Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Plush Puppy

I recently finished up an illustration contribution to a Kickstarter-funded book of 100 kids poems written by John O'Marra. The project, Chocolate Chips and Rocket Ships, is due for a June 1st launch and I've seen a preview of some of the other illustrators' contributions and they are all fantastic!

I don't normally involve myself in self-publishing type ventures (they are usually crummy deals for illustrators), but my husband Adam (also an illustrator) was contacted by John and decided to participate. I sent my own email to John asking if I could as well, and he sent me the poems to read and select one I'd like to illustrate. I was impressed by how many I enjoyed reading. Most are funny and clever and made me see the project had sincere potential. It didn't hurt that John clearly knew what he was doing and had the know-how as well as the ambition to contact the artists, compensate them, provide a contract, and clearly communicate feedback. It was a very professional process, and truly fun to be a small part of helping an aspiring author reach his goal.

This is my submission for the poem called Stay, about a kid who prefers their ideal, well-behaved, plush dog to the real thing.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Valley Breeze: CRAFTOPIA

Adam and I made the Providence community newspaper! Here I am oh so enthusiastically photographed at Craftopia (bottom right). Not only do I appear completely devoid of life but it also totally looks like I have a mustache. Too bad it doesn't show my work at all, and they called them "doodles paintings" which doesn't even make any sense. And for some reason they decided to say that Adam is from North Smithfield rather than Slatersville...too funny!

 That makes me think about the several typos I've come across while reading the Game of Thrones series: the other day I noticed that instead of hearing a "footfall" from above, it read heard a "football."

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Kickstarter Sketch

My next small illustration project waiting in the wings is for a Kickstarter children's poetry book project that Adam and I agreed to participate in along with several other great illustrators. Normally I don't jump up to take part in self-publishing type ventures but Adam had mentioned he was considering this particular project and it sounded like fun. After reading the poems and laughing at many of them, I decided, heck, why not!?

In essence, the poem I picked to illustrate is about a child who prefers their stuffed dog to a real one, since they're so much better behaved, of course! This is my sketch. Final art will follow...some day soon!

Friday, May 4, 2012


Wow. The last two weeks have been superb!

I spent the last month gearing up for CRAFTOPIA, even doodling in the hospital waiting room while we eagerly sat on edge until my sister gave birth: I became an aunt to the beautiful Nora Madison Mayhew on April 24th and everything since has been happy happy happy.

CRAFTOPIA was last Saturday at the Hope Artiste Village in Pawtucket, RI. It was such a breeze to set up and was so well-organized that it really made for a stress free first time craft show experience. Adam was by my side all day, and we had plenty of visits from friends and family which helped the day pass quickly. I sold three small paintings which literally just covered the cost of the booth space for the day. So I met my goal and expectations, though I would have liked to have sold more. The best part of the day was undoubtedly the public response to my work. Yes, my friends and family have seen my paintings and like them, but this was the first time I got to share them with new people. It was exciting and fun and not at all awkward or uncomfortable. I doodle because I enjoy it. In fact, I can't seem to NOT doodle. It is the most easy and natural way of art making that I currently do. I don't have to think or put pressure on myself to meet some kind of aesthetic goal. I just get to have fun thinking about color and form and compositional flow. It is a pure, passion-fueled process that makes me sincerely happy.

While DoodlePaintings aren't for everybody, for those who did see something they liked, it was very rewarding for me as an artist. Adam jotted down a few things he heard people saying and it was truly inspiring to have such a warm response. How can I not harness encouragement from a day spent hearing things like:

"Fun!" "Beautiful" "Wow" "Awesome" "These are great."

"Those are some 'doodles'..."

" of the most unique things I've seen in a while."

"It reminds me of things. I don't know what until I look at it, but it reminds me of things..."

"The more I think about it the more intriguing it is."

Naturally, when I create art I can't help but become a little reflective about why I create it, or what meaning it might hold for me on some deeper level. And while I won't pretend I sit about writing intellectual essays on the meaning of my abstract work, I will say that at the moment, I find it especially interesting that I am preoccupied with creating images that elicit everything from tiny microscopic cells to vast environments. From an art-theory angle, the variety in scale of the shapes I use is particularly important in the creation of a successful DoodlePainting. Tiny things making up a bigger picture--this is how I view the essence of life itself. Keeping perspective...small, unique moments, coming together in a dynamic, kinetic flow: The composition of life. I for one, certainly know how a very small thing (can you say LYME disease bacteria!?!) can affect the bigger picture of life...
In conclusion, I find meaning in every tiny circle that I doodle.

Update: Thanks to my exposure at CRAFTOPIA, I made some post-show sales in person, bringing my total sales for the week to 10 PAINTINGS!