Sunday, December 14, 2014

Fly Me to the Moon Again

Fly Me to the Moon 2. Oil on panel, 7" x 5". Sold.

I went to take down the setup for Fly Me to the Moon, and I couldn't do it! It was so festive and beautiful, I wanted to keep looking at it. So I made another, smaller painting in the vertical format I like best for the rocket shaker.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Fly Me to the Moon

Fly Me to the Moon. Oil on panel, 8" x 8". Sold.

While I still had my celestial ornaments at the studio, I thought I would have some fun combining them with Paul's rocket shaker. While I worked on arranging the setup, I listened to the Pink Martini Pandora station (a favorite of mine for cocktail painting!) I really struggled with getting a good composition, and it took a lot longer than it should have. But finally. the exact moment I hit on something that seemed to work, Frank Sinatra's "Fly Me to the Moon" started to play. A sign from the Universe and a title all at once! Nice!

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Pink Lady

Pink Lady. oil on panel, 6" x 6". $125.

This piece was done for a commission, but it turned out the customer wanted something more strictly 1920s. Oh well, I had a blast doing it! It was to be a gift for a man (thus the Vargas pinup). It still can be.

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Friday, December 5, 2014

Solstice Party

Solstice Party. Oil on panel, 8" x 8". $175.

It's never too early to start thinking about Solstice!

Years ago, before I started collecting art, I collected ornaments. The vast majority of them represent nature: blown glass birds, fruit, pinecones, and lots of suns, moons and stars. Which works out great, since Solstice is my big holiday. When it gets dark at 4 p.m., days getting longer is definitely something to celebrate.

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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Cherry Blossom

Cherry Blossom. Oil on panel, 8" x 8". $175. Click to buy.

Cherry Blossom is another small painting available on Daily Paintworks. I am still posting one daily from the work I made for Yuletide. Really looking forward to doing new pieces, but I have several commissions lined up before I can start on new small work or paintings for the next book. But as for this painting...

Several years ago, I moved into my first studio outside of our house. It was in the basement of an old building that housed several retail and creative businesses. When I went to look at the studio, I met the soon-to-be-former tenant, a woman who made bags and children's clothes out of cool printed fabrics. She sold her creations on Etsy, but her business had grown to include yardage sales, and she had outgrown the studio. She was about to open a fabric shop in a real retail spot, called Buttercuppity after her Etsy business (seriously, how awesome is that name?).

The fabric in the background of this painting came from her shop, now sadly closed due to a health problem. Hopefully she is better now. I miss her shop and her blog. Ari Rooney, if you happen to see this, cheers to you!

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Peach Pegu 2 and more!

Peach Pegu 2. Oil on panel, 6" x 6". $125. Click to buy.

Peach Pegu 2 is the latest small original to appear on Daily Paintworks. I've been busy posting lots of smaller paintings in time for the holidays, and many more will go up in the next few days. I'm so happy to finally get those paintings online, but I'm especially happy today because...

I have the first recipe for my next book! Mixology: the Art of Classic Cocktails is all about old recipes. The new book, "Mixology with a Twist: the Art of Modern Cocktails," will be collection of new recipes invented by Northwest bartenders. With paintings, of course.

My first official contributor, Curtis Day, manages the bar at Casper Fry here in Spokane. He consistently makes some of the best cocktails I have ever tasted. He was kind enough to jot down one of my favorites so I can start painting. (The sad little glass sketch is my own contribution. I wanted to be sure to get it right!)



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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Well Equipped

online
Well Equipped. Oil on panel, 8" x 8". $175. Click to buy.

This is another painting from my book, from a list of bar necessities. It's one of my favorites and it is now available on Daily Paintworks!

When I started setting up this still life, I knew it needed some sort of juicer, but I didn't have one. I had everything else in place, and was liking the green handles of the tools in the glass. Soon it was obvious that a green depression glass reamer would tie everything together, but it had to be small to fit in the setup. Of course I found exactly what I needed that very morning at United Hillyard Antique Mall. And a bonus antique Indian shaker besides.

And now for something (almost) completely different… just in time for the holidays, I have giclée reproductions of some of the most popular Mixology paintings available on Etsy. More about that here.

