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1. Miami Vice: Remix by Casey and Mahfood continues to be wilder than it has any reason to be

LionForge-MIAMI_VICE_REMIX_02_Cov.jpg

It’s almost quitting time here in EDT so let’s leave the week with something FUN for a change.

Why just do a comic book based on a classically of it time TV show when you can reinvent it as an acid trip that bends time and
space? And hooray for licensors who let you get away with it. Miami Vice: Remix by Joe Casey and Jim Mahfood is anything but a dull TV show comic…it’s an audacious tale on tropes and icons, and a gem in the Lion Forge line-up.

Last month, the TV classic Miami Vice came back in a whole new way with the neo-noir, ultraviolet, action-packed Miami Vice: Remix. The first issue left readers cliff-hanging but never fear — the next installment of car chases, palm trees, and mutation-inducing designer drugs is here!

When we last left Crockett and Tubbs (still Miami’s coolest cops) they were in a sticky situation with some South Florida zombies high on Miami Bath Salts. Now they’re in hot pursuit of the dealer of this horrific nose candy, which leads them to punching cracked-out monsters in the face while zooming through Florida Turnpike traffic. Just another day at the office! But while one situation explodes, another simmers; someone who’s got serious beef with our $600-suit-wearing-heroes claims that Crockett’s got a serious debt to pay — and they’re here to collect!

Writer Joe Casey (Godland, Wildcats, Adventures of Superman) and artist Jim Mahfood (Tank Girl, Ultimate Spider-Man, Grrl Scouts) take their off-the-wall trip to South Beach to the next level with another high-energy, neon-soaked installment, in-stores next Wednesday.

 

Issue #2
Pub Date: April 22, 2015
Item Code: FEB150372

Issue #3
Pub Date: May 13, 2015
Item Code: MAR150456

Issue #4
Pub Date: June 17, 2015
Item Code: APR150489
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LionForge-MVR2_Preview2.jpg

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LionForge-MVR2_Preview4.jpg

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2. San Francisco’s Cartoon Art Museum forced to find a new home

640px-Cartoon_Art_Museum.jpeg

“Cartoon Art Museum” by User:Tfinc – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

 

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This is sad but not surprising—given the insane rise in real estate prices in San Francisco, it was only a matter of time before the Cartoon Art Museum, which occupied a spacious and accessible spot near Market Street has been evicted so its space can be converted to something expensive and greedy. The museum will stay open until June 28th, and in a release they note that the move was not unexpected and they had already begun preparations, just like Cutter and Skywise.

While a LOT of people have tried to open a comics art museum in the US over the years—Mort Walker, Kevin Eastman, David Gabriel, MoCCA and more—the Cartoon Art Museum, which began as a home for historian Bill Blackbeard’s massive collection. It’s become a staple of the Bay Area’s cultural life with weekly events and classic exhibitions, under the guidance of manager Andrew Farago, executive Director Summerlea Kashar and Board chairman Ron Evans. The museum will last long enough to take part in the first San Francisco Comics Fest, before moving to temporary gallery space while it searched for a permanent home.

Maybe this is a chance for Apple, Google, Twitter, Uber and all those other billion dollar companies to actually show that they care about more than making a buck and sink a little tax free charity dollars into adding to the culture of the area they’ve colonized. Crazy dream, I know.

Following a notice to vacate, the Cartoon Art Museum will be closing its doors at 655 Mission Street on Sunday, June 28, 2015.  The museum, which recently celebrated its 30th anniversary, began preparing several months ago for a possible relocation and will now continue those efforts in search of temporary gallery space as well as a new long-term home.
 
“This is just another challenge in the life of the Cartoon Art Museum,” says Summerlea Kashar, the museum’s Executive Director. “And given San Francisco’s current commercial real estate market, it’s not very surprising.”
 
The Cartoon Art Museum is the only museum in the western United States dedicated to promoting a greater appreciation of cartoons, comics, animation, and illustration.  Through exhibitions, artist appearances, and community outreach programs, the museum demonstrates how cartoon art entertains, communicates diversity, and champions self-expression.  Thousands of young people have benefited from the museum’s programs and classes in creativity.
 
