Almost Wordless Wednesday - Umbrella art challenge

Too Little Too Late
For Digital Whisper challenge #67 Umbrella we had to use this image:

I tweaked a rain texture stock image from Fear-Fixation.deviantart.com & then added figures from some of my original drawings.


Random Thoughts Tuesday

And another week goes flying by! Rushing through the random today. My son just told me that he volunteered to bring homemade cookies to his 1st grade class tomorrow...I suppose I could be annoyed but I always love an excuse to make cookies.

Do you get the Martha Stewart's cookie a day email? If not you are missing out! Sign up here. Today's recipe is for Cappucino Brownies. Does that count as a cookie? I don't know.... but they sound tasty. Won't be making them for the kiddies though - I like my kid's teacher too much to do that to her.
The Eyes Have It by Dava Shepherd
Still need business cards? Dava Shepherd is hosting a Uprinting business card giveaway on her blog, TreasuresFromHawaii.

How about some free vintage french music downloads? Stampingon (they publish the Somerset craft mags) sends out free downloads via email now & again.

Ready for Halloween? It has always been my absolutely favorite holiday! Of course back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, we had to make our own spooky decorations. I have the best memories of going to the fabric store with my mom each September & looking through all of the pattern books to find the perfect costume.  If you're into crafting for Halloween  Martha is (once again) the go to gal. You can also find some fun projects over at Instructables. What are your favorite Halloween project sites?

The Proportion Of A Man's Heart by Lorraine Reynolds
What'cha doing October 1st? If you are in Burlington, VT. be sure to stop by The S.P.A.C.E. Gallery  for spooky stories & the opening reception of The Art Of Horror. This group show includes work from one of my favorite Etsians, Lorraine Reynolds of Glimmering Prize. She also shares her projects over at her cool blog.

Oh & here is a fun faux-bleach stamp technique using embossing ink & powder & alcohol inks. Will have to try sometime.

Have to run. If you're looking for some more chaos, click button on the top to visit the Unmom. Make sure you leave her your linky if you get around to posting your own bit of  random tonight.


Oh, I almost forgot - leaving a comment enters you in the 10/14 random drawing for artist Myke Amend's "Spooky Steampunk Bag of Awesome". Click here for details & info on Myke's latest project, the multimedia collaborative event, Cirque Acirca.


Multitasking Monday - Ill. Friday, Mixed Media & Music

So, what do you get if you mix Musical Monday, Mixed Media Monday & Illustration Friday into one post?  Something like this....

Blogging with Amanda has revived Musical Monday's (yay!). What are you listening to today? Click the button to visit Amanda & link up your tune-of-choice.  I've got Ramona Falls Russia splashing around in my head again.

This piece I'm submitting for Illustration Friday's latest prompt, Old Fashioned, as well as the new Mixed Media Monday challenge, Art.

still naive, Polaroid transfer on marble

I took a Polaroid of my original charcoal, color pencil & conte' drawing. Trimmed it down & then made an emulsion transfer (more about the process in this post) which was adhered to a 4" sq marble tile. Once that dried, enhanced with a touch of watercolor pencil & white paint. Finally protected with a layer of UV-resistant spray.


By the way, your comment enters you into the 10/14 random drawing for artist Myke Amend's "Spooky Steampunk Bag of Awesome". Click here for details & info on Myke's latest project, the multimedia collaborative event, Cirque Acirca.


Enter to win a "Spooky Steampunk Bag Of Awesome" from artist Myke Amend

Image courtesy of Myke Amend
Some of you know what a big fan I am of Myke Amend & his fantastic creations.

Heptameron by Myke Amend
 Myke likes to mix his mythos, with fun combos like steampunk & Lovecraft,

The Antarctic Experiment by Myke Amend
 steampunk & Wonderland
Mach Turtle by Myke Amend
and steampunk & horror (perfect for Halloween).

Undeath From Above by Myke Amend
I'm sensing a theme here.... Myke also mixes surrealism, pop culture, robots & other great stuff on both his website, MykeAmend.com and his Etsy shop, EttaDiem (which he shares with artist Bethalynne Bajema). 

So what does this have to do with the new Thursday Giveaway?

