May 31, 2009


I'm back from my vacation and will have goodies to share from my journey soon. In the meantime, here is a little something I have been working on. The goal is to have pretty little labels for my spice jars. After I individually wrote each spice name and scanned it, I saw a lot of possibility for art pieces, so keep your eyes peeled for some colorful spice collages!

May 21, 2009

Nashville • Louisville • DC

I'm headed out East to visit My Biggest Fan's family in Nashville, my own fam damily in Louisville, and to attend a dear friend's wedding in Washington D.C. It's going to be an action packed 10 days. My excitement leaked out of my pen through planner doodles. The planner that I use - and have consistently used since high school - is the August to August Calendar. There are no other planners that make me feel all warm and cozy inside.

There probably won't be any posts until I return. I bet I could post from anywhere if I had an iPhone ... stupid iPhone is so stupidly awesome.

Happy Memorial Day!

May 20, 2009

On Being an Art Major at a Liberal Arts College

University of Dayton Campus Puzzle Map  |  16" x 9.5"  |  Prismacolor on Paper  |  $280 on Etsy

Note: This story has nothing to do with the drawing; please go to the Etsy link above to read more about the piece.

When I started high school, I headed directly to the Arts table and and drooled over all of the available classes for incoming freshman.  My high school, Sacred Heart Academy, had an excellent art program called the 5-year program (the 5th year was the after school AP Painting class).  My dad didn't let me sign up.  I had to get my "important" classes out of the way.

Once Junior year rolled around, I had space in my schedule and signed up for the "first year" art class.  I rocked it.  I won every first place award at the art show at the end of the year.  Senior year was a dream come true:  I had so much room in my schedule that I took at least 8 art classes (we were on a semester system).  Life was good.

Like every other high school senior, I was trying to decide What I Want To Be When I Grow Up.  I knew I wanted to do something art related, but I hated the idea of an art school.  I pictured people with dyed black hair sitting around cafes bullshitting about religion, philosophy, and politics while smoking cigarettes and sipping espressos.  Not my scene.

Graphic Design made a lot of sense for me.  I was good with computers (self proclaimed computer nerd) AND it involved art.  I managed to get on the University of Dayton's mailing list, and I liked the sound of their Visual Communication Design program.  I could take painting, drawing, color theory, design... for SCHOOL?  Awesome.

After a year, I switched to Illustration and started to hone my style.  But most of all, I worked my ass off getting good grades in all of the liberal arts classes that were required.  I partied on the weekends and hung out with people who liked to watch movies, play foosball, make stupid jokes, and listen to good music.  I graduated Magna Cum Laude with an award for Most Outstanding Senior in Visual Communication Design, won awards for my paintings, and entered the real world feeling confident about the future.

It took a trip to the Illustration Academy three years later for me to realize the kind of competition that was out there.  Suddenly, I wasn't an artist, I was just someone who was good at drawing.  Fortunately, I learned more there in a week than I did while getting my BFA.  Since then, I have been able to apply that knowledge in every piece of artwork I have made, and I consider myself an artist through and through.

I have always wondered how things would have turned out had I signed up for the 5-year program at SHA.  Would I have gone to an "artsy-fartsy" school?  Maybe on scholarship?  Would I have received a more art-intense education, entered the world of illustration doing full page assignments for Rolling Stone right off the bat? Maybe, maybe not.  I'm not trying to be dramatic - I wouldn't trade my experience at UD for anything.  I will never forget late nights in the painting studio laughing with my girlfriends, or warm spring days sitting out on a porch drinking Milwaukee's Best Light, or lazy afternoons lounging on the "Grassy Knoll" between classes.  Maybe I didn't get an intense art education, but I got a great education and had a great time.  Period.

May 17, 2009

Lares & My Biggest Fan

First Date at Lares  |  24" x 30"  |  Acrylic on canvas  |  NFS

My first date with My Biggest Fan, Jason, was at a cute Mexican restaurant in Santa Monica called Lares.  Jason commissioned me to do a painting to commemorate the evening, and this is what I finally ended up with.  This painting went through many "starts" before I finally got into the groove.  Once again, the inspirational speech from Peter Gooch helped me power through the awkward adolescence of the painting.

More cool stuff coming soon: I'm almost finished with another painting for the beer series!  I know, it's about time.

Here are some details from the painting.  Those of you who know Jason will appreciate that I painted his Swoop with such accuracy. 

May 14, 2009

Coffee Mug and Musings on Style

10" x 8" Acrylic on Canvas, $65, available for sale here

After I put the finishing touches on Lake George at Dusk, I had mounds of paint remaining on my palette. Not being one for wasting things (especially titanium white at $13 a tube), I grabbed a canvas and just started abitrarily painting. After doing a semi-realistic painting, it felt really good to get loose and impulsive.  I ended up with a painting that couldn't be more different.

So my question is this: WHY do I have so many different styles? If you cruise through through my portfolio (conveniently browsable through my brand new website) you might presume I'm an illustration rep promoting many artists' books. No, not the case.

A snippet of my random stylings.

I have been trying to learn and push my boundaries as much as possible. The illustration style I developed in college is an interesting way to work and gives me a unique look, but it's cumbersome and requires quite a bit of planning. Ever since the Illustration Academy, I have experimented in various ways, hoping my style will just slowly emerge. Is this possible?

And is it sooooo wrong not to paint exactly the same way every time?  I think it would get boring.  Doing something different or choosing a style that suits your specific task keeps things interesting and challenging.

