Free Regency Desktop Wallpaper

Because I feel like I'm neglecting you all if I don't regularly shower you with freebies and new art - I'm sharing with you today this desktop wallpaper I made myself. It's an alteration I did of a painting by Michel Martin Drolling called Portrait of an Artist (1819). 

When I saw this painting it immediately struck me as an almost perfect portrait of a character in the novel I'm writing. He doesn't have a name yet actually, but I know him so well. To fuel my imagination I played with Drolling's painting and tweaked it towards an even better likeness of the image I have in my head. At some point I plan on repainting it completely in a total likeness of my character. In the meantime I made my adaptation into a desktop wallpaper. It sits on my computer and inspires me every day. Here I share it with you. 

Gratitude & Freebies

^This is a present for you!^

I know a lot of us are going through tough times right now. Things are rough - the economy sucks, politicians seem to be going crazy, family members get sick, people are being laid off. Yikes, there's a lot of hurt going around! And a lot of stress. I wish there was something I could do.

I know when I'm feeling down, what helps me fight the stress the most it is to keep gratitude in my heart. (I know this is all very sappy, bear with me). I think about how things could be worse - I think about the positive things in my life - what I have to feel fortunate about. Gratitude helps so very much.

I was thinking about this all the other day as I watched my Facebook timeline fill up with a lot of rather depressing status updates from friends, aquaintances and members of my Facebook Fanpage. I wished there was a way to give all my "virtual friends" a gift, a little warm fuzzy to cheer them up. If you all lived in my neighborhood I'd bring you a batch of chocolate chip cookies. But you don't....So what to do?

So I'm doing what I always do - I'm sharing art. I love to share freebies of course (desktop wallpapers HERE, Geek Kid Crafts HERE) but I wanted to share something that people could share forward, that you could pass around, email to a friend etc. Hmmm....

Then this week I read this article about butterflies and it all kind of came together. The article says (in a nutshell) that scientists have discovered that butterflies, with their looping trajectory that looks random and directionless, actually follow a flightpath.

I thought this was such a great metaphor for life, especially the kind of life many of us are living right now. As much as our path may loop and dive and appear to veer off course, we must still keep our eyes focused on the future and our wings committed to the flightpath.

So there's your gift (above) .... please feel free to share it however you see fit! (No commercial usage of course)

And I promise to make you more. Because I'm so grateful for you.

 

 

Giveaway Winners

Thanks to everyone who entered the Giveaway! I cannot tell you how charmed I was by your answers. I have to say that I went into this thinking that at the end of the Giveaway I would give you the "right answers" what I found was that you had more "right answers" than I did!

Many of you guessed creative influences that I had not intentionally added to the piece, but in retrospect I must admit are clearly present in the drawing; a subconscious addition culled from the collective unconscious, the creative aethers, that we all have access to.

So for the curious, the creative spirits that I intentionally added to the piece are:

     - Van Gogh - his face can be seen in the palette on the left

     - DaVinci - Vetruvian Man in the stack of papers on the left.

     - Shakespeare - his signature on the spine of the first book under the door.

     - Virginia Woolf - her signature on the spine under Shakespeare's book.

     - Hemingway - his typewriter on the right.

     - Isadora Duncan - her ballet slippers

     - Klimt - stylized carvings on the tree limbs

 

Some of the fabulous guesses made in the comments include:

  • Lewis Carrol
  • Kepler/Newton
  • Burmester
  • Poe
  • Galileo
  • Tolkien
  • Joyce
  • Rimbaud
  • Kerouac
  • Anton Pieck
  • Stradivarius
  • J.M. Barrie

NOW! I extended the giveaway by a few days last week because some blogs had picked up the info and I wanted to give more people a chance to enter. I also added another winner.

The two print winners are Jenny Davies-Reazor and Sam (chosen randomly)

Since this was so fun - I'll be hosting another giveaway soon - so stay tuned for another opportunity.

