Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Animal Wednesday: Squirrely!

I really DO feel a bit squirrely after painting and printing this past week to get ready for KJ and JB's big YART fair this weekend at The Magic Cottage!
This little guy will be up for adoption along with a few other mini-critters I painted.
And then I thought, hmmm, he has such an attitude. Let's make magnets!

Yup. Typical squirrel attitude!

I won't be posting until after the weekend. We all have so much to do, and the coolest part is having so many bloggers come together for this!
Sometimes I just have to pinch myself, really.

I wish you could all be there. I'll feel you in spirit!

Happy Animal Wednesday! Please hug a squirrel today.
♥ Lolo ♥

Monday, September 27, 2010

Illustration Friday: Old Fashioned

I'm an old-fashioned girl at heart.
I love vintage wallpaper and good old-fashioned shelter mutts that win my heart.♥

acrylic paint and colored pencil on my favorite medium, scrapbooking paper.
And of course the best model ever!!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunday Celebration Giveaway!

That Emma, always yapping!
Anyway, as I was about to say, I just made 500 sales on Etsy and I think it's a fine time to have a giveaway as a celebration.
Leave me a comment and I will put your name in a hat on Saturday, October 9th.
If I (or Emma) draw your name you will get to choose 4 cards of your choice from my Etsy shop. Once you find out you're the winner just email me your request and your mailing address and the cards of your choosing will be shipped!
What cards?? Where have you been?
Go here right now!

Good luck! xoxo♥

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thankful Thursday: Tinker's Talent

I have a dear friend in California who is an amazing artist and jeweler. For years she has spoiled me with many gifts on my birthday, this year being no exception.
Besides all the other things she sent, I just want to showcase what she made for me.
This beautiful necklace with a bluebird pendant delicately crafted with the softest colored green stones and fresh water pearls. My photography doesn't do it justice. Please click the photos to enlarge them.

The amazingly delicate acorn earrings were made by her but given to me by another dear friend that I miss, Gloria♥

I wore everything as a set yesterday and I felt special!
I really miss my California girls! ♥

Catherine also sent me this bird dish made by her talented friend, Sandy Kreyer. Maybe some of you are already lucky enough to have some of her things in a collection.
Each piece, every flower, leaf and color is handpainted on her potter's wheel!
I have four things made by her now, three of them given to me from Catherine, The Tinker's Daughter.

Here are the links to their Etsy shops. Stop by and feast your eyes and say hello!

I'm grateful for friends, near and far, young and old.
And I'm grateful to have so many things made and given with love.♥

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Animal Wednesday: St. Peter & the poodle

Two more commissions to share with you this week.
As you know, any time I get a request to do a raven I'm in heaven!
Anne over at El Milagro Studio asked me to paint a raven with Southern Oak leaves and acorns. She asked that he be holding an acorn stem in his mouth with two acorns from the same stem. She had seen a similar painting of mine I had done years ago, but it was the Oak leaves I was accustomed to. Ah, time for research!
Thank goodness for Google images!
When she received it she called me right away and told me it was almost exactly as she had pictured it in her head! That's a huge compliment :)
And it was extra nice to put a voice with her face.
Thank you Anne, he looks beautiful in his new home!
And I love his name;)

And this is Max. The only references I had for his portrait were very old, faded photos and the grieving owner's recollection. "Make sure his eyes are black. They didn't have any color." I knew what he meant even though I added dark, walnut brown.
"And he was pure white, not off white or any other color."
I disagreed and knew I was going to only use pure white for the highlights but I didn't tell him that. He's a crusty guy and he is firm in his convictions. He's actually our car mechanic across the street!
Well, I called him over to the studio last night and asked him to have a look before I call it finished. He stood there and wiped a tear from his eye.
"I can change anything you want" , I said.
"No, that's my Max. That's my boy."

He'll be delivered later today.

I love commissions even though I may curse a little while doing them. It's only because they carry a certain kind of pressure because of preconceived expectations.
But honestly, I'm honored to do them. So, bring them on!!

Happy Animal Wednesday, my friends ♥

Friday, September 17, 2010

Illustration Friday : Acrobat

~He flew through the air with the greatest of ease~

I'm always thrilled when I find scrumptious scrapbooking paper to paint on like this wonderful piece from K&Company.
All I did was add my harlequin friend, the flying wonder.

Enjoy the weekend my friends!

acrylic paint and prismacolor pencil on sturdy patterned paper

Friday, September 10, 2010

Illustration Friday : Proverb

The word over at Illustration Friday this week is proverb.
 Native American proverbs resonate deeply with me so I looked a few up and chose this one.

"Do not judge your neighbor until you walk two moons in his moccasins."  (Cheyenne)

I have been (gratefully) busy painting commissions and working on items for shows and galleries but today, just today I had to pull back and do something that called to me, like this word. 

Some of you wanted to know my process when I paint on patterned paper. It's pretty simple, really. I draw the image and then lay the flat colors on with acrylic paint.
But then MAGIC happens (I swear) when you add Prismacolor pencils on top of the paint. It becomes so rich, almost pastel-like and I have never been able to do anything with pastels. After adding the colors I use a blending pencil to smooth it all together. I usually go back several times adding highlights and lowlights, crisping up my edges, etc.
Here's a scan of one moon and one moccasin done while the other is still flat paint waiting for details.

