Friday, August 19, 2016

Pop Up Event Saturday, August 20th!

I've been gearing up for a pop up event tomorrow at Tin Top Handmade in Old Town Winchester. I'll be set up on the walking mall from 11:30 - 3pm, so if you're in the area, drop by and say hello! I'll have tons of prints, cards, framed and matted pieces, along with some other odds and ends, so there will be a lot to peruse!   

These teeny tiny matted mushrooms are my new favorite!

Also love these new hand-painted moths.

 Really excited to meet some new folks and share my work tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Pen and Ink Florals

I recently bought a wonderful new fountain brush pen by Kuretake, and have found it's the perfect tool for inking flowers. 

I also picked up a fountain pen converter so I could fill the pen with a nice waterproof india ink and watercolor over my drawings.

I've got a long way to go before I master the brush pen, but I'm pretty pleased with these early experiments!

Thanks for coming by! 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Garden Friends Coloring Book

I've just published my first coloring book, and am so excited to share it with the world!

The book features thirty-six of my hand carved linocut prints, including this sweet little mouse. This version has been handprinted and given a watercolor wash.

There are flowers, birds, butterflies and more! Pages are printed single-sided to prevent bleeding.

I pulled out my Prismacolor colored pencils to color my copy. They blend well, and really pop with a dab of of mineral oil. 

Preview more of the book by visiting my Instagram account @smallfoxpress

Friday, June 24, 2016

New Shop!

I'm so happy to announce my new shop through Redbubble! 
It lets me put my art on some really fun merchandise. 

Just check out these awesome stickers!

Love these colorful throw pillows.

The best part is that seeing my work on all these different surfaces
is really inspiring me to make some new art!

More work, coming soon :-)

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

New Tees, Totes, Prints and Pillows.

I just added a ton of new items featuring my prints to my shop on Society6!

Now to try and decide which to buy for myself. 

Yay, wearable art!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Garden Cat Linocut

From sketch to proof to print. 

Greeting cards available now in my shop!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Sketch Therapy

Birds keep popping up in my sketchbook these days.

I don't usually do much with text, but had a lot of fun with this. 

No, that's not real hand lettering. It's a drawing based on a typeface called Bakery that I filled in with watercolor. Maybe one day I'll take the time to learn how to write pretty words for real. For now, I'm satisfied to fake it.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Tapping in.

In my last entry, I shared a sketch that, from the second it appeared on the page before me, elicited some pretty big feels. The drawing itself was nothing monumental: Just a little mouse holding a daisy. Still, I couldn't remember the last time an image had pulled so strongly at my heart. Probably because it was my heart, speaking to me through my work, cheering me on, telling me to keep going, whispering that I was getting close. Or that's what it felt like, anyway.

Then I took a hiatus from everything: I flew out to my homeland of California and spent some time with my parents in the house I grew up in. One night, I pulled out a stack of old journals that I'd stored on the closet.

Tears welled as I read the following entry (which describes imagery that arose from a morning meditation) and saw that the inspiration for this little mouse - the vision - had been there all along:

18 May 2013 

Palms up and stretched out before me, I feel a weight there, as though I am carrying something. Then, in my mind's eye, I see it - it is a great bundle of FLOWERS. And I see myself handing one out to EVERYONE I meet. And reminding them of the beauty in themselves and in the world around them. 

Watching this vision fills my heart with so much joy and gratitude, my eyes well with thankful tears. If this is the load God has given me to carry, I will do this work happily, with love and purpose. 

Then my arms drop lower still, and expand around my body so that they are open as wide as can be! And the bundle of flowers grows into a mountain of fragrant, delicate blossoms. There is SO much to give! So much work to be done!

Then my palms begin to move up, my elbows bend in, and I feel this enormous, unfathomable bundle being placed back in my chest - compressed neatly into my humble little heart.

Such a beautiful, simple job.

Thank you Thank you Thank you.


So that's where this came from.

Little mouse. Courageous Spirit. Humble Heart.

Lead the way.

Friday, April 22, 2016

The Evolution of a Print

So here's the finished product. Below you'll see how this little mouse came to be. He's available now at my Etsy shop on greeting cards and as fine art prints!

