Sunday, January 30, 2011

A terrific new way to mount your favorite ACEO!

I was very excited about the creation of my first ACEO Mount Mat / Mounting Matte ( and decided to create another one. These mount mats are a wonderful way in which to showcase your favorite ACEO's!

I also included some additional examples to show how versatile this ACEO zentangle design for mounting ACEO's actually is. 

So, what do you think?  Isn't this a grand way to show off an ACEO!

Karen Anne

Some new ACEO's ....

My husband thought it might be nice if I created some ACEO illustrations to compliment my "My Chinese Mudmen" art piece. So here we have two new ACEO's  titled "Bonsai!" and "Chinese Garden Lantern".  The originals are available in My Etsy Shop along with Open Edition ACEO copies of each.

Please keep in mind that, because the drawing has been scanned to the computer, the image is considerably larger than the actual art piece. Therefore, you can not realize the delicacy of the line work and fine detail of the image as a result.


"Chinese Garden Lantern"

Happy day all!
Karen Anne aka IrelandBrady

Saturday, January 29, 2011

"Tory The Tortoise"

I liked the tortoise in my last illustration ("My Chinese Mudmen") so well that I decided to put him on an ACEO (2.5"x3.5") and named him "Tory The Tortoise". He is quite a cute and charming little character and dearly loves long leisure walks and meeting old and new friends along his journey.

Please keep in mind that, because the drawing has been scanned to the computer, the image is considerably larger than the actual art piece. Therefore, you can not realize the delicacy of the line work and fine detail of the image as a result.

This ACEO original measures 2-1/2" X 3-1/2", has been created on water color acid free paper and has been sealed with protective laminate. The back is dated with the date the illustration was completed, the title of the piece and my signature.  I also have open edition ACEO prints of this drawing for $1.00 each.  

Happy Day to All!
Karen Anne

Friday, January 28, 2011

"My Chinese Mudmen" - day #5 - Finished!

Hi!  Well, I completed the illustration of "My Chinese Mudmen" and now have it listed for sale in My Etsy Shop as an 8"x10" art print as well as an ACEO open edition art print (2.5"x3.5").

After I had finished working on it yesterday, I spent a relaxing evening and watched a good movie after which I snuggled into bed for a good night's rest.  At 4 AM I woke up, made a photo-copy of the original and tried out an idea that had come to me during the night and woke me up!  All day I had been stewing around about the sky, had tried out a few ideas (again on a photo-copy) and wasn't really pleased with any of them.  But now I had a grand idea and just had to try it out - make the entire sky black!  So, from 4 AM to 5 AM I spent time on the front room couch with Danny Boy (my miniature pinscher) by my side and filled in the sky with a black permanent ink pen.  When finished, I liked what I saw ... but, I wasn't sure, so I sat it up on a small easel and fell promptly back to sleep.

I woke this morning and asked my husband what he thought about the black sky, he loved it!  So today I blacked out the sky on the original and finished up with small details here and there.  I am especially pleased with the way my little turtle turned out.  Not too sure about the frog, he looks more like a lizard ... I guess he can be whatever the viewer wants him to be!

I am very proud to present to you now,  "My Chinese Mudmen" .....

Take care and God bless!
Karen Anne aka Ireland Brady

Thursday, January 27, 2011

"My Chinese Mudmen" - day #4

I got quite of bit of work done on "My Chinese Mudmen" today, but am still not finished.  There is probably at least another hour and a half to be completed and I am too tired to finish it today.  So for the rest of the evening I'll just sit back (with a nice cold beer) and study Chang, Chung, Ching and Chong's new surroundings and see what else I can add to make it extra cozy for them.

One thing I have noticed is that a lot of the zentangle designs and techniques  I have developed over the past several months, have definitely come into play in this illustration.  I feel that these newly acquired skills have greatly added to the overall dimension of the piece.

So, I am happy to share with you, "My Chinese Mudmen" and the end for today ....

(OK, boys' - strut your stuff!)

Happy day to one and all!
Take care and God bless,
Karen Anne

"My Chinese Mudmen" - day #3

I was able to get a bit more done than expected on "My Chinese Mudmen".  I have the border nearly completed and now Chang (the little guy) and Chong are in full color ....

At the suggestion of my husband, I made a photo copy of the above illustration and began trying out, with pencil, some ideas I have in mind for the background and foreground.  We'll see how close I stay to these ideas by the end of today.  Looking forward to a fun time .... here are my pencil sketch ideas ...
Hopefully, Chang (the little guy), Chung, Ching and Chong will be pleased with their new garden environment!

