Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Custom Designed Bookmarks

Like most artsy types, I decided to take the handmade challenge this holiday season. I experimented with soap making, which was a first, and I made an array of handmade bookmarks.
Below is an array of some of the bookmarks I made throughout December.
Winter bookmark batch #2 Winter 2010 bookmark batch

(Click on the images to see the full size view on Flickr.)

This process got me thinking of some of the custom made bookmarks I've made for clients. My favorite set was an orchid theme. I had just been to the Longwood Gardens exhibit a few months previous to the commission. There was a room with walls full of beautiful breeds of orchids. This was one of the major inspirations for this set.
A photo of the bookmark set:

Commissioned Orchid Bookmark Set

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Another Traveling Blog

When I travel I need a big purse. I bring along the usual suspects- wallet, money, pen, medications- along with feminine neccessities- eyeliner, shadow, powder, makeup brush- as well as the obligatory sketcher's stash of sketchbook, pencil sharpener, watercolors, colored pencils.
It makes me happy when lugging all that crap around isn't in vain. Traveling, for example. If the ride on the train or bus isn't too bumpy it's quite fun and time-killing to sketch whatever comes to mind.
Two weeks ago I went trekking from Virginia to Pennsylvania to Massachusetts and back again.
Medusa was sketched while in Philly
Align CenterTitle: "Medusa Reimagined"
Size: 9x11"
Medium: Colored pencil

This was sketched in Boston, finished in Philly.
Title: "Ambivalence"
Size: 9x11"
Medium: Colored Pencil

This last one was drawn in a pizza shop on a layover in Washington D.C.

Title: Hand Study
Medium: Colored pencil
Size: 9x11"

Keep up to date with sketching and the Draw 365 Project by adding me on Flickr and my Facebook Fan Page.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Pastel Trick

A few days ago I was reading through some art books I had check out of the library. There was one pastel book in particular that gave me a tip I have to share.
Most people who own a set of soft pastels know how dingy they become. There was a particular set I own that were covered in so much mud colored pastel dust that I couldn't tell which color was which. I took the advice in the book and filled a container with uncooked rice. Then I put the pastels in, and shook it up. Almost immediately the pastels absorbed the excess pastel dust.
End result: Purple gray tinged rice and clean pastels!

Monday, November 8, 2010


Last Friday I helped craft what can only be described as, uh, props, for my friends' foray into documentary film/art biopic, Clark. Check out the blog link to be kept up to date with the episodes!

Please note: the show contains adult content and themes. In fact, my favorite line from the show thus far has to be, "Fuck Picasso! Rick Allen is the best drummer alive. Picasso has two arms and he can't even drum. He's a piece of shit."

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Don't Cry For Me

I have a little known artfire page. It's been neglected because it's basically a mirror of my Etsy shop. Well, damned if I apear my first Artfire Collection today! It's titled "Don't Shed A Tear For Me," and my hand painted trinket box "Moon Tears" is featured. CLICK HERE to see it!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Beautiful Thing

The beautiful thing about taking on projects like Draw 365 is that it can inspire others to create. Take, for example, my friend Poly Hobby Mommy. She saw that I was doing it and took up the task herself. You can see her blog post about her first day with it. Good luck arting, my dear!
And here are a few selected pieces I've done with Draw 365.
Inspired by Ms. Amanda Fucking Palmer:

Clara Bow:

REMINDER: My artgasmic giveaway is still going on over on my facebook page for another 5 days. You still have a chance at the $25 mystery art package! Please participate and spread the love!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Kirsten Ashley's First Artgasmic Giveaway Contest

My first ever art giveaway officially starts today, Tuesday, September 21st, 2010. I'll be holding it for one week. Prizes will be a mystery package full of artwork from my Etsy shop (www.kirstenashley.etsy.com). $25 worth of items such as cameo rings, hand painted bookmarks, note cards, and art prints. What you have to do to enter the contest is share the Artwork Of Kirsten Ashley facebook page link with everyone- post it on your wall, blog, twitter, tumblr, etc. I will be posting a daily list of new "likes" I get to the page. If someone on your friends list was chosen let me know by finding a piece of mine from my photo albums and posting a comment. The winner will be announced on Tuesday, September 28th via the Artwork Of Kirsten Ashley facebook fan page.

