Sunday, July 16, 2017

CD Cover

I'm finishing up a really exciting project! You may know that I went to music school. And even though I don't play anymore myself, I do have friends from my (distant) past that are professional musicians. Christopher Farrell is a friend of mine that plays viola for the Nashville Symphony and is in the process of recording the first album of his classical compositions. And he asked me to create the artwork for his album cover!

I started with a bunch of thumbnails that were influenced by different elements of the compositions, or images of Chris or the violin soloist, Jessica. Chris liked the tree on the top right and the viola with a bird that is the second in the top row. Those 2 images went well together, so I combined them to make the front and back of the cover. Below are some process photos of carving and printing the block.

The professional recordings for the album will be happening soon, then we will be able to finalize the text on the cover. And after it's printed we will be able to hold it in our hands--- and play Chris' wonderful music! I've heard each of these pieces and I promise they are great. If you'd like to hear more about this project, you can read about it on his Indiegogo page.

This it how the print turned out. The tree will be on the front cover and the viola on the back. I'm excited to see it all finished and I'll share a link to buy the CD once it's available!

Monday, June 26, 2017

100 Animals Finished! And a Giveaway!

Above is Number 100! And below are some of my recent favorites.

To celebrate the end of this sketchbook series, I'm giving away a print! If you follow this link to my website and let me know which of the animals you like best in the comments, I'll enter you to win the Peacock in the photo below. I'll draw one of your names from a hat on Thursday morning, 6-29-17. Yay!!!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Three New Animals

I had a chance to do 3 more in this animal series: the Ladybug, Magpie, and Alligator. Here they are below along with their friends.

And below are the linocut blocks and some process photos.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Almost Done With 100 Animals!

Yesterday I did animal number 88 in my sketchbook. I'm so close! This year I'm not trying to do one each day. I had lots of other art commitments and I knew I wouldn't be able to do it all unless I wasn't rigid about when I got things done. I'm glad I made that decision! Last year doing one tree each day for 100 days, I learned a ton. But it felt like I didn't need to learn those same lessons again this year. This year since I allowed myself some flexibility and wasn't in a hurry, I think I've been able to do more thoughtful artwork, interesting backgrounds, use the media I explored last time and still try different things this time. It's so much fun! Here they all are on my website.

And here are some recent favorites:

When I get done with all 100, I'm going to do a giveaway! I'll give away one print from my blog, one from Instagram, and one from Facebook. Stay tuned for the details!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Einstein Quote Finished!

I finally finished this challenging print! The block is 30 inches long and I printed it on light blue Magnani Prescia, a lovely heavy printmaking paper. Carving all the letters was tedious, but I enjoy carving text so it wasn't bad. The friend who commissioned me to create this piece is very happy!

Below are some photos taken while printing the quote. My husband and I have been watching Genius, the TV series about Albert Einstein while I finished carving the block. It's interesting to work on the quote while watching a show about his life. It really makes history come alive!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Einstein Quote

Here is my next project- it's a 30 inch long quote by Albert Einstein that is very special to a friend of mine. This is what it says:

Try and penetrate with our limited means the secrets of nature and you will find that, behind all the discernible concatenations, there remains something subtle, intangible and inexplicable. Veneration for this force beyond anything that we can comprehend is my religion. To that extent I am, in point of fact, religious.

I'm nervous about printing this long linocut! Hopefully it goes well! I will definitely post photos when it's time.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Foam Stamps with Kids

Earlier in April I did a fun project with the preschoolers and kindergarteners at my daughter's school, Mountain Village Montessori Charter School. I did a simple line drawing with hills, a river, pond, train tracks, houses, roads, a school and a farm. And then I added lots more foam stamps to the ones that I'd already made for a similar project I did a couple years ago at our library.

It started out pretty calm and organized.

But it soon got very busy with lots of kids stamping!

Above is my friend, Ann who was a big help teaching with me. There were three classes of children who added to our long skinny picture, or about 60 kids. Half way through the project we realized the picture was filling up so much that it was running out of empty spots for stamps! So I got out the other similar drawing I'd started as a practice piece with my daughter. We'd done some stamps on that one but it still had plenty of room. The children filled that one up too and at the end there were two 12 foot long pictures chock full of stamps. A good time was had by all! And hopefully all that ink did wash out of clothes and hands. I swear the ink pads say they are washable ink!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

44 Easy Steps To Follow When All Of Your Art Submissions Are Rejected And No One Buys Anything At Your Art Show

1. Overeat.
2. Be depressed.
3. Feel like quitting.
4. Consider moving and deleting all social media accounts.
5. Rearrange the furniture in your house instead.
6. Listen exclusively to James Taylor.
7. Feel assured that everyone knows that you are a dork.
8. Try to make some new art and have it turn out badly.
9. Become extra depressed at everyone else's success.
10. Develop severe social awkwardness.
11. Eat chocolate.
12. Go to your depressing day job.
13. Laugh when you read about a famous author being rejected 10 times..... What, THAT'S ALL?!?
14. Realize that you've wasted your whole life.
15. Indulge in retail therapy.
16. Indulge in some other things. I mean, who cares?!
17. Make some more bad art.
18. Accept that you are a terrible artist.
19. Look at your website and think, maybe it's not ALL bad.
20. Listen to inspirational podcasts and briefly think maybe you could have some success eventually.
21. Sleep too much.
22. Go back to your day job that has nothing to do with your interests.
23. Wonder why anyone bothers to talk to you at all.
24. Overanalyze everything.
25. Make some more art.
26. Pretend to be happy.
27. Go for a walk.
28. Make some more art.
29. Read a good book.
30. Cry.
31. Remember that your joy in making art has nothing to do with whether other people want to buy it.
32. Accept that you are a dork but some people seem to like you anyway.
33. Be brave.
34. Make more art.
35. Delete your Facebook app for a while.
36. Make more art.
37. Make more art.
38. Enjoy the sunshine.
39. Enjoy your family.
40. Try to believe in yourself.
41. Try to stop overeating but first eat a little more chocolate.
42. Make more art.
43. Laugh.
44. Make more art.

It's ok, you don't need to worry about me. I'm on number 44! Although I might need to take a break from submitting for a little bit and just enjoy the sunshine and Easter candy for a week or so before I dive back in.

In the spirit of being brave, below is a photo of my little girl who is shy, nervous, and most definitely an introvert like her parents. She was so brave and excited to sit on Mrs. Bunny's lap! Happy Easter to you all!

Friday, April 7, 2017

More Animals

Three new animals have been added to my recent animal series- the Bumblebee, Hummingbird, and Peacock!

Below are some process photos: 

My 3-year-old did her own painting on some of my reject prints.

And here they all are together!

If you are interested in buying any of these sweet little animals, you can find them on my website. 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Our Home Family

I recently finished this large linocut for my picture book dummy. It's a close-up of the family and I have to say THANK YOU to my critique group who offered a lot of advice and suffered through many redrawings!

The young girl in this image is the narrator of Our Home. There is nothing written about it in the story, but you can guess by looking that she's adopted. I have lots of friends and family that look different ethnically from their parents. I know that presents its own challenges. But part of the beauty of adopting a child from a different culture is how bit by bit it can make our world more open-minded and compassionate. Parents learn more about a culture different from their own with traditions and role models who might become important to their children. It's my hope that every day our world will get more respectful of different cultures and religions, people that look different, and all gender orientations.

Whew, that got a little heavy! But I worked hard on the manuscript of this book to have it not sound preachy, just respectful, loving, and hopefully eye-opening. Below are some photos from the process of printing the linocut.