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. 

There are Colors in my Head: A Print Extravaganza

This fall, I was invited to collaborate with a sweet little print shop around the corner from my studio called Banshee Press.  The owners/printers, Ava and Britt, collaborated with five local artists to create three prints each: A large 2/3 color letterpress print, and two smaller single color letterpress prints, each one in an edition of 25.

The prints will be available for sale at the show, and will also be available for purchase online through Banshee's site. 

Here are my smaller pieces! 

Girl in a Patterned Blouse, 8x10" single color letterpress, hand detailed with colored pencil, gouache, and gold acrylic. Edition of 25, signed and numbered. $45 ea. 

PRINTGirlws.jpg

A Boy and his Cephalopod, 8x10" single color letterpress, hand detailed with colored pencil and gold acrylic. Edition of 25, signed and numbered. $45 ea. 

I will share the large print with you on Friday! If you're in Denver, I hope to see you at the opening - as there is going to be some serious talent there. 

xoxo

Writing Fast Ruby

Here is a piece I worked on this Fall, called Writing Fast Ruby. I created it for Erik Michaels-Ober who used the illustrations in a presentation at Tech Conferences, this specific presentation being on Ruby, the computer programming language. 

This was an interesting project, as I was originally clueless about computer programming. I still am clueless, but now when I think of programming, I'll be thinking of a little red head surrounded by lots of friends who come out of the forest to write code. 

Here are some sketches and some of the finals combined. 

 Happy Saturday my cherubs!

Royal Mail

Let me just say one thing. Receiving a large bag of Royal Mail all the way from Great Britain, on a morning when you're not feeling particularly magical, is almost as astounding as what it might feel like to get your Hogwarts letter in the mail. This was my morning. 

Nothing is Royal in America! Who can I talk to at the USPS about getting bags that are magic? Please let me know. 

In this bag, was something even more exciting, even more royal: Fresh, crisp, beautifully bound Little Women books from The Folio Society. From the box that it came in to the tissue paper that covered these beauties…it was like a ceremony when Mori and I opened them. 

It feels like Christmas this morning. If you would like to order your own copy of Little Women, you can do so here

Thank you again to The Folio Society for the opportunity, and for the brilliant and royal gift.

 

Hortense and The Leaf Bug

This month while juggling commercial and gallery work, I found some time to squeeze in a project, one my friend Toby would call, SoulCraft.

Let me back up. 

I want to make props and small things for stop motion films, and am still trying to figure out how that realistically fits into my life. This summer at ICON, I got to have coffee with a former artist who worked for Laika (who produced Coraline, ParaNorman, and the latest Boxtrolls). It was incredibly inspiring and as soon as I came home I started planning a little scene. It went through a number of changes, but in the end, I chose to base the theme on science. And while doing so, I dreamed up about a dozen different scientists working in their labs or fields. This is the first, called Hortense and The Leaf Bug, and she comes complete with her own poem, as botanists should. 

By nature and for nature
Hortense studied plants. 
She was a bright young botanist, 
With brown eyes that enchant. 

A thumb was never greener
Nor an eye so sharply keen
To examine all the flora
Not half the world had seen. 

Microscopes and old field notes
Beakers burst with growth
Brimming stacks of plant presses
Sealed Hortense’s oath. 

A nameless plant, unclassified
She devotionally sought.
To find rare life and give it life
To catch what wasn’t caught. 

Her discoveries, she would find
Were those already found.
Some other botanist triumphed,
Now sitting, smiling, crowned. 

Traditional plant taxonomy 
Hard to articulate, 
Words like Lacrosoma Goopulus
And Finnitrungulate.

Glorypsum Matatooshodom
Quental Floridome
Raznapapa Guzenfilme
Trandoopus Rectisome

The words were all ridiculous
So Hortense planned a plan: 
To name a plant after her dog
Whose name was simply, Stan.

One night she found a little leaf 
On a stick inside her lab.
It hadn’t been collected,
It wasn’t organized or tabbed. 

Upon closer inspection
The leaf looked rare indeed. 
It had a lump upon it’s point
She couldn’t pin it’s breed. 

Could this be the very day
Her dreams would blossom true?
She opened up her notebook 
And her hand, it fiercely flew. 

An oval leaf patterned with veins, 
And a knot with two dark spots.
Two shoots protruded from the tip
Of the pointed little knot. 

Strange that this plant should have
Not just one stem, but six. 
And they all seemed bent in unison, 
each one resembled sticks. 

‘It’s Stan!’ she thought, ecstatically,
‘I’ve classified a plant!’
It seems that entomology 
had missed her by a slant. 

To report her new discovery, 
She phoned The Institute, 
But the woman on the other end
Laughed into a dispute. 

This specimen you’ve got on hand
Is not a plant but thief.
It’s stolen the identity  
Of a green and veiny leaf. 

