New design - Sea Turtle swimming with school of Raccoon Butterflyfish
“In one drop of water are found all the secrets of all the oceans”
– Kahlil Gibran
My mind wanders a lot. It's no surprise then that I'm working on a dozen different ideas at the same time, inspired by everything and everywhere my mind goes. It seems like my focus changes daily - yesterday I was working on an abstract painting inspired by melting sea ice, today I'm drawing sea turtles and raccoon butterfly fish... tomorrow might be all about abstract colorful bird paintings. It's always different and I embrace that.
But sometimes a subject sticks with me for awhile. Sea Turtles seem to be one of those kinds of inspirations that lingers for long periods of time. In addition to their color and form, I just find them so fascinating: How they return to the same beach they were born to lay eggs, despite swimming thousands of miles away... how they can't actually retreat into their shells like land turtles, but still have the same overall shape. And how they have been swimming in the world's oceans for over 100 million years, continuously providing a critical part of the marine ecosystem. There is a beautiful mystery that surrounds them as they glide freely through the water.
So tonight, I created a new graphic inspired by the endangered green sea turtle swimming among a school of raccoon butterflyfish:
The green sea turtle is endangered due to bycatch, habitat loss, hunting, egg harvesting, and unfortunately, the rising temperature of the oceans isn't helping either. Fortunately, there are organizations like the World Wildlife Foundation and Association of Zoos & Aquariums that are creating programs to save sea turtles and offering opportunities that you can get involved with to make a difference.
Today is National Bison Day.
The official National Mammal is celebrated today for it's central role in American history, how it shaped the great plains, and continues to play a vital role in Native American's history and spirituality. Did you know that millions of bison used to roam from Alaska to Mexico, coast to coast, before settlers reached America. And then in 1876, almost all were gone due to heavy hunting and mass killings, including where almost a million were killed in 3 years! It was then that organizations like the American Bison Society began to save the bison and protect it. Now over 100 years later, the American Bison not only has it's own day (the first Saturday of November) but it also was recognized as the National Mammal in May 2016. It's been on a long road to recovery, but perhaps people will begin to appreciate and see the spiritual significance of the American Bison.
All these fun facts are inspiring new work - or maybe just encountering some Bison back in September inspired me to start drawing...
Here are some drawings inspired by the American Bison...
New original art magnets
Recently, I have created some new art magnets. These miniature works of art (2.5x4.5") are created on wood panels with a magnetic strip on the back. The weight of the magnet is perfect for holding photos and papers to a magnetic surface. They are not only decorative, but functional!
I've been experimenting with new materials and approaches, so these magnets are a glimpse of whats to come... Here they are:
New Clownfish illustration - Pattern & Single
Thanks to Finding Nemo, clownfish, scientifically known as Anemonefish, have had their 15 minutes of fame, or more like 30 minutes with Finding Dory. But these tropical fish deserve it. In addition to being quite beautiful, they have a super power! Clownfish are immune to anemone stinging tentacles, and in the wild they have a symbiotic relationship with certain anemone, where they both benefit from each others company for food and protection. Most people know clownfish as the Nemo type, orange with three white stripes across their heads and body. But there are thirty recognized types of clownfish, including black, reddish and yellow variants. And a dozen more or so that have been bred in captivity for aquariums.
These illustrations were inspired by the false clownfish. Similar to the orange clownfish, the false clownfish has a thinner black line between the orange and white stripes. I just really like the contrast of orange and white...
Check them out at my society6.com shop, if you want to carry around a clownfish or wear a clownfish.
Dark Clouds, Lightning, Hail, Rain, and other stormy weather adjectives..
...have found their way into my studio. After spending three months in Europe this past summer, where I probably saw more rain that I have seen over the last five years living in Arizona, I've been hooked on storms.
From tornadoes to thunder storms to clouds dancing over mountains - the colors, mood and music of thunder has started to find its way into some new paintings and drawing. Working with new mediums like graphite powder, and a more limited tinted palette, I'm very excited about the abstract direction these are going. I have a feeling these stormy paintings are the beginning of a few new collections on thunder storms, tornadoes, and hurricanes.
Here is some stormy new work:
Join me October 8th & 9th at Salt River Fields for Uncommon Markets
I will be participating in the inaugural event for Uncommon Markets. Uncommon Markets is a new event coming to Scottsdale that offers an opportunity to support local artisans, discover sustainable goods, find uncommon stuff, enjoy food, music, and see innovative new art from emerging 29 & under artists - like myself! It will be my first market/art festival type event and I'm very excited to take this opportunity to share new work with a new audience. Learn more about the festival at Uncommon Markets' website, and if you do make it out, find me at booth 220!
