Happy Halloween

Halloween 2011 W.I.P.
And you were worried about the wolves....

I love Halloween! Sharing this year's spooky doodle. The shading still needs a little work, but I'm pretty happy overall. Click the image for a closer look.

Many thanks to these talent Deviant Art stock photo providers:

Happy Halloween!


Illustration Friday - Scary

Halloween 2011 WIP

A belated entry for Illustration Friday's new prompt - Scary. This creepy nature-girl is cropped from a piece I am playing with for tomorrow's post.

Special thanks to these stock providers for the inspiration:

Pop back later tomorrow to catch the whole piece. Unfortunately my computer is acting up tonight so I'm calling this day done. Best wishes to you all for a fantastic week!

By the way, visit Illustration Friday for more Scary stuff this week.  Be sure to add your own interpretation if you are feeling inspired.


Musical Monday - Transglobal Underground

Look out - it is Musical Monday! 
What'cha doin'? Me? I'm

Listening to late 90s Transglobal Underground
Drinking Cinnamon Hazelnut Coffee 
Waiting for Pumpkin Bread to finish baking
Wishing I had a more interesting content to share today 

If you're looking for a good read click here for last Thursday's visit with Alexandra Wolf from BlackBaroque.etsy.com.  With oodles of fabulous prints, over 12,000 sales (in less than 2 yrs) on Etsy, plus a recent feature in Coastal Living Magazine, she is one busy lady!

Friends Come In All Colors Print from Black Baroque on Etsy

And such nice person too! Alexandra popped by to talk about her favorite antique book store and share 2 prints with some lucky random winners. On Nov 3rd, I'll pick 2 the winners from those who comment on this blog before the 1 am (EST) 11/3 deadline.  Winners will get their choice of prints from BlackBaroque. 

Looking for an eclectic mix-o-music today? Stop over at Xmas Dolly's place for another Musical Monday jam-fest. This week's theme is "freebie" with all kinds of fun stuff going on. Want to share what you are grooving to today? Post your tune online & add a link over at Dolly's.


Well, I am already seven subways behind today so.... gotta run. Wishing everyone a creative week!


Enter BlackBaroque's new print giveaway- 2 winners on 11/3

Dictionary Art Print Steampunk Owl from BlackBaroque.etsy.com

Ooh lucky us - we have visitors! Alexandra Wolf & Poni from BlackBaroque.etsy.com popped by to say hello .... and they brought prizes!

The last time these two stopped by (11/2010) we had a great time. First there was a fun photo studio tour of their retail space, Poni's Parlor. Followed a few days later by a lively Q&A hosted by chatty guest & feathered friend, Merlin the bird.  If you missed those posts, go check 'em out. We'll wait here for you.....

Dictionary Art Print Butterflies & Skeleton from BlackBaroque.etsy.com

Alex & Poni have been busy this past year, creating and selling like crazy. Be sure to check out their Etsy shop, BlackBaroque. With over 12,000 sales since opening in Feb. 2010, I'd say they are doing something right!


They added to their accolades when two of their sea urchin prints were featured in the September issue of Coastal Living Magazine. Woohoo! Congrats, guys!

page from Coastal Living showing 2 sea urchin prints

The main reason Alex and Poni stopped by today is to spread the word about some friends who could use a helping hand.  Their friends own the fabulous books/antiques store, Drake Farm, in North Hampton, New Hampshire and (like too many people today) are struggling to hold things together in this challenging economy.

Drake Farm Books, Antiques & Art Gallery - New Hampton, NH

Drake Farm was built in 1705 and was "one of the larger sheep farms in New England and one of the larger producers of mutton for Union forces in the Civil War" Click here for more of the farm's history. 

In 1995 Drake Farm became "one of the largest used-book stores in New England". They also feature a fantastic selection of curious objects, as well as original art for sale.  This is one of Alexandra's favorite places to find the books with character for use in her artwork (& her personal collection).

antique Cinderella book from Alexandra's collection

From Alexandra: "One of the reason's we love using old pages in our art prints is to share with everyone the beauty of these antique books. We feel we are saving history, reaching people who might otherwise have known it. These lovely tomes sometimes seem like lost art. With computers and e-books, the way people read has changed. Perhaps this is another reason  (in addition to the economy)  that wonderful antique bookstores like Drake's Farm are hurting."

