“What does he plant who plants a tree?
He plants the friend of sun and sky;
He plants the flag of breezes free;
The shaft of beauty, towering high;
He plants a home to heaven anigh
For song and mother-croon of bird
In hushed and happy twilight heard -
The treble of heaven’s harmony
These things he plants who plants a tree.”
- Henry Cuyler Bunner, The Heart of the Tree
An old one, but topic relevant nonetheless. If I wasn't so busy prepping for next weekend's holiday arts & crafts fair I would do a new piece for this. Maybe I'll have a chance to sketch something...
The dream of Maria Angeles, a child from Almussafes, Spain. One of many children's dreams collected by Roger Omar.Casein paint on sugar paper 40cm x 41cm. Click to enlarge.
My Self has been shelved.Ink and watercolour A4 size. Click to enlarge.
Last night was spent working on the study of the tree again. I think I've worked out the solution to all the green on green - enough contrasts in light/dark, saturation, value... there are such nuances to deal with. I thought my hills were pretty much done, but now I realize that once I get the trees in there, there'll be some adjusting of surrounding colors to do and possibly some texturizing that I like from the study.
|Again, hard to get accurate color with a flash at night -|
I've got to try it with the flash off
I'm hoping to start work on it tonight while it's all fresh in the memory. However, I spent the day at the park with the kids (all day...without sunscreen), and now I'm really tired. There's something about spending time in the sun that just drains all energy from you. Hopefully, I'll get a second wind.
The search for truth began in 1956.Watercolour,gouache,ink. A4 size. Click to enlarge.
This morning's warm up sketch. I found this creature in a piece of wood on a walk yesterday.
I've been working on a couple of different things lately. I've stepped back into the chef panel, doing a little here and a little there. I put in a layer of color on the architectural elements and started the grape leaves creeping across the top. I added a couple of minor veggies and filled in the purple grape at the bottom.
My challenge here was the splash. I originally started using cerulean blue and was horrified - blech! Switching to ultramarine was much better...but, wait a minute! I didn't try pthalo. Might have to try that tomorrow.
Another thing I started was a study of a tree - the type of tree that will go in panels 1 and 2. This is especially challenging because it's a truck load of green, green, and more green. I have 3 different greens in the hillside and another 3 (or more) greens that make up the tree. I'm having to find ways to create contrast, even though in the reference pictures that I'm using, it does blend together at times. I need to work on it a bit and work out the kinks.
|Not very accurate color, but wanted to share |
what I have so far
I think I have a studio guest at night. I'm not sure, but I think it might be this guy:
I've heard him rustling around here and there. I suppose we can share the space for now...so long as he doesn't start using my paints.
I partook of The Enchanted Kettle and before I knew it I had delivered a fresh Moon to the Hawaiians. Unfortunately the islands were abandoned: the inhabitants had been severely traumatised by reading Tales Told to Polish Children.
Several queer and lowly creatures carried my brushes away.Watercolour, gouache and biro. A4 size. Click to enlarge.
There’s a lot of leaping and jumping around here! Just a little drawing for Illustration Friday’s prompt “Jump”.
Some thoughts from the tenth of March:
- A national security crisis occurs when the President can't sit down.
- When will they permit inter-species marriage?
- Ducks utter pithy maxims all the time, but no one's translated them.
- Seeds buried with due dignity.
- The end is nigh.
- Bottom half: Some sort of race
Pen and ink. A4 size. Click to enlarge.
Last month the good people at the Montana Skatepark Association invited me to create work on a skate deck for their annual fundraising gallery show called ON DECK 7.
The money raised will go towards construction and maintenance of Missoula’s MOBASH skatepark. The art decks will be displayed on May 4th, at the Brink Gallery in Missoula, MT where they will also begin the silent/online auction. So lookout for that come May! Visit the MSA website for more information.
Anything that keeps us active and off the streets is A-OK with me!
I was super psyched to be given the opportunity to create work on a skate deck since I’ve never worked on a surface like this before. Prior to receiving the skate deck I had a few ideas in mind but nothing sounded as fun as creating a tree house and possibly a place where Animal Chin lives! (Special thanks to the BF, for telling me the Legend of Animal Chin.)
Here’s the fun process of finding Animal Chins House:
Step 1: I started out with a quick sketch of the tree and a faint mapping of where I’d like to see the leaves.
Step 2: I painted a thin layer of gesso on top of the sketch.
Step 3: Laid out some color for the grass and painted layer of green as an underpainting for the tree.
Step 4: Started to lay in some actual color for the tree trunk..There goes my boss…micromanaging.
Step 5: Once I got the trunk texture down, I worked on the house, and added a thin layer of gesso on the stairs for later.
