Friday, November 28, 2014

Orange Friday and Keeper of Mystery

How about if instead of braving the masses you stay at home in your PJs eating leftover pie and doing a little shopping on Etsy? Support independent artists!

Now through Nov 30th use coupon code THANKYOU to save 20% in my etsy shop!

This is my latest mini monster, The Keeper of Mystery.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Mini Monsters

In time for the holidays I have added some more mini paintings to my Etsy shop. I call them monsters... I suppose some of them are more creatures, or imps, or some sort of Forest Creature. They are not scary monsters, I don't really do scary art! Most of these are around 2x3 or 3x3" or so and they all come with the frames shown. You can see them in my Etsy Shop.

And here is a peek at a few of them:

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Snippits and Monsters

I want to share a few snippits from Ray Bradbury that have amused me. These are from Zen in the Art of Writing, published in 1994. It is a collection of essays written at various times over his career.

"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you" -- I think this can apply to any creative endeavor.

"I have never listened to anyone who criticized my taste in space travel, sideshows, or gorillas. When this occurs, I pack up my dinosaurs and leave the room."

"Bees do have a smell, you know, and if they don't they should, for their feet are dusted with spices from a million flowers."

I am not done with the book yet. I will probably have some more snippits to share. I find the very best books on writing could probably equally well apply to drawing or painting - okay, maybe not Elements of Style, but certainly Bird by Bird and Writing Down the Bones.

Here are some more of my imaginary lands, inhabited by imaginary creatures, places I hope to visit one day.

In other news, I have added a few new listings to my Etsy Shop this weekend, just in time for holiday shopping.

Friday, November 7, 2014

October Country

“...That country where it is always turning late in the year. That country where the hills are fog and the rivers are mist; where noons go quickly, dusks and twilights linger, and midnights stay. That country composed in the main of cellars, sub-cellars, coal-bins, closets, attics, and pantries faced away from the sun. That country whose people are autumn people, thinking only autumn thoughts. Whose people passing at night on the empty walks sound like rain.”

― Ray Bradbury It was a beautiful autumn day here in Seattle. Some years we have a lot of those. This year we have had a lot of rain and most days the leaves land on the pavement and are quickly reduced to the consistency of soggy cornflakes. They then drift in matts onto the grates over the storm drains and when the rains return the streets flood. However we seem to be in the lull between storms and I am hoping it will be nice enough tomorrow to gather some leaves. It is much more pleasant to collect them when they are dry - or maybe slightly damp - at least not clumped in puddles. I did find some good Ginko leaves yesterday and dried a few off to take home. I saw a beautiful yellow and red tinged oak that I am sorry I did not take a photo of - it was lying in a puddle. I may try to paint what I remember, anyway.

The leaves in this picture are actually leaves I collected and traced around. I like to find different kinds and different sizes. I wish their color would last forever but I suppose if it did we would take it for granted and we would miss out on the delicate new green of spring. I've been reading Ray Bradbury. I started for October, and if you are not quite ready to leave Halloween behind then I recommend to you several of his books:

The Halloween Tree

The October Country

From the Dust Returned

Something Wicked This Way Comes.

All very atmospheric.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Intricate Monsters

It has been, as they say, a while. For some time this Spring and Summer I was having hardware issues and got rather used to navigating the web via my iPhone, which did not lend itself to blogging. However thanks to my ever-thoughtful stepfather, I am now the owner of a shiny new Dell (okay, matte-black finish, some sort of odd perhaps non-slip texture which I am sure will somehow uh, come in handy?) At any rate I need to get back into the habit of blogging.

I never stopped making things, of course, because I can't do that for very long without feeling edgy and also like life is perhaps pointless. I am not sure creating art makes the world a better place, but it is the only real gift I have, such as it is, and I do feel compelled to use it. Also, it does bring me a feeling of peace I have not found anyplace else. Not every moment of course, there are certainly times I feel quite frustrated and end up ripping things up (Note I do not show you the things that don't turn out - there are some of those.) There are also plenty of times when I spill my watercolor water for the 3rd time in a day and get rather irritable about life in general. However, There are still many times when I am immersed in art when I feel most like myself. Watercolor is the closest thing I know to flying. This summer I worked on a number of pieces that involved watercolor with an intricate overlay of pen and ink. They were a bit more planned than some of my works, though with areas for less structure. I enjoyed doing them and I liked the end result, but I think I am going to go back now and do some less structured pieces, at least a few, because it's more relaxing and sometimes more surprising. I am going to share some of the pieces that came out of this ... These are mostly Daniel Smith watercolor on Arches cold press paper and the ink is mostly Sharpie. I have these fine point Sharpies

Please note I still have the same scanner but I am not sure this is the best scanner driver! Perhaps I will take some iPhone photos over the weekend to show a bit more detail. One thing about living in Seattle is you kind of have to plan for when there will be some light. maybe. enough. if you are lucky....

