Friday, December 11, 2015

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS PROMO

From my Agent, Tugeau 2:
"The Twelve Days of Christmas" is a traditional English Christmas carol with French origins. It published in 1790 without music as a chant or rhyme. Its origins are largely unknown, but it's very probable it originated from a children's memory and forfeit game. 
Today's well-known melody is derived from a folk arrangement made at the turn of the century by English composer, Federic Austin. " 
The twelve days in the song are, traditionally, Christmas Day, December 25th, to the night before the Epiphany, January 5th.
But the T2 Team is singing and celebrating a bit early this year so as to share the lovely artwork of our illustrators on the anticipatory days leading up to Christmas...while everyone is still in the office :) Twelve spectacular artists have created artwork specifically for this celebration! Sing along with us...

I got the 5th day. Here's my portion:

On the Fifth day of Christmas my true love sent to me
FIVE GOLDEN RINGS

Four Calling Birds
Three French Hens
Two Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

HOPE HAS A PLACE




I've  been a busy bee the past month readying myself for the final art show of the year. (finishing new paintings, making prints, packaging, etc).  I spent the day on Saturday, December 5th hocking my wares at the RISD Holiday Sale at the convention center in Providence. It was a decent day sales wise and I even sold my newest original painting, Hope Has a Place (above). I'm not sure  whether or not I will be applying for the show next year, but I'm glad I tried it since I hadn't participated or attended before. But I am looking forward to (hopefully) the spring and fall sales...






Thursday, October 29, 2015

PRACTICALLY HALLOWEEN!

I began this sketch comp back in August and REALLY wanted to have a finished poster in time for Halloween, but alas. I've had other priorities on my plate and haven't been able to get back to this. (Not to mention that my working file is so huge my computer doesn't handle it well). Still much work to do but for now, I guess I'll just share the work-in-progress for MY FAVORITE MOVIE EVER EVER EVER: PRACTICAL MAGIC.

Finished version yet to come...(fingers crossed).


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

HOPING FOR SOME MAGIC

I created this personal piece which also doubled as the image used on my new T2 agent promo postcard. I haven't been illustrating very much recently but I'm hoping to get around to it again after my next doodlepaintings show (I'll be at RISD Craft this Saturday).


 And the final postcard, front & back:

 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

BOOKS ARE MAGIC (SKETCH)

Poster sketch idea thingy featuring three of my favorite things: Books, Carl Sagan, and a Carl Sagan quote about books.




Thursday, July 16, 2015

WHERE THE SUN BEATS (DOODLEPAINTING)

My newest doodlepainting, "Where The Sun Beats" is complete. As always, prints (5x7=$10, 8x10=$15) and the original painting ($400) are available in my Etsy shop.


Friday, July 10, 2015

FLYING THROUGH THE WIND (SKETCH)

Trying to bring the second piece in my personal series to finish in the next week. Here is the sketch as it stands so far...


Friday, June 19, 2015

YOU SHOWED ME THE UNIVERSE

A personal piece for Father's Day. I'm grateful that my dad showed me (and my sisters) the rings of Saturn through our Tasco 3TRB telescope (blurry though they were). I have the telescope in my garage now, but I don't know how to use it...maybe it's time he taught me!

Anyway....Happy Father's Day! 


Monday, June 8, 2015

Thursday, June 4, 2015

HANDS TO THE SKY, I AM A DREAMER

The first in a series of five personal pieces in the works...


Thursday, May 28, 2015

SHAKESPEARE POSTER

As the graphic designer for The Gamm Theatre, one of my annual duties involves creating the GSI (Gamm Summer Intensive) poster for the high-school student acted and produced double feature of Shakespeare plays. It's always a challenge to create a single image for both productions. It's also a challenge to fit in the work for the project into my normal two-day work week at the theater. For the past three years, I deliberately created the images using graphic illustration/design as opposed to fully rendered illustration because it saved time. But this year I've been anxious to try a new style in my own illustration work and decided to turn this poster into an opportunity to experiment with the look and feel I had in mind. It was a great learning experience and I hope to continue to develop my ability to work in this style. You can expect to see something similar with the next few illustrations I have in the pipeline.

