April 29, 2011

Happy Queen's Day!

Saturday is Queen's Day in the Netherlands. It marks the birthday of the late Queen Juliana, who was forced to live for a time with her children in Canada during the Second World War.

I went to a reception this week to celebrate the unveiling of a new coin: the Tulip and Ladybug coin. Did you know that ladybugs shelter in tulips?

I was a bit nervous as it was a small reception with high-level attendance.

I'm sure I was not alone in being moved by the Dutch ambassador's words about the Netherlands people's gratitude for Canada's help all those years ago.

And here is Ada in a new pair of ladybug and flower pajamas :)

April 27, 2011

Before realising her folly

Great Expectations, Chapter 44

`And what wind,' said Miss Havisham, `blows you here, Pip?' 

I am just loving this.

Dear Jennifer K, would you like me to develop one of the images into a final (and if so, any adjustments?), or would you rather see a black and white Miss-H-and-cake first?

More Miss Havisham:
Steering for North's Miss Havisham illustration
Miss Havisham dollhouse
Miss Havisham-inspired runway collections, on Dickensblog

April 23, 2011

What's that, Ada? What sound does it make? Does it go "ba-a-a"?

April 19, 2011

Jeff is checking out the new hatchback Ferrari FF. My parents and Ada must be mostly through their tour of the Animal Barns this morning. Soon I'll put out luncheon meats, vegetables, bread and soup for lunch.

I profited from Ada's absence by rearranging the bathroom closet so that she has less opportunity to drug or impale herself. We've got a large bag of expired medicines for the pharmacy, several pairs of prescription glasses for the needy, and a sack of barely-used body washes of yesteryear for the blue box.

I am allergic to almost everything, so if I can't manage to re-gift my fashionable moisturizers, they languish under dust. I received a fantastic creme brulee-scented body wash once that I did manage to use many times before committing it to a lengthy retirement.

Having the chance to sort out nagging worries like childproofing is very restful. Next up: roofing research. Know anybody good?

April 22, 2011

Happy Friday

April 12-14, 2011

April 4-11, 2011
Very slowly I'm getting the hang of these brush markers. The colours are somewhat dissonant together since I picked them out of the Wallack's clearance section. I didn't have the luxury of harmonious colours. Instead I have more interesting combinations to enjoy. In Adobe Illustrator, the complementary colour picker must be a constant temptation for AI artists. I used it for the first time for Baby Wisdom. For now I prefer the palettes of PhotoShop and, though I've never used it myself (covet!), Corel Painter.

Is it just me, or does that chick at the top look like a zombie? Wierd greeny gray colour -- note to self: not good on skin...

April 20, 2011

Miss Havisham and cake

This little mock-up is my second idea for Jennifer Kershaw. I want Miss Havisham's wedding cake to loom over her like a spectral burden. I doodled a couple of other images of the tragic bride holding the key to her own prison, but I couldn't get the right mood.

This one is in colour, which isn't in the brief, but I 'll do another in black and white. My main problem with this comes down to: would you want it on your chest? I'm thinking maybe, maybe not. We'll see what the client thinks.

Havisham Status: Two down, one to go!

April 19, 2011

Early spring colours

April 18, 2011

Lately I am loving grey, brown, cream, and green. This is completely new for me. Thirty five years, and my favourite colour palette completely shifts. 

April 18, 2011

Making LÖVE


Just got back from visiting friends and celebrating the wedding of one of my oldest friends. Which means that I finally I get to post the wedding gift painting. I worked on this digital painting over the winter and named it LÖVE, for reasons that will soon be obvious. It took roughly 40 hours, a lot more than usual, largely because of the planning and the printing preparation.

I'd meant to do a traditional, on-canvas painting. I even drew the final design on a canvas. Somehow I just kind of kept never getting around to painting it, was always tinkering on the Adobe Photoshop planning drawings. Eventually I listened to my instincts. GPC Labworks printed it on canvas for me.

Why Ikea? My friend's now-husband proposed there, given it was the site of so many dates. I figured I'd pay homage. In fact, I learned yesterday that they're doing a wedding photo shoot there.

