For every fish out, let’s have a fish in. May your ladders be sturdy. See clearly. See stars. Grow flowers. Spin the wheel. All in.
This is a collage made from Dresden trim, layered over a recent sunset here in Pacifica. I know the blessing is silly, but it is heartfelt. Welcome to 2018, friends.
I sketched out and constructed a palm plant motif in Illustrator, then reversed a copy of it to make the most of the painted papers.
Here are my first cuts of the pattern from two of the painted papers, flung onto the wall. I was working against the losing of the light (because hey, Game of Thrones). They will work splendidly as a middle background layer, when arranged.
Still undecided how I will stick them down.
It took me a couple of cuts to get it right, but here is what a (partial) painted paper looks like after four passes of cutting. Still plenty of material for hand cutting parts available.
A few weeks ago I came across this spread in the April 2017 issue of House Beautiful. It’s a wall mural inspired by the imaginary jungle paintings of Henri Rousseau. Designed by Laurel Canyon homeowner Molly Luetkemyer, it was painted by LA artist Jeff Robinson.
I was instantly smitten, and thought a miniature version could be the perfect third wall for the MMS+S set. Since I am currently very keen on repurposing and/or drawing from my considerable
hoard stockpile of materials and supplies, I grabbed a peaked MDF wall from — um, actually I no longer remember what build it was from.
Years ago, I dabbled in some cut painted paper collage paintings, inspired by Eric Carle. I love this method of illustration. For this 1:12 wall, I plan on using hand- and machine-cut painted papers augmented with markers.
Here is the wall (MDF, 12 x 17 inches) with the preliminary foundation background painted in acrylics. I’ve been studying Rousseau’s jungle paintings, and making note of elements I want to include: light to dark background gradations; sky, moon/sun, jungle; exaggerated plant details; simple two-tone object shading. In Luetkemyer’s inspiration mural, she says the plants are based on California’s landscape, and I plan to do the same. What an awesome opportunity to draw all my favorite plants and flowers: yucca, ficus, succulents, sansevieria; gorgeous orange and red mystery fruit; outrageous florid orange and yellow flowers.
Using 14 x 11-inch medium-weight drawing paper and acrylic paint, I’ve begun making my papers, starting with the greens.
And then some warms:
It’s getting late, and I’ve run out of room on my drying rack, so my helper cat and I are calling it a night.
Nancyland’s August (or Fogust, as we say here in the Bay Area) home page splash image is made from two of the above painted papers, layered using the magical “Lighten” blending mode in Photoshop.
The lyric snippet is from Grouplove’s “Colours”, a song Maddie and I both enjoy singing along to when it comes on the radio :)Lyric snippet update: The National’s “The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness”. Listening to on repeat.
For the first time, I am making finished sketchbooks.
Featuring a bookmarked center spread with an original watercolor sketch, there are bits and bobs peeking out, much like our own 1:1 sketchbooks. The inspiration for the bits and bobs is Keli’s clever receipt notebook.
The covers have a snippet or collage of other original art, meaning that each sketchbook will be one-of-a-kind.
Here are the first four center spreads. Each will be bound into the classic sketchbook cover, then individually bitted and bobbed.
In addition to sketches I’m doing some abstract expression-y explorations.
What doesn’t make the design cut to center spread will be used for the bits and bobs, and cover illustrations. The books are finished to be relatively flat, measuring 1.625 x 1.125 inches (4.13 x 2.86 cm). This is the real deal — original art made 1:12 scale — for the love of miniatures and color and drawing and watercolor markers. And bits and bobs :)
Earlier this month, I was delighted to receive an email from Uppercase magazine publisher Janine, saying that the Plastic Litter collage would be included in No. 33. Today, while flipping through a lo-res digital preview of the upcoming issue, I was astounded to see it was given a full page! Whoa and wowser. Above is a photo from her newsletter, with action shots of the printing process. Of course all of you are already subscribers, so I don’t even have to go on about how truly worthwhile and inspirational this publication is.
