Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve Potato

I spent my New Year's Eve drawing a potato...whoa.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Creatures of the Deep

Glasshead Grenadier


Common Mora

Black-snout Seasnail

Black-devil Anglerfish

Here is another set of 5x7” pieces for Learning to Draw in Fives series. I am considering calling it Learning to Draint in Fives because I don’t know what category of media these would fall under. I am definitely not the first artist to encounter this confusion. Does wikipedia already have an entry for draintings? If not, I am ready to submit my definition.

draint’ing n. a piece of artwork so equally a painting and a drawing that it cannot be defined as either but a combination of both

These particular draintings are of magnificent creatures only found in the darkest depths of the world’s oceans. Did you know that the oceans offer 99% of the space where life can develop on Earth? These organisms have amazing adaptations to live in this enormous environment. I really enjoyed working on these critters!

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Here are a couple of newbies. The top image is of a Red-Tailed Hawk's feet and the bottom image is of a simple little egg that was in my fridge.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009




Veal Chop

Beef Sirloin Roast

Please do not think less of me my vegetarian and vegan friends but I love to paint meat. If I am ever feeling burnt out on birds or facing a wicked case of artist block I paint meat. These specimens belong to the Learning to Draw in Five series. I put each 5x7" panel in a delightful but slightly gaudy gold frame. For a finishing touch...they will be covered in a delicious layer of resin. Yum.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Grand Canyon Inspiration

These are part of my Learning to Draw in Fives project. My inspiration for these mixed media pieces came from photos that we took on our Grand Canyon adventure. I took a 15x20" sheet of watercolor paper and segmented 5 5x7" rectangles. I first worked on it as one large drawing, then cut out the rectangles and worked on them individually.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Adios 2009!

"Chloe & Carissa"


"Lani's Owl"

2009 has been a year stocked to the maximum capacity with learning new things and collecting experiences. It was my first year out of school which was an odd feeling but to have actual "free time" has been amazing. I pretty much traded the time I spent on school for time in the studio.

Drawing has been my main focus this year which is something I never thought I would enjoy as much as I have. I see the 30 Sketches Project continuing throughout my future.

Putting together Suits and Aviary allowed me to make many mistakes to learn from and through those two shows, I met some really solid people that I now call friends.

One of the most inspiring and fulfilling things I began doing this year is volunteering at Liberty Wildlife. I feel that myself and my work are more welcomed in the animal conservation world than in the art scene here in Phoenix which is fine by me.

I wrapped up the year with several commissions which my bank account was grateful for. Chole & Carissa (top image) was done for a fellow museum co-worker. She gave me lots of photos and total artistic freedom and it melted into another ridiculous painting.

Igor was commissioned by a wonderful woman who works at the Tucson Wildlife Center. She came to my booth at the Indie Chic art fair and we had a long conversation about black vultures. Apparently the center has a black vulture named Igor that is quite something. She'll present this sketch to the center as a Christmas gift. Yay Igor!!

The last image is an owl sketch I did for my friend Lani. It is a wee little sketch just perfect for gift giving. I tried to keep the museum staff stocked with sketches this holiday season. Thanks co-workers, I can keep the lights on for another month!

I am exhausted from 2009 but I've got alot of fight left in me. 2010 watch out, I have a blank sketchbook with your name all over it!!

Friday, December 4, 2009


Sandra, the best librarian in the land, gave me these fantastic "paper-board-scrap?" pieces to play with. I am so glad too because I was just thinking that I needed another addiction. For some reason or another abstract graphite mark-making was called from the art realm. I am not going to I am rollin' with it.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Busiest Week in Rowdy Studios' History!

This week is going to be a marathon! For which I am both thankful and exhausted. Thursday Dec. 3rd is the artist opening at Taste of Tops. DJ's spinning seedy blues tunes, beer and wine tastings, and my silly art...I am hoping for a good time.

Next, Friday Dec. 4th: Krampus Party. Not familiar with Krampus? Get schooled here. I know, I know...terrifying is not my usual thing but couldn't pass up the opportunity to mix a sweet baby bird atop a devil's head. It's Halloween and Christmas combined!!

To wrap up the trifecta of fun is the Indie Chic @ 10th Street craft fair set for Saturday Dec. 5th from 10am-5pm. All work I sell this day will be donated to Liberty Wildlife, a local nonprofit bird sanctuary here in Phoenix.


