I’m going to be at the studio today from 10-4. Stop in to see me at 307 S. James Street in Ludington (through the door, down the hall) and take advantage of 40% Off everything in the studio today! Originals, prints, canvas wraps, cards, stickers, and postcards!
Ever since I moved into my space at the back of 307 S. James St. I’ve been meaning to put something in the window that overlooks the office where I work. The truth is I like to take naps in there every once in a while and it makes me feel a little too exposed to lay on the floor on a yoga mat and know that anyone walking by the window can see me snoring in there. I could have just hung up a curtain but why settle for fabric when I can make something awesome instead? So naturally I decided to make some skeleton window art.
It took a little longer than I hoped and this was because I had to order more leading strips and paint colors directly from the manufacturer (Plaid Gallery Glass) and their cheapest shipping option turns out to be very slooooooooow. But oh well. I was busy doing other things, if you recall. It got delivered eventually and then the whole project was finished up quickly after that.
Step 1: Make a sketch
First I needed a design for the window. I settled on the classic Uncle Sam army recruiting poster as a starting point. Not hard to convert to a skeleton version. If anyone is interested in doing the same thing for themselves, just let me know and I’ll send you a scalable pdf file that you can use as a template.
Step 2: Convert to scalable vector art
Once I printed out the template I taped it up to the back side of the window and then started putting leading strips on the front side of the window, cementing them in place with a drop of liquid leading.
Step 3: Do the fiddly bits
I made the skull, hand, stars and lettering separately on clear plastic sleeves using the liquid leading. That’s because they were too detailed to do using the leading strips on a vertical surface. You can bend the strips into large, simple shapes but anything smaller and they don’t hold the curves. They peel off the glass when my back is turned and it’s frustrating as hell.
Step 4: Decide on a background
The next question was what to do with the background? It needed to cover the whole window, but the original Uncle Sam poster was just plain white. I wanted something kind of gothic. So I ended up using radiating stripes in purple and lilac.
Step 5: Break up the big shapes
Step 6: Fill in the rest of the color
Step 7: Enjoy my cool window art!
So this is it! This is my Uncle Skelly Wants You for the Skeleton Army window. What do you think? Pretty cool? I think so, too. And best of all, I can nap in peace!
Almost done! I still have a few little things to do before my skelly cowgirl and her trusty gator steed are finished, but she’s pretty close!
Hope you love it. I had a fine time putting this one together. Below are some of my progress shots.
As far as a title goes, I’ve decided on Forever Your Gator Girl, which I made up on my own. Usually I have a title in mind before I start a skeleton painting, so this was a little tougher but it’s all good now!
If you would like to purchase the original, contact me. Forever Your Gator Girl will be available for $500, including shipping anywhere in the continental USA. I’ll have prints and cards in my web shop next week, so stay tuned!
You may or may not know this, but I lived in Florida for ten years. I moved back to Michigan in 2016.
Florida is… different.
We had a house on the south side of Jacksonville, Florida. When we first moved there, it was early July and hotter than hell. The first thing we noticed was that there were no people outside. It felt spooky, like that scene in the Andromeda Strain where the guys in hazmat suits are walking around this little town and there’s no noise at all, no movement.
Before we left Michigan, all our friends shared their favorite horror stories about Florida. How there were snakes everywhere, giant face-sucking spiders, and millions of alligators. I spent most of our first year hiding in the house.
Eventually I stopped worrying about animals and insects. In fact, I discovered it was the human wildlife that was mostly likely to kill you and not a giant prehistoric reptile.
For instance, I found out someone was feeding raw chicken to an alligator in a retention pond around the corner from us. The pond was behind a chain link fence but if you walked too close to the edge the gator would scramble out from wherever it was hiding, looking for fresh meat.
Our time there wasn’t all dismal. I came to enjoy walking around in the preserve near our house. I saw an abundance of wildlife, including otters, javelinas, raccoons, foxes, snakes, and deer. North of town we visited the St. Johns River delta, which was flat out gorgeous. Once I walked out onto a long wooden pier into a sea of grass and felt like I was floating. There were beaches littered with driftwood and cloud-filled skies that went on for days. I loved how you could feel so small and yet so infinite at the same time.