Back to the easel, and onward.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Berry Infusion

Original oil on panel, 5" x 5". Sold.

Berry Infusion is one of a handful of little 5" x 5" pieces I made for Yuletide, and one of only two still looking for a home. I love the combination of the pale pink cocktail with the berry-patterned wallpaper and silver-and-bronze shaker. I didn't intend it to be a particular drink, but it could be a Cosmopolitan or Pink Lady, among others.

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Monday, November 17, 2014

Purple Skies

Purple Skies. Oil on panel, 8" x 8". Sold.

Last weekend was Yuletide, and what a great show! So many original paintings, giclées and books found new homes. I'm so grateful to everyone who came and supported me and the other amazing artists.

But many paintings are still looking for their forever homes, and I've been promising for a while that small original works would be available online. So starting with Purple Skies, above, a new painting will appear each day here and on Daily Paintworks.

All of the paintings are done in oil on masonite panels, and are ready to frame. Please be aware that the color may vary from monitor to monitor. For instance, Purple Skies looks over saturated on this blog (on my monitor)---the background is really a muted periwinkle blue.

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Friday, November 14, 2014

Speakeasy Booth at Yuletide


Yuletide starts today! Here's my "speakeasy" booth, complete with chandelier, all set up and ready to go in Gallery C at the MAC (Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture). I have lots of original paintings (framed and unframed, from $50 to $250), as well as giclée reproductions and Mixology books.

The show looks great, with a diverse and talented bunch of local artists offering unique, gift-friendly creations. Please join us!






Monday, November 10, 2014

Bijou, Yuletide, and Daily Paintworks

Bijou. Oil on panel, 12" x 12". $595. Click to buy.

It's another busy week, with so much news!

First of all, thanks to everyone who came to the Mixology book release, and bought books, paintings and giclées. I was happily overwhelmed by the response.

If you missed the show, no worries! Now that I've let Mixology out of the bottle, as it were, there's no escaping it. Here's why:

Yuletide: Spokane Art School's juried holiday art and craft festival takes place at the Northwest museum of Arts and Culture this weekend! I'll have lots of original mini Mixology paintings (prices starting at $50), books and giclées available for purchase. Yuletide starts Friday November 14th at 10 a.m. and runs through Sunday the 16th at 4:30 p.m. (10–4:30 all days)

Daily Paintworks: Original paintings from the Mixology book that didn't sell on the show's opening night are now listed for sale on Daily Paintworks, along with earlier small works from the series. After Yuletide I will begin posting a new small painting to DP daily.

Mixology Books: Copies of the book are now available at Atticus and coming soon to Raising the Bar, both in Spokane. Also, I will have copies with me during my shifts at Iron Goat Brewing, and of course at Yuletide. Not in Spokane? You can order copies directly from the publisher.

Mizuna: the Mixology show will remain up at Mizuna through the month. There's still plenty of time to see the original paintings all together, get a delicious lunch or dinner (check out the full vegetarian menu!), and try a fantastic cocktail or two from this lovely restaurant. They can even make you a drink from my book if you ask nicely.

The Art Spirit Gallery: This beautiful Coeur d'Alene, Idaho gallery will feature works from the Mixology series in their December small works show, along with the work of many celebrated Northwest artists.

So much exciting stuff going on! I realized this morning that my Bijou re-do got lost in the midst of it, and had never been posted here. It will be at Mizuna through November, and is available for purchase at the link above or by contacting me directly (see contact form at right).

Friday, November 7, 2014

Release Mixology!


Tonight is the night! Mixology (the book) makes its debut among all its original paintings at Mizuna in downtown Spokane. Besides the original artwork and books, there will be repros of a few of the paintings, great cocktails and delicious food by Mizuna, and "Vintage and Badass Barware" by Raising the Bar out front.

The Spokesman-Review did a great piece on the book and show today. And in case you missed it, here's a link to last week's article in the Inlander

If you're in Spokane and out for First Friday, stop by for a drink! If you aren't, you can still get a copy of Mixology http://mixologyart.blogspot.com/p/get-book.html.

Here are some of the paintings framed and ready to head to Mizuna:


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Ruby Fizz, and Book Release!

Ruby Fizz. Oil on panel, 12" x 12". Sold.

Jinkies! The book release party is day after tomorrow! 

