tugboat print shop: life of leisure


The phrase “Life of Leisure” makes me both excited and nervous. Living in Portland this month has made me realize how trained I am to fill any free time with work. Meeting got canceled? Schedule a new one! Finished your work early? Start a new project! Sometimes that’s a good thing, but sometimes it means you literally are unable to turn off your work brain and relax. I’ve gotten a little bit better at relaxing this month, but I still get nervous about crossing over some invisible line into “too much leisure time” land. But if a life of leisure is anything like these prints from Valerie and Paul at Tugboat Printshop (click here to see their sneak peek), I might be able to get behind that lifestyle.



Tugboat’s latest line of original prints are all hand-drawn, carved and printed in Pittsburgh and celebrate leisure-time activities like hiking, RV-ing and camping. I was just discussing last night how badly I want to RV across the country, so the print above might be my inspiration for finally taking that trip. Right after I finish some more work . . . xo, grace

More prints after the jump . . .


  1. Katie says:

    Beautiful, I’m loving that last one in particular!

  2. Polly says:

    These are wonderful – really great colours and textures.

  3. Wow. These remind me of my favorite childhood book, “The Little House”.. but with a bit more detail. Same feel. This made my day!

  4. iris says:

    I thought the name ‘tugboat’ sounded familiar. I see this company at all our local craft shows! Nice work.

  5. Katie says:

    Oh, these are gorgeous prints, but your last line is what got me to comment…

    Beware of RVing across the country! Or, at the very least, don’t attempt it in a twenty year old RV in record-setting August heat (and record-setting gas prices) with an air conditioner that breaks one hour into your trip and an RV that dies on the freeway in Memphis, West Memphis, multiple small towns, and Little Rock, before you throw in the towel and book a flight to the Grand Canyon because at this rate, it’ll take a month to get where you’re going.

    Seriously, though, road trips are fun–just make sure your vehicle is in good repair first!
    Just a suggestion.

    Oh, and I’m loving the blue-green hue in the third print–wouldn’t that be a great jumping off point for a color palette?

  6. Ashley says:

    These are such beautiful prints! I’m especially inspired by the little house camper on wheels, as I’m building one myself! What cute styling! Thanks for sharing this beautiful artwork.

  7. alex says:

    Really gorgeous. I love the colors as they remind me of my dreams.

  8. Cindy K. says:

    Thanks for showing the beautiful prints this morning. You cost me a few a few bucks, but thanks. ;)

  9. Love Tugboat! I have that beautiful forest print at the top- there is incredible detail and lots of little hidden forest creatures to find!

  10. ruzu says:

    I love the car with the rainbow :D great illustrations

  11. Ouch! I saw way too much of myself in your comment about being trained to fill every second of time with work, Grace. Maybe you can put together a biz ladies column on how to find personal time (and enjoy it instead of feeling guilty) while running a small business..

    Also, love the RV print :)

    1. Grace Bonney says:

      laura

      as soon as i figure it out, i’ll totally share ;) for now, my solution was “run away to portland for a month” ;)

      g

  12. jennie says:

    Wow, these are great. I watched the film Seraphine last night about the French painter Séraphine de Senlis and I’m getting a little bit of her in these prints. The intensity of colour especially and the repeating patterns. Nice work.

  13. Anjelica says:

    Hah, I’m in the same boat as you and Laura in terms of my passion for work. It can be so incredibly difficult to turn “off” and chill out! I go through phases where I get really frustrated with myself for always needing to accomplish something, but deep down inside I know I wouldn’t want it any other way! ;)

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