Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Monday, March 28, 2011

Trying something new in Stephanie's book

In the letter that Stephanie attached to her book, she urged people to try something new. So, I decided to leave my pen and marker aside for the evening and try something with paper and exact-o knife instead.

Yes, yes, I know that Haiku's are Japanese and papercuts are Chinese, but they still look good together to me.


JACOB AND THE MERBOY last one in Ballookey's

I wanted to put text on, but stupidly, I forgot to leave room! :-(

This is from (for) my as yet unfinished children's picture book, tentatively titled Jacob, Merjon and the Great Fish. By unfinished, I mean I haven't even finished writing it--I do have a first draft. This page comes earlier in the book than the previous one and they are not contiguous or continuous in the book.

These are the only pieces I've made so far--I haven't decided on a medium, but I may actually use these (or the scans of them) IF I can clean them up OK. (Otherwise, they may be "studies" for the book.) They did not scan perfectly because my scanner is not that great and the nook is not flat. This page has an acrylic painting on the other side. You can see the texture of it right through the paper.

Anyway, I have finished with the art in Ballookey's book and in a few days, will get it packaged up and sent off to Mike Kline. Click once (and then again) to view the image larger.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Moleskine Surgery

I have a solo art show next month in Louisiana, as a part of it, I'm taking a couple of my Moleskine apart. It's one of those things that I always said I'm going to do if the opportunity arise, but never actually did.

There's something really, well, odd, about taking apart a book. Both technically (those Moleskines are so well made, it's really frightening to deal with all the thread and glue, but also emotionally, it's almost like the art is protected as long as it's in the book, and becomes all exposed once it's out.

Well, the operation was a success, no art was harmed in the process...

I'm going to have to do the same to a big A$ book in a day or two (scary thought).

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Page 3 in Stephanie's book

This is the end of the song - isn't that a cool thought, that the purpose of faith is to keep us going through hard times?!

Second page in Stephanie's book

Half of a Rumi poem. Usually, I'm not so crazy about his style, but I do like this one.

First page in Stephanie's book

One of the things that Stephanie asked was to try something new in her book, this is a lot more colorful then I usually go for...
I felt like the book, so far, had a very mystic \ spiritual feel to it, so in keeping with that spirit, one of the last lines of a watchtower invocation of the golden dawn.


Mike's Mole shipped to Gretchen - Round 3

Mike's Moleskine collage collab

Yay! I got Mike's Mole to the post office before it closed at 1pm today. I wasn't sure if I could, but I did a quick-and-dirty collage this morning for Gretchen to complete. I used different Washi papers, some old airport tax fees from China (as I know Mike traveled there before), and a few little doodles.

And guess what was waiting for me at the post office when I got there? Andrea's Mole that Mike sent. Woo hoo! I'll wait a few days before I start drawing in it. Andrea's pages have a lot of texture and surface, planes and dimension. They make me think of artists like Kandinksy or Jonson. I might ruminate on that and see what comes up for me.

Ah, it feels good to finish a Mole. Is that how it is for everyone? BTW, here's another photo of the spread from my previous post. The colors are a bit truer than the scanned version.

Breaking Fruit (full spread)

Happy weekend!

Bearing Fruit in Mike's Mole

Bearing Fruit (page one of spread) Bearing Fruit (page two of spread)

Mike's Mole is almost ready to ship. Here is a spread I did, completing my own full compositions. The theme is Bearing Fruit, inspired I think by the fact that our orchard is in full bloom. We have about 200 trees, which are mostly apple but also include plum, apricot, and pear. Our trees bloomed beautifully last spring and then were hit by a late and hard freeze the first weekend of May. It turned out to be a blessing, though, because my husband had a heart attack that spring (which he thankfully survived and is now thriving) and so harvesting the fruit would have been challenging last year.

This year, however, we're ready for a bounty, literally and otherwise. And the pomegranate? I lived in Granada (Spanish for "pomegranate") in my 20s, trying to be an artist and writer and failing miserably due to loneliness and being lost. But the pomegranate shows up a lot in my art these days, I think as a symbol of bearing fruit.

By the way, one thing about Mike's Mole, which he warned me about: He picked up a notebook instead of a sketchbook, so the pages are very thin. I used a light gesso, applied without water to avoid buckling. The dried gesso surface adds enough thickness that you can paint and do a few more things than if you draw directly onto the pages.

Happy Spring all!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Jacob and the Waterspout

This is my third page in Ballookey's Mole. It is an illustration (or study for an illustration) from my as yet untitled brand newly written children's book. The temporary title is, Jacob, Merjon, and the Dream Fish. It's (obviously) a children's picture book. This page occurs several pages into the book, but it's the first one I've done. I have not decided yet what medium I want to work in, but I kind of like the line drawing. However, I wanted fog, and I don't know how to create fog in a line drawing in pen and ink. Micron 005 pen. Click image to view larger--click again to view even larger. Click HERE to read the early draft version of the story.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Just got Stephanie's book today

Stephanie's book

I really like how Stephanie and Ellen's pieces work together. There's something very serene and rich and sort of mystical about it, I'm going to try and keep to it when I do my pages.

Andrea's Moleskine Ships Tomorrow

 Collaboration with Andrea...
 I know Biker Buddy is way better looking then this, but somehow Biker Buddy arrived...
 Angels are Aliens to planet Earth...
 Andrea likes Gnomes so I created a Gnome Peace...
 Collaboration Fish for Roma to finish.
 Hanging out at Off Center Art on Tuesday evenings - drawing without thought!
 The "Green Man" in Wiltshire England. The Green Man shows up in Cathedrals all over Europe.
 Time, Life, Death, and Renewal, another form of the Green Man.
The Albu. "QUIRKY" House tour is Saturday, May 7th, 2011 in Albuquerque, New Mexico... $25.00 per ticket.

