Friday, November 18, 2011

Mission Completed: Winter Prints!

We had our first "snow" of the season a week or two ago.  It wasn't anything big.  It basically just made the ground wet, but was a very strange snow.  It was evening and I had to make a quick run to the store.  By "run" I mean drive.  Anyway, it had been kind of windy most of the night and I do recall seeing a slight chance of a "single" snowflake in the forecast, but it wasn't anything to be concerned with.  So, I put on my coat and headed out the door.  As soon as I stepped onto the porch I noticed HUGE snowflakes whipping about.  "How nice," I thought.  I got into the car and headed for the store.  By the time I got on the main road, those HUGE, fat snowflakes were falling harder and faster.  It almost seemed like a bizzard.  The snow was coming down so "thickly" that I couldn't see to drive.  It was actually kind of scary.  I did make it to the store without incident.  When I got out of the car, the ground was just wet, like it had been raining, not snowing, but the snow was still falling heavily.  Before walking into the store, I took a few minutes to just stand in the parking lot and look up at the snow filled sky.  It was refreshing, and kind of magical.  It almost felt like standing in a snow globe.  What a nice start to...fall?

Being inspired by the first snow, I came up with some winter illustrations to try and transition myself from Halloween to the winter holidays.  I hope you enjoy them!  Prints are available in my shop

Mission Completed: What I've been up to lately

It's been dry in the painting department lately.  I decided to take a break and concentrate on some personal and household projects.  Aside from the non-art related projects, I have been fairly busy at the computer.  I've been working on some designs for a dear friend.  He asked me to come up with some  shirt designs for the first and second grade classes at some local elementary schools (Welch and Struble).  The first grade shirt was to say "First Grade is FROGtastic!" and the second grade shirt was to say "When it comes to reading, Second Grade doesn't monkey around!"  I was very happy with what I came up with (especially the for the monkey shirt) and apparently the kids were as well!

Thanks, Eric, for giving the opportunity to design these shirts!  It was a lot of fun, and I'm glad they were so well received!

Halloween: A quick recap

Seems like I'm always trying to play catch up on here, but I'm trying to get better.  Halloween has come and gone and I am sad to see it go.  I had a lot of fun this year.  Though I seemed very busy with the party preparations and taking down the "Little Conversations" show, I did manage to make some time for pumpkin carving with Zach.  This year we set up a table in the kitchen and watched The Howling 2 while we gutted the pumpkins.  I was pretty pleased with the way my pumpkin turned out. 

This year, my costume was Canary Yellow from Rainbow Brite.  It might seem a little obscure to do one of the Color Kids and not Rainbow Brite, but it was part of a "group" costume.  Earlier this year I went to Dragon Con in Atlanta with some friends.  Our group costume was Rainbow Brite characters, and my character was the yellow one.  My friend was Rainbow Brite.  Sadly, I live about 4 hours away from them, so the rest of the bunch wasn't at the Halloween party, but I still rocked my yellow outfit.  I made Mr. E my sprite.  Mr. F was not happy with the antennae, so he didn't have a costume this year.  He was more than happy with that outcome.

Zach was a werewolf.  Can you tell?  He likes his costumes to be "minimal."

I tried a few new recipes for the party this year.  The homemade potato soup was a big hit.  I've made it about 3-4 times since the party.  It's definitely getting to be soup weather.  Cupcakes always make an appearance, and this year I made chocolate toffee crunch cupcakes with caramel frosting.  I thought they were amazing. 

To top of the holiday, a friend of mine snapped a shot of my Halloween prints on display in the window at Fabricate.  Don't they look awesome!  Thanks to Diane for sending me the pic! 

All-in-all, I had a great Halloween, and I hope you did too!  Now, on to the rest of the holidays...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Halloween: A Friendly Hello

Mr. E wanted to wish everyone a great Halloween season!  It really should be a season, shouldn't it.

Now Showing: Little Conversations

i've been absent for a little bit, but that is to be expected for October.  i did think it would be nice to check in and update you on the show opening of "Little Conversations."  It was a great evening with a surprising crowd.  There was a pretty steady flow of people coming through the gallery, which was exciting.  Some sales were made, some conversations were had and some cupcakes were eaten.  Actually, a great deal of cupcakes were eaten, and not all by me.  All in all, a pretty good evening.  Thanks to everyone that came out.  I had a blast!

i didn't get that many pictures during the show.  i was a little busy working the room and networking.  Actually, that's entirely false.  i was busy being the little introvert that i am and trying to blend in with the wall.  It's terrible, i know.  i did manage to get a couple of good shots of the crowd late in the evening.

i only got one picture of myself, and of course it was blurry.  That's usually how it goes.  i thought i'd share it anyway, because i like the composition, and i like the moment that it captures.  Thanks to Zach for trying to get a picture!

