May 28, 2009

New Art: It's Raining Hearts

Whew, it's been a busy day at the ol' Keys household! Thought I would share this little illustration:

It's Raining Hearts
7x9.5in Watercolor on hot press paper.

This was originally created for an EBSQ show, “Reinterpreting Children's Art”. I based it on a drawing my sister did for me when she was a child, of a girl standing in the rain (except the rain was hearts!). The duck with the red umbrella just showed up on his own, I think he saw her dancing there and thought it looked like fun!

Original is available in my Etsy Shop

And, this is the original drawing my sister did, lo these many years ago :)

Time to get back to work, I'm afraid I haven't much to say this evening!

May 27, 2009

Gnomish goodness and toys!

Well good afternoon!
It is really quite hot here in Northern California. I am wishing for a pool...
This is how my Pa's birthday present turned out:

We had a fun time yesterday, went with my Pa, the Grandfolk and my Mommy to a cheesecake restaurant and I had a REALLY good salad and a REALLY good piece of almond amaretto cheesecake. Oh, raptures! I think that was the best cheesecake I've had, ever. Dut went to check for Green Lights again last night but I didn't go. He found one, and then another bioluminescent caterpillar!! It had a row of glowing dots on its back. Rats, I missed it. So maybe we'll go again and THEN I'll bring my camera. :)
I decided to dig out an old dollhouse of mine and paint it brown:

I think maybe some rusty tan or cedar red type color for trim accents... still have to do that. The bear family is moving in! Remember those Sylvanian Families from the 80s? I still have most of my Evergreen grey bear family from when I was a kid. So they are moving in to the dollhouse. Looking rather sparse still... maybe I'll figure out how to make furniture, as buying it is rather too expensive!

As many of you know I am a big fan of toys. I don't think we should ever have to give them up, or our imaginations! Perhaps that puts me in a special class of geekery, but oh well. ;) No sense in changing that either now that I'm a big girl.

May 25, 2009

WIP Gnome Girl and Garden Madness

Good afternoon, world!
Here's a peek at my WIP of Araya for my dad's birthday. Ack, have to finish today, his birthday is tomorrow!

After this I have to get seriously busy on another painting (haven't even drawn it yet, agh) for a show at EBSQ, an online artist gallery I am a member of. You are supposed to find a drawing that a little kid has done and then make your own version of it! Think the show is called "Childhood Re-visited". I found a cute one my sister did for me probably at about 11 years old that I am going to re-visit. It was between that and one of my youngest brother's "rug cats" that he used to do. They were so cute! He'd always draw these cats curled up on a rug full of crazy patterns. I miss both of their childhood selves...
So our garden is really working! The "downstairs garden" as I call it is growing tall, the tomatoes are starting to flower, the zucchini is starting to form. The upside down tomatoes aren't growing as fast but they still seem to be doing well. Maybe it just takes them longer to get to the fruiting.

Here is a cute little tomato flower:

Zucchini madness in a tupperware "pot":

Look at the little guys! The zucchini is what is growing beneath those funny hairy flower-things.

We inherited a pot of oregano. Have to put it in a much bigger pot so it will grow nice and large, and then we can pick off pieces for cooking!

A view of the sprouting "upstairs garden". No, we don't have any stairs, it's just that this one is in back of the house on top of the hill. Those cucumbers are going crazy!

Lastly, the Oleanders are starting to flower. I'm not a huge fan of Oleanders, but I thought this shade of reddish-magenta was pretty. They'll lighten a bit later to more of a fuchsia.

Thanks for hanging in there with my garden pictures! I'm just too excited that it is actually working.

May 23, 2009

Mermaid goodness, macaroni salad, and an Interview!

It's been a good and busy Saturday -- had a barbecue with our church family, which was full of the lovely foods that pop up at potlucks. I brought macaroni salad and spice cake. :) I couldn't even try it all there was so much! Got too full. It's a huge blessing to be able to say that, really. So many people are going hungry and homeless especially nowadays, I'm really learning to count my blessings. This means no more complaining about how dirty my house gets with all this red clay dust around here!! Ouch, conviction for me there! Seriously, I'm lucky to have food and housing.

