Monthly Archives: June 2012

Bigfoot breakthrough

This is a post I’m excited about, because it marks a new way of working for me.  This summer I’m working away from screen printing supplies, and so am exploring new ways of making art.

I’ve been wondering how I should make color a more important part of my work, because for the past few years my drawings, painting and screen prints have been mostly about the line work.  Any color was there to add interest or define areas, but it was always a second thought, after the form was established through line.

I also caught myself believing that I had to stick to one way of working throughout the whole piece.  For example, if I started painting with a brush, I couldn’t break out a pen for little detailed parts- I had to soldier through with the brush even if it meant screwing up the whole thing.  Or that my pencil sketch had to be erased completely away and had no part in the final drawing- ridiculous stuff like that was sucking the life out of my art work.

All that to say, I’m pretty pumped about experimenting and exploring, and I’m liking what I’m discovering.  It’s interesting, too, because I’m drawing illustrations for a textbook at the same time I’m doing all this other experimenting, and those illustrations are grayscale pen and ink.  Moving back and forth between styles is challenging and frustrating and makes me wonder if I should be doing something different to “assert” my style in the textbook drawings.  Hopefully it will all help me find myself as an illustrator blah blah blah…

If I’m ever able to reconcile my natural loose line style with my desire to draw complex, detailed, narrative drawings, then I will be genius.  Or, as I learned recently from a TED talk by Elizabeth Gilbert, HAVE a genius.  Apparently in the time of the Romans, people thought that creativity came to a person in the form of a genius, sort of like a muse.  People weren’t geniuses; anything fantastic they did was a gift that was bestowed to them.  It takes the pressure for greatness away.

So anyway, my muse visited the other day, and recently my muse has looked an awful lot like Bigfoot.  I’ve been reading a book called Sasquatch:  Legend Meets Science and listening to interesting people talk on the Coast to Coast AM radio show.  (I could fill a blog with the stuff I learn on Coast to Coast.)   There will be many posts concerning Bigfoot in the future, so get excited.

What’s this guy’s story?  Jilted in love?  Lost a friend?  Just lonely hiding out in the forest away from prying eyes?  You tell me.

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here and there

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carpenter falls near skaneateles

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ice cream at heid’s by lake onondaga.  we got six scoops for only $3.40!  the extra large is NINE scoops.   the girls behind the counter told us that there’s a man that comes in three times a week for nine scoops of black raspberry on a waffle cone and he eats it all before it melts.

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lake onondaga.  apparently its super polluted, but it’s a really lovely lake to sit by.

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my best friend.  and husband : )

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super sticky homemade marshmallows

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strawberry picking at grisamore farm down the road

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ithaca is gorges

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Augusta Market Poster

(click to see larger)

At the end of last summer, Brooke commissioned me to paint a poster for the Augusta Farmer’s Market.  Here’s the premise she wanted:  Digger the Otter (who is the mascot for the market.  I hear they have a guy in an otter suit walking around these days) is a fun-loving, family-friendly party animal who loves scampering around the river and pal-ing around with the market goers.  HOWEVER, there is this mischievous beaver named BLOCKER who DAMS things.  He ruins all Digger’s happy plans and is always lurking around looking for ways to cause mayhem.  Then she was like….”And maybe there could be a beaver in an otter suit….”

Well, I didn’t take it that far.  I’m not sure I could tell the difference between a real otter and a beaver in an otter suit. But I did want to capture the exciting feeling of community at the market, as well as the diversity of the vendors.  It was fun imagining all the characters and figuring out how to fit them into the space.  Oh, and that’s me on the right selling bread!

One of the main focal points at the market is the big fountain that explodes into the air in the middle of the square.  It looks like its coming out of a thing like the metal cages cities build for their trashcans.  Kids play around it all summer, and I feature Digger here flying high on the fountain with a lemonade in his hand.  Blocker is lurking below, plotting, no doubt.

watercolor and pen

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Lately…

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Croissant success at the bakery

Sangria and paint on a sunny afternoon

The owl on the porch that supposedly keeps the birds from smacking into the window, but mostly just scares me at night

Ithaca parade.  Complete with tutu volvos and chainsaw marching band.

The Ithaca farmer’s market was totally dreamy.

I’ve been working on some illustrations for my mom’s book.  (yes, her book!)

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Sketchbook

If I was left alone with my natural tendencies…this could be me.

(click to see larger)

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Kari and Chris Invites

Kari’s wedding invitations were such a pleasure to work on.  She wanted an illustrated, screen printed invite that would reflect her and Chris’ personalities and interests.  She told me a bit about herself and her fiancé, and then I got to dream up whatever I wanted!  Here is one of the initial sketches I sent her, the one she liked the best.  You can see how it became the final illustration.

The added challenge of working with one color only made it that much more fun and I’m quite pleased with the results.  I really like the look of the wildflowers, and I’m going to make some more patterned work in that style.

Even more fun was the fact that I got to hand-deliver the screen printed invites to Kari in Durham when I was there visiting a friend.  I loved getting to meet her and watch her open the package of invites.  I’m excited for her to marry Chris this weekend and start their new life together!

I screen printed the invites on kraft paper, and Kari stuffed them in kraft paper envelopes.   It was a laid-back look that suites the day they have planned.

I took the pictures of the invitations on the deck of the cottage, which, as I have mentioned, is a dome-home.  It’s completely awesome to be living here this summer!  I want it to get a little warmer, though, because the water is frigid, and I haven’t ventured farther into the lake than an exploratory slap at the water.

Later that day, I watched a huge storm roll down the lake.  The sudden violence of the wind and rain was stunning, and awesome to watch from the warmth of the living room.

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