Farewell, Salutations, and so much Gratitude. (Oh! And ART!)

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. 

Before I left Denver, some of my favorite humans and I went for a walk and I painted the things I collected. This piece is part of my show 'Paper Trail', opening tonight at Madelife in Boulder, CO. 

Before I left Denver, some of my favorite humans and I went for a walk and I painted the things I collected. This piece is part of my show 'Paper Trail', opening tonight at Madelife in Boulder, CO. 

Farewell!

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. 

Gratitude!

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. 

'The Service Bell' 8x8" Gouache and Colored Pencil on Paper. This piece is part of of the show, 'Paper Trail' which opens at Madelife in Boulder, CO tonight. 

'The Service Bell' 8x8" Gouache and Colored Pencil on Paper. This piece is part of of the show, 'Paper Trail' which opens at Madelife in Boulder, CO tonight. 

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. 

Photo credit and copyright: Lafontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI

Photo credit and copyright: Lafontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI

Photo credit and copyright: Lafontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI

Photo credit and copyright: Lafontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI

Salutations! 

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 made it! Mori and Junie love it here so far. The cicadas are out of this world loud and I think they are sort of freaked out by it. 

We made it! Mori and Junie love it here so far. The cicadas are out of this world loud and I think they are sort of freaked out by it. 

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. 

'Agatha' Wood, Clay, Fabric, Acrylic, 2015 (photo by Bud Kibby)

'Agatha' Wood, Clay, Fabric, Acrylic, 2015 (photo by Bud Kibby)

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.

(photo by Bud Kibby)

(photo by Bud Kibby)

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. 

'The Mouse Box' 8x8" Gouache and Colored Pencil on Paper

'The Mouse Box' 8x8" Gouache and Colored Pencil on Paper

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. 

'The Chair of Delight' 8x8" Gouache and Colored Pencil on Paper

'The Chair of Delight' 8x8" Gouache and Colored Pencil on Paper

'Stamps' 8x8" Graphite, Gouache and Colored Pencil on Paper

'Stamps' 8x8" Graphite, Gouache and Colored Pencil on Paper

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. 

xoxo

 

 

 

Live Painting

This last month has been mad with packing, moving, saying goodbye, saying hello, leaving a place we love, visiting our hometowns, and looking for a new life in Nashville. I'm also juggling a new project that I super excited about, but cannot share with you until August! 

While I am in Michigan this week, I will be doing a live painting demo at LaFontsee Gallery in Grand Rapids. Tuesday night from 5:30 to 7, I will talking a little about my process, doing some live painting, sharing new work, and the gallery will be selling fine art giclee prints. Those in attendance will be entered into a drawing to win the painting that I'll be working on that night! Hope to see you there! 


COYOTE STORIES

I just finished working on the Album Artwork for The Crane Wives, who are releasing their sister albums in August! I've worked with them on all three albums, and it's been really inspiring to not only grow in my image making with them, but to see and hear them grow as well. They are a seriously talented group of musicians, and even better - they are stellar people. I got to listen to the album while painting for it, and it's SO good. One song in particular I had on repeat like 15 times in a row. 

Do yourself a favor if you like indie folk, and check them out. You can also help support them by pre-ordering the first or both of their double release albums here!! 

For the artwork, I wanted to include not only coyotes, but one made of wood - as when I think of Michigan - mine and the band's home state -  I think of trees and wooden homes. They gave me pretty loose perimeters wanting only something that was blue/purple with a light warm spot, a girl, and coyotes, with one fox on the back. I gave them the front sketch, and being the awesome flexible people they are, they let me run with it. 

The sketch was done in graphite and I laid in colors and coyotes digitally. 

Once the sketch was completed, I went to final, using gouache and colored pencil on paper. The entire painting was completed before I went back in and added the coyotes in white gouache. I drew them each out on tracing paper, and played around with their composition before settling and transferring them to the final. Here is a progress shot of the back side, and then some details of the finished piece. 

HOORAY for music and art TOGETHER. 

