January 31, 2010

Watercolor Flowers

I'm still doing some drawings and paintings of flowers for my 'flowers & physics' series which I hope to start working on in earnest next week. These little flowers were 'painted' with watercolor pencils. I'm really enjoying working with these because of the depth of color that you can get with them and I can control the precision a little bit more as well.

One thing I've just noticed about my flowers, which I hadn't realized until today, is that none of them are real. By real I mean that none of them are based on a single real flower. I think I've been drawing and painting the flowers I'd like to see by combining colors, shapes and details from some of my favorites. I spend a lot of time with flowers in my 'other' life, paying attention to the details and frequently having to sketch them in my field books as I'm collecting data. This seems to be bleeding over into my art more and more.

January 30, 2010

Physics & Flowers- Early Drawings

Just a couple of early drawings as I prep to do a 'physics & flowers' series. I'm really pleased with the depth of color from my new watercolor pencils.

January 29, 2010

Physics & Flowers

I'm working on a new series of flowers & physics. For me, physics is a lot more palatable in relation to flowers than it is to anything else. Who doesn't love a flower blowing in the wind?

Stamps of the Week: Antarctica!

Since so much of my life over the last 8 years has been consumed and surrounded by all things Antarctica, it's only appropriate that some Antarctica stamps be included on my blog at some point.

This first set of stamps shows the dome at South Pole Station. My office was in this dome during my first year working on the ice. I used to have to wear gloves and a hat when in my office because it was so cold. But it was an amazing time to be spending my first months in Antarctica so I didn't really mind.

A new station was built by the National Science Foundation in the last few years and the dome was deconstructed this summer- right about now they're packing up the pieces and flying them back to the states. You can read more about the dome being taken down here which has some great photos.

I should state that Antarctica doesn't have 'real' postage stamps because there is no government there. These stamps are simply for show, but they're fun to put on packages and to me they're endearing.

This next set of stamps is also from Antarctica. The gray stamps show the 'new' station at South Pole, which replaced the dome. You can still see the dome on the left side in the photo used for this stamp- it was beginning to get covered up with snow. This monstrosity of a building, the new station, is where I spent 13 months straight the year that I wintered at south pole. This building houses everyone, has a dining facility, offices, gym, craft room, greenhouse, etc... It's quite a large building, but when locked up with 75 people and no way to leave, it sometimes feels pretty small.

The pink stamps are from McMurdo Station which is also a US station in Antarctica, but it's on the coast so it's kind of like being in the banana belt compared to South Pole. We never saw temps above 0 during my time at Pole and during my winter we saw it dip as low as -107 F. McMurdo on the other hand gets as high as 40 in the summer, which feels simply fabulous compared to being at Pole. McMurdo is also surrounded by mountains and this stamp really captures the feel of the place.

These stamps are from Palmer Station- the smallest and arguably the nicest of the 3 US stations in Antarctica. I've never been there, but my hubdude is there right now and has sent back some fantastic photos. Palmer is surrounded by water, glaciers and little islands. It looks beautiful. You can see photos of Palmer here on hubdude's blog. I really love these stamps- perhaps because I really really really want to go there.

I lived in Alaska for a long time, so I thought I would throw in these Alaska stamps as well in case you haven't seen them. These are only 1-2 years old. I think they're actually quite uninteresting compared to the reality of Alaska, but they have nice colors.

Some of the stamps I collect aren't really postage stamps at all- like these next two sets. I don't even know where or how they came to be in my possession but I do love yellow, so I'm sure that's why they stayed.

And last, some random plant stamps that were mixed in with these others. Being the plant geek that I am, I would love to see these plants in person and understand the plant communities that they belong to.

January 16, 2010

Gone Postal!

I purchased a lot of bulk stamps last year for some of my artwork and one particular batch of 10,000 stamps came in a box totally worthy of them. I felt I had to take pictures of it before I chop it up today to try to get the stamps off of it. The seller did an amazing job on this box covering almost every inch of it in stamps!

January 13, 2010

Postage Stamps of the Week!

I'm finally back with 'Stamps of the Week' for 2010. Of course one of my lofty goals is to get these out EVERY week for 2010, even though it's taken me 2 weeks to get out the first small set... Well here are some recent finds from my larger general collection.

I like the pink stamp with a soldier- you just don't see that every day.

This bird looks like he's in charge. I love the black and white, and it's a bird. So you can't really go wrong with this stamp...

Great design!

The French have some of THE best all-time stamps and this one is no exception.

Some of favorite stamps are triangle stamps and ship stamps- I have smaller collections of both. Now which collection to put this one into??!

More stamps next week- I may do some large stamp sheets which I have floating around in my studio.

January 8, 2010

New Years Resolution?

Well, I had thought about making a resolution to blog more. But here we are and it took me a full 8 days to get my first blog post in! So, my New Years resolution is to blog twice as much this year as I did last year, which means about every 2-3 days. I think I can do this- even if no one is reading it. I really like being able to put my thoughts down and send them out to the world. It holds me more accountable for getting things done.

I bought a video camera just before the holidays and I was so excited because I thought it meant that I could take lots of short videos for my blog. But alas, the video cam software and Blogger don't work all that well together and you really can't post a video unless it is less than 3 minutes or so long. Nonetheless, my resolution IS to blog LOTS more this year, AND to include video as I can- because I think it's more interesting. Next video will be of my overall stamp collection.

Some of my goals for the coming year:

Explore new art mediums
Write more (including on my blog!)
Spend less time on the computer and more time doing (doing everything I love to do!)
Focus on getting my art out into the world

And hubdude and I are trying to have another 'buy nothing new' year, which is a challenge, but a worthwhile challenge. We did this 2 years ago and it really reduced our overall consumption and forced us to be creative in finding ways to get things done and to get what we need. I highly recommend trying it. The only caveats were that we COULD buy new socks and underwear, because, well ewwww if we didn't buy those new....

Happy New Year!

DIY Light Box Tutorial

I finally re-shot the video for a DIY Light Box. I know the video is a little dark, but I think you'll still be able to understand how to make this easy, economical light box. I built a large box like this about 2 weeks and it has made an amazing difference in the photos I've taken for my vintage shop (you can see the photos here). Here are 3 short videos showing how to make the light box (the videos are about 6 minutes total combined- I used Flip video and you can only download very short videos to blogger- sorry!):


1 box (I would recommend minimum size of 12" x 12" or 30cm x 30cm)
1 poster board
tissue paper or other light-filtering material
box cutter
double-sided tape (or you can use regular tape and make loops with sticky part on outside)
2 small lights


  1. Tape one end of box closed
  2. Cut off top and bottom flaps from end of box that is open
  3. Cut out windows in both sides and top of box leaving a border (ie: if using 12" x 12" box, cut 11" x 11" window in each side of box- the 1" borders are approximate)
  4. Cover each window with tissue paper or some other type of light-filtering paper
  5. Cut a piece of poster board that is the width of your box
  6. Put double-sided tape (or loops of regular tape) on one end of the poster board and attach poster board to inside top of box- poster board will then curve down the inside back and floor of box
  7. Cut off any excess poster board hanging over the bottom edge of the box
  8. Set up a small light on each side of the box and turn on
  9. Voila! You have a light box!