Thursday, December 31, 2015

MOVING SITES! New Blog - Go Direct to

Hello and Happy New Year! 

I am working on consolidating my sites and have created a new blog! All of my old posts will be there, but you can now access my blog and website all at:

Please come on over and take a look! The site is on WordPress so you can follow the blog and keep up to date on new posts from there.

Have a great and creative 2016! Hope to see you over there!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

My first video! Getting Started Drawing - Dahlia, Part I

So I recently discovered a little time-lapse video option on my phone. I thought this would be a great opportunity to start a series of short, instructional videos showing how I approach different subjects.

I have been observing a beautiful dahlia blooming in a local flowerbed and thought that would be a great place to start.

I recorded myself beginning to sketch this gorgeous blossom. I am working from a reference photo, which although not ideal for botanical subjects, is a great place to start, particularly if you are intimidated by the whole process or just beginning! It doesn't wilt or die and you can focus on the shapes, proportions and training your eye and hand to render on the page.

Check out the video and let me know what you think! I am sure my video editing skills need some work, but one has to start somewhere! I plan to continue creating short videos of my process as I work on this dahlia blossom drawing, so stay tuned.


Friday, September 4, 2015

Studio Update

Things have been ramping up here at CCreech Studio! The kids are back to school and my time is opening up a bit more.

As you saw from a previous post, I have been working to add more mini journals to the Etsy shop. I had a chance to get some new colors of scrap leather this week, so the process continues! Keep an eye out for more, including these in a landscape orientation:

In addition to journals, I have been getting back to my fabric designs on Spoonflower! A recent contest there on botanical sketchbook designs started the creative wheels rolling. Having just completed an international sketchbook exchange earlier this year, I had plenty of material to inspire new designs. I have created a number of botanical designs as well as some coordinates.

I am currently waiting to proof 15 of these new designs to make sure they print up properly. Once those are ready and approved, they will be available for sale as fabric, wallpaper and gift wrap. Here is a sneak peek of six:

Another collection will include designs and coordinates based on my red poppies drawing. Some of these will be for sale in this round of proofs while others will be proofed at a later date. 

And finally, I have a collection based on my small-mouth salamander drawing in various shades of blues and grays. These have yet to be proofed, but I love how they are coming together!

These designs would be fantastic for various home decorating projects, but also for scarves or other accent pieces. Spoonflower just recently brought back their Poly Crepe de Chine fabric, which works really well for scarves and more. Also, keep these in mind for gift wrapping for the upcoming holiday season! 

If you don't see something for sale or have a question about scale, just ask! I am happy to work with you to refine a design to a different scale and get it proofed and ready to order.

I will continue to work on and refine fabric designs, but will also be starting another round of the international sketchbook exchange so stay tuned for new drawings, new items in the shops and new designs! 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Mini Journals are Back! 4 new just added to shop...

I have added four new mini journals to my Etsy shop! 

I love portable little leather journals. They travel well, keeping any notes or drawings nicely protected, and make wonderful and affordable unique gifts.

I have been wanting to add more to the shop for some time. I finally had a chance to work on these over the weekend and love how they have turned out!

The structure is simple, but solid. These journals are approximately 3.5" x 3.25" (nearly square) and contain three, hand-sewn signatures of 70lb, acid-free, blank Strathmore drawing paper for a total of 96 pages in each.
 Bee Charm Mini Journal

For a finishing touch, I added a charm to the front of each journal. This gives them a little personality and makes for great gift-giving for you or someone special.
  Camel Charm Mini Journal    
 Starfish Charm Mini Journal (SOLD!)

I will be adding more like this, and in other color leather as well, so stay tuned for updates!


Mum Flower Charm Mini Journal

Saturday, August 22, 2015

New Nature-Inspired Fabric/Wallpaper/Gift Wrap Designs!

After relocating homes this summer, I am finally getting back to work on my other creative outlets, including my Spoonflower fabric!  Designs are also available as wallpaper and gift wrap.

I am working on a number of new designs based on my sketchbook exchange drawings. These would be fantastic for a number of projects including tea towels, pillows, bags, and more.

Here is a preview of a some of my favorites:
 African Daisies on Olive
 Small-Mouth Salamander

You can keep an eye on new designs by heading to my Spoonflower page, going to the left-hand side menu and choosing Designs not for sale to see the latest. I have to proof designs by ordering a swatch before they are released for sale, so please let me know if you see anything that you like!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Weed or not? Good sketching, either way!

So I have been posting mostly finished drawings lately, but I want to remind folks where it usually starts - sketching!

With a recent move to a new house and summertime activities with kids at home, my drawing time has been limited. But even if there is no major project or deadline looming, it is easy to find a few minutes (maybe 20 or 30?) to do a quick study or sketch of something that inspires you.

Yesterday evening, after a walk to the park with my older daughter, I wandered around our new yard for a few minutes, pulling weeds here and there. One plant with very broad, green leaves had popped up by itself in the muddy patch of the yard where some utility work had been done last winter.

Deciding that it must be a weed, I pulled it out. I was surprised, however, to see a long tap root emerge rather than a clump of weedy roots. Pale yellow/orange, the root smelled a bit like a vegetable, furthering the mystery. The stem of the plant was a deep purple red towards the root, fading into green towards the top of the leaves.

Whatever it is, I was intrigued and decided to grab some good paper and my pencils and start a little study. I wanted to do it life size to better document my puzzling find. This is a 12x18 inch sheet of Fabriano Artistico 140 lb hot press watercolor paper.

