Voila! Parisian pink roses for you. Have a wonderful romantic day :)
Voila! Parisian pink roses for you. Have a wonderful romantic day :)
Have you made any resolutions? Have you chosen a word as inspiration to keep you on track throughout the year?
I'm trying to think of one.
I'm moving in a couple of weeks, leaving behind an apt and studio in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn I've lived in and loved for many years.
I'll be moving to Ditmas Park and I feel excited about the new place and that neighborhood of Brooklyn, but it's bittersweet.
In the run up to the holidays, I purchased some of my designs as gift wrap. I added these to my Spoonflower Shop, along with a few others as wrapping paper, fabric and wallpaper.
Brrrrr This Snowbunny is being decorated in spring colors for good luck.
I hope your year is off to a good start! Stay warm. xo, A
Hey! It's me, with some friends, in my studio. You probably haven't heard, but today is Cyber Monday ;) Consider supporting independent artists and designers, like myself.
I have lots of Art Prints and new Products in my S6 shop Today until Midnight PT - 40% OFF on (almost) Everything + Free Shipping
I might have to buy the pink shark shower curtain for myself, although the birds would brighten up my unusually small bathroom.
I really like how these metal travel mugs turned out. And, you really can't have enough bags. I have 100s, I carry bags inside other bags. I love it.
Birds of a Feather, above, Bouquet on blue & LOVE bunny will all be available from Oopsy Daisy Fine Art for Kids in the New Year!
I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. The holidays always sneak up so fast. Good luck with sorting through all the sales before and after Christmas.
I love neighborhood shops, but the internet can free up time for some other things.
Like reading :)
Thanks for stopping by! xo, A
Sometimes I want to dive deep down under the ocean. I've never done it, but think I've got to try someday. My friend, Mika once told me that scuba diving brought her a great sense of peace. For now, here are two paintings from my new Under the Sea series.
Come hell or high water, black cat will deliver this bouquet to her friend.
Is it her imagination or is this cat sewing herself a bigger garden?
I recently took a (rare) trip out of NYC. I went with friends to the Berkshires for a big birthday party. It was beautiful. I was inspired to paint this little picture above, but couldn't help making it springtime.
Country bunny, above, is on lots of products in my Society 6 Shop
Check , please! Climate change isn't funny, but as soon as I painted this, I thought it looked like mom bear was requesting the check.
Collect your nuts! Winter is coming - eventually.
And finally, I had fun mocking up these designs. Let's see if I can get some of them licensed or manufactured on some actual products!
Thanks for making it this far :) Have a great week! xo, A
Here's what I've been up to in recent months - making paintings, working on a TV show & learning about substrates for the home decor market.
Above, is a mix of patterns I made for my MATS Home Decor 4 class, taught by Lilla Rogers and Margo Tantau. It's a fun and intensive course. We covered Metal, Fabric, Glass, Ceramics & Wood. First, we each picked a trendboard (1 of 3 offered) as reference for color, to help maintain a cohesive look. No surprise, I chose "Cupcake Market". During the course of 5 weeks, a mini exercise comes out each Monday, while the main assignment is revealed every Wednesday. A presentation board is then due by 5pm ET that Sunday. In addition, we learned about finishing techniques and read & watched interviews with some pros in the field. A great benefit of these courses, is getting to know the other talented people, from all over the world, taking part. We share information and ask advice from each other in a private Facebook group. I've taken MATS 3A & 2 bootcamps prior to this one and I always meet new artists to admire and learn from.
This was my board for wood products, my favorite, overall. I had some issues mocking products up, so I scrapped some ideas that I might go back to later. Most weeks, I created way more art than I could possibly use in the time I had.
My bunny trinket tray got a "Shout Out" in the review for week 3, which was Glass. I'm working on similar products to create a set of 3 and some other complimentary pieces.
I recently cleaned up this piece, below. It's a design for a kid's ceramic tray, but it can easily work as wall art or fabric. The bear & bunny friendship tends to show up over & over in my paintings.
My friends know I'm crazy about vintage ceramic planters, salt & pepper shakers, figurines, etc. as well as, hand painted dishes. So I was disappointed that I had the least amount of time to create anything for week 4, arguably my favorite substrate, ceramics! I'm working on a TV show called "Sneaky Pete". I paint sets and for this show, work as the camera scenic when there are 2 units shooting. My schedule varies, but that week I worked long hours. PS - Season 1 is on Amazon now, it's good!
Above, is a vintage-style kitsch design for a ceramic mug. I love it. I own a mug with a deer handle, it's a little awkward but very charming :)
Let's take a moment and play around with a logo :) Ok, carry on...
