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This blog has moved!! I have finally gotten around to building a new website to replace my very very old one. As a result, I have chosen to migrate this blog to the new site. All previous and future posts will now live at Shaunart.net

If you are interested in receiving post updates, which I promise will be more frequent now that I’m back in the swing of things, I ask that you please subscribe to my blog at Shaunart.net

Thank you!

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For the entire month of June I will be exhibiting some of my brightest watercolor paintings in a  Solo show at the iYo Cafe in Davis Square, Somerville, Ma! Though the subject of the work varies, the collection was assembled primarily for its warm-weather feel. I would describe the bunch as a simple, whimsical celebration of the summer months and the beautiful world around us.

Painting by Shauna Leva

The work is on display towards the back of the cafe on a brick and mortar wall across from a seating area known as “the drawing room” for the large chalk board on one of its walls. On June 12th from 6-8pm there will be a reception for the show, where patrons of the cafe or any fans of my work can come hang out with me. The cafe serves coffee and typical cafe snacks, but the highlight of the menu in my opinion is the frozen yogurt. All of the work on display is for sale, and while you can purchase in person at the reception, anyone is welcome to see the work at anytime during the month of June, and may send purchase inquiries to my email. Address and hours posted below….I hope to see you at the reception!

Painting by Shauna Leva

iYO Cafe

234 Elm Street
Somerville, MA 02144
(Davis Square T Stop)
(617) 764-5295

Monday — Friday:
8:00AM – 11:00PM

Saturday:
8:00AM – 11:30PM

Sunday:
8:00 AM – 10:00PM

 

Finally I’ve finished another painting! This winter has been brutal in every way imaginable. Because of this I’ve taken to painting dreamy summer scenes all season to console my shivering skins.

Last summer I took a trip to P-Town Mass, early in the season before the crowds arrived.  The town was just waking up from its long winter slumber; the people and their possessions were slowly and lazily stirring with anticipation for the coming tourist season. Things weren’t ready yet–boats had to be hosed off, patios needed to be set-up. Everything was being taken outside and given a good shake. Provincetown is a very beautiful place, but it’s a tourist town and beautiful places are hard to appreciate when you can’t see the scenery through masses of human bodies in colorful hats and cheap backpacks. It was nice to get a glimpse of the famous local when it’s most mundane, where the most exciting thing happening is that the library is being dusted and the sidewalks refinished. It really is a cute little town.
provincetownwatermark

This painting was done in watercolors and pen on cold-press watercolor paper. I’m most proud of how that tree turned out.

I am now registered with the Mass Board of Library Commissioner’s Performers List! Some of you may know that I teach “How to Draw Manga” Workshops at Libraries and Community centers across the state of Massachusetts. I started teaching these workshops back in 2003 (yikes) and began by cold-calling libraries across the state. Well, my little lecture’s popularity ballooned to the point where I no longer needed to do any advertising to get the word out. Librarians shared my contact info amongst themselves and business has been pretty steady ever since.

Regardless, I feel like its about time that I ought to do a little bit of advertising, if only to let some of the libraries I haven’t been to in a while know that I’m still running this workshop! Maybe I can also reach some new community centers outside of my typically library circuit as well in the process. So per the suggestion of a wonderfully helpful Librarian from Dover I have registered with the Library Commissioner to be on a list of Massachusetts library “performers.”

But I’m also writing this blog post! So that you, curious reader with connections to libraries or after-school programs which are looking for ways to entertain children, might be inspired to make a connection for me here. Anime and Manga is a fantastically popular style of Japanese cartooning and story telling which came to the US in the 1980’s and was made popular by 90’s television shows like Pokemon. The style has grown in popularity so much that there are literally hundreds of titles which employ this style of drawing. Because the style has been so prevalent for over 20 years, many of today’s children grew up with it all around them, and are very interested in learning how to tell their own stories through manga.

If you have a child who would like to learn how to draw Anime and Manga, or if you run an after school program, or if you are a librarian and you are interested in hosting a “How to Draw Manga Workshop” for your kids, I encourage you to visit this link to find out more about my workshop, and to send me an email with any other questions!

Libraries of the World, here I come!

I can’t believe its almost Christmas!! Where did this month go? Where are all the months going!? I blame the lack of blog updates on my job and blossoming social life. It’s been a great year, but I certainly don’t have as much free-time to craft as I used to. Fortunately the winter holidays come with mandatory crafting; it isn’t Christmas without the trimmings, trappings, wrappings, and arrangements. I have not been known to decorate half-way. That is not to say that I go overboard, but the projects that I do take on, I do just-so.

Last week while I was wrapping gifts, I got the urge (prompted by a Michael’s sale’s flyer) to fashion a few with extra creativity. Handmade cards? Yes. That sounds like fun too.

DSC_1091

Here are some of my more photogenic gift exteriors. May they provide you with all the inspiration you need to finish your shopping, and make your gifts look great! Everything you see here I bought from Michael’s craft store. Some of it I had hanging around from last year, and some of it I bought fresh. The cards came with pre-cut scalloped edges, and I added the 3D scrapbook stickers and ribbon. Honestly, deciding what to write inside the card was much more difficult than assembling them—anyone can make cards like these. All it takes is some ribbon, stickers, and good paper glue.

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The gift boxes were also pretty easy to put together. The most complicated element was the bow, made more difficult because of its small-size. One tip I will toss out there is that pretty ribbon doesn’t go very far. I went through two yards of ribbon on these gifts alone, and they are not big boxes! Decorative ribbon doesn’t come in very long lengths, so I say go for the clearance ribbon and get more than you think you need. Happy wrapping~!

Fall is that one time of year where the squirrels seem to be extra busy. I see them everywhere! Collecting their acorns and getting into trouble. I hear that they have to bury extra acorns because they won’t remember where they put most of them. So if they just put an acorn everywhere, maybe they or one of their friends will be lucky enough to find it by accident.

squirrelwatermark

This squirrel was painted with watercolor and colored pencil on hot press watercolor paper.  I like the hot-press for fur because it doesn’t allow for much bleeding of the colors. The edges of every stroke stay sharp, whereas cold-press paper allows for fuzzy edges and bleeding, which is better for landscapes or large blocks of color. Hot press paper also eats a lot of the color up while the paint is drying. You can put down a stroke, which looks dark and vibrant while wet, but as soon as its dry it suddenly looks dull. This means layering is essential for building up strong colors, but neutrals are easier to control. In this case, I didn’t want my colors to get too bright because squirrels’ fur is neutral. Even if I made a mark that was a little too red or a little too blue, the hot-press paper helped to de-saturated the colors slightly as I painted, and left me with a very crisp and clean result

You can get your very own print of this little guy for just $7 through my Etsy store! 

Post-Granite State Comicon

This past weekend Kelley and I attended Granite State Comicon as vending artists in their Artist’s Alley and Dealer’s room. I had a wonderful time and met some really cool people! With Halloween coming up, many of you asked if I had a store online or made custom masks. Yes, and yes! I sell my masks and other costume wear through etsy at http://www.etsy.com/shop/shaunart. I was waiting to list a lot of masks until after the convention was over, but now that I’m done with Granite State, I will be listing the bulk of what didn’t sell on my Etsy within the next few days. Be sure to check back!

If you need something very specific for Halloween, feel free to send me an email or message me through Etsy to start a commission. Get you commissions in soon, though! There’s only a month left before Halloween and I already have a few commissions in the works. The sooner you can place your mask orders, the better your chances of me accepting it for a Halloween delivery.

Thanks again to everyone who came out to Granite State Comicon, and to all the artist’s in our vending row who made the convention so much fun! Hope to see you all again next year.