Friday, August 29, 2014

Happy Weekend!

Last weekend before school starts!  Have a fun one!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Global Talent Search

Here is my submission for Lilla Rogers Global Talent Search.  The assignment was to create wall art inspired by "little terrariums".

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Powderhorn Art Fair

Thank you to everyone who stopped by my booth at the Powderhorn Art Fair in Minneapolis.  It was a hot one!  The weekend went really well.  I didn't get home until 11:30 on Sunday night and I feel like I'm still recovering from the weekend.  It's amazing how much work goes into doing an art fair.

I won their Merit Award which is one of their top four awards!  I'm invited back next year without having to go through the jury process and I don't have to pay for my booth fee!  I was really surprised by this, though it doesn't really show in the picture above, or maybe I was still in shock and didn't really believe it!
My son Fischer came with for the whole weekend and he was such a trooper!  He loves going around and looking at all the artists work and he had many favorites.  At one point he came back and asked if I had $400 dollars for a cool sculpture he liked.  Hee, hee.  Though I did get him a gift for being such a good helper.  Out of all the artists he chose Mary Hager's work which is brightly colored critters such as lizards, frogs, beetles and crabs made from metal or wood and air dried clay that she paints. 
Beautiful work. 

I wish I would have been able to see all of the artists at the fair.  That's one of the biggest downfalls about doing art fairs is that I don't get to look around:(  I also didn't get to see much of Minneapolis.  I'd like to spend a little more time there to check the city out and enjoy it.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Little Collaboration

Make Art That Sells Bootcamp with Lilla Rogers  finished up just over a week ago.  Our last assignment was to stay off of Facebook so we could focus on our own art and style and not be influenced by what everyone else was doing.  I think this was wonderful advice.  I love seeing what everyone is doing, but I also end up comparing myself to it all.  There is so much talent in Bootcamp and it can be very deflating looking at all of the beautiful work that comes out of it.  In the end I think I place way too much judgement on myself and probably do get a bit lost in it all.
For our mini we were to draw our favorite drinks and then for the final, make a piece of art that we would hang on our wall.   I didn't get a lot of time for sketching or for the final piece.  This summer has not been about making art.  It has been about so many other things, being with family, kids activities, sick pets, growing friendships, expanding our hearts and sometimes just being.  At first I was fighting all of this,  but now I've come to accept that it is just not the right time for a lot of art making. 
But sometimes you just have to make art.  A week ago Sunday, I was in a somewhat foul mood and I said to my husband I think I just need to paint and draw today.  So that was pretty much all I did on Sunday.  I think my soul really needed that, it had been way too long and like anything that is out of use, it takes awhile to get it back in shape.   I just wanted to paint and draw so bad, but things weren't flowing and the ideas weren't coming and I couldn't get anything to look like I wanted it to look.  Instead of getting lost in the joy, I found myself drowning in frustration.  Ugh, as Fischer would say! By afternoon I came up with a cute little cat with a tea cup and a honey bee but ended up cutting them out of the painting because I didn't like the direction they were going.  Not sure what to do with them, but knowing I wanted to use them, I went outside to get some fresh air, it was the first fresh air of the day.  I asked my husband if he could write a little poem to go with my cat and honey bee.  I said I wanted it short, and it had to have the words, honey, sweet, bee and tea in it.  He started off in some silly direction, not really serious about it, but then I started writing ideas down too and before we knew it we had a sweet little poem to go with my cat and honey bee.  Amelia and Fischer pitched in a little too!  After we had a poem, the piece came together quickly and easily.

My piece didn't make the deadline for the Bootcamp gallery, but in the end I found my joy.   I love this little picture and the sweet little poem our family wrote together, and it will hang on our wall!

If your in the area, come visit me at Powderhorn Art Fair in Minneapolis this weekend!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sail Away

There hasn't been a lot of art making happening in my studio lately, instead there has been many trips to hospitals and doctors.  A few weeks ago my mom found out she had a tumor on her brain and needed brain surgery.   She had surgery 2 weeks ago to remove it and as we suspected, her ovarian cancer had returned.  Last October was when she had stopped her chemo because there were no signs of cancer.  She is doing amazingly well since having surgery.  She had surgery on a Monday and came home on Wednesday!  I just find it so unbelievable what they can do these days!

My parents live 3 1/2 hours away from me so I ended up staying most of the week with them to help out and support them.  I went home for 4 days and returned back to my parents so I could be with them for her appointment this past Thursday with the radiation doctors and to hear about her options and treatments that are available.