WASHING UP, pages 1 & 2 in Ballookey's

I had two moles and this one arrived a little late--so patience please. I want to take the time to do my best possible job, though I sort blobbed this up a little.

It has a story. Onondaga Lake, in Syracuse, NY, where I used to live, is one of the most polluted lakes in the country if not the world. I was there one day walking and taking pictures when a migrant worker drove up in his pick-up truck, got out, and washed up in the toxic waters of the lake. A storm was approaching--I tried to tell him that the water wasn't clean, but he didn't understand me. I was thinking the storm was a figurative one as well as a literal one.

I had some problems with this, and may try it again sometime.


I still have two more pages to go in this, but I did get Gretchen's mole mailed. Yesterday. (This one was more than two weeks late getting to me, so patience, patience!)

Round 3 - Andrea scribbles some stuff in Ballookey's Moly.

Ballookey, whilst I was stumped with what to do with out collab page, I did this inside your front cover.

An Existential Problem

I am curious about what y'all think of this last one, I really enjoy it.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Aya's book headed to Claudia

The remaining full pages in Aya's book. A pencil drawing of Ginger (Aya's pup), some silly blobby doodle creatures in ink and watercolor, and some more folded-up naked ladies (this time it's Aya, from her 365-photo project). I swear, I won't fill anyone else's mole up with nakedness (unless you want!); I just know Aya is ok with it, and figure I should sneak some in now!

Also: hereby promising to ship on time from now on.

Claudia's book - going out tomorrow

I started Claudia's book before I had it, but due to my idiocy, I was still delayed in sending it right back out on time. I'll mention my dummkopf moment below.

I was inspired by this pair of jade phoenixes I saw in a magazine from 1974 laying around the house.

What intrigued me about them is that they're not long, lean and flowing like the typical depictions of phoenix, and I wondered if that's how they were originally conceived. Apparently not - these are still aberrations, but even if the myth of the phoenix did start with a plump little bird about the size of a mourning dove, I think that over time it would still have evolved into the bird we imagine today because we think it's qualities MUST come from a more graceful and noble-looking creature.

I wanted to get started even though I didn't have the book, and I wanted to find a way that I could paste my work in that I would be happy with. There's a difference between working directly on the pages and pasting in, and I didn't want it to seem like I'd cheated.


Larger version here.

So that plan almost went totally awry. I assumed (for no reason) that Claudia was working in the larger book. I have NO idea why I assumed that because I'm using the smaller Mole' myself. But I planned on A4 sized pages. Luckily I did two tiny test paintings first. One was totally complete, and I was half-done with the second, planning on giving them away or something. So when the book arrived, I was able to finish the second small painting and use them both along with some postage scraps from Hong Kong. And the side benefit is that I have two larger versions of these same birds that I'll have to find something to do with. ;)

This lettering begins and ends my pages in Claudia's book. I sketched it before I had the book, then traced it in when the book arrived and added some watercolor. I should have worked on the second page more - it looked better in the sketch, but I also determined to set limits on myself of how much I would pour into a sketchbook. ;)


Larger version here.

Here's the (completed?) collaboration with Claudia. I started this page with roughly the same idea I ended with, but in a completely different treatment and totally messed it up. We won't talk about it. I gessoed over the bit I wasn't happy with, and finished it off more heavy-handed than I intended.


And lastly, this is a little tidbit I'm adding to Claudia's pocket.


It's leftover from my book. I had some laser prints of the photo I used in my book, and after I sent it out, I doodled on this one and thought it was pretty neat looking. In fact, I wish I'd done that in my own book. Anyway, I thought it would be interesting to try to carry a doodle or sketch forward from each book to the next. And in fact, I have a very rough color study of a phoenix that I'll put in the pocket of the next book.

tl:dr I drew some stuff! Here it is!

I'm finishing a collaboration page for Andrea tonight, and if I have a chance to take a photo, I'll post that tomorrow.

Deadlines and Details

The ship date is the 15th of every month.
We try to stick to that as best as possible.
Remember this is one big circle and for it to work, none of the cogs can be broken.

Of course a few days here or there is no biggie. When you are a week late in shipping, get in touch with the person who you ship to and let them know what is going on.

If you have more than two books in your possession, we need to chat.
Email me and we'll work something out. What we have done in the past (great idea Ballookey) is mark your pages to work on later and then ship the oldest book you have to the next person. Then that book would come back to you at the end of the exchange from the owner of that book. That way we won't have a back log.

Does this all make sense?

I don't like to think of the dates as soft, I want us to not completely lose track of them like we did in Round 2. Things happen, life can get complicated. We have had some lives fall apart mid exchange, mine did. Everyone works together and finds a solution. We're a creative collective now. Just like the Borg. Oops, nerd alert.

I know most everyone involved just wants to keep the flow going.

The work in round three is extraordinary thus far. I am happy to be on this journey with all of you! Email me with any questions or concerns - at any time.

Round 3 - Collab with Ballookey

Here is my collab with Ballookey in round 3. She drew the lovely face and I had the hardest time conceptualizing something to go next to it. My style is not very light and airy.

Anyway, I like these leaves that I came up with. I hope Ballookey does too.

I know I am a few days behind in mailing and I notice skimming through the blog that a few others are too. Mail as soon as you can if you are behind and please communicate with the person you are scheduled to mail to.

Mike, Ballookey's book is heading to you.

More pics of my work in Ballookey's book tomorrow.