Thursday, February 26, 2015

Illustration Friday: Metropolis

This is from a book dummy I did several years ago about two brothers who lived alone in a mountain valley. They decided to climb the mountain and see what the rest of the world looked like. On the other side they found the big city!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Love Song Finished

Here's how Love Song turned out. This is the last print in this little series. It took me a long time to  finish the series because I was squeezing them in between other projects. If you'd like to see, here are some process photos from Bird Song, and here are some from Whale Song.

Let me sing you a song about the ocean blue,
Let me sing you a song about your world so new,
Let me sing you a song about my love for you.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Linocut Class

I'm going to be teaching a class at the Steamboat Art Museum in March. I realize most of the people who check in here don't live in my town, but I thought I'd share the info. Everyone will get a Speedball Deluxe Block Printing Kit, BFK Rives paper, and a little registration jig.  It's going to be two days of fun!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Love Song

I'm finally getting around to the third print in this series that I started last summer. I was just working on it between other projects. I'm really excited about it now, and I hope it looks ok printed!

Here's how the block turned out.

And here it is before I started carving, along with the Whale Song and Bird Song blocks. I'm going to print it on a peach colored music collage background.

The text of the three prints together is:

Let me sing you a song about the ocean blue.
Let me sing you a song about your world so new. 
Let me sing you a song about my love for you.

Sunday, February 1, 2015


The little Cardinal is finally done! It's a 4x5 inch 3 color print. It's done on top of a background that I rolled out with a carved brayer. And the word Cardinal was made with stamps.

I wanted to do a multi color print because I'm going to be teaching a beginning linocut class at the Steamboat Art Museum in March and I needed a refresher on mulit-block prints. For the last long time I've been carving one block and then painting the print with watercolor. I'm trying to mix things up for myself and try different techniques though so this was perfect.

I do hope to do a little series of birds and bird houses to go with this print. I think they would make sweet greeting cards.

Here are some process photos for the fun of it.

How Do I Find the Time?

A lot of people have been asking me lately how I find the time to do artwork with a toddler. It's starting to feel like they are asking if I'm ignoring her and spending all day making art. Which would be completely impossible even if I wanted to! So I've been thinking about what I do when, and how it's working for me. Just in case it's interesting or helpful to anyone I'll share the things that work for me.

First of all, nothing is perfect. Plans fall apart or we operate on not enough sleep, but I try not to stress about it and just keep plugging away whenever I can. It definitely adds up to results in the end!

A page from my sketchbook.
My daughter, Tessa takes great naps now. But for most of a year she didn't nap for longer than 10 minutes. It made me crazy! So I definitely take advantage of her naps now. She also goes to sleep at about 8 (usually) (hopefully.) And I stay up for a few hours working on things at night. I'm actually a morning person, so this isn't ideal for me. But every time I wake up early in the morning my dog gets up too. He's very loud flapping his ears and yawning and nosing around and he wakes up Tessa. So I stay up late and sleep in.

These times when my daughter is asleep are when I get artwork done. But I try and maximize my art time with lots of little tricks. And here they are:

-Always have a plan. Know the next two little things to be done and have materials handy.

-Have 2 or 3 different projects going in different phases. When I can't work on one, I move on to another.

-Do the daydreamy planning brainstorming stuff while helping her fall asleep, fall asleep myself, or in the shower, in the car, or whenever I have enforced quiet time. I've formulated huge projects this way. I take notes when I can. And then as soon as I have free time for art, I jump right in because I've been working out the details in my head for weeks already.

-Keep notes on my phone with ideas for illustrations, stories, things to do, business stuff, whatever.

-Do as many chores as possible with Tessa so that I don't have to do them later by myself. We make laundry and doing dishes into fun games. 

-I like the house to be organized, so whenever I go through a room, I will quickly pick it up. Usually everything is tidy when she goes to bed.

-If Tessa is enjoying playing alone I pay the bills, do email, or things like that so I won't have to do them later.

-I always have a sketchbook or other artwork on the kitchen table. She often takes longer to eat than me, so I just start drawing without even getting up. We can still talk and I can help her.

Here's a goofy photo that my husband took during breakfast one morning.
And these are the things that I DON'T  do:

-I don't stress over minute housecleaning. My house is rarely very well dusted.

-I don't  watch TV. It's often on because my husband is watching. To be friendly I sit in the room with him and do artwork or computer stuff at a desk we have in the living room. I might sit on the couch and watch a one hour show per week without something in my hands.

-I don't procrastinate on art projects. It's hard to get started sometimes, but taking the first little step will quickly get me excited instead of being nervous. I do procrastinate on things like taxes. Blah.

-I don't do social things unless they are toddler-related. I'm not necessarily recommending this, but Im both broke and an introvert, and that's just how it is.

Play time at the library.

All of this leaves us tons of time to play, read, go on walks, do crafts, go to fun places like the library, music class, or gymnastics. Tessa is actually quite the artist herself. I don't think it will be too long before I don't have to monitor her as closely and maybe we could do some drawing or painting side by side!

Tessa painting.
If you've read this far, here is a disclaimer: If I do get a big job with deadlines, we will investigate some daycare. I'm not Wonder Woman!

A page from our collaborative sketchbook.