Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Good Movie With A Side Of Snow

Well my friends, the year is nearly over. And what a year it's been! Lots of new leaps have been made, with many more yet to come. I'm so excited for the new year and what lies ahead (I have quite a few surprises to show you!), and of course, I am so terribly thankful for all the love and support from all of you. It's pretty mindblowing--I'm a lucky, lucky gal indeed.

My Christmas was splendid and I hope all of you enjoyed (or are continuing to enjoy) your holidays! Living in the Pacific Northwest, my holiday was spent under a foot and a half of snow after a week and a half of snow and ice storms.It's a rare occurrence for us to get so much snow in such a short period of time, and the cities definitely showed the unpreparedness of it all...but I really enjoyed just staying home and being completely shut-off from the rest of the world.When I opened the backdoor, this is the ominous view my cat was confronted with: The snow is practically all melted now (a big benefit to living around these parts), though there's still a few lingering cat tracks... Nothing beats watching a good film while the snow comes tumbling down. I received a copy of The Fall (at last, at last!) and I must say, it is by far the best film I've seen in the past year or more. And has made it head-first onto my "Artistic Inspiration Movie" list. I absolutely loved every minute of it... The shots, the colors, the *costumes*...sigh. It really is a beautiful, enchanting, heartbreaking, and dreamy movie. And almost no CGI effects--which is a feat all in itself.
My favorite character is Charles Darwin (of course!) and his costume is so, so perfectly insane and amazing. I mean--look at those boots! And that coat! Damn.

I hope you all have a fabulous New Year's! I'll see you loves in 2009...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Little Scenes Of Wonder

These brown paper packages tied up with string (with little wax seals added for extra pizazz and flair) were paintings mailed out last week. They looked so cozy, I had to snap a picture.

I've put a few "old-but-new-to-the-shop" paintings in my online store today. They've been hanging around my walls long enough!
"The Forest Floor In Grandma's Room" acrylic on canvas, 5x7" {sold}
"Light In The Deep" acrylic on hardboard, 8x10" {sold}
"New Years Resolution" ACEO, acrylic on illustration board, 2.5x3.5" {sold}

Now I can get to work on some new pieces I've been pondering in my sketchbooks. I had plans this week to get caught up on having new prints made...and then I ran out of blue ink while color correcting print files. Ain't that always the case? And that's the one ink color I, unfortunately, do not have a replacement on hand for. Luckily, I recently discovered Office Max is now carrying my particular printer's cartridges, which is awesome since before there was only one store a good 30 minutes away that would carry them (...and typically never had them in stock when I needed them). So Office Max, you are now my temporary best friend. You better have the blue though. That's all I'm sayin'.

I thought I'd also share some images of an artist who I discovered earlier in the year and really dig. Thomas Doyle creates these amazingly strange miniature dioramas that pack quite a visual and emotional punch:
His website has many pictures of his different projects that you should really check out. I get such a kick out of miniature scenes, and as a kid, was constantly sketching and planning different dioramas and room boxes that I thought would be pretty wild and out there. It's almost like Thomas Doyle crept into my brain and created them himself. So cool.
I'm hunkering down for more ice and snow on the way! Time to get some more coffee ready and double up the socks...

Take care of yourselves, loves.

Friday, December 12, 2008

A Pinch of Gothic-y Goodness

Hello, hello!

How's everyone doing? Are you all surviving December? I'm taking a little "lull" in art production to focus on what I love best about this time of year: spending lots of time with friends and family, cozying up under blankets with a good book and hot cup of coffee or cocoa, working on "nesting" projects (*cough* finish quilt *cough*), and doing lots of crafty-holiday-creating (baking, making paper decorative thingies, setting up the tree, etc).

This isn't to say I'm not painting...just slowing down a tad to enjoy the end of the year. I actually hope to have a few more original paintings listed in the online shop over the weekend (barring, of course, the natural light--which has been a little pathetic as of late for picture taking).

I have some sharing to do as well! This is a painting finally completed a few weeks prior:

"Bats Loom Among Us" acrylic on hardboard, 16x20"


{more detail}

It's really big. I never paint this large and struggled with this one as a result. The sketch has been in my book for a year now, and I started planning the painting months ago...before I got overwhelmed with the size. It just couldn't be done any smaller. I'm happy with it, but will be more happy when I can find a good frame for it. I'll be frame hunting next month and have plans on putting it in the spring show I have set up.

Also, since it is December and all, I finally made my two "unusual" ornament purchases for the season. I collect odd and unusual ornaments, with a focus on handmade ones, and like to splurge on a couple every year for the collection.

