Friday, July 24, 2015

Illustration Friday~Nature

To me nature is my church, whether it be a walk in the woods, sitting in the sand by the ocean or floating down stream in a canoe, that's where I feel most in touch.  Even as a small child I remember my aunt had a small patch of woods in her backyard, I can remember taking my dolls there and quietly playing.  I loved the silence.  I still do. I need silence in my life.  As a teenager I took long walks around the apartment complex where I lived.  I felt the closest to God on those walks.  I sometimes think I said my best prayers on those walks.  I never really felt alone.  Maybe it was all those moments that helped me when I needed it the most in my life. When drinking too much, and drugging too much were becoming the norm. I remember vividly the moment  I ask God to help me, waking from a dead sleep as the words formed in my mind, "please help me" it was a quiet thought and maybe a little desperate. Nothing horrible had happened, it was more a series of events that needed to stop, a lifestyle that needed to change. There's a saying, "when the student is ready the teacher will appear." I believe in those words. You can have all the interventions you want, and yes maybe it pushes you down the right course, but you need to be ready to make that choice, sometimes over and over again.

I wasn't planning on talking about these moments in my life when I started to write this today, sometimes I just let the words flow as they will, and thoughts of nature have always mingled in my mind with thoughts of God and spirituality.


Maybe it's the reason I draw so many trees or make kids art,  it just make me feel more in touch, happy. Drawing was another way that brought me back, when I struggled not to pick up a drink or smoke the joint, instead I picked up a pen.

The art I'm featuring today was started as a practice piece. It was sitting in my studio for over a year, and every now and then I would pick away at it. I never intended it to be a piece that I would frame and show. I even lopped a chunk of it off in the corner because it was too dark. A small cave with eyes peaking out.

Last week I put up a display at the Willoughby Library to feature staff art. It was a lot of fun designing it and lots of hard work!  As I was setting up I noticed most of the comments where directed at this piece of art and how much they liked it. I like it too.

I was also able to hang my daughter's photos ( she also works for the library) and that made me very proud. I love her nature photos and a her quirky style.








Here's more pics from the show.











Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Illustration Friday~Airborne

I thought this to be the perfect illustration for the word of the week "Airborne" This is not the first time I've posted this art, and for some reason folks like to click on this one according to my stats in the blogger settings. I guess there's quite the fun factor about children being shot out of magical castles through rainbows?

When I made this illo I was preparing for an art fest. I remember one of my friends laughing at me for "cooking" my artwork! Since the frame was made of Sculpey, there was no way around it. There were a couple of blunders along the way, but all in all I got pretty good at it.

Currently I am preparing for the Art Walk in downtown Willoughby.  I will be the guess artist for the Willoughby Library--Thanks Deb! So if any of my friends want to stop by, Deb will be promoting the WE-Libraries and I will be promoting my children's art and my tree spirits.

Wishing you all a great week!


  

Friday, May 1, 2015

IF-Wiggle

The word of the week is Wiggle…So what comes to mind?

Well, when I was a kid we would drive to my grandparents house in Cleveland. It wasn't a long drive, although when you're 10 or 12 it felt longer than the actual half hour or so that it was. On one of these drives I decided to let my pencil wiggle about my paper on the drive home, just to amuse myself I guess. I remember just relaxing the pencil on the paper and letting the road do the drawing. It looked something like this
It was more jaggedy than wiggly. Looking back I think it was an experiment in self control--could I keep the pencil on the paper the whole way home? And also the curiosity to see the final outcome. Nerdy artist even back then.








As I think about this word, and look over my art, it seems that my art is just filled with wiggles…



I have wiggly castles, and wiggly trees.




...and more wiggly trees, along with strange rooster creatures and wiggly haired cave women.



And here is one of my favorite wiggles, this cute little snake basking in the sun. I could go on and on with my wiggle art.

Doing fun kids art makes me happy. I go into a zone that I really like. It brings memories back of days that felt lighter and simpler. Days when you would play outside with friends until the street lights would come on. Days of chalk on sidewalk, or whirling finger paint onto large sheets of paper, just for the joy of how it felt and the colors it made. Warm summer nights filled with catching lightning bugs, or piling into a station wagon to go to the drive-in-movie.

