Six snockered seagulls

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.

six-snockered-seagulls

 
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:

dancing-chicken

 
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:

sketchbook-5th-day-comp

December round-up

It’s been an incredibly busy autumn for me, thus I’ve been slack on posting. So here is a quick round-up of some things I’ve had a hand in that are now in full bloom.

Mother-Goose-final-poster

This is the fourth year I’ve done the artwork for Theatre Britain’s annual Christmas panto. This year’s performance is Mother Goose. If you are in the DFW area, this is a wonderful family outing. The interactive theatre experience is fun for adults and kids; and the sometimes saucy double entendre dialogue adds extra laughs for older audience members. This year’s run is from Dec. 1 – 30. Check their website for more details. Go here to see art from past years.

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I’ve been working with Garden District Bloody Marys for several years now. This year we created new labels for Christmas and Halloween. Graphic designer John Harrell made my illustrations shine!

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Last year I helped David and Melissa Loder create their fantasy holiday yard display by designing a sleigh, Santa’s garage, signpost and a forest of trees, all based on their ideas. This year a locomotive was added. I put their ideas on paper, but they did all the heavy-lifting. I haven’t seen the train live yet, but it toots and blows steam! Their exhaustive efforts got them a slot on the Dallas Morning News Weekend Guide’s list of top holiday displays in DFW.

2012 yard display

I also created a winter sky theatrical backdrop for a private client’s Christmas village. Pics of the finished set up (and work-in-progress) coming soon. Also look for a post in the next day or so about our 2nd annual Christmas Art Market and Open House featuring local artisans to be held in my own modest casa. Gretchen Goetz, reporting live from Oak Cliff. ;- )

 

Raising a glass

I’ve been blog-neglectful the past month. Busy with various projects, including rebuilding my website which is a challenge as I have no idea what I am doing! But as tomorrow is Thanksgiving here in the U.S., which is pretty much the start of the (sometimes relentless) holiday season, here’s a little something to start the season properly. Cheers!

Want one for yourself? Print available at my Etsy shop.

poster art for Theatre Britain

Got an early start on this year’s artwork for Theatre Britain’s annual Christmas panto. As the text (other than the title, Dick Whittington) will change for its various uses – posters, programs, postcards, online advertising – I left negative space on the right side for the producers to use as needed. It’s a little early to book tickets for this year’s performance! but I’ll post a reminder in November. Pantos are wonderful fun!

Tis the Season

Christmas art featuring Mary from “New Orleans Style Garden District Bloody Mary Mix”. I think she’s got everything covered for the holidays!

And here she is in her singular beauty with fabulous lime skirt!

 

Mary had a revamp a while back when her “owner” and I decided she needed to be a bit more…enticing. She was lovely in her first incarnation, which you can see by clicking here but was a little prim.

Cards of Christmas Past

may-the-spirit-move-you

Last year I had my Christmas card artwork done in July. This year I am still sketching on December 2, which means it may end up being a New Year’s card. Or maybe an Easter one. So, as I am scrambling today to finish the sketch and start the final, it seems perfectly reasonable to take a little time out and look at some cards from long ago Christmases. The one above is from 1989. I like the clean lines. It was printed in black on white cards, but I personalized each card by adding a little very fine glitter on the gift box. I thought they looked swell, but Andy, my husband at the time, absolutely hated that glitter floating around. What a spoil sport. Even so, it was a great Christmas.

christmas-card-94

By 1994, things had gotten a little rockier for me. There was some really good stuff that year and there was some really sucky stuff. I was pretty beat by the end of it. I still like the drawing, though, even if not all of the memories. Also printed in black, these cards I personalized by hand painting every one I sent. Maybe that was why I was so tired.