29 February 2008

New show

Spring is almost here! Finally! Alter being so cold for so long, I am stoked to have booked several shows for later this year when the summer is in full swing and festivals abound!! The newest one I have signed up for is probably one of the biggest- Kentucky Western Waterland's 33rd annual Arts and Crafts Festival Labor Day weekend. If you have never been, its one of the biggest in the area, and always interesting. This year their show will be right here in lovely scenic Grand Rivers, one of Cosmo's most romantic places in the U.S., at our new Little Lake Park. Set back in the trees, this "little" park is a shaded, cool place to spend a leisurely day looking at crafts, eating nummy festival food, and hanging out with your loved ones. Their show features all handmade only items, and includes a super huge variety- from over 100 vendors, including wood carvers, broom makers, painters, sculptors, and some of the craftiest folks this side of the Mississippi! So mark your calendars!! If you have not yet ventured over to my website, wander on over now and see my calendar to see where else I'll be this summer. My goods will vary from NEW fun jewelry, bedazzled versions of my printed clothing, and of course, NEW cooler vases that have yet to be unveiled!!! And while you're here enjoying our quaint little town be sure to check out the sunset at the jetty:

Weekly special

Buy anything from my store, and I will personally send you a special treat, handmade by me, free!! Whatever could it be? Just send me an email after you place your order with your address.
Thanks! xoxo

27 February 2008

Legal Mumbo Jumbo

Today is a day of legalities and other such nonsense that artist hate. Alas, sometimes, it must be done....arggggh! So I spent all day typing up contracts for all my art-related business, and took a break to check my email, which is usually ten to fifteen messages of brainless nonsense like, "forward this to all the moms you know," or 20 pictures of something crazy.
Going off topic- if you really want to see something crazy, check this guy out on youtube. It is a friend of mine from high school's little brother, who has apparently achieved youtube notoriety.
Back on topic- even though my email is usually a break from thinking, today I recieved an email relevant and important, a tax law that affects all artists.
This organization needs our help! Apparently, when an artist donates a work of art to an organization for whatever reason, he or she can only deduct the cost of the materials used to produce the artwork of his or her taxes. Meanwhile, a collector that donates the same artwork can deduct the fair market value. Most artists at one time or another donate art to boost their career, help out their favorite charity, or both. Is it fair that artists not get the same tax deductions? ABSOLUTELY NOT! So take two minutes to submit this simple form to Congress. Thanks!!

26 February 2008

Colored pencil drawing

Colored pencils are sooo underrated. I love working with them, playing with the values, shading and layering. If you have dismissed colored pencils as something you use in grade school projects, look again. Colored pencils come in wide varieties and vary greatly in quality. There are the regular, hard school ones everyone has used. There are softer, higher quality ones that draw on smooth, and are a delight to work with. My favorite are Prismacolor.

I just finished a drawing for a commissioned work. I was asked to make a painting with lilies and butterflies, using blue, green, and purple. This is my sketch for the painting:
I know I went overboard for a sketch. Proof that colored pencils are fun! This picture has all my favorite things-butterflies and flowers, paisley, filigree, and Art Nouveau. What do you think?

25 February 2008

FOUND!! Free Art/ Photo Program!

After my last plea for a free, but good, art program, I was directed in the way of this site. Whether you have a mac or pc, if you want the capabilities of Photoshop without the high-falootin' price tag, check out Gimp. Not to be confused with its, uh, differently-abled namesake, this program can do anything! One of the features that I personally find the most helpful for artists, aside from general photo manipulation, is the ability to correct lens tilt. In other words, when you take a picture of your painting and it looks crooked, and you were sure you took it straight on, well, this nifty program can fix that without cropping out half your picture. Any artist who has tried to photgraph their own art can tell you how irritating it is to try to photograph a perfectly straight square shape.

But this sweet tool makes it simple to change it! See?
So download it free, and enjoy!! I know I will! I am going to play right now-yay!!!!

22 February 2008

Friday How-to: Color Wheel

Teaching kids is complicated. Especially when you homeschool. I have spent countless hours looking for free printables while homeschooling my daughter, and have found it easier to make them myself rather than weed through countless useless pages of coloring book pages. Here is the color wheel I made for my daughter to learn the color wheel, but I use it too! Print it out, color it in, and refer to it when you paint. It is also a good exercise when learning or teaching how to mix paint. Whether you already know it or not, sometimes you need to look at it to see how colors relate to each other. So enjoy! Happy Friday!

