New Artwork

New artwork from artist Rebecca Hinson.

Spring has Sprung

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The first day of spring is here! I can't believe it. I thought this day would never come! I've had cabin fever since January. What can I say, I'm a warm weather girl so my tolerance for the cold is very limited. Some people view New Years as the time for hope and renewal, but for me it's springtime! This time of year creates the ultimate inspiration around every corner, the reawakening of the world around me. The motivation for this yellow dressed beauty came from the Elie Saab spring 2018 runway show. The collection included a lot of bright primary colors which I absolutely love. Could this look be any more cheerful?!..

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Cover Art for February issue of skirt! magazine

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Love is all you need! These aren't just the lyrics to one of the best songs of all time. It's also the theme for the February issue of skirt! magazine. Inside the publication you'll find recommendations for everything related to romance and weddings. And of course my watercolor illustration is on the cover. The couple who grace the front are real life people who were newly engaged when this illustration was completed. They have since joined the club of "married people". Get your copy today! ..

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On Island Time

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Can we be on island time ALL the time? Living on the coast perhaps I already am and just don't know. Certainly the South in general is pretty close with our slower pace of life. Even if your life isn't exactly "slow", looking at a painting of a peaceful scene can evoke some of that tranquil emotion, right?  While I've been focusing more on my watercolor illustrations lately, I still take oil painting commissions if it feels right and I'm excited about it. These are a few that I was super excited about! Of course the settings being on Kiawah and Sullivan's Island made them that much more appealing. Sullivan's in particular being the beach I frequent most because it's only 5 miles away from my house! In the summer I couldn't tell you how much I'm there; it's my happy place! If you too want your happy place captured you can contact me or read more about the commission process.  ..

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Cover Art for September issue of Skirt! magazine

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September 1st is here and I can finally share the cover art for Skirt! magazine! When I was approached by Skirt! to do their September cover art, naturally I was elated! Any women's magazine for this month is a big deal for fashion! The illustration that immediately popped in my mind was King Street. A bunch of fashion forward friends joyfully strolling down the street, bags in tow and hair on point. I started compiling some of my favorite trends of this season to see what would look best. High wasted pants being a must and of course some timeless plaid with a ruffle collar. My personal fav and go to during the fall. Now if only I could magically have all those outfits in my closet. Perhaps someone to braid my hair as well because for the life of me I cannot do it! Go grab your own copy so you'll be in the know of all things fashion this fall season in the Holy City! Most major businesses and retailers in the Charleston area have them for pick up.      ..

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My Health Journey Part II

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In Part I, My Health Journey, I talked about my health path. Here, I'd like to share in more detail some things that I focus on that have helped.... 1. STRESS - I never realized what a big factor this was until I had a health issue and this is the most important. Chronic stress is such an issue in our modern society and most of the time people don't even realize it. When we are stressed, our bodies release cortisol and other stress hormones. If you are constantly in this state, the cortisol gets out of control and eventually starts wrecking havoc on your organs. Being more aware of your stress levels is important. Taking deep, thoughtful breaths helps calm the mind and send much needed oxygen throughout the body. 2. FOOD - The saying "you are what you eat" couldn't be more on point. By getting rid of inflammatory foods (i.e. dairy, gluten, most grains, and meat) most any disease or ailment can be eliminated or lessened. These foods cause inflammation and create an acidic environment which is the perfect condition for any disease to flourish. Autoimmune, cancer, you name it. "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food" -Hippocrates (4th-3rd c BC) I love eating healthy nutritious food and could never imagine going back to the SAD (Standard American Diet). I've never felt better! Staying hydrated is also a huge component of optimal health and the type of water is important. I drink alkaline oxidative water which helps alkalize an acidic body. Curious how the water you drink measures up? You can do a simple test with pH drops like in this video.  3. EXERCISE - Exercise is a large component of having a healthy body. It helps the body and mind by releasing positive hormones that help regulate you entirely. It also increases circulation and boosts the lymphatic system which drains the body of toxins. This doesn't have to be some strenuous activity. Simply walking every day can be extremely beneficial. I do a combination of exercises to keep it fun including walking, yoga, YouTube videos, or rebounding. Might I add that rebounding is my FAVORITE thing in the world right now. It's absolutely one of the best workouts and so fun! I feel like a kid again! P.S. 10 minutes rebounding is equivalent to a 30-40 minute run! What!? Amazing! :) I really want to start a new craze. Let's bring back the 80's-90's!  Standup paddle board surfing is also something I love to do and try to get out on the water often. Recently, I learned how to windsurf and am hooked!  4. MEDITATION- It's all about calming the mind and destressing. We live in a society that is always on the go and constantly being over stimulated. The overall health benefits of meditation are astounding. The practice helps reduce stress, improves concentration, increases self-awareness, slows aging, and benefits cardiovascular and immune health. You might say "but I could never meditate. I can't shut off my brain". It's not about shutting it totally off. It's about being aware of your thoughts, following them, and focusing on something. Maybe it's your breath, a saying or mantra. It takes practice, like any thing you do, but it's so worth it!  5. SUPPORT - The last and perhaps most important recommendation is to be surrounded by supportive people. I have the most amazing people in my life. My husband, family, and friends are the bee's knees. I would not have made it through last year without them. Try to surround yourself with nourishing and encouraging people.  So there's a little tidbit of my journey. It has been a difficult one, but I am thankful for where I am now and all that I have learned. Currently, I'm in the process of becoming a Professional Holistic Nutritionist to further my knowledge and possibly help others. In September 2017, my new health and wellness website and blog will launch at TheRefinedHippie.com. There I will share all my knowledge and recommendations on nutrition for becoming the best version of yourself from the inside out. You will be able to help yourself, your family, and the planet. Please feel free to email me with any questions. If you or someone you know is suffering from an autoimmune disorder or other ailment, know that there's hope. You don't have to be at the mercy of pills and doctors. There are other options. It does take dedication, but I can sincerely say it is so worth it. I know more about nutrition and wellness than I ever thought there was to know and I've never felt better! xoxo, ..