:: Detail Alert :: I created carved bookends for these painterly books.
This is Bea, for Beatrix Potter and Mike, for Michael Bond. I was thinking it would be nice if the names were customizable, too. I think these guys would look swell in a child's room.
Here are some sketches in my sketchbook. This 1st one, for fabric, is a good example of the ambition with which I usually started...
This was a quickie sketch I made with some new Caran D'ache wax pencils, so creamy!
I really like what I made for week 2, Fabric. This is one piece below. My board, in the end, looked overcrowded and I don't think all of the products were as well thought out as they could have been.
I was happy with the idea of decorative animal pillows :)
Some patterns to scroll through, if you're interested :)
And finally, thanks for hanging in there with me! Coming full circle, below are some of the art and products intended to be manufactured in metal, from week 1 of class, which now seems so long ago.
I'm glad I made it into this class while Lilla and Margo were still doing live reviews for it. It makes it very exciting and you learn, not only about what makes a collection work, but how to manage your emotions - looking at other people's wonderful designs! Again, I've made some interesting talented friends in class and it's nice to see how our own little groups have splintered off to continue sharing projects, insight & resources with each other.
Have a great week! Happy Fall!
Each of us in Pink Punch Art Collective is submitting a recipe this month to TDAC. This is the first one I've ever illustrated. It was fun! I found the recipe on Pinch of Yum food blog. These tacos are delicious! I altered mine ever so slightly, adding tomatoes and replacing the sour cream with *Fage Greek yogurt. If you watch your calories, you can eat more *chips and have an *extra Margarita ;)
I was aiming for a beachy &/or food truck style of sign. These are painting elements I made before putting them together in photoshop (and cleaning them up some) for the final. It was an interesting project, because of the specific dimensions and trying to simplify enough to fit ingredients and instructions on the panel. I think most of us have an idea of how to make tacos, hope so!
I love the illustrations I've seen by other Pink Punchers, Liv Wan, Lisa Baudry & Sandrine Monnier. Looking forward to seeing Anais Lee's & Sarah Allen's pieces.
Hope you're enjoying your summer! Cheers! xo, A
It's going to be a hot one, here in NYC this weekend, but I won't complain. I love spring and summer!
I've added new products to my Society 6 shop, including these notebooks, above. Take a look to see the latest!
Pssst- I'm really happy to share that I'm part of this new art collective, along with 5 other wonderful illustrators. Visit our site to learn a little about us!
Thanks for stopping by! It's nice to have friends like you :)
Hi, hello and hey! It's Spring 2017 and today, it almost feels like it outside!
I've been busy creating some new pieces, while finishing up work on "Power" season 4, the Starz network. I'm happy to share that I received my 1st licensing payment (ever, from anyone- YAY!) from Oopsy Daisy fine art for kids and I'm working on a couple of nice commissions at the moment.
Above, a piece I submitted to a March monthly challenge from Printed Village.
Here, several interiors (I love fantasizing about multiple houses) with pets :)
I've added a bunch of new designs to my Society 6 Shop - Here are 4 of my favorite notebooks :)
I created a few patterns that I think are a little different for me. I'm taking a MATS Bootcamp course with Lilla Rogers. I've taken two other MATS (make art that sells) classes and I'm always happy with how they inform new work. Below, is a backpack design I submitted. If you're interested, my other designs are in my Instagram feed.
I realize this is a loooong post, but it's been a while... I hope you made it this far!
Have a great rest of the week! xo, A
*Happy 2017* I hope it's off to a strong start!
I really enjoy meeting other artists through social media, especially on Instagram. I think the encouragement there has helped me gain confidence and take more chances.
Here are a few pieces from the Advent Calendar Challenge I participated in with illustrator, Amber Lynn Benton. It was fun to follow her prompts and to create a new painting each day. I wanted to add more Winter holiday images to my portfolio, so this was a great kick start :) If you'd like to see more, just visit my Instagram account.
I've also been incredibly lucky to work with scenic artists (USA Local 829) in the film/TV business who are talented, smart, funny and warm. The hours can be unpredictable, but I happened to be on projects this year with people I also consider my friends. I'm sure you know what a difference it makes to work with people who enhance a good day and make the long ones a lot less brutal.
Have you made any resolutions? I'm still considering mine. For now, I'm taking the time to reflect on what's going right, so far ;)
*Fingers crossed* that we all experience a meaningful year, full of beauty, triumph and love.
I'm very happy to share, that I've licensed a collection of art to Oopsy Daisy Fine Art for Kids and it has launched on their site - Yay!
