Illustration in the studio

I’m working on illustrations for a biology textbook today, while the kitten is  hard at work grooming.

Can you see the beetle on the computer screen? I totally took a picture of that beast yesterday… it was very dead and preserved nicely in the ENMU biology lair of course… but it was still fantastically cool.

It’s the good life.

Yes, that is a drafting table to the right… I just haven’t quite made the transition to drawing on it full-time yet… it takes some getting used to after more than 25 years drawing on flat surfaces. That, and who could kick that adorable kitten off the drafting chair? Not me, no.

Illustration in the studio
Illustration in the studio

First Quilt… and its very adorable “tester”

I finished my first quilt yesterday night!

I took the free “Block of the Month” quilting class on Craftsy.com and loved it. The video-tutorial style class teaches you how to piece more than 12 different quilt blocks, how to do basic machine quilting techniques and how to finish your quilt. For free. wowza.

I decided after making 10 or 11 blocks that I should stop there and make a small quilt to start. As my first quilting project ever (not counting the tiny bit of hand-stitching I used to do with my mom back in the day) it was far less intimidating than a full-sized quilt.

The result is a colorful, kinda sloppy and kinda lovely lap quilt. Was it a success? The ultimate test was giving Dragon access to it…

Hm… then I suppose I just got side-tracked and obsessed with her cuteness because there are more pictures of the kitty than the quilt! oops.

Well, you’ll likely see more of this quilt pop up in future paintings, but I will also try to post a picture of the entire quilt in the near future.

Yup, she loves it. Check out my free-motion stipple stitch action in the border!
Yup, she loves it… 
Cuteness #2
… and I love her…
Check out my free-motion stipple stitch action in the border!
Check out my free-motion stipple stitch action in the border.
Quilts double as caves... in case you didn't know.
Quilts double as caves… in case you didn’t know.

 

Flat Rock Falls… complete!

I had a great day today with just enough painting time to finish up this piece. Would you believe it, it’s the last day of my twenties today!

It was a great day that I finished up by attending my community’s book club (the author was present!) followed by two hours with my tennis club. The rest of the day was spent studying for my Spanish 101 exam tomorrow – yeeeah! I love it.

Flat Rock Falls, oil/canvas, 18 x 18"
Flat Rock Falls, oil/canvas, 18 x 18″

Cat on a Quilt on a Wall

Hello again! It has been a productive week in the studio, what with finishing Quilted Lake and now getting to complete a second painting.

This one was started  a while back  and wasn’t working for me so it was set aside and stared at it with a gloomy expression for a few months. In that time ideas popped up and swam around with all the other detritus in my brain until finally something more solid was able to form…

I knew I had a few pictures somewhere of an outdoor cat named “Butters” sitting on our neighbor’s roof. I had taken them over two years ago when we lived in a different neighborhood and Butters and I spent a lot of time together. (Some of you already know of Butters. I’ve posted some photos of him on this blog before. I pretended he was mine, but he was owned/fed by some people a few houses down. I’m not sure how much affection they gave him though because he would come running down the road when he heard my car or bike and demand pats.)

I dug around a bit on my computer and found the photos I remembered. Then I did more digging around and found about five or six other photographs to use as resources to invent this landscape as it had formed in my mind.

Here are some process pictures from yesterday and today:

Cat on a Quilt on a Wall, in progress
The canvas before becoming “Cat on a Quilt on a Wall”
Cat on a Quilt on a Wall, in progress 2
Cat on a Quilt on a Wall, in progress 
Cat on a Quilt on a Wall, oil/canvas, 16 x 20"
Cat on a Quilt on a Wall, oil/canvas, 16 x 20″

TGIF: painting marathon outcome

Well, it’s been a long day. I spent a total of 9 hours painting and regardless of hot packs, stretching and ibuprofen I am in quite a bit of neck/head pain this evening. I know the painting is not quite done yet, although I don’t know exactly how far I am to the finish line… let’s just say I’m a lot closer.

Here is the progress picture I promised you, complete with an appearance from Dragon, who leapt up onto a chair to look out the window as I pressed the shutter.

Quilted Lake in Progress, oil/canvas, 2 x 4' with kitten
Quilted Lake in Progress, oil/canvas, 2 x 4′ with kitten

Cat in the Yard

I managed to finish this painting today and start work on a another piece in this series. You’ll see that one at a later date. For now, enjoy this kitty on the lawn/quilt painting, inspired by a photograph I took when I was 13.

Cat in Yard, oil/canvas, 16 x 20"
Cat in Yard, oil/canvas, 16 x 20″

Cat in the Yard: work in progress

This is a mid-day progress picture for you:

Cat in the Yard (in progress) oil/canvas, 16 x 20"
Cat in the Yard (in progress) oil/canvas, 16 x 20″

The photograph I’m using for reference I took when I was 13 and had a summer job babysitting a boy and his cats.

Random memory: we ate a lot of Cambell’s chunky soup that summer…  Something else we did was put pop* cans in the freezer (we timed this meticulously so that they wouldn’t explode) until they were a nice slushy consistency, cut the tops off (I did this part so Junior** wouldn’t hurt himself) then ate the home-made slushies with spoons.  We thought we were geniuses.

workspace with sketchbook and reference photo
workspace with sketchbook and reference photo

*”pop,” for my US friends, is what you call “soda” in the US, or “cokes” in some of the southern states.

**fake name to protect identity and inevitable punishment from parental units

A kitten in the sheets

Here are some progress pictures of a recent painting, Kitten in the Sheets!

It is usually my intention to take more “in progress” pictures while I paint but most of the time I’m drawn right into the act and when I look up it’s hours later and I’ve missed meals and phone calls and bathroom breaks!

the first sketch
the first sketch
painting in the kitten
painting in the kitten
adding in the sheets
adding in the sheets
Kitten in the Sheets, oil on cavnas, 16 x 20"
Kitten in the Sheets, oil on cavnas, 16 x 20″