While I went to my mom's appointment, my cousin watched my kids and my sisters kids.  After the appointment we went to pick up our kids and we hadn't been there even 10 minutes and my son Fischer came crying into the house saying that he fell while jumping on the trampoline and his cousin landed on his arm.  I had Fischer lie on the couch to settle down, but he kept crying and was looking pasty in color and if he even moved his arm a little bit, he would wince in pain.  So off we were to the Emergency Room of a different hospital than the one we had been at earlier in the day.  Fischer ended up breaking his humerus down in the elbow joint!  We went home with a splint and sling.  The next day we had to follow up with an orthopedic pediatrician and Fischer got a long arm cast with a built in sling. 

The same day Fischer broke his arm, my cousin's son slept over at a friends' house that night and got up during the night, stubbed his toe on some weights and ended up breaking his big toe right at the growth plate, and needed surgery to pin it on Friday.

There's some bad mojo surrounding our family right now.  Even our dog went to the doctor this past week because she's been limping so bad and come to find out she has a tick-borne disease and is on antibiotics for  30 days.

So needless to say, there hasn't been a lot of time to do much drawing or painting, but I have found a little.  On the Monday my mom had brain surgery is when the main assignment for MATS Assignment Bootcamp was given.  It was to make wall art using the nautical theme and icons and drawings that we had done the previous week.   I really wasn't able to think about it at all while I was at the hospital with my mom or even when she first came home.  While sitting in the waiting room I tried to doodle but my heart and mind just wasn't in it.  That week I got home late Friday and knew I was leaving again on Tuesday to return to my parents.

While at home, I knew I should have been doing chores but instead I tried to work on the assignment.  I had 2 failed attempts by the time I had to leave for my parents.  I was feeling stressed out about the assignment and of course even more so about my mom.  On the day I was packing up to leave I decided to do some last minute sketching, when again I probably had other more important things I should have been doing.  Luckily I came up with another idea that I really liked, but my time was running out, so I scrambled around packing up things that I might need to make this piece of art work.  I packed my scanner and all sorts of papers and paints to take along to my parents.

After everything that had happened, the assignment kept getting pushed aside.  I was starting to think I wouldn't be able to do it.  I haven't missed a deadline yet with MATS A and B or with Bootcamp so I was feeling a little bummed about it but realizing also that things happen that are out of our control.

Yesterday actually ended up being a free day at my parents house so I decided to give the assignment a try and I was able to make the deadline today just in the nick of time!  I'm happy with the results given what has all happened over the last 2 weeks and that I've had to do it all away from my studio at home.    Once things settle down I might try it again because I really enjoyed the theme and I have pages and pages of icons that I drew for this assignment.

The piece is called "Sail Away"  which really sounds very dreamy to me right now.  I would love to close my eyes and sail away with nothing but happy thoughts!

Sail Away

Friday, June 6, 2014

Whale Love

This week in Make Art That Sells Assignment Bootcamp our mini assignment is "ships in a bottle"  and anything nautical.  It's such an open ended mini and so many directions to go in.  Here is a little piece I did yesterday for the fun of it.  Still trying to learn Photoshop!

whale love

Monday, June 2, 2014

More Dandelions!

I found some more inspiration with dandelions over the weekend and made some matching coordinates to go with it.

It's a Dandy Design!

Just Dandy

Puffy dandys

Dandy Arrows

Friday, May 30, 2014

Summer is Dandy!

The dandelions are out in full force! Have an enjoyable weekend!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

First Try

The weather has been absolutely perfect here and is starting to feel like summer.  I doodled this guy yesterday and decided to try and color it it Photoshop.  This is pretty much my first attempt at trying to take one of my sketches and color it in Photoshop.  I had tried awhile ago to do one but it was so far out there for me and didn't make any sense that it looked pretty much like garbage.  This one is a little better, but the big thing is that I understood more of what I was doing.  I still have a long way to go, but  I'm making progress!  Actually, only the guy was done in Photoshop and all the rest was done in Illustrator and then brought over to Photoshop:)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Editorial Scares Me!

Last week I was drawing lots and lots of faces and people in preparation for this weeks assignment for Make Art That Sells  Assignment Bootcamp.  I had a feeling that the assignment would be in an area that I don't feel very comfortable with  and I was right.  Editorial!  Yikes!  I don't have any experience with this type of illustration, but Lilla gave very good step by step instructions on how to approach it, which really helped take some of the stress away.

The article which you can read here if your interested, is called "How to Meditate:  A Primer for People Who Don't Like to Meditate".  My initial thought when I heard it was about meditation, was to have total peace and calm in the picture while she was meditating, but then I read the article.  The author knows meditation is good for her but she doesn't like to do it.   Her mind fills with distractions and excuses as to why she doesn't want to do it.   This really put a twist on my original idea.

