Sunday, December 5, 2010

Some creatures on bikes

Let's just be clear, here:  I have lived with Arkonbey for a long time, and there are always bicycles in the house.  And yet, I remain completely unaware of how the things are actually constructed.  Far be it from me to actually go and look at one.  I mean, there are only a paltry few to choose from.  Regardless, here are a few creatures, on my interpretations of those two-wheeled devices.
Cat on a bike 1 ©SweetEnemyArt
Cat on a bike 2  ©SweetEnemyArt

Lemur on a bike  ©SweetEnemyArt

Thing on a bike (For Arkonbey) ©SweetEnemyArt
Thing on a bike was the progenitor of this series, by the way.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Art Community

Wow.  I am grateful for many people today, and since I've been terrible about keeping a journal of such things on paper, why not list a few here now.

1.)  Christy Mitchell, Creative Facilitator at the S.P.A.C.E. Gallery.  She's created this wonderful microcosm of artists and happenings right in the middle of the Burlington Arts district, and I always have a great time whenever we go.  She's a great dancer and has a wonderfully odd attraction to retro accessorizing.
I hope she doesn't kill me when she sees this.
2.)  Lorraine Reynolds, Mixed Media Collage & Assemblage artist.  Lorraine just shocked the pants off me by putting a little blurb about me on her blog, which is really sweet, especially seeing how I was going off last night about how she's doing a workshop at A.M. in the Spring, to at least three of her mutual friends, and we're all really excited...oh, I guess we hadn't confirmed that yet ...blush...

Captain by Lorraine Reynolds
3.)  Sidney Eley, Photographer and Mixed Media artist who invited me to take part in a group of working artists that bounce ideas off of each other.  I met Sidney at the VSC Vermont Art Week this April.  Through Sidney, I've been able to make better connections with some great local artists.  And it's good to have homework.  I'd put in a link to Sidney's work, but couldn't find one.  Still, if you're on Pine Street in Burlington, check out a few of her pieces at the new SEABA headquarters.

4.) All my peeps at Artists' Mediums.  Ten years and they still put up with me.  They even buy new framing equipment for me!  Alright, for the store, not necessarily for me.  But you should see this awesome book they put together for me.  And you will, someday soon.

5.)  Our buyer's agent, who had the foresight to give us a beautiful oil lamp as a housewarming gift, and the local power company crew, who made sure we didn't have to rely on it for more than two nights in a row.

6.)  And oh!  This artist, Kirsty Mitchell, whom I just stumbled upon this morning.  A photographer in England, who's right up my alley.

7.)  More people than I can count...  you know who you are, right?

Monday, November 8, 2010

17th Annual Art & Artisans Market November 13th and 14th 2010, 10-5

Alright art friends, here's the skinny. You can start your holiday preparations this coming weekend at the Art & Artisans Market, where I'm a guest artist. Stop in and see what's cooking.
(no, I mean it... It's Arthur's Fault will be there...)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Art Trek--I'm Massachusetts bound!

So, you know how lots of artists dream of showing in a NYC gallery? 
Karen and I are on our way to the R. Michelson Gallery, a venue I would love to show in someday (NYC is still on the list though.)  Northampton is a fun place to nose around in, so if I had an extra reason to go there, well, I wouldn't complain.
The opportunity to rub elbows with some of my favorite illustrators and authors is such a treat.  Last year I came home with two books autographed by that master of many mediums, Barry Moser.  Check out his work if the name is new to you.  

Speaking of treats, we'll be making our usual stop to L.A. Burdick's  chocolate shop along the way.  Oh yes, it's as good as it sounds.
Here’s a shot of the reception for last year’s show.  We had a prime spot just behind Rich Michelson himself, because we couldn't tear ourselves away from the book table...

Well that’s it for now.  If you’re up in the Jeffersonville VT area, make sure you check out the Small Picture Exhibition at the Bryan Memorial Gallery, which opens today.  The show runs through December 23rd. 
Likewise, if you’re down Northampton way, I highly recommend the  R.Michelson gallery.  The Children's Illustration Show looks to be up through March 2011.  Both venues have more than one show going at a time, well worth the visit. 
Plus, and this is important, both towns have some fabulous food.
You knew I was going to end on a food note, didn't you.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Small Picture Exhibition opens this Friday

Nazgul Bride  Graphite on paper  ©Sweet Enemy Art 2010
I've submitted two pieces to the annual Member's Small Picture Exhibition at the Bryan Memorial Gallery, which runs through December 23rd 2010.  Obviously, what you see here isn't quite Vermont landscape, but this show usually mixes things up a bit.  I'm curious to see if they hang both my pieces at once, or if the turnout was large enough where only one piece from each artist will show at a time.