Friday, November 20, 2009

Taste of Tops Art Opening!

Come one, come all! Experience delicious libations, great music, and ridiculous art; it will truly be a trifecta of fun! Participate in beer and/or wine tastings or just kick back and take in some great tunes.

DJ divas, Jess & Kat were kind enough to ask what genre of music I preferred. "Any kind of music that you might hear drifting out of some seedy dive bar is awesome. Beer drinkin' music.", I replied.

Taste of Tops is located at 403 W. University Drive, Tempe, AZ (next door to Tops Liquors). For more information visit The reception is from 6-8pm Thursday, December 3rd. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Indie Chic @ 10th Street

Well its official...Rowdy Studios will represent at Indie Chic @ 10th Street! These baby blue jays, along with all of the other pieces from the 30 Sketches Project III will be there.

Indie Chic @ 10th Street is an alternative craft fair with a selection of hip, handmade items including clothing, jewelry, ceramics and wall art all made by independent crafters. Vendors are carefully chosen for their unique urban aesthetics.

Shop hand-crafted and local. Why? It helps the environment by reducing your carbon footprint, it keeps your hard-earned money in the community and it supports Phoenix's handmade revolution!

When is this epic event? December 5, 2009 from 10am-5pm infront of ASU Art Musuem on 10th and Mill in Tempe. Click here for more info. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

What's New In Rowdy Studios Land?

Rowdy Studios has been a pretty busy place. Volunteering for the bird conservation org., Liberty Wildlife, has been extremely inspiring. I've really been trying to observe and retain as much visual information while I am there. The studio is officially a bird sketchin' factory!

Above is a Corn Bunting. It is a commissioned piece that will soon be residing in a flat on a small Scottish island. How randomly awesome is that?! Click here to learn the story behind the sketch. I am not sure if its cheating or not, but it is also my day #12 piece for the 30 Sketches Project III.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Snow Bunting

Thanks Diahn for sharing this wicked awesome frame template! This is a Snow Bunting (also the latest etsy addition) and he really enjoys being fancy.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

30 Sketches Project: Numero 3

Its on! 30 Sketches Project III, prepare to dance because I've got some serious sketching to do and I am taking no prisoners! The 30 Sketches Projects are my commitment to sketch, document, and post a sketch everyday for, you guessed it, 30 days. Swing by to watch my progress or to see past projects.

The little Pearl-spotted Owlet above is the first study in this series. It, along with the other 29 sketches will be for sale at the Indie Chic @ 10th Street art fair on Dec. 5th. I'd love to see you there!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Two Newbies

Birds and wallpaper...yes, but in a different way. This particular painting is for the mighty xArt group's project numero cinco. This month's challenge: include a mirror(s) into our pieces.

This is a perfectly fitting topic due to my most recent artistic dilemma. I've really been struggling with self-portraits. Its hard to convey how I look without incorporating how I think I look. For this piece I wanted the idea of two objects mirroring one another but having different reflections.

Here is a third ornament to add to the Learning to Draw in Fives series. I am surprised at how much I am enjoying working on something so nonbird-like and so small (this is on a 5x7" piece of masonite).

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Ode to the Cowboy Hat

As you may or may not know the annual Cowboy Artists of America exhibition opened at the Phoenix Art Museum, which also happens to be my place of employment. Now, "cowboy art" is generally not one of my favorite genres but this particular collection of artist's works evokes a wicked sense of nostalgia for having spent most of my life living in Texas. I have always appreciated how the cowboy hat is extremely unique to its wearer. A true cowboy would never wear a cowboy hat straight from the box...oh no. There is much steaming and forming involved to get the right effect. This series will be included in the Learning to Draw in Fives series. It is my tribute to the much celebrated cowboy hat and those who wear them proudly.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Merry Christmas Numero Dos

So its looking like the Christmas ornaments are making their way into the Learning to Draw in Fives series. I have some great gold frames that will work well with them. Once I nail them into the frames, I will coat them in resin.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Merry Christmas

I've had these amazing vintage Christmas ornaments to use for reference for a holiday inspired series. Not sure if the series will happen but I enjoyed working on this little 5x7" study. My version is a bit janky but it just proves that it was not made from a machine.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

New Mexico Doorways

I fell in love with the doorways in New Mexico. These images came from photos I took on a recent trip which included stops in Taos, Sante Fe, and Albuquerque. These are small 10x8" studies done on gessoed masonite board. I started with a foundation of graphite and gouache, then oil for the basic colors. Next I worked with charcoal and pastel which I then sprayed with a clear fixative. Lastly, I went in with white and black acrylic paint for contrast and a final layer of pastels. Whew!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Sorry No Pictures, Just Words

For almost 2 years I rode an amazing wave of inspiration. I can honestly say that I could not have worked any harder than I did during that time because I didn’t know exactly how long it would last. I’ll lovingly call the body of work produced in that period my “Posing Poultry Paintings”.