Whenever I'm feeling stuck, frustrated, or doubtful about my work, I sit down in front of a blank sheet of paper and invite my heart to speak. This is what came out yesterday, and I can't imagine a more perfect metaphor.

The initial sketch: Just a little mouse with a big flower. 

Inked up the block to pull a quick proof and get a better idea of how it's coming along.

The final proof. Happy with how he turned out, I'm calling this print done. 

This piece isn't grand or earth-shattering, but it feels so dear to my heart. And though I didn't consciously plan it, the imagery represents so much to me.

It takes a tremendous amount of heart and courage to carry a big dream. Especially when you're just a small mouse.

Or a small fox.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Fresh Cut Tulips

Give your momma some flowers this Mother's Day! Introducing fresh cut tulip greeting cards. Here's a look at how an idea becomes a print:

Step 1. Inspiration. These sweet little gals popped up around the mailbox and I fell in love. I started out by drawing some observational sketches to get the creative juices flowing.

Step 2. Refinement. Experimenting with tracing paper to find the right composition. 

Step 3. Transferring the image to the block using pencil and carbon paper. 
Now we can get carving!

 Step 4. Printing a proof to see how the plate looks inked up.
It's darker than I'd like, so I decide to do a bit more cutting.

Step 5. Printing the finished plate on card stock using water based ink.

And that's how a print is born!

Should have these lovelies for sale on my Etsy shop by the end of the week! 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Frog Linocut

I've been carving on Blick E-Z Cut rubber for so long, it had actually been quite a while since I last sliced into a good ol' block of linoleum. I almost forgot how satisfying it feels to carve on these plates, and the beautiful line work and detail that they afford.

Thankfully, I discovered a box of small linoleum pieces while cleaning out my supply closet over the weekend. Which is how this little froggy wound up making his debut.

I started with this pen and ink drawing that seemed to be begging to be turned into a print.

The inked plate.

Experimenting with color and gradients.

This little guy and more new prints will be available for sale when I do a big Etsy shop update later this spring. I'm planning on stocking some original prints, hand printed greeting cards, and maybe even a few cute pieces of clothing for tiny people!

But for now I've got more carving to do.

Have an awesome week! 

Monday, April 4, 2016

Printmaking, please.

April is here, and with it a clean, organized studio and endless new possibilities! After finalizing and submitting the pieces for this month's show, I'm feeling all-too-ready to get back to working in two dimensions! 

A lifelong dabbler, I've long struggled to settle on a single medium. But if I had to pick just one type of art to make for the rest of my life, it would be hand carved prints. This is a relatively new realization for me, and a very happy one! I'm ready to put my whole heart and soul into mastering one thing, and printmaking absolutely feels right.  

Here's a little glimpse at the process behind this zinnia print I recently made. Hope it inspires you to get creative! 

It all starts with an idea. And then some sketching. And probably some erasing. And definitely a lot of tweaking. When finally I've got an image I'm happy with, it is transferred onto the carving block, and then the real fun begins!

Proofing the block to see how the design is coming along.

Time to print! 

Trying different variations of color.

Adding a big of watercolor really makes it pop!

Every time I undertake a new print, I learn so much along the way. This time I learned that I need to invest in some oil-based block printing ink if I want to watercolor over a print and not have to worry about running or smearing. But that experiment will have to wait for another day.

Thanks for stopping by! Follow me on Instagram @smallfoxpress for a bunch more process pics and updates!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Upcoming Show and Works In Progress

Spring has arrived in Virginia! And I'm busy getting ready for a show at Tin Top Handmade in Old Town Winchester next month.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Travel Sketches

Finally home after two weeks of travel! I took a new Moleskine watercolor journal with me to Guadeloupe and Florida, and am happy to report that it got quite a bit of use. It's neat to see the style and quality of the drawings morph and improve, even after just a few weeks of experimenting with different tools and techniques.

Here are a few pages for you to peruse. I hope they inspire you to keep a travel journal or sketchbook of your own!

The first few days I stuck to pencil and light watercolors.

Eventually I started to incorporate my new favorite pens.

Played around with pasting in little pieces of ephemera - a bottle label, a ticket stub, etc.

The last few pages from the trip are my favorite. I got a little better at designing a layout, and was able to get that fun, loose sketch look from the pens.