We Are All Book Lovers

I heard a radio commentary this morning. It was about searching for good news in a dark time. The commentator, a former journalist, looked in all the usual places, but finally found her cheering thought in a Pew Research Center story about reading.

73% of Americans read a book this year! And they actually seem to prefer reading on paper.

I found cheer in that too, and continued work on my Baby Bear Reads a Book ornament series.

20161212_135838

As with other multiple image projects like summer postcards, I grid my paper with painter’s tape. This time I measured out small 1 3/8″ x 2″ rectangles and drew Baby Bear reading a big, fat book in each opening.

20161212_233958

Then I paint them-layer by layer, one by one.

20161212_234925

Each one is kind-of the same and one of a kind.

20161213_001708

Then I cut the sheets up,

20161213_102645

Stick them in little silver frames

bear_19

And hang them from the evergreen tree.

bear_24

I’ve made a few extras and, if you’d like one, or a different Baby Bear 2016 ornament, I’m selling them in my Etsy shop

If you enjoyed this post, please  follow me here: Ashley Wolff Art on Facebook, my webpage , my Etsy shop, or Instagram. You can follow the blog by hitting the “follow blog” button at the top of the sidebar. 

Advertisements

Sheep

The noble profile, the slitted eyes, the curls, the baaaaa, the level gaze…

I love drawing sheep.

friendlysheep

This gal caught my eye this summer. When  I went looking for a subject for my cottage postcards I was drawn to her curious face. As in the past, I begin by taping off a grid of small postcards on watercolor paper.

sheep_2

I make a quick sketch in pencil in each window and then use an assembly line approach to add colors.

sheep_8

Each layer adds detail and the sheep emerges.

sheep_6

The final touches are gold and silver ink…

sheep_1

and glitter!

sheep_5

Each card is the same but different, a one-of-a-kind love token for the friend who receives a “cottage card.”

If you enjoyed this post, please  follow me here: Ashley Wolff Art on Facebook, my webpage , my Etsy shop, or Instagram. You can follow the blog by hitting the “follow blog” button at the top of the sidebar. 

Little Owl Card

Why did this owlet fly into my mind this summer?

Every summer I wait for the right image for my cottage card to occur to me. Often it is obviously related to life here on this serene lake. Sometimes it comes from the Vermont landscape. And sometimes, fantasy sneaks in.

2015_2

This year I began with lots of pigment applied wet on wet to my watercolor paper. Then I divided the sheet into postcard openings, and drew my owlet into each opening.

2015

The different colors behind each owl affected how they came out, making each card even more distinctive, one from another.

2015_3

I make quite a few of these cards and send them to my loved ones.

2015_4

owlfinishweb

I think I’ll keep this little fellow to help warm my new home.

Hay Season

That smell is in the air.

hillfarmweb

Hill farm hayfields,gouache

Especially at dawn and dusk I smell fresh cut grass. Along the highways and back roads the fields are striped with swaths of it, lying in fluffed, pillowed rows.

haying

In my Champlain Valley neighborhood the flat bottom land allows for long, easy to mow hayfields.

hayfield

hayfield

Cornwall Farm/watercolor

Freshly cut, the alfalfa, trefoil and grasses lie flat, but before this grass become hay it is handled many times. It is wuffled by the tedder, raked into windrows, and finally baled or rolled or stacked for storage.

HayRolls

Hay rolls/watercolor

Tracking the Red Eft

The Eastern Newt has a juvenile phase where these small amphibians are land dwelling and a striking shade of orange.

redeft_1web

These creatures are tiny–I am always afraid I’m going to step on them as they cross the mossy forest trail. As the summer wanes I see more and more of these on the move. They travel long distances using magnetic orientation. After 2 or 3 years on land they’ll find a permanent pond and become green aquatic newts.

redEftweb

Their gold rimmed eyes and delicate spots are such fun to draw and paint.

RedEft_1web

A Red Eft, painted in gouache, is the star of my 2014 Cottage Card.

If you enjoyed this post, please like Ashley Wolff Art on Facebook, visit my webpage here, my Etsy shop, or follow the blog by hitting the “follow blog” button at the top of the sidebar. 

 

Indian Pipes

The Indian Pipe, also known as the Ghost Plant or the Corpse Plant, pops up the woods in the late summer.

Indianpipesweb

They are eye catching in their pale rosiness.  They lack any chlorophyll and are essentially parasitic.

Most importantly, they are fun to draw and paint.

indainpipesweb

They were the star of one summer’s Cottage Cards.

If you enjoyed this post, please like Ashley Wolff Art on Facebook, visit my webpage here, my Etsy shop, or follow the blog by hitting the “follow blog” button at the top of the sidebar. 

 

Making a Fairy Card

Every summer I make many ‘copies’ of one Cottage Card to send to close friends.  I am lucky to have a lot of friends, so I make a LOT of cards.

I usually keep the prototype here in my cabin in Vermont. So far, there are 12 of them. The Fairy Card started like this, but a square image is harder to mail, so it morphed into a rectangle.

fairy13:web

fairyprocess_7:web

I begin with a sheet of watercolor paper, grid it with masking tape and draw the design on each card.

fairyprocess:web

Then I use classic assembly line techniques, pioneered by Henry Ford. Of course, there is a huge difference since I fill all the positions on the assembly line!fairyprocess_1:web

I start adding color, working on all the cards sequentially. No two are alike, but the palette is consistent.

This is a group of brunette fairies.

fairyprocess_2:web

fairyprocess_3:web

And they are all pleased to be bathing in an upturned mushroom cap.

fairyprocess_4:web

And to fly around with rainbow wings.

fairyprocess_6:web