Monday, January 31, 2011


This would have been a nice teapot, except that the spout twisted and
I accidentally blocked the strainer holes. What a shame, since the lid
fits really well. My next try will be better.

Coming soon... Snake Jar!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Emily in Progress

Been working on this painting of Emily for the past two days. Almost done!

In Progress...
Almost finished. At this point, I want to let it dry for a while before I add the final touches.
Messy Pallet!

What a bummer - it's so pretty!
On a side note, I'm thoroughly disappointed at these new "Van Gogh" brand oil paints I bought to try. They were a lot cheaper than my customary Wisor Newtons, and like a fool, I fell for them. They simply do not have the heft and pigment level to complete with my thicker Newtons, and get completely lost when I use them together. Its a shame, since I do love that orange.

I have to say that the prussian blue is actually ok, but maybe only because those blues are usually dominating anyway.

Check back in a bit to see the painting totally finished!

Saturday, January 29, 2011


Today I'm working on a small oil painting. I did the under-drawing a few months ago and it got put on the back burner. I'm happy to get back to it! The image is of a friend (herself an incredible illustrator and designer) who graciously agreed to let me paint her portrait.

Since many of the colors in my reference photo are in the cooler spectrum, I gave the drawing a wash of a warmer color - acrylic yellow ochre paint. As a result, my cool colors on the warm base will be much stronger than if I started on white. I used acrylic, which is a plastic based paint, because it dries very fast and oil works well on top of it. You can always paint with oil over acrylic, but not the other way around!

I will probably begin on her face, mostly because I think that's the most interesting part. I'll keep you posted on progress, so be sure to check back!


Wheel-thrown and assembled teapot and coffeepot. These were made with brown clay, and will have an earthy look. I'll probably apply iron oxide and a glazed dot pattern to them. Think fish or reptile scales!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Toad-ily green

My inspiration, from a hike on Mt. Nittany near Penn State University.
The sugar bowl's interior glaze will be "green tweed."
Coming soon: fish bowls!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Vulpes Vulpes - or Red Fox!

Today's Sketch... I think this is a case of "I liked the drawing better before I painted it". Oh well...

Might cut it out and use it somewhere else later.

It's easy to go overboard with ladybugs

I've been working on a dinnerware set that features fragile little creatures hiding in the undergrowth. I enjoy the surprise of finding fish among pond weeds, a frog in the grass, a toad on a wet sidewalk. These are animals you could catch and cup in your hands if you're quick and careful. I want people to think about these things and have these kinds of experiences when they handle my tableware.

I thought some bits of red would nicely set off a pair of American toads on a sugar bowl... So I panted some ladybugs and immediately regretted it. They were way too cute. Would stinkbugs be better?

This fellow visited my sister's bathroom counter top last month. He and his friends have been making nuisances of themselves indoors, but they have handsome rust-colored spots around the edges of their carapaces and interesting striped antennae.

Do toads eat stinkbugs? According to wiki.answers: "Yes." But frogs will not. Picky.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Animal Inspiration

Today I took a trip to the Lake Erie Nature and Science Center, which is only a short walk from the BayArts Campus where our show will be in February 2012 (and is also where the pottery studio is located).

The Nature center is a wonderful educational resource which is free and is practically in my backyard! Is is a great way to get up close and personal with many Ohio animals. I was thrilled to find so many great drawing subjects. Local artists - seriously, this is an awesome drawing opportunity!

A few of my favorite Ohio animals (I am trying to stay local for the show):
Turtles (Painted I think)

Snapping Turtle! Will definitely have to go back and draw this guy.

One legged goose

Tiny Screech Owl

My Favorite of the day! This red fox came right up to me and was very interested in what was going on. There was a black one as well, but he was a little camera shy.

Sooo cute

White Tailed Deer

Red Tailed Hawks

Here are a few sketches I made at the center toward the end of my visit:

I'm going to try to make an effort to visit the center often. It is free, super close, and has tons of things to draw. I really have no excuse. It will be nice to sketch outside when its warmer too! Look for more drawings to come.

Glazing a Pot

In the studio today....  Sue glazed this lovely little spouted pot!
Guppies! Apparently much harder to paint than Sue makes it look
Love this Crayfish
Dipping it in the bucket of clear
Gotta let all the extra glaze drip off!
Sue is letting the dipped pot dry for a minute so she can put it down without damaging the glaze job

Looking forward to seeing this one out of the kiln! The colors change after being fired, so there is always some element of surprise in the final product.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


Every February, the wonderful BayArts gallery  in Bay Village, Ohio puts on an "Emerging Artists" show in which they give two relatively unknown artists the opportunity to display their work. This is a great honor and opportunity, especially since the gallery is excellent and doesn't have very many shows each year.

We (Sue the ceramicist and Erin the illustrator) are very excited to announce that we were chosen to display our work in the Emerging Artist show in 2012!

Having a year to create a body of work is a rare luxury and we are still at just the beginning of a long journey. There is a lot to think about - Theme, Subject, Technique, Staging, the food, etc. The show is completely ours to design, and while it is exciting to have that much freedom, it adds a lot of responsibility. This blog will serve as a way to document our process and progress on every front.

The show is actually going to be in that house pictured on the barge! It has been completely renovated and has found a new home on the BayArts campus on Lake Erie. Its a pretty magical place.

So please stop by often! Beautiful things will happen here, I promise....