Thursday, February 25, 2010

Baby Kai's portrait made it to a Treasury List on Etsy! Basically out of all the paintings and photos of children, one of the Etsy staff picked mine (and about 10 others) on her Children List. Yay! Thank you so much. More exposure is what it's all about, right? I just think that maybe I should do more portraits. I don't think that this painting looks like Kai outright (and not to mention he's 7 now!) hence the reason I won't do commissions of people (YET).

Speaking of exposure I gots to get my *ss on the ball! I have been slackin' big time. What is it about the Olympics that make me want to watch every event? Especially the skating? Maybe it's my admiration of strength and determination of these kids that really intrigues me. Or maybe it's just watching the tight butts on the guys! LOL In any regards, I'm watching the ladies skating tonight and then I think I'm done. I have got to get back to the drawing table. Oh and one more thing about the Olympics, I don't like any of the US uniforms this year. The bobsled suits are this dingy blue color like they've been washed too many times and the acrobatic ski jumpers looked like they were wearing starry pajamas. Anyway......

Got to work on the newsletter today. That's the goal.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The power of the doodle

So, you may not know this already, but I work in an office M-F doing administrative tasks as well as accounts receivable. I am on the phone most of the afternoon calling people to find out why they didn't pay our bills and what can we do to get them paid. Sometimes I'm on a call for a while listening over and over why so and so didn't pay their bills. Little do they know, I'm doodling.

Doodling is not and will never be a bad thing. It keeps the mind fresh and active. I read an article once and it said that you had a better memory of what was being said during a lecture or meeting if you had been doodling all the while. Something about shutting everything out except the person's voice. Here's some interesting articles about how doodling can help a business

and what exactly what your doodling might say about you

Here at work, it's all about geotechnical engineering. In no way do I work with any artists, but in filing a lot of paper work, I'm seeing more and more doodles in the margins of calc paper and printed out emails. To me, that's the way it should be!!

I find that my doodles are more dictated by the pen or pencil I'm using. A felt tip pen will mean more straight black and while lines where as a pencil will make me work in a lot of shading. And I draw more cats and birds than anything else. Especially quails. It's as if every bird isn't complete with out that doo-dad that they have on their head.

This image is a collection of doodles that I've done. I keep all the ones I have (they do crack me up - as in, "what were you thinking that day?") I encourage you to keep doodling!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Valentine's, President's day, Chinese New Year, birthdays

You really didn't know that all of those celebrations were wrapped up this past weekend? ha! We took a trip up to Wallingford VT and this was the Birthday card that I made for my friend Dave

I spent my days with J, my Valentine, ice fishing in Benson VT on Lake Champlain. We were able to find a little corner cove to tuck into, built a fire on the shore and just had a really nice day. So nice, in fact, I went out with him on the 2nd day as well. But this time I went for a walk in the woods. My intentions were to look for antlers of the whitetail, but all I found was poop. Owell.

I also met the "Cookie People" who live down the street from my friends in Vermont. They make AWESOME cupcakes and cookies and of course we stuffed our faces full of these treats! You can follow her blog here

According to the Chinese New Year, it's the year of the tiger. GGGRRRRRR! Hope it's fierce!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Catch all the Love you can!

Well, this is a sweet Valentine card illustration that I made years ago back when I was doing hand drawn cards all the time. I love the lil' bird :) I thought it was an appropriate piece to put up despite how old it is because love never gets old, right?
This weekend I'm heading to Vermont to hang with friends and loved ones that are all creative! Very excited. My friend Dave is a ceramic artist and his wife does some amazing cooking. You can find their blog here: I hope I get to play with clay!!!
My friend Trace, Dave's sister is also joining us with her SO and her dog. She's a beader, jeweler so the creativity is just bound to flow. You can find her blog here:
J is heading up to and you know there will be plenty of ICE FISHING! It's a way of life in the North Country!
Happy Valentine Day!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Bo Revisited ... A color challenge

So Here he is again. I added more layer last night. Now, the picture I was given, Bo had a pinkish tone to him. I didn't think it was the printer, in fact, it looked more like that twilight pink hue that happens to appear on things just after the sun goes down. I love it, but I'll be damned if I could reproduce that color in the painting. I tried red & Burnt umber with blue, no. I tried violet and yellow and that's what I applied to the painting. Now sweet Bo looks like he has a case of jaundice! I'm thinking to stop! Stop what you're doing and work with pencils before you ruin the whole thing and start over. And then thinking what if a wee bit more pink...... I'll try again tonight and let you all know!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Winner of the GC00028

The winner emailed me the picture of his Golden, Bo and the gift certificate that he won at the fundraiser, so I was able to get started last night. Because of the commission, this painting is done on the Arches 140lb cold press. This is the first layer of paint so more to come. Thanks Vic, for supporting CAPS (Churchill Animal Protection Society)!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Ready for another weekend....

