new print : : crowdspotting

Crowdspotting is now available as an art print on paper or canvas in my Society6 shop. Yay! And if you order something using my Artist Promo link, Society6 will ship the items anywhere in the world* for FREE.

You can also click on the framed print, above, or the promo poster, below, to avail of the free shipping offer.

UntitledAnd here’s a large image of the design, so you can scrutinize each little character (35 of them) that I managed to coax from blobs of watercolour paint, using this simple exercise in imagination:

crowdspotting print

Society6 promo, and my little “crowdspotting” characters

UntitledI am working like crazy to get a print of my little “crowdspotting” characters posted to Society6 as soon as possible.

If you remember the post An exercise in imagination : : cloudspotting, posted not too long ago, these little characters were “found” and coaxed out of random blobs of watercolour…something I did to exercise my imagination, but a few of the results were so surprising that I think they’re worth putting together, grid-style, and printing on tote bags, or as posters.

The new design isn’t up yet, but this promo runs for a few days, and I’ll let you know when I’ve got it posted for sale.


*Free Shipping offer excludes Framed Art Prints, Stretched Canvases, Wall Clocks and Rugs

An exercise in imagination : : cloudspotting

In this quick exercise of imagination, I put blobs of masking fluid in a grid on the paper with my fingertip…cloudspotting…then a quick dash of watercolour in random swipes or strokes over each one (when the masking fluid had dried!)

cloudspottingSometimes I bled a different colour into damp spots…no rules, no real plans for what each blob would become (sometimes, yes, pointy ears or a ball at the top for a head, but nothing careful or overly thought about). cloudspotting
After rubbing off the masking fluid, I drew a little face into each white dot…
cloudspottingThis is where my imagination came in to play: staring at each one, I tried to see the rest of “the character” hiding in the washes and subtle edges of dry paint. It was a lot like looking for images in clouds—”cloudspotting”—except that I pinned the images down with more watercolour, an ink pen, and touches of coloured pencil.


No one is more surprised than I am at some of the figures I managed to coax from these random blobs of colour…
cloudspottingLooking at them now, it’s hard to believe they weren’t planned from the start, some of them fit their blobs and their ink faces so well.

A different kettle of fish : : Sopa de Sirena

Sopa de SirenaWhen Kris brought this old brass cauldron home from the flea market, I knew that I would paint it. After I had lovingly painted the cauldron (and the bas-relief wooden flowers in the background) the question was then: What would one cook in such a special pot? Something mythical and rare…

I’m afraid a black sense of humor took hold of me, just then, and I ended up making a poisonous-looking green soup in the brass kettle…along with recognizably fishy pieces, and sinister bubbles. A sprinkling of iridescent blue-green scales in front of the pot completed the brew. Voilà, Mermaid Soup was born. Except that it’s called Sopa de Sirena, because it was born in Venezuela (and was partly inspired by all the Sopa de Mariscos that we have been enjoying here.)

I managed to get the image uploaded to my Society6 shop, too, and there are 30 hours (or so) left to avail of Free Shipping via my Artist’s Promo link. You can also click on the image, above. I’m so pleased to be able to offer something new along with the free shipping, in one go.

Tuck in!

Society6 Free Shipping (again!) till the 13th at midnight

Get FREE SHIPPING on anything in my Society6 shop, by clicking this image

In case you missed the chance last weekend, you can still get FREE SHIPPING on anything within my Society6 shop, by clicking on the Mermaid poster, above, or the link below.

This Artist’s Promo will last until MIDNIGHT, Sunday the 13th, Pacific Time.
N.B. This artist’s promo is only activated by clicking the links in THIS blog post. This offer excludes Framed Art Prints, Stretched Canvases, Wall Clocks and Rugs

<< Get FREE SHIPPING via this link to my shop >>

Society 6 : : Free Worldwide Shipping. All weekend.

