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

From Above, Alone

I was finishing up From Above, Alone for a personal art project when Illustration Friday’s topic for the week, Lonely, showed up in my email. I don’t submit often to IF because I’m usually too busy working on something else, but this seemed like a serendipitous perfect fit. Watercolor, ink and graphite on hot press paper.

From Above, Alone is a companion piece, albeit a sad one, to From Above, a painting I created in 2009.

If you’re a Facebook user, you can follow me there: The Gretchen Show on FB. 

A chirping chorus

“A chirping chorus wakens Annie” – a full color illo from part three of Douglas has a Dilemma. You can read some of parts one and two  here and here.

Douglas has a Dilemma, my illustrated love story for adults, has grown since its inception in the summer of 2009. Two years ago I was fortunate to be signed by a great lit agent. Since then, with her guidance, I’ve been rewriting, editing and sketching to prepare my small book for submission to publishing houses. This illo is one of the final (I hope!) steps.

You may also be interested in my blog, Half Agony, Half Hope, an illustrated memoir of thwarted love.

Library Freak – because books are badass.

I am a serious book-loving artist and a proud library freak. Art and books are two of my biggest passions. When I can combine my love of both, as in this bookmark, it makes me very happy.

I’m also a bit of a Luddite when it comes to books: I like to read them printed on paper. I love the feel of a book in my hands, its heft or lightness. As precious as they are to me, I don’t treat my books very well. Dog-eared pages abound in my favorite ones even though I am a collector and committed user of bookmarks. Sometimes you’ve just got to turn down the corner of a page. I do try to resist that impulse with library books, although I’m not always successful.

Books are badass. Go read one. And if you’d like a library freak bookmark of your own, you can buy some here: Library Freak bookmark.  Or stop by my place this Saturday during the Oak Cliff Studio Tour  and pick some up then.

Dreamer’s Ball

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.

Tempted by the fruits

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.”

Fini.

Prints for purchase available here.  Previous years Halloween illustrations: The Witching Hour  and Wicked Halloween.

It’s a dog’s life

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!