It was an abrupt realization which initially caused a deep sense of sadness. After finishing, Greater Adjutant on Barcelona Chair, I just didn’t want to paint birds anymore. I knew that if I did, it would only be out of obligation to the series. Feeling that two years of living with a solid foundation and absolute direction was coming to an end was stressful. I felt lost.

But no need to fret any further, word on the street is that this is a natural occurrence. This particular ride may be over but now I see that there is an entire park filled with other rides.

During this time:

I had my first solo show
graduated with a BFA
sold some work
made lots of mistakes
made lots of friends
got a peek at the business side of art
struggled with finding balance between art and “life”
was constantly humbled
found the want to improve my drawing skills
had the absolute joy of having the director of Phoenix Art Museum come to a show because he wanted to
gained confidence
learned the importance of art not only to me but within a community

Through all of these amazingly wonderful experiences I realized two very important things. First, even at 33 years of age, I am an infant in the art world. I don’t know shit about shit. And that is alright.


Secondly, I discovered my love of drawing. I am driven to improve and experiment with the medium. When dissecting why I had the want to explore drawing, my goal was to bridge the gap between my drawings and paintings. I thought that was its purpose. But as I am writing this, I realize that it’s not the style or technique that is to merge…it’s the subject matter. The birds are the bridge.

It is time for my paintings to mean something else. For some odd reason I have chosen birds, or they have chosen me, to use as a vehicle for improving my skills. The feeling of loss is lightened knowing that my “bird phase” is not over; it is just shifting from oils to pencils and charcoal.

I am by no means saying that I am now a master painter; I just need to paint for a different reason. I guess the need to paint is more important than improving technically.

With all of this in mind, I've begun my next project: Learning to Draw in Fives. I'll keep you posted!

Saturday, October 3, 2009


To keep the studio from becoming a total disaster, I tape down a 24x36" sheet of butcher paper on my drawing table. I can get a little wild with the pastels and charcoal, so every few weeks I put down a fresh sheet. It starts out like this...

Then it turns into something like this. (Note the new drawing bins). At this point there is something very delicious about this paper's condition...MUST...DRAW..ON..IT...

There is no way I could throw out such a lovely sheet of butcher paper. So now I use these sheets for quick studies. A warm-up sketch if you will.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Something new and a little different. Lemonade originally came in this delightful bottle. I couldn't let it go and decided to recycle it into art. What should go on an empty lemonade bottle...a flying vulture of course! For more details and pics visit this magical place.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Meet Kiwi. Kiwi belongs to my friend Rachel or maybe its the other way around. Rachel commissioned me to do a portrait of her lovebird and when asked about the desired details of the piece she said those words I love to hear, "Do whatever you want". Thank you, thank you Rachel!

Kiwi is a mixed media piece on a 15x20" sheet of watercolor paper. I first built a foundation with watercolor, added gouache to establish a sense of environment, and finished up with pastel, charcoal, graphite and some touches of acrylic paint. Whew!

I really enjoyed working on this piece. Thanks again Rachel! And Kiwi!

Monday, September 7, 2009


Not sure if you are aware that I have a weird obsession with cuts of meat, but I do. I adore painting steaks and what not and was recently given the chance to sketch a slab-o-meat. My hair stylist has a friend who is a butcher and she commissioned me to do a steak sketch in exchange for some freebie haircuts. I'll take it!

Above is the inspiration for the sketch. It is an oil on canvas board. I covered in a thick and delicious layer of Galkyd Lite so it has a wicked glossy finish. Yum! I originally was going to give my stylist this one but found that I am too attached to it to let it go. I did this about a year ago in school. It has a secret lying underneath the paint. I used this same canvas board for Figure Painting class. A nude man rests underneath the meat. My Painting III professor was amused at the irony of it all.