Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Quail is the new Owl

Thats my prediction : ) Based on nothing but wishful thinking.

I really like this quail family. They give me a happy and peaceful feeling.

Before entering the West Elm challenge I did some research to see what sort of animal might be popular this year. The fox is still in (how can he not be?)
A couple predictions I found from various designers, pop culture studiers and artists were the:


But despite my research I was inspired to paint moths, a buck and some quail. We will see how they do! Maybe not popular, but definitely lovable.

What do you think the animal of 2014 will be?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Painted Coral

Since I got the best response on my Grapefruit color study, and since I had one at lunch, I decided to paint this coral "Grapefruit."

Color Study

I am working on another possible entry for the Minted/West Elm challenge. I did a line drawing of a coral tree, scanned it in and then played with colors based on West Elm's "color crush" page. This was a lot of fun! I took images from West Elm's online store and paired them with my color studies. This was a good exercise in color and design.

Here are three "color crushes"




I am trying to decide what to do now.... I have never done color that wasn't hand painted. Not sure if I want to enter the Photoshop artist world.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Collection of Moths for West Elm

I love Minted.

Minted.com has done so much to promote and sell my Swift Fox! I think it is so cool that they seek out and inspire artists to do something with their work. The Minted staff is very friendly, and always quick to answer questions and help artists succeed. I am so grateful! Thanks Minted!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Silk Moth Completed

Silk Moth/West Elm Challenge

Minted is hosting another Art challenge for West Elm! I am very excited about another great opportunity. After much thinking, and thinking, and thinking, and thinking..... I decided to enter a collection of Moths. I love collecting insects and pinning them in shadow boxes and hanging them on my walls. They are beautiful and interesting! But when it comes to drawing them it is a lesson in symmetry.

Now that my Silk Moth is drawn, I am going to size him and paint him. Next up, is the Luna Moth.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Happy New Year!

Sometimes fish and other stray animals appear on my pallet....

Every year I like to look back and see if I met my goals from the year before, and set some goals for the coming year.

My goal last year was to "make to most of every opportunity." And I saw some really great fruit from that!

One night, during our busy camp season, some guys were coming over to watch Back to the Future. I really really wanted to sit back and relax and enjoy a movie, but instead I took those couple hours to create a painting for Minted's wall art contest for West Elm. I placed! And now my print of "Swift Fox" is sold across the nation in a store that I really love, and by Minted! So glad I didn't watch the movie!

I attended my 2nd SCBWI conference and had the honor of illustrating the poster for the year's theme, "The Sky is the Limit."

I also enjoyed illustrating a series of 6 children representing 6 different continents for a Sunday school curriculum. It stretched my skill and I could see improvement. It was hard, but rewarding!

Get Framed hosted the best art open house ever! I had a great time meeting people and talking about art. I sold 3 originals and 15(?) prints! I love the community of art creators and supporters in Shenandoah, IA. They are a fun crowd, and have been so encouraging to me! Piper and Dave, you are the best!

I ended the year by painting a Nativity scene for my mom. I wanted it to be my best work, and I wanted it to be big! I am shipping it today. Once it is in her hands I will share it here. 

Those were the highlights of 2013. 

What would I like to accomplish for 2014?

I just stumbled across an English folktale that I would love to retell. I think the story of Mr and Mrs Vinegar would make a wonderful book dummy, and could showcase my strengths. A book dummy is a great way to show a Publisher that you can create a world and carry your characters through it. This year when I attended my 2nd SCBWI conference, the Art Director I met with suggested that I put together a series of illustrations that go together and tell a story. I would like to have something like that for the fall conference this year.

I will continue to enter Minted's design challenges.
I would like to paint a series inspired by scientific illustration.

I would like to make a calendar. Maybe, "The Badger Family Calendar" illustrating the life of a family of badgers. We could see what they do in every season, and how they celebrate each holiday.

I would like to continue my series of English paintings. Especially the woodland tea party. So far the Proper Squirrel has been very popular!

What else will 2014 bring? We will see. Happy New Year!