Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Fog

It is one of those days where I'm walking around in a fog. The sky is a monochromatic shade of gray, and I've been running behind since my feet hit the ground this morning. The house is a mess, and I don't even know where/how to begin. I found a book titled "Organizing Your Home" in a 3 foot high pile of books and paper. Yeah. That's how it is going so far.

My current schedule is kinda wearing me down. It all looks so good on paper but sometimes living it is a whole other story. Hopefully I'll find some energy to tackle things real soon. Maybe my energy is buried is in a huge pile of stuff too?

I haven't uploaded a playlist in a quite a while, so here are a bunch of songs added to my most recent list that have caught my ear lately. Not much to say about them but that I heard them or rediscovered them and they just felt good.

Happy weekend folks! (I'm aiming for an attitude adjustment by the time I return!)

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Illustration Friday: Clumsy

I started this drawing the day before this week's Illustration Friday topic was revealed, and when I saw that the word was 'clumsy' it was a great motivator to get this little illustration ready to roll.

This marks the beginning of an exciting new series of small affordable prints, I'm calling "Friendly Little Reminders" that will be available in my Etsy shop starting today!

Selling for a wee $20 bucks, these giclee prints measure 8 x 10 inches and will slip easily into any store bought frame, making a perfect little gift or a friendly reminder to hang on your wall.

I read this quote a few weeks ago from a book of "American Proverbs" and the image of a banana peel laying in wait popped into my head. We all get tripped up, slipping on little things along our way - but slips are just slips. So true!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wall Wednesday: #2 Geninne Zlatkis

This Wall Wednesday I'm featuring artist Geninne Zlatkis. I've been a huge fan of Geninne's blog for a few years now. Her watercolors never cease to amaze and inspire me. I was super excited when she opened up her Etsy shop in 2006 and have been adding stuff to my list of 'favorites' on Etsy ever since.

Not only are her paintings and mixed media pieces fabulous, she also lives and works in spaces that are equally inspiring and are also frequently shown on her blog. Every time I look at a picture of her home or studio I feel more inspired to make the spaces I live and work in more "me". She lives in Mexico with her husband, two sons and an adorable dog named Turbo .

I love that her paintings are realistic, yet very whimsical and full of imagination. I also admire her use of collage and the sense of play that each piece carries.

Her prints sell for about $25 dollars. Making her a even more perfect person to showcase on this Wall Wednesday! Thanks Geninne!

Want to know more about the multi-talented Geninne?

A great interview about her work and her life can be found here.

You can visit her blog: Geninne's Art Blog

See her photos on Flickr

And of course, visit her Etsy shop!

From Geninne's Desk - looks like fun!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Random Tuesday Ramblings

If you ever see me taking notes at a meeting, this is probably what I am actually doing; doodling images of Shakespeare, bunny slippers, pastries and letters that I love.

My computer's shiny new hard drive decided to kick the bucket last night, leaving me computer-less for (GASP!) about 18 hours. As a result I didn't get to do my normal blog post. I am very grateful for my sweet resident computer GENIUS who brought my dear machine back to life, and for the automatic back-ups that happen daily in our house. Thank you! All is well now in Computerland.

Big things planned for this week. I've got a great Wall Wednesday artist to talk about tomorrow, and a peek at my "new" process for Thursday! Stay tuned, blog friends!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Illustration Friday: Wilderness

How could I resist dedicating this post to one of my heroes Dick Proenekke, solo star of the documentary "Alone in The Wilderness"? If you've never watched the series, grab yourself a warm beverage and go here now to be introduced.

The first time I watched the series my hubby and I had turned on the tv one boring evening (back when we had those sort of evenings) and there he was. His voiced over narration was so soft and drone-like I had unpleasant flashbacks to those science filmstrips we had to watch before the world was blessed with VHS.

A few minutes into "Alone…" though, we were both riveted with the story of this man's chosen life in the woods. I was awestruck with his bravery, resourcefulness, and creativity. And talk about the ultimate off the grid do it your selfer. Wow - so impressive.
This guy was magic: turning tin cans into door hinges, whiting his own spoons, hunting his own food, making a canoe out of a tree. All in a days work for Mr. Proenneke. In addition to all that he had the foresight to create a wonderful piece of 'reality tv' decades before anyone else.

So there you have it! My inspiration for this sketch was based on this great photo. Don't you love his cap?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wall Wednesday: #1 Matte Stephens

Hi folks. I had an inspiration recently for a recurring blog post I'm going to call Wall Wednesday. In 2010 my goal is to have less boring walls. You heard it here first. My friends gently poke fun at the fact that as person who makes 2-D work (posters!) for a living has the most bare nekkid walls this side of the Columbia. No kidding, I do. It is kind of embarrassing, really. My walls have just been hanging out in their birthday suit for years and years, and I have been ignoring their cries to dress them in something, anything.

So this year I am taking the bull by the horns. I am going to purchase art I like and can afford. I will frame it, and I will hang it on my walls. This is the NO MORE BORING WALLS MANIFESTO.

I think a lot of people have this issue, maybe not so horribly bad as me but it is out there. Just last week another mom at the co-op preschool we attend was telling me about a print she bought at a frame store. She got it home and decided she didn't like it, and was kind of bummed. When I asked her if she'd ever heard of Etsy and she hadn't, I excitedly told her all about the great original art prints you can find there.
So, that is what this feature will be about. Great prints for your walls, that you can find on Etsy. My goal is to feature pieces that are under $100 buckaroos.

do nothing by Matte Stephens

So, first things first! Wall Wednesday #1 Matte Stephens.

I am a huge and long time fan of this talented guy's work. I love the colors and shapes he uses, and his subject matter always makes me smile. He recently moved to Portland, Oregon (yes officially have all the cool stuff now) and shows work at Veloicty Art and Design in Seattle. Someday I hope to own an original painting, but I am so happy that he offers beautiful prints in his Etsy shop.

I just purchased the print above titled "do nothing" for $60. I've been coveting it for a while now on Etsy and decided what better way to kick off the NO MORE BORING WALLS MOVEMENT of 2010 than with this! Sorry for the all caps, people - I'm just trying to channel my excitement.

Here is a wonderful interview with Matte about his work and process.

You can read his blog here

And you can find his prints at his Etsy shop

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Out and About: Snow Falling on Cedars

Last summer I had the pleasure of working with the great folks at Portland Center Stage on the show graphic for the play Snow Falling on Cedars, adapted from David Guterson's book by Kevin McKeon.

The images for Ragtime came pretty easy for me but I got a full on case of Illustrator's Block about the imagery for this play. The book was such a huge deal in the Pacific Northwest when it came out. All of my friends and family raved about it. Unwilling to jump on the bandwagon - I totally avoided reading it for a few years. But then a friend of mine was cleaning out her books and gave a dogeared copy to me. I read it, and surprisingly enjoyed it - very much. Then I saw the movie - which had such lovely cinematography (the muted colors they captured in that movie were amazing). So, it was had to think of something fresh, and unexpected for this familiar piece of work.

Lucky for me, PCS has a great graphic designer, Michael Buchino (the man behind the infamous Bread Revue) who art directed this image and helped me get over my stumped state of being. We had so many conversations and over the phone brainstorming sessions about this image I was sure he was going to think I was a bit nutty (perhaps he does anyway). But it was one of those great collaborations with a client where because of their input, your work ends up a million times better than had you done it all by yourself. I love when that happens!

The folks at PCS have been so kind to tell me when the people behind the scenes say nice stuff about my work. They have told me that this image is getting the love from many people involved with the production. That always makes me feel extry proud, and so happy about what I get to do for a living.

The show is open now, and getting rave reviews! So, if you are in Portland, get your tickets for the show here.

Friday, January 15, 2010

January Giveaway Winner is...

Jeff S! Congrats Jeff! I reached my hand into my very soggy hat and pulled out your name (ok, it actually was a random number generator that gave me #42). I hope you enjoy your cards!

Thanks everyone for subscribing to my e-newsletter. If you haven't signed up to win free stuff, just click on the link at right to be in the mix for the February giveaway.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Illustration Friday: Confined

Initially I thought I'd bore you with some kind of story about being stuck in my house for 7 days without a glimmer of the outside world while getting over the flu last week - but I'm moving on!

Recently I had a huge breakthrough with my art and process that is blowing my mind. It is as if all of the knowledge I've collected over the past 10 years strangely came together one ordinary afternoon. Ideas that had been confined to the deepest recesses of my gray matter suddenly shook themselves loose and made themselves known.

I'm still not quite over the shock, and I am still sorting through all of this new information - but it is an amazing feeling and is infusing me with energy and excitement about art-making again.

More soon....

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

January Giveaway!

Hi Friends! As promised here is the giveaway from my etsy shop this month, a pack of my
TV Thank You note cards, just in time for all of those holiday "thank yous" you still need to write.

To be entered to win, click on the link at right to sign up for my mailing list. If you've already signed up thank you very much, you'll automatically be entered to win.

I'll be picking a lucky name out of a soggy rain barrel on Friday, January 15th!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Illustration Friday: Renewal

Here's my contribution for Illustration Friday this week - right at the last minute.

Where I grew up, there were always a lot of little lizards running around in the summer. Many of my friends caught them and kept them as pets. The whole thing kind of grossed me out - I secretly dreaded the Lizard Catching Season. One day I got brave enough to hold one and the lizard's tail literally snapped off in my hand, leaving a perfect bloody stub. I felt horrible for the little guy, but also sure I was going to upchuck the bologna sandwich I'd been lucky enough to score for lunch.

"Don't worry", my friend said as she slipped the now tail-less reptile back into the aquarium she kept in her room, "he'll grow a new one." What? For reals? And sure enough he did.

The New Year is all about Resolutions - a capital "R" one time chance to start over. But I much prefer the idea of renewal. Continually giving yourself to start fresh every moment of every day - the ability to grow new ideas, new aspirations, and new starts.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Fresh Starts

Hi Friends. I'm down and out with a nasty case of the flu. Not my ideal way to start the new year. I had a great first day of 2010. Went to the studio and started getting organized. Then..slam! The next day I was taken down. So, I've had a lot of thinking time over the past few days in between naps, strange feverish dreams, and movies on Netflix on demand. In a way I feel like I'll get a second 'new year' when I am feeling better - another chance to make a fresh start.

More soon, when I get over this crap. In the meantime - Happy 2010!