Wednesday, November 18, 2009

New Drawing

For the first time in a month and a half (ouch!) I picked up my colored pencils and went to work. This is another drawing based on an image from the latest J. Crew catalog, which, as always, I am in love with. I drew the above image in about 30 minutes, but I think it looks like I spent more time on it than that, so I'm happy with it.

Materials: Prismacolor pencils, 11x14 Windpower Vellum Bristol Board

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Rural Shelby County

I spent about four hours today, driving back roads in Shelby County. I mostly focused on roads between Chelsea and Columbia. I found all manner of interesting things: abandoned farmhouses, an old cemetery, empty motels, and gas stations that clearly haven't been used in years. It was a LOT of fun, and I took about a million pictures.

Since I decided to get a Pro Flickr account, you can veiw all of my favorites here.


Sunday, November 8, 2009

More Photos!

Spent a few hours this weekend taking advantage of more beautiful weather at the Botanical Gardens and around Birmingham. My Flickr page has been updated!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Birmingham and Urban Decay

I am starting a new series of Urban Decay photographs. Yesterday I wandered around downtown Birmingham, camera in hand, to document some relics of the past. I found a treasure trove worth of old signs, deserted department stores, and boarded up buildings. I find a lot of beauty in these old, forgotten places, and when I look at them, I wonder what they must have been like in their heyday. I've updated my Flickr page with a ton of photos I took. I hope to go out again soon and take more photographs around Birmingham, as well as around the state.

Oak Hill Cemetery Pictures

This past Saturday (Halloween), a friend and I went on a guided tour of Oak Hill Cemetery, one of Birmingham's oldest and most historic cemeteries. I had a blast. People were dressed up as "residents," and they told us about their lives and what they had accomplished while they were alive. I have updated my Flickr page with more of these photos.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Old Baker Farm Photos

My Flickr page has been updated again with new pictures from this past weekend. My coworker and I went to Old Baker Farm in Harpersville, Alabama over the weekend to attend their Fall Festival. It was fantastic! They had Civil War reenactments, old-timey shootouts, a hay ride, pumpkin patch, Native American Dancing, and arts and crafts. The weather was absolutely perfect: crystal clear blue skies and a high of around 70.

I ended up taking around 600 photos. I went through them all last night and deleted 400 of them, leaving me with 204 shots that I felt were worthy of keeping. I am fairly ruthless and relentless when it comes to my photo editing. I only want to keep pictures that mean something to me or that I think convey a certain spirit or feel. As far as editing them in Photoshop, I mostly stick to cropping and bumping up the color or correcting the color if I can. Nothing too major; just trying to recapture what I saw in person. Hopefully I will be able to get a killer DSLR soon which will open up lots more possibilities for me. I have a film SLR (a Nikon FM10, but I definitely want to invest in a digital SLR camera. Right now I'm using my trusty Panasonic FZ20 and Panasonic TZ5. I'm saving the Holga for other things at the moment.

I've provided a taste of my pictures above; please go to the Flickr page to see more! If we're friends on Facebook, you can see nearly 100 photos from this glorious day.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Flickr Updated!

I've updated my Flickr account with some new photos (an example of which is above), and I would love for you to click here to check them out! Last weekend I went to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens and took some of the best photos of my entire life with my little Panasonic TZ5 point-and-shoot. That small camera is an absolute marvel!

To be honest, I'm really doing a lot of thinking and ruminating over my photography. I've been using my Holga like mad (still waiting on my photos to come back from the lab) and I really want to do a series of the backroads of Alabama photos. I want to explore places one wouldn't usually see, and try to capture something about the place. I'm very, very excited at the possibilities, and I'm looking into investing in a DSLR by the end of the year. I also have a trip planned for New England over the Thanksgiving holiday and I hope to come away with some amazing images from there as well. Hopefully this is the start of me getting back into photography with a serious passion!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

More Sketching

Another sketch from the new J. Crew catalog. Nothing much to say about this one, other than I'm super proud of that hand!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Quick Sketch

Drew the above last night fairly quickly. It was nice to get the colored pencils out again. The image is from the new J. Crew catalog, which I am presently lusting after.

Materials: 9 x 12 inch pastel paper, Prismacolor colored pencils

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Blast from the Past

I went through some of my old sketchbooks this morning, looking for a drawing that I seem to have misplaced, when I came across these studies that I drew several years ago. I'm quite proud of them. Both were done in pen and ink (with a nice wash in the case of the nude studies). I think that it's important to look back to where you've been to see where you're going, so I figured I would share these with my readers.

Nancy Drew

Anyone who knows anything about me knows that I love Nancy Drew, to the point of obsession. I have all of the old, yellow-spine books (including two original first prints!), as well as the blue-spine reprints from Applewood. I have a Nancy Drew address book, a Nancy Drew cookbook, a biography about the creators of Nancy Drew; you name it, I have it (or I will soon). I could not overestimate what these books mean to me; they take me back to my childhood, sitting on the porch in summertime, the sun beating down upon my skin, and nothing more to do than read and have fun. I even made my own Nancy Drew paper dolls at one point, with outfits based on my favorite novels, and clues and settings also based on my favorite books. I guess I was feeling a bit nostalgic today, so I grabbed one of the books (#44, The Clue in the Crossword Cipher) and drew my own version of the cover, which was painted by Rudy Nappi. I had a lot of fun drawing this, and I may pull out some more books and give them a go as well!

