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It's March? It's March!
Something from my sketchbook, before the weekend commences.
"It was not the prospect of the Last Day which depressed him but rather the prospect of living through an ordinary Wednesday morning." -- Walker Percy, The Last Gentleman
(Gouache, pencil, thread. A photo of my maternal grandfather served as reference and the tie is woven onto the card.)
Right now: I'm currently bouncing between projects and deadlines, taking this class
and shoveling a completely inappropriate amount of snow. And you?
Also locals: you should go to Lil's
, then walk through the connecting door to RiverRun
. You can thank me later.
I've been fiddling with this print for weeks, in between projects. I modeled the fig tree on one that's in my studio. I bought it this past fall, blissfully unaware that it had contracted fig rust at some point in its journey to the grocery store. Within a few weeks, all of the leaves had given up the ghost and one by one, made their way to the trash bin. I babied the tree, trying all sorts of remedies but the defoliation continued until it stood completely leafless.
They say the only thing you can do after fig rust is wait, so I did. I thought about pitching the fig tree but I'm cheap and paradoxically sentimental, so it's been sitting in a corner most of the winter. But within the past week, almost four months on, there's a one inch leaf starting to poke up from an offshoot. The rest of the plant is covered in green buds and nothing's gone mottled and yellow yet (fingers crossed).
So huzzah for hopeless causes and fig trees and finished illustrations.
Here's a little something for you to celebrate February 14 with: some print-your-own valentines. They should adequately assist your in proclaiming your affection for classmates, significant others and charming mysterious strangers.
Print, cut, disseminate at will. And a hint: I bet they'd be nifty with some glitter.
For personal use only, © Abigail Halpin.
Today's the release day for the second installment in the "Oh My Godmother series," The Magic Mistake
! Written by Barbara Brauner and James Iver Mattson
and illustrated by me, The Magic Mistake
was a real treat to work on. It's not every day that you get to draw a snarky fairy godmother with cat-eye glasses*, you know? And thanks to the nice people at Disney, especially editor Catherine Onder and Whitney Manger for the top notch art direction.
*Fun fact: Katarina's specs are modeled after a vintage pair my Aunt Polly gave me for Christmas a few years ago. Additional fun fact: The Magic Mistake is dedicated to the aforementioned aunt (who's pretty great, by the by).
I visited the Museum of Fine Arts
on Sunday. It was a pretty great day because A) I got to see room after room after room of the most stunningly gorgeous work that mankind has produced B) I took the bus (take that, Boston traffic).
Highlights? The "Holland on Paper
" exhibit is amazing (and ends this month), the Catalonian Chapel Gallery was breathtaking and the Audubon show is A+, five stars.
Nice work feet. High five for lasting a solid six hours. I owe you one.
When I get cabin fever, I either move furniture around or redesign my website. Three guesses what I did this week (and the first two don't count). You can see more, here
Some end of day Sherlock sketching.
And speaking of Spoonflower, I updated the sidebar so you can find my designs over there, if you're so inclined.
At the moment:
* And am working on book sketches, a Valentine's printable and avoiding contact with the polar vortex outside my door.
They sure don't make 'em like they used to, no siree.
And if you're eagle-eyed, you can spot this little illustration in the newest issue of Uppercase Magazine (which is a mighty fine publication, by the by).
Satsumas were on sale at the grocery store, so I bought a few. And for the rest of the week, orange hues kept popping up everywhere.
And in non-orange related matters, I'm putting together a FAQ post about illustration (in general) and digital workflows (specifically). If there's anything you'd like me to touch on in said post, feel free to holler at me in the comments!
I just started watching "Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries
," which inevitably means drawing the eponymous Miss Fisher. Aside from the historical glosses (ahem, pants) Phryne's a cracker jack detective, DI Robinson is an A+ straight man and I'm pretty sure Dot and I would be BFF's in another lifetime.
And before I forget, the second installment in the Oh My Godmother series, The Magic Mistake
is out in a few weeks! Speaking of which, if you're in the mood to win a signed, hardcover copy of said book, I'd get a move on over to Goodreads
for a giveaway, ASAP.
Hello 2014, I'm so glad to make your acquaintance.
The holidays were swell. 2013 was great. But now that January's here, I'm itching to get going on the new year at hand.
I've been mulling over the next twelve months, making notes about projects to tackle and places to go. And I've been making resolutions. So far, I've tasked myself with reading 25 books and sewing a pair of blue jeans. I'm planning to visit Los Angeles, Washington, D.C and (fingers crossed) Québec. And I'm quite sure I need to pitch a tent this summer and shun electricity for a couple days.
Also, I'm planning to draw. And draw. And draw some more. I want to finish a book dummy, screenprint fabric and and burn through all the pages in my brand new sketchbook.
So in short, here's to twenty fourteen. Wishing you loads of luck in your fledgling adventures and hopeful goals.
Hope you're all having top notch holidays. Things have been delightful here, chiefly because there's been a large dose of family, snow and more baked goods than I will ever publicly admit to having consumed.
Speaking of which, here's the carrot cake I made for Christmas dinner.
I'm sitting here finishing the last straggly bits of '13 work, but I've already gotten into the chocolate chip cookies and the Rat Pack
are crooning seasonal standards from the other room. Which basically means that it's time for me to engage in some seasonal frivolity. But before I pop off, Happy (belated) Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, peace and joy to you and yours.
I just finished sewing up tea towels last night, Christmas gifts for family. I'm ridiculously happy with the way the colors printed and the fabric has a nice heft. Dishes everywhere, you have been warned.
I'm going to do another print run of these after the holidays and will have a batch up in the shop in the new year.
While hunting for papers last week, I ran across several small watercolors I painted last year and forgot about. All total, there's four pieces (one 4 x 6, the others 5 x 7), all graphite and watercolor on bristol board. I like them, but I'm trying to pare down here and am quite certain they'd be better off in a good home, rather than tucked away in a filing cabinet.
I'll be posting everything tomorrow on Etsy
by noon (hopefully, that'll work for people on both the East and West coast). I'm making post office trips both Thursday and Friday, so if you're shopping for Christmas, this should get to you just under the wire. And if you have any questions about expedited shipping, logistics, etc., feel free to shoot me a line
And now back to our regularly scheduled programming.
If you follow me on Instagram
, you've already seen the start of this. A few more minutes with a paintbrush and ink this morning and this was the end result.
And while we're on the subject of house plants, my tomatoes are finally
turning red. All good things do, in fact, come to those who wait. And wait (and wait).
Here's a free gift tag download for you! Consider this a "thank you" for reading, commenting and being generally nifty -- I hope you like 'em.
Fine print: you'll need a PDF reader to open these. Before printing, I recommend fiddling with your printer settings so that it's at its highest output quality (especially if you choose to run these on card stock). Feel free to print as many as you like for your own, non-commercial use.
A sketch of the Snowmaiden for your Wednesday. And if you aren't familiar with the folktale, grab a tissue first, then go read
Also, I'm putting the finishing touches on a gift tag printable, so check back Friday for that!
One more rock that I finished painting last week. And with that, I'm off to visit family and indulge in pumpkin pie. To those of you stateside, Happy Thanksgiving! I'll catch you next week, the start of (gasp) December.
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And thanks to all who braved the cold and came out to Open Studios this weekend! It was great meeting and talking with all of you and I had a terrific time. If you were interested in fabric, I updated my Spoonflower shop: over here.