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Hello all!  Or those of you who still check this now and then.  :)

If you haven't noticed, my time here on dA has scaled back to a tiny smidgen of what it once was.  But there is good reason!  For the past year and a half, I have been delving into the literary world.  I have been working tirelessly on my very first children's book!  It has been a total labor of love, and has taught me so much.  And at last, I am on the cusp of finishing it!

Next week I am flying to LA to meet with my writing partner Chris Dane Owens, and we will be putting the finishing touches on the text of the book.  After that?  Off it goes, into the waiting hands of three different publishers.  Who it will end up being published by is anyone's guess... but any one of these prospects would make me squeal with glee.

I can hardly, HARDLY wait to share it with you all.  Even though I've made other artwork during this time, my heart and soul has gone into this book.  Some characters will be familiar... as you've seen them before in old works.  Some characters are new.  And the story?  Well... if you like animals, and you like music...  it's a safe bet you'll probably like the story. ;)

So thank you to everyone who has continued visiting my page here, supporting my artwork, and leaving me such inspiring, uplifting messages.  I really do read them, even if I haven't been able to reply to them as I'd like.  I hope, once the whirlwind of finishing this book dies down, that I'll be able to stop by here much more often.

Watch out Hollywood!  Here I come!!!!!
~Aimee~

Life Perpetual

Journal Entry: Thu Aug 18, 2011, 9:24 PM


"And one by one the nights between our separated cities are joined to the night that unites us. "

— Pablo Neruda


1. My children's book project is over halfway done.  

2.  I now have puzzles in Wal-Mart, which is completely surreal to me...

3.  You ain't seen nuthin' yet....

~Aimee~


Epilogue


"The whales do not sing because they have an answer. They sing because they have a song." ~ Gregory Colbert

Projects and Duran Duran Voting!

Journal Entry: Tue Mar 22, 2011, 11:04 AM


Hello everyone!!

So it is March 22nd, and the year is tromping right along!  I'm still working on the project I hinted at on my previous journal....  and am so excited with it's progress!  You see, I am working on a children's book!  Illustrating it, and collaborating on the writing with my dear friend Chris Dane Owens.  If that name seems familiar, you might have seen him in the video Shine On Me that swept through YouTube over a year ago.  I am utterly delighted to be working with Chris on this project, and am SOOOO excited to share the results with you!!

Another little side project I am obsessing over right now, is my entry in the Duran Duran "All You Need Is Art" contest.  The contest is currently in the voting stage, and I know so many of you have already voted for me - for which I say THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   For those of you who haven't, please oh please go and take a look at my entry.  If you like it, send a vote my way!  I would apprecaite it greatly!  Here is the link:  tinyurl.com/4dz5jb6

Also, if there are any cross stitch fans among you, over 30 pieces of my artwork have been licensed to Heaven and Earth Designs - the leading cross stitch pattern company!!  It will become official in April, so I will link here when the patterns are officially up for sale. :D

Thanks for stopping by, and hey - if you want to share the link to the voting page because you adore my work... I will owe you massive cupcakes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Aimee


Epilogue


"The whales do not sing because they have an answer. They sing because they have a song." ~ Gregory Colbert

Foxalicious Updates

Journal Entry: Tue Jan 18, 2011, 8:08 PM


Hello one and all!

A little 'ello and 'ow are ya for the new year!!  

I just stopped by tonight to post one of my latest creations, and figured I would let you all in on a little secret:  I am currently working on a children's book!!

Yes, my lifelong dream is finally coming to fruition!  I am collaborating with a very, very dear and special friend... and together we are crafting a world of wonderful, enchanting animals!  There is a publisher waiting for our presentation in February... and as soon as I can, I will announce more here.  

Until then, keeping creating oh you talented ones!!!
Truly,
Aimee


Epilogue


"The whales do not sing because they have an answer. They sing because they have a song." ~ Gregory Colbert

Getting ready for Steamcon 2010!!

Journal Entry: Mon Oct 18, 2010, 6:43 AM


Hello all!

Steamcon, it's just around the corner!!  November 19-21st!

This year has been one of vibrant color for me.  I look back at my last 20 submissions, and I see a definite theme.  Color, vibrancy... and all that goodness!  It's been so fun being able to just dive into the virtual paint pots and go wild.

And now I get to shift gears a little!  Steamcon's theme this year is the 'Wild Weird West'.  How fun is that?!  And I have some definite ideas for what I would like to create for that.  I'm going to have a few of my top sellers there for sale, but I am also going to be revealing a number of brand new works that won't even be seen here prior to the show.  People will get to see them live and in person first.  And they are going to be in a whole different vein that anything I've done in quite awhile.  Gritty, almost monochromatic at times, but still with a flare of storytelling.  I'm truly excited to be able to exhibit a different range for the art show... and I hope all of you in attendance will enjoy it as well!

Of course, as soon as Steamcon is over I will post the images here. :)  Oh, maybe I'll post a tiny hint of one before then, just to tease you.  Heheh.

I will also be speaking on some panels there!  So if you are going to attend, let me know!  I'd love to say hi to any of my dA friends!

*HUGS*
Aimee


Epilogue


"The whales do not sing because they have an answer. They sing because they have a song." ~ Gregory Colbert

It's not my birthday, but....

