Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sunday Helpers

This will be quick today. These are the art helpers...Glycerin is the calico...

Jake is the tuxedo cat with the LOOOOONNNNNGGGG monkey tail sun-bathing with Glycerin...

...and Elwood is the second "monkey-cat" displaying just a little attitude. He is, believe it or not from this photograph, the comedian of the group.

That's "mom" and her adopted boys, growing up as all things do and still as naughty as ever. Jake is now into stealing paint brushes off of the studio table and running as fast as he can with them--lovely!!
Happy creating and enjoy your Sunday.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Sun Bathing

Sneak peak. They don't look like much in the clay state, but here are three of the heads...the 2 cat heads are Jake and Elwood ...Elwood is the one with his tongue sticking out and head cocked to one side. I don't have Glycerin sculpted yet and she will be fun to paint since she is a calico. I don't think I mentioned she is the reason we have the 2 "monkey-cats". Her 12 year old campanion, Nitro, (yes, their names were Nitro and Glycerin) died last September and she mourned so that she became ill herself and had a heart attack. The vet recommended getting her a new companion and suggested we get 2 instead of 1 since she is also getting up in years and we could be in the same situation again. She is a changed cat, on daily heart meds for the rest of her life, but so playful again! I think we were very fortunate for her recovery and how her health caused us to bring the kittens into our home, which helped us through our grief as well. Strange how things happen. Anyway, I plan on taking liberties with Glycerin's color...substituting orange for the calico carmel color and putting a simpler party hat on her.

Have a great Saturday! Laurie

Friday, June 27, 2008


I was emailed and asked if I did any other type of painting besides the series I'm now working on for the Pumpkin Ball. Well, yes I do some other painting, primarily landscapes because if you live in Nebraska it is all about the land and sky. Most people experience our state traveling on Interstate 80 so they have a misconception that the state is very flat...the Interstate is in a river valley (the Platte River) which flooded for hundreds, oh heck, thousands of years so what is seen by car is a huge flood plain. You travel 5 miles north or south and you have rolling hills that the early travelers on the Oregon Trail got lost in while hunting game. It is beautiful land with endless skies...we just don't want everyone else to know that. Shhhhhhhh

This painting is 12"x16", acrylic on stretched canvas, and is worked from a photograph of the Loup River taken from the St. Michael's bridge. This photograph really makes the painting come off looking flat, but I don't have time today to take a new one. Now be kind...this was one of several landscapes I did after a hiatus from canvas painting of 25 years.
I have two new heads sculpted and a third started so I am off to create!!
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

New Avatar and Banner

As you can see, no shadows, it is overcast again this morning with a forecast of more rain and so I am puttering around watching the birds and drinking tea. I know, I know, I will get to work as soon as I finish this.

OH, OH, OH, I got the BEST surprise this morning...Annette from Huckleberry Arts emailed me the avatar and banner for Monkey-Cats Studio shown below!

She absolutely captured the playfulness and feel with her font selection and placement that I try to convey in my work. What a talent. If any of you are in the market for a unique look on your blog page you have to talk to Annette. What a talent (I know I already said that, but I really mean it) and I cannot thank her enough for doing this for me!

Don't you agree!! Thank you Annette-I love them!

Have a productive day and now I must I up out of this chair yet?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Here is Boney-Belly, Skelly-Belly's Brother

This is Boney-Belly, brother of Skelly-Belly, enroute to the Pumpkin Ball. Unlike Skelly with the full moon behind him, the background focus was more on the graveyard in this painting. I think he is a darker figure than Skelly-Belly, and much more of a prankster.

Close up showing the baby moon over the graveyard and a small faced tree.

A face you can trust?

I start working in clay again today so things will really slow down with new images. I might post a work in progress as I stop and wash my hands off as I work .

Oh, Kim, thank you for the lovely note and the great post on your blog. (Kim Hardt on the favorites list) Thank you again for starting me on my blog journey!!


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Sir Jack Spinner with Yo-Mo's Lace Curtain

The 2nd image of Sir Jack Spinner, host of the Pumpkin Ball is complete so I thought I would share. Jack is more formally attired in this painting and Yo-Mo went overboard creating the "lace" curtain on the left as an entrance into the ball.

Sir Jack still has on his top hat, boo-button cuffs and is carrying his skull topped walking stick, but he added a bat-bowtie, jacket with cat-head buttons and is wearing two of what I am sure are his many medals; Honor of the Smiling Skull and Order of the JOL. (After all, he has been "nighted"...or some would think I meant knighted.) He would make Ralph Lauren proud.

I'm working on Boney Belly today, brother of Skelly Belly, so if I get him completed I will add him to the blog tomorrow. So far he looks like he might be a darker character than his sibling but we will see what happens. It is still overcast this morning and the light isn't good for me to paint or sculpt so I have my fingers crossed!!

