Courtney Cerruti :: Playing with Image Transfers

11/06/13

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I haven’t been this excited about a new book in a long time. It’s called Playing with Image Transfers, and it’s written by extraordinary artist and crafter Courtney Cerruti. Playing with Image Transfers, published by Quarry Books, covers four image transfer methods: packing tape, solvent, medium, and acrylic transfers. The book also includes projects for applying transfers, including gift boxes, albums, sketchbook covers, wall art, accordion books, and much more. Once you’ve played with the techniques, you can use the book to guide you through exploring transfers on wood, fabric, paper, canvas, and book forms. The photos — taken by San Francisco photographer Andrew Paynter – are clear, easy to follow and visually beautiful. The end of the book features a section on some accomplished mixed-media artists who use image transfer prominently in their work.

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I’ve already taken the book to my studio and I’m going to start experimenting with some of the techniques this week in my artwork. I’ll keep you posted. For now, some photos from the book to inspire you!

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Last but not least, here’s a little video trailer for the book to inspire and delight you!

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You can purchase Courtney’s beautiful book here or at your local bookstore. If you are in the Bay Area, Courtney is having a book signing at Rare Device November 9! Have a happy Wednesday!

CATEGORIES: Inspiration
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Words for the Day :: No. 3

11/05/13

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Have a great Tuesday. friends.

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Words for the Day :: No. 2

11/01/13

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Have a great weekend, friends.

 

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New Items in My Shop!

10/31/13

 

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I’m excited to announce that I’ve got several new items in my shop! Above, a new notebook!

And also a print with the same hand lettered design:

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Also, I’ve got five new abstract paintings for sale as archival prints, each 8.5×11 inches:

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Visit my shop to see all the goodies!

And happy, happy Thursday!

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Bloggers Love Cats and Dogs :: Calendars!

10/30/13

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I was so honored when generous soul (and animal lover) Kelly Beall of Design Crush wrote to ask if I’d submit photos of my dog, Wilfredo and my two cats, Margaret and Barry for her Bloggers Love Dogs and Bloggers Love Cats 2014 Calendars. Each 13-month calendar is  downloadable and all proceeds will go directly to The Humane Society of the United States. And at $7 each or two for $12, that’s a good dead and a steal!

The dog calendar:

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{That’s Wilfredo in his dinosaur Halloween costume as Mr. October!}

And the cat calendar:

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Margaret and Barry are curled up cozily like yin and yang for the month of November:

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Each page measures 5 1/2″ X 8 1/2″ once printed on standard letter-sized paper. Find out about all the featured pets and get yours here!

Have a great day, friends.

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The Great Debate

10/30/13

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You may recall that I wrote a few months ago about the book by my dear friends Wendy MacNaughton and Caroline Paul called Lost Cat. It’s a wonderful book, and, while the book is about so much more, at the heart of it is the age-old question: is it better to keep your cat indoors or outdoors?

Wendy and Caroline with the help of brilliant filmmakers Tom Westerlin and Steve Muller have made a wonderfully witty film called “The Great Debate: Indoor vs. Outdoor Cats.” Here it is, in all its glory. Please view and share! You will not be disappointed.

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I’ve got one more pet-related post coming up soon, so stay tuned.

Happy Wednesday!

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Words for the Day :: No. 1

10/29/13

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Have a wonderful Tuesday, everyone!

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Mark Hearld

10/24/13

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Recently, I have become completely enamored by the work of British artist Mark Hearld. Mark is a print-maker, painter, textile designer, hand letterer, book & product illustrator and collector of beautiful, odd and unusual things. He’s talents and aesthetic blow my mind, and I am so happy to share his work with you today. Make sure to check out the short film about Mark and his work below. You can purchase many of Mark’s products for his line for the Tate in London. I’m also in love with his new monograph. You can learn more about him on St. Jude’s Prints (which is also chock full of other amazing stuff).

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Mark’s sofa from sofa.com (they also feature the fabrics of the equally amazing Angie Lewin)

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Last but not least, I hope you will watch this beautiful and inspiring film about Mark and his work.

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Happy, happy Thursday.

CATEGORIES: Inspiration
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Iceland & Alvar Aalto in UPPERCASE 19!

10/22/13

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As you may remember, about a year ago I’d just returned from a three week solo adventure to Scandinavia, including Iceland, Denmark, Sweden and Finland. For this month’s UPPERCASE Magazine, I’ve written two articles — one about my love affair with Iceland, and the other about my trip to the Alvar Aalto studio. The Iceland article features pages from my travel sketchbook/scrapbook and some of my artwork. Both articles include original photos I took on the trip.

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I highly recommend a subscription to this gorgeous magazine. You can look at and read the entire issue here online, but it’s really 1000 times better in print. For a list of stockists in your area, check here.

Happy Tuesday!

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A Weekend Away & New Paintings

10/21/13

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This past weekend I took a much-needed weekend away near Lake Tahoe in Truckee, California. In the quiet of the forested mountains, I painted almost the entire weekend in the company of a few other women. I made a new series a five paintings.. I plan to sell prints of them in my Etsy shop when it reopens on Wednesday, so stay tuned if you are interested!

