Posts categorized "Illustration Friday / Inspire Me Thursday"

Spring Comes Late at Chez Reynolds


Did I mention that my husband's heart surgery both really knocked me for a loop and is having long lasting productivity effects?   

One result is that it's a week later that I'm getting around to posting my response to the Eco Art topic from last week.

The art piece "Spring" is designed to elicit an impression of the planet's fresh soft bounty and remind us of its delicate fragility no matter what time of year we see it.

See more of my Inspire Me Thursday and Illustration Friday pieces here and more from other artists at the Eco Art topic link.


Beyond the Fjord: Art in a Soothing Vein


It turns out that having wires screwed into a spouse's heart has a way of interfering with other activities.

After living and breathing heart monitors for days I  need something calm and soothing in my world. Could I even think about anything beyond medication, cardiac electricians young enough to be my children, and questions about recuperation?

Could I even focus on a belated contribution for last week's Illustration Friday topic "Polar"?

A serene monochromatic palette of blues and a complex maze like pattern of lights and darks worked into the small mixed media art piece: "Beyond the Fjord"

After it was done and I was loading the image into the blog I began to wonder if the maze has some kind of meaning connected to heart circuitry. But then again, I'm never sure exactly what's going to come out when I make art - and I'm never sure what's behind it either.

I love a good conundrum.


Find more Illustration Friday and Inspire Me Thursday pieces in this section of the Artsy Asylum Blog and enjoy other Illustration Friday submissions here.

Fortune Brings Tides of Chance - Illustration Friday 4-13-07

Tidesofchancewb When "Fortune," today's topic for Illustration Friday landed in my email box my brain cells flashed on how daughter 3.0 and I invariably hesitate in our choices, wondering which fortune cookie is destined to be "ours."

The ebb and flow of the tides of chance give me about a 50-50 chance of opening the one that fits me more than it does her. So goes my most obvious once weekly brush with the whims of fortune.

As we walk along the sands of life we're presented with both choices and gifts.

Issues about what we take time to notice and questions about the gifts and opportunities we decide to take advantage of are represented by the mixed media and collaged image shown here in: the Tides of Chance


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What's Your Idea of Art? A Change of Scene

PicassostampThe Inspire Me Thursday assignment titled Change of Scenery challenges participants to "treat your muse to a change of scenery.  . . .wander outside your usual creative space . . . or create a piece of art inspired by the theme of new surroundings or change of scenery."

My outside the box response is to showcase my somewhat offbeat Tribute to Pablo artistamp from the imaginary Empire of Ephemeria. You can step outside your normal world by:

Another way of showing you the world through a change of scene is to take you see omething completely from G Fine Art,  well worth a virtual visit to see some of the images from exhibitions such as: Graham Caldwell's Thinking About Art. Much of the more off the wall stuff is really intriguing . . . and yes, very artistic, but perhaps seen from a different perspective than our normal one.


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It's a Spring Green Illustration Friday

It's Illustration Friday and today's topic is "Green"

I wanted to keep it simple and just experiment with a wide spectrum of greens.

As I began to sketch, a soft spring foliage image evolved. Exploring a multitude of Greens in the mixed media art piece: "Spring Green" was a joy on this spring day.

Click on the image at right for an enlarged view.

Find more of my Illustration Friday and Inspire Me Thursday pieces in this section of the Artsy Asylum Blog. and enjoy other artists' "Green" submissions here

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What Secrets Come Out on Inspiration Thursday?


The Inspiration Thursday prompt posted last Thursday was: Secrets

My response is to to remain mysterious and ask about your reaction to my reaction . . .

What secrets do you imagine floating to the surface or lurking in the deep in my art piece Secret Message?

What emotions float to the surface of your mind and heart when you think about secrets?

Each viewer's reaction may be different based on your own experiences. And that's the beauty of art . . . and exactly what I intended.

Find more of my Illustration Friday and Inspire Me Thursday pieces in this section of the Artsy Asylum Blog. and enjoy other artists' Inspire me Thursday submissions here

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What Do Wishes Look Like?


