Friday, December 5, 2014

GrayDayStudio Counts Down to Christmas with Illustrated Advent Numbers!

I decided to give myself a little assignment for December, to post a new advent number each day!
It's be a fun and carefree task, that allows me to unwind at the end of the night when I want to still be creative but don't have all of the attention required for bigger commissioned projects.

You can follow along with my advent countdown on Instagram GrayDayStudio

December 2nd

December 3rd, reindeer antlers

December 4th

December 5th

have a great weekend!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Recent Work at GrayDayStudio

I have been busy this fall with a few commission paintings. Since they are presents I can't morally share them until after Christmas. ;) So in the meantime here are a few recent paintings I have made between the commission work. All recent work can been viewed HERE on my website. (I try to update it every other week.)

Above: Fall Bouquet, 8x12 watercolor and gouache.

Nursing, 8x12 watercolor

Legs, 8x12 watercolor.

Watering, 8x12 watercolor.

Planting bulbs, 8x12 watercolor.

A series is clearly taking shape (or perhaps two).

This coming year I'm hoping to receive some illustrating work and license my art as well as work on a few Children's book. I'm getting there!

Friday, November 28, 2014

40% off Sale at GrayDayStudio 11/28-12/1

Hi All!

My Holiday sale has officially begun. 40 % off the entire shop (save gift certificates and custom portraits). So hop on over and take a peek, there is a little something for everyone. From original art to greeting cards and canvas bags!

Support small businesses this year, we all appreciate it so much. (It's like giving a gift to the maker AND your recipient.)

Happy Thanksgiving weekend everyone!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Mark Your Calendars for GrayDayStudio's big Holiday Sale!

Hi all, I'm having a big Holiday sale this year to give my customers a chance to scoop up some original art at a great savings! so I am offering 40% off my etsy shop. That's right, a great deal!

So mark you calendars and support small businesses this gift giving season!

Friday, November 7, 2014

An ant ascends a mountain and a kite is rescued... New Illustrations from GrayDayStudio

I've had a pretty productive week... diving back into my watercolors in order to continue to build my illustration section of my portfolio. I'm feeling really inspired and enthusiastic about everything with my art career. I'll admit it can be rather daunting to be at such a foundation stage of my career.. to continue the faith so to speak. Everyday I have to renew my commitment and optimistic attitude that this will pay off.  And it will.

In the meantime, I wanted to check in and share a few more paintings I made this week.

Above: Ant Ascends Peony Mountain, is a watercolor and gouache painting. I am diving back into my vault of reference images I have taken over the years and this one could easily be elaborated on and turned into a book, or used as a single image.

"Rescuing the Kite" is a little imagined elaboration of a picture I took this week of our daughter with our neighbor standing upon the tree stump in our backyard. I'm enjoying giving myself little one-off paintings that evoke a story.

And another one from the vault of stored reference images- this painting I made of our daughter's dollhouse last year long after she received it for Christmas, as the helium leaves the balloon.

This week I also tweaked my website and finally have a better layout for each portfolio section.  I'll continue to tweak it I'm sure, but for now I am so much happier with it and actually want to share it more.

SO here it is!!

Also don't forget you can save 20% off my etsy shop with code November14 at checkout, so scoot on over!

Have a Great weekend!

Monday, November 3, 2014

A sketch or two from GrayDayStudio

I'm in the studio today working on a few commission paintings for the Holiday gift giving season. It's so exciting and an honor to be entrusted with such an important gift. Some of the pictures I am working from are truly great, there is so much I want and hope to capture. Sometimes I often make a list for a painting of areas that are of the utmost importance. Preliminary sketches help me to see the picture in a new light as well... I learn a lot from the sketching process that then helps inform my decision making when it comes to the final piece.

Since these are gifts, I can't rightly share them on my blog, Facebook, or instagram until after the holidays... you never know who is watching, wouldn't want to ruin the surprise. So in the meantime here are a few of my own sketches I would like to share.

Above is a little illustration I made after our trip to England in October. I'm not sure how finished it is, but I'm enjoying inventing more illustrations to flush out that section of my portfolio with the intention to receive illustration commissions.

And here is a little sketch I made of our daughter twirling in our kitchen the other week.

If you are interested in giving a gift of custom art this year, feel free to check out my ETSY shop and the Custom portrait Section!

Have a great start to your week!