Alex is putting an open call out to anyone who loves books to please try shopping at this wonderful store. Not in New Hampshire? You can order books online at drakefarmbooks.com, by email, or phone. With over 55,000 books in stock there is a good chance they can  find what you are looking for. While they don't have a lot of the books listed on line, just contact the owner, Bob, with your title or topic and he'll see what he can dig up. Most of their inventory dates from between the 17th century up through 2011.

Alexandra: "Please help save this couples home and business. Please consider buying some books here for your Christmas presents. This is great way to give a gift that makes a difference. Think how wonderful your friends and family will feel when they know a gift you bought for them is also a gift for another person. Thank you for considering helping."

And thank you, Alex, for bringing this wonderful resource and sad situation to our attention. Hopefully some kind folks will get shopping or even spread the word just like you are doing. 

Dictionary Page Print Tentacle Love from BlackBaroque.etsy.com

By the way- for anyone unfamiliar with Alexandra & Poni, they are a couple of the sweetest, most generous souls you can meet. And today they are also sharing that generosity with ArtSnark blog readers. They are donating 2 prints for a new random drawing.... so in a couple of weeks we will have not just one, but two very lucky winners!

TO ENTER- Simply leave a comment on this blog before 1 am (EST) on 11/3 - it is that easy. Just be sure to leave an email address if it isn't in your profile. Prizes ship free worldwide to winners.

On Nov 3rd - 2 winners will be randomly selected. Each winner will take home 1 print of their choice from BlackBaroque.etsy.com - How cool is that! 

Dictionary Page Hot Air Ballon E.A. Poe Print from BlackBaroque.etsy.com

So, before you go today be sure to leave a comment. Then if you love books or small business, please spread the word about Drake Farm. 

Want to know more about Alexandra & Poni?? They really get around. Catch them at some of these other fun links:

Winner of Skull Pen & Ink print

Skull print from Stevie'sScratchPad.etsy.com

We have a winner of Stevie's Scratchpad's spooktacular skull print! 
And that lucky person is.....

WooHoo! Congrats! 
I'll contact you today with instructions for claiming your prize

Many thanks to Stevie for sponsoring this fun giveaway! And thank you everyone who popped by & left a comment or 2.

Want to find out more about this artist & her creations?

CLICK HERE to check out the interview from 2 weeks ago.
For more artwork, visit SteviesScratchpad.Etsy.com.

And if you're loitering around the blogosphere later today, stop back here for a new giveaway announcement. One of last year's featured guests will be popping back .... and she's bringing prizes!


Musical Monday - Night Music

Night Music (work in progress)
Loving this week's Musical Monday prompt from Xmas Dolly! The theme is a "song about an animal or their breed." With Halloween just around the corner it seemed like a good excuse for one of my faves:

...and that got me playing with some digital art. It still needs some more shading & blending. But I've got to get to work, so sharing what I have so far.

Special thanks to these talented & generous stock providers:

Want to play along this Musical Monday? Post your animal tune & link up over at Xmas Dolly's place. While you are there be sure to click around and listen to what everyone else is sharing today.

Hey, have you entered my new random drawing yet? Keeping with the Halloween theme, 1 lucky winner will take home a cool pen& ink skull print from StevieScratchpad on Etsy. To enter just leave a comment on this blog before 1 am (EST) on Thursday 10/20. To check out this fun prize and an interview with the artist, click here.

Well, I'm outta here - wishing you a creative week!


Tel Aviv, early '90s

desert dawn ACEO

Tel Aviv

Just caught the bus at 5 a.m.
The road seems rough this time
Sunglass armor wards off the dawn
Two bottles of vodka and still not in love

Your voice raised crushes my ears
Made deaf not by fireworks
but too much strong drink too fast
and the too honest whispers you poured over me.

