Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Another Art-A-Thon!

And people ask, What is an Art-A-Thon? Well, on illustratedatcs.com there's a thread open for five days for artists to trade one on one, whatever theme they want or arrange. It's a whole lot of fun, and an amazing opportunity to trade with people I might not otherwise be matched with in a swap. The first one over Halloween weekend was incredible and I was totally hooked up with some really superb art. Getting ready for the holidays meant that I wasn't able to make much ahead of time, but I've cleared the decks and I'm ready to go..I'll be adding a whole new batch of images over the next five days. Then, right after it ends, I'm breaking out my pottery wheel and kicking that into gear...

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays! So far, December has been a really strong month for pottery and print sales - hooray! It's nice to see people putting their money where their mouth is when it comes to shopping locally this holiday season. I've had two Open Studios, and many people dropping by randomly to check out my wares. In fact, it's time to get throwing once again! And while the Open Studios are fun, next year I'm hoping to have a few stores in the area stocking my pottery and beads. Or the things I make with the beads, or prints - whatever.

In the meantime, I have a couple of other projects in the works. There's a dragon sculpture for my shop roof coming that will be functional as well as decorative. The gutters that were in place weren't very effective, so we removed them when we started painting the house in the fall. My dragon will have wings, one wing will keep the rain from my front door. And potentially there will be drainage from the back of the dragon to one of the heads, then into a rain barrel. One of the three heads. The biggest issue is keeping it light, so I'm thinking recycled plastic..but I'm still working that out.

Another project is my longtime ambition to finish the local annual triathalon, the Josh Billings Runaground in September. Not that long ago, I was in shape. And while that's no longer the case, I'm working on getting back on track, with the help of my friend, Shay Pegorari, a newly certified personal trainer. We've just had our second session and I'm feeling pretty great. Not only do I have a definite goal, I have preferences about how I reach them. Or maybe I should call them conditions. I will not join a gym for more than one reason, but the primary reason is that I can't stand them. I've belonged to a few gyms, and the only time I stuck with it, I was playing racquetball early mornings with a friend three times a week. Now that's fun. Then two days a week, we spent our sessions in the nautilus area, which was always a little creepy. And odd smelling. Not fun. And I'm terrible at dieting because one of my favorite things on earth is cheese. The only diet that is cheese oriented, the Atkins Diet, completely worked for me the first time! Until I started eating normally, when I gained back every pound I lost plus a 50% bonus...whoops. On top of that, I have a naturally rebellious inclination, so the minute I try to deprive myself of something I love, I absolutely cannot live with its absence. I know. Ridiculous. But that's just how it is.

I like outdoors and fresh air. But I will have to conquer my fear of riding a bicycle on the roads around here because the first leg of the race is something like 26 or 27 miles starting in Great Barrington and landing at the Stockbridge Bowl. And this terrain is serious business - nothing but hills in just about every direction. However, there are so many elderly drivers running over people around here every year, it's a little risky. Last summer, one rider was dragged over 100 feet by a 92 year old driver who had no idea he hit someone! What are you gonna do...well, when I ride my bike, I wear a big, white, flapping shirt and hope for the best. I also tend to ride like a little kid so drivers are a little more careful around me. In my experience, if you wear the little road racer super suit and the helmet, drivers practically decapitate you with their side mirrors. I rode my bike back and forth to work for about four or five months, and the school bus drivers practically ran me off the road about three times a week. But if you skip the helmet, wear regular clothes topped by the flappy bright shirt, people actually slow down and go around you. For real! My theory is the more reckless I seem, the more careful the drivers are...silly, I know. But true. Now that I'm going to be putting on some serious miles, though, I'm going to have to relent at least on the helmet. But I might add a big waving fluorescent flag, or something..

