23 February 2011

spring anticipation

A storm came through, leaving a crown of snow on the mountains around our valley. Now we have a little respite of sunshine before the next rain blows through. The meteorologist tells me to expect a wet weekend so until then, I'm happily donning my skirts, light sweaters and more delicate shoes that can't abide puddles. And out of my ink pen and brush are coming thoughts and images of springtime: flowers and dresses and balmy breezes!

Wishing for a fashion garden that sprouts
shoes, sandals, handbags & dresses!

22 February 2011


my stars weren't aligned * essence disconnected a gap in my spine
my thoughts unraveled and knotting


Monday was moody.

19 February 2011

traveling journal

Brown Paper Bunny (aka Jessica Mack) has started a traveling journal and I've signed up to participate! I heard about it from graphic designer Elizabeth Caldwell (@ecdesignz). Both of them did the Sketchbook Project (which just started its tour today ~ so exciting!) and wanted to keep the fun going.

This book is interesting because the pages fold out accordion-style, so everyone's images will eventually connect. Each artist will complete two spreads and the dominant color must be blue. She's calling it "Mix Tape" so the subject matter is quite open. Here is Brown Paper Bunny's first spread:

Image from Brown Paper Bunny's blog.

I'm looking forward to inventing my two pages and to also see what others have come up with. It reminds me a little of Sandra Dieckmann's Haus Stories, although her collaboration goes vertical and is an online art connection. (One of these days I must make a story for that house!)

I haven't heard what will happen to the traveling blue journal once it's finished, but I like that the collection will be tactile with all pieces physically gathered together at the end.

It's fun to meet the other artists that will contribute. Besides me, Brown Paper Bunny & Liz Caldwell, here are some of the others who have signed up so far:

  • Sara Carns ~ a crafter & scrapbooking photographer who is also a stay-at-home mom in Arizona
  • Lisa McDonald ~ graphic designer, writer of comics & painter from Australia
  • Helen @Red1332 ~ photographer, knitter, artist in Pennsylvania who is also a programmer, gamer & geek
  • Susan @MagicBartender ~ I couldn't entirely follow her self-description but she seems like a wild & crazy gal (grandma?) from Maryland that paints and journals.

If you are interested in joining in, please send an email to carrot{at}brownpaperbunny{dot}com and let her know!

Update: several of my favorite artistic friends have joined in!

  • Thuraya Lynn ~ something of a poet living in a surreal world of her own, zine author, sweet sketcher, passionate about Japan but living in Kuwait.
  • Juriko Kosaka ~ ah, I've already gone on about her in an earlier post! Tokyo painter who also captures the people she sees in digital sketches.
  • Jessica Gowling ~ my mail art pal and creative printmaker and Canadian artist, always super nice, outgoing and positive. She's so creative that her Sketchbook Project was covered in fur!
Can't wait to see what everyone comes up with for our connected blue scenes.

16 February 2011

express to: canada

It was time for me to send something back to Jessica Gowling after receiving the mailbox goodness she sent to me. A little collection of art bits gathered to hop in her package.

Water color envelope with happy contents.

I had to use a little box because of the secret agent man that wanted to go along. He's one of those romantic types with an old fashioned style. Also had to send a little cityscape along with him, since he's used to skyscrapers and city bustle. It folds out and stands up so he can always feel at home.

Carved a J on top and a heart below so he could also be a stamp.

The travel time was much longer than I thought. After one week passed, I was a little anxious. Happily, I recently heard that everything arrived safely. This is my first mail art exchange and first attempt at stamp making. I liked the way the need to create an art gift got me to try some new things.

13 February 2011

inspiration ~ {juriko kosaka}

I've come to know an artist in Japan named Juriko Kosaka whose work I really admire. She makes many sketches of scenes or people from her daily life using a sketch app on her iPhone. She also paints in acrylics using a sparse but warm style. I'm always amazed by her work because no matter what she paints, the simple essence of her subject really comes through.

Images from Juriko's blog

In Onsen, I can feel the heat and steam of the hot spring, while Aromaticus gives a feeling of cool mint or herbs on a hot day. Neko captures Hana the cat's personality and soft fur.

She recently participated in an art show based on Karuta. Karuta is a children's word game that involves thinking of a word that starts with a certain syllable or letter. The next person has to think of a word that starts with the last letter of the player before him.

I am looking forward to seeing more artwork from Ms. Juriko. Here's her interpretation of "dusty" to enjoy.

Image from Juriko's blog.

You can find more art on her blog or by following her on twitter or even flickr!

07 February 2011


whoooo won?

 Just kidding! I know the Green Bay Packers won the Super Bowl. Although I didn't watch the game (or commercials), I at least know that much. Most of the people that I know who like American football were cheering for the Packers so ~ yay!

It was this cute tweet with the twitter hashtag #SuperbOwl that inspired me to draw some "superb owls" ~ my own way of celebrating. I used a gold pen in a black sketchbook, then colored them in with soft pastels.

I like the way she's facing away
with her head turned all the way around.
I'm so impressed when owls do that!

06 February 2011

lemon tea with honey

*sniff* ~ I seem to have caught a little cold. Not too bad, just sniffles and stuffiness. A good excuse to sit in the winter sunshine and sip some lemon tea with honey. Why not take some photos, too, to cheer me up?

The sweet lemons are from my dad's tree, the gold spoon from Nana, the honey from my friend Laura on our last visit to Italy, the china and tea from my mom and the daffodils from the garden. Makes me feel like everyone's taking care of me. ^_^

The light is so pretty today. It could be fun to paint a still life of my garden tea.

virtual museums ~ {art project by google}

I spent some time this morning wandering the halls of Versailles, Uffizi Gallery, the Museum of Modern Art, the Tate and Museo Thyssen using Google's Art Project. Half the time I admired some of the amazing architecture and decor (especially in Versailles, where even the ceilings are stunning) and the other half of the time I looked up some of my favorite artists and paintings or discovered new ones. One can wander around the museum's floor plan or find all the works by a certain artist across all the museums.

Here is a view of the Mars Room at Versailles where I found Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun's portrait of Marie Antoinette with her three children. I've always been fond of her works and it's such a treat to see a painting's actual location, then be able to zoom in on its details and read up on its history and the artist. In this case, I was led to another portrait of Marie Antoinette, also by Vigee-Lebrun ~ that had been quickly painted to replace another one that caused scandal because her dress was too casual for her station.

The views of the museums are not 100% complete. There are some rooms not included in the virtual tour and not all the paintings are able to be examined up close. However, there is still plenty to explore.

This one by Seurat was fascinating to see his brushstrokes and scientific approach to color. In this picture I was zooming in on Grandcamp, Evening.

Even more fun was examining Van Gogh's works up close. His works are highly featured in the Art Project between the Van Gogh Museum and all the other Van Gogh paintings held in the other galleries. I loved seeing his color choices and areas where it seemed like he gave up on a brush and just squeezed the paint on directly.

Nothing can actually match seeing a painting in person, of course. I had seen so many images and prints of Da Vinci's Il Cenacolo ~ The Last Supper ~ but those replicas did not prepare me to have my breath taken away so forcefully when I entered the church to stand before it and share its space.