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Good News! Show at Push / Pull Gallery

I will be the featured artist at Push / Pull Gallery in Greenwood ( Seattle) this Friday! Push / Pull Gallery 8537 Greenwood Ave N Seattle WA 98103 6pm to 10pm I hope to see you there!

Monday, May 26, 2014

i have not felt like i had much to say lately - or if i have something to say i am not saying it. i should probably make some art about it. but i have been making art. and those are some of my best moments, getting lost and found inside of it. so these are some of the things i have been working on lately. i will try to let it say something for me...

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Frida in the Forest

I have always been fascinated by Frida Kahlo. I think part of it is because she was a woman creating in a man's world, and because her work has such an intimate feeling that you feel as if you are having a conversation with her. And of course I admire her need to create art no matter what else was going on with her life. And as a way to deal with and transcend pain. In fact my friend Janusz and I made a trip to San Francisco a few years ago for the express purpose of going to 2 museums shows - the Chihuly show at the De Young and Frida Kahlo show at SF MOMA. And it was worth the trip! I will never forget seeing so many of her works in person. I have done several paintings of Frida and still do not feel like I have captured her but I think I am getting closer.

Frida in the Forest
8 x 8"
watercolor, ink, and pencil.
Available in my Etsy Shop.

"I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it’s true I’m here, and I’m just as strange as you.” ― Frida Kahlo, The Diary of Frida Kahlo: An Intimate Self-Portrait

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Dyad in Winter / Trees have always been the most penetrating preachers...

I am a day late for Arbor day, but here is one of my most recent paintings: Dryad in Winter 8x8" watercolor, ink, colored pencil, and pencil. Available in my Etsy Store.

And some words from Herman Hesse:

"For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfil themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farmboy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow." — Hermann Hesse (Bäume. Betrachtungen und Gedichte)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Amethyst and Titania

I've moved on from green to purple. I have some really wonderful purples in my palette, my favorites being Daniel Smith's Finest Watercolors in Quinacridone Violet, Perylene Violet, Shadow Violet, and Quinacridone Magenta. I've also added some Phthalo Turquoise, Cobalt Blue, and bits of this and that here. I've been having a good time with these new pieces, which are part of a new series, though I don't actually have a name for the series. So far it exists as 3 paintings and a bunch of scribbles on two post-its, but I hope to be able to work on more this weekend… These two are available in my Etsy Shop.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

It's Not Easy Being Green

I have been thinking about green. Seattle, in general, is pretty green. Evergreens, the first national curbside recycling program, etc. But downtown seattle is less green. Particularly the part where I work, the edge of the International District and the Industrial District and the Stadium District. It's very interesting, there are always things going on. But it can be sorta grey. Grey sky, grey cement, a lot of grey or at least neutral colored buildings, grey water. I was thinking that it was a lot easier to deal with the frequent grey days when I lived on Vashon Island, where things were a lot more green. The water and sky were still often grey, but the roads and houses and tiny townlets were all surrounded by towering trees, many of them evergreens so they were green all year 'round. So on a rainy day, the overall feeling was one of verdant life. And in the woods you don't get as wet because there are all these trees between you and the sky. Today was a grey day, after a little run of sunny days, and I could feel the difference in my mood … and my bones. So I was thinking I might need to do some very-green paintings. Here's one from a few years ago:

Sherwood 8 x 10" watercolor

Sunday, April 13, 2014

More Little Paintings

I seem to be painting big paintings and little paintings recently - not much in between. The big paintings take so long that I guess it's a relief to work on the little ones. To finish something. And the subject matters are similar too. So I can experiment a bit with colors and things. So here are some little critters I have worked on fairly recently, and just listed on Etsy.

The little frames inspire me - they seem to call out for some elaborate little thing. I've been doing mostly monsters or creatures recently - but I think I may need to do some sea creatures soon. Perhaps still someone imaginary. I've recently gotten this book from the library: Sketching from the Imagination. And it's really good enough that i've added it to my wish list. If you like to draw things you half invented, I recommend it for inspiration.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

new coloring folio by megan noel

i started this project about a year ago. then it languished for a while. finally it is done and ready for you! original designs to color. I tried not too add too much insane detail, but enough to make it fun. this is ideal for adults but suitable for kids of all ages too. the paper is acid-free bright white card stock - sturdy to stand up to some serious art supplies - though personally i'd probably select colored pencil or markers. the folio is available for purchase in my Etsy shop. some peeks at the contents below:

Stories and Dreams - new zine from Megan Noel

well, news! i have some new goodies in my etsy shop. after a long hiatus, i have a new zine featuring recent pen and ink & pencil work. It's called stories and dreams and you can get it in my Etsy Shop. I also have reprints of a couple older zines, new Ale Monster prints, and a new coloring folio,all available on Etsy. Below are a few snippets from the new zine!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Just a reminder.. you can come see me & my artwork this coming weekend, April 5th, at Exterminator City, in Seattle. We'll be there from noon to 6 and I would love to meet you. I'll have zines, my new coloring folios, and some prints and original art! Speaking of original art… This is one of my most recent monster paintings. I do the watercolor first and then go back and add the ink embellishments. (Ok, maybe I got a little carried away.) This is part of a series, though I have not come up with a title for the series yet. He is available on Etsy.

And here is a peak at some art that will be in my new zine, Stories and Dreams, which is going to get printed tonight…

I hope you all had a creative weekend!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

And Some Monsters

I am still drawing and painting monsters. Not just the little ones, but bigger ones too. This is a snapshot of a detail from one that is 12 x 16". i need to properly scan it. I am thinking of making prints or posters with the image. What do you think?
I am working on several other monster paintings of large and medium sizes. I've got some more ideas, so we will see where this ends up going… Also, for those of you who have been following my blog for a while, you know that I used to publish zines. I am reprinting 3 of my classic zines:
They will be available at Exterminator City in Seattle, April 5th. After that there will be some in my etsy shop. If your want to make sure you get one, you can always Email me. I will also have a NEW zine with recent work, and a NEW coloring folio available! Happy Creating!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Watercolors in the naiad color palette & Special Offer on Etsy

This was an experiment I did a few months ago where I limited myself to a specific color palette and created several paintings. Thinking back I think I used:
Indigo, Cobalt Blue, Quinacridone Magenta, Phthalo Turquoise, and a bit of flesh color on one of them. I also used some white ink and white colored pencils on some of them. I was really happy with the cool colors. I used one of them on my own holiday card - I wanted something that felt wintery without being overtly in support of one winter holiday over another!

A couple of these have some but two are still in my Etsy Shop.

In other news - Thru Sunday March 23rd, spend $75 or more in my etsy shop and mention this offer, & get a free unframed mini painting . ( I can also sell you a frame at cost if desired.) this will be a new mini, not one of ones already on etsy - though I can take requests for colors, etc. pass the word! The minis are ~3x3".

Monday, March 17, 2014

octopus ascending

octopus ascending by megan_n_smith_99
octopus ascending, a photo by megan_n_smith_99 on Flickr.

This is a watercolor I finished recently. It is 9x12". It was inspired by some of H. P. Lovecraft's stories, with a lot of input from my own imagination. The architecture is inspired by Islamic architecture, run through an Arabian Nights filter.

I guess when you are an artist, you are making creative soup all day long. Your ingredients go in, what you chose to look at, read, explore... But you never quite know what is going to come out. I don't think I am done with this idea yet, so don't be surprised if you see some more sea creatures emerging from my watercolors.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Fox Shaman

I started doing small animal paintings earlier this year. I think partly because I had been working on some really large paintings earlier this year and it was a nice little change. I actually am almost done with one of the large paintings - I think It will be done later today and I can show you soon! It's watercolor & ink. This little fox shaman is watercolor & ink and he is 4 x 6"
I will always want to use autumn colors and paint autumn themes, not just in fall. It seemed appropriate for this fiery little guy. I have been collecting these elaborate frames and creating artwork specifically with them in mind. So I think my elaborate little worlds work inside these baroque borders or fringes. The fox is available on Etsy. And now, I have made a cup of black tea with half and half & maple sugar ..back to the art supplies!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Mini monsters.

Mini monsters. by megan_n_smith_99
Mini monsters., a photo by megan_n_smith_99 on Flickr.
do feel badly about how neglected this poor little blog is. I have not stopped making art, or talking about art, or thinking about art. I've just been keeping it mostly to myself, I guess.

Early in the year I started working on some larger pieces to use in future shows - though one sold already. Which was actually kind of nice. I still have 1 watercolor in the works which is about 11 x 17 or so - huge for me. I hope to get it done soon.

And I've done some pen and ink work - started a new pen & ink sketch journal & have done some work on a new comic.

And more recently I've been painting some miniature watercolors to go in these great frames I've found. They are a lot of fun to paint. Painting them is like eating potato chips. The two square ones shown here are 3x4". to give you an idea of the size. and i use tiny little size 0 brushes to do the details.

so much art! so little time. i have so many lists of ideas for more things i want to make. And I also work full time. So I do my best to do as much art as I can by not having much of a social life and not keeping as tidy a house as martha stewart. and i don't even get to read as much as i would like, though i do listen to a lot of audio books while i am painting!

