Thinking of Spring
We woke up this morning to snow on the ground. That is always kind of magical around here.
Even so, I know in just about a month we’ll start seeing early spring blooms. I just can’t wait for that so I’ve been developing some spring designs. I’ve create some watercolor beetles, a watering can with flowers, and a gardening gnome.
The bugs are already available as an art print and greeting card. The watering can flowers can be purchased as a sticker. The gnome so far just exists on my iPad (and now this blog post). I think it would be fun to create more gnomes, as a little collection. We’ll see. I think a lot of things and they don’t all happen.
Oh, and today happens to be Valentine’s Day. I hope you or someone who loves who is treating you well today. Here are some cuties I created in the past in honor of today.
Radial Symmetry Magic
A few weeks ago Ransom (my six year old son) was looking over my shoulder as I drew this mandala coloring page (it was the printable freebie for my newsletter subscribers last month).
It's magical to watch these drawings come about. I use Procreate's Drawing Assist tool. Whatever I draw on one part of the page automatically gets repeated throughout the page, making designs in perfect radial symmetry.
It's pretty fun, so Ransom wanted to have a go at it. I handed him my Apple Pencil and iPad and he cranked out about 20 radial symmetry designs. Here are some highlights.
It was really fun to watch him drive into drawing and be delighted at the results.
I thought I’d take a moment to share some cozy art by other artists on Society6 (by the way you can click on the image to get taken to the art print, and they are affiliate links so I get paid a bit if you buy from them as well)
Looking through all that cozy art makes me want to create some art! Just like walking through a bookstore makes me want to go home and read.
Have a Hairy Christmas
If you follow along with me on Instagram, Facebook, or my monthly newsletter then you already know that my 2022 holiday design features a jolly sasquatch.
My first thought when I work on a Christmas design is cards. So that’s where I started this year. This one is available in my Etsy shop.
My second thought is wrapping paper. So after designing the card I create a repeating pattern with the same elements. I partner with Society6 to sell wrapping paper, and have been impressed with their quality year after year. You can find the Sasquatch wrapping paper here.
Now that the initial card design and repeating pattern has been created, this jolly sasquatch is now available on a lot of other fun products in my Society6 and Redbubble shops. Here is a sampling . . .
If you're interested in having a merry sasquatch in your life, I’d encourage you to order now, so you have time to enjoy it for the holiday season. 🎄
Two Spooky Projects
I’m going to pause in sharing about my own art making and share two fun projects I’ve done recently with my six-year-old son. Last year we turned our 4th, over-sized bedroom into an art studio and one of my favorite things is to go down there with him to make things. Saturday afternoons will often find us tackling a new project
Such as tape-resist spider webs. We used masking tape to create the webs, and then painted over the entire paper with liquid tempera paint.
Before the paint dried, we sprinkled on some glitter.
We intended to let the paint dry before pulling up the tape, but we just couldn’t wait. So we made a big mess and took off the tape while the paint was still wet, and then used sharpies to add some spider.
Last week, we created these lovely sun catchers. First just in the shape of fall leaves, and then made some ghosts. I won’t go into detail on the process, but you can find instructions on this blog post. This project took a little more prep on my end (but still not a ton), but the end results is something I think we will save and put on the windows every autumn.
The State of Things
I thought I’d pop onto the ol’ blog and update you on the state of things. My baby boy has started kindergarten 😯 and so I have had a luxurious amount of time to catch up on things. Here’s a sneak peak on my current projects.
After publishing my newest coloring book last month (get it on Amazon!) I started diving into drawing for my third book. The theme is birds, but I have yet to think of a snappy title (that’s usually one of the last things I do). I have 4 drawings done so far (my goal is 15ish). Currently I’m working on an eagle flying over Mt Hood. Here’s sneak peek of where I’m at so far.
I also recently got a request for some gardening stickers, so I have some designs in the works for a gardening collection. These would be fun to turn into a pattern eventually as well. I’m most excited about the gnome.
Finally, it’s also time to be working on my Christmas design for 2022. My goal is to have it done by the end of this month. I’m taking inspiration from our Sasquatch friend named Harry. He watches over our Airbnb near Mt Hood. He’s going to be wishing everyone a very hairy Christmas, of course.
Phew, so that’s where we’re at! It’s been so fun to have bigger chunks of time to work on these projects.
Ransom is loving kindergarten by the way. I’m so stinkin’ proud of him.
If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook this isn’t news, but I just have to announce it here too — I’ve published my second coloring book!
It’s available on Amazon for 8.99 with prime shipping. The coloring book features 15 original drawings by yours truly, all inspired by the deep blue sea. Some are inspired by real experiences, such as the reef fish featured on the cover, and others are more fanciful.
When my author copies were delivered, Ransom (my 5-year-old son) got right to work on his favorite page, the great white shark.
My favorite is the baby beluga.
I’d love to see what you do with these designs!
I've mentioned this before, but I just love recycling old designs to create something new. Here are two current examples of that.
A few years ago I drew this Sandhill Crane.
Well, this past month I traced that crane in Affinity Designer on my iPad and created a coloring sheet out of it. Here’s a sneak peak of that. It’s my first coloring page that is a vector rather than a raster image. (And if you’re my newsletter subscriber, you’ll be getting a free download of this soon!)
With the crane, I made a coloring page design from an older art print design. Now, I'm working opposite -- turning a coloring page design into an art print.
Here is the original reef fish coloring page. I drew it just a few months ago.
And then here is an in-process pic of where I'm at with creating an art print out of the design.
I just love those reef fish, because they take me back to snorkeling in Maui.
I thought I’d take a moment here and celebrate patterns.
I’ve always enjoyed drawing patterns. When I really started diving into my own artistic practice, I was carried along by patterns.
A pattern helps me feel grounded and safe. I decide on the design elements, and then just repeat and repeat and repeat.
Then in 2019 I learned the magic of creating patterns that seamlessly repeat, which means when you repeat the pattern, you can’t tell where it begins and ends. Seamless.
Now, anytime I create a new design I like the added challenge of turning it into a pattern. Like these cherry blossoms I wrote about in my last blog post.
Next I want to create a pattern from my Reef Fish design.
Spring time has been blooming around here (Portland, OR) this past month. Even though we oddly had snow this week, there still so much more sunshine than usual and lotsa lovely flowers, with new ones blooming every week.
Some of the earliest bloomers are the cherry blossoms. By this time, almost all their petals have fallen, but for a few weeks they were simply magical. I decided to do some cherry blossoms for my free printable coloring page last month (sent out to my newsletter subscribers, but also available here in Etsy)
I didn’t invent this design from scratch. I pieced it together from two older drawings, one of which was a tattoo design (the one on the right).
I love not reinventing the wheel.
After making the coloring sheet, I’ve still been playing with the new cherry blossom design. This one I’m going to make available as an art print.
And now I’m playing with the elements to make a repeat pattern. It’s a work in progress.
Even though the real cherry blossoms have lost their flowers around here, they still live on in my pen. 😌
A place to share the process. A space to be honest about the triumphs and trials of my daily life as an artist and mama. Writing motivates and refreshes me.