Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Cards

A log time ago, early 1980's, I had a position as a Liturgical Artist and Arts Coordinator at  Christ Church Cathedral in Vancouver. At Christmas time in the midst of pageant involvement with costumes and sets, and banners for services, I was responsible for creating designs suitable for the leaflets for the many Christmas services. They had to be black and white line drawings suitable for printing out by photocopier. We didn't have PC's at that time so I did everything with pen and ink.
Last week I pulled out a few of those old designs and I  began adapt them and to play in colour with in CorelDraw and Painter11.
I have also been doodling as you can see, in those three wise fellows on camels. Colour brings them alive. They seem to be wanting to emerge from the page into my life or at least onto cards.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Waterlily Goes Too Far

One thing leads to another. It rained this morning and I felt a little depressed about the darkness of the day but then the sun came out so I took my little dog outside for a walk. It was cold and we know winter is arriving early. Tonight I posted this waterlily design to Wet Canvas website for this week's All Media Event as explained in the previous post with fish.
Then I took the image into Corel Painter11 and added some lines.
Being my usual obsessive self when I overdo things I wondered what it might look like as a quilt design. I think I had better stop now.

If anyone has any thoughts I'd love to hear them.I kind of enjoyed this little adventure with the waterlily. And many thanks to Li of Wet Canvas who provided the reference lily photo.











Sunday, November 14, 2010

Fish on a Sunday Evening

It is Sunday night and my eyes are so tired but I I've been working on this today. A new fish illustration to add to the Pink Flamingo below this post. Goodnight out there in cyberland. I hope you had a good day.

The older I become, the more I treasure each and every day.  This weekend I am remembering Edgar who died at the age of one hundred but who was wise and smart and gentle and kind right to the end of his long and eventful life. He wrote a weekly column for his newspaper right up to the day before he passed away. What an inspiration he was to everyone.

Pink Flamingo

Wet canvas has some beautiful photo references this week on their All Media Art Event.

Using Corel Draw X4 in vector format I came up with a couple of versions of a pink flamingo in grass.

I converted it to a jpeg file and took the design into Painter11 and then changed it with a little line work using the coloured pencil brush.

I think this would make a nice card don't you think? I'd be glad to send this to anyone as a pdf gift card file if you let me know. I'd like to thank Lisilk for the beautiful photographs this week. I am about to tackle a few more.




Friday, November 05, 2010

Walking With Maggie

I took a few photos while walking with Maggie this week. I thought I'd post them. The leaves are falling fast and soon the colour will be gone. This is one of her favourite places. Me too!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Woman In A Yellow Hat

I joined Wet Canvas this weekend for the All Media Event. I combined images from two reference photos, one photo a woman wearing a big hat, and one photo a row of tulips.

As I worked on this I remembered my grandmother who always bought a new hat in springtime. She loved hats with lots of flowers and wore them with pride. That was a long time ago.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Red Ball

I managed to get this done today. It is for the Wet Canvas All Media Event for this week. A combination of three reference photos.  This is done with Painter and CorelDraw. A little different from my usual way of working, but I like to experiment.
I used the pastel brushes, the blender brushes and the pencil brushes in Painter11. My dog acts just like that little dog. Maggie isn't interested in chasing most balls. But she does like to watch the people go through all the motions of trying to get her to chase it.

Thank you to Bonnie at Wet Canvas this week for the reference photos.

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Project From the Past

I keep playing with old drawings because of my constant need to experiment with images. Yesterday, while going through my portfolio, I pulled out a couple of drawings from a little story I wrote way back in the early nineteen nineties for a video class at Emily Carr College of Art And Design. It was a short story with images drawn very quickly with coloured pencils to meet a deadline for class. I finished the story but I never finished the final video. I made a promise to the instructor that I would finish it but I never followed through and it has haunted me for years. Now, with the technology at my finger tips, I think I might give it another try just to see if I can do something with it in video form.
These are two dusty old pencil crayon drawings scanned into Corel Painter11 and 'painted' over with the pastel brushes with my little Wacom Bamboo Tablet and my little plastic tipped pen. I do love technology. But I must get my portfolio together and I must stop experimenting. Oh my.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Simon's Cat in 'The Box'

A friend on Facebook noted this animation today and I think it is brilliant. Cat lovers everywhere will laugh and relate. Simon the animator certainly knows his cats.
He has a series of them. Enjoy!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Pencil Sketches to Vector Shapes

I am working up some ideas for a story board and it's been a while since the last posting here so I thought I would share this.

Pencil sketches scanned into CorelDRAW and then turned into vector shapes.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Sweet Cat Portrait Commision


I have not used my coloured pencils for a while but when my friend reminded me about a promise I made to sketch a portrait of a favourite cat way back in May...I realized I had to get my act together.
I have spent about ten hours on this so far. The weather is getting HOT again so I am glad to have managed to beat the heat before the sun  begins to beat against the roof of my top floor apartment.
I am hoping my friend is able to give this to her friends who will be arriving soon for a visit from a far away place.

The size is about 12 inches by 10 inches on Arches smooth hot press paper. PrismaColor pencils. From a photo reference.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Maggie's First Birthday

Yesterday Maggie had a birthday party. The three adults present enjoyed quiche and salad and cherry pie with vanilla ice cream while dogs Charlie, Maza and Maggie played. 
My Maggie is one year old. I dressed her up with pink thingies on her head.
Today I am trying to ignore her as I try to get some work done.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Maggie's Haircut

My sweet Maggie has a new hair cut. It broke my heart to have her flowing hair cut back but it has been hot and I think she is a little more comfortable now. The groomer placed two black bows on her head and she looks pretty cute. I am sure Chralie will soon pull them off but until then here is my Maggie at eleven months old.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Busker Banjo Pig


Here is my contribution to the funny and wonderful blog Duelling Banjo Piggies. I don't know if they will post it but at least I have submitted it.
And it's my birthday today!
I feel as if maybe I am not procrastinating so much these days. At least I tried the piggies thing.

BUSKER PIGGIE STORY

It all began when Albert received a banjo from his Aunty Porky.
Little did anyone realize the talent that had laid latent for so many long years.
Albert wasn’t a kid anymore. No. He was almost fifty and not happy
at all about his long career as an insurance agent.

But when he sat down to play that banjo, everyone had to stop and listen.
Albert was absolutely amazing with the instrument without any lessons at all except for the time in his teenage years when he had secretly dabbled with a set of drums in the garage which wasn’t as secret as he assumed because the noise had kept everyone awake nights.
Fortunately no had called the police to complain because they were good neighbours who liked Albert’s mother especially because of the rhubarb pies she left around on porches laced with gin.
And then there were the beer laced pumpkin pies in fall and the rum laced minced meat pies at Christmas. Albert's mom kept the neighbours happy.
So Albert went on playing drums until the age of twenty when he suddenly stopped playing drums. It was to everyone’s great relief.

When he started playing banjo at a late age he was transformed. Albert was definitely a banjo musician. He quit his insurance company job and headed for the downtown subway stations where he plays as a busker to this day making enough to cover his modest cost of living since he still lives with his mother.
They say she keeps him happy with her pies.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Colouring Sketched Banjo Piggies

I coloured three of my piggies with Corel Painter but I think I will try some vector interpretations of these sketches as well.

Sketching Piggies

I thought I'd give the Pigs Playing Banjos Challenge a try. I'm not sure if I will submit anything but at least I have started doing something after so many hot days. I felt as if my brain had melted for a few days last week. Thank goodness for  cooler sunny weather.
Today is absolutely beautiful. We have sunshine and cool air with puffy clouds floating by.
OK. So if one looks at my piggies one might come to the conclusion that they are from a fried brain.
Maybe so.
I drew these characters sort of half heartedly because my dog Maggie wanted attention and kept begging to be up on my lap. Drawing  was a juggling act. I also had the TV on. I was watching the Girl In The Park on one night and then the special effects bonanza and crazy story of the movie 2012 last night.
Note my Lady Ga Ga atttempt. It failed.
But I think CLOWN pigs playing banjos might be a lot of fun to do?
I think I might clean up and colour some of these in Painter. I didn't realize how many piggies in my head have been waiting to come out to play!


Sunday, July 04, 2010

Playground Sketches

I sketched some children at a local playground last week and tonight I painted some of them in Painter Elements using the 2b pencil brush in various sizes.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Adventures with Charlie and Maggie

Our adventure in the sunshine yesterday.
Me and Maggie and Charlie and his mom and various park residents and visitors. 
I am loving Comic Life. After trying it out for free I decided to buy it. A neat way to use personal photos.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Sketches from the Park

Maggie had a hair cut today. She came out looking like a princess.
While walking the dog at a local park last Sunday,  I saw a number of girls involved in soccer practice. They seemd to be having so much fun.
Now I have some new sketches to work with.
I scanned the sketches into painter and added colour.

I am working on two other pages of drawings.
I might add them later. These feel too rough and I am not happy with the colour. But I can change it.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Old Memories of Paper Dolls

For the past two weeks I have been putting a new portfolio of my stuff together. I decided I needed to put more sketches of children into the mix. I am wondering if I will ever get the portfolio finished because new ideas keep popping into my brain and onto the screen.
I think it is a process and a journey.
 I think I am still in the exploration stage.
These characters came out of some old pencil line drawings I made way back in the 1980's. Once I started with the shape of them, I started remembering what I loved to do when I was a kid so long ago just after the war. The thing I loved most to do was to design little outfits for my paper dolls.
The old fashioned kind.
Before Barbie.
The outfits with little tabs you folded over.
These little kids that appeared on the page brought out the old memory of childhood play.
I have to admit I am having fun.
Maybe that is OK?