On 10/14 Myke is giving a "Spooky Steampunk Bag Of Awesome" to one very lucky winner. According to the artist: "Each bag will come stuffed with interesting things – prints from our Cirque Acirca project, and other interesting things… some will even contain hand-made weirdness and all will be packaged with some beautiful hand-made love, fine paper, sparkles and ribbon. The rest is a mystery, but a good mystery. "  

To enter this random drawing, simply leave a comment on this blog before 1 a.m. (EST) on 10/14. It is that easy. This drawing is open worldwide & prize ships free to winner.

Can't wait until the 14th? Need a Bag Of Awesome right now? Myke is selling them on his site for $15+ shipping (click here)

Why is Myke doing this? 
Because He and Bethalynne are working with other creative types on an amazing mixed media (& I do mean mixed- visual arts, music, performers, you name it) extravaganza, Cirque Acirca and they need all the help (& donations) they can get.

What is Cirque Acirca?  
It is the wonderland of art & events these fun folks are putting together  for the ArtPrize event/competition happening now until October 10 throughout Grand Rapids, Michigan. 

From the Circque Acirca site: "ArtPrize, a radically open art competition, will host Cirque A Circa, a confluence of artists, designers, musicians, and performance artists creating a multi-use space to showcase an eclectic variety of turn of the 19th century inspired gallimaufry, art, metaphysics, magic, and music. Seven nationally known artists......Brought together by a love for Circus & a mission to help teens in trouble. Their entry is art installation, 2D, 3D, musical, interactive, performance, variety, fashion & most of all it’s as life affirming as it is death defying. Have you ever felt like a freak? On the outside looking in? Maybe from another place or time…Welcome home."

Why is this so important?
"You know we love art & ArtPrize & probably you are nonplussed about our connection to Circus or even SteamPunk… but there is a more important reason why we are doing this & though we are usually not comfortable talking about “What It Means’ we realize that in order to get the message out we need to talk about, well, what it means…

It is our belief that Mental Health issues are at the heart of the cause & the effect of all of these things that affect our young people. Affect us. All of us… The seven of us doing Cirque Acirca have had very different lives but we have all been personally affected by suicide, abuse, self/substance abuse & Mental Illness of every kind & probably, so have you. We are the lucky ones. Each of us has found our own ‘Circus’. A reason to Live, to Laugh, & to Love… & that is our message." - from Cirque Acirca site. Click here to read more about Cirque Acirca & the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan.
Click here for their website, additional info, or a schedule of events.

What is ArtPrize?  
From their site: "ArtPrize is a radically open competition. Open to any artist in the world who can find space. Open to anybody in Grand Rapids, Michigan who wants to create a venue. Open to a vote from anyone who attends."  Also, toss ArtPrize into google & you can find all sorts of press coverage.

Readers, thanks for sticking with me. I know I'm a bit verbose today.  Just remember to leave a comment before you go to enter the goody-bag giveaway.

If you have some time please check out a few links, enjoy the art &  learn more about this ambitious project. If you like what you see, spread the word.

And if you are lucky enough to be in Grand Rapids, be sure to enjoy the variety events at ArtPrize & Cirque Acirca. (And then drop me a line & tell me all about it - so that I can live vicariously through you, okay?)


Happy Birthday, Mr. Coltrane

“I never even thought about whether or not they understand what I'm doing . . . the emotional reaction is all that matters as long as there's some feeling of communication, it isn't necessary that it be understood.” - John Coltrane (1926-1967)

Thank you to dancohn for this video.

The new giveaway has been delayed a day. Sorry about that. Life happened. I'll post the new giveaway tomorrow afternoon - see you then.

Winner of CreativeEtching's customized brass ruler is.....


Congratulations, Dava! I'll be in touch today with details for collecting this unique prize. 

Custom etched ruler from CreativeEtching.Etsy.com

Special thanks to Jerry Ringling of CreativeEtching.etsy.com for sponsoring this great giveaway! I enjoyed our visit earlier this month & had a great time looking around your shop & DeviantArt site.

And thank you to all who left a comment to enter this random drawing. Your interest in these artist features & random drawings is what keeps them coming. By the way, if you missed the interview with Jerry, you can catch it here along with photos of his etched metal pieces. Also, if you would like to order a custom etched brass ruler (great for showing scale in online shop photos), be sure to visit CreativeEtching on Etsy. Rulers come in 2"-3" or 6" with your choice of text.