Over the past three decades, the museum has produced more than 180 exhibitions on topics ranging from politics and sports to children’s literature and Latino culture.  Among the hundreds of artists that have been featured are Kate Beaton, Mary Blair, Roz Chast, Robert Crumb, Dan DeCarlo, Will Eisner, Phil Frank, Dave Gibbons, Edward Gorey, Los Bros. Hernandez, Lynn Johnston, Chuck Jones, Jack Kirby, Keith Knight, Tom Meyer, Trina Robbins, Spain Rodriguez, John Romita, Stan Sakai, Dr. Seuss, Charles Schulz, Raina Telgemeier, Garry Trudeau, Morrie Turner, Mort Walker, Bill Watterson, and Wally Wood.
 
The Cartoon Art Museum remains open through late June with many programs slated for the next two months.  In May, the museum will take part in the inaugural San Francisco Comics Fest with an event celebrating San Francisco’s underground comix movement.  It will also play host to Comics 4 Comix, an evening of standup comedy, as well as the second annual Queer Comics Expo.  The museum’s final exhibition at 655 Mission Street will showcase original artwork from Jeffrey Brown’s popular series of Star Wars books, including Goodnight Darth Vader and the forthcoming release Darth Vader and Friends.

“We’re one of San Francisco’s most original educational institutions and a magnet for visitors from around the world,” says Board Chairman Ron Evans. “The staff and board are committed to maintaining the museum as a vital part of the city’s cultural fabric.  We welcome any and all support from those who would like to help us do so.”
 
For information on becoming a museum member, making a financial or in-kind donation, or enlisting as a corporate sponsor, please call 415-227-8666 x 313 or visitcartoonart.org/join-support <http://cartoonart.org/join-support/>.  Supporters are also encouraged to contribute to the Cartoon Art Museum’s capital campaign <http://cartoonart.org/join-support/cartoon-art-museums-future-relocation/> .

 

1 Comments on San Francisco’s Cartoon Art Museum forced to find a new home, last added: 4/17/2015
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3. 100 Great Children’s Picture Books by Martin Salisbury

100Martin Salisbury is a Professor of Illustration and course leader for Anglia Ruskin University’s MA in Children’s Book Illustration. To say he knows a thing or two about art in children’s books is something of an understatement. So back last Christmas, when I first heard rumours of his new book, 100 Great Children’s Picture Books, I knew it was going to be a 2015 highlight, a book that would open doors into new worlds, spark curiosity and… likely cause a run on my bank account.

Having enjoyed his past books (Illustrating Children’s Books, Play Pen: New Children’s Book Illustration and Children’s Picturebooks: The Art of Visual Storytelling, written in collaboration with Morag Styles), I knew Salisbury’s selection wouldn’t focus on books which you’d find on sale in supermarkets or filling the weekly Top 10 list in The Bookseller. But I also knew I would make lots of discoveries and that I’d be challenged (so many books and illustrators I perhaps hadn’t heard of before, so much art which I might wonder about how children would respond to rather than adults). I knew it would be an exciting book.

And indeed it is.

Salisbury has chosen 100 books from approximately the last 100 years, using a “luxuriously subjective approach... [with] rather un-academic, unscientific criteria, ultimately based on the ‘wow’ factor.” Whilst the curator of this collection acknowledges that “the successful picture book is about much more than good art and design“, his focus is illustration alone. These books have not been chosen because they work well as complete books, where the storytelling and the interplay between words and illustration is as important and finely honed as the artwork. Rather, they have been highlighted because Salisbury is passionate about the pictures.

