Sunday, May 23, 2010

Heidi's book - all birds

I guess I'm just in a bird mood.

Birds in circles:

I was inspired by Heidi's piece Hidden Mouth where she applied a selected varnish to the lips in the piece. I thought it would be interesting to stencil a design in glossy black paint on top of a matte black background. It worked pretty well, except peeling up the stencil left some specks and damage to the matte black. To distract from that, I speckled the pages with shades of black and grey paint so the little flaws are hard to spot:

This is a two-part piece, first the painting:

Then I designed a paper-craft version of the same bird, based on the Nani-bird pattern:

I included two prints of the project page on cardstock in Heidi's pocket (an extra in case one gets flubbed), but I've also made the PDF available for download in case anyone else wants to make one. Right-click that link to download, then print it on cardstock, and cut, fold and glue. It's just about the easiest paper-craft project I've ever come across and there are tons more free versions you can download from the Nani Bird website.

Here's what the pattern looks like. It's almost easier to not bother reading the directions:

No Phone Zone and Driving

What Were You Doing When You Should Have Been Driving?

200,000 crashes each year due to texting while driving.
500,000 injuries yearly due to someone texting while driving.
...Jennifer Smith of Focus Driven, whose mom was killed due to someone texting while driving.

Collaboration with Ballookey (Part I)

Ballookey! I am forever apologetic and humbly repent for the tardiness of the next Moleskine...(again).

I am using this as the collaboration piece as I eagerly await your magical, creative, and  awesome innovation. What will Ballookey do? Time will tell!

Intexticated and Driving

What Were You Doing When You Should Have Been Driving?

I found the word "Intexticated" on Stevendamron's Flicker page. The word intexticated (Urban Dictionary) is an awesome word!

Texters are four times (4X) more likely to be in a wreck!

Pet Safety & Driving

What Were You Doing While You Should Have Been Driving!

A few months back I caught this buxom (i.e.,bosomy) blonde driving with her Chihuahua in her top. I found a second lady, a buxom brunette on Flicker doing the same. Although, many men and some women as well, may secretly desire the same safety restraint, it is dangerous behavior behind the wheel.

Make-up, Cell Phone, and Driving!

What Were you Doing When you should have been Driving?

Every day I see people applying make-up and driving! Get up 10 minutes earlier and save a life - it may be your own (for people with no common decency)!  I can't imagine getting into a fender bender and have an eyeliner pencil pierce my eye and lodge into my cerebrum...

Flying Monkey Souls in Ash's Moleskine

To save pages I attempted "Flying Monkeys." There is a reward you know!

Collaboration with Mary Taitt

I love Mary's piece (Death), so I tried (Life).
Life and Death are so much a part of our existence...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Another for Willie: "Lonely Street, 3AM"

Here is another for Willie's "pocket." I've made a number of these, but I wanted to post some with companion poems and haven't had time. This one, "Lonely Street, 3 AM," is done in gouache on arches 140 lb watercolor paper. It's from the homeless series I'm working on. The paper is is bigger than the size of my scanner. so it's slightly blurred because it was lifted off the platen and also, slightly less purple than it really is. I don't know why the scanner didn't pick up the purple.

If you click on the painting, it will enlarge significantly.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Collab with Mike in Heidi's book

I locked myself up in my office all weekend to work on Heidi's book, and only came out this evening with her book and a white paint marker in hand so I could work on this while watching TV with my husband.

The rest isn't quite done yet, but only needs a few more days to finish - I'll post that when I'm done.

I'm not sure why this song came to mind, but as I started doodling, I worked it into the doodles. The lyrics referenced in the art are from 'Test Tube Baby' by Morphine. I'll burn it to disc to go into the pocket, but you can catch a good sample on iTunes (note: clicking the link will launch iTunes if you have it).

For Willie's "Pocket:" "Home"

I've been working on a series of Homeless pictures for Willie's pocket--these two are just part of the collection--Then, I realized from someone's note (Aya's?) that Willie has a small Mole, and that my big paintings won't fit in his pocket. SInce I made them for him, I will send them to him under separate cover, these and the others. Two of the others have accompanying poems which is why I haven't posted them yet. Willie will have to consider these pocket matter, even though they won't fit in the pockets.

They are both done with gouache on colored paper. The first is called "Somewhere to sleep" and the second "Home." Somewhere to sleep is 8.5 x 11 and Home is 5.5 x 8.5. The first is on bright saturated red paper and the second on pale blue paper.