When I did the Make Art That Sells class, I really froze up in the editorial week.  This time though, I knew I could do it and I really believed that I could do it.  There were a few moments when my mind wanted to try and convince me that I couldn't, but I quickly squashed those thoughts.

In the article she says "Meditation Scares Me", and so that was what I based my piece on.

Meditation Scares Me

It's kind of funny, Fischer had been watching this piece as it progressed, giving comments here and there.  I waited until he came home from school today to see what he thought about the final piece and he said he liked it except that it looked like she was floating on a magic carpet and that I should put a line in the back to show where the floor was and he was totally right.  I had forgotten to add the floor.  I had totally missed the obvious!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day!

I recently entered the Tigerprint Design Competition for designing a Mother's Day Card.  You could enter up to 5 designs.  I made 4  different cards and 2 of them made it to the shortlist which I was happy about.  I had fun doing this and I now have a couple of floral patterns to add to my portfolio.  I feel like these are a little generic, but once I figure out how to incorporate my illustrations and mixed media work in Photoshop and Illustrator, I think it will really add some nice dimension to my work.   I feel like I've come a long way, but I still have so much to learn!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

More Faces

I just can't stop drawing faces and people!  I'm loving it! 



and dancing!

Friday, May 9, 2014

A Gentle Reminder....

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Drawing faces

Make Art That Sells Assignment Bootcamp with Lilla Rogers is back this month.  Last month we had off while she did another class.  We received our mini assignment on Monday, faces and people.  I was very excited to see this.  I've been meaning to work on drawing people and figures.  I thought we would just look at a bunch of pictures of people and do some people watching, which of course is too straight forward for Lilla, instead she suggested we start by drawing vintage dolls!  At first this seemed a bit odd to me, but once I got started drawing them, I could easily see the value in it.  There is such a variety in dolls, from vintage pose dolls to kokeshi dolls, Bradley dolls and even homemade dolls.  This has been a wonderful way to explore drawing faces and experiment with it in my drawing.  If I were to draw instead from actual faces I don't think I would be able to open up and have as much fun.  This is a great way to play with the odd, quirky, beautiful and sometimes scary!
The first image is just lots of faces that are made up with a few that are pretty close to what the dolls faces looked like.  The second image is a fun doodle I did a few days ago of my own version of faces.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Cuckoo clock redo

cuckoo redo

I decided to redo my cuckoo clock girl that I did in MATS Assignment Bootcamp.  My original one was done as a collage but I wasn't happy with how it turned out but I still liked the girl and the idea.  My new version seems to "pop" more.  I also added a few coordinates to go with it.  I think I'd like to add some texture to her hat and maybe her collar but I haven't quite figured out how to do it correctly!

cuckoo patterns together 72

Here is the old version for comparison:

cuckoo clock collage

Monday, April 28, 2014

More Tea

This is my first attempt at trying to create a mixed media kind of piece in Photoshop.  I did this one while I was  working on my "Tea with Friends".  The background and roses are watercolor, the bird and tea cup are from tea bags and I scanned them in along with my sketches and this is what I came up with!  I had a lot of fun playing around with this and all of the textures.  So much to learn yet though, I know I've only scratched the surface!


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Tea with Friends

A few weeks ago I went to my good friend Diane's house for tea and good conversation.  We have so many things in common and I always feel like we could spend the whole day talking and still have plenty more to talk about at the end of the day.  My friend Diane made some wonderful chai tea and served it in the cutest little aqua blue tea cups that rested on a matching plate and sitting on the edge of the plate was the sweetest little yellow bird.  The milk of course was poured from it's own matching container and then stirred with a little rose adorned tea spoon.  We talked for hours as we enjoyed our tea and sat on old wood chairs painted in a perfect lime green.  The time flew by and I was inspired by our morning together.

tea with friends
           "Tea With Friends"

I thought it needed some matching coordinates to go with it.

tea with friends patterns

I kind of like  the teapots on white more, so I thought I would share it too!  I had a lot of fun working on this.

tea pots

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Jello molds

This month for Lilla Rogers Assignment Bootcamp we had to draw jello molds!  This subject took me completely by surprise.  It's something I would never have picked on my own, that's for sure!  I found this subject really hard and not very inspiring.  We had a week to work on our sketches and then last Monday we got the main assignment which was to use our sketches to make a design for bolt fabric.  I almost didn't do it, I wasn't feeling it.  The thought of skipping it this month just seemed to easy though, I knew I'd be mad at myself, but I couldn't find the joy in the subject matter.  I found that I didn't really enjoy drawing desserts.  I kept telling myself what Lilla always says, find your joy, do what makes you happy.  So I stopped listening to those little gremlins and decided to go for it, what did I  have to loose?  Even if I didn't like the results, I knew I would learn from it and grow.