Journal Entry: Mon Aug 16, 2010, 9:15 AM


....thank you!  Not sure how people ended up thinking my b-day was now... but hey, as long as there's cupcakes, huzzah!!! LOL (EDIT:  OoooOooOooh...I get it now.  DERP!  LOL)

Hello all!  Is it August already?!  SERIOUSLY?  *Le sigh*  The summer.  She runs past me like a five year old late for the ice cream truck.

How are all of you?   I see dA is being prolific as ever.  I'm staring at 12,600+ messages waiting for me.  It makes me feel like I've got this fantastic pinata of art, and I just need to bash it with a baseball bat... but only if there's nougat involved.  Always nougat.

And how am I, you ask?  Why, you are so kind!  I am peechy keen as ever!!  I am finishing up my first solo calendar for Duirwaigh Studios this month, to be sold in Barnes & Noble, Borders, Hastings - etc. in 2012.  It will be published by Amber Lotus Publishing, and that makes me giddy in all the right places.  I have three images to finish by September.  Good thing I finally got prescription glasses!! ;)  Which I am not actually wearing in this latest picture of me:


I've also been working with Adam Meiklejohn of MGL Licensing in the UK to create more products and puzzles, which has been a fun learning experience.

One thing I am currently involved in and SO excited about... is working with a band I absolutely, totally, one hundred percent adore.  They are called Marquis of Vaudeville, and they are so talented...their music is a pure source of inspiration to me lately!!  If you haven't heard of them, check them out here:  www.myspace.com/marquisofvaude…

I am in the middle of creating portraits for them, which is a total honor.  The gents are fabulous, and if you are in the Dallas area, you should check them out!!  Here is Toby, the lead singer:


So, thanks to all of you for all your recent messages and fantastic support.  As always, it makes me enjoy being an artist so much, I could just scoop all of you up and hug you like the fuzzy fluffinators of goodness that you are.

~*~Aimee~*~


Epilogue


"The whales do not sing because they have an answer. They sing because they have a song." ~ Gregory Colbert

I promise I'm not dead yet!

Journal Entry: Sun May 9, 2010, 10:30 AM


Hello all!

So here is a long overdue journal, to let you all know I'm still alive!  After Norwescon (which was a BLAST!  And a magnificent success as far as my artwork is concerned!) I was swept up into the planning of a Wedding in Wonderland for my dear friends Angi Sullins and Silas Toball - of Duirwaigh Studios :iconduirwaighstudios: - which culminated in a fantastical time this past weekend on Whidbey Island, in Washington State.

Here is a picture of me and the Queen herself.  Please forgive us for being so understated.  HA!

Aimee and the Queen of Wonderl by Foxfires

I also had the pleasure of meeting many other wonderful artists there, including the FABULOUS :iconwingdthing: Nicole West, who is fantabulous and awesome and doesn't live nearly close enough to me!!  And the singularly spectacular Jena DellaGrottaglia :iconjenadellagrottaglia: who was charm galore, and helped fuel the laughter between us all that made my head hurt like a pounded watermelon in the morning!

And here's a pic of me at Norwescon with the one and only, Sir Vader.  I took very few pictures at the Con, but this photo op made me run my poor, tired, aching feet off til I could catch up with him and beg a photo.  

Foxfires and Darth by Foxfires

Now that I am back, my schedule is a veritable hurricane of activity as far as my artwork is concerned.  I am booked solid until winter with various and sundry projects, all of which I shall announce in good time here on dA.  It's exciting and overwhelming and I just hope that I can bring the goods to the table and make the people who are putting their trust in me, proud. :)

Big hugs to you all!!!!  Thank you for continuing to support my artwork!!  

Aimee :iconfurryhugplz:


Epilogue


"The whales do not sing because they have an answer. They sing because they have a song." ~ Gregory Colbert

Norwescon, here I come!!!

Journal Entry: Thu Apr 1, 2010, 6:11 AM


This is going to be short and sweet!  I'm on my way to Norwescon today!!!   That means if you are at Norwescon, you can come see my artwork live and in person hanging in the Art Gallery!!  Fifteen pieces, all printed on gorgeous 100 year archival Endura Metallic paper, mounted on black styrene, and signed & numbered!

There will also be small prints available in the Print Shoppe!

I'm sure you'll see me wandering around as well!  I'll be sporting these bad girls:  
Foxfires Steamboots by Foxfires

If you spy me, come say hello!!


Aimee


Epilogue


"The whales do not sing because they have an answer. They sing because they have a song." ~ Gregory Colbert

The Artist, The Anchor, and The Tragically Hip

Journal Entry: Mon Jan 18, 2010, 9:45 PM


Bear with me on this one.  I will eventually tie this journal entry into being an artist... but humor me for a bit as I lay the foundation for you.  :)

One of my favorite bands in the world is a group of guys out of Canada called The Tragically Hip.  One of my favorite writers and poets in the world is Gord Downie, the lead singer of this same group.  I call him a poet, because when I read his lyrics on a piece of paper, without music, I am astounded that anybody could even put music to such streams of consciousness. But they do.  And my world is all the better for it.

They aren't everyone's cup of tea.  They certainly weren't mine when I first heard them.  In fact, it was my husband who discovered them, about two years into our marriage.  I would suffer through the inevitable playing of 'The Hip' in the car whenever we drove from point A to point B.   Eventually I would grit my teeth and plead with him to put on something else.  Anything else.  I couldn't stand to listen to the grating vocals, and churning band any longer.  Until the day I Got It.

