Birch Trail

I have been inspired many a time by street art or leaving art behind for someone to enjoy. This weekend on a hiking trip to the White Mountains, I did my own interactive art project. Every time I go on a hike where there are birch trees I pick up the bark that has fallen to the forest floor hoping to paint on them when I get home. This trip was a three day hike so I could either collect and carry or paint and leave behind.

Day 1:

We took a break at lunch. Fresh with the idea to leave art on birch bark along the trail I made this.

As we moved on I took a note from Andy Goldsworthy. I had about 30 seconds to put up each of these or risk being left behind my group. There is only one picture and it is my first and messiest. I was hopeful my group would notice some when I got ahead of them but, everyone had their eyes down to keep from twisting an ankle. It seems these pieces were best for the hut crew, who knew the path well enough to look up and to notice the items out of place.

Once we were at the first hut for the night I took more time on pieces. Making one to leave with the hut crew and making one more to leave along the trail the following day, which wound up close enough to the hut I believe they went on a hunt for it.

Day 2:

Piece close by the hut.

Can you still find it in these trees?

After the grueling day two hike up Adams, Jefferson, and Mt. Washington I was super happy to sit at a table for a couple of hours and paint. I made four pieces, one for the hut crew, one to leave close to the hut, and two to leave along the trail. Sadly one of the pieces blew out of my pack before I could grab a picture of it, but the other three found homes.

For the hut crew:

Piece close to the hut:

Along the trail:

This weekend was an adventure. One that I was not in perfect shape for. However, I am so happy I found a way to entegrate my art into the trip. It takes the edge off my painful feet.

(note, all of this art was done with non-toxic water soluble materials. If the pieces were not picked up by another person a rain shower would wipe the bark clean and the bark would then continue on its way to decomposition as it would have if I had left it on the forest floor.)


Lucien’s Choice

This weekend Lucien, Matt and I traveled to Dryden NY to visit some friends. The weekend was very laid back, I had lots of time as we sat and talked to pour over their Celtic knot and design books. I need to learn how to draw them for some new pieces I am working on. They were kind enough to lend me the books at least until October. Although, I plan to have these new pieces done well before that.

Another activity from the weekend was stepping out of their house to watch their small town’s Memorial Day Parade. We figured it would be fun for the kids. Little did I know it would be the most fun for me! People are so much fun to look at, I love people watching and I love drawing people with character. This was like a never ending stream of amazing people. I couldn’t get enough, I didn’t know if I should snap pictures or sketch. I wanted to watch the parade over and over. (please note this is in no way poking fun at the people of the town) Our friends have given us a schedule for the rest of the summer parades.

During our drive home and I received a choice for today. Lucien gave this prompt by pointing to a rest stop flag and saying two headed swan. a) Swans may be pretty but they are mean and b) two headed swan, perfect for two headed swan dragon!

So for today we have Lucien’s Choice.

As I drew this I started thinking of a whole story leading up to this moment. I am psyched that my sketches have recently are blossoming into full stories. Now to get all of them on paper.

They called it a TV

Recently Matt and I played the new dance game that uses the (edited) XBox Kinect controls. We are pretty champ Dance Dance Revolution players. There is a sense of pride for how well we play. Well, this new game system threw us for a loop. The scene was Matt and I trying our hardest to play while two teens sat in the corner giggling about the old folks trying to understand the current technology. Matt was more than a little upset. After all his years being the youngster in the corner giggling he couldn’t quite handle being on the other side.
It got him thinking about what our children will say to their children about what they grew up without. Such as us to our children, “when we were teens we didn’t have cell phones”. Or our parents to us “when we were kids we didn’t have the internet”.

Matt’s choice inspired by this happening “I think it’s called a Tee-Vee. Grandma told me they used to watch moving pictures on these! Old people are crazy.”

Some Blog Art This Week Too!

A little nugget in there for ECHHS swim team.

I’m sorry to again mash Matt’s Choice-yes it’s changed from Husband’s Choice to Matt’s Choice-and Wednesday Animal together. Next week, there will again be two posts. After the art events this month I had to catch up with some of my other responsibilities, the garden, invoicing, shipping, and you know Lucien!

This is the second pass at Moose Under Water, probably closer to what Matt was originally thinking. The idea of a moose doing the breast stroke made me giggle. I love drawing what makes me laugh.

Matt’s Choice

Every night my husband tells me “make more art that you are proud of”. I find as an artist I am the clich√©, never completely happy with my own work. Always wanting it to be better, too close to the situation to see the continuity. This is not to say I don’t believe in my work or think it is marketable, I just am constantly wanting improvement. However, I have recently been happy with my work!