...Or times when you did funny things, like holding your pencil to your paper for an entire car ride just because.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

IF~Window


Hello~
For this weeks Illustration Friday I give you Jaxson's Room. Can you find the 2 windows in this illo?

pen and ink with watercolor pencil

This piece was first meant for the little guys mom, Bethany. She is a friend that I work with at the library. She has a thing for mushrooms and gnomes, and she seems to really like my artwork too. So I said I would draw her a gnome. She made me a quick little sketch (darn I wish I had it to show, but I left it at work) of a gnome reading a book, by a mushroom. Simple enough. And after all we both work for a library so a "reading gnome" seemed quite fitting. As it was, time got away from me, and no gnome to show for it. More time passed, and I learned Bethany was with child. (Jax--the little guy) I then decided to alter the piece and add in a little boy gnome and give it to her for her baby shower. --On a side note the name Jax comes from the show, Sons of Anarchy. It seems Bethany and Nick (Dad) are both fans.
Bethany, Jaxson, and Nick
I don't know why this piece hung me up so much, but I just couldn't seem to get it going. Sketch after sketch and nothing felt right. Then I lost interest in doing any art at all for over a year, one long dry spell. Needless to say the piece did not get done. Move ahead to Jax's first birthday, and I'm thinking I gotta get this going before the kid out grows gnomes! Although I know his mom won't outgrow them!  So last night I was finally able to give this long overdue picture to my friend! She was happy and I was soooo glad to get it off my plate!

I also wanted to share this book with you...

I took this out of the library and decided I needed to have a copy of my own ( I couldn't keep renewing it) It has really helped me to view time differently, and how I can make better use of it in order to create on a regular basis. It's funny how "out of shape" you can get when you're not practicing your craft. I know when I'm in the mode that even if there's a struggle the struggle isn't nearly as hard as when I'm not in practice. I guess that's pretty much true for many things.

There's been some interesting things that have been happening since my recommittment to my art...

1. The manager at the Willoughby library asked if I would like be their "guest artist" for the Art Walk in downtown Willoughby (All the stores have a guest artist that evening)

2. I sold 2 pieces of Artwork after a friend saw them on FB--Thank you Cindy :)

3. My cousin asked if I would like to hang my work in her fancy hair solon--Thanks Amber!! Looking forward to making new art for that. Thinking new Tree Spirits for her shop.

So it looks like I will be busy. Plus I have 2 more kid's room pics I need to make. Feels great to be working again!

And to close with on more Illustration Friday "Window"  I love this piece!!!

 "Cats in Windows" from my daughter Annie. She holds my heart  :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Illustration Friday~Sea

So here we are just 8 days before Christmas with a full work schedule ahead and barely a present to be had, and my creative juices decide to kick in full steam ahead! 

I have to say this last year I’ve had my doubts if art was still a part of my life. I have not had an ounce of desire to create anything, from pen to paper to tossing paint around, NOTHING! Not even a quick sketch on a napkin!  I’ve never had this long of a dry spell.


And then I took a moment to look back...


Dream come true
It's been a long busy year with movement and change and maybe even some growth? I've been pulled in many different directions and most of the changes have been good. Much of my creativity went into house and yard projects. And then there’s always extra hours at my library. Also my daughter got her drivers licence! Yay! Add in more house projects. Worked on losing lots of debt! Another Yay! My husband got his classic car he's always wanted So we cruised, him more than I.
And lot’s of time spent with friends…"Life stuff"


Container garden--and they got red!


Mickey

I also took on a second job last April working for Saint Ann's Shrine. Although I no longer have that job it was a blessing to work there for the short time I did. Again looking back I believe it helped me to cope with the loss of my brother who just recently passed away. Mickey was diagnosed with colon cancer a little over a year ago. I was fortunate to have been able to spend a good amount of time with him this past year, whether it was just hanging out with him or taking him to his treatments, it was special to be able to have had that time. It also warmed my heart to see how many people were touched by his life. I can’t help but think that part of my muse kicking in has been a way of coping with this loss, or maybe it’s Mick giving me a little push. I think I’d like to believe that.

I guess I’ve been a binge artist long enough to not question the creative process, or lack of it too much. I’m just happy it’s back!



