Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thank You!

I participated in an art fair on Saturday at "Spill The Beans" in Greenville SC.
There were about 18 (or so) local artists there also, showing everything from sculpture, paintings, fiber art, jewelry to Starbucks gift card lamp shades (which were so cool!).
We had a great crowd there...and it was right there inside the coffee/ice cream/frozen yogurt shop!!

Did you know that you can order a freshly baked waffle cone dipped in (dark) chocolate without the ice cream?

I didn't (until Saturday) but it's a great answer to the "I really, really want one of those cones with chocolate but the ice cream is too much of a mess while I am selling my artwork" dilemma...
A yummy answer in fact.

I was so excited to sell a few things, including one of my new Little Books (thank you Denise!).
I am always so thrilled when collectors love my artwork as much as I do.

I create work from my heart ( & my head) based on things that inspire me.
There are some days that everything inspires me...
some days, nothing does.
But most of the time I have a ton of ideas - some good, some not so good.

Today I will complete up one painting that is on my table (a dog), put the finishing touches on five paintings that I did earlier in the week and think about fleshing out the two canvases that I started yesterday.

I really, really have to update my resume (that means write one), take a look at my artist statement (it needs changing for a different venue) and decide if I want to use my same ole bio...

The grunt work, that is.

The stuff I run from.

Maybe I'll clean out the fridge instead...

Friday, November 25, 2011


I thought that I'd show you the last (or latest) imaginary animal that came out of my sketchbook.
This is a "Giraffasaurus" - a friendly and curious vegetarian.

He is also part of the paperback book line that will be shown to the public this holiday season at "Spill The Beans" in Greenville SC on November 26.
Come by and meet me and many other artists that will be showing (and selling) their wares.
I've got a few other curious animals waiting anxiously for a new home...

Monday, November 21, 2011


From the moment that my pen touched the paper for this month's theme,
I have been so inspired to keep drawing!

I've done six drawings and made (so far) four books using these drawings.

Here is the latest -
called a "Catasaurus"

I've made a small paperback book using this watercolor painting.
I am participating in an artists holiday fair (type thing) in Greenville SC on Nov. 26 at "Spill The Beans" where I will be selling (and showing) these cute books and many other handmade items.
If you're in the area, come by and see me!

Friday, November 18, 2011

KC the kitty cat

We have a new visitor at the Sloan house.
A little kitty cat (hence the KC) that is slowly stealing our hearts...

They can do that, can't they?

Here he is sitting on top of a stump that was a part of the Bradford Pear tree in our yard.
He was busy grooming himself when I took a series of photos of him.

Now, even though I like realistic drawn cats, I'm not to fond of actually drawing them myself.
So I decided to take Carla's theme and draw what my imagination sees of this handsome kitty.

Here's what I came up with.

 I drew this one in a split second on a scrap of watercolor paper. I really liked the goofy look on his face so I had to draw another one on a larger piece of paper.
And add a little sky behind him.
I'm thinking that these would make the cutest cards and book covers, eh?

He doesn't really wear pink claw polish, I just wanted to add that...
His butt really is that little though...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Door Knockers

On a recent trip to Charleston, I spent some time looking around at the beautiful and ornate door knockers.
I'm always amazed at the decorative touches that people put on their homes in the city.
You will find rich and tasteful (as well as gaudy and flashy) ornamentation in the smallest of places here.

I took the time to sketch out a door knocker at 1 Legare Street.
I used a photograph for reference later as I added a little bit of watercolor to the sketch.

Have you stretched your creative muscles today?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Art Camp For Women

Boy, do I have some great news!

I am so excited to announce that I will be teaching a bookmaking workshop at "Art Camp For Women" next year!

"Art Camp For Women" is in their sixth season at Snow Mountain Ranch near beautiful Winter Park Colorado. Click on the link to go to their website and check out the different options that are available to you there.

I was going to say "The best thing about this retreat is..." but I realized that there are several "best things about this retreat". I'll just say that one of the things that I LOVE about this retreat is that all the art supplies are provided for you!

Yes. You heard it right ladies.