*News!* I have recently been interviewed by the wonderful Elena of Elena's Easel, if you'd like to read more about the behind-the-scenes part of my art! Also check out Elena's adorable colored pencil children's illustrations, I love the jungle animals. :)
Here is the interview!

I finished painting the two little mermaid art cards, which were fun. I wonder what a mermaid town would look like?

I decided to do auctions for these girls. Click here for the auctions!

Coral ACEO
2.5x3.5in. Watercolor on hot press paper.
Coral is a very curious girl from Mermaid Town, and she likes to collect shells from all of her explorations and bring home many strange pets.

2.5x3.5in. Watercolor on hot press paper.
Kara is a girl from Mermaid Town with a big imagination. She hopes to live in a sand castle someday!

I think my Pa and I might go look for Green Lights again tonight. If so, I'm definitely bringing my camera. Night, all!

May 22, 2009

WIP Sketches and "Green Lights" glow worms

Great scott, it is after 1am! And I'm still sketching... might call it quits after this blog post though. Today is all about works-in-progress, and I thought I might share some of them.

(Click picture to see larger version!)
So these are the things I'm working on right now. The little gnome girl is actually my niece Araya, and it's supposed to be for my dad's birthday. :) He never reads this blog, so he won't know! I looked at so many cute pictures of mice for reference that I might just have to go snuggle my cat from cute overload. Not that I wouldn't have snuggled him anyway. ;) Anyway, I'm really excited about the painting that is half-finished in particular! Here is a close-up of the girl's face:

Like I had mentioned in an earlier post, I'm trying to get the look I used to achieve with acrylics and oils, except with watercolor. It's actually started to work!! Getting the contrast right is rather challenging I must say.
Oh dear, moth just bit the dust literally in my floor lamp -- doesn't smell pretty. And now it is on fire!!! @_@
Had to turn it off. That was alarming. Back to our regular scheduled programming.
So last night my dad and I went on the annual trek to go look for "Green Lights" as we call them, which are a species of glow worm that are really rare; wish I could remember the scientific name for them! Anyway they only come out for about a week or so of the year, in mid to late May. We've only ever found them around this particular pond, and go every year to look. They look just like little green stars shining out from the grass and rocks! We found 3 last night and we shall go back a little later to see if any more come out. Next time I'll bring my camera and hope I can keep it still enough to get a good picture. It was really pretty out last night, the big pond was glassy and reflected back all of the stars.
It is sad that the more they develop the land around the pond, the less Green Lights we find. I guess that is getting to be a big problem for glow worms the world round, they need such specific conditions to survive. They are beautiful creatures!

May 20, 2009

Rabbit illustration!

Time for a new rabbit painting....

Leaves for Stew
5x7in Watercolor on hot press paper.
Lily and Mother Rabbit are collecting aromatic leaves for the stew they are going to make for that evening's supper.

Click here to buy original
Click here to buy prints & such

These rabbits were fun. Last night I started painting a sketch I've had laying around for months, and I am really loving it! I was wistfully wishing for the kind of look I used to get with acrylics and oils, and so am trying to achieve something like that with the watercolors. It is a bit more time-consuming I must say, but it looks super cool I think.
Today is my baby brother's birthday! He is 15 years old. I'm old enough to be his mom really, and that's kind of how I relate to him by default. I suppose I get less mom-ish the older he gets. We are all going to see Wolverine at the movies.
My tomato and zucchini plants are getting ready to flower!!! I can hardly believe it! As a first-time vegetable gardener, these things are exciting. ;) The zucchini plants are getting absolutely huge.
Okay, now SOMEBODY make me stop eating crackers and get down to some more work.

May 19, 2009

Garden for a Princess

It's high time I posted my latest painting!

Garden for a Princess
5x7in. Watercolor on hot press paper.
This royal maiden is enjoying a stroll within the castle gardens.

Original is on Etsy
Prints & such are on ArtWanted

It is warm and summery here in the hilly forest, and the heat makes me feel slow and stupid. The constant guzzling of water is helping, though. I have a stack of paintings waiting for me to get cracking on them! I'm trying to decide if time would be better spent painting as many paintings as I can, or if it would be better to spend most of my time on the marketing of it. Half and half? It won't matter how many paintings there are if no one can find them, I suppose.
Nose to the grindstone for me.