Here is the finished image and poster:



Wednesday, May 13, 2015

IN THE MIDDLE OF THIS NOWHERE (DOODLEPAINTING)

NEW DOODLE: "In The Middle of This Nowhere" is complete. As always, prints (5x7=$10, 8x10=$15) and the original painting ($250) are available in my Etsy shop.


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

SHAKESPEARE SKETCH

I'm happy to be illustrating at my day job this week. Most of what I do as a graphic designer for The Gamm Theatre is limited to digital graphic design, but each summer I create a poster to promote the dual shows performed by the youth summer acting program. This year's double header is The Taming of the Shrew and The Winter's Tale. It's always a healthy challenge to create a single poster to represent both shows and this year was no different. Here is the sketch, with the final fully illustrated version expected later this week.


Thursday, May 7, 2015

DEPARTURE (DOODLEPAINTING)

NEW DOODLE: "Departure" is complete. As always, prints (5x7=$10, 8x10=$15) and the original painting ($220) are available in my Etsy shop.


Monday, April 27, 2015

MY FRIEND, JESSIE

I spent a couple of days creating a portrait of Jessie from Toy Story as a gift for my niece Nora's 3rd birthday. She is possibly the world's greatest Jessie fan and has been since the moment she exited the womb. I don't quite know if she grasps the idea that her Auntie Keebee drew this for her, but I don't care and really, neither does she. But I know she is happy to have some new art for bedroom. :)




Wednesday, April 15, 2015

DOODLEPAINTINGS 2015 FESTIVAL LINE-UP (UPDATED)



Today I'm bagging and boarding my four new 18x24 posters to sell at upcoming festivals. They're also available to purchase in my Etsy shop ($35/each plus shipping, ships rolled in tube).

So far, I will be participating in at least 4 festivals during 2015. Here are the scheduled dates:

ART IN THE PARK
Center Park, Manchester, CT (My hometown!)
Sunday, June 7, 2015
10am-4pm

Diamond Hill Park, Cumberland RI
Saturday, June 20, 2015 (rain date June 21)
11am-7pm

Saturday, October 10, 2015
A curated exhibition and retail sale held outdoors on Providence RI's historic Benefit Street.
10am-5pm

Saturday, December 5, 2015
Rhode Island Convention Center, Providence RI
10am-5pm

Friday, April 10, 2015

MY OWN STRANGE PATH (DOODLE PAINTING)

NEW DOODLE: "My Own Strange Path" is complete. As always, prints (5x7=$10, 8x10=$15) and the original painting ($250) are available in my Etsy shop.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

HANDS TO THE SKY (DIGITAL SKETCH)

Evolving the sketch with Photoshop. Still some things to work out, but it's progress.


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

HANDS TO THE SKY, I AM A DREAMER (SKETCH)

After a good deal of time away from personal illustration work, I've decided to get back to it. Here are some sketches I'm developing for what I think will be a final piece created traditionally and digitally.  


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

BELVA NOW AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK!

Freshly printed softcover editions of "Ballots for Belva" have arrived. It was first published in 2008, which feels like a lifetime ago. I was just an illustration infant then. Now I'm like...a juvenile or something. Time flies!

The paperback edition is now available from Amazon.com for $9.95 (or try your favorite independent bookshop).


Saturday, April 4, 2015

TAKING A BITE OUT OF LYME

Lyme Disease is a global health crisis and for me, a personal battle going on almost five years now. Some days are better than others. Yet with the comfort of my family, friends, the love of my life (and our enjoyment of a life filled with creative pursuits) every day still manages to be a GOOD day. As the weather warms and we get back to playing outside, please be sure to check yourselves (and your kids) for ticks. I continue to hope for the day when this illness can be cured, but until then, be vigilant and arm yourselves with the only true defenses we have: awareness and prevention.#LymeDiseaseChallenge #TakeaBiteOutofLyme

Thursday, April 2, 2015

I'M NOT WORTHY

I recently had my illustrated Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows fanart poster reprinted at a smaller size to match the Sorcerer's Stone poster by Drew Struzan. I have to admit, I'm happy to see them hanging together, but I sure don't feel worthy to have my work next to such a poster illustrating master! :)

