Portraits of Portales series now on website

This ongoing body of work, “Portraits of Portales” created entirely in sketchbooks and en-plein-air (outdoors) since early 2014 is finally coming together online. Visit my website dodington.us to see some of the sketches as this series builds. As I’ve mentioned before, the final goal is to publish them in a book. Or publish anything like them in a book. Hire me now.

screen shot of Portraits of Portales gallery on website
screen shot of Portraits of Portales gallery on website
screen shot of Portraits of Portales gallery
screen shot of Portraits of Portales gallery

A little study and a big new job…

My new studio space has proven to be a wonderful spot for watercolor. Here’s a hint of a study I did last week.

I’m also happy to report my new position as an elementary school librarian and computer teacher which, since school started Aug. 14th, has been a bit hectic. My love of libraries has been life-long, and I’m so excited to get to spend time with all the young people as they develop their interests, skills and character. I’m sure this will influence my art life as well, although my posts here may be even more sparse. You’ve been warned.

Desert plant study, watercolor on paper, 5 x 7"
Desert plant study, watercolor on paper, 5 x 7″

New Academic Space

I finally got around to cleaning, lowering, and changing the angle of my drafting table in the studio. The result is a large space to pile my books and notes, sketching, reading light, beverage, computer and cats. I also imagine this will be a better place to work on watercolor painting – safe from oil paint residue.

I expect much mind expansion as a result.

ps. Can you see one of the reasons I named my cat Dragon?

pps. Please excuse my ill-fitting old t-shirt and zebra-print chair-fur-control-system

Dragon inspects new studio "thinking" space
Dragon inspects new studio “thinking” space

38th Annual Juried Exhibition: Opening tomorrow!

I’m happy to share that two of my paintings are included in the 38th Annual Juried Exhibition at the Barbara Conrad Art Gallery in Durango, Colorado, opening tomorrow:

July 11 – August 9
Opening reception: Friday, July 11 from 5-7 p.m.

Durango Arts Center: Barbara Conrad Art Gallery
802 East Second Avenue
970-259-2606

I’m excited that I’ll be able to attend the opening reception and spend a few days in this beautiful town. In addition to getting to meet new people and experience the art and culture of Durango, my mini-trip will include camping, hiking and lots of new scenery for sketching and painting.

Information on this year’s juror, (more on the Durango Arts Center website) durangoarts.org:
Lisa Tamiris Becker has been active as a curator and arts administrator for over 18 years and has curated and organized over 50 major exhibitions with a primary focus on hybrid interpretations of modern and contemporary art. She serves as the Director of the University of New Mexico Art Museum in Albuquerque, NM, where she has curated and organized major recent exhibitions such as From Raymond Jonson to Kiki Smith: The UNM Art Museum at Fifty Years; Melanie Yazzie: Geographies of Memory; and The Blinding Light of History: Genia Chef, Ilya Kabakov, and Oleg Vassiliev. Her exhibitions have been reviewed or featured in Art in America, Time Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and The BBC, amongst other publications.

Flat Rock Falls, Oil/Canvas, 18 x 18"
Flat Rock Falls, oil/canvas, 18 x 18″
Window Bed, oil on canvas, 16 x 20"
Window Bed, oil/canvas, 16 x 20″

New knitting pattern released: Fat Baby Dino

Hello hello!

I’m excited to announce the test-knitting phase of my latest pattern is complete and the stuffed-toy pattern, (complete with video tutorials) is now available on ravelry.com and the Multicraftual etsy shop! For more information on this pattern and to see pictures of completed projects, visit the multicrafual blog.

This brings my total number of published knitting designs up to 5 with two more shawls in the test-knitting phase. Stay tuned for more pattern releases!

My designer page on ravelry.com
My designer page on ravelry.com
Chaz one of the four feline co-hosts of the Multicraftual video podcast meets his new friend
Chaz one of the four feline co-hosts of the Multicraftual video podcast meets his new friend

An update letter to my dear readers

Dear readers,

Has it really been four months since I opened the virtual door to my studio and shared what was going within it? Wowzahs.

Let me tell you, I knew this year would be busy but I really miss sharing my day to day – or at least week to week – progress with you. I don’t think there is an easy way to catch you up on all my work but I will try my best to give you a taste. I apologize for the poor quality of the photographs : I’m using my phone camera to maximize efficiency!