For Illustration Friday’s word of the week “Sea” let’s kick back to the days of the Yellow Submarine!



Hope the fish like it!

This piece is a background for my fish tank. I do hope my fish appreciate the effort :)

Here is the process along with the whole image below.










 







 



Saturday, December 6, 2014

IF~Light

Decided to shed a bit of light on this blog that's been in the dark for way too long! Hope to get it up and running again. For Illustration Friday a pic I created the other day on my tablet using a fun little app.




Saturday, December 28, 2013

Illustration Friday~Reflect

It's time to shake off the old and start fresh. Cleaning the studio and coming up with a new game plan to market my illustrations. I think I'll chew on it a bit :)
Illustration created for Stories For Children Magazine

Sunday, December 8, 2013

In memory of John...


This was originally posted March of 2012 as Illustration Friday's word of the week "Intention" It felt appropriate to repost it today.

In the beginning I struggled with this piece. The fear of the "white paper" had me in its grips. I wanted to create something really good; this was going to be my submission to the 2nd annual May Show at the community college. I knew I wanted it to be something that was true to who I am. A few roughs, and it still wasn't coming. I let myself go--I stopped thinking of it as a competitive piece. I just wanted something that I could be proud of. I let myself get into that frame of mind where it's all about the "feel," where your hands move effortlessly and your brain goes into a meditative state. And then a song starts playing in my mind, Imagine, by John Lennon. He is one of my favorites. One of the few that I shed tears over at his death. It was so senseless. I wonder how many other beautiful songs he would have sung if only...

This piece is called: "Thoughts of John" It's pen and ink, with a watercolor wash in the background; reminiscent of the psychedelic era of the 60's. What I found interesting, was at some point as I was creating this piece, I turned on the radio and guess what song was playing--yep, "Imagine"

How's this for a lovely Intention....

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace

~John Lennon


PS-It was not accepted in the May Show.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Illustration Friday~Underwater

I'm afraid I am cheating today and re-posting an IF from 2010. There's so much going on in my day today, but I haven't posted in a few weeks and I didn't want to miss out this week. Plus it was a good post, for a good cause and a good reminder to respect our environment.  So for IF Friday Underwater...I give you Ripples from June 16, 2010, after the big oil spill occurred.  Also I'm happy to say both of these small cards did sell, so that was $20.00 for the clean-up. 

And Kelly Light you are truly amazing for this effort that you accomplished and for the thousands that you raised with the help of all the artists that participated in this fundraiser!


Ripples--Illustration Friday


Thanks Kathi from Texas for the sale !!!


I created these two cards in an effort to help the cause that Kelly Light started. Please check this site to donate to the Gulf oil spill. The Ripple blog is http://ripplesketches.blogspot.com/

I really had no idea what I wanted to do with this theme until my son took a glance at what I was drawing and said “that looks like the Sunfish we did last year.” We did a report together for his 3rd grade class project, and we chose the “Sunfish”, also known as the “Mola Mola”. In any case that’s what it reminded him of.
Before he came into the room, I was playing with the idea of a gradation of sorts, from dark to light. Once he said “Sunfish” I kept repeating in my head, almost like a mantra “Out of darkness into light.” Then as it would happen, Kelly Light’s name came to mind and it all seemed rather fitting.


On another note I have no idea why I keep drawing the sun lately, yet this is my third post with a sun in it. I suppose I am just in the summer spirit!

Thanks Kelly for inspiring us all to join the cause—May God bless all our animals!!

Both of these cards are available for a $10 donation (each) to either The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies http://www.imms.org/ or The International Bird Rescue Research Center http://www.ibrrc.org/ . When the cards sell, artists sign the back of the art with thanks and mail them to the buyer's address.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Illustration Friday~Totem

to·tem

noun
  1. 1.
    a natural object or animal believed by a particular society to have spiritual significance and adopted by it as an emblem.
    color pencil and pen & ink

Friday, August 30, 2013

Illustration Friday~Lush

One can never be too careful when entering their garden. There is usually one lush and overgrown flower that seeks attention and tends to be a bit too aggressive.
This colored pencil illustration is from a 32 page children's book
that I created for a contest given by Simon and Schuster. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Illustration Friday~Fresh

Where has summer gone! I know it's August but I've been on auto-pilot since coming back from vacation at the end of June. I have been pulling many extra hours at my job, and I'm grateful I've gotten as many hours as I have. But that also means I haven't been making any new art for months, or paying attention to my blog. I've been starting to feel that old familiar tug, when I've been away just a bit too long. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks, we will be hiring some new people at work and my hours will start to go back to a semi-normal schedule. At least enough for me to dig back in.