When I say I Got It, I mean I had a literal EUREKA moment in the car.  It was actually a moment born out of laziness.  I didn't want to listen to the radio, and didn't want to reach behind the seat as I was driving to fish out another CD.  So I just turned on whatever was in the stereo.  It was The Tragically Hip.  And, specifically, it was a song called 'Grace, Too'. www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGiFqA… I sighed with complacency when it came it on.  I know I did.  But this time, I left it on, and listened.  I gave it careful consideration.  And by the end of the song, I was laughing outloud and hitting the steering wheel.  I knew I had just discovered something important, at least in my little realm.  I had just been introduced to a brand new love.  This song rocked my world, and I knew it was only the beginning.

And my intuition proved true.  The Tragically Hip became this amazing, bluesy, poetic, humorous, intense touchstone for me.  I would listen to other bands, love other music... but when it was time to 'cleanse the palate' so to speak, it was The Hip, and only The Hip that would do the trick.  I got where they were coming from. I understood Gord Downie's passion for words. I would jokingly and fondly refer to him as a Crow of words.  Where crows and ravens like bright shiny things, and steal them away to their nests, Gord is a collector of words and phrases, who hoards them on napkins and journals for future use.  I love this.  I love the humorous and witty way he sees the world.  I also love the intellectual, tender, and startlingly poignant way he sees it as well.  And when he wants to scream, and dance like a worm on a hot rock...he does that too.  And I love it all.

So what does this have to do with being an artist?

I was watching an interview tonight with Gord, and he said something that was so in line with things I had said in the past, that it was almost uncanny.  And then he expanded on it, and it opened my eyes to a wonderful way of viewing the progression of myself as an artist.  I felt compelled to come share it with you, the various friends and readers who stroll by this journal now and then to see how I'm doing.  I don't know if it will strike you the same way, but maybe... just maybe it will.

Gord was talking about his love of music, and his particular enjoyment of hearing where musicians and singers are at this very moment.  The interviewer was a bit incredulous, asking if there weren't any artists out there whom Gord considered past their pull date.  And he said no.  He really, honestly enjoys hearing where they are in this very moment.  He likes the old stuff, the old hits... but to quote him, "those old songs won't keep me warm at night.  I want to know what they are feeling, *now*.  What they are thinking, *now*."   And then he said that it was any musician's (and, you can also add in 'artist's' here, as it fits as well) dream to be carefully considered.  To have someone thoughtfully consider their work, and give an honest opinion.  Doesn't matter if it's negative or not, as long as it is carefully considered.  That is the best gift a person can give to an artist.  And, when we listen to music, we are listening to potential.  We love what we're hearing, through and through, but what really jazzes us - knowingly or not- is the potential for what will come next.

The same holds true for artwork.  We see something we love... and deep down, it is a thrill to imagine what might come next.  The potential is exciting.  It is why we watch certain artists.  The anticipation of things not yet beheld is intoxicating.

As an artist, the anticipation of things not yet *created* is intoxicating as well.  Possibility stretches before us.  But here is where the Anchor comes in.  Just like Gord pointed out, the old songs are good... but what comes next?  Where are we, *now*?  

As he was saying this, I heard a chorus of YES! YES! YES! in my mind, and instantaneously I imagined an anchor in deep water.  Do we allow our previous works of art to weigh us down like an anchor?  Is it dragging on the ocean floor?  Because if we do allow this, it starts to drag other things with it.  It catches every bit of debris, and rock, and old shipwrecks, and entire forests of seaweed, and suddenly.... your boat is capsizing. You are sinking on the weight of old ideas.

To really have creative freedom, we have to stop trying to include everything we've ever done, in everything we ever do. Reread that sentence. Give it careful consideration. It's not that we have to forget all that we've learned, and reinvent the wheel every time.  But do we allow ourselves to freely sail the sea of inspiration without fretting about past successes?  Are we dragging that anchor through every 'successful' piece of work we've ever done, so that they are trailing with us, slowing us down and keeping us from focusing on all those new, exciting ideas on the horizon?  Where are we *now*?  What are we thinking *now*?  

I am glad to say I have always tried to create that way to a certain extent.  I never wanted to keep from attempting new styles, new ideas, or peculiar notions simply because it might not live up to some freak wave of popularity something achieved in the past.  But now I really understand it. I get it. I have a clear vision of it, and see the beauty in savoring my current mindset as it shifts and changes from day to day.  THAT is real creative freedom, at least in my eyes.  I'll still have my own style, my own touchstones that I do enjoy working with... but now more than ever I am determined to keep looking forward.  Keep experimenting.  Keep that anchor from digging in too deep to the tried and true.

So, Gord, wherever you are... thank you.  Thank you for sharing your talent, the band's talent - and allowing your fans a glimpse into your current mindset with every new album.  You inspire in more ways than you realize.  I hope I can do the same with my art as well.

And - in the spirit of seeing where The Tragically Hip's mindset is right now, I encourage you to watch this fantastic 12 minute video entitled "We Are The Same" off their new album of the same name.  I love these songs, so much.  Yet again, I sit back and admire the poet who fronts the band, and the band who makes it all work.

CLICK HERE:  www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLOSnX…

And if you are interested in watching the interview that inspired me to write this post, click here:  www.youtube.com/watch?v=wF25Ay…


Epilogue


"The whales do not sing because they have an answer. They sing because they have a song." ~ Gregory Colbert

My thought for 2010

Journal Entry: Fri Jan 1, 2010, 11:03 AM


"Never lose your sense of wonder. It is the guardian of the heart, and the champion of our dreams." - Aimee Stewart


Here is to a new year of creating, daydreaming, musing, and sharing the inspiration!


