It's finally a cool morning here in Nashville. Our coffee mugs are unpacked and in full use and I finally have time to share with you some updates that are long overdue. This post is slightly more personal than usual, so if you're looking for illustration soundbites, you can skim, I won't mind.
On June 19, we loaded up what little we had and drove East out of Colorado. It was bittersweet. I already miss those mountains, that dry air, and some of the best and most generous people I have ever met. When I think of Denver, I think of having our back door open, making pancakes on a Saturday and I melt knowing I'll never step foot in that kitchen again. But I'll be back to CO. It's the best place I've ever lived and I'm already looking forward to my next visit.
After heading out, we made it to Michigan where we spent three weeks seeing family and friends, holding new babies, smiling at weddings, and driving all over the state. I have so much gratitude for every single person there, that made us feel so welcome and at home. For those who willingly gave up their kitchen and dining room tables, their jewelry benches, their empty offices, and their car garages, so I could have somewhere to work. Thank you to my friend who let me stay in her adorable lake house, and for my mom and her husband who took care of our sweet animal babies while we were making our rounds.
I do have to apologize, as I know there were people who I did not get to see, and many people I didn't get to see enough. Although I was there visiting, I was also juggling a huge amount of work, which kept me tied up, tired and busy. I wanted desperately a vacation, but sadly this summer has been one of the hardest and busiest ones of my life. I haven't even dipped a toe in water and it's already August.
I also want to thank everyone who came out to Lafontsee for my demo while I was there at the end of June. It was so nice to see so many familiar faces, and so many new ones as well. A huge thank you to the gallery, and also to the people that came to watch, for those who said hello, and for those I didn't get a chance to speak with that night.
It's true that every time I think, say, or hear the word, 'Salutations!' I think of the spider in Charlotte's Web. That'd be a fun story to illustrate, wouldn't it? But sometimes you shouldn't redo a classic. I love that story.
And I suppose a little barn full of animals is a good segue into our very warm and happy hello to Nashville, (which I know is a thriving and bustling city but it's still the South and farms remind me of the South so let me have my segue.)
We arrived just 5 days ago, and while I haven't really left our little house too much (I've been unpacking, cleaning, and working on more projects due this month) I am really excited to be here. I have been welcomed by so many people that I look forward to meeting and knowing. Once this month is over, I'll be taking September to find a little studio somewhere in the city. I am really looking for a place that is already set up - maybe has 3-4 other illustrators in it, and always has someone there working and the coffee's always going. Is that too much of a dream? If you know of something like that, get in touch!
Otherwise, I'll see you at the coffee shops, on the trails, at the Social Sketch at Craft South on Aug 30 perhaps! Or maybe I'll round up everyone who's reached out and we'll all get a coffee and make many friends at once. I'm happy to be here and can't wait to really dig my heels in the dirt.
NOW. Some art talk.
BAD DADS VI
I was invited to participate in Spoke Art Gallery's 6th Annual WES ANDERSON show, which opens TONIGHT in NYC. The Gallery decided to do a pop up show in New York this year at the Joseph Gross Gallery in the Chelsea District. The show will run all weekend and I just heard the announcement that all of the tickets are sold out!
I chose to do Agatha, from the Grand Budapest Hotel for the show, and she wouldn't be complete without her Mendl's Chocolates. I've had this wooden frame for years, just waiting for it's perfect use, and I found it. I haven't done 3D work in a while either, so while talking to my friend and fellow illustrator Greg, I was pretty inspired by the possibilities for this show and I'm glad I went the little extra mile and made some sculptures as well.
Since I don't normally draw actual people, it was a little bit of a challenge to fit Agatha into my world and visual vocabulary, but after drawing her over and over and over again, I was able to capture her. After this sketch, I did a full size, full body one which I used to transfer onto the board. I'll also share one of the chocolates mid-process.
Here's a detail of the finished painting, where you can see the gold paint and the details in the face. I'm not normally one for so much pink, but the colors in the film are so striking, it was hard not to use such a wonderful color palette.
Thank you again to everyone at Spoke Art and Joseph Gross Gallery for having me, and putting this event together! You guys have fun this weekend!
Paper Trail at MadeLife
Tonight is the opening for my solo show, 'Paper Trail', at Madelife in Boulder, CO! I sadly cannot be there but if you're in the area, I know it should be a great reception.
For the show, I decided to change course a little and focus on something that I don't have much time to do, despite my love for it: painting from life. I love to study and celebrate objects and moments but normally when I am painting, it's for someone else. I often feel guilty taking the time to work on my own projects - and if it's not out of guilt, it's that I do not feel like painting after a 8-10 hour day of painting.
There are twenty pieces in the show, each 8x8". My mother and her husband performed a miracle and in just 4 days, cut, sanded, and painted each and every beautiful handmade frame for the show. I owe them a huge and heartfelt thank you. If you go to the show, you'll be able to see just how gorgeous the frames are. I'm really lucky to have such talented people on my side. Thank you mom.
Alright. Thanks for sticking with me through the end of this ridiculously long post! If you read all of it, you deserve a fancy lemon cookie and I hope someone gives you one today out of the blue.
I'll be sure to share more of the work from the Paper Trail show, as well as current and upcoming projects. For now - it's lunchtime.