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Moving forward.


I have been posting my work online for quite a number of years now, since 2004 I think. I have gone through a number of iterations with various blogs on blogspot and then using Some people have followed me throughout and for that I am very grateful. When I started this website, I originally wanted the domain to be my name, Carolyn Pappas. Unfortunately, someone else with the same name had already claimed that domain so I made another choice.

After much thought and finding a number of other Carolyn Pappases out there, I also decided to use my middle initial A. A few months ago, I discovered that the domain that I originally wanted was now available, so I snatched it up. I have set up a new website at and I have decided that I will make it my new home. Knowing that people will inevitably forget the A, I have also set up to automatically redirect people to my new website. I am planning on leaving my blog here intact as an archive of my progress. I realize that changing domains can be disruptive to readers and I didn’t approach it as a minor decision. I am comfortable knowing it was the best decision for me.

I have altered the design slightly, making it more clean and simple. The biggest changes are that I have eliminated the sidebars and added content to the footer instead. This allows me to use bigger images to showcase my artwork more. I have also set up a mobile friendly version so it can be comfortably viewed on a smartphone. It is still a work in progress but I am planning to keep things simple and uncluttered.

I feel that my artwork and creative life in general is taking on a new direction lately and I hope you will join me. I am planning on focusing more on my writing and making more imaginative and fun artwork. I already have a blog post published for you to read as well.

Variety in line widths.

I filled up my larger M size nib LAMY pen with the same Lexington Gray ink that I’ve been using in the EF nib. I’ve always avoided larger nibs in favor of super fine detail, but after some thought and observing a number of my older drawings, I decided to try out something a little thicker. I’ve been enjoying sketching in pen more and more, but I think I will try to vary the lines a bit.

trees in the woods

©2014 Carolyn A Pappas, 2-22-14. Pen in large moleskine.

Mid Week Snow Day

Having the day off from work today is a real blessing for me. I do not mind having a break and staying in all day. It is a chance for me to relax a little and to work on some of my own work.

I have been very frustrated lately with my artwork. I managed to ruin two works in progress in one day which is discouraging. I know that it is partly because I am out of practice. I decided to keep it simple for the time being and just work in a sketchbook. I started a new Moleskine, a red one, which is a good luck color. I do like the way my fountain pen behaves on the slick paper, so it is an enjoyable experience.

Updates and Interesting Things:

  • Ester Wilson has redone her website and started a new blog after having her work stolen last year. I have been following her for years so I am happy she hasn’t given up posting online.
  • I saw this documentary about a woman who lived in the Siberian wilderness for years undiscovered. It really opened my eyes at what people are willing to do to escape religious persecution.
  • I got a new phone which I am really enjoying. I have never had a smartphone before and I really like having a better camera on me all the time. I got rid of my point and shoot camera and now I only have my phone and my DSLR. I opened up an instagram account but I am not sure how I feel about it yet. I figure I will give it a shot and see if I like it.
  • I am in the middle of decluttering and getting rid of stuff again. I will be moving for a few months while we undertake some renovations and I want to make it as simple as possible. This will be a lot of work but so worth it in the end.


Abstract watercolor on scrap paper.

watercolor quilt blue brown yellow

©2014 Carolyn A Pappas, Watercolor Quilt. Watercolor, 5 x 7 inches.

I’ve been feeling in such a slump recently that I’ve cast aside my goals for the time being in favor of making art for the pure joy of it. This is inspired by these quilts made from recycled saris: beautiful, imperfect and slightly sloppy.

Drawing for Pleasure

I had fun last night sitting at my desk with a bowl of nuts. I drew them in ink and then colored them in as if I were working in a coloring book.

nuts still life

©2014 Carolyn A Pappas, Nuts in Their Armor. Pen and colored pencil on bristol board, apx 3 x 7 inches.

2014 Art Goals

My mantra this year is “Less thinking, more doing.”

The image below is a work in progress. I got this plain 2014 planner at Target a few weeks back and I am in the process of drawing/doodling on it. I will post a picture of it when it is finished as well.

2014 floral calendar

©2014 Carolyn A Pappas, 2014 calendar (in progress). Pen, apx 8 x 5 inches.