Yep, that's me (in the yellow dress) and my good friend and sometimes roadie, Shannon.  If you're wondering what we are doing, well, we're talking about cats, because that's what we do.  Actually, we are talking about cats and she's showing me pictures of cats on her phone.  Perfect.

i know not everyone was able to make down to the gallery for the opening.  For those that wanted to make it, but couldn't, i thought i would post some of the images of the actual paintings on display.  Now, i can't post them all because there are far too many, so i narrowed it down to just the newest pieces.

This one was the absolute last painting i did before dropping all the artwork off at the gallery.  Even though it was the last piece finished, it is the sketch for this piece that gave me the idea for the title of the show.

Can You Hear Them, acrylic on canvas, 12"x12"

Are You Ready to Bumble?, acrylic on canvas, 6"x6"

i love this next one, mainly because mountain goats are pretty sweet, and also because the background is a little different than what i'm used to doing for backgrounds (when they are more than just a single color).  It was a little bit of an experiment for me and i was pleased with the results.  i will be honest, i was a little irritated by the painting most of the time i was working on it, but it all seemed to come together at the end when i added the accent lines to the background.

Rock Steady, acrylic on canvas, 11"x14"

Ok, so "Don't Stop" is a continuation of my flying cats series of paintings.  It holds a special place in my heart.  i think the whole cat with a balloon tied around it is kind of popular "thing" right now.  i say this only because i ran across this necklace over on and almost died (not literally).  Anyway, i fell in love immediately, though i did not make the purchase and sadly it is no longer available.  The reason i loved the necklace so much was because it reminded me of one of my favorite children's books, "The Little Kitten."  It was about a little orange stripey cat that lived on a farm and kept getting lost in the tall grass.  In order to remedy this problem, it's owner, a little girl, tied a balloon around its waist so she could know where it was at all times.  HAS ANYONE ELSE READ THIS BOOK????????  If you haven't, and you love cats, you obviously need to.  i absolutely loved it, and thinking about now makes me tear up and smile a little.  i actually just did a quick search and found it on amazon.  i might have to get it.  i no longer have my original book that i adored so much.  it was almost like an autobiography (again, this is stretching the truth).  i grew up on my grandparent's farm, and they had several little orange stripey cats, though i never tied a balloon to any of them.  They were apparently my grandmother's favorite kind of cat.  i find that strange, and a little endearing now.  i mean, if someone asks you what your favorite kind of cat is, the usual response is something like a Persian, Siamese, Norwegian Forest Cat (or is that last one just me?).  i never expect to hear "a little orange stripey cat is my favorite kind of cat."  It's an adorable answer from an adorable grandmother.  Maybe i should have made the cat in my painting a little orange stripey cat.  Oh well.  There's always next time!

In addition to the above information, "Don't Stop" is also special to me because i painted the cat to resemble, somewhat, my new office mate.  She's a little gray tabby that has taken up residence in a shed next to my office building.  i've named her Marlo and she has become a great office companion, but i would love to find her a permanent and loving home.  i'll have more on her later, so stay tuned.  So, here's "Don't Stop," a painting about a certain cat's never ending search for love.

Don't Stop, acrylic on board, 8"x10"

Also in addition to the flying cats is "Let's Go."  My favorite part of this painting is the grass.  It reminds me of warm and windy summer days hanging out in the fields of the farm mentioned earlier.  Although, i do have to say that the tall grass did make it hard to see those darn cow pies.

Let's Go, acrylic on board, 8"x10"

i posted "in progress" photos of this bat painting earlier.  i couldn't be more happy with the finished product.  i still think this is my favorite of the new pieces.

Night, acrylic on canvas, 12"x12"

And, finally...the largest of the new paintings!  It, by far, took the most time to paint.  i was in love with the way the owl turned out, but the part that still makes me more proud than anything is the snake's rattle.  Probably one of the smallest elements of the painting, but it is still the area that i spend most time looking at.

