27 June 2009

Keeping My Promises

i have been remiss in providing limited time only FREE ART DOWNLOADS to readers of this blog! As some of you may know, i offer archival quality B&W prints of my original drawings in my etsy shop. These pieces make up my You Color It Collection. It's a fun DIY project for anyone who never really grew out of their coloring book obsession, but who maybe likes things a bit more fancy and/or mature than My Little Pony nowadays. ( i personally love MLP still, but, you get my drift). For the next 3 days, this artwork titled "Slouchy Bag", in all its high-resolution clarity, will be FREE for you to download and color to your heart's content. Just click the image to get the full size version in your browser window and then drag to your desktop and print. Enjoy! - xoxo, stephanie
OH! and i'm open to suggestions for future downloads and subject matter you'd like to see, so comment away with your ideas.

24 June 2009

Tattoos Are Permanent!

Someone contacted me recently after browsing my etsy shop. She really connected with some of the high contrast black line art she found there. She asked if i'd consider creating a butterfly in that same style so she could have it TATTOOED on her body!? Of course, i said, "yes," and promptly got to work. i hope she'll send photos of the finished ink and allow me to share it with you all very soon.

23 June 2009

Bright Baby

Lately, we've been thinking it's time to add to our family. With thoughts of a little girl's room wandering through my mind this past weekend, i painted this. i think i would want some overscale abstract paintings on the walls in lovely, vibrant colors that are not too specifically "child" themed. But i may change my mind about a million times before aforementioned additions actually join our family, so who knows? For now i will be happy to have nurseries and chic kids' rooms as my muse.

22 June 2009

God Knows I Make & Use These!

i just recently posted tiny little illustrations in my etsy shop....so tiny, they're printed on notecards!

i am notorious for forgetting the card. Birthdays, anniversaries, even new babies arriving! i buy the gift and wrap it all pretty, and forget the card. So i solve my own dysfunction by keeping my petite blank cards with original illustration on the front in my top desk drawer. i use any random, pretty card to jot quick notes. But i recently started using the Every Occasion cards to personalize notes of congratulations!, happy birthday!, welcome baby! and the like.

i color in the b&w design by hand in a way i know the recipient will like and fill in the "sign" with a funny, personal greeting. then i write something heartfelt on the inside! its much more of a memento than a pre-fab card and i get a lot of joy from making it perfectly suitable to the recipient.

i will likely continue to add to the designs offered in this style. Keep checking back for more!

21 June 2009

Getting Crafty Pre-Father's Day

My little buddy and i spent some time together painting away today. We made a FIMO clay plaque for daddy ("i love my daddy") which coop later painted in colors he picked himself!! Well, truth be told, i did secretly hide the pink he pulled out. His otherwise masculine palette of blues and aquas and yellow was so nice on its own!! i know, i know....i can't believe i stifled his creativity, but really, the pale grandma pink just had to go!

After fingers were scrubbed and the plaque was set aside to dry, mommy got to painting herself ...um.....MY-self. I got the underpainting and texture onto a new mixed media piece in progress. Would ya look at that? It's all bright and vivid. What a surprise! I will post an update when i finish this piece. But i AM starting to like it just as it is...hmmm....

18 June 2009

Painting Cute Faces

I just added portraits, both pencil and painted, into my etsy shop. i thought about it a lot because i had all but determined that i only wanted to list my original pieces there and not commission-able(don't think that's a word at all!) ones. Long story short, i've had a fair amount of interest in the portraits of late and i felt it best that they be represented. Now, if only etsy will come through for all the shop owners who've asked and provide a nice tool for sorting our listings, i can keep the custom work in its own private corner of the shop and not mixed in with the original pieces and prints : )

Above, you can see a finished portrait in the monchromatic style made to match the wall they are hung on in the house. Actually, the sides of the canvases (there are 3 siblings in the series) are painted to an exact match of the wall color!

i love capturing kids. It's very satisfying. i hope i have many more opportunities to do it.

16 June 2009

Excuses, excuses!

Sorry all, i've been working on some new pieces that are time-consuming and really different for me. i realized today, that some "in-progress" photos might be a good solution for posts to fill the gap til the art is finished. Yah...i'll be getting that for ya'll asap : ) Hope it'll be worth the wait!!

11 June 2009

Loving the Freeform Watercolors

What can i say about this? Watercolor is so engaging and magnetic. It's partly a product of the medium and partly the artist's hand...throw in a little gravity, a little luck. Maybe there's a breeze in the studio that day and the paint dries more quickly. Who knows?

Since so much of my work is heavy in the planning stages and then heavy and refined in the execution as well, it's nice to let my wrist go loose with a watercolor brush in-hand and remember the happiness i get from expressionism.

When i made this painting, i only squeezed a few colors onto the palette. i was not careful to mix tones before applying them. i let it happen very organically. If i felt a need for more yellow in a swooping brush stroke, i went for it. If i needed more saturation, i liberally loaded my brush. Being fearless always makes for the nicest outcome. i also think there's a confidence and boldness that exists in knowing when to stop. This piece said just about everything i needed it to say once the loose, twisting and rising form was laid down. When it dried, i felt it needed a glimmer in its eye : ) i added the flashes of controlled white to inject a bit of my demure, controlled, yet sparkly (read: quirky) nature into the piece. Just a tiny dose was enough. Now it feels almost like a self-portrait.

