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.  :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

"Home Sweet Home"

Maybe it's because the holidays are coming up, and I'm a little homesick.  But lately I haven't been able to get the image of a snuggly bird nest out of my head, so here it is:

As always, available on my etsy here.  Struggling to get everything ready for a show on the 26th and 27th (etsyRAIN Handmade Holiday Show!), a show at my office on Dec. 1st and 2nd, and working on sketches to collaborate with the lovely Caitlin, as referenced in the previous post.  In regards to that, I sent along to her a few more sets of sketches that I originally made for my pendants for swag bags (which now will more likely be earring sets for sale).  I rather like the way a few turned out, and plan to make paintings of some of them soon.

Happy almost Thanksgiving, all!  :)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A few sketches.

Might be working with my dear and ridiculously talented friend, Caitlin, on some shared work for a Greensboro, NC show in early December.  Check out her etsy store, The Sly Giraffe!  So awesome and you have to admit the squillows are the cutest thing you've ever seen.

Here are a few sketches I'm working on for her:

We shall see where they go!  I'm thinking of possibly making paintings based off of them later as well.

Party Snail!

Put together a quick painting last week that I'd been wanting to do for awhile.  With a love for cephalopods and gastropods, one can't always be assured of a big target customer base, but they are just so fun to paint!  :)  Party Snail is 8" x 10," acrylic on pre-gesseoed canvas, and available in my etsy store here.

He's just so vibrant!  Don't you want to take him home with you?  :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Samurai Zombie Painting

Finished up my Samurai Zombie painting on Thursday, and dropped it off at Skin & Soul over the weekend.  It's 18" x 24," acrylic on canvas utilized with acrylic blending mediums. I started it back in September and then set it aside for awhile after getting frustrated.  Felt good to finish seeing it through!  :)  It started out with this sketch:

And ended up as this:

Just in time for the Halloween season!  Available on my etsy here.  And speaking of zombies, over the weekend I had the pleasure of attending ZombCon 2011 here in Seattle.  Such fun!  The hubby, his best friend (who flew up from SC to visit for the week) and I dressed up (I was an Amy Winehouse zombie).  The energy there was great, and although due to poor planning we missed the panel we were interested in, it was still a good time.  Hooray for the Halloween season!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

2 new paintings and accepted as a vendor!

Hello hello all!  First off I'm very excited to announce that I've been accepted as a vendor to the etsyRAIN Handmade Holiday Show!  If you're going to be in the Seattle area Thanksgiving weekend, you should consider stopping by!  I'm actually attending my first volunteer meeting tonight to start helping prepare the show.  Yay!

Also made 2 new paintings this week, both 8" x 11" acrylic on canvas.

Fall Into Owltumn!  You can buy this piece here from my etsy shop.

Here's a photo with flash to show the irridescent paint I used in some areas:

And my friend and I who are trying to keep each other accountable in our art by setting goals every month wanted to do a sea life theme - so I made a jellyfish smellyfish!

This one is also available for purchase in my etsy shop here.  Thanks for checking out my stuff!  Hope everyone is having a great week.  :)  If you're a crafter in the Seattle area, be sure to check out for listings of great shows, classes, and member resources!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Archeopteryx painting complete!

So I finished my Archeopteryx painting over the weekend.  It's acrylic on canvas, 18" x 24" and started out as this sketch:

And ended up as this:

I wanted it to be fun and playful.  Haven't worked with those acrylic mediums yet (maybe a little nervous about it?) but I'll have some small experimental paintings with them soon.  :)  Thanks for checking out the blog!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Addition to the calla lillies post.

Here is an updated photo of the four 8" x 10" paintings together as a set.  I don't have the original, so it's low-res, but still gives an idea of the look.  :)  Also, feel free to "like" me on my facebook page!  Happy first day of Autumn, everyone!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Orange calla lillies!

My co-worker commissioned another floral painting for the series I've been working on for her.  Yay for more work!  We might be discussing additional paintings in the future, too.  This one is to replace the pink plumeria in the set below (some of the ones below are upside down - this isn't how they're going to be hung, but it shows a bit of how they'll look together).  The plumeria will actually be hung separately, with the orange calla lilies taking its place diagonally across from the other orange (tiger lily) painting.

Previously created set:

New painting:

8" x 10," acrylic on canvas.  Picked up some Liquitex acrylic mediums over the weekend (a set with Clear Gesso, Slow-Dri Blending Medium, Flexible Modeling Paste, Gloss Super Heavy Gel, Pouring Medium, and High Gloss Varnish).  I'm especially excited about the Slow-Dri blending Medium, which is supposed to slow drying time by as much as 40%.  We'll see!

Also got some earrings and pendants done over the weekend, although thus far I've only taken pictures of the octopi set:

Hope everyone had a great weekend!  This gorgeous fall weather here has me itching to create.  :)  Can't wait to see the leaves turning here, since it's reputed to be quite lovely.