|©the enchanted easel 2015|
|©the enchanted easel 2015|
|©the enchanted easel 2015|
I meant to have a new blog post in January, but after doing Knott’s and going to see family, I was a bit worn out to be honest. But that is neither here nor there, I have a few shows coming up soon, plus working on new art along with commissions. Without further ado, let us begin with some shows.
Long Beach Comic Expo is coming up on February 28 and March 1st at the Long Beach Convention Center. I love doing show and hope to see everyone there.
Then it is off to do the 3rd Annual Spook Show on March 7th at the Halloween Club in La Mirada. I did this show last year and had a blast; great music, horror, and food.Finally I will be ending March with two big shows. First up is Monsterpalooza on March 27th-29th at the Marriott Burbank Hotel and Convention Center. Well I won’t be there, but Shawn will be there representing me. So please stop by and say hello to him.And the reason I won’t be there is because I shall be going to Emerald City Comicon on March 27th-29th for my second year at the Washington State Convention Center. I had an amazing time last year and can’t wait to go back, maybe this time I will get a chance to look around. Now for a quick look at a new piece I have of a dark fairy with wings and horns. She playfully sits on a stone block in front of a doorway. Is she here to stop you from entering or to entice you to your doom? Available as a print at my store.That is it for now, I am off to pack up for the shows. Take care and keep creating.
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Last year the Society of Illustrators added a medal competition for comics arts, parallel to those they have long given out for illustration. And here are the 2015 winners.
While the judges weren’t revealed, The judges, chaired by Steven Guarnaccis and R. Sikoryak, are a prestigious let, . A complete list of artists selected for each category can be seen here. Gold and Silver medals are presented to work which display “high-quality technique, a strong narrative, and an interesting composition.” Winning works will be shown at two exhibitions, divided by categories. An Opening Reception and Awards Presentation for all medal winners will take place on Friday, June 19th beginning at 6PM at the Society of Illustrators.
Some of the other selected artists who’ll be at the MoCCA Festical April 11-12 include Alexandra Beguez, Rodger Binyone, Sam Bosma, Mike Dawson, Maelle Doliveux, Pat Dorian, C. M. Duffy, Hayley Gold, Peter and Maria Hoey, Keren Katz, Greg Kletsel, Kim Ku, Patrick Kyle, Nick Offerman, Maritsa Patrinos, David Plunkert, A. T. Pratt, and Jess Worby. MoCCA Fest will be held this year at Center 548 in Manhattan.
Short Form, Digital Media and Special Format: June 16 – July 18
Short Form: A Gold Medal is awarded to Bianca Gagnarelli for Fish (Nobrow).
Special Format: A Gold Medal goes to Rodger Binyone for Subterranean Level: 6XZ03188V.
Long Form, Single Image and Comic Strip: July 21 – August 15
Long Form: A Gold Medal is awarded to Olivier Schrauwen for Arsène Schrauwen (Fantagraphics).
Comic Strip: A Gold Medal goes to Maëlle Doliveux for Little Nemo in Between Slumberland (Locust Moon). Silver Medals go to Fran Krause for Deep Dark Fears and TomTomorrow for Captain Kirk vs. the Internet.Display Comments Add a Comment
The gallery will feature artwork displays, working artists on the premises, and a retail shop. Harry L. Katz has come on board as the curator for the SDCAG.
CEO Ted Adams gave this statement in the press release: “We’ve been expanding rapidly, and simply have run out of room. At the same time, we’ve been looking for a space that more accurately reflects who we are as a company. When we started talking with the NTC, it became evident immediately that this would be a perfect fit. And with the gallery, we’re going to be able to show the community, and the world, just who IDW is.”Add a Comment
Post by Jeanine
The Month of Love is a weekly art challenge started by illustrator Kristina Carroll. Every week in February, there’s a new challenge related to the subject of “Love”. Participating artists respond by creating a new piece and posting throughout the week. There’s an impressive roster of core artists, but the challenges are also open to anyone who wants to submit a piece by posting to Tumblr with the hashtag #monthoflove. The month is coming to an end and there’s some fabulous work up on the site, including the three images below, by Kristina Carroll, Lee Moyer, and Michael Marsicano.
