October 24, 2016

Sketchbook Monday: Mushroom Forest

"Sketchbook: Mushroom Forest", recycled collage and acrylic paint.

My sketchbook spread this week started with dozens of old business cards collaged into my book. There are also a few old drawings and scraps of paper which have been sitting in my "to be collaged" pile for years. I liked this collage because I kept it looking messy. It's hard to do that, really. My hands love to refine things until they are smooth. But just like with a clay sculpture, oftentimes things look better if you don't smooth everything into oblivion and you leave a little of that natural texture behind.

October 18, 2016

Sketchbook Monday: Bird & Bugs Swarm

"Sketchbook: Bird & Bugs Swarm", acrylic paint, collaged paper, micron pen.

So I am a day late for my Sketchbook Monday post.
My little bird just passed away last week and it seems that everything is taking me extra long to finish, especially if I'm working in the studio because that's where she lived. I would work on artwork during the day and she would be on my shoulder or walking around on her play area next to me. She was great company and I miss her dearly.

So look for her to pop up in my drawings and paintings. Here she is in the lower right corner of the sketchbook spread.

October 12, 2016

Beautiful Bird Print - Free Giveaway!

Yesterday I just announced this Giveaway on my Facebook page, but I'm going to open this up to my blog followers too. A few of you have even been visiting since the very beginning, which is just amazing. Thank you
(( I just looked up my very first post from 2008 about selling my very first original! I didn't realize how this blog has really been so intertwined into my art journey. ))
So, the Giveaway:

Share your favorite bird painting from my Etsy online shop to be entered into a Free Print Giveaway! 

Do this by clicking on your favorite bird in my shop (you have 20 to choose from), scroll down past the "Add to Cart" and "Favorite" button on your right, directly underneath those buttons you will see three buttons allowing you to share this print on social media sites. Tweet, Pin it on Pinterest, or post it to Tumblr. Lastly, post a link to your share in the comments below THIS blog post to be entered into the Giveaway.
I want to thank the people who have supported me and encouraged me thus far through this Giveaway. On Friday October 21st I will draw one name at random and announce the winner that evening. You will receive the bird print that you share so pick wisely, my friends!
Good luck & thank you!

October 10, 2016

Sketchbook Monday: Mushrooms and Olives

Well, here goes nothing!

Andrew's hate of olives and mushrooms inspired my very first Sketchbook Monday post. (I love to drive him a little crazy) Though I jumped to starting this sketchbook spread the very same night that I publicly declared that I would be posting a sketchbook spread every week, it was a little hard to finish the pages today. My bad habit of starting and never finishing things runs rampant in my sketchbook. Hopefully this exercise will cure me of that!

October 6, 2016

Sketchbook Monday: a new tradition

Friends, I realized something this past week: I do not use a sketchbook anymore.
My sketchbook routine used to be the main artery to the creative part of my brain, and now my book is just filled with to-do lists and boring half-finished drawings from a year ago. Six or seven years ago I would start on a new book every two or three months because I would finish them so quickly by drawing, painting, and collaging from cover-to-cover. I've had my current sketchbook for over a year! Note: there is nothing wrong with not using a sketchbook; many of my creative peers do not, and that's okay! But for me, this was something I loved and enjoyed and it even brought a little more freshness to my ideas. I'm still very happy with where my creative projects are going, but I think that using a sketchbook again would bring something rich back to my practice.
So I'd like to start a new tradition to jump start my sketchbook practice.  

Every Monday I'm going to be posting at least one spread from my sketchbook here on my blog and I will call it "Sketchbook Monday". Hello, accountability.

If you want to follow along, feel free to check back on Monday evenings or subscribe to the blog to get updates sent to your email address. You can either do this by subscribing to my blog on Bloglovin.com
or by scrolling to the bottom of this page and simply adding your email to my list.

October 4, 2016

October Update

I think I can safely say that every year around this time I write a blog post about the changing of the seasons. The transition from summer to fall always seems so drastic to me. Summer is my favorite season; I love to see green things growing all around me and to feel the warm sun on my skin. When I notice the chill in my knuckles and my bare feet, it signals the end of those warm days and the fact that everything will change for the next 6 months. I guess that's why I feel as if the natural New Year is happening now instead of at the end of December. Regardless, I am enjoying my time right now.

