Happy Halloween!

I learned from the 1995 film Houseguest starring Sinbad (which I went to see on my first date ever) that if you bite your lip while dancing it makes it look as if you're a better dancer. Or something like that. Anyway, it's the weekend before Halloween and the Giants just won the World Series and everyone is partying. So shake it, Funky George Marchington and Black Swan Leary!


Tiny diorama: Secret Study

My friend Kathleen, who used to live here in San Francisco but who has since moved to New York, is visiting the Bay Area this week to promote her debut novel. Yesterday was her birthday, and I had an unexpected afternoon off, so with much too much coffee I whipped up this tiny paper diorama in a jewelry box for her. You enter by way of a secret door behind a bookcase.

Inside is a secret writing study, with everything you could possibly need for long stretches of writing prose: a cozy fireplace, an elegant tufted armchair, an ornate Louis XV writing desk, a potted palm, a zebra print rug (faux, of course)...

and a rotary phone, off the hook:

Here is what that's about. Earlier this year, I read somewhere that "the poets Anne Sexton and Maxine Kumin famously used to telephone each other and work for hours composing verses, each with her phone beside her so that she might try out a phrase or line, or just seek sustenance from the other without having to redial. (When one wanted the other's attention, she whistled into the receiver.)" When Kathleen still lived in San Francisco, we enjoyed working together at cafes, but now that we're on opposite sides of the country, a tiny paper study with a tiny rotary phone off the hook is where we'll have to work together in spirit.

Anyway, you should read her book, The Dangers of Proximal Alphabets. The Wall Street Journal calls it a "beautiful story of love and heartbreak" and a "joyously good first novel."


Milo blank greeting cards and prints now available!

You remember the Highlighter Milos from yesteryear? I drew three portraits of our Jack Russell/fox terrier mix Milo (sweetheart, rascal, runt, old man, love of my life) using whatever I could reach (an ink pen and three dying highlighters), as he was lying on my lap at the time. Well, highlighter as a lasting art medium is pretty laughable and these have been fading into oblivion over the years to my great sadness. But I recently redrew and repainted the Milo portraits using juicy archival acrylic ink (just try to fade now!) and they look better than ever! They are now available as prints and as a six-pack of cards in my etsy shop.

(Psst: Like Milo, but like your own pet better? I do custom pet portraits! Contact me for details.)


Hella hello!

Cheery San Francisco homes and some NorCal dialect for you! Hey, for a limited time you can get this print in the form of a free postcard with every etsy order! Hella free!


2013 New Year's cards now available!

Every year I promise myself I will send New Year's cards--two years ago I even populated my mailing list and got halfway through a painting for the year of the rabbit before I got distracted and aborted the endeavor. But this year will be different. I am thirty now. I will disappoint no one. I have some lovely cards and envelopes all ready to write and send, and no excuses.

It seems only fitting that I adapted one of my ongoing (unfinished) projects, the night garden numbers I've been using to count down the days for my 30 to 30 project, for these lovely 2013 New Year's cards. I just got them back from the printer, and they are so vibrant and sturdy and satiny! I made some for you, too: they're now available for sale in my shop in packs of eight (or less or more, if you're feeling specific about your needs) with envelopes, while supplies last! May all the cards you send and receive this holiday season look like this one. They will look so good on your fake mantle:

The 2013 image is also available as an 8x10 print in the shop if for some good reason (marriage, new baby, Arrested Development season 4) you want to commemorate the year forever. Soon there will be more cards in the shop! For all occasions! And no one will make you send them!



mikayla butchart, solar system, planets, space, astronomy, painting, illustration, watercolor
© Mikayla Butchart
I am working on a portrait for a friend's daughter that takes place in space, and I am really liking how the planets are looking. So I isolated them, and here they are. I took some artistic license with the scale, and I included Pluto, because I'm no cliquey busybody.

I'm juggling a bunch of projects this week, so I have to put this one on short pause, but I hope to finish it soon. Then I'll post the completed portrait (it's for a really cool nine-year-old and one of my personal heroes) and we'll have a look at that too.