A lot of evenings I don’t end up working on artwork because I find I can’t get past the mental energy it takes to get started and drag out my supplies, etc. But my mind is full of ideas that keep spilling out, way too many to actually accomplish. I think that if I just prepare a little bit ahead of time, I might be a lot more productive. I am considering some ways to accomplish this, such as laying out my supplies in the morning so when I get home from work everything is ready for me, or having multiple projects going at once to keep up my momentum.

Still, I must be realistic with myself because, after all, I do have a full time job and a two year old. She is a joy to me, but a handful whenever she is awake. Some things I want to accomplish this year are:

  • I want to send a Christmas card out so I will need to do a winter/holiday/Christmas themed painting. I have a good amount of reference material for this already, and I just need to sit down and start working on it.
  • I want to try out colored pencil on wood. I have a wood panel that I have primed with gesso and it is all ready for me to start. I even know what I am going to draw on it.
  • I would like to exhibit something this year, so having some finished pieces ready to choose from will be a priority.
  • I am working on a website update/overhaul that I will finalize soon.

I have a few other goals which will remain private for the time being as I don’t want to spoil anything for myself ahead of time.

I would like to wish everyone a fruitful and prosperous 2014, especially in the realm of your creative passion/Important Work.

2013 in Review

2013 mosaic

A selection of images from 2013. ©2013 Carolyn A Pappas

I took December off from my blog so I could enjoy my daughter and do lots of “Christmassy” things with her. I hope everybody had a nice holiday as well.

When I think back on 2013, I realize that I didn’t get all that much artwork done, but it was a great year for me regardless. I exhibited some work for the first time this year, as well as met up with some local people which I found invigorating. I took care of a lot of personal business that needed to get done. I read a lot of books (yes, e-books). When I look over my artwork from the past year, I see a lot of “seeds of ideas” that I want to develop further and I find this exciting. For a long time I have been in an “inspirational rut” and I was starting to get depressed about it! I will go over my goals in my next post later this week. Happy New Year everyone!

Some good stuff coming out of Western Mass

I came across a new artist recently named Aaron Becker. He had a little video on his website about the making of his new children’s book called Journey. I was pleased to see that he lives in Amherst, MA (the town where I went to college) and he has a studio at the Montague Bookmill. Western Massachusetts is a special place and there is so much inspiration there!

Winter House (working title)

pen and ink snow scene

©2013 Carolyn A Pappas, Winter House (in progress). Ink (with watercolor to come), 7 x 10 inches.

Above you can see that I finished up with the ink, which represented the bulk of the work with this piece. I decided to crop an inch off the height of the picture which puts more emphasis on the trees in my opinion.

Then I went in with washes of neutral tint (almost black) and ultramarine blue. To me, this picture represents the kind of gloomy feeling that winter can have. This is a very New England scene. The trees are ominous, and I arranged them to meld together in the center to form a mass of trees. It is not recommended to let trees become overgrown like this directly next to a building as I have seen trees fall on houses a number of times. But I didn’t get the particular feeling that this house was being cared for very nicely.

Now, the only thing I need to do is come up with a better title. Winter House is too plain and I’ve been hoping to think of something better, with no success. Please leave me a comment if you can think of something to help me out!

deerfield ma snow scene

©2013 Carolyn A Pappas, Winter House (working title). Ink and watercolor, 7 x 10 inches.

What I’m thankful for.

As we celebrate Thanksgiving here in the US, I’ve been considering what I’m thankful for as well. To be honest, I can’t pinpoint one particular thing. I am just generally thankful that God has been taking care of me this past year. It feels like the world is falling apart these days and I’ve been kept safe and all my needs are met.

pen and ink winter

©2013 Carolyn A Pappas, Winter House (in progress). Ink (with watercolor to come), 8 x 10 inches.

I’m so happy to be out of work for the next few days. It’s a real blessing and a chance to do some quiet things around the house during the daylight hours when I work best. I’ve been putting in some more time on my pen and ink snow scene. I put it down for a few weeks and now I’m back at it. I hope to have it finished soon so that I can move onto some new things.