Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy holidays!

I would like to thank each of you for following the blog this past year and to wish you a happy holiday season.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Cornucopia of Things

©2011 Russ Cox | Smiling Otis Studio

It has been a few weeks since my last post. Where does the tine go? I have had my nose to the grindstone this whole time. I just finished up some things for a large video game company. During this time, I was approached by another game company to develop a central character for a concept they are working on for an early 2012 launch. After several attempts, this design is what I came up with for the main character. I cannot reveal much info about him but I can tell you that this design was not picked. I do like him and so did the company. Apparently they had several illustrators working on concepts. I can post this image since I own the copyrights to him.

Recently I have also been doing some figurative work in the evenings.  Every couple of weeks I gt together with some area artist for a Tuesday night drawing club. This inspired me to do this drawing of a friend of ours who was pregnant at the time of me shooting reference photos. After 4 attempts, I finally got the proportions fairly accurate so I could render the drawing. I spent about 20 hours on it but could have easily spent more time. This is going to be a surprise Christmas gift for her.  I also did this little nude a few weeks ago which I like. It was from a photo but a good exercise.

Major Manners is almost wrapped up. I only have few more spreads to do. The publisher has been wonderful to work along side and I hope this is the start of many more books.

The past month I have sent out 400 postcards to various publishers and art directors. After the holidays, I want to mail another 200 or so. Also I need to start writing down some story ideas and begin cultivating them into a book form. It would be nice to have a dummy together for the SCBWI Winter Conference but that might be a bit ambitious. First things first, a well developed story.

I picked up a client from Africa recently and we are developing some animal characters for a card game. She is also talking about a possible book. 

November and December have been very mild here in Maine. So mild, that today we put a new bay window into our house. It really will be warm and cozy when the snow and wind come to town for the holidays and winter months. Maybe I should go build a fire this evening and enjoy the view.

"I talk as I sketch, too, in order to keep their minds off what I'm doing so I'll get the most natural expression I can from them. Also, the talking helps to size up the subject's personality, so I can figure out better how to portray him." ~ Norman Rockwell

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Holiday Spirit

© 2011 Russ Cox | Smiling Otis Studio

As the holiday is upon us, I thought it was time to do a special illustration to get me into the holiday spirit. Of course, I wanted some humor in the piece so with paper in hand, this is what materialized. The idea behind it is the little boy getting a "special gift" he dreamt of the past year. The big questions are how did Santa get him into the small box and did the boy eat his Wheaties that morning in order to lift him. I think each of us would love to get a monster as gift. Well, if he/she was a nice one.
The entire illustration was created in Photoshop. After scanning in the sketch, I added a gray tone to the drawing in order to establish a light source which came from the top left. This allowed the boy's face to stand out.

I then duplicated the gray layer and used the saturation tool to change the tone to a color. The layer was made to "multiply" the previous layer which gave me a dark base to work the final color.

The next step in process was to block-in the color. I wanted the boy's pajamas to be a cool color against the warm tone of the monster. 

I continued to block in the color with the boy's face and the other features on the monster. 
This is the  final result. Keeping the cool colors mostly on the boy allowed him to stand out against the warm tones of the other parts of the illustration. Final touches were a wisps of hair, lines on the arms and legs of the monster, details on the box, and the highlights. i pulled a few dark blues into the shadows of the other components to pull everything together. The drop shadows need a touch of purple to add some pop.

After completing the piece, I realized that many of my pieces of late have been vignettes so I need to do a series of illustrations that have environments or situations. I like the direction the illustrations are heading by working in Photoshop so time to keep pushing forward.

Last weekend I wend to a workshop in New Hampshire sponsored by NESCBWI. Guest speakers were Sally Mavor who spent 5 years working on the illustrations for Pocketful of Posies. To see her fabric work up close was simply amazing. She hands stitch every piece. There was a giveaway so I won a signed book from her. Jennifer Morris and Carlyn Beccia did a digital workshop where they shared their tricks and tips. Carol Goldenberg shared her process of designing a children's book. Casey Girard and Anna Boll did a wonderful job putting the event together so a big THANK YOU to each of them.

