Seeking Shelter : Studio Images

The Preble County Art Association and the Victoria Theatre Association are presenting the upcoming invitational art exhibition, Bridges of Preble County. The show will be on display at the Schuster Performing Arts Center from March 15 - March 22, 2016, during the production of Bridges of Madison County. I am honored to be one of the selected artists participating in this exhibit.

Seeking Shelter measures 36" x 36" and begins with a birch panel as the base. Recently, I acquired some flight maps from my friend, Ari, and I cut those into 4" squares which will be applied to the panel like a quilt using gel medium. Upon this base of collaged elements, I will adhere a stylized drawing of a human/butterfly hybrid in front of a covered bridge inspired form. The figure is inspired by the amazing butterfly dress made by my friend, Tracy McElfesh, co-owner of Sew Dayton. I had been wanting to make a painting about the Monarch Butterfly and it's struggles to find food and habitat during migration and this seemed like the perfect time. Even though this year marks an upturn in the population, more than 90% of Monarch Butterflies have vanished in the last 25 years. A portion of the sale of this piece will go to the Monarch Wings Across Ohio project. 

A close-up of the maps. 

A close-up of the maps. 

Debating between a white or continuous green border. 

Debating between a white or continuous green border. 

Inspiration for shelter. A bridge located in Preble County. 

Inspiration for shelter. A bridge located in Preble County. 

Photo from shoot with Gwendolyn Vo in the butterfly dress by Tracy McElfesh. Read her blog POST about how she created it!

Photo from shoot with Gwendolyn Vo in the butterfly dress by Tracy McElfesh. Read her blog POST about how she created it!

Working on figure scale and posture with the drawing taped to the panel for stability. 

Working on figure scale and posture with the drawing taped to the panel for stability. 

Gluing the white border down with guide marks to keep it level. 

Gluing the white border down with guide marks to keep it level. 

Ari approves the use of his old flight maps.

Ari approves the use of his old flight maps.

Figure drawing adhered to the map surface. I have seen this technique used before, but I had not tried it on this scale piece. There is more texture than I am used to working with, but success!

Figure drawing adhered to the map surface. I have seen this technique used before, but I had not tried it on this scale piece. There is more texture than I am used to working with, but success!

Blocking in color on the wings and shelter. 

Blocking in color on the wings and shelter. 

I did not like how the bridge inspiration seemed to float awkwardly in the space, so I added some panels to extend the form to the border. 

I did not like how the bridge inspiration seemed to float awkwardly in the space, so I added some panels to extend the form to the border. 

Blocking in the color on the new shape. 

Blocking in the color on the new shape. 

Bringing in some dark tones with Thalo Teal and Naphthol Crimson. The number 13 is a reference to the Greeting Bridge shown earlier, which is labeled with "No. 13" and one of my favorite numbers is 13. I thought this would look better than "Greeting Bridge" or something similar. 

Bringing in some dark tones with Thalo Teal and Naphthol Crimson. The number 13 is a reference to the Greeting Bridge shown earlier, which is labeled with "No. 13" and one of my favorite numbers is 13. I thought this would look better than "Greeting Bridge" or something similar. 

Face blocked in. 

Face blocked in. 

Giving her some character and a better chin. 

Giving her some character and a better chin. 

Modeled her eyes after Monarch eyes. 

Modeled her eyes after Monarch eyes. 

Trimming the hoodie with some teal piping. 

Trimming the hoodie with some teal piping. 

A detail of the hands in progress and the maps. 

A detail of the hands in progress and the maps. 

Legs before....

Legs before....

And new sexy legs inspired by latex. 

And new sexy legs inspired by latex. 

Friday night wino painting with Tinsel supervising. 

Friday night wino painting with Tinsel supervising. 

Visually connecting the skirt to the hoodie style with some teal piping. Changing it up a bit from Tracy's original design to add a bit more color. 

Visually connecting the skirt to the hoodie style with some teal piping. Changing it up a bit from Tracy's original design to add a bit more color. 

One problem with this collage technique...If you need to make a change, you need to take drastic measures. I had to do this alteration on one of her ankles also. Scrap away the paper so there is not a hard edge, then cover with paint. 

One problem with this collage technique...If you need to make a change, you need to take drastic measures. I had to do this alteration on one of her ankles also. Scrap away the paper so there is not a hard edge, then cover with paint. 

Adding glazes of color to the map background to suggest turbulent skies and add some more depth. 

