Nov 4, 2011

"Stripes" Illustration Friday

Is this a desperate attempt at meeting the prompt this week? An illiteration with the letter "S"? I chose to do another paper piece with some striped paper. Seven Swans a Swimming Soaking in Striped life Savers. I'm paper illustrating the 12 days of Christmas as the season is almost here for such artistic folly. This was my take on the swan part to that long, long song.

I actually love swans having snapped a few dozen pictures of them during our visit to London near Kensington Palace. S for Snow was appropriate for the Denver area again this week. We got over 6 inches of the stuff with cold temperatures. Sunny today though. Maybe more tomorrow. Sweet!-if it's going to be cold, bring on the snow!

Oct 30, 2011

Cut Paper Bridal Fashion Illustration

I love quilling and making these paper dresses with all the frou frou works when I quill the pieces as I did for all the ruffles on the dress. I also love this shade of pink-sort of ballet pink. Her head piece is tissue paper which I'd originally cut to try making tissue paper flowers. I took it apart and used the individual paper petals to make her veil. I quilled the 'orchids' for her bouquet using paper punch and dotting the color on the centers to look like white/mauve phalaenopsis. Brushes from Photoshop compete the background. I'm just having so much fun making these!

Oct 28, 2011

Illustration Friday "Scary"

No, I didn't think this was a good illustration for the 'scary' prompt because scary rhymes with fairy. I actually find the idea of the unknown beneath the surface of the lake or a pond and even the ocean to be very scary. Growing up we'd swim in lakes and that squishy bottom you'd walk on was always scary. Like under-the-bed monsters the lake had aquatic ones! This cut paper piece is mixed media (wrapping paper, scrap booking paper, hand painted paper, etc) and 3D by raising up the elements. I digitally blurred the fish to give him the underwater treatment but other than that no other digital. I'm not into scary things so the ghoulish holiday isn't my thing. But Happy Halloween anyway!

Oct 25, 2011

Cut Paper Fashion Illustration

We're expecting snow by tomorrow. Looks like an indoor project is just the thing. I have been working on fashion model drawings which has been good practice for figure drawing. Sometimes, no matter how well one knows how to draw, the human body still remains one of the toughest for me. I'll draw hands and look at them embarrassingly so as they look like I draw like a 7th grader. Hands are totally impossible. I've learned to have to make them much longer than you think. Practice makes perfect! I love cut paper and combining these two-fashion and paper I love making the dresses so here is another one. I also get to use all my quilling supplies and made another bouquet with quilling techniques.

Oct 21, 2011

"Fuel" Illustration Friday

My week's illustration is a new concept I've been working on:  Recreating lovely dresses on paper croquis using mixed media to do so. This is different paper, beads, newspaper, and I  made the flower bouquet from quilling skills. It is framed and textures added in Photoshop. I've been working on developing my fashion illustration skills also.

So what fuels the little girl's desire to get married? Biology? Society? Expectations? Why when I watch "Say Yes to the Dress" I often hear, "I want to look like a Princess"...So is it Disney? mmmm...When did getting married become so out of control? Party favors for your guests? Never heard of anything like that 23 years ago. I thought a good dinner and entertainment to help you celebrate the nuptials was enough. Now there is ice sculptures complete with running martinis, comfy sofa areas for lounging, predinner, dinner, and after dinner options-the list goes on. Perhaps it is some people's priority to have a huge celebration and there are others who elope. I guess the options are endless but I always wonder how we got to having so many options in the first place!

Oct 18, 2011

La Salle a Manger

Couldn't help naming this in French-brushing up on my language skills and trying to learn Italian. Having just been to France in August I'd gotten warmed up only to leave. I knew my French was coming back when I argued with two little girls standing in line for the restroom on who was next to use it on the flight home! We're traveling to Paris next month again for the hubby's job so want to be able to communicate like a native. But then again, the French never think you speak properly no matter how fluent you are!

This is just an attempt at a free-spirited quick painting. I'd done the drawing earlier this summer and wanted to play with my intense gouche colors I received in my Yule stocking last year! I love Matisse so his art influenced this simple drawing. Sometimes doing mindless coloring and simple lines is therapeutic. I like being able to zen sometimes and not over think art.

