Saturday, December 31, 2016

Farewell 2016





I know that for many, 2016 was a year that couldn't end soon enough. But for me, it was an incredibly kind year, filled with wonderful surprises and reminders of the blessings in my life. To start with, I found out on Valentine's Day that my husband and I were expecting our second child, and then gave birth in October. I had some great adventures, visiting Amherst, MA on the coldest day of the year (cannot wait to go back to see it in warmer weather!), and Philadelphia, on one of the warmest days, where I could easily spend a lifetime exploring all that the city has to offer. I also feel as though I made great strides in my artwork, testing myself with tight deadlines, creating pieces off of topics decided by others, and commission work. And I have gotten a lot more comfortable openly sharing my artwork, which has always given me a varying level of anxiety. I look forward to what 2017 has to offer, but hope that it doesn't fly by!


(Note: Above is my latest painting, done for the SCBWI postcard contest. The requirements were to include a kite, which is the adopted symbol of the SCBWI. The selected winners will have their artwork featured on postcards printed for the SCBWI offices. I didn't win, but I am extremely proud of the piece. As I have two young children that I am staying at home to raise, I relate to the mother bird being unable to leave her nest. It is so nice when you can still communicate with friends!)

Saturday, December 3, 2016

VOTE Update: For the Win!



I am very excited to announce that my painting for the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators was selected as one of the two winners for its November Draw This! competition. This means so much to me, not only because there are a lot of other very talented artists who participated, but also because this challenge allowed me to say something more with my artwork. This piece is featured on the front page of scbwi.org. You can find the full gallery of participants here: http://drawthisvote.blogspot.com/

SCBWI will be taking a short hiatus from the Draw This! competition to focus on their winter conference and will return in February 2017 with a new prompt word. I can't wait to see what they have planned next!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

SCBWI Draw This: VOTE



No matter your political stance, I think that everyone would agree that we had quite the contentious 2016 US Presidential election. Even the day after was dark and soggy here in the NYC area. When I first received the SCBWI monthly Insight bulletin in my inbox and saw the prompt word for vote, I was at a loss for how to handle the topic. But after election day, with a toddler and newborn at home, I ultimately decided to focus on the positive. I hope that the good vibes from this piece can inspire a bright future.

Inktober- Part 2

As mentioned in my previous blog post, here is the second half of my drawings for Inktober:



Broken



Jump



Transport, Worried



Scared



Tree



Relax, Wet



I had so much fun taking part in Inktober and cannot wait to participate in a full month for October 2017!




Inktober 2016- Part 1

October was quite an event packed month for me. I had expected that with the arrival of my second child that it would be, but with an earlier than expected birth date, things have been a bit chaotic!

I began the month hoping to take part in Inktober, a 31 day celebration of art using any medium of ink: pen, marker, mixed media with ink. I was able to complete 16 of the 31 days. I decided to use a theme for my drawings, and selected Halloween, one of my favorite holidays. I also decided to use the daily prompt words, selected by the illustrious Jake Parker, founder of Inktober. Here are the first 8 drawings:


Fast, Noisy






Collect





Hungry






Sad, Hidden





Lost 




Rock









Thursday, September 15, 2016

Saddle Up!

My daughter is a big fan of the tv show Sheriff Callie's Wild West. We don't watch too much television, but it is a show that where, for 25 minutes, she is transported to a different world. I thought that to celebrate her summer time birthday, it would be appropriate to have a themed wild west celebration, and also tie in an acknowledgement of her upcoming sibling. At this point in her life, parties are still fairly small, and mostly adults. I am fairly passionate about making my own cards and gifts, so I put together some things that would appeal to both kids and adults.

I put together invitations that were based on the western theme, with homemade origami cowgirl hats. and glued on twine freehand to spell out Saddle Up. I finished off the space with additional themed accessories.






I wanted to have party favors that could tie in to our theme, but still be something meaningful and lasting. I had considered making paper cactuses for safe decorations, but wanted to have something that would still hold up for a long time. Since I have plenty of wool and enjoy needle-felting, I was inspired to create these wool cactuses. They don't require any water or sun, and are completely prickle proof! They are available for sale in my etsy shop, and I can even make customized versions.




Finally, I wanted to have a way to celebrate the upcoming arrival of my baby. I decided to create a 3D paper sculpture of a farm landscape, which will make a nice decoration in the nursery. Please contact me if you are interested in prints of this piece!





Wednesday, August 31, 2016

SCBWI: Draw This! Royal


Here is my submission for August's SCBWI Draw This topic, Royal. I did not already have a painting that was suitable for this subject, and so I created this piece specifically for the word prompt. I normally rely on inspiration from my own personal life, or as things pop into my head, so it was fun and a little bit of a challenge to try a different approach this time. I look forward to using this method in the future!