If you are in the neighborhood be sure to pop back later today. I'll be announcing a new giveaway sponsored by another fantastic Etsy Steam Team member!


Almost Wordless Wednesday - Dark Sprite

Dark Sprite - Digital Collage
Many thanks to Gail & Digital Whisper for inspiring me to pick up with digital stuff again. Today I'm feeling Halloween-ish.

Model is from MizzD's fabulous stock over at DeviantArt. Bone pile is adapted from a public domain photo I came across eons ago (sorry, forgot where from. will credit if I can find it)

Before I forget, it is your last chance to enter the random draw for one of CreativeEtching's brass rulers with custom etched text. You have until 1 a.m. (EST) 9/23 to leave a comment to enter. Click here for details & photos.


Musical Monday - Caged Bird

Just a hit & run post today. Still listening to Unkle's Where Did The Night Fall this week. Today's favorite track is Caged Bird with Katrina Ford.

This fab tune has been rattling around in my nut all weekend. Mix in IllustrationFriday's prompt Acrobat  plus a pinch of Sunday Postcard Art's 1950's Pinups challenge and some very interesting ideas are simmering..... but between life-stuff & a silly head cold, I haven't been able to put 'em onto paper yet.

Great prompts, yeah? You have all week to enter your own interpretations. Click on the links to add your fantastic creations & see what others have come up with.

By the way, Mixed Media Monday is a fun one too - this week's inspiration is Buttons.

Back to the music thing - what are you listening to today? I'm always looking for new earworms and  lucky me, Bloggin' with Amanda  & Denise over at RunDMT have revived Musical Monday. So why don't you pop on over there and share your tunes today if  you have a moment.

Final note: Don't forget to enter Thursday's random drawing for a custom etched brass ruler from CreativeEtching.Etsy.com. Click here for photos & details


Winner of 250 custom printed business cards is......

Congrats, Kristin! I'll contact you with directions for claiming your prize.

Thanks to Uprinting.com for sponsoring this great giveaway! If you get a chance, check them out. I've been very happy with the printing they have done for me.

Many thanks to all who left a comment & entered this giveaway. It is your interest that keeps the sponsors coming! 

By the way, I am also hosting a random drawing on 9/24 for CreativeEtching.Etsy.com. 1 lucky winner will receive a brass ruler custom etched with their choice  of  lettering . This giveaway is open worldwide. For details & an interview with the artist behind Creative Etching, click here.

Regarding Studio Tour Saturdays - They will resume in 2 weeks. I've been trying to get my schedule re-organized . Thank you for your patience. If you would like to share your creative space or have a space you wish to see, drop me a line. I love to "visit" all sorts of spaces - from the palatial to the corner desk in the basement.



 After a few challenges today I needed to chill. I think better if my hands are busy, so out came markers.

I had forgotten how quickly doodling clears my mind.  As kid I was always scribbling. Sometime in my 20s that faded away. I have tried to keep an art journal over the years, but after a few pages every sketchbook becomes a paperweight.

Apparently I just needed something more substantial - like a paper mache' skull. And just in time for Halloween too.

By the way, I'm still taking entries for 2 random drawings. Click links for more info:


Weekend Photos, Musical Monday & other ramblings

Is it Musical Monday already?Where did the weekend go? 

 Watched Repo Men last night. It was a bit meh but had this great tune from Unkle on the soundtrack. I haven't listened to them in ages so popped over to their site. Some great stuff on the Standalone player - worth opening a tab & running in the background. (That's what I'm doing right now)

Denise over at RunDMT resurrected Music Monday's last week. If you get a chance pop over later, add your own tunes & check out what others are playing today. I love MM! It can be a great way to find new faves or enjoy some classics.

So what did you do this weekend? It was party time around here.  We started Friday night with the Museq art opening at the Tampa Artist Emporium. Fun show! Lots of color plus a variety of styles and mediums. Little Dude played official photographer. (Oops - I just realized we forgot to shoot my 2 pieces.Well, you can see them on the previous post if you are curious.)

 R.J. Runas  ( & assistant) work on a clay dog sculpture.

Check out this Leonardo bust by the same artist. Fantastic texture!

Some great guitar kept the party moving. Visit TimMullally.com for a listen.

