Friday, January 29, 2010

I'm on a boat! (I have a nautical-themed pashmina afghan)

I love boats, so when I found this golden book at Fairground Antiques last weekend, I had to get it! (just like I had to use andy samberg for the title of this post.)
For the past few months I've been really inspired by the color palettes of old golden books (and illustrations for children from the 50s/60s in general). I love the unexpected colors mixed with neutrals that look so effortless together.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! If you're in New England, be warm and safe in this freezing cold we're having.
P.S. - Thanks for all the comments/shared stories of squirrels on my last post! I loved reading them.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

squirrels who love snow

(one of my hometown sammies)
In all my years of stark squirrel observation, I have never known them to love eating snow as much as the ones outside my Brighton kitchen window. Is it the lack of bird baths to drink from? I live in a neighborhood setting, so I wouldn't think they would be that hard to find (at home we have a heated one for the winter). But these squirrels, who nest in a tree outside my kitchen window, absolutely love to eat snow. The first time I noticed was during the large snow storm a few weeks ago, and they hopped from fence picket to fence picket eating the mound of snow that had formed on top of it. Now, it has just begun to snow fluffy, light flakes and they are waiting on pickets for mounds to develop, and eating them as soon as they surmount to anything. One of them is even face down on the trunk of the tree, reaching out with one of his paws to grab them. It is the cutest thing ever.
I adore squirrels. They make me so happy!
I hope you're enjoying the snow if it has come your way, and if not, happy almost-weekend!

all the little pieces

in the company of maps
sketchbook page

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

stella by star vintage! (the shop goes on)

Etsy Buy Handmade stellabystar
Since this blog is for my art business, I don't write much about my mom and I's vintage shop  on here, but it's still going strong! The part that's the most fun is going to all the strange antique/junk places with my mom, like The Barn with its owl room. :)
I hope you're all having a wonderful middle of the week!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

going owling

On Sunday in The Barn (a barn full of antiques in New Hampshire), my mom and I kept stumbling upon owls on the first three floors. Enough owls to make us take notice and remark on how many there were.
When we reached the fourth and final floor, a little room with a slanted roof where you need to turn the light on yourself, it all made sense - the room was filled with hundreds and hundreds of owls.
They covered every inch of wall and shelf and floor! These pictures don't even do the room justice. It was amazing, and I want to take my friend Becca, who loves owls.
The man who runs The Barn told us that this entire collection belonged to one woman. I think it's so sweet how much she must have loved owls, and I'm glad they're all together in one place until they find someone to take them home one by one.
I thought it was cute that a Furby was in the mix. They do look owl-ish.
I liked the bright yellow owl plaque and the mother owl who looks like she has a mustache.
These are the two owls I took home with me. I loved the round photo of the baby owl, and the 1950s pearly owl wall hanging. I am going to give them a very good home. :)
Happy Tuesday, everyone!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

in frames

My first two Tiny Art VI show pieces in their oval frames! I got the frames at a consignment shop and painted them.
My mom and I went to Fairground today, and also an antiques barn with a fourth floor room I will show you pictures of soon... :)
I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!!!

Friday, January 22, 2010

You know what's good without necessarily being able to explain why. You have taste, and that's not even half the battle - it's the whole war.

Today Kate and I went to the Cambridge Antiques Market and then to the Kendall theater to finally see "An Education".
It was absolutely amazing, and much more humorous than I'd expected it to be (based on the previews I saw, I had kind of been scared it would be really stuck up in an artsy way). The clothing was gorgeous and it really was just an incredible movie.
In keeping with its title, the film questions the worth of an academic education (something Jenny disregards as a waste of life), which actually is worth something if it pertains to your natural passions or can be twisted to work with them (a reality realized by Jenny after certain experiences and education in life).
Anyway, happy friday! More tiny art soon.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

he covered me in cadence, the cabbage roses rampant

teeny tiny art show VI piece II:
"the substitute for you"
watercolors on coffee-stained paper
I can't stop listening to "set the fire to the third bar" by snow patrol and martha wainwright.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

an abbess in the mind of stars

Small hints of things to come:
The Letters of Abelard and Heloise
drawing on title page
I am currently getting to know them.

