Tagged ETSY

Como Fest Saturday’s Fastest Art Fair

Head to Como Park

Como Fest at the Como Pavilion in the park on Lexington Avenue. Saturday July 13, 2019.  10 am – 2 pm

What could be better? Local artists under the Pavilion Roof. Free Parking. Near the Como Zoo.

New work

Introducing customizable birthday greetings for a new baby. Get it on ETSY.

Welcome Baby Customizable 13x19 customized archival print. $30.
                                                        Welcome Baby Customizable 13×19 customized archival print. $30.


New Original Cats – Acrylic Mosaic
One of a Kind $60 each

Gerald asked for a leopard outfit because he loves dots
Gerald asked for a leopard outfit because he loves dots
Camo Cat believes that his superpower is invisibility
Camo Cat believes that his superpower is invisibility

Coloring pages have a heart

A Valentine heart coloring page

Drawing the first of the nanoscapes Valentine coloring pages was an unalloyed pleasure, as was painting the original ($100, limited availability at ETSY), and creating a digital print ($25, at ETSY). This 2017 Nanoscapes Valentine Heart is a dollar digital download at ETSY. You have choices: the original watercolor painting (get it before it disappears!), an archival digital print (Epson paper and ink), or a project (the coloring page.)

nanoscapes valentine 2017
Nanoscapes Valentine 2017 Dollar Digital Download at https://www.etsy.com/your/shops/SusanGainen/tools/listings/506928367

My pals have urged me to make coloring books for a decade

Adult coloring books stopped being a trend and coloring pages are now a tidal wave. I was a little slow getting to the coloring pages project, but I’m now at it all the time. I go everywhere with a pad of Bristol paper, 6H pencils, erasers, and a tiny brass pencil sharpener.

A collection of coloring pages

Common advice to writers is “go with what you know,” and I followed it. Making coloring pages based on nanoscapes’ designs lets me revisit the tiny shapes and spaces that I’ve explored since childhood with doodles, and with paint since I took James Boyd Brent’s Splitrock Short Watercolor Class in 2006.

Making a book to my satisfaction is much more complicated than I imagined, so I have made these pages into dollar (plus tax) digital downloads at my ETSY shop in the Adult Coloring Page section. Print them onto card stock. Get our your sharp pencils, tiny paint brushes, or pens and markers. Have fun!

Click to see the pages, then dollar download at ETSY

Click on each image to learn more about Orbs (an original nanoscape), Stacked Boxes, Boxes and Dots, Painted Knitted Metal 31, Demented Dominos, Stalagmites and Curves, Find the Owl!, Terrazzo Molecules, Friendship Bands, and Conversations Connections. There are now 24 coloring pages in The ADULT COLORING PAGES of my ETSY shop. I often add new pages.

Trilobite Revisits Photoshop

Photoshop has been my friend for a while. At first, I used it to create an archive. Because I started “image-a-day” painting in 2010, I have a HUGE archive of images. Sometime in 2011, I discovered the magic of Photoshop and began to manipulate images.

Original Trilobite

It was easy to identify the original image as “Trilobite” from a dim memory of studying geology. It is 5×7″ and beautifully framed. Thank you, Frameworks.

2 blog



Entering Photoshop’s Magic World

Once the Photoshop light came on, I spent hours tweaking this image, learning about Filters and Adjustments. (Working with Layers came much much later.) Surprise! The same person who categorically refuses to make round color wheels, declined to learn to play scales (C sharp? C Major?), also steadfastly refused to take careful notes about filters and adjustments, making it impossible to recreate any of this.

The image with the eye on the right is Teresa Trilobite. The fellow with the eye on the left is Tommy Trilobite. They are featured in The Small Friends’ Chronicles. Here is their story:

Although trilobites who roamed the oceans between 526 and 250 million years ago have long been extinct, The Small Friends’ Research Institute (which funds some of my work) found Theresa (eye on the top) and Tommy (eye on the bottom) living quietly in a small pond in Northern Minnesota.

Theresa and Tommy were thrilled that Trilobite: Four by Five (below) was selected for the Still Point Gallery’s Abstraction Distraction online exhibition (November-December 2011). They are still delighted that they were able to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital by appearing in the Square Inches of Love traveling exhibition.

In 2011, this image was accepted in Square Inches of Love, a giant quilt that was a fundraiser for St. Jude. Want one for your very own? It’s at ETSY.



Trilo 2 four by five

My Cat Max: Muse, Model, Taskmaster, Pal

My Cat Max is my Muse, Model, Taskmaster, and Pal. Time to give credit where credit is due.


Standing Max
Standing Max
TV Shelf Max
TV Shelf Max









Max’s Motto

 maxes final motto



Max: The “Who Me?” Cat

After he learned to climb to the top of bookcases (of which I have many), he decided to get my attention by batting on the paintings that he could reach from his new perches. He is a rhythymic batter, leading me to consider that he was a drummer in one of his former lives. Because the Laws of Gravity have not been repealed in my house, batting on paintings is a bad thing. I say sharply “Max!” He turns and says “Who me?”

7 Who Me Cats
7 Who Me Cats (print at ETSY)


Max the Holiday Cat

Max supervises my painting, sometimes attacking the brushes, sprawling on the papers, and just once, knocking over some water to make an editorial change to a painting. Now he has a business plan: He will pose for Holiday Cat paintings, ornaments and bookmarks. He was awesome at Christmas as an ornament and bookmark. He did a fine job on a Valentine card and in four original paintings, and, because he is really on the ball, his Shamrock Cat portrait is already work-in-progress.

9 Who? Me? Cats
9 Who? Me? Cats Ornaments (and bookmarks! Yes! Bookmarks)
Pink Heart Cat 2015-22
Pink Heart Cat 2015-22
Valentine Cats in Love 2015-27
Valentine Cats in Love 2015-27
Two Colorful Cats 2015-12
Two Colorful Cats 2015-12

Shamrock Max in Progress


Shamrock Max Work-in-Progress
Shamrock Max Work-in-Progress

Brayer: a new tool for paper mosaics

A new tool
Now that I have finished four paper mosaics (horse, pig, hippo, and cat) and have decided that I like making them, today I added a new tool to my toolbox: a brayer. It will transform the sometimes awkward act of tamping down each piece tiny piece of recycled watercolor paintings into an elegant rolling glide.
Helena Paper Mosaic Horse
(Helena Equus Papyrus)
appears on a number of cool products
at zazzle.com.
Fredricka Paper Mosaic Cat
(Fredricka Filidae Papyrus)
Herbert Paper Mosaic Hippo
(Herbert Hippopotamidae Papyrus)
Pablo Purple Paper Mosaic Pig
(Pablo Sus Papyrus)
Each of these tiny small friends is part the Genus Papyrus, a heretofore unidentified subclass of Mammalia. The Small Friends Research Institute is working very hard to identify and classify more of these whimsical creatures and to create environments that will ensure their safety and security.
The Genus Papyrus will make its first public appearance at the Northstar Watercolor Society’s 10th Annual Art-On-A-Line Show and Sale at the Minnesota State Fair Fine Arts Building on May 18-20. They will be with dozens of other small friends hanging next to the nanoscapes
Helena, the Paper Mosaic Horse, appears on cool products at zazzle.com, and you can purchase a matted print from ETSY.

Minnesota Watercolor Society Spring Show: Long Rings #1 is IN

Long Rings 10
Buy Long Rings 10 at ETSY

If you live near or are traveling to Wayzata, MN during the next month, stop in to the Minnetonka Center for the Arts to see the Minnesota Watercolor Society’s Spring Show “Rejuvenation!” This show is a tribute to the magic that comes from each artist’s approach to a tube of paint: all different and all beautiful.

It is a juried show, which means that the paintings were selected, and I am grateful that the judges selected the nanoscape “Long Rings #1.” You won’t be able to miss it — it is tall and framed in turquoise metal. Visit the show at your leisure, or come for the awards ceremony on April 14.
You will see the amazing range and quality of Minnesota’s watercolorists. They take my breath away.
April 7 – May 5, 2011
Minnetonka Center for the Arts
2240 North Shore Drive,  Wayzata,  MN  55391
Awards & Reception Ceremony
Thursday, April 14, 2011
6:00 – 8:30 PM