When "Inspire Me Thursday" dawned last week the organizers presented us the with the lovely and opportunity filled theme: Wishes.

To see a larger view of my interpretation of the idea click on the image at right

Which brings us to the question: What does the theme Wishes conjure up for you in either words or pictures?

For more of the products of Illustration Friday / Inspire Me Thursday challenges click on the category link above or check out the category listing in the column at left.

Enjoy the work of other artists via their Inspire Me Thursday submissions here and lean more about the artists who participate in  Illustration Friday at this link

What Can You See From Your Window?


The latest Illustration Friday topic is: I Spy.

Click on the image for a slightly enlarged view of my offering which is a colorful and somewhat funky graphic piece titled View Through the Blinds, inspired by a peek through my husband's office window looking towards the Potomac.

For more of my Illustration Friday / Inspire Me Thursday challenges click on this category link or check out the categories in the column at left.

Enjoy the work of other artists via their Inspire Me Thursday submissions here and lean more about the artists who participate in  Illustration Friday at this link

What Makes for Femminine Inspiration


The theme of the last "Inspire Me Thursday" Celebrating the Feminine through Art, resulted in my producing a piece of expression titled Femmes.

See if I'm on the mark and if what I've created plays enough tricks in your brain to produce a twenties inspired image out of the multiple tones of dusty rose hues shown here.

Find more of my Illustration Friday and Inspire Me Thursday pieces in this section of the Artsy Asylum Blog.

Enjoy other artists' Inspire me Thursday submissions here


Stained Glass Color Explosion Happens : Filamental Fibers

3filamentalfragmentsdisplayDoes Filamental Fibers may look like an explosion in a stained glass studio? It's actually created with watercolor and ink in a kind of weird painting process I've been working on over a decade or so.

Clients tell me they like seeing something different every time they look at pieces like this. And honestly, they're fun to talk about and to hear people's ideas about..

click on image for an enlarged view

How about this image: What do you see? A sky glimpsed through strands of yarn? A rich tropical landscape? Shards of gemstones? A volcano in some emotion or drama-laden stage of the process?

I'm in the process of putting the image on prints and cards over the next week or so and I have to admit that I'm really looking forward to seeing it on a mouse-pad. That's something that's coming to sit on my work table.

This whole "different views at different times" phenomenon of this approach makes me look forward to that mousepad even more. Just think: I can flip it around multiple times a day.

Cool beans.

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Look for the print and mousepad soon in the Gallery of Susan Reynolds

Relates to "Inspire Me Thursday" topic: Paint


It's About Change





Change is the subject of the day for Illustration Friday, providing food for thought and opportunities for multiple layers of ideas for imagery.


See art by many artists at Illustration Friday and more of my own work for Illustration Friday and Inspire me Thursday at this Category link

Illustration Friday Art : Safe

Alexsafe2bjdisplayDave's not the first guy I think of when someone mentions this word, but the Illustration Friday topic today is "safe."

What immediately came to mind was what a great opportunity this was to talk about Dave - who I've known since we were five -  or more accurately create an art piece focusing on little Alex, Dave's spankin' new grandson.

I wanted to create a peek into Alex's world and hoped that the viewer would pick up the atmosphere of the cocoon of safety and love that Alex must feel when being watched over by grandpa.

So I took the topic and worked with a couple of images and multiple layers. Moving, softening, washing and sanding; I created the mixed media piece: "Assuring Alex"

The bonus for Dave is seeing the newest grandchild hit the bloggosphere. The bonus for Alex is being born into the O'Connell family.The bonus for readers comes in the form of artistamps on this theme which will be issued in the next week.

Susan Take a Trip Through the Past

Run3web Run, the Illustration Friday topic for today reminded me of an assignment that has always been popular with my students. Well, not popular when I assign it, but among pieces that draw raves at student exhibits.

Yes - it's true - I make them draw their shoes. Or their grandmother's shoes. Or my son's shoes; an ever changing array of Converse High Tops that had been retired to the "draw these" box in the studio.