Coming soon:  I am going to be picking back up on my Steampunk news features, and spreading Steampunk joy to all the amazing folks here on dA who love it and live it!


Epilogue


"The whales do not sing because they have an answer. They sing because they have a song." ~ Gregory Colbert
  • Listening to: Muse - The Resistance

Three Months....

Journal Entry: Thu Dec 10, 2009, 9:25 AM


Has it really been three months since I have interacted in any significant way here?  I checked my last art submission, and sure enough.  September 17th.  Wow.  Time doesn't just fly.  Time buckles itself on to a freaking huge rocket and jet-propels itself through the stratosphere!

Needless to say, I'm wayyyyyyyyyyy behind in replying to many really lovely people here.  My sincere apologies for my delay!  But maybe if I do a bit of catching up here in a journal, I won't feel so guilty.  But I will probably still try and bake an epic amount of cookies to share with you all to make up for it anyway. :D

The approach of Autumn signals deadline season for me now.  Throughout the year, I have worked on numerous new works that are submitted as possible card designs for Tree Free Greetings.  There is always a flurry of activity towards the last, as adjustments are made, changes are put into place, and a healthy dose of scrambling is done to get everything in order.  Thanks to :iconduirwaighstudios:, they help me keep my sanity in check throughout this whole process!  And the reward?  I have a new line of greeting cards out with Tree Free for 2010!  Another 15 cards that shall parade their way into international gifts shops far and wide!  Am I stoked?  You betchyer bippee I am!!!  And I can't wait to finally share those images with all of you here now!

I have also licensed Foxglove Ball as a puzzle image, which will also be in stores in 2010!  There is also talk of some widespread distribution of more puzzles in the Australian market. Keep an eye out for more details about that soon!

And then on to my friends at Advanced Photoshop Magazine!  I have had the distinct honor of being brought on board to be a Reviews Specialist for them!  Which means, now and then throughout the year, I will review software and hardware pertaining to all things Photoshop!  Another person who is sharing this title with me is the amazing :iconarchann:

In between all of this, I had the fabulous honor of having seven of my works in the art gallery at Steamcon 2009 - the inaugural steampunk convention in Seattle, Washington!  While I did not attend myself, I sent over some special one-of-a-kind signed metallic prints of my work... and they sold out!  It was an amazing first time success!  And now, plans are underway for me to have a booth at next year's Steamcon, which I am supremely stoked about!

Here is a picture of Captain Robert from Abney Park at Steamcon, with one of their posters made from my artwork!


I am also gearing up to be at Norwescon, possibly Orycon, and others as well!

And now I am delving into a whole new set of projects.  One is already well underway, and is so exciting!  The fabulous and beautiful :iconpiratequeen-stock: is my cohort and muse for this particular project, and has been such an amazing help!  But that shall have to remain under wraps for now.

Another project in the works is one with the fantastic band The Clockwork Quartet:  www.clockworkquartet.com
Stay tuned for updates on that as well!

So you can see, I've been the busy...busy bee.  But now the floodgates can open here on dA, and I can start unveiling all the things I've been working on at last!!!

Big hugs to all of you!!!  


:iconfurryhugplz:
Aimee


Epilogue


"The whales do not sing because they have an answer. They sing because they have a song." ~ Gregory Colbert
  • Listening to: Muse - The Resistance

The Möbius Cocoon: Don't Force the Creati

Journal Entry: Wed Sep 30, 2009, 11:29 AM


Artist's block. Writer's block. Creative constipation. I'm sure anyone who is reading this has suffered from it at some point. I can't think of a single artistic person who hasn't - at least once in their life - sat at their desk with head in hands wondering if they will ever have another inspired thought in their body.

I am not immune! In fact, I suffer quite periodically with this phenomenon, which causes me to sulk around my house in search of the Magical Cupcake of Inspiration. Or at the very least, the Somewhat Entertaining Twinkie of Unboredom.

It's an awful feeling, really. One minute I will be basking in the glow of profound and seemingly endless inspiration, and the next minute all I want to do is watch re-runs of The Golden Girls on Lifetime. It frustrated me, until I appeased myself by thinking that sometimes creativity needed to simmer. Sometimes creativity needed inactivity, to let the full flavor of Whatever Comes Next to ripen. Random, but unavoidable.

And that's true! Creativity does need to simmer. But I've recently realized something more about myself and my art, which made me appreciate that there is more of a cycle here than I had originally thought, and perhaps this will help the others of you out there who struggle with this like I do.

One day I was trying to describe to my husband how I felt when I was having Artist's Block. Eventually I likened it to a butterfly, all vibrant with endless possibility, suddenly reverting back to the cocoon - simply wanting to be tucked away, turned inward, without any outside activity whatsoever. And that's when it hit me. My cycles of "Artist's Block" weren't random fits of creative drought. I was, in fact, living the very illustration I had just presented to my husband. I was the Cocoon, and I was the Butterfly...in an endless cycle.

In Cocoon stage, I turn inward. All outward creative process stops. I do not want to pick up my digital paint brush, I do not want to pick up my camera. I want to sit and absorb my surroundings, whether that is going for a walk, reading a book, cooking, playing with the dog, staring at the ceiling, sleeping. Anything other than create. I *CAN* do it, if forced..but whatever I make during the Coccoon state is devoid of any heart and soul it would normally have, because it is premature. I've literally broke open the Cocoon too soon, and my fragile wings of creation are deformed and not yet ready for flight.

