Pop out Sketch

Another page in the Traveling Sketchbook that’s now making it’s way to  Australia.   It’s all drawn with ink and acrylic, including the border.  I used foam pop ups to attach the centre images and now I’m using them on everything.  They make everything feel like a kid’s book. I’ve started collecting beautiful children’s picture books, especially pop-up books.

They’re are some resources online for making your own pop ups,  Robert Sabuda’s site has instructions for making simple pop up cards.  The art of paper cutting and carving is a traditional art in China  dating back to the 6th century.  Here is a small clip from a Beijing paper cutting gallery.


IF – Balloon


“Old World Dreams”

Ellen Sereda

I would have liked to have made a piece specifically for this week’s Illustration Friday, but having this one already was just too fitting.  The crow, balloon and moon are my ink drawings collaged onto a painted cradled panel and for sale here in my Etsy shop.

Slow, Slow Work in Progress


This is part of a painting I’ve started. So far, I’ve only really focused on the face. I’ve also unintentionally thrown out most of the rules of painting. Rules like blocking in the tonal shapes, working loosely on the whole piece, then getting into detail, doing the background, then foreground and choosing bigger brushes rather than smaller. I’m working with the smallest brush possible putting on layers of layers of translucent acrylic glazes and I’m wondering why. It would work just as well, maybe better, if I did the whole painting in oil and it would take me about 20 times less work.

But I realize the process I’ve comfortably settled into represents a lot about me. It’s meditative, putting on stroke upon stroke, slowly building up, crafting a piece. It forces discipline upon me and slows me down. Seeing the world move by at lightning speed, I need this refuge of slow quiet now when I work. Being in the moment and just doing as if you have all the time in the world seems like a radical act. I also think for every artist, how you create art, is as revealing as the art itself.


“The Root Spirit”

Ellen Sereda

Childhood. When sticks and rocks had magic and every moment held a story.

The Traveling Sketchbook


“Jutta and the Blue Tree”
Ellen Sereda

Dinah at More Idle Thoughts is heading a great sketchbook exchange that is going around the world. 8 artists have created their own sketchbook, and each has been sent to the next artist in the exchange and so on. We each draw a page and attach it to the previous artist’s page. In the end, our own sketchbook comes back with 7 new pages each created by a different artist. It’s nearing the end of the exchange and here is my contribution to Frankie’s book.

For those of you in the exchange reading this, my order is a little off, I was to do Dinah’s before Frankie’s but had a little mishap with my page to her (a result of some overly aggressive penwork) so I’m redoing it. It’ll be the next one to post.

Jutta, in Estonian folklore is the queen of the birds. I’ve been doodling different versions of her lately. She fits in so nicely with my bird nerdiness, my love of mythology and my middle age need to explore my heritage.

More birds

I recently sold this little bird painting. I actually have a bit of an aversion to pastel colours. I would be fine if brown paint was the only paint available. Come to think of it I would thrive as an artist 10,000 yrs ago painting with ochre on cave walls, not that there would be much of a market back then. I did this painting to see if I could paint something light and airy and I’m pleased with how it turned out.

This past summer, a little store in Harrison Hot Springs was closing and selling amazing shells and stones. I couldn’t resist buying several shells. They are such a representation of natures intricate beauty. Like a visual model of a tiny spiral galaxy, I find them fascinating. The other, more involved bird painting I did yesterday can be seen here.

…I do something like this piece. Simple, decorative, colourful and little. It’s an ACEO which stands for Art Cards Editions and Originals. They can be done on anything with any media, but always measure 2.5″x3.5″

I’m afraid my daily art blog is less than daily, but I’m not giving up yet. I do intend to post more. I knew this would be the dilemma when starting this blog, deciding how to allocate my studio time to post daily for this blog yet get time for more involved work as well. I have done daily work but much of it has ended in the trash can lately, and the large paintings I’m most proud of will take weeks to finish. Enough with the pity party.  Moving forward, until tomorrow…