A Look Inside My Sketchbook

Hi there. How are you?

Summers are busy around here, and I haven't had much time to work in my studio lately.  If I don't get my art fix, I get pretty crabby, so I've had to make away from my studio.

I've been channeling all of my creativity into my sketchbook, which comes with me everywhere I go.

Care to have a look inside?

A stars & stripes themed sketchbook drawing that I finished on the 4th of July.

A stars & stripes themed sketchbook drawing that I finished on the 4th of July.

Stars & Stripes Forever

Stripes have been popping up in my sketches lately.  I like the way they play against the organic forms that I naturally draw.

The finished version of a sketch that I started and abandoned earlier this year.

The finished version of a sketch that I started and abandoned earlier this year.

Months in the Making

I started and abandoned this drawing months ago. (See the earlier version HERE.)  After a lovely fan left an encouraging comment on my blog, I decided to finish it up.  I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, and my fan was too. (She bought a print! Thanks Lisa!)

A ballpoint sketch in an elegant emerald green.

A ballpoint sketch in an elegant emerald green.

An Elegant Emerald

I'm usually really drawn to the yellow-green pen my set of 8 Bic Crystals, but this emerald green was calling to me. There's a real elegance to this color that I'm totally digging right now. You'll probably see more in this color soon.

Adding a little pop of pink really brought this sketchbook drawing to life.

Adding a little pop of pink really brought this sketchbook drawing to life.

A Pop of Pink

I decided to use pink sparingly in this composition. I like how it adds a little variety to the composition, instead of it being the same all over.

I'm planning on designing a 2018 calendar and you'll most likely see some of these sketches as backdrops for the pages. Stay tuned my friends.

Want a Print Made?

If you're fond of my sketches do head on over to my shop. I've made a small collection of prints from my most favorite sketchbook pages.

Don't see what you're looking for?

I'd be happy to make one special for you. Just get in touch!

Until next time. Ciao!

2017 Studio Tour

Hi there. How are you?

I'm really lucky. I have a lovely, functional, and spacious home studio. Back in 2013, my very handy husband, set out to turn two basement bedrooms into a dreamy art studio. See the early renovation snaps HERE and the studio in it's final finished form for HERE.

After 3.5 years of heavy use, I thought it would be fun to again photograph my studio, to see how things have held up, and how I'm currently using the space.

The big island is the best.

As you walk into the studio, you are greeted by a 4ft x 6ft island workspace. It's a big, stand-up desk, and I love it!  It hardly ever looks this clean...It's usually a dumping ground of stuff. I spent a couple of hours cleaning everything up for these pictures, and I'm trying hard to keep it in it's current pristine space. It's so much more fun to be in here when it's all picked up and pretty.

Built in Storage

The island has some great built in storage, that's been heavily utilized. My flat file drawers are a little worse for the wear (notice a new bottom drawer and one with a missing face.) I keep all of my most necessary and most used materials on this side of the island, as it's closest to my computer and drawing table. 

Attaching the power strip to the island was a brilliant Matt move. It gets used all of the time.

Attaching the power strip to the island was a brilliant Matt move. It gets used all of the time.

Attaching the power strip to the island was a brilliant Matt move. It gets used all of the time, especially when I'm charging a dozen iPads for work.

The Command center

I spend the majority of my time in the studio right here. The built in desk is 8.5 feet long, but often feels crowded with those two printers. (One is really just used as a scanner. Hoping to upgrade that soon!)

Over the years, I've decorated the space with interesting things I've collected. As I spend so much time here, I like to have things to look at as I work. Eventually, I'll fill all the space in on that back wall.

My newest acquisition on the wall is this tiny watercolor that my great grandmother made for my grandmother on her birthday in 1952.

My newest acquisition on the wall is this tiny watercolor that my great grandmother made for my grandmother on her birthday in 1952.

My Newest Acquisition

My newest acquisition on the wall is a tiny watercolor that my great grandmother made for my paternal grandmother on her birthday in 1952. I never met my great-grandmother (she passed long before I was born) and I had no idea she made art. Such a treasure!

Also pictured here is a childhood portrait of my husband Matt and a dino wall hanging I made with teens at the library a while back

I used to do the majority of my drawing here. Now it's mainly a storage area for my stupid huge pen collection.

I used to do the majority of my drawing here. Now it's mainly a storage area for my stupid huge pen collection.

The Drawing Niche of Yore

I used to spend a lot of my drawing time right here. Honestly, I do most of my drawing upstairs on the couch now, so this spot doesn't get much use. It's just been a storage area for my ridiculously large collection of pens that are tucked away in the bags, boxes and tubes seen here.

I used to be a painter. It was my first real art love. Now, I'm too impatient for it. Maybe someday I'll go back to it.

I used to be a painter. It was my first real art love. Now, I'm too impatient for it. Maybe someday I'll go back to it.