Road Trip- A Blast From The Past


There is nothing better during the summer than being able to take a vacation. But, with one child and a second on the way, it is difficult to be able to take big trips these days. So, I was very excited when my husband surprised me with a quick getaway to Philadelphia to celebrate our five year wedding anniversary. I was increasingly thrilled when our short trip was scheduled to include a visit to the Franklin Institute to see The Science Behind Pixar exhibit. Having a degree in 3D animation, it was fun to be able to relive those feelings that I had as an enthusiastic student learning about computer animation for the first time. There were many interactive sections to the exhibit, and I feel that it did a great job of explaining the overall process. The exhibit is running for only a few more days, so if you are in the area, be sure to make a visit!




Sunday, July 17, 2016

In Deep Reflection



I've noticed a growing popularity in mermaids recently. From art and fashion inspiration, even to the point of Mer-May, an entire month dedicated to celebrating mermaids. Well, what about the other members of the underwater world? I thought about the seahorse, one of the tinier inhabitants of the ocean, and wondered what life must be like under the sea for these small creatures. Are they as playful, curious, or glamorous as the often depicted mermaid? I would like to think so!

As a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) I was excited at the opportunity to submit this piece for their July Draw This! Challenge, for the prompt word ADMIRE. The complete gallery of submissions will be available for viewing on August 1st. I cannot wait to see all of the talented interpretations for this topic!


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Getting away from it all: A Trip to The Eric Carle Museum


This year certainly is going by in a flash! I have been working on a variety of projects that have kept my focus and am now getting back to a routine. With the weather quickly warming up here in NY, I am longing for a vacation, but may not be able to get away this summer. So, I've been thinking about my last trip out of town.                                                  

As a Valentine's Day weekend treat this year, my husband organized a getaway up to Amherst, MA to see the Mary Blair exhibit at the Eric Carle Museum. It was an overnight trip, and during maybe the coldest day of 2016, but it was a fun experience, nonetheless!

I have been lucky to have seen Mary Blair's work on several occasions, and this exhibit did not disappoint. It had a nice sampling of her early work, inspirations from her time in South America, art that she did while at Disney, and then her time working in children's book illustration. The museum did not allow photos to be taken of the exhibit, but I was able to capture some of the entrance display.



The museum itself is very charming, with enough exhibits to enjoy for a leisurely couple of hours and a terrific gift shop. The focus of course is on Children's Book Art, and a satisfactory amount of this is concerning the art of Eric Carle, with rotating exhibits of other artists who have been significant in the field. They also have a Very Hungry Caterpillar VW Bug on the property, which may be my new dream car! If you get a chance. I highly recommend stopping in for a visit. We will definitely return for another getaway!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Back In The Saddle


Sometimes ideas for paintings take time to build from quiet inspirations. Then there are times, like with this painting, where the idea will jump into your brain so quickly and clearly that you see the finished piece right before your eyes. I have been steadily moving from project to project this year and am so thankful to be busy. Usually I am in that dreadful stuck space, desperate for an idea. I think that it is really true that the more you do, the more inspiration you find. 

I wanted this painting to be the expansion of this little cowboy's imagination. I used the the patterns of a wooden floor to inspire the lines that form up the page, all the way to the top of the sky. I also included colors that were so vibrant that they would have to exist in a make believe world. Overall, I think that this is a happy little space for this cowboy and his companion to spend their days.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Illustration Friday- Smart

Getting in my submission for this week's topic for Illustration Friday (Smart). This turtle sure does like his numbers!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Testing the waters

The holidays always present an opportunity to work with customers to create something personal. This past December was no exception. I mostly had requests for needle felted characters that I already have made, and one with a little tweak (a sweet little pig with angel wings). And then, I received a request for a giant squid with posable tentacles. As I have a small fear of octopus and squid (thank you Popeye, the movie of the 1980s with Robin Williams), this made it a challenge to be able to look at photos for reference. Also, I had never made a posable figurine before, and was unsure that I would be able to make a figurine with an inner build that would stay in place. Fortunately, after a couple of hours of combing the internet for photos of squid, only one attempt of making an armature, and many hours of felting I ended up with this guy. I am very happy with the results, and think he’s pretty cute. However, I’m still not sure I’ll be hanging out around these guys during my next visit to the Aquarium!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Ringing in 2016




2016!

Hello there and Happy New Year! January is a time of new beginnings, so what better way to celebrate than by starting a blog? I plan to use this space to share my artwork, the things that inspire me, and maybe even include some how to's. And if you are reading this, thank you! Thank you for taking the time to get to know me and for taking an interest in what I do. I hope that you enjoy what you see and come back for a visit!