MODERN BOTANICAL WALLPAPER

This past spring I tried something new; I entered a contest. Something I've been hesitant to do in the past, but I thought 'why the hell not'. A lot more recently I've been trying to tell myself 'what have I got to lose?' I find myself jumping on opportunities that would normally be intimidating. 

I found the information about the contest in Hi Fructose magazine. The company holding the contest was called Feathr, a high-end wallpaper company in the UK, featuring only curated artist designs. I designed two papers, both takes on modern botanicals. 

Round one of the contest was interesting as it was completely based on your popularity on the site to advance to round 2. So, I reached out to friends and family, my drawing group; random instagram followers. I was humbled by the positive response. Many people who I knew, and some who I didn't know, took the time to register on the site and vote for my design.

In the end I didn't win, although ten people where chosen to be new in the collection. To my surprise the design that was no. 1 popular on the site for almost the whole duration of the contest did not make the cut. However, some beautiful designs were chosen.

Would I participate in a contest like this again? Probably not. I really didn't like the style of the contest being popularity-based; I felt as though it became a elementary game of who has the most friends, a malicious game of "rate mine high and the other designs low", and overall pestering of people to vote for designs, when they had to create an account to do so. 

The upshot, however, was that I was completely blown away by the support all had exemplified, and left the contest motivated to create more. 

My designs are below. The winning designs can be seen at www.feathr.com.

 

 

PLAY with GLASS

I've been inspired by some glass painting I've seen recently, particularly Tina Lugo, and other artists that paint the back of glass for a graphic look. I failed to find a pen I was satisfied with on the slick surface, so I created a makeshift one of my own. I filled a small bottle with Liquid Leaf, attached a syringe tip, and found if I squeezed with even pressure I could create a nice line. 

I used this method to 'paint' my drawing outlines on the front of the glass, then I painted the back of the glass with simple acrylic colors. For the background I painted triangles onto a piece of plywood.

Overall I'm happy with the method, and will do a few more in the same fashion!

NEW COLLABORATION

I'm excited to announce a new collaboration opportunity with Genemichael Lauria. Genemichael is a printer, printing instructor located in Olympia, Washington. We will be collaborating on future projects involving screen printing, letterpress, and other premium forms of printing. 

While there isn't too much to report on at this point, I look forward to giving updates in the future!

Below are some photos from the Community Print where I met with Genemichael; a collectively run letterpress studio in Olympia. 

 Genemichal Lauria in front of a huge letterpress!

Genemichal Lauria in front of a huge letterpress!

 Just a few of the letterpress operations at Community Print

Just a few of the letterpress operations at Community Print

 The Gallery at Community Print

The Gallery at Community Print

BABY SHOWER INVITES

It's hard to believe one year ago my sweet twin nephews we still in my sister's belly! I was so excited to meet them, and one way I showed it was by volunteering to making her baby shower invites.

I threw around numerous ideas, and settled on one that would reflect the exciting prospect of having two babes, and her nursery theme of woodland animals. 

The animals I painted on the invite represent what I saw as some possible personality traits of the babies-to-be. Wise, sweet, (occasionally) grumpy, mischievous, and loving.

I finished the invites with hand-lined envelopes to match the playful theme and to highlight how special the event would be. For the actual event, I created games to match the party theme. 

COLORING SCROLL

Sometimes people comment on my drawings that I should add color, or ask why I don't get away from the line drawing style and try something more realistic. My answer is simple; I do what makes me happy. Drawing is my passion, my meditation, and if I could just sit and draw botanical subjects all day every day I'd be in heaven. I do not draw to make what sells well, I'm not so worried about that. I'm sure my styles will evolve and naturally will hopefully become something others might like to surround themselves with one day. 

In the MEANTIME, I've made a somewhat obvious product application of my drawings, a coloring "scroll." I chose a scroll format rather than book to be a little different that the popular coloring books that are out there right now. I added in an educational element by including the flowers' scientific names along with common names. The scroll is eleven inches wide by ten feet long. 

COLLABORATION WITH THE CHINESE GARDEN

The Oregon Botanical Artists are excited to announce we are collaborating with the Lan Su Chinese Garden in downtown Portland over the next few months. With before and after hours access to illustrate plants throughout the garden, we will prepare pieces for a juried show in March 2017.

I went to sketch the other morning, and this is my first drawing of many. More to come.

EXPLORING MATERIALS AND PROCESSES

Once I composed quite a stockpile of my botanical drawings, the question burned in me: what the heck do I do with all of these?! As an industrial designer, I'm enthralled with different materials and processes. So, I began to play.

Below are examples of some of the different methods I've used to color and display my drawings. Some successful and some not as much, but I've had a lot of fun during the process!

Currently I'm exploring the art of painting on glass, and will post results of that process soon.

 Watercolor and gold decorative paper. Black line drawing is on acetate surface spaced .25" from the paper, creating a sense of depth and shadow.

Watercolor and gold decorative paper. Black line drawing is on acetate surface spaced .25" from the paper, creating a sense of depth and shadow.

 Gold leafing experiment.

Gold leafing experiment.

 Over saturated watercolor with metallic liquid leaf detail.

Over saturated watercolor with metallic liquid leaf detail.

 Watercolor on Yupo paper, with black acrylic background. Metallic liquid leaf detail.

Watercolor on Yupo paper, with black acrylic background. Metallic liquid leaf detail.