The Painting Niche of Yore

Matt and I both used to paint and as seen here,  we each have our own easels. The paintings here are both mine, and were done about two summers ago, when I got the itch to paint again. It didn't last long, and they've been sitting there with my dried out palette ever since. Maybe, I'll go back to it again someday. Maybe.

So Much Storage!

The back half of the studio is used for storage. There is open storage for packing supplies, inventory and odds and ends that I like to have quick access to. There's also a lot of old paintings of both mine and Matt's. (His are the huge ones!) In the far back corner of the studio, we have a wall full of storage closets. Not pictured: the mess of stuff that these closets hide!

I have a thing for chairs. Even broken ones I guess. I can't seem to get rid of these.

I have a thing for chairs. Even broken ones I guess. I can't seem to get rid of these.

My Chair Graveyard

They're both broken and honestly, I don't know why they're still sitting here. I just can't seem to part with them yet.

Studio mascot that both frightens and delights.

Studio mascot that both frightens and delights.

Our Studio Mascot

I have no idea where this lil' devil came from. Matt hung it up on the peg board when we were setting up the studio, and it's been hanging there ever since. A young visitor to our studio told me that this looked like a devilish version of the "Elf on the Shelf."

Kid art wall of fame.

Kid art wall of fame.

Kid Art Wall of Fame

When the young ones in my life make me art work, I've taken to hanging it on the wall here.

Interlocking foam tile flooring is an inexpensive and comfortable solution for a studio floor.

Interlocking foam tile flooring is an inexpensive and comfortable solution for a studio floor.

Comfy Foam Flooring

The interlocking foam tile flooring has held up like a champ and is very comfy to stand on. It was a perfect, thrifty solution for our basement studio.

A collection of things that I've somewhat artfully arranged in my studio.

A collection of things that I've somewhat artfully arranged in my studio.

A Corner Vignette

I've been slowly building this eclectic vignette over time. Some things,  like the The "scandi" style prints, old metal cabinet and scissors I've picked up at yard sales and antique stores. The circus print is Matt's and badly needs to be framed. The owl key hook came from my maternal grandma's house, and the kokopelli pin was my paternal grandmothers. (Both of my grandmas passed last summer at ages 89 and 94. I've got some serious longevity genes folks!) It feels nice to have these little reminders of my beloved grannies nearby.

And there you have it.

I hope you've enjoyed this glimpse into my happy place. Until next time. 

Ciao!

I Gave Myself a Break

Hi there. How are you?

Me? I'm much better.

I very much appreciate all of the support and encouragement I received after my previous post.

My slump didn't last long. I did one very simple thing to get me out of it.

I gave myself a break.

Since January, my primary goal has been to design a new line of wholesale goods (cards, prints, calendars, tea towels, etc.) that I can pitch to retailers. I set out to make 10 new cards featuring my current abstract pen drawings as well as designing 2 new calendars and some new tea towels. 

For a while, I made really great progress towards that goal. Despite the fact that I have been steadily designing new products since then, I'm still not done and haven't even begun to lay out a new catalog. There never seems to be enough time.

Or maybe my heart wasn't really in it.

After my vacation meltdown, I decided to put wholesale aside (at least for a time).

I also put aside my sketchbook and went for a big 12" x 18" format. I picked up my trusty Bic and went to work. (Yep, even after all my searching and experimenting with other pen brands, Bics are still my most favorite.)

After struggling in my sketchbook, I decided to go big and start a 12" x 18" drawing with my trusty Bic pen.

After struggling in my sketchbook, I decided to go big and start a 12" x 18" drawing with my trusty Bic pen.

Pretty quickly, the work started to flow.

I had so much fun working on this drawing that I even recorded a short video of the process. Unlike the others, this one is in real time, so you can really see my technique.

Working large helped too.

There was more room to experiment and move. I was back in my happy art place, making work I was pleased with. It doesn't look forced, but instead free and flowing. This I where I want to be.

After fleshing out the composition with green, I added in some black to enhance the depth. At this point, it's just about complete.

After fleshing out the composition with green, I added in some black to enhance the depth. At this point, it's just about complete.

I want to be making original work, not a stationery line.

When I dream of my future as an artist, I see work in galleries, not at the National Stationery Show. I started working towards a wholesale line when my success selling work at art fairs started waning. I've seen other people be very successful with wholesale home goods and thought that might be the way to go for me as well. Unfortunately, I've never been completely satisfied with the cards/pillows/etc that I was making.

I still don't know how I'm going to do sell and market my original work.

All I do know is that I am enjoying the process of making again.

I'm going to think less and draw more, and see what comes of it for a time. My tentative goal is to make and frame enough new work to hang a solo exhibition at a local space. (Or maybe even in our house!)

I appreciate you following along in my journey.

Ciao.