountryhouse - her tables and home are impeccable. Also, @sarahbraybermuda has launched a beautiful resort-wear and hat company this summer and she provides so much inspiration for how to live a chic but comfortable lifestyle. I've gotten to know Emily, the gal behind @bornonfifth and she is not only super sweet, she is the epitome of chic - her instagram feed is a perfectly curated mix of blue and seafoam greens - and provides me great inspiration for my paintings. I also love an account called @vintagejackie with old photos of Jackie and Lee. Instagram is truly a treasure trove of inspo for me!