I've been going a little pattern crazy lately.
I'm trying to grow/refine my portfolio by creating more collections -- a group of 6-10 patterns that exhibit the same theme and color palette. Only 1-2 of these patterns are complex, and the rest can be rather simple.
Here's the collection I've been working on. I used this potted plants pattern as a spring board...
I love the vibe and color palette of this pattern, so I figured it was a good design to spring a collection out of it.
Here's a peak at some of the other patterns I'm developing in this collection.
I actually really love constraints. Limiting myself to certain colors and themes is really freeing. I'm not sure when I'll declare this pattern collection "done," but not yet. There's lots more fun to be had within it.
I think the trickiest part will be giving names to all the designs! Titling artworks (and blog posts) is kind of a headache for me. I'm usually not very poetic about it and just call it like I see it. I'm thinking I see a "Dots in Lines" pattern and "Pinwheels" pattern up there.
I'd like to interrupt my regular posts regarding my own art and share some recent projects with my 4-year-old. Before being a stay-at-home-mom-artist, I taught elementary art for a couple of years. I like to tap into that part of myself and get artsy-craftsy with my preschooler.
I've found he's not as much into "process art" (creating just for the joy of creating without a certain plan in mind) but loves projects that involve creating a certain something that he's into. What he happens to be into now is sharks. So yesterday we dove head first into shark creation.
My plan was just to create a simple cute shark that I found on Pinterest -- one shark. I made the mistake of showing him my Pinterest board of all the shark ideas I had collected, so of course he wanted to make all of them....
Yesterday we settled on three, all involving paper plates, paint, cutting, and gluing. And he woke up again today wanting to make even more.
Thankfully the paint takes a few hours to dry, giving us a break in between steps.
He's loving learning about all types of sharks, so each creation is a different kind.
For instance, a great white . . .
A mako . . .
And a leopard shark is currently drying . . .
Needless to say our whole household is learning lots about sharks.
And there's snow and ice in the forecast, so I foresee lots more shark-creations in our near future.
Which reminds me! You can get in on the action too by coloring this bad boy, available as a printable in my Etsy shop.
Stay warm! I imagine a lot of you reading this are in for the same cold front we are!
In my last post, I shared about my latest design, and today I thought I'd reach back a few years and share about an older design. I don't love all my older stuff, but this one I still find charming.
According to Facebook, I drew this in my sketchbook on October 11, 2016. That's 7 days before Ransom was born! Back then I was only drawing with pen and paper, now I mostly use my iPad.
I was inspired to draw this because I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts, Stuff You Should Know, and the episode that day was about polar bears. I apparently found it super interesting and inspiring.
A few years later I turned this thoughtful polar bear into a coloring sheet.
And to close, here's a picture of the cutest little chef you ever did see, helping me me make some pizza last Friday.
The is my first post of the year so I gotta say it -- happy new year!
My first new design of 2021 is this cutie pie squirrel for Valentine's Day.
I created this from a sketch I did a few years ago. Here's a look at the original.
Then I of course had to make it into a repeating pattern. I think it turned out pretty cute.
I think I'll make one or two more patterns in this same series as well, using the same color scheme and feel. I started one this morning while Ransom was coloring.
In my Etsy shop, I will soon have a Squirrel Valentine's Day card available, so stay tuned for that! I also think the design would look nice in a nursery.
(I've been a little addicted to finding fun mockups lately. I got that cute bassinet one from Rocket Mockups on Etsy.)
Bring it on 2021.
I thought it was time for an Eye Candy post -- where I share some art I'm liking by other artists. This one is holiday themed of course. Christmas is a week away!
So I'll just stop talking and share some pretty things. If you like it too, click on the image to find out more.
That last one is my favorite. ;)
I thought I'd pop in today and share about some in-process projects.
Amidst shipping Christmas orders, I've been working on this house portrait for a parent from Ransom's school.
