It’s February and this is my first post here at The Gretchen Show in 2013. What can I say? I was busier than I could keep up with in the weeks leading up to Christmas and then I pretty much crashed and burned for several weeks after. January used to be a depressing month to me, but now I cherish it because it is a dormant time: all of the frenetic holiday activity is over and the weather is usually cold and appropriately dreary. Okay, so here in Texas it’s just as likely to be sunny and warm in January, but we do get lovely spells of fire-burning, blanket-snuggling days, perfect for spending all day on the couch with books, movies and wine, which is exactly what I did. Maybe for a week or two longer than I should have…
I also have been working on a new creative project: an illustrated memoir of a thwarted love. It’s a very personal work of art, intended to be viewed as it progresses, so the blog platform is ideal. I have a few more tweaks to make on it, but hope to share it with you in the next week or so.
In the meantime, here is a little visual bon mot from the art giveaway game we played on The Gretchen Show over on FB during Christmas.
I called it A Sketchbook Christmas. The idea was to rewrite The Twelve Days of Christmas using images from my sketchbook as inspiration. I invited followers to suggest lines to accompany the sketches and then created more polished B&W drawings for the winning selections. We only got through the first six days – we’ll finish the second half next Christmas – but it was a lot of fun and there were some great submissions. One of my favorites was the winning line for the sixth day, Six Snockered Seagulls.
This is the beginning sketch:
You can all of the sketches and submitted lines in the Sketchbook Christmas album. This is a look at the progress as of The Fifth Day of Christmas:
It’s no great revelation that the holidays are more fun for some than others. But some buck up and participate anyway with a sporting, if slightly begrudging, attitude.
My holiday offering for 2011. May the spirit move you. Or spirits.
Last year I was commissioned to do a series of Italian Greyhounds (which you can see here). I did many preliminary sketches – I loved their graceful lines and the possibilities they presented my imagination. This masked and Mercury-winged Greyhound came from one of the sketches that didn’t make the final cut for my client. Shades of ice blue and Phthalo green seemed just the right color choices. Watercolor, graphite and ink on hot press Arches paper. The original is 10″ x 10″ and is available for purchase as are prints, which you can buy directly from me or order online here.
I am happy to present my annual Halloween artwork on the first day of October, one of the most glorious months here in Texas. October diminishes, at least a little, the misery of August. Especially the recently past August of 2011. But back to the art. This year’s offering, Tempted by the Fruits, is a one page illustrated story.
“The temptation of proffered fruits trumped caution of feathered familiars.”
Prints for purchase available here. Previous years Halloween illustrations: The Witching Hour and Wicked Halloween.
Meet Ella, a pampered pooch with a penchant for sneaking a drink from your glass when your head is turned. She isn’t really that spoiled, but it was fun painting her in the classic reclining odalisque pose. She enjoys the finer things in life, just like her owner. Prints available in my Etsy shop. Salud, Ella!
Wild things…I think I love you. Poster for Buster’s Friends‘ (a pet rescue organization in Houston, Texas) annual fundraising gala. This is my third season doing the art for Buster’s Friends and it may be my favorite – although I loved last year’s Halloween-inspired one as well. I thought it would be fun to have dancing animals this year and took my inspiration from the popular television show “Dancing with the Stars” and one of my favorite quirky films, “Strictly Ballroom”. Fabulous costumes and exquisite posture! We take our dancing very seriously.
The art will also be used for postcards and tickets for the gala. The sans text version shown above is available for purchase as a print in my Etsy shop.
Another mixed media piece painted on wood panel; a commission done for an Oak Cliff neighbor who only hangs original art in her home. (God bless her!) I really enjoy building the multiple layers, creating an effect that is quite different from my more “traditional” watercolor paintings but still has some of the transparency that I so love. I use paint instead of ink for the line work on these pieces. I like the way the cat’s stripes echo the lines of the fish skeleton; very pleasing to me.
When my mom saw the sketch, she pursed her lips and said, “I don’t like that”. I don’t think the fish skeleton was as pleasing to her! I was tempted to title it “Catisfaction” but just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Cute word mangling generally offends me (I refuse to eat at restaurants with names that make me grimace, like “Spageddies”) so I had to let it go. But I whisper it in my mind when I look at this piece: “catisfaction!”
Prints are available over at my Etsy shop – link on the right side of the page – or contact me directly.
Christmas commission for Italian greyhound owners. I did three pieces for them. You can see the other two here. I enjoyed painting these delicate, funny little animals so much I am sure there will be more.
Little snippet from the art for Theatre Britain’s 2010 panto. Theatre Britain brings a little English (non)sensibility to the Dallas area every Christmas season. Performances November through December. Go see it! And go see the full image of these precious babes in the wood by clicking here.
Teaser thumbnail from a recently completed commission for a pet rescue organization. Mucho fun! The full image can be seen here. Really big version here!