Hortense was rightly mortified, 
Ambition caused her blind. 
She’d been so focused on her plants
No room for bugs in mind. 

She looked upon the leaf bug, 
Who didn’t have a name.
“I’ll still name you Stan,” she said, 
And so her triumph came.


instruments

The instruments were made from from doll house fish bowls and kitchen containers. I don't know how to make my own glass. Yet. The tray is a copper plumbing piece, and the beakers are cut from a hairspray bottle tube. The beaker holders were found at a salvage place. The microscope is made of a super glue cap, nails, weird hanging devices, and a couple of old earrings I cut up and repurposed. The little jars are tubing with gold tacks, and the instrument in the back is a bulb sitting on a lightbulb end, which was rusted and painted gold. 

The plants! The cactus is made from clay and actual wire pieces which makes it very prickly. The queen anne's lace is made from some weird cotton bally thing I had, paint, and the leaves are cut paper. The pink plant is made from a stick and clay, and painted in acrylic and is sitting in a copper plumbing piece. In the back is a wooden vase with paper leaves. 

Botanical Posters! The one on the left is fashioned with toothpicks and string. They are both done in acrylic. 

I got to use my skills from Mr. Dorman's 9th grade biology class here (which I LOVED) and I made a teeny drawing of plant cells. But this leaf is not a plant! So these cells would be organic. None of this matters.  Ok. The book was made from paper and cardboard and the little pencil is made from a carved match and tinfoil and acrylic paint. 

Hortense is made from grey firm sculpey and painted in acrylic. Her body is made from tin foil, tape, and fabric - I know - super professional. I am still figuring out how to sew clothes, so I did the best I could with the shirt, and my dear mother sewed the lab coat because she's a genius AND a sweetheart. 

My next goal is to figure out better armatures and learn how to sew on a small scale. It'd be great to animate these but I have to figure out how to actually make the puppet stable. 

Here you can see the size of Hortense. You can probably also see that I hadn't showered and had hardly slept that week. The piece was all set on some old metal tins and drawers I had laying around. It was a shotty set up and I knocked over things multiple times. I do dream of actually working in a studio someday with secured sets and puppets that don't fall over. *sigh*

I would love to get to these projects more often - it's been a whole year since my last little set. Ah well. Dreams. SoulCrafts. We need them. If I can find the time, more scientists will be coming your way. 

<3

 

Little Women

This year I had the opportunity to illustrate the classic, Little Women, written by Louisa May Alcott. Published by The Folio Society in London, this book is a hard cover edition bound in buckram cloth and blocked with gold foil on the cover. It includes one frontispiece and nine interior full color illustrations. It's quite a beauty, and I am beyond grateful to Sheri Gee, and the team at Folio Society for trusting me with such a project. You can buy the book here and see more illustrations here.

All images copyright through The Folio Society. 

Little Women  was also chosen as the Holiday advertisement that The Folio Society created for the most recent issue of the New Yorker which is extremely exciting. If you read the New Yorker today, you might have see this! They have so many brilliant books available and would make amazing gifts for readers of all ages. 

FolioSocietyAd.jpg

Many thanks to you for reading, and a huge thank you to The Folio Society for an incredible project. 



TONIGHT

If you are in Denver, there is an opening at Helikon Gallery, called Muses of Mount Helikon II. It's one of the coolest shows I have been part of, and I am so happy to be showing alongside some seriously incredible artists. 


I have three pieces in the show - two paintings and a 3-D piece! I will post more on the 3d piece soon, with some progress shots and such. If you come to the show, you can see the image, along with some of the props for the shot! 

Here is a little more about the show! And here is a little interview I did with them!

Hope to see you there!!

 

 

 

 

WE ARE FEVER

This Friday if you are in Denver, come down to Love Gallery on Colfax and check out the show, 'We Are Fever', featuring the work of Tina Lugo, Tom Bond, and myself.

One of the pieces I finished for the show is called, 'The Sea Saw and So Did I'. It's 24x36, Acrylic and Oil on Clayboard. A small edition of the prints will be available at the show, and online afterwards as well. 

Hope to see you there!


ALSO. The FLOW 2015 Diary is out into the world, and though I haven't had time to take good photos of it, I did have the time to make a little video about it for Flow. A huge thanks to Matt who shot and helped me edit the video. The man's a damn genius. Anyway, hope you like it! To check out more about the diary, visit Flow! 

BACK TO WORK FOOLS.

FLOW DIARY

GUYS! A dream project came my way early this year and it just got released! I was invited by Flow Magazine to illustrate their 2015 Diary, including full pages, patterns, spots, and all of the typography in the book.  They gave me so much freedom to paint what I wanted, keeping within the theme of 'English Manor'.  Here is the sketch and the planning phase for the project.

Here are the finished images. The first block of the bunnies is a click through gallery, and the rest of the images show some larger pages and patterns in the book.