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Gloriously international in its coverage, with books from Italy, France, Switzerland, Russia, Germany, Japan, China, Belgium as well as a large UK and US contingent, and with the added bonus of some historical contextualisation (the books are presented in chronological order so you can follow changes in printing techniques and the impact that’s had on illustration), this is a gourmet buffet for those with an adventurous palette. Even the inclusion of illustrators you’d place bets on having entries comes with surprises; Salisbury chooses books that are generally not the first associated with these big names. So Bemelman’s Hansi, and not Madeline is highlighted, Sendak’s The Moon Jumpers rather than Where The Wild Things Are, Velthuijs’s The Monster from Half-way to Nowhere rather than his Frog books.

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Some illustrators get two entries, whilst others you might anticipate being included are absent (Shaun Tan and Anthony Browne for example), but this doesn’t matter. The aim of this book is not the provision of a definitive list; this is not a best 100, but rather a more honest and subjective, more playful simply great 100. Alongside interior spreads from the book in question Salisbury explains his choice, flavoured with opinions (you can look for entries including “appalling” or “extraordinarily naive“, for example), often with a brief biography of the artist.

This is a book for making discoveries, brilliant for collectors, those with a passion for viewing or creating art, and anyone with an inquisitive mind. It isn’t really a book for parents wanting to find the next great book to read to their four year old however. Many of the books included are not available in English translation, some are out of print and extremely expensive to buy and Salisbury’s tastes are probably more avant-garde than most who don’t live and breathe children’s books. I would have preferred the more honest title “Art from 100 Great Children’s Picture Books”.

100inside3

But this is a minor quibble. 100 Great Children’s Picture Books, an intellectual and visual treat, does what every exceptional book does: it nurtures deeper engagement and sets you off on paths you didn’t previously know about but now want to follow.

3 Comments on 100 Great Children’s Picture Books by Martin Salisbury, last added: 4/13/2015
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4. WonderCon ’15: Recap, Impressions, Big move announcement.

Take a good look at the Anaheim Convention Center, It might be the last WonderCon sees of it.

Take a good look at the Anaheim Convention Center, It might be the last WonderCon sees of it.

By Nick Eskey

For the three years that WonderCon has been in the Anaheim convention center, I’ve been very fortunate to attend it. I say fortunate because compared to my local San Diego Comic Con, this one is much more relaxed. Replacing the large media influence and the sardine-cramped spaces, there is ease and Fandom. Easily one of the industry’s conventions that is more beloved by fans.

The convention itself is very well run, usually smooth-as-silk. A few hiccups that occurred this year were the downed elevators used for celebrity talent (which was of course not the fault of WonderCon) and the last minute change of entrances for badge pickup (my press email said Hall H, only to find out I had to go all the way back to A). I did like the addition of the turn-styles at the entrance of the fountain. This did add a redundancy in checking badges, but it kept the people who were passing out advertisements and postcards away from the main doors.

I can’t really say how long I walked the convention sales floor, I just know my feet got a workout. Artists, independent publishers, and exhibitors inhabit much of the booth spaces.
Though the right side is designated as Artist’s Alley, the far left also seemed like a secondary one, with people showing off their original comics or sketches for sale. Quite a few booths were also selling handmade “geekery” like cartoon-inspired dolls, 3D printed figures, and even tentacle kitty plushies. I spent most of my allotted money on art prints (and said tentacle kitty plush).

I really do wish there was more in the way of panels this year. Last year there were a few big movie announcements shown in the Arena area, but for this one it was all smaller panels on the 2nd and 3rd floors. This is where I think SDCC is far superior. It always has the big talent and over the top showings. It is still nice to have the “how to get into the industry” or documentary panels, but a dash of excitement here and there definitely would add considerably to the lineup.

The big announcement was of course that WonderCon would not be in Anaheim next year, but in LA. From what was told at the talkback panel on the last day of the convention, lack of availability surrounding that time period forced the hard decision on the board. As luck would have it, LA’s convention center had a cancellation, and welcomed WonderCon to fill the spot. We all might be a little spoiled in how the Anaheim convention center sits in between two large hotels, as well as being in walking distance to and from Disneyland Park, but isn’t that part of the fun?

LA does boast a collection of hotels and other attractions, but come on; Disneyland. DISNEYLAND!