These are the thoughts that keep me up at night. Speaking of which, off to sleep.  Have a great weekend!

p.s. Did I mention I have a newly designed website?  I was able to snag the domain name I was meant to have from the beginning:

p.s. I choose D, brushing their teeth!

May 12, 2009

Lake George at Dusk

10" x 8" Acrylic on Gessoed Hardboard, $80, available for sale here

Silver Bay, NY is hands down my favorite place on this planet. (I haven't made it to Italy yet, so I guess this could change). This painting was done from a photograph I took looking south from Slim Point.

A little bit about this place I keep talking about: Technically, it's a YMCA conference center, but to me, it's a family vacation spot much like Dirty Dancing (or The Shining if you are there in the winter). Families return summer after summer to relax and enjoy the simple things in life. There is no cable, internet is hard to come by, and if you really need to use your cell phone, you either canoe out to the middle of the lake, drive 15 miles south, or huddle near the flagpole in the center of campus and hope for the best.* Evenings are spent catching a show at the auditorium and socializing over ice cream at The Store, and if you're feeling really wild, you'll head down to the beach or to the dock to watch the waves in the moonlight.

My grandmother, Barbara, started the Scott family tradition when she worked at Silver Bay as a teen. Eventually she and my grandfather, George, purchased a small cottage just off the main campus. Later, my father and his siblings spent their summers there, and now it's my generation's turn. There have only been a few summers I couldn't visit (damn you Kinko's for not giving me time off in the summer of '99!), but I made up for lost time by being an "Emp" (employee) three summers during college. As an Emp, you get paid well below minimum wage, are fed semi-tolerable food (we loved sandwich bar day!), and you live in condemnable dorms that smell like mold more often than not, but the work you do, the people you meet, and the place you are living more than makes up for it. Some people I worked with for only 7 weeks nine years ago are still my good friends; I'm going to one fellow Emp's wedding in just a few weeks.

You get the idea, I heart Silver Bay. I have my tickets to go back in July to introduce the place to My Biggest Fan, Jason. I sure hope he likes it as much as I do.

*it's possible that cell phone coverage has improved since my last visit in 2007, and I secretly hope it hasn't.

May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Now that I'm on this "Make your own cards" kick, that's exactly what I wanted to do for my mother's day card this year. I intended on challenging myself by using paint for my type, but I didn't want the hassle of constructing a big composition, mixing paint colors, yada yada yada.

I grabbed some cheap black paint, a cheap thin paint brush, and my generic sketch book from Michael's and started painting. The end result was pretty close to what I wanted, but I scanned it and used my mad Photoshop skills to clean it up and make it even BETTER. I made each piece ("happy", "Mother's", the tulip, etc) into its own grayscale TIF file and place it in InDesign. By selecting the placed image and applying a swatch to it, I was able to colorize it digitally.

Then I printed, folded, wrote a sappy note, and sent it off to my mama with her mother's day gift: drawings of me and my bro.

Happy Mother's Day!

May 7, 2009


When I sold my very first piece on Etsy (my little painting of downtown LA), I wanted to include a Thank You card with my shipment. I only got as far as opening a new tab in Safari when I said to myself, "Self, you are an artist. Can't you make a thank you card?" I have made holiday cards in the past, so I responded, "Self, you bet your ass I can."

I sat down that night with my watercolor pad and gouache set and dove in. Obviously I wanted to do hand lettering, because that's how I roll. I painted, got lost in the work, grabbed a photo and added a sketch, stepped back and... it was crap. CRAP! Jason, My Biggest Fan (M.B.F.), told me it was lovely (such an obedient, well-trained man) but I wanted to do something better. Fortunately, I salvaged the sketch part so it wasn't a total loss. (Notice how I deliberately cropped out the CRAP part of the painting. No, you will never see it. Maybe M.B.F. will use that part as a bookmark or something).

I set back at it. The gouache flowed through me like the fade-aways flow through Kobe. Usually I do hand lettering with whatever pen is conveniently near my hand, so the addition of bristles, water, and pigment gave me a slew of new issues.  Nevertheless it was fun, and I was happy with the outcome.  Next came the easy party: scan, layout, print. Then I thought to myself, "Self, maybe others out there would want to use this design, too. It's just so darn pretty!" So up it went to my new Etsy site, so you too can enjoy the simple, yet whimsical, design. And such a steal, too!

See the listing for the cards here.

Thanks for stopping by. See you again soon!

May 5, 2009

Katy jumping

My new studio/dining room/game room/library -->
I'm finally settling into my new apartment (last time I counted, I have moved 21 times in my short life*). My art supplies all have a nice home in the Ikea cabinet in my living room (don't want to clutter the living space). Of course, now that everything is in its right place (queue Radiohead), it's time to make a mess with it!

I grabbed some pens, my little gouche set and an awesome photo of my friend Katy jumping up in the air. The pen I used was apparently water soluble, so when I went in with washes of gouache, it started getting a bit crazy. I didn't really think this through, nor had I planned any sort of outcome, just messing around with the ol' art supplies. I do like the spontaneous energy of this little sketch, probably more for Katy's Lebron like moves than the drawing itself.

More coming soon, including a new item (or two?) for my etsy shop and my surprise mother's day projects.

* 21 times includes the moves to and from college, to and from my summer job at Silver Bay, and to and from the Illustration Academy. I know you were wondering.