Thursday, February 26, 2009

Today in the Studio

This is one of a few "sketches" I've been working on for a potential client. This Judy Melvin technique is similar to the one I used in my "Psalm 117" piece, posted previously. It has been a while since I've done this, and I forgot how much I really enjoy this technique.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Fabric Name Banners

About 7 years ago I started doing hand-painted name banners as gifts/commissions for children. I haven't done one in a few years, but I had this photograph of one of my favorites and thought it would be fun to share it with you.

The name "Aislinn" is Irish for "dream". I painted the word "dream" in white on the raw canvas, along with white sprinkles and spirals. I then brushed a yellow/orange watercolor-type wash over the background and got the white to kind of fade in and out to show that "dreamy" quality. Finally, the name was drawn and painted over everything else. I added some gold paint sparkles over all.

"Winter" Alphabet - Part 2

I wanted to share more of my winter alphabet with you. That "E" is just way too cool, isn't it?! I can't believe the amazing shapes I found out there. I just want to keep making words with these letters!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Glimpses of Heaven

So, now you know that I learned to respond to your comments. After just finishing one, I decided to post this response for all of you to read. It sums up why I do what I do. And my prayer is that all of God's creation—you, included!— would do what it was created to do.

In response to one reader's comment about the "winter alphabet" I posted below, I wrote: One of the things that my favorite author, C.S. Lewis, wrote about is his "glimpses of heaven". These came to him long before he knew the Lord. Whether it was hearing a piece of beautiful music, reading a story, or seeing a sunset or majestic mountain, there would be times when he was caught up with an overwhelming sense of longing; a stirring for something other than this world could satisfy. He later realized that these were "glimpses of heaven" that the Lord would give him to reveal Himself to Lewis.

There are so many delightful "secrets" that the Lord loves to share with us through His amazing creation--which includes not only nature, but each and every one of His children! So let's go on a treasure hunt together! He has made each of us in His image, which means, among other things, that each one of us carries a bit of His creativity in us. And that was meant to be discovered, shared, and enjoyed.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

And One Final ATC

This one was done by my very talented young friend, Raegan. She's a beautiful young lady who has a wonderful imagination. I always say that I'd like to visit "Raegan World" because it's a beautiful place.

More ATCs! - Part 2

These ATCs were done by my friend, Cathy. She's an extremely talented artist/illustrator who just recently took up watercolors. You can see more of her work on her website:

More ATCs!

Well, here are the other ATCs I promised to show you. It took a while to get these up. I see from my last post that it's been over a week. Wow! Where does the time go? I've been busy with babysitting our friends' children, as well as hosting a ladies' tea on Valentine's Day, so I guess I have an excuse. :-)

These two above are from my friend, Karen. The one on the left is Hebrew for "Shalom". And the one on the right are some very cool gestural scribbles! Karen is a fabulous lettering artist whose work I really admire!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Artist Trading Cards - Part 2

Here are some of my trading cards, and I'd like to share some of my collection from other artists. However, I need to get their permission to post them, so check back soon to see some of my favorites!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Artist Trading Cards

Thursday night was the quarterly ATC (Artist Trading Cards) event at Hoosier Highlander, our little art supply store in downtown Highland. For those of you who don't know what an ATC is (which I did not up until a year ago or so), it's a trading card. The size is 2.5" x 3.5", and should be a piece of original art; a signed, limited edition print; or a photograph. They are traded, never sold.

It's a fun thing to do, and a great way to collect original art. I've made and traded about 25 cards so far, and have a few pictures of some of them. I'll post them later. I'd also like to showcase the ones I've collected, but will have to get permission from the individual artists.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Wanna Play?

Most days, my 6-year-old son comes into whichever room I happen to be and asks me, "Wanna play, mom?" To which I respond—more often than not I hate to admit—"Well, I would love to but I need to finish this or that first." AACCKK!!!! Why do adults say that so much? So, one day my son and I got out the tempera paints and started finger painting. I forgot how much fun it is to paint with my fingers!!!!

Later that night, I went into my studio and started playing with various writing tools, and came up with the letters you see in my new header above. I wanted them to be white on a black background, so I decided to make a limited edition print using my now obsolete *Gocco printer. I made 25 prints, with white ink on black Arches text wove paper. They looked really cool just as is. But then I remembered my fun finger painting experience and decided to add a few "touches" of opaque gouache between the letters.

