Friday, December 21, 2012

7 year blogoversary!

acrylic on wood
Well, with the end of the world almost upon us, I thought I'd do a little year-end, world-end wrap-up. (Isn't that a grand way to start a blog post?)

Christmas Eve will be my 7 year blogoversary! I always credit this little blog and Illustration Friday for being the catalyst for this whole illustration path I've been on. Before the blog I was illustrating for my in-house design job, but I was lax about producing much personal work. Posting gave me the push I needed. And the rest of this story is….well, in the archives. Mostly, I want to thank everyone who has stopped by and supported me all of these years. I continue to be amazed by how incredible this online art community is. We may communicate differently these days; less blog commenting, more twitter and facebook, but the sense of community is stronger then ever. I'm so grateful to have found so many wonderful friends.

Here's where I like to look back at my first post of the year. Did I live up to my goals? I feel my decision to avoid conferences this year to focus on what kind of work I really want to create was very helpful. I needed to step away from expectations, and sink into my own world to see where it took me. But, towards the middle of the year I will admit I did start to feel a bit lost. My little boat had begun to drift too far into the big ocean, and I was losing sight of the shore. That's when 3 angels entered my life; and Maria, Katriona, Juana, and I formed the group Storybook Brushes with the main purpose being to promote ourselves through mailings, such as our 2013 calendar. I also want to say a special thanks to our angel friend, Gaia, who has been so supportive behind the scenes.

We're all quite excited that our calendars are back from the printer, and we can't wait to start shipping them out next year. I'm awaiting my shipment from overseas, but Maria snapped this quick pic.....

Now, I can finally check off my goal list that I opened my Etsy shoppe! Ok, I still need to get to work getting it all loaded up with prints and original art, and possibly some jewelry, but our calendar is now up for sale there. More Etsy listings are the first thing on my 2013 goal list. :)

So, it's been a productive year. An unexpected year. A year to remember.
2012 has been the start of some new exciting chapters. Oh, I better get some sleep. The end of the world is only 5 hours away, and no, it didn't already happen in Australia. It's based on UTC time.

Happy Winter Solstice to you all!
halfway out of the dark
….or the end of days. We'll see…….

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Storybook Brushes & Our Calendar Project

What happens when 4 illustrators from 4 corners of the globe join forces?

A 12 month calendar by Storybook Brushes is born! 

When Maria Bogade contacted me about forming a group with the main purpose of producing group mailings to the children's book publishing world I thought this is exactly what I needed. While I've handed out promotional postcards at conferences, I was still working on establishing a mailing routine. I was so honored to be asked to join this group of brilliant, established professionals.....Katriona Chapman, Juana Martinez-Neal, and Maria Bogade.

And so began months of emails, to chose a name, design the logo, the calendar cover & inside pages, the website,....oh, and critique our calendar pieces. Juana hand painted our logo, which we all fell in love with. When I was home for Thanksgiving I drew a little squirrel tribute to our group on the cherry pie I baked with my mom.

For our fairy tale themed calendar, we were each responsible for 3 months. The horizontal format is meant to mimic a double-page spread. I chose to create a series from The Snow Queen, although oddly enough the queen herself never makes an appearance in my 3 pieces. I was unfamiliar with the full story, so I enjoyed reading the tale of Gerda and Kai in search of illustration ideas. Choosing 3 scenes with Gerda would allow me to work on my character consistancy. The chapter with the old flower woman who conjurers seemed appropriate for a summer June illustration.

There were many sketch revisions, and many, many more character development sketches, but I'll get back to that in another post.

I would have painted these on thin 1/8" wood boards, but I have my first local solo show coming up, (this Friday), and I wanted to include these pieces, so I would need to make them presentable to hang on a wall.

work in progress

final painting - acrylic on wood

scanned and color adjusted
Now, I'm very proud to announce that I finally opened my Etsy shoppe! Wow, how many years have I been talking about opening an Etsy shoppe? Hmmm, pretty much since I started up this blog 7 years ago. In the next several days I'll be working on filling up angelatoshoppe with prints and original paintings. I'm pleased to announce my very first listing is our calendar! As this is the Pre-Sale I'll also include my Penguin vs. Chicken/Hansel and Gretel piggies 2-sided promotional postcard with the first 10 orders.

Our calendar is only $10, and besides being sold in my USA shop, it may also be purchased at Kat's Etsy shop in London, Maria's Etsy shop in Germany, and Juana's Big Cartel shop here in the USA.

Working with the Storybook Brushes crew has been a most awesome collaboration. There have already been many thank yous in our private emails, but I wanted to publicly thank my amazing illustrator friends.....Maria, Kat, and Juana. Thank you for being so incredible, and making all of this possible! :)

We invite you to visit our new website to learn more about Storybook Brushes.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

acrylic on wood
Penguin and Chicken are all dressed up to wish you a Happy Halloween!
These mini paintings will be added to my Etsy shoppe which will finally be set up next month.

I almost didn't put out my autumnal decor this year, but then I remembered these gourds I painted a few years ago. I realized I missed them, and I didn't want to face a gourdless season. 

My favorite Halloween book, The Halloween Kid!
painted acorns from my parent's yard
My thoughts are with those affected by Hurricane Sandy. It warms my heart to hear the stories of people reaching out to aid those in need. If you would like to help, please Text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. As in the case with other donations via mobile, the donation will show up on your wireless bill, or be deducted from your balance if you have a prepaid phone. You need to be 18 or older, or have parental permission, to donate this way. 