Vs., acrylic on canvas, 13"x20"

Again, i wanted to thank everyone that was able to make it out to the opening.  It was an amazing turn out!  And i wanted to give a big thanks to Lily of 1305 Gallery for giving me this amazing opportunity.  It couldn't have been better!

The entire show will be on display at 1305 Gallery in Cincinnati til October 22, 2011.  If you have the time and want to stop in before the show closes, the gallery's hours are Thursday-Sunday 12-4pm.  For prices and inquiries on the paintings shown above, and all paintings in the show, contact 1305 Gallery.  You can find the contact info here.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Happy Halloween Giveaway Winner!

And the winner is....Sherry Lykins!  Congratulations Sherry!  i'll be contacting you shortly to make the shipping arrangements for your new print!

Thank you to everyone that entered.  i enjoyed seeing everyone's favorite scary movies.  There were some classics listed and some that i haven't seen yet.  My "to watch" list for this year just got a little longer.  

This giveaway was fun, and i plan on doing more in the future, so keep your eyes peeled for the next one!

Also, if you didn't win but still wanted a print, they are available in my etsy store, or if you're local, just send me an email ( with your order.

And, if you were wondering how i chose the winner, i used the random number generator at


Monday, September 19, 2011

Giveaway: Happy Halloween!

Because Halloween is right around the corner, sort of, i've been thinking a lot about my favorite Halloween traditions.  i love baking pumpkin bread, going to haunted houses, eating candy and coming up with the perfect costume.  i also adore watching scary movies.  i watch them throughout the year, but there's something special about watching them on a cool fall evening surrounded by Halloween decorations and dimmed lights with a cat on your lap for protection.  It somehow makes the movies more scary.

It's hard for me to say what my favorite "scary" movie is.  There is a list of movies that i, without fail, will watch every year during the fall.  Obviously, the first Halloween is on there.  Others include Sleepy Hollow, Carnival of Souls, Cabin Fever, The Howling 2: Your Sister is a Werewolf, and Psycho.  Newly added to the list this year is House of the Devil.  I just watched it over the weekend with Zach and it instantly had classic written all over it, for me at least.  Thanks to our friends Shannon and Trevor for recommending it.

Anyway...on to the giveaway.

In honor of my favorite season and holiday, i will be giving away an 8"x10" print of my new "Happy Halloween" illustration.

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment telling me your name, email address (so i can contact you if you win), and favorite "scary" movie.  You have until Friday, September 30, 2011 to enter.  i'll choose the winner at random and the winner will be announced the first week of October!  Good Luck!


Mission Completed: Halloween

We are now approaching my favorite season, fall, and my favorite holiday, Halloween.  i've already started thinking about all i want to do for Halloween this year, like what i'm going to put in the treat bags for my niece and nephew, what i'm going to dress Mr. E and Mr. F up as, what food i'm going to make for the annual Halloween party, and what movies i'm going to watch.  There's so much i want to accomplish, and i've already gotten a head start on completing my list!  i have already finished a new set of Halloween illustrations and i'm happy to share them with you now!  The prints are already available in my store, and yes, the kitties in the illustrations are Mr. E and Mr. F.  i couldn't help myself. 

Claire of Nothing Happens Unless We Dream featured the "Happy Halloween" print in her recent "Cat Crazy Saturday" post.  You can check out the post with all her cute finds here


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Out & About: Art in the Park

Hey doodles!  Just wanted to do a quick update to let you know that in September i will be setting up shop at Art in the Park at Bellevue Beach Park in Bellevue, KY.  It will be on Saturday, September 10th from 11am - 5pm.  i'll be sharing a booth with Zach Kestermann, once again.  It should be a good day.  There will be over 90 other artists, music, food and a nice view of the Ohio River.

Catching Up: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (and a few boats)

Let me start by saying “i’m in love, i’m in love, i’m in love and i don’t care who knows it!”  As i mentioned earlier, Zach and i recently took a trip to Norway.  i didn’t think it was possible to fall head over heels for a place, but it happened.  The trip was more than i ever expected and Norway is by far the most intriguing place i’ve ever been.   It was love at first sight.

After sifting through the hundreds of photos we took, i have whittled them down to my favorite snapshots so i can share part of the experience with you.  Be warned, though, it is still a lot of photos.