Adding glazes of color to the map background to suggest turbulent skies and add some more depth. 

Playing around with the idea of using map circles as rain drops, but I do not like the scale and I think they are distracting. Most likely will go with clear Pouring Medium instead for smaller, clear raindrops. 

Playing around with the idea of using map circles as rain drops, but I do not like the scale and I think they are distracting. Most likely will go with clear Pouring Medium instead for smaller, clear raindrops. 

Pouring Medium to the rescue! Rain drops drying. 

Pouring Medium to the rescue! Rain drops drying. 

Using a technique I learned from Wylie Beckert, explained in this post.   

Using a technique I learned from Wylie Beckert, explained in this post.   

New glaze, which was applied to soften the white and unify the two layers a bit better, is dry. Going over it with another layer of white. 

New glaze, which was applied to soften the white and unify the two layers a bit better, is dry. Going over it with another layer of white. 

New improved covered bridge. Some tweaks to the background and I think it may almost be done! 

New improved covered bridge. Some tweaks to the background and I think it may almost be done! 

That Naughty Pipe Coloring Book Sneak Peek

Are you ready for a little peek of the collaborative project I have been working on with my friend and local writer, Rob E. Boley? Boley, whom I interviewed in Episode 3 of Art Hops, has been mashing the genres of horror and fairy tales in his series, The Scary Tales. Now he has created an original mash-up story inspired by The Pied Piper of Hamlin and the cult classic, Gremlinsfor this horror coloring book! I am almost done with the rough sketches so we can finalize the story and the layout, then it is time to ink and research printers! We are planning a Kickstarter to help fund the project with lots of special perks, so stay tuned! Until that time, here is your peek! 

Character intro with a hint of what's to come!

Character intro with a hint of what's to come!

Rob's daughter, Anna, channels her inner Gremin!

Rob's daughter, Anna, channels her inner Gremin!

This beautiful and talented muse was a delight to work with on this project! 

This beautiful and talented muse was a delight to work with on this project! 

Best Beasties Forever! 

Best Beasties Forever! 

A twist in the plot! 

A twist in the plot! 

Now it is getting really interesting! Stay tuned for more! 

Now it is getting really interesting! Stay tuned for more! 

Crazy Gypsy Quilt

Occasionally, I find a real gem in my thrift store adventures. Of course, "gem" is in the eye of the beholder. :) My newest find, the crazy gypsy quilt, is very thread worn with most of the applied elements are either shredded or completely disintegrated. Washing the blanket further tormented these fibers, but was still a necessity. The same day I purchased this quilt I ran into Arielle at the Clash Fashion Show, who had freshly dyed her hair Hot Pink. The quilt contained several hot pink sections, so I asked Arielle if she would model for me and she agreed! I adore her smile and bright eyes, but it was the moments when she was "sleeping" that really intrigued me. 

Tobin modeling on the...SQUIRREL!

Tobin modeling on the...SQUIRREL!

Tobin and Boo inspect. 

Tobin and Boo inspect. 

A detail of the hand embellishments. 

A detail of the hand embellishments. 

The flower print is the under framing of the quilt. 

The flower print is the under framing of the quilt. 

Hot Pink Velvet! Hellz yeah! 

Hot Pink Velvet! Hellz yeah! 

Arielle in the sun. 

Arielle in the sun. 

Standing in my mini rock garden. 

Standing in my mini rock garden. 

Getting cozy with the grape vine ball. 

Getting cozy with the grape vine ball. 

Dollhouse Diary : Moving On Up!

Building an original dollhouse has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember, but I would not allow myself to dabble with such things until my niece was born. Making the house for her is not a distracting whim of a woman-child, it is the creation of a family heirloom. :) I had started the project with a Lundby mass produced house and almost completely gutted it. Then I created a contemporary sofa from an old purse and gathered items for the rest of the house. After priming the surface and gathering more items for decorating, my Dad decided to build furniture for the house and my Step-Mom cross-stitched several rugs. 

For the loo. Just a sample of the adorable furniture made by Dad!

For the loo. Just a sample of the adorable furniture made by Dad!

Lots of colorful rugs! Living in Tucson, my Step-Mom created fun South West inspired designs. 

Lots of colorful rugs! Living in Tucson, my Step-Mom created fun South West inspired designs. 

