Friday, January 24, 2014
Thursday, January 23, 2014
Last fall my ridiculously talented friend Travis Knapp recorded an album, and I loved it so much I put my art all over it. It's one of my favourite things I've illustrated; both the music and the way the printing on toned recycled paper came out. I'd already spontaneously done a pen & ink drawing a few months earlier when I first heard his Permaculture Saints, which you might recall from this previous post. That fit nicely on the back of the booklet-style cover.
Travis had a solid vision of the cover piece incorporating a musical "natural" symbol, and a wooded pathway into the sunrise. It took me about 100 tries with a brush to come up with the line work that was just right. Then a little brown paper and watercolour landscape to fit inside. He'd scribbled the album title on one of his layout ideas, and it turned out to be the perfect font.
The inside and lyrics booklet are punctuated with spot art of plants, birds and foxes. A friendly studio headed by Pat Burke handled the design and printing. I wasn't sure how my brown paper illustrations would print on brown paper, but it turned out just lovely.
Travis is currently on an album tour, traveling America by bike with his banjo on his back. I ran into him a few years ago at the Ithaca Zen Center where he was the resident gardener and musician. You can tell in the first moments of meeting him that he's a fellow of unusually generous heart and extra bright spirit. Though he's got an illustrious background (including winning the BMI John Lennon Songwriter's award) he joyfully does his work without need of accolades or fanfare in the sparsely populated woods of New York state. But having seen the way his music and gentle way of being affect people, I think it's important to spread it around a little more. So I'm very happy about this album and his tour, and I hope you'll have a listen and follow his adventure on his blog.
After getting very acquainted with my Epson wide-format fine art printer this week, the sepia tone ink work is coming out far better than the laser prints I've been doing for ten years. So at long last, Permaculture Saints is available as a print, and it's part of a deluxe package with the album on my Etsy store. (Yes, my Etsy store! It's back!)
Week three. Thoughts dwell on sleep, music, the cold, and things that warm. Days become imbalanced: very fast drawings done in a hurry, very slow drawings done with lots of contemplation. One day a coffee cup filled in for the lack of paper at work. I like the changing pace.
Friday, January 17, 2014
Wednesday, January 08, 2014
I find myself going without drawing for too long when freelance work leans towards theater, but drawing is the foundation for everything I do. So might as well take a daily dose of it like a vitamin. 5-10 minutes for these for now-- no need for pressure, and speed forces a giving up of preciousness (which I could also use some practice in).
The first week was thoughts from Istanbul in December, mostly done with my non-dominant left hand to bring back the good old days.
Vague memories of patterns from the infinite patterned tiles of the Topkapi Harem.
Organized birds, stumpy trees.
I'm in love with the Hagia Sophia.
The Blue Mosque.
The 700 year old or so seraphim in the dome of the Hagia, recently uncovered.
(and my new old Frye boots my mum finally let me have!)
Friday, January 03, 2014
That was quite a gap in the blog! This year has been so full I forgot about posting for half of it. Best thing I can think to begin again with is this:
Way back in March The Mermaid Statue was invited to the birthday party of a super young lady named Stevie, who, I think it's safe to say, is the #1 Mermaid Statue fan in the world. We first met when she came to see Luna's Sea in Mystic in 2011. She came back to see it several times, and traveled to NYC where we played at the American Museum of Natural History. The cast and myself were so honored for her to have come all that way with her wonderful family. So the Mermaid couldn't pass this birthday invitation up.
I made this cardboard Mermaid for her, with articulated tail. The kind of thing I'm always wanting to make but never have a reasonable excuse to do. It was a lot of fun, and even better having the Mermaid give it to her when she made a surprise appearance at the party.
And best of all.. this.
And some new acquaintances, with the regular variety of expressions the Mermaid gets on first sight.
Which, in short time turns into this.
It's the first incident I can recall where the Mermaid cracked a tear. This is a really special family. Thank you, Laurie, for the ocean of love you invited the Mermaid into, and for these photos.