Author Archive

Hope for Peace

Hope for Peace by Shellie Lewis 2015

I had taken a break from news media coverage for a few days only to have the first major national story I come upon be the massacre of innocent people in Charleston, South Carolina. I felt sick and depressed that innocent people peacefully attending religious services were slaughtered by a racist who now gets widespread fame in return. I felt helpless and the most constructive thing I could think to do at that time was to make a drawing. Art is good that way when you need an outlet for emotion.

The church massacre story comes on the heels of many reported cases of suspected police brutality and documented instances of police killing suspects, notably the recent shooting of Walter Scott in South Carolina. In an interview after the event, author and journalist Tavis Smiley expressed the situation best: the person who shot Walter Scott to death in the back did not see him as human at all. That is the crux of racism; it creates a divide where the aggressor does not see people of color as human.

I titled the drawing “Hope for Peace” but hope is just a beginning where our society needs to start to believe peace is possible. Racism needs to end. We need to stop treating racist attitudes as some kind of minor personality deficit held by a few outliers. Racism and bigotry beget violence, like the shooting rampage at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin in 2012. We need to search for where racism is institutional and/or ingrained in our culture and find ways to create change. We need to find proactive solutions to a heritage that has been handed down from the era of slavery. We can hope for peace as a beginning, but it is a tremendous amount of work that needs to be done.

Categories: Uncategorized

It’s Roenick, he’s good!

June 10, 2015 2 comments


I have a hockey team, but we don’t really have a name. We just have an NHL team name that was slapped on us by the rink so we know when the heck to show up for games. There are probably about a million variations of the Chicago Blackhawks logo for rec league teams. This is the one I had stuck in my head, so I sat down today to get it out.

One advantage is that being a vector design will make it super easy to vinyl cut the logo and iron it on a jersey. It’s a high contrast design so it would also be easy to silkscreen. What makes it harder is that rink stuck us with bright gold jerseys. Unless we can think of a color that was not assigned to a team in the league, we will be carrying on the summer season in gaudy gold.

Game 3-28-2015 WEB A

Tree Change Dolls artist transforms, improves Bratz dolls

April 6, 2015 1 comment

Artist and mother Sonia Singh of Tree Change Dolls in Australia has made a big impact by recycling and altering Bratz fashion dolls for girls. The hand altered dolls are being hailed as more natural looking and less sexualized than the mass market dolls and I agree. See the short seven minute documentary video on her concepts and process below. She has how-to tutorial videos online that describe her methods and invites others to participate.

Twelve favorite prior ATCs

March 22, 2015 1 comment

I am doing a round up of my favorite hand-drawn and hand-painted artist trading cards. The top two were finished this month and have not been traded yet. Everything else has been mailed off to new homes long ago.

I try to aim for a good weight on each card. Anything not on a Strathmore illustration board ATC blank is mounted on a heavier core. I hate leaving the backs blank, so the backs have various decorative papers and title cards glued on.

ATC Fire Betta, Micron pen and watercolour pencil on illustration board

ATC Fire Betta, Micron pen and watercolour pencil on illustration board

Read more…

Oh no, a sad robot!

March 18, 2015 1 comment


Poor sad robot! This winter was the worst, I agree. Hang in there my retro robot buddy. The snow finally flipping melted.

Found near Clark & Belmont, Chicago.

Colored pencils with baby oil, a new example

ATC Letter Carrier by Shellie Lewis

ATC Letter Carrier by Shellie Lewis

Today, I went to the Art Institute museum and did some caffeinated café sketching. (MMM hazelnut coffee. I rarely drink coffee and it seems really strong!) I decided the revisit the baby oil blending technique for colored pencils with a less cartoony piece of art. The blending works really nice with skin tones. I learned if only a spare amount of baby oil (mineral oil) is used, added colored pencil layers or lines laid over the blended layer do not blur or bleed. I used the same cold press type 130# heavy weight paper and this is an artist trading card size artwork (2.5 x 3.5 inches) the same as the prior blog post with the Manga girl cartoons.

Overall, I am still tremendously enjoying the new technique. I have had little to no problem with the baby oil bleeding through the paper since I used a heavy paper and a very tiny amount of the baby oil. Using cotton swabs and a small, round paintbrush to blend the colors is continuing to work well. I added a new step for control and blot the cotton swab on a paper towel to lower the amount of baby oil on the tip if I feel it may be too wet. Now I’m wondering what other art mediums there are where baby oil works as a solvent…

Please Help – Ship empty pill bottles to Indiana for re-use in Africa

This is a social action that is environmental: making waste in the USA available for reuse where it is needed. The Malawi Project is collecting empty pill bottles for use by people in need:


Medicine Bottles For Malawi

Landfills Do Not Need Medicine Bottles!

Anyone on prescription medicines finds themselves a bit uncomfortable when throwing away so many empty medicine bottles. It is obvious our landfills do not need these plastic containers! There is enough trash going into the landfills already.

Medicine Wrapped in Paper
While first world nations throw away perfectly good medicine bottles, medical pharmacies and hospital facilities in Malawi often find themselves with nothing except torn pieces of paper in which to wrap medicine for their patients. This is often seen in rural hospitals and villages where the poorest of the nation try to live and survive. You can help to change this.

Please Remove the Labels
Save up a group of your containers when you have completed that portion of your prescription. Place them in boiling water until you are able to easily remove the labels, and the glue. Then box or bag them and send them to the Malawi Project for shipment to Malawi.

Safe and Out of Reach of Children
It will help families in a third world country keep their medicines clean, out of reach of small children, and safe while they are being used.

Malawi Project Inc
3314 Van Tassel Drive
Indianapolis, IN 46240

Medicine Bottles



Categories: Recycled

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