I've decided to participate in Writers' Jam 2011 . It is a venue running through the end of the year where bloggers can share their random blatherings on everything from politics & news to poetry & fiction.... hmmm.... those may not actually be all that different. Buh, you know what I mean.

To participate, click the above Writers' Jam link for details. (Basically just jot down your scribbles, hit post but remember to add #creativity in your tags). If you have a few minutes to spare, sign up over at broowaha.com & check out what everybody else is rambling on about.

What does it mean around here? Basically an excuse to share my silly scribbles that I never bother sharing. Thanks for your patience with my chatter.


A Visit with Stevie's Scratchpad + a new Thursday Giveaway!

Print of original skull drawing from SteviesScratchpad.etsy.com

Happy October! I love this time of year! 

The temps cool, leaves change, skeletons come out of the closet and onto front lawns....  plus the new Thursday Giveaway prize is Halloweenie themed! More about that later. Right now we are off to Los Angeles to visit with the artist behind the online shop, SteviesScratchpad.Etsy.com. So, grab your trick-or-treat bag and follow me to Stevie's front door. 

Please note: you can click on any of the captions for more info. Sorry if the text looks a little wonky. Blogspot is acting up today - must be the "trick" part. Now onto the treats!

Hi, Stevie. Thanks for letting us drop by! While we're snacking on your chocolate bars and candy corn, I have a few questions for you: 

When did you first become interested in art?

Stevie: I've been interested for most of my life, but I think that really took off in middle school.  Before, I'd liked my markers, and my colored pencils, and I'd liked drawing, but it wasn't a big deal.  In middle school, I really got into things, and I took better classes, and was more serious.  I got many more materials with which I could play and work.  I also started looking up other artists and pieces that I've heard of.  It really took off from there.  

Duomo in Florence, Italy print from SteviesScratchPad

What are your favorite materials & why?

Stevie: used to be a stickler for graphite.  That eventually got old as I couldn't make my blacks black enough, and it was a bit too shiny for my liking.  I then tried pastels, which was fun (and messy!), but then found acrylic paints.  Oh, the messes I would make coming up with new things to put on canvas!  I did a lot of paintings for my family.  The first ever I actually liked was one for my mom, the Red Heart that's in my shop as a print.  I did a few more that I'm planning on putting up.  When I took my first college-level art class, I got forced to use charcoal and pen and ink.  I haven't looked back since.  So, right now, if I were to paint, it'd probably be in acrylic, due to durability and drying time (I can get impatient when I've got an idea in my head).  I like drawing with charcoal, though in a pinch graphite'll do.  I also like pen and ink.  It looks so dramatic! 

Your skull print, the only black & white drawing in your shop just now, really stands out. What prompted you to create this striking piece?

Stevie: I got a plaster skull once, and for a while I stuck it on my shelf and put necklaces, hats, and the occasional wig on it.  One night, I couldn't sleep, so I pulled the skull down, dragged out my pen and ink stuff, and got to drawing.  I guess I just wanted to see if I could make something look good in pen and ink.  I loved it.  I then tried doing it in charcoal, but that didn't pan out as well.  Needless to say, the skull you see in the shop remains one of my favorite pieces, to this day.

Red Heart ACEO print from SteviesScratchpad
What are your thoughts on working in black & white vs color?

Stevie: Working in black and white as opposed to full color is interesting.  I think I like it better.  I don't mix colors often enough to be good at it (or I'm a perfectionist and just want the exact....right....shade), but working in black and white lets me focus on value.  Most of the things I draw aren't in color.  I like it in that it's easier to focus on value, and to look at the thing itself as opposed to the colors in it.  I like that you can get so much in with just a few pencils.  In essence, I prefer it.  I'm better at it, and I love the contrast you can achieve in black and white.

Jungle Cactus Flower Print from SteviesScratchpad

Where do you find inspiration?

