Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Shalise the Scarab

This portrait illustrates the life cycle of a scarab. I've named my beetle Shalise, which is an Egyptian name meaning "beautiful."


To quote my friend Lee, "Dung Beetles lay their eggs in other animals' dung and make plant material. Yay, Ecodung!" I decided to go with the "eco" theme, using as many recycled fabrics as I could.


In addition to being an important part of our ecosystem, the scarab is a prominent figure in human history. This animal was considered sacred to ancient Egyptians, who believed in its connection to the sun god, Ra. The way a scarab would roll a ball of feces across the ground reminded the Egyptians of how the sun would "roll" across the sky each day.


The scarab is a creepy, crawly insect that rolls around balls of poop for a living, but I have to agree with the Egyptians. They deserve my reverence as a beautifully divine creature.

(To view the study, sculpture, drawing, and vector graphic for this portrait, please view a previous post.)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

favorite projects from 2011 - thanks to you!

This sunset fabric collage was commissioned by my dad. It's a smaller version of the original, which I made for our friends, Fausto and Janelle. Thank you so much for your support and inspiration!

sunset collage no. 2
16" x 16" / fabric and thread

Ah, the monster guys! I have to say, taking classes at SD City College has been one of the best decisions I've made as an artist. Each of these glaze test pieces has assumed its own personality, and to me, they represent the amazing array of kooky classmates I have come to love.

mini monster heads
clay and glaze

My pickiest and most gratifying client: Martian Horses. :) You push me to create things I could never imagine on my own, such as this "end of world scenario."

smoke and bugs
11" x 17" / paper and paint

One of the most difficult things for me, is to let go of aesthetic expectations and create something conceptual. Here is something I sculpted this summer which I'm personally proud of. I'm very lucky to have a wonderful teacher, Terri, who always encourages me to push my own boundaries.

6.5" x 6"x 5" / ceramic sculpture / 4 nesting pieces

Friday, December 2, 2011

scarabs coming along...

OK, picking up a rythmn now — here's my progress on the next animal, the scarab beetle:

step 5: vector graphic (last step before the fabric collage!)

step 4: drawing of the sculpture

step 3: finished sculptures

step 2: unfired clay sculptures

step 1: study of the scarab beetle

Hopefully I'll be able to finish the fabric collage next week. I'll explain more about this peculiar creature in my next post with new pics. :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Portrait of Mo the Mudskipper

Ahh! I can't believe it's been 5 months since my last animal book portrait. :( I guess jewelry has kind of taken over my life — but, maybe that's just an excuse to break away from a project that's lost some of its novelty. In any case, I have finally finished the portrait of Mo here. Hope you like this funny guy!

Here are some pics of Mo's progression:

step 1: study of mudskipper

step 2: sculpture

step 3: glazed sculpture

step 4: drawing of the sculpture

step 5: vector graphic


Mudskippers are amphibious fish that use their pectoral fins to walk on land. They are quite active when out of water, feeding and squabbling over territory. They also like to show off to mates and rivals, leaping up to 2 feet into the air!


Since the mudskipper is a walking fish, it is often used as a symbol of evolution. People have long been looking for a missing evolutionary link between ocean-living and land-living animals. (However, the lobe-finned fish is a more likely link than the mudskipper.)

The Japanese name for the mudskipper is mutsugoro. For centuries, this comical and apparently delicious fish has been a source of inspiration for the Japanese. For example, here is a beautiful piece by Fumiko Koga.

oh, and of course...

The main fabric of my mudskipper collage is a japanese-style wave print, referencing this cultural significance.


I'll be doing a portrait of the scarab beetle (aka dung beetle.) I have finished the sculptures for this one already, so at least I have a little head start!

Thanks for tuning in!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Luther meets Mo Mudskipper and Bearolf

Mo the Mudskipper
3" x 7" x 4" / clay and glaze

Luther meets Mo

6" x 3" x2.5" / clay and glaze

Luther meets Bearolf

Monday, October 31, 2011

Call to Vote!

I have created a couple of alternate versions for the text of my animal book. Now, I need to decide which content/mood is the most appealing!

It would be really helpful if you could take a few minutes to read these three versions and tell me which you like best. Any feedback is appreciated and welcome. Keep in mind, these still need editing. :)

Please click images to view larger versions.

Thank you for your help!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

owl totem and more...

Hello! I've been overwhelmed with new projects as of late ... finally carving out a little time to blog and share some things I've been working on. Hope you enjoy!

Owl Totem
all pieces stacked: 5.5" x 3.5" x 3.5" / glazed ceramics

paper landscapes
height of people is just under 1" / paper

This is a "secret" project. In a couple of months,
I should have a final product to show you. :)

And, last but not least...

Our etsy shop - Lola Me'shelle - is now open!
We also have a facebook page if you'd like to connect with us there.

Thank you!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Moonrise Painting

I just finished this painting for some of our family friends, the Callahans.

30" x 40" / acrylics

Painting a landscape was a challenge, since I've mainly done portraits for the past few years. I tried to incorporate what I've learned from textiles, using pattern to create textures. Holga photography (which is popular right now) also influenced the color pallate. Of course, Van Gogh's work is my constant underlying inspiration — but that's probably pretty obvious here. :)

The landscape is inspired by the cliffs of my hometown, Palos Verdes, and the Cuyamaca Mountains here in San Diego. Cleveland sage, a native California plant, is in the foreground. I have some here in my studio for reference and aromatherapy!

By the way, sorry for the lapse in blogging. I've been working to market my book, which has been intimidating, but rewarding. That etsy shop is also still in the works, and I hope to have something to show for it by the end of the month. So, stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Coral Earrings

I'm so happy with my new beads! It's a little hard to show the color in these pictures, but they're a shimmery pinkish coral. I'm also really into all the leafy and vintage looking beadcaps. Oh my gosh, I'm having way too much fun with this whole jewelry thing :)

Czech firepolished glass beads and silver plated findings

Thursday, August 11, 2011

citrine earrings

I've opened the door to a world of sparklies, and I'm falling in...

citrine, smokey quartz, and glass beads

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

feather earrings

I am officially obsessed with feathers! They are so beautiful and delicate, yet surprisingly strong. The colors are really amazing, especially when you see them glinting in the light.

rooster feathers with carved bone bead

rooster and pheasant feathers
with cute little bird beads (also carved bone)

My friend Toni and I are working feverishly to complete our jewelry collection, which will be available for purchase in our Etsy store. Our name is Lola Me'shelle. :)

We're hoping to get the store up and running very soon! Stay tuned...