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!