Stevie: I find inspiration everywhere.  When it comes to photographs I'll shoot a picture of anything that looks good.  I don't keep many of them, and more often than not I'll sit there scratching my head, "Why did I...what's in here that's worth something?".  For drawings, I'll draw what's near me, unless I specifically want to practice something.  In that case, I'll look it up on the internet and draw from there.  I've done portraits, one of my grandma after she passed away (for my mom), and another of my brother-in-law and HIS mom.  Both of those were from photographs.  I'll doodle random things that pop into my head, say, during class or while I'm reading, and if I like them I'll expand them and make them better.  Sometimes I'll take a picture of something specifically to draw it. 

What was the last movie you watched? Do you think it will influence your future art?

Stevie: The last movie I watched was Alice.  It's a made-for-tv modern adaptation of Alice in Wonderland, one of my favorite children's books.  I think it just might influence me.  It was at times, very surreal, and I loved the originality and the style.  I've always loved it when things were turned topsy-turvy, like in the art of M.C.Escher.  I think finding something and making it my own, but still recognizable, sounds like something fun to try.  

Colosseum in Rome Italy photo print from SteviesScratchpad

Do you listen to anything while creating?

Stevie: It depends.  I prefer to be able to focus.  If I'm up in my room, drawing by myself, I don't often listen to anything.  If I do, I don't notice when it stops playing.  If I'm downstairs with the rest of my family, or in a public area, and I just want to draw I'll turn on some music and just start drawing.  I don't usually listen to stuff with words, as I end up focusing more on the lyrics than what I'm working on, but sometimes, if I think it fits the subject matter, I'll make an exception.  


How long have you been selling your art? Why did you pick Etsy.com as a selling venue?

Stevie: I've been selling my art for a few months now.  Before, I had no idea how to go about doing it, or even if it'd sell, but my mom and sister, who both also have shops on Etsy, encouraged me to start.  I think the fact that they were encouraging me, and knew how to work with Etsy, what to do, how to promote, got me to start where they were.  I had a better level of familiarity and people to ask when it came to Etsy.  

I am also just stocking my DeviantArt online gallery where I will sell prints in a variety of sizes, both with and without frames.
What are some of your favorite Etsy shops?

Stevie: My mom's (Raven Phoenix Studios and Every Witch Way) and my sister's (Beadiful Baubles) top the list right now.  I like Sassy Steampunk, Vampire Goth Chick, Water Flowing West, Decadent Delusion, and Black Friday Studios are some fun ones as well. 
What do you like to do when you are not creating?

Stevie: I like reading, and sometimes watching a movie or TV show.  I'm a college student so much of my time is devoted to studying.  

If you had any superpower, what would it be? Would you use it for good or evil?

Stevie: Oh, wow, haven't thought about it for a while.  If I could have any superpower, I think it'd be the ability to control matter.  I wouldn't use it for evil, I'm too nice for that.  I'd definitely use it for good.  I think it might help alleviate boredom....  

Orange Flower Print from Stevie'sScratchpad

With Halloween just around the corner, any thoughts or great Halloween memories that you’d like to share?

Stevie: I remember one Halloween I went over to my friend's house to watch scary movies.  I'm a wimp when it comes to scary movies, even though my favorite TV show is a horror show.  I was essentially freaking out all night, and she just laughed and laughed at me.  I love seeing my nieces in their costumes, too.

I say be careful!!  Have fun!!  Make good memories!

Excellent advice, Stevie! Wonderful items too. Many thanks for letting up drop by and pick your brains.  (mmm...braiiiins) Hey, you zombies, settle down back there! No, you may not eat the readers - sheesh.....

Guys, step away from the drooling monsters & come check this out. On 10/20 one random reader is going to get a special treat from Stevie's Scratch Pad - a 5" x 7" print of the skull drawing featured at the top of this post. How cool is that ?! 

To enter the random drawing, just leave a comment on this blog before 1 a.m. (EST) on October 20th. Prize ships free worldwide.  Thanks for commenting, by the way - the featured artists (& I) really appreciate the feedback. Plus it is your ongoing interest that keeps the giveaways coming.

'Till next time, hope you have a creative day... and watch out for the ghouls lurking around the corner.

New ACEO giveaway winner

Today I'm giving away 1 ACEO (Art Card Edition & Original) from my Artsnark Etsy shop to 1 random person who commented on the blog in the last 2 weeks.

