Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Woodland Sprites and Sugar Plum Fairies

It's that time of year again! As I sit here on my couch with a cup of tea in one hand, sketchbook in the other, and a warm cuddly cat on my legs I feel most content and happy. Life is pretty grand, indeed. I hope you have a cozy and pleasant Christmas and holiday season!

Thank you so much for your support and kind words, folks.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

On The Interwebs

My grand plans of updating the blog while away on my 3-month research adventure up in the San Juan Islands sorta, well, failed. Miserably so. I was so busy in the lab, out in the field, meeting new folks, doing/writing/presenting my research, and all-around having one of the most amazing experiences of my life that I had little to no time for the internet. Which is a pretty blissful state to be in, frankly.

However! I am here to announce that a) the shop is open and taking orders again and b) I now have a facebook page for my art! Finally! You can find me here:

Eggman Studios on Facebook

I've held out for so long primarily because I'm terrible with social media and find it all sorta confusing. But it's time to enter the modern era and all that jazz. I'll still be keeping the blog alive and updated when new things are made, but I'm hoping the post-and-run nature of Facebook will make it easier for me to post and update regularly.

For the remainder of the night, I'll be working on some paintings and plans for new pieces, but I also thought I'd share a few pictures from my time at Friday Harbor Labs on San Juan Island (which I am already aching to go back to)...

I spent most of my time there conducting research on the effects of warming ocean temperatures on byssal thread production in a cold-tolerant, native species of mussel. Here you can see one of my mussel test subjects in the flow tank, sticking out his "foot" to make byssal threads (the hair-like threads mussels create to tether themselves to rocks).

I also got to catch and play with lots of different intertidal invertebrates as well as various fishes, such as this teeny Pacific spiny lumpsucker (known as one of the cutest fish alive--I can see why!).

Thanks to my Ichthyology class at Friday Harbor Labs, I am now able to identify by scientific name over 50 species of local fishes (meet Agnopsis vulsa, also known as the "Northern spearnose poacher"). 
Every morning I'd wake up to the foghorns of passing ferries and I'd get to see this out my door. Heavenly.

I also met so many amazing people and made a lot of wonderful friends. So happy to have had the opportunity to go!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Incoming Tide

Goodness, this summer has completely flown by. I was hoping to get so much more down, but lots of projects (some related, some not) have dropped into my lap. But I'm really excited about them! One is an album cover design for a local Seattle rock band named Service Animal. This will be their first EP and all (band mates and myself included) are stoked to get the album released to the public. It's been a while since I've tackled a design project--and never have I done an album--but this has been an utter joy to work on. The release date will be later in the year, and I'll link to it for you to check out (their music is really good!).

Second up, I was notified last month that I was accepted into a very well-known marine research program with a scholarship up at the UW's Friday Harbor Laboratories in the San Juan Islands. It's one quarter long and I'll be living in the blissful idyllic environs of Friday Harbor on San Juan Island  for 2.5 months until December. Part of my time will be spent conducting intertidal marine research and part will be spent in a class/lab setting with courses on fish (which will be a nice change in between my studies on marine invertebrates) and also ocean physics. Needless to say, I am very, very excited. And nervous. But mostly excited. I'm frantically packing things away and getting ready to move there in less than two weeks.

What this also means is that I'll need to put the shop on "vacation mode" while I'm away, as I won't have easy post office access. The shop will close Sept. 23rd won't reopen until mid-December, so if there's something in there that you've had an eye on for Christmas, now's the time to get it!

Up above are some more spreads of paintings and souvenirs from my art journal. Included are: a favorite quote by Rachel Carson from her book "Edge of the Sea" (which I read and loved); a painted crab wallpaper design; lichen I collected while snowshoeing earlier in the year; a ticket stub for Moonrise Kingdom (saw it twice in July and was completely smitten); a polaroid I took on top of my unfinished 2nd quilt; and a painting of a cedar waxwing I came across while on a walk over the summer (first time seeing one in the wild!).

