Thursday, December 18, 2014

Late Night Studio-ing

Holiday Open Studio - Western Avenue Studios #112

Tomorrow night is the final Holiday shopping excursion at Western Avenue Studios & Lofts. The Loading Dock Gallery is hosting a Homemade Holiday Shopping Night. Stop by after work if you'd like - Official Gallery/shopping hours are 5pm - 9pm, Thursday, December 18th.

I will be stopping by the gallery as well. I hear there will be some food sold to benefit the Miracle Providers. I have a couple things to finish up in the studio, so naturally my door will be open once I've finished shopping/grazing/socializing. My studio hours will be (about) 6:30-9:00 pm. I'm located on the 1st Floor in the C/D Mill.

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Strutting My Paper Feathers

Peacock Dress and Jacket - © Samantha Grenier 2014
Peacock Dress and Jacket.
© Samantha Grenier 2014.

Tah-dah! The finished peacock-inspired garment. Yep - inspired by this guy:

Peacock - From the HNMNH

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Dressing UP

Peacock Dress/Jacket Snippet © Samantha Grenier 2014
Peacock Dress Snippet.

The paper jacket is done. This isn't the big reveal… sorry! If you want to see the real-deal, you'll have to join me at the Wearable Art Extravaganza (details below), or visit me in the studio on First Saturday/Sunday, October 4-5th…. or just wait until later next week and peek back here.

Wearable Art Extravaganza from the Loading Dock Gallery & Miracle Providers NE
Wearable Art Extravaganza Poster.

A couple things to note:

  • Event is FREE and Child-friendly
  • There will be a cash bar for beer & wine
  • This will be wicked fun - I've seen some of the other pieces walking in the show
Hope to see you there ;-)
~ Samantha

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Mood Board-ing

So we're just about 1 month away from the Miracle Providers Northeast Wearable Art Extravaganza! Tickets for the event are officially available for those wanting to attend {wink-wink!}. There's also a Facebook page for the event, for those who'd like to be kept up to date on details, or mark up their FB calendars.

I've had a busy and productive couple of weeks in the studio. Firstly, the final results of my very-blue painting sessions:

Peacock-Blue Table © Samantha Grenier 2014
My (incredibly) blue painted table.

I've been dragging my feet on the clean-up. I'll just be a quick switch-a-roo of the contact paper, but there are more important thing to attend to… plus I may be pressed for more paper-painting in the near future. I can just FEEL it; a paper-feather shortage is in the forecast for next week.

Blue painted papers & fabric © Samantha Grenier 2014
Blue painted papers (and fabric).

And dah-DAHH-DAAHH! The final color pallet and fabric selection for my garment(s):

My peacock dress/coat color pallet. © Samantha Grenier 2014
Peacock color pallet.
I should have my sketches and dress construction tidbits in this coming week. I have a few photos I could share now, but I'd hate to muck up this pretty pallet post with all those lose threads.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

My miniature battle with blue

Paper Knot Studio Floor - © Samantha Grenier 2014
Paper painting/studio floor.
The evidence of my studio work/play today is embedded in my hands: they're peacock blue-green. Even after a couple passes with a loofa there are still some blue-filled creases.

Peacock Blue-Green Palm - © Samantha Grenier 2014
My blue-green hand posing in front of painted surfaces.
This acrylic has some impressive staying power. My work surface was affected a bit too:

Peacock Blue-Green Work Surface, Phase 1 - © Samantha Grenier 2014
Blue surface phase 1.

Peacock Blue-Green Work Surface, Phase 2 - © Samantha Grenier 2014
Blue Surface phase 2.
Why am I so blue? The Miracle Providers NE are hosting a Wearable Art Exhibition on October 4th, and I am assembling a tissue paper jacket for the fashion show. The jacket is going to require a LOT of material… blue material. The once-white contact paper coating of my work surface is screaming for a change, but I'm not quite finished with the painting, so this will have to wait a little longer.

I will be sharing some more work in progress on my art garment once I can get past the paper-prep work. I have some sketches and a mood-board I can share in the near-future.

Friday, June 06, 2014

My First Studio Opening

Paper Knot Studio - #112 at Western Avenue Studios. 1st Floor in C/D Mill
Paper Knot Studio - #112 at Western Avenue Studios.
1st Floor in C/D Mill

Tomorrow marks my first First Saturday Studio Opening. First Saturday is the widely advertised Western Avenue Studio opening to the public. The building is generally open during the week or whenever The Loading Dock Gallery has active hours. The first Saturday of every month is pinned as the day many of the artists will be opening their doors to buyers and general curious.

Western Avenue Studios - 122 Western Ave. Lowell, Mass.
Western Avenue Studios
If you want to visit me, please feel free to do-so! Studios will be open from Noon - 5pm Saturday. As you can see above, there are a LOT of studios to browse…. not everyone will be open, but many will be. Paper Knot Studio (a.k.a. me) is located in Studio 112. You should be able to spot me just from my cute stripy awning. But if you want to find me quick, I'm on the first floor of the C/D Mill; entrance is next to the loading dock (seen there on the within that GREEN space. There should be a sign and/or people directing to that entrance).

Want to get here? You can follow the directions on the WAS site, but if you're coming from the Nashua area, I made a little map below. The official address is 122 Western Ave., Lowell, MA - for those who are GPS'ers.