Oh, and if you didn't make it to Kim Hardt's blog yesterday you need to go take a look and leave her a note to make her feel better. She doesn't have cobwebs, dust bunnies and dust in her emaculate home, and she had a bit of a drywall sanding disaster. Here's hoping it is better today Kim!!!


Monday, June 23, 2008

Stitches After A Weekend Facial

Stitches got his weekend facial and a new/larger collar. You can tell he just feels better and his personality is starting to come out. I like how his face changed with each additional color glaze and buffing that was done along with the added detail. I worked on the stitches above the eye lids which pop a bit more and painted the green iris of the eyes to sort of "humanize" him. Wish the process was faster, but I will just have to decide if I continue this way or find another method I like better.

Special thanks to Diane Duda - Duda Daze and Carolee - King of Mice Studios for giving me a link and sharing such nice comments. If you haven't been to their blogs please go to my favorites list and give them a look.
Off to the home center to get finishing screws--don't ask!!!!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Celebrating My First Week

This will be quick because I need studio time and laundry time (reality check). Wow, 1 week ago today I started this little thing called a blog. To say I had no idea what to expect is an understatement, but it has all been GOOD and the term networking is now really in my vocabulary.

Thank you today to Christy Meyers of CC's Whimsies (I won the 2nd set of Oz Ornaments!!!!, check them out through my favorite links on the right...woo hoo!), Lori of Retro Rudolphs, Johanna Parker of Johanna Parker Designs, Rebecca of Miller Campbell Designs, Pam of Soft in the Head, and Chris of CK Designs for the notes of encouragement and links from their blogs. Do you remember when you were little and your dad would pick you up and make you "fly" or you unwrapped a present and it was exactly what you wanted?..that's how I feel about this past week. It is joyous!

Work in progress..."Stitches," shown below. He is not going to let me blog or email anymore this weekend, well, at least until dark. He needs more layers of glaze, arms, hands and clothing ... he is tired of being ignored! Lots of work to do on the poor little guy.

That's it, have a great weekend!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Skelly-Belly Dressed as Dracula

Close up of Skelly-Belly Dressed as Dracula

Skelly-Belly dressed as Dracula for the Punkin/Pumpkin Ball (it's all a matter of perspective) is a new piece you haven't seen yet. I put little wispy clouds over the moon and added grave markers to make it a littlle more moody. Had to do a little research of old Hollywood Dracula photos to correctly attire the little guy, and I have to admit I took liberty with the pants. I'm kind of into this stripe thing right now. Anyway, it is 8" x 10", acrylic on canvas board.

I do Skelly-Belly in clay as well but don't have one on hand to share with you. Unlike most sculpted skeletons out there that are very thin, mine happens to be really round like a pumpkin figure...he comes from a family with big bones I think.

That's the visual nibble for the day....that was really bad wasn't it!! SORRY

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Monkey-Cats Scepter Goes To....

I need to thank so many people, but special thanks go out today to Janell Berryman of Pumpkinseed Folk Art, and Deb Wilkinson of The Laughing Doll , for adding me to their list of blog sites. The generosity of such great talent continues to humble me. Thank you both! I also need to send another shout-out to Dani Nelson for her praise and encouragement. What a fabulous group to be associated with.

Next , above is Clyde with the first Monkey-Cats Scepter award being given to Kim Hardt. Kim has no idea what that phone call she made last month did for me. I was having a paper mache crisis, she talked me down, put me on my computer and sent me on a blog journey that led to my own blog.

Clyde, Yo-Mo the spider, her baby Springer, and the fabulous Monkey-Cats Scepter is on its way to you Kim. I hope you find them a new home suitable to their standards because they are use to cobwebs, dust bunnies and crumbs, oh, and some cat hair which I can provide if you don't have a supply source. High standards I realize, but hey, only the best I say.
Painting mix a new batch for the boys to step in.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Ambitions Design Link

Another thank you, this time to Dani at Ambitions Design for linking her blog to mine. I am having such fun watching how people are getting to my blog from other blogs, knowing the new exposure it is giving my body of work. Thank you Dani for your generosity!!

Also, I am receiving some inquiries about my work so I thought I better let you know how you can currently acquire my creations. To date, I am only selling out of my studio and at shows. I have a small inventory and have a buyer coming to pick up some pieces...I don't know exactly which pieces they are yet so I haven't started a shop on ETSY, but plan on it as soon as I know what I will have available. My email address is on the right side of my blog page if you have questions.

Well, the sun is shining and it is time to paint. I have a fun little piece started I hope to complete today. Hopefully I can keep Elwood's tail out of the paint today.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I Feel So Honored

Huge thanks to both Melissa Valeriote, "The Holiday Queen," and Kim Hardt for linking my blog to their terrific blogs. I cannot thank them and Lori (see post below) enough for helping me on my new journey!