Over the summer I spent some time with a variety of different birds, while traveling around Europe.
Here are a few sketches of some of the birds I saw:
more sketches and work coming soon, as soon as I go through the hundreds of photos I took!
New graphic illustration - Lounging Sheep
Over the past week, I have been biking up the coast of Western Ireland - part of a summer traveling around Europe that has taken me from Munich to Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France, UK, Whales, and now Ireland. Spending the last two weeks of the summer in Donegal, Ireland, where daily bike rides pass by grazing sheep. On the rare sunny day, they lounge out in the sun too. This little illustration was inspired by a talkative lazy sheep.
Available for prints here... and as products:
Landscape watercolor & pastel studies, traveling from Austria to Switzerland.
(Currently on the shores of Lake Lugano painting...)
A week in Munich, Germany is not enough. If you want to see all the attractions and WWII history, don't discover the English Garden. This traveling artist found herself inspired by the little oasis of nature and dozens of geese for a few days before taking a train to Salzburg, and missing out on all of Munich has to offer. Although, we did get to see a couple art museums and met some new friends.
New Red poppies graphic print.
This watercolor painting turned graphic was inspired by wild red poppies I have recently encountered in the fields of Austria! I am spending Summer 2016 in Europe for a few different opportunities. And I couldn't resist these beautiful poppies we keep seeing on our walks. They look so happy and cheerful.
However, the Red Poppy is not symbolically cheerful. It is used in Great Britain and America as a symbol of remembrance for soldiers who have died during wartime. Which makes it appropriate to see as I travel through Austria and Germany, two countries that have seen their share of blood in recent history. In many of the towns we have explored, we have seen WWI and WWII memorials reminding tourists and citizens alike the history the area has experienced, right under our feet.
It's interesting to walk these streets and think that 75+ years ago, there was a different daily story being told. Perhaps the poppy can remind us that life was lost for love to survive. And now, that love grows wild in the fields or on the sidewalks, freely.
This graphic gives form to the idea that love is growing wild as poppies. And now it's available to bring love into your world too.
Now available as prints, phone cases, duvet covers, and more...
"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder"
When life is a bit disoriented, it's reflected in your work. Sometimes it's important to take a break, realize you've lost something and to go back and find it. Or find the source of where you turned on the wrong path. Recently, I let someone's opinion of my work get to me. Making me feel like my approach or my visual voice was not good enough. I should have taken their opinion with a grain of salt. But does anyone? In every professional field, at some point we define our successes by the opinion of others. Why is not really the question, nor is blaming someone else for feeling a certain way the solution - because that is a waste of time and unrealistic. And ultimately you should never give someone else the power to make you feel a certain way or control your direction in life. This is my lesson this month. Like any artist, beginner or seasoned, I will always be learning, growing, and mastering my craft. And I will probably never define what my craft is. It may be painting today, drawing tomorrow, abstract the next, and portraits a day later. And that, that is beautiful. Because that is me. I not defined by my mediums or my subjects, but I am defined by my approach. Which is of course a combination of the thousands of artists before me but blended together to become my own unique visual voice. Whether it be bold, saturated in color, dramatic, complete or a work in progress, it is personally how I see the world. And where I'll go with it, is unknown, limitless and will be my own amazing path. Never let someone else define your success or future. You are responsible for your life, never give that power away.
So in the last week or so, as I tried to take a break... I let what ever inspire me, inspire me. I let go of feeling like I needed to create something to fit someone else's idea of good. Instead, I created in my voice - saturated colors and all. This random disoriented collection reflects me.. An artist inspired by the world, as defined by my creative spirit. Without hesitation.
"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."
I'm excited to share that the river fish paintings are now available at Dragonfly Local Art for the summer! Dragonfly is a new business offering handcrafted gifts and home decor created by local artists and craftsmen, located at 1037 N Main St., in Old Town Cottonwood. I'm pleased to be invited to participate in this new venture by Kathleen Cook and Cynde Haan. They will be open daily except for Tuesdays. So stop in if you are in the area and see what they have to offer. And of course, check out some of my new fish paintings available for sale there!
I'm pleased to announce that I will be participating in May's First Friday Artwalk in Flagstaff, with Headlines 2000 Hair Studio!