I’ll still be heading to WonderCon 2016, believe you me. The convention survived it’s San Francisco birth, and flourished in its Anaheim move. Because of this, I am optimistic that it will become even better in this next move. After the explosion of SDCC, CCI has learned that they need to build on WonderCon piecemeal.

Who knows, 2017 might have the convention back in Anaheim. As of now, nothing is set in stone for the far future.

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5. What My Daughter Wore

I do not have a daughter of my own, but as soon as I saw this, I instantly fell in love. The illustrations come from a Brooklyn mother who drew (and also documents on her blog of the same name) what her tween daughter and her daughter's friends were wearing. The combined results are phenomenal. [...]

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6. easel endeavors...

these two cuties!

©the enchanted easel 2015
sweet little Lily, inspired by a recent trip to Longwood gardens and the breathtaking floral displays they have there. just gorgeous.


©the enchanted easel 2015
this little guy....a commission for a friend...and a returning customer (and we know how much i LOVE those!!). a boy, his frog...and perhaps a cookie can be found in there somewhere as well. his nickname was 'cookie' while laying so sweetly in his mama's belly. so, a cookie in the drawing/painting shall appear. i aim to please. :)

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7. Aline Kominsky-Crumb art will be on display at MoCCA

kominsky.jpg

In its last two years at the Lexington Armory, MoCCA Fest added a new and delightful element: a display of artwork from the Society of Illustrator’s legendary holdings. This year, with a new venue, they’re still planning an art display, this time of Special Guest Aline Kominsky-Crumb’s work; the exhibit opens April 11th at 11 am on the Gallery on the 2nd Floor at Center 548. Kominsky-Crumb will also be the subject of a spotlight panel April 11th at 2:00PM at The Matthews Room of The High Line Hotel at 180 Tenth Avenue and 20th Street.

Aline Kominsky-Crumb is one of the most significant artists to emerge from the underground comix movement of the 1960s and ’70s. She is a celebrated painter and cartoonist whose works have been collected in the graphic novel Need More Love.  Her collaborations with husband R. Crumb, have been published as Drawn Together: The Collected Works of R. & A. Crumb. One of the earliest women to distinguish herself in the world of underground comix, Kominsky-Crumb also served as contributor and editor of the seminal comics magazine Weirdo and contributed to the iconic titles Wimmen’s Comix, Twisted Sisters, and Dirty Laundry. Her work has been exhibited around the world.

Her first New York Gallery show opened in 2007 and was reviewed by Roberta Smith who wrote: “Her clenched, emphatic style echoes German Expressionist woodblock in its powerful contrasts of black and white, and her female faces — especially those of her thinly disguised surrogate, The Bunch, and her relatives — have a sometimes uncontainable fierceness. Consider ‘’The Bunch Her Baby and Grammaw Blabette,’’ of 1982, in which a monstrous rendering of the artist’s saw-toothed mother consumes the final four panels of the strip. (The Bunch’s name derives from HoneyBunch Kominsky, a character invented by her husband before they met.)”

Kominsky –Crumb’s latest show was a two-person show with her daughter Sophie Crumb and was also reviewed by Roberta Smith for The New York Times. Ms Smith wrote: “Ms. Kominsky-Crumb has been an artist since childhood. In the densely worked multimedia drawings here, she straddles the divide between high and low with an assurance, formal intelligence and lack of pretension that aligns her with David Bates, David Hockney, Marie Laurencin and Raoul Dufy, to name but a few. Inspiration seems to come from comics, caricature, German Expressionism and the “Real Housewives” franchise of cable television infamy.”

Art will be on display in the Gallery on the 2nd Floor at Center 548. The main exhibitor hall of the MoCCA Arts Festival will be open to the public on April 11 – 12th from 11:00AM to 6:00PM. Additional programming will take place nearby at The High Line Hotel at 180 Tenth Avenue. Tickets for the Festival are available to purchase online or at the door for a flat fee of $5 per day. Visit www.societyillustrators.org for more information.

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8. Pixel desert

Desert scene in a minimalistic pixel art style, for a Talk Retro site redesign.