Everything is ready to go, except hanging the show itself. Paintings are varnished and framed, postcards and emails sent, and books are here waiting for their new homes. Since the release is only two days away, I've gone ahead and made books available for online ordering now. Print copies can be delivered in as few as five days, and there is even a wee mobile version to turn your phone into a classic cocktail recipe book! 

I forgot to post this painting when I made it. Ruby Fizz was a really interesting drink, with a cotton-candy texture, and the rich, dried-berry flavor of sloe gin. The most fun part of the painting was the shaker, which mysteriously appeared in the brewery office one day along with another shaker in the shape of a polar bear. It turns out the shakers belong to a couple of friends (and animal lovers) who are regulars at at the taproom. Since the penguin is a spin on vintage shaker designs, and it arrived just before my last planned painting, I was happy to feature it in the vintage drink book. 

The polar bear is a totally modern design, though, so it will have to wait for the next book. I hope Fred and Royln can stand to be without their silver pets for a while longer!

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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Shake it Up - Mixology in the News

Blue Bijou. Oil on panel, 8" x 8".

The book release party is little more than a week away, and today it hit the papers in style! Dan Nailen nailed it in today's edition of the Pacific Northwest Inlander. His fun article really captured the feel of the series and the book. You can find the online version of the article here.

I first read the article from a cell phone snapshot, so if you want to read it and prefer that method, here you go.


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Getting Close

Glass Galore. Oil on panel, 8" x 8". ©2014 Sheila Evans.

Yikes! The Mixology Book Release Cocktail Party is less than two weeks away!

So much has to be done before that happens, it's been too crazy around here to post. The book has attracted attention from the local papers, for one thing, meaning multiple interviews and photo shoots in the last few weeks. So exciting! Then there was the usual framing and other prep for a show, going through rounds of proofs for the book and reproductions, and making even more paintings for Yuletide. On top of all that I realized I need to stage a booth shot for entry into shows before the artwork was all gone. Whew!

Good problems to have, of course. And it hasn't been all hard work, either. We did manage to slip in a new cocktail experiment at a party last weekend. Look for the "Stout and Stormy" in a new book sometime next year.

I hope to see you at the party on November 7th at Mizuna. I expect fun, and of course, great cocktails.

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Pegu Club


Pegu Club. Original oil on panel, 12" x 12".

























Mixology was supposed to have eighteen recipes. Now it has nineteen.

A delicious birthday dinner with my parents at Mizuna (home of the future Mixology release party) introduced me to a new (to me) drink: the Pegu. Jinkies! Where had it been all my life?!? Before the main course arrived, the Pegu was researched and found to be the house cocktail of the Pegu Club in 1930s Burma, and a perfect candidate for the vintage drinks collection.

The next day, armed with birthday cash and searching for a depression glass juicer at the always-amazing United Hillyard Antique Mall, I stumbled upon an antique Indian brass-and-enamel shaker tucked away in a dark corner of a low cabinet. I'd already looked for one of these for the next book, but the very few examples for sale online had been snapped up. Upon seeing this one, I just about fell over. Conveniently, Burma (Myanmar) borders India, so there you have it. 

I tested the Savoy version of the recipe on myself, loved it, and that was that. To include the Tasters, however, a Pegu Club dinner with curry soup ensued---after I finished the painting. To my regret. In my defense, there is a deadline. But Kate, it turns out, is an enthusiastic polisher of all things brass. She wiped the dust off of our ancient container of polish, and this happened:

Shaker pre-Kate
Shaker Kate-ified




















Oh well. There will always be more paintings requiring an Indian shaker...

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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Whiskey Sour

Original oil on panel, 12" x 12".

"Whiskey Sour, an Epic Journey" would be a better title. Whiskey Sours have been a favorite drink of mine for a long time, until a visit to the (sadly defunct) Central in Portland ruined them for me. Their amazing, from-scratch-with-an-egg-white version was unlike anything else.

Properly motivated to attempt the Central version, I started testing on myself (I didn't think any of my friends were big W.S. fans). I came close-ish a time or two, but never quite got there. On the last night of recipes, I put it to our most discerning tasters: Paul, Tom, Teya, Kate and Richard. 

