Saturday, November 27, 2010

Baker Face

My husband made a turkey cake for Thanksgiving, and I posted the image on Facebook. My Dad saw it and noted that one of the marshmallows had a face. So I took the image of the face, blew it up and added some lines and shading in Photoshop to make a baker face. (this week's Illustration Friday topic was "Savour" maybe that inspired the food art.) Below is the photo of the cake he made. Can you find the face?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sketchpad Pro and iPad

My husband bought himself an iPad as an early Christmas present. (He's flying to Europe next week and wanted it for the plane ride.) I'd heard of the Sketchpad Pro app, and after some time trying to remember the correct app name he downloaded it for me. It's a powerful little drawing app. Hubby was amazed when he ran to the store for a few items and came back to find I'd completed this. "Wow! You did that fast." Well, the fact that the leaves were their own brush helped a great deal, and the mirroring option for doing the border.

It was kind of fun drawing with my finger, like finger painting with leaves...

Saturday, November 06, 2010


A long time since posting. LIFE (all caps!) We rented a house, moved in, and 11 days later the house was foreclosed. I know that this story has played out for countless renters around the country--but you never think it could happen to you for real. The terms of our lease were sketchy--when we insisted on a one year lease the landlord hand wrote "min 1 year" on the Month to Month lease paperwork he presented us with. So we have found a new house to rent, will be taking the Bank's offer of Cash for Keys and getting out of a location that is a litigation hotspot. (the former owners are suing the bank, and weird mail for many different people shows up in our mailbox.) But the house has a lovely garden with a boganvia bush in it--so something pretty to look at while we get ready to move again. But it is so hard to carve out time for art with all this going on.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Illustration Friday: Acrobat

With all the complications going on in my life right now I've been finding it not just hard to fine time to put pencil to paper, but also difficult to find the mental energy.
Our cat is named "Tidbit" because she was very tiny when we got her, and we thought she was full grown. Turns out she misrepresented her age on her Humane Society application and she's become a much larger Tidbit. But she can still jump like anything. We play a game with her, or maybe she plays the game with us? At the kids' bedtime she runs into the bedrooms and I have to call her out, and then give her a treat. But I make her do tricks, like dancing or leaping in order to get her treat. She's quite the acro-cat.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Illustration Friday: Immovable

The more I thought about explaining this image, the more tangled my thoughts became. I thought about how these old trees seem immovable, and in someways they are. But this image comes from what is called a "fairy ring." The mother tree was felled and shipped up to help build San Francisco in the 1800's. Daughter trees then grew up around the stump. So while the tree itself was moved, the spirit of the forest remained immovable. For now.

So then I thought about how art is immovable, in that it is a captured moment in time. But as I worked on this image I moved it around (it is 18 x 24) to get to the edges. And I realised that while the image itself may be immovable, our perspective and point of view aren't static. This drawing looks just fine rotated 90 degrees.

Is the world then in constant flux? Was Einstein right--it is all relative?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Illustration Friday: Atmosphere

I'm trying to get back to drawing--but it has been hard. Many many changes. The most recent is that I will be homeschooling my son this year using a Virtual Academy. So I've joined a homeschooling group that has regular park days as a way to deal with the big "socialization" question. One of things I've noticed is that the atmosphere in a homeschooling group is very different. We meet in a park with a stream running through it. The kids usually spend some time on the play ground just getting oriented, but then they head off into the woods to explore the world around them. Getting wet and dirty is just part of the learning process.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Illustration Friday: Artificial

So here's a question. I did this using ZeFrank's Scribbler tool. I drew a scribble using my touch pad (represented by the stronger lines) and then I ran the scribbler tool, stopped the scribbler tool, adjusted colors, transparency, scribbliness, and ran the tool again. I repeated this process until it looked done to me. The machine generated the image (and it wasn't even my machine, just some anonymous server somewhere out there) but I controlled the machine. Is it art? Is it artificial art?

So my thoughts about art are constantly evolving. When I was younger, representational art seemed more "artsy" to me. But when I realized that no matter how well you render that orange in your still life--while you can eat the model, you can't eat the image. All art has an ARTificial quality to it. So then I began to think that stylized art had more art to it, than camera precise rendering, which has more technique to it.

Monday, July 19, 2010

More Nature Art

This weekend I went back to the shell beach along the bay to do more nature art. (IF still didn't inspire me) I found a piece of charred driftwood and liked the contrast between the black and the white was interesting. It was also interesting to think about the contrast of fire and nature. Near where I was there are three acres that were accidentally burned by a couple of pre-teens.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Nature Art

I watched a documentary on Andrew Goldsworthy the other night and was inspired. I took my daughter to the San Francisco Bay this morning and we did nature art by the shore. Here are my two pieces. (more photos here )

Family Art: Seals

We took a family vacation to San Diego. In the San Diego airport there was a painting that had been done by various artists of a single scene, and it gave me the idea to do one of our from our trip. I divided a photo into 12 sections and assigned various family members a square to copy as they saw fit. Here is the original photo.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Illustration Friday: Trail

This banana slug represents trail in several ways. The first is the slime trail that slugs and snails leave behind as they go about their business. The second is that we found this banana slug, (and 29 of his cousins) on along the trail on a hike in the Purisma Redwoods. And finally my own personal trail, where after living in many states, I've ended up 11 miles from where I was born. (Apparently I was less than pleased meeting a banana slug as a young baby!)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Illustration Friday: Equipment

Just a quick sketch--since I haven't posted in a while. This is my husband with his SCUBA equipment.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Illustration Friday: Linked

It has been quite a while since I posted--Life getting in the way.
So the most obvious link going on here is the tractor linked to the trailer. But this image links through time and generations too. I took my kids to visit my parents over Easter--so you have the Grandpa-grand kids link. But this link runs even deeper because MY grandpa build this tractor and trailer from scratch! Imagine being able to make a tractor.
This is my photo-base style.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Illustration Friday: Perspective

An unusual perspective: the Guide Chicken. I was teaching one point perspective to a group of third graders. While I was talking about guide lines, I lost their attention. So I started talking about chickens instead. When I mentioned "guide chicken" their attention returned. "What's a guide chicken?" Well that is an illustration challenge, what would a guide chicken look like. (more importantly what would a guide chicken do? Not as loyal or as smart as a dog...)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Illustration Friday: Propagate

It's been a while since I posted an IF. And when I read this one, I thought no way to create an appropriate children's illustration without using bunnies. So I wasn't going to do it until I walked into my son's room and saw the pile of paper airplanes accumulating there. Paper airplanes certainly have been propagating around here lately!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Illustration Friday: Clumsy

We went to Pier 39 in San Francisco yesterday, and the kids went through Magowan's Infinite Mirror Maze. That is definitely a place where you don't want to be clumsy. Magowan himself said that teenagers have a blast, especially if they have a clumsy friend.
This is my traced photo technique. Photo by Alexander Hanlin.
He kept getting turned around, and leading his sister out the entrance--but they finally manged to get through with the "one hand on the wall" suggestion.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Illustration Friday: (Rock'n thru the) Wilderness

"Rocket through the wilderness" ~ B52's
The line from Roam came into my head with this topic. We now have Rock Band 2 and both kids can play it. (This wasn't the case with the original Rock Band game.) But I also thought about childhood being a type of wilderness--roaming through uncharted territory before gaining adulthood. And how quickly the landscape changes.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Illustration Friday: Confined

We went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium this weekend, and while I was peering into a tank with baby giant clams, I thought of the IF topic: confined. How more confined could an animal be than stuck to a rock waiting for dinner to float by? (not to mention being stuck on a rock inside a tank.)