I sunk into a routine of spending any moment free making art. Apart from the large number of sculpey creatures I made, I also completed a series of pieces from The Life of Pi. The first two pieces can be seen here. Now, here is the third.

I am very happy to be able to add this series to my portfolio. Just in time for the NESCBWI conference this coming weekend. Ready for my portfolio review Friday and my web critique Sunday. The website critique is through the Advanced Illustrator Academy. I am happy to have helped organize this Academy which, will include illustrators Dani Jones and John Lechner, designer Kerry Martin, and agentNicole Tugeau. It should be a stupendous session! I look forward to seeing friends and meeting people that I have been talking with through twitter. Make sure you stop and say hi!

Matt’s Choice and Wednesday Animal

Yesterday I let myself be sucked into a new piece. It is part of my decision to move forward with making a new portfolio of dimensional work. It is a large undertaking which, is going to require a lot of time and energy. It will probably be a side B to my portfolio. However, this is a long process and I am going to be asking a lot of advice from professionals before I finalize anything. As I am in the midst of trying to make large amounts of work I am actually having a hard time breaking out of my illustrating mode to be online or make dinner . . .

I was hoping to finish the piece yesterday. However, it is taking longer than I expected and isn’t coming together quite how I want. It is going to require some trial and error. I want to try different backgrounds, one being outside and since it is raining today, I can’t give that a try yet. For now here is the work in progress:

With these two taking up my art time yesterday, I didn’t get a chance to make many new cuddly critters for the drawers.¬† I also didn’t post the new guys from the day before until today, check them out:

And after reading back this post I am realizing I am in a place where balancing my blog and getting work done isn’t producing wonderful results. So, I am deciding to take a hiatus from blogging for the next couple of weeks. I will still post pictures of my daily drawer filling progress, watch my flickr stream for that. I would rather be off line for a couple of weeks and put all my energy into my illustration than spread myself too thin and not give my all to anything. If I get done with something and have time, I will try to post but, plan to look out for my next Husband’s Choice May 3rd. I will post about SOS again before the event on April 30th and May 1st.

Happy Creating!

Another Rebecca’s Choice

This past weekend my Step Mom and Dad came up for a visit. We always lay low, watching favorite TV, eating the local food, and simply chit chatting. This visit was much the same but, had one wonderful addition. I shared sculpey with Rebecca and she became hooked.

Needing to acquire supplies for her, our daily routine was set up. Get up, have some breakfast, get ready, head to Kelly’s. After Lobster Rolls and Roast Beef Sandwiches were consumed, head to the Artist and Craftsman, and Starbucks. Go back home, with Lucien napping, make scupley critters until 1am, with a couple breaks in there for dinner and Wii Pictionary.

Rebecca went big right away making this lady
This image is an in progress shot. I didn’t take a picture of the finish but, she rocked!

With shared creativity in the room I was able to get a strong start on my art for Somerville Open Studios. My plan is to fill two type drawers with my cuddly critters. Here is my current progress

You can follow along for daily updates here at the full Photo Diary. I am also making larger cuddly critters that don’t fit in the drawers; I will be showing them during this diary as well. As you can see they will have individual shots.

My stop at SOS is #69 on the map. My friend Seth Seligman has kindly let me share his space. Stop by to see us April 30th and May 1st between 12-6pm.

The Pacific

Lately there has been a focus on the Pacific in the world and at my home. The weekend the Quake and Tsunami hit Japan, Matt and I were listening to the Life of Pi on our drive to Rochester. This was my second time listening to it and I was taken away again. The Life of Pi is on my favorite books list; it blew me away. I had no idea what was coming. If you decide to read it I highly recommend the audio book, thanks Melinda for recommending that to me.

Upon my second listening I decided to move forward with my decision to illustrate 3 scenes that stuck in my mind. This is also my Husband’s Choice for the present as I have a show and a conference coming up in May. With his encouragement I am working to make new work to sale or donate and to update my portfolio. (yes there are only 2 of 3, the third composition is too similar to the first. it’s still in sketch stage)

With the many things happening across the world, I’m glad to say there are many groups sending whatever help they can including Kidlit4Japan There are some wonderful items up for auction. Check it out and bid as generously as you can. We are thinking and hoping for the people of Japan. Let there be more people this brave.

Tuesday postponed

This week I am celebrating my four year wedding anniversary with my husband Matt. We don’t go crazy to celebrate but, we try to follow the traditional gift ideas. This year the gift should be flowers. I have paper flower kits from paper source but, I want to do something more unique. After critique group on Saturday I got some great ideas from Jen and eHawk.

Since I’m working on his gift there is no husband’s choice today but, there will be husband’s present on Friday.