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My Health Journey Part I

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My Health Journey 2016 was quite the year for me. I'll start by saying that my health was an aspect of my life that I took for granted (like many of us do). I have always been exceptionally healthy and prided myself on it a bit. Very seldom sick, in good shape, and I ate what I (and most Americans) thought of as a good diet. Truth be told, I felt slightly invincible. Diagnosed with an Autoimmune Disease However, that all changed a few years back when I was diagnosed out of the blue with an autoimmune disease. If you aren't sure exactly what that means, in a nut shell it's when your body gets confused and starts attacking good healthy tissue, thinking it's an invader. Examples are Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, Irritable Bowel Disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis. Many of them show up before the age of 30, with the majority affecting females. They can affect any part or organ of the body. However, in nature they are all fundamentally the same. At this point no one has a definite answer of the cause, but it has become an epidemic in first world countries. There are a lot of factors that can contribute, stress being number one. Other causes are the over use of antibiotics, birth control, pesticides, preservatives, and chemicals in our food. Some say it can be hereditary, but in my case it wasn't. While some people may be predisposed to these diseases, if they are given the right environment, they flourish.  Little/No Relief from Traditional Medicine Initially, I tried some traditional medicines for the first few years. These all failed to help and seemed to make things worse. The doctors had no answers for me, still claiming that this was out of my hands, with lifestyle and diet not playing a role. The next step from there would have been to try more extreme drugs. My faith in western medicine disappeared. Big Pharma had taken hold (let's be serious, they don't want you to actually be healed, they'd be out of business. Healthcare these days is not like it once was. There's no preventive medicine, only controlling of disease). After researching and reading countless blog articles about others who had healed themselves, I knew there was another way. I turned my efforts to alternative medicine and healing naturally. I tried different diets, gluten being the first to go (sorry bread lovers, but it's super inflammatory). I experimented with Paleo, vegetarian, SCP, supplements, and sought guidance from functional and holistic doctors. I even traveled to England to seek alternative treatment that is not available in the states. All I did was in an effort to avoid harsh drugs that create even more havoc in the body. Standard drugs for autoimmune diseases are harsh immune suppressants. Biologics are also prescribed which are a form of chemo therapy that a person would have to take for the REST of their life. All of which have terrible side effects and most of the time DON'T even work! The body IS capable of healing itself, but it's all about figuring out the cause and eliminating it.  Last year things took quite a turn for the worst. Despite my efforts, I ended up in the hospital for severe anemia (my iron had been tested prior to leaving for England and my doctor said NOTHING) and another complication from my ailment. However, I am convinced that the super low iron was the main culprit for preventing me from getting well. My body was unable to send oxygen to any of my organs for repair. I started having weekly iron infusions which helped tremendously. Finally, I had energy again! I had forgotten what that felt like. Before I could barely walk up the stairs without getting winded. No fun!  Self-Healing Success! The saying goes "when it rains, it pours" and I couldn't feel like that was more true for the year 2016. However, the sun has to come out sometime, right? After being on my healing sabbatical for a good portion of 2016, I finally have my life back. I never gave up hope and eventually I DID heal myself naturally! How did I do it? It took a lot of trial and error, patience, and determination. I'm not on any drugs. I eat a whole food, anti-inflammatory, plant based diet with no meat other than the super occasional wild caught salmon or sardines/mackerel (oily, cold water fish are the healthiest with lots of omega 3's and small fish are the least contaminated with mercury or other heavy metals). I eat minimal processed food but if I do, it's from companies like Simple Mills, who only make products out of whole ingredients like almonds or coconut. If you can't pronounce the ingredients on the label, your body ultimately can't either! My diet is rich with lots of fresh organic vegetables, fruits, brown rice, fermented foods (super healthy and full of probiotics).  I try to minimize stress as much as possible with meditation, yoga, and just simple awareness. I also have eliminated as many toxins as I can from my cosmetics, cleaning supplies, or anything else that could possi..

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