Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Robin's Requiem

Hello, gang! I finally listed the painting I was hinting at before...
acrylic on cradled hardboard
I'm really happy with the outcome! This piece originally started out as something entirely different (in fact, it was going to be a painting/commentary on the disappearance of bees...go figure), but I soon realized that I was trying to fit way too much detail into such a small painting. Fast-forward over a year later when I rediscovered the half-finished piece and tack on some extra days and voila! This painting is born.

Two separate, and rather unfortunate bird patients at the shelter inspired this one. The first being a sick juvenile robin that was with us for a week before choking to death in my hands. It was sad, and there was nothing I could do to help. The second patient was a baby junco who had the misfortune of being born without eyes. Not even eye sockets. He came to the shelter because he was apparently abandoned by his parents in the wild (likely due to his birth defect). Needles to say, a bird without eyes is a lost cause in Nature. We ended up having to put him down.

While sad, I also couldn't help but feel a little relief for these two birds who were suffering while alive and are thankfully now in a better place.Moving on, I have some pages to show you from a new art journal I've been keeping! I picked up this square spiral bound sketchbook last month and recovered it because I hate spiral bound sketchbooks. Which begs the question: why did I get one to begin with? Well, the paper was perfect for paint washes and I was too impatient to order a book bound one. So far it seems to be working out quite nicely though...I used to be an avid journal-er, but over the years that gave way. I wanted to pick it back up--but instead of meticulously writing about my day, I wanted it to be a sort of look into what I'm currently thinking about. A mishmash of watercolor paintings and words...Also, as if I weren't already busy enough, I started another quilt. I have about 1/4 of the quilt top stitched together and I'm really happy with the outcome thus far. Unlike my last one, I'm doing the new quilt in a helter-skelter improv fashion. There's no pattern and a lot of warped edges which gives it a carefree look and feel like the early American work quilts of yonder days. You can see some of the fabrics in the below journal pages:I'm also hand-stitching and hand-quilting the entire thing again. I must be crazy...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

An Ode To Typography

A while back I bought a nice little bundle of antique carte de vista photo cards. I love old photographs, but I also love old calligraphy and type--and that's precisely why I got these. So I can stare and then promptly nerd out at the simplistic layouts and lettering designs.
The portraits on the fronts are fine, albeit common and nothing spectacular. But I think the backs are even better. In my studio there's whole pile of them arranged on a board for design inspiration. It's really amazing how many different carte de vista designs there are out there--thousands upon thousands!And my favorite one is nestled on the wall above my painting table, perfectly at home with other antique ephemera scraps...

Le sigh...Some times I really do feel like I was born in the wrong era.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Of Millipedes and Mantises

Hello, hello! I hope every one's week is going well. The ocean-themed pieces of this past update were all successfully listed and are now available in the shop--hooray!

I just listed another "Hall of Mystics" piece as well:

acrylic and gold composite leaf
6x4" on 7x5" wood plaque
I don't paint a lot of insects, and yet, they litter the pages of my sketchbook. This piece was on my work table for quite a long time and was almost scrapped. If I get stuck on a piece long enough I have to fight the urge to paint over the whole thing and start anew.
I'm glad I saw this one through to the end though. The mantises were the last to be added and the whole reason that this painting was finished. It's funny when that happens.

Off to do the finishing touches on another painting! I'll share that one with you in just a few days. Happy Wednesday, gang!