First, I saw and fell hard for this typewriter one from Sundance.com:
It's so perfect. So utterly perfect. And I just got it in the mail today! A swell addition (I'll definitely vouch for the quality of glass ornaments through Sundance--the details on this are amazing).

And brace yourself for this bit of awesomeness:
!!! I lucked out in scoring this one from timberps.etsy.com (picture above from Timber). Words cannot describe how insanely cool I think this ornament is. And the heads even *move*! My tree this year has a bizarre story-like feel to it--lots of black and white ornaments of early 1900s men, sea critters, gnomes, typewriters, felt keys... I'll post pictures here real soon so you can all see what I mean.

Alright, kids. My poor unfinished quilt is calling my name, despite the desperate pleas from my sore fingers. And snow is a'coming...

Keep warm, cuddle your pets, and drink lots of tea!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Two Perfect Mates

Just popping in briefly to let everyone know all the paintings in the previous post are in the shop (or have sold) and also this one was just listed as well:
"Nesting Possibilities" acrylic on 1930s newspaper on glass, framed 4.5x5.75" {update: sold}


And now I need to do some scanning and printing, which alas, is not nearly as fun as the painting bit but needs to get done. I hope everyone is having a pleasant week!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Diving Headfirst

Hello gang.

So terribly sorry for not getting the new work in the shop on the dates promised. I've had a pretty tumultuous week at my day job. I won't get into the complicated details, but lets just say that there have been some drastic managerial changes, not necessarily for the best, and as such a good chunk of the work responsibilities (like, three people's worth) have fallen squarely on my shoulders. Quite unwillingly, might I add. Combined with the added stress of being understaffed, and sadness from having two of my dearest and beloved friends moving east yesterday, I hit a bit of a wall on Sunday. And as such, gave my notice at work (my last day will be the 23rd) and shall be preparing for a much-anticipated move to Portland. I'm completely excited and scared at the same time, as I don't have a job or apartment lined up yet down there. Eek! But I feel like I need to be there and have felt that way for the past year, so I guess I'll make the dive.

Any Portlanders that have any advice on good locations/bad locations for apartments? I'm all ears.

Anyway, enough work talk! Indeed, I have been super busy on the art front and have pieces to show you that will be available for sale online over the course of the next couple of days. I'm so excited about them.
"Stella's Dive" acrylic on cradled hardboard, 6x12x1" {detail}
"My Best Friend Was Jacques Cousteau" acrylic on cradled hardboard, 4x4x3/4" {update: sold} "The Oceanic Matinee" acrylic on wood laminate sample, 3.5x4.75" {update: sold} {detail}

"Woodland Symphony" acrylic on wooden plaque {update: sold}

And here's a little wall vignette with them hanging up for display:
Finally got an appropriate frame for this one ("The Forest Floor In Grandma's Room" acrylic on canvas, 5x7"):
Alrighty...I have noodles cooking on the stove that I must tend to.

P.S.: All sketchbook ornaments in the shop are now on holiday sale! Originally $12 each, they're now just $8. Sweet!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Giveaway Winner!

Okay! I'm back to announce the giveaway winner. Using random.org, the random name drawn from the list was...

Sweet Pea!

Hooray! Congrats! :) Feel free to shoot me an email (located on sidebar) with your mailing addy and I'll send it off to you!

I must get back to painting (and coffee consuming). There will be a good handful of new works up for sale really soon--I'm thinking I'll upload them online on the 28th, 29th and 30th...possibly the 1st as well. That way, I can snag a bit more time to paint, take photographs and write descriptions for everything (quite last-minute, as is my way it seems). I'm really excited to show you all what I've been cooking!

Hope the rest of your weekends are marvelous!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Where Land Meets Sea

Hello, dearies!

I have been busily painting up a storm, creating a small pile of pieces for a quickly-looming online update (looking to happen right after Thanksgiving). I'm trying to have plenty of originals of all sizes and affordability because I'd love for everyone to have the chance at some original artwork for the holidays.

In-between the painting sessions and the day job, I took some quick snapshots at a couple pieces on my work table at the moment.

"Woodland Symphony" acrylic on wooden plaque

This one is all done and quite mysterious. A phonograph sprouting roots in a faraway forest... And the gloss is just insane due to the 6-8 layers of colored glazes in the background. It has a glass-like look to it adding a lot of depth and wonderfully saturated color.
And this piece is moving right along as well. Since this picture was taken, I've painted a detailed horseshoe crab patterned wallpaper behind the Victorian lass (which was the big inspiration behind doing this piece) and have almost finished her forest green velvet dress. She's coming along swimmingly!

I must get back to work. Hope you are all enjoying your weeks so far!

