Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sketchbookery

The final pages of my current sketchbook are filling up and it's nearly time to put the book away and start a'fresh in a new one! Despite the somewhat lousy paper inside (I think it was made with writing paper--which means that many sketches in the beginning of the book are badly smudged and smeared, leaving me no other choice but to paste in good drawing paper for sketching in the latter half of the book), it's served me well over the past year.
I sketched this coral branch in graphite and then tinted it with red acrylic ink for an old tinted lithograph look. A wash of walnut ink surrounds it.For my new sketchbook, I snatched up one of these (the landscape-style book) from Dick Blick:
I'm a sucker for landscape-style sketchbooks, so it will be nice to once again be drawing away in one. Can't wait for the new year!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

It's The Little Things

What a wonderfully quiet and relaxing Christmas. My family had mutually decided last month to do a really low-key Christmas this year. No presents or last-minute shopping trips. No stressful extended family dinners. I must say, it was great. I had my mom over for a fondue dinner at my place, which was delicious *and* fun. Kinda perfect, if you ask me.

Though, my mom cheated a little on the "no gift" rule and bought me a gift anyway (sheesh!). I've been searching for a new painting desk for well over a year now. For the past four years, I've been painting in my living/dining room and while I've gotten by just fine, it was definitely high-time to move all painting operations into a separate room. Mainly so I could have a dining table again that isn't covered (and boy, do I mean covered) in paint and works-in-progress.

I gave up trying to find a simple, affordable, and chic desk months ago. But my mom found one on overstock.com for a bargain and snatched it up for me last month. I *love* it. Now I can paint in my studio and have a messy-free living/dining room again. Yay! Thanks, Mom!
Since the new year is almost upon us, I also took it upon myself to re-do the inspiration cork board.The biggest change? Black paint. Wow, am I glad I did that. Such a simple thing and yet it really does make a big difference. I just used a satin enamel black paint from the hardware store and it did the trick nicely. One layer on the cork was all it took (and any smudges that got on the laminate frame were easily wiped off with a rag).It's the last week of 2009! Wow!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Endangered

Howdy, gang!After months of work, my pieces are all set for the Seattle show, aptly titled "Endangered"! I'm pretty excited. It's a 3-person show with fellow artists Kevin Margitich and Berry Holz and is entirely themed around endangered animals. How perfect is that?
The paintings I created for it resemble a sort of odd collection of rare and endangered (and in one case, already extinct) species--numbered and exhibited like coveted additions to a traveling side show curiosity museum. Most of the pieces are tiny (only 3.5x5") which I think also greatly emphasizes the fragility of the natural world.The show will run January 2nd-31st at Bluebottle Art Gallery in Seattle. And I just received word that the "Preview Show" is up and posted online for VIP gallery mailing list recipients and...you, of course! Click here to check it out for yourself. All pieces are marked for sale and are very affordable (most being around $100). If you are interested in a piece, you can purchase directly online or contact the gallery for more info. A good way to spend cash Santa happens to give you for the holidays...

Christmas is only days away, which is crazy to me. I feel like December whipped right past me before I could even realize it. I don't have any holiday plans so far, though my mom is coming over for snacking, conversing, and
Gl├╝hwein drinking on Christmas Eve. Very low-key, which is how I prefer the holidays.

If I don't pop in before Friday, I just want to wish each of you a wonderful holiday too and a very happy Christmas!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Tree. Ornaments. And All The Hullabaloo.

December is always crazy time.

While many folks have been out and about, hitting the malls, fighting over parking spaces, and all that jazz....I've been delightfully holed up in my little home. Painting, drawing, making a few gifts, feeding the backyard birdies, and setting up the tree. I had to trek to the city today to pick up some much-needed gesso and after two hours of fighting the traffic and crazy people, I was quite glad to get back to my quaint and quiet town.

I snapped a few shots of my little tree and a bunch of new additions to the quirky ornament collection:
I think this robot and jellyfish are my two favorites for this year. The 'bot was spied in a small shop here in town and, me being me, I could not resist a glass robot ornament. The glass jellyfish I snatched up from a recent zoo trip. I think I may have squealed a little when I first saw it.A German handmade wooden crocodile (with stopwatch!) from Leavenworth, WA. The gal sitting on a glitzy moon was handmade by the ever-amazing Very Merry Fairies.Teensy glass acorn and birdy made in Poland and bought in Leavenworth for mere pennies.An oldie but a goodie--a Beatles ornament I made years ago from a toilet paper tube. Also, a recently rediscovered Han Solo ornament that had been hiding out in a box of all my old Star Wars geekiness. Han, you do my tree proud.

And here's some tree shots:
I hope you are all doing well during this busy time of year!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Drawing Closet

After more than a week of rather uncooperative and stormy weather, at last the clouds lifted for a bit today. No sign of the sun, but I'll take whatever light I can get. So, I grabbed my camera and had a nice photo shoot session with a few little drawings I did the other day. Unfortunately, I don't think I'll be able to get any new paintings listed online before the holidays as I'm just too busy working on pieces for the Seattle show.

But!

These drawings (and some others I'm digging away at in-between the painting sessions) are going up for grabs online. They're each originals, so once they're gone...they're gone.

"Birds Of A Feather..."
graphite on paper
4.5 x 9.5"

{detail}

"Nudibranch"
graphite on paper
3.5 x 2.5" ACEO {sold}

"Good Tidings"
graphite on paper
2.5 x 3.5" ACEO

Alrighty! Back to the drawing table I sneak (literally). All you stateside peeps, can you believe Thanksgiving is this week? Me neither.

