Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Operation Clean Studio is Complete!

After more months than I care to mention, my studio is finally done! It's always difficult finding the time to do things from Nov-May as these are the busiest months of the year for my job. It's nice having the extra time now because it means that all of these unfinished projects are finally going to get done! There are still a few more things that I'd like to get done in the studio, but overall it's a VAST improvement! It's going to be really nice to finally have this space as a usable studio again.

Everything is nicely labeled and while I got rid of most of my extraneous stuff I had to keep a few fun knick knacks and odds and ends to keep my studio true to myself. It was interesting to discover which pieces of artwork were oddly easy to get rid of while other things that I thought would be easy ended up being the hard, and sometimes impossible, ones. I think that we learn a lot about ourselves during these times of purging. It becomes a time to reevaluate ourselves and our lives.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Ups and Downs

Trina Schart Hyman (1934-2004) was an amazing American children's book illustrator with over 150 books under her belt. She was the recipient of three Caldecott Honors and one Caldecott Medal. I often find myself looking to her work for inspiration when I am feeling stagnant. I found this interview with her and took a segment from it that I found particularly interesting.

Mrs. Hyman told The Boston Globe that she thought the pinnacle of her career, her Caldecott Award in 1985, was also one of the lowest points in her artistry.

"I realized that I was drawing the same figure over and over again, because I don't work from photographs or models when I do my illustration; it's all from my head," she said in 1992. "So I thought I was not only in a rut as far as my creative output, but I also just hated my work."

In response, Mrs. Hyman turned to painting models in an attempt to expand her creativity.

"Painting from life is really an exercise for me," she said. "I felt like it's saved my life several times. When you work in your studio at home you are answerable to everyone. Your work is answerable to everyone. With this work, I am not answerable to anyone."

It's interesting how public views often have little or no bearing in how an artist views their own work. Often the work that puts an artist on the map is their least favorite work. Whether it's because they feel that they aren't staying true to themselves or simply because they wish to branch out and explore something new, artists often reach points when they feel stagnant and stale. It's nice to see that even someone with Ms. Schart's talent can have moments like this as well.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Illustration vs Painting

During his lifetime, N.C.Wyeth created over 3,000 paintings and illustrated 112 books!

Wyeth, who was both a painter and an illustrator, understood the difference, said in 1908, "Painting and illustration cannot be mixed—one cannot merge from one into the other."

This is an interesting idea and I'm curious to hear what people think about it. I have to agree that my paintings and my illustrations usually have two different styles as well as different intentions behind them. However I don't always see such a separation in other artist's work. Are illustration and painting truly two different things? I certainly see the pre-raphaelites as illustrators and painters both. I'm just not sure if I fully agree with this statement. Do you?

Monday, June 7, 2010


I was blessed enough to get to see James Gurney in person at the Norton Art Museum in West Palm Beach. His Dinotopia paintings and models are on exhibition there until Sept. 5th. I highly recommend it to any art lovers in the vicinity. I recommend it twice as much to anyone who is a dinosaur fan as well. It's simply amazing to see his work in person! I was rather shocked to see how many of my friends aren't familiar with his work though! I had thought that the Dinotopia books were as well-known as the Star Wars movies or Where the Wild Things are. I guess not. I'm sort of happy about this actually. It means that I get to introduce people to an amazing artist's work that is worth getting to know.
Here are a few of his pieces for you to enjoy. If you are anywhere in the West Palm Beach, FL area or have the means to visit for a day... Check out this exhibition! His work is 10x better in person!

To see more of his work, visit

Sunday, June 6, 2010

My finished piece for Frank.

This whole project has inspired me to begin an etsy store called Flowers4Frank. A percentage of the sales will go towards either Hugs and Kisses or the Chronic Disease Fund. Originally I wanted to use my art to help people with cancer pay for their treatment. Hugs and Kisses does just that. However, the Chronic Disease Fund is also good because it helps people with any chronic or life-altering disease. I'm still trying to determine which organization is better for what I am trying to do. I'm open to anyone's input or advice. My goal is to get other artists involved and dedicate a section in the store to each artist. In this way each artist would only need to produce 8-10 pieces max. Less burden on each artist and more items available to purchase which means more money for this cause. Still trying to work out the kinks and get others involved so that it really gets started with a bang.