The new furnishings could fit into the Lundby I was working on...sorta. It was becoming obvious that we had these amazing items and wanted more room to showcase them. I asked my sister if she could find a better house and she did in record time on a local resell site for $35! 

Out with the old, in with the new! Ti inspects the new digs. 

Out with the old, in with the new! Ti inspects the new digs. 

The new home was partially assembled by the previous owner and was supposed to look like a Victorian Farmhouse with three levels, but I had other plans. Here is what it was supposed to look like when finished. 

Thankfully, the glue the first family used was not stellar and I was able to disassemble most of the house. Just a little redesigning and now we are working on a Midwest Modern style home! The place also got a name, Grand Ant Manor. The kids call me Amy Ant instead of Aunt Amy and since it is mostly myself and the Grandfolks working on it, we thought that would be a fitting title. Also, I loved that it was an oxymoron

Reassembling the floor plan. 

Reassembling the floor plan. 

The bay window becomes a side accent window. 

The bay window becomes a side accent window. 

My first goal, remove the two side porches. They were wasted space and I did not want to deal with all of those little poles! The yellow color will go later. 

New construction drying. 

New construction drying. 

In this photo you can see the three panels from the bay window in their new locations. Two are on the side of the house and the third is positioned in the lower front corner. 

Painters tape is your friend! 

Painters tape is your friend! 

Perhaps you are perplexed as to why I would leave a gapping void where the bay window used to be? That, my friend, is the location of the future black box theater! Did I mention that this will not be your traditional dollhouse, but really more of an Art House!?! The two-level opening on the left side is part of the original design and allows little bodies to access the deeper areas of the house. Flip the panel, and now the lower level is access for little performers to reach around and out the stage entrance. The front opening will get a velvet curtain and doors that open to reveal stage elements. There will also be a removable stage for when performances are scheduled. 

This was my original thought on the interior layout, but decided to take the lower left wall out and enlarge the kitchen instead. After all, my Dad had made lots of cute appliances to go in there! Instead of adding the original third floor sloped roof, the roof will remain flat as shown in this picture. My plan is to cut a stair access hole with a hatch door,  rooftop veggie garden, rock garden and patio area. This decision was not only aesthetic, but also allows us to transport it in the Subaru. We would need to rent a vehicle if it gets any taller! 

Tobin thinks it is already move in ready!

Tobin thinks it is already move in ready!

The layout is finalized, so I remove the inner walls and begin to stabilize and finish the edges with wood filler, then all exposed surfaces get a coat of gesso primer. 

The theater must be black, so I mark out the area and paint all of the inner surfaces with Mars Black acrylic paint. 

Now begins the fun part! Time to decide on the wall and floor treatments before I can continue. The bathroom decision is done with "tile" made from textured metallic paint samples and REAL wall paper designed by me using pictures of my niece and her brothers! Want your own wallpaper, I ordered mine at Spoonflower.com and just sized it to be super tiny! More decor in the next installment of Dollhouse Diary

Marketplace of the Mind : Studio Images

The front entry of the Fairview High School.

The front entry of the Fairview High School.

School crest. 

School crest. 

This six-by-six foot beast, Marketplace of the Mind, is a commission from the Reimagining Works project, a collaboration between the Dayton Metro Library and the Dayton Art Institute. The Kuosi Elephant Mask and Fairview High School were the inspirations for this playful acrylic on linen painting. View the entire proposal in this POST. 

Final scale drawing. 

Final scale drawing. 

Shield leaves will repeat around the border. 

Shield leaves will repeat around the border. 

Fairview mascot, the Bulldog, will adorn the corners.  

Fairview mascot, the Bulldog, will adorn the corners.  

See the canvas come together in this POST. 

See the canvas come together in this POST

Getting the image transferred was no easy task. See what it took in this POST. 

Getting the image transferred was no easy task. See what it took in this POST

Concentrating on straight lines. 

Concentrating on straight lines. 

Filling in the color. Note: the center of the leaf form will remain raw linen, sealed in clear gesso. 

Filling in the color. Note: the center of the leaf form will remain raw linen, sealed in clear gesso. 

Surrounding the babies in tiles inspired by the Fairview HS fountain. 

Surrounding the babies in tiles inspired by the Fairview HS fountain. 

My set-up for creating the time lapse movie. 

My set-up for creating the time lapse movie. 

Making progress.

Making progress.

So many dog jokes *insert here*. Each dog will have a different look and personality. 

