Sunday, February 27, 2011

Scratchboards and weather....

We have arrived! Cat-in-a-Box is officially based outside of Chicago now!

It's been a slightly hairy week, moving across the country is rarely a pleasant experience but this was actually the smoothest move I've had yet (and let's just say this wasn't my first rodeo!). Generally my husband and I take a Uhaul trailer to tote the more delicate items like computers, monitors, and art. I had the forethought to package my unused scratchboards separately with the intention of being extra-cautious about climate control. Scratchboard is a pretty hardy substrate, however I have on one occasion taken a board from the west (dry Colorado climate) to the midwest (colder and more humid) and back again. That board became more difficult to work and I was never certain if it was the humidity change or the temperature change that affected it.

Well this time I had my plan all laid - however as usual, life got in the way. It's all well and good to make plans, but when you arrive at the hotel four hours late because of the severe winter storms in Nebraska (after we'd passed 3 semis and over 15 cars and trucks off the road I stopped counting) and then wrangle four cats and their associated paraphernalia into the hotel room let me just say that the last thing you are capable of doing is digging out that special box of scratchboard from a pile of other stuff and suddenly your faith in the durability of scratchboard and whiteboard takes a huge upward leap!

Winter Storm - (c) KMTV Action 3 News

Now, more rested and arrived at the other end, I am regretting a little that the sratchboard got so cold. Only time will tell if there was any ill-effect. The one board that I had that was affected was still workable, it ended up turning into this piece:

"Ginger" (c) Pam Boutilier

When I get to working any of the boards that have traveled I will let you know how the surface is!

I also am able to share another commission I did shortly before the move, this is little Jessie. Her portrait was done in pastel, which was really fun to do after working in scratchboard so much recently! She is such a pretty little girl!

"Jessie" 5x7" Pastel (c) Pam Boutilier

The studio and supplies are piled in boxes - the next couple weeks are going to be just as busy as the last few!

~ Pam

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to workshop I go!!

I'll save my usual apologies for the lag in posting - in my defense there is a whole heckuva lot going on around here recently. The overarching biggie of them all is that Cat-in-a-Box will be moving from snowy Colorado to snowy Chicago in the very near future. Any of you who have ever moved (and especially those of you who have a habit of occasionally moving twice in one year) can sympathise with the descent into chaos that is occurring here currently.

Although I must say it's heaven for a certain boxaphilic cat....

"I can haz bubbelrap?'

However - there's nothing like moving to light a fire under you. So among the other things I've been up to (which I plan to use as further blog-fodder in the upcoming weeks so I can show you some new art) I'm also giving an Introduction to Scratchboard workshop next week at the Wyly Community Arts center in Basalt, CO. So if any blog-readers out there are local think about signing up at! The workshop with cover the basics of scratchboard origins and techniques, with some practice exercises and a fun valentine's Day project on day one and a more in-depth discussion of advanced techniques and starting on a 5x7" board on day two. Be sure to spread the word if you know anyone in the Roaring Forks Valley who might be interested!

In other news, I have had a piece accepted to this year's Art Show at the Dog Show! Rosie's whiteboard portrait (titled 'Petulant') was juried in from a total of 462 submissions, it will be making the trip to Kansas to compete against other canine art in the show this spring. If you'll be in Kansas in March or April try to check out the show, the schedule is here.

"Petulant" (Rosie) 9x12" Whiteboard (c) Pam Boutilier

And another piece I can post now is this tiny scratchboard done for a friend as a Christmas gift. This is dearly beloved Ellie who passed away a year ago, isn't she just beautiful?

"Ellie" 3.5 x 5" scratchboard (c) Pam Boutilier

I have some more work that were gifts and so could not be posted earlier, keep a weather eye and I'll get them up in the near future! I'm also pondering the direction of this blog... so be prepared for the possibility of some interesting sidetracks!

Thanks for reading!

~ Pam