To those that didn't win, but wish to purchase a copy of the print you can do so here:

8x10 print signed

Large print (actual size of the original) signed

 

Balancing

This year my art goals are pretty lofty. One major thing I'm working on is a drastic expansion of my commercial body of artwork. As an artist I work in two main categories of art, with some overlap.

 

  • My Personal Work: This consists of whatever I want to do, exploring themes and projects that appeal to me on an emotional level.
  • My Commercial Work: This is comprised of commissions and concept art for manufacturers, or trends my agent suggests that I explore because they are highly marketable right now.

Often these two groups do overlap. For instance when steampunk hit big, I'd already been exploring themes along those lines in my personal work and suddenly all the images that I had that could be viewed as steampunk were gaining a whole new audience.

It's a challenge in a slow economy to eek out a living as a working artist. For myself, succes in this area has meant continuing to build and maintain my commercial work, while also persuing personal projects. From the outside looking in, fans of my work might not see much difference between these two categories. And that's fine, I work no less hard on my commercial pieces then I do on my personal work. And many of my commercial pieces follow my personal interests. For example a new painting - Lord Ganesha was painted with several commercial pursuits in mind, and yet he's always been a favorite of mine and I've hoped to find time to paint my version of him for a long time.

Remover of obstacles - Ganesha (aka Ganesh) is one of the most beloved of Hindu Gods. A recent Facebook meme reminder Ganesha devotees to "Don't tell Ganesha how big your problems are, tell your problems how big your Ganesha is".

 

BUT.... you knew there was a but...didn't you? ;) For the working artist, well for THIS one anyway - the ongoing struggle is the balance between painting what feeds my soul, versus what feeds my tummy. The eternal hope is that most of what I work on will fall into that sweet spot I illustrated above. Work that feeds my soul, and inspires my audience and also pays the bills. So while I'm working on all those commercial paintings this year, I'm also working on another project - a project that began as an inspiration for a novel and has now turned into something a little richer.

At this point I've mostly given up trying to force THE PROJECT into a recognizable shape. It's decided on it's own that it first wants to be an illustrated short story, then a series of paintings, and lastly if I can get my literary shit together, a novel. That's what it's told me. So there you have it.

Yesterday a piece of lovely from THE PROJECT decided to come out and play. A simple sketch, a moment from the short story that has been bouncing at the back of my eyelids for weeks. I finally pulled it out and set it down. The doll in the sketch is Mina. She's a Muse. Her crow friend is Traipser, he's a kind of Muse too, but a little less gentle with his methods of inspiration. I'll leave you with the sketch and ask you to feel free to share your thoughts about balance, work, art and inspiration.

 

P.S. WHOOPS I forgot I've got large format prints available now - for those that are interested!

 

 

 

 

 

Ancient Angels - Flower Series

I just finished a series of commercial paintings I've named Flower Angels. It's a series I've had on my "to do" list for a while but not having eight arms I just hadn't gotten to it yet. But as trends ebb and flow, so does the pressure from the manufacturers one works with. So when my manufacturers get louder, I tend to have to rearrange my painting schedule a bit. This is how these four angels flew (so to speak) to the top of my list. ;)

Angels are calming and inspiring (my friend and fellow artist Jessica Galbreth paints lovely, ethereal angels ) and while they are always beloved, it does seem they are enjoying a bit of a spike in popularity right now. And why not? With roots that run as deep as Ancient Sumeria and being an integral part of the spiritual doctrine of many of the worlds religions; angels are at once a symbol of hope and comfort to many people.

I hope I did justice to the spirit I was trying to capture. I hope you find the images inspiring. (To Buy Prints CLICK HERE)

Click to Enlarge




Hey Girl . . .