So many dog jokes *insert here*. Each dog will have a different look and personality. 

Starting the elephants. His one eye is a bit wonky, so I plan to fix that a bit later. 

Starting the elephants. His one eye is a bit wonky, so I plan to fix that a bit later. 

Progress as of April 2015.

Progress as of April 2015.

Finishing up the side patterns. 

Finishing up the side patterns. 

The ladder has proved useless and I must work on the canvas upside down to get the upper areas. This is going to get interesting! 

The ladder has proved useless and I must work on the canvas upside down to get the upper areas. This is going to get interesting! 

And sideways! Starting the veggie basket and continuing the little boy elephant. He also needs a bit of color. 

And sideways! Starting the veggie basket and continuing the little boy elephant. He also needs a bit of color. 

Veggie basket finished and a pop of color in the form of a fez. 

Veggie basket finished and a pop of color in the form of a fez. 

Now I need to change some textures to differentiate the materials, such as the little girl elephant's fruit basket. 

Now I need to change some textures to differentiate the materials, such as the little girl elephant's fruit basket. 

Basket weaving completed.

Basket weaving completed.

A full view as of December 2015. 

A full view as of December 2015. 

A close-up of the blanket in progress. 

A close-up of the blanket in progress. 

Ink Well : Studio Images

Work in progress. 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 silly mini movie from "Ink Well" that shows a drawing of a feline who did not make the cut into the final painting. 

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. 

Starting to develop her new face and hairstyle. 

A new friend!

A new friend!

Getting some definition to the hairdo. 

Getting some definition to the hairdo. 

Some work on the feathers and starting the necklace. 

Some work on the feathers and starting the necklace. 

Making some progress on the tattoos. 

Making some progress on the tattoos. 

Leg tattoos finished. More on upper arm. 

Leg tattoos finished. More on upper arm. 

Starting to add definition to the leaves. 

Starting to add definition to the leaves. 

Giving the shoes some volume. 

Giving the shoes some volume. 

More value in the tree. 

More value in the tree. 

Starting to "carve" the front of the chair. 

Starting to "carve" the front of the chair. 

Blocked in. 

Blocked in. 

Starting the chair face. 

Starting the chair face. 

Adding a few more tats to her shoulder. 

Adding a few more tats to her shoulder. 

Starting the new foliage.

Starting the new foliage.

Starting the green kitty. 

Starting the green kitty. 

Current state of the piece, December 2015. 

Current state of the piece, December 2015. 

Collaboration with Robert Walker

Every so often, I get the opportunity to work with an amazing artist on a collaboration. Sometimes the collaboration comes in the form of a trade, such as the one with Carrie Longley, but the most exciting are when we get to work together on a new creation, like this one with Pam Adams.  

He currently has two abstract airbrushed backgrounds that I created, upon which he will paint a portrait of me and a subject of his choosing. All canvases are 16" x 20".

For this collaboration, I am working with Robert Walker to create two new portraits. The one below begun with the teal tree background painted by Robert. That is the starting surface for a portrait I will create of him, but inspired by the Cheshire Cat.

My sketch and his background. 

My sketch and his background. 

My portrait transferred to his background. 

My portrait transferred to his background. 

Covering up horn-like ears. 

Covering up horn-like ears. 

Ears are working better now. Changing the eyes a bit to be less bird-like and giving him a bit more shoulder. Bigger mouth=better!

Ears are working better now. Changing the eyes a bit to be less bird-like and giving him a bit more shoulder. Bigger mouth=better!

Moving ears to the side of his head. Contemplating a larger mouth. 

Moving ears to the side of his head. Contemplating a larger mouth. 

Stripes and sketching in the shirt pattern. 

Stripes and sketching in the shirt pattern. 

Still some rough spots, but it is coming together now. 

Still some rough spots, but it is coming together now. 

Adjusted hand. Defined shirt pattern better. 

Adjusted hand. Defined shirt pattern better. 

changed his cheeks. 

changed his cheeks. 

Detail of finished face. 

Detail of finished face. 

Detail of Dormouse cocktail. 

Detail of Dormouse cocktail. 

Detail of Robert Walker's trees. 

Detail of Robert Walker's trees. 

The finished piece. 

The finished piece. 

Collaboration with Robert Walker, Part Two

As you may have noticed in the first posting of my Collaboration with Robert Walker, we are working on two canvases. Here is my second piece, which I am thinking of titling, Moon Serenade.