See my pieces here. Please feel free to spread the word!
I found out last week that I'll be in Uppercase Magazine's 2017 Surface Pattern Design Guide. I couldn't be happier to be included in this issue. I don't know which of my submissions will make it in, but I can't wait to see :) Issue #32 comes out in January.
Have a Happy Halloween!
Thanks for stopping by today. I always like to see you! xo, A
“Aprils have never meant much to me, autumns seem that season of beginning, spring.” - Truman Capote
Admittedly, I love springtime most. For better or worse, I may never shake that Back to School feeling that fall carries with it.
Sunshine on a cool crisp day, savoring a cup of cocoa, watching animals frolic... In my book, that's a good day! My friend, Jim Tignor thought this looked like a Little Golden Book, that made me happy, too.
Working on some birthday and holiday cards. Hope my friends on Facebook don't tire of receiving these.
And alas, I'm back at writing my story about this little guy. My good friend, Kristine Lombardi gave me some encouragement after seeing this image on IG last week :)
Have a good week! xo, A
I was disappointed not to have advanced to the semi-final round of agent, Lilla Rogers' GTS (global talent search) this year, but in lieu of focusing on the next assignment, I was free to - 1. Work on a commercial, outside for 3 days, where I got my 1st tan of the summer and 2. Stumble upon a pair of old roller skates on my walk from the subway to Steiner Studios one morning. That inspired me to paint a series of vintage objects (found by cute animals, of course ;)
Oh yeah, and my new Progressives arrived! I'm still adjusting, but so far, so good.
Below, pretty pets painted on wood circles. I think these would make sweet dessert plates.
I love my little Brooklyn studio, but I like to fantasize about a seaside studio with a sweet garden :)
Summery sea life ...
Alas, I never tire of painting flowers or faces.
Enjoy your Labor Day weekend!
It's Back to School for many of my friends who are parents and those who teach. I'm looking forward to seeing my friends who flee the city in summer and I welcome the cooler weather.
Cheers! xo, A
It's that time of year again! I submitted this tea cup design for Lilla Rogers' Global Talent Search. This year, Sunny (sister of Antoinette, last year's character) is expanding her pastry shop to include a tea room. All those entered (usually over 1,000 designers & illustrators around the world) received a brief about Sunny which included peeking into her current shop and "following her to the UK" to research tea sets. We were treated to a variety of styles.
Here are some of my preliminary sketches. One of the 1st things I did was choose a palette. I chose colors that I thought were similar to those of her shop and to sweet treats inside.
A week before receiving the final, Lilla offered some fun mini assignments as warm up. Something I've learned a lot from in her MATS courses. It really helps to be loose and have fun with the prep and research before starting.
Above, an illustration of my favorite drink (I chose a summer cocktail)
These are just a few examples of packaging/product designs I've saved over the years.
Onto the final ...
We were required to include some text on our piece. I chose to use it on my napkin design. I took my cue from a reference photo that showed a saying on the wall in the pastry shop - "because every cake tells a story." At least, I think that's what it said, it was partially obscured by a dessert stand. In most of my paintings, the little animal characters are filled with some type of wonder at the big bright world. I think that the perfect treat can inspire a similar response :)
Above, my 3 designs - paper napkin, tea cup & saucer with a surprise bunny peering up at you!
Here are some detail pictures -
Lilla encourages strong presentation and I think I need to work on a logo for myself. Otherwise, I liked my choice to present my work within the style of a picture book.
You made it through! I actually edited this down a bit. Hope you enjoyed the post. I'm pleased with my piece, which should help regardless of whether I make it to the next round or not. Of course, I hope I do. I'd love another assignment and the judges for the next round are all fantastic! They range from Blue Q to Chronicle Books to Oopsy Daisy, Galison, Madison Park and more - All dream companies!! Cross your fingers for me and if you're in the competition - Best of Luck!!
Thanks for taking a look. And finally, I leave you with one of my favorite treats, Haagen Dazs ice cream :)
Have a wonderful weekend! xo, A
I'm still feeling thrilled about being included in the latest issue of UPPERCASE magazine, issue #30. If you aren't familiar with it, Janine Vangool founded, designs and publishes this quarterly magazine. It celebrates art, design and craft like no other. I love it and this one is particularly beautiful!
Above, is the edited version of what I wrote. Only a little was taken out and it is better :)
I was also profiled on Print and Pattern at the end of June. It was a sweet surprise! Fellow artist, Julie Wilson, alerted me early one morning on Facebook to "go to Print and Pattern right now".
Visit the blog to see what was selected - Print and Pattern
Hope you're having a whale of a summer!