Always a kid full of energy; when his shoes were worn out they had tons of character. Yellow, turquoise, bright orange - you name it, we had some student's drawing of them, and those all important "negative spaces" where the shoe material used to be. 

So the "run" assignment remembers art classes, funny and talented students, and the clothing choices of my funkily stylish son.

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What Threw the Roadblock in My Thursday Inspiration

Asylumpostesm Last Thursday those creative folks at Inspire me Thursday had a surprise for us. It was essentially "Do Your Own Thing" day.

I've been having some trouble with arthritis in my hands, so this project started with wondering about how the progressive nature of arthritis would limit the scope of my work in the future, and how people who are self-employed might better prepare for unanticipated roadblocks in our paths.

With burgeoning technology, the potential for creative solutions for those of us who work for ourselves is increasing. To protect my hands for example I use a program called shortkeys which allows me to enter a short string of characters to produce a longer text block.

A timer on my laptop reminds me to take a break and tracks the activity level on the computer throughout the day.

A speech recognition program is in my future and although I most likely will not be working with clay or doing detailed hand printmaking, alternatives like photo-transfer pieces, collage and other mixed-media work seem like viable options.

In the end, this Thursday reminded me of the importance of resting joints that are acting up and it also provided the incentive to do some preparation for the future. It was only later that I got around to creating a postmark for the smallest of my art pieces, the Artistamps of Ephemeria.

You can look through projects I've done for other Inspire Me Thursday and Illustration Friday here in the blog, or visit the Inspire Me Thursday website for more ideas and inspiration.

Play Time: Illustration Friday Artwork

The latest Illustration Friday theme is: Play. I'm having a little issue with arthritis in my hands so I'm quite a few days behind in all my hand-work but it's here at last.

In the UK Telegraph Andrew Gimson writes   "The Americans are more old-fashioned than us, and what is equally admirable, they are not ashamed of being old-fashioned."

It's true. And here I think I'm having a flashback to 1950

For a larger view click on the image at right.

This blog also contains other art from my participation in Illustration Friday. Enjoy browsing.

And you can catch up on what a wide variety of designers, painters, illustrators and others have created for this theme by going to Illustration Friday

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Lady Jane pointed me in the direction of my inspiration


Woodside ; An Artistic Study in Contrasts

Woodside Inspire Me Thursday's theme yesterday was black and white. Interestingly, what preoccupied me was how that fit in with what was a sizzling day outside. The lushness of summer was washed out by the intense sunlight and opressive heat.

So my offering is a study in contrasts; the dichotomy between light and dark, smooth and rough, aged and new.

And because life holds its share of greys, this piece of art does as well.

Illustration Friday's Simple Summer Sea



Illustration Friday's theme this sizzling summer weekend was: Simple.

So this is short and sweet: a cool, clear, summery and simple art offering

Enchanted - the Art Piece


Enchanted is a mixed media, transfer and collage piece sparked by the Illustration Friday topic: Opposites

I love these warm forest and amber tones with just a hint of peach and pomegranate. Adding the periwinkles and blues  seemed a cooling contrast.

Click for an enlarged, but admittedly web resolution challenged image.

The Question of Time

The theme for Inspire me Thursday last week was Numeral Art. And it may be that Ticking Time fits the bill already, but since the idea is to create a new piece for each challenge, I've created 1945, a mixed media piece.1945web

Again, time seems to have seeped into the work. It obsesses me.

Viewing the Blues from a Rainy Window

BluethoughrainywindowwbSometimes it's frustrating to take on a topic idea from someone else, but the most recent Illustration Friday provided a wonderful experience.

Don't get me wrong; it's always work and takes days if not longer in the process; but the result, titled Blue Through a Rainy Window made this fulfilling and enjoyable work.

The impression that you're viewing through the subtle distortion of an old glass pane appeals to me; and some of my favorite shades showed up in the soft blues and peaches.

I don't mean to create - either in this or in any of my work - anything similar to a photo-like image.

What I'm going for is for you to bring your own experiences and impressions and react to each piece in your own way - responding with a memory or picture from your own mind which you "recognize" or relate to.

