April 29, 2010

Blog post #471

Painting: I've been having fun with the pen-brush and some sketches for a new book idea. It's always fun trying something new. Ever since I began doing illustration I have struggled between 3 dimensional art and flat 2 dimensional design. It's been a lifelong learning curve, making me feel like a dunce too thick to ever 'get it'.

But I guess that's why making art is a struggle.

Writing: I had fun writing up a quick new book idea over the weekend. We'll see if it ever takes off. Hope springs eternal.

Reading: A book about John Singer Sargeant. It's somewhat interesting... but somehow when any artist lives in pampered luxury it won't make for the same dramatic reading as Monet or Renoir who fought decades of poverty, wars and even escaped from the firing squad once.

Also Reading: A book about Paul McCartney. I was always a big reader of biographies.

Watching: Cary Grant in 'The Grass is Greener'. Finally... a Cary Grant movie I'd never seen before. And it was oddly weird to see CG being outdone by Robert Mitchum. I got a 4 disk set from the library. The movie 'Indiscreet' is up next.

Also watching Sons & Lovers by D.H. Lawrence. Great film.

Weather: We're having more winter here. Amazing after all those cherry blossoms. There's even a blue jay nesting in the camelia! A rare event indeed. But I hope their nest hasn't been frozen out by the weather.

I think all those turtles that crawled up out of the mud must now regret their decision to end hibernating.

April 7, 2010

Yanked off-stage...

In print:
Finally had this little page from Ladybug show up in print. I liked how it came out... one of my digi-real samples.

Watching: Charles Laughton in Rembrandt. Amazing movie. I think Charles Laughton can make reading a phone book sound like something out of Macbeth. It is also astonishing how much the actor looks like Rembrandt.

Drawing: Fun little animal characters. I'm quite pleased with my new project. First I painted it with acrylics... but it didn't pop or look 'fresh' enough. So then I redid it in photoshop, using the same lines. The new color is lots snappier. I guess my chief fear in being an illustrator anymore is the fear of looking old fashioned.

Philosophical tidbit: I think being an illustrator can seem like one of those vaudeville amusement shows, where the characters keep dancing until they're yanked off-stage by a cane. The trick to surviving might be to keep spiffing up the spats and top hat.

The one remaining trump card we hold is deciding to be an artist... as we strive not to get too tatty.

Fun: Looking at the iPads down at the Apple store. I think it would be possible to use an iPad as a portable cintiq tablet! Imagine how nice that would be. Instead of sitting all day long tied to a broiling comptuer and wacom, one could just pack up an iPad to the nearby cafe and color away!

April 5, 2010

Yon wee bird...

It was a miserable freezing windy easter weekend. Each day was cold and miserable... with gale force winds that just would not stop.

But in a patch of sunshine I discovered this yon wee bird, known as a bushtit. I've seen them in summer, where they fly together in little magical flocks... the tiniest of birds. They flit through a nearby bush like an apparition of magic and then you won't see them for another 2 months.

I had never seen a bushtit nest before. It weaves the most amazing nest... looking like an old sock that hangs from a branch stuffed with lichen, moss and leaves. Very amazing.

And some of the other usual suspects showed up to proclaim it being spring... despite the battering of the weather.

Reading: read a fascinating book: The Women of the House by Jean Zimmerman. It's a history of five generations of women who lived in New York from 1590 to 1700. It's a veritable page turner. I was interested to learn that the author lives in Hastings on Hudson, just next door to Dobbs Ferry, where I used to live.