Monday, January 18, 2010

watercolored, Haiti Relief print #3

New watercolors I got in the kids' section at work. I love painting with little kid watercolors! This set has a very nice light blue. I used these to paint my Stella the Astronomer paper doll.
Haiti Relief print #3:
I'm so happy that my first two Haiti prints sold! Thank you so much to the purchasers. The donations have been made and I've listed a third one, this time the Radio Raven paper doll (again, free shipping). She can be purchased here. Full proceeds of her sale will go to Red Cross. Visit them at to make your own donation.

Haiti Relief Print #2

"on finding you" Haiti relief print
The full proceeds from this sale will be donated to the Red Cross for relief in Haiti. She can be purchased here. Free shipping!
I hope everyone had a great weekend! Tonight my mom and I saw The Lovely Bones. I have actually never read the book, but the movie was very visually beautiful and the content very powerful.
I'll be back soon with more tiny art show pieces.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A pass in the mountains, a horse and a mule, in the distance the shelves rode three shadows of blue.

On January 8th, Robert Kaufman, one of my illustration professors from AIB, passed away. Today was his memorial service, and it was beautiful. Several of his friends and family got up to talk. There was a lot of crying and a lot of laughing. I think it was a wonderful tribute to a very kind man.
After the ceremony, several of us went out to eat and we drew this sketchbook page in honor of Robert. (credits to Barbara, Val, Kate, Jeff, Rima, Sarah, Megan, & Marco).
You can view Robert's work here
One of his most recent projects was the Blockology book, an illustrated tour through lower Manhattan designed to show off the city in a unique way, which the New York Times named "the ultimate love letter to the city".
We will miss you, Robert. My thoughts are with your family.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

a print for Haiti, and tennessee williams comes full circle

I listed a tattooed lady print, full proceeds of her sale will go to the American Red Cross for relief in Haiti. She can be purchased here. Her shipping is free. :)
I must see this movie!
A Tennessee Williams play that has just now been made into a film.
My mom told me about it a week or two ago, but I just watched a clip from it. The dialogue is so clearly by Williams, and it was so odd to see a modern actress (Bryce Dallas Howard) speak the lines. I love the desperation lurking behind the outwardly confident female characters in Williams' plays, and I think it's neat how that came through so clearly in the clip from this new film yet at the same time struck me as different. I could so easily picture Vivien Leigh or Elizabeth Taylor in black and white reciting the same lines.
I hope you all had a great Wednesday. I had my first hula hoop class tonight - it was so much fun! I highly recommend it as a form of workout. :)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

something small

Teeny Tiny Art Show VI piece I:
"my unintentional revolt (you're so well-read)"
A small watercolor painting on coffee-stained paper. I have a pair of vintage oval frames which I've painted, and this piece will go in one of them. Once I finish the sister-painting and get them in the frames, I'll take pictures of the finished product!
Happy Tuesday. :)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

