Quirky Dame Designs Update

Things have been quiet around here lately, but I’m still around.  The past two months have been a little crazy, so right now I’m taking a little break from creating and listing new art.  The shops are still open and will remain open through the holidays, though I’m not accepting any custom orders at the moment.  Right now I’m giving my body and my heart time to heal after going through surgery a few weeks ago and losing my beloved niece last month.  While I haven’t felt up to painting yet, I have been sketching quite a lot and have started creating some fun quirky little girls, along with working on two tattoo designs (one for me, one for my sister) in memory of my niece.  Art therapy is a wonderful thing!  I’m looking forward to seeing where some of this will go when I start creating again in the new year.

I hope that all of you are enjoying this holiday season and that you will all be greatly blessed.  I am always available here, on Facebook, through my shops (http://quirkydame.artfire.com and http://quirkydame.etsy.com) or at quirkydame@me.com.  Feel free to contact if you need help with anything!

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New Creative Avenues

Life has been a bit hectic lately with many things happening – except in the case of my art.  I haven’t actually painted in over a month, maybe even two and I’m really beginning to feel the lack of it.  That’s something I have to remedy soon. 

I have, however, been playing around with creative photography.  I’ve been using photographs that I’ve taken – either with my Canon DSLR or my iPhone – and running them through various apps to alter them.  One app I use is Instagram and if you happen to use it, you can check out my photos.  My username is quirkydame.  I’m especially excited because I have a five night trip to Honolulu planned for next month and that will give me the opportunity to explore and take many more photos that I can share with you all!

I’ve started offering cards and prints in my shops and some of them feature these altered photos.  I will be adding more in the future.  And I’m also trying out a few new things involving prints and photos.  I can hardly wait to start offering those products soon!  Just waiting for the supplies to arrive in the mail.  Hurry, US Postal Service and bring my stuff! 

 The photographs featured in this blog post are, yes, just two of my most recent altered photographs.  I love having the chance to exercise my creativity in this new way and look forward to much more of it.

Another project that I’ve started since my last post is Quirky Bunny.  I wanted a way to help out and give back using my art.  So I’ve started a section in each of my shops (Artfire and Etsy) called Quirky Bunny.  Any item in my shop that has a bunny in it is placed into this section.  Twenty percent of any purchase from this section will be donated to the House Rabbit Society (http://www.rabbit.org).  They are a fabulous non-profit organization that rescues rabbits and educates about them, as well.  I’ve relied heavily on them and the information they provide as I’ve gone through the process of rescuing my own rabbit and bonding with him.  I can’t recommend them enough.

Right now the selection of Quirky Bunny items is fairly small, but I am adding things every chance I get.  I have a number of sketches ready to use for paintings.  Having a bunny in the house provides many opportunities to sketch from life and I’ve been taking advantage of it!

Thanks again for reading my blog and I promise not to let several months go by without posting again!

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Yep, the Quirky Dame is back!

So it’s been a while!

I had a lovely vacation in Hawaii and it ended up being such a good break from reality.  I went with six other lovely people and it was so hard to leave.  So hard, in fact, that I had quite the difficult time getting my groove back when we returned.  It took at least a month to finally settle in to something resembling normal. 

Complicating matters was a certain little neighborhood rabbit.  You might remember I mentioned Hopper in my last two posts.  (If not, well, it has been a while!)  While I was in Hawaii, my wonderful and talented brother-in-law built a fabulous hutch and rabbit run.  It is truly an amazing little home for a rabbit and better than anything I could have bought at the store.  (Believe me, I looked!)  So, less than a week after getting back, Operation Rabbit Rescue commenced.  At 8:30 am on a Saturday morning, I was able to grab a very surprised rabbit and put him safely in his new home.  The next few weeks were full of adjusting to having a new pet and helping the new pet adjust to us!  

I have enjoyed every second I’ve spent getting to know Hopper and learn about his unique personality.  I can’t believe what a blessing it’s been.  He’s become such a happy, loving little bunny and a special part of our family.  And he’s also become a major focus of my artwork.  Every day after I get home from work, I go outside and let him out into his special playpen for two hours, twice as long on the weekend.  I sit out with him and spend lots of time petting and playing with him, then I use the rest of the time to read or draw.  I just received a portable easel for my upcoming birthday and will be using that to start painting out there. 

Hopper

Spending this time with him has given me the chance to observe him endlessly and record it with photos, videos and drawings.  I am inspired and now rabbits are popping up everywhere in my art!  One of the goals I am working on is to build up my collection of rabbit art and  I plan to donate a portion of every sale to a rabbit charity.  These furry little critters have hopped their way into my heart and it has become an important, heartfelt goal for me.  Plans are in the works and I am having a good time putting those plans into motion.    

The king on his throne

The latest piece of art that I am concentrating on is a block print.  A local gallery, the Upstairs Studio, features art challenges very month or so that anyone can participate in.  This time around they are doing a summer block print challenge.  I have completed my sketch and plan to start carving the linoleum this weekend.  I’ve been working on some others, as well.  It’s been great fun to get back into this medium.  As soon as my entry is completed for the challenge, I will be sure to post it on here.  (In case you are wondering, it does include a rabbit!)

