Meet The Artists

Dreamlines Wedding Dress Sketch

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Penny Altmann – writer for Diary Of A Nobody 

In 2006 my Niece Nikki and I founded MyDreamlines. It all evolved from drawing sketches for her bridesmaid’s gifts when she married. The bride’s dress sketch is such a cherished gift for the bride when her dress is packed away in its box, probably in the attic, to be brought out maybe once or twice. So the dream began!

We had a wonderful editorial in InStyle Weddings Magazine. I was asked to draw a Vera Wang wedding gown by the editor, which really started the ball rolling. That is how MyDreamlines was born and I hope it has a long and happy life and carries on bringing happiness to so many brides.

My name is Penny Altmann, I live in France in The Pays de la Loire with my husband David, a large Bernese Mountain Dog and an extremely ancient cat. We have chickens and a very large, beautiful garden surrounded by fields and hills where cows and sheep graze. Yet we are only two hours from Paris and one hour from the sea. We have a rather old farmhouse which we converted into a beautiful home, it was a real labour of love, but worth it. We have five children, their loved ones, and seventeen grandchildren who live in various parts of Europe.

I love to cook French food and think I am pretty good at it. Ask Nikki, as she is one of my biggest fans! But my one real love is art, I work in oils, pastels and watercolours and have sketchbooks stuffed full of drawings I have done over the years. I started drawing as soon as I could hold a pencil and am still at it. My real love is pastels, I do a lot of portraits which are normally commissioned and I have been lucky enough to exhibit and sell many of my works, mainly of children and animals. I have a wonderful art teacher here in France who is an amazing Parisian artist who is always there for inspiration.

Working with My Dreamlines really is a dream come true, I love the idea that we are making a bride so happy when she receives a sketch of her dress. I feel so privileged to be part of this romantic moment. I receive so many lovely emails from the brides and husbands with such kind words, saying how happy they are and how they love to see the sketch of their dress framed in their house for them to look at every day. It is a wonderful way to spend my time working at something I love so much.

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catherine wong

Catherine Wong

My name is Catherine Wong. Originally from Hong Hong, I have been living in Northern California since 1983. Since graduated from Academy of Art University in San Francisco my journey has taken me into the fields of jewelry magazine publishing/marketing and fashion. I’ve been working as an Artist (pastels, watercolor, graphite, digital), Jewelry Image Editor/Renderer and Graphic Designer.

With so many digitally created and computer generated images saturating today’s world, almost half of my commercial assignments have to do with creating digital imagery, so it is very refreshing to work with Dreamlines. The process of creating an original handcraft piece of art is very meditative. When I am working on a wedding dress sketch my aim is to make the gown as if it’s a character, that the end result has a sense of movement and charm. The entire experience of creating the sketch becomes even more rewarding when I get feedbacks from couples who received my creations, and knowing my sketches will be cherished for years to come gives me a very warm feeling. One of my passions is fashion illustration and I am always looking for opportunities to do fashion related drawings, so working with Dreamlines is a great opportunity and in a way a dream come true. I feel very fortunate to have my path crossed with Nikki’s.

When I am not working I enjoy people watching, photography, doodling figure sketches, reading books on fashion and photography, hanging out with my significant other, spending happy hours with pals at my favorite watering hole and in the summertime, wine tasting and picnic with family in the wine country.banner

Catie Stricker Howell

Catie Stricker Howell

I’m Catie Stricker Howell, artist, mother and wife. I’ve always been an artist and won my first art competition in third grade. When I was 12 years old my parents put me in the Shiloh School of Art for oil painting class. Instantly I was really good at it and it made me happy. I knew then that this was going to be my path in life. I graduated from Southern Illinois University with a Bachelors in Fine Arts focusing in Painting and Printmaking.

When I was 16 I was fortunate to exhibit at the Salute to Masters in the Student Exhibit in Fairview Heights, IL. It just continued after that with making it into the Undergraduate Juried Exhibit in Edwardsville, IL and winning the Friends of Art Award and the Rose Marie Sacchi Award. Shortly after my work was excepted into The Women’s Studies Exhibition at Southern Illinois University. After college, I entered work into a juried exhibit with Art St. Louis called Arrangements and that started a great relationship with them. They asked me to be on the Program Committee, had an Individual Exhibit and arranged that my paintings be featured in the Fleishman Hillard lobby St. Louis. Other exhibitions at Abex Production’s Halloween Show Edwardsville, Individual Christmas Exhibition at Abex Productions, participated and exhibited in the mentoring program at the St. Louis Art Fair in Clayton, MO. I have assisted other artists in demonstrations, printing editions and prep for Retrospective Show.

As an artist you might recognize your path early on, but not exactly sure where it will go. It’s not the same as a Doctor or Engineer (which my family is all engineers and my father has an MBA). The path of an artist takes you all over! Started teaching art at Center of Contemporary Arts as a Teacher Assistant, Art’s in the Park kids summer program and Artist’s Guild adults painting. Owned my own painting company and painted the ceilings at the Renaissance Hotel St. Louis, MO. I worked at Craft Alliance in St. Louis setting up their exhibit’s and then designing for NewSpace. I’m now a stay at home mom and my two boys have changed my life! My vision of who I am as an artist and person has become clear. I want them to be proud of their Mom.

The opportunity that MyDreamlines has given me is one that I can’t even put into words. I get to produce works of art that commemorates one of the happiest moments a couple will have together. My artwork is given out of love and it’s about their love. I put my heart and sole into my work and I hope when you receive your sketch you know that it was made with Love.

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leigh

Leigh Cardwell

I have been married for 23 years and have 6 children ranging in age from 17 to 42, and 6 grandchildren ages 4 to 11. I live in a suburb of St Louis, and am a manager at a bank. At the age of 8 I embraced my love for art with lessons in all areas including pen and ink sketching, acrylics, oils, watercolors, clay, and pastels. My Aunt was my mentor and teacher, who herself had many of her pieces in numerous restaurants in the Nashville area.

I had the honor of being accepted to the Art Institute of Cincinnati, but life took me in a different direction, but art has always remained an essential part of my life. Watercolor painting is my passion with emphasis on old doors and buildings with stone, brick, and peeling paint. The depth and story of its architecture intrigues me, and bringing it to life on paper is rewarding to me beyond words. I have had my work on greeting cards that were sold in small boutiques and shops in our area, and regularly will donate one of my paintings to charity events.

I got involved with “My Dreamlines” when the owner Nikki Gentry came into my work and saw my paintings on my wall in my office, and offered me the amazing opportunity to work as one of her artists. It has been such a blessing to be able to create such beautiful memories for brides on their special day. I have done over 180 sketches and I take a personal interest in each and every sketch. I study the photographs for days before even picking up my pencil, and try to envision the moment the bride first saw her dress, and the details about it that made her know this was the one. Being an artist is my passion, my dream, and now I am able to share it with all of the brides and their families that choose to make truly special memories with “My Dreamlines”.