Monday, November 12, 2012

Hot Air Balloon vs. Flying Piglet

(Card of Shadow Dancer Balloon)
I recently went on a road trip in October from Minneapolis to San Francisco to visit friends, family and the western part of the country. We stopped in Albuquerque, NM to visit some folks and we able to be part of the amazing International Balloon Fiesta there as crew members. We helped unroll the surprisingly delicate giant balloon called, "Shadow Dancer"; pilot William Manus directing us and several others the whole time. William is a local firefighter and as such, our ride to the fiesta as a vintage 1960's fire truck! Inspired by this unique experience I created this illustration in gouache paint on paper, putting my own spin on one of my photos of "Shadow Dancer". I am selling the original painting as well as using the image on some greeting cards that I sell at Simply Jane in the store and local craft shows. It was a great event overall that I will never forget; watching the sun crest over the dark mountains at 5:00 am, and waiting for the wind to be just right for him to take off. Then the amazing sight of hundreds of hot air balloons slowly filling in a huge green field and then lifting off into a stark blue sky!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Recycling Vintage Plates to make Art


Instead of buying expensive, yet cheaply made canvas imported from china; the recycler in me has come out to play and used these old plates I got at a thrift store to create some fun new pieces of art. I am thinking of doing a whole series of these based on animals, plants and maybe some of my favorite fairy tales/stories.

Luna Moth 

I first applied golden absorbent ground, (my new favorite medium that allows you to paint water-based paint, like gouache on almost any surface.) I then painted my luna moth and tarantula on the center of the plates and after it had dried I applied a spray gloss to seal everything and make it water proof. These plates will not be food safe but they will make a fun and unique piece of wall art, (easily hung with a $2 plate hanger form a hardware store).

Sunday, April 29, 2012

"Intertwined" gouache on canvas
New illustration  I just finished. A look at the beauty of life and death. It was a work in progress for a long time and now it is finally done. I especially had fun with the colors and details on the clematis flowers. Prints are available on my new website hosted by  otherpeoplespixels. I recently switched from creating my own website to this web service for creatives and I love how easy it is to upload my artwork. It takes about 5 min or less to upload a new image and I can even sell it directly on the website through paypal with no commission taken. Its a great service for any illustrator!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Seal's Dream - Illustration Friday: Vocal

Inspired by some old Disney nostalgia I created this painting for Illustration Friday: Vocal. Painted in gouache paint on paper it reminds us of a simpler time when we listened to cassette tapes of the song of mystical creatures from the sea.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Illustration Friday: Swamp

"Fantastical Frog" Painted in gouache on paper. A frog with a swamp growing on his back filled with other critters. (Got it done by friday but didn't get to scan it till today)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Nerd Art: A Tribute to Dice Games

Here are some paintings, "Blue Dragon" and "Beholder", that I recently completed for some friends and family. They are influenced by fantastic creatures from Dungeons and Dragons, a wonderfully nerdy pen and paper game that inspires creativity not about summoning demons (as some may think).

I am trying out a new technique of using Golden Absorbent Ground to use gouache, a water-based paint on canvas. The absorbent ground is a white paint that is painted on a surface to create a ground for water-based media. I purchased pre-gessoed canvas and painted the whole surface, covering it entirely with a coat of the chalky white absorbent ground. Once it dries the new surface absorbs water like paper and any water media, ink,watercolor or gouache can be painted on the canvas.

The gouache goes on smooth and flat and dries to a papery matte finish which works well on some artwork. In this case I put a clear acrylic gloss over my paintings to protect them from possible damage in the mail and also give them a deeper color and gloss. I did learn that since the gloss is also water-based, it causes the gouache to run if not painted on quickly. If one quick coat is applied then dried it will not run with sequential coats of gloss.