Monthly Archives: January 2014

The Bobs: Mr. Duality AlphaBands

Mister Duality--digital art Photoshop painting of split personality heads by Leah Palmer Preiss

Ah, I do have a weakness for The Bobs. They’re an a cappella group with a decidedly quirky bent. They do originals that range from silly (lots & lots of silly) to surprisingly intense, & amazing covers that are all over the musical map. This image illustrates their song, Mr. Duality. Sample lyrics:

My two sides want to pull me apart
But we’re stuck together, where do we start?
That might seem to be dichotomy
But it could be worse if there were a lotta me
I don’t want to have multiple personalities
Two is enough! 

The art is Photoshop, with background text & diagrams scanned from Iriquois Arithmetics, Iriquois Publishing Co, 1932 & Audel’s Engineers and Mechanics Guide 8, Theo Audel & Co, 1921, plus painted textures.

Animal Collective AlphaBands

Animal Collective Art, AlphaBands, Digital Photoshop painting by Leah Palmer Preiss

It’s the beginning of a new alphabet challenge! This time around it’s AlphaBands, the brainchild of Sam Wolk. We’re doing images inspired by bands for every letter of the alphabet, & we’d love for you to join us! If you’d like to enter your work, please check out the rules & enter here.

I’ve decided that rather than depicting the band members themselves I’ll mostly do illustrations inspired by their name, their sound, or their songs. My first entry is for the experimental band, Animal Collective– check out their music here. One of the members goes by the name Panda Bear, but the other animals are just what came out of my pencil as I sketched. The illusion of three heads, six bodies was inspired by a traditional Japanese visual trick.

Photoshop with text from the good old Practical Standard Dictionary. What I’d really love to do is animate this piece so that the animals spin– maybe I’ll have time to update later this week. :-)


Heart-flower Hand-painted miniature, acrylic on paper in glass & copper locket

hand-painted locket, acrylic on paper in glass and copper locket, one of a kind art jewelry by Leah Palmer Preiss

Back in the day I did a lot of greeting card & wrapping paper art in the hearts-&-flowers vein. After a few years of that I had had about all the sweetness I could swallow. I called it a quarter-life crisis… & my art has been getting weirder ever since. Someday maybe it will catch up with the rest of me… then look out! ;-)

But speaking of hearts, flowers, & veins, this little anatomical-botanical curiosity popped into my head recently, & I thought it was a perfect candidate for occupying a small empty locket I’d purchased on Etsy. And to continue the wonky circularity (or should I say circulatory system?) of the tale, it’s now available in my shop!

It’s about an inch wide by two inches tall if you count the bail. The picture shows both front & back. The text was borrowed from an old dictionary.

& Now… A New Curiotype Ampersand! Digital Illustration (Photoshop)

Curiotype Ampersand Digital Art by Leah Palmer PreissI have a real thing for ampersands. In fact I chose the font for this site in part because the italic ampersand gives me a tiny tendril-loving thrill every time I see it. :-) (& & & & &…. do you feel it too?) So when someone asked if I had an ampersand to go with my original Curiotype Alphabet, I was more than delighted to add one! I may yet give it a bit more tweaking but here’s what I’ve come up with so far.

The ampersand, by its very nature, brings things together– not only as a conjunction but as a letterform. Its original shape was derived from a calligraphic intertwining of the letters “e” & “t” (“et” is Latin for “and”)– although many modern versions take the basic shape & run with it to a nearly unrecognizable direction. That’s one of the things I love about the ampersand– it’s a chance for a calligrapher or type designer to throw caution to the wind & really play with form.

So I thought it was only right that there should be a pair of creatures involved in this Curiotype. And given my love of ampersands & the proximity of Valentine’s Day, I figured they should be rather taken with one another.

Stay tuned for more Curiotype developments AND more Valentine’s goodness! In the meantime I hope you are enjoying your new year & everything that comes with it!

edit: Now available as an ACEO-sized print in my Etsy shop!