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
- Anton Pieck
- 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:
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!
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)
I'm working on an Angel series right now. Here's the first. Pansy Angel. (There are four images in the series, lotus, rose, poppy & pansy. Others coming soon)
I thought it might be fun to share the process of how I created these designs with you. The response to the images has been wonderful and I've received a lot of questions about the images. Some people thought the images were vintage clipart designs. They are not - the are original paintings. BUT they are indeed inspired by classic Victorian clip art (some more heavily then others) I'm so glad that I achieved the "look" I was going for! Thanks for the compliments!
Many people have assumed the paintings are digital. They are not. While I do paint digitally often, I also remain an active "traditional" artist. Honestly these days it seems like the minute you dabble with digital painting at all, everyone suddenly casts you as solely a "digital artist"! It's strange! Rest assured my first loves as mediums continue to be graphite, silverpoint and alkyd oils. That said I am forever grateful to the assistance that my graphic experience affords me as an artist. Every piece I create still has a computer involved at some point. Whether I use it simply to sketch out ideas, research reference, or to tweak a final scan, the computer is an essential part of my creation process!
Here's a bit of a peek into the workflow that went into creating these "traditional" paintings. ;)
This image shows the original thumbnail idea sketch in the upper left, and the concept sketch based off of it. The thumbnail sketch was graphite, while the digital sketch was drawn in Corel Painter. I used an oval template to help with the composition of the design because I knew these images main purpose was for my Perfume Locket line. I wanted to be sure that the design flowed well within the oval. Additionally I made sure I worked small. About 3"x4". The reason for this small format is because the final product (Perfume Lockets), is only 1"x1.5". It would be silly to paint this piece overlarge - only to shrink it down so drastically. There is no point wasting time painting minute details if they won't be seen in the finished product!
The next step in the process was to draw the image in graphite on paper. I chose a toned paper with a slight texture and used a light box to transfer my concept to the paper. Then I completed the piece as a finely shaded graphite drawing. I scanned this image into the computer. This scanned image served two purposes. One, it gave me a simple drawing from which to create a vintage style sepia toned print. And two, it served as the basis for the full color acrylic painting....
To create the acrylic painting I printed a copy of the graphite scan. I mounted the grayscale print of the Bee to illustration board. I then sealed the print with clear acrylic matte medium. I painted the piece in acrylics (Golden Fluid Acrylics) and then it was complete! Er....not quite....
I decided to change the background color of the piece at the last minute. I've been on a "Robin's Egg Blue" kick lately and I just couldn't resist. I felt the new background color really made the Bee pop, and finally the piece was finished. Time for the final scan!
This technique, painting over a print of an original graphite drawing, rather then the drawing itself, has the advantage of leaving me with TWO originals. I love that!
I used the scans of both the graphite drawing and the full color painting to create the images for the perfume lockets. Thanks to the techniques I employed, the result is a bright image with a tight composition that looks tailored to the products it graces. Which it was! ;) Yay!
If you like these images they are available as Prints, Perfume Lockets and coming soon NoteCards!
In fact this week only you can enter a giveaway for a chance to win a Secret Scents™ Perfume Locket of your choice. The giveway is on Facebook & you'll have to "like" our fanpage to enter. So I apologize if - like me - you hate Facebook. But hey, maybe you'll win a free locket! ;) CLICK HERE to enter.
Until next time...
Hello everyone! Last week I finalized the concept sketches for the next 3 hotties in my Steampunk Pin-Up series, SteamBabes. You can see the sketches HERE, and follow my progress via my Facebook Fanpage, Twitter, Tumblr or Google+.
The neat thing about these SteamBabes is that the models for each piece are friends of mine - fellow artists Amy Brown, Ash Evans & the lovely Angela Brenneman. I really appreciate them posing for these pieces! I thought I was going to start work on them last week. But when I went to my paper cabinet, I was completely out of the paper that I had drawn the first SteamBabe on. Of course I want the series to be consistent - so I've got a Dick Blick emergency shipment coming this week. ;)
In the meantime I've been tweaking and refining the concept art for the first 4 Goddesses in my Goddess Project series. These have been tricky. The art in these images needs to be rather versatile. Not only do I want them to be spectacular paintings BUT the figures were designed partly with licensing/manufacturing in mind. For instance these images are a proposed line of figurines AND perfume lockets. But they are also going to be large oil paintings with many other components in the painting. So yes, this is rather challenging. I've got a myriad of things I need to consider while designing the rest of the sketch for these paintings. As you can see by this sketch for the Morrigan painting. She's positively littered with hotspots - basically areas I've got to be extra careful designing because once the painting is finished - I'll pop out those areas and use them for additional product projects. For instance the oval at the top and the oval at the bottom will be necklaces. As always I'll be sharing the process with you. Wish me luck! And feel free to fan the Goddess Project Facebook Fanpage to find out the latest news.
