Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Pugs Go Wild in a Cake Shop

I did this humorous cartoon today of some pugs going crazy in a cake shop in the 1950s (just click on the image to see it in more detail). It was so much fun to do. I am going through an anthropomorphic in my art and loving it. Let me know if it tickles your funny bone.

I grew up in England and voraciously read all the Giles cartoons. His recreation of the battle axe that was grandma was nothing short of genius. And I preferred his cartoons done in the Daily Express when they were black and white. This is an example:

I  was also influenced by the Rupert the Bear comics in which Rupert Bear has many adventures with his pals badger and pug. Now I look at it I am amazed at how little this pug resembles a real life pug although he is still cute. However Rupert's adventures were mesmerizing.

Prints of the pug cartoon can be bought at this link at Imagekind

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Paint Party Friday for Tracey

Hi, today at Paint Party Friday we are celebrating and showing our support for Tracey who is undergoing chemotherapy for Breast Cancer. As well as being a wonderful artist she is also brave and has a great sense of humor. Everyone joined in with a tea party art tribute in Tracey's honor. She loves painting tea paraphernalia including mugs, cups, teapots and teabags so I did this illustration of two retro cool cats having a cuppa. A collage of all the paintings in honor of Tracey can be seen over HERE.Y

You can buy this cat print, tshirt, mugs, cushions etc. if you click on this link at Redbubble

Sunday, December 8, 2013

It's a Crafty Business

this link

How exciting! Saturday was my first time selling my stuff at a crafts fair! I took all my little amigurumis with me. The fair took place at a school and the kids were enraptured by all my little creatures and they sold like hot cakes. The owls were especially popular with the budgies a close second.

In the end all the animals sold out so I will start crocheting a bunch for next year. I got several custom orders and would love to do more in the future. My crochet hook is for hire so if you need a particular animal made, a Christmas stocking, or anything else just email me emmakcontact[at]yahoo.com

One of my owls twit-ta-wooing on my Christmas treee

I wonder whether owls will be in next year or some other animal!? No matter, I will just crochet a whole range of the critters. Owls are super-easy to crochet and you can use this free pattern as a starting point and then let your imagination run wild with a range of colors - great for using up scraps of wool.

I was also showing off my portfolio for the pet portraits and everyone was really impressed. It was a bit exhausting but it was really fun to talk to people and get feedback on my art. I suppose I am not really that reclusive but when you are working on your art you are in your own little creative world. So it was smashing to get some positive feedback.

And if you need any last minute prints of my art check out my store at Redbubble. Just click on this link to see prints from $24.

If you sell your art or crafts at crafts fairs tell me about your experiences. Is it worth it? 

Linking up with #AllAboutYou Pin Party
#AllAboutYou Link & Pin Party Mama and More

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Feline Groovy

What can I say? I am totally crazy about cats. There are cat people and there are dog people. I do like dogs but even though I constantly pestered my mum to get me a Jack Russell dog as a child she never did so my companions were always cats. Maybe that's why I became more of a cat person .....who knows?

I know that many cats are not loyal. And that sometimes you notice that your cat is going to all the neighbors, giving a plaintive wail and receiving many treats. But I don't care how duplicitous they are. They are so chic!

David Bowie cat

 I am even allergic to cats but that does not stop my passion. I had a pure white cat as a child and she was such a diva. She was a rescue cat and at the beginning she was so traumatized she would only stay in my wardrobe. She vanted to be alone like Greta Garbo. But after a while she warmed up to me and would cuddle on my lap but she would sometimes turn around and bite me. Still, she was the Mae West of cats. She wore a fake diamond collar.

Here's my latest cat portrait.....Cat Daydreaming....of which I have prints for sale over at Imagekind [click link].

Sing along with The Stray Cats "I got cat class and I got cat style"

Stray Cat Strut by Stray Cats on Grooveshark

If there is any justice in his world may I please come back as a cat. Eating and sleeping all day and wearing a fabulous (and humane) fur coat and prancing about on the pads of my feet all day. Divine.

What animal would you like to be reincarnated as?

Friday, November 15, 2013

Girls Splashing at the Pool

Girls Splashing at the Pool, mixed media

As they say in Britain where I come from it's brass monkies out there! The expression is both rather charming and rather crude when you find out what it means but it is still a cute phrase meaning it's getting rather nippy out there!

Living in Baltimore has been something of a shock to the system for a woman born on a sodden island. Here the summers are so incredibly hot and humid that you have to spend your days up to your neck in water like a hippo if you want to feel semi-human! But now that it is Fall and the leaves are all turning orange suddenly I start missing summer, the humidity, drinking iced tea by the pool and even the screeches of kids while I try to 'chillax' with a copy of People Magazine.

