Upcoming Art Event: “REVEAL” August 25th

Busy busy busy. Packing, moving (Saturday is the big day! New house, here we come!), and getting ready for next week’s RAW Boston¬†art show, “REVEAL”. You can still buy tickets! Click the link above to buy directly through my artist page. Even if you can’t attend, you can still show your support by buying a ticket anyway. The funds will directly support me and my participation in the show.

I finished up making all my prints for the show this week. There will be some excellent ones for perusal and purchase ūüôā

And now, though I’d love to something insightful or funny, I must instead close up shop for today and go to bed. Packing is laborious, moving is a marathon, and I need to get enough sleep if I want to avoid burning out before it’s all done.

Here’s some pictures from the past week, at least:

Seagull print for "REVEAL"

Seagull print for “REVEAL”

more prints for "REVEAL"

more prints for “REVEAL”

breakfast doodle experiments of quilt-like ideas...

breakfast doodle experiments of quilt-like ideas…

quilt sketch close up

quilt sketch close up

Looking forward to writing more involved posts (AND MAKING NEW ARTWORK!!!) once all the busyness has died down! All the same, thanks for stopping by.

 

 

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New Website + Upcoming Art Show

Friends! My new portfolio/professional site is launched! You can click on the “portfolio” menu option on this page, and the link will take you to my portfolio site. Now you can see samples of my best work, organized by category and easy to browse through! Hooray. Check it out!¬†Eventually I’ll synch it up better with this site, add an e-mail sign up, and work out the remaining little details, but for now, I’m happy it’s functional and easy to look at.

BIG NEWS! Last week I got a nice surprise when I was invited, out of the blue, to be a featured artist in RAW Boston’s upcoming Art showcase “REVEAL”. RAW Boston is part of RAW Artists. Here’s what their website has to say about them:

Raw is an international organization run by artists FOR artists. It’s mission is to provide independent artists within the first 10 years of their creative career with the tools, resources, and exposure needed to inspire and cultivate creativity. Raw ventures to provide the platform for artists to be seen, heard, and loved. Their showcase events feature indie talent in visual art, film, fashion design, music, performance art, hair and makeup artistry, and photography.

On August 25th from 7-11 PM, I will be showing and selling originals and prints, alongside many other talented Boston area artists, at Mixx 360 in Malden, MA. Tickets are $20 and you can buy them here! The event will have live music and art performers, a fashion show, an art show, craft and artisan vendors, drinks, and much more. I’m excited to go and meet other young artists and to see the fruits of so much creative labor. It’s usually¬†quite inspiring to be around¬†passionate people who are doing what they love.

I have to thank my husband and everyone else who has been encouraging me, from the start, to keep sharing my work online and beyond. It is because of all the sharing (on Behance, Instagram, Etsy, etc.) that opportunities like¬†this have started to arise. If you have something you’re doing that you feel is worth¬†sharing with the world, DO it. This is a great time to be an artist.

I recently met a local photographer, the multi-talented Joey Phoenix, who is going to take photos of some of my larger work so I can get prints made for the show. While digging through my stockpiles to find the stuff¬†I want her to shoot, I found this old gem (I’ve shared it before, but…it’s worth another share because it makes me smile):

Albrecht Durer and Renoir's Cat

It’s a remnant from college. I combined an Albrecht D√ľrer self-portrait and a Pierre Auguste Renoir painting to make D√ľrer holding a cat. I think it would make great prints, but I don’t know what the legal boundaries are on works like this, since I essentially just copied the paintings of two of history’s great masters.

I’ll admit it: more than once, in moments of self-doubt/existential crisis, I’ve considered shifting gears and focusing on painting “regal” cats. I’d build up a body of work of classical, Napoleon-esque felines looking heroic with columns and ruffled collars and all that. But someone else is already doing that, and who am I kidding, I wouldn’t be able to focus on such a small sliver of subject matter for very long.

And that’s all I have to say about that. Love to you all. I hope summer is treating you well.