But, given time, given patience...the Cocoon will open on it's own, and the Butterfly will emerge...healthy, whole, vibrant, and ready for takeoff. That is my creativity, that butterfly. It won't stay in the proverbial Cocoon forever...it can't. By it's very nature, it HAS to emerge. But only when it is ready. Only when it is time.

It was such a relief when I finally realized what was happening. A TREMENDOUS relief to accept the fact that as an artist, this cycle of turning inward, before turning outward - is essential. Without the Cocoon, there is no Butterfly. Without formulation, there is no creation. And the butterfly cannot fly forever. It must give in to the cycle. However, unlike butterflies, who cease to be when their cycle is over... artists experience creative rebirth, time and time again. When our wings become brittle, when our energies are sapped...we simply revert to the Cocoon once more, to recharge, to heal. To reinvent.

Knowing this has made it easier to deal with. It still isn't a cakewalk to feel that cessation of creative spark. But now I have a better understanding of what is going on. Now I have a clear grasp of what's happening when I force creativity, and am unhappy with the results. Now I can truly revel in the times when I am free of the Cocoon...and flying high on inspiration. I no longer have to question my skill, my artistic longevity, my very interest in my longstanding passion. It's all there, tucked safely away behind a shimmering veil. And just like the Möbius Strip - the symbol of eternity, the cycle will loop back on itself, again and again. Inward, outward. But never stopping.

So, let go of the frustration. When you feel the creative spark fade, know that it's not because it is dying...it's just deep in the Cocoon, waiting for the right moment to emerge and shine bright once again. Go on those walks, read those books, and let time work it's magic...so you can work yours.


Epilogue


"The whales do not sing because they have an answer. They sing because they have a song." ~ Gregory Colbert
  • Listening to: Muse - The Resistance

Steamcon, and updates

Journal Entry: Mon Sep 21, 2009, 7:04 AM


Heyla all!

Here is the news in a nutshell!

STEAMCON! www.steam-con.com/  … happening!  I was just approved to exhibit and sell artwork there!  Yay! I'm thrilled.  I so wanted to be a part of the inaugural Steampunk symposium, and now I shall be!  I will have at least one panel of wall space to hang artwork (though I may get two, not sure how much I'll be sending over), including my latest piece "Nightflight".  

I'm not sure if I will actually be attending, or if I will just be sending over the artwork to hang (because that is an option), but rest assured you'll hear it here if I am going to be there!

DUIRWAIGH: www.duirwaigh.com  I… been a flurry of activity behind the scenes at Duirwaigh! Right now is the time we are all scrambling to make new artwork for next year's projects...and have inquiries out to all sorts of publishers.  Hint hint: There is the possibility of books in the future!  Squee!

Needless to say, it's been busy - and is only going to get busier if any of these projects goes through, let alone all of them. LOL  But I'm intent on keeping my dA page alive and thriving!  Alas, my stock account :iconfoxstox: has cobwebs and dust settling in the corners.  Not for a lack of stock photos, just for a lack of time to upload.  I need to do that though, and share the wealth!

I apologize if I've missed updates and new work by all my friends.  If there is something you'd love for me to specifically see, please note me or link it here! :iconfurryhugplz:

:iconfurrydanceplz:
Aimee


Epilogue


"The whales do not sing because they have an answer. They sing because they have a song." ~ Gregory Colbert
  • Listening to: Muse - The Resistance

It's HERE! My Wish For You

Journal Entry: Wed Jun 17, 2009, 9:56 AM


Hello all!!  During the past year I have been creating numerous new pieces of art for a Duirwaigh project called "My Wish For You" - a follow-up to their international best selling book and DVD called "A Knock at the Door".   Today is the day it is released!!   Overall, the project has been 3 years in the making, and it's launch is cause for celebration for all of us involved with Duirwaigh.  

duirwaigh.com/duirwaigh-films.…;<--- CLICKY!


24 of my works are featured in the film.  Some you may remember, while many are brand new, and will be shared here on DeviantArt over the next few days.  :)  I am SO excited!!   It's  a wonderful feeling to be involved in something so heartfelt and uplifting.  I hope you forward it along to everyone you know who would enjoy a break from the stress of the day, to disappear in a lovely daydream for a few minutes. :)

The other stunning artists involved with this project are Jena DellaGroataglia, Christophe Vacher, Agnieszka Szuba, Elisabetta Sinopoli, Barbara, Marc Fishman and Silas Toball, and the magical words of Angi Sullins. A lullaby for the soul - My Wish for You.

The Music on "My Wish for You" was contributed by Annbjørg Lien. Visit her web site at www.annbjorglien.com to learn more about her wonderful music. With special thanks to Bjørn Ole Rasch.

Enjoy!!  And be inspired!!
:heart:
Aimee


Epilogue


"The whales do not sing because they have an answer. They sing because they have a song." ~ Gregory Colbert
  • Listening to: Beck - Modern Guilt

Something Magic This Way Comes

Journal Entry: Mon Jun 15, 2009, 5:24 PM


Hello all!

I can't tell you how excited I am.  Just yesterday, I finished a year long epic art project that is almost ready to be shared with you and the world at large.  My part in it took a year, but the actual project has been percolating for three years total.  Very, very soon I will be able to share it with you - which means I will be able to unveil numerous works of art that have been tucked away, secret from prying eyes... until now.  It has been SO hard not to share them, and now I'm just busting at the seams for you to see them in this project.