While these next couple of months will likely see more marine science material on the blog while I'm away doing research,  I hope you'll stick around! Learning about and researching our salty sea friends is my biggest artistic inspiration.


Friday, August 10, 2012

Art Journal Part IV: Ice World

Some day, I'd really like to visit Antarctica (preferably to do research). I realized a month or two ago that my "list of places I most want to see" is dominated by cold-climate locales. Antarctica, Iceland, Northern Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands... Then again, my closet is also dominated by sweaters and coats (I don't even own a pair of shorts). Guess that says a lot.

I hope to have a finished painting or two to share with you soon--just need to do the final layers. Happy weekend, gang!

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Halloween Mail

New in the shop! I'm really excited to be offering these. Halloween faux postage stamp sticker packs!

I actually drew and designed these last year when I was frustrated with the serious lack of spooky themed postage (really USPS, what gives? The Poe stamps were amazing and are still among my faves...but why don't you come up with a new slightly-Halloweenish stamp design every year?) and used them on my outgoing Halloween mail (with real stamps too, of course). They were quite the hit. I tweaked them just a smidge this year with a thinner paper to replicate the look and feel of "real" stamps and used a pair of stamp edge perforating scissors for the finishing touch. So happy with the outcome!

Each pack contains 8 of these 1x1.25" stamp stickers (2 of each design). They're entirely handmade by me in the studio (drawn, designed, printed, cut, and stickerized with a Xyron machine). Right now I only have 3 packs available, as I'm testing the waters to see how these do before spending an all-out day in production mode.

I love mail and stamps and Halloween and mail art. When all combine together, it's like hot caramel sauce and ice cream: complete and utter happiness.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Art Journal Part III: Polychaetes

While working in the lab with WA Dept. of Ecology's marine sediment monitoring team, I spend hours sorting through sediment samples under a microscope to sort/identify the invertebrates. We do a "broad sort" first into 4 phyla (Mollusca, Arthropoda, Echinodermata, and Polychaeta) and then these get further broken down into family and/or species level. There's a crazy amount of variety with the polychaetes ("tube dwelling" marine worms), and a good chunk of my time is spent disentangling them from one another for identification. I've become pretty good at immediately recognizing some polychaete species!

My favorites are always the little arthropods, however. In the marine world, these are the crabs, shrimps, ostracods, etc. The little hairy legs! The teeny black eyes! I die every time.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Art Journal Part II: Raven Song

A spread from the art journal on 2012 "firsts". There's a mated pair of ravens that live in a tree near my apartment and I hear/see them every morning, so naturally, the first bird I heard on New Year's was a raven. They are amazing birds and I've been honored to actually help rehabilitate a young one at the wildlife shelter a year ago.

Have a fabulous weekend, folks!

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Art Journal Part I: Bird List

A spread from my art journal that was done back in January. I was so excited to have seen a golden eagle in the wild that I immediately came home and jotted it down in my book. Wish I had been able to snap a picture of him.

There are quite a few pages in my art journal and sketchbook that I'll be posting to the blog in the coming days, so stay tuned for more!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Within Pools Of Sea Stars And Barnacles

The octopus painting I alluded to earlier is in the shop:
acrylic and gold composite leaf on cradled hardboard

I thought I'd also share some photos I snapped last month when I went tidepooling at one of my favorite spots along the rugged Strait of Juan de Fuca here in Washington. Back in January I spent my New Year's day at the same location (during that trip, I saw a dead giant Pacific octopus among the rocks--it was both sad and awe-inspiring at the same time).

It's so gorgeous there, with lots of different substrates and ocean-worn eye candy.

The tide pools are seen at low tide along the lava rocks (formed eons ago). You never know what you'll come across...

A small blood star...
A large ochre star...
A sea star the size of a thumbnail...
Perhaps a green anemone...
Or a stranded sea urchin.

