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Southern-made floral paintings, paper products, pressed botanicals

FLOWER POWER

Atlanta artist Courtney Khail likes to go big and bold in her floral paintings.

The artist: Originally from Augusta, Khail studied visual arts at John S. Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School for eight years in her hometown. She graduated from the University of Georgia in 2007 with a degree in scientific illustration, combining her love of art, science and nature.

The company: Atlanta-based Courtney Khail Watercolors launched in 2009. What started as primarily a stationery and invitation company has evolved into a full-time painting studio, offering original watercolor and ink paintings.

What’s popular: Large floral paintings that feature “warmer” colors, such as reds, pinks, oranges and yellows ($450 to $5,000, framed).

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Other favorites: Black and white ink series ($100, unframed) and her popular honeycomb note cards ($25 for a set of five notecards).

Fun (or unusual) request: Back when she was primarily working in weddings, she was asked to create a painting incorporating a couple’s wedding vows, a portion of which were in Hebrew. She studied for weeks to make sure she got the characters correct.

Big break: Her current solo show, “Cultivated,” in the new Garden Gallery at the Atlanta Botanical Garden (ABG) through Oct. 29.

Claim to fame: Named “One to Watch” by Jezebel magazine in 2016.

Where to buycourtneykhail.com. Also at the ABG during her show. Find Khail’s art stationery line at the three West Elm stores in the Atlanta area.

ARTFULLY ARRANGED

In a second, unplanned career, Sandy Whitaker turned her lifetime love of plants and flowers into a business.

Sandy Whitaker of Canton tries to build her botanical pieces to look as they do in nature. She especially enjoys creating custom pieces. Contributed by (BotanicalsBySandy.com) (BotanicalsBySandy.com)

The artist: After 32 years in the dental field in Mississippi, Whitaker and her husband, both avid hikers who love to canoe, moved to Georgia in 2006. While visiting Chattanooga, Tenn., in 2011, she saw a beautiful pressed botanical and thought she would try it.

The company: Botanicals by Sandy started in Canton in 2011. It offers a variety of sizes and species of framed botanicals. Whitaker uses unique recycled frames, as well as new mouldings.

What’s popular: Hydrangeas. Also horizontal and vertical vines, such as confederate jasmine and kudzu (original botanicals are $125 and up).

Other favorites: Prints ($25 to $40) and notecards (six cards for $20).

Fun (or unusual) request: “Two men asked me to press and frame a marijuana leaf for their new medical marijuana dispensary in Florida. I told them I would have to pass.”

Claim to fame: Meeting the late Ryan Gainey, the internationally known Atlanta-area gardener and designer, at Scott Antique Market. He became a friend and mentor. Whitaker donated a Ryan Gainey pressed, framed hydrangea to the Garden Club of Savannah Garden for a silent auction. The framed botanical ended up hanging in the Pink House in Savannah.

Where to buybotanicalsbysandy.com. In Atlanta, at Scott Antique Market, South Building: Sept. 7-10 and Oct. 12-15.

PAPER, PLUS

Inspired by their sunny Florida surroundings, a mother-daughter team created a line of hand-painted whimsical paper goods and gifts.

The company: Giddy Paperie started in 2013 in Winter Park.

Started by a mother and daughter, Florida-based Giddy Paperie creates a sunny line of hand-painted paper goods and gifts. Contributed by (giddypaperie.com). (giddypaperie.com)

The owners: Leslie Chalfont and Lauren Yochum, both Florida natives. Chalfont, a graduate of Auburn University, has a background in business, but is a longtime painter, mostly working in watercolor. Yochum, a UGA graduate, manages the company’s marketing and public relations.

What’s popular: Oddly enough, tea towels ($20), followed by desk calendars ($22) and notecards ($16 to $22).

Other favorites: Unframed art prints ($24), notepads ($7 to $24) and stationery sets ($22).

Fun (or unusual) request: A customer wanted bookmarks made with the same image as the stationery she was buying. After that, the company decided to offer embellished bookmarks ($5), which are strong sellers despite all of the e-readers.

Big break: In December 2014, Southern Living featured two of the company’s Christmas card designs in its holiday issue.

Claim to fame: Chalfont was named one of the “10 Designers to Watch in 2017” by Stationery Trends magazine, the lead industry publication.

Where to buygiddypaperie.com.

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