Watch this journal over the next couple of days for the announcement!!!!!!

:iconfurrydanceplz:
Aimee


Epilogue


"The whales do not sing because they have an answer. They sing because they have a song." ~ Gregory Colbert
  • Listening to: Beck - Modern Guilt

So I failed to make it to the top 50 finalists...

Journal Entry: Sat May 30, 2009, 10:34 AM


Good morning all!

So I checked the top 50 finalists (all very stunning!).... and saw that I did not make it as one of them.  Sad but true!!  
Here is my piece, called "Low Plain of Decision":
The Low Plain of Decision by Foxfires

The good news is, dA is giving entries a second chance by opening up a Community Choice vote - which you can read about here:  news.deviantart.com/article/81…

In short, whoever gets the most support in the form of favs between now and June 4th (Pre-existing fav's don't count) - will win the Community Choice award.  So if you really like this work of art by me, and want to support it - help me out by spreading the word!  Get your friends in on it!  I know it's like David and Goliath, especially going up against some of the artists who have a million watchers, but it's fun to try anyway! :D

ANNNNND - a big announcement is coming Monday!  Watch for it!!!!

Thank you all!!!
Aimee
:iconfurrydanceplz:


Epilogue


"The whales do not sing because they have an answer. They sing because they have a song." ~ Gregory Colbert
  • Listening to: Beck - Modern Guilt

Testing the new Journal Skin feature...

Journal Entry: Tue May 12, 2009, 10:30 AM


Someone recently asked me a series of fun questions, which included this gem:  What is something that you have loved, that has blown away?

An odd question.  Not many things in my life have physically blown away.  I've never had the movie-esque experience of riding in a convertable, only to have my favorite scarf whisked from my neck as I speed down Mullholland Drive.  Nor have I ever lost a favorite hat to the wiles of a gusty day.  So I thought of it, and realized the only thing that ever really blew away that I had loved, is probably repeated millions of times over across the planet:  A balloon.

Who hasn't had a beloved balloon as a child, only to have it plucked from our pudgy starfish hands and stolen into the sky by impish winds?  Who hasn't stood there, gazing through tear blurred eyes, frozen in that grasping pose of futility, trying to retrieve the quickly ascending string?  Who hasn't felt the plummet of one's heart at the sight of the bright purple/blue/red/yellow/rainbow balloon merging with the clouds above... knowing that no matter how hard one wishes, it's never going to be ours again?

Remember being inconsolable when a well-meaning adult told us to 'calm down' it's 'just a balloon'?  Could they not understand how you had bonded immediately with that balloon?   The color, the bouancy?  As a child, I swear, I did not see a balloon.  I saw a friend.  An instand buddy with a string body, and a bouncy head who would hold my hand and follow me into every adventure.  A friend who had the power (if one believed) to lift me right up off my white buckled sandals and draw me into a sky filled with grand adventures.  'Just a balloon' indeed!!  And a replacement was out of the question.  It was betrayal!  How could you go and find a substitute to your new best friend, especially as they were still in sight... a pinprick of color in the sky!  Surely they were just as distraught as you, all alone way up there in the clouds, face to face with birds and airplanes and thunderstorms.  It was so tragic that it kept the sniffles coming all through dinner until bedtime, when the pillow soaked up the tears.

As I thought of all this today, I realized something.   For me, and maybe for many...  that experience was our first taste of loss.  In the grand scheme of things, it was a very gentle introduction to the concept of losing something dear, and - try as we might - having no way of making it return.  Of course, as we grow, those losses are met with more than just confused tears.  They are met with anger, with self blame, with denial.  And maybe we felt the stirrings of all those things as a child too... but mostly I think it was a pure sort of sadness we felt.  It was singularly focused, and really quite sweet in retrospect.  

So, here's to all those friend-balloons that have been lost over the years.  Thanks for escorting me softly into a world where loss is an all too often repeated theme.  Here's to simply enjoying the view of brightly colored dots high up in the sky.

Treasures

Pink Balloon by paperskeletons:thumb65442940:Happy Ballooons In Happy Sky by 1022june daydreams by corollary:thumb70383781:Elevator Music by tracieteephotographyEvery Once In A While by paperaeroplanesLighter than a Balloon by starchipicecreamseraphim and cherubim by jesidangerouslyNothings Gonna Change My World by emilielegertheskyinapolaroid. by LillysComplex


Epilogue


"The whales do not sing because they have an answer. They sing because they have a song." ~ Gregory Colbert
  • Listening to: Beck - Modern Guilt
What do you get when you take inspired traditional collage, fueled by candyfloss dreams and carousel musings... and combine it with two photoshop gurus ready to duel til their Intuos pens melt?  You get the Seven Day Digital Art Collage Smackdown, featuring Angi Sullins, Silas Toball, and myself -  Aimee Stewart!

For seven days in April, Angi Sullins - President of Duirwaigh Inc., threw down the gauntlet of challenge and stoked the fires of creativity with her handmade collages.  In fact, her exact words were ""Hey Aimee! We've started a collage project and want to challenge you to participate. Did you just hear that? It was the sound of the gauntlet falling to the floor. Pick it up or die of shame."  Heh!!   And with those words, the Seven Day Digital Collage Smackdown was born.

