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.