custom illustration

Inspired by buildings & houses - my latest topic for my daily art project (where I create are around a specific a topic, 16 days in a row in 2016) #16in16art - I have decided to offer a new service on my website... I have called it: I will draw something just for you. It can be your house, a special object, or even your grandma's recipe for chocolate cake!


Below are some of the recent house "portraits" which inspired me to offer this service. (I also recently did a recipe commission, which came out really fun + I included that as well.) I like adding little subtle details that make the pieces unique. 

In the first photo below, you will find a portrait of my childhood home in Oceanside, New York. My brother reminded me that most of the year we had an electric menorah in our window. (Even though Hanukkah only lasts 8 days.) We also had a lovely alarm sign in the lawn... though I'm fairly certain we did not have an alarm for most of my childhood.

I will add the family name and anything else you would like to have on your houee/item portrait. You can choose from the various styles and looks shown below. 

Find out more details about this new service by visiting my online shop here

july updates!

happy summer! I have been so busy working on illustrating a fabulously written series of 4 (bible) story books and doing my daily #16in16art project on instagram, that I've let my blog/news update go a bit quiet. 

I wanted to mention a new project. I live near an awesome town named Ardmore, PA. It was just mentioned in an article this week. My dear friend Carrie who has the most amazing gift shop (pucciManuli) is giving the street where her shop is located some well deserved love. It's an adorable street. And now this adorable street has a brand new fancy logo (inspired by local street signage) and website and lots of fun events to come!

Cricket Pops is a brand new event. The first one is - THIS SATURDAY - July 16 from 9AM-2PM! There will be ice cream, kids crafts, live music. 20+ vendors and more. (Get add. info here.) I will be participating in the July as well as the September Cricket Pops market.

Hope to see you - if you're in the neighborhood!!

Paint Lab for kids!

How did I forget to post this??? My painting/collage  was recently featured in a fabulous new art book, written and designed by the lovely and ÜBER talented Stephanie Corfee. The book is called Paint Lab for Kids  and it's now available at Amazon, B&N and local book shops (which are SO important to support!)

It has 52 fab art projects and also shows "Inspiring Artist" examples from many artists I know and admire such as Tracy English, Jennifer Orkin Lewis & Anne Bollman. I had so much fun creating this piece for the book - from start to finish - without ANY use of the computer! :)

You can preview some of the pages here. And below is a close up of my piece. 

Collage + Painting by Barb Chotiner

I also offer a limited edition mounted print of this image. You can see that here in my shop

I had fun creating some of the art projects with my 5 & 7 year olds a few weeks ago when we first got our copy off the book... I don't typically put photos of them up here,  but they are concentrating so intensely on their paintings so I thought I'd share. 

art planters // spring sneak peek

I'm very (VERY) excited to finally be able to show these planter designs I created for studio-m, which will be available in shops this spring. You can find them on their website here & also you can find a retailer near you right here

((( March 2016 - UPDATE - I'll be selling a handful of the planters and mats locally. You can purchase them in my shop here. )))

Also - if you want to see the art in full (360 degrees) - here it is below. 

holiday houses

My Kindred Art Collective just made some lovely downloadable + printable holiday houses. They really are a lovely set! View them all here. 

Here is my winter woods inspired house. Feel free to print, cut out, fold, fill with a treat or hang.

Shown below is my in progress house - made quickly with regular paper... The graphic designer in me just HAD to do this...


cricket cringle - 2015

This past weekend I participated in the 2nd Annual Cricket Cringle - a holiday pop-up outdoor market in Ardmore, PA. There were over 30 merchants and the event was held on a Friday night (5-9) and the following day (10-6). I do not sell at many art/craft shows, but i can say this one was so much FUN to be a participant in. (And to help plan.) I do wish I had been able to walk around a bit more. There were many entertainment options, food trucks, restaurant samples (mmm... pumpkin beer), kids crafts, and even Santa popped by. 

At the market, I sold prints, cards, mugs, tote bags and even a few pillows. I will be adding inventory to my online shop and you can also find my things at Pucci Manuli

Aliza of Aliza Schlabach Photography took some AMAZING photos of my booth at the event. You can see more of the event photos at the Cricket Cringle event page

pumpkins galore!

Working on something for next week. Sometimes getting off the computer is VERY therapeutic. Especially after an intense week of working on the computer till 2am - multiple nights!

first friday on saturday

In September I participated in a local event called First Friday on Saturday, in Ardmore, PA. It was a beautiful day outside where the community had the opportunity to meet 6 local artists and learn some techniques. I also did the poster design for the event (shown in the gallery below.)

florals + fabric + week 2 of the MATS Home Decor Class

If i were to design decor for a living room, it might look something like this...