P.S. If you haven't done so already, do sign up for the giveaway if you're interested! This Saturday I'll draw a random name for the prize.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Last Bride

So, I have a couple shows coming up early next year that I'm pretty excited about (just got the letters of acceptance last week). It's a bit too early to discuss much in way of details, but one is an Apocalypse-themed group show over in MA and the other is a dual-show with another painter and myself early next Spring in Auburn, WA that I'm really pumped for. More to come later on the Auburn show, but I thought I'd give you all a look at the Apocalypse piece that will be sent out in a month...

"The Last Bride" acrylic and gold leaf on illustration board and vintage record album sleeveIt's taken right from the page of one of my sketchbooks and turned out *precisely* how I wanted it to (don't you love it when that happens?). I do love gold leaf, but I must admit that it's so impossible to get accurate pictures of it. In real-life the gold leafing makes the painting so luminous and adds a whole level of depth. In picture form however, you don't really get that effect. Drat.

Anyway, there will be a companion piece to this one (still very much in progress) that will also be in the show and prints will be available as well. I'll keep you all posted!

Since I've had a few folks lately asking for gallery advice, I thought I'd share some helpful links that will greatly aid in the uphill-battle of getting one's artwork out there. Mind you, I'm fairly new to the whole gallery show circuit as well (it's really weird when I look back and realise I've only been painting professionally for a little over a year) but there's a lot of great websites out there with all sorts of helpful advice, open calls for galleries, and show submissions to help artists get their foot in the door. Here's a few worth bookmarking:

Art-Support: great articles on getting your work out there and noticed in the real world
artshow.com: an ever-changing roll call of upcoming juried shows cross-country and world-wide
Artist Trust: the "resources" page is uber-helpful with gallery show calls, residencies, and even open studio space advertisements (most of the ads are WA-located but many are open to artists nationwide)

Back to painting I go! Happy Monday, gang!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Let Them Eat Truffles--A Giveaway

As promised, it's giveaway time! Just in time for the holidays too.

Up for one very lucky soul is a mini original painting banner that I created last year. I'm culling through some of my artworks and realised I still had this one. It simply must go on to live in a new home.Three miniature paintings of truffles, done in acrylic on miniature laminate tag samples, and strung onto candy-striped ribbon. All ready to tie onto nails or thumbtacks on your fine wall.It looks best hung under another piece, I think...

To be included in the drawing, all you need to do is a leave a comment between today and the 21st. One lucky winner will be randomly drawn from the pile on the 22nd (I'm keeping this giveaway open a bit longer to make sure everyone gets a fair chance). It will come to your mailbox prettily wrapped, ready for giving, card and all. I think this would make an excellent little holiday gift for a loved one!

Good luck! And thank you so much for all the support, loves!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Lets Celebrate With Cider And Pumpkin Muffins

Can I just speak for the country and world at large when I say, "Thank. Goodness."

What a night! What an election! Wow. I think for the first time ever, I am so overwhelmingly proud of my country. And it feels so good to have someone you admire greatly take over the damp and mildewy helm of the ship.

I had a fabulous Halloween with a group of friends and I have lots and lots of costume pics to show you! I know it's November and all, but I hope you bear with my tardiness in some costume show-and-tell. Pumpkin carving, old horror movie a'watchin', junk food eating, drinking, and lots of chatting. I love Halloween. As explained earlier, I went as Little Red Riding Hood (choosing to represent the story more so than just the character). After a week of handsewing and assembling, it all came together and turned out pretty neat.
I made a little red hooded capelet completely from scratch--no pattern, no sewing machine. It turned out better than I was expecting (I didn't have time to line it this time around, but hopefully will get that done one of these days). I already owned the red cotton fabric and the vintage lacy trim I picked up from the thrift store. For the dress, this is what I started with--a vintage 70s Boho dress I bought from Etsy seller MrsRosencranz (image above from her shop). I loved the cut and simplicity of it. It was the perfect blank canvas for the look I was after. After much tweaking, hemming, adding, replacing, and garnishing, this is what I came up with (please forgive my crummy images--it was 3am and I was completely ready to hop in bed). The wolf mask is made of a lightweight paperclay I sculpted and painted then tied to a stick.

Lots of laces, fabric remnants, haphazard stitches, and other bits 'n bobs...
And in my hair I pinned various branches, leaves, sparkly blossoms from the craft store (and even a wee bird's nest!).It was just too fun to assemble and wear about. I wish Halloween was more than once a year.

Well, I'm off to get some coffee in my blood and some paint on my fingers! Happy November everyone! I'll be back later this week with some art sneak peeks plus a blog giveaway (and it's a good one). Stay warm!