Anyway, the background of this latest skeleton painting is inspired by some of that beautiful scenery that I used to paint when we lived there. I hope you like her. I’ll continue to post progress pictures, so stay tuned.
P.S. Any ideas for a title for this one? If I pick your suggestion I’ll send you a free print, so email me your ideas asap.
I had a booth at the Gold Coast Arts & Crafts Fair in Ludington, Michigan this past weekend and I’m in the process of putting my studio back together. Man, I made such a mess!
But it was so worth it.
First off, thanks to everyone who made it out to see me at the show. You guys rock! It makes my heart sing to see people looking at my stuff and laughing and giggling and then running back to grab their friends and relatives and bring them over so they can laugh and giggle, too. You’re my kind of people. I’m so glad we found each other.
Overheard in my booth:
“It’s not ‘inappropriate,’ it’s funny.” One young boy to his friend.
“Is it weird that I’m re-evaluating my life choices because I think this card is hilarious?” A woman holding “The Very Last Supper.”
Also, many thanks to everyone who entered my giveaway! I asked my neighbor down the hall to draw a name and the winner is (drum roll, please):
Scott, congratulations on winning the “Bone to be Wild” matted print. I’m going to be contacting you via email for a shipping address, so watch your in-box.
For everyone else, I’m extending the good deal on my skelly greeting cards for one more week (today through August 19, 2019), as a special thank you.
Buy 3 or more cards, get 33% off the total (it’ll show up in the shopping cart). Sale ends midnight on Monday, August 19, 2019.
Thanks again for coming out. You’re the best art fans ever.
I’m kind of excited.
The question that still haunts me
I am still gathering together the inventory for this show. I have never exhibited here so I don’t know quite what to expect. Should I bring mostly Old (Dead) Masters? Or skeleton couples? Skelvis? I just don’t know. I guess I’ll bring a little bit of everything and see how it goes!
I’m going to give away a large print of one of my skellies after the show. I haven’t decided which one it’s going to be or whether I’m going to let the winner choose. (Email me your opinion and possibly confuse me even more!)
To enter, just stop by my booth (Section B, space 8) and fill out a form. While you’re there you can also get on my mailing list, but that’s totally optional. You don’t have to be on my mailing list to enter the contest. (But it’d be awesome if you were.)
The important stuff
What: Gold Coast Artisan Fair
Where: Rotary Park, downtown Ludington, Michigan
When: Saturday, August 10, 10-5 and Sunday, August 11, 10-4
Come on out! Say hello! Sign up to win a skelly print! And tell all your friends!
Finally done! Yay!
This piece took a while but it was totally worth it, if I do say so. She is fabulous!
At first I wasn’t sure I wanted to tackle the entire painting by Botticelli and I thought maybe I’d just do Venus. But it was going to be awkward because she’s not really standing in the center of the shell and I’d have to cut something off so I thought, oh the hell with it, I’ll just do the whole thing.
Coincidentally, I happened to read about a method using pastel pencils to create portraits that really kind of glow so I thought I’d try it out on this particular work. Lo and behold, it ended up being awesome, but it also took a loooooooong time to do!
So apologies for making you wait so long for the latest in my Old (Dead) Masters series, but wasn’t it worth it? I think so!
Again, thanks for your patience! Enjoy the sale!
Click to go to the Skelly on the Half Shell page in my shop!
I’m just getting started!
Still have to get some lights, too, but maybe Steve will let me use some of his. Here’s what he’s up to, the mad man.
What are you doing for Christmas decorations this year?
Featuring six of my most popular skelly dancers, dressed for the holiday season and ready to spread skeleton cheer! Each box has six different skelly dancers in it, envelopes included. Go get yours! They’re on sale this week for $9 per 6 cards, includes shipping!