It is an exciting week at Well + Wonder as we welcome another talented female artist to our roster - meet June Upton! June started her career with a fine art scholarship to Mississippi State University’s School of Architecture Art & Design, where she received a Bachelor of Fine Art with an emphasis in graphic design. Shortly after her undergraduate experience, she accepted a spot in Pratt Institute’s graduate Communication Design program in New York, where she received a Master of Science in Communication Design. 

A student of stillness, June finds magic in capturing a moment that will tell a story in the present and for years to come. She is enamored by the narratives that mundane objects present and likes to explore how these items comfort and define who we are. June uses subtle textures, concrete shapes, and neutral pallets to compose an array of still-life vignettes. She trusts the nature of these paintings to provide a sense of quiet and calm to the viewer’s mind, striking a balance between contentment and the chaotic energy of everyday life. June's debut collection "Stillness Retreat" launches tomorrow on Well + Wonder. But until then step inside June's studio by reading our latest blog post Pardon Me, June Upton. If y'all are anything like us you will be incredibly inspired by this talented artist! We could hardly wait to debut all the goodies straight from June's studio. Welcome, June Upton, we are so thrilled to have you as part of the Well + Wonder team!

What is currently on your nightstand?

My journal (keeps me sane), Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask (my lips would die without), a sweet oyster shell ceramic (a great catch-all), Seed Probiotic (because health) and a full water glass that I should be drinking.

Who is your biggest influence as an artist and why?

 That is so tricky ~ there are so many beautiful artists out there! I will have to go with my favorite at the moment … Jim Thompson (@jimandjuice). He captures the everyday in such an endearing gestural way that appears so effortless.

Tell us about your childhood. What is the most memorable moment as a young person?

 A tad silly but the first time my mom dropped me off at a local book store when I was around 11 or 12. Reading has always been my greatest escape.  

If you could only have one supply in your art studio, what would it be and why?

A pencil ~ throughout my process it’s the beginning of everything.

What is your favorite room in your house? Describe it.

I honestly love every room in my apartment ~ I live in New York, so rooms (plural) is truly a luxury. If I have to pick it’s a small room off of the kitchen that I just flipped in to an office. A true work in progress ~ there are moody dark wood built-ins accented by a quirky sconce that just received an updated Duzy fan shade (current obsession.) Also, a very Parisian haphazard gallery wall with about 15 art pieces that I have been meaning to frame for the last few years, so this flip finally gave me the nudge.

What is your biggest score online?

Tragically I am not the biggest online shopper, but my most fab find in a very fun Memphis vintage shop was a 1980s Valentino wool coat. Probably the chicest thing I own.

What is the benefit of buying art through a collective? What do you recommend for those that are new to buying original art?

The best part of shopping through a collective has to be the ability to wander from artist to artist vs discovering artists slowly one by one. If you are new to buying I would recommend figuring out a general pallet that flows with your home and not over thinking your selection ~ your greatest tool is your gut  - always.

If you have the entire day to spend in an art museum, which one and why?

The Brooklyn Museum is my go to. I find I prefer smaller exhibits verses exploring a full museum. They are a bit more digestible and the curation is usually very clear. The Brooklyn Museum always has a full roster - their Christina Dior exhibit earlier this year was STUNNING.

What is your favorite hotel and what makes it special?

The Peabody Hotel in Memphis, TN. I’ve spent every Christmas there since I was very little – it will always embody the holidays and family. You can’t beat it.

If you were a lipstick color would you be red, pink, or clear and why?

I absolutely love a lip, so I will get specific haha ~ Tom Ford True Coral is my go to. Any lip you can wear during the day and transition to night is an absolute win.

I can never get on a plane without….

Honestly, my dog Poppy. Lately she is my go-to travel companion – it doesn’t get much sweeter.

How did you get into the world of art?

I’ve always had a bit of an obsession, but if I can pin point… I won my school art fair in 3rd grade and my mom immediately put me in Saturday art classes at Memphis College of Art. I’ve been painting ever since.

What do you do to relax?

Cook dinner ~ I try to make one new dish a week and that is my zone out time.

When do you get the biggest surge of inspiration?

Without fail right as I wake up in the morning and I’ve snoozed once or twice. It’s magic.

Prediction for the Color of 2023?

Hmmm… I love a neutral (as we know) and I wouldn’t hate a nice effervescent light yellow almost cream.

What is your idea of a date night? Dinner and a movie or dancing all night?

Date night with my gals always ends in dancing but if it’s a cozy {one on one} it will always be a warmly lit piano bar and a glass of wine.

Tell us about your favorite painting that you have created.

One of my first commissions a few years ago was a foggy beach scene in Santa Rosa. It pushed me out of my “Still Life” niche and that kind of growth is always lovely.

One piece of advice for buying original art?

Travel. My most treasured pieces are from artists I’ve discovered when exploring a new city or town. There is a certain level of surprise there and it’s a lovely reminder of wonderful places you’ve been.