A grand time was had by all! We made some new friends and ran into many old ones. The rest of the weekend was spent at various birthday celebrations & relaxing.

"I have been wanting to" is the theme for the new MixedMediaMonday. I love this prompt! I've been taking too long to start a few projects that are outside my comfort zone. I'm going to see about working on this later today. Click the banner to add your newest creation or see how others are pushing their personal envelopes.

I'll let you in on a not-so-secret. I am a big chicken. I can't tell you how many times I hear of an opportunity & fail to follow through until it is too late.  So, taking the MMM challenge to heart. I'm getting my paperwork & photos together for assorted artsy opportunities. Will anything come of it? Probably not....but what the heck.....nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?

On that note, I best get myself moving today. Wishing you all a creative and fun filled week!

By the way, I'm hosting 2 random drawings right now. Click links for more info:


Art filled weekend in Tampa & Burlington

photo by Melissa Wilson

First a sneak peek of the Tampa Artists Emporium Museq show. One of the owners, Melissa Wilson, sent this photo last night after she finished hanging the show. 

Diva - mixed media on paper

The 2 white matted pieces to the right of the door are mine - Squee! Here are the close-ups.

Smokin' - mixed media on paper

This show's theme is "Let Music Be Your Muse". The opening party runs 6-10 tonight. Lots of art & artists, live music, refreshments & a photographer shooting $10 portraits too. If you are in Tampa, stop by 3415 Bay to Bay Blvd - should be a great time!

Not in Florida? How about Vermont?

I got an email from SteamSmith (a.k.a. Mark Schwabe) about the Burlington South End Art Hop  "the biggest art event in the state of Vermont". It started today runs through Sunday & afternoon. Last year it had 30,000 visitors.

SteamSmith  has moved to a new studio at The Space Gallery which is located in the Soda Plant at 266 Pine Street (in Burlington's South End).  If you're lucky enough to be in Burlington this weekend, check out Mark's new digs and enjoy his wonderful Steampunk creations..... oh, and would you tell him I say hi?

SteamSmith at work

Last November Mark showed us around his old studio. (Click here if you missed it). Perhaps we can persuade him to give us a tour of the new space once he gets settled in......

I also found out that mixed media artist Lorraine Reynolds will be showing her work during the hop.  Someone over on facebook mentioned that she has a piece in the Juried Show.  If I can get more details, I'll add them here later. By the way, Lorraine's ACEO Eve was one of the first pieces I bought on Etsy back in 2008.
Eve ACEO from Glimmering Prize
I'm sorry I can't make it to Burlington. Sounds like a great weekend! 

What's going on in your part of the world this weekend? Whatever it is, I hope you have a fabulous time.


Visit with Creative Etching & Enter to win a custom etched brass ruler

Hi there. How are you today?

Thanks for stopping by - excellent timing! I'm expecting a visit from Jerry Ringling of CreativeEtching.Etsy.com  in a few minutes. I met Jerry through the  Etsy SteamTeam  & fell for his fantastic etched metal ACEOs. They would make a really unique addition to any art trading card collection . (By the way, click on any of the captions for more info on each item)

Zeppelin Mooring to a Skyscraper, Mixed Metal ACEO by CreativeEtching
CreativeEtchings carries all sorts of fun metal works, including keychains, pins, 

Thor's Hammer Pendant & Earring Set from CreativeEtching
 jewelry, ornaments and even magic wands. 

Harry Potter Inspired Copper Wand by CreativeEtching

Jerry also offers framed etched artworks and custom pieces created using your photo or drawing. 

Custom Photo Etching On Brass Or Copper by CreativeEtching
I see Jerry that arrived while I've been rambling. I'll go get some refreshments while you guys chat.

JR: Everyone knows that you shouldn’t mix electricity and water… the results can be very bad. But what if you add a little chemistry, bits of brass, and odd snippets of history, scifi, and steampunk? You get an Etsy shop like CreativeEtching. I'm the guy behind the metal work. The artwork is provided by my wife, Georgia. 

Etched Copper Octopus ACEO by Creative Etching

JR: Working in my basement workshop, I uses an electrolytic process to etch images in copper, brass, and steel. It is an environmentally friendly process that transfers any image onto brass or copper plate. The plate I use is thick enough not to bend easily, but light enough to be used to create custom pins, charms, ornaments, keychains, or plaques. The plaques can stand alone or be placed in a standard picture frame.

