illustrations at inconnu

So, wow, it's been a while. Things are fine. I've been doing more illustrations for inconnu! Here are some of them.

From the top, we have an illustration for a break-up playlist,  one for a piece on horoscopes and other pseudosciences, one for the magazine's "Hamlet week" of Hamlet being a creep (because I think he's a creep I don't care about his melancholy), and finally an illustration for a piece on digital aesthetics.

And look, circles! Circular compositions that actually work! Crazy! Although I maintain that circular pieces work best when small (these are no more than about 4 inches in diameter).

The Hamlet one was a lot of fun to do. I really enjoyed working on the faces. Because it depicts the play scene, I had to work out how to make it clear that the actors are, in fact, acting. So the sleeping king had be be a sleeping king but also a very conscious actor playing the part of a sleeping king. The false beard was fun, too. It also made me think about Hamlet as a play and Hamlet as a character. Like, what if the plot against his father was actually because his father was a bad ruler and bad husband, and his mother and uncle were actually in love, and his uncle was a better ruler? And then Hamlet, in his blind devotion to his father, ruins the rule of Denmark and ultimately paves the way for Denmark to fall under Norwegian rule. What if everything was actually going fine and then  HAMLET RUINED EVERYTHING? 

You'll have to forgive me. It's been a while since I've been able to discuss literature. Regarding the art, though, Hamlet seems to be an evolution of the blond-haired men in the "medieval" body of work. 

The last one is actually the original draft of an illustration. In the accompanying article, it has an iPhone text background, so the final result was something of a collaboration between me and the editor. Also there are cupcakes--everyone likes looking at cupcakes and using them as a desktop or as decoration on digital devices is not uncommon. Who doesn't feel better looking at cupcakes?

All of these were created using varying combinations of watercolor, gouache, acrylic, ink, and gel pen. Gel pens are severely underrated.

mini paintings for mini spaces

 So I moved! But that means that I have neither the space nor the ventilation to make oil paintings. It would be nice to be able to do larger-scale oils, but I can always take the train back up to Mom's and work if I feel so inclined. In the meantime, I can work on tiny little guys like these.

These are created using watercolor and gouache, which works out beautifully on the fabric. The fabric is mounted onto little embroidery hoops that I found at a craft store (SO much cheaper and cuter than round canvas stretchers). The ovals are 5 X 3.5 inches, and the circles have a 3 inch diameter. 

So very tiny. 

The ovals feature some kind of slightly mutated hoodie, now a bit frillier and more overtly feminine, and a mysterious wooded area. Maybe this is my subconscious interpretation of moving and going into the unknown. 

The circles were a little trickier (you know how I feel about circles), and I was originally going to stick with the hoodie theme, but I went for animals instead. Owls and rabbits are some of my favorites, so here they are. 

 
That owl looks kind of confused, doesn't it?

Anyway, I don't normally paint or draw animals on their own, but these were fun. These pieces are mainly meant to be decorative, and I was mainly concentrating on making something cute that I would continue to enjoy looking at, and their small size means I can put them in weird little corners. 

The only issue? They need to have some kind of sealant, preferably a spray sealant, to protect the paint.  


the only acceptable circle painting i have ever been able to achieve



I would like to start off this post by saying that I hate painting on circles. Seriously. Circles are just awful. Someone bought me a circular canvas about, oh, six or seven years ago now, and except for the layers of erased charcoal smudges, it's still blank.

Circles are stupid.

They just are. I have no issue with ovals, and none with squares or rectangles. I can create a composition on any of those shapes just fine, but not circles. Everything magically looks cheesy on a circle. If it's a regular composition, like a portrait or a scene, you think, okay, but why is it on a circle? Why not on some rectangular shape? How is the circle relevant to the image? Or, worse, people try to get clever with circles and paint things like planets or celestial vistas or something and they always turn out just embarrassingly trite. I've seen some abstract work turn out successfully on circles, but I'm not an abstract painter. And meanwhile, I have this 18-inch circular canvas kicking around and I kind of just want it to go away.

I think the only time a circular composition is justifiable is when the circle on which one is painting is an object, rather than merely a canvas. This, for example, is the sawn-off base of an old Yule tree that I found in the yard. It's small size (about 3 inches in diameter--yes, I have little hands) and its nature as being a slice of tree trunk saves it from Circle Doom. If this was on a larger canvas, it would be kind of a fail. I was thinking of doing more of these, since we have some ancient firewood in the basement that I could cut up. But that means using the beastly circular saw (irony!) and I never really feel like doing that. Yet another reason why having a band saw would make my life easier.

So this is the Bird Girl. I was thinking of screwing a hook into the top (it's about half and inch thick) and making her into some kind of ornament, but for right now she lives on the kitchen table.