My sketch and Robert Walker's background.

My sketch and Robert Walker's background.

Close-up of my sketch. 

Close-up of my sketch. 

Image started on the canvas. 

Image started on the canvas. 

Detail of face in progress. 

Detail of face in progress. 

My collaborations as of the beginning of August. Both finished pieces will be on display at Clash Dayton with an opening reception on First Friday, September 4th. 

My collaborations as of the beginning of August. Both finished pieces will be on display at Clash Dayton with an opening reception on First Friday, September 4th

Adding some color. 

Adding some color. 

Defining the shapes and more color. 

Defining the shapes and more color. 

Adding values.

Adding values.

More details and adjusting the skin tones. 

More details and adjusting the skin tones. 

The finished face. 

The finished face. 

The finished hand. 

The finished hand. 

Detail of Robert Walker's trees. 

Detail of Robert Walker's trees. 

The finished piece. 

The finished piece. 

The Illusionist : Studio Images

Formerly titled Transformation. This painting was playfully started as an expansion of my left leg tattoo, but has developed as a way for me to think about the fragility of both health and beauty. 

The initial sketch on panel. 

The initial sketch on panel. 

Ti supervises the addition of color. 

Ti supervises the addition of color. 

Bringing in a tiger. 

Bringing in a tiger. 

And then two.

And then two.

Floating tigers symbolized both freedom and being out of control. 

Floating tigers symbolized both freedom and being out of control. 

Playing around with the flames. Too heavy and static before. 

Playing around with the flames. Too heavy and static before. 

This painting at home with my special lap warmer. 

This painting at home with my special lap warmer. 

Live painting at Clash in the Oregon District.

Live painting at Clash in the Oregon District.

Live painting at the Dayton Racquet Club.

Live painting at the Dayton Racquet Club.

More major changes. 

More major changes. 

Transforming the former floating woman. I liked the idea of her being the smoke. 

Transforming the former floating woman. I liked the idea of her being the smoke. 

She is also a loose interpretation of a self-portrait. 

She is also a loose interpretation of a self-portrait. 

A closeup of the new hands with funky rings. 

A closeup of the new hands with funky rings. 

Yet another attempt at the flames. 

Yet another attempt at the flames. 

A new focal point. 

A new focal point. 

Now I have decided to take out the second tiger and reevaluate the composition

Now I have decided to take out the second tiger and reevaluate the composition

Adding silver foil.

Adding silver foil.

Used painters tape to clean up the line edges. 

Used painters tape to clean up the line edges. 

Updated lines. 

Updated lines. 

Changed the center rectangle to contain some depth line work. 

Changed the center rectangle to contain some depth line work. 

Manabu Haiku : Studio Images

My second proposal to be accepted by the ReImaging Works committee is Manabu Haiku. It is constructed of five 36"x36" birch panels and will be installed in the New Lebanon branch. One of the five panels arrived shattered, so that will delay the project, but since it is not due until April 2016, I am not a bit worried! Dick Blick has notified me that they will replace the panel and I will get started once it arrives. 

Boo takes a break from Crackle Past testing. He is a great assistant! 

Boo takes a break from Crackle Past testing. He is a great assistant! 

Pool of Tears : Studio Images

This painting is 28"x16". This is another in the series Wasp in a Wig: Paintings Inspired by the Writings of Lewis Carroll. Excerpt from Chapter II: `I wish I hadn't cried so much!' said Alice, as she swam about, trying to find her way out. `I shall be punished for it now, I suppose, by being drowned in my own tears! That WILL be a queer thing, to be sure! However, everything is queer to-day.'

Painting sketch.

Painting sketch.

Blocking in color. 

Blocking in color. 

Defining the birds and some values. 

Defining the birds and some values. 

Starting the purple rocks. 

Starting the purple rocks. 

More rocks and water. 

More rocks and water. 

Something seems to be missing. 

Something seems to be missing. 

The Cheshire added a nice touch to the narrative. 

The Cheshire added a nice touch to the narrative. 

Working from the photos I took at the Field Museum of Chicago. 

Working from the photos I took at the Field Museum of Chicago. 

Detail of face. 

Detail of face. 

Detail of Cheshire. 

Detail of Cheshire. 

Detail of hand. 

Detail of hand. 

The finished painting. 

The finished painting. 