Available as a high quality art print.

More images: MetinSeven.com.

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9. it's definitely been a "good" friday...

here at "the enchanted easel"! :)
akai kokeshi
©the enchanted easel 2014
this beauty from last year...SOLD!!!


this little email came through my inbox this afternoon and i was so humbled that i couldn't help but tear up. this week, i SOLD TWO ORIGINAL paintings...not commissions. seriously, humbled is an understatement. 

wishful companions
©the enchanted easel 2015
was really stunned when this SOLD earlier in the week....as i had NO intention of bidding this princess adieu. knowing she was going somewhere where she would be much loved, well that makes selling her even more bitter sweet.

{PRINTS SOLD HERE}

all in all, it's been a wonderful first week of April....and i am beyond grateful!

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10. Exciting FB post of the day from artist Tom Scioli

Dare I use Frank Miller Dark Knight Strikes Again 6×5 and 5×4 grids for Transformers vs GIJoe #7?

Posted by Thomas Scioli on Wednesday, April 1, 2015

April Fools? Or totally cools?

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11. Convention Recap and the Start of Ghoulish Bunny Studios

shawn_diana

With so many shows to prep, art to make and projects to work on, it has been a challenge to keep up with blogging. But I wanted to jump back in here and post a recap of all the shenanigans that has been going on with our business and the many things to expect from us in the future. So here goes:

Following a prosperous if somewhat grueling marathon run of Knott’s Berry Farm Holiday Village that took up all of December, Shawn and I took a much needed hiatus from the business for a couple weeks. We took a road trip to Denver to visit Shawn’s family. After we returned, it was back to prepping for the first show of the year, Salt Lake Comic Expo. This was a much smaller event in relation to Salt Lake City Comic Con in September but our sales were only down by a little. Still, we had fun, ate great food and made some new friends.

Long Beach Comic Expo, I will have to admit, was a bit disappointing. I always try to be open and honest about my experiences at various cons. Many times I hesitate to publicly talk about the shortcomings of a given Con and will debate with myself as to the best way to describe an unsuccessful show without bashing it. But because I strive to be more transparent about my experiences running an art business, I will go ahead and share my experience. Long Beach has always been a tough area for me to cultivate a following. I am not sure why that is. My first Comic Convention was Long Beach Comic Con. That was 3 years ago. While in most shows my sales and fan base expends every year, in LB it seems to stay at the beginning level of that very first show. Last years LBCE was surprisingly good for us and that gave me a glimmer of hope it would improve for many years to come. However, I think that the show expended too quickly, adding significantly more vendors without bringing the attendance that would justify that expansion.  Again, I can only speak from my own experience. Although I spoke to many friends at the show who also saw a significant drop in sales.

Sam from Trick or Treat

Spookshow at the Halloween Club in La Mirada 

Scary Carrie and MeThis was a fun, free one-day pop-up Halloween themed event that took place in the costume store parking lot. This has definitely become one of my favorites and I hope they continue to bring this show back every year. Despite the warm temperature that day, the turnout was pretty damn good and everyone was having a great time. Our sales were up from last year. It’s free for vendors with a $25 deposit that got returned to us a week later. The crowd was just really great and enthusiastic.

Emerald City Comic Con and Mosnterpalooza

Double show weekend for Shawn and I. I fly out to Seattle for ECCC, while Shawn tables at Monsterpalooza in Burbank. Like last year, this was one incredible weekend of sales for both of us. What can I say… Emerald City Comic Con is really great show for both vendors and attendees. The people Pacific Northwest seems to have a healthy appetite for unique and original art. Monsterpalooza is more of an industry show. It feels a lot more like a trade show that has evolved to include a healthy mixture of artists, writers and horror themed artisans.

Next Up: WonderCon in Anaheim. Dealers Table DSL- 10. Hope to See you there!

WonderCon floor map

And now for more great news:

Gloomy girl print1. You might have already heard, Shawn and I are changing the business name to “Ghoulish Bunny Studios”. This new business will include my artwork, plus Shawn’s writing and videos.

