Saturday, January 3, 2015

2014, IN REVIEW.

Happy New Year!

As I do every year, I've been going through notes, journals, and photos from the past 12 months and thinking about 'recaps' and 'what it all means'.  My portfolio didn't see a ton of additions, but there were some pretty significant pieces completed and exciting work done.  I moved out of a rotten apartment into an amazing one, which I get to share with an amazing person.  Conquered my first year at my day-job in Advertising, working inside a major Chicago landmark.  Drove through Indiana soooo many times as I travelled through the Midwest exploring, visiting, working.  
Worked very hard, and slept very little.  
.   .   .   .
I realized the other day that the best way to sum up 2014 is with a little black sketchbook that Max bought me for Christmas in '13.  I used it up from exactly January - December last year.  
Moving, day-jobbing, sewing, and a handful of other events kept me from completing as many large drawings and paintings as I would have liked last year.  But, for the first time in a very long time, I managed to always keep my sketchbook with me and always keep it going.  

Each page of this little Hobbit Moleskine has been scribbled and noted and doodled and worked on.
Here's the highlights and best-of's for 2014:

Early every year, February 1st, is Hourly Comic Day.  Last year, Max & I, along with a big handful of great friends, celebrated with a big day-long Drink & Draw, ending at the High Dive. 

We ate a lot of Tater Tots that day.  I have no regrets.

Later in the Spring, I started using the Sktchy app, which continues to be great for quick portraits and studies when there's no one with an interesting face around.

And then throughout the year, there's just a ton of these random sketches and things, usually done at a restaurant or pub.

Me and Max enjoy a good Drink & Draw so much, we started a group in Chicago:

Our first week-long marathon took us all over town, including a quick stop at the Ghostbusters 30th Anniversary show at Rotofugi

In July, I moved out of the Ukrainian Village (it was a sad day), and into a quiet neighborhood a bit further north.  I started taking a long, slow train ride to work - so drawing other commuters became a new pastime. 
There's a whole ton of these faces and sketches in here.  
Pages and pages of strangers.

In the Fall there was Inktober!  I also got a wicked cold, and did my best to keep up.

As the year wrapped up, I started shifting towards fiber, plush, sewing, and getting ready for Craft Fair madness.  These cactus monsters were a ton of fun to stitch up.

And finally, in December, we made the dumbest thing I'm proud of,
Max and I stayed up for, like, 48 hours passing a sketchbook back and forth, drawing and writing this stupid thing.  And it still makes me giggle every time I look at it.  

(You can see more of what's inside, here)

To bigger and better, more work, and more adventure.  
Happy New Year, and welcome to 2015!

I cracked open my new, blank sketchbook this afternoon.  
After a very long and rainy winter walk, Max & I stopped into a pub for a beer and a cheeseburger, and spent a couple hours drawing.  
I'm going to keep sketching on this one, and finish it up tonight.  


Friday, November 28, 2014

Hello Holiday Shoppers!

For the next few days, you can find this season's monsters online!

I also have a few more shows coming up:
December 6:  BAN Art Fair - 18th Street Brewery, Gary IN
December 13:  Geek Bar Holiday Craft Fair - Geek Bar Beta, Chicago IL
December 14: Revolution Craft Show - Revolution Brewery & Tap Room (Kedzie), Chicago IL

This Sunday, November 30, I'll be at Cleveland's
with Max Bare, and some limited edition plush pieces based on his work.
Stop by and say hello!


Saturday, November 8, 2014

Tis the Season!

Hey Chicago!

If you're ready to kick-off your Holiday Shopping, head on over to Wicker Park!
I have ornaments and some prints available at the Jackson Junge Gallery,
as part of their Holiday Handmade display.  They've also got a lot of other great work and a fun exhibit up right now, so head on over!

Jackson Junge Gallery
1389 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago  60622

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Finished Drawing - Jeff

I recently finished this drawing of Mr. Fox!

Graphite & Colored Pencil on Hot Press Arches

I had originally intended to make a simple quick sketch, but I enjoyed the look so much that instead I hatched away for quite a while.  Most of the drawing was done cross-hatching with a sharp 6H, and then details were laid in with a range from 4H - 4B.  I used about five different blues for the background - they're Caran d'Ache.