My grandparents asked me to paint them a 4' x 5' painting on canvas of a flower still life. I've never painted something so large, I never use canvas, and though I paint flowers on occasion, they are never my main subject matter.
BUT I am so Blessed to still have my grandparents, so I'm doing my best to create this piece for them!

This is definitely a work-in-progress... I'm just really hoping they like it when it's finished.

September 28, 2016


Bobolink bird
"Bobolink", acrylic paint and collage on recycled paper, 6" x 6".

In this painting, I depicted the male bobolink during summer with his jet black plumage and white cap. Before fall he molts off his spring outfit and adopts the brown coloring of the females.

Click to buy an eco-friendly print.

Blue Winged Warbler

Blue Winged Warbler bird
"Blue Winged Warbler", acrylic paint and collage on recycled paper, 6" x 6".

Click to buy an eco-friendly print.

Blue Jay

Blue Jay bird
"Blue Jay", acrylic paint and collage on recycled paper, 6" x 6".

A sticky note found its way onto my painting and transformed itself into a flock of little lady beetles!

"Blue Jay II", acrylic paint on recycled paper, 6" x 6".

"Blue Jay II" is a commissioned piece I just completed for the owner of the Baltimore Oriole original. Let me know if you are also interested in an original; I'm happy to make a companion piece!

These beautiful blue birds are known as the bullies of backyard bird feeders. They are noisy, bossy, and aggressive towards other songbirds. Though they have a reputation for being a little rough, they are also known for is their keen intelligence and deep familial bonds.

Click to buy an eco-friendly print.

Black Crested Titmouse

Black Crested Titmouse bird
"Black-Crested Titmouse", acrylic and collage on recycled paper, 6" x 6".

In all honesty, I chose this bird as part of my Birds series because it is adorable. I can't help but smile when I look at pictures of this creature. My concept for the CSA project was Pennsylvania local birds and this I stretched tremendously for the Black-Crested Titmouse as they are native to the Southwest United States (not local at all). Oh well! I did not get a confused email from the new owner of this painting, so I think all is well. What you may find in Pennsylvania, or anywhere near the East Coast of the United States, is the Tufted Titmouse, which looks virtually the same minus the black crest.

Click to buy an eco-friendly print.

Barn Swallow

Barn Swallow bird
"Barn Swallow", acrylic paint and collage on recycled paper, 6" x 6".

Being a ceramic artist and teacher makes me doubly interested in animals who also use mud to build structures. Barn Swallows make hundreds of trips to collect mud in order to build their nests. Their nests are cup-shaped, built out of mud pellets, and lined with soft grasses.We assume nowadays that these birds originally nested on cliff faces or inside caves, but they have since abandoned most of those sites in favor of man made buildings (hence their name).
Like a couple of dedicated artists, the mating pair will not abandon their work and instead return season after season to the same site to raise their families.

Click to buy an eco-friendly print.

Black Capped Chickadee

Black Capped Chickadee bird
"Black Capped Chickadee", acrylic paint on recycled paper, 6" x 6".

These small, round birds are most often seen either in huge flocks or darting to and from your bird feeder with a piece of food in its beak. They are cautious and prefer to grab a bite and eat elsewhere.

Click to buy an eco-friendly print.

Baltimore Oriole

Baltimore Oriole bird
"Baltimore Oriole", acrylic paint on recycled paper, 6" x 6".

I first became interested in Orioles when I was doing some research on artist Sarah Sze's Still Life with Landscape (Model for a Habitat). Sze built an intricate installation on New York City's High Line that functions as an art piece while also catering to the needs of birds. Check out the High Line's website for more details and photos.
I saw a video clip of Sze taking half orange slices and sticking them onto the ends of her sculptural bird village and really wanted to know, why? Because, Baltimore Orioles love oranges. Like hummingbirds, they love to drink sugar water. If oranges wont bring the orioles to your yard, I've heard a rumor that grape jelly will do the trick.

Click to buy an eco-friendly print.

Young Barred Owl

Young Barred Owl
"Young Barred Owl", acrylic paint and collage on recycled paper, 6" x 6".

My friend Heather and I went on a roadtrip through New England this summer. We spent a couple of nights tent camping on top of Mount Philo in Vermont. We realized halfway through the stay that our camp neighbors included several juvenile owls. They would perch in the trees surrounding our clearing and screech at each other. From time to time we would see one swooping low through the trees to catch something (no doubt the mice that campers attract).
I used one of the photographs I had taken up on Mt. Philo as my painting reference.

Click to buy an eco-friendly print.