May 18, 2009

Sketching, it's what's for dinner

Hello world!
Thought I'd make a post of recent sketches. It's been suggested that I make a whole series of Jane Austen-y (and suchlike) illustrations, so I did some practicing for Mr. Darcy. There was a whole page of men, but here's a better one (heh).

That's Doctor Who on the left, by the way. ;) Hm... is Darcy stuffy enough? Dashing enough? Men are a lot harder for me to draw!
I have taken to quick-sketching things around me, as I am rather weak with manmade objects drawingwise. Hey, it's an episode of Fringe on my laptop! I think I like how the headphones turned out best. These really are fun, and I've done some whilst sitting in the passenger seat of the car sketching other cars. And I *hate* drawing cars, but this way was fun.

Whilst in one of my frequent artist blocks I remembered that a really great way to get ideas is just to draw a bunch of thumbnails. That is what I did here, and have already sprouted many drawings to paint off of it. Must remember to do this more often!!

Lastly, here is some gratuitous Kiba spam:

Had a busy weekend full of being in a parade (yipes!) with smiling and waving until my face fell off. Plus, a photographer came up and took a picture of me and I hope I don't wind up in the paper. *nervous laugh* Also I went to my good friend's wedding shower, whom I've known since we were 11 or 12! Can't believe she's getting married -- she used to be my ONE friend in 6th grade, seriously. If she was not at school lunch I ate it alone with the dandelions. And, I hung out at my mommy's house making delicious things and attempting to watch Ghost Hunters on an annoyingly skippy internet connection.
I had wanted to draw when I got home tonight, but instead got an urge to sew a dress. And thus now it is 12:30pm and time for bed!

May 15, 2009

Garden Obsession...and Art!

Hi everyone!
I know, long time no see... I've been so wrapped up in planting the front and back gardens that it's been a little bit of an obsession, heheh. Finally today I got everything planted, so I should be around more! I tend to be a bit all-or-nothing with some things. Also, we've had some unfortunate family drama and I still don't know how it's going to work out -- lots of worry and stress! I am trying to follow God's orders, "Trust in Me" and leave it to Him to work out. I just hate it when little children get stuck in the middle of big fat drama; it really hurts them the most. :(
Anyway, I've discovered that even when I go quiet on the blog front I still manage to do a bunch of Twittering! Easy to get in those little thoughts, eh.
I've got a new painting to share! This little girl was fun to paint, I was really digging the bright green in the background. And the cherry tomatoes make me hungry...

Unexpected Friend

Original is on Etsy!

I have so many things to say backlogged that I've forgotten most of it. Sigh. Who wants to see my garden? :)

My little box of zinnias, with remnants of old sidewalk chalk underneath. I think that was a crow saying "caw", heheh.

I found this WONDERFUL SMELLING basil at the store. I can hardly wait for it to grow up so we can have pesto!! Even just looking at the leaves makes me want to eat it.

Part of our big vegetable garden up on the hill behind the house. This, of course, is corn. There are also carrots, beets, peas, cauliflower, watermelon, cantaloupe, squash, cucumbers, onions, peppers and okra in the big garden. Besides the front garden of tomatoes, zucchini, bell peppers and herbs. I am weird, I dearly love okra. At least fried in cornmeal, I don't know about any squishy soup. ;) Surely *something* will grow, yes??? It's our first real vegetable garden, went a little crazy with it.

This little "volunteer" squash was found growing in the compost heap. It is growing right out of the old squash! There are some green onions sprouting in the compost as well.

The front yard with various potted things. The plants are already much taller than this, they are growing like crazy!

These are the wild sweet peas that spring up every year in the little meadow at the bottom of our hill. I always have to take pictures. ;)

Perhaps I will begin a practice of writing several blog posts in advance so I will not get backlogged again and won't feel pressured, heh. In fact, I will write some more now as this is already too long. Good evening, all!

May 14, 2009

Illustration Friday: Parade


Sunny growing season is here, and the children are celebrating by having their own parade across the garden, joined by their pets.

Original is on Etsy
Prints are on ArtWanted