I was planning to post this image for Illustration Friday’s prompt “Ruckus” because the word immediately made me think of Festus & Mercury: Ruckus in the Garden by Sven Nordqvist, one of our family’s favorite children’s books. If you’ve never encountered this book, please get hold of a copy immediately! It’s a quirky, hilarious tale of an old farmer & his mischievous cat & their mad adventures in gardening.
This painting, of course, is a different sort of ruckus, inspired by my well-established love for tendrils.
I didn’t finish quite in time to post for “Ruckus,” but luckily it sort of works for “Outside” too!
The text comes from this delightful old book, a flea market find:
2015 is the year of the sheep according to Chinese astrology– most say it doesn’t start until the Chinese lunar new year (the 19th) but others insist it begins today, on the solar new year. Happy new year whenever & however you choose to celebrate!
Maybe it’s because this is also the time of year when W-4s start turning up in the mailbox (when you’re a freelancer there’s a frightening amount of paperwork to keep up with), but when I started sketching out a sheep in honor of the coming new year, it decided to grow up to be an old-school accountant. (That ledger paper is actually how I kept my business records for way too many years. I am so very grateful to my brother Dev who finally enlightened me in the wonderful ways of Quicken!)
The figures on these particular papers, however, are years of the sheep past, present & future. And you may notice that the fat stacks of 100’s are also strangely sheep-centric (& in no way representative of my own cash flow, alas)!
The background text was scanned from an antique 8th-grade textbook, Iroquois Arithmetics.
Oh, you thought I was talking about the relentless march of the holiday retail machine? Nope, that’s last week’s news. Now it’s time to brace yourself for this year’s mighty, unstoppable A.Word.A.Day illustration series!
Today’s word is “juggernaut,” “a massive relentless force, person, institution, etc. that crushes everything in its path.”
Though the word’s origins lie in Hindu tradition, my thoughts went immediately to Godzilla, then back to earlier rampaging Asian monsters. A gigantic golden dragon could certainly destroy a city, while forming a fairly convincing curiotype letter “J”!
This painting & prints thereof are now available while they last* in my Etsy shop. So I guess now we’re back to the holiday retail theme. ;-) *Original art SOLD… wow, that was fast!
More A.Word.A.Day art to come! Tomorrow some kitschy cluckers clutching coffee. Can you guess the word?
Do you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder? I do, & at this time of year, though I love the colorful turning leaves & the crisp weather, I always begin to feel anxious & guarded, knowing the gray days & long nights are coming.
I love the wildly twisted Arabesque shapes & subtle muted colors of dead leaves, even though they make me sad. The text in the background comes from a vintage Russian algebra book. Not sure why this seemed right for the subject, but it did!
By the way, I’ve experimented with several methods to help stave off the SAD. The most effective seems to be a daily walk outdoors, no matter the weather, no matter how short. If I miss a day or two the gloom comes rolling in.
If you go down to the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise… Gashadokuro, the giant skeleton monster! This huge & deadly creature likes to bite off human heads. Its appearance is heralded by a ringing in the ears. (I think I may have had some close encounters after performances by loud bands.)
Acrylic on an illustration scanned from my copy of Frank Leslie’s Chatterbox, 1880-1881, size of original~6.5″x7.5″ Look closely to see the poor, tiny unsuspecting human in the picture– at the moment he still has his head, but I very much doubt his luck will last!
I’ve recently added a new section to my Etsy shop, called Tinctures, where I offer digitally recolored versions of some of my most popular prints. I know not everyone shares my rabid enthusiasm for highly saturated colors, & to be honest, sometimes I’m in the mood for something a little more subtle myself! I do the recoloring in Photoshop, & I try to create a pleasantly muted effect without completely losing the color variations of the original– keeping just a breath of the original hues.
My word-loving friends may be curious why I call this series “Tinctures.” Though most commonly used today to describe a medicinal alcohol extract, “tincture” can also mean a tint or color. In fact it originated in Middle English, from Latin tinctura act of dyeing, from tinctus, past participle of tingere to tinge.
I like to think of these as coffee-flavored versions of my work! (Yes, I’m a java junkie.) What does that make the originals, I wonder? Fruit salad, perhaps?
You may have seen bits & pieces of this image before, but here’s the whole thing!
At last I am able to make prints of this available on Etsy. They’re not full-size (about half that), but much bigger than my usual small prints. (When I tried to reduce them to standard printer-paper size, you could hardly see the details at all!)
Unrelated note: today’s A.Word.A.Day painting is Ineluctable. A warm welcome to all of you who are arriving here from that site. (For the rest of you, if you haven’t yet wandered through this wonderland of words, head on over now!) And if you’d like to know more about the painting itself, see my previous post.