I am having SO much fun with these!
Your free download is here! Enjoy!
What’s going on over here? Lots! My November newsletter will fill you in so do subscribe. In the meantime – here is a sneak peek for you.
Here is the first of my downloadable desktop calendars. Live with my art every month ~ for free! To download – click on the image, drag it to your desktop and follow your computer’s instructions for adding your pictures as wallpaper.
While you are here, please add your name to my email list so I can send you my monthly newsletter.
“What we have once enjoyed we can never lose.
All that we love deeply becomes a part of us”.
We saw Miles on his way yesterday morning. The type and severity of injury from the 2-dog attack made the chance of recovery slim— even if he’d been a young cat. At 18yo we couldn’t ask him to carry on. He has been a constant in our lives for many years and David and I already miss him immensely.
Miles picked US. He showed up while we were building the house- took a look around and decided – this works for me! We tried to give him away (we already had 4 and didn’t want to be “that crazy cat couple”). The day he jumped off the tailgate of a parked truck – 5′ into David’s arms – the deal we sealed, and we gave up looking for another home for him.
He was a Prince. A charmer. A love. After a single warning hiss, he gracefully accepted two very energetic, silly girl kittens into his domain. One year later, we rescued another kitten that he also took under his wing. He watched over the girls, showed them the ropes, and has now passed the torch.
My studio has a cat door so he could come and go as he pleased. He spent a lot of time here – sometimes day and night. Every two weeks or so he’d adopt a new spot to sleep in, and I’d clear the tools, paper, or books so he could call it his own- until the next spot. I was lucky to have so much time with him. Here is the kicker — Fiona, our other black cat, witnessed the attack and has been terribly out of sorts. Remarkably, she followed me to the studio today and has settled contentedly in his favorite spot.
We find solace in his peace, the ten thousand indelible memories he has given us, and smile at what a friend recently told us – the mice in heaven are slow, and there are open cans of tuna everywhere. (I see an illustration coming out of this!)
Miles, you were THE BEST CAT. You will be in our hearts forever. Have fun with those mice and enjoy the tuna!
PS – We have much respect and gratitude for our veterinarian, Dr. Cathy Gallahorn, at North Suffolk Animal Clinic who so compassionately and gently guided us through this. Thank you.
Photo credit: Eddie Williams
If you live in the Tidewater Virginia area, I hope you will join me August 16th for a fun event – an Artisan Trunk Show at a Gypsy Vanner Farm!
Trunk shows typically feature the work of designers and artists in the casual and intimate setting of a store or home. When I started back with metal smithing and jewelry making several years ago, hosting or being hosted for a showing struck me as a great way to display art. Forget the inclement weather and hustle and bustle of the outdoor art show! (for now, anyway) Last summer I teamed up with artist and writer, Betsy DiJulio — author of the vegan cookbook The Blooming Platter and Leanne Ladin, author of Secretariat for a soirée at my studio and home that was enthusiastically received. I’ve also held showings at the Tides Inn, Irvington, VA and the Smithfield Inn, Smithfield, VA and West Elm, Virginia Beach.
Next week I am partnering with Mokete’s Village and Tiffany Donnelly of Equus Couture for a trunk show. It’s worth the trip— if only to see these magnificent horses and the gorgeous surrounds. I hope you will RSVP “YES!” to this invitation.
If hosting a trunk show at your home or business sounds like something you’d like to do, please contact me.
Mokete’s Village Artisan Trunk Show ~ Smithfield, VA
Sunday • August 16 • 2-6 p.m.
Artist and designer Karen Eide brings her love of flora and fauna
to a line of fine art jewelry, textile design and paintings.
Preview Karen’s work and find her on Facebook
Experience Equus Couture’s latest collection of high quality leather goods for both horse & rider;
hand stitched with high-end crystals & vintage pieces, and great attention to detail.
Preview Equus Couture and find them on Facebook
Enjoy an afternoon of hors d’Oeuvres, cocktails, art and gorgeous horses!
Mokete’s Village, 15400 Mokete Trail, Smithfield, VA 23430
~ Visit Mokete’s Village – home of award-winning Gypsy Vanner Horses on Facebook ~
For questions and to R.S.V.P ~ 757.346.8782
All of a sudden, the 100 day project is complete. Fini. Done.
I already miss it. More often than not, the work would fall to the late hours ~ after all my other studio work was finished. Not once did I think I wish I didn’t have to do this. Instead, I thought I’m so glad I’m doing this.
I have loved each and every moment. After an already busy and creative day I am always excited to see what else will end up on paper. Sometimes you know at the onset. Sometimes you don’t. And, other times “kind of might” know where you are headed. Often it’s just a sense. Creativity is a very curious process.