Again I started out in Illustrator, but I didn't like where it was going, it was feeling too flat and way too digital, I then went to paper and started doing it in watercolor, but quickly I realized I didn't like where that one was going and went back to Illustrator.  I'm slowly figuring out Illustrator and Photoshop but it still is such a hurdle for me when it comes to developing my ideas.

On Monday Lilla posted some color palettes for us to try in our work, muddy pinks, purples, neutrals, acid yellows, to push ourselves and go beyond our comfort zone.  My current colors weren't working well for me so I gave hers a shot and I feel it is what made all the difference in my piece and actually made me feel excited about it.

Submission for March MATS Bootcamp

I'm very happy with the results and how it looks.  A dark grey background is very different for me and I NEVER use purple, that was a hard color for me to work with but I ended up using it on the main character!

Here it is as a repeat:

Repeat pattern

I'm working on some coordinates to go with it, which is super fun to do.  I'm really enjoying learning Illustrator and Photoshop, it's getting a little bit easier, but I have so much to learn yet.  I want to figure out how to incorporate my mixed media work, but my skill level hasn't allowed that yet.  I have to remind myself to be patient, it will happen.  

Monday, February 24, 2014

MATS Bootcamp

Last year I took Lilla Rogers "Make Art That Sells A and B"  online courses.  This was the best online course I've ever taken.  It was such an intense and inspirational course.  The course was loaded with information on making and licensing your artwork, wonderful videos with her artists and herself.  Each week we got a mini assignment on Monday, the main assignment on Wednesday with the final due on Sunday.  This was what really made this class rock!  I've never worked so hard on my art ever.  Tons of sketching, researching, pushing my limits and brainstorming in a short amount of time.   Lilla is an amazing teacher.  After watching her videos and reviews I would walk away feeling more inspired and confident.  She really knows how to get the most out of her artists.  The Facebook community that came from this has been such an inspiration and also a wonderful source of information and support. 

I was pretty sad when it came to an end, but then came Lilla's  MATS Assignment Bootcamp, yeah!!!  It started at the beginning of February.   Bootcamp is for 6 months with an assignment a month, (a much easier pace).  We get our mini assignment the first week, main assignment the next week and then it is due in 2 weeks.  We get a week off in between.  It doesn't have all the class content like the other course or reviews, but she does include color trends and other inspirations.  When the assignments are finished we upload them to her online gallery for everyone to see.

After taking MATS A and B I decided I really needed to learn Photoshop and Illustrator, so I've been watching lots of tutorials on   It's pretty overwhelming the amount there is to learn and how long it is taking to figure things out.  I'm finding Illustrator easier for me than Photoshop.  It can be so frustrating because I know what I want to do in the programs but I don't know how to do it.  Sometimes I just want to throw in the towel but then I realize how bad I want to learn them and I keep going.

The first assignment for Bootcamp was to design a cell phone cover for the gift market using our cuckoo clock sketches from the week before.  I was so thankful to have 2 weeks, because I really needed it!

I initially tried to do it in Illustrator but my sketch looked so generic that I gave it up and went to what I know, collage.

cuckoo clock collage

I liked this piece,  but I couldn't get it to look right on the case and the colors weren't quite right and wasn't feeling how I wanted it to look.  The birds and hearts are supposed to be more pink.  Here they look red even after some color tweaking.

I then decided to give it a go in Photoshop.  I'm not sure why since I barely knew what a layer was when I started, let alone try to color a piece of artwork in it!   I surprised myself with what I was able to do, but it didn't turn out quite like I wanted it to.  Once I learn more I would like to revisit it and try again.  I like it, but I didn't get the pop of the colors that I wanted.  It's soo close though!

I was going to submit this one, even though it wasn't quite how I wanted it.  I had spent so many hours on it but felt like I was at a road block with my level of skill.

I had a lot of fun with the cuckoo clock theme and playing around in the programs so I decided to use some of my simpler sketches and create a design.  So Saturday evening I worked away in Illustrator and came up with a design that I liked even better and ended up submitting it the next day.  I'm a lot happier with this one, it feels cleaner, the lines are fresh and the colors are playful.  This was how I wanted my little girl to look, but my skills aren't at that level yet to where I can do it. 

And now with a week off,  I'm going to use it to watch more tutorials!  
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