Click to enlarge map. Simple directions to WAS from Nashua. Crappily doodled by Samantha Grenier © 2014
Directions to WAS from Nashua, NH
I will be doing a paper-decorating demos (and chatting) all afternoon. Visitors are welcome to watch and/or help me decorate the papers. I will be accepting pre-orders for select prints, as well as taking commissions for macrame projects. I should also have my book babies available for sale… if they arrive in time before the opening ;-)

Can't make it? Don't fret - there's always next month! Mark your calendar for July 5th.

Hope to see you Saturday,

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Post-Conference Woosh

Color blocking narrative - © Samantha Grenier 2014
A bit of color blocking for a 4-page narrative. Book Pacing workshop
by Deborah Freedman and Frank Dormer.

And *poof* the New England SCBWI Conference is over. Actually it's been over for about two weeks. I'm still working off the inspired energy I picked up from all the workshops. I miss it, but I know it'll always be in my heart… I took copious notes!

Illustrators busy at work in the book pacing workshop - photo by © Samantha Grenier 2014
Other illustrators working-working-working.

I still have a small stack of postcards remaining from the portfolio showcase. Those will be mailed out to select Art Directors later this week. I have to admit I still hold my breath a bit when I'm about to send out postcards. It reminds me of the theme of this year's conference: "Be Brave: Make your mark". Though I've become a lot more confident with showing off my work, it's the ceremonial mailings which throw me. It's been a while since I last sent out any promotions and now I'm trying to build it into a seasonal routine. I'm sure this will become easier with time, but it's tough to let go of the cards. Why does it make me nervous? What's the worst that could happen to the cards or me?

Picture Book promotion cards © Samantha Grenier 2014
1st round of promo cards for 2014.

My biggest conference takeaway was quite a personal one: I am ready for a picture book. Honestly this is the first time I've actually posted such a comment and that I know it to be true. I've been attending SCBWI conferences intensely over the past couple years because I was seeking out the guidance and mentorship. I also go for the friends (both old and yet discovered); but there's also that need for the seasonal pick-me-up which you can't always get from a library/museum/critique visit. Sometimes you can only feel inspired by the words of a live Keynote Speaker, (thank you Peter H. Reynolds), or breakout session "ah-ha" moment.

So now I'm project seeking… and project creating. The cards must be sent so that I can remain relevant in the Picture Book community. I still have to finish making minor revisions to my mailing list, but then it's just a few steps to the mailbox. It may still feel like a big leap to me, but it also feels like success and advancement. And that feels good.

Friday, May 02, 2014

NE SCBWI Pre-Conference Update

Samantha Grenier © 2014 - Portfolio Cover
Portfolio - Spring 2014

We're setting out for the SCBWI New England Conference tomorrow. "We" is me, Sheli Petersen and Sheli's mother/author, Patricia Petersen. I'm packed, updated, and eager to meet everyone.

I can hardly believe it's already time to head down to Springfield again :->; I am really pumped for this conference and I'm ready to let the inspiration vibes strike me.

Samantha Grenier © 2014 - Snippet of some finished art bits from my portfolioSamantha Grenier © 2014 - Black and White dummy-book studies

Above are a few bits from my book assembly from the past week. On the left are some finished snippets from one of my spreads, and the right is the black and white study of my mock mini portfolio. I have to tell you the mock-mini folio helped a LOT. it was great to see the impact of my ills in the small scale and to make sure that my values had enough contrast. Highly recommended. I did a similar study last year for the Infirm Pachyderm poster. This year I combed through my full book in black and white format before taking everything to print.

I'm very proud of my portfolio this year. If you want a peek at the conference, ask and I'll let you poke through my portfolio-baby between showcases.

Hope you all are as excited about #NESCBWI14 as I am. :-) I can't wait to see you all there!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


Collage Materials - Photo © Samantha Grenier 2014
Morning collaging - torn papers and glue.

I'm still here. Quietly working on my portfolio… neglecting my blog.

The past month was filled with doodling and other paper-cutting activities. On top of that I'm slowly, slowly, slowly building out my studio space to make it viewer-friendly. Priority number one is polishing off my portfolio for the New England chapter Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrator's conference. I've only got one more week left on the timeline, but I'm feeling confident with the book organization as it stands. Though I still have oodles of work to complete by next Friday, I'm close to press and assembly, so the deadline doesn't feel scary-close (this time around).

Fingers crossed for my postcards. They should be landing some time Friday or Saturday, so let's keep our eyes on the mailbox for them.


Saturday, February 08, 2014

Conferencing New England-Style

Badge by Denise Ortakales - Source
Whew-Hooo! I JUST signed up for the New England chapter SCBWI Conference. I can hardly wait to see everyone again :-)

Sunday, January 26, 2014

One VERY good week

Think bright pink exclamation point. 200 pt Nueva:

Pink Exclamation Mark - © Samantha Grenier 2014

That is me this week. I am an exclamation mark because 3 great things occurred in my life this week:

1. I toured and have a studio space on reserve for me at Western Avenue Studios in Lowell, Massachusetts. This not only puts a rocket launcher into my part time freelance illustration career, but it's getting me out of the house so that I can interact with an inspiring community. I sign my lease later this week and there will most likely be many studio set-up photos to follow over the next month.

2. Did you know I wrote a macrame book? Did write/illustrate... now sifting through the draft. I got to see my Book Baby for the first time Tuesday. I'm pretty sure followers on Twitter could hear my scream from delight. Here is the official book announcement sent by Fox Chapel Publishing:

Hello! Macramé should be landing in crafty stores April/May.

3. Though we were threatened with a foot of snow this Wednesday, clearing my car required only a couple swipes from the wiper blades to clear. Whew!

Fixed with a giant smile, yours