Materials: 11 x 14 inch Windpower Vellum Bristol by Strathmore, colored pencils

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Holga Pictures

A short time ago I bought a Holga medium-format camera. I went to downtown Birmingham on a Saturday, when it is basically a ghost town, and took two rolls of film, with 12 pictures to a roll. I clearly messed up, because I only got four usable pictures, and one entire roll was destroyed because I didn't wind it back up tightly enough, meaning that all of the pictures on that roll were exposed to light. Still, I really do like these four photos, and it was nice to shoot film again, and to have to actually WAIT (for nearly two weeks!) to see what my pictures looked like. I ordered some more 120mm film from Adorama this week, so once it comes in, I hope to get back out there and do some more shooting.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Nude Woman # 1

It took me nearly a week, but I finally got around to this painting. It is based on a study I did last year. I'm really quite happy with it. I sketched out the image over a week ago and it pretty much just sat around on my desk until this week. I ordered a bunch of new colors from Dick Blick that came in this week, so I got to open fresh new tubes of acrylic and paint with brand new brushes. So much fun.

This painting is now up in the shop if you'd like to see more pictures of it.

Materials: 8 x 10 x 1 inch canvas panel, acrylic paint

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


By the time I finished the above painting yesterday, my fingers were absolutely cramped to the bone. The pain was worth it, though, as I'm very happy with the result. I think it's quiet and contemplative, and I'm pleased with how well the colors went together.

To see more pictures, or to purchase, please go to the shop! Update: SOLD!

Materials: 11 x 14 inch canvas, acrylic paint

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


I am SO HAPPY with the above painting. I apologize for not having a good, straight-on picture, but the weather has been icky so I haven't had any decent natural light. Plus, I'm too lazy to get my tripod out and work with my indoor lighting.

The above painting was painted on a gallery-wrapped canvas. I had this canvas for a while, but I was too afraid to use it because it cost more than the typical canvas. I've always had a strange issue with not wanting to "mess up" nice canvases and papers. I've been known to buy cute notebooks and never write in them, for fear of soiling their beauty. I am glad that I took a chance on this canvas, though, because I just love the outcome. I think she's so chic and put together, and I'm really very proud of the subtlety in the facial shadows and highlights.

Although I may eventually add this to the shop, I want to enjoy it for myself for now.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


The above painting was actually painted last weekend, but I'm just now getting around to posting about it and listing it in the shop. I wanted to do something really bold, and I definitely think I accomplished that.

Usually when I start a painting, I make a very rough under drawing. This time, I marked off all of my shadows and all of the highlights to hopefully make it a bit easier for me to figure out where I was going with my color scheme. I think that in some ways it made it easier, but in other ways, I got a bit more confused. (Not entirely sure how!) I'm not sure if I'll draw it out so much to begin with again, even though I am happy with how it turned out.

For more pictures, please check out my listing in the shop. Update: SOLD!

Materials: 9 x 12 gesso art board, acrylic paints

Sunday, July 19, 2009

New Etsy Listings

As promised in yesterday's post, I have the below collages up for sale in the shop. Follow the links for more pictures and pricing information.

In the Kitchen Update: SOLD!

Bird in Flight

Black-Throated Trogon

Graceful Birdie

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Gettin' Busy

I spent many hours today on the floor in my living room, surrounded by glue, paste, paper scraps, stickers, and all manner of collage materials. I had SO MUCH FUN making the collages you see above. It was a nice way to zone out and forget about Real Life for a few hours and focus on making something pretty. I hope to have these put up on Etsy for sale shortly. (You may remember the large bird from this post.

In the middle of making my collages, I remembered that I had a huge box of illustrations that my grandmother had cut out from catalogs when she was a little girl. I found them buried in my chest of drawers and pulled them out for the first time in ages. They are an absolute TREASURE TROVE of 30s and 40s fashion, and I used one of the cut outs in the collage you see on the upper right. It's kind of a kitchen-themed collage, as the woman in question is clearly washing a dish...what a good woman always does for her family, right? :) I hope to use many of these cut outs in my future collages and paintings. They are too good not to share.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Red-Eyed Tree Frog

In honor of my trip to Costa Rica last month, I decided to paint this Red-Eyed Tree Frog, who, yes, lives in Costa Rica. I'm really quite happy with how this turned out, and I very much enjoyed sitting down and painting it while listening to Top Chef Masters in the background. It was fun to use so many great colors and I like how the background has an unfinished look to it, even though it is absolutely COVERED in blue paint. I've never painted a frog before, and I think this was a pretty good first try!

Materials: 8x10 canvas panel, acrylic paints.

Update! Item is now available (with nicer pictures) in the shop!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

OMG, I did something creative!

Yes, for the first time since February, I picked up a paintbrush, sat down at my artist table, and painted. It felt good, although somewhat awkward since so much time has passed. I'm not crazy in love with the image, but it's a good start. The painting is actually of a stack of bangles, although I suppose it kind of looks like a layered cake as well. I painted the lower layer in acrylics, and then did the outlines and gemstones in puffy T-shirt paint, to give it a nice three-dimensional look. Maybe now I will be inspired to do more.

Materials: 8x10 canvas panel, acrylic paint, t-shirt paint.


I wonder
If you ever think of me
Late at night
When your eyes are a bright reflection
And your mind is cataloging
Your life.

You have hollowed me out,
Carved a hole in my chest
That still
Manages to ache.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Costa Rica Pics 5

Costa Rica Pics 4

Costa Rica Pics 3

Costa Rica Pics 2

(Because I can't figure out how to get more than five photos in one post.)

Costa Rica Pics 1