Friday, November 13, 2009

On Being A Productive Hermit

View of my work area tonight (and a peek at some show pieces):And my palette (awash in rich greenish hues):
Lots of late, late night painting sessions going on this week! My little day job came and went rather quickly (the business closed--which is the biggest bummer working for small businesses right now, unfortunately). I'm quite sad to see the income go away...but glad to have a flexible painting schedule once again (even if it is only temporary).

I have my nose to the table, working away for the January show and am quite excited with these pieces so far. I'd like to keep them "secret" for the most part until the show is unveiled in it's entirety..but I'm sure there will be a few sneak peeks here and there while I'm working away on them.

Next week I'm hoping to see a movie or two (I'm really excited to see this little gem and if all pans out, hopefully Pirate Radio as well) and then perhaps an ornament painting party with my mom, which should be a blast!

Enjoy your weekends!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Sketchin' and Paintin'

Well, Halloween has come and ended. I ended up spending it at home with a couple classically good Halloween flicks (Suspiria--a fave--and The Lost Boys) and gorged on homemade caramel apples, chips, pop, and chocolate dipped marshmallows. Twas a great night, indeed.
And now I'm in all-out sketching/planning/painting mayhem as I busily prepare for a January show in Seattle at the ever-fabulous Bluebottle Art Gallery. As the time whittles away and we draw nearer to the date, I'll give you all a head's-up on the details.
The last remaining pages in my current sketchbook are filled with portraits, studies, and quickie doodles as I flesh everything out.I'm now in the painting stages and I'm really, really excited with how the pieces are coming along.

And I'm also working on some tiny and random paintings for the online shop as well . The holidays are coming (isn't it amazing how quickly the end of the year goes?) and I'd like to have a lot of new goods for folks to snatch up for themselves and loved ones.

So much to do, so much to do!

Today I think I'll buzz down to the store and grab some Halloween candy on sale before it's gone for good. I was good and resisted the urge to gobble up tons of candy last month...though I did buy a bunch of candy corn.
Those candy corn pumpkins are awfully hard to resist.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Found

After months of keeping a keen eye on a tall fir tree in my backyard, I decided to climb it to obtain an abandoned bird's nest. I first spotted it back in the spring, but wasn't sure how old it was, if it was being used, or if it was abandoned. So I left it alone but watched for any signs of bird activity all summer long. No birdies claimed it, so I hiked 20 feet up the tree branches one rainy day this week to snag it for my own collection.
It's a beauty. Perfectly entwined twigs and grasses, with remnants of leaves and flower blossoms tucked inside. It's still pretty damp from the rain so I currently have it in the garage drying out a bit.Someone, though, had to check it out for herself.After a lot of sniffing and prodding, the nest has passed the cat's inspection and all is right with the world.I also found some great little mushrooms out back that made for a perfect day of sketching and studying.
These little ones are very small and spindly--the caps measuring roughly the size of a fingernail.
Back to the pencils and paints I go! Happy Friday and enjoy your Halloween festivities, folks! I'm hoping to trek out to my favorite old movie theater for a night of horror film classics, candy, and costumed frivolities. Can't wait!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Footprints Of Fall

Despite being bitten by a monstrously large and hairy spider a few days ago (thus prompting a very embarrassingly girly scream and an impromptu "Dance of Ickiness") and also having a rather persistent cold for the past week, I've been spending my free hours outside with Nature.
Fall is my favorite time of year and I just can't get enough of it. Unfortunately, in the Pacific Northwest it lasts a very short few weeks (if that) before the gray and gloom and drizzle of Winter sets in. The trees right now are alive and vibrant in shades of red, magenta, and electric yellow.All of these pictures were taken earlier in the week right in my own backyard. The Japanese Maple looked like a flaming ball of red leaves, all a'glow even at night.And the cherry tree was a massive trunk of golden yellow. A few windy days later and now most of the leaves are on the ground, leaving me with a view of bare branches for the next 6 months...In-between admiring the trees, I've been adding bits and bobs to my curiosity cabinet. This small rock crab shell spent an hour at my work table for some TLC and varnishing to fix some cracking issues. He's all better now and living it up with his (dead) shellfish friends on my mantle.

Halloween is quickly approaching.... I can't wait!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

New Stuff (finally!)

Man. I really have fallen off the blog wagon. I do apologize.


So, what have I been up to? I've been thoroughly enjoying the Fall season. Lots of crisp walks, antique store explorations, late-night movies, good food, and sketching sessions. The only bummer so far is that I'm still trying to find the best way for my painting schedule and day job schedule to coexist peacefully. I was so used to staying up into the late night (early morning) hours with the paints, but it's just not feasible right now with my work schedule. Trying to retrain my brain to paint during daylight hours is hard...but we're getting there.


"Eye For An Eye" Original Sketch Brooch { sold }


"Dandy Bird" Original Sketch Brooch { Sold }

And look! New brooches! I've been working on these on-and-off for the past month and finally got them all photographed and listed in the shop. They were originally supposed to be ornaments, but I'm such a sucker for brooches and badges. Each one is completely one-of-a-kind, with an original sketch and painted details.

"Whalesong" Original Sketch Brooch { sold }



I'm utterly smitten with the little whale one.

"Tentacular" Original Sketch Brooch



In my head, the whale brooch and squid brooch are pinned on the same jacket, playing out a tragic life-or-death deep sea battle amongst the wool and tweed. I picked up this amazing old suitcase from the antique store the other day (and prompty used it in my brooch photoshoot). I've been hunting for one for a long time, but they're usually priced too high or the locks are damaged and you can't open them. This one is perfectly sized for plane or train, opens/locks just fine, has a pristine interior, and was only $8. Score!I also hung all the paintings still in my possession on one wall in my studio. Before, they were spread about all over my living room or propped against random walls. It got a little overwhelming. Having them all living in one happy little spot is a great deal better.

Thank you everyone for your sweet words! Happy fallish thoughts to you all!