Guess I'll have to wait, though, as I'm missing the opening reception this Sunday!  Check back then and you'll see why.  

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Incubating ideas

Last night I attended my second meeting with the 'Pollinators', kindly hosted by Sidney E.  This is a group she invited me to take part in, where working artists can bring their in-process-work in for feedback and ideas.  As with the first night, the Mode-de-Monstre work that I brought received the best response.  Sculpture keeps coming up as a response when I show my drawings, and Wylie mentioned an iron pour that takes place in Burlington.  My response has been rather giddy.  I got out my roma plastilina clay when I got home, but it's tricky to work with (and my hands stank all night.)  This is something I'll probably need to talk with some other sculptors about.
I'm also halfway through a class with Alyson Stanfield of and it's simultaneously overwhelming and energizing.  Tons of "to do's" are threatening to topple over onto me, so thank goodness arkonbey has stepped up to the plate and is, well, washing the plates.  Ladies and Gents, my man makes dinner and he does the dishes. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Back from the HoP

...and spending a few minutes searching for Sweet Enemy online.  Found a few images of my artwork, which is great--that's what I was hoping for, but I also found someone out there who's got a righteous excuse to use my psuedonym:  Check her out.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Fresh Art for Etsy

It's almost Art Hop time again!  I'm cranking up my matting and framing in the studio, trying to get ready, as once again I've got a space.  Meanwhile, here are a few close-ups of pieces that just went live 
on my Etsy shop.  More to come soon...

Waiting At The Station (detail) ©Sweet Enemy Art 2010
Walnut ink and gouache, two great mediums that go great together!  
This little guy is rather melancholy, waiting faithfully on his bench...

Gothic Reader (detail) ©Sweet Enemy Art 2010
Walnut ink and gouache again, with a liberal dose of colored pencil and snaky hair.  

This Is My Cheese (detail)  ©Sweet Enemy Art 2010 
From a series of pieces I did when experimenting with some new-to-me acrylic mediums... the whole thing started off with this lovely yellow cheese-like surface, so the subject just had to reference that.
Grandma Sweater (detail) ©Sweet Enemy Art 2010 
Walnut ink strikes again!  And so does Grandma, with yet another bizarre sweater at Christmas. 
This piece shall now proudly take its place with the other Mode De Monstre.  
Bright Bird (detail) ©Sweet Enemy Art 2010 
From a lovely day of printmaking down at the Burlington City Arts Print Studio, here is a monotype done in a technique which I always love but don't often have a chance to use.  And because I can rarely leave well enough alone, there is colored pencil and possibly some watercolor along with the dry-media and ink that the print was originally made with.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

15 microseconds of fame!

Well, maybe not fame exactly, but when I checked into Etsy last night, I discovered a friendly little note from bythebead saying that one of my pieces had been picked for a treasury.  Treasuries aren't that rare, it's not like being posted on the main page or anything, but still, nice to see my work in a collection picked by someone else.

So what's YOUR vote for my next Etsy batch, oh internet peeps?  
Should I post more line drawings, or bigger pieces, or what

Until then, looking forward to this heat breaking a bit.  It's too stuffy in the studio, and we just found our awesome vintage fan needs an overhaul.  


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The shop! The shop!

The shop is alive!

Ten original pieces have made their way onto Etsy.  I feel like I've done a technology workout this evening, but it was all worth it.  Here's a few pieces that you'll find there:

Ghost Cat, one of the most recent mini-cat watercolors (1.25 x 1.25 inches) is at the top of the list.  Now that I've blown the image size up here on the screen, I don't know if I can part with him!  Excuse me while I go jack up the price.  Just kidding.

