Yesterday I plopped down in a friend’s driveway and drew the pair of trees that live across the street. Many residential neighborhoods in this area have streets lined with these trees, and I absolutely love them and their crazy wiggly wavy branches. I call them Dr. Seuss trees, though I’m not opposed to finding out what they’re really called.
Art pen, copic marker, watercolor pencils.
Everyone knows about mermaids, but far more elusive are their cousins, the mersnails. Er, I guess to be correct they’d be called snailmaids?
Micron pen on paper and quick digital color.
For this prompt, I had originally planned on doing an illustration of the folk tale of Jack and his turnip lantern, haunting the earth after being rejected by both heaven and hell. But as I was recovering from an absinthe hangover on Sunday, had a waking nightmare of this lady. Turned around to find her right behind me, trying to make a sound but unable to.
Micron pen and watercolor, background color done digitally.
Another tee design for Black Phoenix Trading Post!
Cheeky crow stealing a shiny, perched on a branch just beginning to bud for spring.
Tee can be purchased at BPTP, and the scent can be purchased at BPAL.
CROW MOON 2013
This is the final Full Moon of winter. The call of the crow signals the end of the frost, and their scent, of vervain, sandalwood-infused patchouli, black violet, white musk, and Chinese cedar, is brushed by the last cold wind of winter on their wings, and the scent of evergreen boughs touched by the season’s final flowers and the first blossoms of spring: wintersweet, green-barked dogwood, iris, eastern redbud, primrose, snowdrop, and lenten rose hellebore bouquet.
This is a simplified recreation of an illumination of Hildegard von Bingen‘s vision of the cosmic egg:
“Then I saw a huge object, round and shadowy. Like an egg it was pointed at the top (…). Its surrounding outer layer was bright fire (Empyreum). Beneath this lay a dark skin. In the bright fire hovered a reddish, sparkling fireball (the Sun)”. Beneath the dark skin she saw the ethereal sphere with moon and stars, and beneath this a zone of mist which she called the ‘white skin’ or the ‘upper water’.
Hildegard von Bingen, Scivias (Rupertsberg Codex), 12th century
The cosmic, or world egg is a common creation myth motif in many cultures in the world, and is a description still used to describe the state of the universe prior to the Big Bang.
I’ve often thought that had I lived in medieval Europe, I probably would have been happiest as a nun, illuminating manuscripts all day. In many areas entering a convent was the only way a woman could become educated, as well as maintain a certain level of autonomy (oddly enough). And historical evidence exists showing romance wasn’t exactly out of the picture for nuns either.
For this illustration I used a combination of india ink pens, markers, colored pencils, and a white gel pen (in addition to digitally superimposing it on a scan of old paper). While it’s nowhere near as classy as gold leaf, the bronze areas are reflective, and the scan doesn’t do it justice.
For this prompt, I did a drawing of a fountain that lies somewhere in the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park in Portugal that I stumbled upon while wandering the trails there in 2008. It got me thinking about access to clean drinking water, and this campaign that went around last year (giving an oft-much needed perspective to first world problems).
One of the things I enjoy about these Illustration Friday exercises is how it frequently leads me on little research projects and teaches me new things. For example, for the prompt “mirror”, I learned about the Venus effect, and last week while running errands, my husband and I listened to Feynman’s interview where he explains the problem with mirrors.
Tee design for the fine folks at Black Phoenix Trading Post!
It’s been quiet on here, and that’s because I’ve been busy! We moved recently, and I’ve been working on a few projects. Illustration Friday posts have fallen behind, but I’m hoping to catch back up before too long.
The latest news is that I did the label art for Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab‘s Turn of the Screw scent series that was part of their Yule update. The Turn of the Screw is a Victorian ghost story, the beginning of which is told around a Christmas Eve fire. You can see all eight scent descriptions, as well as their other Yule offerings, and order them from HERE. The scents will be live until January 31st. They are also doing a Red Cross fundraiser for Sandy relief, and the details for that can be found HERE.
Speaking of BPAL, they recently celebrated their tenth anniversary, wow! TEN YEARS! Looking down that list of names, I am honored and humbled to be part of that family.
I have a nook simple touch reader, and love it. The accessibility it provides is fantastic. Not just for me personally, having a library that can fit in my purse, but also for giving authors an option to distribute their books cheaply and providing access to books that otherwise would be out of print and hard to find. However, for anything with color, images or illustrations, I insist on having it in print.
For this prompt I decided to relive my days of doodling in class and remember what it was like drawing with a simple ball point pen. The pen I used was the sort that they leave on a small pad of paper in hotel rooms…. as cheap as they get. The books pictured are a very small sample of what is on my physical book shelves. I found myself reminiscing about when and where I got each of them, and remembering reading certain passages. I do love my nook, but have a great deal of veneration for the tangible book as well, and still dream of one day living in a place where I can have a bookshelf that covers a whole wall.