Now, I like to add at least one picture to every post, so here it is:

I was matched up with a fellow art trader for a 1:1 trade on www.illustratedatcs.com, and she requested a two-headed woman. And, in exchange, she drew this way cool chick with a meat tattoo! But I don't have her permission to post it here..so if you're ever in my shop, ask me and I'll show you! There's another Art-A-Thon on that site next week, for five days straight! I'm gearing up already...Another pile of images, coming right up! Happy New Year!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

 My Open Studio was fantastic! The weather couldn't have been better and it was great that so many of my friends stopped by to do some shopping!
 However, since it was Thanksgiving weekend, quite a few people who wanted to swing through were out of town so I'm doing it again!
My next Open Studio will be Saturday, December 17th, 11-4. I'm closing a little earlier, for two reasons: my pottery is gorgeous under natural light and the sun starts to go down at four these days, and that's also when I get hungry...

In the meantime, I'm leaving it all set up and working on other things - tattoo designs, ATCs, making Christmas gifts, and downright goofing off. So if the Open Studio day isn't convenient, email me and we can set up another time to stop by. I'm not tattooing again until after the 17th...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I'm having another Open Studio this weekend - yay! This is the first one since my shop has been open, my second since we've been in this house, and I'm pretty excited. It gives people a chance to check out my little shop without committing to ink, all while possibly covering some things on their holiday shopping list. Like the poster says, I'm breaking out all my goodies! Everything I have listed on Etsy.com will be available for fondling...plus all the new pottery I've been firing but haven't photographed for listing, yet. And I've been printing up some of my most popular Artist Trading Cards - tomorrow the framing and mat cutting begins...

It's so nice to be located so close to downtown Great Barrington! When I had a studio in Housatonic, there was a snow storm the day of the Art Walk. Fingers crossed the weather cooperates. If not, no big deal. I'll just try again in December...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

What do I do all day?

 Some people wonder what the heck I do with my time, since I don't have a 'regular' job, and my house is not exactly immaculate. When I worked nights in the restaurant business to support my day job of painting full time, my mother would call, ask what I was doing, to which I'd respond, 'I'm painting', she'd say something along the lines of, 'Oh, so you're not busy, then...'

But I'm always busy, really, and it's just part of being an artist-type trying to stay afloat - diversification and dicipline is key, for me, anyway, thanks to the seasons of the businesses I've created. That brought me to another idea. I feel like one of those one-man bands guys. Maybe I should do a little illustration, too. But it's really the jumble that is my picture...For example, I spend my mornings on the computer, generally, unless I have a tattoo appointment or a kiln to load and fire in the basement.

During this time I do administrative stuff, update my website, blog, Facebook pages, Google + pages, etc, order supplies, and respond to emails and messages. If I sold something on Etsy, I step into the packing and shipping department, and get that out the door. Then for the afternoon, I work on tattoo drawings, ATCs, or caricartoons, or I tattoo, throw pots, or make beads. Or take the photos for products to be sold in my Etsy stores.

Then dinner.

Then I'm back on my computer for a while, then back to beads, drawing, or the occasional mindless game of Bejeweled Blitz. Finally reading, and sleep. That's my life in a nutshell on a regular, daily basis including most weekends. And thanks to the modern conveniences of PayPal and online shipping, I can ship pottery and prints right from my front door. It's great!

But it's hard for me to just choose one thing. Things cycle. Now that I'm in for the winter, essentially, I'll be spending more time firing the kiln and photographing the results to list on Etsy in time for the holiday shopping season. Maybe I'll pick up a couple of gigs caricaturing at company Christmas parties. I know for sure I'm starting some big tattoo pieces by the end of the month...and now I'm branching out again and starting to sell prints of my most recent venture into the world of Artist Trading Cards. It's like an online summer camp for illustrators! Then tattoos get really busy in the spring when people get their tax returns, but drop off in the summer when people are in the water or outdoors too much. But caricatures pick up in the late spring and I have events throughout the summer, mostly on the weekends. When it's hot in the summer, I'm in the basement playing with clay...and on and on.

