Monday, October 20, 2014

The Other Woman

My Husband and I with our two children moved in our family home just over 2yrs ago. 
We had just left a very toxic relationship with out old
landlord and were ready to buy. We found a sweet little craftsman house
built in 1902 on a very nice street in a great neighbourhood.
We were beyond excited to have our own home again. Something that we could treat like home base; we are not the most settle people.

The new King Bed that inspired it all!
The house was perfect, it needed a new roof and and exterior paint job right away but the inside was done nicely and could wait. Well we waited two years. Two years of living with peach painted interior, camel coloured trim and brass and gold fixtures.

You could tell the other woman of the house had a style that was her own and things were thoughtfully done so why fix what wasn't broken? But it was broken, we were living a lie, the house was not our house, it was still hers... Slowly piece by piece, room by room I am becoming the woman of the house and injecting my own style into it.

A note on my style- I spend way too much time in hotels and that totally comes through in my personal taste...

Friday, October 17, 2014

My Kids want Halloween Cards!!!

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween by meganhcarroll

Here is what I have so far... 
 Do you think I should do more?

Happy Halloween Free Printable

I worked up the Happy Halloween card I made for my kids, adding special touches and giving it  spook-tacular details.
While making it I day dreamed of a Halloween party for my kids!!! Yes I said (to myself- because I talk to myself all the time) we are going to do this!!! We are going to have a Halloween party (still talking to myself).
I am going to use the Happy Halloween Card to send to my kids friends... I still give out cards. Evites are handy but I like the real thing, I love something tangible. Tomorrow my daughter and I will find a printer... and hopefully by Monday we can have some cards sent out to friends & family.

Happy Halloween by meganhcarroll

Click here for the printable version of this, use it for cards or seasonal posters!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The More you use it, the more you have....

"You can't use up creativity,
the more you use it, the more you have"
Maya Angelou

What started out as a single drawing, kinda a doodle in the top right hand corner of my sketchbook as I was researching midcentury modern design motifs is starting to take on a life of it's own.

I asked the question in my last blog post "can you see it evolving?"

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Simple motif goes through a transformation. Work in process

I Didn't post yesterday, one thing led to another, led to another and my day was done... 
I did sneak in some drawing here and there and came up with this simple little tulip motif.
I have been working on it in illustrator today, playing with live trace,
building it with shapes and with the pattern maker.


tuip motif by meganhcarroll
original Motif
Adapted from a mid century modern design motif.
by meganhcarroll
live trace
As you can see not very nice.
re-worked with the pen tool and shapes.
But What about a pattern?
Can you imagine? Originally I was thinking about using it a border for an illustration I am working on but as I play and yes by playing I also mean learning I can see how to take it beyond just a simple motif.

tulip motif pattern by meganhcarroll
Love the 70's garish colours!
I love repeating patterns that start with a simple motif, that gets expanded  and turned into an evolving complex idea.
I keep seeing whale tales, fish scales and  scalloped edges!
Can you see it evolving?

Monday, October 13, 2014

Home Turf and Gimme Shelter.

I was back on my home turf this weekend. Husband and I were able to get a little weekend
getaway in (why I was so late posting Saturday). Every time we are in Vancouver we make sure to grab breakfast from Granville island, even if that means going there on a Sunday. Get there early enough you can usually find parking,  get your coffee and grab a pastry in a decent amount
of time. 

photo by meganhcarroll art at ECU
Do you see what is taking shelter with the frame of the photo?
When we are on the 'island' (what was once our home), I with husband on tow (he likened my art supply buying habit as a black hole) visit Opus (I needed new pens),  and then head over to Emily Carr University of Art and Design- my old school. We both love walking through the Concourse Gallery. A space for rotating works by the students and faculty. The title of the most recent show was Gimme Shelter.
There was a large tent like structure, a couch made out of chicken wire and stones (that reminded me of the time my classmates and I attempted to cover a couch in large ceramic slabs covered in thorns), photo essays and simple wire sculptures, all beautifully done.

But the one I loved most was this piece pictured above. I loved that it was a simple shape repeated and that from every direction it changed and that you could view through it and then over it
and your perception changed.

I would love to know the name of this artist, I feel strongly about citing and giving credit where credit is due but none of the plinths, photos, or sculptures has names on them. Was this an over site? or was this part of the theme? Vancouver is a city where Shelter is on every citizens mind yet though it has a shared common concern it is also a very anonymous city. Hmm... I wonder?!

Someday my husband and I would love to move back to Vancouver, we still refer to it as home but our question is and always has been shelter... We want it to be not only a city we find Shelter but one in which we live and thrive.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Better late than never....

I've been trying to post once a day to keep me accountable,
but not only that, to keep me inspired.
Thinking constantly about what it is I love and what 
I want to do is keeping me engaged with my creative
So even though this post is late, 
it is better than never.

I wanted to do a quick share of an upcoming project
with my beach combing finds yesterday....
There may be a little Macramé action going on.

Ps... Truth be told I am drinking wine and eating good food,
on a mini getaway with my husband 
(shh don't tell him I am blogging). 

I am posting this in between decadent meals
at wildly hip restaurants!!!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Quick Look into my Sketchbook - Midcentury Rambler

What's in your sketchbook? 
I'll show you mine
if you show me yours!

