Friday, December 18, 2009

Atomic Holiday Bazaar

Sunday was the Atomic Holiday Bazaar and, as usual, it was heaps of fun. I didn't do quite the business that I did two years ago, but economic times are different, of course, and all us crafters noticed that it was a bit less busy than before. I got lots of positive response to my work, though, which is more than half the fun. People seemed especially fond of my pooping balloon dog, and that was the card design that I sold the most copies of.

I shared a table with Nelani, who runs the Dr. Awkward Store on etsy, and we had a great time watching the DJ dance the whole time he was mixing the music. Dude really loves his job! What was funny was that we both thought it finished at 5, when in fact it was done at 6, so at 5:15 we were wondering why noone was breaking down their booth. Duh!

I was good and only bought one thing there, though there were so many amazing artists it was hard to not spend all my cash before the doors even opened. I don't know where I'll be next year at this time, but if I'm in Sarasota I definitely want to do it again.

There was a photog running around snapping shots, so hopefully I'll have some pictures to share soon.

Now, back to bed, as I had so much fun I decided to celebrate by getting sick soon after.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Little Nerd

Little Nerd
first drawn in 2004

I've painted and drawn this little guy a number of times, as he has proven quite popular. I guess I know a lot of nerds. His part is severe, he thinks his digital watch is pretty cool, he buttons his shirt all the way up. Shy, but not antisocial, his quiet intellect and sensitivity will only be appreciated later, long after he's gotten too big to stuff in lockers.

packing it in

Mark has taken a great job opportunity in Washington, D.C. which means, for the second time in my life, I'm packing up and preparing to leave my hometown of Sarasota, Florida for an as yet unknown period. The first time was when I went to Japan just after college, and I knew I'd be gone for at least a year, longer if I stayed on in my ALT job (which I did for another year) or got hitched to a Japanese bloke (which, obviously, I did not, though not for want of trying).

Now, it's off to D.C. and whatever adventures ensue. I'm not sure what I'll be doing up there, though I have vague plans. I'll be acting as hostess for any visiting friends, for one thing. There is a camouflage makeup course up there that sounds intriguing. I'll also continue painting and, ideally, I would like to turn this into a more business type thing rather than just something I do here and there. No panic, though, I'll be able to get settled there first and tour myself around.

At the moment I'm focusing on just packing our stuff up, most of which is books. So many books, for a pair of bookworms!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

dearly departed

Last week, dear Aja, mentioned in the previous entry, shuffled off to Buffalo. He was nearly 13 and had a pretty good life for a dog: all the laundry he could ever want to sit on, all the carrots he wanted to eat, a nice shell driveway to scratch his butt on, and the adoration of several otherwise reasonable adult humans. No other dog touched me the way Aja did, and he will be deeply missed. My mom and brother buried him under my apartment window (some of the last soft soil left on our oak tree-addled property), so I can say Good Morning and Good Night to him every day. Thank you for visiting, beloved Aja.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

terriers everywhere

One of my primary artistic muses, if I may use so highfalutin' a term, has been my mom's old Brussels Griffon Terrier, Aja, who we inherited from one of her friends who passed away. I really need to get a good picture of him, as he must be seen to be believed. He's about 12 years old and has lost most of his hair. He shambles around in the most outrageous bowlegged stance, front legs akimbo like some overpumped bodybuilder. He likes to sleep on a pile of blankets in the closet like a gremlin. Aja once frightened a delivery man. We had let Aja out to do his business and he was sitting hunched over in the driveway when the truck pulled up and my mom went out to collect Aja. Afterwards, the man driving the truck told my sister-in-law that when he drove up he saw something in the driveway, but he didn't know what it was. He said it looked kind of like a dog, but not quite, and he was in fact a bit scared to get out of the truck. This story amuses me to no end.

This makes Aja a wonderful source of inspiration for my strange little creatures. Odds are if something has a humorous underbite and/or big buggy eyes, it's based on Aja. He's pugnacious and stubborn, though not mean, and long after he passes he'll live on in my paintings and doodles.

This weekend I'm storing up some new inspiration as I dogsit for a friend. She has a pair of Scottish Terriers, Mae and Prima. Hanging around with them is like living with a pair of scampering mops, which I mean in the best possible way. I love to watch them scurry after their toys on their impossibly short legs, legs nearly hidden under their ruffles of fur so the girls seem to be propelled by something other than dog feet. Perhaps a dozen clawed feet like The Luggage in the Discworld novels. Their shaggy eyebrows make their faces incredibly expressive and give them a certain wise air. I foresee a number of new creatures springing from this visit.

I love terriers in general, and even the ones I don't find very appealing (like Bull Terriers, ew) can still lead to interesting creature designs. It's terriers everywhere! Ahhh!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Gettin' crackin'!

Oh boy! I'll have a table set up at the Atomic Holiday Bazaar in Sarasota, FL on Sunday December 13th! However, this means that I need to get crackin' on more paintings to sell. In a few days I'll be taking down the work that's at Fruitville Library. Some of that will be for sale at Atomic, but since I want to hang on to some originals I'll be painting some extra versions of the popular ones so that many different people can have the chance to take home the one they want.

