Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Repurposed Christmas Gifts

Around Christmastime we all realize there are lots of people we would like to get gifts for but can't really afford to do so. This year I decided to make something quick and easy to give to the people I couldn't afford gifts for. So I made ornaments and nice little boxes for them to go in.

The boxes were made out of (very seasonably appropriate) Trader Joe's bags wrapped around card stock to make them more durable. 

Inside were ornaments made of old Christmas cards and 
homemade paste paper.

Yay! Instagifts!

Friday, December 2, 2011

More Illuminated Letters

So I am committed to my illuminated letters, we are settling down and getting finished. People keep saying "Alice, what are you doing now that you graduated?" and I wanna be able to say "This! WABAM!" And then pull out all this cool finished, bound, alphabet book, instead of making a fish gasping for air noise/face. So here are some more letters...

 M is for Menagerie
And P is P√Ętisserie

Fun fact, P√Ętisserie is a government regulated title in France and Belgium. Only bakeries with a master pastry chef may use the title after going through a rigorous training process. The more you know...

More letters to come soon.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Guess Who's Getting Published?

Over the summer I found on online call for Artists Books to be published by Quarry Books in the upcoming year. I applied, crossed my fingers and forgot about it for a little while. I mean, a shot in 1,000 doesn't seem like such long odds but people were applying from all over the world. I heard back a little while ago and my tunnel book "Tavern In the Green" was accepted!

 The book will be available in June 2012 and I cannot wait!

Click the image for more info.

"The book is a timeless art form, one that is as alive today as ever before, and artists continue to explore and explode the boundaries of what a book is and can be. In this beautiful collection, you will experience close-up various aspects of hand-crafted books: covers, bindings, scrolls, folded and origami structures and books made from found objects. You will find richly illustrated and calligraphed pages as well as books created from a variety of printed processes. Ingenuity and creativity abounds in this carefully curated collection of both historically important and modern works."

Also appearing in the book is my friend Stefan, he's pretty rad, check it out:

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Gotta Get Back Into the Art Swing of Things

For the past several (graduated!) months I have been working a full time job for my school. Now I have dropped down to part time and I hope it will leave me some more time for my art. Coming home after an 8 hour day every day and finding the enthusiasm to do art is really difficult, I'm hoping with my extra time now I can be productive. So first project out the door is this card I made for my boss as a thank you for all he has done to help me over the past three years. He liked to ask in the morning if I -obviously the color astute artist- thought his tie matched the rest of his outfit. Since I will no longer be around to help out I made him this handy interactive color wheel...

The first layer of shirts is painted in watercolor than placed on top is a circle made of acetate. Painted on the acetate in gouache are the ties. Holding the two pieces together are those things you use in the punched holes of reports to hold them together. So the top layer of acetate can spin around on top around and vary all the ties with each shirt. Like this handy .gif demonstrates...

If you click on the image, it will move.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Illuminated Letters

Recently in my attempts to get myself to do art post-graduation I have been working on an Illuminted Letters Alphabet. Originally I was just going to make one 'A' but then I got caught up in it, so now I'm moving on to the whole alphabet. Each letter is inspired by an obscure or unusual word.

A was before I really had any idea of a theme. I guess in retrospect A is for Aviary.

I then experimented with some color, scanning in old test strips of watercolor samples. 
Still not quite sure if I like that look or not yet.

B is for Bric-a-Brac: Small, usually ornamental objects valued for 
their antiquity, rarity, originality, or sentimental associations

C is for Cornucopia.

Then I got bored with D and skipped to H, which is for Horology:  
the art or science of measuring time

Currently in progress is E for Entomology

Saturday, May 14, 2011

This Post Is Way Overdue

A few months ago I completed the work on my senior thesis project which ended up being a five spread pop up book, based on the novel "Haroun and the Sea of Stories" by Salman Rushdie. After hand making two books I finally found the time to photograph it and here it is:

The cover
The first spread, including title page.