The Winner Is.....

Woo - hoo! A hearty congrats, Gabi! Follow this link to the ACEO section of my shop, pick out you favorite piece of mini-art & it is yours! (I'll contact you today with my email so you you can send me your shipping address.)

Many thanks to everyone who takes the time to leave their thoughts. While I don't always manage to respond, I do read & enjoy all comments. Be sure to pop back later today for a new Artist Feature and Prize Announcement!


Altered Eras now at Things British!


Are you familiar with the fantastic Etsy shop, Altered Eras?

The Green Fairy Absinth green & bronze necklace from AlteredEras

If you love unique vibrant jewelry, it is a must- shop spot.

Wuthering Heights Earrings from AlteredEras

Paula MacKay combines vintage items, literary works, historical bits, flights of fancy and oodles of imagination into some wonderful whimsical jewelry creations.

photo courtesy of Things British

And if you happen to be shopping the fashionable Carnaby St. in London, you can find Paula's jewelry at Things British in Kingly Court - woo hoo! A hearty congrats, Paula.

Dr Who Inspired necklace from AlteredEras

While you are there, be sure to oooh & aaah at Paula's new logo (if you can tear your eyes away from the fabulous baubles.) Yep, that's it up there on the top of this post.  I've been keeping myself busy with all sorts of cool projects - one was helping to design the new Altered Eras logo for Paula's packaging. 

There are lots of fun little projects happening in my world at the moment - one of the reasons my blogging has been a bit light. Another reason is family-time... and they are clamoring for attention right now.... so I'm off!

Before I go, just a quick reminder - last chance to enter my random drawing tomorrow. You have until 1 a.m. (EST) to comment on this blog & be entered. (Light crowd so far, so your odds are looking good). Winner gets their choice of any 1 ACEO from my ArtSnark Etsy shop. Click here to check out the selection.

Also pop back tomorrow for a new interview & Thursday Giveaway Prize.

Blood & Bats Gothic Bracelet from AlteredEras

Want to see some more of Altered Eras lovely creations? Check out these links


Illustration Friday - Hibernate


Once again loving IllustrationFriday's new prompt- this week it is the evocative Hibernate. Many thanks to stock photographer/model daylight-calling for sharing her wonderful images on deviantart.com. Anybody who pops over here regularly knows that DeviantArt is one of my top go-to spots for models. I was super happy to stumble onto daylight-calling's stock tonight.

Dredging the itunes library for some torpid inspiration led me to Jude's No One Is Really Beautiful(The only clean version of "I know" that I could find for sharing is from the City of Angels Soundtrack)

I've also been mulling over a line from Wilde's Dorian Gray, which I'm rereading for for the Etsy Time Travelers Team book club: "The world belongs to you for a season.... The moment I met you I saw that you were quite unconscious of what you really are, of what you really might be."

Toss in an uninvited visit from my regular muse, Little Red, and you've got today's digital illustration for Hibernate. Click the pic to enlarge.

Want to see some more grand yet sleepy art? Check out IllustrationFriday.com. 

Feeling inspired? Post your own & link up before next Friday.

It was great fun participating in the 5th incarnation of Seth Apter's ongoing Q&A project, The Pulse. 130+ artists answered a variety of art related questions . The latest chapter, Techniques & Tools, asks what technique or tool the artists couldn't live without. Some great answers can be found now on Seth's blog, The Altered Page, with links to each artists creations.  (yep, shameless plug - I'm in this round). Click here to check it out - it is interesting to see the mix of responses & styles. Be sure to visit The Altered Page each Sunday for a new installment of The Pulse.

Seth Apter's The Pulse artists' survey
Entered my giveaway yet? Yep, changing topics on you again. If you answered "no" then leave a comment & your name goes in the hat. I'm drawing 1 random winner next Thursday from anyone who has commented on this blog in the last 2 weeks. By the way, I've been a lazy blogger so comments are light & your odds are good. Winner gets 1 ACEO of their choice from my Artsnark.etsy.com shop.

Well, gotta fly. Hope you are feeling inspired & wishing you a creative day!