The groom put together a making-of video using my early sketches and earlier versions. It's really fun -- great music, and lots of humour.

They showed it at what they called their Concert Ceremony, where friends played music or performed readings for the couple. Even the bride and groom performed ensemble pieces. I doodled a bit in my hotel room the next evening.


April 14, 2011

Getting a piece of the pie

I really miss my blog. I've been really busy with work, and planning for a trip to a friend's wedding. Also, I've been applying to a promotional competition at work, which takes a lot of preparation. My cover letter was two pages, single-spaced!

On top of that, I really struggled with whether or not to self-declare as a disabled employee. I have permanent damage to and chronic tendonitis in four parts of my arms with related neck and back pain. I'm in pain all the time. Every day. Half of one of my hands has been numb for over a week, just as an example of some of the crap I live with. At work, I have disability equipment, and I couldn't work without it. Changing jobs is always scary (new managers, new roles, possible demands I can't do), and it dampens any interest I have in trying for jobs outside my department. (Would they accommodate me as well, if at all?) I've suffered for it: lost eight total months of work to it, and been in physical therapy four separate times, totalling, I don't know, a year or two? Plus, in the job ad, they said they if not enough people from the employment equity categories applied, that they would go outside our department looking for them.

On the other hand, when they say that they look at equivalent-by-merit applications and then choose the one that has a designation (woman, disabled, Aboriginal person, disabled), do they really? How equivalent is equivalent? Am I contributing to the discrimination of an able person? I wish I knew someone in HR that I could talk to frankly. But it was due last night at midnight (which was when I first wrote this! so sleeeeepy now), so I made my decision based on what I knew. I did not self-declare.

I just can't bear to think that they turned someone else down because I am a disabled person. I also now feel like a traitor to disabled employees, and like I've betrayed myself. I may now also risk someone else in these categories getting a job that I could have gotten, all things being equal. This is really hard. I slept on it, and I feel no better. Yay!

Sorry for the super-personal blog entry. Back to *light and fresh* soon :)

April 8, 2011

So very, very tired

April 4-8, 2011

Hiya Internet,
I am sleepy. It's Friday night and I have one picture to share.

There's another one, but someone in the picture is missing a hand, and I haven't found a suitable model to fill in yet. Didn't that happen last week?

Anyway, the woman in glasses here disembarked early on so I had to do her face from memory. I'm not surprised she looks like me. I think an artist's default model is herself.

Have a wonderful weekend in the sun, friends.

April 5, 2011

Miss Havisham Regrets

My understanding of the exciting world of illustration is that clients usually receive an agreed number of sketches. Their choice provides the basis for the illustrator's final artwork. That's what I have done on the few occasions I've done artwork for clients. I hope I get more chances someday.

Tonight I started work on an idea Jennifer submitted: a black and white t-shirt graphic with Miss Havisham from Great Expectations on it. This is my first sketch: a broken-hearted Miss Havisham, jilted on her wedding day, never to set foot from her house again.

The tone and style don't yet fit but the great thing about art is that you just keep doing it until you get it right.

April 3, 2011

New markers, many ideas

March 28 - April 1, 2011

April 1-2, 2011
The first sunny weekend and I spent most of it outside, first at the Animal barns via bus on Saturday (Ada also loves the bus), then again Sunday for a long morning walk along the river. No commitments, just a lot of family time, spring cleaning, ironing, and art.

Oh! And an optometry appointment where I learned my eyes are still getting better! A benefit of middle age, I'm told, and a welcome change from the usual poor health news I'm used to.

After that I went off to Wallack's art store where the very helpful store manager clued me in to a sale on Staedtler duo 3000 markers. 

Fooling around with my new brush nibs, we have these pictures and a work-in-progress dedicated to daffodils.

I want to say a special thanks to Jenn and Jennifer for submitting ideas. I'm daydreaming up ideas for you!


April 1, 2011

Ana Benaroya's bus drawing

Night Bus by Ana Benaroya 

New Jersey illustrator Ana Benaroya's drew her version of the Night Bus last night. I just had to break my Ottawa-only rule for this one.