By the time I got to the W.S., we had tried something like four versions of Aviation. We test with half-servings, but still. As Teya dished up some tasty soup, I took my most recent recipe, made a slight tweak, and sized it up for three portions.

Upon delivery of the drinks, my guests' eyes widened a bit. It was delicious! So good in fact, I went to make another batch and... SHIT. I knew as soon as I started that I had multiplied the recipe wrong the first time, but I had NO IDEA WHAT I HAD DONE. Damn you, Aviation!

I took a guess, but no. Four attempts and an egg run (thanks, Paul!) later, we finally nailed it down. Whew. 

Not to be outdone, the painting put me through my paces as well. Unhappy with the setup in the first version, I set out to do it again. Happily, the painting only took two tries, and all things Whiskey Sour are, at long last, right with the world. 

BONUS: In honor of Mixology's imminent release, here is the elusive recipe:

Whiskey Sour
11/2 oz. rye whiskey
1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
1/2 oz. simple syrup
1 egg white
Dash of orange bitters
Combine all ingredients in a shaker without adding ice. Shake for 30 seconds. Add ice, shake and serve in a sour glass.


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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Aviation

Aviation. Oil on panel, 12" x 12". $595. Click to buy.

I'm going a bit out of order with this one. We tested Aviation on the last recipe test night for the classic cocktails book. It probably would have happened much sooner had I been able to find Creme de Violette, but the timing was perfect in the end. It is a lovely drink and fit well into the "best for last" category (although there are so many good ones!). Best of all, by the time I got to it I was pretty sick of my shaker options, and thus willing to splurge on the beauty you see here. It doubled as a festive centerpiece:

Teya and Kate enjoy an Aviation Cocktail
We fully tested this drink before indulging in Teya's delicious dinner (more on that later), which led to some issues when we moved on to Whiskey Sours… stay tuned...


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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Work in Progress and Book Release Party

While it may appear that I have given up at the eleventh hour and stopped painting altogether, nothing could be further from the truth. I'm painting nonstop. The trouble is just that I ordered a new camera.

My lovely 10-megapixel Canon SLR has served me well for many years, and aside from being covered in paint, it is in perfect condition. I love it. But I realized as I started putting this book together that although at one foot square, these paintings are not huge, 10MP doesn't allow me to reproduce them at full size. And I may want to do that someday. And after the opening I may not have them all in one place again.

So I bumped it up to eighteen megapixels, and immediately lost all motivation to photograph artwork until the camera arrives. Doing it once is hard enough, so I feel no need to photograph any more work twice than is completely necessary.

In the meantime, I've created a new page for the Art Exhibit/Book Release/Cocktail Party.

And, here is a detail of Whiskey Sour V2 in progress from my easel (a long story for another post).


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Twelve Miles Out


Original oil on panel, 12" x 12". Sold.

I veered off course a bit from my list of vintage drinks to try with this one. The plan was to feature old drinks that were still a bit familiar, or had experienced a popular revival. This drink, I'd never heard of. Someone mentioned it in an article about old drinks worth trying (Serious Eats, maybe?) and it was definitely worth a try. Plus, the story of the name was great. Twelve miles was the distance ships carrying alcohol were required to stay from US shores during Prohibition. And, no doubt, where the party was.

I'm in the home stretch for book paintings, and I have so many props I don't have anyplace to put them all, BUT… Raising the Bar was in my neighborhood this past weekend, and you know how that always ends. This time it was the amazing etched and cut-glass shaker. Who could resist? Well, luckily for me, I guess everyone that had already looked in the Travel Trailer of Vintage Barware Wonders before I got there could resist. But I couldn't.

My beautiful new find was definitely a challenge to paint. It's been a while since I had to wipe part of a painting down and start over. The second attempt was a huge improvement though. Whew.

Oh, by the way, Raising the Bar, along with Atticus, will be selling my book after the Book Release Cocktail Party on November 7. Yay!

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Negroni


Original oil on panel, 12" x 12". Sold.

I might just keep this one. The color of this drink is simply amazing, even though we cut back on some of the sweet stuff in our recipe. And I had yet another beautiful art deco wallpaper pattern to make me crazy inspire me. 

