Sunday, September 14, 2014

Ebay to Paypal to Dickblick...the circle of life!

I finally made top seller this month on eBay.  Over 400 cards sold and starting to get private exciting. Driving 100 miles a day to teach high school math cuts down my productivity this time of year, but I still managing to get things done. I just completed a beautiful little illustration for a radio station in pasedena for a vintage radio show...The Cinnamon Bear.
I have a solo show in May and need to put that together, but those darned art cards are so much fun.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Gouache Relief ACEOs

What a great year!

I have been making and selling ACEOs ( 2.5" x 3.5" art cards) since January and have made great contacts all across the US.
I have sold over 100 and have started to get some commissions.  These teeny pieces of art are my new obsession.
Oddly, the most collectible is a style that I always personally enjoyed, but since I learned the techniques in grade school, I didn't value enough...gouache relief (also known as gouache release).
A brief description of gouache Relief
I sketch the basic form with pen and ink on 140lb cold pressed watercolor paper.  Then gouache is painted into the negative spaces carefully leaving the inked lines and areas where I want shading exposed.  The piece is left to dry overnight. Next, I apply a coat of black India ink to cover the entire painting and allow the piece to dry over night.  Here comes my favorite part.  The piece is held under running water to wash away the ink and some of the gouache.  The piece is then placed between two paper towels and weighted down with my copy of the Collected Works of Shakespeare to completely dry flat. The result is a one of a kind painting that resembles a wood block print.

I have been using this technique to create a series of "Wee Animals".

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Go ask Alice!

Summer is winding down for me and hours spent painting are being replaced with hours of math lesson plans.  I finished the grandson's birthday present. I had some requests to do similar illustrative art...I don't know...I have a career that already keeps me fairly busy...I need projects that feed my soul not my pocket...I would have to be very selective.

I need to find a photographer to photograph my paintings as they are too large for the scanners available in my area.  I don't know why there isn't a large bed scanner at Commercial Press in Cumberland. There is such a burgeoning artist community here...strange.
I enjoyed copying the William Etty and think I am beginning to achieve a light enough underpainting technique to glaze over properly.

I have paused to contemplate a palette to glaze this underpainting, an original work entitled "Falling". I want to keep it fairly dark and moody as I was thinking about the veiled sexual awakening in "Alice and Wonderland" when I drew it...a bit disturbing considering how old Alice was when Carroll wrote it.  Notice I made Alice more womanly, perhaps to keep from creeping myself out. Perhaps I should illustrate the whole novel as a gift to my children.  I've read it aloud 20 or more times.

Monday, July 29, 2013

School around the Corner

I spent the morning coating some really nice watercolor paper with studio gesso.  This worked very nicely.  I am running out of canvases.  I also worked up several nude studies in conte in my moleskine notebook and applied new washes to the William Etty copy I am husband says that she is very sexy.
I can't believe how quickly the Summer has gone...two short weeks until I meet my shiny new adolescent WestVirginians.  I have planning and pacing guides to do, but can't seem to get started.  I'm having too much fun making art...ah well...

Sunday, July 28, 2013

After Etty

There is an interesting light that emanates from the fleshtones of William Etty.  I have really developed and interest in portrait creation and thought that I would copy the drawings and paintings of William Etty for awhile.  I don't know where this will lead.  I'm currently obsessed with creating a series of portraits of drag kings and the style of Etty.  Could be a real hoot.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


I added more glazes today and verdaccio for the moon's face.  I was told that my imaginary species of fish actually resembles a South American Dorado. If the last week of having an actual space to work is any indication, I am entering a very productive second life.  Possibilities abound.  I had just retread The Tempest when I drew is in my Moleskine art journal several months ago. Perhaps I should do a whole series.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Setting Up My Studio

   My last child has moved into an apartment leaving a very large room empty.  I know he won't be moving back because we actually bought the little house near the campus that he and his older sister are living in.  I am torn between empty nest syndrome and excitement at a new chapter of independence and exploration.
     I have spent the last week turning the room into an art studio.  My husband built me a 3' by 4' desk with an adjustable top and lots of storage underneath. I have room for my oils, pens and inks, brushes, canvases, gesso, etc.  I can see everything and have access like I never have had before.
     Interestingly enough, I thought that I would journal just until I had room for an actual studio. And now wonder if there is art on a larger scale inside me.  Does anyone else ever wonder why we even make art.  What is the compulsion?
    I wish I had a moleskine sketchbook that was poster size.