21 February 2008

Wanted: free (but good) art program

I spent all night on my computer last night. Until my husband got jealous that the laptop gets more love than him, that is. I was trying in vain to create some simple buttons for my website, and make pretty graphics and logos for all my "friends" on my links page. I only have a basic photo editing program right now and paint, of course. I remembered seeing this guy on the news that did the Mona Lisa, among other things, on paint, though, so I remained determined my crummy programs would do what I wanted, by god! So I spent hours going back and forth between the two, at times "painting" one freakin' pixel at a time. The best I could do was this:

I think now I must have a different MS Paint than that dude, because mine doesn't do anything. Except irritate me. So what do you think, better, worse, or just different than the banner on the top of this blog?

Now, back to the problem at hand: free stuff that does what I want. I refuse to pay hundreds of dollars for Photoshop, even though I LOVE it, and know how to use it, I have a kid to feed, for cryin' out loud. Does anyone know of a decent free (or inexpensive) substitute? I did the best I could with mine, and it is ok...but soooo time consuming. I made new logos and or buttons for the links on my page with it. Maybe you are there now. Go see.

I also searched and searched for decent clip art on the web. I caution anyone brave enough to take on this project not to google free clipart and expect results. All those sites are really unhelpful, and freakishly linked to one another. Finally I found this place. Awesome.

So if you can help me, you rock. If you are in the same boat, good luck. Until later...

20 February 2008


Anyone who knows me knows I have visible tattoos. I love 'em, so why hide 'em? I watch LA Ink religously, I have a closet addiction to tattoo mags, I doodle them in my head and on anyone around me at a party (I have about 50 sharpies, I'm npt gonna lie). I would probably have wayyy more tattoos myself if I didn't see too many friends with regrets. So I have two tips for anyone getting any tattoo, whether you have 2 or 20.

1. GET SOMETHING MEANINGFUL TO YOU. Who cares what other people think? It soundds obvious, but you are the one living with it, forever. Get something that means something. Even if you have to explain it to everyone who asks, which can be fun, if it stands for something or sometime in your life, it will never get old.

2. YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR. Don't bargain shop or cheap out when it comes to gettting ink. The reason places vary so much in price is that the artists who are good and in demand will charge more for their time-AS THEY SHOULD! They are worth it, and when you find a shop you love, keep going back. I, personally, trust Jade Dragon in Chicago, and have gotten 3 of my 5 tattoos from them (all 3 are better than the 2 I didn't get there).

Ok, ok, I will step off my soapboax now and get back on topic... being an artist, I have friends ask me fairly often to draw them tattoos. I rarely actually draw tattoos for my friends because they don't come to me with anything specific. Unless you call "draw me something cool," an idea. No pressure. I can't possibly know what would be meaningful to you, not now, and surely not forever. I can draw anything you ask me for, but, please, give your artist friends an idea of what you want!! Noone wants to be blamed 10 years from now when you decide the 8 balls, skulls, roses, or koi fish just aren't "you" anymore, especially if they weren't your idea in the first place!

My friend Zak has been bugging me for years to draw him a tattoo. I have never done it because of everything I have just said. Sitting on the couch Monday night, though, I was thinking of him, and started to doodle. He has been having a hard time lately, and is at that point in his life when you wake up and want to grow and change. I love him dearly, and have spent several nights in the past few months having heart to hearts with this guy that others just brush off. He lets so few in, but I think he let me in enough for me to draw him this:

So, Zak, there you go, I drew you one. If you don't want to get it, that's cool. But now you can't say I didn't draw you one!! So it is out of my hands. It is full of symbolism that I makes me think of you, and so, to me, it is meaningful. A compass because you always seem so lost, and I want you to find your way. A forest through the trees so you can see what you need to. A single lily, well, you know why. Cobwebs to the south because the past is just that, the past. A part of you that will never go away, but it makes you who you are, so don't ever forget it. The filigree, well, that's all me. I put my own style in there.