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Custom Portraits Now Available by GrayDayStudio

Hi all!
I'm offering a few custom portraits for this Holiday season and I wanted to be sure you knew about them!  Original art is a great gift, it's often unexpected and always welcome especially when it's of someone you love. So why not turn a favorite photograph into an original piece of artwork? Give it to your partner, parents or grandparents or for that person who is "Hard to shop for"!?

I've made the process pretty straight forward, simply purchase the listing for the deposit towards your portrait then we can discuss from there! Picture can be of a loved one, a pet, or a favorite landscape. You choose the medium- watercolor, ink, color pencil, oil etc and the size and then once it's finished you pay the remainder of the cost plus shipping! and poof and original piece of art that is sure to make this year's gift giving memorable not to mention easy and unique.

You can find the listing here!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Motivation and Getting my Butt in gear for my Artistic career, Reflecting on Lisa Congdon's two day course

I'm pretty excited about what's happening in my brain lately... I've reached a tipping point with my career as an artist. It's a motivational moment whose montra is "The more work you make, the more work you will get." Pretty awesome laws of attraction type stuff here- you get out what you put in and so on.  I have Lisa Congdon to thank for this nice kick in the pants. I've been following her on Instagram for the past year, and I've been really enjoying her new book Art Inc. Her book is full of helpful tips from licensing your work to taxes, etc. So when I heard about her two day course on Creative Live, I jumped at it and made sure I penciled out the time to take it. You can now buy the course  HERE

It's true that as artists we live in a time that is really beneficial to helping launch and maintain our careers. Social media and the internet are our best allies. And with hard work and networking you can't help but succeed. So, yeah I'm pretty excited! After taking the class, and reading her book, I now have a 3-5 year list of some grand goals, with a subsequent list of practical steps I can take towards reaching a few of the more immediate goals. I could talk about this for a long time, but I will hold back.  However let me know if you want to hear more, I'm always down to chat.

SO what are some of the practical steps I am taking?

Well in general, I have revamped my website a bit more- organizing it and my shop into subject matter categories such as "Florals" and "Landscapes" instead of "Paintings" and "Drawings" because honestly, the medium I use is important, but not necessarily the number one factor that people want to peruse a site or shop- usually folks want something in particular, a certain subject matter etc. (duh, face palm)

Portfolio: By reorganizing my website, I've realized that I need to flush out my portfolio a bit more. IE: I need more landscapes, should post more illustrations etc.  And overall I need to do mock ups- draw for the jobs I want, while still staying true to myself of course. That way when I approach an editorial, or publisher I have more specific artwork rather than just what I felt like making on a particular day. (still have to tweak my website- don't like the format for each portfolio category- want it to be thumbnails...)

Sketchbook: I need to get back to drawing in my sketchbook everyday. In her class, Lisa also spoke about dividing your day into 45 minute chunks. (She said this works for some people, but not all.) By doing so- you allow yourself to work on a little bit of everything through out the day- thus never getting behind on one thing should you have a few commissions at a time etc whose deadlines are fast approaching. And by working this way, I figure drawing in my sketchbook everyday is completely doable. Boom- 45 minute chunk for sketchbook drawing, done!

Can you tell I'm excited? So expect more blogging and sketchbook sharing etc.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Fondly looking back on Summer, with two new Landscape Paintings.

As leaves begin to turn from green to red, it's nice to sit back and take stock of summer.

My summer felt like it traipsed along at the perfect clip. Not too fast... and I feel that I savored every bit of it. I think living in a house with such a lovely yard in an countryside setting really helps to slow down and appreciate the seasons.

Thus here are two small oil paintings as an ode to summer now available in my etsy shop.

ALSO, please note that my shop will be on vacation from October 4-October 22nd, with work shipping on the 24th. So if you see something that catches your eye please order before the 4th!

Have a great last day of September!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Paper Garlands Once again are Available at GrayDayStudio

As you can see, with regular studio hours this fall, I am able to blog more often as well as get back to commission pieces and made to order work. Thus I am once again offering my popular paper garlands in my shop! With over 600 sold last year, this fall and holiday season should be a good one!

You can peruse the garlands HERE.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Behind the Scenes at GrayDayStudio, oil paintings in progress.

I thought it would be fun to virtually visit my studio through a few behind the scenes pictures of some paintings in progress!