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Cat meets pineapple (illustration)

Through art, we¬†grapple with life’s biggest questions. For instance: I woke up one day wondering “How would a cat interact with a pineapple?” So I got out my watercolors and began searching for¬†an answer.Cat Meets Pineapple


In no time, the answer made itself clear. “Oh, right. That’s¬†how,” I sighed, putting down my paintbrush.

What a relief to have gotten to the bottom of such a pressing matter.

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The Halloween Post

For the last few weeks, I’ve¬†been busy working on several new commissions (Christmas is coming before you know it – this time of year starts to get BUSY!) but I’ve still got a few Halloween-y doodles to share with you. Scribbling out pictures like these helps me stay balanced and awake while I’m working on projects for other people. The change of pace keeps¬†me from turning into a robot and keeps my mind flexible. And it gives me a few minutes to take a break from the “serious” stuff to play! (Don’t get me wrong – I’m having a blast working on the¬†commissioned projects! But it’s still nice to take a¬†few minutes, each day, and¬†make something spontaneous).

You may have seen these earlier this week on Tumblr, Twitter, or Instagram.
Cat, Quilt, Spider

Sketchbook Therapy: Fall DoodleFall Tree DoodleFall Town DoodleFall Playing Cards

In addition, I feel the need to re-post these 3 gems from previous Halloweens. I mean, watching kids having fun is really what makes Halloween special, right? Who doesn’t love a good dose of nostalgia? Thank goodness we still live in a world where, once a year, it’s perfectly¬†acceptable to fill an entire pillowcase with candy from strangers ūüôā

James the DragonCreatureNaomi Butterfly

 

Hope you have a Happy Halloween!

 

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Black Cat Halloween Illustration

Cat on a Pumpkin Stack

I know I say it all the time: Being human is so strange. I¬†put hours and hours¬†into¬†intricate¬†paintings, but repeatedly find that at the end of the day, what I’m most proud of are the simple illustrations I did during my breaks.

Hard work is so satisfying.

And yet, simplicity is so refreshing.

I guess the two balance each other out. The relationship between complex and simple creates a marvelous mechanism that keeps¬†life from getting¬†dull.¬†I’m so happy I live in a world where I can¬†dabble in¬†both! ¬†And I love seeing¬†the things that other people produce from¬†both these states of mind.

Some examples:

Steve Light‘s complex illustrations in¬†Have You Seen My Dragon?¬†¬†(I am obsessed with this book!) are the best. I love them as much as I love Jon Klassen‘s simple ones in¬†“I Want My Hat Back”¬†(also obsessed).

And in what other world can you appreciate both¬†Cersei Lannister’s¬†hair¬†and¬†Larry David’s bald head¬†in equal measure? (Larry David makes fun of himself, so I think I’m allowed to, too).

Yeah, it’s all just. so. great!

Happy Friday, y’all. Go out and live your gloriously complex and simple lives. And don’t forget to share your experiences, big and small, with the rest of us along the way.

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Just a Little Cat Sketch

I got some new fountain pens for Christmas — they’re WONDERFULLY handy! Like many artists, I like to sketch with nibs because the line quality is more versatile than with technical pens. With these new pens, I can sketch anywhere without worrying about spilling jars of ink, because they have their own refillable ink cartridges. (Yes I know, what a technological advancement!) Wahoo! I plan on doing lots of travel sketching with them, among other things.

The sketch below was done to test the¬†range of thickness and line quality I can get with said pens. It’s based on a photo my husband took of one of our cats, Miko, sleeping soundly in her carpeted cat “hut”. Nothing fancy, but I’d figure I’d post it just to stay in touch.

Mew.