Here, you'll always find plenty of kelp beds washing against the rocks, as well as what may seem to be miles of mussel beds.
It truly is one of my favorite places to spend a wet and salty Northwest day.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Salty Sea Air

More new painting sneak peeks! I've been working on quite a few small pieces lately--I think because I have so very many ideas busting through the pages of my sketchbook right now, painting small is a guaranteed way of making sure my favorite ideas see the light.

This one is just about completed and will be in the shop on Tuesday, July 24th...
A deep sea arctic octopus (total painting size is 4x4"). I'm pleased with the outcome! And goodness the gold leaf really does set this guy off. It's a small painting, but packs quite a punch.
Here's a peek at a 5x7" gull painting that's really coming along. When finished, he'll be surrounded by gigantic looming flowers.
And, while not a painting, here's a sneak peek snapshot from my workbench at the Dept. of Ecology (this is a small vial of molluscs I sorted out from one sediment sample--some of those clams and snails are roughly the size of a pinhead!). I help out with the sorting/identifying of benthic invertebrates found in the marine sediment samples that our team collects from Puget Sound. The resulting data helps us to see how healthy the ecology of the Sound is.
Last month and also in April I went out with the Ecology marine sediment monitoring team to collect sediment samples (in the picture above, I'm the one in the yellow). It's so much fun to be out on the boat. Plus, seeing what critters come up in the mud from 100 feet or more below is always exciting...
The sediment is sieved for invertebrates and then bottled up to be taken back to the lab for sorting.
Lots of marine worms!

It's very interesting work. And gives invaluable data for local marine restoration efforts (some of which appear to be paying off--a few locations that were once heavily contaminated with low biological diversity are now beginning to flourish again).

Have a fabulous weekend, guys!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Awake From A Long Slumber

Hello, hello, my friends! I know it’s been far, far too long. I’ve long wanted to update this blog but the truth is, that between my long days spent in class and labs coupled with lots of fieldwork and a marine taxonomy internship with Washington State’s Department of Ecology….there just hasn’t been the time.

But! That’s not to say I haven’t been sketching, painting, and scheming. I’m on the last pages of my current sketchbook and have a small stack of paintings to be listed in the shop, with more to come! This Thursday (July 12th), I’ll be listing three tiny slug paintings {update: now all sold}:

Each one is painted on thick watercolor paper in acrylics, varnished, and comes in its own itty bitty sage green envelope (mailed inside a larger envelope to meet postal regulations).
Then on Friday (July 13th), I’ll be listing this small albino bullfrog (*update: now sold*):
He’s every bit as mysterious and captivating as you would expect an albino bullfrog to be. I thought Friday the 13th would be a mighty appropriate day to put him in the shop. There’s more a’comin’, so stay tuned!

Back in December I also moved my belongings, myself, and the cat into a miniature-sized studio apartment at my mom and stepdad’s house temporarily to help with the educational financial burden (and am ever so grateful—going back to college has hit the pocketbook pretty hard). It’s small and hidden in the woods and oh-so-cozy…

Yes, these pictures were taken in December. And it’s July (the Christmas tree was long ago packed back up, never fear!). I was a bit worried that I would have to drastically downsize in the art department to fit everything in there, but it all found a place in the end! My tiny boat-sized kitchen is located behind my art-packed bookcase (painted a pistachio green) and the dvd cabinet... 
I have an antique quilt top draped across the entrance door for privacy...
And the painting table is a bustlin’ with activity and inspiration…

And of course, this little ragamuffin is doing fine as well.
What you don't see in the pictures here is how my gigantic art printer and scanner are housed away in the hall closet with my clothes hanging above, and the "shipping station" takes up an entire linen closet.

Whew! I think that’s all I’ll bombard you with for the moment. If there are any readers still remaining out there, thanks for staying with me! I’ll be back with more paintings to share soon.