Breakdown for the skimmers:

- Start to end time is one week, September 21st to September 28th.

- Share this linke: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Artwork-Of-Kirsten-Ashley/125420693098 with your friends.

- When I post a list of new "likes" to my page you post who of your friends "liked" my page via photo comment.

- Winner will be announced on http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Artwork-Of-Kirsten-Ashley/125420693098.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Whatfor's And The Why's

I've taken up the Draw 365 project. I mentioned it in the previous post, but I'd like to write a little more about it now.
The project isn't my original idea. I'm taking cues from the likes of Project 365:Draw The Line and Flickr's Draw A Day photo stream. I don't know who the originator of the project was, but I'm certainly making attempts to follow in the collective footprints amid work, mood swings, and illness. In lieu of my portable sketchbook, I'd take brown paper napkins from the dispenser at work and draw on my breaks. Wherever I am I attempt to leave a creative footprint: a sketch, a painting, a collage, something.
To address the big WHY of doing this. My mom has lamented to me her want to get back into art. She has the materials readily available. She just doesn't have the time or energy. She has mortgage payments to make, a career responsibilities she can't shirk. Her breaks are usually taken up by working straight through them. So long as my life isn't leased to responsibility I will try and perfect my craft; keep a forward moving trajectory. Why did I take on this project? Because I can.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Draw 365

About a month ago I finally decided to accept a challenge and take on the Draw 365 project. For those of you who haven't heard what that is, it's pretty self explanatory. Drawing every day, no matter if it's a figure study sketch, a line drawing, or working on a painting. Basically, keep yourself sketching and creating constantly throughout the year. I'm tracking my progress via FLICKR. You should too.
Here are a few highlights:
The napkin sletch from July:

Later became inspiration for the live painting I did at the July 2010's Handmade Market:

Saturday, June 19, 2010


Recently, I attended Etsy's anniversary craft party in Norfolk. There was a craft station set up for cutting out mustaches out of black felt. I made a few, but my favorite creation of the night was this cameo girl on a stick:
The little victorian girl in me squeals at the sight of cameo's. I've been fascinated with cameos and silhouettes for quite a while. The art of silhouette is quite an interesting one. It was a post- oil paint pre-photograph way to capture a person's image. Classical silhouette portraiture is traditionally cut from black paper and mounted on a white background. Noted 18th century silhouette artists include Johanna Caspar and John Miers.
This is one of my favorite's from John Miers:

I've tried an updated version by cutting them from ornately patterned paper.
Like so:

I'm thinking of taking custom orders for silhouette portraits in this style. Thoughts? Opinions? Feelings?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Big Art Show At Pterodactyl Philly

Last Saturday I participated in Pterodactyl Philly's first installment of Big Art Show. There were good art, good people, good music. (That helped in lieu of an air conditioner!)
Here are some photos of my time at the show:

Some of my artwork hanging on the wall. ("Stab","Sisters" framed, and "Tracks" matted.)

More art, necklaces, and notecards.

Rings and prints.

Big Art Show!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Illustration Friday

In celebration of Illustration Friday I present to you, dear readers, my entry in this week's "early" theme, "Window View" :

The word early always carried the thought of a blur between late nights and budding mornings. This painting represents the theme quite well for me; it was the first thing I painted in my Kennett Square room. The same room I looked out into the black and saw the twilight of early mornings, signaling my need to sleep.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Spring Loaded!