Big thanks and hugs to my model, who was patient and gracious as I chipped away at this.  
Apart from being a friend and an all-around fabulous person, he's also very talented himself.  
Check out his photos on Instagram:
and more work/life/style/haberdashery can be found at:


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Catching Up

August already!

So, haven't really been keeping up on the blogging, it's true.
Shortly after my last post here (April?) I dove headfirst into searching for and moving into a new home.  Apartment hunting in Chicago isn't too bad, but it can be all-absorbing if you're looking for a 'perfect place'.  Luckily, we found the perfect place!  I haven't taken too many photos yet, but it's really lovely - so much space to make art, surrounded by trees and gardens and quiet.  And still within the busy city in a fun neighborhood, and right next to the train.

My new commute to the day job
The office looming up high over everything as we putter along slowly through the treetops

Since I started taking the train I've been sketching little portraits of the other commuters
which is a great way to begin and end the crazy/busy days at work.

Apart from day job working, moving, and unpacking, I have also gotten some work done.  
There's been some large projects, which I'll post about soon, and then the usual constant sketching:
Bu at the housewarming party

Sketch portrait - made with Sktchy and last month's Art Snacks!

Small gouache studies (these are available in the Shop!)

Back to work - more soon!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Sketching and Studies

April already!

Early in the year, I made it one of my goals to really focus on study and sketching.  
So far it's been going really well!  It's always a delicate balance between the busy-busy-busy Day Job, completing large portfolio pieces, sewing up things for a spring Etsy update (coming soon!), getting sketchbook and study time in… and remembering to do things like …eat, laundry, sleep…  
never a dull moment.

I've been going to a lot of figure drawing sessions at Platform
where I've been having a fantastic time and meeting lots of fantastic people.  It's a nice mid-week break to sort of zone out for a few hours and just do some very focused drawing, and get dirty with conté.

Speaking of figure drawing:  
A big highlight of March was getting to finally attend a Dr. Sketchy event.  I've wanted to go to one for years! 
The March theme for the Chicago chapter was "The Spy Who Sketched Me" - all James Bond inspired poses, costumes, and music.
A fantastic afternoon with a spectacular model, good lighting, and a really luxurious setting.  Can't wait for the next one in May!

Another great resource I've been using is the new Sktchy app.  
I'm not sure how it started, but it's my favorite new thing.  Basically, people all over upload photos of themselves, and then an artistic community draws them.  Perfect if you're looking for inspiration, or just looking to practice portraiture.
I haven't done any "finished" pieces with it yet, but I have been doing very quick studies - about 30 mins each, just trying to grab a likeness as quickly as possible.  

And since they're all on my phone, I've been able to do most of these when I'm out and about.  Most of the above were done at random happy-hours with other sketching friends, or while waiting for the waitress to bring lunch, or like yesterday - at the laundromat.  

Anyway, back to work for me!  I'm trying to finish up a watercolor painting, as well as this graphite drawing of a friend of mine:
Hope to be done with this one later this week,
Work work work!

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Painting on St Patrick's

Since moving to Chicago I've spent every St. Patrick's Day holed up, in one place or another, making art all weekend.  After three years, it's become my favorite unintentional tradition!

This year I spent most of my time at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Musuem.
In a new exhibit there, Lana Crooks is installing a large-scale plush "Fiber Forest", which will soon be a Storytelling Nook for children who visit.
While Lana sewed and constructed the large 3D elements of her installation, I mixed up some colors with the provided house paint (my new favorite medium) and dropped in the 2D forest background.  Max was a huge help painting and keeping up with the deadline.

The exhibit, "Nature's Struggle", opens
Saturday, March 22

There will be photos of the entire installation soon, but for now
here's a look at the mural's progress over last weekend:

A palette of warm tones, mixed up in take-out containers.

Working on the first section, the 'entry view' to the installation. 

Max comes to help, while Jarrett works with Lana (and a staple gun) on the Plush Trees

It looks quiet and serious, but we're really rocking out to the Pogues here.

2430 N Cannon Dr,  Chicago, IL   60614

You can see more photos of Lana's entire Fiber Forest installation by checking out Instagram: