Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Picture Story: cardinal song

...and Christmas is over, so now my free time is free again, well, sort of.

So, it's time to get back to work. This is my latest creation (which will be available at sarahkdesigns within the next week): cardinal song

It's one of those pieces that just kind of happened. I do, occasionally, actually plan compositions most of the time. But this one just came about. Mostly out of my need to produce a Christmas present for my grandmother. The woman has a living room full of cardinals (embroidery, figurines, paintings...). Well, that and she asked me to draw her something. A cardinal seemed like the most obvious thing.

So, I had the cardinal drawn, and I scanned it before I gave it to grandma as a gift. So, there it was sitting on my desktop (with a gazillion other files). So, through the magic of photoshop I cut the scan of my pencil drawing from it's background, and combined it with one of my many photos of the sky. Played around with the color a bit and added some filter layers (not unlike the filters in "warbling"). Put on a layer of sheet music, and added the musical notes... and voilĂ : finished composition!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wow, it's already December...

Where did the month of November go?
It seems like just yesterday that I was finishing my 5X7 hummingbird pics... and then I had a store engagement... made some new chickadee pictures... and BAM! it's December.

I am a procrastinator, just like my mother. I'm sure it probably runs in the family.
So, I've been working on the calendar, because I need to get the graphics done this week. Out of 12 graphics, I have 9 complete, and 3 very close to being finished! This is probably the furthest along I've ever been on a calendar this close to Christmas.

So, I finally finished my August graphic: hummingbirds & hollyhocks

This year, the hollyhocks that were planted last year actually came up and bloomed... and, of course, we had the same contentious brood of ruby-throated hummingbirds hanging around the yard, fighting over the ample amount of sugar water in the feeders.

So, I drew out my hollyhocks, inked them, scanned them, colorized the scan, printed that... colored the print out, scanned that back in, added a photo of sky... and worked separately on the hummingbirds, which were created in 2 batches: flying and sitting.
So, last night, I finally finished coloring the sitting hummingbirds, scanned them, and edited them for use... and voila! the picture is finally finished!

Only 3 more to go.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Okay, so the hummingbirds should have all flown south to their winter range by now... and really, I should have taken the hummingbird feeders down from the backyard. But let's not dwell on factual stuff and chores. I sat down at the computer last night, and after several hours of playing and tinkering came up with these:

So, now, I suppose I have to come up with titles.

Anyway, I drew the hummingbirds first for my picture "nectar." And am using the birds in another picture I've been working on specifically for the calendar with hummingbirds and hollyhocks, which I have almost finished! It's November, and I'm halfway done. Who knows, maybe I'll get to relax on Christmas Eve this year? I hope so.

Anyway, I hope you all enjoy these : ) they'll be in my shop shortly.

Thank you : )

you blogged about me...


you blogged about me...

Justine Miller Hernandez's "justnibbles.blogspot.com"

Lisa Orgler's "the lunch box project NEWSLETTER"

izile's oddities "izile.blogspot.com"

Studio Haus www.studiohaus.blogspot.com

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


It's October... and Halloween is just 2 weeks away.

I am one of those people who dresses up every year and hands out candy. And I bought my candy while out running errands the other day. So, I suppose it's time to put up the Halloween decorations (and take down the summer decorations).

I figured I could get in the spirit over on sarahkdesigns as well: with a new banner

I've been having fun with graphics lately.

ghosts float

wandering spirits

Because creating is fun, and so is Halloween.
I invite you to check out the rest of my Halloween pictures : )

And have a Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

New Cards!

I've been busy lately. I've been drawing bits and pieces of this and that and illustrating birds. I just put up 3 new prints at sarahkdesigns: "chirp" "twitter" and "chirrup"
I need the drawings of the black-capped chickadees for my December calendar graphic, and well, I seem to still be on the 'bird song' train of thought, so, they just materialized...

I've also been busy with my Christmas cards!
I decided to spend some time focusing on my nature series. These are some of the new designs:

come stop by sarahknight.etsy.com & check them out !

Thank you : )

you blogged about me...


you blogged about me...

All Strung Out


"From Victoria's desk..." the-moss-garden.blogspot.com


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Outside: harvest pumpkins

It is now officially autumn here in the United States. And the pumpkins and squash have been harvested. So, here are some pictures I have taken:

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Yellow Warblers!

I've been doing a lot of work lately, a lot of sketching and drawing... because I want to be able to relax this Christmas. But every once in a while I like to just make something.
I did a series of "bird song" pictures a while back. And I decided to make some companion pieces.

This is one of the originals:

And these last two are the new ones. I hope you like them. They were a delight to create.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Picture Story: chickadee in autumn

"chickadee in autumn" is available at sarahkdesigns

Freddie Mercury may have professed his love for his car (in that he had a feel for his automobile)... well, I apparently love my little black-capped chickadee.

I finished this picture on Wednesday morning, much to my own delight. It wasn't planned, it wasn't sketched out or mocked up. It just kind of happened. And sometimes, those are the ones that are the most fun.

Most of the illustrations I do presently are digital collage. I usually end up sketching something, inking that sketch, and scanning that into photoshop where I manipulate it with color and texture fills, and fills created from my drawings, paintings, or photos... so I tend to just have a lot of stuff around, which I suppose might seem a little aimless: piles of salt on watercolor paintings, a stack of paintings that are acrylics smeared across illustration board, plus the many many folders I have filled with my colored pencil drawings of birds or flowers or butterflies... and then there is my massively full iphoto...

I have a lot of graphic material hanging around.

And sometimes, I just have a moment where the idea just comes to mind and the parts just fit together... and I think this was one of those moments.

I've been working lately on the calendar... because, really, after 5 years, I don't want to be finishing my traditional family Christmas gift on the 24th of December. Miraculously (although I do keep changing my mind) I have 5 of the pictures fully completed, and at the very least a sketch for each of the graphics... January, December, and November are the least completed, as usual.

Anyway, it occurs to me that I usually wuss out and chuck a landscape photo into the September slot (although, this year's September is already complete). So, although I have a seasonal illustration for most of the year, I tend to have a very sparse selection of work involving autumn, which is part of the reason I made the chickadee in autumn picture: to add some autumn to my catalog of work.

Hopefully, you enjoy it!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

New Snowflakes!

I've been busy lately. Yes, it was the end of August, and it is the beginning of September — but it's snowflake season!

For the past several years I have been creating snowflakes. I believe I began doing it in 2005. I designed my first snowflakes for my Christmas cards — because I wanted to use something of my own — not glyphs from a wing-dings font.

Inevitably, I designed a template on which I could create my snowflakes. The template isn’t particularly eye catching, and I suppose it probably looks strange to anyone who happens to catch me drawing on it. It’s 4 rows of 60˚ angles, 3 per column; which yields 12 snowflakes per page.

I sketch the snowflake arms, and then fill them with black ink. I then scan the page into photoshop, where I do all the necessary editing (making sure that all I have is the black portions). And from there each arm is transferred to another file which is inevitably a template of new snowflakes. That new file is genially referred to as the snowflakenator, because that’s where the real snowflake magic happens.

Each snowflake has 6 arms. Some of the arms have bilateral symmetry, some don’t; it depends on what I was designing at the time…

Anyway, these are some of this year’s new snowflakes:

Look for them on prints at sarahkdesigns, and on my snowflake Christmas cards at sarahknight.etsy.com!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

looking for Sarah?

Sarah Sarah Sarah Sarah...

Sarah is a first name, used as a given name by various cultures in various places. The origin of the name is Hebrew, it's meaning is "princess." Sarah happens to be my name. My mother says she named me Sarah after the actress Sarah Bernardt. Anyhow, Sarah was one of the most popular things to name your baby around the time I was born (you can guess the year)...

So, my name is Sarah Knight. It is a relatively common name. It’s not quite “John Smith” as far as statistics are concerned, but it’s still a relatively common name. In other words: my, there are a LOT of people named Sarah Knight. So, this is my PSA to all you folks (prospective employers, current employers, the generally curious…) out there looking for Sarah Knight: I am a “Sarah Knight”… but I don’t have a myspace, facebook, bebo, or twitter account, nor am I any of the other people on this list…

I DO NOT have a myspace account!


Sarah Knight (on myspace)












…I could keep listing them, but I think you get the point…

I DO NOT have a facebook account!


Sarah Knight (on facebook)


I DO NOT have a twitter account!


Sarah Knight (on twitter)























…I could list these for aeons, but I think you get the point: I’m not on twitter.

I DO NOT have a bebo account!


Sarah Knight (on bebo)









… again, I could list more, but I think you get the point.

I am also NOT...

Sarah Knight (University of Leicester)


Sarah Knight (school teacher)


Sarah Kemble Knight (historical figure, obviously deceased)


Sarah Knight (on LinkedIN)


Sarah Jo Knight


Sarah Knight


Sarah Knight


Sarah Knight


Sarah Knight


Sarah Knight


Sarah Knight (School of International Service)


Sarah Knight (on amazon)


Sarah Knight


Sarah Knight


Sarah Knight


Sarah Knight


I do use the username "sarahkdesigns"

but I AM NOT








Sunday, August 2, 2009

Picture Story: black-capped chickadee song — sarahkdesigns

black-capped chickadee song

I have a romanticized notion of birdsongs. Truth be told, I can very seldom actually tell what song belongs to what bird. I grew up the child of birdwatchers, so, this irritates my mother to no end. The only birdsong I can ever discern is robins (well, okay, and crows, and well, red-winged blackbirds), but that’s because they don’t sing so much as they scream…

Anyhow, this picture is the end result of some random comment from a forum thread.
It started with my etsy banner. As you may know, I have an etsy shop: sarahkdesigns. There I sell prints of my illustrations and digital collages, and the occasional watercolor. My work tends to be very colorful and usually incorporates flowers or birds, or both, or some aspect of nature…

So, I made myself a summer banner: something vivid, colorful, and with some summer birds and plants:

To make a long story short, I know the banner is obnoxiously full of bright saturated color, and is visually busy. Graphically, it is literally made out of a scan of one of my paintings and birds & flowers from a scan of another of my paintings. And every once in a while, I’m in need of some attention and post in those critique me threads in the critique forums — and the only thing that ever got any comments was, of course, my banner. I believe someone told me that it didn’t match the items in my shop (to which I thought, hey: click on page 2).

I’m not thin-skinned, or easily swayed, but eventually, as the days get shorter and slightly colder (we refer to that as free air conditioning) — it was time for a new banner.

And so, I sat down at the computer and pulled the chickadee layer out of chickadee love song, and the musical notes from bluebird song and played around until I had something that was whimsical and end of summery looking.

And then I thought, hey, that would look cool as a square print with a shadow border… And so, I sat down at the computer again and opened up all the files, and went searching for just the right photo of the sky… did some editing, added some layering effects, toggled some color, and voila: new print!

(Actually, new print series… check out sarahkdesigns this week for other birdsongs)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Picture Story: lightshine — sarahkdesigns

"lightshine" available at sarahkdesigns

I finished this picture a short while ago (literally, this last Wednesday). I think it will inevitably end up being the “June” graphic for the calendar that I make next year. Unlike all previous years, this time I really am striving to not be manufacturing 10 pictures (because somehow, I always do get 2 of them done on schedule) in the 10 days before Christmas. The calendar, incidentally, is what I give out to my relatives as a Christmas gift.

Anyway, I think this picture nicely encapsulates the month of June. It is a landscape featuring irises, sunshine, American goldfinches, and a colorful summer sunrise. This picture started with those irises. I have them in my garden. They’re called “lightshine” and are from Schreiners (which is a famous grower of irises). The original rhizome actually came as a free gift because I had made such a substantial order. It has since reproduced, so now I get a couple stalks every year. They always have a good amount of blooms, and they’re always full and gorgeous. So, I cropped the blossoms out of my photos, and combined them with stems that I literally cut out of the garden after the bloom season ended. I scanned the stems & some leaves, and combined them through the magic of photoshop.

Obviously, they needed a background, and I wanted something that would coordinate with the colors of the blooms. Conveniently, I have scans of my abstract acrylic paintings on file, and I found the perfect fit. And for a while, the picture sat there on my computer as just irises & a background. I experimented to frustration with the idea of superimposing a photo of a cloudy sky over the background, but nothing was making me happy… and then it occurred to me that I used to make pictures of landscapes all the time with the sun, and it had been like forever since I had done that. So, a plucked a shade of yellow out of the irises and made myself a sun, with rays of light radiating out to compliment my lightshine irises.

And, of course, I need some animal life. I had originally considered doing butterflies, but just couldn’t bring myself to draw them. I apparently just wasn’t in the mood. So, I decided on the goldfinches instead. Many of them flit through our yard on a regular basis. I always see them in flight. So, having them fly over my irises was apt. That, and they’re yellow, so they coordinate with the color scheme of the picture.

All in all, I think it’s a cheerful encapsulation of summer.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Giveaway - sarahkdesigns print

lush ripe roses
(5 X 5 inch image on 6 X 6 inch 2-ply smooth surface bristol)

sarahkdesigns print giveaway
to enter, please send an email to sarkni@live.com
something like "lush ripe roses print giveaway" in the title would be helpful ; )

the winner will be chosen next Sunday, 28 June 2009, at NOON EST (eastern standard time).
the winner will be chosen at random (from some classical analog device like a name drawn out of a container).
the winner will be announced on the blog after I have contacted that person.
: )

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Outside: eastern bluebirds (Sialia sialis)

♥ Most-Hearted 8 X 10 Print Sale ♥ (June 14 thru June 20, 2009) ♥ Any open edition 8X10 print with 7 hearts or more will be just $10.00! See something you like? See something you want? Heart it into the sale!♥
♥ * ♥ • ♥ * ♥ • ♥ * ♥ • ♥ * ♥ • ♥ * ♥ • ♥ * ♥ • ♥ * ♥ • ♥ * ♥ • ♥ * ♥ • ♥ * ♥ • ♥ * ♥ • ♥ * ♥ • ♥ * ♥ • ♥ * ♥ •

this is in the sale : )

and these are some photos of the male of the pair of Eastern Bluebirds who are currently nesting in the box in my yard.