Monday, May 18, 2015

Magical May, I love you!


I've been painting more flowers. It is spring, after all!

"Earth laughs in flowers." - Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Bee to the blossom, moth to the flame; Each to his passion; what's in a name?" - Helen Hunt Jackson



"I am going to try to pay attention to the spring. I am going to look around at all the flowers, 
and look up at the hectic trees. I am going to close my eyes and listen." - Anne Lamott


"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful
than the risk it took to blossom." - Anais Nin



"If you carry your childhood with you, you never become older." - Tom Stoppard



"You can cut all the flowers, but you cannot keep spring from coming." - Pablo Neruda

Have a great week! 
xo, A

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Spring Flowers, Paint, Patterns & People


So far, May has been a lovely sunny month!
I try to eat out and outside as much as possible. In my neighborhood, I tend to 
alternate between two very different Italian places, Frankie's and Enoteca :)


What does this have to do with painting? not much.
But, springtime is the best time for painting! I love the light and being able to 
open windows for that semi fresh city air.


This is Fiona, I think it's obvious she loves flowers.


I painted this last spring after returning from a few days in California. 
It was just a color sketch for a MATS project that I didn't end up using. 
I really like the light, loose and airy quality.



hi 


If you visit my blog, you've probably seen these pieces. 
Sometimes I just enjoy adjusting color and looking at details.




I consider this Cherry Blossom tree to be my own personal tree. 
It stands outside my living room window and I really enjoy seeing it spring to life 
year after year (we've both been here a long time!)


Speaking of a long time, Court Express has been across the street from me since '94.
Some of the drivers come and go, but I've known several of them for over a decade. 
I mostly use the subway to get around, but it's nice to have these guys around!


I was very happy to run into Jon and his son with their new dog, Dixie last week. 
I remember how exciting it feels to get your 1st dog as a kid! Magic.


I haven't eaten at La Slowteria in quite some time, but it's good. 
Love their barrel of tulips and cute blue sign :)


Happy Friday! 
:: Enjoy your weekend ::
xo, A

Monday, April 27, 2015

Making a Poster! Make Art that Sells :)


This month in MATS Bootcamp, our assignment was to design a poster for 
Lilla Rogers' Global Art Gathering event in Brighton UK this summer.
We were encouraged to participate in a contest where the winner is paid and
has their design produced and used as the official poster and postcards for the event.
Here's the April Gallery if you'd like to see all the submissions! I'm on page 4 :)


I made some loose sketches and then just went for it, since I had some other 
projects to finish last week.


I stuck to my painterly, kid-centric style, which could limit my chance of winning.
The event is about creating commercially viable art, not solely for the kids' market.
but, you know ...
I've Gotta Be Me - Sammy Davis Jr
I Am What I Am - Shirley Bassey
I Yam What I Yam - Popeye  :D



I still look forward to trying some Skillshare classes to make more 
elegant, funky and/or fanciful lettering, but I think mine worked for 
the overall feel of my illustration. I wanted the Make Art that Sells to appear
as if it was drawn in the sand, but kinda tricky to do. 


Our brief included a color palette, dimensions and the essential information. 
I made my image too long and had to resize it in photoshop.
In the end, I think it actually helped to shorten it, but it sure is annoying 
when you realize your mistake.

Brighton - ice cream man in waders - photo by George W. Hales 1939

Of course, I went to Pinterest to see what Brighton is all about.
I really wish I could attend this event. I'm sure it will be fun and informative.
Plus, Brighton looks delightful!

Below - some of the reference I used for my piece. 
I love vintage travel posters, beach umbrellas and amusement park images.




My dog pays homage to this guy ;)


Pesaro would make a nice trip, too!



Have a great week!
xo, A

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Picture that!


Gustavo gondolier and his pal, Mick.

The past few months have been busy for me, painting sets on a TV show
and finishing up March on a big La-Z-Boy commercial. 
and YES, their spokesperson, Brook Shields 
still looks gorgeous!

vintage doll head, part of set decoration - The Following

This was a nice quiet weekend. I caught up on some of my own work,
tidied up my apt and got back to a CKO class. 
I did get out and enjoy the sunshine a little, too :)
I'm so happy spring is here (is that too hopeful?) The temps look
like they will stay on the mild side. I really hope so. 
This was a tough winter, although some say it was no worse than last year. 
Somehow it just seemed to go on & on & on.



Last Easter weekend, Kristine was here reading Lovey Bunny at Book Court.  
It was the 1st time I've heard Lovey read aloud :)
I have no idea why there was such a large podium 
with decorative fabric for a reading to mostly children.
For a minute I thought she was about to give a commencement speech.


Afterwards, a few of us went for lunch and did some browsing at Yesterday's News down near me.
I almost bought these little cats! but sometimes a picture is enough. I guess.


Yuko liked this Holland sign. It's pretty great, walks a thin line between cute and creepy ;D


Love this car.


I always enjoy eating at Frankies, especially with Kristine, Yuko & Melissa Zexter 
who met us later, thus taking the place of Melissa Iwai who had to go home.
 As I always say, there must be at least one Melissa in the group ;) 
Thom left us for another dinner date. 
Unfortunately, no Tom, Dick or Harry to take his spot.

I never remember the name of this Sangiovese blend, but it's a current favorite.


Sunday, we all met up for the 1st day of Smorgasburg down at Brooklyn Bridge Park.
I also learned that Melissa Iwai lives on this charming street with one of my favorite houses (above).

M. Zexter, me, M. Iwai and Yuko - photo by Kristine


Just a great doorway in Brooklyn Heights :)


I made it to MOMA this week to meet up with my college friend, Wendy 
who brought her 15 year old daughter, Lucy for her 1st visit to NYC. 
Wendy's lovely mom, Rhetta (I haven't seen in about 20 years) came, too!
This shot is about as much as we saw of the Bjork show.
The museum was packed and I don't think any of us had the patience to get through it.
Instead, we hit the Design, Photography and Painting floors.


This Gauguin is a sentimental fave! I always love seeing it.

Wendy, me & Rhetta - in front of Rock Ctr Anthro window - photo by Lucy

I think Lucy was just as happy to visit Anthropologie and Free People, despite
having the same stores down in Richmond. It's hard to understand, 
but they are terrific shops and it's fun when everything looks great on you :)
:::


The topic of stealing ideas came up in my MATS Bootcamp class this week, 
in our private Facebook group. Each month we receive an assignment and most
of us share sketches and initial ideas with each other for feedback and sometimes for
encouragement. It's a great group, but this is something to think about. I doubt anyone is intentionally, "stealing" concepts, but it opened up a conversation. 
I love renowned ad man, Paul Arden's book -
"It's Not How Good You Are, It's How Good You Want to Be" great pieces of advice and philosophy.


and finally ... more Artwork by Allyn ...




and Lena
If you enjoy my work and have an interest in seeing sketches, progress shots and a variety 
of photos I take for inspiration and plain old fun, visit me on Instagram.

Have a great week!
xo, A

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