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

Computer’s-eye view

Today you get the view from my computer’s camera of what I’m working on. Can you spot the cicada? I’ll give you a hint: it’s front and center.

Insect Illustrations in progress, graphite and ink on paper
Insect Illustrations in progress, graphite and ink on paper

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

More insects!

I thought I’d offer up some insect illustrations for your Monday viewing. It’s so interesting how making artwork, no matter the style or purpose, usually fills my head and heart with inspiration and a million other works I want to make.

As the spring arrives and I’m spending more and more time in my backyard garden, walking around town and making summer travel plans, the ideas are filling my sketchbooks and I sincerely hope I can make the time to bring them to life in the near future.

I hope everyone is enjoying a few signs of spring if it isn’t fully warm where you live yet. Perhaps I can post some more photos of my recent adventures in New Mexico for those of you who are still getting snow…

Blue Butterfly, watercolor and ink on paper, 4 x 4"
Blue Butterfly, watercolor and ink on paper, 4 x 4″

 

Click Beetle, ink on paper, 3 x 3"
Click Beetle, ink on paper, 3 x 3″

A Log Cabin Quilt and a Butterfly

Hello everyone,

I just have a simple post for you today. I’m spending most of this week working on illustrations for the biology text book but realized I had a few more paintings to show you as well.

Here is  a simple but bold painting of a log cabin quilt one of my dearest friends made for me (and hubby) as a wedding gift. Now I can enjoy its aesthetic in different forms around my house!

Log Cabin Quilt, oil/canvas, 20 x 20"
Log Cabin Quilt, oil/canvas, 20 x 20″

Next up we have a butterfly! Everyone likes butterflies.

Blue Butterfly
Blue Butterfly

Tiger Prawn

I’ve been working on some illustrations for a biology text book… while I don’t want to give away too much, I think I will still update you from time to time with some of the images I come up with. Today you get a Tiger Prawn: Penaeus monodon

 

Tiger Prawn, ink on paper
Tiger Prawn, ink on paper