So I'm linking this image I did called 'Girls Splashing at the Pool' to Paint Party Friday because I love how the girl in the front is screaming. It is so wonderful to just let all your pent up energy out sometimes! But it gets more socially unacceptable as you grow into adulthood. It is watercolor overlaid with chalky pastel.

Here's looking forward to winter and looking back at one swelteringly hot summer .....

Santa Baby by The Puppini Sisters on Grooveshark

Buy my art at ImageKind.com.

Friday, November 1, 2013

When Pug Met Chameleon

Reading about how Marvin Gaye's estate is suing Robin Thicke for imitating Gaye's song in Blurred Lines got me thinking about art and whether any image is really original. I guess we are all subconsciously influenced by many pictures we have seen over the years when we create art.

After I did my picture of When Pug Met Chameleon and posted it on Facebook my German friend who I do a German literature class with commented that she remembered that when we read Bernhard Schlink's Das Maedchen mit der Eidechse/Girl with Salamander we also looked at a picture which might have influenced me subconciously:

Das Maedchen mit der Eidechse by Ernst Stueckelberg

My German teacher had a point, indeed, the similarities are quite strong. But the pug's expression in my painting is more terrified. Isn't it amazing the way images get stuck in one's head? Buy my art at ImageKind.com.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Cat and the Moon

Watercolor, 12 x 18"

As Halloween  approaches I start to feel all the sprites and goblins in the woods nearby getting ready to wreak havoc. And feeling that tantalizingly creepy feeling down my spine I painted this spooky cat. Well she's an adorable fluffball, sure, but you should see what she gets up to after dark. I will call her Minnaloushe as she perfectly sums up Yeats poem. Have a scary, shivery Halloween from Minnaloushe and me ....

The Cat and the Moon
The cat went here and there
and the moon spun round like a top,
and the nearest kin of the moon,
the creeping cat, looked up.
Black Minnaloushe stared at the moon,
for, wander and wail as he would,
the pure cold light in the sky
troubled his animal blood.

Minnaloushe runs in the grass
lifting his delicate feet.
Do you dance, Minnaloushe, do you dance?
When two close kindred meet,
what better than call a dance?
Maybe the moon may learn,
tired of that courtly fashion,
a new dance turn.

Minnaloushe creeps through the grass
from moonlit place to place,
the sacred moon overhead
has taken a new phase.
Does Minnaloushe know that his pupils
will pass from change to change,
and that from round to crescent,
from crescent to round they range?

Minnaloushe creeps through the grass
alone, important and wise,
and lifts to the changing moon
his changing eyes.

William Butler Yeats
Buy my art at ImageKind.com.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Petworking for Beginners

Those who know me know I am mad about my pets - called Peanut and Marshmallow. They are guinea pigs and I am crazy about them. Here they are wearing raspberry berets (the kind you buy in a second hand store).

Picture 215

Picture 214

Well you know how it is. Maybe you have a blog where you post pics of your pets and sometimes you feel like some of your friends are getting a bit sick of hearing what your pet is doing every second of the day. Well have no fear there is a now a place where you can socialize with other pet fantatics - It's called Pet Pav and it's a wonderful place where you and your pet can hang out. Pets can get profiles and naturally Marshmallow has one if you feel like poking her! It's also a great place to find out about the latest pet products. Marshmallow also has a part time job when she isn't chewing sticks or squeaking every time the fridge opens as a mascot for my pet portrait business.

So this week has been filled with painting critters again. Don't you love this adorable watercolor of a Pug?

Have a wonderful artistic week. Happy Petworking!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Futuristic Cats

I woke up this morning feeling like I wanted to paint a watercolor. But I was not in the mood for soft washes or dreamy pale colors. Today I felt like layering stark creamy pigments onto my paper. Somehow my brush craved to be dipped in orangey, firey red. So often painting with watercolor the pigment does not stay strong enough for my liking. Or when it dries the hotness of the red fades the way a leaf's color fades when you press it between the pages of a book.

I was inspired by the cats in the photo above who are called Taffy and Sully. The photo has an otherworldy, unearthly quality - maybe a green filter was used or maybe the sunlight hit these cats in such a way as to create this lovely ethereal effect.

I have always loved the German Expressionists and Der Blaue Reiter. So maybe I got some inspiration from them ...

Three Cats by Franz Marc, 1913

In the end my cats turned out pretty interesting. I didn't want to overwork it so I left them in their futuristic world. Maybe they are peering out from beneath a glass dome on Mars ......