Be sure to check it out and follow along at monthofloveart.com. Much of the work is available as prints through Society6 and you can also see the past two years’ worth of challenges and art here. Also, keep an eye out in October for another monthly challenge called Month of Fear.
ERT ERT ERT! So awesome. In the spirit of his amazing Nitnit trilogy, Charles Burns sums up the joy of TCAF and comics with a creepy/fun image.
SO there.Add a Comment
It’s not often you come away from an awards show thinking “Man those title cards were amazing!” but that’s exactly what I thought while watching the Oscars on Sunday. Everything about the graphics used to introduce the nominees was spot on — from the gorgeously curated objects used for the Production Design nominees to the lovely photos morphing into line drawings used for the in memoriam.
I wasn’t alone in my admiration. And Deadline has a profile of the man behind it: commercial director and Oscar design vet Henry Hobson who is about to make his feature film directing debut. Hobson worked with a variety of talented producers and production houses to introduce a bracingly modern and startlingly stylish look too something that people see for literally five seconds.
Those title cards showing the 3D elements of the visual effects category? The makeup swipes that transformed the actors to their characters? The Best Picture montage from Birdman‘s silhouette fluttering away to the voting ballot from Selma that turned from white to black? It was Hobson, visual producer Lee Lodge and design/production house Elastic who brought it all to life. (How lucky is Maggie‘s financier Lotus Entertainment and its distribs Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions to be able to tap Hobson’s talent for the film’s marketing materials?)
Hobson is quick to give credit all around. “The charge from (producers) Craig (Zadan) and Neil (Meron) was to make each category stand out and as much as possible and not to rely on clips because the audience gets turned off after awhile,” he said. “This year, I wanted to mix it up a bit, so I worked with Elastic for the first time. We had 23 out of 24 categories this year, and we wanted to showcase the uniqueness of each event.” He worked closely with Jennifer Sofio Hall, a producer at Elastic.
Hobson also worked with production designer Derek McLane with Hobson, Lodge and Elastic to recreate the Edmond Pettus bridge set where Common and John Legend sang “Glory,” which had almost everyone watching it in tears.
Here’s a video montage of Hobson’s designs for the title cards for the eight Best Picture nominees. Call it post Saul Bass/Milton Glaser.
Hobson has gotten a ton of attention for his work, including a fascintating interview on Slate where he reveals he such an Alan turing fan that he had reserved alanturing.com back in the 90s.
Sadly I can’t find any large images of his title cards, but you can get an idea of his fusion of classic and modern design sensibilities.
Hobson’s first film, Maggie, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Abigail Breslin, comes out in the Spring. While the casting may make you think it’s a “Professional” riff, t’s an offbeat zombie story about a father who stays by the side of a girl who’s been infected. Pretty sure it will look amazing.
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Gabrielle Bell is having an art sale on most of the July Diary that makes up jher book Truth is Fragmentary. Pages are a reasonable $100, shipping included. Bell is having the sale as a fundraiser, and while it’s neat to be able to get original art by a great cartoonist for next to nothing, it’s also telling that a cartoonist of Bell’s stature still has to sell art to makes ends meet. NYC, you’re bumming me out in a supreme fashion.
Bell also posted a new comic visible in the link.Add a Comment
©the enchanted easel 2015
Hi folks, this is my February series on Golden Advice. I like to spend the month of February digging into the wisdom that has come my way, and that guides my art, my craft and my life. I find having some wise stuff in the soul helps me write stories with purpose. This week's thoughts are my musings on Francis Bacon's essay "Of Boldness."
Francis Bacon was a philosopher and scientist who lived from the late 1500s to early 1600s. He's the guy that came up with the scientific method. His thoughts of methodology came onto my radar when I was college. I was so moved by his thinking that I read all of his essays and bits and pieces of his thoughts wove into the fabric of my life. One of his essays, "Of Boldness," resonated. And now for my musing.