Time to enjoy the weekend so I will leave you with this quote:
"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." ~ Walt Disney

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

It's Been A Long Time

© 2011 Russ Cox | Smiling Otis Studio

I just realized that it has been 3 weeks since I last posted on my blog. Where did the time go? It really has gotten away from me lately. There is so much going on here in the merry land of Otis. Some things I can tell you about and others are under wraps for now. I don't want to let the cat out of the bag too early but 2012 could be a very exciting year.

First things first, I just did a new promo postcard that will be sent to various reps/agents, publishers, agencies, game developers, etc. The Pinocchio piece turned out quite well so I thought it would be a good sample and lead off for the second style I have been working on as of late. I have fallen in love with Photoshop! It is letting me get a traditional feel with this style. I have not abandoned Painter but Photoshop just has a familiar feel to it since I worked in Illustrator for many years. If you would like a postcard, send me an email to 100 of them just went out the door so fingers are crossed for a response.

Major Manners is moving forward pretty quickly now. All sketches have been approved so I have been working on the final art. The book should be out early next year. Molly Kite is also moving along and should be hitting the store shelves very soon. There are some big plans for both books but I must keep things under wrap for now.

I have been getting a lot of inquiries from self publishers these past two weeks. The advertising is really paying off as my name seems to be getting out there a bit more. Hopefully a more publishers will be calling. I am really enjoying venturing into picture books at this point of my career.

In January, I will be heading to New York for the winter SCBWI conference. Fred Koehler, Ward Jenkins (Chicks Run Wild), and I will be sharing a room. That should be interesting and a great time. I am looking forward to seeing many friends, old and new plus learning some things. Maybe you can teach an old dog a new trick.

This past weekend, I organized a figure drawing workshop with Isaac Peleko. He is a New York based artist that I knew from my PCA&D teaching days. We had 16 area artist take the workshop and I think each of us learned quite a bit from him. He is coming back to Maine in the spring aka Mud Season to teach a portraiture class.

On a personal note, my wife and I had a Halloween party. We have been talking about it for years but finally said "Enough talk, lets do it!" We had about 40 people in our little house. Everyone was dressed in wonderful, fun costumes. I was dressed as the tooth fairy and my wife one of my victims (see above photo). There was a ton of food. We provided a pulled pork and bar-b-que dish that we made look like a leg that a zombie was chewing on (see above). Everyone was telling us that this will be an annual event so we better start planning for next year!

The weather is rapidly changing up here in Maine even though today was a beautiful 60 degrees. Everyone is prepping for winter which is right around the corner. I hope it holds this weekend so I can button down the outside. 

Until next time (hopefully it will not be 3 weeks!), I leave you with this:
"I learned to draw everything except glamorous women. No matter how much I tried to make them look sexy, they always ended up looking silly... or like somebody's mother." ~ Norman Rockwell

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Different Take On A Classic

© 2011 Russ Cox | Smiling Otis Studio

Sorry for the lag in between post. I have been quite busy with various projects plus working on a new promo piece which is what you see above. A few weeks ago I was down with a bug. During the day, the urge to sketch was more powerful than the flu so out came the pencil and paper. The idea of doing something different with Pinocchio has been swirling in my head for a month or so. I wondered what would Pinocchio look like if kids had built him. Without any real direction, I begin sketching and out popped the basic idea for an illustration. I added and revised a few things in the final than what is in the sketch. To tie in the "modern" version with the classic story, a cricket was added above his radar ear. I was quite happy with the final art and will be using it on my next postcard mailing.

Major Manners is still moving forward. All of the pages have been sketched and are at the publisher for review. Once they come back it will sleeves rolled up and some late nights.

Still waiting on word on the status of Molly Kite. The publisher has everything so now Tam (the author) and I are in a holding pattern.

My website has some new images and animations added to it so if you get a free moment, give it a gander. 

Our daughter and two of her friends are coming up for a three day visit this weekend. My wife and I are looking forward to seeing her. The five of us will be heading to Portland for "Harvest on the Harbor".  It would be a perfect weekend if our son could be here as well. But someone has to deliver the goods across the country. No rest for the weary so is the life of a truck driver. We are happy to see him doing something he loves. Plus he gets to see parts of the country that very few get to visit. 

My wife and I are putting together a Halloween party for friends in a few weeks so our evenings have been filled with prepping for it. Our little house is going to be packed with all kinds of costumed characters.

Until next time.

