Thursday, February 28, 2013

Permission to ...Fly

Fly by megan_n_smith_99
Fly, a photo by megan_n_smith_99 on Flickr.

I am feeling a little better today. Those February colds can really get you. I still feel really tired, though. I think I am going to spend the rest of the day reading and drinking tea. I must say, it is so much nicer being sick with a kindle than without. I am on my 3rd Barbara Vine novel of the week.

I did take photos of my newest artwork though!

Dimensions: The frame is 3 x 4". The beaded portion is 2 & 1/2 x 1 & 3/4".
Media: beads and wing charm sewn on Ultrasuede, + frame. The frame is included.
Year: 2013

It's on Etsy.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Grumpy Cat Plush

Grumpy cat plush by megan_n_smith_99
Grumpy cat plush, a photo by megan_n_smith_99 on Flickr.

I have been sick this week and not good for much. Being sick with a Kindle is a minor improvement on being sick without one. I've read two Barbara Vine novels. I have failed to make any art. So this is something I made in January for a post-holiday "white elephant". (except this is an annual event that people bring cool stuff too, not just the stuff you can't believe anyone actually paid money for. Well and there was a shake weight and a battery operated duck and that was just weird.)

Grumpy Cat is so not amused.

Grumpy Cat
wool felt & polyester stuffing
I think he was about 8" tall.

Friday, February 22, 2013


Strings by megan_n_smith_99
Strings, a photo by megan_n_smith_99 on Flickr.

This drawing was something I finished earlier in the week. I have not played my violin in a while but I pulled it out. I am sure it is dreadfully out of tune and I hope it does not need new strings. They are not very old - or at least have not been played on much -- but they should be loosened for long term storage and I do not think I did that. Well,I also did not intend it to be long term. At least having it out of the closet and leaning against the wall is a start. (In its case, of course.)

These sketches were more inspired by another violin - not the one I play. I have another one I got to paint. It's a 3/4 violin made in germany between 1891 and WWII. it is, i think, boxwood with a maple back and rosewood fingerboard. That violin is painted and hanging on my wall, and I pulled it down to be a photo reference for this drawing. I have another violin to paint, full sized. In theory the painted ones are playable but I still don't want to paint my good violin. I just feel a lot of attachment to it just the way it is - even if I have not played it in a very long time.

I'd like to draw some more violins... violas... cellos... maybe an accordion -- we'll see.

pen and ink
available on Etsy

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Art Girls - Art Saves Me

Art Girls by megan_n_smith_99
Art Girls, a photo by megan_n_smith_99 on Flickr.

This drawing started out as one thing and quickly turned into another. This often happens and I've learned not to fight it. It was sort of inspired by a couple of on-line art friends discussing how they wanted glue sticks for Valentines. Though I opted to draw regular old school glue instead, as being more interesting to draw and more iconic. And I actually don't use fan brushes much (though maybe I should - they do fascinate me) they ARE fun to draw. Mostly I use small round brushes - 2, 4, and 6 the most. Sometimes 8. Natural fiber. The synthetic brushes probably do last longer but are not the same. I don't buy super expensive brushes. They last a few months or until they couch eats them at least. With watercolor there is less a tendency to leave them sitting in water - which is bad for them. With acrylic of course you are trying to clean the paint out of the brushes so it's easy to forget and leave them in water. I suppose someone might tell you otherwise but I find that if I set a watercolor brush down mid-painting - without rinsing it off first -- it's fine when i got back for it. Which is good since once I start making art, I tend to turn of the logic part of my brain - which is also probably why i find art so relaxing. Like many people, I think way too much. That may be one of the dangers of being an introvert. Art saves me, it really does.

Art Girls
8 x 10"
Pen and ink
Available on Etsy.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tree Spirit

Tree Spirit by megan_n_smith_99
Tree Spirit, a photo by megan_n_smith_99 on Flickr.

This is a painting I was working on last week:

Tree Spirit
Watercolor, Ink, & pencil
Available on Etsy.