Favorite Book Bug
Celtic Pup, loose in the book of Kells
My imaginatively-named "Bird Number Two" 
At Arkonbey's suggestion, I've set Mondays aside for business-related activities.  Tonight was one of the more rewarding Mondays, even though it overlapped into Tuesday.  Next week should see a few more pieces in the shop.  Till then, Goodnight!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A pair of birds

I'm waiting to hear if the recipient likes this design.  She'd missed her chance on obtaining an earlier piece of mine, so I'm revisiting the theme, but it's turned out quite different from the first.  

There's just something I love about the way a crow quill pen scratches across textured watercolor paper.  This may get a bit of color later on.  Remains to be seen.
While drawing this, I took advantage of my fancy-pants laptop's DVD-playing abilities, and went through three episodes of "All Creatures Great And Small" (Season One.)
Fantastic show, and I'm familiar enough with it that I just listened to it, audio book style.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Private lives of sophisticated cats

Here are two 6x6 pieces I started last week.

If you dropped by the studio on Sunday, I had just started the one on the right. On the left panel, I let a few folks try out my white acrylic ink and watercolor crayons. Most of that has now been covered up, though this absorbent ground has done its best to play tricks on me.
Sometimes "permanent" just isn't, at least on this stuff.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Paintings find new homes

This year's Open Studio weekend was a wonderful experience, as I've mentioned previously.  Here are a few of the pieces that have found new homes:
First, Lizard With Sandwich (24x18")
Young Rabbit (10.5"x5.5")
Two of the following pieces sold, and of the one in pink & blue, I just realized I might not have a better image! Nuts! Perhaps I'll discover otherwise if I do a little digging...  Anyways, pink & blue is "You Listen To My Stories" and the other that sold is "Nest Egg."  
The last one I have an image of is the Polar Bears, done on an interesting shaped piece of paper (it's scooped in the upper right corner.) They're just hanging out, listening to some stories. In their cozy little igloo, perhaps.
(size @ 2.5"x4.5")

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Wrap it up and plant that garden!

Rhubarb rhubarb cha cha cha

Another Open Studio weekend has come and gone.  Before too long, I'll have some new progress shots of new work.  But first, it's time to say thank you.

Thank you one and all, those of you who came to find me specifically, and those of you who just followed signs and happened upon our house.
All in all, I believe we had almost sixty visitors.  Whew!
Special shouts out to:
Mister Brunelle (and many others of you) for describing my work as: 
"Illustrations for a story that doesn't yet exist"
Lorrie, for bringing freshly baked cookies (they were lovingly devoured)
Theresa, for loaning me her display panels, thus saving my walls.
The fearless ladies who conquered our rocky hill on their road bikes, you were awesome!
Marcia & Skip, who saved the eight-foot-tall monster dress drawing after it came loose from the side of the house...
Those of you who came from afar:  Richford, Plainfield & Newport, Vermont;  Connecticut, Massachusetts and Philadelphia, even an artist from New Zealand!
Rick, for helping me with all the last minute set-ups and keeping me sane.  
(And for letting people visit your studio space and see your work too!)

You all gave me great ideas to pursue, other artists to look up, and you all shared some wonderful stories.  THIS, not to mention your wonderful encouragement, is what makes these events worthwhile!

As Sunday drew to a close, we celebrated with home-made sangria, local pizza, and Big Trouble in Little China.  Bernie--our new cat--celebrated his release from the bedroom.  Next year, perhaps he'll be brave enough to greet the guests.
Bernie in the studio

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Studio Visit! Open Studio 2010

It's been a long slow start-up to Spring, but here we are:  Memorial Day is right around the corner.
That means it's time for an Open Studio tour!

Our Jericho-Underhill group once again has its hub at the Emile Gruppe Gallery in Jericho Center.  This is a good spot to pick up your maps (both the local and the state-wide) and to view samples of work by our group as you plan your tour.  Also on display at the gallery are photography by Bruce Gilbert-Smith, and watercolors by Kathleen Bergeron. The yellow maps for our local group are very handy, if you need good driving directions.

In previous years, I exhibited my "studio" off-site.  This time, I invite you to visit the studio itself.
Come and see what I keep on hand to inspire me, what materials I use, and more.  Try your hand drawing with walnut ink, or charcoal, or who knows...

Here's a typical painting day for me:  everything at hand!  Everything!!!!

