Thursday, March 24, 2011

It's all in the eyes....

So the other night Jason and I watched Bambi. I haven't seen this movie up to now, and that's probably a good thing because as I child, I may have been deeply effected ... in the incorrect way. Dating a hunter and being an environmentalist and doing many field studies on the whitetail I could go on and on all the incorrect things about this movie. Not to mention the amount of destruction the Disney has done on the everglades of Florida (I'm sure the alligators and whooping cranes are tearing up just as Bambi did when his mom died) but I digress.....

I want to talk about the great thing about this movie... the animation.

Bambi was based on a an Austrian book "Bambi, A Life In the Woods". The book (which I would love to have a copy) was about a year in the life of a Roe deer. Disney changed it to a whitetail as more Americans are familiar with that kind. This film was made in 1942. 1942!!! We officially were out of the Great Depression, but I'm sure there wasn't a whole bunch running to the picture shows at that time. In fact, Bambi didn't do very well at the box office because of the financial situation of the country. But in any regards, the animation was just lovely. Look at the eyes of these characters! Just melts your heart. The eyes have it. Just compare the pictures of Bambi and Thumper above to the ones below.
Bright eyes in awe of a butterfly! Eyes squeezed shut in anticipation of a crash while the other's is rolled back, almost terror. Yes the whole facial expression is there!
Back in the days of The Art Institute of Boston, I took a class for children's book illustration. We had an assignment where you were to take a stick figure's face and try to get as many expressions as you can. Something like this (I just did this one before I started writing):

Isn't it amazing to what a few simple lines can represent? Happiness, wonder, sadness, indifference, anger, extreme anger!, awe inspiring, eerie (what the hell was that I just heard?). The third one down in the first column is the look my mom would give us when she found us still up playing and giggling at 1 in the morning. That's when I knew she was pissed! Bug eyed and angry as hell! LOL.. then leering, boredom, very happy, laughing, chewing lunch? lol. and exasperated.

So here are some portraits I have done of friends pets. Mind you, both of these animals have crossed that rainbow bridge. I may have made the eyes a little sadder because of this reason.... It's pulling on the heartstrings. My friend Cathy looked at the Reba picture and when I had said that Reba is no longer, she actually got emotional herself. It's all in the eyes.......

8x10 inch
watercolor, colored pencil

Echo's Birthday
8x10 inch
watercolor and colored pencil

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Art & Nature

Orange Kitten 2009
5x7 inch watercolor and colored pencil

Art and nature are definately 2 of my favorite things so in this post we're going to touch on both. First, though, I'm still trying to figure out to take high quality pictures with my iPhone. I must admit, I miss my old camera. If any of you have a website for some tips on how to get some great photos please let me know in the comments section. I think I may go the duct tape route with the old camera (the back 'door' where the film goes in won't click shut).

Orange Kitten 2011
8x10 inch watercolor and colored pencil
Speaking of pictures I have a STACK of photos that I constantly pull from and paint from. Some time ago, my friend had recieved a pair of kittens. I went over and took about a roll of film of these sweeties playing and tumbling over each other. Above is 2 paintings of the same kitten. I like to look at the comparison between the two and my goodness, much richer color and more saturation with the latest 2011 kitten. Same kind of paper and materials used too. Sometimes I think I'm not growing as an artist (Bear with me - I am my own worst critic) and then I look at my paintings side by side... What do you think?


Deer Causalty at Chester
February 2011

Dead Deer March 2011

Jason and I spend a lot of time walking in the woods and we came across these scenes at 2 different locations. The first was at Chester. From the tracks and blood in the snow, it seems that this deer was pushed off the packed snow track and into the 2 foot snow where it wasn't able to move as freely and then was attacked and cosumed by a pack of coyotes. The second was in Weston and from what we could tell, this deer (about 20 yards from the road) was probably hit by a car, made it into the woods and died. Then, coyotes came and took care of the rest. Nature isn't pretty all the time (just look at Japan right now) and I think as more time goes by the more we become disconnected with it. I try not to feel bad for these deer, I can't. It's nature and I have no control over it. I think I should do an art project about this....

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

the Pendulum Swing

So here in New England, March is in full swing with days that start at 50 degrees F and by the time the sun goes down it's 25 degrees F. I'm afraid this post is going to be the same way so bear with me.

8x10 inch watercolor, colored pencil

The results of the Art Show at the Dog Show came in and, alas, my pieces did not place. No cash prize for me. sigh. Well, they're still on exhibit until the 2nd week of April so if you are in Wichita, you should go check them out. It's still an honor to be a part of this show and it will definitely go on the artist's resume (which is something ELSE I need to get done.)

I have had a couple of inquiries about commissions and actually have a person who is interested in this Havenese painting. She then saw that I do commissions and now is deciding on one or the other. So now I'm wondering how I can push my portfolio pieces. I need to unload!! I was actually thinking of raising prices of commissioned pieces because that's where the action is. Then the originals would seem like a bargain in comparison... but I don't know. Jiminy crickets it's pretty quiet anyway so what difference would it make? And speaking of money, I finished doing my taxes yesterday. Death and taxes... yup.

Gut at the Middle East, Cambridge

July 2010

Photo by Julie Brennen

Don't you love it when your friends compliment you on how great you are at marketing and such and then finish it with "Oh you could set up a Facebook page for us" (eye roll here). That's what happened to me and the Gut boys. Don't get me wrong, I'll do anything to help the boys out but I did remind them that my stuff comes first! And after seeing them about 2 times and it kept coming up in conversation and I kept telling them how freakin' easy it is. But, did it anyway.!/pages/Gut/193037427396129 and after all that. .... they only have 3 likes: me, Jason and my friend Andy. LOL. I'm sure there are ways to make it more fancy but I have yet to figure it out and like I said, my plate is pretty full with the art stuff and stuff! We saw them Friday at OBriens in Allston and gotta say they were the tightest that I've seen them in a while. Got to love that.

Another band that you all should check out is Taiwan Typhoon!/pages/Taiwan-Typhoon/181262035237251 Especially if you like At the Drive In or Fugazi. They are having a CD release party at Great Scotts in Allston on the 24th of March. Hell, yes, I will be there.

So with the easing in of spring, the time is now to go shed hunting. Here's J with his latest find. He'd kill me if I told you were they were from, so sorry. But holy schmoly that's one big deer!

What did I say about a pendulum? Just got a possible gig for a flyer for a DJ in NYC. Literally. Just got a tweet. Sketches are being sent tomorrow.... Now go do stuff!