Midcentury Rambler.

midcentury rambler by meganhcarroll

Just a little idea that I am working on. This weekend. Hope to show you
more through the upcoming weeks.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Do Something

I am Not sure if this is a quote, but it is something I wrote this morning
to remind me to just Do Something even if it is just putting one 
foot in front of the other.

Stepping Stone by

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

"You need Help!" (with) Repeat Patterns.

I recently updated my illustrator going from CS5 to the Creative Cloud CS6 version. For the purpose of pattern and surface design I thought I had CS5 pretty well handled...  I could make repeat patterns, draw, live trace etc but then entered the Pattern Tool?! I am both in awe of it and and little scared of it. 

simple flower pattern by meganhcarroll

It Reminded me of a children's story book I use to read to my kids... Today I Will Fly by Mo Williams. The protagonist Piggie exclaims to his friend Gerald an Elephant "I can Fly".... Gerald always the downer says to Piggie.... "You can not fly, You will not fly Today, You will not fly tomorrow YOU WILL NEVER FLY.".... and looking at the new version of CS6 that is kinda how I felt... my inner critic whispering in my ear you Can Not Do This, You can Never Do this!...Gerald in a dismissive- this will never happen kind of way, says to Piggie "You Need Help". And that is What Piggie did, she got help and was able to fly with the aid of her friend a Duck that carried her through the air and over Gerald's head! Gerald was astounded and exclaimed- "You did it, You Flew" and Piggie (quick witted) said "No, I got Help".

simple flower pattern fill by meganhcarroll

Where am I going with this story and what does it have to do with Illustrator? Rather than using the Illustrator how to videos which are great but require a whole bunch of previous experience- I am self taught so my knowledge is geared more for simple illustration and surface and pattern design I turned to experts in the field. I follow a lot of aspiring and talented experienced designers in different forums and groups and someone linked to a free class from Pattern Observer The Ultimate Guide to Repeats. I shoved my fear and self doubt to the side and got help. The help came in the form of simple suggestions and tips... and much to my amazement and excitement I made a simple repeat using the pattern tool... So maybe I Can Do This...

simple flower pattern colour by meganhcarroll

The Three swatches show my progression using the pattern tool to create a simple repeat. As you can see I used the same motif several ways... I love the simplicity of the the first two, the third (not my favourite) was playing around with colour and texture just to see what could be done....

The Self critic will rear its ugly head again, I know that, but it helps know there there is large community that both support me and others like me... There are answers out there, you just have to know when to ask for help. As for where to and from whom, what are your resources?!

Have a Lovely Day!

Monday, October 6, 2014

In my Sketchbook inspiration for print and pattern.

In my Sketchbook, ideas for print and pattern. 
One of the best sources of inspiration can be found in your everyday life.

This summer we added a pond to our back yard with a few Lilly pads, 
lotus flowers and large fancy Gold fish.

The Best time of day was sitting around the pond in the evening, floating candles watching our fish catch the tiny bugs that would inspect the water.
Scrappy Carp Card
  You can find my fish illustrations on simple blank cards in the Scrappy Carp Etsy shop.

Looking for your own inspiration?
Tomorrow I will be starting a new class... Seven Days of Paper Love!
Join me and share what you create!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

I am an..... Artist

I am an Artist

I am an artist by Megan H Carroll

This is a proclamation. I don't say this very often though it is probably known by those that know me but what about those that don't? How do I introduce myself? How do I answer that question: "what do you do?"
Up until know I have been saying "well you know (because first comes the excuses), I have kids, I am married... I am a stay at home mum... I do laundry, make meals... and I sew, and I umm... um make art?!" As if it were question, not an ownership.
 Last night was my town's Art Walk. Artists open their studio spaces to the public, local businesses stay open late hang art on their walls to create a rich community vibe. It has to be said my hero of a husband took the kids to a comic book shop (also open late) so that I could wonder.. I first checked out some studios above the Spark Museum- a museum dedicated to radio, that took about 30 minutes or so and I was feeling antsy, like I had to get back to the family (part of my problem about defining myself- who am I if I am not a mother?). The comic book shop was across street and as I was waited for the red the light I checked my phone once more- Husband said:
"Take your time, kids are having fun." 
I suddenly veered left and went into a shop with a thoughtfully scripted sign, it wasn't flashy, it was elegant and simple Red Barn Jewelry... I took the time to go in and I was so glad that I did. I was met with beautiful jewelry and fascinating people. After actually asking questions and being probably annoying I finally said I AM AN ARTIST! I owned the title and even gave away a card.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Make Today Count

What will you do today?
make today count by Megan H Carroll
I would like to add to that...And Everyday!

This is what I doodled while watching Lisa Congdon's Becoming a Working Artist
Behind each pen mark is a thought, a word that resinated with me... Something that inspired me. Just listening and doing Lisa's activities, her message and the impact of the audience makes me want to make every second of today and everyday Count.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Good Morning.....

Good Morning....

Good Morning Sunshine image by Megan H Carroll

How are you?
The Weekend is nearly here!

As I start to become more active with blogging again I thought I would start out with a bright image! Inspired by the the sun streaming through the window on this crisp cool autumn morning.