Saturday, April 28, 2007

is this week's Illustration Friday theme. I recently finished this little scene of a grandmother reading aloud to her granddaughter. The grandmother is reading from an old baby book, or dance card, or perhaps it is a menu, autographed by friends at a festive dinner long ago? Her grandaughter listens with rapt attention...seeing it all in her imagination. I think most people can remember some scenes like this one from their own childhoods.

By the way, many thanks to everyone who wrote me so encouragingly about my last post! All the advice, encouragement and tips are invaluable...I am really grateful. I have not progressed technologically very much since last week...but a little. I scanned this in, a traditional ink drawing colored with prismacolor pencil, and then cleaned up the color using Photoshop. So, same as last week, but I'm a little more comfortable with the brushes and things now. Some small progress!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

for Illustration Friday's theme of polar. I've always liked the look of the polar fox, sometimes known as the arctic fox. If anyone knows the work of illustrator Roger Vernam, you can see a shadow of his influence here, I think. But as far as technique goes, it is back to kindergarten for me! I did a drawing (the usual paper with pencil and ink) and scanned it (first time ever!) and then re-worked it in Photoshop (also first time ever!) I am stumbling along trying to figure things out as I go.

Some (gentle) advice would be very welcome. Obviously I need to find time to take the tutorial, but also, do you recommend using Photoshop or Illustrator or something else?

Friday, April 13, 2007

is this week's Illustration Friday theme. Made me realize that I have quite a little thing about fortune cookies... I have several paintings that feature them. Funny when you discover themes in your work you had not consciously chosen. Sometimes I think the things we do and choose unconsciously speak of our truest nature...there is no "show" or public presentation in them!

What does it all mean? I have no idea. But a fortunate Friday the Thirteenth to you!

Chime Bird with Orange Soda and Fortune Cookies oil on canvas 16 x 20 inches

Saturday, April 7, 2007

is this week's Illustration Friday challenge. This gave me a moment's pause, as actually the problem is that I have SO MUCH to choose from. I've been told that I use green too often and that it is not a particularly popular or appealing color to the general public. Alas! Because I love it, almost every shade and variation of it appeals to my eye, and yes, I admit it creeps in everywhere...even when I am making an effort not to use it as much.

Oh well, to thine own self be true (since you don't really have any choice in the matter!)

White Hydrangeas and Assorted Treats oil on canvas 20 x 24 inches

Sunday, April 1, 2007

is the theme of this week's Illustration Friday. My first thought was of playing the card game Snap...which we love to do in this family (preferably after dinner so the table is cleaned off otherwise it can be quite a mess!) But illustrating that epic scenario just seemed overwhelming. Then I got this idea "Oh yeah! Snap, like fingers!" Pretty obvious, I guess, but it took me a few days to make that mental leap- oh well! I'm trying out a new pen, an indian ink fibre brush and having fun with the line variation.

Faber-Castell Pitt fibre brush pen and color pencil

Fruit and Water oil on canvas 8 x 10 inches

Happy National Poetry Month! Well, the artist's reception in Chelsea for this show was yesterday. Lots of fun: wine, chocolate, poets, friends. I was thrilled that an art hero of mine, Jules Feiffer, came to see the show! (I was too shy to ask him to pose for a photo, more's the pity.)

The show was written up in The Village Voice as "A group show illuminating the relationship between text and image." Sounds very cool, doesn't it? Maybe not everybody likes the idea of pairing art with writing...fearing the dread "illustration" but I am completely fine with it. I love illustration, I love art, I love poetry, and I feel the boundaries between all forms of creativity are actually very blurred. The artists in the exhibition were directed to pair our paintings with poems, and so I asked a poet friend, Cathy Cohen, if she had a poem in her files that had any relation to this image. She didn't, but then she went ahead and wrote one! I was blown away. Here it is:

Still Moment

We balance near the edge
like crystal,
ready to embrace.

If we stare long enough
we enter fragrance,
vibrating color.

But a still moment will burst
and skim its soul
from thing to thing,
from vessel to vessel.

~Cathleen Cohen