We landed at the Oslo airport and from there took a train into the city.  While watching the countryside roll by, i realized what was so striking about our first moments in this country.  It was quiet.  The airport, train platform, and train car were all quiet.  There were peple around, but there was very little background noise.  It was strange, but calming.  i liked it.

One of the first things i saw when departing the train station was this GIANT tiger.  You have no idea how happy this made me.  There were hoards of children climbing all over it, sitting on it’s tail and posing for pictures.  i had to wait a looong time, but i was finally able to get a photo with it.

We kept pretty busy in Oslo.  There were so many things we wanted to see.  On the top of the list was the Viking Ship Museum.  We woke up bright and early to catch the boat over to the museum.  It was a good thing we did.  It was an intimate museum, and there was no crowd when we first entered.  This gave us space to wander and time to truly appreciate the ships.  They were delicately lit, and created striking shadows on the stark white walls.  By the time we left, all the empty spaces were filled with eager tourists and the atmosphere felt frantic.  i guess we had good timing.

Stave church at the Norwegian Folk Museum.

Though we saw many great things, my favorite place in Oslo ended up being the Vigeland sculpture garden at Frogner Park.  I was astonished by the amount of sculptures it had.  It made me feel a little bit lazy, artistically.

This was my favorite sculpture around the fountain.

From Oslo we took a series of trains and a boat to the town of Balestrand.  It made for another long day of travel, but the scenery was well worth it.

The view from our room in Balestrand.

The waterfront, Balestrand.

The first night in Balestrand we took a stroll around town.  This is when we made friends with one of the locals.  It was a cat, of course.  He was hanging out around the viking burial mounds (yeah, really).  We played with him for a while and took some pictures.  i think he enjoyed our company almost as much as we enjoyed his.

While in Balestrand, we took a day trip to see the glaciers.  This was one of the things we were most eager to see.  The ferry weaved through the fjords and low lying clouds to a small town at the foot of the glaciers.  We were taken to two arms of the glacier formation.  It was epic.  The second of the arms came with a glacial lake.  There were pieces of ice floating in the water. There were active farms surrounding the glacier sites. You could hear the sounds of bells from cows grazing in the distance.

On the ferry to visit the glaciers.

It doesn't look like it in this picture, but this piece of the glacier is massive.

The two parts of the glacier in this picture were connected about 30 years ago.

The glaciers were breathtaking, but i do have to say my favorite part of the entire trip was the day in Balestrand that we didn’t have anything planned.  We decided to take a short ferry ride to the town of Vik.  The main reason was to see the Hopperstad stave church, but we discovered that there was a stone church from roughly the same time period also located in the village.

i love the dragon heads!

We spent a few hours visiting the churches and walking down the winding roads and fields of the farming town.  i believe this is where my heart officially melted.  i have never seen a place more idyllically set and could not have asked for more perfect weather.  It was such a tranquil place.  The clouds were like cotton floating in the bluest sky, the grass was the richest green and the air was crisp and invirgorating. It was like visiting a postcard.


Upon returning to Balestrand, we had a picnic next to the water and then headed into the forest for a hike.  It was an unexpected treasure.  Most everything was covered in moss making the entire forest feel ancient and untouched.

During the hike, we came across a small waterfall.  It seemed like a splendid place to take a break.

i know.  i need to invest in some hiking shoes.

i can't believe my little camera took this!

This is one of the bridges we crossed.  It was a little scary, but it looks awesome.

Towards the end of the hike it began to rain.  Not a hard rain, just a misting.  Enough to cool things off a bit.  i had my handy dandy raincoat with me, so all was good.  Because of the rain, we did get to see a rainbow.  A freaking rainbow in such a wondrous setting!  Who wouldn’t love that?  It was nothing short of magic.  It was the best possible ending to the most perfect day ever.  From now on, if i need cheering up, i will think of this day.

Bergen was our final destination.  It took four long hours on a boat to get there from Balestrand.  By the time we arrived, we were completely exhausted.  However, we did muster up the energy to have a grand time.  This is where i had the BEST salmon i’ve ever eaten.  i would go back just so i could order it again.  Superb.  This is also where we did most of our shopping, and where Zach made a complete mess of a tasty ice cream cone.  Sadly, i just have the before photo.


The trip to Norway was incredible.  It almost seemed too good to be true.  There isn’t anything that i would change and i can’t wait to go back.  For now i’ll just have to settle for the memories and photos.  I will return, one day.