Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A new work companion

Meet Dumpling. He is the new bear around here. I thought I could use an extra paw or two in my studio, so threw some mohair cloth, boot buttons and thread into the Magic Bag and let it steep for a couple days.

I'd almost forgotten what I'd put in there, until I heard a low growl coming from it. I opened the zip, as someone seemed to be struggling with it, and out he popped!

He seems a friendly enough fellow, and was keen to start work immediately, which suits me just fine. The only thing we've come to blows about, is that every time I turn my back, he's all over my tea. I thought I was going crazy - not remembering that I drunk it, until I caught him at it.

Have promised to provide him with his own mug from now on. Suspect that will also lead to cake provisions and who know what else. Now I wish there was a bakery in the Magic Bag, but that's just silly.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

It's raining! It's pouring!

Well - it was a few days ago.

For the most part, my hair behaves very well in the temperate climate of California, but in recent days it has grown in volume as the moisture in the air creeps into it. This is my barometer for the weather: small hair - sunny skies, big hair - rain in the forecast.

Time for Cookie to pull on her wellingtons, and for me to find a brolly!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Sketch 2, the view from here.

So, onwards with the idea to spontaneously sketch more, as it's a great way to roll into work time. Sitting at my computer, I can see my tea mug, a printer, a bear (more about him another time!) some piles of paper and Cookie.

Ah yes! Cookie. I have a feeling that Ms Cookie Baxter may start to appear in rather a lot of these sketches, but she is a good muse, and tends to be wherever I am - so at least I always have something to draw.

This sketch is the view from my chair down onto her (in her little cat bed at my feet) and the interesting thing about it (well, for me anyway) is that it is entirely digital. That is to say, I started with a piece of blank digital paper and just drew, as opposed to sketching on real paper and scanning it into the computer as a starting point. I love the freedom the digital art gives you. It's so fun to mess around with effects, and not loose what you did previously, as you would with a real picture. I tend to be very 'just so' about my work, so the combination of spontaneous sketching and digital work is a good way to loosen my work up.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Moxa time!

Do you use moxibustion? If you do, then the following will make perfect sense, and if you don't - I shall explain a little.

Moxibustion is basically like a fat cigar sized incense stick, used in acupuncture treatment. it is held over the skin to heat up the area being treated. I've been having acupuncture for my back since August last year, and moxa is just part of the treatment I receive.

After my recent ACL reconstruction, my acupuncturist suggested I use moxa on the scars - to help in healing the scar tissue. She said I can even do it at home, so I thought this was a great idea.It feels really rather wonderful, heating the area until really quite hot and pink, and the heat stays in the area for some hours after treatment, which is particularly nice on ones back, if you are used to a lot of pain and stiffness. It also smells rather pleasant too - sort of herb-ally, but I recommend the smokeless kind, as otherwise you end up smelling like a bonfire.

This drawing is a spontaneous sketch inspired by my recent moxa adventures. I've decided I need to sketch more. It's so easy to get caught up with 'proper' work and the likes, and I decided that a very quick spontaneous sketch is probably a very good way to start the day - a warm up, so to speak.

Cookie really isn't as fat as she looks in it though. In fact she really terribly skinny (my husband affectionately calls her a wretch) and try as I might, she will not gain weight.
And, conversely, I am probably not that skinny. But then I don't actually have dots for eyes and sausage fingers either, so lets leave it at that!

Oh - one thing that does probably require explanation: my 'post surgical' bangs.
Feeling quite the wretch myself after surgery, with all the joys of pain, drugs, immobility and constipation etc, I felt some 'perking up' was in order.

Answer: jaunty bangs :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A gratitude ecard

This design is one of four I have recently created for Gratitude Habitat.
It is a free ecard that can be printed out for you to send as you wish!

The idea is to encourage you to show your gratitude, by thanking those around you you really make a difference in your life. You can even just print it off as a reminder for yourself!

Each card has a gratitude relevant quote on it, and an image to support the quote.
I think just one image is available online right now, but I will post all four images here over the next few posts, and they will all be available on the Gratitude Habitat website soon!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Now that Christmas has passed and the new year is upon us, I can finally show the painting I did of Lola the dog! She was a commissioned Christmas gift, which is why the finished result had to stay secret until now.

The painting is acrylic on handmade-paper covered canvas, and the paper has real leaves made into it, so it has a real texture to it. I also started the painting with modeling paste, so parts of the dog are even more textural again. There is a bee in the painting, to symbolize hard work, and as a reminder of pain, and the dogs collar is made of a daisy chain - symbolizing innocence and purity.
The dandelion speaks of happiness, and is the oracle of love. The dandelion clock references time and it's relation to love. The butterfly represent metamorphosis and change in life, and two mean love again.

I love to weave in symbolic reference or secret things when possible, in my work. I love the challenge of sliding imagery in - sometimes unnoticed, that has relevance and meaning to those it is created for! Mostly it's something I've done in my glass work, but since I am currently painting more - put it here instead!

Lola: 30" x 18" Acrylic on canvas

Happy new year!