Saturday, November 28, 2009

March of the Penguins

I just printed this set of cards to post on Etsy once they dry. I've been printing the penguin on colorful paper and then attaching those cut-out prints to recycled card stock. I'm so into handmade papers lately! I wasn't that impressed with this particular card stock so I decided to test print a penguin on one using Winsor and Newton water-mixable oils in pthalo blue (red shade). I loved how it turned out so I printed a set of 4 using the remaining cards.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The SeaMonster Mural is FINISHED!

This is a difficult mural to photograph and I need to return to get some better pics. Even more reason why you should check it out in person! The McTuff Trio has been playing at the SeaMonster on Tuesday nights and there's never a cover charge. How can you pass that up?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

SeaMonster Mural: Day 4

It takes me forever to paint animals, but it's worth the time. I love how this turtle came out.
Day 4

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

SeaMonster Mural: Day 3

Today was a slow day for me. I was a little tired after staying up too late last night. I decided to place in the non-fish creatures and struggled a little in the placement. I redrew the turtle three times before I was happy with it! I figured out a few subtle changes I want to do to the very back coral, but I'm saving that type of work for Friday, when the major elements will be finished. I also wasn't really sure how I wanted to paint the coral. It seems so complicated but through experimentation I'm figuring out some simple ways to do it that should come in handy on future jobs. Thank god for the sea sponge! It's pretty funny to use a tool from the sea to paint the sea.
Day 3

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

SeaMonster Mural: Days 1 and 2

I spent yesterday and today working on the new mural at the SeaMonster. This is the first underwater mural that I'm focusing on creating the look of depth in the water, rather than mostly focusing on the fish. I'm very happy with the progress. I have to hold myself back to simplify and tone down the color in the background coral since I tend to make everything bright and with a lot of contrast. I made a darker layer of coral that I'm actually going to add a hint of color to, now that I see how it looks too dull compared to the foreground. Tomorrow's plan is to continue the foreground coral, finish the eels, and paint a creepy octopus on the right side of the mural. If I have time I'll start a ray or a turtle.
Day 1
Day 2

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Exciting stuff.

During my October road trip to California I brought along some Speedball rubber blocks to carve with a cute pink carving tool. I thought that I might have some down time to craft-out, and after bringing watercolors to Maui I wanted to try something new. First I carved a simple tree with 2 hearts, and next a bird and branch silhouette. I didn't know how the plates would hold up, and since one of the types (the pink one) said "won't crumble", I assumed the other kind I brought (yellowy beige) might. Since I got home I've made a ton of prints and all of the blocks have held up really well. I've become addicted to printing- it's all I want to do! I decided to turn the prints into greeting cards that I'm trying to sell through my Noon Moon esty shop. I sold one hot-pink on white "Tree of Hearts" on the day I posted it, which definitely fueled my fire! I found an amazing packaging shop in Georgetown- Packaging Specialties- where I bought cello sleeves for protecting the cards. They make the cards look so pro! Packaging Specialties is one of those stores that a crafter can go bananas in. The ribbons alone are hard to get past, until you see the tower of brightly colored chinese food style boxes in all sizes. It's great!
It's been a while since I worked on an oil painting, and I've actually been procrastinating out of the insecurity in my skill that I sometimes get after time off. I'm hoping to get a few 5"x7" impastos completed to send off to a gallery in Carmel Vall
ey, CA by early December. I have a huge headache, but I just finished the first one and I think it looks pretty cute.Another challenge I'm taking on (starting tomorrow) is an underwater mural at the SeaMonster Lounge in the Wallingford neighborhood of Seattle. This will be my first underwater mural that is not geared towards children, so I've very excited to tackle the task of painting eerie underwater depth. After snorkling in Maui and going to the Monterey aquarium recently, I'm in the zone- hopefully that will translate into the artwork. I also took some great photos for reference on the way home from Califonia in Newport, Oregon. I admire these murals every time I pass through Newport. Most of them are painted by Rick Chambers and they are just incredible. Take a look:

Monday, November 9, 2009


Today I decided to strip a chair before painting it, instead of chipping the loose paint off and sanding the paint to scuff it up for primer. After many a rash, I really hate to use harsh chemicals like turpentine, lacquer thinner, kerosene, etc. That being said, this chair seemed ancient
so I decided that working in some fumes might not be as bad as working in lead paint dust. I ended up buying an aerosol spray can of thinner at the Home Depot. The aerosol turned out to be a bad idea as the spray is thick and wild, but I chose it because I thought I'd use it all unlike the larger container. It was messier than I expected, but the fumes seemed mellow (thinner vapors tend to sink, and I was working outside) and it worked great! There's still a bit of paint on the wood but I think I'm done with the thinner. I may even stain the wood so that I can use some real wood grain amidst the painted design which is to have a Cowboys and Indians theme.

Once I was done with the thinner project, I had the nice surprise of finding out that I'm featured in a treasury on It has the theme "Interior" and is made by Hungarian felt artist Kati Bobaly of Dekorart. She chose my painting "Elvin's Chair" to join the collection. Elvin's Chair is a rare still life (love them but rarely paint them) of one of the first furniture pieces I bought when I moved to Portland. This was a pretty sweet chair and I just sold it to a Miami transplant since it was getting no use sitting in our garage. Please take a look at it on Dekorart's treasury. The collection features some Etsy artists that I frequently check up on.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Indian Summer

this October I...

chased the sun,
had great adventures with my love,
ate breakfast burgers,

painted watercolors in Lahaina,
experienced magical places with friends,
snorkled and
swam with turtles.

I also...
carved rubber blocks (prints soon to come- I'm very excited!),

trusted Watson to have off-leash adventures,
thanked my lucky starts that W survived his cliff-fall,
slept in a mansion by the ocean

a recording studio
a hobbit house,
got into my first California gallery,
saw zebras and jellyfish,
met people who decorate their entire world,
and had the best October ever!
How was yours?