Friday, August 31, 2012

Narwhal Round-Up!

A few days ago, a co-worker asked me to send him a picture of my narwhal painting, since his studio mascot is the MAJESTIC ANIMAL THAT IS THE NARWHAL.  :)  It suddenly dawned on me that at this point, I've done lots of different narwhal things since making my original painting (with Horatio, who I now have a tattoo of), so I thought I'd do a round-up (in chronological creation order)!

The original!  Horatio is 8" x 10," acrylic on canvas.  Sold to Marlo.  :) 
Fancy pants narwhal!  Same specs as above, sold at the EtsyRAIN 2011 Handmade Holiday Show.
Inspiration for the "Adorable Narwhal Series" listing in my Etsy shop.  This little guy is a custom commission for an awesome gal who saw my table at the show, and was sad to see the narwhal painting had already sold.  Same specs.
Next was an 8" x 10" commission for my friend Becky.  I placed a "surpise narwhal" in it.  :)  Same specs.
Needle-felted narwhal that I made at Art Camp For Big Kids!  Such a fun new craft!
2nd commission for Becky's set.  Same specs.  I really love this painting and wanted to keep it!  :)
Custom commission for a re-make of the fancy narwhal featured above.  Same specs.
Narwhal In The Sky!  I looooved this one.  I believe it was 16" x 16" (acrylic on canvas).  A gentleman at my office bought it to decorate the nursey of his and his wife's little one on the way.  What an honor to know a new tiny human's eyes will be continually seeing this on their wall as they learn and develop!
A digital version of Horatio that I plan to use for my art brand.  :)
Hooray narwhals!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Busy, busy, busy girl!

Hello all! 

I must apologize for my extreme lack of updates.  In between commissions, prepping for the 2012 EtsyRain Handmade Holiday Show (in a fancy new venue with twice as many vendors!), the October session of The Joy Guild's Art Camp for Big Kids coming up (I will be teaching acrylic painting), moving, raising a 2nd pup, and a billion other things that work as excuses, I've been a bit busy.  :)  There have been many new works and musings that I need to post!  For those still following this blog, thank you.  I will remedy the empy air issue soon.

Thanks again, and keep on creating!

-Kelly M. Cook

P.S. - Don't forget, you can always check my facebook art page for more recent updates:

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Busy Busy Busy!

So much to do, so little time to post!  I just finished and sold this Grumpy Fishies painting:

And I finished the commission for the lovely Rebecca Annand:

The surprise narwhal was a fun addition.  :)  I'm currently super excited about joing the Joy Guild's retreat, Art Camp For Big Kids, as activity helper in April.  It's going to be a great little vacation from reality and I'm excited about meeting other fantastic, creative people.  Looking into attending the next two sessions as an acrylic painting instructor!  The future looks bright and lovely, and spring is right around the corner.  Yay!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Random Creations

So the building management company for my office had a ton of potted plants for their holiday display.  Instead of throwing them out after the new year started, they left them out for people to take home (thank goodness!).  I snagged two, a type of ivy and another one... I am so sorely lacking in plant knowledge that I'm not sure of their names or types - will have to look it up.  Anyway, this weekend I found adorable pots for both of them and moved them into their happy new homes.  But, the hardier, non-ivy plant just looked a little lonely to me.  So I made him a friend:

And since it had been so long since I'd played with polymer clay, I decided to make 2 more friends for him:

Wheee, fun!

Last week, I decided to play with the awesome Sugru Hacking Putty my husband got me as a stocking stuffer.  It's such neat stuff that I am almost intimidated by it - don't want to squander it!  But finally I decided I should go ahead and get a feel for it.  So I used a pretty rock I found outside in the dentist's office parking lot next to my apartment (shhh, don't tell! and it was washed and baked to clean it!) and some plastic test tubes left over from my office's "studio crawl" (pub crawl style with creative shots/tasty drinkies) and made a... flower holder?  It's kind of random, but I think I like it.  Used 3 peacock eye feathers, one sword feather and an ostrich feather.

It's been refreshing to play with something other than paint lately.  Really, it's making me want to start sculpting again, but somehow I don't think wire armatures and tons of Plaster of Paris all over the place would fly very well in our tiny studio apartment.  Sigh... we shall have a bigger place some day!  Can't wait until our lease is up in May!  :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Some recent commissions!