I was recently asked to create a steampunk valentine for a website promotion. As I brainstormed (something new? adapt something I already have?) my brain traveled down the rabbit hole and I ended up giggling to myself over this idea. This is NOT what the people who asked for the valentine are looking for, BUT - it is very amusing to me. Obviously its a play on the Hey Girl Ryan Gosling meme. But I find Tesla a little sexier.
Anyhow sharing it with you here. ;) Hope it gives you a giggle.

Borne Back Into The Past - Beat On

From the ages of seven to thirteen I went to a private Catholic school. I can't say I particularly cared for it. Catechism, conformity and navy plaid don't tend to agree with my disposition.

The grounds of the school are shared by an old church, built in 1817. It's a beautiful church, gilded and charming and musty with history. The church's graveyard is the final resting place of F. Scott Fitzgerald and his beloved muse Zelda. It's says something, I think, of the atmosphere of the school and the myopic education I received there, that this fact was never once a topic of trivia, let alone discussion.

I didn't find out about the cemetery's famous resident until I went to high school and read Fitzgerald's most famous work, The Great Gatsby, for the first time. This being a public school they weren't as concerned with nitpicky details like Fitzgerald's non-practicing Catholic status when he died, and thus must have determined it less risky to our immortal souls to know that he'd been buried in Catholic ground after all.

From the ages of 17 to 24 myself and a few friends became unofficial grave side fanbois of F & Z's graves. Hey, Baltimore has Poe, Rockville has the Fitzgeralds.

We thought ourselves rebel poets, full of courage won of wine coolers and Funyuns, we'd boldly trespass amongst the dead, bearing roses from 7-11 as homage to our heroes. One of my friends liked to play music for the couple as we sat at gravesend. He'd engage us in debate over which bands the Fitzgerald's might have liked best were they our peers in the 90s. He seemed convinced that Fitzy (as we called him), would have loved Grunge. This was an assertion that despite his claims to the contrary, confirmed my suspicion that he'd never read any of Fitzgerald's books. Personally I've always thought Bryan Ferry and Ziggy Stardust might have been more up F's alley. But what do I know?

The epitaph on F. Scott Fitzgerald's grave is the last line from Gatsby. "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."

It's part of a larger passage: 

Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter — to-morrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . And one fine morning ——

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

It means that we are ever moving forward, yearning for and fighting towards our goals. Yet our pasts are in our way, simultaneously informing our dream, and obstructing it.

I can relate to this sentiment. I've been a little nostalgic of late. It's been nostalgia born of duress really. See, I've been saddled with a new endeavor this year. I'm writing a novel. I don't know if it will be published. I don't know if I'll even pursue that outcome. That's not the point. What I do know is that after two years of trying to smoke out the muse of writing where she hides in ratholes in my studio walls, I've failed to locate or kill her. She's won, and so I'm writing this blasted thing. Against all my protestations she's made it clear I have no choice.

She's a brutal mistress this wordy bitch. In the two years she's been pursuing my soul she's repeatedly accosted me with writing assignments just to drive her point home. Again and again I've protested, insisting I'm an artist not a writer. "I've never written!  I've never even had ambition to write!" has come out of my mouth more then once.

As it turns out I'm a dirty liar. Moving across the country tends to cause the carefully stacked debris of a creative life to come tumbling down from shelves. Actual documents obtained from the archives of Ghost-Of-Brigid-Past confirm that in fact, I have indeed always written. There's boxes full of evidence. A lot of what's in those boxes sucks eggs. But there's also a reminder from a teacher that I won a national writing award in High School. Apparently I also blogged for a couple of websites back in the day (97 & 2000 respectively, before it was called blogging), and even had some poetry published.

Huh, who knew?

The muse has won. I've got Scrivener installed on my Mac.....

So...from the ages of 38 to ?  I'll be writing a book. I'm terrified.  Scared and sniffly, I'm slowly getting type on the pages. I don't promise that it's good, I don't know if it's interesting, I guarantee it's a grammatical nightmare. But there it is, emerging from the blank white of the page, not unlike a painting.

Can I paint with words? We'll see....