Because this one was just too short.

I managed to finish the Scottish Terrier. And just in time because I received an email from the winner of this years CAPS event donation ( a gift certificate for a 5x7" pet portrait) and will start that this week. Do you have an organization that depends on public funding? Do you hold events, auctions and raffles for those funds? Contact me for a gift certificate for a commissioned watercolor painting. They usually bring in a lot more than what they're worth!

I also did a quick sketch of the view out my kitchen window, which at 3:30 on a Feb afternoon in the city looked pretty urban and gray. We do have a view of the skyline, but it's much more impressive at night. I was thinking of stepping out on the porch and doing some sketching of that (maybe some pastels on black paper) but it was too cold (15 degrees F). Instead, stayed up to watch Them Crooked Vultures make an appearance as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live. If you haven't heard of these guys, oh you're missing out.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Scottish Terrier Revisited

So here's the painting with out the pencil overlay. It wasn't as bad as I had anticipated with the paint & the cotman paper. I think I'm really learning how to master this. Which is GOOD, right? :)
As you know, I've joined this Challenge of being "Creative Everyday" and I have to admit I've fallen back into my old habits. Back when I joined, I was sketching everything, making food for friends and then occasionally sitting down at my desk to do some watercoloring. It's weird though, because I have this stack (and I mean stack!) of photos of different things that I feel I must paint them all. And they're all going to be watercolors. And then, when I'm out that circle - usually when I'm hanging out at the "space" where J and the boys rehearse, I'm thinking of the things I would like to do and forever have been thinking about it.
One of these is the Bug series. I'm a nature lover and have a great macro lens and started snapping pics of bugs. The funkier the better (NE Kingdom VT has some great bugs!) And wanted to take these and make BIG paintings out of them. Kind of an expose of the bugs and really how beautiful they are.... My friend P asked me (when I told him about this) "why haven't you done it?" And I really didn't have an answer. Maybe because I'm too busy with the stack of over 100 pictures of dogs?? I don't know. Maybe we'll go and do one and see where it goes from there.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Scottish Terrier on Cotman paper

So, If you've been following this blog, you know that I have a ream of Cotman paper that I'm trying to use up. Watercolors are my thing and I prefer the Arches coldpress, but got a ream of this Cotman. The artworks end up as mixed medias, but hey, that's okay too.
This is a Scottish Terrier that I'm working on. This is going to be a challenge on this paper because this dog is entirely black. The Cotman has issues holding on to the paint so that this may end up pretty smudgey.... we'll see. My other challenge is to try to keep my black consistantly black. I don't use black paint out of the tube, instead I mix Burnt Umber and Ultramarine Blue. So I have to try to be careful not to go too brown or too blue. And then, since this will be a mixed media piece, when the pencil overlay comes in.. that's when the blues and the browns show up.

Monday, February 1, 2010

weekend in Vermont

So the past weekend J & I went to VT for some freezing fun!

I was out of work early so I was able to finish the cow painting.

This is the same cow painting, but with the overlay of prismacolor pencils (I apologize for the poor quality of this photo and as soon as I get a bunch under my belt to scan, I'll upload the better picture).

As I turned the calander page this morning, I realized that I hadn't done a painting of a pair for the website. In the past, I would do an animal painting that reflected the time of year and personally I have been slackin'! So I think I'll start one tonight. Nobody's really been to the site in some time (makes me sad) but who would when I haven't changed anything in some time?

Saturday J & I hiked Lord's Hill in Marshfield. Such a nice day for the hike. We didn't see any deer but I did see chickadees, nuthatches, a pilated woodpecker and 2 wild turkeys. And a rainbow in the sky that didn't look like a rainbow at first it was so bright. Almost like another sun. (What planet am I on??) This picture does not do winter woods justice. I took this with my phone, but took others with my camera. Times like this I wish I had a nice digital, but I'm going to wait til my 35mm craps out on me. And quiet? No skimobiles, no planes, cars or even the occasional chainsaw tear. Nothing. It was quite surreal.

Sunday we went up to Mallet's Bay in Colchester and J did a little ice fishing. I hung out in the car most of the time. It was cold! And we were able to drive right on the ice. I know people from there do it all the time, in fact there was one car doing 360s all over the place, but being a flatlander a.k.a. from Massachusetts, I still can't stop being just a wee bit nervous about driving on the ice!