I thought I’d posted this painting when I finished it last summer, but it appears I never did! I’m glad Illustration Friday’s topic this week was “smoke” because it made me think of this hookah “smoking” white rabbit/caterpillar chimera. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is one of my all-time favorite books, so much so that “Curiouser & curiouser!” is the motto I’ve painted on my studio door.
p.s. Above are a few in-process shots from my Instagram account. The last photo shows the cover of Enchanted, published by Out of Step Books, which includes this painting as part of a large collection of folk, fairy tale & Wonderland illustrations (& tattoo art!)
Yesterday I found out that these crazy creatures will soon be invading the Communication Arts 2016 Illustration Annual! To say this came as a happy surprise is putting it mildly– I think I alarmed my normally imperturbable husband by emitting something combining a shriek, a whoop, & hysterical laughter.
The news came at the perfect time, too, because I had just that moment been pondering my next painting & wondering if I ought to tame my ideas down a little. But I had so much fun working on Invasive, mostly because I had given myself complete permission to paint whatever came into my head. It seems odd really, how rarely I let this happen, when there is nothing stopping me but my own inhibitions. Now I feel emboldened to take another walk on the wild side!
The annual will be published in the May/June issue of CA, & as for the painting in my head, I’m hoping it will make its appearance before then!
Happy Year of the Monkey! In honor of the 2016 Chinese New Year, Shakespeare, the infinite monkey theorem, & antique typewriters, here’s the Infinite Monkey himself, complete with a background text from Henry IV Part 2: “Ah, you sweet little rogue, you. Alas, poor ape, how thou sweatest!” (Yes, I know the theorem usually refers to Hamlet, but who could resist that line?)
I happen to have been born in a year of the monkey (never mind which), & even though I don’t put much stock in horoscopes, I can’t help but find it delightful that nearly every description of the monkey personality includes the word “curious!”
This little oddment began as a sketch for Illustration Friday’s “Unicorn” prompt, turned into an ornament given as a gift, & now it’s a greeting for you all: wishing you a holiday season full of rare & unexpected delights!
Today’s painting for A.Word.A.Day illustrates a pair of elephants forming a mutual admiration society for their respective homes & customs. Just painting this made me want to travel to Africa & India, so I guess that makes me a xenophile too!
When Anu gave me this word to illustrate for A.Word.A.Day, I came up with the idea right away, but I couldn’t find “yobbery” in any of my old dictionaries! What to do? Aha! In good yobbish fashion I would simply tag over another definition! It was fun to paint all the teeny tiny trash.
Today’s A.Word.A.Day painting is Quacksalver, a variant of the more familiar quack. This particular duck doctor is administering a terrifyingly large leech to his very unhappy patient. His office wall bears a dubious diploma from the Institute of Hirudiculture, conferring a degree in leechery. Three troubling vocabulary words for the price of one!
It’s that magical time of year again– when I get to share my illustrations for that wizard of words, Anu Garg, & his fount of esoteric etymological lore, A.Word.A.Day! How appropriate that we begin this year with Gramarye. I first encountered the word as a child, reading T.H. White’s Arthurian series, The Once and Future King, & ever since it evokes warm memories of those books, so when Anu offered it as a possibility, I knew immediately that I wanted to illustrate it. I felt the image needed some magical letters in addition to the letter “G” formed by the art, so I researched magical alphabets & did my best to “spell” out a secret message using one of the most popular. Do you have the magical powers to interpret this gramarye?
It has been a long & winding road, but I finally finished the second custom Dunny– actually the fourth for this collector. This little fellow will be a traveling companion for Azulejo, soon to be crossing the ocean to Portugal!