Busy as a beaver!

After two weeks or so of not painting, I’ve been quite productive!

At first I just grabbed a canvas board – not my usual choice of support – and just messed around a bit, playing with colors and an idea. It was going to be a simple, quick painting for a weathered art swap I’m participating in. That’s where you create a piece of art and hang it outside for a week, then send it to your partner. Well, it started to turn into something that I couldn’t quite bring myself to hang outside. So I kept at it and ended up listing it in my Art Fire shop. I think it was inspired by the gorgeous weather we had on Mother’s Day. I like how bright and cheery it is and I’m still stunned at how straight that freehand wording is. LOL!

Then a few days later, I was at work checking out some pictures of cats and I stumbled across one that instantly reached out and screamed DRAW ME! It was a simple side view of a cat sitting. So I drew just a outline of the cat and it was one of those moments where everything just flowed. The lines formed themselves with almost no correction needed from me. I then made copies of the sketch, so I could doodle around and figure out what to do with this drawing and not ruin the original in the process.

First I filled in the cat silhouette with curvy lines and liked how that turned out.

Then I did a polka dot one, which was fun.

Next was a somewhat boring diagonal line one, but I figured I would create a wild background to add some spice.

Then my brain started brewing and an idea just hit me. Thank God everyone was in a meeting so I could get it down on paper! This was the result:

I loved the concept, but the flowers themselves had to change. So I did a minor edit and was much happier. I then impatiently waited for the last hour of work to end so I could rush home and paint her! And again, it was one of those times when I sat down to paint and it just flowed. No major traumas, no moments when I hated it or wanted to just give up on it. It was an awesome feeling. I tweeted the image that night while I was working on it and a co-worker saw it and just loved it. I brought it in the next day to show it off, even though I still had about 30 minutes left of work to do on it. That same co-worker saw it and bought it on the spot. LOL! Here’s a picture of the finished product.

It looks even better in person! I plan on doing a couple more like this, but in different colors. So much fun and I loved the results.

Then last night, I finally got my new photo editing software! When my other computer died a few months back, I lost the software that was on it. I’ve been using picnic.com. It’s helpful but you can only do so much. So I finally scored an earlier version of Paint Shop Pro for cheap. I’ve been dying to redo my shop banner and avatar for quite some time, so I sat down last night and after three or four hours and probably 20 different versions, I came up with the new avatar and banner!

Here they are:

I was quite happy with the results. They look so much better than the last one I did and this one actually feels “quirky” unlike the old one. It was also a good way to reacquaint myself with Paint Shop Pro, as it’s been a few years since I last used it.

Oh, and one more thing before I end this post. The agency I work for used to be an orphanage many years ago. Back when Alaska achieved statehood, they held a contest for all the schoolchildren in the state to come up with a design for the Alaska Flag. The winner, a boy by the name of Benny Benson, was residing in that orphanage at the time. Every year the agency holds a picnic in honor of the flag on Alaska Flag Day, July 9th. It is a city-wide picnic with food, games, live music and lots of fun. Every year, they also hold a contest for the students and the staff to come up with a design for that year’s t-shirt. Then at our monthly meeting, the staff votes on all the designs and a winner is chosen. I entered a design this year and I’m so happy to announce that I won! Here’s Benny the Moose:

His smiling mug will be featured on the t-shirts and hoodies available for the public to buy at the event. He’s also on much of the promotional material and the tickets. I can hardly wait to see him on the clothing. What a thrill!

I hope you all are having a wonderful day that is followed by a spectacular weekend!


mv said...

WOW WOW WOW! SO glad I came by for a visit! What a delight! I don't even know where to start with all the compliments that want to come out right now! Everything is so AWESOME and BEAUTIFUL! You are on a roll! Congrats on winning the design contest! LOVE Benny the moose, he came out perfect! Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful creations with us! <3

Julie Behm said...

Thanks mv! You are so sweet. :) It does feel good to be messing about with the paints again. Two weeks is WAY too long to not create. So many, many ideas are popping around in my noggin, I need to get them all out!

Diane said...

Hi Julie, I am a new follower!! I just found your blog and I love your style. Love your cat drawings!!
Thank you for sharing your creative talent!

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