Tuesday, November 20, 2012

My Little Chickadee

actual size


  One of my facebook friends, Mary Anne Lloyd, organized a silent art auction to help raise funds for Casco Bay High School, a public expiditionary learning school in Portland, MaineMary Anne is also a cool illustrator who, among other things, is a keen observer of felines and turns cats into characters I particularly adore.  www.maryannelloyd.com  She asked me to contribute if I had time and sent me a tiny wooden ornament. Well, who could resist?

  For 26 tiny pieces of art they raised a record amount of $1500 which goes directly to their expeditions, which are kind of like learning adventures. Here is the school's facebook page about the event where you can see all of the artists' pieces along with some photos of the presentation. 

  This is smaller than probably anything I have worked on for some time. (height: 3 3/4 ").  Pencil and gouache, sprayed with several coats of fixative. The wood is a good quality birch, with a darker stain on the edge.

 I've just ordered more ornaments and may be able to offer them for sale for the holidays. I hope I can do a few more.  
 Addendum: Looks like I'm too busy with other work this month to make any more of these, but I will have a head start for next year! 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Grounded Witch and The Other Side

A  rough sketch... hope to finish it for next year!

A  2- sided paper mache' and cardboard box I created for an auction event several years ago. Not great photos; I wish they were a bit less fuzzy, but I had fun doing this and would love to make more 3-d stuff someday. On this not- so -happy day after Halloween I am thinking of those that are struggling on the east coast with the aftereffects of the storm and hope that they will all come out on the other side. Some I have not even heard from.  My heart is with them.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Fish at Work

  An eel that lets a cleaner wrasse clean its teeth, a blind pIstol shrimp that teams up with a goby for its "seeing-eye dog" ... I  never realized that fish had these symbiotic interrelationships.   It was great fun creating these characters for Ranger Rick magazine.

These two are an example of Mutualism, when both species involved benefit from the relationship.The wrasse gets its food from the eel's teeth, the goby gets a burrow that the shrimp digs out.

Oh... and see that shrimp's claw? It can paralyze its prey with a supersonic bubble blast that reaches the temperature of the sun. "Really?" you say....Check out this video.

And the dentists of the deep will also gladly service your mouth if you've forgotten to brush and floss before your dive.

A decorator crab uses bits and pieces of shells, plants and debris to disguise itself as a defense against predators. 

             A tilefish builds walls out of staghorn coral.

  A damselfish tends its favorite crop of algae while weeding out the less tasty variety 
and giving the stink eye to a parrotfish. 

 These guys make me feel lazy. Back to work now! 
And good luck to everyone who is bracing against Hurricane Sandy!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Jungle Jams

 Hot off the drawing board (and has it ever been hotter?!) A cover for High Five. Pastels on Mi Tientes and digital.  I really wanted to add a little beetle playing a tiny black baby grand in the right foreground to balance out the black and white zebra. There will be an overlay in that area when printed, so  I couldn't; but perhaps I will later, for myself anyway! Maybe add a snake playing a harmonica too. Can't wait to see it printed. Art directed by Kelly Cunningham, who generously gave me carte blanche. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Chillin' Moves

  Just completed this illustration for High Five magazine. This was a great visualization to beat the heat. Kelley Cunningham, AD extraordinaire. There are 9 hidden F's in the scene. If you can find them, you win a popsicle and a free dance lesson at Thaw Paw Studios. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Spicy, Sleepy and Wiggly.

 I just completed this art for Ranger Rick magazine last week. It's a riddle! Can you guess what the answer is?  I bet you can! I had to have Mexican food after I drew this. If you look at it too long, you will have to eat Mexican too.  I'm not sure, but I think that wolves are not allowed to have Dos Equis. Too bad.

"let's have breakfast!"
  This is part of an illustration for a rebus page for Highlights which I altered a bit after the fact. The background had to be light in the original piece to accommodate text and spot art.  It was satisfying to add the shadow afterwards since it is dawn. The cat sits on the boy's feet, chest or knees to wake him up.  Irritating and cute at the same time.

A friendly snake to help a baby do yoga in High Five magazine. I decided it also looked like an emblem for yoga gear. A t-shirt design, perhaps, for kundalini kids. Inspired by an albino burmese python I once met named Sponge Bob.  Someone said he needs a fez! I think a baby rattle too.....
All of these assignments were completed in the last four weeks,  along with some personal work which I hope to show soon.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

My First Fairy?

 I 'm not positive, but I think this might be the first time I was commissioned to illustrate a  fairy.  I don't know why.  I like drawing fairies. Of the stranger sort.
 This is Lazeena, who grants wishes to the lazy. Here she is offering to take over mowing the lawn. In exchange, the homeowner must sleep in his hammock until she completes the job. Of course he agrees, but is not too happy when he wakes up a year later. One of a series for Highlights. Graphite and photoshop color.
 I think I channelled  the spirit of Carol Kane in Scrooged. Not one to be fooled with!  

Friday, April 6, 2012

Easter Parade

Fooling around with combining images I created a little while ago for High Five. The bunny and the inchworm were each separate pieces on their own, but I combined them to see what would happen and added the text.  Whether you hop or crawl, Happy Easter to all!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Nests for Humans

Just recently finished this illustration for Ranger Rick magazine to accompany instructions on nest building. That sounds like such a fun idea; I think I will try it this spring. There's an amazing artist, Patrick Dougherty, whose work is shown below, who does installations that are essentially large scale nests. I'm currently reading Survival of the Beautiful by David Rothenberg, which  also includes a discussion with Patrick about what he has learned from the bowerbird.  The male bowerbird goes to extremes to create his art, and actually paints the structures as well as traveling many miles to find just the right decorating accents... but I will save that story for another post. The book is fascinating reading; I highly recommend it.
Patrick Dougherty

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

'Tis Better to Have Loved and Lost...?

A few valentines I created ( well, repurposed actually) for the broken-hearted. These were originally drawn for Ranger Rick to illustrate some very sweet children's poems.  Call me jaded, but  I couldn't help seeing them as "cards for the lovelorn".  In all fairness I think the kids' poetry deserves to be shown;  it's quite good... especially the jelly reference.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Balancing Act

    Life is in constant flux.  We try to seek balance.   But there is no perfect balance.
"The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty; not knowing what comes next."- Ursula K. LeGuin

"Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold."- Helen Keller 

  Just spent several days purging the studio of 4 to 5 years worth of administrivia and ephemera.  A little lighter.  Found inspiration in many things, one being this illustration sequence for Highlights which was still in single pieces.  These critters said "Could you put us all in line please? Oh... and do something about that white background while you're at it."  Pencil and photoshop color.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Happy New Year!

A piece I did for Your Big Back Yard that I turned into a card.  Pastels and colored pencils.