This repeating pattern started with the sketch below it…
In front of a blank page in my sketchbook or computer, I may, at times, take a deep breath at the blankness but I have learned to relax, knowing something will always emerge. Years ago I read a quote by artist Chuck Close, that summed up my feelings about not waiting for a lightning bolt of inspiration to strike— just get down to work. Please understand that I don’t negate the fact that we all need inspiration and we must “fill the well” – as they say- but inspiration is everywhere so keep your eyes open, soak it up don’t use it as an excuse for not doing your work)
“Inspiration is for amateurs — the rest of us just show up and get to work. And the belief that things will grow out of the activity itself and that you will — through work — bump into other possibilities and kick open other doors that you would never have dreamt of if you were just sitting around looking for a great ‘art idea.’ And the belief that process, in a sense, is liberating and that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every day. Today, you know what you’ll do, you could be doing what you were doing yesterday, and tomorrow you are gonna do what you did today, and at least for a certain period of time you can just work. If you hang in there, you will get somewhere.” Chuck Close (my emphasis)
Looking back ~a few thoughts about this project:
– I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
– If you truly want to do something you’ll make the time and stop making excuses
– I’m meeting amazing artists and designers from all corners of the globe on Instagram- their work, sense of community, the mutual support and encouragement is so inspiring!
– Discipline, determination, and dedication make things happen! Of course, I’ve always known that but it’s worth putting it writing.
So, what’s next? I have lots of details to tend to on this project that may take another 100 days! Most of the fabric designs, motifs, and sketches I’ve drawn fall into collections— All About the Bees, Shibui, Circle Me, etc. Now I will sift through everything and tighten up the designs and collections. After that:
– write the story behind each collection
– digitize any designs that are in the sketch stage and create repeat patterns
– assign 2-3 colorways to each collection
– order fabric samples to check color and repeat
– set up my Spoonflower shop to make fabric, wallpaper and gift wrap available to YOU
– create a portfolio of collections
I’ll be sure to keep you posted. Thank you so for your interest in this journey! I’d love to hear your comments below.
- If you’d like to revisit the 100 days you can click here
- or here if you want to see all my Instagram posts
Creating color palettes can be done in a variety of ways — on and off the computer. Before I get to that, you may be asking — why would I want or need to do this? Here are several situations in which this could be helpful:
– Creating art, design work or for assigning colorways to a fabric collection
– Duplicating a previous palette from your drawing or painting for future work
– Creating a palette for interior design work
– Branding and corporate identity
– Inspiration, inspiration, inspiration!
An easy and cost-free method to pick colors is one I’ve used for years— picking out paint chips from the hardware store of colors that make me swoon. Simple as that. So, when I need a palette for a painting or design I get out my color chip box and lay out what suits my project. And, yes, I have a nice collection by now!
When I begin to paint, I’ve found it’s helpful to have determined the array of colors I want to use and have color chips in hand to match. Premixing my paint colors eliminates having to stop and start to do more mixing. When designing fabric, I inevitably move from sketchbook to the computer, then I rough-in approximate colors and finalize the project industry standard color codes. WYSIWYG — from computer screen to final output— rarely happens. What may look gorgeous on the computer screen is not necessarily what emerges from a printer or fabric house. Plugging in industry standard codes eliminates unpleasant surprises when sending off for fabric or commercial printing. More on that below.
If you have wanted to pull a palette from a photo as I have done in this post and like the blog Design Seeds, here are two ways to do it on the computer using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. These methods d0 require a basic working knowledge of the programs. You can find excellent online classes and tutorials for these at Lynda.com, Skillshare.com, Creativelive (often with free trials). The programs are available for download from Adobe Creative Cloud (30-day free trial – $29-$49/monthly after that).
Bring the photo into Illustrator. With the rectangle tool draw a 1 x 1″ squares— for as many colors as you want. Select the squares, one at a time, and using the eyedropper tool go into the photo and click on your desired color. (If the square is selected beforehand the color you’ve clicked on with the eye dropper tool will fill the square). If you don’t like what the eyedropper has chosen move it slightly and click until you get the color you are after. Drag the swatches, one at a time, into the swatches palette. Save the document to a folder you can reference. I call mine Color Inspiration.
Bring the photo into Photoshop. Create a new layer. Using the eyedropper tool go into the photo and select your desired color to fill the square. View the selected color in the toolbar. If you don’t like what the eyedropper selected move it slightly and click until you get the color you are after. With the rectangle tool draw a square on your new layer. While it is still selected, go to Edit> Fill. Fill with foreground color @ 100% opacity. If you want to save the color in the Swatches palette, double-click on the color in the toolbar to bring up the Color Picker options and choose Add to Swatches. Repeat for additional colors.