Now, off to go finish the baby sea monster I'm working on!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Secret, Wonderful (2008)

Secret, Wonderful

All little girls are secret and wonderful. I know I was, and am. You go to school, you do what you're supposed to, but alone in your room you have secret powers and wonderful adventures.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Art After Hours

Last Friday night was the Art After Hours opening at the Fruitville Library. My work is on display there, along with several other artists', until early October. I was aproached by Heather, who works in the youth department there and who is quite a fan of my work, to participate. Of course I said yes! This was the first time I was asked to participate in a show, and the opening was a success. We had over 70 people come through that night which, given the small scale of the event and the fact that it was on a Friday night at the library, was quite impressive. A number of my local friends as well as my family were there, and it really meant a lot to me to have so many come to look my funny little pictures. Thank you to everyone who came!

The Lonesome Diver (2007)

The Lonesome Diver
The Lonesome Diver dives to escape the solitude of the shore, but is only reminded further of it below the waves. The Lonesome Diver wonders, "If jellyfish can have so many friends, why can't I?" This is one of my favorite little scenes: whimsical, cute, and a bit sad.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

La Di Da

Last Saturday was the Square One group show La Di Da at the Ritz Ybor in Tampa, FL. What a blast! So many people, and so many of them dressed up in the show's circus/fantasy theme, including me in my blue and white circus dress. I had a spot in a nice little corner that got plenty of foot traffic but was roomy enough that I didn't get a claustrophia attack. I got lots of positive feedback on my work, many people laughing and pointing and thanking me for making such fun little paintings. I also met several way cool artists.

There's my friend Daniel, who I met at last year's show. His work can be seen at

Then there's Nel, who I met at the meet and greet a couple days before the show. Her stuff is just so cool in a very Pee Wee's Playhouse kind of way. Check out her blog and her etsy shop:

And finally Virginia, who had the spot next to mine and with whom I had a pleasant time chatting during the show. She fell in love with my Little Nerd, and se we did a print swap at the end of the show: I got one of her lovely and creepy young ladies, she got the Nerd, everyone was happy! Her myspace can be seen at

There's another show in November and, Lord willing, I'll be doing that one, too. They're not always very lucrative, but the feedback and reactions I get are always well worth it!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Aja Rampant (2008)

Aja Rampant

Loosely based on my mom's elderly Brussels Griffon, Aja. At his advanced age, the real Aja has much less hair, but is still just as insouciant.

Baby Nessie (2008)

Baby Nessie

Lil Nessie as a wee baby. Aww!

Tentacle Boy (2007)

Tentacle Boy

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Lil Nessie (2007)

Lil Nessie
acrylic on cardboard

He's a cryptozoological cutie!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Axlotl (2008)

8" x 9"
acrylic on cardboard

That's a whole lotl axlotl!

Manga wa Fight-o! (2007)

Manga wa Fight-o!
10 1/2" x 9"
acrylic on cardboard

Melusine (2007)

8 1/2"x12"
acrylic on cardboard

Friday, March 27, 2009

Jelly Fission (2005)

"Jelly Fission"
acrylic on cardboard

Jelly Fission, the painting that started it all. I painted this little buck-toothed jellyfish and my current style burst forth in one afternoon. Before this I had labored trying to create photo-realistic depictions of the weird doodles I had made, but now the cute creature style I had absorbed from my time in Japan at last found form. What a relief!

The Good Dogs (2008)

"The Good Dogs"
acrylic on cardboard

The Good Dogs, created as fearsome guardians for children. They charge in with bared teeth and crackling fur to bear away the offenders, none know where to. Summon only when absolutely certain.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Love Monster

"Love Monster"
acrylic on cardboard

Several years ago, while living in Japan, I saw a young man selling paintings on the streets of Shibuya. I only caught a glimpse of them as I was swept along by the advancing crowd, but they were colorful little pictures with what appeared to be text accompanying them. What was most striking was the fact that they were done on cardboard, as the brown background really brought out the colors of the characters and lent a wonderful, unfussy quality to the works.

I meant to go back and perhaps buy one of his paintings, but didn't have a chance to make it back that day and never saw him in the spot again.

When I came back to America, I was casting about for something artistic to do and driving myself nuts trying to find an appropriate medium to and style to work in. The memory of the cardboard paintings came back, and within a very short time I had given myself over to painting on found pieces of the stuff the simple, colorful and somewhat stylized creatures that had been forming in my brain for some time.

The wee beasties were given even richer sustenance by my aforementioned time spent in Japan absorbing the color and design of the country, as well as the delightful melding of the cute with the slightly unwholesome.

The first I've posted here is Love Monster. This creature dates from 2007 and is one of my favorites. I imagine that Love Monster could be either the name of this particular being, or perhaps the melancholy, grammatically incomplete plea it makes to you as it hands you a disintegrating flower: "Love monster!"