I’m about three-quarters of the way through photographing and writing instructions, kitting and listing the four or five kits that comprise the new Office Essentials line over at MMS+S. Then it will be on to the wall sconce kit, which is through prototyping, yay!
For my birthday, our water heater ruptured and flooded the under-house utility room for $1,750. Other than that rude occurrence, everything was lovely. Thank you! I’m getting back to work now!
I’ve been exploring a system of geometric patterns in both my professional and personal work for a little while now. This is the background, composed in Illustrator at one-quarter scale, for a new piece.
After penciling in the three-inch grid on a 36 by 24-inch (61 x 94 cm) stretched canvas, I used a compass and straight edge to transfer the background design. Then it was a happy trip down old-school graphic design production memory lane as I wielded eighth-inch (3 mm) black crepe line tape to sketch out the shapes.
I used shades of white, warm gray, brown and green acrylic for the underpainting.
After adding a thin ivory wash and letting that dry, I pulled off the black tape. I’ll now add… other background stuff, and paints, and determine what final hue and value of gray to re-stripe (by brush) the outlines. Although I have some definite intentions, as usual, I’m making it up as I go along.
Work is underway on a new mixed media piece, large (for me) at 24 by 36 inches (61 x 91 cm). These letters are about 2.5 inches tall (64 mm) and being cut from foamcore.
Poppy the Fairy is being kept busy with her correspondence. These are two accordion books, meant for Ava and Aria to embellish, made from watercolor paper and simple punched shapes. That’s Poppy’s new sigil.
… As well as Ava’s name rendered in triangles, and another tiny sketchbook for Lynnie (at proper 1:12 scale). Her’s from last week was, um, appropriated by her associates :)
This week, Poppy made a two-inch square book to answer some of the girls’ questions: Can you do ballet, like me? Do you eat snacks? Tucked into the reply scroll are California poppy seed pods, because one of the things fairies do is gather seeds.
Inside the book are quick ink and watercolor illustrations with text. Here are a few of the pages, listing some of the things fairies do:
I can perhaps see a series, as my understanding of the fay way grows :)
Maddie Lou spent the weekend with us as her parents enjoyed a night in the City to celebrate their anniversary. Here’s Maddie working on a surprising and spontaneous new deployment of her beloved magnetic blocks in the sun room.
The final arrangement. Can you tell her favorite color is blue?
So awesome on so many levels :)
We had house guests for the weekend. Here you see a SW Ep.VII Stormtrooper encounter a San Francisco summer, much to the delight of her more acclimated traveling companion. The reflection in the giant TV is our foggy Pacifica sunset, with powerlines.
Poppy the Fairy was welcomed back from her nine-sleep vacay with drawings and correspondence from Ava and Aria (and Lynnie). In this drawing we see Ava and Aria and her parents, as well as the Fairy Mail box, with Poppy peeking out. I believe the green squiggles represent the recent landscaping, and a purple heart encircles them all.
Poppy is collecting her/his thoughts for response. (Ava is convinced Poppy is a boy.)
I signed the back of the plastics collage with these, um, economical but not un-fabulous “unfinished wood letters & numbers” from Creatology™, which I think is a brand from the Michael’s crapstores.
Some of the drillings and and nail insertions into the quarter-inch frame for the Plastic Litter Collage were regrettably less than expert, so I am embracing the concept of
fuckedup recycled materials, and will further intentionally distress — but not too much! — the frame, as I sand and paint, sand and paint, sand and paint.
I added quarter- by half-inch pine to the back edge of the thin plywood base to stabilize it and add more surface area to attach the frame to. The plywood itself is salvaged from the crates I built to ship my builds when I moved three years ago :)
After painting the inside frame pieces with two coats of semigloss latex, I cut the two-inch ply lengths to fit and glued them on the base, butting the corners. I used binder clips to hold the frame to the pine strips and a flexible strap corner clamp thingie to hold the frame square while the glue dried. A first coat of paint dries with Albie’s supervision. Tomorrow I’ll tap in tiny nails to secure it all, then fill the holes, sand and paint, sand and paint, sand and paint. And hopefully this weekend I’ll have collected more plastic to call it done.