As it stands I still have a poem and artwork in review at Carus Publishing, and I'm afraid it's getting on time to pull that one back and move it along to another house. Yet there's a little voice inside that keeps saying "just a little longer." Getting published in Spider has always been my dream! When I think about being "a successful artist" this is one of the marks I hold to. On occasion I reevaluated this word "success" and what that means to me; and to be published in a magazine like Spider would definitely "feel" successful to me. It's the gold star! To receive checks in the mail or money in a paypal account on a semi-regular basis, Yep, that would say success.

Then of course there's that more "soulful" kind of success. Like looking at a bulk of work I've created, as it hangs in a coffee house, display case or at an outdoor festival; that gives me a sense of pride and accomplishment. And that would also be considered a success. Or that warm feeling you get inside when you give a piece of your work away to a friend or family member, and they really like it! That's success? Right? Soulful is good, but I guess I just want it all. I want to make wonderful, magical, absolutely lovely artwork that is displayed, bought, appreciated and published! And I want to make lots of money doing it!


But I guess in the end, what it all comes back to is a simple, basic need (addiction) to make art, because, that's what I do, frustration and all. And that old cliche' "the tortured artist," yeah I can sometimes relate.  

Finally, in closing I give you the word of the week for Illustration Friday "Fresh" which I must admit is not so fresh since it's an older piece. Although It is one of my favorites, and one that felt very successful on it's completion. Plus the veggies look good and fresh!

Done in colored pencil and then burnished. I labored many hours on this one, and came away with sore fingers!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Illustration Friday~Jungle

This colored pencil drawing was given to a friend recently. It was a gift to her granddaughter who loves giraffes and monkeys, and the colors purple and pink. It was a really fun piece to do! I thought it would be a good choice for IF's word of the week :)

PS--I decided to go back to "In the Land of Whimsy" I guess I missed it :)
Plus I had so many robots attacking me I thought if I changed it up they'd leave me alone for a while.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Illustration Friday~Future


Thoughts of Annie and her future as an artist...

Annie will be graduating this coming June. I can't believe how crazy fast it's all gone by. From the time she was little she has watched and questioned me on my art. She is my biggest fan. Through the years I've watched her grow not only into a beauitful young woman, but also a wonderful artist and photographer. I love seeing the world through Annie's lense. College is just around the bend for her, and graphic art is where she chooses to begin her adventure. Wether she pursues that field or veers off in another direction, I have no doubts to her success. Below is what I posted on FB today for a Mother's Day status.

Bragging rights on Mother's Day~Last week taking my daughter to school we noticed our neighbor’s cat sitting in the window. That started a conversation about cats that sit in windows all over the world. Which then led into a discussion about what a cute book idea that would make, and it would be fun to do that together. For Mother’s day I received this… Cats in Windows… 

I’ve known for many years that my daughter will far exceed me in the field of art, and it’s hard to explain how wonderful that makes me feel. I just know I’ve passed something on that’s very good!

To see Annie's photos: http://instagram.com/anniecaine


Saturday, May 4, 2013

LCC Library Display

 This is the end result of the Spring Time Tree Spirit art I created for the Lakeland Community College Library. Thank you Mark for a beautiful display of my work!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Illustration Friday~Farewell

This piece felt right for the word Farewell. She seems to be sending off her little puffs of tree...whatever the heck that means?
Wishful Thinking 
Although it has been fun and challenging to do this series of work, bidding it farewell is also a welcome relief. I've been picking away at it since February and it is pretty much done.  I just need to wire up the frames for hanging. The 5 pieces will be shown at the Lakeland Community College library for a spring/summer display in May. Thank you to my friend/co-worker Mark who works at both Willoughby Hills library and LCC library for asking me if I would like to show my work. He always seems to have a knack for motivating me :)
The Land in Between

Spring Time
The Celebration
The Tango