Monday, July 12, 2010

2 weeks, 3 murals and a faux finish

So it's been awhile since I've posted anything. I've been incredibly busy getting ready for Homearama, a home show put on by the Louisville Home Builder's Association. There are ten homes in the show this year and I painted murals in two of them. Due to the circumstances of working in the show I had two weeks to complete three murals and to faux finish a dining room ceiling. It took 170 hours to complete all of the projects. It was a long two weeks. The sports mural is about 28' by 9'. The graffiti wall is 14' by 8' and the Navy SEAL is about 10' x 6'. The show started this weekend so its been nice to hear everyone's comments. I still need to get some better photos but here is what I have so far. Enjoy. As always you can see more of my work at stiversart. Below you can see progress of the murals.

Monday, June 7, 2010


Here are some sketches for a possible mural for a boy's room. It is a very big room and the plan is to paint some trees, bugs, lizards, and other assorted boyish things around the room with these boys being the focus.

Check out other children's artists sketchbooks at

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Etsy Children's Art Street Team

A couple of months ago another Etsy seller, Lisa from Bumblejack, and I started discussing the idea of forming a group of Etsy artists making children's or storybook art. We've finally got the team rolling with a great group of artists and are really excited about what we have planned. We are still waiting on confirmation from Etsy to be an official "team" but we are moving ahead with our plans anyway. It's taken up a lot of time lately so I haven't been posting much here. Make sure you check out our team blog at

Check often we have a lot of fun things planned as well as some great promotions you won't want to miss.


Monday, May 24, 2010

The pirate raid continues....

One more pirate complete. My original plan was to only paint the four but there are two more drawn out and they sit there, staring at me, looking all sad without paint on their face. So, maybe one more.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Pirates keep coming...

One more Pirate finished. I have one more that is nearly complete and two others that I have drawn but I'm not sure if I'll paint them or not. I may go back to the Astronaut paintings for a bit to keep from being bored. I have many sketches and faux-finishing samples I'm preparing for prospective clients so things are fairly busy at the moment. I would like to be able to wrap up the astronaut series before I get into my busy period but knowing me that's probably not going to happen.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Another Pirate...

It's so nice working small. I've been doing this long enough to realize that it's more about the process than the product but it feels good to just get something done every now and then. I finished this guy up last night. Captain Droopystache.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


In an attempt to feel productive I went back to working on the 5" x 7" pieces of wood I have laying around. I had some sketches of some pirates I had done while prepping for a mural a while back that I wanted to work with so I did a few more sketches and then got to painting. Here is the first. A salty first mate who I haven't named yet. You can see the mural I did that inspired this little series below and more of it here.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Painting, not Posting

So it's been a little bit since I've posted anything. I've been trying to finish up a couple different projects that I finally wrapped up today. First up is a window mural I did for Shiraz Mediterranean Grill. I actually finished the painting a couple of weeks ago but just got back there tonight to photograph and seal it. It covers the backside of a menu that they have facing the street so they aren't losing any view by having me paint over their window. They wanted to continue the view of the street but in a more stylized painterly fashion which I think I was able to do. It is a small mural but it has a big impact. If you are ever in Louisville, check out the Frankfort Ave. location, to see the mural in person.

Next we have a painting of My Old Kentucky Home, which has taken a very long time to get around to finishing. This was actually supposed to be a Christmas present to my parents and then I was hoping to have it finished by Mother's Day. Well, I almost made Mother's Day. Better late than never. They loved it, or at least they acted like they did.

I also got around to painting over the astronaut's rocket. I think it helps the boy pop from the composition more and the subdued tones work better with the other "nighttime" works that I've done. I also think I've figured out how to do the other two pieces in this series and am well into the second piece.

As always you can see more of my murals at
and you can purchase prints at Moany and Lalla's.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Nighttime for the Astronaut

I finally got around to painting one of the "Nighttime for Astronaut"series. I have had these sketches laying around for 4 or 5 months. I am not completely satisfied with the compositions I sketched out for the other two so no telling when the series will be complete. I am trying to get at least three vertical compositions out of the series with the action all occurring on the same plane and in the same scale. I like setting limitations on my compositions, but in this case, it is causing me headaches. I may have to break some rules.

As always you can see more of my work here.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Adding Dimension

After painting the movie marquee mural the clients felt it needed an added element of dimension. Due to the limited space I was working in, it was challenging but I think I was able to use some of the existing painting to create a new and more dimensional marquee. Here are some pics with some of how it looked before.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Cabin's New Video

Check out this new music video by Cabin. It was directed by a friend of mine, Brent Dedas, who teaches art at the University of Toledo. Find more of Cabin here.

The CD release party will be at Headliners in Louisville on June 18th. The album will soon be available at Itunes & Amazon. Directed by Brent Dedas

While you're poking around, take a look at Brent's site as well, you won't be disappointed.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The coolest thing I've seen in awhile.

I am fascinated by big complicated "simple" things like this, but I am incredibly irritated that the left part of it is cut off by blogger.

Treasury East

So Etsy has rolled out this new treasury feature to make it possible for everyone to put together collections of their favorite items for the world to see. If you are not familiar with Etsy, before you had to wait by your computer for hours for the instant a new treasury would open just for the opportunity to put a thematic list of items together. No more! I had never had the chance to participate in that facet of Etsy culture but I have now, you can check out my first treasury here. It features lunar inspired art for kids. Please comment over on the treasury if you would be so kind. Thanks!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

And the winner is....

And the winner is......