Flowcakews.jpg

Yay! I need to take some photos of the actual book and I will do that soon. I just got so excited to share. 

PRINTS

Guys!! The time has COME!

I have been mentioning larger prints for over a century and the time has come. 

Check out my new little page where you can see what paintings and prints are available! This is one of the originals listed on the page and available through Lafontsee Gallery.

I've got a handful of paintings available so I will try and post them within the next couple of days! 

New Scientist

Hooray! I worked on this piece last week and it's out today: New Scientist Magazine, for the article, "Trippy Tots: How to see the world as a baby". Now this piece wasn't to be printed that large, but for some hair brained reason, I thought - yeah I'll do that like 12x16" - way bigger than I needed to. Bigger means more time. Anyway. It was going smooth until I had to repaint the girl's face like eight times and it was two in the morning and everyone was sleeping but me. I almost had a meltdown. Those are the truths of illustrating.

Here is the sketch and the final!

The good thing is, my sanity was saved when my scanning guy gave me a couple more hours. And all was well. I had a pancake. I had some coffee. And then I set back to work because that's what you do. 

READING

This past Spring I did an illustration for posters to be handed out to independent bookstores for Penguin Random House in Spain! It was such a fun project and the client was so flexible and willing to let me give the illustration my personal style. Here are the two options I gave them along with the final and details. 

penguinreadingposter1.jpg
penguinreadingposter2.jpg

YAY!! Happy Wednesday, August the 13, 2014 (The only date of this kind you'll ever see in your lifetime). Enjoy it! 

 

WORK / PLAY

This last month has been eye opening for me. Matt, Mori and I packed up our car and headed to Portland to meet up with Greg Oberle- who attended the ICON conference with me. We saw some pretty incredible illustrators talk about their work, their lives, their projects. I met Carson Ellis and almost fainted and she was so genuine. The theme for this year's conference was work + play. Emphasis was placed on playing - really experimenting, having fun, finding that flow - you know, where you can't remember if you ate lunch or not because you were so into what you were doing. 

icon8
Greg, Mori, and I walking Forest Park. Yes, Greg really is that tall. Photo by Burt Raspberry (aka Matt)

Greg, Mori, and I walking Forest Park. Yes, Greg really is that tall. Photo by Burt Raspberry (aka Matt)

This year has been a busy one for me. So much work for everyone else, that I almost forgot why I was doing it. I almost forgot that I have control of my images. That I need to find time to play. To make mistakes. To try new materials. I always feel guilty when I'm making work that might not result in pay - as I have bills, but that work, that self satisfying, just for you and no one else work - that's the whole reason I'm doing what I'm doing today. 

So - it's my new goal to take a day a week - or a half day a week to just play. I've started planning a new 3-d set of illustrations to work on (woohoo!! I'm so excited!!) and I'm taking more time to get OUT of my studio to uh, I don't know, actually talk to people's faces instead of their screen names, to draw from life and not from google,  and to actually be part of a society and not a recluse who only talks to her dog. This week, I've succeeded. 

Here are some sketches from the Denver Nature & Science Museum!

And then this one: which is not from the museum but something I drew in a hotel one night.

The good thing about drawing from life is that it gives you all the tools you need to turn those drawings into something not from life. I used my sketches for a children's book I'm working on, in which one of the pages has many animals. The book is called 'I Am Special, I Am Me', written my Josie Monahan, and will be out this fall/winter! 

YAY! Alright alright. I've got to go get some work done. Some play done? Same thing, right?

SHOWS

HI Friends! I have a couple of upcoming events to share with you.

This week in Melbourne, I will be part of the Scribble Diary show! There's over 140 artists and we all did a piece based off of one of Lisa Currie's scribble sheets! 

Woohoo! Also this month, I am doing the Denver Handmade Homemade Market here in Denver June 28! It's been a while since I've done a market, and I'm feeling a little rusty, but if you're in Denver, you should stop by and say hello! I will be selling prints, cards, postcards and a couple of original paintings. 

Woohoo again! Ok - back to work - lots to do this week and month and year and life.

GIRL

Hi! 

I haven't been good at keeping up with this blog, and quite frankly, I'm not even sure if anyone is reading. EITHER WAY - I will share some news. 

This coming week, Framed Ewe and Palabra Pop Up Gallery are hosting a two person show at the Union at the Biltmore in Phoenix, AZ and you can see the work of Mikey Jackson and myself! Should be a sweet show, go check it out, and have a drink for me!

GIRL

In other news, I just finished a (totally adorable - can I say that?) paperdoll for Flow Magazine and her name is Aster and she is a raccoon that has a very neat occupation. You can cut her out and dress her up by purchasing the upcoming Book for Paper Lovers from Flow. 


I'll share more work as it comes out, but for now, I have a helluva lot to finish today to get these paintings out to Phoenix!

xoxo