To quote Angi:  "Well, to be perfectly clear, it didn't start as a seven day smackdown, but we all liked what we did so much we just kept going. The rules? Each duelist was given a physical mixed-media collage and had one day to shape, mold, stretch, chisel, whittle, arrange, rearrange or derange said piece. Other than the time limit, and the fact that each artist had to use my physical collage as the basis of their work, there really were no limitations. It was like that scene in the movie Grease, when Danny Zuko shows up to drag race that creepy pock-mark faced guy in the souped-up black car with the flames on it? He turns to Danny and says with a snarl: "One rule. There are no rules.""

And let me tell you, for artists used to fine tuning their works for days on end, sometimes weeks - this rushed creative processed proved to be both challenging, and refreshing.  The critical eye was exchanged for free-flowing art.  There was no time to plot and plan.  One simply had to grab the horns of inspiration and hang on for dear life!  Yee-haw, muthaflippin'!

The results are a whimsical collection of collaborations held aloft by the unique, unified vision of all three of us.   They are listed below by day, beginning with Angi's original collage, and followed by each "Smackdown" entry.  Take a moment to check out all three for each day, to see what common elements made it into the digital manipulations, and what themes took on a life of their own in this mixed media challenge!

For more information and behind-the-scenes blogs about the whole Smackdown challenge, visit Angi's blog:  www.messagefromthemuse.typepad…

-------------
Angi and Silas: :iconduirwaighstudios:
Aimee: :iconfoxfires:

DAY ONE:             
Figment - Mixed Media by DuirwaighStudiosFigment - Digital by DuirwaighStudiosBedazzled - SD 1 by Foxfires

DAY TWO:
Cirque du Soul by DuirwaighStudiosMagnificience by DuirwaighStudiosWithout Words by DuirwaighStudiosPurveyor of Pranceitude - SD 2 by Foxfires

DAY THREE:
Possible Garden by DuirwaighStudiosEostre by DuirwaighStudiosIn Flight by DuirwaighStudiosWild Blue Yonder - SD 3 by Foxfires

DAY FOUR:
Cherrypicker - Mixed Media by DuirwaighStudiosCherrypicker - Digital Collage by DuirwaighStudiosTooty la Fruity - SD 4 by FoxfiresSplendiferous by Foxfires

DAY FIVE:
Extra Choice - Unfinished by DuirwaighStudiosVisionkeeper by DuirwaighStudiosle jardin des lapins - SD 5 by Foxfires

DAY SIX:
Lollygag by DuirwaighStudiosStill Life in Motion by DuirwaighStudiosWhirligig - SD 6 by Foxfires

DAY SEVEN:
Africa by DuirwaighStudiosElephant's Bride by DuirwaighStudiosAfrique - SD 7 by Foxfires

The Seven Day Digital Art Collage Smackdown!

Journal Entry: Mon Apr 27, 2009, 7:56 AM

Musings




DAY ONE:
             
Figment - Mixed Media by DuirwaighStudiosFigment - Digital by DuirwaighStudiosBedazzled - SD 1 by Foxfires

DAY TWO:
Magnificience by DuirwaighStudiosWithout Words by DuirwaighStudiosCirque du Soul by DuirwaighStudiosPurveyor of Pranceitude - SD 2 by Foxfires

DAY THREE:
Wild Blue Yonder - SD 3 by FoxfiresPossible Garden by DuirwaighStudiosEostre by DuirwaighStudiosIn Flight by DuirwaighStudios

DAY FOUR:
Cherrypicker - Mixed Media by DuirwaighStudiosTooty la Fruity - SD 4 by FoxfiresCherrypicker - Digital Collage by DuirwaighStudios
(READ BELOW FOR ALL THE DETAILS OF THE SMACKDOWN!)

So the past month has been a riot of art. Yes, I said a riot of art!  Although it might not look like it now, what with the lack of new posts here on dA...I have actually been in the midst of an artistic smackdown - of the best kind. ;)  I am just finishing up a seven day whirlwind of creating, which has yeilded one new piece of artwork each day!  But the best part is... I wasn't alone!  In fact, a gauntlet was thrown, a challenge was made, and I jumped in, Wacom sword a swingin'!!!

So what is all this mumbo-jumbo I'm rambling on about?  Well, let me quote Angi, the brains behind the smackdown...and let her explain how it all came about:

"So I'm playing in my collage journal the other day, just placing things this way and that on acrylic-painted Fabriano paper, and I get in a groove. Something manifests that I like. Really like. But I'm thinking "G-yod, I wish I had some Photoshop skills. What could this piece become if I knew my way around alpha channels, masking tools and clone stamps?"


Dang.


So I look up from my desk to gaze at my gorgeous husband Silas, who is, (guess what?) a Photoshop guru. Now I've been with this guy for six years and if I haven't learned Photoshop yet, I ain't gonna learn it. It's my own lazy fault, 'cuz  Silas has been a professional Photoshop teacher since 1997. But marrying a digital art guru has its perks. "Hey! Wanna challenge?"


And thus it begins. Silas takes my journal, scans in my image and starts playing. An hour into it, I'm so excited by what I see on his screen my brain begins inspiration-reeling with ideas. "Wonder what Aimee would do with this same image?" Aimee is a dear friend and also a highly skilled digital artist in the Duirwaigh crew. So I jump onto my chat program: "Hey Aimee! We've started a collage project and want to challenge you to participate. Did you just hear that? It was the sound of the gauntlet falling to the floor. Pick it up or die of shame."


