Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Date With Graphite

It has been so crazy hot here in the Northwest lately! I miss the clouds. Le sigh.

Here are a few little sketchbook peeks. I've been locking myself inside with the pencils to try and stay cool and so have been plowing through my sketchbook pages, drawing lots of portraits and planning new works. Almost time for a new book, me thinks.
This little lady will end up being a falconer (I've always had a huge interest in falconry). On my painting table and in the works is this painting:
That crown is literally the size of a fingernail! I still have a bit more painting to do (the faint sketch on the surface is a wasp...) but it's in the home stretch and should be finished shortly.
Outside in the garden the snails were completely obliterating my poor pumpkin plant. I'm a sucker for slugs and snails, but in the end, I had to put up a poison barrier to try and save the squash. It looks to be working because I have quite a few cute wee pumpkins a'growing safely (sorry snails)!

Do stay cool, everyone.

Friday, July 24, 2009

A Little Studio Makeover

Thank you so much for the chair love, guys! It's always so cool to take something a little beat up from its prior life and transform it into something new and different to be loved all over again.

I took a little break to organize my very, very messy studio room. It's taken me over a year to work up the nerve and energy to tackle it but I'm so happy I did because it makes everything easier to find (and needless to say, is much more inspiring to be in). I cringe to show the before shots....but they're needed for the full effect:
...Yikes. This room became a full-out storage space for all of my art supplies. Because of the mess, I had long ago moved my painting operations into my living room (where there was space to actually *gasp* paint).

One week, lots of elbow grease, and countless donation runs to the thrift store later and this is what I have:A new and much needed Ikea bookcase (this year's birthday gift) to store most of my art and craft supplies.Honestly, I could fill up two of these huge suckers (which scares me, quite frankly) but I limited myself to keep only the necessities and donated a lot of items to the local thrift store to make room and be a bit more streamlined. Sketchbooks, ahoy!
A little bit of wall art (some by me, some by others).The bookcase is a room divider, allowing me to break up the room into two sections: creativity and business. This is a view of the "business" side of things. My art printer, computer, files, and all that jazz are located here. Business supplies are stored under the table and hidden by that snazzy red tablecloth.Some of my Victorian cabinet card collection on the wall.I have this old dollhouse my mom put together for me when I was a kid and I've held onto all these years (I'm a sucker for miniatures!). I've always just had it on the floor, but now it's displayed above a dresser that holds all of my decorative and collage papers. Eventually, the dresser will be replaced with a file cabinet so that the paper can be stored in a more organized fashion.Paper doll by the ever-fab Amy Earles (the bear head comes off to reveal a lovely Victorian lass!).A Decemberists poster done just right by Carson Ellis.

I still have a little more organizing to do, and need to hunt for a small desk/table for the space so I can move the painting operations into here, and may in the end be moving to a new town by the end of the year anyway (which would sorta make all of this work moot)...but all-in-all, it's quite the improvement for the time being. I can walk! I can find stuff! I'm inspired when I'm in here! Yay!

I'm off for some sketching and scheming and will return in a couple days to show you all sorts of new ideas and beginnings from the sketchbook innards. Until then, happy weekend!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A Chair Aquatic

I've been meaning to post pictures of this chair makeover I did last month, but I keep forgetting too. These are a tad dark, but at least you'll sorta get an idea as to how it looks...
Earlier in the year, I acquired a neat, but rather abused, 60s chair for *free*. A neighbor was tossing it, I saw it and asked how much they wanted for it. They gave it to me for nothing and looked at me like I was a bit crazy. Not crazy, though! I saw potential!
It has amazing modern lines and is made of gorgeous real wood. Sure, the seat was well-loved and grungy. And the back cushion leather was torn. But those are easy fixes...Out came the staple gun and some fabric I've been hording and voila! A whole new chair is born.
The seat cushion is a lovely red/white ticking stripe and the back cushion is Heather Ross fabric (which I adore and is just smack-down perfect for my eclectic, old-meets-new, ocean-loving self).
I love it (and ya just can't beat free).Enjoy your weekends!

Monday, July 06, 2009

An Invitation

Mark your calendars...

This Thursday the Polar Royalty Convention collection will go live in the online shop. Yay!

I just finished this rather moody piece for it last night:
"The Rabbit Room"

acrylic on hardboard

10 x 8"

{ Sold }


These plump and warm arctic hares are patiently and anxiously waiting beside their quiet leader, who is gifted enough to foresee future events and therefore plays an important role in this year's polar convention. He's very loosely based off the character Fiver from one of my favorite novels, Watership Down. Today I go frame hunting for this one.

There will also be two more of these wooden tag portraits in the update:

"The Seal Ambassador"

acrylic on wood laminate tag

3.5 x 5"

{ Sold }

The last one is an ermine and I am just wrapping up on his particular portrait.

All in all, a very lusciously colored and serious-meets-whimsical series that I'm quite pleased with. I hope to see you all on Thursday!

Have a splendid day, dears!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Owls And Mammoths

Happy 4th, all you States peeps!

I live in a town that does its fireworks celebrations on the 3rd, so I've already pretty much had my fill of sky explosions. Tonight will be spent indoors at the painting table as I scramble to finish up the last handful of paintings for the Polar series.

Speaking of which, I have a couple more to show you.
"The Arctic General"
acrylic on cradled hardboard
6x6", 1.5" thick
"Arrival Of The Last Woolly"
acrylic on cradled hardboard
4x4", 1/2" thick

That snowy owl General was supposed to be crownless, what with being a general and all. Crowns sort of get in the way of air combat. We had a bit of a debate over the idea, and in the end, I caved and gave him a little crown of his own. After all, he's an important member of the Polar Royal court. Never argue with a decorated owl.

And I had to paint a mammoth. A particularly paranoid and goofy one, at that. This one has red string tied around his tusks so that he remembers to leave/arrive at the polar convention on time.

I'll be back on Monday with more paintings and an official date for the shop unveiling! Have a great holiday and weekend, everybody!