Here I put some of his thoughts into the plain English. The heart of boldness is action. The only downside of boldness, humans are generally part genius and part stoopid. This makes boldness a tricky thing. If you are standing on a foundation of ignorance and/or "never going to happen," boldness is worthless. It will get you in trouble. You boldly make a promise and then, heck, you can not really pull it together. Then you end up reneging on that promise after failing shamefully. What artist hasn't had this day?
One true thing is that perfectly bold people refuse to admit they have bitten off something bigger than they can chew and instead brush over their failure and then turn in a different direction. It's a wonder to behold such bold people. Boldness is often ridiculous. Here is the plain truth: great boldness always comes with some extreme absurdity.
|©the enchanted easel 2015|
On Twitter, Kim asked if I had any advice for a family getting started with sketching and art journaling. Did I ever! I’ve Storified the conversation, if you’d like to see how it unfolded, but I’ll recap it here as well.
— Kim (@ttfhim) February 17, 2015
My replies below, expanded a bit. Points #6 and 7 are the most important.
1) Koosje Koene’s Draw Tip Tuesday videos. She also offers classes in drawing and art journaling. (Here’s a post I wrote about her videos in November.)
2) Sign up for a free two-week trial at Creativebug and take Dawn Devries Sokol’s Art Journaling class and Lisa Congdon’s Basic Line Drawing. I wrote about how much Lisa’s class inspired me in my “Learning in Public” post.
3) A bunch of books to inspire you: Lynda Barry’s wonderful Syllabus; Danny Gregory’s new Art Before Breakfast (it’s a delight; I’ll be reviewing it soon) and the much-beloved The Creative License; the Illustration School series; the “20 Ways to Draw a…” series; Claire Walker Leslie’s Keeping a Nature Journal; the Usborne “I Can Draw” series. And a few more recommendations in this older post.
5) Cathy Johnson videos. Rilla loves Cathy’s art and her gentle delivery.
6) Most importantly! Really just dive in and do it—if you do it, the kids will follow. Mine truly love to see me working & playing in my sketchbook. Actually, Rose was just commenting on it today, before this Twitter conversation occurred. She said she has really enjoyed watching me start from scratch (so to speak) and work at learning to draw. They all seem to love to see me trying, making mistakes, learning, improving. My progress excites them almost as much as it does me.
7) The REALLY most important piece of advice I can give: Allow plenty of TIME and room for mess. Many parents say “I want my kids to be creative” but can’t tolerate mess. Art is messy. Creativity is messy. You need space to leave work out and return to it. Supplies in easy reach. And big spans of time for messing around, staring into space, doodling, doing things that look unproductive. I can’t emphasize enough how important this is to any creative process. Time and room.
When I’m writing a novel, my most intense work happens while I look like I’m doing nothing at all. Sitting and staring blankly, chewing my nails, or filling an entire page with tiny lines and spirals. This is my body getting out of the way so my brain can get down to the real work of creating.
And for the visual arts, these totally tactile pursuits, you’ve got to have a place to spread out your paints, your pencils, your small objects that make you itch to draw. You know what’s nice and tidy and doesn’t clutter a room? A cellphone. If you want them to spend less time staring at screens (I’m not knocking screens here, you know I love me some screen time), you’ve got to grant them some real estate.
With that in mind, I make a point of keeping art supplies in easy reach. We have a dedicated kitchen drawer for placemats, paper, paint supplies so even the youngest kids can help themselves. Jars of colored pencils & crayons on table, a sharpener on the kitchen counter, a stack of art books on the shelf nearby. I want them to have constant free access to art materials. It’s also a good idea to keep a bag packed for outings. I described ours in this old GeekMom post.
8) And what materials do I recommend? For littles: good paper, cheap paints. I elaborated on my reasons in this post from several years back:
When my older kids were little, I read lots and lots about the benefits of providing children with really high quality art supplies. In some cases, I still agree: Prismacolor colored pencils are worlds better than your drugstore variety. The lead is so creamy and blendable. They’re expensive but they last a long time—we’re on our second set of 72 colors in over ten years.