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

What I'm working on.....

This is just a quick post to share what I've been working on. I know, this is a terrible sneak peak pic, but I have several paintings in the works, and it helps my momentum if I don't show too much yet. These pieces will be included in the works I'll be showing at Haiku: Poetic Food and Art in December. Some of the pieces will also be worked into some children's book promotions. There's been a lot of planning going on behind the scenes this year.

I've also been going through a life changing 13 week LZR7 Treatment program to eliminate my allergies & food intolerances, balance my hormones, and a ton of other stuff. I haven't been on allergy medication for months now, and besides eliminating my stomach pain, increasing my energy, and feeling overall better, this amazing thing happened.....I can see clearly now! I still need my contacts and glasses, but one day it was like I woke up with HD vision. The blurry haze I've had for the last 15 years has lifted, and everything is clean, sharp, defined, and colors seem more saturated. It's been a rather intense improvement that I'm grateful for everyday.

While most of the summer was spent drawing and detoxing every week during the treatments I did manage a little fun this summer. My friend, Bob and I went on an awesome open-air safari at The Wilds. I've always wanted to go on safari. I just never imagined it would be in Ohio! Located on nearly 10,000 acres, The Wilds is one of the largest wildlife conservation centers in the world. It is such an incredible place. I wish all animals had wide open spaces to roam.

I promise to post some better art pics soon. Now let the painting marathon begin....

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

robot whales

acrylic on wood 6" x 6"
This piece was a private commission I had a lot of fun painting.

 You can see the preliminary sketches over on Between the End Pages.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

ISM: 10 year Anniversary Exhibition

naturalistic pantheism - acrylic on wood
I was honored to be invited to participate in the ISM- 10 year anniversary exhibition. Each artist was asked to illustrate a word ending in __ism, or to define our own __ism. I chose naturalistic pantheism, for it is the __ism I felt most connected to. The core of naturalistic pantheism is reverence and respect for nature and the wider universe.

_______ism will be on display at the ISM: 10 year celebration at Grand Central Art Center from Saturday, July 7 until Sunday, August 12.

Grand Central Art Center: 125 N. Broadway, Santa Ana, CA 92701
Opening Reception: Saturday, July 7, 7:00pm until 10:00pm
Closing Reception: Saturday, August 4, 7:00pm until 10:00pm
The exhibition will be on display from Saturday, July 7 until Sunday, August 12. 

Andy, the furry art director, is unimpressed

work in progress

Happy Summer Solstice!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

left behind - IF: lonely

acrylic on wood

acrylic on Arches hot press
I happened upon this blue-footed bird with the unfortunate name in an old calendar, and it inspired this little character. I'm working on a larger painting for a June show, so I used these little pieces to get my painting muscles warmed up. Feels great to be back in the studio again!

Thursday, March 01, 2012

HARBINGER Art Gallery Opening!

Faye's Red-stained Hands - acrylic on wood  
As part of my friend, Sara Wilson Etienne's, book launch she asked 25 artists and illustrators to create artwork inspired by Harbinger, her incredible debut novel. This Saturday, March 3rd there will be an opening at Hive Gallery in LA where all these works will be displayed.

I was quite excited to be asked to participate. I met Sara at my first big SCBWI conference in NY a few years ago. At the Summer conference last year she gave me an advanced copy of her book, and a project brief. Harbinger weaves intriguing mysteries, and I wanted to create a piece focusing on one of those quandaries. I enjoyed playing with textures and patterns for this painting. It's been wonderful watching everyone's pieces go up in the Holbrook Academy sketchbook, and it's been so fun celebrating Sara's success!

Sara also interviewed me over on her site here.

See the Harbinger book trailer here.

For those able to make it to LA this weekend:
The Hive Gallery and Studios
729 S. Spring St., Los Angeles, CA
• 6pm-8pm: Book selling and signing; pre-gallery opening hang-outs; and FREE ENTRY
• Starting at 8pm: COVER CHARGE of $8, music, bar, partytime!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A gift for penguin friends

acrylic on wood
 I'm a bit 'bah humbug' over Valentine's Day, but it has been a lovely day for these penguins. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Happy Year of the Dragon!

Atelier Interactive Acrylic on Arches hot press watercolor paper
Kung Hei Fat Choy!
Today, I planned to work on some other paintings, but I wanted to do a quick illustration in celebration of Chinese New Year. For, the year of the dragon is said to be the luckiest of them all!

I love working on wood, but I've been itching to play with a lighter, quick color technique, so I found my old Arches watercolor paper, and had some fun with this little painting.

Gung hay fat choy!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Illustration Friday: Prepare

Copic Multiliner pen with digital paint & textures
Prepare, what a great word to start off the year with as I've definitely been in preparation mode this January. This is the time of year I like to set a theme for the next 12 months. This year I'm not planning on attending any conferences. The SCBWI conferences have been like a type of grad school for me, full of information and inspiration, but now it's time to focus on producing the work.

I'm grateful to have been asked to do a 10-15 piece solo show at a restaurant in our local art's district, and although it won't open until December I'll be working on paintings throughout the year. I've chosen a them for the show, and have begun thumbnailing pieces based on a story that's been developing. I'm also considering printing an art book of the series. I'm quite excited to see where this story goes.

So, this year will be about sinking into my own work, and thinking about my art in terms of a bigger picture. I'm enjoying the direction I'm going more than ever, so now it's time to have some fun! I'd also like to finally open my etsy shoppe. I'm now working on a couple mini paintings, and I'd like to get some prints made as well.