Hope it inspires some of you to go out and play! :-)

*A quick note about the Gocco printer: This was a wonderful invention, albeit an expensive one. The process involves a form of silkscreen printing, but instead of drawing down, you press down. Unfortunately, I recently found out that the company who makes the printer—AND ALL THE SUPPLIES—is discontinuing everything!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

My Current Project

A Winter Alphabet
We recently went on vacation to the Adirondacks in upstate New York. While there, we went snowshoeing in the woods. As I was walking along the path, I looked down and realized that there were "letters" all around me. In the so-called "debris" were these beautiful letterforms that were just waiting to be photographed. So, for the next hour and a half, I walked and continued shooting until I got a complete alphabet. And for the record: all the "letters" were found "as is", with the only intervention from me being to clear a piece of debris (or two) away from the area to be photographed. :-)

A Recent Piece

"O Come Let Us Adore Him"
Song: "O, Come All Ye Faithful" by John Reading
Text: Isaiah 9:6 (NIV)

OK. This may sound a bit strange, but nevertheless, it's true. I made the "O" one day when I was experimenting with an odd brush I'd found in a box of stuff. After I was done, I marveled at the fact that this "O" was so beautiful; so "complete"; and so utterly beyond anything I was capable of doing on my own (a fact that has been proven over and over because I can't seem to replicate that O, no matter what I do!!!). When this happens, I just can't help but remember that all I have--any talent, gift, ability, etc.--is God working through me; a gift from Him, given to me when I was created in His image, to represent His glory here on the earth and to worship Him with all of my life. All I have is from Him, through Him and for Him.

After that "O", it just seemed fitting to put the rest of the writing "come let us adore Him". And a reminder of who He (Jesus/Father/Jehovah God) is: the wonderful counselor, mighty God, everlasting Father.

This piece was accepted into the 2009 Juried Show at the Newberry Library. The exhibit is open through April 17. It is also available as a print. Please see my Etsy site for purchase information.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Psalm 117

This piece is titled "Psalm 117" from The Message by Eugene Peterson.

The background was created first using a technique I learned in a class given by Judy Melvin, a phenomenal lettering artist whose work I greatly admire. See more of her art at

I set the piece aside and decided to wait to see if any text ideas came to mind. After reading some Psalms in "The Message", I came across this version of Psalm 117. My favorite lines are: "Praise Yahweh, everybody! Applaud Yahweh, all people!" As I looked back at my piece, the border around the edge seemed to remind me of people encircled around praising, dancing and applauding. So, my text was found.

I used black sumi and walnut inks for the background; gouache for the main text; and gold leaf for the word "Hallelujah!" and the confetti. The gold, to me, represents God's holiness and that He is worthy of all praise.

In February of 2007, "Psalm 117" won the Purchase Prize in the Chicago Calligraphy Collective's Juried Show at the Newberry Library in Chicago. The piece, along with all preparatory materials, is now a part of their permanent collection. (See

"Psalm 117" is also available as a 12.75" x 20.75" giclée print. Please see my Etsy site for purchase information.

Funky Moss and Yorkshire Dales

The image on the left is titled "Funky Moss". I took a photo of our weathered, moss-covered bird house with my digital camera, then played around with color options in Photoshop. The result is what you see here.

The image on the right was taken in the Yorkshire Dales, on a September, 2007 trip to the United Kingdom.

Both are available as 5 x 7 giclée prints. Please see my Etsy site for purchase information.

Tomato and Fall Birches

The image on the left is titled "Tomato I". This was snapped one day when I walked past a little table in my kitchen. The overhead lights were on full strength and I noticed the dramatic shadows that were cast by the star-shaped vines; the vibrancy of the red in the tomato; and just the overall composition of the plate.

The image on the right is titled "Fall Birches" and was taken with a traditional 35 mm camera up in northern Minnesota. I had the image put on a CD, then played with filters in Photoshop, until I got this sort of watercolor effect.

Both are available as 5 x 7 giclée prints. Please see my Etsy site for purchase information.

Color Play

This work is somewhat "calligraphic" in nature, although the shapes are not letters, and it doesn't say anything. I was just having fun playing with shapes and color.

This image is available as an 8 x 10 print. Please see my Etsy site for purchase information.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Creation Prints

Creation is a piece that was inspired by Psalm 104:24 and born out of a love for God's handiwork. I am fascinated by the way He speaks to us in the details: the delicate intricacies of a butterfly's wing; the shocking vibrancy of a sunflower; the multi-layered meanings in the vineyard; the majesty of a mountain peak; and the beautiful simplicity of a child's trust. It is my sincere desire that this piece would help all who view it to "stand still and behold the wonders of God". (Job 37:14)

This piece is available as a 12" x 30" print. Please see my Etsy site for purchase information.

Greeting Cards

These four images, from left to right, are titled: 1) Ink Splat; 2) Browning Quote; 3) Amazing; and 4) Emerson Quote. Please see my Etsy site for purchase information.

The Doors of Bruges Series

Back in September, 2007, I and 10 other members of the Chicago Calligraphy Collective, had the privilege of traveling to Bruges, Belgium to attend a class with an artist/calligrapher named Brody Neuenschwander. While there, we took frequent walking tours of the beautiful medieval city. The six doors you see here were among many photos I took while in Bruges. I photographed these with a digital camera, then enhanced them in Photoshop.

These images are available as 5 x 7 giclée prints and matted in either black or white, to fit an 8 x 10 frame and may be purchased through my Etsy site.