Over the last couple of days i have been doing some cleaning and organizing. Though I must say, it still looks like an artist lives here. I also hung a lot more art on the walls. Some might say it's too busy -- I am sure my stepfather would say that, as he prefers bare walls, perhaps he finds them soothing - but I am pleased that a lot of the piles are frames are no longer reclining in front of the fireplace. Though they will be replaced by more framed artwork when I take down the work I have at Cafe Lati at the end of the month. (See sidebar for info on that.)

Someone told me there are 2 kinds of artists - thought who have their own work on their walls and those that have the work of others on their walls. I think I am about half and half. I'm not sure what that means.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Ghost Tree

Ghost Tree by megan_n_smith_99
Ghost Tree, a photo by megan_n_smith_99 on Flickr.

I am kind of in love with this painting even though I painted it myself and that seems possibly slightly vain or something. Anyhow, here it is:

Ghost Tree
watercolor & gouache
Available on Etsy.

inspired by:

“I do an awful lot of thinking and dreaming about things in the past and the future - the timelessness of the rocks and the hills - all the people who have existed there. I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape - the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn't show.”
― Andrew Wyeth

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Goth girls, detail

Goth girls, detail by megan_n_smith_99
Goth girls, detail, a photo by megan_n_smith_99 on Flickr.

This is a detail of one of my pen & ink drawings, manipulated with instagram. You can see the whole drawing by clicking on the photo to go to Flickr.

I was determined to be slightly useful today and got up and started doing things before I turned on my computer. I made a big salad to last a few days and made some breakfast pumpkin muffins & some no-bake cookies for snacks.

Then for some reason, instead of folding laundry like I should have done, I started rearranging the art on my walls and hanging more stuff up. I am not sure if I overdid it - have to live with it a few days and see. but there are some things I am looking at right now that were in a pile in front of the fireplaces this morning and it sure is nice to see them AND nice to have fireplaces access. not that I need it because it's fake. It came with the place. I may replace it with a closet someday.

Goth Girls, detail
finished drawing is 11 x 14"
pen and ink
Available on Etsy

Friday, February 15, 2013

Hamsa Hand & Negative Space

  by megan_n_smith_99
, a photo by megan_n_smith_99 on Flickr.

This is a drawing I did a week or two ago. I was trying to design some artwork for a logo / website but I think it is too complicated. I tried to make it more simple! Can you tell? I have this horrible urge to cover every inch of space with details - can you tell? So, while I intellectually understand and appreciate the value of negative space, I have a hard time applying it. So I may try again. But in the meantime I actually was happy with how this drawing turned out.

It was sunny out today! What a gift in February. I went and sat in the park and drew for a while. There were a few other people with the same ideas as me - and some dogs.

And now I am listening to music and want to draw some more but my hand is getting sore so I might take a break for a while. Painting is a bit easier on the hands and uses slightly different muscles. Knitting causes about the same amount of wear and tear as drawing but uses different muscles. I try to plan things out and mix it up a bit. Plus I am reading a really good book and I am sure will soon retire with it. I really know how to spend a Friday night.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Frida's Garden & Book Notes

Frida's Garden by megan_n_smith_99
Frida's Garden, a photo by megan_n_smith_99 on Flickr.
This is my latest pen and ink drawing. I've been working on it off and on for a few days. It's mostly pen & ink with some gouache.

I was finishing it last night while listening to the audio book of Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch. It's the 1st in the Rivers of London series and I am really enjoying it. It's sort of reminds of of a combination of Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys meets Douglas Adam's Dirk Gently, with a little Harry Potter thrown in - yet without being derivative. It's both a ghost story and a detective novel - I highly recommend it!

This drawing is:
Frida's Garden
9 x 12"
Ink & gouache


Available on Etsy

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Valentines to Color

I have for you today two valentines to color.  Shown her are low res versions. I recommend printing the high res versions which you can find here:



Monday, February 11, 2013

Four Birds, Outsider Artists & Henry Darger

Four Birds by megan_n_smith_99
Four Birds, a photo by megan_n_smith_99 on Flickr.

