Why yes, I was raised by an architect...

 The holiday card I'm currently working on requires a small house. Above, the front of the house (center) and assorted wall and roof pieces (to the upper left) as they appeared last night. Below, the current model with my hand for scale. The porch is still in-progress; I don't want to add it until the glue dries on the rest of the model. The windows are covered with wax paper so that they'll glow when a small light is placed inside.

When I was in elementary school, my dad put an addition on our house. He made a scale model of the existing house before he started working on the drawings, and it always amazed me to see our house in miniature. I've always loved architectural models. While I can read blueprints, there's something fascinating about a physical rendition. For one house project my dad even made a model with removable parts so that the client could see exactly how the proposed plans would change the existing house. Few architects still make models by hand, but it's incredible when they do. My model is not to scale (honestly, I haven't the patience) but it is based on the actual house of the family whose holiday card I'm making.

Little Creatures

 
Though it was a normal-length weekend for me, I had the time to have some fun (not wanting to go outside due to heat helps, I suppose). I'd bought some paper clay recently so I played around with it. The weight is nicer than Sculpy, but it can be more difficult for detail work due to the texture. Pictures will come when they're dry. Some of the sketches above ended up in 3-D form, and others became relief prints. Unfortunately, the art supply store is closed due to the holiday, so prints will have to wait until I can get paper. 

Listening to an audio book- The Apothecary by Maile Meloy. 

Nesting Dolls

My roommate picked up some unpainted nesting dolls for me (something I've been trying to find for ages). I finally had a chance to play around with them. I'd love to find more somewhere.

 

The smallest and middle dolls. The purple one opens at the mouth so that he can literally devour the smaller one when it nests inside. 


 This last image is of the largest, which I did a few months ago. I abandoned if halfway because I don't particularly like it and will sand it down and repaint it to belong in a set with the others. The color scheme will probably be orange and red with painted scales.

If I had another set I'd probably do a playful version of the classic Matryoshka (a little like this last image). There's a set of magical Matryoshka in the graphic novel script I wrote this past semester, and after writing about them, I'd like to paint some. The size and shape make them a very interesting canvas.

Post Graduate School...

So after two years spent focused on writing over illustration, I've finally finished up the work for my MFA in Writing for Children. Though my classes have been held at the Eric Carle Museum, they were (mostly) academic and writing-focused. While I've done some sketches for the program, they're not quite ready to be publicly posted yet. The past few months have been spent working on a graphic novel script which I don't intend on illustrating myself. However, because it's incredibly awkward to do a reading of a graphic novel script, I did some quick (speedy, one-take) thumbs for the reading. The hope is that people will be able to draw the connections between the written panel descriptions and my visual suggestions.

So here are two spreads for BABA YAGA'S ASSISTANT (sans text).

Prints

Life's been crazy, what with writing an entire graphic novel script in three weeks (for grad school) and working full-time, but once the script was emailed out, I had a brief moment to do some artwork. Since it's almost valentine's day, I decided to work on some ideas for a rubber block print. I find rubber block prints to be very fast and fun for me to produce, yet there's still a sculptural aspect to making them that I really enjoy.

Here's the very rough sketchbook page with Valentine's day ideas:



Before I started carving the Valentine's image, I found this image that I'd drawn, but not finished carving. As a warm-up I finished carving and printed a proof. I really like this image. Someday, I'd like to have the time to develop both 3-d illustrated picturebooks and one done in prints. I use rubber because it carves easily (minimizing hand injuries). The only drawback is that it wears down quickly when you pint, and can print far fewer images than with linoleum.

Look for the Valentine's day image on Valentine's day!

Knight


I know it's been a while. The full-time work, full-time grad school has me writing and reading more than illustrating, but there may be some sketches this semester. The lighting in this piece is done with a small LED flashlight and a light box.