But watercolors? Real watercolor paper makes a huge difference, but it’s expensive; that’s one reason I was so taken with Jenn’s idea to cut it into smaller, postcard-sized pieces. But when it comes to the paints themselves, well, I’ve been the high-quality route, absorbed the persuasive literature that talks about rich pigments and translucent hues; bought the pricey tubes of red, yellow, blue; collected jars for mixing colors; watched my children squeeze out too much paint and gleefully swirl it into an expensive puddle of mud-colored glop.
Lesson learned. The 99 cent Roseart or Crayola sets work just fine. In fact, dare I say I think my preschoolers like them better? Mixing colors is fun, but there is nothing quite so appealing as that bright rainbow of pretty paint ovals all in a row. When Wonderboy and Rilla make a mess of their paints, Jane cleans them up with a rag and they’re practically good as new.
For older kids—and for yourself!—my advice is to skip the student-grade watercolors and go right to artist quality. More expensive but the difference is immense. You can use the money you saved buying cheap paints for the preschoolers.
We’re still addicted to Prismacolor pencils—no other brand will do for me. And I like Micron pens for line drawing. The ink is waterfast so you can paint over it (like my pumpkins in yesterday’s post). I also picked up a few gel pens—white, silver, and gold—and Rilla has had unbelievable amounts of fun with them. I love the white one for writing on a dark surface, like on the tag of my pencil pouch here.
The sketchbook I just filled up was a Canson Mixed Media, 7×10 spiral bound. The size worked really well for me. I also have a small Moleskine journal with watercolor paper, but it feels so special I find myself hesitant to use it and reaching for the mixed media book instead. (I’ve just started a new one, same as the one I filled up.) That’s my real playground, the place I’m not afraid to (in the words of my personal hero, Ms. Frizzle) “Take chances and make mistakes!” But I’m getting braver every day and the lovely paper in that Moleskine is calling to me.
I’ve also found I love doing my first rough sketches with a brown watercolor pencil, very lightly. I go over it with ink afterward and then, when I paint, the pencil just blends in and becomes shadow. I don’t sketch this way every time, but for some reason it seems to free me up. I’m more daring with this pencil. It takes me to a confident place between graphite pencil—with its sometimes overly tempting eraser—and straight-to-ink, which is sometimes exhilarating and sometimes terrifying. The brown Aquarelle feels like my co-conspirator. I don’t know how else to describe it. I have even starting making some first tentative stabs at portrait drawing, thanks to this pencil. (I tried a selfie-a-day project for a week. None of them looked much like me, but this attempt on day seven could maybe be a cousin?)
Guys, I still feel so shy about posting my drawings! I mean, I have so many friends who make their livings as illustrators—heck, one of them even just won the Caldecott! (GO DAN! SO THRILLED!) Do you know how nerve-wracking it is to know pros are looking at your rookie work? Of course you do. Because what I’ve learned is everyone feels that way. Even my most brilliant artist friends look at some other person’s work and sigh wistfully, wishing they’d made that piece. I’ve seen it happen time and again. So bit by bit I’m getting brave enough to share my baby steps.
9) Okay, so you have your lovely sketchbook and drawing implements, now what to draw?? Well, I guarantee Koosje Koene’s videos mentioned above will keep you and the kids busy for a good long while. There’s also this wonderful Everyday Matters Challenge list at Danny Gregory’s blog. 328 suggestions, so you’re just about good through 2016. And Kortney tipped me off to this most excellent Lynda Barry post (in Rilla’s words, I simply adore her) about keeping a visual diary.
10) And a last tidbit I almost forgot: A most beloved activity here (especially for Rilla and me) is to listen to audiobooks while sketching. Many of my happiest hours have been spent this way. We’re especially fond of Roald Dahl while drawing. Nobody brings on the whimsy like Dahl.
