Thursday, January 26, 2012

Keeping it Indie Blog Interview

Greetings friends! How are you?

I'm excited and honored to be the featured artist on the Keeping it Indie blog.  There's a cute little interview and some of my artwork featured.

Brandi, the woman behind this fab blog is an old Etsy pal of mine.  In her Sweet Harvey shop, she creates all sorts of beautiful letterpress cards, screen printed textiles and illustrations.  Please patronize her shop!

I'm working hard on a big new piece. Hopefully I'll have something to show you soon.

Ta-ta for now.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Simple Thank-You Means Much

Hello friends!

Matt and I received this adorable handwritten note in the mail from William, our nephew who is almost 5.  We sent him the "Angry Birds" board game, the physical manifestation of the extremely popular iPhone game. As I have mentioned prior, William and his parents live in Budapest, Hungary, so we didn't get to actually see him at Christmas. (We did see him open his present on Facetime though!)

I just love that his awesome mother Cindy, took the time to sit down with William to do this.  I know that in this day of e-mail, Facebook, text messaging, etc., that there are many faster, more convenient ways to say "thank you", but I still think that the handwritten has it's place.  It's so nice to find something personal in the mail, amidst a sea of bills.

I keep a box of note cards with a book of stamps in my office at all times. That way I have no excuses but to write a quick note and send it off. I also include a little handwritten note with every Etsy order I send off. I think customers like that personal touch.

So why not make someone's day and send them a handwritten note?

Ta-ta for now.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Summer Plans

African Love by Lola and Cash on Etsy
Hi there! How are you?

Big news in the Johansson house. I'm taking a trip to Africa and Budapest this summer!

The Johnson/Johansson clan will first be heading to Nairobi, Kenya and the campus of First Love International Ministries. Matt's father is a board member and founding member of this amazing institution, that operates 9 orphanages and schools all over the world.  We will spend a week working with children in the Kibera slum. 

We will then go on a 3 day safari at Maasai Mara National Reserve. Wow!

Typography Art Poster by Legacy House Art on Etsy

Our excursion ends with a trip to Budapest, Hungary, where Matt's brother Luke and his family live. (Luke works for the US Embassy.) We'll get to meet the new baby girl who should be born any day now, and spend 4 days with Cindy and William (Luke's wife and son.) 

This is a once in a lifetime trip for me. I feel so lucky to be a part of this fabulous family.

Do you have any big summer plans? Do share! 

Ta-ta for now.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Tinker Swiss Cottage Commission - Robert's Office Chair

This is one of 10 pieces I was commissioned to create for Tinker Swiss Cottage, a home museum in Rockford, Illinois. 

Found in the basement office of the home, this is the desk chair of the home's late owner,  Robert Tinker.  Later in his life, when he couldn't move around very well, he had a bedroom and an office built in the walkout basement so he didn't have to negotiate any stairs. 

This is by far one of my favorite chairs in the house. So detailed! It was certainly a challenge to get all of those dowels to look like spirals. 

To learn more about my commission and my process, check out this blog post. 

To get a peek of 2 of the other chairs I will be illustrating and learn a bit about the museum, check out this video from the local news. Cindy Karnitz, my pal and the museum's Exectutive Director of Administration talks about some restoration that recently happened at the museum.

Ta-Ta for now! 

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Will You Be My Valentine?

Greetings friends!  With Valentine's Day just around the corner, I thought I'd share my Valentines with you.

My “Just a Little Love Song” collection features 3 different collages I created, all based on lovey-dovey Beatles song lyrics. You can buy these cards individually or in a set of 6 (2 of each design).

I just introduced the "Just For Two" card to the shoppe.  I created the original mixed media for my solo show at JR Kortman's last February and thought it would make a sweet little valentine.

I've also got the trusty ole' "Smooch" card available. I made this one back in 2008 and it's easily one of my top sellers.

All of my cards are made by me in my studio, using an archival ink printer. Each card measures 4.25" x 5.5"(folded) and is printed on a nice matte paper.  Though I intended these cards as valentines, you could send them any time!

Please do check out my Sale section in the shoppe. I've got many tiny originals available for a steal.  Art makes a great Valentine's Day gift!

Ta-Ta for now.

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Friday, January 6, 2012

The Commish

Happy Friday Friends!

It's been a great week in southern Illinois. Sunny, mild weather and lots of productive art time!

I have been commissioned to create 10 original works for Tinker Swiss Cottage, an amazing house museum in Rockford. I was able to knock out my first piece this week.  I often have questions about my creative process and materials, so while I worked on this one I took pictures.  I thought it would be fun to share my process here.

I started off with a photo that I took in the house on a bright December day. This particular chair was found in the office.

Next I chose my papers and did some simple drawings on top of those papers. I chose 2 different shades of gray for the floor and door, a piece of ledger paper for the wall and cabinet and a honey tone for the chair.

I lined the back of each piece with a 2 sided sticker paper, cut each piece out individually, removed the paper backing on the sticker and adhered it to the hardboard panel.

Here's what it looks like when all of the paper pieces were in place. Next it's time for my trusty black Bic ball point pen.

I used the pen to add in the details, lay in the shadows, giving life and form to the room. This is by far my favorite part! It took me one whole day of working to get all of the ink details laid down, maybe 8 hours total.  I put a few finishing details in this morning, and voila!

I'm very pleased with out this turned out and I'm excited to start another! These pieces will become part of the permanent collection at the museum. I feel so honored to be chosen for this project!

If you'd like me to draw/illustrate a special chair or room in your home, please give me a shout. I'd love to do some more commissions.

Have a great weekend friends. Any big plans?

Ta-Ta for now!

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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Sketchbook Project 2012 is complete!

Here are my last 4 pages of my Sketchbook Project sketchbook.

Now, all I have left is a cover design. I think I'll incorporate color into it, as the rest of the book was all done with one Bic pen. 

I really enjoyed working on this project, and am considering joining in again for the Sketchbook Project: Limited Edition. This one is limited to 5,000 artists and your work will published in the Limited Edition art book series. I like the idea of being published!

If you'd like to see my entire 2012 Sketchbook Project, check out my Flickr page.

Have a fab second half of the week. Ta-Ta!

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Out With the Old......

Happy 2012 friends! I hope that the holiday season and the first few days of the new year have been good to you. I am happy to be back home in Carbondale after 2 trips up north in as many weeks.

I spent today cleaning my house, and decided to do the same in my Etsy shoppe.  I've placed several of my older original ACEO's on sale. Most of these pieces are from my long running Floral Improv collection and feature cut magazine and ink embellishments.  Originally $20.00, these little beauties are now priced at $12.00. That's 40% off of the original price! Woo.

ACEOs (Art, Card, Edition, Originals) measure just 2.5" x 3.5" and make great gifts. Go. Buy! 

Ta-Ta for now.
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