Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Student Art Show

"Just Dandy" Acrylic, etc.
Today was the last day to submit art for the student show at Centennial Art Center. So of course, I had to make a new one at the last minute. This one, unlike the rest, has no prior claim and can be sold. After taking Hazel's suggestion, it is up for $350.
Since I've never really painted my stuff in a classroom environment, it's kind of funny to see what people think of it as I go. Generally, they don't expect you to go from painting a pretty face to giant hairdo...and then put pearls in it. And the hummingbird was apparently just over the top. But, I fought off Hazel's attempts to have me sign it and be done, and I think I rather like it. I might do a series of 3 dandies.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


I've mentioned it before, but I may as well mention it again, I am a huge fan of Halloween. And I spend a ridiculous amount of time on costumes. Because I have to make them. I can't remember ever having bought one. Ever. Before I made my own, my mom made them for me. We made the below Disney ones for Mickey's not so Scary Halloween Party. But no one outside of Disney was going to recognize the Sherrif of Nottingham, and I wasn't a huge fan of the way my costume came out. It didn't fit right and it was spray painted. So, after some closet diving, we came up with the dead pirate plan. Arg.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Up to Something

"To Sea" Arylic on Canvas
I haven't been very active about posting lately and it's my plan to change that...Hopefully I will be able to get the illustration of the week back on schedule, and I would like to send updates on what I'm doing in class and the dreaded Notre Dame de Paris project.
Today I finised a painting that I've been working on for years. Seriously. Not everyday, of course, but years. A bunch of them. This was for G:
"Glockenspiel" Acrylic, etc. on Canvas

Amazingly, after the bunches of years of dissatisfaction, I'm ready to be done with it and I feel as though it is ready to be done. Some day there may be a real clock in the clock face, but not yet. Because of that, I thought I would post the other two paintings I've finished in the last couple weeks. "To Sea" I started Monday and managed to bring to completion yesterday. And below is Cathy Jo's birthday present:

"Turtle Bird" Acrylic on Canvas

This was based on an excellent picture G took snorkling in Hawaii.

Pats self on back.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


"1st Year Flying" Acrylic on Canvas-ish
I've kind of wanted to start illustrating Harry Potter, so I decided that now was as good a time as any. So here's my first one, poor Neville on his out-of-control broom. I had some problems with it at first, and then I realized that I just needed to make it looser and stop fussing with the details.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Bedroom Pattern
Well, they asked for it. Done mainly in Illustrator with a wee bit of Gimp.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


"Mise en Abime with Funny Bird" Colored Pencil
Here I am, trying to get back into the swing of things. I decided to go for colored pencil, which I generally avoid for final illos. I think it's my lack of patience. I like them for sketches and color studies, but it usually takes me so long to cover enough area to get the strong colors I like. But, I think bird-wise I managed. I do like funny birds.
It occured to me later that it would have been easier to do the reflection bit on the computer. Sigh.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


"Hiding" vector art
Oddly enough this isn't the first animal that popped into my head when I saw the theme, bear was and I don't know why. But I wanted to do a similar illo to the Elephants on Parade one.
While I was reading up on chameleons, I discovered that they only change color based on temperature or mood and not based on what they're sitting on, which makes more sense really. So, since I was confused, I thought I would share in case anyone else happened to be too.
Here are some other versions I played with:

Thursday, May 21, 2009


"The Yawn" Digital Painting
I remember hearing about someone who wrote a philosophy paper on yawns and why they are contagious. Something about how the person yawning near you is sucking in enough air to change the air pressure around you causing you to yawn as well...I thought it was silly but clever.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


"Pink Elephants on Parade" Vector Art
Phew, managed to pick something doable. Or rather I started on time. Once I came up with the thought of pink elephants on parade (a la Disney), I wanted them patterned, and then I wanted to make my own pattern. And I've wanted for a while to make a Damask-ish pattern (they're plaid and polka dotted in the movie), which has proved no easy task. I'm still not quite happy with the pattern itself but it's getting close and I had some fun playing with Illustrator and like the colors and the way the pattern works throughout the piece. I'm thinking, though, that perhaps the red floor with the pink elephants may hurt just a little bit...but for now I'm stopping the criticizing and starting the just being happy to have finished.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


