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LIFE’s Canvas: Notecards Next Door

Liz Neighbors illustration

Beetle Cat rounding Brant Point Light on Nantucket

Liz Neighbors colors the Cape with a joyful hue

“Good neighbors make a huge difference in the quality of life.” -Robert Fulghum

Liz Neighbors has been visiting the Cape since she was just 3 years old. She remembers the first place she stayed in Hyannis—the Anchor Inn; the “pilgrimage,” as she jokingly refers to it, that she used to make with her mother to the Cape Cod Candle Factory; the day she and her husband made sure to choose a community for their year-round home within driving distance to the Cape; and the sailing camp on Buzzards Bay where she enrolled her children once she had a family of her own. All the while, she was drawing. “Art has always been a big part of my life,” she says. “It’s what I love to do.”

“About two years ago, I challenged myself to create art every day, and I dared myself to put it on Facebook, not caring what anyone thinks,” says Neighbors. That was the beginning of Liz Neighbors Studios, the hallmark of which is Neighbors’ “Doodle-a-Day” series. The doodles, or rather unique notecards and matted prints, are all distinguished by their colorful, whimsical nature. For Neighbors, art was always a hobby that brought her comfort and joy, but she certainly never dreamed it would turn into a business. “One day I came home and people on Facebook were reacting so positively to my work,” she says. Her first print was sold at a party she attended on the way back from the printer, and from then on it’s been a whirlwind of friends, customers and memories for Neighbors to draw or paint. She sometimes creates in watercolor, but she explains that markers are often her chosen medium because they’re so portable.

“I try to capture a moment in time,” says Neighbors, who often finds herself drawn to Cape Cod beach scenes. “It’s always something different, and what’s really great for me is when people react to it.” She enjoys capturing events, like memorable days with her friends at the beach, the Fourth of July fireworks she watched with her family, a birthday she celebrated with her daughter, or the farm stand she drove past on her way to the Cape. Some of her favorite moments are when people recognize a place or see themselves in a memory she’s captured. “With such intense times, people want to see happy art,” she says.

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