Saturday, January 30, 2010

entities (in heidi's book)

When I do these exchanges, more often than not, I end up doing some type of series in each person's book. I call these drawings "entities", though I'm not sure why. I could come up with some elaborate, pretentious explanation concerning the theory of why these were made, etc. - the kind of stuff they usually try and get you to do in Grad level classes or for an exhibit, but the truth is, these were simply line doodles with little faces.

Parking Lot, Downtown Detroit, night

For Hennie's pocket, the ORIGINAL Hennie (not a print), of this brand new 8 x 10 pigment marker (Faber Castell India ink) drawing entitled "Parking Lot, Downtown Detroit, night," from the markers I got for Christmas only. The big monorail thing is called the "People Mover."

Friday, January 29, 2010

Learning About Pigment Markers: a new one for Hennie's pocket

I never used any kind of markers for art before, and now I am learning the difference between pigment markers and dye markers. Y'all probably already know this. One of the cool things about pigment markers is that you can shade within the same color, it gets darker as you color over it--that has great possibilities for hair and fur and shadow texture etc, but on the other hand, it is difficult (for me, so far) to make large smooth areas with pigment markers.

This drawing is done exclusively with pigment markers that I got for Christmas. There are four colors plus the white of the paper. The man, as y'all know, is my husband. I tried "cover stock," but I like water color paper better! The picture is 8.5 x 11, but I will have to trim it a little to get it into the pocket.

It's another experiment. I learn something from every experiment.

book idea

Over a year ago, I thought it would be cool to compile a book of images from this Moleskine exchange. Andrea was all for it as well and I got some great, positive feedback from our group's members. I was thinking of sending proposals to several publishers and contacted the Moleskine company several times but did not hear from them (regarding this idea). Ideally, I'd like to see a publisher pick up this book and get it out there to the public. Unfortunately, the market is saturated with art books (some of which boggle my mind as far as how they even got published!) and as we all know, the economy is still crap. Still, I'd like this idea to fly, as it would make an absolutely marvelous book and an excellent way to document this wonderful ongoing project, started by Andrea.

Once again, I'd love to see what people have to say. I'd like to get work from members of the first round as well. Honestly, I'm amazed at the diversity and quality of work from the artists involved, and I try not to take this exchange for granted. We can take this book idea on several avenues - go the self-publishing route (I've been very happy with Blurb so far, though books can be expensive to purchase from that company) or perhaps push for a publisher. I'd love everyone who was and is a part of this exchange to have their work in the book, and see everyone choose their favorite personal work. Please contribute any ideas or options if you can - possible publishers, avenues with regards to publishing, etc. Thanks!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

More for Hennie's pocket

The first is called "At the Black Canyon of the Gunnison" and is made with Christmas markers. It is 8 x 10, on watercolor paper, and I am going to put the original in the pocket. The second is gouache--I was just fooling around testing the transparency/opacity of the gouache. But I made it too big so I am putting in a print.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Reach: for Hennie's pocket

Reach, by Mary Tait. Aya's Mole is gone toward Mike and if I am correct, Hennie's will be the next to arrive. I painted this tonight and am preparing a small print for Hennie's pocket. Click to view slightly larger.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Fractal for Aya

I have decided to create a brand new, one-of-a-kind fractal for each person from now on (if I have time). Here is Aya's fractal. I just did it now with the brand new just out version of fractal works (free download for macs) and like no two snowflakes are the same, I doubt any one has ever created this fractal before or ever will again. Two prints for her pocket. (Needless to say, I haven't mailed the mole--maybe Monday).

Thursday, January 21, 2010

one last thing...


...Something in the pocket.

A music CD by Bill Callahan, one of my all time favorite musician, this is the album from which "too many birds" is from, it's such a beautiful song! I hope Andrea will like it.

Black bird - in Andrea's book

This song is really special for my, "blackbird" was Ned and mine wedding song, we had a special version recorded by a friend and played it at the wedding. A couple of days before, we got raven tattoos (and got into the first big fight we ever had...)

That's it for Andrea's book, I'm going to send it to Anders tomorrow, hopefully, I was able to make up for some of the lost time with this book (though it's still about a month and a weeks behind).

homeless people and a book I should write

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Pages 3 & 4

too many birds

OK, this was a bit crazy, even for me - I had this in my mind, not quite thinking how long it would take to draw all those birds...
I'm really happy with how it came out though.
another page and a half to go I think.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Ellen's Book

I love working with gel pens. When they were popular a few years ago, I bought hundreds of them, but unfortunately they're not as easy to find now. Now everything claims to be a gel pen, but I specifically look for opaque colors for using on black, and ones that keep their metallic lustre well, and also colored metallics that don't just soak into the paper and look like dull silver when you actually use them.