Taffy and Sully, 22 x 30", Watercolor

Friday, October 4, 2013

Portrait of Dog Reclining on a Beanbag

I have been painting cute pets all week via my Portrait Store. Here's the latest dog I've finished. He lives in England and I have titled the piece Portrait of Dog Reclining on a Beanbag. Although I have never met the dog her owner says that I captured his spirit "Yes you have certainly caught his inner Dobby The House Elf." Indeed!! There is something rather elflike about him don't you think?

Come join the fun and link up to Paint Party Friday:

Friday, September 27, 2013

Fuzzman the Dog

Fuzzman relaxing after a snack of pellets and lettuce

I have been getting into doing pet portraits recently. Check them out at my Etsy Store. Here's the most recent one I did for a friend. This adorable pastel is of my friend's puppy who her kids call Fuzzman. Before they got the puppy they had two guinea pigs and now apparently Fuzzman is convinced he's a large and adorable guinea pig. He eats the pellets that fall out of the guinea pigs' cage and loves lettuce. Isn't he just the cutest?

Why don't I get to live in a cage?

Come join the fun and link up to Paint Party Friday:

Buy my art at ImageKind.com.

Friday, September 13, 2013

White Rabbits

Sometimes things just happen organically. I had ordered some masking fluid, although I have never tried it before so I was a little apprehensive. I opened the bottle, and wow, let's just say I haven't smelt such pungent fumes since my girls were in diapers! Nevertheless I decided to give it a whirl - even though some people have told me it leaves very hard clean edges. But sometimes what a girl needs is hard edges! In this case to create hard tufts of rabbit fur.

I  used watercolor paper and decided to start drawing out some white rabbits in pencil. Then I started putting down the masking fluid with a tiny brush where I wanted bits of highlighted fur. Then I started sponging in the shadows and forms of the rabbits. Things were looking good but I needed more texture so I troweled on some acrylic base that has these gritty beads in it and scribbled around in it with a fork to make it look even more like fur.

Then I let the painting dry trying to control myself from peeling off the masking fluid. When  the paint had tried I let it rip! Let me say that peeling off masking fluid is great fun  - a bit like the thrill of peeling off strips of sunburnt skin (or maybe that's just me). And it did indeed leave white patches that gave some wonderfully stark highlights to the rabbits' fur.

You can use an eraser or your fingers to take off the dried masking fluid
Leaving some interesting whiskery textures

Hmm....yes....those rabbits are starting to look very rabbity

That's it folks!
How do you find working with masking fluid? What subjects do you use it for? I think a lot of people use it for straight lines but it was fun to use it for something organic like rabbit fur.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Creating a Watercolor Step by Step

At school I had an art teacher who said 'A line is a journey from point to point.' That phrase meant both something and nothing. In the same way, a painting is a journey between a blank sheet of paper and one that is splotched with paint (with varying degrees of success.)

But to be a painter you have to keep on truckin! And keep on tryin'

You have to start somewhere!! Be it with a pencil scribble or a dab of paint.

I thought you might be interested in my process of creating a watercolor picture step by step so you can see how I do it. You never know, you might just learn something.

First, before we begin, look at your sheet of blank watercolor paper.

What do you feel?

Nervousness? Or maybe a smidgin of terror?

If like me you often think, help I am staring at a blank sheet of paper and don't know where to start, remember that a good place to start is with a wash. In this case I was painting a sunset so I diluted red, yellow and blue with water and did my first wash.

Slop the paint all over the place in several different directions.

When it had dried my first wash looked like this:

The second wash was more concentrated and I liberally used my water sprayer to keep things moist:

Working wet in wet I started adding in the skyline and the boat dock.

At this point I was happy with the airiness of the sky but I felt the bridge was too blue so I warmed it up with some warm browns. Also I felt that the angle of the dock wasn't dramatic enough so I made some adjustments. I liberally added another wash of red and one of yellow.

Then I decided to add some pastel highlights in warm golden tones to the water to bring it to life and to add dark green pastel to the horizon to give better perspective.

Finally I thought I had captured the view and the light glittering on the water and decided to leave it like this:

Sunset at Middle River, 2013 by Emma Kaufmann

I am pretty happy with the final picture. It is a view of a sunset at Middle River. I think the angle of the dock gives some added drama to the gorgeousness of the sunset.

Let me know what you think and hope you have enjoyed coming on my journey with me!!

Do stop by again soon.

Prints, mugs, cushions and other items of this painting can be bought HERE at Redbubble.