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

RISD FALL ALUMNI SALE

DoodlePaintings has been accepted into the juried RISD Fall Alumni Sale. I'm interested to see how the new process will compare to past sale experiences, although admittedly I'm nervous that I won't sell enough prints to hit a decent profit margin. Fingers crossed that I might sell some original paintings to help it along. Either way, I'm VERY happy to have a sale lined up to work towards for the next few months. :)


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

JUST KEEP AT IT

I'm not much of a draw-from-my-imagination kind of person. As an illustrator it's ironic and rather problematic. Because it means when I don't have a freelance project to work on for someone else, I tend not to draw very much for myself. Because...expectations

You see, my love and connection to drawing comes from an enjoyment of rendering what I see---not what I imagine. I need tangible images to inspire me, I need references to see what things look like before I can render them. I don't draw well from my mind, and even less so when I don't have a story to prompt me. And even when I do, I can get started with quick thumbnails and rough ideas but beyond that it's tough going until I conduct my research. If you asked me to draw a dog from my head, it would be...bad. So bad that you would know never to request a drawing on demand again. Because...embarrassing.

Drawing from my imagination has never been a satisfying endeavor, because my memory skills generally underserve whatever mental ambition I may attempt on paper. I can look at something and draw it, I can get an idea for something and collect references and then draw it, but I can't draw from nothing. 

So, that leads me to the point of today's post. 

Sometimes I just want to draw. Sometimes I just want to practice. Sometimes I'm certain I learn more about myself by studying other people's work. Interpreting existing illustrations/art allows me to practice and build muscle memory without the pressure of creating original content. It's free of expectations. 

I firmly believe that as long as I keep putting pencil to paper I will continue to learn. I'm not embarrassed to be seen trying. Practice doesn't make perfect---there is no such thing. But at least it makes something. 



Monday, February 9, 2015

DOODLETIME

I've made a decision that I think is for the best but may prove challenging to adhere to. From now on, I must relegate the doodle paintings to nights and weekends (as with any hobby), so that I can focus and structure my studio days around picture books, writing, and illustration. I love creating the doodles but I know that ultimately they distract me from doing the things I want to do most but that I am afraid to do. I must prioritize and truly give my career as a book maker the time and attention it needs. I need to treat it like a proper work day and be more disciplined than I have been, otherwise I'm never going to get where I want to go.

I love doodling, and I think it has many positive spin-offs into my art. I just don't want it to continue to be the crutch I lean on when I'm scared to conquer my real dreams. They are part of me, too, and they won't be going away. But right now I need them to be my hobby, not my career.

Yesterday (Sunday) I spent some time painting a few new doodles to have at the ready when I have some spare time. I don't usually have weekend days free for creative time, but the weather has been keeping us pretty snowed in. When I'm productive, I don't mind the cabin fever. But I do sort of miss leaving the house!


Saturday, February 7, 2015

FROM THE SKETCHBOOK

I'm trying to establish a structure with regard to how I spend my studio time, and part of that regimen will include a dedicated sketchbook hour. I haven't drawn in far too long and it feels really good to put pencil to paper again. I'm really not much of a sketchbooker, but I've always wanted to be. Without a doubt I know the more you draw, the better you get. So my goal for this year is simply to draw more. Sketchbook hour will be a chance to scribble whatever I want without pressure or expectations of having it be something other than just establishing a positive, beneficial habit. 


Here are two character sketch portraits, in progress. 



Wednesday, January 28, 2015

WINTER DEER



A few weeks ago Adam and I were driving on the highway during late afternoon the day after a snowstorm. I always love to scan the trees looking for deer while we drive and thanks to the bright white snow, I had no trouble spotting a large female laying comfortably, enjoying the view of passing cars. I kept it in mind to make a piece inspired by that moment. Here is a quick limited palette color block sketch interpretation.

Monday, January 19, 2015

THE TIME HAS COME

Life update: My second niece joined Planet Earth on January 10th! I was there for her arrival and it was one of the more memorable moments of my life, that's for sure! I love being an aunt and can't wait to get to know little Ellery as well as I do her big sister, Nora. They are my little loves.


Career update: Last week I wrapped up my latest illustration job and last night I came to a big decision. 