2. We are working on a picture book. Me illustrating and Shawn writing. We will be setting up a kickstarter for it.

3. More new art. I am trying really hard to finish work that I have started a while back. And I try to produce at least one new piece for each show.

4. We are phasing out certain products to make room for more. Many of the mini prints we offer will be retired so that we can make room for…

5. Sketchbooks. I already put my first one out this year. my next one will have more pages, more drawings and a better quality print.

6. Spooky stores from Shawn. He as been working on his writing and coming up with some great little short horror stories. We are going to put together a book of his work that will also include illustrations from me.

7. New website and online store “Ghoulish Bunny Studios” where you can shop directly from us. More products will be added, more artwork available and Shawn’s stories and videos.

So far this is as much as I can share at this time. We are always expending, changing and evolving. Thanks to everyone who has supported us over the years. We strive to produce quality work and products for our fiendish friends.Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

The post Convention Recap and the Start of Ghoulish Bunny Studios appeared first on Diana Levin Art.

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12. Progress

One of the earliest lessons of having a special-needs child was learning to recognize his progress not by comparing him to typically-developing children of the same age, but by comparing him to his own earlier self. I say ‘lesson’ and ‘learn’ but in truth this was something that happened naturally and almost instantaneously after his multiple diagnoses and the beginning of various therapies—physical, occupational, speech. As soon as I had an understanding of his developmental challenges, I was able to rejoice over each increment of progress, each small accomplishment along with the big ones. It was like my brain was wiped free of comparisons to other babies, including my first three, and all that existed was this baby, making these tremendous (even when tiny) strides.

That mental shift keeps popping into my mind lately as I keep working (and working and working) on drawing. Only here, it isn’t natural and instantaneous. Here, I have to keep relearning the lesson; some days I practically have to shout it at myself. The trouble, of course, is that I have so many friends who are spectacularly good artists. Years of training, years of dedication and work. Hundreds or thousands of pages of finished art under their belts. If I compare my drawings—or my slow progress—to them, I feel bleak. I don’t have it, that thing they have. Vision, natural talent, hand-eye coordination, vast knowledge of technique—you name it, I don’t have it. All I have is…earnestness. A belief that everyone can learn to draw, and that includes me. And this long-simmering desire to learn, kindled last fall into a full-boil determination.

So I keep reminding myself, baby artist, to compare myself to the even babier artist I was a few months ago. I remember when my son was finally able to climb up stairs on his own. He was well past a year old. He had motor planning issues, and we spent hours and hours over a period of several months, moving his limbs for him up stair by stair by stair. Hand, knee, hand, knee. Or was it hand, hand, knee, knee, I don’t remember now. Either way, it took so much practice. Until one day his brain figured it out. The pattern was learned. The pathways were formed. Soon after that we could hardly remember what it was like before he learned to climb stairs. We had to scramble to help him learn how to climb down.

Stair by stair, I’m making progress. For every ten drawings I hate, I make one that I like. But I like looking at the bad ones, too, because I know that the fact that I can see what’s wrong with them is another sign of my progress. My eye is improving along with my hand. (“Your taste is killer. Your taste is why your work disappoints you.”)

Today I looked at something I’d done, a couple of quick, surreptitious gesture sketches of some women in a meeting, and realized I’d attempted people—in complex postures, no less—without even thinking about it. Six months ago, I wouldn’t have done that. It’s nice to know I’ve made it up a stair or two.

IMG_8355

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13. Black and White Ink

cait chock jeans black and white drawing
Black and White Ink

Shadows speaking louder than words.
Night and day lose meaning.
Whispers in the grey.
Hinting a secret.

White. Arresting.
A look.
A crease. A fold.

Casting sweet envelope
for emotion.


Black and white drawing first shared on my Instagram page HERE.

To order a print of this piece, or inquire for other commissions, send an email to: cait@caitchock.com

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14. that amazingly bittersweet feeling you get....