Take care and God bless,
Karen Anne

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"My Chinese Mudmen" - days #1 and #2

I discovered my first "Mudman" back in 1968.  Jim and I were married in February of that year and one day I was going through some of his "stuff" and I came across this curious yet charming little figurine, removed him from the box and placed him on the window sill in my kitchen.  I later learned that Jim had received Chang (I had to give him a name and Chang seemed to suit him well) from his beloved Aunt Bess.  Chang used to sit on Aunt Bess's piano and when she passed away, Jim inherited Chang.  I learned from Jim that Chang is actually a Chinese Mudman and was probably created sometime in the 1940's.

I have had Chang in my garden plants, in a bonsai (that I killed), in a fish bowl, but he always seems to end up back in my kitchen window.  I have grown very attached to Chang over the years and I think he has become attached to my kitchen window.  A few weeks ago we had gone treasure hunting (my term for rummaging through second hand stores) and lo and behold I came across three Chinese Mudmen!  Of course I had to purchase them, Chang needed some friends to hang out with in my kitchen garden window.

As I would pass them, they would bring a smile to my heart and I finally named Chang's three new found friends ~ Chung, Ching and Chong.   As I was looking for inspiration for my next art piece I kept stopping at where Chang, Chung, Ching and Chong were congregating in front of a piece of amethyst crystals and finally thought "I'll do my Chinese Mudmen!".

I had done a rough pencil sketch and then inked over them, erased the pencil marks and began coloring Chung with Prismacolor Verithin colored pencils when my husband came over and suggested I scan the work in progress at the end of each day and share it with my friends on my blog.  Thus began the latest post of my blog.

Allow me to introduce Chung, Ching, Chong and Chang (he is the little guy in the middle) to you...

From left to right, Chung, Chang (little guy in the front middle), Ching and Chong.

I began my drawing on Monday, January 24th, and this is where I stopped that evening:
On Tuesday, January 25th, I colored in Ching and began defining my border....
Today is Wednesday, January 26th, and before I begin working on my illustration I decided to take out some time and get my post started ... will share with you tomorrow how productive I've been today!

Til then,
Take care and God bless,
Karen Anne

Saturday, January 15, 2011

"Zentangle Design for mounting a favorite ACEO"

I am always trying to find a unique and unusual way to showcase an ACEO.  When I began this latest design I thought it would be interesting to try my hand at a border and see where that would take me.  Over the days that I worked on this piece I became intrigued with the idea that it might serve to make a nice background on which to mount a favorite ACEO.  So, as the work progressed, that overall idea became my theme.

Once I had completed my objective, I scanned the art piece to my computer and printed out a copy to see how it would work.  It was printed on an 8.5"x11" sheet of acid free paper and the printed area measures 8"x10.25".  I took one of my "The Letter B" ACEO's (with white background), placed a piece of double-sided tape on the back of the ACEO centered it on the blank center of the print and affixed it to the top of the print.  I then trimmed off the edges of the print to fit an 8"x10" frame and the result is what you see in the example I photographed and included here as a sample.

I also included some additional examples to show how versatile this ACEO zentangle design for mounting ACEO's actually is.

I think it turned out rather well and plan to list it in My Etsy Shop.  I would really like to hear what you think about this idea.

"Zentangle Design for mounting a favorite ACEO"

"Framed example with ACEO affixed to the center"

"Another example with Basket Full Of Posies"

"Example with Buffalo Skull ACEO"

"Example with Fantasy Mushrooms ACEO"

I am not sure what I should call this, do you have an idea or thought?  A mounting design for an ACEO?

Friday, January 7, 2011

"A Zentangle Sunset"

After I had completed "A Zentangle Sunrise" my hubby asked that I illustrate a tree with more personality and friendly mushrooms. Of course I was simply delighted to fulfill his request, especially since his birthday is just around the corner! The finished result is titled "A Zentangle Sunset" which I am happy to share with you as well.

The original drawing was executed on a size 9"x12" sheet of art paper and took about 4 days to complete.  I have listed it in My Etsy Shop as an authorized art print (printed on 8.5"x11" sheet of acid free paper) and in the reduced ACEO format size (2.5"x3.5").  

I really like how this piece turned out and hope you like it as well.

Happy Day!
Karen Anne

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Zentangle Sunrise

Happy New Year!

I have been so busy during the holidays that I had very little time for art work or even getting on the internet to see what is happening in the lives of family and friends.   After the hustle and bustle of Christmas activities I finally made time to pick up my pen and see where it would take me.

In this illustration I had nothing in particular in mind and just began putting pen to paper, the finished result is an amusing little piece I call "A Zentangle Sunrise".  I will be posting it later in My Etsy Shop as an authorized art print (8"x10") and reduced ACEO format size of 2.5"x3.5".

Happy New Year All!
Karen Anne