You may have noticed, I've been working a bit bigger as of late. If you click on this photo it'll take you to my flickr photostream & you can look at the sets "Watercolor 2013" & "Pen & Ink 2013" to see what I have been working on.

Yesterday I showed my art at the Tractor Tavern in Ballard (Seattle). It looks like I will be doing that monthly - I will let you know. It was nice to talk to folks a bit - being an artist mostly you sit in a room by yourself all day. I'd be compelled to do it even if no one ever saw it, but it's still nice to take it out for a day on the town occasionally.

Speaking of artists who NEVER take their work out on the town, I suppose you've heard of Henry Darger? He was a reclusive artist - reclusive to the point that no one even knew he WAS an artist until after he died and many many works of art plus a 15,145 page manuscript were found in his rented room. There is an interesting documentary about him called In the Realms of the Unreal. I really enjoyed it. I should warn you that his work has naked little girls in it - only they are, uh, endowed like little boys. Some people think that is pornographic, but the film maker made a pretty good case that Darger had no relationships with women at any point in his life - in fact he had very few relationships at all and those he had were superficial. He probably was not aware that little girls were not made like little boys, and his work seems to me to reference the innocence of childhood, but I thought I would warn you in case you did not want to see that.

I had a chance to see one of his pieces in person and it really was amazing. And he is the epitome of outsider artist - he sort of made up his own techniques and used whatever materials he had at hand.

Someone asked me yesterday if I went to art school -- the answer is no. I took a few art classes in college - paper making and ceramics. The only instruction I ever had in drawing or painting was in high school. I did take one workshop in watercolor when I was in my teens. I've figured it out as I went along and there are still a lot of things I don't know, and probably things I am doing "wrong" as well. So in spite of 15 years working in the field of fine arts (though not AS an artist) i am an outsider artist, myself.

This painting is:
Four Birds
12 x 16"
Available on Etsy.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Be Mine

Be Mine by megan_n_smith_99
Be Mine, a photo by megan_n_smith_99 on Flickr.

I had not done any watercolor in over a week and I missed it quite a lot. I did 2 sweet little Valentine paintings yesterday and started a larger painting. I worked on these while watching The House of the Spirits, a wonderful movie based on an amazing and magical book (by Isabel Allende.)

Be Mine
Watercolor & Ink
Available on Etsy

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Green Children of Woolpit

Title: The Green Children of Woolpit
Dimensions: 11 x 14 inches
Media: Ink
Year: 2013

Once upon a time in the 12th century, it is said that the villagers of Woolpit discovered two children, a brother and sister, beside one of the wolf pits that gave the village its name. Their skin was green, they spoke an unknown language, and their clothing was strange. The children were taken in by the villagers, but refused all food for several days until they were offered some green beans, which they were happy to eat. The children gradually adapted to normal food and in time lost their green tint. The boy became sickly and died but his sister survived. When she had been taught english, she explained that they came from a land where the sun never shone, and the light was like twilight --St Martin's Land. The children had become lost in a cave and heard bells. When they followed the sound of the bells and found themselves in Woolpit.

This intricate pen and ink drawing depicts the 2 children, surrounded by trees, leaves, flowers, vines, and singing birds.

Available on Etsy.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Happy Rodent Day

Wee Mouse by megan_n_smith_99
Wee Mouse, a photo by megan_n_smith_99 on Flickr.

It''s Ground Hog's Day, the only holiday geared towards rodents. I can't remember the last time I drew a ground hog - Ok, I think I might have drawn one once ever. But I do draw Mice, so here is one to entertain you.

& I wanted to remind you that you can come to an art / craft fair and see my stuff tomorrow at the:

The Tractor Tavern
5213 Ballard Ave NW
Seattle WA 98107

10:00--3:00 Sunday February 3rd, 2013
10:00--3:00 Sunday February 10th, 2013

You can also visit the famous Ballard Sunday Market, which will be going on about a block away.

I hope to see you on tomorrow!
Now I have a date with a cup of tea and some Pitt Artist Pens.