Thursday, October 16, 2014

What's New

Poodle Portrait by Art, the dog.
I made this little drawing a few years ago for a Read Your Dog contest on Facebook.
Yea, it won a prize ;) This week I decided to make it a painting. 

Red Studio by Matisse is a favorite of mine, so I gave Art a red space from which to work.
The timing seems right, since Matisse's Cut-Outs exhibit just opened 
at MOMA this week. I look forward to seeing it!

Monday, I picked up my new glasses by Soda Monster at Community Optical :)
I love them. They're navy with orange on the inside and most importantly, light weight.
I had the best experience going to Alex Musayev at Community Optical. 
I even ended up choosing the very glasses he was wearing!
I tried on a lot, when I finally narrowed it down to two (see below)

it still took me a while to decide. These are a nice looking CK design, 
but  in the end, I wasn't sure I could pull off the neon yellow sides.
This is such a comfortable neighborhood spot, I can't say enough about it.
Dr Jade R Gormady is great, customers are friendly 
and Alex couldn't be nicer or more helpful. 

My NEW cards arrived! I love the quality and have found a pen that writes on the glossy backs.
However, I still need to call Moo bc the consensus is that they printed the address field 
on the wrong side. 

My 1st trip to the New York Historical Society was to see the Ludwig Bemelmans exhibit.
It's hard to believe I've lived here for over 20 years and never visited. It's a wonderful place!

Above, Kristine Lombardi, Melissa Iwai and Yuko Katakawa pose with the Madeline wall decal.
I wish I could have taken some photos inside the show. Bemelmans' paintings are much more
interesting and rich in person. I've always been a fan of his loose painterly style 
and as charming as the Madeline books are, they don't do justice to the real thing. 

The original oil painted cover for Madeline and the Bad Hat was on view.
Below, was one of my favorites in person, but in the actual book
elements were cleaned up, some of the looser lines "fixed", taking away some of
the charm and inventiveness, in my opinion.
Melissa also noticed where the image was cropped and that a man on bridge 
had been deleted, which probably made sense, but note to self -
buy original work when you can, if you can!

It was fun to read personal letters to and from the likes of Jacqueline Kennedy and 
to see images of large panel murals he painted for restaurants and
for Christina Onasis' playroom, on her dad's yacht, no less! 
WNYC did a nice piece on Madeline turning 75 this summer.
And there's more if you're interested, 
Bemelmans' grandson, John Bemelmans Marciano wrote 
Overnight New York blog wrote an interesting piece here-

His series of casual drawings on graph paper were totally new to me. 
Above is called Adieu to the Old Ritz

I have had the opportunity to go to Bemelmans Bar a couple of times. 
It's worth going for the cocktails and live music, but mostly I went for the art :)

I took a chance and bought a new to me, "beloved" sofa on Craigslist.
I got lucky with the price and location. I purchased this CB2 piece from a very 
nice couple who live only about 3 blocks from me. 
It seemed a bit further when Michael Thibodeau, Leslie Wolf and I walked it to my apt.

Most importantly, it fit through my doorway and Lena the cat seems to like it.
I can't thank these guys enough for helping me out! 
As for this fine piece by Earl R Smith they gave me, I really don't know what to say.

 I can thank Leslie for the ticket to Tuesday night's screening of Listen Up, Phillip at BAM.
Jason Schwartzman and director, Alex Ross Perry did a Q&A afterwards. 

 Jason is as cute and charismatic in person as you might expect :)
He plays a self absorbed, malcontented, though successful writer beautifully in the movie. 
I think he's one of the few actors who can pull off such a tricky role. 
I appreciate a story that doesn't give you what you're expecting and it's very funny 
in parts, but loses some steam about midway, for me, at least. 
Still, I enjoy screenings and love Q&A 
even though audience questions tend to be terrible and I can never 
come up with anything much better, myself. 

Luna lighting at Broadway Stages, not an accurate representation of LiteSource 

There's a NEW Awesome lighting app in town! LiteSource - dreamed up
by clever lady, Margaret Heidenry and built by genius, Mark Smith! 
It requires iOS8 or later, so I need to upgrade to try it myself. 
If you're like me, you've often felt frustrated by the inability to take a 
great night shot with your phone, whether of your friends, a beautiful building, 
romantic scene, nocturnal creature ... 
Well, now you can! I really can't believe this hadn't come about sooner.
 Check it out here.

and finally, I am behind in my pen sketches for #inktober and the 
#drawlloween topics I was drawing and posting on Instagram
These are a few from my sketchbook. Feel free to follow along,
join in and do your own or just see if I get back on track here.

ahhh beginnings...