Hello Dear Readers,
I'll be vending at Norfolk Virginia's Spring Loaded Arts And Music Festival this coming Sunday. I'm also going to do something new; making live art during the festival. There will also be live music and other crafty vendors there. Among them is GymboHannah, who makes adorable decorative frames and knickknacks. Come for the art, and stay for the music! You can check the lineup out at the Spring Loaded Event Site
Please download the flier below for more detailed information. If you can't make it, but would like to support my ventures please post this blog link or print out the flier. It's all appreciated! Maybe I'll even give you a cookie for your valiant efforts.

Date: Sunday, May 2nd
Time: 11:00AM-5:30PM
Location: 5 Points Farm Market
2500 Church St
Norfolk, VA

In other news, I've been experimenting with a cut paper collage technique. Here are the two most recent pieces:

Sisters by ~heartshapedscarz on deviantART
"Sweet Jane"
A piece for an art trade with Allie Hartley

Sweet Jane by ~heartshapedscarz on deviantART

Friday, April 9, 2010


I'm submitting to IllustrationFriday.com for the first time on this lovely cool Friday evening, after hearing of the site through this article.
This week's illustration theme is "linked." My contribution is the piece "Burning Memory." I chose this because of the metaphorical linking to childhood and my past coupled with the literal links of the chains on the swing.

Friday, March 26, 2010


The show at Abigail Rose is TOMORROW! CLICK HERE for more details. It's indoors, so you don't even need to worry about the umbrella. Come out and browse art, buy some cute one of kind/vintage finds, and say hello to me of course.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Kirsten Ashley At The Abigail Rose Boutique This Weekend

To all you Norfolk, Richmond, and Hampton Roads area Virginian's: Please come join me in Norfolk's historic Ghent area this Saturday. I'll be showing original artwork at the Abigail Rose boutique as part of their new Craft Weekend series.
Here is all the nitty gritty-
LOCATION: Abigail Rose Boutique
Norfolk, VA
PHONE: 757-351-3619
DATE: Saturday, March 27th
WEBSITE: Abigailroseva.com

If you aren't in the local area, or aren't able to make it for whatever reason but would still like to show your support please go HERE for a downloadable/printable flyer. Repost it on facebook or twitter, print it out and hang it in your favorite coffee shop or bar. Any help promoting this is appreciated! It's my first try at an event down south. I need all the rallying I can muster up.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

New Supplies

I have new Easter themed supplies in my shop now- adorable little bunny rings!

Also new to the shop is a vintage cookbook.
Buy Handmade

Keep an eye out for upcoming framed prints, necklaces, and rings.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Stroke Of Luck

This blog is my place to post about my own artwork and happenings surrounding it, but not so anti-community as to not mention my good fortune in regard to the people I've come into contact with in the art community. Mind you, most of this is online. But that isn't a bad thing. See? The internet is not just for porn.

Recently I was sent 2 beautiful watercolor pieces by fellow Deviantart artist Blake Krause.
Here I am holding them up with glee as I don't have a spot to hang them yet.

I also recently won a set of buttons from doll artist Christie Bastet of Bastet Creepy Doll fame. I won them via the forums on Etsy, so you Etsiers, keep your eyes peeled.

And lastly, I was gifted a pair of earrings from my (real life!) friend Sweetji. I love them!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Le Bebbe Homme Pleurant

I usually don't tout my politics, but this is just too amusing.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

And The Day Came When The Risk To Remain Tight In The Bud Was More Painful Than The Risk It Took To Blossom.

A few weeks ago I found a ad for a job dream. Nothing too glamorous, but a step in the right direction to make my fantasies come true- a job getting paid to make art. It was a few states away from where I am, but I took the risk. Within a few days I recieved a call in response to my application. Last weekend I carted my portfolio and my best sunday dress to the interview. There was a copy- this- xeroxed- design- in sharpie sort of challenge, and a 3 minute minute sketch challenge. The first one I nailed. The latter could have been improved, but wasn't horrible for a 3 minute sketch on the fly. My interviewer was also impressed with this quick portrait I had completed the day before the interview of Amanda Palmer :

And today I received an email telling me that I've made it to the second "audition" round. I'm not hired, but I made it to the next step! So from now until Saturday afternoon I'll be practicing like mad. If you have a good photo you'd like turned into a pastel portrait email it to me. I'll let you know if I use your photo, and if I do I'll be posting it on this blog.
End note: Please follow, friend, add me on these other sites if you aren't already:

Sunday, January 31, 2010


All things uncomely and broken,
all things worn-out and old,
The cry of a child by the roadway,
the creak of a lumbering cart,
The heavy steps of the ploughman,
splashing the wintry mould,
Are wronging your image that blossoms
a rose in the deeps of my heart.