Above is a large 18x24" commissioned floral oil painting I'm working on. It has undergone some big changes this past week- eliminating and adding flowers. I like what is happening here. I also lightened the background and intend to add more flowers and other fine details this week!

I've also begun to work small and I REALLY enjoy this scale. It seems to gel with my current state of life- of not always having a large period of time to devote to a single painting. (I swear the multitasking of motherhood leaves me feeling unable to focus...) Thus the scale and time limit force me to be more direct and painterly with my approach, avoiding over working.

Above: is a little rabbit in his hutch painting. Measures 8x8. It's not finished yet (still have to darken and add contrast to the rabbit as well as add the wire cage in front.)

Above: a 6x6" oil painting of a tree and field that I see on my drive home in Chadds Ford, PA. I love this tree in the constantly changing field and I look forward to painting it through out the seasons. (Again this one is currently unfinished but I intend to fine tune the fence a touch more.)

So expect to see many more small works in the future! and for more behind the scenes follow me on Instagram

Thursday, September 4, 2014

NEW Onward to the Sea, varied edition of my indigo bags

I recently received some interest to see my full edition of my Onward to the Sea tote. Thus I made a listing this morning of the remaining 6 bags that had yet to make their debut.

I like how each bag is unique and one of a kind just like individual waves themselves. #9 even looks like a hillside my the sea. Always fun to see how these evolve.

Have a great Thursday!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

NEW (ish) original work at GrayDayStudio

We moved at the end of June... and I finally feel like I can raise my head out from under the deluge of boxes and odd home projects to say Hello! Plus I've been away from the blog as I soaked up the summer and good thing since now it is September.

I have a renewed sense of inspiration and dedication to my career, and this fall is going to be great! I've been reading Lisa Congdon's book Art Inc  and it is really getting my butt in gear. I appreciate the artist interviews peppered through out that offer practical success stories and tips as well as different approaches that have worked for each individual. Thus, there is no right formal to being a successful artist- the main ingredient is hard work. SOOOOooo I'm very excited. And as a result I will be blogging more, Promise!

But back to my shop! Over the summer I added these three new original paintings.


This fall I will also be offering prints of my original work, so stay tuned to the blog and my shop for news on when they arrive!

My commissions have begun to pick up and earlier in August I received a commission to paint a Hydrangea to pair with a Peony painting the customer had purchased from me.

I'm currently working on a large commissioned oil painting. My Customer wants a black and white striped table cloth with purple and green flowers and a gray background.  Above is the preliminary sketch. It is currently quite a bit further along now, but not enough resolved to share an updated picture ;)

Also this Fall, I will have more regular studio hours where the husband will have the kids three days a week so I can work uninterrupted. Of course I will continue to work when they nap and at night when they are asleep (and if I'm really in the zone- before they wake up in the morning, but since one of them usually finds her way into our bed at night, sneaking out in the morning isn't always as easy!). However, since I have regular studio hours, I am beginning to offer my popular paper garlands once again. Here is a little trio of pastel garlands that I will list later this week. 

In the meantime, here are the garlands that are currently available, more will be arriving very soon!

So yes, lots of scheming and planning over here. I'm applying to late fall/Holiday craft events. I'm going to approach local boutiques to sell my 5x7 stationary cards, party garland packages, etc. And then continue to paint original work as well as work on my Children's book.

It's very exciting and I look forward to sharing more with you my blog readers as I continue down this road.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

In full bloom for Summer, NEW paintings plus a 20% off SALE at GrayDayStudio

I can't believe it's already July! Happy Summer everyone. I've been a bit quiet on the blog lately because we just moved this past weekend, which really started in May with packing and all. Phew! I'm getting my new studio slowly set up, and I look forward to painting outside this summer and offering more landscapes. In the meantime I have a few new original paintings in my etsy shop GrayDayStudio!

above: Budding Bouquet, oil on canvas, 8x10

Four Peonies, Oil on wooden panel, 8x10

A Handful of Peonies, oil on wooden panel, 12x12

Down at the Shore, oil on canvas, 8x10

Have a lovely beginning of your July! To celebrate save 20% off my entire shop from 7/1-7/15. I will share pictures of our new digs once we are all set up. If you care for sneak peeks simply follow me on IG @GrayDayStudio, and my private account is @GrayDayatHome

Thursday, May 15, 2014

NEW original Oil Paintings at GrayDayStudio

Hi all (boy its been a while! Yikes, sorry about that...!) Just popping in to check on my blog and wanted to share two new original paintings that I listed in my etsy shop, GrayDayStudio, this month.