Miko_Sketch

 

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Advent Calendar Coloring Book: December 10th

AdventCalendar_10_Cat&Mouse

Download and print here: AdventCalendar_10_Cat&Mouse

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My New Painting: Continuing to Experiment with Acrylic

There is a quilt on our bed that my mom made for us when we got married. It’s made with batik fabric (fabric hand-dyed using a¬†wax-resist technique), so each patch is different from the rest. It’s the sort of visual feast that I¬†could look at for hours (if I¬†had the time). In some spots, the dye is particularly saturated, or it’s more green than in other areas. Elsewhere, the colors have mixed spontaneously into unexpected¬†shades of magenta and blue and purple that end up reminding me of the sunset in Minnesota when I was¬†17 years old. Indeed, as a visual object alone, the quilt is a treasure.

Then I¬†start thinking about the unseen layers of the quilt. How it’s filled with my mom’s love. A warm and symbolic way¬†for her to¬†wrap her kid up in a comforting embrace and make everything okay forever, even though her daughter is supposedly grown up (because hey!, moms never stop being moms and daughters never stop being¬†daughters). And it’s a reminder of Grandma, too: The Matriarch Quilter, with her contagious curiosity and her unfailing sense of humor. (Hi Grandma!, if you’re reading this). And it’s a sparkly little beam of¬†excitement¬†that perhaps someday, I’ll have a kid that I make a quilt for. (And then I find myself already¬†hoping, with some desperation, that my kid will be able to feel the love that’s layered into their quilt — that love that feels too big to express, no matter how many times I try to).

Beholding this quilt; snuggling under it; sharing it with my husband and our cats; seeing it every morning in the different light of fall, winter, spring, and summer — it’s one of those deeper-than-you’d-expect experiences that comes with living life with your eyes and heart open. It’s one¬†of those experiences that I wanted to share with others.

So I painted this:

Miko_Final copy

I’m sure there’s a ton of skeptics who, if they heard me and saw what I make, would think that I’m just a sentimentalist who gushes nonsense about marshmallow fluff and ponies and unicorns that eat rainbows. But I’m not.

I just hope this painting gets¬†you¬†to see and feel a little bit about what I’m always talking about with this blog. There are a lot of interesting things¬†to be seen and felt in the world. As an artist (and a human), I always find myself¬†wanting to¬†celebrate and explore the complex beauty of the everyday¬†things that surround me. I can’t help it. That’s why I set out¬†to paint this. Because the quilt¬†inspired me. I wanted to play around with the colors and textures and patterns of an object that I love, just to experience what happened along the way.

So, don’t be afraid to look at things — to really¬†look, and experience how they affect you.¬†You never know where “looking”¬†will take your mind and your spirit.

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The Jungle of My Mind, Plus A Commissioned Jungle-Themed Painting

Hi folks! Hope you’ve been having a good summer!

Summer, with its shameless abundance of visual splendors, is a wonderful and dangerous time for my creative brain. Every thing I look at– be it a homegrown tomato, one of the neighbor’s perfect marigolds, or the ever-changing cloudscape– inspires an idea for some piece of art that I could make, if only I had infinite time, energy, and concentration. A five minute walk down the sidewalk turns into a bombardment of ideas. They hit me one after another with such speed that they knock the wind out of me, leaving me (mentally) sprawled out on the sidewalk, grasping, with great futility, to capture them all before they escape beyond reach. Don’t get me wrong, it’s truly exhilarating to have my brain go into creative hyperdrive each summer. But I have to be careful or else the excitement gets TOO big, the ideas come TOO fast, and I get TOO attached to each and every one of them. Then I crash, hard, when I have to face the reality that I can’t conceivably pay artistic homage to every inspiration I have.

Thankfully, I can maneuver through Summer’s jungle of ideas just fine as long as I remember to “let it go”. Don’t get too attached to my ideas. Don’t fool myself into thinking that I have¬†to create every painting that I’m inspired to make. It’s another one of those secrets to living a balanced and fulfilling life, a secret discovered through art-making but applicable to all things:

Let. It. Go. (cue “Frozen” music).

Speaking of jungles, here’s one I created for a client who wanted to hang some “animal art” in her son’s bedroom. It’s done in gauche and ink.

Jungle_Illustration

I’m particularly fond of the frog.

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