Jan 30, 2009

New art: Scary Storm

Bunnies don't like thunderstorms!

Scary Storm Click here for Etsy purchase info

I need more work on perspective! Though granted, it is supposed to be a round room like inside a tree or hollow and thus it was harder to figure it out.
Ah, listening to Mozart's "Laudate Dominum" on my earphones right now, the Maria Zadori version. Heaven!!
It's a good night for sketching I think. Amidst my pile of commissions I've THANKFULLY been getting, I haven't had much time for it. But I shipped one off, have another sketch approved, and finished this rabbit painting AND started another painting.... so I think I can allow myself some fun sketching eh! I ought to make time for it anyway really, it is so necessary for getting new ideas and working things out at least for me.
It's kind of interesting how I can watch tv and listen to audio dramas whilst painting, but those are way too distracting for sketching. Have to have music and only music for that.

Jan 28, 2009

I've put "Climbing" on Etsy -- Click here for listing!

Boy is it chilly today. Sunny and bright, but COLD. The woodstove doesn't seem to be keeping up too well with it, I'm freezing over here in my room! I have some commissions to do today, some paintings to ship, and I am going to re-design my business card. In a couple of days my aunt will be here!! My brother and I have always called her "Extra", as in Extra Mom. I will be excited to see her.
And now it is time for Random Photos From My Life!

I liked how my colored pencils looked all lined up in a row. So y'all get a picture.

The results of my new cookie press and cookie book I got for Christmas. These were awesome! I need to make more!

On sunny WARM days I like to go outside and sit in the "fairy thicket" at the bottom of our hill. On this particular day I was writing old-fashioned snail mail letters with dip pens and ink. I miss snail mail letters.

I also like to take my favorite dolls along on sunny warm days to the fairy thicket. They need a good airing out too you know. ;)

And, because someone asked, this is in fact the fairies' ballroom. The one my cat broke a second doorway in, haha.

And now ends this episode of Random Photos From My Life.

Jan 27, 2009

Illustration Friday: Climbing


Looks like this chap is having some trouble climbing after those birds!

Jan 26, 2009


So I made some more ACEOs! I believe I have officially used up the last of my ACEO paper. I suppose I'll have to make some more, or paint something larger now. Anyhow, on to the critters...

Thawing Season ACEO Click here for Etsy purchase info

This kitty was another sketchbook creation -- I really like the side view here, but I am having trouble getting a front and 3/4 view that I like of this type of cat. It kind of reminds me of the bunnies I've been doing, maybe they'll live in the same village. ;) Again with my new favorite sketchy technical pen!

Needlework ACEO Click here for Etsy purchase info

I brought this Georgian bunny back for a sequel, I like her.

Lastly of the originals I found this little "old school" fairy miss that has been lying in my pile of ACEO paper for ages... finally decided to finish her up and put her on Ebay:

Little Rose ACEO Click here for auction

And finally, I have a bunch of prints/gift items/suchlike on ArtWanted of the following:

Pruning Time
One Pale Morning
Fire Contained
Winter Wings

I watch a lot of tv shows on Hulu.com and listen to a lot of radio dramas when I paint... it is funny how when I look at my paintings later I always remember what story/show it was that I listened to at the time.

Jan 22, 2009

Rabbits ahoy!

Another rabbit ACEO in the Etsy shop!

Pruning Time
Click here for Etsy purchase info

I really enjoyed this little art card. Maybe I'm coming out of my artist's block? It would be a thankfully short block cycle if so! I've been trying to figure out how to do these little rabbit characters effectively in watercolor that would capture the same charm the pencil sketches have... Maaaaybe this sketchy ink treatment is the way to go. I usually don't have a lot of luck with ink, but I discovered if I water down my sepia so that it is more of a mid to light gray color, I like the ink FAR better and I can build up the darker lines if need be. We'll see what else I can do with it. (I'm using it with a Rapidograph technical pen, by the way).
It's a rainy day here -- this is very good. We've had so little of it and our last fire season was downright scary. More rain, more rain!!
I found this nifty blog -- it's a children's book editor's blog who remains anonymous, I imagine to avoid being flooded with people trying to get published. Anyway, even though it's primarily about the writing aspect of children's book publishing I've already found some really great stuff for illustrators too! Plus this person has a pretty funny sense of humor:
Editoral Anonymous

Alas, must get back to the client website update -- I'm very grateful for the work :), but of course it is not as fun as painting!

Jan 21, 2009

Illustration Friday: Pale

One Pale Morning
The tabby siblings are on their way to school early one morning on the prairie.
Click here for Etsy purchase information!

Jan 20, 2009

Handful of ACEOs and Pesky Artist's Block

Well it's auction and shop posting time, folks! I have a couple of auctions which are getting to be rare for me these days....
Auctions are here!