Above is "Orange Roses" painted in oil on a 10x10" wooden panel.

"In a Setting of Her Own" Oil on panel 12x12"

There are also a few new silkscreens in the shop as well as a new edition of my "Onward to the Sea" tote bag.

(life has once again been busy- with our son's 1st birthday, then Easter and Spring Break... and now it's May which is almost half way over! I hope to do some personal blogging here soon so stay tuned!)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

New Paintings at GrayDayStudio

Last week I began a new watercolor series. It stemmed from my need to have something therapeutic and almost meditative to do at night after the kids are finally tucked in. I wanted something that I could essentially turn my brain off and do, to get back to making something, to have something that was just for me.  So I began with blind contour drawings, where you don't look down at the paper, then I layered more intentional watercolor washes over top.

I've really enjoyed zoning out, listening to classical (or French) music, nothing that interrupts my train of thought. And I must say it's been awesome!! Just what I needed. And so I listed a set of four today and will list 4-5 tomorrow.

See more in my shop GrayDayStudio.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Knitting to do / wish list

Knitting can become very addictive, at least for me anyway. The sense of accomplishment is so rewarding you just want to start something else immediately after finishing each project. I just finished this darling tunic for our daughter and it was so fast (as child knits are) that I finished it in 4 days! Which made me kick myself for not knitting it back in November, but I knit it with cotton yarn so she should be able to wear it for most of the spring. ;-/ So on the heels of that project I'm itching to start something else, and here is my short list!

I've been casting on and tearing out this lovely scarf/ shawl "A Little Romance" since last spring. I can't wrap my brain around this one yet.. hence the mistakes and then I put it aside for a few months and knit something else. But I should really start this one again- i.e.: lock myself in a room without any distractions until I understand the pattern and stop making mistakes!

The lola shawl, is one of those pieces that has convinced me that I could indeed wear a shawl! 

And the Aisance cardigan is very simple and classic!

of course should it EVER stop snowing around here and warm up, I'll probably be inspired to knit a warm weather piece... as it always happens, I cant knit ahead for the next season... I'm working on it!

If you knit or crochet you and I can be friends on ravelry GrayDay and see even more on my favorites.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Boy's Baby and Toddler Scarf Knitting Pattern

I recently took the train to NYC and needed a little knitting project for my ride. I decided to knit our son a boy's version of the baby scarf I knit for our daughter. It took me roughly 4 hours total, and he looks quite dapper! (I like how his little feet are holding hands.)

I adapted the knitting pattern by Liesl Gibson on her blog disdressed.

Note: I knit 4" of the square portion, you could knit less, but I knit it long in order to grow with him. Our daughter has worn her scarf from 1-3.5 (so far).

Gauge: 4.5 stitches per inch, cotton/ non-itchy yarn (I use double pointed size 6 needles)

Cast on 16
Knit 4" (or length desired... 3" etc)
K1, M1, knit to last 2, M1, K1
K 1 row
K1, M1, K to last 2, M1, K1= 20
K1 row

With double-point needles, slip 1st stitch on needle 1, 2nd stitch on needle 2, 3rd stitch on needle 1, etc. Odd stitches will be on needle 1 and even stitches on needle 2.

Work 1 x 1 rib for 1 1/2 inches on each needle respectively (break yarn after working needle 1, before working needle 2)
Holding needles together, knit 1st stitch from 1st needle, then 1st stitch from 2nd needle until all 20 stitches are on one needle
Knit every row until scarf is the desired length (for the scarf I made the baby, this section measured about 11" not including the rib or the end)
With double-point needles, slip 1st stitch on needle 1, 2nd stitch on needle 2, 3rd stitch on needle 1, etc. as done previously. Odd stitches will be on needle 1 and even stitches on needle 2.
Work 1 x 1 rib for 1 1/2 inches on each needle respectively (break yarn after working needle 1, before working needle 2)
Holding needles together, knit 1st stitch from 1st needle, then 1st stitch from 2nd needle until all 20 stitches are on one needle

next row: K1, K2 together, Knit to last 2, SSK
Knit row
K1, K2 together, Knit to last 2, SSK = 16 stitches 

Knit 4 inches then cast off.

Happy knitting!


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