Ink Well : Studio Images

This painting is 28" x 38". More images can be found on my Pinterest Board for this painting. 

The phases of the Pokeweed plant. It starts with the delicate white flowers, transitions into the green pods and then to the rich, dark berries. Native Americans used to use this North American plant for inks.

The phases of the Pokeweed plant. It starts with the delicate white flowers, transitions into the green pods and then to the rich, dark berries. Native Americans used to use this North American plant for inks.

The sketch to scale, then I use carbon paper to transfer it to the panel.

The sketch to scale, then I use carbon paper to transfer it to the panel.

Starting with a wash of magenta, or more specifically, Liquitex Quinacridone. 

Starting with a wash of magenta, or more specifically, Liquitex Quinacridone. 

The muses for this piece, sisters Hayden and Paige. Photographed in my backyard with the other muse for this piece, Pokeweed. 

The muses for this piece, sisters Hayden and Paige. Photographed in my backyard with the other muse for this piece, Pokeweed. 

Starting work on Paige. My thoughts with her character is that she represents the past. She is connected to the white flower phase of the Pokeweed plant, so I want to try to make her as light and white as possible. 

Starting work on Paige. My thoughts with her character is that she represents the past. She is connected to the white flower phase of the Pokeweed plant, so I want to try to make her as light and white as possible. 

Getting the details in her face. This is a still from the time lapse video I am creating while working on this painting. 

Getting the details in her face. This is a still from the time lapse video I am creating while working on this painting. 

The first bits of color, the Cheshire Cat returns...but not for long. 

The first bits of color, the Cheshire Cat returns...but not for long. 

Beginning Hayden's face. She represents the future and she will be bold, inspired by the final phases of the Pokeweed. 

Beginning Hayden's face. She represents the future and she will be bold, inspired by the final phases of the Pokeweed. 

I just did not like how the cat was sitting in this space. I knew it from the sketch, but I just kept telling myself to keep with it. He may return in a different location. 

I just did not like how the cat was sitting in this space. I knew it from the sketch, but I just kept telling myself to keep with it. He may return in a different location. 

Getting playful with the background. I want this piece to be a mix of what I have learned from working on the Wasp in a Wig and Identification Series. Tightly detailed, yet loose and playful. 

Getting playful with the background. I want this piece to be a mix of what I have learned from working on the Wasp in a Wig and Identification Series. Tightly detailed, yet loose and playful. 

Boo assists with the tracing paper for a second cat. 

Boo assists with the tracing paper for a second cat. 

A short-lived attempt at a second cat. I got a nice little time lapse video from this, but the cat is in the trash. 

A short-lived attempt at a second cat. I got a nice little time lapse video from this, but the cat is in the trash. 

The cat is replaced by a hybrid Bonsai/Pokeweed tree. 

The cat is replaced by a hybrid Bonsai/Pokeweed tree. 

My supervisor keeps me on task. Not 100% on her face. Changes to come. 

My supervisor keeps me on task. Not 100% on her face. Changes to come. 

Starting to develop her new face and hairstyle. 

PLEASE HELP - Mystery Build People's Choice Award

VOTE HERE! No accounts to sign up for or emails to give out! 

This is my second year submitting to the Mystery Build competition. My first year, the theme was Reinvent A Work of Art and thanks to people like you, I won the People's Choice Award by over 2,000 votes! With this year's theme, Build A Dream, I really kicked my submission up several levels! First, I increased the scale and created gears with moving elements and then I documented the entire process in video format. My hopes are that I inspire enough people to vote for me again as well as catch the eye of the jurors with my unique concept and use of materials! Voting is open until November 20th, and you can vote everyday! Thank you so much! 

VOTE HERE! No accounts to sign up for or emails to give out! 

Library Proposal Explained

(October 17, 2014) – The Dayton Metro Library has selected proposals from several artists to create original art installations for the Main Library, the new Northwest Branch Library, and the Miami Township Branch Library. Eventually, each new or newly-remodeled Dayton Metro Library location will have an original art installation resulting from ReImagining Works, a collaboration between the Library and The Dayton Art Institute.

• Before this submission, I had never prepared a formal proposal, and my first drafts looked like a high school term paper! Jane Black, Associate Director for The Dayton Art Institute, and coordinator for this project, encouraged the artists to share this opportunity with others, and it is out of respect for her that I share my library proposal so that others may learn from it for future submissions.

•Initial sketches, examining the inspiration piece and pulling out elements that I found interesting. 

• After deciding on a concept, I began working on scale version on grid paper for my proposal. 

• The proposal cover. I was able to use a template for Proposals in the Pages word processing program that was easy to edit for my specific needs. The cover shows the paintings to scale in the location and summarizes the project being proposed. 

• The Project Summary explains my concept and shows my inspirations from the DAI and the mission statement. 

• The most enjoyable section to create was finding ways to incorporate and combine the former Fairview High School elements and the DAI inspiration piece. My border design was meant to accomplish this as well as unify the two paintings in the diptych. 