Junc Yard : Studio Images

This painting is a part of the Wasp in a Wig Series and measures 24" x 36". Inspired by Chapter 5 of the second book, Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll. This painting shows Alice transformed into a goose and the White Queen as a sheep. The scene explores the concept of "loss of innocence" and I have illustrated this with a young oyster bringing her new beau home to meet Mom while the walrus looks on as well as with the discarded toys. 

A base of blue and the start of some Scented Rush.

A base of blue and the start of some Scented Rush.

Establishing some ground and the boots.

Establishing some ground and the boots.

A few crabs and some coral. 

A few crabs and some coral. 

Adding more definition to the values. 

Adding more definition to the values. 

I felt like the composition was lacking, so I am adding in a Mock Turtle (cow) using tracing paper to see the placement. 

I felt like the composition was lacking, so I am adding in a Mock Turtle (cow) using tracing paper to see the placement. 

Once I liked the placement, I used transfer paper to get the image on canvas and then started painting. 

Once I liked the placement, I used transfer paper to get the image on canvas and then started painting. 

Detail of the Mock Turtle.

Detail of the Mock Turtle.

Detail of crabs and boots. 

Detail of crabs and boots. 

Detail of oyster family. 

Detail of oyster family. 

The finished painting. 

The finished painting. 

The Madness : Studio Images

This painting is from the Wasp in a Wig Series and measures 14" x 24". A different kind of tea party. 

I had to cut up the sketch to get the composition the way I wanted it before transferring it to canvas. 

I had to cut up the sketch to get the composition the way I wanted it before transferring it to canvas. 

Blocking in colors. 

Blocking in colors. 

Does he look like Elton John? You are not the first to think that, but it is my friend, Charlie. 

Does he look like Elton John? You are not the first to think that, but it is my friend, Charlie. 

Detail from the time lapse video. 

Detail from the time lapse video. 

Detail of the Hatter. 

Detail of the Hatter. 

Detail of Baby Bear. 

Detail of Baby Bear. 

Detail of Cheshire. 

Detail of Cheshire. 

The finished painting. 

The finished painting. 

Keeping Check : Studio Images

From the Wasp in a Wig Series, this painting is 18" x 24". Inspired by The Red and White Queens from Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There. Models Anastasia Acid PopTart and Pam Adams. 

Original sketch.

Original sketch.

Blocking in color.

Blocking in color.

More color and a peek at my reference shots. 

More color and a peek at my reference shots. 

Started the White Queens face.

Started the White Queens face.

A detail of the white queen.

A detail of the white queen.

Started the Red Queen's face.

Started the Red Queen's face.

Detailed the lion stand next to the white queen.

Detailed the lion stand next to the white queen.

Added a curtain to soften the background, and honestly, cause I could not get the left side of the window to work with the right side. Gotta love curtains!

Added a curtain to soften the background, and honestly, cause I could not get the left side of the window to work with the right side. Gotta love curtains!

Worked on rose bush and the Tove (part badger, part lizard, part corkscrew).

Worked on rose bush and the Tove (part badger, part lizard, part corkscrew).

I used tracing paper to get the general layout of the piece, so I could work on a sketch to add an element to the back of the chair and next to the lion. The platform was really bothering me in both of those locations, so I decided to add two additional narrative elements: The King, and a hookah smoking hedgehog. 

I used tracing paper to get the general layout of the piece, so I could work on a sketch to add an element to the back of the chair and next to the lion. The platform was really bothering me in both of those locations, so I decided to add two additional narrative elements: The King, and a hookah smoking hedgehog. 

The King transferred and roughed in with color.

The King transferred and roughed in with color.

All hail the King!

All hail the King!

Changes to the king and the white rabbit. You can see the basic outline of the hookah too.

Changes to the king and the white rabbit. You can see the basic outline of the hookah too.

Hookah developed further. Also Bill the lizard. He has an offering for the Tove.

Hookah developed further. Also Bill the lizard. He has an offering for the Tove.

Detail of the hedgehog to be.

Detail of the hedgehog to be.

Hedgehog finished.

Hedgehog finished.

Detail of the queens. 

Detail of the queens. 

Detail of the white rabbit and king. 

Detail of the white rabbit and king. 

Detail of the Hookah Hog. 

Detail of the Hookah Hog. 

The finished painting. 

The finished painting. 

Missing the Cheshire : Studio Images

The piece is 12"x16". It is a part of the Wasp in a Wig Series and is referring to the death of my cat Proffit, who was the inspiration for the Cheshire cat in this series.