Aug 17, 2011

Le Grand Tour

My daughter and I just completed 2 weeks in Europe on a bus tour of 6 countries. Since we departed from Paris, I wanted to extend our stay by just one day so I could fulfill a desire to see Giverny and Monet's garden and waterlily pond. Waking up to rain on the hotel window and a cloudy morning, I was anxious that the opportunity would be marred by the weather. We arrived through a local tour company to Giverny around 2:45 pm. I could barely contain myself to run to the pond. I'd studied this, seen photos and taught about Monet when I was an art teacher and now I was here! Just at the point that I arrived and began taking pictures, the sun came out and the brilliance of the lilies and the Japanese bridge were on display for me. It was absolutely breathtaking. It is exactly as you see it in photos and better in person. Since my daughter and I kept travel journals, I had to sketch out Monet so here is a page from my journal. C'etait Magnifique!

Jul 22, 2011

Illustration Friday "Perennial"

Ah, the summer perennial favorite...well, at least it is mine...tomatoes! I've been boycotting grocery store tomatoes now for years since it doesn't matter how many times I've gotten suckered in to the 'they look good this time' purchase of store tomatoes. Then I get home, cut one open and it is either mushy or hard or no flavor. It's red, it looks like a tomato but it ISN'T! My garden tomatoes are hanging on the vines now but still green. I've had a few cherry tomatoes and nothing beats that first warmed by the sun bite. Here's hoping we don't have any more hail that could obliterate my long awaited for garden tomatoes!

I use to take tomato sandwiches to school pretty regularly and especially the first day of school. Everyone would look at what I was eating in my lunch and then announce how 'weird' I was. I first got that idea from a favorite book I loved in 5th grade: Harriet The Spy by Louise Fitzhugh published in 1964. (good year by the way!) LOVED that book having read it over many times myself after our teacher had read it aloud to the class that year. Remember when teachers did that? They don't have time anymore for that indulgence but I love it!

Anyway, my take on Illustration Friday's theme this week is not only a botanical in graphite I did but my favorite garden veggie, and my favorite sandwich!

Jul 15, 2011

Illustration Friday "Gesture"

Charlie Brown's Christmas and Linus' gesture of warmth
towards it with his blanket.
I have a thing for trees. I suppose that makes me a tree-hugger. I'll take the title gladly. Growing up watching the holiday Peanuts special and not only feeling sorry for Charlie Brown but also the little helpless tree made me sad. I was glad when Linus put his blanket around the base of the scrawny thing. I felt relief watching that show. So, I guess with a little nod towards "Christmas in July" and the theme of 'gesture' this week, I chose my simple watercolor of the pathetic Christmas tree and Linus's blanket to illustrate. That gesture was symbolic in the program but it certainly made me feel better. To this day, I still feel the pain of trees when someone is pulling on them or chopping them down. Trees are the most magnificent creature on earth I think because they witness so much more than we ever will. Walking years ago through Valley Forge, I stopped and looked at the trees there in the park and it hit me that these guys had witnessed the Revolutionary War! How cool is that? So, make a nice gesture towards a tree some time soon and give it a hug-they've seen a lot!

Jul 10, 2011

Melange Team July Challenge "Freedom"

'Freedom' 16 X 11 mixed media c. angelia mclean 2011
I find doing pieces of art when there is a challenge like Melange Teams multi-media collage challenge very motivating for me. I actually do something rather than say I'm going to or think about doing it. Freedom is an important word for me. Not only living in the USA and what freedom means to an American but also personally. I like the freedom to search for new ways of doing something, or exploring or finding a new art or activity. I often look at birds and almost envy their liberties. That desultory flitting around through the air in this 'could care less' manner. Butterflies have this erratic way of showing off their freedom. Like they know they have freedom but can't quite decide how best to go forward with it. This month's theme was not only appropriate for the month in which we celebrate Independence Day but as I said, I found it personal and so as I get older freedom is more and more important to me. I collaged birds and butterflies with a person about to take flight herself. There are layers of tissue paper, paint and ink on watercolor paper.

Jul 8, 2011

Illustration Friday "Stay"

"Stay"-paper collage illustration
I enjoyed this week's challenge. It made me get going on a collage using paper that I've wanted to work on for a while now. Just put it together in my sketchbook. I like drawing croquis (fashion figures) and keep practicing over and over. I've taken enough life drawing classes to say the least but that doesn't mean I can actually draw a human body!