I hope that all of you are having a wonderful summer so far.  I promise it will not take nearly as long for the next update!

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Pet portrait work in progress

Meet Hopper.

Photo of Hopper

I mentioned him in my last post and he’s still hanging around.  (He just started showing up around our house around the end of January.)  He just makes my heart melt.  I go out every night and feed him by hand while talking to him.  Slowly building up the trust with him and hoping one day I’ll get to hold him.  I took this picture recently and it’s one of my favorites of him.  I felt inspired and decided to do a portrait of Hopper using this photo as inspiration.

Initial sketch of Hopper

So I grabbed my sketch pad and pencil, then got to drawing.  First step was to create a sketch using the photo.  I’ve done a couple of simple quick sketches of him, but this portrait will be a more realistic version done in oils.

Underpainting of pet portrait

Next I transferred the sketch to the 16×20 canvas I’ll be using for this painting.  Then I grabbed some burnt umber oil paint and painted over it.

Initial blocks of color

After letting the underpainting dry, I then mixed up some paint and added the initial blocks of color to the painting.  Because this is a more realistic painting, I am using oil paints.

Progress so far

Then yesterday I got down to work.  I painted in the background and the branch on the upper left of the canvas.  Next up is to make any changes I feel are needed to both of those, then I get to start on the rabbit himself.  This painting has been quite wonderful to work on.  I felt a little lost with the background at first, but I’m pretty happy with it now.

I won’t actually be putting this painting up for sale.  I’m being selfish and keeping the original painting for myself.  I really want a special piece of art honoring this adorable little critter.  🙂  However, I do hope to add prints to my shop and will be using the image for my Zazzle shop, as well.

I’m hoping to finish this painting by the time I go on vacation, which is April 14th.  I’ll be sure to post updated pictures as soon as I can!

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Red hat owl painting and a new inspiration

Red hat owl painting

Just finished a brand new 7×5 custom acrylic painting for someone very special in my life.  I visited my aunt in November and, knowing that she’s been interested in my owl paintings for quite some time, we sat down and figured out just what she wanted.  She’s the one who came up with the idea to add the purse and I just love it.  I’ll be taking pictures this weekend – for possible prints and to add to products in my Zazzle shop – then I’ll be mailing it off on Monday.  I can hardly wait for her to get it.  🙂

Some new projects in the works involve a little critter named Hopper (thanks to my seven year old niece) who has decided to adopt us and steal my heart.  😉

 

Hopper and the sketch

I’ve gotten some great photos of my little buddy and used one of them to do this quick little sketch Thursday night.  I’ll be working on some art featuring this fun little fellow soon.

I’m off to go run errands now then hopefully do a bit of creating.  I really must finish up the last of the Art-o-mat blocks, as they are almost out of them.  Then I’ll be ordering 80 more and starting the process again!  I hope you all have a fabulous weekend.

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And the winner is…

That’s right, it’s time! I checked all my blogs and the mailing list, gathered names and let random.org work it’s magic. I’m pleased to announce that Staci Sharp has won the giveaway celebrating my new Zazzle shop!

Thanks to everyone who entered. Y’all are fabulous and I appreciate every wonderful comment. I hope you all have a great week. 🙂

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Quirky Dame Designs Zazzle shop now open!

That’s right… I now have a Zazzle shop!   I’ve been busy setting it up over the past few weeks.  My paintings are available on a variety of things so far – mugs, note cards, magnets, plus tote bags and I am adding new items every week.  I’m retaking photographs of my paintings so that I can add the images to an even bigger selection of products.  I’ve had a lot of fun with this and along the way, I’ve ordered a few things to see how they turned out.  I’ve been pleased with the results!  (I ordered myself one of the mugs with my Rainy Day Owl painting and it’s quite a kick to drink my morning coffee from it every day.  🙂 )

I decided that, in celebration of the Zazzle shop opening, I would give a prize pack of Zazzle products away!

Giveaway!

I will be giving away a tote bag and pendant featuring Quirky Dame (the painting that I use as my avatar and on my banner), plus an assortment of five note cards!

My shop opening was announced late last week in my monthly newsletter (click on the link to subscribe!) and the newsletter subscribers already have two entries in the giveaway.  Want to enter?  New newsletter subscribers will get one entry.  Also, check out my ArtFire shop and then come back to this blog and leave a comment on this blog post telling me what item is your favorite in my shop.  That will get you another entry in the giveaway.  Make sure to leave your email so that I have a way to contact you in case you win!

You have until the end of the day on Friday, March 4th to enter.  That weekend, I will gather all the entries and will choose the winner through a random drawing.  I will announce the winner on Monday, March 7th.  The winner will have three days to respond to my email.  If the winner doesn’t respond, I will then choose another winner and give them three days to respond, etc.

I’m excited to have this chance to say thank you my wonderful fans.  You guys are the BEST!

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