"wishful companions"
acrylic on canvas 11x14
©the enchanted easel 2015
SOLD!!!
when you sell an ORIGINAL painting....and, it's one you weren't even intending on parting with. (sniff, sniff)

{looks like the fairest of them all will be going to a much loved new home....and i am completely humbled, as always.}

PRINTS of her royal highness can be found HERE!

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15. owl, birds, tree, flowers....

turner's initial pantings
©the enchanted easel 2015
oh, and some initials too. ;)

{these three custom paintings are on the easel this week....and,  just about DONE! if you would like something special created for your little one, please contact me through my website and i will surely accommodate you. i "heart" custom work.}

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16. Spring Tulip Fairies


Working to incorporate the patterns I have so much fun drawing into fairy dress design. With spring upon us too, tulips and little weed flowers inspire me.

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New Originals On Etsy

Tomorrow I'm listing these cute original watercolor pixies for sale in my Etsy shop. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to see the exact time they'll be going up!


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17. tuesday night tree painting.....

©the enchanted easel 2015
one (of three) custom paintings on the easel this week for a little boy's nursery.

{one owl. two birds. one tree. lots of flowers...and lots of cuteness. :)}

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18. Getting Ready for Taiwan: Art Pack


I'm leaving for Taiwan in the morning! I’m pretty much all packed, ready to go, and have even shopped for, and prepared, a dozen meals for my husband to eat while I’m gone.  In other words, just put me on the plane. 

It seems like I’ve been getting ready for this trip for months, concentrating mainly on choosing and gathering the right art supplies. My dithering had a lot to do with the fact that I’ve never been a big fan of plein airsketching or painting. Past experiences of trying to sketch outdoors usually include me being (in no particular order): too hot, too cold, too thirsty, hungry, under attack from various evil insects, struggling to keep my paper flat and dirt-free from a wind that never stops blowing, and then by the time I've got everything under control I desperately need to find the restroom. I’m hoping this trip will be different, or at least teach me some better survival skills. 

Another big factor in choosing my supplies is they had to fit in my travel purse without being too heavy or bulky. So what I've narrowed the kit down to is:
  • A Stillman and Birn Epsilon 6"x 8” sketchbook. After weeks of experimenting with various papers, this seemed to be the very best book for both dry and wet media, as well as giving me plenty of pages for journaling. The paper has a lovely smooth finish and suits me well.
  • A large striped rubber band to keep my sketchbook closed and the pages protected from all the other stuff in my purse (and the wind once I'm outside). This one is from Smash products and has a nice jaunty flair, don't you think?
  • A zippered pencil case to carry:
  • 1 Caran d’Ache techno B pencil.
  • 1 Caran d’Ache watersoluble graphite B pencil.
  • 1 mechanical Bic pencil with rubber grip and extra leads inside the pencil.
  • 1 Caran d’Ache red watercolor pencil.
  • 6 Faber and Castell watercolor Art Grip pencils (yellow, blue, brown, violet, and 2 greens because I couldn’t decide which green I liked best).
  • 1 waterbrush--this one has a large-size tip, but a short handle, perfect for packing.
  • 1 black gel pen (from my favorite coffee store: Moon’s Tea and Coffee here in ABQ).
  • 1 Uniball BLX Siglo pen in green ink (for journaling).
  • 1 glue stick (for collaging).
  • 1 double pencil sharpener.
  • 1 kneaded eraser.
And that’s it! I figure if there’s anything else I’ll need, I can purchase it there, but I think this should cover all possibilities and sudden inspirations. Thanks for visiting; see you in a couple of weeks!

Tip of the Day:  Travel light--it's so easy to be tempted into carrying an entire art studio's worth of supplies for a day of sketching or even writing. In the last few weeks as part of my travel-prep I've been sketching with a black ballpoint pen--and I loved the results. Sometimes simple really can be better.

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19. More Sketches...



www.leglessmermaid.com

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20. are we in ultimate control of our own artistic impulses?

