Two Things

I've just finished setting up my newsletter - and I'd love it if you signed up for my news.  
To celebrate this momentous occasion (really any reason to celebrate) - I'm implementing a coupon for my etsy store.  Use code HELLOHELLO for 20% off from now until June 15, 2013.



Away, Away

I'm going off to the big city for the weekend!  I am attending Book Expo America's Power Readers day on Saturday in NYC.  Hopefully I'll come back with a bag full of books and a camera filled with pictures and inspiration.  Above is Destiny, a picture I recently completed the editing on this week and listed for sale in my etsy shop.

Here's some of what I worked on this week when I wasn't sleeping off my trips to the gym.  How is it that I can run a mile (or 2.5) and be fine, but 30 minutes at the gym makes me want to nap forever?  It's a mystery we may never find the (undoubtedly dull) answer to.  Below I've posted Linen Flowers and Muse.  It's been a good week for flora around here.  Enjoy the weekend!

Purchase Destiny, Linen Flowers or Muse


I've been looking through some of my older pieces and I'm really proud of the way my art is coming along.  Despite not having a degree in art, I am constantly learning, which I think is evident in the evolution of my work.  To be able to look back and see the changes is such a marvelous thing.  I like to see how I've changed and what's gotten better over time.  There's also an aspect of liking to remember a period, or certain technique that I used to use more heavily than I do now.

This is an old (2009) era photo I took that I re-edited when I made my textures.  I still like this picture, but it isn't up to the standard of something I would sell today.  I did back in 2009 though - this picture was in my shop.

This was taken around a year later in 2010, when I went to Bermuda.  I love this picture of the Bermuda Cathedral, because I took it without intending to take it, if that makes any sense.  I was just taking a lot of shots of the building, and this happened to be one of them that I saw after the fact.  It was a beautiful shot that came out of just shooting to shoot.

Ah, and now we come to Winter Gold, taken at the beginning of 2013.  I danced when I finished the editing on this.  While it does utilize multiple textures, I adore the way it came out.  It has a sister shot that came out equally well, but I prefer this one because it gives the illusion of an undisturbed landscape - in the other shot the parking lot for the beach was clearly visible.

But this grouping displays a real timeline how my work came along.  I can take less pictures now and have better results - and rely less on the automatic settings for the camera, which don't always take the best shot for you.  I love seeing the progression and knowing that as I continue, my work will change a great deal more, and I will someday look back on Winter Gold and remember fondly when I took pictures like that.

I could do the same thing for my illustration work, patterns, space art and drawing.  I can see changes in them as I refine and hone my techniques and learn new skills.  But I can be proud of all of my work - I know that I was doing my best at the time, and have never delivered less than that.  As my aptitude changes, so does my output - which is what we all strive for when working.  I hope that on your creative journeys, you are able to map your progress and look back with pride at the steps you've taken to get to where you are.

Purchase Winter Gold

Recent Work

I've been doing a lot more illustration lately, none of which is ready to be shared yet, so I thought I would put up some of my recent photography.  I've been working in both Lightroom and Photoshop, and I like the experience of using both.  These pictures are from about two weeks ago, when I went down to Cape Cod and took pictures in Orleans and Chatham.

Purchase Bloom and Overcast

What's Old is New

An older image (2009ish) I redid some time ago and am putting up for sale again.
This was one of the first pictures that I took that I was really proud of.  It came out so well even on the camera that I hurried home to pull it off the card and see it.  It's got great shallow depth of field, and the colors are beautiful.  Just what we need for the spring!

Purchase Dream


Sometimes I do paint more than space art!

I've drawn flowers all of my life - in the margins of my notebooks at school, as a vine ring around words, and as practice paintings.   I don't know why it never occurred to me to make floral prints, but it hadn't. Some of my favorite doodles are of potted plants, leaves and flower petals.

Flowers are important to me, for the beauty and shapes, for the color.  There is something so healing about flowers, seeing them around as you drive past houses, or walking into a room and seeing an artful arrangement.  My father is an avid gardener, and though I lamented all the time spent 'working on the yard' in my youth, I am grateful for the know how that came from the experiences.  When I was growing up our yard was over half an acre big, and over the course of my childhood I cared for every inch of it, grass and flowerbeds alike.

Sometimes I wish my parents still had that house when I got married, because I would have liked it to been there, in the big yard.  But then again, my wedding wound up being in February, and I grew up in Michigan.  It probably wouldn't have been a very fun ceremony outdoors.