 

New Year? - Ready! Set! Go! (er, um)

Hey gang. How ya doin'? I'm sitting here, writing my blog for the new year, and I'm just vibrating with motivation. I've got so many cool creative projects planned for this year I'm going to need to fire up Excel just to schedule in pee breaks. I've got so many wicked tricks up my sleeve I'm going to need to go to confession every day just to keep from bursting into flames. I've got so much awesome stored up in my awesome jar, I'm going to need a solid gold abacus just to keep track of the excellence.

I've got...well I think you get the point.

but.

guess what?

FIRST. I've got !@#$%!! JURY DUTY.

I THINK I'LL CONTINUE USING ALL CAPS IN THIS SENTENCE JUST SO I CAN DRIVE HOME HOW ANNOYING THIS IS.

JURY DUTY. <---- see. It's annoying, it deserves all caps.

So yeah, the morning of January 3rd I get to get up at an hour that even roosters blow off, and drive up to somewhere-that-I-don't-know-where-it-is-because-I-don't-make-a-hobby-of-mapquesting-courthouses, and sit around all day being a "good person" and doing my "civic duty". Two things I'm not innately good at. Wish me luck. (Just so we are on the same page here, the kind of luck I'm hoping for is the "we don't need you, thanks for coming, you can go home now" luck. Capice? I don't need any rogue wishes, stay on message.)

You can thank JURY DUTY for the fact that I can't share with you yet exactly what these upcoming projects are. That blog will have to wait. Right now I have a courthouse to mapquest. And I have to dig out my Sex Pistols shirt out of the dirty laundry bin. The JURY DUTY paperwork said to dress nice, and that's the nicest shirt I have.

In the meantime I'll leave you with this totally non-sequiter teaser that is completely uninformative. You are welcome.

 

 

ZOMBIES vs GINGERS - FREE Holiday Download

 

CLICK TO DOWNLOAD THE COLOR VERSIONCLICK TO DOWNLOAD THE B&W VERSION

IT'S HERE! It's finally here! Every year I try to do a freebie holiday download.

Other Holiday Freebies have included Holiday Cards, Geeky Gift Tags and Printable Nutcrackers.

I'm so happy to say that this year, I went with a Zombie theme.

Click the cover images to DOWNLOAD. There is a BLACK & WHITE version for people who want to color it themselves, and a COLOR version for lazy people like me who just want to throw a little glitter on it and call it a day.

 PREVIEWS :

 

ASSEMBLED PIECES PHOTOS:

 

 

 

PLEASE NOTE: This is free, it was a labor of love and I put a lot of work into it. All I ask in return is that if you like this free printable craft, and you download it that you please share the link across your social networks. Thanks!

Free Fairy Bookmark

So I had this idea the other day....

A fairy bookmark where the fairy wings poke out the top of the book, and look at first, like a butterfly that is sitting on the edge of the book.

This afternoon I cranked out a prototype, and I'm going to share it here with you now. For Free!!! ;) I love you guys!

DOWNLOAD THE PDF BY CLICKING HERE

Color and assemble the piece and share your pictures with me!

I love your feedback! 

Here's what it looks like assembled. 

Thriving in Chaos

Phew! I'm exhausted. For those that don't know my family and I recently made a move from rural(ish) Maryland to the suburbs of Dallas Texas. The move was stressful and daunting, but we survived, and are now happily settling in, finding our tribe, and enjoying our new pool!

One fantastic feature of this new house is the size of my studio. My studio in our old house was basically an open parlor space, that in modern terms really functioned better as an open hallway then it did a private studio. In our new home I've taken over the front formal living/dining combo so popular to modern homes and I'm so stoked about the extra space!

This extra space means I'll be able to stock more of my own licensed products here, which will result in one stop shopping for my customers. You'll be able to buy more items directly from me, which is great!