Frederick Douglass statue at NYHS - photo courtesy Melissa Iwai

Til We Meet Again
xo, A

Monday, October 6, 2014

Process, Flowers and Self Promotion Monday :)

We all start somewhere. 
I thought I'd share some process pics of a painting I made this weekend.
I like to start by drawing everything out loosely with charcoal, 
but I sometimes use pencil or just start painting. 
For my latest series of flower themed art, I've been working on canvas again.
Most of my animal illustrations are currently painted on gesso board or wood.

Pre-primed canvas provides a smooth surface for acrylic paint. 
Filling in the background with color is really relaxing to me. 
I guess because it requires only light focus and skill.

Painting each flower is the most fun, but the moment comes when you gotta decide just
 how far to go. I considered keeping this loose and painterly, 

but decided to add lines for definition and to keep it similar in style to the 
last couple of patterns I made. Below, is a detail before I went lighter.

I tried a softer look, by making the background pink, plus I worked a little more on it overall.

And then, I went back to a bolder background using Photoshop, which you can see below. 

Of course, with tools like Photoshop, you can alter almost anything. 
I can get lost in all the color options, alone!
In general, I prefer to do as much with paint before scanning or photographing a piece.
I currently use my iPad to photograph work that's too big to scan, 
like this, which is about 40" x 40" I think it's time to consider buying a large flatbed 
scanner or investing in a better camera or even using my old camera again.

I would love to license work like this to fabric companies, furniture and home accessory
manufacturers. I will begin researching places I can send samples to once I have a few more 
in the series. I'll probably have some printed using Spoonflower, plus create 
some pieces in my Society 6 shop to see how they look on products.

Speaking of samples, nice segue, huh
Here are my little square business cards being printed by Moo as we speak :)
Below is the back with a list of select social media platforms & my website, of course.

I'm doing a variety of square cards, here are a few -

and I want to start promoting my custom work again.
I used to paint murals more regularly and I miss it. 
I also live in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, a mini-mecca for newborns!
Below, are postcards of my latest custom painting, which I like a lot.

I decided to print detail shots bc I think it shows the work off better 
than the full image on a postcard size. 
I may print some larger samples or some flyers also.

Thanks for taking a look and indulging me on this self promotion Monday!

Finally, I will leave you with something sweet -


Have a great week!
xo, A

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sunday Post

It's another Sunday post!
Here's a little snapshot of my week. Hope you find something you like.
This painting, above, is a vibrant multi-colored version of the piece I made below, last spring.
I painted over it, on a layer of acetate, basically giving me two for one.
Sometimes using an old school process that pre-dates photoshop, is fun. 
Kristine Lombardi recently saw it in my apt and exclaimed (without my prompting) "I Love It"!
It's great to have a friend who freely shares her enthusiasm when she likes something.

My Doggie bag, on the sidewalk holding extra vinyl for touch ups on Monday's job.
I like the two oranges together :)

Meanwhile, Lisa Congdon's Art, Inc waits for me on my work table. 
Lisa is teaching a FREE class online this Tues 30th & Wed 1st
through Creative Live 
**Plus, she'll be including samples of my friend, 
Melissa Iwai's work in her section on branding. 

Prop man, Bentley checks out the shiny British Taxi, one of several picture cars for a commercial.

The prop guys asked it's owner to take our photo with it, he kindly obliged. I like this BW version.

and a few us couldn't resist a selfie 
and one of us did his best Miley Cyrus impression ;)

AdWeek wrote a piece about a Motorola commercial that I worked on in August.
Bryon Finn charged it and put in the longest hours (from our crew, at least) 
It was shot at Grumman Studios on Long Island. 

Scenic painters (like myself), prop and carpentry departments execute the 
agency's vision, as well as that of the director. 
We work directly with the production designer to accomplish this. 
Clem Price-Thomas, whom we work with often, designed this set of ads.
You won't find us in the credits, for we are the unsung heroes ;)
My shots don't do justice to the overall look and scale of these ads,
 but if you watch the videos, you'll recognize these two sets and this 
sweet beagle in one of the spots.

Gold leafing

almost finished sets

just getting started (again & again on this one)

View of set up and ready to shoot w/ monitor

They're pretty cool spots! See the "behind the scenes" and videos here

This is Samson, a 9 month old Bull Mastiff and Zeus, a 10 year old mixed breed.
I met them walking back to Broadway Stages in Greenpoint, Brooklyn this week.
Needless to say, they are a perfect pair!

In other news, I was happy to learn that my illustration, Big Bun, Little Bun

was voted as one of 4 images to make it on the cover of the B&W 
CBIG directory this fall. It will share space with my friend, Yuko Katakawa
and fellow illustrators, Patricia Keeler and Barbara Dilorenzo :)

Thursday night's rainbow, as seen from a little corner of my neighborhood
I know that pot of gold is out there somewhere ;)

Have a great week!
xo, A


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