Bethany Dirksen! I would like to thank everyone for entering my print giveaway and remember if you didn't win you can always head over to my Etsy shop, Moany and Lalla's, and purchase a fabulous fine art print for your nursery, child's room, playroom, or whatever room you fancy, they can really go anywhere! Thanks!

Also, check out Bethany's shop, dirksen dabbles, she has some great originals for sale for very reasonable prices.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Movie Marquee Mural and other stuff...

I finished painting the movie marquee mural today. I think it turned out great. Not much else to say about that. I then moved on to the other project I've been working on.
One more step to go. You can start to get an idea of how the finished wall is going to look which should be cool. Hopefully a short day tomorrow.

I also notified the winner of the print giveaway but they haven't gotten back to me yet so I will post when they do. It was someone with an Etsy shop and I sent them a convo, so check your e-mail. Thanks!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Long Day

I got the first coat of paint up on the movie marquee. I'll sharpen everything up, make the neon look all glowy and hopefully have that finished up tomorrow. Things are progressing on schedule which means I probably won't finish tomorrow because "on schedule" rarely ,if ever, happens.

I then moved on to work on another project I had started last week. It's a powder room that Is getting several different layers of glaze in what, eventually, will be a really nice geometric design. This was the third step in a five step process. Each step doesn't take long but I'm having to wait quite a bit in between each step.

Finally, today is the last day to enter the print giveaway. You have until midnight E.S.T. to enter. Find details here. Good Luck!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Starting a Movie Marquee Mural

I started to draw out a movie marquee mural today for a client. It will cover a soffit over an entry to a home theater. I always feel like I'm getting ready to build something at this stage rather than getting ready to paint as I spend most of my time with a level and tape measure. I'll start slapping some paint up there tomorrow.

Also, tomorrow is the last day to enter my print giveaway check out this post for details.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Counting Sheep

The sheep paintings are finally complete. As you can see from the pics I painted the two to work as one continuous scene, however, they are going to be hung on opposite sides of an entryway so I focused the composition more on the individual pieces instead of the whole. I normally wouldn't have had a big tree right smack dab in the center of the painting but I wanted to close in both sides of both paintings so, there you go. I really enjoyed working on these but I was starting to see sheep everywhere. baa!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Print Giveaway

I'm starting my first giveaway today. It is coinciding with a little Q & A that PoppyPlace did with me over on her blog. The prize is a single print of your choice from my Etsy shop, Moany and Lalla's, no sets or cards but any size, and the rules are as follows: you must be a follower of my blog, and you have to leave a comment either on this post or on the Q & A post over at PoppyPlace to enter. You have until midnight, April 7th, eastern standard time to enter. Please leave some method of getting in touch with you, blog, website, e-mail, etc. Good Luck everyone!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

From the Sketchbook

Some random sketches of fish while watching T.V.

Out to Pasture

I am just about finished with one of two paintings I've been working on for a client. Of course, as soon as I post this I'll see something that bothers me and have to go back and rework substantial portions of the painting. For now, though, I am trying to leave it alone. My mom was by yesterday, saw it and said it was her favorite thing I've painted and I said what about the mural I painted in your dining room? There was a little backtracking on her part but I was just messing with her.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Frontpage of Handmade Registry

A couple of my prints from my Etsy shop were featured on the front page of Handmade courtesy of a wishlist made by Alison Whittington. Check it out here! You should also check out Alison's work at her Etsy shop, she makes imaginary maps that are really lovely.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Spring Play!

The Spring Play series is complete and is available on etsy. I enjoyed working on a small scale for a change, especially since I am working on some larger canvases during the day. You can see more of them here:
Thanks for following along! I'm torn about what to tackle next. I'm hobbled by a rare surplus of ideas. It's certainly a better problem to have than the alternative.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Daisy Blooms

Yet another painting complete. At least until I decide it's not and decide to re-work it. It's really nice working so small I actually feel like I am getting something accomplished. Here is a pic of the most recent and the first four in the series. I have two more planned. I hope to have these up on Etsy by Monday.

Louisville got crushed last night which is disappointing but not entirely unexpected at least my wife won't have to deal with me being consumed by a basketball game for awhile.

Friday, March 19, 2010

New Spring Play Painting.

I finished up another of the spring play paintings despite spending most of my time working on some other canvases for a client and being incredibly distracted by college basketball. A great start to the tournament yesterday though not a good showing for the Big East. I don't know how much I'll get accomplished today, at least Louisville doesn't play until tonight, so maybe a little.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Flight of the Bumblebee

I painted another of the "spring production" pieces today. I haven't settled on a title yet, either Flight of the Bumblebee or The Bumblebee Runs Rampant. I spent most of the day working on the large sheep paintings which are still in the drawing stage so it was nice to get on something small for a break.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Spring Production

With spring nearly upon us and green stuff starting to peek through the ground I felt the need to go back to my sketch book and revisit an earlier idea I had for a series of children's paintings of a school play about spring. I had abandoned the idea because of time but after going though all of that old artwork and remembering how small I was working because of time constraints I decided to try the same thing with these. So instead of working on 12" x 16" canvases these will be on 5" x 7" birch plywood. I think the format is perfect for the concept and I am really excited to get work this way for a little bit especially because I have some fairly large canvases I have been working on for a client lately. Anyway here is the first one, " The Bluebird Forgets His Line."

Faux Finish for Ceilings

I haven't posted in about a week. I've been fairly busy with these ceilings I've been working on. The finish was a textured metallic gold but the overall look kept coming out too brown so it took it awhile to get to a point where I was happy with it. I think the finished product turned out great. Here are some pics of the progress. The barrel has a different look than the tray.
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