I guess I won't be getting Willie's mole for a while, since Steve, the person ahead of me, hasn't received it yet. But I will just keep working on stuff for him until it comes. Both images get bigger if you click on them.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Checking In

Hi friends,

Just wanted to send a note out to all of you. We are limping along in this exchange, great work is being created, but we are not very well on schedule. Lets not fret about that, 0kay? We've almost lost a person or two along the way, but I am happy to say we are all still here and still working. It is almost time to mail again, but I have not even gotten a book yet this month. No worries! When I do I will get my work done and get it in the mail. We can do it! Let's pull together, get the work in whatever book we have done and head to the post office. We will get there.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

One more thing

Damn, that little idea for the pocket took so much longer then I thought it would...
It kept me awake till 5:00 AM trying to finish everything. But eventually, it was made and I send the book to Anders this morning (well, more like afternoon).

Since the topic I set myself for Milo's book was "Food" I decided to make a tiny recipe book, and include the most common stuff I make to eat at home. It has 7 recipes in it, with small illustrations.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I think I messed up a little bit...

I didn't count the pages right and so instead of 4 pages and 2 halves, I made 5 pages and 2 halves... I can't remember how the pages spreads out, I really hope I didn't steal someone else's space and there are a couple to spare. oops...

This is my Half page for Anders.

I had something ready for the pocket already, but then I had an amazing new idea which go really well with the theme I chose for this book, so I think I'm going to spend the next few hours working on that. It's just too good to skip...

Pages 5 & 6

This is a 3rd piece from Milo's book. I always really liked this phrase, which I encountered first on the powerpuff girls.


Pages 3 & 4

I've been learning so much from Moleskine Exchange, I don't know if it's because I interact with other people's work, or because doing only certain amount of pages in a book get me to be more adventurous and try new things, but from the second book I had, I realized that I work best with a theme.

So Ashe's book was dedicated to fairy tales, Andrea's were dedicated to poems about Birds, Steve's book (I think) was dedicated to my trip to LA, and I decided to dedicate Milo's book to food.


Drawing on the couch

3rd piece in Milo's book about half way done.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Blackbird parlour

This is my local coffee shop. I come here almost everyday, the owners are, by now, my friends, as well as some of the staff. It's a truly awesome place, with really nice coffee and really nice music.

I spend about 2 hours here everyday, drawing and listening to audio books.

I just finished another 2 pages in Milo's book while having icecoffee and talking to Imanuel, one of the owners, about cakes, manu and art.

Another for Willie's Pocket

Some people can't tell where it hurts. They can't calm down, they can't ever stop howling." Margaret Atwood, the Blind Assassin

I made a small print of this for Willie's pocket. I've been working on a series of homeless poems and paintings and this is how it makes me feel. Like howling and howling!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cake in Milo's book

I had a whole different plan for Heidi's pear and banana once I saw it on the blog, but then life got in the way...
Ned had a birthday and we threw him a big party, being that all of our friends know Ned well, and what he likes, we somehow ended up with 3 huge chocolate cakes, about 15 awesome chocolate cupcakes and about 40 cup cakes I made. Even though we had about 30 people, there was still so much cake left!
One of the girls that came to the party was a model Ned shot 5 years ago, and have not seen since, she came to the party with her boyfriend's sister and it was really nice to meet both of them.

As it turned out, while I was talking to someone else, Ned made plans to shoot them the day after. So all of us met, slightly hungover, and took a million photos together. In some of them they were feeding each other leftover cake from the day before.

This is more Nude then I usually do on Moleskine exchange, I hope that's OK. It was just such a fun day, I couldn't wait to draw this...

Down on his Luck, for Willie's Pocket

Down on his Luck, Homeless Person. For Willie's pocket. I painted this today with a large wolf-hair Chinese bamboo brush in a small watercolor Moleskine (my current wc sketchbook). I was using a technique different than what I've been trying to do normally (Which is wet into techniques and washes and glazing/layers etc.) Normally, I use different size brushes for different amounts of detail, not one huge brush for everything. This brush is new to me, holds a lot of water, but seems to dry out fast, so water management is an issue--it's either too runny or too dry. (I guess you learn these things. like anything else.) And there is very little control, since the brush is so big and floppy and tends to feather out. The idea is, I guess, that it gives the painting looser, freer look.

This, by the way, never was supposed to be Keith, I was looking at a picture of a homeless man. NOT the one Keith is modeling. I'm saying that because it sort of slightly resembles all those pix of Keith, but it is not a failed portrait of Keith, LOL!

