Merry Christmas! I hope everybody has had a great one!

This year I drew my sister Anna's name for our family gift exchange, which is excellent, because my sister Anna loves stories and adventures. I made her a painting of a character that has thus far has been dubbed "the Ginger Warrior", but now is officially named Bridgette. I've been working on a project with her (and her companion, the Winter Girl). More of that in 2014!

Going overboard with the gold gouache, but it's hard to resist in gift paintings.

Going overboard with the gold gouache, but it's hard to resist in gift paintings.

I've been up north for the past few days visiting my family, and it's awesome. We have our differences, but I'm always impressed and comforted by the willingness each one of them has to be present and loving. I think it's hard! I know I have trouble with it. It's easier to get trapped up and have self-pity tunnel vision, or to find reasons to argue. But this has been excellent. They never fail to remind me why I make things in the first place.

Here's to a New Year, and all of your families :)

Sketchbook Project Progress

I just went over to MCAD's gallery and spent a few minutes walking through the Jaime Hernandez exhibit. If that isn't a humbling experience, I don't even know what is. I love looking at original inked pages! I'm sure part of it is a learning thing—you can learn a lot about the way a person works by seeing original pieces. But I also believe there's something kind of magical about seeing work the artist handled.

Anyway, I'm eager to spend more time looking at it one of these days after work. Hernandez himself is coming to the show's reception on August 16th, and it's open to the public! Another reason to visit the Twin Cities this month!
I've finished my piece for Light Grey Art Lab's</i> Role Models<i> show and now I can't resist drawing more of that. Any excuse to draw a cat with wings.

I've finished my piece for Light Grey Art Lab's</i> Role Models<i> show and now I can't resist drawing more of that. Any excuse to draw a cat with wings.

I'm sharing a few images from my sketchbook for The Sketchbook Project. The deadline is fast approaching, though I'm pretty lucky to work in a studio with 3 other people that have the same deadline. Nothings puts the flame under you like seeing other people's progress on the same project.
I ended up gutting my tiny sketchbook and replacing the paper with some Canson. It's definitely better for watercolor.

New Bike

biking_francesca I’ve been waiting to post this for awhile! A month or so ago, my bike was stolen. I loved my bike. It was my transportation, recreation, and source of joy, so I was pretty devastated. And times have been tough (student loans) so it was going to be difficult to get new one, at least right away. And then my amazing incredible friends pitched in and surprised me with enough money to get a new one. I can’t thank them enough, and I love this new bike even more than the stolen one (which is saying something!) This illustration is for them. Also for the curious (and most definitely for my friends and benefactors), here's a picture of my new bike. Rides like a dream. I had a chance to go on a forty minute bike ride yesterday and it was pure heaven. Bike

Claire & Charlie

Another piece of unofficial Lost fanart. I made a sketch of Charlie & Claire that I really liked and thought it might be cool to add a different piece of island color as a backdrop. illustration_charlieandclaire_francescabuchko You know, there are some shots of the island where you think "wow. It's actually really beautiful." I'm kind of a tropical paradise cynic. In most cases I think the U.S.'s northern coastlines are more lovely; the steely grey ocean and rocky seaside cliff feel. That show plus this year's Paper Bicycle trip to Santa Monica is helping me rethink sunsets on the beach.


I watched a LOT of Season One Lost this weekend.


I haven't really watched it in a few years.  It's as good as a show can possibly be. It still is! So good. I don't want to hear about it, people. Fringe pales in comparision.

The watercolor class at Light Grey Art Lab this weekend instigated a strong desire to paint, and this show instigated the strong desire to make some art of characters. The hardest part was choosing who to paint (first). Locke has always been a lot of fun to draw.


Welcome here.

An appropriate first (official) blog illustration:


A new space. It's funny how we sort of take up residence on the internet. I'm still breaking this site in, but I don't expect things to change too much.

I made this illustration for a show and then ended up not showing it. The other pieces intended to be displayed with it never were finished and I put something else in the show. 


Eleven Again

A sister of mine deserved a painting, so I made her a tiny one of Matt Smith. All of my sisters like Doctor Who (but none of the brothers are into it, somehow). Matt Smith is Anna-Marie's first doctor. Felicia came in on David Tennant and I was there with Christopher Eccleston. I expect Martina will become hooked on the next one, whomever that may be. Sam Jackson, she hopes.


That City I Love

This one might not necessarily be Minneapolis. Or St. Paul. They've certainly influenced this painting, but even more than with the other city paintings, I was more interested in depicting the impression a place can give.
Next week I'm going to L.A. I love L.A. I've only been there once, and between then and now my brain has painted it into this glorious place that it almost certainly isn't. The great thing about it, though, is that I think part of our existing experience is in our heads. I think we make our places beautiful or terrible.

This painting is for my godfather, who travels the world. I've learned a lot about loving places from him.


watercolor and acrylic on 180 lb cold press paper


I think I'm sick. It makes me want to paint more than ever. My apartment gets really warm, and that combined with being ill kind of helps me focus. You know what I mean? It's that weird state of mind where it's way too hard to think about more than one thing, so I only think about the painting. It even helps focus on a specific part of the painting, so I don't rush as much as I usually do and the decisions I make are more careful (albeit slower).
This sounds like a weird argument for being sick. I don't like all of the side effects–the soreness, the throat thing, the leaking head–but it does force me to stay inside, and I like that.

This is the last piece for the Urban Winter series I've made for a show I'm having with Tiff. We hung it this weekend, so I'll take pictures and post them as soon as I'm able.


Cold Winter Night

I had a hard time with this one. Ultimately, I think it's one of my favorites, but boy oh boy did it put up a fight. I struggled with getting it as deep and vibrant as I had planned, and then when it was deep enough I was frustrated with the lack of subtlety that watercolor usually provides.
This also served to remind me that sometimes sticking with something is the best course of action, even when you want to start all over.


It's Coming

There is nothing prophetic about predicting snow at this point. I've been feeling more motivated to work on these urban winter pieces–possibly because of the upcoming deadline, but also because of the subject matter.
I'm really fond of this one. The thing about these pieces is that some I favor for aesthetic reasons and some I favor because of the moment they are meant to represent. This one I like for aesthetic reasons.

watercolor and ink on 300 lb rough press paper

Mice Activities

A gift piece for some very very kind people.
I'd also like to direct your attention to that border. As usual, I masked the border off with tape. Unlike usual, when I took the tape off, it turned out perfectly clean, straight, and without weird bleeding. I used regular old artist's tape and didn't really do anything different that I know of, otherwise I'd be talking about it because do I ever want the official secret of clean watercolor borders.
Excited things, guys.

watercolor, gouache and ink on 190 lb cold press paper

Cozy Inside

I finished another piece in the urban winter series! There are a couple posts with process here and here. This one was kind of a challenge. I think I changed color palettes a few times while working on it in attempt to find the right...mood? Atmosphere, maybe.

watercolor, ink and gouache on 300 lb rough press

After working on a painting, nothing helps wind down like sketching whatever. My cat likes sketchbooks almost as much as I do.


This time she was just covering up this drawing I made of her. She's pretty modest.