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Happy Monday and warm wishes for a wonderful week.

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Jennifer Hewett :: New Collection

10/15/13

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{Jen donning one of her bags from last season}

If you follow me on Instagram you know that one of my dearest friends is the amazingly talented Jennifer Hewett. Jen has launched a new collection of screen printed bags today, and I am so excited to show them to you. Her bags are made from heavy linen with a cotton muslin lining. They are hand screen printed and sewn by Jen’s hands in San Francisco. They are beautiful!

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You can purchase them here in Jen’s Etsy shop. Jen also writes an awesome blog which you can read here.

Happy Tuesday!

CATEGORIES: For Sale | Inspiration
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Jaime Derringer

10/11/13

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Most of you know Jaime Derringer from her wildly popular blog Design Milk. But what you might not know about Jaime is that she is also a prolific and talented fine artist, who renders mostly abstract works, both on canvas and paper. Jaime and I have been friends for several years, and I was so excited when she began painting and drawing again in 2011 after a long hiatus. Her portfolio is both extensive and impressive. I am so impressed by Jaime’s constant creative prowess (at minimum she draws every single day, and paints as often as she can muster the energy) that I wanted to know both more about her process and how she manages her time. Jaime is also one of the warmest, smartest and most down-to-earth women I know. In the second of my interviews with people I admire, I present to you: Jaime Derringer!

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Lisa: You are the founder and editor of Design Milk, a mom to a toddler and a very prolific artist. How do you make time to make art each day?

Jaime: My time is very limited most days so making time for art every day is not easy. I challenged myself this year to draw A Shape A Day, which has kind of morphed into a drawing a day. I think I will be sad when it’s over, but also a little relieved. There are some days when I am tired and don’t want to draw. I have a drawing routine most evenings while I watch TV with my husband. Now that Breaking Bad and Dexter are over, we’ve caught up on Orange is The New Black and are now watching House of Cards in between our regular sitcoms and shows. Sometimes we watch terrible reality TV. Most of my drawings are somewhat repetitious, so there is room in my brain to absorb what’s going on with my shows and still pay attention to what my hands are doing but without the need to focus 100% on either.

When it comes to painting, I am very bad about fitting it in. Sometimes I will paint three paintings in one day and then not touch any paint for weeks, other times I lazily approach it painting a little bit here and a little there. Painting feels like much more of an effort to me and sometimes I think I’d rather be drawing… but every once in a while I get a spark. However, I have a feeling that I need to gain a better understanding of how to make paintings. I think there’s a process that I’ve yet to discover. Still waiting for my “ah-ha” moment.

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Lisa: You work in two different mediums and styles (and sometimes mix them): one is intricate line work and one is more painterly abstract painting. What do you get from the experience of working in each style? Are there days you crave one more than the other?

Jaime: Drawing is my first love. There is something about the control I get with a marker or pen in my hand that I just don’t get with a paintbrush. However, I am a bit of a perfectionist, so the messiness of paint is sometimes just what I need to push me out of my comfort zone. I have yet to find the perfect way to bring them together, but I have been playing around with watercolor and drawing together, which seems to be a happy marriage.

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Lisa: You took a break from painting and drawing for a few years and then after your daughter was born, you had a strong desire to start creating again. Tell us about that experience and how you got back into making art after abandoning it for so long.

Jaime: I don’t know where the desire to create again came from but it was like a fever. Sometime in 2011, it hit me that I wanted to draw all day. I would spend the day working, fantasizing about the quality time I could spend with my sketchbook that evening. Between a house, a new baby, a website redesign, and no maternity leave or vacation, I think my brain decided to force me to take a break. The problem I have now is that I am on fast forward—I’ve become very athletic about it, which has made me quite prolific, but there is a downside. It’s like I am trying to cram years and years of not making anything into a short period of time; it’s very hard to focus and not always feel the need to quickly finish up one thing on order to try something new. However, I am trying to use this desire to experiment to help me work through some buried psychological issues—lots of fun stuff is happening inside this brain of mine!

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Lisa: What advice do you have for people who can’t seem to get into the groove of making art on a regular basis? Do you have any tips for breaking through anxiety or self doubt?

Jaime: I think the best thing I did was to start my Shape A Day project. It was one small thing I could commit to doing every day. It gave me the opportunity to be as simplistic or as complicated as I wanted. In other words, if I only had time to draw a simple circle one day, it would still be OK. But that doesn’t mean that you have to do something EVERY DAY. You could commit to making art every week. Or commit to doing a number of works like my friend Megan, who is doing 100 paintings. It’s the small things that lead to more. For example, I’d discover a shape or pattern from my shape series and that would spawn a whole new set of shapes and end up working its way into my larger pieces. Forcing yourself to make something is actually very good for you—not only does it prevent procrastination but also it allows you to make art without too much need for inspiration or thinking. Sometimes we get way too caught up in looking for inspiration, so much so that we don’t produce quantity and quantity is a more effective way to move past perfectionism and ultimately produce your best work. One of my favorite quotes from Chuck Close is “Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work.” I often do my best work when I’m not thinking about it at all.

