Friday, March 31, 2006

Handcarved Stamp ATCs

My first ATCs in months. These are for an EC swap of ATCs made with handcarved stamps. I carved this fish out of a Nasco Safety-Kut block and used pigment inks. The background of the cards are done with my new alcohol inks. Thanks to someone on Ephemeral Notions, I tried dropping the inks onto wax paper, squirting the blender onto my piece of felt and then picking up the inks with it and dabbing them all over the glossy photo paper. It worked like a charm. I did the outlines with Roseart metallic markers, added an eyelet & fibers and voila! These were fun.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Playing with Alcohol Inks

This weekend I bought my first set of alcohol inks (Adirondack Inks) and played with them a bit last night on glossy photo paper. I did not at all get the effect I was hoping for, that kind of marbleized, agate look that I've seen online.

However, I salvaged my colorful mess by slicing the paper into thin strips with my papercutter. The individual strips looked pretty cool, I thought, and inspired this journal page. I sponged Winsor Yellow watercolor on a gessoed page and then glued the strips of photo paper around the edges. I really like these colors.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Art Doll #2

Well, here’s my second art doll already. I was pretty happy with that first one, so I decided to make one for my grandmother as well, whose birthday was this month.

In terms of technique, it’s exactly the same as the other. I just used different colors.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Art Doll #1

This is my first art doll, done as a birthday gift for my Mom. I spent hours this morning creating my own pattern, ironing fabric and figuring out the damn sewing machine, only to discover that I was doing it all wrong. Thanks to Ronda Kivett, though, I was able to use her free “Goddess Doll” pattern to create this beauty.

I already had the flowery fabric, followed Ronda’s instructions for creating the body, then added my own embellishments – beads around the seam (thanks to this site for those instructions), a face made from a charm mold and painted with acrylics, flower petals sewn behind the face, and some fun fibers wrapped around the body. Oh yeah, and I added a string of beads with ribbon on the end so Mom can hang it from her rearview mirror. Thanks Aimmer on EC for that idea.

Happy Birthday Mom!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Sketching while watching TV

I dragged a lamp out to the living room so I could sketch while watching TV with Chris. This baby’s face is from the cover of a magazine.

I wish my scanner handled pencil sketches better. If the paper has any amount of tooth to it, the scanner picks up every nook and cranny, making it impossible for me to darken the image at all.


I stayed at Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resort last weekend for a USTA convention. I didn’t have much time to draw, but squeezed these two quick sketches in my first full day there. The text may be too small for you to read. The first drawing was the most prominent architectural form outside our balcony. I need to practice my architecture sketches, as this is not satisfying to me. I think I lack the patience for the details and lines, so it ends up looking rather childish.

The bottom sketch was simply so I’d never forget that at Disney, even the manhole covers have Mickey Mouse ears on them. Unbelievable.

I did the purple squares with Derwent watercolor pencils prior to leaving and sketched with my trusty Sakura pigma micron .005.

Friday, March 17, 2006


Today I had to take Cooper to be put to sleep. It's the hardest thing I've ever done. He was one strange and neurotic cat, but I loved him. I got him at the Dover, NH animal shelter 11 years ago. He was a little puff ball and irresistible. He and Osiris have always gotten along well, either grooming each other, chasing each other around the house or just sleeping beside each other. It took close to 7 years, but eventually he decided he wanted to be a lap cat - only my lap, though. When I was painting in my artroom, he would lean back on his hind legs and tap me with his front paw, meowing and wanting to sit in my lap. And he always came when I called. Osiris just ignores me. He started to get sick a couple of years ago. First it was a sensitive stomach, then it was hyperthyroidism. Finally, they didn't know what was wrong with him. The vet said probably a lymphoma.

Today, after they gave him the anesthesia, they put him in my arms and I got to hold him, kiss him and tell him what a beautiful boy he was. I am grateful for that time with him.

The first drawing is done from a photo, during healthier times for Cooper. It's in my moleskine, with the walnut ink background again and the sketch done with the Sakura pigma micron .005. The other page shows quick pencil sketches I did of him this morning. We had a quiet time with him sleeping in his new favorite spot - on my Northface jacket shell that is lying on a kitchen chair. Shortly after finishing these drawings, we went to the vet's.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Self Portrait

I need to practice faces and there's nothing like drawing from real life, so, home alone, I decided to draw myself. Holding the mirror and drawing at the same time was a little awkward and half-way through, I realized I was concentrating so hard that my face looked terribly serious. It was too late to change that.

I'm not sure this actually looks like me, but it was a fun exercise. I just wish my white gouache showed up better on the walnut ink prepainted background (in my little Moleskine). If anyone can recommend a good brand of gouache for white, please let me know. This is Winsor Newton.

Friday, March 10, 2006


I haven't even thought about PostcardX in a while, but yesterday I received a nice pc from someone who saw my name on there. It's always such a pick-me-up to get fun mail. So this morning I returned the favor by randomly picking a name. This pc is going to Kat in Hawaii.

I didn't know what I was going to do ahead of time. I wanted to play with those new Daniel Smith paints and mixed the colors on the paper. This paper is super aborbent though, so I didn't get quite the effect I was going for. Then I decided to draw over the color and used one of my favorite elephant statues in my artroom as a reference. I drew with my usual Sakura micron .005, but again, the paper wasn't very cooperative.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Osiris Again

I could not resist sketching Osiris in this intriguing pose this weekend. I don't think I've ever seen him sleep like that before. I drew with a Sakura micron pen .005, on a pre-painted background with a simple purple stripe.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Moleskine Sketches

One of my favorite things to do is to go to and look through all the artist blogs I've subscribed to. It is so inspiring to see what other artists are up to, particularly in their sketchbooks.

Lately, has been especially inspiring and led me to the sketch I've posted here. Because of all I've read about the Moleskine pages not accepting watercolor, I've pretty much avoided using anything but a black technical pen in it. But the craftmonkeys blog gave me some great ideas and this is one of them. I love the layout and how much the colored squares add to the page. I also like that the small squares force me to focus on details. I want to practice that more often.

I used Prismacolor watercolor pencils, which seemed to do okay when water was applied. Not too much resistance from the paper, as long as I kept the brush from getting too wet.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Cat portraits

Finally, I have internet in my art room and am able to scan and post new work! These are three cat portraits done for a longtime customer who has something like eight cats! Her husband must be a very patient man. This customer has had me do a painting of each of her cats and these three are her latest. I'm afraid the completion of these paintings got postponed due to morning sickness and then our move, but they are finally done. My favorite is the first white one, Lambchop, though this scan doesn't really show the detail of his fur.