The last few months have been an interesting "germination" period.  Most recently, the week I spent at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson yielded new work:  more "Monster Fashion" drawings (bigger and bigger!) and a self-portrait diptych that is in the very early stages.  These are just two of the many things I've started recently, but yes, there are a few finished pieces as well.  I am looking forward to sharing them with you.

To get you started, here's the map for the local tour!


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Studio Center--the first few days

Well, here are a few images from the studio as I was getting unpacked.  This space was HUGE; almost as big as our living room, so now my "previously big" studio at home feels really really small.  (Current task is to empty it of all unnecessary stuff so I have room for, well you'll see soon...)
After a day and a half of sanding and priming the four panels I brought, I did this quick water-like painting on one of the smaller pieces.  Feeling a bit looser now, nice to work on something this size.  Acrylic on clear-primed birch panel, 24"x24."  
And finally, for tonight at least, a part of the Studio Center that I rarely set foot in during the day, the bedroom.  A rather monastic setting, which was just right.  Check out the built-in drawers!  I think this used to be the dining room when this house was originally built.  And love the funky colors, though I certainly didn't want to linger in bed too long when there was amazing breakfast to be had.  
And the studio was calling.  

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Off to the Studio Center!

Feather Study, originally uploaded by Sweet Enemy Art.
Vermont Art Week starts today!
I'm taking a short break before I load up the car with tons and tons of stuff and head to the VSC. It's gorgeous weather outside, though chilly.
The laptop will stay behind with Arkonbey but I'll bring my camera, so next week there will be a post (or two) of images documenting my time away away away!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Oh Wow Oh Art

Using the "trick yourself by treating yourself" idea, I started the day with a quick blog-roll checkup, a local errand, and an early lunch at the local cafe while working on my artists statement for two bodies of work, and then I hit the library and found:

Almost as head-spinning as a quick trip to the Met or the National Gallery, I spent at least an hour  pouring through Phaidon's "The American Art Book" which is a hefty tome and a worthy one too.

What a delicious selection of works, all arranged alphabetically by artist; almost everything from the early early days to the present is at least touched upon.  Here are two favorites out of many:

Joseph (Guiseppe) Stella (Tree of My Life) on top, Ammi Phillips (Portrait of a Young Woman, Possibly Mrs. Hardy) below.  

But aaaaaaa!!!!! my brain is full to overflowing with images, and I have to get at least something on paper.  Today.  Now.  And since I've checked off three other things on my to-do list (call 7Days, call the insurance people, write something for the blog, oh, hi there...) I think it's time to do just that.

Until then.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Mark your calendars, art fiends!

A little drum roll please, as we announce the:

Memorial Day weekend has lots of enticing events, but if you're able, consider attending this one!  

It's state-wide, so wherever you are in VT on May 29th & 30th, you'll probably see the ubiquitous yellow signs directing you hither and yon.  

Much remains to be done as the clock ticks its way towards that weekend, so it's nice to check one thing off the list.

Other things I'm happy about lately include:

--The Vermont Artist Week at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, where I'll be for a solid week of art making very VERY soon.  

--The one-day encaustic workshop I attended at Studio Place Arts in Barre last week, at which I made lots of mess, but sort of found my groove at the end.

--My Etsy shop, which is that much closer to actually getting done (I know, THAT'S been a long time coming!)

--Arkonbey the Awesome, who came to my rescue with his design skills last night, and will also be giving the Sweet Enemy portion of our Obscurius site a nice facelift soon as well.  It's pretty great as-is, but it's time for a re-arranging and updating, as with most things.  

--Daffodils.  Daffodils and crock-pots, though not together, both make me happy.

That's all till next time.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

What happened to the fishes

Mixing paint in front of people is something I'm not too scientific about:
But the nice thing about this technique is transparent glazes are very I am wiping something out:
(Thanks to Lynn Powers for these demo images!)

And here's where the painting is now, with a bit more color glazed over the gray underpainting:

Now here's what's happened to my fish painting.  I think it was a case of too much paint, not enough paying attention, or "do not listen to Brave New World on audio book while painting, it's too much." 

Below, the original underpainting.

And here we have the current status:

Other than being choosey about what you listen to while creating, may I offer this advice as well:

Keep the initial color values light, light, light when glazing.  And be careful how much detail you add in a small piece, lest you end up with a cramped painting.