Illustration Friday: Spring

Meet Casey. Growing up, Casey didn't think very much of the food on his plate. To inspire him to eat, his parents made up stories of choochoo trains and aeroplanes. Casey fell in love with the stories. He loved imagining where each part of his meal came from, where it had been, and how it found him.

Spring was his favorite season. All the food closest to the earth had the best stories to tell.

Casey was painted in watercolor and ink on
2.75"x3.75" amalfi cotton rag paper.

Previous Illustration Friday entries ::
monster : tattoo [one page tale painted gocco print] : tattoo : insect : tea : song : simple : chair : glamour [color gocco print] : glamour : cats : e is for : sea : flavor : holiday : imagine


Illustration Friday: Monster

Meet Polly. Polly loved cherries more than anything else in the world. She ate cherries for breakfast, second breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Her mom mumbled time and time again "do not swallow the pits." Obviously, Polly didn't listen. Even when the cherry tree started growing out of her mouth, she still swallowed the pits.

But it wasn't all that bad: Polly won the science fair every year.

Polly was painted in watercolor and ink on
2.75"x3.75" amalfi cotton rag paper.

Previous Illustration Friday entries ::
tattoo [one page tale painted gocco print] : tattoo : insect : tea : song : simple : chair : glamour [color gocco print] : glamour : cats : e is for : sea : flavor : holiday : imagine


kite watcher.

This past weekend I went to a friend's baby shower and made this little swaddled baby tag for her present:

Other fun this weekend was walking around the tidal basin and admiring the cherry blossoms just as they were getting ready to burst. Saturday was also the Smithsonian Kite Festival so there were all sorts of kites playing up in the sky: round kites, tiny kites, boxy kites, and even pirate ship kites! My favorite was a long string of tiny kites that looked like fans because of the tassels hanging off them. It made really pretty patterns in the sky.

Sean, the most fabulous artist, wrote a really great review of the Hiroshi Sugimoto photography exhibit we saw at the Hirshhorn. I almost forgot about that!

Art Monday was cancelled last night, so I had some extra time to focus on some of my own artwork. Here is a little peek at some of my current work in progress:

I've also made some more prints which I hope to post later this week!


blocking is magic.

I finished Daisy! After blocking for the first time, I have to say that blocking is magic. Seriously. Now the pattern really shows.

This is my first project with edging! Here are some details of the front and back:

Now that I'm so won over by the magic known as blocking, I want to block everything!

For my next big project I'm working on the Chevron Scarf from the Last Minute Knit Gifts book. The pattern calls for Koigu, but I'm using some delicious Persimmon Tree Hill potluck silk instead. Looks like this farm only sells yarn 5 times a year, and lucky for me, the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival is one of them! (Just 6 weeks to go!)

I'm using two different colors: One is mostly browns, purples, and silvers, and the other is made up of cooler browns with oranges and blues. I have started on size 7 needles, but am still contemplating taking it out and starting again on size 8 or 9 instead.
On the subject of magic, I got sorted into Gryffindor! i'm in gryffindor! Click on the hat if you want to get sorted, too!

Notes ::
:: Yarn used : Green Mountain Spinnery Painted Merino/Tencel 50/50, 2 skeins
:: Needles : size 7
:: Final Size after blocking : 6.5" x 74"

Previously ::
:: Growing daisy and stash.
:: Daisy in progress.


Illustration Friday: Feet

Alison's story has a happy ending! Yes, she lands on her *feet*:

Weeks ago I posted part 1, Alison rocking in her chair, and asked whether she would fall, or gracefully rock back into place:
Meet Alison. Alison doesn't understand some of the things big people say. And when she doesn't understand, she just giggles.

Most of you wanted her to crash, yet survive. Yes, Alison is a rock star and acrobat at heart. Thank you everyone for playing along...I really enjoyed reading all the stories!

Alison part 2 was drawn in sepia ink. I am currently thinking about what to do with her next.

Previous Illustration Friday entries : tattoo [painted gocco print] : tattoo : insect : tea : song : simple : chair : glamour [color gocco print] : glamour : cats : e is for : sea : flavor : holiday : imagine


Roxy's Tattoo. A One Page Tale.

