Monday, May 31, 2010

Scenes from the weekend

Moments in Corpus Christi, Rockport, a picnic area near Beeville, and back in Austin. My favorite might be the heron among the pelicans (we called him "the mortician", mostly for his posture). Or maybe the crazy ownerless dog statue.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Bird pattern plate

This is from my favorite set of my grandmother's dishes.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Inspiration for the weekend

A pear I should eat before it turns totally mushy.

So, this week I've been excited about:
*this magazine cover by Janice Nadeau: so fun and what gorgeous watercolor!
*Lena Wolff's work, which I saw this morning on Design Sponge
*Oliver Jeffers presentation on Swiss Miss
*multi-talented Maggie Stiefvater's animated book trailer for Linger (she also wrote the music). via Fuse #8
*a series on Fine-Tuning Your Portfolio over on EFII
*Ultra cute baby sloths (via Door Sixteen)

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Thinking about style

I'm in the process of updating my website portfolio, deciding which pieces make the cut, and this week's Escape from Illustration Island podcast on style was particularly timely. It made me think about the artists who inspired me when I was just starting to paint a few years ago (like Lisbeth Zwerger), and how their influence in my style has diminished over time as I learn to solve visual problems in my own way.

Drawing from life has been the most effective way to explore and develop my own style. I recently attended some life drawing (long poses) sessions at AMOA, and working with rough materials (pastels, vine charcoal, watercolor w/china marker, newsprint) on 18"X24" paper is really freeing. I try to keep it unfussy just to see what happens, rather than worry about creating a true portrait.

Life drawing

More life drawing here.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Friday illustration ideas

A thistle on yesterday morning's walk, and I finally put up this little fox doorknocker on the front door a couple of days ago, which I love. It's more decorative than useful, as my dog tells me whenever anyone sets foot in the yard, but still nice to see when I come in.

So, a few links:
*Dani Jones has 101 project ideas for Artists & Illustrators (via automatism)
*Red Lemon Club has some great questions to ask when blogging
*Anna Raff illustrates a bird a day on her blog (via Pikaland). I love this idea (birds always seem to work their way into what I'm doing), and I'm impressed with the year-long commitment.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Today's inspiration

Okay, I'm still geeking out about the hipstamatic app on my phone; it makes everything look intriguing. This was some sort of people-powered wheeled vehicle/sculpture on the grounds of G'Raj Majal Cafe. As for the cafe, the food was tasty, and there was a huge gray cat that came and laid down on my foot for a while. So sweet.

On a children's book note, 7-Imp has some great page-spreads of Emma Chichester Clark's new version of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Her work reminds me a little of Melissa Sweet (who I was lucky enough to have give me my first portfolio critique and who was very encouraging). They both have such charmingly drawn characters, esp. their bears and children, and they both pay attention to the details, like the printed pattern on a pair of pants. Not to mention that they are both extremely talented and prolific!

Monday, May 10, 2010

You flew into my life

Dear cockatiel,
I barely knew ye. You flew down from the tree in my front yard this afternoon and landed on my shoulder. You perched lightly, nibbling my hair and ear, while I considered what to do with you. After all, I like birds in trees best. You did not want to leave your spot, until I lured you off with bird seed. Then you disappeared while I was posting your appearance on the neighborhood listserv.

I hope you journeyed home safely!

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Goldfish sketch: water added

Goldfish in water

Mother's Day sketch

Mothers Day sketch
This one's still in progress, but I thought I'd post it before the day comes to an end. Happy Mothers Day!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Feathers and other fine things

chicken feather detailbirdhead
I'm kind of into drawing feather patterns these days. Detail of a chicken sketch and random imaginary bird head.

And some recent blog finds:
*an inspiring interview with Jill Bliss on Pikaland
*illustrator Carson Ellis and Decemberists' Colin Meloy are collaborating on a children's series called 'Wildwood' awesome!
*and if you haven't heard them already, these videos of fake Werner Herzog children's book readings are pretty great

Sunday, May 02, 2010

From the sketchbook

sleeping baby
A friend's napping baby and chickens at East Side Cafe