Continue reading "Viewing the Blues from a Rainy Window" »

Illustration Friday - Petals of Pretty in Pink



Tone on tone, layer on layer, a frothy swirl of romance and the soft lights and colours of the ballet come together in celebration.

Presenting: Prima Performance where the petals of an imagined garden join in an ode to pretty in pink.

The mixed media original is part of an Illustration Friday project and prints are available for a limited time, including a four by six size suitable for postal mail or framing.

Do Blogs Plus Art Plus People Equal Art People?

Most people don't think they're "art" people. Maybe that includes you. For sure it includes lots of people who find me through other blogs, fellow bloggers who read my stuff, or people who wander in to pick up fun stuff like Mardi Gras artistamps - or whatever.

But I hope people who think they know nothing about art - or care nothing about art - will accept my excuse -  to talk about it anyhow.Shadesofthetropicswebsm_1

The story starts as my son has deployed out of his base in Europe for a NATO exercise. So what about that led to this piece of art - Shades of the Tropics - that's so much unlike things you normally find in my blog?

His call yesterday to talk about father's day which will happen while he's with a bunch of planes in a hot third world country -  plus this week's Illustration Friday topic: 'Jungle' - somehow layered on each other in my mind. Voila -  Shades of the Tropics happened.

    click on the image for a larger view

Most of what comes out of my brain has a certain fixation on layers - segments - pieces of a larger 'thing" weaving through it. Through a couple of decades of art making that feel is nearly always present . . . but it's also always evolving too.


My hope is that you can get a sense - even if it is an on-screen one - of the kind of washes and layering of color and design that are typical of my larger pieces.

The idea is to create a feel for the subject of topic rather than a photographic reproduction. Instead of a picture of a jungle, this is a representation - an expression - that conveys a certain feel.


Continue reading "Do Blogs Plus Art Plus People Equal Art People? " »

Portrait of Loss - My Data Went With My Mind

The topic for Illustration Friday was "Portrait" - oh and I had a good one all ready to upload. This wasn't it though.

Then I somehow was distracted; had an appointmentNoonelikeyou with a new doctor; had a headache; went shopping . . . .
I got busy

Famous last words. 

Now I'm using this blast from the past to remind myself that those who don't learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. 

One of the worst things to happen to a creative person is to lose access to whatever it is that they create. And  I've been having access problems aplenty. Those images I'm so addicted to had left me with 14% disk space free. Scans, photos, you name it - I was bursting at the seams.

Time to clean house; over the weekend an external hard drive was added to help shore up the bulging files storage situation.

At last, I was able to free . ..

Continue reading "Portrait of Loss - My Data Went With My Mind" »

Illustration Friday Mixed Media Art : It's My Party


Illustration Friday's topic today was a yummy one: cake! I celebrated the excuse to explore a dreamy swirl of soft images and lighthearted pleasure.

And what could be more appropriate for work coming out of the Artsy Asylum Studio?

Cotton candy, candles and confetti danced into a summer birthday celebration in my imagination.

So my entry whips up layer upon layer of  candied confection laced with hints of streamers and peaks of icing in the dreamscape titled It's My Party.

Clicking on the image will give you an enlarged version. And would you like a scoop of rainbow sherbet with that?

Illustration Friday Art is Sorry

It's a miracle. Illustration Friday is here and my contribution is complete and uploaded before noon. So let the celebration commence!

The topic for the day is: Sorry - and you can view the list of all the artists who participate in Illustration Friday and links to their creations at
Illustration Friday's website

Pop back here at any time to see a selection of my Illustration Friday contributions. Just click on the topic / category Illustration Friday in the list in the side column of this blog.

Doing that will take you to the page where a number of these are grouped

Ifwhitebutton_2To participate in Illustration Friday see the rules at the website. And have fun!

Apparition: Angel or Devil?

.... read on for a download freebie

Procrastination is my downfall. Can you even believe that I totally skipped Illustration Friday?  Especially when the topic was: "Angels and Devils" - I mean c'mon!