Meet Roxy's Tattoo, A One Page Tale gocco print:

Roxy's Tattoo, A One Page Tale. Painted Gocco Print. 11"x8.5" 2006

I recently got a B5 Print Gocco. Printable area: 6.5"x9". For my first project, I turned my illustration of Roxy into a One Page Tale print! It came out to be a series of 25 prints, on many different types of paper. Now I'm working on handpainting them all.

And yes, I set up an Etsy store of my work! So far it has a few Kitty Misfits prints, and some of Roxy and her One Page Tale. Will let you know as I add more.

Happy first day of spring!


Headless Interpretations.

This scultpure is next to the ice skating rink in the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden:

Magdalena Abakanowicz, Puellae (Girls), 1992

A few weeks ago while I was hanging out there, drinking some coffee, and sketching elliot the pirate, a mother and two kids walked by. Age guess of kids: maybe 4 and 6?

Mom looks at the scuplture, cringes and says: "Ooh...not so nice."
The elder of the two boys says: "Look ma, no heads...what happened?"
Mom says: “Maybe it means they weren’t using their heads...”
and the kid says: “I know what happened. They stopped thinking and didn’t need their heads any more so they just blew off!”

You can read about the real story of this scuplture on the NGA's Sculpture Garden web site by clicking here.


my first ever knitpicks catalog.

...has me speechless.

Meet the "Yarn Bracelet": "...you can wear a bracelet on each arm and knit with two colors at once..."

I. think. not. Come on, people! Yes, knitting in public is cool, but knitting in public with these "yarn bracelets" hanging off your arms? not. cool.

Carpal tunnel, anyone? I'm not even sure if they sell carpal tunnel braces, but if they did, I would hope they were both on the same page.

I thought the yarn bracelet was weird, until I got to what they call the 'Magic Marble Teleidoscope'? What? Please tell me no one has bought one of these:

*both images were scanned from the knitpicks catalog and not altered by me in any way! Yes, hard to believe, I know...


Illustration Friday: Tattoo

Meet Roxy*. Roxy is not capable of keeping her hands still. They always need to be doing something. She decorates every inch of her homework, notes, and assignments with drawings! One day her teacher, Mr. Bo Ring*, said "Roxy. This has got to stop. You must stop drawing all over your school work! You must stop this at once I say!"

So she moved her paper aside and drew all over her arms.

In other news...please don't forget to check out my Art Monday on ebay listings! Some are ending really really soon (and we've started the bids really really low!)

Roxy was painted in watercolor and ink on
2.75"x3.75" amalfi cotton rag paper.
*Names have been changed to protect the innocent.
Yes, this is based on a true story.

Previous Illustration Friday entries : insect : tea : song : simple : chair : glamour [color gocco print] : glamour : cats : e is for : sea : flavor : holiday : imagine


wall of kitty misfits.

Kitty Misfits app 4"x6" gocco print 2006

Presenting my latest gocco print. This came out to be a wonderful edition of 70! Now I'm working on signing and numbering them all... Click here to go to my gocco fun post where I show the different layers that went into this one.

I actually finished this weeks ago. Finally its posted! Now I'm working on a new print. More on that as soon as I have something to show...

Art Monday tonight was lots of fun. Will post our results tomorrow! During the second round we got sidetracked making Quiqe a drawing. He made us a special side dish tonight: patacones. panamanian fried plantains. yum.

If you haven't yet heard of The Weepies, check them out! I found the recommendation on Penelope's blog and have been listening to them since. SA says they remind him a lot of The Samples.

Yay for making art and good music!


Art Monday artwork for sale...

Yes, the time has come...we've posted some of our Art Monday mixed media work from this past week on ebay!

We're starting the bids really low in the hopes that it will help fund our weekly Art Monday outings, and then to buy supplies.

Hooray for ebay!

...click here to go to Art Monday, or here to see all of our listings on ebay!


where i've been, and where i'm going...