Located at 113 E Aspen Ave, Flagstaff, AZ 86001, Headlines 2000 Hair Studio has been a part of Flagstaff's downtown scene for over 25 years. I'm excited to partner with them for the next several weeks and display my recent paintings that are inspired by Arizona's Wildfire season and Hawaii's lava. On Friday May 6th, at 6pm, there will be a reception as part of Flagstaff's First Friday Art Walk event. In addition to the work on the walls, I will have some new watercolor paintings, and magnets available for sale. If you are in the area, stop by and say hi, and also check out the other businesses and galleries that are featuring local art. It should be a fun evening! I have not participated in Flagstaff's First Friday Art Walk in a couple years, so I'm looking forward to it!!
Over the last six months, I've been inspired by some explosions...
Volcanoes in all their statuses - Active (Hawaii), Dormant (Mt. Vesuvius) or Extinct (Sunset Crater, Arizona).... and forms Shield (Hawaii again), Stratovolcanoes (Mt. St. Helens), and Caldera (Yellowstone)... and even subglacial volcanoes, submarine volcanoes, hotspots, lava domes... bascially any physical moment where a break in the crust allows for gases, lava, and ash to spew out into a beautiful explosion - has become my muse.
After reading dozens of books on volcanology, following amazing photographers like Brad Lewis, and watching YouTube videos of exploding volcanoes every night... the series on volcanoes began.
This series explores the mystery of volcanoes and how these amazing geophysical disasters are essentially our planet's heart beating.
I began this series with abstract paintings that captured the vibrant colors associated with volcanic eruptions - reds, blacks, grays, yellows (sulfur), etc...
But I also wanted to capture the explosive feeling Volcanoes have, and still keep the essential beauty of the cataclysmic event. Volcanoes, although destructive, are one of the most beautiful spontaneous natural occurring events on our planet.
So, I added a little texture to the mix...
Although the textures, colors, and even the action of the brush strokes made the volcanoes feel "alive," my paintings still weren't "active" enough. I wanted the active volcanoes to pour out lava, and feel like you are there - or at least feel like you are in front of them in some kind of reality where volcanoes are exploding in highly saturated colors.
So I thought, what about making the paintings on a different colored canvas? Would that make them 'Pop'?
So while discussing my dilemma with a friend of mine, and in the same conversation sharing with her my 3D DNA painting, she inspired me with the idea that what if the volcanoes were 3D? By using science (3D Glasses), I can make my paintings 'explode' -- at least when viewed through the glasses. Unfortunately, there is no way to share this effect on the screen, unless of course someone is reading this with 3D glasses on...
But that's how Earth's Breathing Lung and Exploding Volcano came to become 3D - adding a little science into more than just the inspiration. And how I got the paintings to finally become 'awake.' At least in a real life experience.
I'm still working on some volcano paintings in my studio, mostly the landscapes of the extinct and dormant volcanoes. Perhaps though, I always will be working on a volcano painting - continuously inspired by the muse of Pele, or Vulcan - so this series, like most of my subjects, is still in the works. Though, current and future volcano paintings can be found here.
I'm a big fan of tropical fish. Their patterns and colors are incredible, and, the coral reefs they call home are just amazing. I also find their shapes quite compelling too. These 'flat' creatures have the perfect structure to glide easily through water. Perhaps, this is how fish see us maneuver with grace on land - but I'm still always in awe when I see fish (or any sea creature) move like they are dancing along with the pressure of water. My fascination with fish swimming may have to do with the fact that I can't really swim, and am quite terrified of deep water. But, I still love fish, and pretty much all sea creatures. Fear does not stop me from admiring the world under the sea, and drawing them when I can..
Recently, I've become obsessed with the Powder Blue Tang Surgeonfish
And I had an interesting idea... wouldn't it look really cool as a pattern?
So I made a sketch of a Powder Blue Tang Surgeonfish...
Owned by Celeste and Guy Agena, Kiyoshi Ramen 'N' More offers authentic Hawaiian cuisine for lunch and dinner. They just had their grand opening on March 18th. Prior to their opening, and some months ago, Celeste got in touch with me to design her logo and help with her business' brand. For my day job, I help small business create branding profiles that include designing everything from logos to brochures. At that time, I was just starting to work on my volcano paintings, which are heavily inspired by Kilauea, located on the Big Island of Hawaii.
So flash forward 5 months, I now have new work on display at her restaurant!
And a collection of older work that is ocean related...kind of...
The annual Theme exhibition for the Manhiem Gallery is here! This year's theme was "Art & Science," which is of course right up my alley. I have never participated in a juried exhibit at the Manheim gallery, but I thought this was one I couldn't pass up!
Author: Stephanie Peters
In this blog I plan to share my adventures where I discover inspiring moments, pictures, stories, and more, that find theirs way into my visual work.
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