Okay, I started adding colored pencil inside the moccasin before I realized I hadn't scanned it! And trust me, I see so much wrong with this illustration now that it's posted. But I'm not going there. Today is a day I needed emotionally and creatively.

So I'll leave you with this gem that I saw on my doctor's office bulletin board.

""Do not judge me until you've walked a mile on my medication." 

Hahahaha!! Happy weekend my friends.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Thankful Thursday: My Morning Walk

Today I'm keeping my post short and sweet.
I woke up to the most glorious, crisp fresh air and wispy clouds which made for a perfect walk. I thought I'd share a bit of my view with you today.
I'm thankful for the hint of Autumn in the air. It has put the spring back in my step!
Here are a few more pictures of this morning's walk.


I hope your day is as lovely as mine is turning out to be ♥

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Animal Wednesday: Tree Bunnies

Okay, you ask, what does a tree have to do with an Animal Wednesday post?
Look closer!
You can see the profile of a bunny and the slightest outline of one ear against the branch. I swear I can even see his little front paws reaching up!!
Yes, it's true I was sipping wine in the yard the evening I spotted this, but what's your excuse? I know you see him too!

Here's another view. Be sure to click to "embiggen!"

Hmmmm, do you think it's a squirrel??
Maybe Emma the squirrel huntress chased it up the tree and it became "petrified!!"

hahahahah! Happy Animal Wednesday!

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Intuitive Friends

There are certain people that come into our lives whom, I'm convinced, at first meeting already know us at the deepest, most personal level.
I am lucky to have encountered a few such friends already where some people wait a lifetime for just one. Your eyes and your heart must be wide open to notice them and let them in.
The friend I'm talking about today has just graced me with her presence for four unforgettable days. As a bonus she brought along her youngest son, Felix, A future Dalai Lama for sure. What an enlightened, delightful young man at the tender age of twelve.
Marianne has always been generous in heart and thoughtfulness. My mailbox has overflowed many times with cards and packages from her (and many other wonderful friends!) I'm very grateful.
The first night she arrived we sat in my studio sharing wine and she started handing me gold-wrapped gifts from a large bag. Oh my!!


These silk boxes hold something extraordinary because she had NO idea I was about to try a new art meduim brought to my attention by my most impressive artist friend and fellow Canadian, Neil Ornstein.
He was delighted when he stumbled upon this woman's wonderful etegami blog and shared the link with me. We both decided we must try this and agreed to exchange postcards one day. 
I went out and bought the sumi ink, the watercolor postcards and two basic sumi brushes.
No one at the art store knew what "special red" I was talking about and I had no idea how I was going to carve a signature stamp.
Here comes the magic part!


The longest silk box held three of the most beautiful sumi brushes with blue and white china handles. There is a dragon motif pot for holding the brushes, a blue and white bracelet with wonderful charms, a round blue and white pot that holds something, but what? And a little rectangle box, very curious.

I would have never, ever guessed in a million years that the round jar held that very special red or that the small rectangle box would be my very own hand-carved signature "Lolo" in both English and Chinese.
And remember, she had NO idea I was going to try etegami or that I was looking for these things. As I said, magic. Intuition. Knowing me as well as I know myself perhaps?
And last but not least is the blue spiral painting she did for me (up top) which now hangs in our bathroom (at her suggestion because it is sea-themed.) 
The circle of life, the knowing, the ebb and flow and the connection to everything.
Whew! Thank you Marianne, dear friend. I ask myself daily what I have done to have such special people enter my life.
You know who you are. My California girls, my blogging family, old friends who waited for me to come back home and new friends who have helped me feel safe. Thank you, all of you.
And thanks for hanging in for such a long post! 
But it was magical, no?

Friday, September 03, 2010

Illustration Friday: Dessert

The word for the week over at Illustration Friday is Dessert.
What more can I say? Those days of being able to eat anything you want are history baby!

Happy Weekend!!!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Animal Wednesday: Missing Felix

When Marianne and Felix came to visit, Emma immediately chose Felix as her new best friend.
We had never had her around children before because the SPCA had a feeling she wouldn't be good with them. I've always felt quite the opposite because she lights up when she hears kids voices and tends to pull towards them. Still, when asked if a kid can pet her I stay on the safe side and say it's not a good idea.
Seeing her interact with Felix and play with him daily really warmed my heart! I knew she'd have withdrawl after he left because he gave her so much attention and he was so gentle with her.
Here she is this morning curled up with her squirrel toy Felix bought for her.
She loves her squirrely!!!

I saw this card in a shop in Provincetown and I bought it to send to Felix from Emma. When I got it home I decided to make it look like Emma by adding a bit of paint here and there, and as you can see I also drew in her squirrely!

So here you have it, a plumper version of Emma but the sentiment was surely there.
She squashes her ears down like this when she's troubled :(
Thank you Marianne for scanning it because I forgot to!
Felix...Emma sends her love!!♥
HAW to all of my friends! I'm catching up slowly but surely.