on the subjects of Ayn Rand and Mad Men

The other day at work, I spotted a book called "The Fountainhead" by Ayn Rand. I was drawn to the cover, and then to the size of the book, and then to the raw-cut edges of the pages, which I haven't experienced since East of Eden by John Steinbeck (and because of that I now associate ragged edges with books that are considered to be substantial pieces of literature). I knew right away that Ayn was someone I should have heard of before and for some reason hadn't.
I then saw another book by Rand with a cover that appealed to me more (I know you aren't supposed to judge a book by its cover, but I'm an artist and I think beautiful visuals only enhance beautiful literature!), and this second book was "Atlas Shrugged." The title itself even appealed to me more, because I love the art of coupling of words so that they sound as though they've been grabbed out of the middle of a sentence, when you aren't sure what came before or should come after them.
I read the back of "Atlas Shrugged," and Ayn wrote that after her first novel, "The Fountainhead," she was inundated with questions. She wrote Atlas as an answer to those questions, and it became so grand that Fountainhead was now merely it's predecessor.
So, weirdly enough, tonight when I was watching Mad Men (I finally got season one from the library), the president of Don Draper's place of work, Mr. Cooper, was going on and on about Ayn Rand and "Atlas Shrugged." She and her novel came up in at least two episodes. So now I know that I have to read Atlas. I'm not even going to try and read Fountainhead first, since Ayn herself and Mr. Cooper on Mad Men seem to find the second novel so much more important.
So I might as well talk about Mad Men a little bit, too. I love it! It's somewhat depressing, but I expected as much. It makes me wonder why my whole life I've loved that era so much - an era where people, for the most part, hid their thoughts, feelings, ambitions, etc. And it's not like Mad Men just awoke me to all of that. I've known. 
The past has always been magical to me, and despite the social limitations that I'm certain caused so much heart ache, I like to think of the people who dared to break the mold and use their minds and not care what anyone thought. There's something incredibly special to me about old literature and art that I don't really apply to modern creations, because I know the guts it took to make things back then. Everything was simpler, and that kind of provided this beautiful blank canvas for writing and art. Everything feels so cluttered nowadays.
The girls I paint are all set in the past - the 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, and they are nothing but themselves. They are thinking. I like to surround them with objects and settings that indicate who they are. I love painting them.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

thank yous and rabbits!

I want to say a big thank you to Katrina and Kirsty, who both posted about prints of mine in their blogs this week. They are both so sweet, so gracious, and so kind to let me know they love my work; I'm so touched that my art makes people happy.
I love the way Katrina framed the print of my painting "On finding you" with a frame she found at the Salvation Army!
...and how she hung it next to the other print of mine that she owns. :)
Here is my tattooed lady in Kirsty's room!
You should definitely visit Katrina's Pugly Pixel blog and Kirsty's Giggly Cupcake blog - they're very fun to read. :)
To Katrina, Kirsty, and everyone who has been so supportive of my art: thank you! You make this process so much fun.

Monday, January 4, 2010

snow paintings

Some pictures from yesterday:
These were some car tracks - the different shades of dirt streaked through the compressed snow made it look like a painting. I loooove the texture of the snow on the sidewalks. It looks like something that I haven't put my finger on yet. It also looks like gessoed masonite when I add layers to places that haven't dried yet. If you got snow, I hope you enjoyed it! Happy Monday, everyone. :) xoxo

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Ursa Major: Stella the Astronomer Paper Doll

A new paper doll in the shop: Stella the astronomer. 
Stella is a model in late 1920s France. She is known for posing in celestial settings, black and white, crisp moon and wooden stars. Opera set night skies. Posing in these sets increased her passion for what lives in a dark sky, and she took up an amateur pursuit of astronomy. She's tattooed with the constellations. Her favorite, Ursa Major (great bear), is splayed across her chest.
We're supposed to get lots of snow tomorrow! I'm excited. Thanks for all the new years comments, everyone - it was so nice to hear from those of you who have been busy this past school semester!! 
Have a wonderful end to your weekends.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

a library of sketchbooks

Hello everyone, happy new years!!!! I hope you all had wonderful and safe new year's eves. 
Tonight I finished my sketchbook for Art House Co-op's Sketchbook Project. 
(pg. 37 & 38)
I use the term "finished" loosely because there are some blank pages in the back of this sketchbook. I had so many other things going on that I didn't spend enough time on this. I did keep drawing in my own personal sketchbook, so I really have no excuse!
Anyway, this year, after the sketchbooks go on tour, they are living in a permanent library of sketchbooks, which I think is so neat! (maybe subconsciously I didn't try too hard because I knew I wouldn't want to give up a sketchbook I loved tremendously?)
I love how the inside covers of the sketchbooks have the little pockets for library cards!
So tomorrow I'm mailing it off.
I hope you all had excellent new years!