And with those words, the SEVEN DAY DIGITAL COLLAGE SMACKDOWN was born. Well, to be perfectly clear, it didn't start as a seven day smackdown, but we all liked what we did so much we just kept going. The rules? Each duelist was given a physical mixed-media collage and had one day to shape, mold, stretch, chisel, whittle, arrange, rearrange or derange said piece. Other than the time limit, and the fact that each artist had to use my physical collage as the basis of their work, there really were no limitations. It was like that scene in the movie Grease, when Danny Zuko shows up to drag race that creepy pock-mark faced guy in the souped-up black car with the flames on it? He turns to Danny and says with a snarl: "One rule. There are no rules."


That pretty much sums it up. 'Cept we weren't snarling. Not really. Well, maybe a little. But we were smilin' too."


THE SEVEN DAY COLLAGE ART SMACKDOWN is being showcased on Deviant Art at :iconduirwaighstudios:DuirwaighStudios where they will post the original art once a day for seven days, just as they were created. The physical collage by Angi Sullins, plus the two "smacks" by artists Silas Toball and Aimee Stewart will be shown, but you can learn more about the project on the following pages:

Message From The Muse

So keep your eyes peeled, because every day this week, for seven days, I will be posting my results of the Smackdown for you all to see - including links so you can check out the original collage by Angi Sullins that inspired the daily theme, and the other 'Smack' created by Silas Toball!


:blowkiss:
Aimee


Treasures

Pink Balloon by paperskeletons:thumb65442940:Happy Ballooons In Happy Sky by 1022june daydreams by corollary:thumb70383781:Elevator Music by tracieteephotographyEvery Once In A While by paperaeroplanesLighter than a Balloon by starchipicecreamseraphim and cherubim by jesidangerouslyNothings Gonna Change My World by emilielegertheskyinapolaroid. by LillysComplex

I am currently listening to:
Foxfires's Profile Page   


:iconfurryhugplz:
Aimee














Epilogue


"The whales do not sing because they have an answer. They sing because they have a song." ~ Gregory Colbert

Goodbye Balloon

Journal Entry: Tue Apr 14, 2009, 10:38 AM

Musings


Someone recently asked me a series of fun questions, which included this gem:  What is something that you have loved, that has blown away?

An odd question.  Not many things in my life have physically blown away.  I've never had the movie-esque experience of riding in a convertable, only to have my favorite scarf whisked from my neck as I speed down Mullholland Drive.  Nor have I ever lost a favorite hat to the wiles of a gusty day.  So I thought of it, and realized the only thing that ever really blew away that I had loved, is probably repeated millions of times over across the planet:  A balloon.

Who hasn't had a beloved balloon as a child, only to have it plucked from our pudgy starfish hands and stolen into the sky by impish winds?  Who hasn't stood there, gazing through tear blurred eyes, frozen in that grasping pose of futility, trying to retrieve the quickly ascending string?  Who hasn't felt the plummet of one's heart at the sight of the bright purple/blue/red/yellow/rainbow balloon merging with the clouds above... knowing that no matter how hard one wishes, it's never going to be ours again?

Remember being inconsolable when a well-meaning adult told us to 'calm down' it's 'just a balloon'?  Could they not understand how you had bonded immediately with that balloon?   The color, the bouancy?  As a child, I swear, I did not see a balloon.  I saw a friend.  An instand buddy with a string body, and a bouncy head who would hold my hand and follow me into every adventure.  A friend who had the power (if one believed) to lift me right up off my white buckled sandals and draw me into a sky filled with grand adventures.  'Just a balloon' indeed!!  And a replacement was out of the question.  It was betrayal!  How could you go and find a substitute to your new best friend, especially as they were still in sight... a pinprick of color in the sky!  Surely they were just as distraught as you, all alone way up there in the clouds, face to face with birds and airplanes and thunderstorms.  It was so tragic that it kept the sniffles coming all through dinner until bedtime, when the pillow soaked up the tears.

As I thought of all this today, I realized something.   For me, and maybe for many...  that experience was our first taste of loss.  In the grand scheme of things, it was a very gentle introduction to the concept of losing something dear, and - try as we might - having no way of making it return.  Of course, as we grow, those losses are met with more than just confused tears.  They are met with anger, with self blame, with denial.  And maybe we felt the stirrings of all those things as a child too... but mostly I think it was a pure sort of sadness we felt.  It was singularly focused, and really quite sweet in retrospect.  

So, here's to all those friend-balloons that have been lost over the years.  Thanks for escorting me softly into a world where loss is an all too often repeated theme.  Here's to simply enjoying the view of brightly colored dots high up in the sky.

Treasures

Pink Balloon by paperskeletons:thumb65442940:Happy Ballooons In Happy Sky by 1022june daydreams by corollary:thumb70383781:Elevator Music by tracieteephotographyEvery Once In A While by paperaeroplanesLighter than a Balloon by starchipicecreamseraphim and cherubim by jesidangerouslyNothings Gonna Change My World by emilielegertheskyinapolaroid. by LillysComplex

I am currently listening to:
Foxfires's Profile Page   


:iconfurryhugplz:
Aimee




Afterthoughts

Current Schedule:
Head-to-Head tutorial for AP Magazine: IN PROGRESS
Duirwaigh Gallery Projects - IN PROGRESS
Commissions for:  The Amethystium Project - Done!
Commissions for:  Abney Park '09 - IN PROGRESS











Epilogue


"The whales do not sing because they have an answer. They sing because they have a song." ~ Gregory Colbert