Anyway, I found a small supply of them at some stationary store - the packages are in Japanese - so I happily put them to work in Ellen's book.

Click any image to see larger versions at Flickr.

First finishing the collaboration with Mike:

Juicy Pink Octopus

Juicy Pink Octopus - angle

Some horses that remind me of the Wizard of Oz for some reason. This didn't go really as planned, but eh, nothing does...


On this piece, I had a total nerd-out idea that I was going to do some Gallifreyan-inspired design and I got out my grandfather's old compass drawing set, but that too didn't go as planned, so I went over it with a few layers of stuff until I was happy with it. I didn't really do too much on the right side to start a collaboration - I just left the spread pretty open and sent a few tendrils across so Michelle can do whatever she wants. She can cross over, go right on top of mine, or stay on the right or whatever. I just kept going until I felt pretty done and didn't push it.


In Aya's Pocket: Still Life with Unicorn and Craquelure Vase

In Aya's Pocket: Still Life with Unicorn and Craquelure Vase, by Mary Stebbins Taitt--I was experimenting again, combining watercolor, markers and pen and ink. I'm including a small print, because the original is 9 x 12 and will not fit in Aya's pocket. I am not sure I am done with it, but decided to print it anyway and include it, as I am hoping to mail the blog off to Mike soon, though I haven't had time yet. The next person may get an updated version of this if I actually have time to work on it any more.

I am hoping to do some gouache in the next mole, as Steve tells me it's one of those yellow paper ones and I've discovered gouache, which requires less water, works better on those. I bought a new book on gouache and hope to try some new things in the next mole when it gets here later on.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Dust of Snow - Robert Frost - in Andrea's moleskine

Dust of Snow Robert Frost

About a week before I received the book in the mail, I was on a long subway ride, and as I usually do, I read all the ads and signs on the train. I came across this poem by Robert Frost in one of those "train of thoughts" posters. I tried to not forget about it till I got home.

I really like how simple it is and how accurate it is, I often feel like those random moments of beauty makes me feel like life is worth living for.


The owl and the pussy cat, in Andrea's moleskine

andera's moleskine 1/2 page

When I saw the cat (or is it a lynx?!) Heidi draw, I had a whole drawing made up in my mind, it was supposed to have a rainbow and moths in it, and be very light in color.

Yesterday, when I opened the book, I didn't quite feel like drawing the moths and rainbow, so I moved to my first spread. This morning, I still didn't feel like it, I realized that the drawing I had in my mind, was beautiful, but not in my style at all, and that it worked well in my imagination but should be executed by someone else, so I end up googling "cat + poem" and the first thing that came up was one of my favorite poems - The owl and the pussycat and so, I changed my plan, and got to use my new bird book for the owl.

In Aya's Mole Pocket: Fooling around

Tonight I was fooling around doing an experiment. I did a value study
of BB's face in our normal diningroom lighting using markers and then
colored it with markers. It's not a great portrait, but it was a good
experiment. Click to view slightly larger.

In Aya's pocket

Biker Buddy at Rest. Markers.

Thursday, January 14, 2010



Started working on Andrea's book today, I finished almost 2 pages already! I'm pretty proud of myself!

Last one in Aya's Mole: Scott at Silk Creek

I was going to see if Hennie could guess who this was and where it was taken. But that seemed too difficult in the post, so here it is. I was practicing my wet into wet water-color techniques. Click image to view larger.

In a day or two, I will mail the mole to Mike if it's OK with him. Mike? (I want hubby to see my latest painting and he's working late.)

I need to take lessons from Anders on making wrinkles look realistic.

I am excited about this and the marker on I recently did of Keith from memory--becasue I want to illustrate my own kids books, and I am making progress toward being good enough to do so!

I probably have a ways to go--but I've come a long ways and this picture probably could be in a book. (It could be better, but hey, I'm learning!)

I'm a messy painter. Here's a picture of my workspace at the dining room table at home (not at the studio), totally unadulterated image--nothing moved or changed. The waxed paper is to protect the table cloth and piles of junk under my work! (Click to view larger.)

Steve, you can see the double stick table and envelopes still ont he table from my making your cards.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Finally, I have something to report as well and so I don't feel left out anymore...
Andrea's book just made it, the artwork is beautiful and super colorful. I love how different each book that came my way is so far.

