Dahlia Papercut and Vector Illustration

A few years ago my Mom and I went to NYC, to see an exhibit of Henri Mattisse’s papercuts at MOMA. I loved it! Many of the pieces were huge, some taking up an entire gallery wall, and they wer so full of joy. I can’t post any photos without violating copyright, but you can check it out here.

A few months later I needed some artwork for the spare bedroom, something quick and cheap that would have an impact. So I decided to make a collage with paper cuts myself. This is loosely based on a Dahlia flower. It took longer than I expected, but I’m really happy with it. Since I usually work digitally the layers and texture are very exciting.

This is actually part of a pair, the second one is still floating around my office not quite finished. Maybe I’ll get it done in time for my parents visit in a few weeks…

Recently, I used adobe illustrator to make a vector design, using a photo of my paper cut as a guide. While it lacks the tactile qualities of the original, I still really love this design, and I’m thinking of trying it in a few different colorways. Maybe a bold red?

In my Sketchbook, “the Edge of the Sea”

“Always the edge of the sea remains an elusive and indefinable boundary… belonging now to the land, now to the sea.” Rachel Carson, The Edge of the Sea

This is something completely different from what I normally do in my sketchbook. Usually I use sharp, bold lines, and when I do add color is from brightly colored markers. But I felt like mixing it up, for more of an art journal or altered art project.

For the background I started with one of my own photos, which I played around with digitally to lighten it and to give it more of a cool blue color. Then I used some stamps to subtly add texture in light blue and silver. Then I added more stamping, in a bold copper color to add contrast and make the piece more interesting. Then for more texture, I used the light blue and copper ink pads around the edges. It came out a bit heavier than I wanted, but I like it. I wrote the quote with a black marker. Its been so long since I wrote in cursive, that I had to stop and think about what I was doing a few times. Then I used a dark blue washi tape to adhere the picture into my sketchbook. Not only does it cover where markers have bled through from the backside, but I like the contrast of the geometric design and the organic feel the rest of this piece has.

Neusiok Trail, Part 1

If you follow my instagram, or have read my posts about my 2017 goals and progress, then you will know I’ve been hiking on the Neusiok Trail during the last month. The trail is about 22 miles long, and can be done in one long hike, or several shorter day hikes. I’ve chosen to do it as several shorter hikes. I just don’t feel the need to sleep on the ground when my bed is only 30 minutes away. This means I will actually hike the trail twice, as each day I am hiking out for several miles, and then back to where ever I left my car. So far I’ve hiked about a quarter of the trail, split up over 2 days, for a total of about 13 miles.

Two trees have grown together.

On the trail. There are definitely drawbacks to working for myself. But days like today, when I can take several hours in the middle of the week and have the forest to myself are so worth it.

An osprey nest on the banks of the Neuse River.

Interesting bit of wood.

One of many boardwalks over swampy areas. Lots of swampy areas, glad I was wearing my hiking boots.