I jumped when I got this message, because I really need a tote bag! All I have is a black backpack, and that just screams “TOURIST” in a country where everybody else has big, roomy, colourful beach bags. And it would be nice to have something with one of my own designs on it…can you believe I don’t actually have anything of my own from Society6, yet?

Something to celebrate the fact that we’ll be driving into the foothills of the Andes sometime next month? Like a Pack Alpaca, maybe?

But Society6 doesn’t ship to Venezuela. *sigh* I have been dragging my feet about it, but it looks like I really will have to cobble something homemade together while I’m here. Without a sewing machine.

Clicking on the image will take you to my Society6 page.

5 Days. 5 Deals : : Day 2

Oh, I missed Day 1…but here’s today’s deal. Click on any image to get taken to my Society6 pages. Cheers!

Black & Red journal spread

Black & Red spreadBased on all the reading up we’ve been doing on Orishas, I painted an Elegguá spread of pages in my journal.

Kris had bought an Elegguá necklace (two feet long!) and I drew it as the border. Then, I “made” my own 2D version of the orisha. Traditionally, every Santero has to build his own Elegguá—usually just a mound or cone of soil, clay, or cement—using dirt from a crossroads, a cemetery, a prison cell, a bakery, the entrance to a church, and an open field. I made mine from a collage of local newspaper items about traffic lights, obituaries, prison cells, flour shortages, religious events, and cattle ranchers, plus bits and pieces about roads…close enough! Cowrie shells (called caracoles) are used for the eyes, mouth, ears. I painted my caracoles, and stuck them on. I even gave him a paper cigar…Black & Red spread
The text around my Elegguá is just a Cuban Santero’s description of the orisha…his powers, his character, his areas of influence, his roles among the other orishas…

Elegguá is the master of pathways and doorways.
He is of the keys and the knots.
It is he that ties, and unties.
He is the beginning and the end of all paths.
He is the sentry of the days and the nights.
He mixes sugar and blood….
Everything is turned upside down, he is playful and sensitive.
Dangerous, like a child, he rescues or kills.
He is also tricky and bloodthirsty….
He is greedy and gluttonous, you win him over by giving him sweets.
He likes whistles, balls, kites, and spinning tops….
He holds the keys to the destinies of man.

Black & Red spread

So far, Santeriá has been the most interesting new thing we’ve come upon in Venezuela, and the richness of its rituals and paraphernalia have been feeding our creative appetites.

Santería sparklies

Santería braceletsA few days ago, I bought some beaded bracelets from one of the many Santería shops in town. I chose two bracelets, each, in the colours of three of the Orishas:

Yemayá (blues and crystal clear beads) is the mother of all Orishas. Her name means “Mother whose children are like the fish”, (referring to her fecundity as the source of all living things.) She is queen of the ocean, patroness of seafarers and fishermen, of pregnant women, and is the spirit of moonlight. Often depicted as a mermaid, I bought these bracelets for my friend, who is a real mermaid

Changó (or Shangó) is the most ‘popular’ of the orishas. He rules over lightning, thunder, fire, the drums and dance. He is a strong-willed and fiery Orisha, red and white, and loves all the good things of life: dancing, drumming, women, food and wine. He is ocanani with Elegba, meaning they are of one heart. I bought these bracelets for a fiery artist friend of mine, a Leo, a maven of good food, wine, music, books, and art.

Elegba (also Eleggua or Elegguá) is the owner of the roads and doors in this world. The colors red, black, and white are his. In particular, Elegba stands at the crossroads of the human and the divine, as messenger between the two worlds. Nothing can be done in either world without his permission. Elegba is always propitiated before calling any other orisha, as he opens the door between the worlds and opens our roads in life. He is my personal favourite, a trickster god and a child, and I bought his bracelets for myself.

Santería braceletsSome of you may remember that I made a new journal for myself last year, when the previous one had filled up, and that I chose to decorate its covers with the colours, symbols, sigils, and incantations of Elegba, because I was about to set off on a huge journey around South America for a few years (we are here, currently) and wanted to honour the Spirit of The Roads, the Opener of Ways.

Elegba journal