Tommorrow I'll be sharing pics of my new studio (it's finally set up and functional) and the link to my newly updated Wholesale Website. Yay!!
As always - THANK YOU FOR LIKING MY ART!
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.
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.
All of these new prints are available for purchase online. CLICK HERE!
This weekend, May 14-16 I'll be at the Steampunk World's Fair in Piscataway New Jersey.
I'll have a table with some prints and goodies and I'll be painting live (digitally on my Wacom Cintiq). I'm also participating in two talks/lectures/whathaveyou. One on Steampunk Art - and another on Steampunk in Virtual Worlds.
I'm absolutely delighted to be a guest at this event. I can't thank the organizers enough for inviting me. I'm so excited to meet so many wonderful artists, performers and steampunk enthusiasts in person!
I'm especially excited to meet my most recent Steampunk friend - Professor Elemental.
If you are into Steampunk and you don't know who he is - well you need to! He is the artist behind the instant classic and unofficial Steampunk Anthem - "A Cup of Brown Joy". CLICK HERE to watch the video.
When the good Professor asked me to create the cover of his new album "The Indifference Engine" - I of course leapt at the opportunity. And I'm so glad I did!
The album is awesome - and the cover - which I'm now finally able to share with you - is one of my favorite steampunk paintings to date. It was great fun to paint!
If you are familiar with the brilliant creations of Brute Force Studios - then you might recognize the inspiration and reference for the goggles and gun in this photo! (Special thanks to Mark - the maker of those special pieces - for posing for the "body and accessories" reference for the painting.)
So if you are planning on attending Steampunk World's Fair - the rumor is you can get a special advanced copy of the album (did I mention its awesome?) at the Fair. I'll also have signed prints of this image available at my table.
Hope to see you there!
WOW! I can't believe it has been almost a month since I've updated the blog. So sorry! I've been very busy with several projects and a handful of deadlines - most of which I can't talk about in any detail yet.
But to give you a rough idea:
1. I wrote an article for Faerie Magazine (finished and out soon)
2. Collaborated on an illustrated written project with Natania Barron for another magazine (ongoing)
3. Illustrated the album cover for Professor Elemental's new album (ongoing - and it's awesome by the way!)
4. Started rough concept sketches of full figure adaptations of some of my doll girls for a manufacturer.
5. Pulled together two proposals for two other manufactuers.
6. Illustrated the Three of Swords for the Super Punch Tarot Project.
And that last one I can now share with you!
CLICK HERE to see the full line up of amazing tarot cards from an incredible group of artists!
I'm also pleased to share that the originals of Unfair Things and Ascension were sold to a private collector after my exhibit ended. This was awesome and that influx of cash allowed me to finally be able to upgrade my computing power to a MacBook Pro - and to upgrade my programs etc. This has taken some getting used to but I'm loving it!
I know I've promised to do an online gallery show. I've been trying to find the right time - and well it's been difficult with all the work I've on my plate at the moment. I also want the online gallery show to have some newer pieces - which means time to paint these new pieces. So I'm thinking I might be holding this show later then I had planned. But don't worry I'll let everyone know. I'm definitely interested in your suggestions as to what is the best time for you as an individual - I'd love to be able to take that feedback and find the overall best time to hold the event.
The plan for this online gallery exhibit is to stream live and show you the images via a stream of my desktop. This way I can zoom in on them - kind of how you'd move in closer to see the detail if you were viewing them in person. I'll also chat live and do Q&A.
For those of you that are familiar with MMOs we'll also be hosting a live gallery opening at my virtual gallery in Second Life. That's a truly immersive way to experience the art!
Sign up for my mailing list to be informed about the dates!
I hope all are happy and well! Till next time!
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!
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!
Got a quickie update for you. I am feverishly at work creating a lot of new art. While the bulk of the pieces are indeed intended for the November Gallery Show I'm happy to share that I have several shows and exhibits lined up for this year so if you miss one show maybe you can catch another.
Additionally most of the art will be available as prints after the show is underway.
Without further ado - Here is Locust Queen. She is Oil paint on Panel.
This is what she will look like as a print available for purchase.
And here she is in her original frame.
Till next time!
I need help! I cannot decided upon a name for this pair. Any ideas?
This piece is part of my upcoming show. Painted in oil on gessoed paper.
As I've mentioned previously I've a gallery show coming up in November. I've had a few gallery shows before but this one for a variety of personal reasons is very special to me. This means while I'm working very hard I'm also putting a lot of pressure on myself. But thanks to a few close friends I'm staying relatively sane. (Thanks ladies!)
The process of creating this collection has been fascinating to me. I've been working in a way that is new and strange to me. The images are unfolding with a strong will of their own. They have a clear mind of who and what they are and demand accuracy in their portrayal. They seem to live in my occipital bone - right where the bone meats the nerve endings at the top of my spine. They are collecting themselves there - gestating their form and making their presence known. At times relentlessly. The vision I had initially planned for the show was left behind months ago. My Muse has dictated to me that those ideas must wait - because right now - something else must be done. These images demand to be captured.
