Monday, June 30, 2008

Friday, June 27, 2008

Shirt Design #2

Thursday, June 26, 2008

T-Shirt Design

I'm designing our cast t-shirt (I'm in a play at our local theater.) I'm hoping to design 5 and let the cast vote on which they like best. Here's option #1.

Great Quote

I browse a fair amount. I like to see what CCP artists are up to and how people are really benefiting from their amazing workshops. In doing so today I came across Matchatank Deb, and on her blog she had a quote from Albert Einstein. She's using it in a piece she started in Lisa Engelbrecht's workshops. I love love (love) the quote:

"You cannot solve a problem on the same level you created it."

Something to live by. Thanks Matchatank Deb!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Virginia Cobb's, "Acrylic Abstract Image" on Sale

Abstract Acrylic Painting: The Evolving Image with Virginia Cobb from Creative Catalyst on Vimeo.

This week's sale is Virginia Cobb's art instructional workshop, "Acrylic Abstract Image: The Evolving Image."

Virginia Cobb's DVD is a bit different from most of Creative Catalyst's workshops. Instead of focusing on technique, it explores the discovery process that goes on inside our heads. Virginia creates three paintings from the same inspiration but emphasizes a different element of design in each painting: shape, line and texture. The results are amazingly different. She layers, covers, and re-discovers shapes and colors. Her process creates a sense of history and permanence. Watch as she adds layers but, more importantly, listen to how she thinks about what she is doing.

Virginia's artistic process relies on problem solving. She challenges herself by constantly creating problems, which forces her to discover solutions. It keeps her art fresh and original.

I had never really thought about this approach. Normally I look at problems in my work and think, "$%&! Oh look. Another failure." But Virginia actually propels off of problems to keep her paintings fresh and original. That is SUCH a better way to look at it. (Also more kid friendly.)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Carla O'Connor Visit

Zach and I pulled our bikes into work this morning and had the pleasant surprise of finding Washington plates on an unfamiliar car. Carla O'Connor and her husband, Mike, were visiting. We love when artists film with us and even while we have a lot of fun we still have to concentrate. Filming leaves the artists tired and the week burns people out. When artists just arrive at our door and can hang out, it's a whole new ball game. It was great to just sit and talk with both Carla and Mike. We swapped pet stories and painting stories and had a really nice time. This job has a lot of perks (like there is a cat sleeping next to me in my office at this very moment) but meeting the people we get to meet is really one of the best.

(Artwork by Carla O'Connor.) See more at Carla's gallery.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Purple Background Collage

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Napkin Paper

I'm currently experimenting with napkin collage. Napkins come in so many cool colors and designs I'm trying to see if I can use the patterns to make background textures. Here's my first. It needs more paint (and then of course something on top.)

I used a ton of Mod Podge and napkins. Most napkins have a few layers and only the top one actually has a pattern. Peel the other ones off before you go to glue anything down. They will only get in the way. I used a tiny bit of water to get my strips of napkin to stick to the paper. Then I covered everything with a ton of Mod Podge. Finally I began with my layers of paint.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Happy Father's Day (yesterday)

Friday, June 13, 2008

simple card

Polly Hammett says find three things you like because it pushes you to think about your work in a different way than just saying all the things you don't like.

1. The vertical division of purple space (with the lighter purple at the top)
2. The swirl thing in the right corner.
3. The texture on the love.

1. Placement of love
2. Values are too similar between the wording and the background.

I like the second one better from a balance standpoint.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Flyer for Nickel and Dimed

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


What does a steamroller, skateboard and break dancing all have in common? Monoprinting, obviously!

Read article:
That's a big print you have there! (That's not the official name.)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Composition Article Download

Artist Janie Gildow wrote an article on composition for the Creative Catalyst newsletter. It breaks everything down and is really quite helpful. You can download it here (copy paste the link):

Janie is hoping to start teaching online classes specifically on composition within the next year so check in occasionally with her website ( for more information. There isn't anything up quite yet, but it's still worth looking around at her amazing work.

To see a preview of Janie's Creative Catalyst DVD workshop go here.

Thanks Janie!

Monday, June 09, 2008

CCP Web Promo 2008

I'm getting a little conscious that this is becoming a blog more of video than words and images. This is in large part because my visual creative outlet right now *is* work. I divide my free time into mostly one big pile called, "Nickel and Dimed." Whatever is left (and there isn't much) goes into the "Forage for Food" pile or the "Make a Path Through The Debris in My Apartment" pile. At some point in August I will come back full force with actual non-moving 2D work.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Conversations with Nicholas Simmons Part 3

Here's another clip from Conversations with Nicholas Simmons. In this segment he talks about why it's good for beginning artists to use their imagination as their source material.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


You can get some cool effects when you use cheap paper and cheap paint. You can also get your arms covered in purple and have to do a quick but thorough interrogation of your kitchen and make sure you're not leaving droplets of purple water behind with your never-to-be-seen-again deposit.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Weekend Play

This project was going really well until the very end. It was suppose to be a congratulations card for some friends in a local play, but now we'll see. I got lazy with Claudine Hellmuth's Petroleum Jelly technique and didn't get it wiped up enough. I kept thinking if I just covered it with enough gel medium it would be OK. Nope. Bad instinct there.

I am excited about a few new techniques I'm trying. More on that later. In the mean time, if you don't have Claudine's books or DVDs they are certainly all INCREDIBLY helpful. (If you follow the instructions...ahem.) If I could find the rubbing alcohol I bought 2 days ago my night will be set.