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Remember those pumpkins I said might be ripe in time for Christmas? More like Valentine’s Day. We gave most of them away to a neighbor (who thanked us with pumpkin bread, so we came out ahead) but kept a couple to perpetuate the cycle. We’ll ignore these and let Nature do her thing, and maybe we’ll have some seeds sprouting earlier in the season this time around. In the meantime, I’m enjoying the jarring contrast of spring flowers and fall harvest.
Spotted two tiny caterpillars on the milkweed! Sadly, however, we also found a withered monarch chrysalis hanging on the fence with a pinprick hole in it. It looks like we’re raising caterpillars for something’s lunch. Not cool, Nature. Monarchs have enough to contend with these days.Add a Comment
1. Leaving the house early yesterday morning, I spotted a pair of goldfinches feasting on the seeds of my basil—yes, another herb I forgot to pinch back, and now I’m glad
2. Pink milk and candy hearts
3. Saturday night ritual: art time with Rilla while the older girls watch TV with Scott (after the early-to-bed boys have conked out). This week, we binged on Cathy Johnson videos. Oh, I just love her, murmurs my girl.
4. Weeded the front-yard flower beds. Began, at any rate, and made good headway. After I mowed the other day, I discovered just how much is in bloom. Nasturtiums, coreopsis, sweet alyssum, snapdragons, viola, milkweed…Ellie said it’s okay to talk about my flowers, hope you don’t mind.
5. Set up a new palette and spent a good while testing colors with Rilla.
6. This one’s a Big Happy: today I finished the last empty page in my very first complete sketchbook. I started it on August 30. Have drawn or painted almost every day since (even if only for a few minutes). Feeling pretty chuffed.Add a Comment
The Long Beach Comic Expo February 28-March 1st and just announced a great line-up of guests, which you can see below. They also released the cover of the program guide by Travis Hanson, creator of the Eisner nominated story The Bean. It’s a nice mash-up of some creator owned icons.
“What makes Long Beach Comic Con so much fun is it’s dedication to Creator-owned properties as well as mainstream icons,” he told The Beat. “So when asked to create the cover for this years spring show, I felt that I needed to showcase a couple of creator-owned characters, demonstrating that comics cover not just superheroes but fascinating stories of Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Supernatural, Horror, and everyday life. Showing that it is important, like these creators demonstrate that there are still many stories out there that need to be told. I am grateful for the shows out there, like LBCC, that are dedicated to both indy and mainstream storytelling.”
(Incidentally, Hanson’s kickstarter for volume 4 of The Bean was just funded in less than 24 hours.
Long Beach has announced its guest line-up including Guests of Honor Chris Claremont and Ethan van Sciver; Special guests Arthur Adams and Rachel and Terry Dodson, and some other guesty guests:
• Cecil Castellucci, the young adult novelist (TIN STAR) and writer of the influential YA graphic novel THE PLAIN JANES;
• Steve Ellis, the artist of the young adult webcomic THE ONLY LIVING BOY and MAGIC THE GATHERING cards;
• The Four Horsemen Studio, influential toy designers of Mattel’s Masters of the Universe, The Dark Knight, Harry Potter, DC Universe Classics and Man of Steel toy lines, among others.
• Stan Sakai, the writer/ artist of the award winning USAGI YOJIMBO graphic novels;
• Greg Weisman, acclaimed animation writer and producer (GARGOYLES; YOUNG JUSTICE) and author of the fan favorite RAIN OF GHOSTS YA novels;
• Brian Wood, writer of the influential graphic novels DEMO and THE NEW YORK FOUR.
And programming, which once again spotlights ALL levels of comics and entertainment, not just the obvious blockbusters.
* One-on-one creator spotlight panels with Chris Claremont, Sandy King Carpenter, Gerry Conway, Katie Cook, Terry & Rachel Dodson, Stan Sakai, Richard Starkings and Ethan Van Sciver hosted by EAT GEEK PLAY.
* Publisher panels hosted by Jesse Snider, including the 40th anniversary of X-men celebration, Lion Forge & IDW Publishing Presents Miami Vice: Remix, and much more.
