Prague Rock

Posted on May 5th, 2017

Prague Rock by Amy Crook

Prague Rock, 7″x5″ watercolor on Arches cover black paper

Another city gilded in metallic shine, only this one has silver starlight instead of golden sunlight glinting off the roofs and towers. The night has washed the city in shades of blue-violet, stealing away whatever color it has in the daytime.

The architecture here riffs on Prague without really being accurate in any way to any part of it. Much like the Painted Ladies, it’s more the idea of a city than a portrait of it, the feeling of somewhere magical you could live, if only you could turn just the right corner.

Prague Rock, detail, by Amy Crook

Prague Rock, detail, by Amy Crook

Above, you can see the light glinting off the silver highlights on the stars and spires. Below, this smaller city is nestled in a frame, like a window to somewhere you wish you could go.

Prague Rock, framed art by Amy Crook

Prague Rock, framed art by Amy Crook

Categories: Floating Gallery, Flowers, Trees and Landscapes, Series and Books, Whimsical and Strange
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Halloween Pathways

Posted on May 4th, 2017

Halloween Pathways, abstract art by Amy Crook

Halloween Pathways, 7″x5″ watercolor on Arches Cover black paper

Deep charcoal supports and subdues the bright Halloween orange in this latest Pathways painting.

The image suggests bold autumn trees, lit by the last orange rays of sunlight slanting towards them. Or is it a bright potion bubbling over the sides of an iron cauldron? Perhaps you see the stripes on some deadly orange monster instead.

The simple-seeming monochrome hides a depth of color and detail that will give you hours of peaceful contemplation while you sit and sip cider and think of Halloweens to come.

Halloween Pathways, detail, by Amy Crook

Halloween Pathways, detail, by Amy Crook

Above, you can see the the way the charcoal blackness of the paper draws the orange into itself, lending a base of deep gloom to the holiday brightness of it. Below, the painting is tucked into a frame, just waiting to haunt your home.

Halloween Pathways, framed art by Amy Crook

Halloween Pathways, framed art by Amy Crook

Categories: Abstract and Just Plain Weird, Floating Gallery, Series and Books
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Dream Well

Posted on May 3rd, 2017

Dream Well, abstract art by Amy Crook

Dream Well, 5″x5″ watercolor and brush pen on Arches Cover buff paper

May is here! I hope you had a good April, the cats and I missed seeing you terribly while I was convalescing.

Dusky lavender swirls like liquid, bounded by broken lines like a dream of an object, soft and subtle and strange.

Dip into the dream well and see what you pull up from its depths. The shallowness is only an illusion; the well of dreams goes down forever, full of endless possibilities and impossible futures.

This lovely mixed media piece is quite small at only five inches square, the soft buff of the paper making it perfect to warm up a space that needs a little imagination.

Dream Well, detail, by Amy Crook

Dream Well, detail, by Amy Crook

Above, you can see the stuttering strokes of pen filling in the borders where the brush stuttered first, making waves in the soft, warm violet well. Below, this tiny artwork is resting peacefully in a frame, perfect for a small meditation nook, or even just your desk at work.

Dream Well, framed art by Amy Crook

Dream Well, framed art by Amy Crook

Categories: Abstract and Just Plain Weird, Floating Gallery
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30 Day Marker Challenge, part 4

Posted on May 2nd, 2017

The amazing Sadynax gave herself a 30-day Marker Challenge last month, and I decided to do it for April to help get back in the swing of art after my surgery.

I managed to make art nearly every day this month (once I doubled up and skipped a day), and I can definitely see how I got back into using my materials as the month went on. I also got more energy to put into the finished pieces as my stamina returned, so hooray for healing!

Spilled Tea by Amy Crook

Day 25: Draw liquid.

Polar Stars bookmark by Amy Crook

Day 26: Use your favorite colors.

Jigglypuff by Amy Crook

Day 27: Choose 3 colors blindly, again!

Queen of Swords by Amy Crook

Day 28: Use only markers that end in the number 7.

Spring Moleskine by Amy Crook

Day 29: Use cheap markers.

Aquamarine (left) and Amethyst Spear (right) by Amy Crook

Day 30: Redo a challenge you were dissatisfied with and compare the two pieces.

Categories: Completed Commissions, Daily Art, Flowers, Trees and Landscapes, Moleskines, People, Figures and Faces, Series and Books, Things I'm a Fan Of
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30 Day Marker Challenge, part 3

Posted on April 25th, 2017

The amazing Sadynax gave herself a 30-day Marker Challenge last month, and I decided to do it for April to help get back in the swing of art after my surgery. Three weeks and counting I’ve managed some daily art, hooray!

I’m giving my wonderful Patreon supporters some bonuses at the $5+ sketch levels this month, so it’s a good time to become a patron!

Celadon Teapot by Amy Crook for Kim

Day 18: Use colored paper.

Amethyst Spear by Amy Crook

Day 19: Draw stone or crystal.

Podovich by Amy Crook

Day 20: Draw fur.

Jellyfish by Amy Crook for Molly

Day 21: Draw water.

Charmeleon by Amy Crook for Eric

Day 22: Draw fire.

Coffee Warms the Soul by Amy Crook for Jefferson

Day 23: Draw cold atmosphere.

Desert by Amy Crook

Day 24: Draw warm atmosphere.

Categories: Card Design, Completed Commissions, Daily Art, Flowers, Trees and Landscapes, People, Figures and Faces, Sea Creatures and Other Animals, Tentacles, Things I'm a Fan Of, Whimsical and Strange
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Random Recipe: Cardamom Milk

Posted on April 20th, 2017

Cloves, Cardamom, Candied Ginger, and a Mug, illustration by Amy Crook

I found a great place to buy green cardamom, and then went hunting for this recipe, which makes a wonderful, warm bedtime treat.

  • 2 cups milk
  • 8 cardamom pods, cracked open
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2-3 cloves*
  • 6-8 slices of candied ginger*

*Optional — if you do use candied ginger, you might want to reduce the honey a bit to keep it from being too sweet. I know it seems like a lot of spices, but since you don’t boil them, it takes more to get the same flavor as in tea.

In a small saucepan, heat everything but the vanilla, stirring constantly. Once the milk is steaming hot but not boiling, remove from heat, add vanilla, and cover. Let steep for 5 minutes, then strain out the spices and serve.

I usually add the ginger back to the cup before serving, yum.

Categories: Things I'm a Fan Of, Whimsical and Strange
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30 Day Marker Challenge, part 2

Posted on April 18th, 2017

The amazing Sadynax gave herself a 30-day Marker Challenge last month, and I decided to do it for April to help get back in the swing of art after my surgery.

I’m giving my wonderful Patreon supporters some bonuses at the $5+ sketch levels this month, so it’s a good time to become a patron!

Morticia Frump's Wedding by Amy Crook

Day 11: Redo one of your old copic works.

Q Purrito by Amy Crook

Day 12: Shade white cloth without using any grey markers.

Gloom word art by Amy Crook

Day 13: Color ombre.

Specificity Arthur by Amy Crook

Day 14: Use at least 10 colors.

Strawberries by Amy Crook

Day 15: No lineart.

Moscow Mule by Amy Crook for Jeff

Day 16: Draw something metallic.

Space Squid by Amy Crook

Day 17: Make space/cosmos.

Categories: Angels, Cthulhu, and Other Myths, Completed Commissions, Daily Art, Flowers, Trees and Landscapes, People, Figures and Faces, Pretty Words, Sea Creatures and Other Animals, Tentacles, Things I'm a Fan Of
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