Wednesday, July 30, 2008


"Never had it Felt so Good to Get Canned..." Digital
What can I say, it's not my favorite. But then, I do like the fanciful stuff, and "canned" didn't quite inspire me to fanciful. Besides, I've had something on my mind recently, involving the liberating feeling of leaving a bad job. I think the people in the background are too much, but it seemed like not enough without them....sigh.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


"Up and Away" Digital
And then it occurred to her that she might not have enough ballast...
My brainstorm for this week's Illustration Friday theme of "Enough." It's not clear to me why "not enough ballast" is what I came up with, but what the heck. It is also a quiet ode to the hat I had been looking for for years, found in a men's store in Italy, and then tragically lost within months of its purchase. I have only glimpsed one other such hat, on a man in line at a Starbucks, whom I frightened by asking fervent questions about its origins. Apparently it was a gift from someone who had been to Italy...
I couldn't decide whether I like the picture better as day or night. Certainly during the day some of the details show up better, like the fact that I forgot to finish the edge of the balloon, but there's something kind of cool about the night one. I was initially thinking dusk-ish because I was going to decorate it with some christmas lights, but then I had already gotten carrried away with furnishing the baskets and decided that I needed to get working on other things today.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


"In her Secret Garden" Digital Collage
I had so much fun last week playing with tree pictures that I thought I would do it again this week. I was going for early-spring-morning-sun-filtering-through-trees-and-fog type lighting, because I love being in the trees when it's like that. This time for the girl I sketched her out and then painted her in GIMP.
In other news, I finally decided to buy the commercial version of Illustrator, so I can now legally sell my artwork. I will be trying to make some prints available in the future and will make note of it on the blog when they are. Etsy here I come!

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Birds Part III: Empty Nest

When I got up this morning and looked out the window, I could have sworn I saw two little birdies in a fruit bowl. But then a few hours later, I looked out and saw a little bird head poking out. I was thinking it was Eleanor getting adventurous again and about to come out for some flying practice. So I went around for a better look and found there was only one! Poor Marianne was distraught at being left all alone with the scary lady watching her. She was restless. When I came back from lunch a few hours later, there was no bird in the nest. Worried, I went outside to look, and there was Marianne, perched on the top! She was proud of herself and flapped around a little, but when she realized that flapping brought her closer to me, she panicked and started flapping around wildly. I put a piece of wood over by the railing so that she wouldn't accidentally fall, and then went in so that she might calm down. Instead, I watched as she hopped off of the edge. I panicked. I ran down below to make sure that she was okay, which she was, and chased her into a bush so that she would be more protected. Of course when I came back upstairs, Jack was here with a bug in his mouth looking for his baby girl. I'm pretty sure he gave me the evil eye.
But we rescued healthy babies, if impetuous ones, so I'm sure they'll be okay out there in the big world. We can only hope they've learned their lesson about dryer vents.
One lone little birdie

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Birds Part II: Nests and Feathers

After getting the birds settled in their fruit basket, I went outside to see if I could find some nesting materials that they could sit on. There wasn't a whole heck of a lot in the courtyard, so I thought I would wander around to the back to see if I could discover how they got in to our dryer vent in the first place. This is what I found. Yep, that would be bird's nest dangling from our dryer vent. It made it easy to figure out which one was ours. It also made it easier to get the babies some nesting material as there was about a handful of it on the ground.
I set it lightly in front of them (I've named them Eleanor and Marianne after the Sense and Sensibility sisters) and let them work it out for themselves. They slept on it over night, but later the next day, this is what I saw:


They seem to be doing ok without it though, today I added a little pinch back in to cover the poop.
Meanwhile I checked online to be sure of what kind of bird they are, and they are sparrows. So I've named dad, who's been coming to feed them instead of mom (undoubtably feeding the babies that remain in the dryer vent). I'm calling him Jack. I just can't help myself. He doesn't quite have the swagger, though, he's pretty jittery.
But I marvel at Eleanor and Marianne. Marianne didn't even have her feathers yet, and the two of them ventured about a hundred feet down the vent. My brave little adventuring bird friends. Here's how they look today:

Marianne (the younger one on top) is growing her feathers in pretty well!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Sour the Second

"Citrus Splash" Vector art
As foretold, here is the citrus pattern I came up with. In general I think it looks reasonably pretty, but I struggled with it for far too long for it to have been worth it. I had an entirely different pattern made primarily of the little citrus bursts, but it got too complicated. And even now you can't really see the cute little fruit slices I made. Oh well, it's all good practice.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


"Sour Lady" Digital Collage

Maybe not the best title ever, could be worked on. The lady herself was taken from a 3o's fashion paper doll set I have, though I mightily tweeked her dress coloring and made sure that her makeup matched. Her hat I made in Illustrator and I used some pictures of tree branches from across the street for the background. I was having a hard time being inspired by the topic, but I saw the look on her face and thought that she looked a bit sour, so I went with it. I was considering making a pattern, and may still work on that this week. I am better pleased with the blending of the background on this one.

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Birds Part I: Roommates

This morning G pulled me over to the dryer and pointed at it. It was emitting little chirps from the dryer vent, that long foil-ish tube thing that comes out the side. They were rather loud birdish chirps, but I was convinced they were coming from the vent exit, where there was, perhaps, a little songbird welcoming the day. But as I walked by it again, I noticed that there was a very small birdish chirp coming from the bend in the tube right by the dryer and very much inside the condo. Now I am a very bird-friendly person, and the sound of a little bird in distress has much the same effect on me as, say, a baby crying.
Calmly we emailed the property manager asking him to please help us fix the bird-in-dryer problem and to please let us know how we can make him fix the dryer vents outside so as not to have this problem in the future. When, after five minutes or so I hadn't heard back, I took to pacing by the dryer. G knows my feelings for birds, and so offered to dissasemble the dryer in such a way that we might be able to detach the vent and usher the bird to his freedom. After about a half an hour of dissasembly and attempted bird wrangling, I managed to bend the tube enough to slide the bird into a bowl and cover it with a towel. We swiftly brought the bird to the balcony, left him in the bowl with a towel around it and went back inside to let him recover as he was breathing heavily and wouldn't move. We peered at him through the blinds and noted with worry that while he recovered, he couldn't seem to fly out of the bowl.
G went back to re-assemble the dryer, and soon called to me saying he had heard something else in the vent. Indeed, more scrambling of little bird claws. While I was attempting to pull the tube out further so that I could bring it down to the floor for a smoother exodus, I heard a different noise, like something was inside the dryer. As I stopped to listen, another bird flew from behind the dryer, at G's head, and into all of the windows pointing outward. We herded her out and then got the other one out of the tube, but this one was so little she didn't have all of her feathers yet. As I put her out beside the first she was shaking terribly. I spent about an hour distraught that my poor little dryer birds wouldn't survive, when mom came back and I got a call back from an animal rescue shelter. It now seems that we will have new roommates until they learn how to fly.

Exhausted little birdies after beeing well fed by mama

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Portrait of the Artist as a Monkey

The second part of my wrapping paper assignment, the art monkey. I couldn't quite make her as simply perfect as the science monkey, but at least she's cute.