Continuing to practice with depth of focus and a little bokeh. I'm trying to get into a "flower" mood to try to come up with something for an upcoming show, but flowers are pretty old hat at this point and I got to keep it interesting!
It keeps occurring to me that I never shared images of the finished illustration project! This tiny book was printed a few times and should be on its way to local library circulations. It looks amazing, and not just because of my added colours! :3
A few of my favourite pages:
There's something magical about full-bleed printing. Even without that feeling of seeing a lot of work come together successfully, there would still be this delight every time I flip open the covers. At 30 years old, I don't own a lot of picture-books; Opening this one reminds me of the excitement I once had about re-reading my cousin's collection of Robert Munsch books (it should come as no surprise that the most memorable one for me was Purple, Green & Yellow!)
The Flying Cats is a personal self-publishing project of the Mills family, with the fantastic book design by Erin Ashenhurst. Because of this, it is only available for print one-at-a-time on Blurb. In the spirit of setting this tale free into the world, the family was kind enough to make it publicly available for order here, in case you really really want a beautiful little book that so few people in the world currently possess.
I personally feel quite lucky to be holding one! But maybe that's just me :P
Recent reflections show that not much has changed over the past year. That's not necessarily a bad thing, though I miss that short patch where I preferred to pass evenings in my sketchbook. This sketchbook, by the way, which has far too many pages in it, and I wonder why we all feel that Need to finish a sketchbook when sketching is an unending practice. It appears to be a third of the way full, and when I flip through the blank pages I wonder what the future me will put there. It probably doesn't help that I am a both-sided sketchbooker.
So today. Today the weather is calm, and grey. I picked up chunks of fallen moss on the way to lunch. I tossed a few unused spices and packed away a few items in anticipation of installing floors. I watched a lot of youtube videos. I've done nothing of value. It's the perfect day to paint and be creative, but the desire and enjoyment is completely gone. All I want to do is play in the garden, 3 months before it's reasonably time to. It would be better if I prepped this month's newsletter.
Here's a question to you: Do you receive artist newsletters? What do you like about them? What do you hate about them? If you are a subscriber to mine, are you an artmaker or an artlover or both? Who are you?
This week, I wanted to join a trading card swap through mail and the theme is "House with Text". Some part of the house has to be made with a piece of printed text in any language, which is lucky, because I couldn't find much english text in my paper collection!
Overcast days are actually pretty nice if they're still BRIGHT! It's a nice day for an adventure but I'm in that awkward place where I crave socialization, yet I'm too scared to be in public alone. So I drove around aimlessly. Thought about going to the art gallery, but wasn't willing to leave the car. So I'm back at home now, thinking about making some ATCs for a swap, and a second art journal for the shop. I'm also impatiently waiting for plant season! I have so many survivors to play with! Way to go, plant team.
I also didn't realize until uploading these photos that I made this 8x8" journal with only two binding ribbons. The ribbon I'm using is so wide that it looks just right, but it was a completely subconscious decision! It just goes to show that sometimes I can trust my brain. Sometimes.
The "Holy Carp" art journal is available here.
Sometimes if I don't come across inspiration, I can make tiny recreations of my older favourites! This card "Passionate" is available here.
Ugghh!!! The Rain! The rain. I remember this. I was just thinking about how bearable winter has been this year and that maybe I am actually enjoying it, and then someone threw this thick blanket over the sun. I'm like one of those birds who falls asleep as soon as the cage is covered. But I've already made garden plans!
Yesterday was a pile of nothingness, but today I'm hyyyypppppeeedd about making a birthday cake. I mean, look at that Pusheen up there. Look at those pastel rainbow fondant stars. I'm hyped just looking at it.
I also painted a thing last night, in a single sitting. It happens. Come to think of it, this is pretty productive of me for such a dark "weekend". There's something about January that gets me buzzing every year. From the listing page: Embrace gratitude for all the shiny things in your life. And if you don't have a shiny thing, maybe it's time you treated yourself?
This watercolour painting "Bounty" is available here. Our dollar is dropping ever lower, so get it while it's good and low!
Maybe we are having a drier winter than usual, but this one doesn't seem as dark and endless as it usually does. There's sunshine out there sometimes. Perhaps I'm just in better spirits in general - my day job is more challenging, I'm drawing more in my sketchbook, I'm being semi-social (okay, maybe just relative to ME), and opportunities abound. I could definitely feel better physically, but you win some, you lose some.
The watercolour ACEO "Winter Crocus" is available for sale here.
My alternate hobby of browsing real estate listings (and imagining I live there) has crashed into a little tinge of wanderlust. I'm not even traditionally stricken with wanderlust. I don't travel well. I don't even like staying overnight with family. It's just a thing, I'm not in my safe place, which isn't even safe anymore but whatever, I've never gone anywhere or done anything interesting in my 30 years of life.
How cute are some cities? I wonder what it's like to be one of those people who just goes on airbnb and rents a CASTLE for a week. Or what it's like to be born and raised in some beautiful cob house - would I pine for the boring, beige streets of my hometown? Can someone grow sick of rainbow-coloured row houses and intricate Moroccan tiles?
The best part is when these images aren't beating me down but rather striking a fancy. Perhaps I am turning into an optimist. Perhaps I am ready to become less fearful, to think that great things aren't just things that happen to "great" people - that they could happen to me, or to my friends, or to anyone who feels like the small fish in this pond. I don't choose an official "word" for every year, but if I did, it would be something akin to the word "open" because I've been receiving universal signals. People are reaching out to me. I'm riding another little cosmic wave. Here I am, universe! I'm ready.
This all sounds very familiar.
I inherited a dried up sapling from work that is pretty much dead I think, but with enough water and denial I think I could bring it back to life. It's quite the long shot and if I hadn't watched my Calamondin die back to the ground and reemerge like a phoenix last year, I wouldn't have bothered.
It's really quite crispy-dry, this tree, but it's also bright green so I don't know what to expect. Miracles, hopefully.
In the meantime, I've built a few art journals for the shop! The above "Lilac Dragonfly" is a smaller 7x7" version, because finding the right paper is tough and Fabriano is always plentiful. It's just that it's smaller. It also comes in many irresistible colours - this time, grey.
Hello! I'm Melissa, and here you'll find some behind-the-scenes footage of an artful life. Won't you join me?
Tuesday, February 14, 1pm PST