19 February 2008

SIMPLE Portrait Photography

Sometimes I get requests or commissions to do portraits of people's kids for them. I will be the first to admit, even though I did make side money doing other people's self portraits in high school art class, portraits are really not my thing. I have no good reason, other than maybe a lack of patience. Nonetheless, out of some sort of masochism, I still agree to do them now and again. However, kids are notoriously fidgety and restless, and getting them to sit for a session is a joke. Not to mention really unnecessary (unless you feel like sitting on them while you draw, which even parents with a good sense of humor tend to frown on), when you can take a picture. So never fear, portrait wanter! Even you (yes, you) can do this!

I know, I know. You can't draw a stick figure. Yeah, yeah, I've heard it before. I'm not talking about drawing a portrait. Just like Law and Order made the average joe a lawyer, and ER made everyone doctors, digital cameras can magically change you into a photographer. Why? Because you can take a million pictures, delete the crappy ones, and keep the gem. Even pros take a roll of film expecting one good picture. So don't get discouraged.

So here are simple rules (yes, there are always more and better ways) for taking a decent picture of your kids. Follow these if you want someone (maybe me) to do a portrait drawing from a picture, or if you just want a decent picture. Forget Sears-those high school kids follow a formula. Years from now, you want a more candid shot that shows their personality, trust me.

INDOORS (daytime):

  • Set the kid(s) up close together in front of a wall or nice background (not a window)
  • Let them be themselves-laughing pictures, even fighting pictures, are always better than posed ones, trust me!
  • Put the light (without a lamp shade if possible) to the side of them, slightly higher than their head if you can
  • If possible, have someone help you by holding a white posterboard on the opposite side of their face from the light. You will see this bounce some light back into the shadows.
  • Turn on all the other lights around, open all the blinds, etc.
  • TURN OFF YOUR FLASH! It is not your friend.
  • Put the camera on a tripod (or a table if you dont have one-but hold tight onto the camera then)
  • Get as close to them as you can (try to fill the frame with them from shoulders up)
  • Take a deep breath, hold it, and press down on the button to take the pic

OUTDOORS (daytime):

  • Follow all of the above.
  • Make sure your back is to the sun without blinding the kids. Squinting pics are bad.
  • Overcast days (kinda cloudy) make the best pictures. Just because you think it is a beautiful day doesn't mean the camera does.

While my examples above aren't perfect, (ex. those dumb stripes on my wall), hey, I did it in 5 minutes. The one on the left is without a flash, and the one on the right is with it. See what a difference the lighting makes?

Good luck!

18 February 2008

In Memory

I painted this in memory of two significant people in my life. Anyone who realizes how healing and therapeutic art can be can understand the feeling I had in painting it, the memories that flood you, the tears and the smiles, the joy and the sadness that all goes into it. What may look like a frivolous design piece is really my heart at the time, and helped me heal. Now when I look at it, I smile in memory.

When I was a little girl, I was very much a "grandpa's girl." I went everywhere I could with him, did what he told me, walked next to him to "hold him up," and held his hand everywhere. He owned a tool and die shop, and even though that meant hard work, he always kept one hand soft just for me. My grandpa lived in Florida, and LOVED ocean fishing. Often, he would catch little seahorses in his line, and he always saved them for me. As a child, I had several little dry seahorses I adored.

When he died after a long bout with Alzheimer's, I found one of these seahorses in storage and all those wonderful memories come flooding back. To this day, I don't see one without thinking of him.

Oddly enough, I had a close friend die too young and too suddenly in a car accident a few years later. She was also an artist, and a beautiful person inside and out to everyone she knew. One of our common loves was seahorses, although at the time few knew it. After she passed, everyone learned of her love and then connected the image with her. When I painted this, it was the week she died, in memory. I will never forget you, Dre.

In Memory, 16x20 oil on canvas

17 February 2008

My daughter, the diorama genius

Some of you may know that in addition to all my other roles, I also homeschool my daughter, Sierra. This is both rewarding and humbling, as you realize how much you really do forget from grade school. I am a little more qualified, since at least I have taught before, and hey, I get to do art projects! We all need an excuse to bust out the glue sticks, clay, and crayons every now and then. I highly recommend it. Of course, I still color kids menus and draw on placemats. If you don't, you're missing out!

So here are the fruits of Sierra's labors...a diorama (remember making those?! They are still fun!) of a desert. Her unit in science and geography kinda fused into one project, and after alot of research on the wonderful library on my lap that is the internet, we both learned alot. So, this is not just ANY desert. Oh, no. Meerkats only live in the Kalahari desert in Africa, and Sierra HAD to include their cuteness in here. There are two pictures because I got this little light out of a quarter machine for her at Gino's East in Chicago (which is a great place to go if you like to draw on stuff!). She really IS my daughter- she had to add a sweet light feature to make it the moon!