Having first considered the word 'stay' with its most obvious definition, it occurred to me that there is a word you don't hear much anymore using 'stay' as in 'stays' as in those that are used to support the corset. So, my illustration for this week's challenge is working off the corset stay and I through in the Stay the Night after I saw the outcome of my piece.

Jul 1, 2011

Illustration Friday "Remedy"

Happy July 1st. I love summer and when I start to complain about how hot it is I quickly remind myself that being cold is way worse! Ad having a cold isn't something I deal with very often-less so now than when I use to teach art in the classroom. But that may have strengthened my immune system. I'm also not a germaphobe-mom and I think it's helped with the health of my teens-they don't exist in a hermetically-sealed-germ-free-spotless house. They rarely miss any school due to illness. Being that the topic this week is 'remedy' the thoughts of colds etc came to mind. That and the effective herbal remedy of Echinacea. I am a botanical illustrator and this is one of my botanicals depicting the native Colorado specie. I'm much more into grapefruit and a multi-vitamin regime but others swear by the flower's effectiveness. Happy Friday!

Jun 24, 2011

Illustration Friday "Midsummer Night"

Summer Solstice and Midsummer Night Mixed Media
Midsummer Night is Solstice and celebrating this night is a big deal for my family. Some years we throw a big open house party outside with lots of food, music and twinkle lights and other years it is a family picnic and yard games at a local park. This year was sort of quieter and we rung in the longest day of the year with icecream. Midsummer Night's Dream is one of my favorite of the Shakespearean genre. All in all, midsummer night is my favorite day (and night) of the year!

Jun 17, 2011

Illustration Friday "Launch"

I design gift wrapping paper and children's illustrations so this is what I thought of when I saw this week's theme of "launch". Never one to care for heights or daring acts of bravery, I have never been personally launched. I try to imagine what it would be like to take off in the shuttle and see how high you're going. I have a hard time imagining the heights we reach flying and then of course the fear sets in of falling from this height! It still remains quite a remarkable human feat to have designed something to launch into space and land up there. Not for me though!

Mar 4, 2011

Illustration Friday "Warning"

An old photo found after a storm where the windows had been blown open and the shutters knocked together loudly as if they, too, were angry. It lay tattered in a puddle, damaged almost beyond recognition. Who was here just before the heavens opened? Who lost their hat as it blew into the graveyard and their hair blinded them as they stumbled? Warning signs; 'do not enter'.

Feb 25, 2011

Illustration Friday "Swarm"

Okay, so it isn't a swarm illustration, per se, but a bee having thought the girl's dress a field of flowers...oops and this is what I think of when I hear the word swarm. Keeping bees I've seen swarms. They're actually very facinating and when all together like that, bees are an engine. Last May I had a fellow beekeeper come and collect a swarm from the neighbor's yard. It was at least 18" long and a foot wide. The beekeeper said it was one of the largest swarms he'd ever seen. Since we didn't have the equipment, he collected it, and passed it on to another fellow beekeeping hobbyist. I love bees and for the most part can stand quite close with no harm. Last summer I was in their direct path and got stung near the bridge of my nose. Needless to say, I didn't react well to the sting and didn't see very well from that part of my face! But bees are absolutely magical! And swarms too!

Feb 13, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

I really enjoyed giving the valentine spirit this year. I remember fondly (sarcasm) a few Valentine's Days which ended up being the whole week before working as a florist. 18 hour days on my feet and sitting once to go to the bathroom. I exaggerate not! The further I've gotten from those valentine days I've returned to the spirit. I made cupcakes and decorated them, practicing my roses over and over again. I sent hand-written cards with long diatribes in them. Something we don't do often enough-writing letters. I made sweet bags for my co-workers and gave my kids valentine chocolates. We as a family did the fondue thing and watched a favorite family program with pizza tonight. All in all a good weekend. Seems like tomorrow will be anti climatic. 

This is a picture of a card I've designed for my husband. I design these characters and just beginning to get them into cards and creating silly buttons and sculpting them in 3D doll form. I call them my chicklits. Happy Valentine's Day!