Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Sign on My Studio Door

Another way-too-busy-with-work week, which no freelancer dare regret, but maybe I do just a little, because I would have had a great time with this week's IF. I am fascinated by signs of all sorts & had a million ideas.

But, with apologies, instead of posting my own work this time, I'm posting an old magazine ad that I've had hanging on my studio door for years. It cracks me up, & I thought fellow illustrators might get a kick out of it too... Click for a detailed view.
edit-Yikes, I just realized I actually broke a rule by posting this on IF! I've e-mailed Penelope to apologize, & I hope you'll all forgive me-- I guess this week has fried my brain!

Friday, May 11, 2007


I very much doubt I'll have time this week to do an illo for Citrus, so I thought I'd post something old & fruity! It was done in acrylic & water-soluble oil on paper. 8x8"

By the way, if any of you are in NC, I have pieces in 2 shows right now. 2 curiollages in "Anything Goes" at the Visual Art Exchange Gallery in Raleigh, & 2 watercolor illustrations & a curiollage in "Open Book" at the Hemphill Library Gallery in Greensboro.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Ghost Town

We once had some wonderful next-door neighbors who kept bees in their beautiful garden. It was fascinating to see the bee-keeping & honey-harvesting process at such close range. Alas, when they finished their degrees (in plant pathology & entomology) they moved away... I really miss them. (Hello out there, Elizabeth & Jennifer!)

Now there is a mysterious bee-keeping crisis-- honey-bees are disappearing at a frightening rate. Normally bees come back to the hive to die, but these are just vanishing, & no-one is quite sure why.

So this image is for the missing & for those left behind...
I was in a rush this time so did it all digitally. The text source is a children's book of 1886 called Natural History for Little Folks. Click for a larger image & a better look at the lonely bee...

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Memory Bank

This one goes out to all the students studying for finals-- may you never forget what you've crammed in there! The formulas & diagrams come from a great Scientific American handbook from 1908; the painting is acrylic. I might do another tweak or two but I'm running out of time for IF, so here it is. 6x6"

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Polar Distress

Here's my painting for IF this week... poor old Earth wearing her melting polar icecap.

The text & map are from 19th century books, digitally copied & mounted on canvas, then painted over with acrylics. Then a bit more tweaking in Photoshop... 6x6"

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

See the Future (but it's actually the past...)

Ah well, as Fortune would have it, I've had no time to do a new illo for IF. So I'm posting an old one, which was originally part of a promotional piece I did a few years ago, to let clients know of my newly-acquired ability to work directly in Photoshop. There are so many things I would change if I were doing it now... I really was a newbie then. I'd been such a Luddite up to that point, I felt as if I were taking a wild leap from Medieval times into the future! And I suppose in a way I was-- I can't imagine doing my job without Photoshop now, even if I'm just using it to color-correct scanned art. But I still write almost everything--even grocery lists-- with a dip pen. Luddites die hard.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Terra Incognita

Or is it Terror Incognita?
For IF topic "Green"--

I'm trying to learn web design so that I can modify my main website, & it's a big, scary new world for me. I feel like a baby taking its first wobbly steps... or a bud just unfurling in iffy weather...

I did this piece digitally to remind myself that I felt equally terrified when I first started learning to "paint" in Photoshop. Now it's just another tool... maybe there's hope.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Hybrid (Snapdragon)

For this week's IF, an example of genetic engineering... I'm planting snapdragons in my garden this week so this was a natural.
Acrylic on a botanical text on canvas, with a bit of digital tweaking, about 4x6.5"

I'm stunned & honored to be Pick of the Week again. Thank you, Penelope, & thanks to all for your kind comments!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Curious Cat

I Spy...

It looks as though I won't have time to do a new piece for IF this week, so I'm posting an oldie-- a digitally altered stamp. I scanned in the real thing from an old postcard, then drew the kitty & the "Curious Art" lettering in Photoshop.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


TOTAL immersion...
I decided to do a new piece for IF as well as the older one I posted.

I'm not much of a swimmer, but I admire & envy those who are so at home in the water, they seem amphibious.

Acrylic on collaged texts copied from old encyclopedias & natural history books.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Anxiety: A Tax

For Total, Illustration Friday's topic this week, math came to mind... & at this time of year, as a self-employed person who doesn't employ an accountant, I have a lot of very tedious calculation looming before me.

I did this piece just about this time last year, when of course I should have been preparing my taxes. It's one of my "curiollages" constructed with polymer clay, acrylic & found objects on canvas. The original piece is 9x12" as I recall. The calligraphy at the bottom was added digitally when I used the image as a greeting card promo for 15 April.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Enlightenment (In Progress)

Here's the amended version-- thanks to Scott for his excellent suggestion to turn the bulb to emphasize the yin-yang shape on top. I like it much better this way.

This one isn't finished, but since it's Thursday & I had intended it for Illustration Friday (Wired), I'm posting it in progress, to share the idea at least. Other projects (see last post) & obligations got in the way. Oh well!

It's inspired by the recent ruling in Australia phasing out incandescent bulbs, & dedicated to my brother Ben who is also known as Johnny Fluorescentseed because he gives compact fluorescent bulbs to all his friends & family.

The background paper is from an electronics textbook c. 1912, this chapter appropriately titled Illumination Laws & Measurements. Collaged onto canvas, painted in acrylic, 5x7".

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Specimen (Darwin)

Yet another piece based on old scientific texts. This one came from an entry in an encyclopedia published in Darwin's lifetime. I scanned it & printed it so as not to destroy the original. The print was collaged to canvas, then painted over with acrylics. 6x6"

(By the way, while the entry acknowledged some controversy over his theories, it acclaimed him as an eminent naturalist who had revolutionized scientific thought.)

Friday, March 9, 2007

Illustration Friday Pick of the Week!?!

I went to the IF site first thing this morning in pleasant anticipation of receiving a new topic to spark my imagination for a day of self-directed work. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw that Secluded Habits was Pick of the Week!

I mean I literally didn't believe it. I figured I was still half-dreaming, & once the coffee was brewed & my eyes were fully awake I'd see the real page.

But I've had several cups now & it appears to be real!

As I wrote to Penelope, I came out of hiding with the topic Hide.

I still can't quite believe it.

Thursday, March 8, 2007


I've been feeling particularly dense these days & this image is the result. Like Secluded Habits, it uses prints of old scientific texts collaged on canvas as a basis for acrylic painting.

I'm not really happy with it... but I may use the idea again when I'm feeling less knotheaded!


Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Secluded Habits

This piece was inspired by a trip to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.

It's my first submission to Illustration Friday.

Acrylic over printed paper on canvas.