If you haven't been to their blogs (how could you not) please go to my list of favorite blogs and give them a look. You need to check out what they have available on Ebay and ETSY.

Blogging, blogging, blogging....................

4 Days Old

The blog is officially 4 days old and I need to get back to my work in the studio, but I wanted to put up just a few more visuals and then you won't be seeing new things for a few days. My sketchbook runneth over and my hands need to touch something other than a keyboard!! Anyway, it was suggested to me to put some close-up shots of some of the "boys" carrying lanterns, and then I was asked where my "girls" were.

The SHOCK and HORROR...Do you know that I have hardly any female figures?! I am female, I have sisters and girlfriends...I need to fix this!!

ABOVE is a close up of Robert. You can see the boo buttons I paint on almost all of my Halloween figures. (and the need for Robert to have a dental plan)

RIGHT: "Bug-Eyed Jack"

LEFT Alfred's collar is much less "groomed" than the other two.
RIGHT "Punkinhead Harry"

Monday, June 16, 2008

Thank you Vintage Palette Art

Thank you to Lori at Vintage Palette Art for listing/linking my blog from hers...I feel special!!

Pumpkin Plaques

This is one of the new pumpkin plaques designed to hang on a wall. He measures 15" across x 9.5" high and is 3" deep measured to the tip of his nose . He was fun to sculpt and thanks to using an oven he did not warp a bit.
Below is the larger wall plaque shown with the smaller free-standing pumpkin plaque, measuring 8.25" across x 5" high and is also 3" deep including the papier mache stand attached on the back

Close up of the small plaque to the right.

The sun did come out today so I was able to photograph more of the work for posting and also had a conversation with Mary, the author that is writing about the "Pumpkin Ball" paintings. There may be some changes in names of some of the characters in the paintings, which I will correct, and I have inspiration from her to paint for a year...or two, get the idea. She is a muse. It is thrilling to work with someone so creative that it makes you stretch your mind and artistic capabilities.


Weather and the Punkin Ball Paintings

Got up this morning and it is raining so I won't be taking photographs for the business today. Which reminds me, I have noticed many bloggers showing beautiful photographs of their gardens and lawns. Our community had three tornadoes come out of the thunderstorm, shown below, the end of last month and I don't have a single hosta or lilypad that doesn't have holes in it from hail or is just pretty flat to the ground so no pretty garden photos from me. We were very lucky, only lost 3 sides of our privacy fence (that landed on the hosta beds and killed a grapevine) and the shingles off of the west side of the roof. We have tornado watches and warnings so often I'm afraid we get a bit cavalier and when the outdoor warning sirens go off we tend to go outside and look to see why. I'm not saying that is a smart idea, I'm just telling you that is what we do. I knew when I saw the clouds rotate back west when they had previously been all moving north that the cats, my husband and I were all headed for the basement; by the way, I viewed a much more up-close and personal view of this storm from our living room window, I was not outside being a "Looky Lou". When we lost power and heard the banging we both kind of looked at each other (we had flashlights) and we just hoped for the best that we still had a roof, house and that family, friends and neighbors were safe.
Okay, enough about that. I wanted to post a few more items so I will change my thought process. Below is another painting, "Jack, Jake and the Jester." It is an 8" x 10" image, (12" x 14" framed) acrylic on canvas board and is part of the Punkin Ball series I started this spring.

Of course the Jake in this painting is one of the two "monkey cats" we have, and like a typical cat would not look at me when I would ask him to so I could use his face as a reference. They know, don't they!!

Below is "Vincent DaPunkin with Yo-Mo the Spider", who is a cousin (I think) to Sir Hallow of Eve (shown on the right hand side of the blog). I need to verify that with a friend that is writing a story to go with the paintings because I wouldn't want to mess up the family lineage!

Vincent is also 8" x 10" and framed measures 12.5" x 14.5"(I like this new frame on these images)...acrylic on canvas board.

That's it for today...oh, except I need to thank everyone for the encouragement, support and assistance in putting all of this together, especially my husband who is a saint to let me do this in the first place.

Happy creating!


Saturday, June 14, 2008

Getting started

This blog is all because of a conversation I had with Kim Hardt and she assured me this was a piece of cake so here it goes. Please be kind because this is all new to me. I will slowly be adding images and information as I have time to build my blog. (After looking at so many other artists' blogs I realize I have MUCH to do so any constructive criticism, pointers, etc., will be greatly appreciated.)

These are 3 new pieces completed recently I have lovingly named the "3 Amigos", Alfred, Robert and Bug-eyed Jack. Due to their long legs they stand 26.5" tall with each carrying a sculpted face lantern.