Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Something Awesome This Way Comes!!

There is something really exciting brewing for Smells Like Crayons and it's happening soon at Apotheca!

Apotheca is an adorable coffee/tea house, eclectic craft/ flower shop/art gallery which is located in an 1860's train depot in the middle of Goffstown Village, NH, but starting July 17, 2010, it will also be the location of the first Smells Like Crayons art exhibition!

Today, we began the installation portion of our adventure.  At first the bare walls were a little daunting, but as soon as we figured out how to adjust the hangers (thanks to Jane's husband's Allen wrenches), sorted out who's work would go where, and actually began hanging our stuff... wow!  This is going to be a great show!

We're having an Artist Reception on Saturday, July 17, 2010, 11:00 am - 2:00 pm and would love it if you could join us!   You'll get to meet us, check out our work (and even buy it, if you'd like), and take in the wonderful mood of Apotheca.  You should also bring your sweet tooth, because Apotheca's Smoothies and White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake alone are worth the drive!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Lots of work and nothing to show for it

This is a busy time. I sent out two manuscripts thanks to the post conference free pass and have to finish a dummy to get out on Thursday. Our group also has an art show next month at a place called Apotheca in Goffstown New Hampshire for which I have 4 paintings to hang on Wednesday. You'd think I could give you more than these words with all of that but I guess you'll have to wait, wish me luck.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Chipmunks everywhere

When the weather is nice, I like to do artwork on my screened-in porch. I often find myself distracted by all the wildlife around the yard. There are a variety of birds with their young using the bird feeder, hummingbirds on the flowers, gray and red squirrels chattering, as well as about a half dozen chipmunks running here and there. The chipmunks are especially entertaining for my cat as they run right under her nose as she sits safely behind the screen. I did some quick pencil sketches before choosing this pose to draw for today's post.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Piping Plovers

I have been obsessed with piping plovers ever since I completed an endangered species poster assignment a few years ago. The piping plover is the animal I chose. Here is a video about their plight if you are interested.

Above is a study I've been working on of a chick on a rocky shore done from photo reference.

Below are some sketches. I'm planning a painting on wood.

Monday, June 21, 2010

From my sketchbook...

Today is the first day of summer, which makes me think of the end of the school year, and of field day, and of potato sack races.... I think I like this little sketch - its rough and the composition could use a little tweaking (less room between the winner and the other racers I think), but its got something and I'll have to keep working on it and see what it looks like in color.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


The "Ripple Effect" is based on the understanding that all of us are interconnected.  Thoughts and actions are like stones dropped in a pond, and they create ripples that travel outward.  The choices you make have far reaching consequences, and each of us has the capacity to change the world: for better or worse.

In response to the crisis occurring in the Gulf of Mexico, fellow illustrator Kelly Light has stepped up with a stone in hand and has made a huge ripple with her blog Ripple.  Artists from all over the world have donated artwork in order to raise money for The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies and The International Bird Rescue Research Center.  For a $10 donation, amazing artwork can be yours!

I, personally, feel drawn to this cause because my family tries very hard to do right by the environment.  We've given up the ole power mower for an old fashioned reel mower, traded our standard cars for hybrids, we recycle and reuse ad nauseum (ask our friends),  my eldest daughter is a vegetarian, and my youngest, a huge advocate for endangered animals.  (Yes, we're those tree huggers you hear so much about).   So when the magnitude of this disaster began to sink in, we felt helpless.  What could one family do in the grand scheme of things?

Ripple has allowed us to feel like we're doing something.  My girls painted sketch cards (which I'm happy to say were "sold"), as have I. We also purchased some really cool artwork that the girls plan on hanging in their rooms.

So, if you haven't had a chance to get involved yet, I highly recommend taking a peak, and making your own ripple.

Below is the piece I've most recently donated, as well as the paintings my girls contributed.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Bear with me, I'm new at this

I probably shouldn't even post a picture that is so far from what I would want it to be but it is all part of the learning process. I was sketching for illustration Friday's prompt Ripple and thought I'd play around with coloring it on the computer. I am new at coloring drawings on the computer, so new that I am not even saying it right. I am using the poor man's Photoshop and experimenting a little. I have learned something already. If your lines are not closed the color will bleed everywhere if you use the paint bucket, which is why the sky is peach. Next time it is my turn to post I will hopefully have learned from this.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Waiting for summer vacation

I've been working on this piece as a tribute to those last, long days of the school year.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

One last scribble...

After 8 years of meeting in-person and 6 months of blogging, it's time for me to say goodbye.

I'm leaving my dear Smells Like Crayons group, in search of more time to create art. I have enjoyed this last leg of the journey and will keep visiting and commenting to see what this talented bunch is up to.

I wish you all continued success. You can still find me at my own blog or website. Farewell my friends!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Painting on Wood and Recycled Pouch

I have been experimenting with painting on wood. It takes some getting used to.

The octopus is my latest little painting. On the right is a piece of bristol where I test out colors. On the left is some inspiration--a cool little zippered pouch made by Blue Q of 95% recycled material. I bought it this weekend at Blick. A little research and I found that the artwork of illustrator Colin Johnson was used. Ironically, he works on wood! The art on this pouch, in fact, was from a mixed media piece done on wood. I don't know how the art was printed onto the "recycled woven materials" or what the woven materials are exactly or what the shiny coating is. I would really like to know, though. Anyone know?

Here is a detail.:

I love it!
My painting on the other hand...well I still need to figure out this painting-on-wood thing. Next time I know I need to sand it smooth (thanks, Matte!).
We'll see where this goes. In the meantime, I'll be on the lookout for more inspiration. Join me?

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Artist in the Office

I know I'm a couple days late on my blog post, but internet has been down at my house for the past several days. It's been spotty at best as of late, and now it's just gone. We'll have to wait until Sunday for the internet guy to come over and check it out. It's all very frustrating.
Anyhow, I figured I do a quick little post from another computer while I can.
I'm not sure if anyone has blogged about this book before, but it's currently in my cart at It's called The Artist in the Office: How to Creatively Survive and Thrive Seven Days a Week by Summer Pierre. Since most artists I know have "day jobs" aside from their illustration work, I think this will be a valuable read. I know I've been struggling with the work/art balance for years. Usually work wins out, unfortunately. Ms. Pierre covers different ways to keep your creativity fresh, and how to incorporate art into every day. I'm really looking forward to reading it.
Happy Friday, everyone! Hope you have a great weekend!