"To create one's own world in any of the arts takes courage." ~ Georgia O'Keeffe

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Major Comes to Life

© 2011 Russ Cox | Smiling Otis Studio

With summer coming to a close and fall pushing its way into Maine, the cooler weather makes me want to hunker down in my studio. Progress is being made with Major Manners. We just completed a sample spread and cover. The decision was made to do the tub scene since it has many elements and would be good to get the color of the characters dialed in. I was thinking of doing the illustrations in pencil and Photoshop but felt more comfortable in doing this book in Illustrator. I did not want outlines to weigh down the characters and elements so they have been kept to a minimum. Lately I have been using the bristle brushes in Illustrator a bit more so it gives the illustrations a more hand painted feel. The publisher is very happy with the look and style so we are moving to the remaining pages.

While working on the Major, two other books have come in. They will be self published but will be a lot of fun to do. I know some people shy away from self publishing but I think it is a good way to get your name out there and gain valuable experience. They will only help with ones ability to tell a story a visually and work with the text.

Speaking of self publishing, Molly Kite is at the publisher and should be out nationally very soon. Other books are in the works as well as some possible cool merchandising items. Stay tuned!

© 2011 Russ Cox | Smiling Otis Studio

My experimentation in Photoshop continunes. I am really liking how I can get a traditional look and letting my sketches show through the coloring. The above piece was done for a Pixel Shavings promo that we are sending out very soon. The idea just "popped" into my head so I quickly sketched it out and added color. I want this look to be looser and less labored looking than my Illustrator pieces. It still needs development but it is getting there. After I get a few more pieces completed, it will be time to do a new post card.

Since I have all of these book projects coming in, it has made me want to get back to my own book. I really need to spend some time fleshing out the story. It has been in the back of my mind lately and it is time I really get it written. Who knows where it will go or if it will turn out but you never know until you try.

My wife and I had a wonderful time Boston for our anniversary. We spent a day at the Fine Arts Museum where I got to see some John Singer Sargent's paintings up close. I could have spent the day just looking at his artwork. Just beautiful! The two of us went to see Wilco and Nick Lowe at the Wang. A must see tour! Boston is such a clean city. That really amazed, especially for its size. We will definitely go back.

It is time to head out the door and make play some banjo with two musician friends.

"The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance." ~ Aristotle

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Animals Gone Wild

Fall has arrived early here in Maine with crisp, cool nights and a slight chill in the air during the day. The leaves are turning and have begun to fall. There is something about this time of year that I absolutely love and really gets my creative juices flowing. Of course we know that winter is right around the corner so the few weeks and weekends we have of outside weather is spent prepping for the cold and snow. Another season that I truly love.

© 2011 Kids Crooked House | Russ Cox

These past few weeks have been a blur work wise. I just completed a project for Kids Crooked House in which I got to create animal characters for each letter of the alphabet. Here are a few of my favorites that we did together. Working with them is pure pleasure and great loads of fun. Can you guess the characters? Hint: they have two words in the name and each begin with the same letter.

Major Manners is coming along quite nicely. The publisher is very happy with the sketches to date. I will be working on a full color cover and a spread so they can begin promoting the book. There are already talks of additional books. Molly Kite is at the publisher now but I am not sure of when the book will be hitting the bookstores but I do know it will be this fall. The other two books in the series will begin sometime early next year.

My lovely wife and I are celebrating our 23rd anniversary together by heading to Boston for a few days. We want to go to the Boston Museum of Art while there. I really want to see the John Singer Sargent exhibit. We are also going to see Wilco and Nick Lowe which the two of us are looking to seeing.

"One must from time to time attempt things that are beyond one's capacity." ~ Auguste Renoir

Monday, September 5, 2011


© 2011 Russ Cox | Smiling Otis Studio

Lately, I have been playing around with Photoshop to develop a second look or style. It seems to be coming together as I get a handle on the software. I am trying to get a color pencil look to my digital illustrations that I am developing on Photoshop. Illustrator is still my main tool but I feel the need to branch out beyond its limits. The banjo pig was actually done for a website called "Banjo Pigs". I felt it would be a good starting point. The entire pieces was built in layers, working from dark to light. The highlights were the last to be placed. The real goal with this piece was to keep the color fresh, bright, and lively while keeping the sketch visible. I still have a ways to go but the plan is to do a new piece every two weeks. Hopefully by January, I can start promoting this second style as I head to the New York SCBWI conference.