"A Bird May Love a Fish..." Acrylic
Or vice-versa, of course.  I've found that I'm always drawn to images with an unusual perspective but I tend to go for the most obvious, so I'm trying to mix it up a little bit.  It is harder, of course, and I think I could have worked this one out a little better, but at least I think it's reasonably apparent what the perspective is, which makes it reasonable successful :D

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Color Study for "Fleeting"
This is a quickish color study I did for a painting I have in my head. It would be much bigger, about 12"x24" and the figure would be smaller. I've started to find that by working small, I'm unable to give the effect of an immense landscape. I can't help but make the figures big enough to go into some detail on them. I think I will make it more like what I had in my head, which was a sort of brownscale painting, with some bits of color in her clothing and on the ribbon leash.
Fleeting always makes me think of deer and gazelle (this is a gerenuk, an african gazelle...or it will be). They seem so still and peaceful, and then they're gone so quickly. It's also meant to incorporate some images of spring and youth, which are fleeting.

I'll be covering up the skyish and making it all tree if I can.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Atlanta Aquarium

Marine Life Sketches from Atlanta Aquarium

A couple of weeks ago I went to down to Atlanta with my sister in law. While she was looking at schools, I walked out to the aquarium and spent as much time there as seemed reasonable. G and I are big fans of zoos and aquariums, but I won't make him wait with me while I try to sketch a moving subject. These pages are further on when I stopped trying to get a good sketch of zooming sharks and rays in the big tanks and elbowed my way in to the smaller tanks where the fish were better at posing. So here we have a pirannah, a leafy sea dragon (so cool!) and a pretty river fish I'd never seen before, the discus. I take lots of notes when I sketch about movement, color, texture or ideas for larger pieces.

Just thought I'd post it for the fun of it. Also, I'm preparing a seperate blog for when I go to France. I have high hopes of sketching everyday at least, if not painting. I'll put a post up when I get that one running.

And if anyone's wondering, the Atlanta Aquarium is really pretty cool and definately worth a visit. They do a great job of making everything feel really interactive.

I Won, I Won!

Faked Image of my Paintingish with Award
Having a pat-myself-on-the-back moment, I've decided to share the fact that I won third place in the Woodinville Community Art Show. My friend Alyssa is babysitting this collage/painting for me, since it was a bit unwieldy to move but I didn't really want to store it. She heard about the contest, filled out all the paperwork, and dropped it off. So I hardly did anything. Thank you Alyssa!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


"Yet-to-be-Named" Acrylic
So, it was meant to be more obvious that she was gripping tightly to something at her neck, something like a talisman, but I got really carried away with the great triangular shape of her heavy-looking clothing. It was inspired by one of my clothing reference books, an 1863 fashion. It's not a period of costume history I particularly admire, but..it's so...triangular...I couldn't resist.
I'm wondering, though, if I shouldn't have made her coloring a little more subtle. I was going to have that be a scarlet cape-ish, but I pulled back. Maybe it's just that I got it done so quickly. I finished yesterday, but it felt so wrong to be done already Monday that I waited until today to take a picture of it.
Any title suggestions?
Also, the snowiness came out of the weird two days of winter we're having here, sandwiched between 80 degree weather...

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


"Ballerina" Watercolor, Acrylic, Digital touch-ups
So this is an oldie. I had a plan for, and started a new illo, but I'm driving down to Atlanta today, so I'm not going to end up having any time. I'll still finish it and we'll see if I can use it for a future IF post. The ballerina is another sort of Halloween costume concept.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Leiafly With Mushroom

"Leiafly" Digital Collage and Painting
Leia is my adorable and not-so-camera-shy neice who was a butterfly/angel/fairy for Halloween. I had done the original Leiafly painting for an Illustration Friday post, but then re-created it when I found the site sxc.com. The background here is a picture by Adam Jakubiak, who had posted some very nice mushroom pictures. So this was the final project that I made for my mother for Christmas.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


"Apples" Watercolor, Acrylic and Tempura
"If you have five apples and you give Suzie two..." Subtract made me think of those word problems we all used to get as kids. At first I was just going to have a sort of still life of apples with a hand taking some away, but I got a bit carried away.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