I'm a proud momma.

15 February 2008

drawings gone digital!!!

STEALIE w/ round border (simple)
STEALIE embossed w/ border
STEALIE w/ deadhead hippie border
TROPIC BUBBLES w/ mod circle border

I am still having trouble photographing my art. I need a new camera in a bad way~the white balance is off, there are never enough pixels, and I would love to have a DSLR with a few lenses...OMG, now I am really dreaming! My best bet would be for the heaven and earth to collide and somehow drop a photographer in my lap who works for free! I went all over the house today with my 5 megapixel Nikon Coolpix and an unfortunately noticeable wide angle lens taking pics of my art and my house for out of town friends and family (look on myspace). Finally, I decided to settle for what I had (it is AMAZING how much dirt you find when you photograph your house!), and do the best I could. Which was crooked pictures and pinkish whites. Thank god I like to play with my new photo editing program. So here are few of the edited versions...what do you think? I added the borders more as a necessity than anything else, so I tried to work with them instead of fighting them. Did I waste my time and make them worse? Are you wondering "who does she think she is...she's not fooling anyone?!" Did I make them cooler, or at least a little interesting? Comment, please!

On a side note, I really am aware how lucky I am and there are much bigger problems in the world than not having enough, or good enough stuff. Hey, I'm human.

14 February 2008

bad kitty! special

SPECIAL!! If you buy ANYTHING from this collection, I will bling it out for free!!

I now own a much coveted bedazzler that I got from my mom, the craft supply collector extraordinare. I will use this wonderful invention to bling out anything you get, and if you ask REAL nice ;) I will even bling other stuff you own too! Why, you ask? Just call it a love of everything glittery!!

As a side note, I priced everything lower, pretty much as low as I possibly could. I just want to get my designs out there! Please help me make this worthwhile by sending this page to anyone you think might be at all interested.

It is probably too late for Valentine's Day gifts, unless you procrastinate as bad as I do. But don't you think you deserve a cute little somethin'-somethin'? I think so! Who doesn't want to see a little kitty thong on their girlfriend?!

As always, let me know what you think! Click on the title above to go straight to the store, and remember~

"Any piece of clothing can be sexy with a quietly passionate woman inside it." ~anonymous


I spent the better part of last night im'ing tech support, and FINALLY updated my website!! YEA!!! I already got alot of feedback and I love you guys for it! I am working this week on something new...so stay tuned. Also, remember to send ideas this way and get all my practice work (maybe even a whole practice painting!) free.

ALSO, I painted this for a Christmas party art exchange I had to miss, and now it is sitting in my studio, wrapped and ready to go...does anyone want it? I call it Twisted Christmas, 16x20, acrylic on canvas, 2007. The first person to reply (and pay the postage~since I am a starving artist, after all) takes it! So be the 1st to comment. I know it isn't "in season", but like old ladies at Target, sometimes you gotta make a mad dash after Christmas to get the best deals.

"My paintings are daydreams. When I get ready to paint, I just close my eyes and imagine a scene." -Grandma Moses

13 February 2008

My website is at the mercy of the technophile gods at Microsoft right now, so I can't edit it! Tragedy for a compulsive updater like myself! (Never fear though, you can still look at it!)

So alas, welcome to my blog...

I appreciate all the constructive criticism and feedback I can get, and use it to learn and improve. Please, join, comment often and let me know what you think. Friends who do this often will be rewarded~you may already know how I love to make stuff and give it away.

But I am trying to make a living toom so pass the word on! I will post pictures of my work here as soon as I make it. Check often!!

Look at the links below for other sites with my work~if you already have, look again! I may have added stuff since last time! I do that!

I am also always looking for ideas on what to paint, and all sorts of inspiration. Feel free to throw 'em out there! You never know what you might get for it! I always do practice sketches and drawings before a painting, and sometimes if I am REALLY unsure how I want to approach an idea in my head, I will do a whole practice painting. If you give me an idea I LOVE, my practice work is ALL YOURS totally free~and if you love the finished product, you will have first dibs and the "friend price".

xoxo, Corinne