Since I already had something that I could use - Yes - you guessed it. Instead of having the topic on the back of my mind all day wondering what to submit, I didn't give it another thought. And as a result totally missed adding my entry on Friday.


It's even worse when you know that most of my blog readers have found me as a result of seeing my work in Illustration Friday. And it's by some outrageous margin like three times more than the next highest ranking referrer. What a doofus I can be sometimes!

BUT better late than never - my "Angels and Devils" is a three dimensional art  piece that was part of a story in Somerset Studio Magazine. It's a take off on the Flat Stanley books by Jeff Brown.

My "angelic" Susan was one of three "flat Susans" created for a Christmas theme for a December publication date. Shown here as "Christmas Future" I present myself as an angelic spirit who hangs around to check on what's going on, keeping the same funky flowy feel I like in the here and now.

Continue reading "Apparition: Angel or Devil?" »

"Fat" Blooms on Illustration Friday

When I first saw that the Illustration Friday topic "fat" - well my inclination was to submit a piece of fancy chocolate with arms and legs - a walking fat bomb as it were.

Bcbloomsblues_1But when I was working on ideas these plump juicy blossoms kept popping into my mind.

Designed in 2006 specially for the British Columbia Art Teachers' Conference, until now this artistamp has been exclusive to that group.

After all, Nick Bantock was speaking - we had to give the teachers something to take back to their classes to help them create imaginative correspondence!

In the end - after multiple other ideas had come and gone, I made a change to the border and a few minor tweaks - so the BC Teachers still have something special and exclusive to them - and I decided to submit the bursting blooms to Illustration Friday.

Illustration Friday - Under the Sea

After last week's Illustration Friday topic - also known as the "Scary Robot Episode" it was a relief to get today's subject assignment:20060410_underthesea_preview_wb
     Under the Sea

It gives us a welcome chance to think about summer, suntan lotion, and boats coming out of winter homes to slip onto sparkling water.

My entry recognizes both the hard labor and exhilarating sport of things Under the Sea.  

Click on the image for a larger view of Ephemeria Poste's Issue #2006.04.10. You can also find the 4 sheet download packet at the download portal at Lulu and check here for ideas for how to use artistamps

Why I Fear Robots - and Sometimes Fridays


Yes, as happens every week it's once again Illustration Friday.

Fortunately for me our topic is not always "Robots."

After many failed brainstorms I think I'm stuck in the Jetson's era.

You've got to admit - she's perfect for Ephemeria's Artsy Asylum. Now if she just does floors and windows.

For those souls who are not creeped out entirely, or are otherwise inclined to use the Ephemerobot artistamp in artsy applications or to add to and techify their snail mail, you'll find below a freebie download of:

  • this artistamp
  • a version in a deeper color palette - and
  • an idea sheet for how to use artistamps

Download 2006.04.07_Ephemerobot-packet.pdf

Illustration Friday - Spotted - a Great North-Wet Tribute

This week's Illustration Friday topic is "Spotted".Ifwhitebutton_1

OregonianssewbHow handy that I just finished putting together something to illustrate that a wide variety of regular people really could benefit from having an artistamps custom designed just for them.

So my version of Spotted is a design labeled "Oregonians & Great NorthWet-onians.

Click on the image at left, or the whole display below to get a larger version to pop-up.Artstampordersa3

Spring - March 31, 2006



Our assigned theme for
Illustration Friday this week
was: "Spring."

For more about Illustration Friday
and the fun creative exercises
and activities we do, see



I'm Not Blue - but that's the Theme for Illustration Friday

So "Blue" is what I have to work with . . .
And although my son is home and my daughters and granddaughter are in and out - so I'm far from blue - nonetheless, Blue is the theme for Illustration Friday this week.

So since I try to at least participate once in awhile, here's my piece for today. 

Click on the image to see it larger.

I'm thinking of adapting it for one of those 4 Squared pieces they're talking about over at  the Museum of Paper Arts.

Or maybe a series of prints. OOOOhhh and wouldn't it look good on a tile at the cafepress gallery? That sounds like a plan.