Monday, March 25, 2013

Vintage Flowers


I have this great old wallpaper book from the turn of the century that has this massive cabbage roses in just a couple colors. I had been looking through it last week for inspiration and came across this mustard and green color combination. I'm absolutely amazed at how beautiful vintage patterns are. It's apparent how much preparation and time went into creating them.

It's no wonder I'm a vintage paper addict.
Seriously. When I get on an ebay kick, there's no stopping me. In fact, that reminds me... I should really archive all of these ancient wallpaper books. That'll be my summer project.

I have been doing some complex patterns lately and decided that this week I'd do something a little more quiet. I created this one with ink on paper first, with a linen texture overlay on top -- and colored it up!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Creeping Charlie, the pattern.

Here's the mini view of this huge pattern I made tonight.

When I first got my cat, Oliver, I had named him several things before something stuck. Charlie was one of the names that was high on the list. Oliver is, by far, the creepin'-est of cats, and as I was making this pattern tonight I thought for a second that it would have been very fitting had I named him Charlie.

I don't know why I labored over this pattern so much tonight, but I'm glad I did because I really like the way it turned out. It started as a complex sketch and turned into a giant winding beast. I took some liberties with the actual colors of Creeping Charlie - and I'm surprised I did because I am usually all about putting purple all over my artwork. But there was something really sinister about having red veins for vines -- and so it goes.

Here's a little close-up of the artwork

I had a really great weekend. I got the chance to spend the weekend hanging out with Francesca (it was her birthday! Happy Birthday, Francesca!), and some great friends. Games were played, Japanese food was enjoyed, and I got some artwork done, too! I'm looking forward to my 32nd Birthday this coming Tuesday. (Yikes! I'm not sure how that happened! I barely remember turning 30, or even 20 for that matter.... hmmmm....) But I'm excited to see it come. I think I've got zen mode on this year (or at least I'm trying!) and I'm thinking of spending my Tuesday just relaxing.
Maybe ever devouring a good book.

It'll be the first day in a long while that I've actually taken a day off, but I think I'm going to do it!

Wish me luck! Another year, another adventure.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Keeping it simple : Succulents


Keeping it simple today!
I had a great trip to the Como Conservatory today with Chris and it was AWESOME! Man, I have been craving some living plant-action!
It's been so white outside and it seemed like a nice Sunday outing. I did a couple tiny drawings this morning while I was at this new coffee house near my house, Parka and just ran with them for this pattern.

I was making loads of little terrariums last summer and I was having flashbacks when I was making this pattern. I really ought to do that again. I think I just might!

I usually frown at white backgrounds on patterns but for some reason this one just felt right. I had this one a couple other colors before I finally just left it alone. So here you have it! Little tiny cuttings from some of my favorite succulents!

(I'm also channeling some 70s art vibe in here. Inspired by a pic I saw earlier today while I was in a used bookstore near my house!)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Snowy Day

I wrote a post about the snow with a couple cute pics for the Light Grey Art Lab blog and wanted to share them here as well!
We had a ton of snow last night and it is absolutely beautiful here! Here you go!

10 inches of snow and counting

I thought you guys might appreciate seeing what it's like out today. I know that most of us have seen a snow storm, but man, we got hit hard last night and everything looks amazing with all this snow. It started last night as I was teaching over at MCAD and just kept going. I got the chance to chat with Teagan White, a wonderful person and very talented illustrator, last night over coffee. She came over to MCAD for a bit to talk to my product design class about her work and process and afterward we headed to the Spyhouse (a local coffee shop down the street from Light Grey) with Francesca to sit down and warm up.

It kept snowing even after we parted ways and I dropped Francesca off at home. Even so, I was still surprised to see all of it this morning.

A view down the block towards the prestigious Minneapolis College of Art & Design. The streets are super quiet.

Commuting to work today wasn't that difficult because Minneapolis has this snow-removal thing totally under control. I'm thankful for that, for sure. Still, it was amazing to walk the block or so up to work and see that absolutely everything was covered and looked really beautiful.

It's strangely quiet on the streets because of the snow, too. So it's almost like being wrapped in a cold, white sweater.

Chris and Atari head inside to get to work

I'm going to try and enjoy the snow for as long as I can while it looks this good. I know that city snow doesn't stay beautiful forever!

Twinkle, our other studio dog, is a little black blip amongst all the white

Monday, March 4, 2013

Ferns on Linen


I have been wanting some new kitchen towels and I made this linen-y pattern with them in mind. Ahhh I wish they were real!
I was inspired by two new shops in the Minneapolis area -- Forage and Parka. One is a really cute furniture shop that sells a lot of local and hand-crafted furniture (nice, mid-century inspired stuff!) and the other is a new cafe with awesome coffee. Both shops are minimalist and really nice -- lots of natural colors plus white.

I got the chance to sit down and really take a look at ferns with this pattern, too, which, if you haven't had a chance to look at one closely, are super crazy. They're amazing -- or as Chris would say "They're natures fractals".

The rest of the day was spent running around to Menards and getting some home fixer-uppering stuff, and talking for hours to my parents about big ideas and future plans.

My last week has been really interesting. Filled with lots of teaching at MCAD and preparation for Light Grey. This past friday I did a lecture on Happiness and Success at Light Grey to a room of about 20 people. It was really exciting talking to so many people about collaboration and committing to doing something that gets people involved. I talked about everything from the difference in our personalities and what stops us from doing the things we do, to more up-beat things like the idea of support and what it means to work altruistically. I had read so many interesting pieces of information on things like the non-zero sum theory, and 'the big five' elements of what makes up our 'subjective well being'... among other really interesting topics.

I thought a lot of about personalities and how they play a part in how we do things. Sometimes I think about the Meyers Briggs test and my obsession with personality tests -- and how that might come into play with how we get things done (or how we don't get things done).

I truly enjoy these times of 'research', and the times when I get to sit down for a second and learn something. I'm a huge non fiction fan and the more science, or history, or nature that I can take it, the more I enjoy what I'm doing.
We should be posting a link to the lecture online in the next day or so, and when we do, I'll make sure to post it here. I think some of you guys might get a kick out of it.