Right now I'm just working hard on unpacking, then organizing our entire house while at the same time continuing to work. I've accepted that fine tuning this house to suit our needs will take several months, and that we'll need to get rid of even more "clutter" then we did before we left. At the same time I'm working on our house though, I'm also continuing to make new art for you!

I'll be at FaerieCon in Baltimore Maryland at the beginning of November and I want to have as much new and exciting art for you as possible. I hope to see you there!

On the Drawing Board:

 Secret Scents Perfume Lockets - the Vintage Romance series for the perfume lockets is almost complete and we are planning to release the line this fall! Very soon! You can follow us on Facebook to stay up to date on the latest developments. Additionally all the enchanting fairytale images from the Vintage Romance series will be available as prints and other products. Yay!

 

SteamBabes - Steampunk PinUp! I did the first SteamBabe for a poster for the Steampunk World's Fair. It was ridiculously popular! So popular I've now drafted some close friends (and fellow artists) to pose for new SteamBabes. Artists Amy Brown and Ash Evans will soon be SteamBabes, and friend Angela Brenneman doesn't know it yet, but she will be too!

 

 

 

Celtic Knotwork & Shamanic Art - Years ago I did a lot of Celtic knotwork and Shamanic/New Age Spiritual art. I've recently returned to these roots, and I've been so inspired by the process. Some of what I'm working on is Celtic Knotwork. Years ago I designed an entire line of Celtic Knotwork jewelry for a Welsh Jewelry manufacturer. I learned so much, not the least of which is that I enjoy designing knotwork immensely. I've also tentatively returned to painting animals, sometimes adding various totem creatures to the knotwork designs other times depicting them in their own mystical vignettes. You can follow all of this progress on my Facebook FanPage. In the meantime to the left is a piece of knotwork I designed yesterday in between unpacking boxes. This piece will be rendered as is, AND will also serve as the background for another piece I'm working on with a fox and ravens!

 

Fine Art - Personally when I use the term Fine Art, I mean my personal art. I mean the work I do that doesn't fit neatly into one theme or another, isn't created for a product in mind, or as part of an ongoing series. This work tends to reflect a bit of all the ideas I'm currently exploring or obsessed with, and is full of symbolism. At the moment I have about half a dozen pieces in various stages of conception. My favorite, and the one slated to be completed first is at the left. It features three lovely ladies and friends who are frequent decorations at Faery Events. Virginia, Lindsey and Angela should possibly consider charging us artists for the privilege of painting them. Their lovely faces serve as perpetual muses to many contemporary fantasy/surreal artists. I'm so happy to know them and that they consented to be painted, yet again!

 

PHEW! Well that is it for now folks. Remember follow me on Twitter, Google+ or Facebook to get the latest updates. And feel free to email me any questions!

As always....

Thanks for liking my art!

~Brigid

Be Careful What You Wish For . . .

Over a year ago I made a wish. I wished to live in a newer house that required less maintenance (our current house is 250 years old), in a warmer climate with a lower cost of living. I wished for a studio with a door on it. I wished for my husband to have employment that was lower stress and afforded him more free time. I wished that my own art career would continue on the upwards trajectory with more of my income contributing to the household income - with the eventual hope that my income would become the primary source and my husband could enjoy even more free time. As the saying goes be careful what you wish for.

Two months ago my husband was laid off. Within a month he had a new job, we'll be moving to Texas to accommodate this new position. This means we'll be buying a new house, moving to a warmer climate with a lower cost of living and my husband will be working some from an office in Texas and some from home. Meanwhile my art career has surged, and I've more work on my plate, more licensing gigs, commissions, projects and inspiration then I know what to do with. All this is wonderful. But it's rather stressful too.

The mere thought of moving across the country with 2 dogs and 2 cats and a huge house full of crap is just so very exhausting mentally. I have a dozen artwork commitments all due in a month. I have a little girl about to go into middle school. I have to sell one house and buy another. I have to get rid of some of this crap. I hope my new studio has a door. I really NEED a DOOR.