* Panels for Buffy The Vampire Slayer Comics and Star Wars Rebels: Kanan the Last Padawan comics.
* The Dawn of the Rise of the Devastator: Funny Books for Humans panel, with writers from Cracked, CollegeHumor, Funny or Die, The Meltdown and The Onion.
* #MakeComics workshops where aspiring writers and artists and fans can learn the entire process of making comics from comic book greats all weekend long. Topics include How to Build a Portfolio, Breaking Into Comics, Writing and Marketing.
* The first ever Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity event with keynote speaker Reginald Hudlin.
* Amazing animation panels: DISNEY AFTERNOON, GARGOYLES, GI JOE, and YOUNG JUSTICE, featuring major voice actors.
* Major media panels including Rotten Tomatoes and Screen Junkie’s Honest Trailers & Movie Fights
* A special screening of the upcoming Magnet Releasing film THE DEAD LANDS.
* GeekFest Film Fest films at Long Beach Comic Expo, the only Los Angeles area venue to host the full slate of programming for the world’s 1st traveling film fest of “geek” films.
* The Dollar Baby Film Festival.
* The comic book convention premiere of the SHE MAKES COMICS documentary.
* Publishing panels devoted to YA & crime novelists.
* Kids programming including How To Draw My Little Pony.
* Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company, will commence its celebration of 10 years of the groundbreaking Graphix imprint and participate in a panel with acclaimed cartoonists Jennifer L. Holm and James Burks and other creators.
* A Saturday night Cosplay Contest and Cosplay panels.
I’m especially psyched for the winner of the inaugural Dwayne McDuffie Award to be announced because—disclosure—I was on the judging panel.
Long Beach is one of the nicest settings for a friendly, intimate con on the West Coast, and this is shaping up to be a fun one.
Macgregor from HIGH MOON copyright 2007-2015 Bottled Lightning LLC.
Usagi Yojimbo copyright 2015 Stan Sakai.
Herobear copyright 2015 Mike Kunkel.
The Bean copyright 2015 Travis Hanson.
Midnight Tiger copyright 2015 Ray-Anthony Height.
Mary from The Massive copyright 2015 Brian Wood.
It's striking, in all of my reading the fairy lives in this 'in-between' place. Most would say "I have never seen one, but I believe they have a place on this earth.". I'm paraphrasing of course, but that's the gist.
Interesting. There are definitely those who believe in them, and those that do not, but most fall in the middle. The history of fairies is also of that, they are in the middle. Neither heavenly, nor demonic, just either stuck or thrown out and left to hide.
|Lady of the Forest|
What does it take to create a book sculpture? In a presentation delivered at TEDYouth 2014 (embedded above), artist Brian Dettmer talks about the creative process to transform old encyclopedias into modern art pieces.
To work on his projects, Dettmer keeps a supply of X-Acto knives, tweezers and surgical devices in his tool box. He makes it his mission to discover and develop new meanings for each book.
Here’s more from the TED blog: “Like a DJ, he remixes the knowledge found inside. Like an archeologist, he excavates the potential of their wisdom. He believes that the book will never die, but will and must adapt to hold its place in the new digital information age.”Add a Comment
What do Ezra Jack Keats, Sylvia Plath, Stephen King, Richard Avedon, Truman Capote, Robert McClosky, and Andy Warhol have in common, besides being incredibly creative? Ding. Time’s up. Each won a Scholastic Art & Writing Award when they were in their teens. Of this experience Richard Avedon, among others, said winning was “the defining moment […]Add a Comment
It's a bit chilly in South Florida, 48 degrees Fahrenheit. I fully admit that I am a whimp when it comes to any temperature lower than 60. But, today is Valentine's Day and there is warmth in our hearts.
I hope you enjoy these two little snuggly muskrats. My inspiration for creating them was the Captain and Tennille recording of Muskrat Love, written by Willis Alan Ramsey way back in the 1970's. Happy Valentine's day to Susie and Sam !