• The proposed left panel showed a family returning from the market wearing clothing inspired by the costume. 

• The right panel showed the family represented as elephants. The library selection panel decided that instead of my proposed diptych, they would prefer a single painting and instead of installing it in the Adult Quiet Area, it would go in a more central location of the Northwest Branch. Since the piece will no longer be a diptych, I am planning to change the layout to a stronger, more centralized composition. 

• The materials page explained the HOWS of the project. One of my main concerns was making the piece durable enough for heavy traffic and avoid situations where the piece could be punctured or slashed. Not that I anticipate this occurring, but I wanted to plan for the accidental possibilities. 

• Since I do not know if the numbers will be made public, I edited my Budget page, but left the information so you could see what I took into consideration when coming up with the final numbers. Since I have not completed a project like this before, I really have no way of knowing whether I over or underestimated my work hours for the proposed diptych. 

• The Call for Artists requested that you show up to nine examples of your work. I selected pieces that I felt had the vibe I would be going for with the library piece, as well as show my versatility and skill set. 

• A main concern was that my proposed large scale paintings were so different from my smaller example pieces. So in my bio section I wanted to emphasize my mural work and show that I was not intimidated by the larger scale.

• The requested resume. Do not let a slim artist resume deter you from submitting for a project like this one. There are plenty of ways you can demonstrate that you are capable and will complete the project in a professional manner. 

I plan to document the progress of this project and create a time lapse video, so if you would like to keep up with it, the best thing to do is sign up for my Newsletter! 

•UPDATE: Here is my redesign for the single 6x6' painting. As you can see, the elephants are a more centralized element and I removed several components to simplify the composition. 

Dark Summer for Warped Wing Brewery

Just as every artwork can not be a masterpiece, the same goes for every brewed creation. This was a design I did for Warped Wing Brewery for a beer that retired prematurely this past summer. Before it left the building, we were able to get our hands on a growler of it to use as a marinade on some beef and tofu…YUM!

Line sketch and the beginnings with some ink. The image was inspired by the small, orchid-like flowers on Rosemary plants.

Line sketch and the beginnings with some ink. The image was inspired by the small, orchid-like flowers on Rosemary plants.

Basic inking complete, going back to enhance the lines and give them more substance.

Basic inking complete, going back to enhance the lines and give them more substance.

Inking complete.

Inking complete.

The image was colored using acrylics thinned with water.

The image was colored using acrylics thinned with water.

The final design, enhanced on the computer.

The final design, enhanced on the computer.

Returning to Abandoned Paintings

Back in 2007, I started a painting called Santiago. It was a playful piece inspired by the name my husband selected for his identity in our Spanish class, mine was Margarita. I put a lot of time into this painting, and even "finished" it, posting the completed work on my site...

While cleaning out my storage bins, Santiago called out to me from beneath the protective covering, so I removed him and shuttered at the monstrosity before me. Lifeless eyes, muted values, and what the *$%# did I do to the cat?

At some point, I had decided that the interior of a pirate ship would be darker and he needed to be more menacing. What I succeeded in doing was destroying the piece. So now he sits on my easel, begging the question, "Do I toss it or try to fix it?"

Normally I would say screw it, remove the soiled canvas and start fresh. Why does this one cause me to pause? Is it the perceived value in the time to which I have already committed? My guess would be the emotional connection to the piece, because it is representing my husband and our cat, Ti. A decision has been made and the piece will NOT return to storage. Pull the plug or resuscitate, matey!

For further reading on the subject, Ann Landi wrote and article for ARTnews that asks the question, When is an artwork finished?

Here are studio shots from the original painting process...

Paranormals Pouches

Much of my days are now spent transforming my artwork into functional accessories. These pouches, hand-sewn by me, are a labor of love. Here I am able to take recent artwork or paintings that found a home long ago, and create something new and exciting! I have so many designs that I want to make from existing paintings, as well as so many ideas for new paintings that can eventually become a Paranormals Pouch! After the painting has been photographed, I manipulate the digital files on the computer. Pixelmator has a filter called Kaleidoscope and it what I use to create the back panels. Here you can see the process in this video...

Once the digital files are finished, I assemble them in a 36"x58" (150dpi) file and upload it to Spoonflower.

I prefer the Heavy Cotton Twill, which is a sturdy 100% cotton twill with an optic white finish. Appropriate for home decorating including drapery, table linens and some upholstery projects, banners, tote bags, pants, coats and jackets.

I prefer the Heavy Cotton Twill, which is a sturdy 100% cotton twill with an optic white finish. Appropriate for home decorating including drapery, table linens and some upholstery projects, banners, tote bags, pants, coats and jackets.

Once the fabric arrives, usually 2 weeks later, I cut the sections apart with a rotary blade cutter.

Once the fabric arrives, usually 2 weeks later, I cut the sections apart with a rotary blade cutter.

