Monday, September 9, 2013

Man Cave Must Haves - DrinkBlot Art Coasters

Magnetwork's Studio M has released my six new additions to their DrinkBlot art coaster line.  The man cave friendly sets include several sports, rock and roll, western, cocktails and superhero.  Each pack contains 24 separate images and are available wholesale from or retail through resellers nationwide as well as my site boutique.
DrinkBlot Art Coasters Baseball Theme

DrinkBlot Art Coasters Cocktail Theme

DrinkBlot Art Coasters Western Cowboy Theme

DrinkBlot Art Coasters Football Theme

DrinkBlot Art Coasters Superhero Comic Theme

DrinkBlot Art Coasters Rock and Roll Music Theme

Friday, June 28, 2013

Celebrating New Art Releases- Western/Cowboy, Southwest and Cocktail/Spirits

The much anticipated release of my latest art is upon us.  I have had a great time revisiting some of my favorite genres and introducing a new exploration.  My authorized art publisher Gango Editions is hosting the works as canvas prints, posters and prints.  They are available to the art industry, retailers and catalog companies on a wholesale basis.   All 27 images and their "nine patch" ensembles are available for licensing in other categories and alternative wall art forms.

The Cocktail Hour collage series, pictured above, is an exploration of cocktails, spirits and adult beverages as a continuation of my highly popular Lounge and Libations collection.  The pieces support the growing interest and popularity of man caves and adult retreat spaces.  They would be great incorporated into products and designs that serve the restaurant, bar, hospitality and beverage industries.

The new theme introduction is Southwest Collage.  It is a compilation of imagery that evokes the charm and cultural icons of the southwestern United States in my unique Pop Vintage way.  It's a great mix of color, theme and icons from the southwest that doesn't fall into the typical tired trappings of southwest iconography.  These pieces can mix and match with the existing Cowboy collage and it's sequel Cowboy collage II images.  The for-mentioned Cowboy Collage II revisits and broadens the genre of Cowboy and Western imagery.  I've included new patterns, some musical references and a take on old signage painted on the old barns and buildings throughout America. Between the Southwest Collage and Cowboy Collage I and II, there are 27 fresh images that can be mix, matched and used eclectically for your product designs.

The images are available for licensing in a variety of categories.  Please contact us for more information.

Friday, July 20, 2012

American Byways Collection by Aaron Christensen

  Introducing my American Byways Collection- a series of five pieces and coordinating reclaimed wood patterns and signage.  The imagery and derivatives of it, are available for licensing in a variety of categories.  For consumers, canvas reproductions are available for sale on my website. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Hi Resolution - A New Year's Studio Meet and Greet

Welcome to this exciting blog hop featuring twelve artist's studios.  For those of you that are new to hopping you will find an alphabetical list of artists and/or forward and backward buttons within each artist's posts to help guide you through the tour.  If you get lost, meet me back here and I'll get you back on track.

Our studio meet and greet showcases artists that may seem familiar.  If you look closely in the boutiques and stores around you, I bet you've seen their art and designs on products, fabric, wall art, calendars and all those retail goodies you desire.  This rare behind the scenes glimpse will give you a peek at artists in the wild, in their native habitat.  Please keep your hands inside the windows and please no flash photography.

You can see one of my paintings behind me, it's from my children's line of art
available from most of the well know children's retailers and a bazillion
places online.  You can also catch a glimpse of some of my many vintage Dr. Seuss

As your host, I'd like to start our tour with my own studio.  I'm a lucky guy, I have a studio on the same property as our home.  It's 100 feet from the house, far enough for me to escape doing dishes yet close enough for me to wander down to in my slippers and disheveled hair.  I've combed my hair and put on a clean shirt for you my visitors.  Welcome!

Here's a glimpse of some of my art that you'll see out there.
All of it is created in-studio by hand painting.  I do use a computer for color corrections
and to create derivatives.  I held off showing you my desk and computer space,
simply from the fact that it's loaded with projects and paperwork.  You've seen
one messy desk you've seen them all!

Two of my childhood favorites loom over my drawing table reminding
me to stay young at heart.

Besides being one of those artists with art and products out in the retail world, I also own a design company called Embellishments Kids, that specializes in interiors and custom stuff for children's environments including those fun over-the-top kids rooms.  I make a lot of custom accessories, props and bizarro stuff.  A terrible side effect of being in the "themey" biz is my habit of collecting things that speak to my inner child, who's barely a teenager.  Yes, still sweet and innocent...

art studio tour, studio ideas, artist studio, by Aaron Christensen
Now I know my ABC's, but as a reminder I have
them as a 3-D collage. 

The previous homeowner used the building to work on cars, which is not my thing.  So, with some elbow grease and finish carpentry I remodeled the space to my liking.  I  drilled and plumbed an old stainless steel bucket turning it into a wash basin for my brushes.  It's mounted on a storage cabinet I made out of repurposed cabinet doors.  A distressed paint job and galvanized tops finish it off.  The oversized chalkboard is actually a "secret" door (don't tell anyone), it leads to a really organized storage room for most of my art supplies and huge collection of books.  Did I mention it's really organized?  Gosh, for some reason I forgot to take a picture for you.  I guess you will have to take my word on it... really organized!

Anyone want to buy a vowel?

My collections of the unusual line the walls.   The guy
up in the left hand corner features a favorite quip.
"Man can not live by words alone, despite sometimes he has to eat them."
The "faux" sliding metal door leads to the wood shop.

Because I build props, furniture and fun stuff I needed a way to contain sawdust and hide the less than decorator wood shop.  So, I faux painted joined hollow core doors into my rusty metal pride and joy rolling door that weighs almost nothing.  I know, how weird to have anything rusty be pride and you get me now?

I have a large work table in the wood shop side for big projects.  In the studio side I either paint on an easel, my art table (where I'm seated above) or tinker on my little industrial rolling cart.  The only thing I haven't decided what to do with is the floor.  Right now it's raw concrete.  It's covered with years of stains, interesting gobs of goo and my own flourishes of spilled creativity.  I like the fact that I don't have to worry about it other than sweeping, but I would kinda like a floor covering.  I'd love suggestions.   

"I'm unimpressed by Aaron and his goings-on!"- Ricco

No studio tour would be complete without introducing you to my studio cat Ricco.  He's actually my son's cat but he drops by to take over my computer chair for his luxurious naps.  While he's great company he's no art aficionado.  I burn my candles at all ends, all hours of the day creating, crafting and doing my thing.  When I ask him for a little positive reinforcement all I get is a half hearted wince and he's back to napping.

I haven't been fully forthcoming with the pictures.  My desk and computer area was a tad messy and I only wanted you to think the best of me..ha!  The view out my window is a drizzly Portland grey.  Come spring, I may offer up some pictures of my beautiful yard that surrounds the studio and a less gloomy view out the window.  Heck, if there are any fellow plant geeks out there I'll show you some of my weirdo plants and sub-tropicals I'm coaxing along in our less than tropical northwest climate.

Here's a few of my favorite things.....

Inspired by Dr. Seuss, I created my original Nesting Head Doe.
You can follow her story over on my Embellishments Kids blog post
about being respectful of copyrights and how to be inspired without copying.

If a prisma color pencil sells for 1.75, I have my retirement fund invested
in a rainbow of colors.  Please no comments on my brush hygiene.  Come on, a guy
has to have at least one vice.  Mine is wrecking brushes.

In the world of digitized fonts, I love to browse my collection
of old typesetter catalogs.  There's some wonderfully inspiring oldies but

Well, you're on you way.  One studio tour complete.   If needed you'll find the restrooms behind you and there are snacks at our concession stand.  Let me turn your attention to the following list of art divas, Yep I'm the only non-diva (the facial hair is a problem).  Please hop on over to their studios by clicking either their names or you can progress using the forward or backward buttons you will find below.

Considering you are invisible voyeurs sneaking about our spaces without a trace, you might consider leaving any one of us a comment, following our blogs or checking our sidebars for links to our Facebook or Social Media haunts.  Drop us a line, say hi.  We are happy you are here and would love to make your acquaintance.

Thanks for joining me.  I look forward to hosting another studio hop, this summer and hope you will consider visiting again.

Hop along to the following (hover and click).....

or give this a whirl....hold on!

Or for you can go the other direction....

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Years Blog Hop - Hi Resolution

Thursday, January 5th I'm hosting a blog hop.  I'll introduce you to twelve of the licensing and art industry's talented artists and their studios.  A lot of the artists will be very familiar to you, you've seen their work on canvases, products and retail goodies worldwide.  They will give you a sneak peak into their spaces great and small.  Join me here and I'll hop you through it!  Happy New Year!

If you've landed here on the day old announcement, click the forward button below to start your studio tour.  Enjoy!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Men Scan 2 Blog Hop - New Years Eve Treat Poppers

Don't recycle your empty cardboard wrapping tubes just yet.  If you're having a New Years Eve get together here's a great idea for either confetti or candy treat poppers.  This is simple project that would be great to do with the kids.
My love of vintage carries through on these tissue
wrapped New Years Eve Poppers.
First, I needed to create some decorative papers in the color palette and with the textures I wanted.  The portable Flip Scan © mobile scanner came in handy.  I took it's cover off, flipped it upside down to direct scan silver glitter I spread in a shoe box lid.  I also scanned some burlap, an old book and one of my wife's sweaters.

Because the scanner can be inverted you can lay it on
a variety of surfaces to direct scan.

My palette of decorative papers

I filled 4 inch cardboard tubes with a variety of treats.
  Wrapped them in natural white tissue papers and tied off
the ends with various ribbons.

Scanned images from an old book, burlap, glitter and a knit sweater
combined with a few metallic papers complete the look.
I cut the decorative papers into a variety of strips for both wrapping the tissue tubes and to create folded pinwheels.  I added some 12's and clip art of an old pocket watch.  To add a little sparkle I daubed a few elements with hot glue and dipped them into silver glitter.

Our guests, especially the kids will enjoy the treats and we have nice festive poppers that will look great for our party and will coordinate with our Christmas decor that we love to keep up for New Years Eve.

 Be sure to visit my fellow Men Scan 2 blog hoppers listed below.  These guys have outlined some amazing projects for you.

Enjoy your Holiday and I wish you a Happy New Year!

I'm excited to be able to offer you a coupon code for a discount on the Flip-Pal© if this little charmer is on your holiday shopping list.  Coupon codes are valid on theirwebsite until December 22, 2011.
To receive $20 off the purchase of a Flip-Pal™ mobile scanner with Creative Suite Craft Edition DVD use coupon codeMS2CS11.
To receive $15 off the purchase of a Flip-Pal™ mobile scanner use coupon code MS2FP11.
Join my fellow Flip Pal bloggers of Men Scan 2
Suede Baum -    

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Men Scan Too - Flip-Pal Review and DIY Week 3

A retro style Believe sign created using the stripes
from a painted cabinet and a scan of a venetian plaster wall.

I'm two weeks into my blog hop experiment with the Flip-Pal© mobile scanner.  Last week I challenged it by taking it outdoors to scan garage siding and old fence boards to create a "reclaimed wood" look reindeer and frame  The scanner runs on batteries and offers the option to remove the lid so you can direct scan any flat object. So, I thought I'd scan a few unusual things in the studio and use the images to create a vintage look Believe sign so Santa knows the Christensen family is ready and waiting.

Who would ever think that this funky painted cabinet's
stripes would come in handy for a craft project?
Being portable, you can hold the scanner to any surface no matter whether it's horizontal or vertical.  I decided to scan my black and gray venetian plaster wall and an old funky cabinet I have.  The plaster would be for Santa's black outline and fill, while the stripes from the cabinet would serve as the background for ol' Saint Nick.  There would be no way to scan a wall or a piece of furniture using a regular scanner, so the Flip-Pal performed the unusual task.
I held the Flip-Pal© against the wall and scanned away. 

A single scan from the Flip-Pal© had to be stitched together with
multiple scans to create the larger version below.

The stitching software is included with the Flip-Pal©.  You simply highlight the files
to stitch and the software does the rest.  It will automatically save
the new stitched version for you.
In order to replicate the cabinet stripes I had to make multiple scans, overlapping each one in order for the stitching software to weld them together.

Rather than trying to break the spine of my vintage clip art book
and force it into a regular scanner, I just dropped the Flip-Pal©
onto the page and scanned away.
Once I had the stitched stripes, captured the Santa image and the fill texture, I used my photo editing software to manipulate them all into the fun Believe image.  I printed the image onto textured paper, spray mounted it to a piece of MDF, sanded the edges back and drilled holes for the tinsel ribbon.  Once it was completely dry I gave it a light coat of decoupage medium to act as a sealer.

My cabinet stripes and venetian plaster walls are terrific
textures and patterns for this handmade Believe sign.
 The lil' mobile scanner allowed me to scan a wall and a piece of furniture which is pretty cool and very effortless.  The only issue I had with the scanning was the location of the "scan" button.  Although it's conveniently located where your fingers can reach it, it's easily bumped resulting in an unwanted scan.   But, it's not a big deal compared to the joy of scanning every vertical surface because you can!

Be sure to check in with my fellow Blog Hoppers,  the talented Suede Baum - Fashion designer and TV personality from the Project Runway, Ken Oliver - The Accidental Crafter, Martin Amado - Interior designer and HGTV design host, and Mark Montano - Author of The Big Ass Book of Crafts, to see what they've come up with for this weeks hop.

I hope you Believe and enjoyed my little project for old Santa.  I'm offering it as a free download to my Facebook Fans over on my Embellishments Page.  May the Christmas Season bring you joy and happiness.  I'll see you next Thursday for our final Men, Men, Men Scan too hop.


I'm excited to be able to offer you a coupon code for a discount on the Flip-Pal© if this little charmer is on your holiday shopping list.  Coupon codes are valid on theirwebsite until December 22, 2011.
To receive $20 off the purchase of a Flip-Pal™ mobile scanner with Creative Suite Craft Edition DVD use coupon codeMS2CS11.
To receive $15 off the purchase of a Flip-Pal™ mobile scanner use coupon code MS2FP11.
Join my fellow Flip Pal bloggers of Men Scan 2
Suede Baum -    
Mark Montano -

Now, much like a superpower, with great power comes great responsibility.  I choose to be a Man Scanner of virtue, only scanning, non-copyrighted or approved source materials.  It would be very easy to take the power of the scanner to the dark-side and be an arch villain of copyright.  As an artist that has been the victim of copyright theft I therefore ask that you please do the right thing and respect copyrighted works. 
In full disclosure, I was provided a complimentary Flip-Pal© Mobile Scanner to use and review.  Even though I've received this item for free, I will give you my honest opinion about it regardless, that's how I roll.  I'd encourage you to explore the product's capabilities and features on your own to form your own opinion.  I've been invited to participate in their affiliate program.  By clicking through the links I've provided and making a purchase I may receive a small commission.  Monies raised by affiliate programs are used to fund postage and offset costs related to our free give-a-ways and contests.