Tuesday, January 31, 2012

There and Back again, Page 8

Page 8

From -  There and Back again, An Illustration Project of The Hobbit

Page 8 - "He had a horrible thought that the cakes might run short, and then he -- as the host: he knew his duty and stuck to it however painful -- he might have to go without."   

Colored pencil, pencil, collage, and acrylic gouache on paper.

That quote still cracks me up.  

Monday, January 30, 2012

100 Artists Show at the Mary Lou Zeek Gallery

I'm so excited to be a part of the last 100 Artists Show at the Mary Lou Zeek Gallery in Salem, Oregon.  The idea of the show was to send a letter to another artist and they to send one to you.  And each artist was to then create a piece of art inspired in some way by the letter.  You can read a more in depth explanation and see the amazing pieces of art in the show here.  For the art, just scroll down past the text.  And if you can, come visit the show.  It opens tomorrow and will run through the end of February.  The art is not for sale in the traditional manner but there will be a silent auction for each piece running throughout the month.  This is my favorite show at the gallery, for years I hoped and dreamed of being a part of it and am so thrilled that this is my second one.

Here is my piece, inspired by a letter from Anna Magruder:

"It was at that moment she started thinking bigger"
Acrylic gouache, pencil, paper, and collage on 6 x 8 inch panel.

Friday, January 27, 2012

There and Back again, Page 7

Page 7
From -  There and Back again, An Illustration Project of The Hobbit

Page 7 - "...there came a tremendous ring on the front-door bell..."   

Colored pencil, pencil, and acrylic gouache on paper.

Have a great weekend!  I'm off to work on another Hobbit page...

Thursday, January 26, 2012

There and Back again, Page 6

Page 6

From -  There and Back again, An Illustration Project of The Hobbit

Page 6 - " 'I give it you.  In fact, I will go so far as to send you on this adventure.  Very amusing for me, very good for you - and profitable too, very likely, if you ever get over it.' "   

Acrylic gouache, colored pencil, collage, and pen on paper.

That quote is Gandalf talking to Bilbo, in case you were curious.  Poor Bilbo, he has no idea what Gandalf is getting him into.  Half the fun of this project is reading the book, one page at a time.  

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

There and Back again, Page 5

Page 5

From -  There and Back again, An Illustration Project of The Hobbit

Page 5 - "I am Gandalf and Gandalf means me!"

Acrylic gouache, colored pencil, pen on paper.

Every once in awhile in this project I plan to do some words instead of images (or in addition to) and as soon as I saw this line, well, it was perfect.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

There and Back again, Page 4

Page 4

From -  There and Back again, An Illustration Project of The Hobbit

Page 4 - "He had a tall pointed blue hat, a long grey cloak, a silver scarf over which a white beard hung down below his waist..."

Pencil, acrylic gouache, collage on paper.

Friday, January 20, 2012

There and Back again, Page 3

Page 3

From -  There and Back again, An Illustration Project of The Hobbit

Page 3 - "...and Bilbo Baggins was standing at his door after breakfast smoking an enormous long wooden pipe that reached nearly down to his wooly toes..."

Pencil, colored pencil, acrylic gouache, collage on paper.

I've been a little under the weather this week and am looking forward to the weekend to rest and get back to normal.  We've been experiencing a lot of rain here and there is some flooding (thankfully we are fine where we are, so far anyway!), I hope everyone has a good and safe weekend.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

There and Back again, Page 2

Page 2
From There and Back again, An Illustration Project of The Hobbit

Page 2 - "...and thick warm brown hair like the stuff on their heads (which is curly)..."

Pencil, colored pencil, acrylic gouache, collage on paper.

I've now set up a Flickr set for this project so they can all be viewed together if desired.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

There and Back again, Page 1

Page 1
From "There and Back again, An Illustration Project of The Hobbit"

Page 1 - "In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit...It had a perfect round door like a porthole, painted green, with a shiny yellow brass knob in the fact middle."

Pencil, acrylic gouache, collage on paper.

So excited to start posting these!  Each time I do, I'll include a link back to the introduction post and also include the inspiration from each page I used (a word, phrase, etc.).