 

GRIMM

This week I finished my piece for the group exhibition, GRIMM: Visions of the Brother's Grimm Fairy Tales. The show opens June 5 at Helikon Gallery and will feature a ton of really talented illustrators. I am so excited and honored to be part of this show. If you're in Denver, you should definitely come and check this one out. 

I illustrated the story, Jorinda and Joringel which was one that was new to me. The story begins with a witch who lives in a castle in the forest and by day takes shape of a cat or an owl. When a girl comes in front of the castle, she turns them into a bird and cages them in her castle. She has 7000 (or 700 depending on which version) birds hanging in wicker cages. Later in the story, we are introduced to the couple, Jorinda and Joringel who are to be married. Jorinda gets kidnapped by the witch and Joringel has to find a red flower with a pearl to set her free. 

I chose to illustrate the beginning of the story, because the thought of thousands of bird cages in the castle was visually stunning. Placing the witch inside of the castle, I was able to show the interior and exterior. As you can see, the witch is not only a woman, but has cat ears and stands in front of a tower which resembles an owl. 

My friend Toby and I went Castle hunting in Denver and I got lots of great photos of castles and architecture, which I was able to use in the final. I love finding magic and calling it research. 

YAY! If you come to the show, come say hello! I'll see you there….

Friday Night.

I have been working on a couple of projects this week - one of them being my upcoming show at Faye's in SF! Here's one that was just finished! It's called Finding a Way Out, 11x14" Gouache and Colored Pencil on paper. 

More to come! xoxo

Spring

It's been so long since I've made a post! This Spring has been full of changes and new directions.

After the mural was finished in Phoenix, I headed off to LA where I spent the month of March working on building miniature sets and puppets for some animation sequences for LINK for a feature length documentary they're releasing this year. The project was quite intense, I learned so much about building puppets, new materials, working in a group, and I got a chance to learn more about North Korea, and how LINK works. The film will be out later this summer, and I will be sure to share. For now, here is a peek of one of the puppets I worked on. 

Right after I got back, I headed to Texas for a lecture and puppet workshop at UTA. Everyone there was so welcoming, and I had an amazing week. I have to thank Ginnie Hsu for bringing me there, putting me up, and showing me Arlington's best Mediterranean restaurant. There were about 12 students in the workshop, and we created puppets from armature wire, foam, clay, and cloth. It was so great to see everyone's unique vision for their character come to life. 

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Here's me and Ginnie - I met her during the last twenty minutes at ICON8 in Portland last summer and we became instant friends. She's a seriously talented illustrator, app designer and interactive genius. And she's goofy which I like. 

Here are some of the process shots from my own puppet making. 

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Woohoo!

 

Up Next:

If you're in San Francisco, I have a show opening next month at Faye's Video! I am sad I won't be making the opening but if you make it, tag me on IG so I can see it! The opening reception is May 28 from 6-8:30. 

Here is one of the pieces for the show. I have been working more intuitively, with a focus on narrative work, which I am excited about. Having a show that is about stories untold is a perfect opportunity to illustrate - to illuminate - even if the stories they depict were never written. 

I'm really excited to be making new work, and soon hopefully I can give you a story - not only in pictures, but in words as well…..

 

Until next time, 

xo

Mural Process!

Last week I was in Phoenix painting a mural in the sun! The mural is called The Painted Desert, and was painted on the wall of The Lodge Art Studio (where I used to work when I lived in Phoenix.)

The mural was planned prior to painting, with a rough sketch as well as a full painting (which was reproduced as prints and postcards for donors.)

When I got to Phx, I primed the wall with a tinted primer and that night we used an old school projector to project the image onto the wall. The three folks helping me made the whole thing possible, and I could not have done this on my own. Abbey Messmer and Rafael Navarro helped project, and Amy Decaussin helped me paint the lines onto the wall. Below, you can witness these weirdos. <3

The next day after the lines were in, I started filling in the blue/grey values. 

Photo by Amy Decaussin

Photo by Amy Decaussin

We got scaffolding donated to us, which was a tremendous help, and meant we could add more detail to the top part of the mural. Amy also helped me lay in the first values. 