Two of these little guys are available in my Etsy Shop.

More news, here is an event coming up that I will be at - please come and join me at

Exterminator City.

What do you think of my little guys?

Saturday, January 4, 2014

2013 Book List

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

Books read 2013

1) 11/22/63 by Stephen King
2) A Magnificent Obsession: Victoria, Albert, and the Death That Changed the British Monarchy by Helen Rappaport
3) Maneater: And Other True Stories of a Life in Infectious Disease by Pamela Nagami
4) Modern American Memoirs: 1917--1992 ed. by Annie Dillard
5) Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Letham
6) Fairy Tale by Raymond Fiest
6) King Solomon's Carpet by Ruth Rendell
7) The House of Stairs by Ruth Rendell
8) The Chimney Sweeper's Boy by Ruth Rendell
9) A Dark-Adapted Eye by Ruth Rendell
10) A Fatal Inversion by Ruth Rendell
11)The Child's Child by Ruth Rendell
12) The Blood Doctor by Ruth Rendell
13) The Birthday Present by Ruth Rendell
14) The Brimstone Wedding by Ruth Rendell
15) Asta's Book by Ruth Rendell
16) Grasshopper by Ruth Rendell
17) Darwin's Radio by Greg Bear
18) Darwin's Children by Greg Bear
19) The Hot Zone by Richard Preston
20) Zueglodon by James Blaylock
21) Inside the Outbreaks by Mark Pemdergrast
22) The Deadly Dinner Party and Other Medical Detective Stories by Jonathan A. Edlow
23) Three Cups of Tea by by Greg Mortenson
24) The Aylesford Skull by James Blaylock
25) Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver
26) The Paradise War by Stephen Lawhead
27) Fear Collector by Gregg Olsen
28) Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling
29) The Cabinet of Curiosities by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
30) Anne Perry: Murder of the Century by Peter Graham
31) E. Nesbit, A Biography by Doris Langley Moore
32) This House of Sky by Ivan Doig
33) The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff
34) The Historian by Elizabeth Kotova
35) Why be Happy When You Could be Normal by Jeanette Winterson
36) The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente
37) The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton
38) The Magician King by Lev Grossman
39) The Third Gate by Lincoln Child
40) Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews

Audio Books:

1) The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
2) Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch
3) Moon over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch
4) Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
5) Minding Frankie by Maeve Binchy
6) Heart and Soul by Maeve Binchy
7) The Coming Plague by Laurie Garrett
8)The Demon in the Freezer by Richard Preston
9) Beating Back the Devil by Maryn McKenna
10) The Fatal Strain by Alan Sipress
11) Quantico by Greg Bear
12) Panic in Level Four by Richard Preston
13) The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson
14) Skylight Confessions by Alice Hoffman
15) The Red Garden by Alice Hoffman
16) The Story Sisters by Alice Hoffman
17) The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
18) the Skin map by Stephen Lawhead
19) The Bone House by Stephen Lawhead
20) The Spirit Well by Stephen Lawhead
21) Bone by Bone by Carol O'Connell
22) Sharp Objects by Gillian Flyn
23) The Digging Leviathan by James Blaylock
24) The Devil and Sherlock Holmes by David Grann
25) Thunderhead by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
26) Brimstone by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
27) Dance of Death by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
28) The Book of the Dead by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
29) Cemetery Dance by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
30) Fever Dream by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
31) Cold Vengence by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
32) The House of Secrets by Chris Columbus & Ned Vizzini
33) The 19th Wife by David Eberschoff
34) The Swan Thief by Elizabeth Kostova
35) Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
36) Two Graves by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
37) The Ice Limit by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
38) The Sword of the Templars by Paul Christopher
39) Maya's Notebook by Isabel Allende
40) Half Magic by Edward Eager
41) The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt
42) Angels and Insects by A.S. Byatt
43) The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron
44) The Templar Cross by Paul Christopher
45) The Diviner's Tale by Bradford Morrow
46) Hannibal by Thomas Harris
47) Hannibal Rising by Thomas Harris
48) The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
49) Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
50) Sun of a Gun by Justin St. Germain
51) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
52) Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J. K. Rowling
53) Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
54) Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
55) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
56) My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell
57) The Magicians: A Novel by Lev Grossman
58) Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris
59) When you are engulfed by Flames by David Sedaris
60) Dress your Family in Corduroy & Denim by David Sedaris
61) Pilgrim's Wilderness by Tom Kizzia
62) Marmee and Louisa by Eva LaPlante
63) Louisa May Alcott by Harriet Reisen