Industry Standard Color Coding
Above (left) is what my desk often looks like in the final stages of sending fabric designs off to Spoonflower.com. When designing anything that goes to print – fabric, business cards, etc. I match my paint chip or randomly selected computer color to the closest Pantone/PMS fan (the one above is Pantone Fashion, Home + Interiors – approx $180.) or a hex code from a paper or fabric swatch book. The photo on the above right is the Spoonflower color map printed on cotton with codes for each color. Applying a color code ensures a relatively close match in the end product. Although these are industry standard codes, keep in mind that the same code will look different on coated paper vs. uncoated paper, cotton vs. silk, etc. Your print house can guide you with your options.
Have fun with your palettes! If you have any questions, please contact me.
PS – just because it’s easy to pull photos off the internet doesn’t mean you should – or that it’s legal. Always ask a photographer’s permission before using any aspect of a photo. Don’t assume it’s ok! You will, ultimately, get far more creative satisfaction, have more fun and avoid legal issues if you grab your camera, get your tail out of the studio and take your own pictures.
I want to show you the magic of making repeating patterns and have made a video tutorial for you. After you know the mechanics, you may begin to notice that pattern repeats are everywhere— the fabric designs in our clothes, upholstery, carpet, housewares, your iPhone case or perhaps, that wallpaper you just downloaded for your desktop computer or mobile device!
As some of you may know, I have been participating in The 100-day Project since April 6th. I chose to pursue surface design and daily (most often, nightly!) I turn my sketches into designs that I then make into repeat patterns. The commitment to this project has helped me put into motion something I’ve wanted to do, design-wise, for a very long time— and get it into the material world (ha ha). In late July, my Spoonflower.com shop will be stocked up with my designs, and you will be able to order yardage in a variety of fabric types, wallpaper and gift wrap. My Instagram page has all of the work I’ve done, to-date.
Even if you aren’t an artist that wants to learn the process you may find this video interesting. It explains the manual version of the repeat process. The final, hand-drawn pattern could conceivably be carved into a block or stamp to create a repeating pattern on paper or fabric. I typically work digitally — scanning my sketches into the computer, then finalizing in Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop. The image at the top of the page was done in this manner. If you look at it carefully – from left to right – you will see that the repeat begins with the 4th bird. The original sketch that I began with is below.
Enjoy! Feel free to share! Comments and questions are welcomed.
If you want to strike fear in my heart, tell me I’ll be speaking in front of 150 people. Or, that I should write a blog once a week.
I’m a homebody. A classic Meyers-Briggs introvert. It doesn’t mean I’m anti-social, but I clearly derive and cultivate my energy, my verve, and pluck— from alone time, in the studio. You almost have to light a fire under me to get me to most social events. That said, once I get out and about, I have no fear of walking through a crowd of strangers, introducing myself and extending my warmth, charm, and gentle snark. 😉
Nonetheless, when my friend Amanda invited me to the Art My Party, a PechaKucha-style event this past Thursday night at the Chrysler Museum Glass Studio, Norfolk, VA, I was intrigued. Cost of admission? Five images of your work and give a one-minute talk about your art to 150 other creative thinkers and doers.
PechaKucha began in Tokyo in 2003 by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Klein Dytham architecture as an informal social platform for anyone to share ideas, work and passions (think TED for everyone). In its truest form, one submits 20 slides and has twenty minutes to speak. Translated from Japanese, PechaKucha, means “the sound of conversation”. It has gone virile and has occurred in over 700 cities worldwide.
I love this concept and was tempted by the invitation— until I got to the part about public speaking. Oh, I can talk for days on end to students about painting or metalsmithing, but speak in front of 150 people? No way! I’ve never held a mic in my life and hate talking about me me me.
So; I broke it down. What’s one minute of speaking? A paragraph. What scares me? Forgetting what I want to say. Ok, then write it down — then read it. So, like a good Girl Scout (yes, that’s me in this Girl Scout commercial circa 1965)– I came prepared and shared my work.
It was an enjoyable evening with an array of talented people and fascinating ideas. Presentations ran the gamut from a newly graduated art student to painters, photographers, fabulous glass artists, a yoga teacher and to several women who have proposed to make a giant kaleidoscope from a full-sized cement mixer. Actually, it was great! I’d go again. And, next time I just might wing it.
Here’s my one minute presentation and images that accompanied it:
A strong affinity to nature and the environment provides the recurrent thread that runs throughout my work – be it in paint or metal or cloth. Tonight I will show you paintings. I draw from an iconography of flora and fauna presented in landscapes, which, when complete, fall somewhere between sleeping and waking, metaphor and allegory, fantasy or reality, sadness or humor. Concerns about environmental disruption cause me to reflect on ideas surrounding longing and loss, renewal, and growth— to name a few. My paintings are the essence of my connection to nature— with all its frailty, beauty, and heartache. They are not about what I see, but, rather, what I sense.