1. Illustration for the biology textbook has been an ongoing project since the Christmas/holiday season. This consists of researching, traditional sketching and working with digital illustration programs. I usually spend my mornings on this project. Below is a drawing in progress from the past week.

biology textbook illustration in progress
biology textbook illustration in progress

2. Next, I give you three 8 x 10″ oil paintings in progress that are being worked en plein air in my town, Portales, New Mexico. (They’re just sitting on my easel to dry between painting sessions… it’s the only place my cats don’t seem to mess with them!) They belong to a series of paintings of the Southwest I have been developing sporadically for the last few years . Working on them has been a nice complement to my “Portraits of Portales” project which I focussed on all autumn, and have tried to make a bit of time for in 2014.

en plein air paintings from Southwest series - in progress
en plein air paintings from Southwest series – in progress

I believe I have mentioned the “Portraits of Portales” project before and will certainly mention it again. My intention is to publish them in book form, rather than display them in a gallery. This will heighten the intimacy of the pieces and embrace my intention of creating a “keepsake” of this small town. But I will share more on that project at a later date. This week it has not been worked on so no progress pics here for you!

3. Also still in the works is my Crafty Coloring Book. I only decided this week that it needed to be pulled to the top of my priority list after the biology textbook illustrations. It’s delightfully fun to work on and provides a break from the technical illustration while still keeping me “in shape” drawing-wise.

portion of a coloring book drawing in progress
portion of a coloring book drawing in progress

4. Lastly, I have been spending my evenings finalizing three new knitted shawl designs. Two are in the test-knitting phase and the third is close behind. The motivation behind this project? A fast-approaching deadline!

Detail of the Happy Happy Shawl in progress
Detail of the Happy Happy Shawl in progress

On April 1st the Multicraftual Podcast Ravelry group will be casting on any of my knitted designs. For two months participants will post their progress and finished object pictures in the corresponding group discussion threads to win prizes. There will be coupon codes for discounted pattern prices and other random goodness distributed via the video podcast I host with my long-distance bestie Liby Ball. If you are interested in watching our podcast while sitting down with your own knitting or crocheting, go check out the Multicraftual blog or subscribe on iTunes!

As you can see, if you’ve read this far… I’m keeping busy! In fact… a little too busy. I’m the kind of person who can sprout in every direction and need intense pruning to look at all respectable. I’m currently reading “Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity” by David Allen. Perhaps I will give a review on that when I finish it… hahahahahaha… first I will have to learn how to reign in my many projects, harness my creativity and GET THINGS DONE.

Wish me luck!!

If you’d like, tell me about what projects you’re working on and what creative activities you’re most excited about in the comments section below. Are you a see-one-project-through-to-the-finish-line kind of person, or a wildly-sprouting-crazy-face like myself? It’s time I get to know YOU more and try to enhance the online creative community.

Thanks so much for reading!

Jessie

This week: FREEZE

I’m very excited to be included in the upcoming group show: FREEZE. There is a great party planned for those of you who reside in London, UK – details below the poster!

To view my artist page on the gallery’s website, as well as check out the many other artists taking part, visit wearesweetart.com

Freeze invitation
Freeze invitation

Join us for a mince pie and mulled wine around the Sweet ‘Art Christmas tree next week and sample our next instalment of thought provoking, dynamic and playful artworks at our ‘Freeze’ winter show.
This Christmas we are supporting the charity Shooting Star Chase, a London based children’s hospice service and so are pulling out all the stops for our hotly anticipated ‘Freeze’ show for this amazingly worthwhile cause.
At our private view there will be Christmas drinks from our sponsors Sipsmith, edibles courtesy of Ocado and the usual Sweet ‘Art freebies and surprises to enjoy while taking in the awesome talent and a range of works by over 40 artists from all over the world. This will include fun winter themed instillations including a magical kinetic interactive snowstorm!
All works are size A3 and under, with the aim to supply London with a choice of art Christmas gifts that you can carry home on the tube! We will also have a shop-in-shop from hot designer brand Maison Twenty, with art t-shirts also for sale, and will offer all of our visitors ‘art gifting’ advice throughout our show.
This is set to be one incredible arty party!

Getting Crafty!

Today I got the Multicraftual Etsy shop back online after being on vacation. Most stitch-markers are only $5 and there are new summery wedge bags with floral or bike-themed prints:

Springtime in Paris project bag
Springtime in Paris project bag
Crafty project bag
Bike project bag with yarn
Bike project bag
Bike project bag

Dragon helped me with my crafting… until she got tired:

Sewing is exhausting!
Sewing is exhausting!

I’m back! And I have a new friend…

Okay people. It’s been over a month since my last post and I sincerely do apologize. Life has been busy, life has been full, life has been beautiful.

Here are some excuses:

1) I moved to a new home and set up a new studio and am as pleased as pie in the new, well-lit space.
2) I adopted a kitten I found on the road dying in the hot desert sun. Her name is Dragon and she is very distracting with her cuteness. See?

sleeping kitten
Dragon snoozes

Despite these big life events I have been painting and crafting up a storm. So sit tight and enjoy the more frequent posts for the rest of the summer!

Here is an oil painting I finished last month for my brother-in-law’s wedding. It depicts the countryside north of Bakewell, England where we all took a hike this past year. Monumental memories I tell ya.

oil painting of england, bakewell countryside
Hiking North of Bakewell