After most of the grey values were down, we started to add the colors. The colored paint was also donated, so it was a bit tricky to mix the colors I thought would go well. I generally use quite muted colors but have been trying to open myself up to brighter hues. The mural definitely needed to be bright since it was set on such a monochromatic background. 

 

 

 

(SIDENOTE)

I also have to mention that this mural could not have been painted in a better spot, as there is a vegan diner RIGHT NEXT DOOR. They were so kind! They brought me a strawberry basil cookie, some lemonade, and invited Amy and I over for Blueberry Almond Pie. And I ate my breakfasts there throughout the week. It was bliss. If you live in Phoenix, go to Braggs. I love them. 

BACK TO WORK! No more pie talk! So we laid in the color, and I had my lovely helpers filling in the painted paddles. Since the javelina is painting with a roller, Abbey filled the yellow paddles in with a tiny roller! She and Amy helped me that morning, and my bud and fellow KCAD alum, Britteny Young stopped by, apron in tow, to help paint too!  

Photo by Jessica Jaskiewicz

Photo by Jessica Jaskiewicz

And then all of a sudden, I was putting the finishing lines on the piece! With a cool pack strapped to my head because my Michigan blood was boiling in the sun...

Photo by Abbey Messmer

Photo by Abbey Messmer

And here is the finished mural!! 

Photo by Rafael Navarro

Photo by Rafael Navarro

And here is a lovely photo my friend Marcelle took the night of the funder's party! It was the only one of me where I'm not paint covered with bags under my eyes, so I thought I would share it. It's a perfect rendition of how I felt when the whole project was finished: Thankful. Thankful for friends, thankful for Phoenix, thankful for the sun, and thankful to each and every one of you who shared the project, donated, and generously supported.

Photo by Lisa Marcelle Novitz

Photo by Lisa Marcelle Novitz

If you'd like to find out more about the mural, check out the article the New Times did on the project - they did such a thorough and amazing job, and I am so grateful they shared our story! 

 

xoxo

 

 

 

 

 

 

Final Mural Design

It's already February! That means in a week I'll be in Phoenix laying down paint at The Lodge! I finished the final mural painting, which will be used as a guide, but also as a print! 

And here are some delightful details...

This little bat came out of his cave to paint!

This little bat came out of his cave to paint!

Jack Rabbits are not the best painters.

Jack Rabbits are not the best painters.

After this, the quail went to file for workmen's comp. 

After this, the quail went to file for workmen's comp. 

If you'd like to snag a signed 8x10 of this little scene, you can do so by donating to The Lodge's fundraiser! If you're in Phoenix, you'll also get an invite to the Funder's Party the night of the completion, on Feb 16! (details coming soon). Until then, I'll keep you posted with more updates. 

Happiest Monday! 

Thank You's

The design is underway for the new mural going up at The Lodge! Meanwhile, I had a couple of Sonoran Desert friends who wanted to express their sincere gratitude for everyone who has donated so far, and for everyone who has shared our fundraising request…I told them I'd share their thank you's with you. 

If you would like to learn more about The Painted Desert mural, or to donate, check out our fundraising site here! 

The Painted Desert

GUYS! Next month I am heading to Phoenix to paint a mural at The Lodge, which is my old studio. I painted a mural there in 2013, but sadly I moved away before I complete it fully, and now I am just going to do an entire overhaul on the wall. I am not a mural artist at all but making anything is fun so here's to giving it your all!

Here's some images of the mural process in 2013 by Sarah Rhodes, (aka Arrow&Apple)

The new mural going up will be called The Painted Desert, and includes a whole slew of Sonoran Desert friends. They might be….painting the desert. I'll share the final design soon! For now, here's a peek!

 

The Lodge is raising funds right now for the mural to help with travel, material cost, and time, and they've set up a fundraiser. If you'd like to donate, you can gets some goodies! Depending on the amount donated, you get an invite to the Funder's Party at the completion of the mural, a little pack of painted desert postcards, (illustrated by yours truly), an 8x10 signed print of the final mural design, or a little original painting of your very own Painted Desert Cactus. Thank you to everyone who has already given so generously.  I really love the community in Phoenix, and this particular area is growing and becoming more vibrant everyday. I can't wait to come back and liven it up even more. 