But when I start to feel overwhelmed I remind myself that I asked for all of this. Did I think I would just wake up one day in a new state with a new home? Am I so spoiled that I have the nerve to complain and feel overwhelmed about life changes that are ultimately good? NONE of this is insurmountable. Dealing with the aftermath of a Tsunmai is what qualifies as insurmountable. I'm happy and healthy, so is my family, and we have to move to Texas this summer. This is, in the grand scheme of life's challenges, an easy one. So I'll shut up about it already. And share some new art with you. ;)
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New Silverpoint & Sepia Tone Prints!

I've got 8 new prints for you today!

The first is actually a set of 6 prints that are designed to be displayed as a Hexatych.

The original of this work of art is a series of 6 silverpoint drawings on antique book paper. The colorful patterns behind each drawing are original designs by myself. I created the patterns then printed them on fabric. Each of the original drawings is displayed in a shadow box.

I've mainstakingly reproduced each image for you to create the best quality set of affordable giclee' prints I could. I'm so pleased with the results. You can buy the complete set - signed of course - for just $60.00. (Sorry but I will not be offering these images seperately. While they are individual images they are meant to be displayed as whole - the entire set. Please note the image above shows the prints framed - this is for display only. Purchased prints sets are prints only - unframed.)

 

The next two images I have for you are called 'Specimens'. The original is comprised of two silverpoint drawings - again on antique book paper. The drawings are framed by books. I rescued two Antique books slated for destruction. The books were glued solid and a frame cut out of their covers to accomodate the drawings.

Original diptych on display at Davenport & Winkleperry Gallery

This was a challenge to reproduce for prints. I was unable to photograph the book covers effectively to allow for them to be reproduced as a print. So I've taken the original drawings and created a new work of art entirely - two sepia toned prints. They are available for purchase seperately.

Specimens - Group A

Specimens - Group B

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All of these new prints are available for purchase online. CLICK HERE!

 

 

 

 


Solo show this weekend

Phew! I'm exhausted!

I get a lot of feedback regarding the photos of my studio here on the website. It is a nice space and I'm glad people like it. But with getting ready for this solo show - FaerieCon last weekend - and being sick with piggy flu last week ..... Well this is what it looks like now!

Lovely!!!

I wanted to take a moment and remind everyone about the opening night reception of my solo show this weekend November 21,  5-8 pm.

I've been hearing from people who plan on attending and, well, I think we might have a nice turnout at this little shindig!

I'm very excited and can't wait to see everyone there.

My husband Ed and I spent last night putting hardware on the backs of frames and popping art into their beautiful black lacquer homes. (All the frames in the exhibit are black.)

Of course I have had the whole collection in my head for months now - but seeing it all come together for real - was very special. I'll be stopping by the gallery this morning to drop off the art.

I still have two oil paintings to finish for the show - they are almost complete so I am not concerned (knocks wood).

Unfortunately I do have one oil painting that won't make it to opening night. When I returned from FaerieCon I came down with the swine flu (I can only assume I got it at the con - bummer - hope no one else got sick). So I lost a WEEK of work laying in bed. I did manage to get some drawing done and plan out next steps for upcoming projects unrelated to the show - but I certainly was not well enough to sit at my art desk and hack out oil paintings.What a frustrating feeling!

Regardless after seeing everything together last night I'm quite pleased with how its shaping up!

For those of you who can make the show I would urge you to do so. The mediums I have used for this art - silverpoint and oil are mediums best viewed in person. They are both mediums that enjoy a very special relationship with light - one that just doesn't translate to print.

For those who can't make it - fear not. I'm planning a virtual opening - I have a few ideas. One idea was to host a Second Life event - which I still plan on. But feedback regarding that was that many fans would prefer something different since not everyone uses Second Life. So I'm thinking a Twitter show - with live interaction and detailed video and closeups of the art. I'm intersted in your thoughts.

That's all for now! Cheers!