Happy New Year everyone! As the title states it has been a year of many changes for me. Most have been good and there are still more to come. The biggest so far has been a move of house, and in turn, my creative space. Both have been for the better as we gained desperately needed living and home working space. If any of you have moved from a well established home, aka you’ve collected so much stuff you scarcely know where you’ve been keeping it all, you will know how much work it is. Ugh! This did however present a perfect opportunity to purge and boy was it a gooder. 🙂 What’s the saying ‘cluttered space, cluttered mind’? Well the clutter has been minimized and with it has come a burst of inspiration.
There are a number of things in the pipeline for this year and the goal is to hopefully be able to achieve most of them. Fingers crossed. By stating them out loud I’m hopefully giving it the power to keep me on track and make it all real. 🙂 So what are these things you ask? Well I have some new items in the works for the Society of Curious Creatures. There are some new dimensional objects I’m calling mini cabs ,which I posted about oh so long ago it seems, plus ones I’m calling Matchbox Curios. I’ll also have some mini zine type books called Explorer Journals that will be giving everyone some insight into these little trouble makers. Oh and stickers! I think the world needs creature stickers. 🙂
There will be some new watercolour work starting with the Year of the Rooster skull and flower painting out next month. Stay tuned. Over the latter part of last year I started doing some plein air watercolour sketching/ urban sketching. I’ll be heading to Portland for a week and plan on doing some drawing and painting there. I’m hoping to post a few so follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for those. At the very least I’ll be back with inspiration to work up some new paintings in the studio.
As for the now, I’ve revamped my website so head on over and have a poke around. That pretty much covers it…or at least all that I want to admit to. 🙂 I leave you with my best nine of 2016 images from Instagram. Oooo…ahhhh.
Short and sweet this time. I’ve missed the actual day that is the Chinese New Year, but we haven’t left the month yet. Better late than never. 🙂 So this month’s skull and flower painting is inspired by the Year of the Monkey. A little owl monkey skull surrounded by some lucky peony flowers and jade plants. I quite enjoyed building up the layers of colour in the flowers as well as in the eyes of the skull. I’m especially happy with the depth in the eyes. I’m also offering this guy up online in my Society6 shop where you can get prints or other various products with his mischievous little mug on it. Here’s a few examples.
To see more variants click on over to my Society6 page. They have also been offering a number of sales this month so you can’t go wrong there. Thanks for the support.
What’s so fascinating about a skull? It should be kinda gruesome but I don’t see them that way. In some ways they are kind of mysterious. Maybe it’s ingrained early on in our lives with museums and dinosaur bones and wondering what these massive creatures might have looked like roaming the lands we now so completely inhabit. Oddly enough, even though the creature whose skull I’m drawing is no longer alive, their bones still seem to have a personality and they all want their portraits drawn.
Want to own this guy? Have a peek over at my Society 6 page and see some of the products I’m offering with this guys portrait.
For the last few years I have been doing different art challenges. You know, the kind that give you a topic, or word, and then you make a drawing to go with. This year I decided to switch things up and stop doing those to focus on doing more of my own projects and less of those. There just wasn’t enough time in my life for both. Inadvertently, I managed to start a new one…sort of. There are quite a few people with birthdays in my life and about half way through the year I decided to start making cards for them. I certainly didn’t hit everyone, but as I was finishing up two today I realized that I had done quite a few. Twelve in total. Not sure if I’ll continue into next year, but I quite enjoyed doing them. They also got more and more elaborate I noticed. Even though theses cards had a simple theme, practice sure made proficient, cause I can certainly see the improvement as I went along.
It’s that time of year again. Linocut card time! This year’s theme has kinda carried it’s way through 2 projects. The first was the card image for this years greeting cards. It was inspired by the Druid story of the Oak King and the Holly King. As the story goes these two beings battle it out every year with the aim of ruling the seasons. No one ever “wins” really cause they end up sharing the seasons. The Holly Kings rule starts summer time and continues until winter when the Oak King takes over until summer. What I liked about it was that the Oak King was a symbol for the coming spring and longer days. As we are almost at our darkest here right now in my part of the world with the sun setting around 4:30pm and not coming back up until 9 am, I thought it was a great winter card theme. My little Ladybug friends made an appearance again this year each taking on one of the roles.
Then to continue onto the linocut present tags, which have become my favourite way to do these tags as of late, I decided to stick with the oak leaf as the image. I was trying to aim for small detail reproduction in this one and I’m quite happy with how it worked out. It took a bit more time to carve and some patience but I think they are the best ones yet. Happy Holidays!
New print’s in my Society 6 shop for those who like morbid Valentine gifts…or just skulls and flowers. 🙂
Alright I’m a bit behind in posting so it’s time to do some catch up. This year’s Christmas present tags started out early on in November. Yes, that’s how far behind I am…Christmas. It’s the earliest I have ever started the tags and I stuck with doing a linocut print again this year. I have really been enjoying them over the last few years.
This years guy is inspired by the Anoplognathus pallidicollis better known as the Australian Christmas Beetle. Known as this because of it’s appearance en masse around the Christmas season. Oh so clever of a name 🙂 Beetles are festive right? It had a great muted gold and green tone to it from photos I found. Add a few eucalyptus leaves and berries and there we go. I originally intended to print the beetle in gold but after a few test prints I changed my mind and went with a green print and gold detailing added in after the fact. The final colouration isn’t very true to the original insect but I like how it turned out. The gold doesn’t show well here but it’s quite flashy as it turns in the light. Here’s a pic of the beetle in his green state and then with the added gold. I may try and do some prints in just gold again but maybe on a different paper. I felt the white background just washed the whole thing out too much. It is a tag after all and needs to stand out a bit.
Well the title of this post is two fold. The first is truly a serious question. I do…randomly…send Christmas cards that is. Some years I do, others I don’t. This year I was struck with inspiration so these illustrations will appear on the Christmas cards I’m sending out.
Needing somewhere to have them made I turned to Society 6. I have been eyeing them up for awhile and thought now might be a good time to open a store. But you already have a store? Yes I do but this one allows me to offer things that I otherwise wouldn’t be able to. So the second purpose of this post is to let you everyone know that they can stop by my Society 6 shop for Christmas cards and other reproduction work and my StorEnvy shop will be for selling my originals.
Spread the word if you like. If not shhhh no one like a negative nancy. 🙂
Here’s a fun little side project for a friend. My spouse is an amazing artist in his own right. He makes these beautiful cigar box instruments. The necks, knobs and finishing details are all hand carved and painted. They are also all playable. He’s made everything from guitars, ukeleles and banjos. He’s also been known to dabble in making speaker cabinets and effects pedals as well. It’s really quite awesome stuff. Have a pop over to his site and check his stuff out. bobbysmale.com
What does this all have to do with me you ask? Well a musician friend of ours is preforming in a theatrical comedy show called One Man Two Governors. He plays a part in this awesome Skiffle band that is part of the show. He purchased one of Bobby’s creations to play in the show and managed to talk him into building a custom case for it. Not something he usually does but he’s a good friend. Wanting to add a little something special we decided to paint the instruments name on the case for an added personalization. So fun letting project for Angie! Yay! Here’s the finished product with the maker’s mark in gold below.