Dec 23, 2009

... And to All, a Good Night!

"But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

~ Luke 2:10-14

Merry Christmas to everyone!  I wish you a Christmas and New Year's filled with peace and love.

"Lovebirds", this year's Christmas card (that actually went out on time!)

"Red Tide", a study.

A quick sketch from life of my husband sleeping.


Krampus, stealing away naughty children on Christmas morning.  I did this for the Krampus Challenge on ArtOrder.

Dec 12, 2009

Drawing the Line

"Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere."
 ~ GK Chesterton

Dear readers: the next time you decide to draw someone (be it friend, lover, family member or perfect stranger) while they are cooking a meal, DON'T DO IT.  IT'S A TRAP!

I love my husband, and he insists that he tried to stay still for me.  However, when we agreed to a sketching session in the kitchen, I had no idea how hard it was going to be to capture his likeness while he worked.  It was a good challenge, though, I must say -- especially for someone who hasn't sketched from life in some time.  But still... save yourself some grief and just pose your subject holding a spatula or something.

... just for future reference.

My wonderful man, making me his Famous Spaghetti.

My sleepy cat, Simone.

A Santa sketch with an Old World, "Father Christmas" feel.

A sassy lil' pinecone.

Dec 9, 2009

Tidings of Comfort and Joy

It has been said that art is a tryst, for in the joy of it maker and beholder meet.
  ~Kojiro Tomita

     "It's  beginning to look a lot like Christmas", as the song says.  There's certainly no snow outside; it's a sunshiny 70 degrees out there.  Nor is my little Christmas tree up yet.. because I'm lazy, let's be honest.  To top it all off, I have contracted the obligatory winter malaise.  I am one with the Kleenex box.  
     Most of the house is decorated, however, and having stockings by the chimney, a wreath at the front door, Christmas carols on my playlist and steaming mugs of hot chocolate with mini-marshmallows at the ready helps a lot.  Snow, schmow.  Sick, schmick.  Let us make merry!

This persistent Yuletide cheer has started to seep into my art, too, oddly enough.

Cover art for the Great Basset Hound Project.

A pen-and-ink Grover Cleveland sketch.

"Little Monarch", inspired by Little Monarch.

"Snow Faery" 

"The World in Solemn Stillness Lay"

Nov 20, 2009

Spirited Handiwork

“Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art.”
~Leonardo da Vinci 

A lot can happen in the space of two weeks.  Multiple road trips, Scottish festivals, watermarks, art prints (more of that later..), [feline] pink eye, audiobooks, wreath frames, frugal finds/kitchen tables, and oddly enough, lots of drawing.  I finished the Great Basset Hound Project [yay!] and so am free to do as I please (ie, clean house, do errands, peruse long-neglected blogs and tend to my own).  It feels good to get things done. 

"Swan", a gift for my grandmother.

"Paso Fino"

The Basset Hounds, as puppies and dogs.


"Winged Horse", inspired by the art of Michael Whelan.

Nov 5, 2009

A Study in Arsenic

"Insanity runs in my family... It practically gallops!"
~Mortimer Brewster, Arsenic and Old Lace

I indulged my vintage movie habit the other night with a 1944 classic, Frank Capra's Arsenic and Old Lace.  It was such a treat, curling up with pencil & paper to watch the madcap antics of Cary Grant et al.  Here and there I paused the movie to make some sketches, just for grins.  It's a good thing I did -- turns out I've been doing so much digital work, I'd almost forgotten how to use a pencil.

Cary Grant as "Mortimer Brewster"

Peter Lorre, "Dr. Einstein"

Raymond Massey, "Jonathan Brewster"

Priscilla Lane as "Elaine Harper-Brewster"

Nov 2, 2009

A Soul Made Cheerful

"There is one thing one has to have: either a soul that is cheerful by nature, or a soul made cheerful by work, love, art, and knowledge."

~Friedrich Nietzsche

Feelin' pretty good about things at the moment -- I suspect this is due in large part to the significant amounts of candy I've consumed over the course of the day.  It's hard to be down when you're unwrapping your twentieth Starburst.  Halloween wasn't overwhelming -- the party we attended on Friday was lame [such that we left after ten minutes!], but we did have nifty his-n-hers costumes.  We also had fun Saturday night, running back and forth to the front door, throwing candy into outstretched goody-bags to appease the marauding hordes.  Our neighborhood is quite popular; the little bandits clean us out every year.  That's fine with me -- it requires that I hit up the after-Halloween sales to replenish our candy stock.  Good times.


