Winston: I like what I like...


It doesn't matter what kind of media I keep trying.... my love for all things watercolor always wins. I dabbled into oil painting this week, and although I LOVE the texture, I'm still not convinced it's something I want to continue with going forward.  (I'll have photos up on the blog in a couple of months once the paintings I created dry... hello impasto addict! LOL)

Watercolor is just so immediate.  I also love how unpredictable it can be when you paint like I do: messy.  It's just my thing... and one of these days I may stop trying to find the next new media for me and just accept that I "like what I like" and there isn't anything wrong with that ;-)

Meet Winston... all black and white tuxedo kitties I paint are named Winston.  Named after a friends kitty, who was the most lovable, butt slap lovin' fella.  He is missed.

Steph
xo

Studio Calico: Far Far Away Kit Cards





These were two of my favorite stamp sets from Studio Calico, and I'm so happy I finally dug them out and put them to use!  The fruit set was from one of their kits: Far Far Away and the cactus set was from  Life.Love.Paper set that is no longer available (shucks! It's so cute!)

The fruit cards were stamped, colored with Copics, fussy cut and adhered with pop dots for dimension... and the houseplant was stamped directly onto the card using a masking technique.

I'll let you in on something: the little heart on the above pineapple wasn't planned!  It was a coloring error that I had to figure out how to correct!  I love happy accidents!  I may not have thought about adding the heart if it wasn't for that mistake, and I think it really brightens up the card!

Embrace your mistakes, and make the best out of them... they help your creativity grow!
Cheers,
Steph

Midnight Sketchbook Practice


I've been trying to get better with my daily practice, and I've noticed a trend in my behavior: midnight scribbles before bed!  On the days when I haven't had time to sit down and create, I find myself picking up my sketchbook and laying down a few marks before going to sleep.

They are usually quick and messy, and end up being favorites!  Maybe not anything that I would share or hang on the wall, but that's not what they're meant for anyway :-)

Keeping loose with my marks is such an important practice.  One that I never realized was so important until I actually started doing it and noticed improvements and growth with my drawings (I only started doodling/drawing a couple of years ago!).

Give it a try!  You may surprise yourself as I did!
Cheers,
Steph

It's not ALL about the cats.... Ahem



I know, I know... It may seem like I'm going off-script here with a couple of dogs!  I realize many folks either identify as either a cat lover or a dog lover, however I'm actually a well rounded animal lover! 

I grew up with dogs, and absolutely love them to bits!  Cats are newer to me, adopting my first in my early 20's.  They quickly became an obsession, and the Crazy Cat Lady behavior has been ongoing for 20 years! 

I've been trying to incorporate more dogs into my daily drawing practice... so here are a couple of my recent favs!
Cheers,
Steph

Messy Calico: Fast, Intuitive Painting


One of the things I love to do is fast, intuitive painting.  These are SUPER QUICK sketches in ink and watercolor.  They only take a few minutes, and often end up being some of my favorite pieces since I didn't over think things.

I love doing them to loosen up in my sketchbook, and warm up with my supplies.  They are also something that I dive into just before I go to bed on days when I didn't have the time to be creative.

Taking 5 min to loosen up helps keep my daily practice fresh and satisfies that urge to make something.  (If I don't, the ideas running around my head can keep me up at night! hehe)

Give it a try, just put pen to paper and see what you create! You may surprise yourself :-)

Happy Friday!
Steph

Watercolor + Fineliner: My New Fav!


One of the latest tools I've been using to outline my paintings is a Fineliner filled with Golden Fluid Acrylics.  It's not quite as messy and unpredictable as using my ink+bamboo pen, so depending on my mood, it's a great alternative!

It can still give me an imperfect look though if I outline quickly (and I prefer this).  I get nervous when I'm about to outline something, mainly because it's the last step in my process, and I can wreck something completely if I'm not paying attention.  There have been a few pieces scrapped after an outline gone awry!

The Fineliner gives me a bit more control, and I really like the look.  Since I'm using acrylic paint, it always has a different (and raised) texture against my watercolor paint, and that can be a nice detail depending on the look you're going for.

Cheers,
Steph
xo

Cards: PaperSmooches Forest Whimsy Gnomes!




Gnomes have always been a favorite whimsical character of mine.  I'm still looking for the perfect ceramic one to put in our garden (much to my husband's dismay ha!)

This stamp set by Papersmooches is adorable and I just loved making these cards.  They are colored with my Copics, fussy cut and then pop-dotted for dimension.

Happy Wednesday!
Cheers,
Steph

Funky Girls Watercolor Trio


Here are my latest watercolor girls that I framed (4x6) and gave as Christmas gifts this year.  I just love these funky characters and their bright colors!

I swear, I could doodle these all day... I just need to practice a bit to come up with more eyeball variety!  However... the side look does appeal to me, it gives them attitude ;-)

Prints will be listed in my shop later this week for those interested

Cheers,
Steph

Oh how I love these cute stamps!! -The Alley Way Stamps

One of my dirty little secrets is that I love to collect cardmaking stamps, even though I rarely make cards.  I always *think* I'll make cards, and I usually have some really cool ideas in my head about what cards I'll make and who I will send them to... and nothing.  

They collect dust in their neatly organized bins (Avery Elle pockets, labelled and sorted by manufacturer of course! ha!).

The exception to this cardmaking avoidance is the month of December when I'm making my Mom's Christmas gift.  Every year, she asks for a lot of handmade cards to give away to her friends.

So this year, I decided to finally put those dusty stamps to good use and spent the entire month making a few cards every other day.... here are the cards from The Alley Way Stamps.
(all three cards were colored with my Copic Markers)




**I kept this last one for myself, because I thought the image+sentiment together were HILARIOUS!  HAHA!  This one is being sent to a friend with a good sense of humour ;-)