Saturday, December 29, 2012

Continued pre-new year purge

Since I redid my downstairs studio, I wanted to make room for my desktop computer down there so that I can have reference photos handier, scan in art and work in photoshop without running up and down stairs all day. I know it's the only exercise that I get but it's not efficient.

So that meant that I had to move my computer from my little sunroom office and while doing that, completely clean and reorganize the office. Here are some before and after pics.

I'm loving this purge! Tomorrow I tackle the front closet.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Year End Clean out

Every year right after Christmas, we get in the mood to have a blast of a clean out.  Maybe it's the extra stuff coming into the house, albeit we mostly exchange books and promises for nights out and small items.  Maybe it's something about a new year and sweeping clean - who knows.

We had a lovely Christmas day with our wonderful nephews and family - and I worked on Monday and Wednesday, so it was by necessity an early night.  Tuesday night we started discussing my studio and how to rearrange and streamline that and came up with a few good ideas. Of course, I popped right onto the idea, which also involves moving my desktop computer to the downstairs so that I can do computer art work right in the same space.  And..I didn't want to spend any money rearranging and streamlining.

The first step is a difficult one - and that's to decide who you are as an artist. (as a person also I guess).  I've tried just about every type of medium, and know what works for me and what doesn't.  So, I started purging.  Tons of stuff to goodwill, things that I worked with when I started this art journey - was it only 5 years ago? I'm not a mixed media artist - I'm just not. I admire people who can do layers, and add embellishments but my stuff always looks amateurish, so I'm giving it all up.  Off to a Goodwill store that loves crafty stuff.  Most all of my stamps to be given away, and inks, and pictures. I'm focusing on comics and watercolors for now. I didn't give away pastels, or acrylics cause those might come in handy. Two giant bags to goodwill, and more to give to a friend who might want them.   Tons of rearranging my studio and no money spent.  It also took me 2 days to do it all, and there were a few  moments of despair when everything was out of the cupboards and chaos reigned.  But it all got sorted out.

I love doing this type of cleaning, it's more of a cleansing really.  A new year ahead, new challenges, new ideas.  I have some new goals, and am looking forward to new classes in art.

I wish everyone a wonderful new year, with hope and peace for the world.  I am still praying for those poor families in Newtown - I can't imagine what Christmas was like for them this year.

Happy New Year to you all!!


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Animal Wednesday - Fish Cards and Fun with Photoshop

I found this old card yesterday - and remembered how much I like/love drawing fanciful fish.  Plus I can always use more cards, so I got out the pencil and watercolors and had at it. 

The first two are old ones - kinda faded and ratty by this time, but I like them. 

This one I did last night and wanted to add blue water in the background. I really didn't like the way it turned out so I turned to my kindergarden skills on photoshop and ......

....cut out the fish and added a different background. I don't love the background colors but the point was to do it all in photoshop...and I did.

These last two didn't get photoshopped, but even loving the "real" watercolor look, this photoshop stuff can be addictive!

It's sunday night but this will have to do for Animal Wednesday - what with Christmas and all.  I still have packages to be mailed out - can you believe it???

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Playing with Color

I have sketchbook Pro on my ipad and find it very useful for color experimentation, as well as shape, and composition sketches.

Here are two I've been playing with -

I didn't like the roof color on number 2 so I switched it without any hassle.

When I get proficient at using this tool - look out color wheel!!

(I hope you are all having a good weekend.  I was shopping with friends yesterday but after that awful shooting in Conn, some of the joy went out of the day.  My heart goes out to those families.   I can't even imagine their pain. )

Saturday, December 8, 2012


My wonderful Comic instructor (are you reading this Andy?) asked the group of us in the class, and others, to contribute to review-of-the-year comics for Worcester Magazine.  I happily agreed and got the topic "EEE and West Nile Virus, People Scared of Killer Mosquitoes" - and I loved that topic, right up my alley.

The point is to mimic a Sunday type comic strip style and illustrate the story. In my story, a lot of towns were doing aerial spraying to kill the killer mosquitoes.

Here's what I did.  It was fun, but challenging - I have GOT to learn photoshop.  Do you know how many ways you can mess up spelling "mosquito" or "mosquitoes"?  I now know.

Embiggen - if I make it too large it messes up my sidebar.

Loved doing this - despite the aggravation of mistakes, it was super fun.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Animal Wednesday - SCRUFFY!!! yes, it's ME!!!

We had quite a conversation by the pool one day - I think he wanted me to pick him up and scratch him under his chin...and I didn't want to.  He let me have it!!!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Holiday Cards - with an update

I'm determined to enjoy every tiny bit of this holiday month - despite snow and cold weather.  To start off I wanted to make a Christmas card - having already made and sent out my Chanukah cards.   I worked on the card last night and then took both of my Chanukah drawings and the Christmas one to post here.   Before I wax philosophical - here are the drawings.

The first one is small - only 8 x 10 and I love it and have used it for my Chanukah cards.

This second one is a variation on the theme, but is larger - maybe 18x24 - I have to photograph it - can't use my scanner so the picture isn't as good.  I like it, but I'm fonder of the first one.

Yesterday I did this one for a Christmas card - trying to get the 12 days of Christmas onto one 15 x 10 sheet of paper.  I like parts of it but it's too busy, and the layout is not what I'm comfortable with.

I'd be interested in opinions! I think you can embiggen them.  When I put them all side by side last night I immediately saw that my interpretation of Christmas is rather hectic and jumbled, and my interpretation of Chanukah is calmer and less hectic.  Do you agree?  It could also be that 12 days is a lot to get on one sheet of paper, perhaps if I'd used a larger sheet I could have had a smoother layout.

I do like the French hens on day 3, and am fond of the pipers boots.

Anyway - Happy Month of December!

Update:  I redid the Busy Christmas one today - it made me nervous - so here is the update - still a Work in Progress but I like it better - you?