Thursday, December 31, 2009

Cheers To A New Year

New Year's Eve is my all-time favorite day of the year. It's the day when we get to be the designer of our dreams. A new year holds so much promise and possibility. It's a clean slate. A new chapter. A fresh start. A do-over. On this day we get to dwell in possibility. We get to believe that this is going to be the year that ________ (fill in your wildest dreams here) Tomorrow we'll have to roll up our sleeves and get started on working to make 2010 everything we hope it will be. But today we get to sit back and just imagine all the possibilities.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I wish for you a joyful and peaceful Christmas doing whatever makes you happy. I hope Santa brings you lots of art supplies!

Friday, December 18, 2009

IF - Undone

I doubt that Yoshida Kenko was referring to laundry when he uttered this phrase, but that's how I'd like to interpret his words. I've been feeling a little artistically "undone" lately. Not due to lack of inspiration--more likely due to over-inspiration. I can't seem to focus on one project, one idea, or one technique. I keep flitting between projects and starting new ones with no sense of direction or purpose. This illustration is a perfect example. I started painting the pages of yet another altered book with gouache and then decided to try lettering with a paintbrush rather than markers and watercolors. I have a lot less control with a paintbrush and the result is pretty primitive. How many projects do you have "undone" right about now?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Over The Top Is Over And Out!!!

A few months ago, I posted about the Art House Co-op sketchbook project that I decided to join. I was assigned the theme: OVER THE TOP. After several months and hours and hours and hours of work, I am thrilled to report that my sketchbook is finally finished and on its way to Art House to join all the rest in a permanent Sketchbook Library.

I decided to use this project as an opportunity to practice my lettering...and boy did I get a lot of practice!!! Since the sketchbook paper was a bit thin and I did everything in markers, I only used one side of the page and left the other side blank. (I have this thing about show through--I don't mind it in other people's work but don't like it in my own.) I can't say that I'm happy with every page, but I'll include them all so you can see the entire finished sketchbook. You can click on the images to see them larger, and of course, you can visit the Sketchbook Library and see ALL the sketchbooks!

That's all folks! Over and out.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

IF - Entangled

I decided to do a fun, little, abstract doodle for this week's Illustration Friday theme of entangled. The word usually conjures up negative images in my mind--tangled up Christmas lights, necklaces, or even hair--but these entangled threads just look happy to me. It was done with Pitt and Micron pens and watercolor in my watercolor Moleskine.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

IF - Music

I had a difficult time with this week's Illustration Friday theme of music. It should have been an easy one, but I did a LOT of erasing before I settled on this. I tried to use as few lines as possible and added a bit of overlapping to create intersecting shapes. It was done with a Pitt pen and watercolors in my watercolor Moleskine while listening to an "oldies" radio station. I'm not ashamed to admit that 70s music is my favorite!

Friday, November 13, 2009

IF - Unbalanced

This week's Illustration Friday theme is unbalanced and I chose to illustrate this quote by Ann Landers. Take a good look at your closest friends and decide who the unbalanced one happens to be. Is it you? Maybe unbalanced is the new eccentric.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

IF - Blur

May you all have a supremely blurry weekend!
Now get out there and play.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

IF - Skinny

This is one reason why I will never be skinny again! Done with micron pens and watercolor in my watercolor Moleskine for this week's Illustration Friday theme of skinny. I don't think you can see it in the scan, but I used some Twinkling H2Os for the first time ever and I LOVE the shimmering effect. I will definitely be playing with these a lot more in my watercolor work.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

It Takes A Long Time To Grow Young

It takes a long time to grow young. - Pablo Picasso

I'm definitely on my way! Don't you just love this cake that was designed especially for me? I know I do. I hope you all had a day as fabulous as mine!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

IF - Fast

My submission for Illustration Friday this week is a quote about the gazelle and the lion. They both need to be fast to survive. This quote reminds me how important it is to get moving every day. It was done with Micron pens and watercolor in my watercolor Moleskine.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Whole Lotta Lettering Going On

I've been trying to limit my art activities lately to projects that really need to be finished and projects that have a definitive purpose. (As opposed to all those crazy "what if" ideas that are constantly running through my brain!) My Art House sketchbook is at the top of the list of projects that need to be finished. Even though the deadline was extended to January, I feel like I'm running out of steam and would like to be finished with it. The good news is that I finally feel like I've turned a corner and am headed to the finish line. In the meantime, I've managed to sneak a few lettering projects in between sketchbook pages.

A postcard for Kim because we love Seinfeld in this family.

A postcard for Zack who followed his dream to the Big Apple where I wish him success and happiness.

A wedding memento for Bridget and Rick who were married on October 3rd.

A birthday card for Kim who was born on October 3rd.

And finally, the piece I made for Sarah who was the winner of my blogiversary giveaway.

Friday, October 16, 2009

IF - Frozen

You scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream! This week's Illustration Friday theme is frozen, and I chose to illustrate my favorite frozen treat. This one is for all the ice cream lovers out there (you know who you are!) who I'm sure will agree with this chilling revelation. Go ahead--get yourself a scoop or two. Nobody wants to live a meaningless life!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Let's Go On A Treasure Hunt

Last weekend, Cathy, Casey and I ventured out to the annual open house of Riverdog Studio & Gallery. Riverdog is owned and operated by husband and wife multi media artists Deborah Banyas and T.P. Speer. The studio is situated on 20 acres and was converted from a property that was once a summer camp. The main building is a combination gallery space and working studio that is simply amazing. In addition to their artwork, you can also see some of Deborah and T.P.'s fabulous collection of folk art plus a studio space that has everything an artist could possibly want including a photo studio and wood shop.

A really fun feature of the open house is the chance to go on a treasure hunt on the extensive property and choose a piece of art from the treasure chest if you complete the task. You are provided with a map and the first of eight clues. Each clue leads you to the next and a rubber stamp proves you found each and every one in the correct sequence. If you get to the last clue and return to the gallery with a small head, (yes, I said head) you get to pick out a treasure. Even though a treasure hunt sounds like child's play, trust me when I tell you that it's not.

We spent close to two hours traipsing through meadows, wetland trails, brambles, bushes and branches looking for bee hives, wells, and this caterpillar infestation. Cathy and I thought we would fare better this year since we had Casey with us--she's young, energetic, and grew up on a farm. Even that wasn't enough to help us find clue #2 easily. We searched forever for this small tree infested with caterpillars. The clue said it was "just past" the settler's house. In reality, it was way, way, way, way past the settler's house. I suppose that's the difference between the way city folk and country folk interpret distances.

The very last clue led us to this bad baby in the woods. How creepy is that?

So creepy that we just couldn't stop looking at it and taking pictures of it.

Enough already!

At last, we found the heads! They were sprouting like mushrooms on fallen trees and logs.

These little polymer clay masterpieces are what Deborah uses in her artwork to create whimsical wall sculptures.

Hey, this one looks like Casey!

See what I mean?

Here's my treasure map complete with rubber stamps and the required head. Now I'm off to collect my prize.

Ta da! Here's what I chose from the treasure chest. Isn't he adorable? Was he worth an entire afternoon spent with my friends, soaking up art and inspiration indoors and fresh air and sunshine outdoors?

Yep. Totally worth it.