Rousseau 1:12 Mural First Cuts

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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.

 

Finished Sketchbooks

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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 :)

Honor, Office Essentials, A Sconce

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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.

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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!

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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!

 

 

Argo Wool Works, Plastic Litter Collage, Scarlett

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After serious depredation wrought between new kitten and granddaughter, I had to relocate the Argo Wool Works build from my worktable to a higher shelf. This made working on it difficult, and me sad.

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Frustrated, I’ve moved it back to the worktable, and hope to protect it from marauders by covering with a dropcloth when I’m not present to defend it.

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I made small progress with the lights.

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And spent considerable time thinking anew about the interior.

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In other news, the plastic litter collage is complete, and made its debut in the Pacifica Beach Coalition booth at the 31st annual Fogfest celebration. I noticed it suffered some depredation of its own, as it came back with some pieces missing. Seriously, who steals trash art?!

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Scarlett is three months old, and thriving. Our older boy cats have resigned themselves to her presence, tolerating, and even initiating play.

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Here she is complaining about a recent heat wave, from her in perch in another relocated (and depredated) build, my first-ever Loft (1)961.

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Wish me luck!

 

 

 

Observation Without Judg(e)ment

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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.

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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.

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I used shades of white, warm gray, brown and green acrylic for the underpainting.

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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.

Plastic Litter Collage

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I’m working on some illustrations to help build awareness about litter. This first piece (28 x 30 inches, 71 x 76 cm) — not yet completed — is made from various hard plastic pieces (not including recyclables) picked up primarily on Linda Mar beach by 14 volunteers, in just one half hour.

Thirty minutes.

Tomorrow we have our multi-site post-July 4 cleanup, and I expect to glean more than enough to finish the board. Sadly.

Collages like this are both fun and horrifying to look at, as we tune in to recognizable artifacts, both familiar fragments and unrecognizable bits of objects that once were ours, and that now litter and pollute our waterways and shorelines.

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I’ve no intention of using this space — well, not a lot, anyway — for ecological education :) Just want to show what I’m up to and on about.

And encourage you to care. And make art.