If you click on the image it will enlarge to about 4 times the original size of the painting.

Homeless Shelter, for Willie's Pocket

In 1965, I "ran away" from home. I had just turned 19, dropped out of college, and was living with my parents when something bad happened to me. I didn't know what to do, so I left home and went down to live with a girl friend in NYC. We shared an apartment, but we got robbed several times and lost our jobs. She went home, but I stayed in the city, living as a homeless person on the streets. Everything I had was stolen, including my shoes. I had no where to stay and one of things I did was sleep--not on top of, but UNDER the park benches--I was afraid--and with good reason. I was afraid to sleep, ready to run if I needed to. I chose benches away from the main paths, with protective bushes. My life as a homeless person lasted off and on for several years. They were probably the worst years of my life.

I pasted a photo of my own face in the painting.

I am making a 4 x 6 print of this digital collage/smudge painting for Willie's pocket. (I mailed Andrea's Mole to Mike yesterday).

And here is another for WIllie's pocket:

This is my husband, who is also my model--for both art and photography. He was modeling a homeless person during the holiday season.

You can click on both of these images to see them larger.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Last ones in Andrea's, and off to Mike

I'm going to be ultra busy so I needed to get this off, which I hope to do later today. I did two acrylics.

The first is a portrait of "Sissy," the main character in some of my children's novels. I worked hard on it, but I've never had a class in acrylics or in portraiture, and it didn't come out like I wished it would. I just ordered two books on the subject and will try again. It's in a realistic/children's art style, that is, art for kids. (Eventually, hopefully, for my books).

The second one, Farewell, First Lady of the Air," is a portrait of Amelia Earhart's departure on her last flight with a lot of artist prerogative done in a semi-Expressive mode. The idea for it came from a display at the Ford Museum. (A three-D display).

The third image, "New Leaves over Water," is the last pocket item for Andrea (unless I am foiled in my attempts to mail today.) It's a small print from a painting brand new today. It's a digital smudge painting--I was fascinated by the "fall-like" colors of the new cottonwood leaves.

The images will get a little bigger if you click on them.

Makin' Money - also in Aya's book

Ever since I saw an article about the prop money created for the long-since cancelled TV show Firefly, I've wanted to design my own currency. These were my first effort, printed on 16lb vellum, and I've started including them in the book pockets along with the stickers and trading cards.

Monday, May 3, 2010

New Day, New book!

I'm so glad this made it now! I'm really busy, but I'm going to be even busier toward the end of the month so this is not the worst timing... I'm so excited to see a book with so much art in it. Good work everyone!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Aya's book - going out at last!

MY BAD. I'm terribly late with Aya's book. The first two weeks I had it, I couldn't work on it at all because of all the work I had, so well, that's that.

Bubble Party, a recreation of an actual event (some names have been changed):

Bubble Party

Archer: I just really wanted to draw this character. It goes with the Bubble party, but probably in a really esoteric way that only makes sense to me. I had several ideas, but in the end I went with a more enigmatic image because it's not my book:


I used markers on the left side, which I tested on lighter-weight watercolor paper than is actually used in the Moleskines. On the test, the markers didn't bleed, but in the Moleskine they did, which made me very cranky. That's why there's poppies painted with acrylics in the foreground of the Bubble Party - to cover up some of the bleed-through. So having learned that lesson, I went back to watercolors on the right side.

The beginning of a collaboration with Milo (with lyric by Buck 65):
I call this one hope

The completion of the collaboration with Mike:

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Mr Scroggins is Band-Aid Man!

A recycled Sunset Little League plaque becomes a going away recognition for a peer named Colin Scroggins.

Imagination, Sculpey Clay, Acrylic paints, Gorilla Glue...

Result: Lots of laughs and super fun!

Check out real size!

Still a Girl Without Style

How is it possible that I still seem to have no style, tho I paint & draw plenty? Isn't a distinct pattern supposed to eventually emerge? Besides bananas, I mean. Geez.

Top image: Cat drawn with a waterbase marker, then brushed with water. I still love the simplicity of this mixed-media thing. Reminds me of those books that allow kids to "paint" by brushing water over printed outlines. Same deal here, only I had to draw my own image first.

Middle image: Watercolor with black pen & clear nail polish (for shiny lips, which don't photo well). This is my token "surreal" contribution to Milo's book. Don't ask, because I can't explain it.

Bottom image: Collab for Aya, watercolor & Prisma pencil. I know, I know, another banana. At least I threw in a Bosc pear for some variety!