Metro Dreamers. 7" x 10 1/4". mixed media. 2005

I made this painting about a year ago. It was started at the beach, and then continued in my studio from photos I had taken. This was my first attempt at mixing watercolor and ink.

Here is a painting from 5 years ago, of a similar theme:

Metro Riders II. 24" x 20". oil on canvas. 2001

Previously, all of my artwork was made in reference to photos or real life details. My more recent work has been mostly from my head, where I get to make it all up. And now I do everything in watercolor and ink when I get the chance.

Recently I have spent a lot of time thinking about my art: where it was, where its going, and where I am now. I'm moving on to a new series where I will be combining some of the many things I love to do. Having spent the past few months working mostly from my head, I'm interested in seeing what shape my artwork will take. And of course, I'll post the progress here.


Imagining Ourselves.

I've been invited to participate in a group show in Beirut this summer! The exhibit is part of the Imagining Ourselves Project, co-sponsored by the International Museum of Women, San Francisco. Today is International Woman's Day, and also the launch of the worldwide project.

"Shu Tabkha Ya Mara?" (What's Cookin' Woman?) is the title of the show I will be a part of, and it will be featured online as well.


I found this in a book on women. Why don't people run like this any more? Lady in the illustration is clearly very happy.


latest lessons learned...

...from my print gocco.

:: Sharpie ink does not burn screens! I read it somewhere and was so excited but two screens and four bulbs later, turns out it was all wrong....boo!

:: I found it interesting that a solid background made using carbon pencils created a moire pattern in the burned screen. Good news: the moire pattern doesn't print and is only visible if you examine the screen at an angle. I'm not sure why or how this happened. Will have to do some more research. I did find that the 'photo screen' print gocco accessory is a white dot-screen transparency that you place over your photos before making a photocopy of it.

Here are some essential materials that don't come with most standard print gocco sets that you must buy:
:: Ink blocking material: Totally essential! Thats why its the first on my list! I read a great tip in the wurst gallery interviews about how blocking off areas also saves you ink. duh! so true! block block block!

:: Ink Cleaner: This is what you need to keep your hands and studio and print gocco and clothes and screens clean. First you scrape off the ink, then you wipe as much of it off as you possibly can with a paper towel, then finally squirt on some cleaning gel to make it extra clean. It helps if you do this with your screen on scrap paper. Every few wipes/minutes, change the paper so you can tell by the imprint how much more cleaning the screen needs. A tube of this goes a long way.

:: Correction fluid: Smells like nail poilish. It costs about as much as pharmacy/grocery store nail polish, and it might even be nail polish. You'll need this if you're like me and realise only after you've already burned a screen and printed it that you want to add another layer. Easy fix? Just cover the unwanted openings with the correction fluid!

Finally, I noticed that Think Ink has "The New Gocco Guide" on sale for 10.95. Google is my best friend, but I have found this guide to be easy to follow and often read through it for advice and tips. One of the most valuable things I've found in it so far has been the info on color mixing. Apparently gocco colors mix differently than traditional paints, and they recommend using small quantities of fluorescent colors when mixing most colors. I never would have guessed that.

Hey, its Monday! I'm off to make some art with my fellow collaborators.


Illustration Friday: Insect

Meet Little Miss Mullet. Does she really need a story? When you've got that many feet, you must wear comfy shoes. But the hair? Arghhh....the hair, Little Miss Mullet! Whats up with the hair?

Little Miss Mullet was painted in watercolor on
2.75"x3.75" amalfi cotton rag paper.

Previous Illustration Friday entries : tea : song : simple : chair : glamour [color gocco print] : glamour : cats : e is for : sea : flavor : holiday : imagine


Illustration Friday: Tea

Meet Sir Mad Hatter. In his old age, the Mad Hatter preferred cold tea over hot. It soothed his achy gums and teeth. His favorite: bubble tea. The globs of tapioca would get lodged in his throat and surprise him. It took little things like that to make his life a bit more exciting.

Previous Illustration Friday entries : song : simple : chair : glamour [color gocco print] : glamour : cats : e is for : sea : flavor : holiday : imagine