Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Month of Fear - Demons Within

Last week challenge for Month of Fear was Demons Within. I decided to go with demons within the home and made this small pop-up book featuring some household demons I created:

This short compendium includes Pedulefur, who steals individual socks from the drier; Tenentium, who takes up all the valuable space in the closet; and Mucilagosa, who is responsible for the pink scum ring around the tub.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Month of Fear - What Are You Afraid Of?

Have you noticed a change in the air? Crisper leaves? More ads for pumpkin flavored things at the coffee shop? Well, ladies and gents, it's October and that means it's time for another Month of Fear! It's the same story as before, a piece a week, inspired by different challenges. This week was "What Are You Afraid Of?"

Though I guess I'm technically an "adult" I still find myself afraid of the dark. It makes me jumpy, anxious, and I find myself walking a little more quickly than usual towards the nearest light.

I decided to double down on this challenge month, and have challenged myself to make not just an illustration a week, but a book a week (albeit probably pretty tiny books). The panels on this one measure in at just 2.25 x 2.25 inches.

Be sure to check out Month of Fear and see the incredible work coming in from so many artists:

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Grand Manan Rock Books

Every summer my family and a few friends make our pilgrimage up to the island of Grand Manan off the coast of New Brunswick in the Bay of Fundy. A fairly small and quiet island, Grand Manan is unbelievably scenic with panoramic ocean views, sheer cliffs, and long rock beaches. We rent out several cabins right on the edge of a marsh overlooking the ocean and, totally devoid a wireless connection, we spend our week reading, playing cards, hiking, picnicking and of course, drawing and painting. But one of our favorite past time is collecting rocks. It may sound pretty lame, but the rocks found around the Grand Manan archipelago are unlike any other. Just look at what I mean:

In honor of our overwhelmingly large rock collection (my mother actually has started returning some to the island), I decided to make a few little sketchbooks for my traveling companions.

Each book is decorated with some rocks drawn in pencil, sealed in wheat paste and bound up with some nice linen thread in durable book cloth. My great friend (and shameless plug: excellent writer) Celeste started hers right away with a few watercolors.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Tudor Safari

This month I've been watching lots of historical dramas and my favorite part is all the incredible costumes and sets. It inspired me to do a few small paintings to fill an empty demo board book I had left over from the semester. At first I just started a drawing of an elephant in Elizabethan garb, when I realized there was a pun at hand, and Elizaphant I was created. Followed by Hyenra VIII, Meery I and Elkward VI, the whole Tudor clan. They were then placed in the book in chronological order of coronation.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Book Arts Final

As some of you already know, I spent the last semester teaching Book Arts for the Illustration department at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. It was an absolute blast and I worked with some truly talented students. Throughout the semester we work a variety of books, students learn different structures and fill them with content of their choice. For the final projects, students get a month to work on a book structure of their choosing which gets filled with content and is housed in a handmade box. Below is a variety of student's final projects:

See individual projects after the jump...

Stretched Watercolor Paper

This week, looking for a way to change things up, I tried out a new method: stretching watercolor paper on canvas stretcher bars. I have always been a bit jealous of the way a canvas can have such a complete feeling, no framing or matting necessary. The end result was quite successful.

I've never found it particularly necessary to stretch my watercolor paper given the small size of my work and the restricted amount of water I use but with the canvas finish it may be my new way to prep for most of my painting work.

And though it's just a test piece, it's wall ready with some of our other work around the house.

So Many Posts, So Little Time

Contrary to what the absence of posts on this blog might imply, I have been busy busy busy with the art. One of the more time-consuming parts of art (besides, you know, the art making) is getting all these pictures and things to be blog ready. But I have photoshopped long and hard and there are about to be many posts thrown up here.

First of all, the results of the Spring Sale at MassArt were slightly disappointing. Out of 20 boxes and 10 books, only 5 boxes and 1 book sold. The silver-lining to this situation however is that hopefully these unsold items will find their way on to an online platform from where you (that's right you) can purchase them for your own enjoyment.

I was also commissioned by my fellow Illustration alum, Kim Buhler, to maker a specialized ladybug box for her mom for Mother's Day.

Pretty adorable, huh?

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Spring Sale at MassArt

Yesterday, I dropped off a month's worth of work at MassArt's annual Spring Sale, which starts today and goes until Saturday, the 10th. Twenty boxes and ten books later and I'm taking a well-deserved weekend off.


So if you're in the Boston area be sure to stop by!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Getting Cultured in New York

Last weekend I took a long overdue trip down to New York City to see friends, family and everything else New York has to offer. A friend and I made Saturday a getting-cultured sort of day and spent the entire afternoon-evening viewing some wonderful art.

First stop was the New-York Historical Society for John James Audubon’s original watercolor paintings for his huge (in size and content) print edition of The Birds of America (1827–38).

More about the day after the jump...

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Coming Soon...

Next month my books and butterflies will be available to buy at the MassArt spring sale, running from May 4th to 10th. Below is a sampling of what will be available for purchase.

Your very own small butterfly collection. Each butterfly is hand painted in watercolor and pinned into a handmade box lined with cork. Every boxes lid contains the name of the butterfly as well as a carved indent of its shape.

These blank sketchbooks are inspired by old furniture from auction catalogues. Each book is wrapped in hand drawn paste paper and decorated with a  cut paper piece of furniture. Pages of soft drawing paper are sewn into a durable spine of bookcloth.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Month of Love - Fetish

This weeks theme was Fetishes, so I chose to do Formicophilia, which is apparently an attraction to insects. I basically just used it as an excuse to make more bugs in a box, though these ones are a bit more risque than the butterflies.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Month of Love - Favorite Love Story

Another week, another Month of Love piece! This week's theme was Favorite Love Story...

I guess 'favorite' and 'love story' might not be the best words to describe to Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy. It's more like most unforgettable heartbreak of my young life. The books definitely do not qualify as love stories but for some reason the way they ended really stuck with me. I was also probably very jealous that people's souls were animals who hung around their person, talking with them and being their closest friends.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Another Month of Love!

It's February again, which means it's time for another Month of Love! This year there are even more artists doing a piece a week featuring a variety of lovey-dovey themes. This weeks theme was #nofilter Valentine.

I decided to do some cynical true meanings of various traditional Valentine's candies. These are worth looking at big, since some of the text is so small. And don't forget to check out all the other great work at monthoflove.blogspot.com

Butterfly Collection

I finished painting these butterflies a long time ago, like October-long-time-ago. But I was waiting on all the other elements to come together. Finally, one day the Goodwill, I found a small shadow box for $3 (that's a price you cannot beat) from which I stripped out the kitschy elements of the interior and painted over the slightly scuffed exterior. I glued a strip of cork board in the back and took a handful of pins from the fashion department at work. Then my butterfly collection finally came together:

I would love to make several more of these smaller boxes, I have plenty of leftover painted butterflies that wouldn't fit in this box.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Paper Dogs

These were some paper doll-dogs I made for a friends birthday card. Our favorite puppies are corgis and pugs, so it was incredibly fun and adorable to make.