Keeping very busy as Major Manners is being developed. The initial reaction to the sketches and characters have been very positive. We have moved on to a spread and cover which I will finish up soon so they can start promoting the book. I also am talking with a couple of other people about illustrating their books. Plus I have a large character project in here as well. I am so grateful for all of the work.

In my spare time, I am setting up a figure drawing workshop with Isaac Pelepko. Isaac will be coming up to Maine for two days in November to lecture and demonstrate rending the human form. It seems as if the artistic community are equally as excited because the workshop is almost full. If you are not familiar with his work, you can view his website.

I should call it a posting and enjoy the rest of Labor Day so until next time.

"I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way-things I had no words for." ~ Georgia O'Keeffe

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Development of a character

© 2011 Outhouse Ink Publishing and Russ Cox | Smiling Otis Studio

For this post, I thought I would share a character that is in development for a children's book. The book is called Major Manners from Outhouse Ink Publishing. I know most people will not show anything until the project is completed but they want me to post things as it progresses. All the images are copyrighted including the story.

The overall concept is that the main character teaches children to do basic things like brush their teeth before bed, cleanup their room, etc. Major Manners is a big rugged military looking, but very friendly guy who has a real soft spot for children. We started off by doing a series of head studies to find a direction. After previewing the samples to many people for feedback, a head study was selected. From there, I did a full body sketch

© 2011 Outhouse Ink Publishing and Russ Cox | Smiling Otis Studio

After a few tweaks to the body we moved onto doing some various facial expressions to see how the character will work in the various moods. I tried to keep that in mind as I design a character, especially for a book. One must think like a director (thanks Sheri) when developing the visuals for a story.

© 2011 Outhouse Ink Publishing and Russ Cox | Smiling Otis Studio

We are now working on a sample spread and cover design so the promotions can begin. Most of the work from here on in will be kept secret until the book is published. I can you that it has been a lot of fun so far and I am excited for the finish book. There are already talks of more books so fingers crossed.

© 2011 Outhouse Ink Publishing and Russ Cox | Smiling Otis Studio

Speaking of more books, I just learned a few weeks ago that Molly Kite's Big Dream has been picked up by a publisher and will be available nationally in the next few months. They have also ordered two more books so it will be a very busy next few months. Stay tuned for more details!

With all of these books projects, I am hoping that some more doors open up in the publishing world and maybe find a rep by early next year. I also need to get back to my story that is in development. As I work on other things, I keep working and reworking it in my head. It is soon time to get some of the changes back onto paper and get some feedback. Once the story is to my liking, I will then create a dummy which will be used for submitting to agents and publishers. But first, the story needs to work.

"Practise what you know, and it will help to make clear what now you do not know." ~ Rembrandt

Friday, August 5, 2011

Bad Hair Day - A New Profile Image

©2011 Russ Cox | Smiling Otis Studio

A quick post for this week. I figure it was time to update my profile image so I did a quick sketch last week and came up with "Bad Hair Day". I was not happy with the original gremlins so I redid them which where then dropped into place in Photoshop. Once they were placed, I then painted the image in Photoshop this afternoon with custom brushes that I had created. The main goal was to treat it like a traditional painting so there was an underpainting. The colors were built up in layers from dark to light with the highlights the last thing I added. The overall color stayed bright so I did not have to tweak the hue and saturation. The other goal was to let the original sketch show through which helps keep the image loose.

"Painting is just another way of keeping a diary" ~ Pablo Picasso

Friday, July 29, 2011

Some Artwork From Monhegan

© 2011 Russ Cox | Smiling Otis Studio

Another week has come and gone with July almost over. Next month we will begin prepping for fall and winter here in Maine. The above images are sketches and plein air paintings I did while on Monhegan Island. I had another sketch but another artist liked it so much they asked if they could have it. I was flattered so I gave it to her. The first of the two sketches was done at Squeaker Cove. It was our first full day there. It was beautiful with the waves crashing onto the rocks. I decided to do a rock study which i was happy with the outcome. The first painting I did was in the Cathedral Forest. It was my second attempt as my first painting fell onto the ground so it had to be wiped clean. Maybe that was a good sign. This was the first oil painting I have done in years. At first I could not remember what to do so i decided to just smear some color onto the canvas. I was fairly happy with the painting. The colors pop more in real life. I did some other paintings but was not happy with the results. One can only paint trees, water, and rocks for so long. I was watching these chickens and a rooster so I took some quick reference photos with my iPhone. The next day I worked on the chicken painting for a couple of hours. This is the result of my efforts. I finished up the faces once I returned home but could not scan it since the paint is still wet. The last sketch was done on the final fay on the island. It was done at Pebble Beach. Yeah, I know, it is a rock and water sketch. Sometimes the place decides what you will draw or paint. Hopefully I will get to go back next year. This trip has really given me the oil painting bug.