Caterwaltzing ACEO

Looking for Spring ACEO

And, one little guy in my Etsy shop:

My Sweet Kitten ACEO Click here for Etsy listing


I'm busy today working on my Illustration Friday entry for the week. The word is "pale", so I decided on watercolors instead of graphite (though I'm loving the graphite!). I've been in kind of an artist's block funk, to tell the truth. These happen to me periodically, seems to come in cycles. I envy those who have so many ideas spilling out of their heads that they can barely get them to paper in time! Alas, I am not one of those. :) This is why Illustration Friday and other "assignments" are good for me, it gives me something to work with.
And, as always -- even though I'm in a creative block I'm painting through it anyway!! This is very important. Otherwise I'll have painting paralysis!
Finally I got my very own copy of Uri Shulevitz's classic book on children's illustration in the mail today (Writing With Pictures). I grew up with the one my mom has, but I wanted my own! Yay. Good gracious but I love the smell of books. This one smells like a library book to me, heh.
I also have a fair amount of website work to do (someone else's, not mine) so I'd best get crackin'.

Jan 15, 2009

More little rabbits

I've been drawing these little guys a lot.... and turned a couple of them into ACEO paintings. These are in my Etsy shop right now!

Snuggle Time

Love Letters
Also I put my drawing of the little boy camping in the shop:
Fire Contained

I thought I'd mention the children's illustration critique group I've become a member of recently is open to be viewed by the public, for anyone who'd benefit from seeing that process! It is here:
The Illustration Board
Although membership is full now, still could be educational and helpful to read, eh! And of course anyone can start their own as well for even more illustration help and camaraderie.

For my last announcement, I have a new product up at one of my wonderful licensors, My Fairy Baby -- these are personalized poem prints featuring my "Acorn Baby" painting!
Personalized Poem Print

It is really such a gorgeous day outside, I can't believe it is January! I'm sitting here in a short sleeved sundress with the window wide open. Earlier Kiba and I went out to the wooded area beside the house and I'm afraid Keebs made a new doorway in the "fairy's ballroom", hee. The ballroom is a bramble that grows in a dome shape, and little vines and such grow all over the outside of it and I always imagine the fairies must hold their parties in there. ;) Anyway, Kiba got in and couldn't find his way out again, so ripped himself a new doorway. Then I had to pick all the stickers out of his fur. Maybe some fairies pelted him with burrs on his way out, haha.
I got this rockin' 1963 Betty Crocker Cooky Book for Christmas, so I'm making some cinnamon refrigerator cookies today. I tell myself I can try out every recipe in the book, but we'll see how that goes -- there are loads of them!! I'm a sucker for homemade cookies.
Today I shall paint more on my owl & pussycat painting -- it's the same as the Illustration Friday drawing I did earlier, but with some changes and of course in color. Yeehaw!

Jan 14, 2009

Illustration Friday: Contained

Fire is generally much safer when contained.

Jan 7, 2009

Illustration Friday: Resolve

Although the wind was howling fiercely, William resolved to deliver the box of medicines to its destination.

Jan 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

A new year dawns :) -- I feel optimistic about it. Everyone has been doing these year reviews, and I feel the need to do one too...
2008 was really very, very difficult. Behind the scenes of my artwork so much was happening in my family and life that was extremely challenging, I am amazed I did as much artwork as I did. I didn't share much about any of that on my old blog or even in my circle of artistic friends, perhaps because I saw those places as a "time out" breather from everything.
I do feel like I've jumped a huge hurdle getting through it all, and spiritually it was a time of great growth and learning. Nothing quite stimulates dependence upon God and spiritual growth like the trials of life!

Despite the goings-on, here are the good things that came from 2008:
- I did 104 paintings!
- I finally saw that my heart is not in the fantasy/fairy print and product market. It is in children's illustration and that's where I am going now.
- Did a massive website re-design to reflect this vision, and I LOVE my new design. Every single border, button and accent was all hand-painted and designed first on watercolor paper before it ever got translated into website graphics.
- My painting technique has gone through a bit of a style/theme transition to become more delicate, playful, spontaneous and atmospheric rather than my previous rather formal/elegant/controlled style. It feels more like my genuine voice now.
- I've added a lot of children's illustrations to my portfolio and painted a lot more diversity of children, including boys.
- I got into a local brick-and-mortar art gallery!
- I learned how to be a good Auntie Mama for the time that I was raising my niece.
- My dad and I started going to Calvary Chapel and gained a whole new church family... they are totally awesome and we're blessed there. Also I was baptized finally.
- Two life changing studies: Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer and Waking the Dead by John Eldredge.

Things for 2009:
- I just got accepted into a children's illustration critique group full of super talented folk!! :)
- Focus the majority of my energy on getting illustration jobs.
- Etsy is in, Ebay is out.
- Develop teaching plans for possible art classes at the gallery.
- Learn the craft of writing stories... and WRITE.
- Be more involved with Illustration Friday.
- Add at least 3 publishers to my marketing list per week.
- Send out reminder postcards at least bi-annually, maybe seasonally?
- Figure out the whole Linux printer and scanner thing. At the very least, a Linux-compatible scanner so I don't have to cart my art to a different computer in order to scan it.
- Market, market, market!!! Use that mailing list, use Ping.fm to help with neglected networking sites!
- Refuse to accept rolling over and dying in this economy and FIGHT for my art business. Use my mule-ish determination to the fullest. ;)

That ought to be enough to be getting on with, eh?