Summer Shenanigans at BJCM Studio

It’s been a quiet summer in the studio, so far. Some interesting design work, some trend research, a wonderful trip, and some belated spring cleaning – both online and in the studio.

detail of Ophelia painting by Millais

Detail of “Ophelia” by Millais. Tate Britain.

Art-wise, I’ve been doing mostly graphic design work this year. Designs for bigger companies are often very hush-hush, so competitors won’t get the jump on new ideas and collections.

But a few products I’ve worked on this spring are already in stores, so I hope to feature them soon.  Watch for them in a future post.

The Musches Abroad!

The most exciting thing was our early June trip to London and Paris! I didn’t get much drawing done, but I returned refreshed and inspired. Plus it was fun to dust off my rusty French skills and try them out on complete strangers.

There is just so much art and history in Europe, it’s easy to get overwhelmed, but my husband and I decided to skim or skip some “typical” places in order to fit in more off-the-beaten-path stops.

Statue of a young woman, Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris

Statue of a young woman, Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris

For example: ogling the Pre-Raphaelites at the Tate Britain instead of fighting crowds at the National Gallery in London (see the gorgeous Millais painting, above).

And in Paris, we did the obligatory minimum time at the Louvre, but lavished most of a day at the Musée d’Orsay — less world-famous, but definitely a world-class museum.  They had an entire hall of Symbolists (which I love), and all the Impressionists you could possibly want.

Later we spent a whole morning wandering Père Lachaise cemetery discovering gorgeous angels tucked everywhere. Magnifique!

Belated Spring Cleaning – For My Website

BJCM Studio new logo 2017

My updated logo for BJCM Studio!

This week’s big task: updating my bjcmstudio.com website. It’s subtle: I’ve tweaked my logo, changed out my buttons and sliders for fresh images, and added some a few pieces of new artwork. A lot of the work has been behind-the-scenes, dealing with issues that were bogging down the site while still letting me showcase lots of artwork. I’m not fully done, but already the main pages load MUCH faster! As I go back and optimize the galleries over the next week, they should load faster too.  Then I can tackle this blog…

Somewhere in there I will fit all the life-tasks that need to be jigsawed in between work and fun: take the cat to the vet, make a grocery run, go to a baby shower, etc. Still, I may be losing my French, but I’m catching my breath!

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Heavenly sketchbook recycling

I’ve had this old blank book sitting in my studio closet for years.  It used to be an ugly grandma-floral-print thing, but it was a cloth-bound hardcover, and is a great pocket size (4″ x 6″), so I couldn’t quite toss it.  This week, I decided to just paint it!

Funky angel painting on my old sketchbook

I recycled this old blank book with acrylic and colored pencil.

Now I’ve got a funky sketchbook that fits easily in my purse.  No excuse not to sketch every day!

Side Note:  Names

Yes, I do name my sketchbooks; weird, I know.  This one is called “Pockets”.  Some are christened when I start them, but many get their names when I’m in the middle of filling them.  I love sketchbooks and journals and have a bad habit of starting several at once.

A few of my other named sketchbooks include “Treading Water”, “Ventures I & II”, “Waterwork”, “Vocatus”, and “Lucious Slices”.  (I also have a journal that came to be named “Canto Primo” because I kept starting over in it after long gaps in time.)