10 June 2009

Change Up

i go in spurts. i get on an ink kick for a few weeks and then i need to do something looser to re-set my clock. Or i do abstracts for a while and then feel a NEED to paint some figures. This is a vibrant, loose watercolor i did tonight. It was so very good for me. No pressure...a study, really. Now THAT is fun!

09 June 2009

i am bad at selling

i did my first outdoor market this past weekend. i learned a few things.

1. there are some talented crafters all around us here in PA!!!!
2. Some people are marvels of organization!!!
3. Some people are excellent at selling their wares.
4. i am not one of the people mentioned above.
5. i have a very distinct market for the type of art i create. i need to seek it out...then send my husband, my best friends or maybe even some strangers to sell the goods in my place - haha!

It isn't that i lack pride in my work or even that i don't like people. i love people! i just have a hard time making eye contact with a stranger who is almost certainly trying NOT to make eye contact with me, since that might imply they should buy something. and i have a hard time saying, "my hard work is worth x number of dollars." In short, i should not be my own repsresentative at events like this. i knew it going in. But now i am sure. Some people have a fear of public speaking...i have a fear of public selling!

So what to do?

Hmmm....i'm thinking i should make a more strenuous push toward online advertising, print advertising, blog contacting and just cranking out work that i love.....at least until my hives start to fade. : )

04 June 2009

Rainy Days

Has it been raining forever? Or is it just me?

i'm not gonna lie and say that i see the silver lining in rainy days. i pretty much loathe them. Grey skies and dampness make me want to go back to bed til the sun comes out. BUT! maybe if rainy days were blue or raindrops were twinkly and sparkly, i'd like them better. This artwork is the prettiest version of a raincloud i could conjure. it actually makes me happy!

Sorry flowers and gardens. i am selfish. i wish it would only ever rain every third tuesday, preferrably, while i'm sleeping and don't notice.

03 June 2009

The Onion Chair

i know, i know. you're wondering why i named it the ONION chair. The very easy answer is that i think the recurring motif in the design looks like an onion...or maybe a clove of garlic?

i'm crazy. i know that. But in my head, i've come to give little designs and flourishes that i use repeatedly in my illustrations their own little names. "Pile of Rainbows", "Pincushion Blossom", "Antennae", "Star Flower." i don't do it intentionally. You should hear the inner monologue in my noggin when i'm hunkered down over a new drawing!

When it comes time to name the art, i try very hard to be organic about it. Like, if i HAD to describe the piece to a friend or needed to find it in my digital archives, what name would be logical? What would spring to mind automatically and recall the work to me??

This one is Onion Chair. i think it has character. : )

Paisley Upholstered

i am hard-pressed to think of any item in my home that couldn't be improved by a little paisley upholstery...ok, maybe not the toilet. But i generally adore paisley prints. They have a classic traditionalism to them, but also a very bohemian quality. Give me a nice, nubbly paisley upholstery fabric woven with an unusual color scheme, and i'm in love. i CANNOT decide what colors i will add to this one. But the B&W coloring-page version is available here for anyone who knows exactly what will work for them.

02 June 2009

What will YOU dream about tonight?

On her birthday, maybe your little one will fall asleep with visions of birthday cake in her head. Maybe in summer, she will dream of fireflies or sleepovers. The printed "wallpaper" in the background is composed of lots of happy suggestions!

I made this print with a blank thought balloon. When framed, a dry erase marker can be used to change the wish daily right on the glass! Ah! To be a little kid again and fill your head with pretty, happy thoughts and not a care in the world each night before dozing off. That is just exactly as it should be, no? Prints for sale in my etsy shop. And you can even request a laminated poster if you prefer not to use a frame. The lamination is wipe-able too!

I LOVE White Gel Pens!

Seriously, if i could marry a white gel pen, i think i might! Using them is addictive. The lines are so fluid and clean and they cut through saturated color is such a satisfying way.

Here is the 2nd of the watercolor puddle series. I loved my first puddle so much...and thought the same exact shape puddle in different colors would make for an interesting series, o i altered the puddle's color in photoshop, printed on archival paper and then free-handed the floral pattern on top. i have one more color planned. i am actually pretty excited, myself, to see the finished trio.

01 June 2009

Onto something new

For the past 2 weeks, i've been printing and packaging artwork for my very first outdoor art market. Printing, packaging, setting up print files, re-sizing, packaging. So monotonous. So now that i'm halfway done, i'm sorta sick of looking at everything. It inspired me to start on a whole new series of pieces that are different from those stacks of prints. This is the first. I've titled it simply Green Watercolor Leaves and will post prints to my shop shortly.

i'm sort of in love with the way watercolor bleeds across a page, oh-so-organically if you let it. it's unpredictable and bold and rough around the edges. i'm also in love with white gel pen. It is so perfectly controlled and glides obediently in fine lines across a dark background. i love how refined and restrained that looks.

So the next severeal weeks are likely to feature many works created in this style....until i exhaust its possibilities for me, and move on to yet another "something new."