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Whaaaaat, it's Friday already? Well, that week just flew by. I'm finishing final art for a middle grade book this week and am happily knee deep in pencils and pixels. And since it's Mother's Day this weekend, I made up a card that you can download and print.
(For personal use only, please)
By the by, Happy Mother's Day, Mom. Thanks for putting crayons in my hands, stories in my head and surviving (shudder) teenage me.
File under: things-you-draw-while-on-the-telephone.
I'm in the middle of deadlines at the moment, but popping in to say hello and to share:
* This review for The Glitter Trap
(by Barbara Brauner and James Iver Mattson, coming out May 14)
* And this review for Bella's Rules
(by Elissa Haden Guest, coming out May 16)
Both books were an absolute delight to illustrate and I'm thrilled to have worked with such wonderful authors. I'll post more about both titles coming up in the next week or two.
In the meantime, though, I think it's about time to power down this computer, clear off my desk and kick it into weekend mode. So happy Saturdays and Sundays and I'll see you on Monday.
I'm getting over the flu and itching to get outside. I have all things green on the brain, in particular vegetables. I'm going to try my hand at some container gardening this summer, which begs the question: anyone have any good recommendations for fruit or veggies that do well in pots?
Here's a detail from something I painted for the Annual Children’s Book Art Silent Auction
(which will be taking place during BookExpo in a few weeks). The auction this year features a tribute to Maurice Sendak and I chose to do a piece inspired by his book, Dear Mili.
And if you want to read more about all of that, you can mosey on over here.
The stars alined and I took a long weekend, heading south for my niece's First Communion. And because of/in spite of being A) grounded in Chicago overnight B) flying last minute standby to Memphis and C) avoiding tornados while driving from Tennessee to Arkansas, getting there was all the sweeter.
Now my sketchbook is full to bursting and I'm ready to hit the ground running, full of strawberry shortcake and bonhomie.
And I wasn't the only one sketching this weekend. I think that kiddo's going to put me out of a job in a couple years.
Lunchtime sketching. Hold the ketchup.
I could look at these all day -- it's amazing how much art you can fit on a one inch bit of paper.
And I have to wonder what envelopes these were once affixed to and the messages they carried inside. I hope they were postage for chatty six page letters, not utility bills.
Sketchbook snippets from the past seven days. And now, upwards and onwards to the weekend at hand.
I'm currently stalking Goodwill and Craigslist for a banjo, but no dice. I'll let you know if/when the happy day arrives.
I remember once hearing someone postulate the theory that memories were inheritable. And while there's some scientific basis to that, it's not quite as romantic as being born with an innate knowledge of jousting or waking up a harpsichord prodigy.
However, when my mother was in my studio this week she commented that the above looked like her grandfather. And it made me start wondering again about the delightful connectivity of it all.
"Really, Benoît, you are so slow," complained Léonie. "My grandmother walks faster than you and she
only has two legs!"
The centipede said nothing, but sighed deeply.
Happy Passover and Easter greetings, hope you all had swell weekends. I had a first rate brunch
out with friends on Saturday and Easter dinner with family was terrific. Also, hello sun and temperatures above 30 degrees. It's really Spring -- Huzzah!
On the illustration front, things have been humming along here. I can't believe it's a little over a month before the release of Bella's Rules
and The Glitter Trap
. More on both of these in the next few weeks, scout's honor.
Things I have liked lately:
* Swiss Chard: The Winter Farmer's markets had me trying some new (to me) vegetables and Swiss Chard was a pleasant surprise. Also, those colors are neat. In case you're curious, this
is what I made with them.
* Murdoch Mysteries
: Victorian era crime fighting in turn-of-the-century Toronto is my newest Netflix discovery. Delightful and not too devious, it's really entertaining. Also, there's an episode where Annie Oakley makes an appearance. This would have made my five-year-old self's head explode because I had a doll of self-same sharpshooter. Fact.
* I sewed this pattern
for Easter and am hooked on sewing more vintage pieces. I did have to make some heavy modifications to the bodice which almost derailed things. But, the dress got finished and I didn't even have to use scotch tape on the hem (just kidding, sort of). Random observation: slouching in dresses from this era is completely impossible. Score one for posture improvement!
* And more drawing/stitching is of course happening.
The internets have informed me that today is Flannery O'Connor's birthday. That being the fact, I pretty much had to draw her this afternoon.
And things I like lately: daffodils and Monarch of the Glen
. Both things are doing a bang up job at making me forget that it looks like a perpetual January in these here parts. So Old Man Winter, you can put that
in your pipe and smoke it.
It's Friday, so how's about a sketch dump? Random things I've doodled over the course of the past few days.
And of course, vive le weekend!
Art making with bits and pieces, things that were previously destined for the trash bin. I have Spring on the brain in case you couldn't tell. Mother Nature, however, is of an entirely different mindset...
Yes, I'm still infatuated with the old postcard book, making collages from its pages. It's a nice change of pace, messing around with a needle, thread, pencil and paper.
And I'm jonesing for new music. What's your favorite album as of late?
Reason #297 why you should carry a sketchbook with you everywhere: because you never known when your plain jane oil change will suddenly turn disastrous. And by disastrous I mean, your car is having a midlife crisis ($) and you'll be spending 2 1/2 hours (!) catering to its whims.
In non-automative news, I didn't know until today that a group of peacocks is known as an Ostentation. And if that isn't the most perfect name for a gathering of creatures, I don't know what is.
I saw the Samurai exhibit, "Lethal Beauty" at the Currier Museum of Art this week. It's definitely not the sort of show I would have pictured myself enjoying (guns! knives! mayhem!), but I walked out of the museum really inspired. The level of craftsmanship in a samurai's armor is just mind-boggling, an amazing example of the utilitarian becoming art.
And don't tell me you wouldn't run screaming if this guy
came hurtling towards you on a battle field.
Vintage postcard, embroidery, colored pencil, graphite and wanderlust.
A long weekend visiting my youngest sister in Los Angeles was just what the doctor ordered. We managed to pack a colossal amount into just a couple days, but some highlights:
* Andy Warhol (!) inside LACMA
and gourmet hot dogs
* Visiting the Reform School
store in Silverlake.
* Riding bikes along the beach in Santa Monica
* A Back to the Future
screening at the Silent Movie Theatre
, which would have been cool enough in its own right, but combined with Aziz Ansari's commentary, downright epic.
* Sunshine. Eighty degree temps. A renewed belief that Spring isn't just a figment of my imagination.
She showed up in my sketchbook today. I imagine she hates eating bread crusts, keeps a pet snail in a jam jar and believes (correctly) that the neighbors are really spies.
Here's a little something new: an embroidery pattern to download. It's a fun pattern and not overly complicated. I ended up adding in some extra stitches to give the background a little extra oomph on my version, so there's plenty of room for customization and experimentation.
And if you're not the embroidering sort, you can always transfer the pattern to cloth and trace along the lines with a fabric pen. In short, go crazy and do your thing.
Copyright, Abigail Halpin. For personal use only, please.
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Happy (early) Saint Patrick's Day - Éirinn go Brách!