I added a bit of shading here and there and a few notes about the plant and that was it! Very satisfying to have some time to observe and document what, to me, is a mystery plant.

It can be easy to forget how important sketching and quick studies are, but they are a great opportunity to keep drawing on a regular basis and also to have a visual record of plants and other finds. These can be used at a later date to inform finished pieces. So whether you have a regular sketchbook or just some sheets of drawing paper to use when you get inspired, grab those pencils or pens and get started!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Etsy Shop Update -- Need your help!

I am making plans to update my inventory in the CCreech Studio Etsy shop and need your help! 

What do you want to see there? More artwork? More bracelets or earrings? Certain stones? Or, less of something? Let me know what you think! 

Check out my current offerings here:

Comment with your suggestions and receive a surprise discount coupon code to use on anything in the shop as a thank you!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sketchbook Exchange - Drawings #6 and #7 and my own book back!

It has been a busy time! I last posted in March and we are now to mid-July! In those four months, I  have completed the final two drawings for the sketchbook exchange project that I have been a part of for the past year.

I also moved houses and went on vacation, so I was thrilled, upon my return, to find my own sketchbook back from its last stop in Singapore, filled with amazing artwork from around the world!

Here is a peek at some pictures of the gorgeous pieces that fill my sketchbook from seven amazing artists. From left to right (starting in the top left corner): Linda Trella, Giulia Canevari, Elaine Moore Mackey, Beryl Prout (two pages), Mischa (two pages), Sevil Medhi, and Teo Nam Siang.

Previous to getting my own book back, I finished up drawings for Giulia's and Linda's books.

For Guilia's, I did some ink and colored pencil drawings of the beautiful chive blossoms that were popping up in my old garden. I also found some neat seed hyacinth seed pods to round out the other page (graphite, ink and ink/colored pencil.) I was anxious to get this mailed out before our move and was glad to get it finished.

Linda's book was carefully packed in my bag so I wouldn't lose it. Once we were settled in a bit at the new place, I was able to do some drawings of iris buds that I had from my old garden and then found the perfect finishing touch at the new place once my hostas started blooming. I used ink and colored pencil on the hostas, colored pencil alone on the one iris bud and graphite alone on the other iris bud. Happily, I was able to mail this out to Linda before vacation.

A modified group of us (depending on availability, etc.) plan to continue the exchange for a second round starting in August, so stay tuned!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sketchbook Exchange Update - Drawing #6!

Over the holidays, I saw a beautiful helleborus plant and decided to bring it home. Despite being called the Christmas Rose or Lenten Rose, hellebores are not closely related to the rose family. Instead, they are an evergreen perennial flowering plant in the family Ranunculaceae.

This particular plant had beautiful, creamy white blossoms with a tight cluster of stamens in the center that open up as the bud flowers. With thick stems that have a red/brown markings and large, serrated leaves, they make a striking addition to the table. I thought it would make a great subject for my next sketchbook entry.

I started with some rough graphite sketches to get a sense of the shapes of both open petals and buds. I did a little bit of sketching of the leaves as well. The biggest challenge, though, was the center of each blossom with up to 150 stamen surrounding the pistil.

I took many reference photos, especially close-ups of the open blossoms. This proved fortuitous as I inadvertently over-watered my beautiful plant and it did not survive! So, between my sketches and photos, I was able to create this sketchbook entry:

I still love the combination of ink and colored pencil, so I went over my initial pencil sketches with a 3x0 (.25) technical pen, adding some details here and there. Then I also used my Faber-Castell Polychromos colored pencils to add color to the page on the left. I think the page turned out well.

I am currently looking for a subject for the sketchbook that I have on my desk. Wish me luck!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sketchbook Exchange Update - Drawing #5!

It has been quite a while since I have last posted! The fall season leading into the holidays became quite busy and next thing you know, we are here in February!

Just before things ramped up in late fall, I did finish drawing #5 for the sketchbook exchange. I was not sure what to draw since plant life outside was disappearing due to colder weather. Happily, one cool, rainy fall day, my older daughter spotted a very rare find right in our driveway! We had arrived home after school and the kids ran outside for a few minutes to play in the rain. My daughter came in to tell me she found a lizard. I really thought she must be mistaken, but followed outside to take a closer look. What I thought was a clump of wet leaves was actually a salamander!

It was very patient (trying to hide, no doubt, by staying still) while we looked at it for nearly 10 minutes. I took a number of reference photos with my cell phone so we could look it up later. Finally, it scurried up the driveway and burrowed down into the mulch of our flower bed.

We went back inside, and I started to do some research based on the markings it had. It was about 6-7 inches long, dark gray in color with white/light gray markings along the side. What I thought was a rare enough find (first salamander we had seen in our yard in 7 years) was even more rare - this was a small-mouthed salamander (Ambystoma texanum), which is endangered here in Michigan!

Needless to say, I decided that I *had* to draw this for the sketchbook! With the color, I debated doing this just in graphite, but finally decided to choose a range of colored pencils, including cold grey I, V and VI as well as some dark indigo for a little more depth in the darker areas (all Faber-Castell Polychromos.)

Since it took me a while to find something I wanted to draw, I was a bit behind in shipping this out to the next participant. I had wanted to include some autumn leaves, but didn't have time to draw them properly. Then I remembered some leaves I had drawn last year. I dug around and found the ones I wanted and cut them out to include on the opposite page from the salamander. Done!

I love the challenge that each sketchbook presents, depending on what season it is when it arrives, what my personal schedule will allow, what inspires me. I really enjoy that moment when I find something that speaks to me and compels me to just open the book and get started! Art in action :)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...