Going to start working on it tomorrow and try to finish as fast as I can to make up for lost time.

Oh - and how cool is that sea goat?!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

In Aya's Pocket, Portrait of Keith from Memory with Markers

I made this marker portrait of my husband Keith (Biker Buddy) from memory today--I usually draw him looking at him. But I've studied his face so much drawing it that I remembered fairly well. One thing I cannot do without looking is the folds in his shirt--I could learn a lot from Anders.

I did the marker portrait on 9 x 12 water-color paper (I like watercolor paper!). It's too big to go in the mole or pocket, so I made a print of it for Aya, since I have her mole right now. (Underneath is a pile of poems for that fellowship I'm working on.)

The markers I made it with were all from holiday gifts, some from mole people--thank you!

The images will get bigger if your click them.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

another piece of scrap paper in Aya's pocket

Biker Buddy at Lunch, value sketch, ~ 4 5 inches, markers. (He looks like he's got the evil eye here. He's wearing his hair down, instead of in a pony like usual.)

In Aya's Pocket: QuickSketch of Veloce

I decided to put my little quicksketch on a poorly cut piece of scrap paper for the piece "Veloce" ("The Girl with the Scarves") in Aya's pocket. This is done in markers and is ~ 4 x 5. ((Ammons' name is on the back 3X)).

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Veloce or The Girl with the Scarves

Veloce or The Girl with the Scarves, in Aya's Moleskine. This is my second the last entry. I'm working hard on a fellowship grant application, and wasn't going to work on the mole until I finished it, but I needed a BREAK!

Click image to view larger.

(There's a bit of a story--she's riding in the Tour de France and quite a character with all her scarves! Someone's trying to get her attention by offering a beer, but she's having none of it--pedaling furiously, and looks into the "camera" (or the artist's eye) for just a moment before she whirls away out of sight.).

Bobcat Finale: Collab Prep for Aya

We've had several great sightings of a young bobcat prowling the henyard this winter. He didn't get a chicken dinner, but we did see him catch a mouse. Good cat!

Badger, that's me!

I promised Ash I'd do some badger art as penance. Forgive me, Ash, for being such a Moleskine nag! I did lots of linework on this, in your honor :-) We badgers are pesky but cute, yes?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

See Goat? Sea Goat!

Here's another one in Andrea's book. I was thinking about my birthday :-) The glitter-shine on the fish tail doesn't really show up. Drat, there goes my bling!

freebies and artist feature

Hey guys, I know this really doesn't have anything to do with this exchange, but I thought I'd give you all a little heads up here. I've got an artist feature at Artsnark's Artifacts, and if you drop Stacey a line there, at her blog, you're eligible for some cool freebies. So, HERE's the link if you're interested and good luck!

Half a Collaboration in Aya's Mole: "The Black Veil."

My work on Aya's Mole for the day: "The Black Veil." This is done in watercolors--or, I should say, water color. I only used one color, indigo (I think Windsor Newton, but I'm not sure--I used it off my palette.) It is for Mike Kline to finish. Have fun, Mike--use any media or color you want. I was inspired by a photograph at the DIA, but unfortunately, I didn't get the info, just the idea. I wanted to photograph the photograph and info, but we were not allowed to.

Click the image to view it larger.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Hello, 2010!

Hey friends, sorry I have been out of the loop for a couple weeks. I had a tough holiday season.

2010 is here though, and here we are!

Would skipping this months deadline give everyone a bit of time to catch up? I have Ballookey's book now and I have started it, but it still needs a lot of TLC.

Please weigh in with ideas about whether you think having a bit more time would help or hurt.

Thanks and Happy New Year to each of you!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Naptime or Bottom of the Heap, #2 in Aya's Mole

Naptime or Bottom of the Heap, by Mary Stebbins Taitt. Watercolor, approximates 8.5 x 11, in Aya's Mole. Click to view larger.

Happy New Year!

I hope 2010 is a wonderful year for all of you--your best year yet.

(I made this card from a piece I did in Aya's Mole.)

(Click to view slightly larger!)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Madonna & Child

Christmas Gnomes - Recycle Art

After the last cool Gnome by Andrea, I got psych'd about this wrapping paper and started to doodle! This is the first one in Ander's Moleskine. I am still thinking about the awesome collaboration piece with Mary.

Happy New Year All - 2010 even clearer than 20/20.