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I constantly struggle with anxiety and self-doubt. The way I moved past it was to put everything out there on the internet with no regrets but that’s not to say I am no longer feel self-critical. This isn’t the first time I’ve had a website with my art on it. Previously, I pulled it down because I wasn’t proud of it. However, I have discovered that the healthiest part of being an artist is being able to put it all out there, even my sketchbooks and my mistakes. This might not be right for everyone, but it has certainly helped me embrace my process. Moreover, I feel like it’s also starting to help with my perfectionist issues… only time will tell! I am glad I digitized all of it because I get a lot of joy in going back to older work and seeing how I have changed or noticing small nuances in my work that are still present today.

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If you love Jaime’s work as much as I do, you can purchase it here in her Etsy Shop or here in her Webshop. She also has work available on Art.com and on Society6. Jaime posts most of her paintings and drawings here on her Instagram feed. You can read her fabulous design blog here.

Happy Friday, and thank you to Jaime.

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On Minding Your Own Business

10/10/13

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When I was a kid, my mom taught me three important things that have served me well in my adult life:

1) do your best not to take on other people’s negative crap; it’s their crap, not yours.
2) it’s okay if your house is a little messy; it probably means you have better things to do than clean.
and, most importantly,
3) keep the focus of your energy on what you can control; in other words, mind your own business.

About two months ago, I wrote this piece about comparison. I got so many emails about that essay that I wasn’t able to respond to all of them. Apparently, my experience touched a cord: except the most enlightened among us, we all fall into the dark pit of comparison from time to time. You all had a lot to say about it.

In this day and age of the interwebs and social media platforms, comparison isn’t something that happens occasionally at school or work. It’s something we are potentially confronted with every single day — when we look at Facebook and Twitter, Instagram and blogs. “So-and-so’s life is better or more interesting than mine” or “so-and-so’s work is more beautiful or exciting than mine.”

This is where minding your own business comes in. Earlier this week I had a bout of stomach turning anxiety while reading something on the internet that caused me to compare my own endeavors and accomplishments to those of some of my illustrator peers. I had to remind myself of this lovely and straightforward quote by Beatrix Potter, above: Believe there is a great power silently working all things for good, behave yourself and never mind the rest.

We all compare ourselves to others here are there, but I’ve come to believe it’s how quickly we can snap ourselves out of it when we do that matters more. For me, it’s remembering that it’s being completely myself — in my artwork, in the way I relate to people, in my unique goals and dreams for my life — that keeps me feeling grounded and makes me happy. Remembering that also frees me up to be happy for others when they accomplish something I might otherwise be jealous of. I don’t always succeed, but I am determined to try.

How do you snap yourself out of the trap of comparison? I think it’s worth thinking about. The more we all mind our own business and live (and embrace) our own unique paths, the happier we’ll be, and the more we can be genuinely happy for others. At least I think that’s the way it works.

Until next time, happy Thursday.

 

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Katy Horan

10/04/13

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I have long been a fan of artist Katy Horan. Her dark paintings, mixed media pieces and drawings are hauntingly beautiful (I was lucky enough to purchase one of Katy’s drawings several years back). Katy is part of a group show at Grayduck Gallery in Austin with two other amazing artists Stephanie Chambers and Kathleen Lolley. The exhibition showcases the artists’ use of old world flavors and dark folk in their narrative works. Themes include identity, history, storytelling, and childhood memories. The show opens October 18.

Katy’s work will also be shown in the Neu Folk Revival show here in Oakland that opens this weekend, which I wrote about earlier this week.

With Katy’s permission, I grabbed some of the new work she’s making for that show from her Instagram feed to share with you. Some of these are excerpts or pieces in progress. You can see more of Katy’s portfolio here.

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And here’s a magical excerpt from her sketchbook.

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Katy drawing back in 2011:

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{Photo by Blake Saurez}

Happy Friday, friends.

CATEGORIES: Inspiration
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Progress in the Studio

10/03/13

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{Me in my studio, taken by my friend Kelly Wilkinson)

You may remember back in July I made a commitment to myself that I’d spend at least one day a week — mostly Wednesdays — making personal work in my studio. I gave a short update in August. Two months in, I am happy to report that my one day a week has been pretty life changing, which was the goal. I am hoping in 2014 that I have even more than one day a week to dedicate to this kind of exploration in my studio. Here is the progression of some of the pieces I’ve been working on. First, a reminder of where I started:

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And then…

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Some of the pieces are finished. Several of the paintings still need a lot of development (thank goodness there are always more Wednesdays). The shadowbox collages are going into a show at Bedford Gallery in December. The paintings I’ll put up for sale soon in my Big Cartel Shop. Stay tuned.

Happy Thursday!

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