I had the chance to visit friends in Breezy Shores, Greenport, LI over July 4th weekend. Margaret and Scott share a large cottage with two other couples. It's referred to as 'The Big House' since it is quite grand compared to the other cozy spaces. It's filled with charm! Here's a taste (more pics in my Instagram feed)
Back to Brooklyn... I try to get as much painting in as possible. Currently, I'm working on HBO's final season of "Girls", as a scenic artist. It's a great job and I love the people with whom I work, but working every day takes some time and energy away from my own work.
This is why I'm sitting here on a Sunday night writing a post and preparing a newsletter that I promised myself I'd send out each month. I'm not complaining. For whatever reason, I feel the need to explain why I'm not putting out as much new work as I do other times. I'm excited about a licensing partnership I'll reveal in the fall, when the products are available and I have an illustration project coming up. And, I've entered Lilla Rogers' Global Talent Search again this year. I really hope I can make it past the 1st round this go round. It starts end of July. Still time to sign up, people!
I often like the early stages of a painting as much, if not more, than the finished piece. Thought I'd share some of them here.
Enjoy your week! Thanks for taking a look.
I painted this on the glass door of If I Were A Toy store in my neighborhood, a few years ago.
I share it every year :)
Safe travels if you're heading out of town for the weekend!
Thanks for stopping by. xo, A
This is my dad, R. Henderson Howard.
Here, waving as my train departs Amtrak from my hometown, Richmond, Va.
The warm weather makes me happy!
I have fond memories of tanning by the pool as a teen. These days, I slather on SPF just to walk to the nearest CVS.
I'm working from my studio today and not on a job site (a stage - painting sets or location for mural) It's sunny, mild and all my windows are open. It seems like a nice day to write a quick post and send out my newsletter. If you receive one from me, you are one of a small select group :) Feel free to sign up!
I recently added some new items to my Society 6 Shop. Above, some of the bags with their corresponding paintings.
Like mother, like daughter.
My good friend, Melissa Zexter, finally broke down and purchased an iPhone for her older daughter, Mirabelle. I'm calling her phone case the Mirabelle Rose :)
She bought the Tropicali case for herself. Just look how happy it makes her!!
These beach must-haves, are just that, must-haves and every illustrator I know has probably painted or drawn some version of this. It's fun to paint the icons of summer!
I thought I'd end with a Wednesday round-up! I love painting portraits, cocktails, cars and cute characters.
Enjoy the rest of your week. Go get some sun, your essential vitamin D!
This is one of my favorite pictures of my mom and me. I was about a year old, at my grandparents' house (dad's side) on the James River in Newport News, Va.
My mom is Anne Howard and she is one of the kindest, most intelligent, quirky and fun people I've ever known. She has been a wonderful mother to me, so it is extremely sad that for the last 5 years, she's suffered a debilitating form of depression. It's still hard to believe how hard it struck, although there is family history. It just feels strange when it happens to someone so full of curiosity and life, at age 68, which she was when she became so ill. It's not to say that she didn't suffer a lower level at other points or display some symptoms that may have been overlooked. I don't know for sure. All I can say, is that I cherish all the time I spent with my mom growing up. Of course, I had some rebellious times in high school and in college, but somehow we've always remained very close. I feel incredibly lucky for that.
Here, we are in good times with my friend, Kristine. Each summer, from 2006 - 2011 she loved coming up to go to the US Open during the 1st week to see great players like Tommy Robredo, David Ferrer and even Roger Federer play up close! We'd usually go 2 or 3 days and a friend or two would often join. My mom has always loved New York and is a big part of why I grew to love it at a young age. I started visiting NYC with her, and often a few of her friends, when I was 14.
Here I am with Tony and friends at The Algonquin Hotel. Mom always had a fascination with the Round Table, particularly with Dorothy Parker and Robert Benchley. So it was a thrill for her to stay there. She tends to make friends wherever she goes and we met Tony on our 1st stay when I was about 16. When he learned that I was interested in art, he gave me 2 books, one on Monet and the other on Manet. I was in college for this picture, but she continued to stay here even after I moved to the city. It wasn't until 2004, that I finally convinced her that Brooklyn is nice, too ;)
Here we are, bathing beach beauties late '80s style, Virginia Beach, Va. She's in the middle, her friend and coworker at the State Capitol, Mary is on the right. That's me on the left. None of us tan like this anymore! I love that we all have the same hairstyle, despite the range of ages.