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Some things brilliant and wonderful

The artist Jana Christy is creating such an interesting blog about donating a kidney to her brother. While browsing her website I found a page on it about how one of her recent children's books was turned into a HUGE display in New York City. The photos of the event give you an idea of how they enlarged her wonderful kids art and presented it in large posters, banner style hangings, enlarged book format and display cut outs at the event. As someone who once created nickel and dime glue and paste displays way back in the 1980's for a school board, I think it is sooooo wonderful to see what can be done now.


And her children's art is so wonderful and free and colourfully child friendly and so BIG.

Check it out for inspiration.

In the meantime I think her blog about the kidney could possibly help so many people who are worried about going into a hospital.

She lays it out so well with a delightful style of drawing and writing.

Sorry for my enthusiasm. I can't help it. Her portfolio art website can be found here.

I think I will put this up on my blog. haw!


MJ

Thursday, June 03, 2010

A Picture Book Related Discovery


I came across a new website called A Story Before Bed where grandparents or aunts or uncles can read picture books to children and record this and then the child can have access to the book online with the recorded bit appearing in the corner.
I may sound crazy but it seems to me that this is going to be a useful way for small children and reluctant readers to get interested in reading and books as well as online books. It is worth checking out. One can view sample pages of some beautifully illustrated picture books.
Orca, a Canadian publisher is offering some of their beautiful picture books at this website and I am sure many more books will follow.

I thought I'd mention it here in case anyone out there is looking in and maybe interested.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Poppies in The Sunshine


As I was walking to the video store on Saturday,  I spied some beautiful poppies that seemed to be calling out to me. I went home and grabbed my camera and went back to the spot to capture these babies. For two nights I have been playing with these poppies.  I turned them into graphic versions in vector format. I use Corel Draw and my Bamboo Fun Wacom tablet and the pen that comes with it to draw the shapes.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Geese Bringing Joy Back

Wet Canvas has some neat photos this week. I chose the geese photo posted this week by bunny. Making images is helping me to get through this week as we mourn the loss of a much loved family member. I think my now forever beautiful niece Elizabeth would have liked these wonky birds. I hope she is looking over my shoulder and laughing with her blond hair flying in the winds of heaven.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Maggie Loves Charlie

My Little dog is in love with Charlie, a sweet gentle dog at the park. We now make play dates so they can have a run together at least once a day. It seems to be good for Maggie to have social time. Other dogs usually come by. But these two really connect.

Friday, April 09, 2010

A Sulky Cat

Well, it's Friday and Wet Canvas has provided some new photo references for artists around the world and thanks to Mary of Ohio who goes by the name misswiss, I chose to sketch this cat digitally. I used Painter11 again with the pastel mode using my Wacom Bamboo Fun Tablet and my little blue pen.
To see the original reference photo you can find it here on the All Media Events thread for today.

And I am adding this quick slide show to explain visually the process of using Painter11 to create this Kitty with attitude.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Inspiration This Morning

I have just come across an interview on the Blog Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast with artist Christopher Denise I have to share it. His character design and his landscape backgrounds are so beautifully painted. The interview includes many of his beautiful paintings. Any artist might find this worth browsing. If anyone loves great children's book illustration, one can not help but be inspired. Check it out here   Christopher Denise.

Friday, April 02, 2010

An Easter Bunny for you



On Wet Canvas this weekend a beautiful angora rabbit photograph was posted and I could not resist giving it a try using Corel Painter11. 

Thanks to Wet Canvas member Wendy, who goes by the name of Sundiver, for the beautiful selection of images this week. I recorded the steps along the way and uploaded to my Roxio Photoshow account where I placed them all together to give you an idea of the little fellow as he appeared in pastel mode. The images are created with a pen on my Wacom Bamboo Fun Tablet which feels almost as if one was using real pastels but with no smudged fingers at the end. I added a sweet bit of music as I thought of my two year old grandson.
I am thinking maybe I should add some Easter eggs to it. But for now I hope you will enjoy this. I had so much fun when I put it all together.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sketching Tulips Today

I like the look of these tulips sprawled against a wall. I made a quick sketch of my photo this morning with a felt pen on bond paper while my puppy Maggie pawed my knees and begged me to take her over to the park to play with Charlie.

When I got back from the Park I scanned the sketch with my Epson scanner into CorelDRAW.
With this image on the screen I chose the trace feature.
I added a little colour and got this 'look' which I think is sort of 1960's.













I created a vector from the sketch and this is what happened. I think it feels like an Easter image of light and life.


Played a little more with colour.
It is now the end of the day and I thought I might as well post this.
I hope this is in some way interesting and perhaps even helpful to someone out there.