Original sketch on canvas. 

Original sketch on canvas. 

Blocking in color. 

Blocking in color. 

Someone needs her coffee. 

Someone needs her coffee. 

Better, but still pretty sad. 

Better, but still pretty sad. 

Playing around with her dress. 

Playing around with her dress. 

I thought about having a glow from the window, but too drastic. 

I thought about having a glow from the window, but too drastic. 

I had considered the piece finished, but then after several months I brought it back into the studio for a revamp and I am very glad I did! 

I had considered the piece finished, but then after several months I brought it back into the studio for a revamp and I am very glad I did! 

Detail of face. 

Detail of face. 

Detail of Cheshire pillow. 

Detail of Cheshire pillow. 

Detail of tile table and teacup. 

Detail of tile table and teacup. 

The finished painting. 

The finished painting. 

Wanderland : Studio Images

This painting is 18" x 36". From the Wasp in a Wig Series. Take a walk...forever!

Sketch on canvas. For this commission piece, he wanted a trail that went forever. 

Sketch on canvas. For this commission piece, he wanted a trail that went forever. 

Blocking in color. 

Blocking in color. 

Refining composition. 

Refining composition. 

Developing trees and grass.

Developing trees and grass.

Adding rocks and stripes to the trees. 

Adding rocks and stripes to the trees. 

Looks like a night scene!

Looks like a night scene!

The beginning of Wigglebird. 

The beginning of Wigglebird. 

Gash in the studio, supervising. 

Gash in the studio, supervising. 

Detail of tree dweller.

Detail of tree dweller.

Detail of Wigglebird.

Detail of Wigglebird.

Detail of herrings and tree tops.

Detail of herrings and tree tops.

The finished piece.

The finished piece.

Update on "The Beast"

About 35 hours into the painting process, my work on Marketplace of the Mind for the NW branch of the Dayton Metro Library is coming along quite nicely. This 6 foot square "beast" is a part of the Reimagining Works project and I hope to have it completed by early fall 2015, if not sooner. 

A bit of a portrait shot, bundled up in two sweaters, with the time lapse camera clicking away every minute. 

A bit of a portrait shot, bundled up in two sweaters, with the time lapse camera clicking away every minute. 

Just beginning to block in the elephants. The border elements still have a way to go, but I wanted to get more of the image blocked in so I could tell what areas need more work. 

Just beginning to block in the elephants. The border elements still have a way to go, but I wanted to get more of the image blocked in so I could tell what areas need more work. 

Beginning the background tiles which are inspired by the fountain originally installed at the Fairview High School. 

Beginning the background tiles which are inspired by the fountain originally installed at the Fairview High School. 

Loving the tiles and the overall "rusty" vibe of the work. The plan is to bring in more dark tones and then the real detailing will begin. 

Loving the tiles and the overall "rusty" vibe of the work. The plan is to bring in more dark tones and then the real detailing will begin. 

Whatever It Takes!

Taming The Beast has been an exercise in ingenuity. Getting a predetermined image onto a 6 foot square canvas without completely redrawing it is quite a task. 

There have been several rounds of scale drawings for every element of the image. 

There have been several rounds of scale drawings for every element of the image. 

A tall intern is definitely helpful for creating the outer grid for the border. 

A tall intern is definitely helpful for creating the outer grid for the border. 

Using a sheet of acetate, I traced the scale images so I could project them to the canvas. This technique was perfect for the main image, but does not seem to be effective for the smaller repeating border elements. 

Using a sheet of acetate, I traced the scale images so I could project them to the canvas. This technique was perfect for the main image, but does not seem to be effective for the smaller repeating border elements. 

Using the acetate tracing of the shield section, I kept it mostly intake, but cut into sections so I could trace around the major elements. This provided me with enough information to connect the lines and complete the section. Boo's mind is blown by this technique.

Using the acetate tracing of the shield section, I kept it mostly intake, but cut into sections so I could trace around the major elements. This provided me with enough information to connect the lines and complete the section. Boo's mind is blown by this technique.

Here you can see those shield sections and one of the bulldog corners. I decided to measure out the basic bulldog form, but instead of making them uniform as planned, I thought it would be more fun to give each one a different personality.  

Here you can see those shield sections and one of the bulldog corners. I decided to measure out the basic bulldog form, but instead of making them uniform as planned, I thought it would be more fun to give each one a different personality.