So I had 2 holiday commissions that I needed to get out before Christmas.  One was a Dr. Who painting for Darcy's daughter (Darcy is co-owner of Skin & Soul in Bellevue).  We decided on a hieroglyph-inspired simple piece, along with a Dalek necklace that I forgot to take a picture of (darn!).  8" x 10," acrylic on canvas:
In progress.  Clockwise - TARDIS, Dalek, Cyberman and fez (for the 11th Doctor).

I like the fun, poppy simplicity.

 Those hieroglyphs should supposedly actually spell out "Dr. Who" (according to the internet, that is).

2nd was a smaller remake of my Samurai Zombie painting (which is 18" x 24").  The remake is 8" x 10," and I'll admit, it was a challenge firguring out how to get the same detail level onto a smaller canvas.  I feel like I had to make a few compromises, but the remake embodies the same fun gruesome zombie spirit as does the original:

I also just finished a commission for a lovely young lady who contacted me after seeing my paintings at the etsyRAIN show.  She wanted a custom narwhal, inspiring me to create this listing in my shop.  Here's her cute version (8" x 10"):

Also, an awesome lady from work wanted a blue-ringed octopus painting for her son after buying my Cuttlefish Love painting at the mini-craft fair at my office.  It was really fun to make!  But then again, I have a weakness for cephalopods.  :)  Here's that one (8" x 10"):

Now I'm about to start on a remake of my Archeopteryx painting for the fantastic Sue Howard and another small painting for a friend from high school.  It's always great to be kept busy by an influx of new work!  :)  Hope everyone is having a great beginning to the new year, and staying safe and warm in Seattle Snowpocalypse 2012!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Long-Overdue Update!

Hello all!  I hope everyone survived the holidays with much joy and minimal wallet damage.  :)  Happy New Year!

Updates just did not fall high on the priority list these past few weeks, unfortunately.  But as for the etsyRAIN show, here are some pictures of my booth:

I was lucky enough to have two lovely neighbors; to my left (and pictured here) was Kate of BunnysBakedGoods, and to my right was Claire and her husband of Orange Twist (both awesome shops - check 'em out!).  One thing I've really come to notice about the crafting community around here is the sense of openess and a generally kind, giving attitude.  Whether you need your booth covered briefly for a pee break, or to borrow a dollar because your change box has been depleted, folks are ready and willing to help.  It's amazing.

Quick look at the inventory - lefthand side of the table.  The Archaeopteryx, manatee, and front left narwhal painting sold.  I later sold the cuttlefish and snail painting at an office show the following week.  Yay for $ for buying Christmas presents!  :)

Righthand side of the table.  The Samurai Zombie and Totoro paintings (as well as the smaller ones) are both still available via my shop or at Skin & Soul in downtown Bellevue.  Sold some prints as well as numerous pairs of earrings, hair clips, and a few necklaces.  So exciting!

It was great fun, and I definitely learned a few things that I think will be helpful for future shows.  Fortunately I'd done some research (since this was my first actual craft fair table show - before I'd shown work in more "gallery-like" settings) and found helpful tips at sites like these: (hooray Etsy!)

From my personal experience, I would say the number one thing I learned is - BRING A PARTNER NEXT TIME!  From bathroom breaks to hauling everything to and from to car, to setting up and breaking down, to grabbing a quick bite (I didn't want to try to sell an item while talking through a mouthful of food!) a partner would have been wildly helpful.  My husband was working all weekend, so I couldn't trap him into coming.  :)  The show ran from 11:00am - 5:00pm, and with being there at least 30mins before and after, it's a long darn day.  I preferred to stand because it just "felt right" - seemed easier to engage the customer from a standing position rather than sitting.

Also, I have to give a BIG shout-out to the wonderful and gracious Kim of Pepo Park - she lent me a table, risers, tablecloth and stool and a few other items when I panicked at the last minute, somehow not having realized tables were not provided.  So thank you Kim, you are awesome and a life-saver!  :)

Another thing that was great was after seeing so many etsyRAIN-er's shops online, I actually got to see their displays and work in person!  It was so fun, and really nice to see the crazy array of talent we have here in the Puget Sound area.  I knew I moved here for a reason other than being tired of SC!  ;)

Thanks again to the etsyRAIN team for organizing such an awesome show.  It was wonderful and I loved every minute of it.  :)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Narwhal Fever & Shop Name Change

Hello again!