Step 6: I started to work on the stairs, and the little look out point on the middle left making sure to use a slightly different wood tones for the stairs so the tree and wood wouldn’t blend.
Step 7: I was really planning to keep the natural wood exposed for the finish but it was looking too brown and very monochromatic. (Boo.) So I placed some contact paper on the tree hou
In the same vein as this spread from 2009
|Current Work in Progress|
I've reached a new and exciting milestone on my path to actually being more of a participant in the art field! I've finally had some work made into giclee prints that I hope to be able to sell! In fact, I will go and pick them up today! Can't wait to post them...
Anyway, while I was going through what I had to choose from, a couple of issues came to mind. One was that illustration doesn't just fit in any house, so my selections were limited. Of course,most of my work would probably work best in a child's room. The other thing was that, upon closer inspection, many of the things I had considered "done" really weren't up to the "DONE and ready to present to people" level.
As a result, I started to consider some redo's on some of my favorites. I'll post some of these upgrades as they happen starting with this one:
|Original "doodle" from the sketchbook|
Actually, the original of this one had been a doodle and nothing I would have thought to be portfolio worthy. I guess I always new that if this drawing were to go anywhere, it would be redone - the doodle was just a "brainstorm." But, redoing this one sparked an idea to make a series of it - all 4 seasons that I would release as a print on the first day of that season.
More from the Japanese Gardens. These are great to play around with limited color palettes.
A tree found in my favorite park on campus. From my sketchbook.
I sprayed some of my owl stencils on really thin Chinese painting practice paper to see how they would paste to things. I found that I really liked them on smooth trees because they completely adhere to the surface in a way that looks natural. In fact from a distance it looks like someone carved the image into the tree. I think I might got for a new line of natural looking wheatpasted images on “wild” surfaces.
Went on a vacation to Miami recently and did some snorkeling and sketching at a place called Black Rock. The name just appealed to the Pirates of the Caribbean fan in me. But it was the visiting sea turtles that really made my day!
Playing around with designs for an ex libris
for J.Carraway.Pen and ink with watercolour 25cm x 12cm. Click to enlarge.
I spoke about those memories of Grandma, as opposed to Granny, who was Dad’s mother. Have to keep those straight, you know. I’d like to talk more about my maternal grandmother for one more day.
She was a tiny lady, who loved to shop when she had the opportunity. By the time I knew her she was already in her sixties and had triumphed over many obstacles and trials during her life. She had the soul of an artist, of a healer, and of a naturalist. Bundled within the diminutive frame resided a wicked sense of humor and a passion for professional wrestling.
Of course, the weekly broadcast of wrestling took precedence only when Perry Mason or Oral Roberts were not.
Her faith kept her going, I think, through all the lean years. In short, she was indomitable. What I learned from Grandma was reinforced by my own mother. She reflected many of her mother’s traits and strengths.
I will admit that oddities abounded around the little woman. Two massive native persimmon trees kept sentinel at the rear of her yard. In the spring, beneath those trees, grew mushrooms, morels to be exact. Those wrinkled beauties returned each year, spring and fall.
“Fall?” you ask. “Yes,” I reply. Morels aren’t known for appearing in the autumn, but hers did. The brilliant yellow buttercups would act as backdrop for them in the spring and the hickory nut bounty would accompany them in the fall. Sort of a two-fer event for the equinoxes.
She also had a passion for flowers and plants. Zinnias were her favorite annual, and she worked for years to develop a pure white zinnia. She didn’t get her project finished before she died. The ten thousand dollar prize must have gone to someone else, because not too many years ago such a flower was introduced to the public.
Grandma wanted a blue rose, as well, long before they were bred. My grandfather couldn’t find one for her and so settled for a favorite fruit tree instead. He brought her home a larger sapling peach tree. The first year it produced peaches, we were taken to see the tree. There, sprouting from the base of the tree was a blue rose; not a pale purple one, but a blue one.
At least that’s the memory of I have that event. She was ecstatic with her “miracle.” I can’t remember any other time seeing her that happy. Something precious had been validated for her that day, having to do with that rose. The rest of the adults seemed more stunned than ecstatic.
Grandma was one of those people who believed in all things being possible within nature. She could be staid, practical to a fault sometimes, and definitely opinionated, but for her things were always possible if she believed strongly enough.
She had her rules to live by and taught them with quiet modeling. If we were lucky, we got to learn those rules and emulate them within our own lives. That’s quite an accomplishment for anyone on this earth, I think.
Day Two at the Sanatorium and still no change.Pencil with watercolour 18cm x 19cm. Click to enlarge.