But I digress.  Flowers are a source of inspiration and beauty.  I like to take pictures of them, so it follows that I would like to draw them as well.  This painting is of a hibiscus, based on a photo I took in Bermuda.  I'm still working on the color, I'd like the gathered part at the stem to be a much more vibrant shade of yellow - but I like the way this came out.  The experience has led me to start a new painting of peonies, which I've been working on the lines for during the past week.

Here's to flowers, may they long bring us joy!


Inspiration and Teaching

This is a photo called Recreation that I just listed in my etsy shop, but it has been in my Society6 for some time.  I really liked this when I took it, way back in 2009 or so.  It was on one of my first outings as a 'real' photographer.

Thinking back has given me some inspiration in these past few days, and I've been wondering what to do in the future. I will always love my photos and illustration work, but I've been wanting to do more.  I have been thinking about developing a series of podcasts for this blog, and maybe a few video entries as well.  It would be a nice chnage from just the static picture posts here.

But to that end, I've been thinking about adding an education component to my work.  I've worked in education in several capacities before, from volunteer to teacher's aide and I was reminded this weekend that I miss connecting with people on that level.  Things are still a long way off, but I've been inspired to work towards the goal of leading classes and now I can't get it out of my head.

It's been good to look at where I've been - it helps me know that I can navigate the road ahead, no matter where it leads.

Purchase Recreation

Finished! The World On Your Shoulders

Here's the finished product for the photo I worked on yesterday.  Today I'm off to start on a new series of textures, and to put some more work into some older paintings.

Purchase The World On Your Shoulders


Untitled WIP

Another work in progress.  There are changes happening all around - to this blog, my website and both stores.  I'm slowly relearning etsy and adding to my inventory over there.  I'm feeling good about the whole process.

Here's a photo I took several months ago and have been changing.  I go back and forth with the shadowy feeling on this piece, but tonight I tried several new options that I am excited about.  I feel like it will be complete soon.


A Lighthouse and a Store

Here's a new picture I put up for sale - Chatham Lighthouse.  Chatham Light is a lighthouse that is still currently in use by the US Coast Guard.  I happened to catch it on a grey, blustery day and got this picture of it.

I put this up for sale in my society6 shop, and also in my new etsy shop.  After careful consideration, I started an etsy shop.  Back when I first started doing photography, I had an etsy shop but life got too busy for me to keep up with it and I closed it a few months later.  I was wary of restarting it, because the site has changed so much from what it was when I first used it back in 2007, and quite frankly, I find some of the new processes confusing.  But Etsy gets a wider audience than my other shop, so I thought it would be good to operate them both.

TL;DR - More people seeing my art = yay!  I started an etsy storefront.

Check out my new etsy shop!

Blur and Shadows

Here's an image I shot yesterday that I am playing around with editing.  This is two images layered on top of each other, with different blur and shadows.  They are of the same subject, but it was windy yesterday and the second shot was clearer than the first.

I like the way they work together, it makes the resulting image more interesting than either of the shots alone.

To achieve this image, not only did I layer two images, but I also used different coloring for both.  They weren't dramatically different, but enough to add shades of green and yellow to the leaves.

Yesterday was a miserable day, weather wise.  The humidity was choking - it was the kind of day that felt heavy, just because of the air.  I got out early in the morning, but the day was never clear.  Around three in the afternoon, it started to pour, and it didn't stop until this afternoon.  I didn't get as much done as I wanted to do, but I have some ideas of where I want to go the next time I have a free day to shoot.

Still, I was productive, and sometimes that is enough.

In Progress

A new piece, not quite finished with this yet.  I've been using new Lightroom presets and I like the effects I get with these.  Spring flowers are everywhere and catching my eye.  It's a great break from the cool sea scenes I shot not that long ago, with the drab winter skies.


Inevitably, Spring Cleaning

There are times when I find it funny that in the past, I have been a well-organized person.  It was almost always at work and not in my personal space, but I had little need for it at home.  There were wonderfully color-coded file systems, and accounts that were always up to date.  There were databases and spreadsheets, and oh, how they used to make me so happy.

It is a little harder in my own space.

With that in mind, I've dedicated myself to spring cleaning.  Not just in my poor house, which I have been better about lately, but for myself and my business.  It's been something I've wanted to do for a while, but there will be changes coming, not just in the layout of this blog, but my website and store.  It just might take me a while to get it all done and find the right fit.  I feel like whenever I make a schedule for changes, life just laughs at my presumptuousness.

Whenever I get discouraged, I must remember that disorganization is the bane of creativity.  Nothing kills the spark like having to wade through mess to find your brushes, paint, etc.  With that in mind, let me get to cleaning.

A Branch Snapped In Two

The same branch shot a few seconds apart.

Next to You

A change in perspective.  Not sure if I will put these up for sale.  Happy Spring!