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Foxy Fall

img_0012It has been a busy last few months, with a bit of travel and fun mixed with plenty of work. Thought I’d share with y’all this character study for another upcoming children’s book illustration, which I donated to a local school raffle as part of a children’s literacy-themed prize.

Continuing to work on projects that have already been in progress, as well as a couple new things. Will post more photos as things shape up!

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Mondrian in May

May was a busy month…had to end my school year early to undergo surgery in late May. We all know trying to cram the same amount of work into fewer days results in, at the very least, exhaustion, and most likely, crabbiness. I raise my hand, yes, to both here. However, in addition to my work-related obligations, I was bent on finishing the Mondrian-inspired piece I had started — and I did it!

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Based on Mondrian’s Fox Trot B, our task, again under the tutelage of Nicole Arnold on Skillshare, was to recreate part of a Mondrian and then alter or personalize it in some way. I was pleased to have finished this — part of it before and part of it after surgery.

And now that I’m back up and around a bit more normally, I have re-committed to catching up on the 100-Day Project. I am up to Day 22, still 20 days behind, but I’m going to keep sketching till I catch up, and then I’m just going to keep going.

Paint, paper, fabric

So, my studio, where I dearly love to paint, is also where I love to create things with paper, and sometimes fabric as well. This past month or so has been a little of all three.

In April I wrapped up my second Skillshare abstract painting workshop under the tutelage of the awesome Nicole Arnold, creating this little beauty I call “John Deere Green.”

cropped JDG

I love these short-burst Skillshare workshops — Nicole is a great instructor and it’s just a great way to get some inspiration and motivation. And you get to see what other artists are doing, too. And I even won a prize — a wonderful box of original “Art-o-Mat” pieces by 10 different Art-o-Mat artists! I will post a photo when I finally settle on where I am going to display them. You can read about all the winners here.

Meanwhile, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Northern California region (of which I’ve been a member for 10 years now!) held a contest to create the banner logo for their newly-launched blog called the ACORN. I entered this all-paper and hand-lettered piece:Acorn Logo Contest Entry

I’m proud to say that although I didn’t win, I was one of three runners-up! You can see the blog and other runners-up here.

Then last week, my sweet niece graduated from UNLV, and she is a big Disneyland fan. So, her mother (who is also my sister!) and I collaborated on fabric choices to represent the five original lands of Disneyland, and an extra for Disneyland’s famous fireworks. Here’s what we came up with. Each canvas is 12×12 and ready for hanging.

fabric disney gift

My sister got away with not having gluey fingers….she and I did a LOT of searching for just the right fabrics, and I did all the sticky work! But it was all worth it because these were a big hit. Hey, college grads have to have something to hang on their walls besides that diploma. Top row, L-R: Frontierland, Main Street, fireworks. Bottom row, L-R: Tomorrowland, Adventureland and Fantasyland. My sister and I were especially thrilled to find fabric that resembled the merchandise bags from the 1970s/80s (our choice for Fantasyland).

And that’s just part of what I’ve been up to lately….still working on the 100-Day Project, where I am woefully behind, again. Back at it with Nicole Arnold in yet another workshop, this time studying Mondrian. And one day soon I’ll share my first attempt at stop-motion animation. 2016 has definitely been all different kinds of creative, that’s for sure!

100 Days

So, last month, I find out as it’s starting that there’s a cool thing on Instagram called The 100-Day Project (#the100dayproject). It began April 19 and goes through July 27. And, it’s pretty much what its name states: 100 days of some kind of creative endeavor. Every day. For, yes, 100 days. 

So I decided to do a pencil-on-paper sketch of some sort every day. Because life chomps at your heels some days, I admit I’ve fallen woefully behind at points in this first 17 days, but at this moment I’m caught up. The proof is at inkbottlestudio on Instagram. Above is yesterday’s contribution.

However, now I’m trying to decide if I want to switch to some other medium for the second 20 days. Maybe pen and ink. Maybe watercolor. I have three days to figure it out. Or, maybe I’ll go 25 with my pencil, which would buy me a week to decide. Damn. Who knew creativity could be so tough.

If you eventually see 50 pencil sketches, you’ll know my love of graphite outweighed my decision-making skills. I’m just glad I heard about it in time to join in…even if I do fall behind here and there. Trust me, it’ll happen again…

Back in the studio

Well, it’s been a tough, busy last six months, with the heartbreaking loss of my dad in August, but I’m back in my studio. Spent the fall sewing quilts for Christmas, and in November created this Christmas card — my first foray into card-making! Loved the whole experience, especially the arrival of the box at 8:45 p.m. the night it said it would arrive. As the evening wore on, I kept telling Mark, “Well, it’s not coming. I guess it’s just not coming today like it said. Bummer….” And when the spry, happy UPS delivery guy showed up well after dark, I wanted to hug him.

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“Christmas Dream”  Gouache on watercolor paper, 2015

This is my first piece entirely in gouache, which I really enjoyed using. I loved creating our two dogs in a snowy landscape, something they’ve never (and probably never will!) experience, living here in California!

I also participated in a great workshop on abstract and modern art last month via Skillshare with a great instructor named Nicole Arnold, and created THIS:

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“On Pink”  Acrylic  2016

We were to use a Kandinsky piece for inspiration, and I used “On White,” but strayed pretty far from that piece. I just had a great time creating abstract art, yet again. Anyone interested in modern art should look up Nicole on Skillshare. You can also visit her here: Nicole Arnold’s blog

I just told the folks at Skillshare that I love losing track of time working in my studio while something wonderful is playing on the speakers. Here’s to more of that.