Work completed for fabric - week 2 - Home Decor - art by Barb Chotiner

I had a blast making the "patchwork paradise" fabric shown below. Due to traveling for the July 4th holiday weekend, my time spend on class this week was cut a bit short. (That and i am working on 2 amazing new projects that I can't wait to share - once completed.) However, I am please what i was able to produce in such a short time period. 

Work completed for fabric - week 2 - Home Decor - art by Barb Chotiner

DENY designs + Me!

Good things are a happening! I have another exciting and awesome announcement to make.

A few pieces of mine are now available for purchase on DENY Designs. Have you seen their products? Their motto is "cool decor for the creative type." They sell a ton of home goods, from wall clocks to pillows to jewelry boxes to sheets.

Stay tuned as I will be adding more pieces in the coming weeks. Click HERE  to go  to my artist page.

MATS Bootcamp February: Cuckoo Cuckoo

If you have read my blog, you will find that last year I was a very enthusiastic student of Lilla Rogers' Making Art the Sells class. I made some amazing art works in two different 5 week sessions. Well, Lilla is back. And this time it's with an assignment "Bootcamp".

Bootcamp is six months of 5 different projects. Each month brings a new assignment. The February assignment/theme was cuckoo clocks. We were then to present our final artwork as a design for an iPhone case. You should see the AMAZING designs that people have created. (And on Feb. 25 you will be able to see - as there will be a live gallery with all the 400+ participants. Looks like mine is on page 5!)

This month in particular has been a very busy one (for me) with work assignments, deadlines, power outages, snow storms, school closings, babysitters quitting via text message, interviewing new babysitters, planning my daughters 3rd birthday party, and new clients (yay!). That being said, I did not get to spend a great deal of time on my "homework." I did however end up with a piece thats a bit different than my usual take on things and I really am pleasantly surprised with the finished piece. I wish I could work at 1 PM the way I work at 1 AM.  

Its is not a typical cuckoo clock. At the time of the assignment I was reading and then inspired by this article in New York Magazine about the photographer Andrew Garn who photographed 5,000 pigeons. The photographs were breathtaking and beautiful. My pigeons are a bit more rustic. New York City is my first love and I decided to make a sketchy "cuckoo" themed homage to my old hometown...

cuckoo #bootcamp / #makingartthatsells

cuckoo #bootcamp / #makingartthatsells

a bavarian bonanza! (um what?)

Here is my last project for my Making Art that Sells course. The theme (of all things) for this final week, was to be inspired by Folk Art. But... specifically Bavarian and/or Ukranian Folk Art. How random and wonderful and it was something I would have NEVER thought of to draw inspiration from.

The market for the final week was paper/party goods. Ooh - how fun (read: amazing) would it be to have products in Target with my artwork on it? Hopefully one day! That is certainly a goal.)

We have learned SO many things in the 5 + 5 weeks of Lilla's class: Use icons. Use great color. Make sure it looks good small. Be yourself. Quirky is good. Be positive. And most important - PEOPLE BUY YOUR JOY!

Well, I tried to do all of this in week 5. I researched. I drew. I drew some more and then I embraced my inner quirk. I actually went "super quirk" on my little funny birds. I gave them them tights and high heels and knee high socks and hats and braids and surrounded them with yummy bavarian pretzels. I was certainly having fun dressing them up.

Barbara Chotiner | bzdesignstuff | created for Making Art that Sells

Barbara Chotiner | bzdesignstuff | created for Making Art that Sells

This class was amazing. I can't recommend it highly enough. The friends I have made from both sessions are invaluable as well as the knowledge and insight I have gained from Lilla and from Beth. I hope they run another MATS class. Word is they are planning on it. And once it is announced, I will be there toot sweet!

In the meantime, I am catching up on design work, creating more holiday cards for my etsy shop, and starting to gear up on a surface pattern design collection.

Happy Turkey Week everyone!

wall decor

Here are my two pieces I created (last week) for the Lilla Rogers art course I have been taking. Once again I started with a few hours of monoprinting cut shapes and then added line drawings and a few random scanned objects. The assignment was to create "wall" decor for a canvas. There needed to be collage elements, a flower, a bit of text and my assigned colors were orange and blue. (yay - to Syracuse (my alma matter) and to the Mets (my original home team!) The target demographic happened to fall within my age range - so that was a help. I'm pretty pleased with the way they turned out. I think i've found a new way of working! I think i may even get the first one printed on canvas and hang it in my daughters room. (She wants the top one. She even carried a printout of it around the house this weekend.

Making Art that Sells - via Lilla Rogers - Wall Art Submission

Making Art that Sells - via Lilla Rogers - Wall Art Submission

Making Art that Sells - via Lilla Rogers - Wall Art Second Design

Making Art that Sells - via Lilla Rogers - Wall Art Second Design