When you go to ACFW, you don't have to pack ANY art supplies!

Now, just think about that...the last retreat that I went to, I had two cases FULL of art supplies and a carry on for clothes. Then I only used a small portion of what I carried (which is very frustrating) (and confusing in class).

For ACFW, I am designing a completely different (and new) book.
It's all handmade, no sewing machine required.
I've been communicating with Keith Smith (who has written several books on book binding) on appropriate binding stitches for books that will lie completely flat, are beautifully decorative and great for beginners as well as advanced book makers. He has been so helpful to me in this research.

And while I am using a more traditional approach to binding, the cover is another story!
I love to create one of a kind covers for my books. Our completed book will definitely be a one of a kind with some really cool mixed media concoctions thrown in.

I'm still making the class book, but the ACFW web site has a couple of photos up of some sample books that I made showing different binding stitches .

I'll be posting more info as time goes on but right now check out the "Art Camp For Women" web site for the June 4-11, 2012 session.

As I said before, they have a couple of different options for the June session including "The Works" which I found to be the most interesting...

We stay at a vacation home, have chef prepared meals, daily Happy Hour (woo hoo!) and all your art supplies are provided!

I hope that you will consider making your 2012 retreat class with me at Snow Mountain Ranch near Winter Park Colorado.

(the following photos are samples for different binding stitches that I am trying out - not actual retreat projects)

above is a sample of a cover technique that I am working on

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Another Robot

I've painted another Guardian.

I was working in my large Moleskine. The paper is not as heavy as I am used to working on...I must admit that I love the journal size but not the paper (weight). I will have to be more careful when using wet media in it as I scrubbed a small spot to the side of my drawing.

I have two more Guardians drawn but not painted as yet.
I have a car trip coming up so maybe I can work on that and the Sketchbook Challenge November theme.

I hope that everyone is feeling well and enjoying each and every day.
Remember to exercise your creative muscles - that's the only way that they will continue to grow!

Don't forget to set your clocks back an hour!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Background Painting for Book Pages

I'm working on a new project, a book, that needs some snazzy pages.
So - I pulled out a pile of paper, a few bottles of paint, couple of acrylic inks, Distress Ink Pads, stencils, masks and a sponge or two (and later on - paste for paste paper).
My studio table was a horrid mess...

Oh wait...that was actually before I began the papers (I think)...I titled this photo "Dirty Secret" since my table is dirty...but now it is no longer a secret.

This next shot was after I had already layered a couple of stamps and masks on the pages.
I always work on as many pages as I can fit in my work-space. It saves time this way and I can work from one end of the table to the other end. By the time that I finish at one end, the other end is dry and ready for the next layer.
I love painting paper this way - it is so easy to get into the "zone" and work in an intuitive manner. Before you know it, you've got 10 or 15 coordinating pages all ready for your project.
This is one of my most popular classes actually - everyone can do it and there are no mistakes!

I kept layering different colors, stamps and such until I was happy with everything.
Here is a shot of some of the pages that I created that day. I did add some paste to some of the pages. I love the additional texture on the pages! I will continue to play around with making paste paper as I really like the look of it (and it IS a bit addictive, isn't it?)
I think that I may have added another layer of ink before I quit. Then I let them sit for a day or so before I ironed them (between parchment paper).

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Rainbow Row

I've been reading about the history of Charleston SC lately.
I love the book by Diane Hollingworth Gessler called "Very Charleston".

It's a beautifully illustrated book, just full of watercolor paintings by the author.
I couldn't help but paint one of my own based on her interpretation.

It's a quick watercolor with details sketched in with India Ink. My painting is almost identical to the one in the book but it really helped me to do this one before trying another on my was a great way to loosen up and get the perspective right.
I am not (by any means) a watercolor painter so I needed all the help that I could get.
I have a ton of ephemera that I've collected from Charleston and I want to construct my own "Charleston" book so that I can include all my treasures.

Don't forget to check out the new theme on the "Sketchbook Challenge" blog this month!
Carla Sonheim picked this time.
Check it out, play along, win prizes!