Thursday, January 31, 2013

ATCs: Magazine Clipping Poetry

     I was getting rid of some old art magazines when I decided to make some more cards in the vein of Junk Mail Poetry.  To start, I took an illustration board artist trading card and applied some fluid acrylic with a palette knife.  Then, with a rubber stamp, I applied the dot pattern (also with paint.)  Once that was dry, I added a bit of tissue paper and the text with gel medium.  Finally, I added a little more texture with the swirly designs and an ink pad.
     Making art this size is a great way to experiment before committing to a larger format.  Artist trading cards are only 2 1/2 by 3 1/2 inches; they are fun to exchange and make unique business cards.  They can also be sold as miniature masterpieces in which case they are called ACEOs: Art Card Editions and Originals.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Work In Progress: Unnamed Celtic Hound

     Greetings, all!  And a special welcome to my two new friends (you guys rock.)  One good thing about having some time off, is having more art time.  During the busy seasons, paintings and other projects got pushed aside and put on the back burner.  Since just before Christmas, I gotten about three more paintings done in this series I'm working on which is inspired by animal illustrations from the Book of Kells.
      Today, I finished one and started another.  Here's a little preview for you of a work in progress.  As far as I know, this is my first experience with Gessobord so we'll see how this works out.  Most of of these have been done on canvas and I've been unhappy with how poorly they've translated to digital.  To prevent glare from a camera flash, I've been scanning them and the texture becomes too prominent for my liking.  If anybody knows how to properly photograph or scan paintings, I'd sure appreciate some tips.  Anyway, I hope you like how this one turns out.  Check out the others at  Have a great day!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Monday, January 21, 2013

Junk Mail Poetry: Free Verse

I felt I should post something today.  I wasn't sure what to do at first so I grabbed some leftovers from my first set of cards and some tidbits from my collage box and this is what I came up with.  I'm not sure what it means, but it was fun.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Table Top Art: Wet Nap

I drew this quick sketch on a dried wet napkin while watching hockey at my favorite sports bar.  (Let's go Pens!)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Junk Mail Poetry Vol. 1

     So how much junk mail do you get each day?  How many credit card offers, catalogs, and magazine subscription deals?  If you're like most people, these things get deposited directly in the trash. I have another option for you: turn that junk into poetry.  I got a couple offers lately, actually opened them, and made Junk Mail Poetry.  You could use any type of poetry for this.  I like haiku, myself, for its simplicity and structure.  If you don't know what haiku is, it's a form of Japanese poetry.  Traditionally, it's a quite a bit different than what I've done here, but that's another story.  For these, I was inspired by the pseudo- haiku style in which there are five syllables in the first and third lines and seven in the second. I took some artist trading card papers and made some mini collages with some leftover scrapbooking materials, paint, and ink.  Then, I took some text from that junk mail I got and added it the cards.  Enjoy.  Remember, it you do any yourself, be sure to let me know!  I like to see other people's takes on my ideas.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Adventures of a School Photographer: When Photographers Get Bored

I drew this portrait of a coworker with a permanent marker on my water bottle during a long break.

The three of us collaborated for this masterpiece on one of our card envelopes.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Smartphone Fingerpainting: I-79

      This winter I finally succumbed and joined the world of smartphones.  It was hard to resist, Instagram looked like so much fun and I could have Pandora for all those long drives I mentioned.  Yesterday, our shoot was about an hour and forty-five minutes from our studio and, cruising down the interstates, I could do one of my favorite things: make art and listen to music.  It's a little crude, but here's my "fingerpainting" via a painting app called "Picasso."  It shows a lovely snowy stretch of I-79.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Draw with That: Toothpick Self Portrait

     In college, I had this one studio drawing professor and every so often we would have a day where we went out in search of unconventional drawing materials.  Students would return with twigs, shaving cream, and so many other random things and we would spend the class drawing with them.  Ever since, I've looked at just about everything as a potential drawing instrument.
     As it were, the other day I was teaching Sunday school and was attempting to teach some kindergardeners how to make a nativity ornament using toothpicks for the stable (a craft idea I found online.)  Anyway, with a fair amount of dollar store toothpicks, I decided to present the first of what I hope to be an ongoing series in the form of a miniature self-portrait drawn entirely with a toothpick with India ink.  Enjoy.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Adventures of a School Photographer: Fall Sketches

     As a photographer who takes school portraits, I travel quite a bit.  It requires a lot of early mornings, long car rides, and heavy lifting.  Some days are sheer insanity with not even a chance to breathe and others crawl by at a snail's pace with sittings few and far between.  When there's a lag and nothing to do but wait, I'm known to get out my little sketchbook and do a bit of doodling.  Here's a couple examples from this past fall.
     The beautiful thing about sketching is it can be done just about everywhere.  I have several books stashed in different places ready to use whenever I have some time on my hands: in the car, in my work bag, in my purse, and at home.  While photography definitely requires the ability to "see," drawing really forces you to notice every detail.  If you don't see it, you can't draw it.  (Well, you could, but that's a whole other kind of art.)
     If you are a sketcher and you want to be a part of something pretty cool, check out The Sketchbook Project at  Basically, you fill out a sketchbook that  becomes part of a kind of sketchbook library where people from all over the country can check them out .  Pretty cool.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Table Top Art: St. Catharine's Bluebird

     Hello, everyone and welcome to 2013.  I just completed my first 365 project (well, 366 with 2012 being a leap year) and I'd like to think it was a success.  Everyday I made something with the words "Love One Another" and posted the images to this blog.  If you were a regular viewer, I really appreciate it and hope you got something from it.  I met some other cool artists doing their own yearlong projects and it was nice to comment on each other's blogs and influence each other, too.  Now, my aim is to go back to the original purpose of this blog and share creative ideas and document some of my artistic adventures in hopes of fostering creativity in others, sharing the Good News, and providing you with some eye candy if nothing else.
     It's hard to know exactly where to begin with things like this, so I decided to just jump back in.  Yesterday, on New Year's Eve, I found myself on a bus trip to St. Catharine's, Ontario to see the Erie Otters Hockey Club take on the Niagara Ice Dogs.  On the way there, we stopped at a restaurant in town with tables covered in paper and a little cup of crayons.  If that doesn't say "draw here," then I don't know what does.  Hopefully, my little bluebird here brightens someones day.

P.S. I'd also like to thank Tasha at My Cute Lobster Designs for designing my new blog banner.  She was very awesome to work with, was quick to reply and make changes, and very affordable, too!  I highly recommend her.  Check out her shop at