With the coming of February comes that sometimes dreaded, sometimes exalted holiday- Saint Valentines. Some people are in love. I'm lucky enough to be one of those elite, personally. But I realize not everyone has a song on their lips and butterflies churning in their guts. I remember dark times where Valentines Day was just another day that amplified my loneliness. One year in particular I bought Placebo's 'Without You I'm Nothing' and made collages about heartbreak and venereal diseases. I kept this feeling in mind for my Love/Anti-Love sale; After all, not everyone's in love. This collection includes 50% off signed art prints, select original artwork, and wooden trinket boxes. This is also the debut of my new notecard series. CLICK HERE to check what's available in the shop.
And here are notecard sets that aren't available to buy yet. I'm looking for a boutique that's interested in selling them. If you're interested, or know of any place that may be please comment below.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

If You Tolerate This Then Your Children Will Be Next.

Gravity keeps my head down
Or is it maybe shame?

At being so young and being so vain

And if you tolerate this

Then your children will be next

I previously wrote about the kind contributions other struggling artists have made to help the Haitian relief effort. Now it's my turn. I'm not as popular as they are, but I thought I'd give it a shot. I listed an Ebay auction of my 8 by 10 art print Hollow Eyed, whose proceeds will be going straight to the Red Cross. The bidding starts at a measly 99 cents- 90% off the usual price! If you can't afford to bid, please repost this blog or the auction link. As per usual the winning bidder wins a high quality photo print that comes in a protective acetate case, with the option of having it signed.
CLICK HERE to go to the auction.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Haiti And The Empathy Of Artists

Part of this was crossposted via my Posterous blog. Pardon the double post. I just have to spread the word as widely as my little internet mouthpiece will carry.
I'd like to commend and highlight all the struggling artists who got their arses in gear to do things to benefit the relief effort in Haiti. Many of these people I interact with and/or keep tabs on via various social networking sites. They amaze me. Below are a few artists of note. Please check out their sales and auctions. 100% of the proceeds go to the Red Cross and other relief efforts.
The first is Christie Bastet. She's auctioning off one of her creepy art dolls. CLICK HERE to go directly to the Ebay auction. The bidding is still under $30!

Larry West made a beautiful poster in memorium of the devastation going on. You can see it for yourself if you check out his DEVIANTART page. He's urging people to donate directly to the Red Cross. The poster is free to download and redistribute.

Molly Crabapple, infamous for her work with the Philadelphia branch of Dr. Sketchys, auctioned off an original 3x5 pen and ink drawing via Twitter, (Take THAT those of you who refute the positive use of social networking sites!) raising $200.
As for my own efforts, I'm using this entry to try and get more exposure to these empathetic creatives' endeavors. Bid if you can afford it. Repost and spread the word if not. I'm planning on either working on a new original work whose sale will be going to relief efforts. Check back for updates.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

2010 has already brought excitement and letdown. I had planned to show work at a gallery opening at the Phoebus Gallery in Virginia at the beginning of the month, but the opening was indefinitely postponed. It MAY still happen in the coming months. That depends on what's going on with the gallery itself. If I hear word I'll post details when they come. I had wanted to keep it hush hush until I had plans finalized, but le sigh, "life happens when you're making other plans."
Continuing with a new sketchbook and a new year (Following the Indievisual sketch challenge), I have my latest rash of sketches from 2010 thus far:

I bid adieu with a photo of me sketching on the train.