The Negroni is one of Tom's signature drinks, but as always I started with a recipe from out in the world. Only subtle adjustments were required, but in the end you could actually taste the gin, which, around here, is considered to be a good thing. 

While we enjoyed our last Negroni, we dove into Teya's newest recipe find: a vegetarian version of Bebimbap, accompanied by delicious vegetarian kimchee. (Yes, to the dismay of Tom and Paul, Teya and I are—you guessed it—vegetarians.) 

Her recipes are coming soon, and they were good!

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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Prohibition


Original oil on panel, 12" x 12".

None of us had ever had a Prohibition cocktail before. But with a name like that, how could it not be in a book of vintage cocktails? In fact, I was so sure that it needed to be in the book, I painted it untested. The recipe did sound pretty good, after all. And we were behind on test nights, or I'm getting faster at painting, or something.

Anyway, I wanted a real 1920s feel for this, so I googled art deco wallpaper patterns and hit the jackpot. This was not an easy pattern to paint, but I loved it and did it anyway. Really happy with it in the end. So happy that I went to T & T's house and declared that by the end of the night, everyone in the room MUST like this drink. Including our unsuspecting guest testers, their new neighbors Scott and Nancy.

Fortunately, everyone did like it. To the point that for only the second time, we left the original recipe alone. Sadly, that meant we only got one, but we still had work to do.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Corpse Reviver


Original oil on panel, 12" x 12". $595. Click to buy.

Death, Gin and Lemon Juice, Part 2: we brought ourselves back to life with the Corpse Reviver. Actually the Corpse Reviver 2. The recipe tests always start with a recipe straight out of a book or the internet, then we tweak it to taste and I rewrite. The Corpse Reviver 2 recipe came from the Savoy Cocktail book, and for the first time ever, everyone agreed the drink could not be improved. It was perfect! We had a few more just to be sure, but remained convinced.

Given the zombie-ish name, I wanted a zombie-esque look for the painting. The startling green of the Absinthe made it pretty easy, along with the day-glo depression glass. A floating chunk of orange skin always looks sort of creepy too, although here it looks a bit like an egg. Which would also be creepy.

On Death, Gin and Lemon Juice night, we all sat around at out respective houses for about a half hour, wondering why everyone else was late. After we got it together and figured out where we were supposed to be, Teya treated us to possibly my favorite dinner yet. Inspired by the French 75s, she baked a French-ish, pizza-ish, savory pastry. Seriously, yum. Sorry, couldn't photograph, eating. But I'm getting the recipe, will post soon.

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Friday, September 5, 2014

French 75


Original oil on panel, 12" x 12". $595. Click to buy.

"Death, Gin and Lemon Juice" was the theme for our last recipe test night. For the first half, we offed ourselves with the French 75, named for early French artillery. This is normally a champagne cocktail with a bit of gin. Ours ended up more of a gin cocktail with a bit of champagne. Is that bad?

I'll get to part two next week. In the meantime, I'm happy to announce that I have a venue for the Mixology Book Release Cocktail Party: it will be at Mizuna, a wonderful Spokane restaurant committed to delicious cocktails and an exceptional vegetarian/vegan menu (in addition to the regular menu, don't worry). It's happening the first Friday in November.

This is getting real!

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Bijou



Original oil on panel, 12" x 12". $595. Click to buy.

Bijou is a painting I have been looking forward to for a long time. The word bijou means "jewel" in French, after the jewel colors of the three main ingredients: Gin represents diamonds; Chartreuse, emeralds; and Vermouth, rubies. I knew I wanted to put in a giant cocktail ring just for fun (this one thanks to Finders Keepers here in Spokane). 

By now I had a great set of perfect sparkly, jewel-y props: multi-colored glasses, a faceted-stem cocktail glass, the silver tray. I arranged them together and it looked really, really dull. The colors of the glasses are faint, so to punch it up I actually mixed the drink to add color. But the drink somehow erased the delicate blue of its glass. 

I decided to push through it anyway, and punch up the glassware colors in the painting itself. Before long I realized this was going to work out better than expected. I ended up capturing the sparkly, jewel-like quality I wanted in the end. Hooray!

For the next few weeks, I will be at an Artist Trust conference in Port Townsend, then off to the Sausalito Art Festival with a load of pastels. I look forward to painting more drinks in September!

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