In just a few hours, I'll be on the Bryn Mawr campus with my dear friend Cynthia Reeves and her students to talk about Handling the Truth, Flow, the empathetic imagination, the past and the present and—well—I have far too much planned for the hour and twenty minutes we have, but I guess that is who I have become. Persistent. Insistent. Still wrecked and unreasonable with the impossibility of it all.

But this one One Thing Stolen thing before I go. The novel, due out shortly, is, as I have written here on Huffington Post, about a neurodegenerative disease—about the slow peeling away of my Nadia's language and historical self. Nadia, in One Thing Stolen, becomes trapped in a cycle of art making. She cannot stop herself.

A few weeks ago, Taylor Norman, a young and wondrously talented editor at Chronicle Books, took the time to send me this true story of a former lawyer whose traumatic brain injury resulted in the emergence of an unexpected artistic talent. This is art arising from injury and not disease. But it is, in so many ways, a story that yields insights into Nadia and into the question: Are we are in ultimate control over our artistic leanings, aesthetics, impulses? Can we definitively source the many ways that story, color, and shape erupt in us?

I would wager that we aren't, and that we can't.

From the story that Taylor sent that first appeared in the NY Daily News:

Doctors diagnosed Fagerberg with a traumatic brain injury. He suffered memory loss and had problems with processing language.

The accident ended his legal career. To cope, he turned to art therapy - and suddenly realized that he had a particular gift for painting.

"A little trigger went off and I became hooked. It became a compulsion," Fagerberg told KHOU, adding: "I see everything sort of in composition, so everywhere I look it's a painting."

The whole story, and a video, can be found here.


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21. How to Craft Decorative Comic Book Wood Letters

Feeling crafty? The Shabby DIY YouTube channel has created a video on how to “Make Comic Book Wrapped Wood Letters.” If you want to make this decorative project, watch the video tutorial embedded above. To add more comic book flair to your home, check out these links for tutorials on how to construct a Superman-themed shovel, an Avengers-themed bookshelf, and a cardboard Baby Groot statue.

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22. Kickwatch: please consider supporting Elf by Songgu Kwon, a crazy comic about fantasy gaming

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33 hours, $4000 — you people need to do this.

Songgu Kwon is a former Xeric grant winner for Blanche the Baby Killer. He currently works in the animation business doing things like character designs for Metalocalypse. I daresay, he draws like a melon farmer. Gorgeous stuff.

He also has a long running webcomic called Elf that takes on RPG tropes in a weird and wacky way.

Imaging Knights of the Dinner Table drawn by Cliff Chiang. Sort of.

Anyway he has a kickstarter for acollected edition that needs only $4000 dollars in 33 hours. A little about it.

Elf is a fantasy web comic that I started in 2012 as a fun project that I could develop little by little, uploading just one page a week.  

It began as a series of short vignettes centered around an archetypical Tolkienesque elf character and her talking wombat sidekick, Clarence.  A rather strange fellow named Pieter would soon join them.

Clarence is no ordinary wombat.  He’s really of a subspecies I like to call… the Greater Wombat!

The initial strips were conceived with very little planning.  I wanted to poke fun at and pay homage to the high fantasy genre as represented in countless books, films, video games, and my own experiences playing table top RPGs in the days of my youth.





In a nutshell, Elf is a story about a warrior called Blackfeather, who just wants to hang out with her pals, help others, and have adventures.  This simple goal comes with many obstacles as deadly perils as well as the elf’s own past crash into her path.

 
I think the art speaks for itself.

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Let’s do this people!

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23. Bear Picture Book drawings...

A stack of recent drawings for the picture book that I've been working on over the winter. More color images coming soon.


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24. Gallery Nucleus Presents Children’s Book Illustrator Adam Rex

From the book that inspired the movie H​OME,​ creator of T​he True Meaning of Smekday,​ Artist Adam Rex will be flying in for his solo exhibition as well as the artist panel for The Art of Home.

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25. Spring Headdresses

A page in my sketchbook I'm proud of. There are many times I wished all the pages in my sketchbook were this full. I'm praying this is the light of something new. :)


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