After a lot of anguished discussions with Adam about my illustration career and my unhappiness with it, I've decided go on hiatus from freelancing. It's been a struggle to do work I'm not happy with just for the paycheck that comes some months later. I'm finally able to articulate that I don't want to be a children's illustrator. I want to be a children's book illustrator, which in practice is a world of difference. Ever since educational work became the only arena in which I get work, my career is not what or where I want it to be. It's completely lacking in my own ideas, my enthusiasm, my creativity, my personality, my problem solving skills, my passion. Ultimately: me.

My love for this line of work comes from a love of books and stories---not from a love of drawing or digital painting, or from quick deadlines and being told what to do. Today, my illustration career is an assembly line of detailed directions, dictated compositions, required elements down to each detail---sometimes rough sketches are even worked out for me beforehand. I find it a stifling, creativity-killing process from which I desperately want to distance myself. The problem is that I have been stuck in a cycle: I take a break from freelancing, but then want some money, so I take freelance job, but hate the work, I get bummed out, and take a break from freelancing. On and on for the last few years. And between gigs I'm left with such detest for my own work that I don't even try do work for myself in the downtime. I'm forgetting what it's like to like illustrating. 

I am in a hugely fortunate position which allows me not to have to make a living at illustrating (thanks, Adam!). I get to do it because it is something I enjoy. Which is why I think it's counterintuitive to keep taking on work that I do not enjoy doing. Sure, the money is nice when it comes along but that's not good enough anymore. I want to work in the children's industry because I want to have a hand in telling stories. I don't know if I'm a writer or an illustrator (or both), or if perhaps I just really love books. I simply don't know, but I do know it is time I figured it out. 

I want 2015 to be a year filled with experimentation, exploration, and hard work. I want to make work that challenges me, pushes me, and excites me. 

I'm ready. I've been ready. 
Now I have to prove it. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

TWO QUESTION TUESDAY: WEEK 6

Happy New Year! Here's hoping your 2015 is off to a swell start.
(No baby yet for my sister, but I guess that just means we're one day closer...right?)

While I continue to wait around for THE CALL/THE TEXT, I'll stop checking my phone every thirty seconds and write a brief "Two-Question Tuesday" to ring in the new year. I'm not sure if I'll continue on with this series over the next few weeks as I'll be busy working to complete my current freelance project. But in the event that you have a question you'd like to ask me, post it as a comment below and I will be sure to answer in a future post. Cheers!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

Have you ever thought about writing and illustrating your own books?

Have I ever! Every. Single. Day.
Although I'm only formally trained as a children's illustrator, writing books is THE ultimate career goal in the back of my mind. I don’t think I’ll be satisfied by only ever illustrating another author’s words. When I read a good book, (be it a picture book, graphic novel, YA series, or otherwise) I can't help but have a deeply resonating gut reaction that says "I want to do this." Books are my everything. I have no idea if I'll be good at it. But I'm sure as heck going to try. In the words of Rumi:
"Let yourself be drawn by the strange pull of what you love. It will not lead you astray." 

What are you reading these days?

I spent several hours of my vacation completely immersed in Emily St. John Mandel's Station Eleven. I ordered it as soon as I read about it back in September, but had put off reading it so I could enjoy it leisurely and with undivided attention as my Official Book of Christmas Break. And after looking forward to it so much, it did not disappoint, it impressed. A pandemic, societal collapse, theater, art, science fiction comics, beauty, tragedy, humanity, chock full of elegant reflections on the ephemeral nature of the commonplace---it was depressing, haunting, and invigorating. I loved every word and did not want it to end. But alas. All good things must come to an 

One of my favorite passages:
“Jeevan found himself thinking about how human the city is, how human everything is. We bemoaned the impersonality of the modern world, but that was a lie, it seemed to him; it had never been impersonal at all. There had always been a massive delicate infrastructure of people, all of them working unnoticed around us, and when people stop going to work, the entire operation grinds to a halt. No one delivers fuel to the gas stations or the airports. Cars are stranded. Airplanes cannot fly. Trucks remain at their points of origin. Food never reaches the cities; grocery stores close. Businesses are locked and then looted. No one comes to work at the power plants or the substations, no one removes fallen trees from electrical lines. Jeevan was standing by the window when the lights went out.”

There are so many apocalyptic stories (don't get me wrong, I LOVE APOCALYPTIC STORIES), but it was refreshing to encounter one that offered beauty and hope along with its healthy dose of tragedy and humbling perspective. I may have to reread this again very soon.