The next stage is coordinating the zippers, which I get from the lovely ladies at Sew Dayton, and fabric for the inner lining. As a thrift store junky, I am able to find lots of amazing fabrics that I bring home, wash and upcycle into their new form.

The next stage is coordinating the zippers, which I get from the lovely ladies at Sew Dayton, and fabric for the inner lining. As a thrift store junky, I am able to find lots of amazing fabrics that I bring home, wash and upcycle into their new form.

I work like an assembly line, doing all of the pinning, sewing and ironing at one time.

I work like an assembly line, doing all of the pinning, sewing and ironing at one time.

Then I sew. It is very exhausting, but I have lots of help...NOT!

Then I sew. It is very exhausting, but I have lots of help...NOT!

Here is the small, coin-purse style pouch made from my painting, Fumage, which was created as a part of my Wasp in a Wig Series of paintings inspired by the Alice books by Lewis Carroll.

Here is the small, coin-purse style pouch made from my painting, Fumage, which was created as a part of my Wasp in a Wig Series of paintings inspired by the Alice books by Lewis Carroll.

Even similar pouches can have different personalities depending on the zipper/fabric combos.

Even similar pouches can have different personalities depending on the zipper/fabric combos.

Here is the large make-up bag style pouch, for all your personal grooming needs!

Here is the large make-up bag style pouch, for all your personal grooming needs!

I plan to eventually sell these on my website and at art festivals. Currently, I am trying to keep up with the incoming orders (a nice problem to have!), so I am also working on displays and ways to sell them once I get enough made. Here is an old suitcase I found at a flea market in Michigan.

I plan to eventually sell these on my website and at art festivals. Currently, I am trying to keep up with the incoming orders (a nice problem to have!), so I am also working on displays and ways to sell them once I get enough made. Here is an old suitcase I found at a flea market in Michigan.

Now transformed with paint and black velvet into a lovely display case for my small pouches.

Now transformed with paint and black velvet into a lovely display case for my small pouches.

Interested in picking up a Paranormals Pouch? Send me an email! Be sure to sign up for my Announcement List for updates on pouches and the new website!

The Mattress Factory Installation

The Mattress Factory Art Museum, located in Pittsburgh, PA, is currently offering 1/2 price admission, with the new exhibit opening September 13, 2014. My favorite part of the experience was not in the main portion of the museum, but rather a satallite location down the alley way. This installation of objects and yarn took up the entire three-story house and was completely captivating! It began as a simple line, beckoning you follow. That line multiplied into layers and layers of intersecting shapes, some of which engulfed objects that suggested transition or transformation. CHIHARU SHIOTA: TRACE OF MEMORY

Gypsy Queen for Warped Wing Brewery

This was my design for the Gypsy Queen Ancho Chili Beer by Warped Wing Brewery.

Many thanks to my friend Mary, owner of Clash Dayton, for being an amazing muse!

Many thanks to my friend Mary, owner of Clash Dayton, for being an amazing muse!

A rough start.

A rough start.

A few additions to the scene.

A few additions to the scene.

With a few changes, I was finally able to get the image the way I wanted it.

With a few changes, I was finally able to get the image the way I wanted it.

After approval, I inked the drawing.

After approval, I inked the drawing.

Originally, I intended to color the piece with acrylics.

Originally, I intended to color the piece with acrylics.

I was not pleased with how the skin looked, so I decided to color her digitally, using the line work I photographed before painting.

I was not pleased with how the skin looked, so I decided to color her digitally, using the line work I photographed before painting.

I submitted this design and it was discussed that this was a smokey beer, so they wanted more of a night scene with a campfire.

I submitted this design and it was discussed that this was a smokey beer, so they wanted more of a night scene with a campfire.

The finished design!

The finished design!

Pittsburgh Adventures : Toonseum

When Universes Collide! The Ultimate Superhero Smackdown! An Exhibit of Original Artwork Spanning 70 Years!ToonSeum Pittsburgh, PA July 23 - September 20, 2014

When you enter the ToonSeum it looks like a small comic shop, but around every corner is a thoughtful and playful tribute to the comic arts.

The museum is divided into two main spaces, one for the main exhibit and a multi-media experience center with activities and costumes, so it is great for kids of all ages (like me!).

The museum is divided into two main spaces, one for the main exhibit and a multi-media experience center with activities and costumes, so it is great for kids of all ages (like me!).

The hallway that connects the galleries also housed an exhibit of pixelated super heros in the Artist Trading Card format.

The hallway that connects the galleries also housed an exhibit of pixelated super heros in the Artist Trading Card format.

I am a sucker for a behind-the-scenes experience and I loved seeing the original comics with their errors and changes.

I am a sucker for a behind-the-scenes experience and I loved seeing the original comics with their errors and changes.

The main exhibit was a playful "battle" between superheros, and the debate was expressed in words and visuals.

The main exhibit was a playful "battle" between superheros, and the debate was expressed in words and visuals.