Monday, November 14, 2011

Christmas project

 Sorry these pictures are so tiny. I will be taking better ones as the project gets finished. This year for Christmas I decided I really wanted to do a monster book for my kids. If you're an Anthropologie fan like me, you'll have seen their Monster book for kids which is almost as tall as a child. Mine will be a little different. It will still be bigger than normal at about three feet by two feet (-ish), and it will be made of cloth like theirs, only without the hard cover (unfortunately funds won't allow me to go all out in that arena). Also, the artwork is a little different and instead of just made-up monsters (I was lacking creativity at the time), I decided I wanted to do the monsters from legend and myth as well as the imaginary. Here are three of the ones I chose to do:

The Griffin, the Cyclops and Medusa. I also have a Dragon, Fairy, Mermaid, Pegasus ( I know, not a monster, but it is myth and I used to love Pegasus' when I was young), reg. Monsters (the kind that hide under your bed and in your closet), and a Giant. I'm thinking next I will do a Basilisk. They weren't what I thought at all. JK Rowling's idea however awesome (and I really do love it, don't get me wrong), was way off course concerning these creatures. There are real lizards holding the name of Basilisk and they are the coolest animals. They are very small, actually, with cool head gear and poisonous (or so the legend states) and they are so fast when they run that they can actually glide on top of the water. Very cool.

Also, you might be thinking, why is she doing mermaids and fairies etc? Well, they may be 'cute' creatures, but there cuteness actually is their way of charming mortals to their doom, which I find extremely interesting as well as horrifying. And Medusa as far as I have read (and perhaps I should read up more to double check) wasn't as ugly as she is portrayed in the old movies. She used to be a muse, who I assume were beautiful, and was cursed into her snake-hair-stone-making-eye fate. I tried to make her look angry. Hope it worked.

I'm still struggling as to what I should do for my last two characters. I was thinking Vampire and Swamp Thing, but I'm really not set on those. I feel like Vampires are off the path I want to take (and way over done these days) and The Swamp Thing is more of a comic book character, not mythological. So, I'm open to suggestions. Only be quick because I've got to knock this thing out as soon as I can.

After the pictures are all completed I will be sewing it all together between a cloth cover made to look like shiny snake skin (really cool). Then I will do the text so that I can make sure it is evenly placed on the page and doesn't get cut off in the cracks. I will use different kinds of type for that and freehand it onto the cloth. Like I said before, I will take pictures when the project is completed. Cross your fingers that I don't mess up! (I probably do. I'm a pantser when it comes to my artwork). Wish me luck!

Lost pictures...

I was looking through some older photos on another blog of mine and found some missing pictures that I never uploaded to this site. (If any of these are duplicates...sorry). Descriptions below. Oh, and please don't judge me entirely by the quality of these pieces. I hope I've improved =).

1. This first painting is one I was excited to do. It's different than anything I've done before. I found this old cabinet door at a salvage store and the scripture printed on the bottom holds the inspiration behind the piece. So, you'll just have to go and read it now, won't you? =) Obviously I copied a little of Warren Kimble's style. At the time he was one of my favorites.

2. Here is a close-up of one of the walls in the daughter's room. The first murals I ever painted were in that bedroom. This wall was unfinished and I forgot to take the picture and stick it in with the rest of the Cinderella pics. I was especially proud of the way this vase and stool turned out. I think right then I started understanding how to paint on walls. It's a whole new ballgame when you are working on such a large surface, and with no way to really adjust your 'canvass'. Now I'm an old hat at it =).

3 & 4. These are dolls I made my girls. The materials used were ones from old clothes that I loved. The top I used left over pieces of fabric from clothing my mother made herself when she was young (she used to make quite a bit of her own clothing). The lighter brownish cloth was some I inherited from one of my favorite people in the world, my Aunt. I used to spend so much time there, and this same material she had used to cover a bench cushion. The second doll's fabric was less romantic, it came from a pair of my most favorite pajama pants and I was so sad when they ripped one day because the material is gorgeous!

I went through quite the phase. If you've gone through this whole blog you'll see others I made. And I doubt I'm done in that department. Although next I'm hoping to try something along the lines of clay modeling as well as felting.

5. This is a fun little painting I did for my sister's birthday. I did it in about 30 minutes and you can probably tell, but I loved painting it. I'm learning patience as I go. The cat is really done in remembrance of a cat she once owned. He was still alive at the time, but since then he has died and now he is immortalized in this painting. And wouldn't you know, he had a smile just like that! Okay, so he didn't. Ironically enough, he always looked pretty grumpy. Maybe it was because he was so fat. The doll, on the other hand, I gave red hair because that's my sister's color. Very pretty.

6. This is a painting of the Prophet, Gordan B. Hinkley. I painted this (several years back) for my parents as a Christmas present while they were serving their first LDS mission to South Africa, as he was the prophet at the time they were called. This, sadly to say, was never really finished and was my very first portrait so was very difficult. I was under a time restraint because it needed to dry (and do oils really ever dry???) and then I had to allow for shipping time, which to Africa is VERY VERY long. So, someday maybe I'll try the oil portraits again, but I'll make sure I have enough time to really put in the work deserved for something so challenging.


 7 & 8. These are other pictures I did the same year as the above portrait (I believe) for my siblings for Christmas. The top one is a scene from Rottenberg, Germany. I don't know why, but that was a toughy for me. I guess it would help if I actually painted more and practiced. Someday my dreams will come true and I'll have my own studio where I can keep my paints out--where kids won't come in and paint for me--and I can pick up a brush on a whim and  just paint all day long. Back on track now--the last one is a portrait I did for my oldest brother of his wife. I used one of their wedding pictures for this and you probably can't tell, but she's leaning on a piano. This was difficult for me as well, again with painting faces and this one on such a small canvas. But I was impressed with my restraint in not putting so much detail in the background, a flaw of mine which I am still conquering.

Again--I know these are amateurish pieces, but I'm still learning and growing. Next I will post a few pictures of the beginning process of a book I'm making for my kids. It's pretty fun.