The past few weeks have been extremely busy. I finished up one book and have begun a second one. I am really excited about this one. It will be a ton of fun. While I have begun this one, there might be another from the same publisher coming in. Fingers crossed. I also finished up an animation project with a second one waiting in the wings. The animation work ebb and flows. With all these projects I get to design a poster from some dear friends in Lancaster, 26 characters for some playing cards, various logos, and trying to do some additional Photoshop illustrated for myself. Busy, busy, busy! You will not hear me complain. Hopefully everyone is just as busy or busier.

With everything going on, my story concept has taken a backseat. I am still sorting it out mentally and hope to get it mocked up soon.
©2011 Pixel Shavings

The illustrators group I belong to just put out some bookmarks. If you would like one, send me an email and I will get some out to you.

"Every time I paint a portrait, I lose a friend." ~ John Singer Sargent

Monday, July 18, 2011

Returning From Paradise

©2011 Russ Cox|Smiling Otis Studio

I am back after a week away on Monhegan Island which is off the coast of Maine. I went with a group of 20 area fine artist for a week of drawing, painting, eating, drinking, and music (I brought my banjo). It was such a fun trip and much needed. I did not know most of the people who went but with a group of artist, it is very easy to fit in and in a short time. A majority of the group go to the island every year so I was lucky enough to be asked to join them. The island is less than a mile wide and two miles long so we did a lot of exploring. They have many trails so it is easy to maneuver from one spot to the other. It seems like after every turn, you saw something new and jawdropping. From the Cathedral Forest to Lobster Cove to the cliffs of Squeaker Cove and the rocks of Pebble Beach, each step was breathtaking. Everyday was spent drawing and/or painting with a critique in the evenings. I will post some of the pieces I did once the oil dries a bit. I have not painted traditionally in years so I was a bit perplexed on how to paint. It finally cam back after much trail and error.

During our stay, everyone was a assigned a meal to cook with each person taking turns for cleanup which usually had a song and dance involved. Laughter and music filled the air afterwards with the evening ending in some card game. The days were warm but the ocean breeze keep us cool in the evenings. Only 40 people live on the island during the winter but a majority are artist. We also went to the many galleries and studios. There was one artist who I really loved how she painted. Alison Hill does landscapes and figurative paintings. We chatted about her artwork and I asked if she did any workshops. I would be willing to go back for a week of painting and island life. It was very hard to leave and come back to reality. I think all of us "newbies" are going to rent a place next year so we can join the core group for another week of merriment. For now, I need some rest.

“You can't do sketches enough. Sketch everything and keep your curiosity fresh.” ~ John Singer Sargent

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Playing with Photoshop

Hello everyone! I hope each of you had a wonderful 4th of July weekend. We did not do too much. My wife and I mostly worked over the weekend. I did manage to get to a cookout on Sunday which was lovely.

Since I worked all weekend, I decided to play around this morning and do something for myself. After watching Will Terry's Photoshop painting tutorial several times, I thought it would be a good time to try out Photoshop for painting. The alligator image was a quick doodle that I did this morning. What I am trying to do now is develop a more traditional look but still work digitally. Not that I am abandoning Illustrator which I still love, I feel like I need to grow as an illustrator and branch out. I was happy with the way the gator turned out. Especially since I only spent around 3 hours on it. There are some things I do not like such as the thermometer which I may do again. The idea of keeping the original sketch in place forced me to keep the overall look loose. Next time I will probably do a bit tighter sketch so the pencil work is a tad cleaner.

I got one of the two book projects that I bid on a few weeks ago. I am very excited about working on the book since I will have a lot of creative freedom. Hopefully this will lead to a series and a long lasting relationship with the publisher. Speaking of publishers, looks like Molly Kite did get picked up by one so the details are being worked out now. That is all I can report on that for now.