Stay tuned..this spring I'm having a Tent Sale right in my yard on East Street. The theme will be Pottery and Plants, plus maybe some birdhouses thrown in for fun. Okay - I have to get back to work!

Monday, November 7, 2011

I just added two new images to my Zazzle store from the latest series, "What's in Your Garden?" 

create & buy custom products at Zazzle

Is it wrong that I'm offering "Deer in my Roses" on a chef's apron?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Magnificent Elephant 2

 I've been working on re-opening my Zazzle store with some of the new images from the Artist Trading Card swaps instead of carving that pumpkin that's still sitting on my back deck. And I've also been finishing up trades from the Art-A-Thon weekend. I am really excited for the envelopes to start arriving. It was definitely more like Christmas than Halloween!

Saturday, October 29, 2011


For the first time, I'm participating in an Art-A-Thon Halloween weekend on illustratedATCs.com, and I've been bouncing off the walls about it for a few weeks now. Now it gets even better, because there's a big snowstorm on the way, unless of course, we lose power. Now that would kind of suck.

Fingers crossed, that doesn't happen. But in the meantime, I'm busting out Halloween themed illustrations all weekend! I started with this set of skulls made with tissue paper, gel medium, acrylic, and inks on illustration board. Then I moved on to pumpkinheads using the same method.

And that reminds me..I picked up a pumpkin to carve and this time I will have a proper video done that I will add here in a short, time lapsed format...fun, fun, fun!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

IllustratedATCs.com Home Page!

 My Witchy Women made it to the Home Page of IllustratedATCs.com! Very cool. I am having the best time coming up with fun things for these swaps. I spent the morning tattooing, and I'm off the hook for painting the house as the rain rolls in, so now I can officially goof off for a little while and think about what I'm going to do for the next swap. Bookmarks!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Here is the fourth and last image from this series. Brains! I never fail to feel as if I'm lobotomizing the pumpkin when I'm preparing to carve. Speaking of pumpkin carving, my plan is to record my next carving session. I've tried it once this year, and learned what not to do, so hopefully the next session will be a keeper and ready for showing off here...

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Month of Zombies

So I'm gearing up for my very first Art-A-Thon on IllustratedATCs.com the weekend of Halloween. I drew up this series ahead of time and decided not to wait to trade them so I posted them on ATCsforAll.com. Tomorrow they are on their way to The Netherlands in exchange for a really creepy and beautiful set of similarly spooky-themed cards! It's so nice to get back to non-digital art forms. For the last few years, I've had caricature events heavily scheduled in the fall, but not this year. Tattooing has taken the place of the caricaturing at fairs and festivals - I've just been booking private parties. However, ATCs have been satisfying my need to handle actual pigments versus light...and I'm having fun exploring a slightly darker sense of humor..

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


I'm in the throes of updating and revamping my website. Hopefully it will be finished in a couple of days...so far I've consolidated my Berkshire Caricatures pages, but I still have to tackle the Automotive Art, etc. (Not that it takes that long, but I have a house to paint when there's no threat of rain.)

I'll also be adding a page for my latest obsession, Artist Trading Cards. The American Gothic Pumpkinheads were for my first personal trade. Yes, I'm having a little TOO much fun with them. But after receiving yet another letter from an automobile manufacturer claiming my art infringes on their intellectual property, I'm more than done with ever painting another image of a car. So now what do I paint? I'm not sure, and playing with the ATCs is one way I'm trying to figure that out.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

and by the way

...if you find any grammatical or spelling errors, please let me know. I'm freaky particular about that sort of thing. Thanks!


I'm still attempting to get the wrinkles ironed out - if you double click the link for the bog, I mean blog,  on my website, it brings you to the blogger site. However, if you only click the navigation link once, you end up on a basically blank page. hmm. ...

I think I'll tackle the issue with a fresh mind in the morning after much caffeine.

my new blog

I'm going to try to create a landing spot for this before I start yapping..