Chesapeake Bay Skipjack Etched Art by CreativeEtching

JR: The final product is a durable piece of metal which has been etched, painted, polished and sealed to prevent scratching. I typically use black to create the contrast but any single color can be used. The resulting image often has an antique look, making this a great way to reproduce and preserve old black & white photos.

Janx Spirit Brass Keychain by CreativeEtching

JR: The text pieces are mostly quotes from some of my favorite books or movies.

Bladerunner Inspired Brass Keychain by CreativeEtching

JR: Like Stacey said, I also enjoy to making custom items such as pins, keychains, pendants, buttons, badges, and other oddities. 

JR: Not everything that comes out of the workshop makes it into the Etsy shop. Some of pieces can be seen in my Deviant Art gallery at www.creativeetching.deviantart.com.

JR: My newest etched idea is these 3 inch rulers

Custom Etched Photographic scale 2 or 3 inch by CreativeEtching

or a larger 6 inch ruler.

Custom Etched Photographic scale 6 inch by CreativeEtching

JR: These are perfect for placing in photographs to provide a visual scale while identifying the artist or advertising your store.

Custom Etched Photographic scale 2 or 3 inch by CreativeEtching

Thanks for stopping by today, Jerry! I've enjoyed getting to know a bit about about your art & techniques.

And guess what, guys.....CreativeEtchings is generously sponsoring the new Thursday Giveaway!

On 9/23 one lucky reader will win one of Jerry's custom etched brass rulers. The winner selects either a 3" or 6" ruler etched with text of their choosing (on either 1 or both sides of ruler).

Now how cool is that? Use the ruler for crafting or in your photos. Or maybe a unique calling card or gift.

To Enter: Simply leave a comment on this blog before 1 a.m. on 9/23. It is that easy. On 9/23 winner will be randomly selected using random.org.  (Just be sure to leave your email if it isn't already in your profile, so I can contact you if you win.) One entry per person. International entries are welcome. Prize ships free worldwide.

Thanks for dropping in & leaving a comment. It is your interest in these interviews & giveaways that keeps them coming. And the artists really enjoy the feedback.

Final note: There is still time to enter the 250 die cut business cards giveaway from Uprinting.com. That random drawing will be held on 9/18. Click here for details. 


Almost Wordless Wednesday - Red Tulips

Feel like painting tonight but no time..... so playing around in P. Elements.....


Have you entered the new business card giveaway? On 9/18 1 lucky winner gets 250 die cut business cards. Click here for details.


Merging Musical & Mixed Media Mondays.....

 Musical Monday is back - woohoo!

I got an email today from DeniseIsRunDMT - She's resuscitating Musical Mondays. To play along, post what you're listening to today & add a link over on her site. To kick things off Denise is also holding a random drawing for a $15 itunes giftcard.

I've a bunch of music in the queue today - trying to finish a piece for the Tampa Artist Emporium Museq art show that opens on Friday.

100 artists + live music....should be a grand time. If you'll be in Tampa on the 10th, drop me a line & I'll see you there.

Since the piece I'm tinkering with also fits MixedMediaMonday's latest art challenge, Warm It Up, I figured I'd multitask this post.

You may remember this lady from waaaaay back. It is truly scary how many pieces are stacked in my work in progress file. (Sorry the photo's a bit poor -bad lighting, wrinkled paper). Still not thrilled with her but I'm going to walk away for a few hours. Have to frame her tomorrow regardless.... ooh - crud - forgot I need to come up with a title too...

I've added some more watercolors, pencils, pens, iridescent bits & markers. I am totally loving Faber Castell's Pitt Pen's, by the way! Pam Carriker recommended them ages ago and I've been meaning to give 'em a try. Nice rich color & great coverage. My old standby is often Sakura Micron pens, but they tend to clog when using over some other mediums.
So, do you have some art to share for Mixed Media Monday? Click here & add a link to your piece. Be sure to check out all the other fun interpretations while you are there.

Well, I have to run. Wishing you a creative week! 


oops - nearly forgot - if you're in need of business cards, click here to check out the random drawing I'm hosting for Uprinting.com. 1 lucky winner gets 250 die cut business cards.