So apparently a love for narwhals is in the air lately.  Two weeks ago, I created Horatio the Mustachio'd Narwhal, listed him on my etsy, and had him bought up by the awesome Marlo Miyashiro the very next day!  In all fairness, she does have a weakness for cute things, so I probably shouldn't have texted her an in-progress photo.  :)  Here's Horatio (8" x 10," acrylic on canvas), who is now enjoying a very happy life in Marlo's craft room:

Because Horatio was just so much fun to paint, I followed up with a 2nd narwhal painting, Lord Meriwether Gerard Landgrave III, The Most Dapper Gentleman of the Sea.  He certainly is!

Our Lordly little fellow sold the first day of the etsyRAIN show, in the first half of the day!  Egads!

I'm also currently in the process of creating a custom narwhal commission for a lovely young lady who came to the show and was heartbroken to discover that Horatio was already sold (Marlo was gracious enough to leave him with me with a "Sold, But Can Be Recreated" sign to add to my table inventory).  Be on the lookout soon for pictures of a new narwhal with a sailor hat and possibly a pipe.

Because this seems to be pretty popular subject matter at the moment, I've created this listing on my etsy shop:

Come one, come all, and choose the specs for your very own, unique narwhal!  :)  Hoping this will generate some interest, and they're just so much fun to do!

Decided this weekend to change my shop name from RenaitreALaVie to KellyMCookArt.  Don't worry, any links to the original shop name will redirect, and you'll still make it to the proper place.  When I started this shop up, I was at an odd point in my life.  I had just gotten out of a really bad relationship (5 years), and my love affair with art had rather stagnated during that time period, for all sorts of reasons.  Now that I was finally taking my life back into my own hands, I adopted the lovely French phrase, "renaître à la vie" as my mantra.  It translates to, "to take on a new lease of life, " although renaître à l'espoir, "to find fresh hope" may have been more appropriate.  A lovely expression, but not the smartest marketing decision.  Hard to pronounce, and even harder to spell.  Thus the decision to switch to a simpler shop name.  Hopefully my customers will find me quickly and easily now, and I can meet even more wonderful people to work with and share in the joy of art with.

Excessive pathos?  Hopefully not, as art and emotion and life experiences all tend to tie together in ways we would never imagine.  More later on the etsyRAIN show.  :)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A little bit behind!

I'm behind on posts, but will get to them soon!  A few new paintings, and later a run-down of the etsyRAIN Handmade Holiday Show last weekend, which was AMAZING!  It was wonderful to see so many people's hard work come together, and meet so many wonderful and gracious customers.  Stay tuned!  :)

In the meantime, here are some ridiculously adorable English bulldog puppies.  Just because puppies are awesome.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Blast from the past!

So I'm currently applying to the Pratt Fine Arts Center here in Seattle for tuition assistance (damn you Bellevue, for being so expensive) for a metalsmithing class.  It seems like such a great place with fantastic teachers, and I'd really like to brush up on metalsmithing since I haven't done it in, oh... six years?  Jeez, that's a little depressing.  Once we're not living in a studio apartment, hopefully I'll have to space to start putting together some equipment!

Anyway, as part of my application I'm including some pages of examples of my prior work showing the level I'd progressed to, and where I hope to pick up from.  The slides I took back then I eventually had digitized; unfortunately some image quality was lost in the process.  The concentration I was working on at the time was a line of conceptual jewelry - more sculptural than practical, using the natural lines of the body as a departure point.  Anyway, here are some of the pieces.  :)

The text on the image above ^ seems a bit hard to read, so here's a bigger version:

Scrambling like mad to get everything ready for the etsyRAIN Handmade Holiday Show.  If you're in the Seattle area, you should come on out!  It's going to be a great show!  The volunteers and core team have worked so hard in preparing everything, I am thoroughly impressed with these great women and their dedication.  Plus, they're all super nice.  :)  Personally, I'm learning a lot as this is my first ever craft/art show where I'm going to be a vendor with a booth.  All the shows I participated in previously were usually in bars or small gallery spaces, and in groups.  Some planning elements have managed to slip by me, and I'm glad to have more knowledge to bring to the table (no pun intended) for the next show I participate in.  Excited to see how everything goes this weekend!

Also, happy Thanksgiving tomorrow, everyone!  May you all have a great day filled with delicious food, love, and joy.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Pew pew pew!

Who doesn't love a nice, happy ray gun?  This certainly can't have been influenced by the fact that I've made it my personal recent goal to watch every single episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation while I'm painting lately (on Season 4 now!).

8" x 10, " acrylic on canvas, available on my etsy here.  :)