  The second spread -the little boy at the door opens too.
The third spread.
The fourth spread.

The fifth and final spread.

But the book ended up being a whole lot longer than this, it included a graphic summary in the back talking about my process and the creation of each pop up. That can be seen after the jump:

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Glass Castle

Recently for my mask making class we had to make masks based on stories from our heritage. After making the mask we would then photograph it and collage it into a final illustration. I researched my Polish background and found very little, but I did come up with one story: The Glass Castle. This is the story of a princess who lives in a castle on top of a mountain of glass. Many knights try and reach the top, but all fail to climb the mountain or are devoured by a giant eagle who watches over the castle. Finally a young, unpretentious man climbs up the mountain, grabs onto the eagles feet and flies to the top of the mountain. In the courtyard of the castle he encounters a tree the grows golden apples, fruit which wards off the dragon who gaurds the castle. Finally he makes it to the princess who he marries and they live happily ever after atop a glass mountain.

Here's the sketch for the mask:

Then I built the mask/headpiece out of wire, masking tape and plaster gauze, and painted it with acrylic paint. The glass mountain was built out of watercolor paper.

Then I photographed myself wearing the mask.

I painted individual pieces in watercolor to scan into the computer
and collage digitally.

Finally I took the whole thing into Photoshop and pulled it all together.
I think the end result is kinda unsettling.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Bark Fur Art: Benefit for the Boston MSPCA

On Thursday, April 28 (from 6-9), I will be participating with several pieces in the Bark Fur Art event, which benefits the Boston's MSPCA. Half the proceeds will go to the MSPCA, so come out and support animals in need! My cohorts Amanda Lo and Kerrian White will also be featuring their art for the animals.

More details at the Facebook event:

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Mailers, Mailers, Mailers

In the past two months time has been moving outrageously quickly and graduation looms on the horizon. Meanwhile in my portfolio class I'm working on getting ready to be an illustrator in the real world. Part of this phase is making postcard mailers and business cards to hand out to art directors and other professionals. Here are mine:

Also, with all this career building comes a somewhat more professional website, which is now available here:

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Chameleon Mask

So here's the planning, execution and illustration of a chameleon mask I made. I'm not incredibly crazy about the mask but it was really fun to make and the final illustration is something I really enjoy.

Sketches, trying to examine the mask from all different sides.
The mask, made of wire, masking tape and painted in acrylic. Photo by Cherry Au.

The final illustration of the character in it's environment (watercolor).
To see more cool masks check out the class' blog:

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

It Is Not Only Fine Feathers That Make Fine Birds

So this is actually back from in December, but I finally got around to photographing it. The tunnel book depicts one of Aesop's Fables called "The Jay and the Peacock" which goes like this:
A Jay venturing into a yard where Peacocks used to walk, found
there a number of feathers which had fallen from the Peacocks when
they were moulting.  He tied them all to his tail and strutted
down towards the Peacocks.  When he came near them they soon
discovered the cheat, and striding up to him pecked at him and
plucked away his borrowed plumes.  So the Jay could do no better
than go back to the other Jays, who had watched his behaviour from
a distance; but they were equally annoyed with him, and told him:

 "It is not only fine feathers that make fine birds."

This is the tunnel book in all its three dimensional glory.

This is a scan of all the flattened layers. It just captures the color better.

As usual, its all watercolor (although this time with a bit of gouache in all those feathers).

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Senior Thesis Show

   After a years worth of work the Senior class of MassArt is putting on our thesis show. Despite the fact that I have been a slacker about posting up my actual work from my Degree Project on the blog it will all be there. There is some really incredible work worth coming out to see. These are my pieces that show, keep in mind they are literally small pieces of bigger whole pop up spreads illustrating Salman Rushdie's "Haroun and the Sea of Stories." Photographs of the final pop up spreads will be up soon, but for now...

All the pieces are Watercolor on Arches Paper