"Alligators in the Sewers" Watercolor, Colored Pencil, Digital
Legend usually would make me think of mythology or fairy tales, subjects that I am very drawn to. And I did have some Greek goddesses flash to mind as well as scenes from the movies "Legend" (you know, the one with the unicorns and the glitter and a wee Tom Cruise donning armor and going after a large-horned Tim Curry?). But nonetheless, while urban legends aren't so much my thing, I thought it would be fun to illustrate one. The sewers are modeled after some really immense looking Japanese sewers because of their imensity and the columns (reminiscent of the Greek legend appeal).
As I was working on it, I sort of wished that I had gone for something a bit lighter, especially because of the warm sunny weather we're having here, but I had already committed. So hopefully something lighter for next week.
So there you go, once again trying to get back into the swing of things!

Thursday, February 12, 2009


"Time" Mixed Media

This piece went through a remarkable amount of steps for not a lot to show for it. It started as a sketch, and then I picked out some wood grain and some details in colored pencil:

My hands were shiney with graphite. Then I watercolored it to make it more wood colored, and then painted light color on top of that: I used metallic paint for the numbers and hands. Still not liking it, I layered both in Gimp, duplicated, multiplied, merged, smudged and came out with the top image.
The clock is modled after cuckoo clocks, which I secretly think are really cool. The four women are meant to symbolize the four seasons. The bottom figures that rotate were meant to represent the course of the day (evening in the red dress, morning is emerging in a nightgown and slippers). The upper figures are representative of aging, old man is emerging, and there is sort of a figure of a baby behind the fence to the left of him. The clock also has a slot to show the moon cycle.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Miss Elizabeth Bennet

Much better.
Sometimes I find that it's easier to take a picture of a painting so long as I can manage it at a good angle and without glare. My scans are always washed out and not quite right...

Thursday, February 5, 2009


"Miss Elizabeth Bennet" Acrylic
I'm re-reading Pride and Prejudice for the first time in almost 10 years. I had completely forgotten how good it is. Lizzie is a flawed character, as are all of Austen's characters, but maybe that's why they're so much fun to read about. Certainly my Lizzie is flawed, she seems to be missing a left wrist. I'm happy with the painting but not the scan, I will try to post a better version, but at the moment, it's already the last minute, once again :)

A Near Dolly Experience

Monday afternoon I got a call from the editor of the magazine I'm working on saying that she had an extra press pass to a charity event that evening and did I want to go. She said there would be a lot of musicians there, but Dolly Parton was headlining it and I could go back stage with her to get interviews. She said we had fantastic seats. I was super excited. It was my mission to get my picture taken with Dolly. She's just so glittery and adorable.

I did some research before going to find out who the other musicians were. Kellie Pickler and Ronnie Dunn (Brooks and Dunn) would be there too. I looked up pictures and infor on the ones I didn't know. I put make up on.

When we got there, we were herded into a roped off area with other press while we waited to get brought in for interviews. And waited. Rumors circulated. It turns out 60 minutes and CMT were also there...and interviewing...and time passed. By the time we got back there the big people were either getting ready to go on or had just gone on. And just like that, my photo op with the great Ms. Parton passed. But I did get to see her perform (Jolene, Coat of Many Colors, and 9 to 5 with Kellie Pickler), and to prove I was about 5 feet from her, I have this, the clearest of my blurry pictures I took at her:


Thursday, January 29, 2009


"Climbing" Watercolor pastels
This is a simple one, mostly for lack of time, but also because I thought a nice simple one would be good for a change. I've been reading "Dream Worlds" by Hans Bacher, who is a production designer for Disney. He has all of these beautiful but simple pastel studies of interestingly framed landscapes and people. So while this is not quite anything like it, I thought it would be a good excercise for me to think more about how I frame things.


"Aunt Margaret" Acrylic
This is my interpretation of the character of Aunt Margaret from Angela Carter's "The Magic Toy Shop" (not a children's book fyi). I read it in college and I love the use of color throughout. Aunt Margaret is so pale that her brother used white paint straight out of the tube for her portrait and her hair is so red it looks like it's fire.
So anyhow, this was my idea for last week's IF theme of "pale" but I didn't quite get it finished in time. Alas! But I'm trying desperately to get back in the swing of things and not get pulled in by the tide of wedding plans.