I've already blocked out the shapes--with the help of that grid--and now I'm going in and adding details. Bit by bit it will become a home.
Ryan snapped a pic of me working on it this afternoon next to our beloved Christmas tree.
Even though I haven't share about it in awhile, I also am still working on a personal project with a friend -- our first children's book. Yep, it's Finnegan. I'm adding in a few extra illustrations, and then will format it for self-publishing. Here are the latest two designs for the book, I won't give them any context (which is hard because I love contextualizing things). You'll just have to buy the book when it comes out.
I'll keep you posted when that happens.
I thought I'd take a break from talking about my own art and share some autumn art projects I've been doing with my son.
It's always hit or miss what he'll be interested in doing, so don't think we are just blissfully making art everyday together, but here are some sweet projects recently.
The fall colors here in Portland for the past month have been spectacular. We collected leaves around our neighbor and then made leaf prints by painting the leaf and then pressing it on to the paper.
The leaves were so lovely we decided to preserve them by laminating them and taping them to our big living room window.
They look so brilliant on the rare occasion when the sun is shining through them.
I wanted to keep the leaf fun going by painting around the leaves this time, but Ransom just wanted to paint.
With Thanksgiving just a week away, I plan on us making some hand turkeys soon, and creating some placements for the big day.
And THEN it's time for Christmas crafts! I can't wait for that.
I'll close by sharing this sweet snail mail tote bag, now available in my Etsy shop.
I've recently taken a little break from drawing florals and birds and gotten back into repeating patterns.
I was so happy a couple of years ago when I finally learned the trick of creating a design that can be seamlessly repeated thanks to Liz Kohler Brown's Skillshare class. It was close to the holidays and this was my first pattern.
I geeked out on patterns for awhile, but then started focusing more on birth flowers, birds, and tattoo designs. Frankly, because they were selling and my patterns were not.
Well, something about the holidays approaching has gotten me all into cozy patterns again. I've created three in the past month. First for Christmas, like I already shared. Then I created this snail mail pattern.
And I loved that color scheme so much I created another simple geometric one.
And I think I'll create one more with those same colors .
This morning though, Ransom and I made some patterns with dot stickers and the letters of our names. It was a hit.
I've been trying to get him to paint with me all week and he has refused, but he just loved this simple sticker project. Less messy and unpredictable than paint, I suppose. Sometimes I see a little perfectionist in him.
For someone who draws a lot of adult coloring pages, I haven't been much of a color-er myself in the past.
Well, hanging out with a just-turned-four-year-old has changed all that. Ransom recently has gotten into coloring Halloween-y things like jack-o-lanterns and monsters. They are all over his bedroom walls right now.
I got a little jealous.
I probably shouldn't tell you this, but there are so many free printable coloring pages out there. We've had hours of entertainment in our household.
Here are my recent masterpieces.
And of course I got inspired to create my own pumpkin coloring page. Later this week I plan on sending it to my newsletters subscribers, and after that making it available on Etsy.
I highly recommend coloring while watching a scary movie. It makes it much more bearable. I'm also a big fun of colored pencils, because I like to be able to shade.
(Sign up for my newsletter to get a free printable pumpkin coloring page later this week!)
I don't know what's going on with me and snails lately, but I've re-invented two old snail drawings in the past month. My "I Miss You" Snail, and now, my Christmas snail! I originally drew this little guy a few years ago
The original drawing is now hanging in my son's room. I re-drew him on my IPad, and he's now my Christmas 2020 design.
I hadn't originally planned to add words, but once I was finished with the design, I felt inspired to add some verbiage regarding Christmas being slow this year. Whether you like it or not, there will be a lot less going on this holiday season.
Pretty soon I will have this design available as cards in my Etsy shop. In the meantime, you can snatch up some cute snail wrapping paper on Society6.
Lotsa little snails, slowly getting ready for Christmas.
See all my available wrapping paper here.
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.