Happy weekend my cherubs. 

 

Style

Who's got style? We all do. 

However, this is a question I get all the time. Budding illustrators (I fall into this group - maybe we all do) ask me that question repeatedly: How do you develop your style and how can I find mine? This is the wrong question to ask. This shouldn't be an end goal, it shouldn't be fixated and maybe it shouldn't even be verbalized. It should be explored. 

All I know is my own personal experience, but when people mention my style as if it was a predetermined choice, it can make me feel stuck. We cannot create in a box, we must always be growing. I wanted to share my progression to visually share with you how I've found my 'style'. 

Here's some early work from 1990, when I used the pseudonym, eccRBeb, which unfortunately didn't stick with me. 

In college, our program was very heavily based on realism. It gave me a good start and a great point of departure as well. This was from 2008, Oil on Board.

Shortly after this was painted, I jumped off the realistic bridge and never finished anything realistic ever again. I did have some classes that were geared towards stylized work too, and I preferred those, only because I felt as though I could finally find what it was that I had to offer the world. Freshly graduated, I worked like a horse because I felt really free about what I was making. A lot of weird and sometimes terrible art got made:

Though this work is different and old and it makes me cringe, some of it reminds me of that really fresh love for making things. 


Figuring out how to actually make a client happy was new as well. It's an interesting give and take, being an illustrator. 

Then I went through this weird Elizabethan collar phase. My characters started to get sweeter. I also started layering paint a bit more and started getting heavy into commercial work. 

And I guess that leads us here. To today. Where I continue to find what it is I need to be making. Below is a piece that in not quite finished, gouache and collage on paper. 

Here is my style advice: Make things you want to make and your style will find you. There's nothing worse than finding excellent illustrators wasting their talent on a style someone has already manifested. Be inspired, steal, and borrow but find what you have to offer. 

Signing out. Until next time, xoxo.

 

 

 

 

 

Happy January!

It's my favorite month! Only selfishly because it's my birthday this month. I'll be 92 at heart. 

This month I have excited things coming up that you can see or be part of. 

This Thursday, a fellow illustrator, Neil Yarnal and I, along with my studio mate, Sarah, will be hosting Denver's first Social Sketch. SS started in San Francisco, and we are opening up a chapter here in CO because we too, love community, sketching, and collaborating. If you're in town, head over the Laundry on Lawrence Building Thursday, Jan. 8, from 7-9 pm. If you're not local, check back for photos of the event, or check it out on our IG's > @rebeccagreenillustration, @neilyarnal, @flyokayillustration, #socialsketch. Here's the flyer for more info..

Also this month, Society of Illustrators is hosting the first part of their annual exhibition, which features work in the category of Advertising, Uncommissioned, and Institutional. Ol' BG (that's me) got a piece in the show, and am very honored and grateful. This is the first time I've gotten work in at the professional stage, aside from the student show which I participated in as a student. If you're in New York, stop by the Museum of American Illustration this Friday,  Jan 9. for the Opening Reception and have a beer for me, would you? The piece in the show is: 

The Sea Saw and So Did I, 24x36, Acrylic and Oil on Clayboard, 2014. 

Annnnnnnd this month I am busy working on an upcoming show that I am stoked about. MILDFIRE, opens Feb 21 at Svper Ordinary. I will be showing alongside the painter and tattoo extraordinaire, Sandi Calistro.  The show will feature all new work and is not one to be missed - according me anyway, but I'm biased. I want you to come so I can shake your hand and give you a beer! It will be great! An official flyer is coming soon but for now….

Time to PAINT. 

Holiday Happiness

This summer I had the opportunity to create a gift card for Meijer, which is a store in the Midwest. It's a store that I love, and I miss, now that I live very far away from one. It was kind of crazy making such a cozy holiday illustration in the heat of July, but that's the way the world works. They did a beautiful job printing it, and to keep the look of the painting, the card is printed with a matte coating. Here's the sketch, the final and the card!!

Warmest Wishes for your Holiday Season. I hope you find the time to cherish the day, be with people that lift you up, and find some magic in ordinary places.