Rousseau 1:12 Mural First Cuts

palm01_cut

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.

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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.

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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.

 

Rousseau, Painted Paper, Collage

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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.

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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.

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Using 14 x 11-inch medium-weight drawing paper and acrylic paint, I’ve begun making my papers, starting with the greens.

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And then some warms:

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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.

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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.

 

Sealed With A Fish

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I’ve been enjoying making fish sketchbooks, and have finally come up with packaging I like. They’re individually packaged in a cotton fiber vellum folio, and sealed with a fish.

:)

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There will also be a kit of three blank fish sketchbooks, with some bonus printed fishes for you to play around with.

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I have a little more photography to do, then look for them tomorrow in the shop!

 

 

Fish, Scarlett, Ruby

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I have made a new variation of the sketchbook.

3covers_enpaper

Three different covers. Endpapers are cut from one of Recollections “Black Jack” papers. Book pages cut from a nice substantial Southworth paper I’ve had for maybe… *thinks back to the last time we may have actually printed out a résumé* … a really long time. I drew the fish a few years ago when I was dabbling in surface pattern design. So we meet again, eh, fish?

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Of course an ephemera pocket.

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I have been gone a lot lately from my home, and Scarlett especially was not stoked. There was some regressive behavior and acting out.

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I was reminded, though, of how much I liked the Sea House Warming Hut living roof, and how much I miss having a current build. But then I remembered the fate of the Argo Wool Works…

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… and sighed. Thus far, the room box that houses the set for Modern Miniature Succulents + Sundries is unravaged, cunningly set atop a bookcase, so that will have to continue to suffice for my construction longings. Scarlett is a year old now — a small cat in stature forever! — and although her depredations have diminished considerably, I am reluctant to reengage with my nemesis.

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The reason for my absence is shown above, in this picture taken by my daughter, of her daughters. Here is four-year-old Maddie reacting to the sounds of her 10-day-old sister, Ruby. We are all so in love.

 

 

Finished Sketchbooks

FS01

For the first time, I am making finished sketchbooks.

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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.

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The covers have a snippet or collage of other original art, meaning that each sketchbook will be one-of-a-kind.

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Here are the first four center spreads. Each will be bound into the classic sketchbook cover, then individually bitted and bobbed.

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In addition to sketches I’m doing some abstract expression-y explorations.

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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 :)

Alcatraz Afternoon

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There’s a 1:87 scale model of Alcatraz Island at Pier 33. (You can get a good overview of the model in this video made by Family Travel Fun.) The guard tower in the dock area was especially well done.

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Poking around the island and its buildings is a compelling and visceral history lesson. This trip I became interested in the textures of decay. Here is a light on the Electrical Repair Shop, just past the Guardhouse and Sally Port.

OFF_OFF

An interior light switch in the New Industries Building.

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A map of peeling paint on a cement support column.

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Overseen by pipes, velveted in rust.

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There was a new art installation in the New Industries Building, but I found this partial view more interesting.

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A busted sink and commode. And pipes.

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Closer to the sink. It looks friendly.

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Looking north towards Marin, the remains of the Post Exchange, built in 1910, as a general store for soldiers and their families. (When Alcatraz became a federal prison in 1934, the PX was converted into a recreation hall and officer’s club, with a dance floor, gymnasium, two-lane bowling alley and soda fountain.) It was destroyed in a fire in 1970.

The quotation on May’s welcome page, “New ideas need old buildings” is from Jane Jacobs.

Inner Walls

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The interior walls of the 2016 build are exposed brickwork, which will be whitewashed, with star-shaped tie irons from Old Mountain Miniatures. The bricks are all salvage from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. More than this is not known.

Considering

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I wasn’t going to lead with this picture, but it’s affecting everything I’m trying to do, as is the way with a large jagged wound on a primary finger. I was playing Prey Under The Covers with my usually gentle cat and one of us miscalculated… It’s a 3-bandaid kluge :(

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And now, presented without justification or explanation is my beginning foray into the HBS 2016 contest base kit. I almost always order a second kit for parts, but somehow didn’t this time. As you can see, I’m mid-trial, but I can’t really go much further, or even see if it will work at all, until additional parts arrive. It keeps collapsing.

My consumptive work deadlines are over — met, even! — and the startup company I’m working with has officially launched, so I can share a peek of what I’ve been doing (logo, packaging, manual, web imagery, panel design) for the past few months.

rossum_electro

This is from their website. Watch the video! Very cool stuff.

in no particular order

peacocks_120214Peacock rug getting there! Just the remaining green background left to stitch. Then blocking and binding.

(Finished size will be 4.625 x 3.125 inches (11.75 x 7.9 cm), 227 x 153 stitches, Gütermann silk on 49-count silk gauze, from a design by Roger Fry, as charted by Melinda Coss in Bloomsbury Needlepoint From the Tapestries at Charleston Farmhouse.)

Then I’ve been playing around with Kris Compas’s current tutorial for an upholstered parsons chair, using this great cotton stripe from a thrift store shirt. Other than (endless) work on the Peacock rug, I think this is the first miniature building I’ve done since I packed everything up to move in the summer. (The cording is made from three strands of DMC floss, and is more true to scale than using all six strands. In case you noticed.)

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Penultimately, here is my first repeating pattern!

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The color palette is a combination of hues drawn from photos of the ocean and from the persimmon tree in Soquel. The simplicity is perhaps underwhelming, but this represents hours and hours of work. Onward!

And finally, I did go back to the indie dollar store and buy up all the boxes of Prang KantRolls.

allthecrayons

Mostly because this:

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Show your work

I am learning a new thing: surface pattern design. Been taking classes, collecting reference, using my photography for color palettes, and most importantly, drawing. Trying to discover my signature style.

Seaweedery

Seaweedery

I am using the ocean as the theme for my first attempts because, of course I am.

Having fun with fishes:

One fish, two fish, star fish, wheel of fortune

One fish, two fish, star fish, flower, wheel of fortune, kiss kiss kiss

and obsessing over color. Feels good to have a direction after floundering around for what feels like far too long.