This is us at The Hotel Excelsior on Lido, Venice. Pure luxury, an amazing place (and not too horribly $$$ when you visit during "off peak" season, which includes early May :) Mom and I went to Italy twice, in '05 and '06, feels like yesterday. Regardless of how many times we got lost walking through Venice, we always enjoyed ourselves. Both of us appreciate finding the out of the way, less touristy, local spots to stop and take in the view, sip a perfect cappuccino or glass of Prosecco. I've noticed, most of my friends are like this, too! My favorite memories are from traveling to parts Italy, France, the UK and Spain with mom. I sure wish she could still do these things!!
I love you, mom.
This is her, before I was in the picture, so to speak. This photo reminds me of an old film still, I love it.
I wrote a more in depth post to mom and included some of my friends' moms in a Blipadee post in 2010. Take a look!
Both of my parents have an affinity with animals and that's probably why they're what I most love to paint!
To all you great moms, out there - Have a wonderful Mother's Day!
Here's a little weekend round-up of art. These are some spring-like paintings that I like. I thought you might, too!
I'd like to add more food illustrations to my portfolio and I also plan to create more cards and stationery designs.
Cats at country home. meow meow - new painting on wood.
I painted this one around Valentine's day. I wasn't sure about it at 1st, but it grew on me. I think it would make a fun pattern for gift wrap or fabric.
I love houseboats. I painted this during the holidays (Christmas) I was dreaming of spring even then.
In general, I stick to wine, but every now and then you need a delicious cocktail! The best I ever had (several times) was at The River Cafe, here in Brooklyn.
Drinks are fun to paint and leave no hang over :)
I often share detail pictures on Instagram. I like the mix of patterns and colors in these 4, above. I love Instagram, but I just joined Ello. I've only posted a few things, but there are some beautiful products being shared there. I'm not sure how much I'll explore it.
There's only so much time I can commit to social media, as much as I enjoy it.
Cheers to your health! Have a great weekend :)
I paint on several surfaces, including various boards, canvas, paper and my current favorite, wood. I thought this bunny was a perfect one to share, since Easter is on the way. I added some iridescent gold to a stain I made that helped bring out the grain. The shimmer is much nicer in person, but you get the idea.
Not all wood is created equal. This was painted on MDO - Medium Density Overlay Panel, which is made of plywood then coated with weather-resistant resin. It's popular with sign painters. It took me a little time to get used to the smoothness of this surface, but I like it. I'm fortunate that I can occasionally take home wood from a TV show or commercial I may be working on. I paint built sets when I'm not working on commissions. If there happens to be extra wood and some free time, a nice carpenter will cut some of those pieces down to be put to good use :)
And now back to the more traditional. I think what I'm most drawn to when painting on wood, is that it conjures up thoughts about craftsmanship and a handmade quality that appeals to me. I feel more comfortable using a limited palette on wood, something I wanted to do because I'm interested in making simplified scenes that maintain the charm of the material.
I love the way paint will sometimes catch on a rough area, adding dimension, enhancing the painterly quality.
This piece, above, was painted on 4 separate wood panels and I decided to give each one a different background color wash. It's subtle, but different. Lately, I've been thinking about 'Home' what that means to people - comfort, family, a place in which you return, a memory or a place to build.
Years ago, I dry mounted prints to wood panels. More on that some other time. When I stopped making those, there were some left over. These came in handy when I took Lilla Rogers' MATS Bootcamp last Spring and one of our assignments required that we create art on wood. I think that's when I 1st started to paint on it again and I'm so glad I did. This circle and the crabs, below were made during class.
Why am I thinking about my reasons for using wood more regularly? Funny you should ask. Uppercase Magazine is offering a chance to be included in it's 30th issue. You have 3 shots; One - share your experience about your creative heritage Two - share work that could be described as rustic or Three - share your products/projects made using, you got it, wood! Uppercase is a wonderful magazine and the opportunity to be in it is thrilling to me. It might be of interest to you, too. So, go take a look. The deadline is March 31st.
Beep beep - Spring is upon us, Let's take a trip!
Here's a little peek at a process pic. Sometimes I paint directly into the wood grain with bright colors and in this one, the animals are part of the grain.
This portrait is one of my favorites. I've shared it here before, but this photo shows her right before I painted the shirt and polka dot background. I sometimes wish I'd left the grain in her blouse. Oh well, maybe next time.
I hope you've enjoyed seeing these paintings. Most of my work is currently painted on birch plywood and on maple panels by Art Boards.
I often adjust work in photoshop, but I love having a finished piece, a stand alone object, in the end.
Plus, it feels great when someone purchases an original painting and gives it a nice home.
Thanks for stopping by! Have a great week :) xo, A