Next week I am heading out with a group of area artist to Monhegan Island to paint and draw. There will be around 20 of us for the week sharing two houses, cooking and cleaning, plus many bottles of wine. I have never done something like this but know it will be a valuable experience. My darling wife encouraged me to go and have a good time. Got love a partner like that!

Once I return from my vacation, I hope to go back posting weekly. It is hard to do during the summer. Especially here in Maine since we have only a small stretch of it before we are prepping for winter.

Until next time, I leave you with this:
"To become truly immortal, a work of art must escape all human limits: logic and common sense will only interfere. But once these barriers are broken, it will enter the realms of childhood visions and dreams." ~ Giorgio de Chirico

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A few steps forward and a tumble backwards

Hello everyone,

It has been a few weeks sine I have posted anything. I am in the middle of illustrating a children's book which has consumed most of my time. Plus I have an animation in the works as well. So it has been long days and some weekends. While this is going on, I have been contacted to possibly do two more books. One is a self published story that is quite charming and the other is with a small startup publisher. I read the story for the publisher and it sounds like a ton of fun! Both contacts really like my work so my fingers are crossed that at least one comes through, if not both. So things continue to move forward.

Now for the tumble backwards. On Thursday I was using the weed whacker around a bush when a rock was kicked up and hit me the eye. Only seconds before, I was thinking, "I should put on my sunglasses." Of course I did listen so I paid the price. I had to go to the eye doctor yesterday who told me I have a bruised cornea but was very lucky I did not loose an eye. I know one thing, I will always have some form of eye protection from here on in. Live and learn.

Last Saturday was spent with my figure drawing group. We hired a model, Michelle, for the day. She was outstanding! It was a great break from the past few weeks and just draw for myself. There were lots of excellent drawings so I may start a blog or website just for the group so we can post our progress. I was also thinking about a possible gallery show but need to research that a bit more. I was hoping to have something to share but the drawings are fairly large and will not fit onto my scanner.

This evening my wife and I are off to spend time with friends as they have their annual Sumer Solstice Bon Fire. It will be nice to get out of the house for a few hours. Of course I will have to wear sunglasses tonight due to my eyes being sensitive. I know that many of you have the Corey Hart song running through your heads right about now.

"Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things." ~ Edgar Degas

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Busy, busy, busy!

I hope everyone is enjoying their 3 day weekend. Since it looks like rain today, I plan on spending the day relaxing on the couch. Maybe I will do some sketching to get a head start on the week. My wife and I spent all day Saturday cleaning out our basement. We still had unpacked boxes from our move to Maine 3 years ago. It always feels good to get a major accomplishment done around the house.

©2011 Scott Pet|Smiling Otis Studio

Things are a bit hectic in the merry land of Otis. Last week was spent working on an animation for Scott Pet. They will be using the Flash animation on their new website. I cannot post the final animation just yet but here are some of the images that was used. I posted a sample of their character and the storyboard with the final artwork. The total animation last around 12 seconds. It was good to dust off the Flash cobwebs. I have second animated piece in the works for another client but it is still early in the storyboard stage.

While at the NESCBWI conference a few weekends ago, I received a phone call about illustrating a children's book. The call was from the author who really liked my work. She is working with a small publisher who gave her the go ahead and find an illustrator. The author is a very lovely person and I think we will work well together. I cannot give out any details on the book due to signing a NDA but hopefully can post things once the book is published. The real kicker is the deadline for all of the illustrations is at the end of July. Plus I have a vacation in there, YIKES! These next two months are going to be very busy so if my post are few and far between, I apologize. I will at least try to give a quick update.

I did some character develop this past week as well for a website. The client was very happy with the character I created and has more work for me. The "In" pile keeps growing which is a good thing and I will not complain. Especially since many in the field and in general are not working at all.

Last weekend I moved my office into another section of the house. I now have more sunlight, room, and air circulation. It feels good not to be so crowded even though there is something comforting and cozy about a small work area. I would like to get my easel in the new space but it might be too much. I still have a few things to move over but am in no rush at the moment since they are stored in the closet.

Well that is it for this week. I hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day but try to remember and thank those who allow us to be free and feel protected.

"There is no must in art because art is free." ~ Wassily Kandinsky

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