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

There and Back again, An Illustration Project of The Hobbit

I decided last year (several weeks ago) that 2012 I was going to learn more about illustration.  To do so, I needed to study and to practice.  But how to practice?  I needed a project.  I was inspired by all the daily or weekly projects being announced around the beginning of the year, like by artists Lisa Congdon and Cathy Cullis.  I was driving up to Portland not long ago and was listening to NPR and an interview with Matt Kish who talked about his project of illustrating a page every day from Moby Dick (over 500 pages, wow!).  I thought at the time about if I did such a thing, what book would I choose?  Immediately, The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein came to mind.  I had just re-read it the previous summer and had fallen in love with it all over again.  Every page was full of descriptive details and there were so many adventures to be followed.  But at the time I dismissed the idea, I just can't do daily projects.  I lack the stamina.  I know myself too well, it wouldn't have worked out.

The idea stuck with me, though, and soon I realized that I do not have to treat it as a daily project but a year-long project.  True, with 303 pages in my little paperback copy of The Hobbit it would nearly end up being a daily sort of thing, but that didn't mean I had to sit at my studio table every single day cranking out an illustration.  Which works better for me, especially as I still need to do other paintings as well (in fact, I'm still figuring out where I'll find the time for all of this...).

So, what this all means is that starting tomorrow I will begin sharing illustrations with you.  Each illustration is inspired by one page of The Hobbit, starting with page 1.  These illustrations, at least at this point, are not going to be super representational.  Probably more abstract as I will be taking a word, a sentence, or an idea from the page for my inspiration and doing whatever I like with it.  I'm keeping them purposely loose so I can play with different mediums and techniques, see what I like.  After all, this is supposed to be about practicing.  And they will likely change throughout the year as I try new things and try out new ways of illustrating.  Plus, since I'm not sure yet where this whole illustration thing will take me, whether I will actually do professional illustrations some day or maybe it will just add to my fine art practice, I want to keep this all open and flexible for myself.

All but perhaps 3 illustrations will be small, simple, and on paper.  So 300 illustrations will fit that description, more or less.  I plan to do 3 larger paintings over the course of the year.  Each will still be an illustration inspired by a particular page, I just plan to do it larger and more complex like one of my larger paintings.  I will also be keeping a sketchbook for the project (photographed above) so I can plan ahead a bit.

So there it is.  Here's hoping I can keep it going.  Hopefully by sharing here, it will keep me inspired.  I've had a lot of fun with the project so far and am excited to start sharing it with you!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The ice collector

"The ice collector" is on an 8 x 8 inch panel, painted in acrylic gouache, and is now in my shop.  Thinking about another ocean, icy, ships sort of idea for my next painting too.

I am very preoccupied figuring out a large illustration project that will take most of the year.  It is sort of a daily project but not and I'm still working out the details but soon I hope to start sharing, assuming I don't scrap the whole idea.  If I stick with it, I'll fill you in on the details maybe next week?  I'm hoping to get a good idea of it first before I totally commit to it.

Friday, January 6, 2012

In 2012

Being a new year, there has been naturally a lot of talk about resolutions and goals.  I have some as well, but I wanted to share a few things I just hope to work on this year in the studio:

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


We received a couple more inspiring books for Christmas.  I say "we" because my daughter actually received one of them and I'll have to borrow and drool over the pages.

The first is this Mammals of North America which should give me some great references for my drawings and paintings:

I wanted great images of animals and it turned out this had some wonderful illustrations and photographs, including some fascinating skulls (I tried to include photographs but it is quite glossy and it is a sunny day, not a good photo combination).

And here is what I'm jealously coveting of my daughter's:

The Dictionary of Ordinary Extraordinary Animals by Lisa McGuinness and Leslie Jonah and illustrated by the super talented Lisa Congdon (which is why I made sure this book was on my daughter's wish list).

Check these out:

So cool!  Lisa has even been selling some of the originals from this book in her Etsy shop.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Illustration Loot

I don't know about you, but the holidays wiped me out.  Which is why I've been so quiet here.  Hoping to get back to business as usual, but I'm still a little tired so we'll see how that goes.

Thought I'd share with you a couple of books I got for Christmas and I'm pretty excited about them.  As I know very little about illustration and how it all works, I am so pleased to get these:

The Fundamentals of Illustration by Lawrence Zeegan/Crush.  In addition to lots of information, it has some amazing illustrations.


How to Be an Illustrator by Darrel Rees

I've only just begun to study both, but they look to be very helpful.

Tomorrow, I have a couple more books more along the inspiration side.  One was actually a present for my daughter, but I secretly wish it was mine!