In other news, it's been beautiful outside; yesterday's marathon headache finally went away; I got a new crazy-red lipgloss; our football team's won two games in a row[!]; and considerable progress has been made with the Great Basset Hound Project, in which I've made coloring-book pages of the "Basset Brigade" for the Giggles For You website.

"The Basset Brigade"



Oct 25, 2009

Consider Fine Arts

"If you are looking for something to be brave about, consider fine arts."
~Robert Frost

Last night, I discovered that my favorite art forum,, will soon be offering its own art instructional program.  The program will span 30 months, including three-week class sessions three times a year, and cost almost $50,000.  That isn't as much as completing art degree programs at other art schools, so I hear, and I believe they're planning on offering scholarships. Even so.. who, seriously, has thousands of dollars lying around to spare, and who wants to take on [additional] student loan costs?  Also, entry into the program is based on the applicant's portfolio.  Would my portfolio even be strong enough for consideration?

But oh, how amazing that would be -- a real art education, rubbing elbows with successful artists and illustrators, gleaning from their knowledge, growing my art skills...  I must admit, it did give me pause last night.  When you've just gotten married and are starting to test the daunting waters of the housing market, that's probably not the best time to throw caution to the wind and take on art school.  Is there a good time, though?  Is it better to go back to school when you're still young enough to have career-available years before you -- or wait until you have the time and the funds, when you've got an empty nest and a little cash put by?

... things to think about.  But now, let us have artwork!

"Skinny Malinky Frog-Legs Learns to Dance"

a rough sketch of a mermaid lagoon ("oh, underneath a magic moon!")

"Autumn Day"


"Ninja Boy, Pirate Girl: the Forbidden Love"

Oct 21, 2009

You Light Up My Life

"Painting is, by nature, a luminous language."
~ Robert Delaunay

Don't you love it when things work?  Just as I was sitting here drooling over a Williams-Sonoma catalog and scolding myself for not updating my blog, the power went out.  The power in our area is always a bit sketchy, so my ounce-of-prevention husband equipped my computer with a battery back-up unit some weeks ago.  This morning, as the house was darkened, my little computer soldiered on, informing me that it was now running on its back-up battery and not to worry.  It's such a blessing when forethought and technology save the day!  The power's back on, the blog's updated, and all's right with the world.

"Le Petit Chat Noir"

"Monkey Business"

"Arm of the Mighty"



Oct 16, 2009

Southern Comfort

"Color in a picture is like enthusiasm in life."
~Vincent van Gogh

Noting and savoring the little things is comforting and good.  I'm sure I sound like a broken record by now..but it's true.  A nippy little coldfront has come through (for southern Louisiana, that's a big deal!), and my husband and I joyfully flung open the windows today when we returned home from morning errands.  Before long, the gorgeous weather drew me back outside with my camera (as you can see), and I answered the call of the light on our maple tree leaves with a right good will.

The legendary white stag, trapped in the forest.

A ladybug dances to sweet faery music.

"Angel of Death"


The princess and her trusty war-bear, at the edge of the Deep Wood.

Oct 14, 2009

Autumn Honey

Art is the stored honey of the human soul, gathered on wings of misery and travail.

~Theodore Dreiser, Life, Art, and America, 1917

It's been a day for flitting about, planning for evening festivities and taking care of a million little things.  I procured the perfect autumnal scent today -- a "Pumpkin Harvest & Fall" candle.  I gathered the necessary [read: missing] ingredients with which to make my zucchini bread (and tonight's cornbread), and I filled my candied-apple candy jar with Brach's pumpkins.  Never fails, Brach's pumpkins mean "Fall" to me; my dad always bought us some when they hit the grocery store shelves every fall.  Funny how a little orange and green mellowcreme candy can embody an entire season.

Anyway, so goes the life of a busy bee -- and now, the honey...

Basset Hound studies, in preparation for
the Great Basset Hound Project of 2009

"Blue Ox"

"Snowy Owl"


Oct 7, 2009


Invention, my dear friends, is 93% perspiration, 6% electricity, 4% evaporation, and 2% butterscotch ripple.

~Willy Wonka, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

It's an encouraging thing to take cookies out of the oven and discover that they've turned out perfectly.  One's experimental endeavors can so easily go horribly wrong... or just fail to meet one's expectations.  It is a quiet little victory, then, when something (rolling sugar cookie dough in cinnamon & sugar, for instance) goes very, very right -- the butterscotch ripple effect.

"Hansel and Gretel"

And now a presentation from the acclaimed
Loompa Theatre, for your viewing pleasure...


"Now I know...don't be scared.
Granny is right, just be prepared."

~Stephen Sondheim, Into the Woods 

"... cricket, cricket..."