And so they will be - there's no arguing with your Muse.
I've been aided in this creative process by some wonderful music. I thought I would share a bit of what I am listening to with you. In a sense this is the soundtrack to the collection of art I am currently creating.
Cello music by Zoe Keating and Wendy Sutter
The Soundtrack to Amelie by Yann Tiersen
Music that I like to call Broken Gypsy Doll music this includes:
Beats Antique, Pentaphobe & Vagabond Opera
And an inspiring group of sister songwriters, singers, musicians called
The Sisters 3
I cannot share too much of the art for the show before the show itself. I am sure you an understand why. However I will share the pieces that I can and of course when the show is open we'll post photos of the opening and eventually there will be prints and a full accounting of the art at the exhibit.
For now I will leave you with a teaser. She is not yet finished and she is nameless.
I finished a new piece that is very special to me. I'm quite pleased with her I must say. :)
I envision her as a self created Steampunk inspired doll creature - who collects to her other creatures and things for own dubious purposes. My husband commented that he felt a certain menace in her - just under the surface and my sister said she is "alarming limbless". So yes based on these comments I think I managed to project what I wanted. *evil wink*.
Text reads "Bring to me a fitting portion of string... an aether lamp and unfair things".
This image is part of my collection for my gallery show this coming Fall 2009. The theme for this first show is the same as my website title "Winged Things & Improbable Machines." And yes it will feature steampunk art - or at least works that are steampunk inspired - however that will not be the main focus but rather one element.
The majority of the collection will be Silverpoint Drawings on antique bookpaper. I've perfected a process to allow me to draw on this paper and the results are stunning. I've also been working on my own technique for aging and staining new paper.
I'll talk more about the exhibit in coming months and share what art I can. In the meantime I hope you enjoy "Unfair Things".
Signed prints are available HERE
Oh yes! And in other news I am also now offering SteamBee as a print all by himself. I can't tell you how many requests I have gotten for exactly this - so happy to tell you he's now available! (or she I don't honestly know if SteamBee is a male or female - up to you I suppose!) Buy HERE
God I love silence. I spend much of my creative time in complete silence. It's only thru silence that I can clear out the mundanities of life and allow my creative mind to take over. Silence allows me to hear my inner voice - the creative muse - and through that stillness and quiet the ideas peek out - shyly at first - then eventually boldy till they wrestle and battle with each other for dominion over my brain. Finally one of them jumps forward, slaughters the others (sometimes taking prisoners or devouring the remains of the fallen)and demands to come to life.
Once that happens I can happily turn on some background noise or sometimes music. (Actually I often find music too distracting from the idea at hand - if the music itself is too inspiring I'll have new ideas competeing for attention).
I love my silence. When I don't have silence readily available to me I am PAINFULLY AWARE OF THE FACT. (Summer vacation = child out of school = precious little silence) The creative muse is still there but she's chaos now. The voices of ideas pile up on each other until sorting the laundry takes ages because I simply cannot focus past the din of voices in my head to tell the reds from the whites! GAHHH!!
But thankfully there is dance camp. For a blessed three hours a day I have silence.
Here is some art.
Signed prints available HERE.
Till next time.
I've two new silverpoint drawings to share - they can be found in the Mineral Deposits Gallery. I'll be offering prints soon so stay tuned for that announcement.
The originals of these images however won't be for sale for a while as I have to save all new art for my upcoming exhibit at a gallery here in Maryland. The exciting thing is that the gallery has chosen a date right after Faeriecon - this is wonderful for the show as Faeriecon is in Baltimore (ish) this year and since the exhibit is also in Maryland and only about an hour from Baltimore it's a GREAT opportunity for me to promote the gallery show at FaerieCon. I'm really happy with how that worked out.
I can't tell you how excited I am about this show and it's theme. The gallery itself is owned by an incredibly famous author of whom I am a fan - my understanding is that I am one of the first major exhibits at this new gallery - which is just thrilling for me. I'll be revealing more about the theme of the show in coming weeks. Some of the images I will share here - others I will show only a portion of or not at all. Ha! You'll have to come to the show (or wait till it's over) to see many of the pieces.
Oh! One of the silverpoint drawings doesn't have a name yet! I'm taking suggestions!
Happy Mother's Day all!
I have two new drawings to share today! Go to the Mineral Deposits Gallery to see "Repose" and "Reflection". These pieces were drawn in graphite on hand stained paper. I use a special formula of organics to stain my paper - regular watercolor would interfere too much with the tooth of the paper so I developed my own nasty bath of a variety of things with which to stain my papers. It works well ;) The white heightening is just white Prismacolor pencil.