Thursday, August 18, 2016

Origami, Illustration Friday

De-liver De-letter De-sooner De-better!
If you're old enough to remember a time when kids only knew "texts" as what was printed inside books and on papers, then you might have passed notes in this fashion- a notebook paper folded stealthily to conceal important, private messages for friends' eyes only.
Who would have guessed that all these decades later, Illustration Friday would post the week's theme of "Origami," which would be my cue to break out a sheet of paper, sit down and fold it, create a colored pattern from the actual folded page, then type a digital message that could be viewed by anyone with an internet connection or the inclination to take a peek?
Whew. And I actually remembered how to do this...Maybe a little too easily, suggesting that perhaps I spent too much time passing notes way back when?
But back to presentations, paper folding and kids, I'll confess that a bit of familiarity with origami has bailed me out on more than one occasion. In junior high, I recall conceptualizing an "eleventh hour" presentation when I realized that the folds in the paper left patterns of geometric designs. Somehow, it occurred to me that the shapes and angles related to our lessons. I simply folded and unfolded a few examples, stuck them on a poster board in illustrated vignettes, handily filling space and (BAM!) turned that project in the following day. I remember being relieved (and very surprised) to discover that Mrs. Stephenson gave it the highest score possible.
Yeah, that was a LONG time ago. Let's just try to keep the focus on happy current events, here. My hands are still capable of folding paper, only recently it's been for fun, with cash and nothing "top secret" about it. From tutorials found on the internet, I discovered how to make flowers out of dollar bills, folding (folding and folding) then attaching these to braided ribbons, creating leis. They'll stay fresh and everlasting as long as the recipient wants, no need for refrigeration. This technique has come in handy for a few gifts this summer- However, these projects do require more time, effort and planning...And maybe additional room in another post!

Unfolded, colored envelope page
used to create repeat pattern

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Thursday, November 5, 2015

Mini Bouquet

Taking a breather from fall festivities and assorted things that were occupying my mind this past week, today I'm all about the quick and easy, reverting to a "ready- made" from the art files to submit to Illustration Friday. This is one of the comps in a series of mini framed prints I submitted for an assignment a few years back. As I recall, this one was rejected, but some of the others were developed further and eventually made it to market. Unfortunately, I never saw the completed product. This was not the first time and certainly not the last.

The rejection process sounds harsher than it actually is. If I could count all the times my efforts were not accepted for whatever reasons, I'd have huge armloads of the stuff. Oh wait, I do...And this tiny teacup bouquet is just a sampling! ;o)

So here you go, I'm sharing a few blooms with you today. Even if we recognize a few flaws or tatters among the petals, we keep moving along, don't we? Hope your week is filled to the brim with goodness!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Adventure

Halloween Adventure, for Illustration Friday
A nice little witch flew by to announce that it's almost time to light the jack o' lanterns again. Then she and her little kitty sailed off for a spooky adventure way out into the charcoal sky.
Are you ready for the goblins to wander by?
Happy Halloween, wherever the night takes you!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Stuffed

Seasonal Stuff!
Is it just me, or do you agree that scarecrows are sort of creepy?  I mean, they're created to sit silently out in the cornfield with the intent of scaring birds or other creatures. Then in the autumn, faded and tattered they remain, with fixed expressions staring off into space. Like morbid mannequins, they bide their time, content to stay and seemingly unfazed whether their duties were accomplished or not.

Cornfields were few and far between when I was a kid growing up in suburban Southern California, so these guys randomly appeared in small backyard gardens or as novel, holiday props.  Some of our older and creative neighbors had fun with Halloween, setting up elaborate seasonal displays on the path towards the doorstep. Most of these were just to create a little atmosphere and amusement before the trick or treaters could get to the goodies. Of course, there was always the trickster in the neighborhood who would be sitting there unmoving, dressed as a scarecrow or some other stuffed dummy, just waiting for the unsuspecting kid to walk by so he could jump out and scare the living bejeezus out of that poor soul. Having two older brothers, I was pretty used to being tortured like this and expected to be frightened at every turn. But I did take an extra glance any time there was the possibility that a human being was inside any part of the Halloween decor. Just a quick glance though, because ultimately there was a nice person waiting at the front door ready to hand out treats.

You might have guessed, the theme at Illustration Friday is "Stuffed." Rather than thoughts of settling into cushy, comfortable chairs after a full meal or cuddly, fuzzy animals, I'll be waiting with my friendly (hopefully not too scary!) scarecrow. We're almost ready to fill a few bags with treats, here. And I promise, no tricks! ;o)


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Star

Autumn Moon and Stars
I once worked in an art department where the person who signed the checks was convinced that there were certain shapes that none of us clumsy, hired hands would ever be able to execute the degree of perfection which was required to create the production patterns for this product. So each time these shapes appeared in one of the designs, rather than sending our inferior efforts back (to the check signer) for a series of rejections, we tediously spliced copies of one or more of these computer generated shapes into our otherwise very exact, precise and hand inked vellum patterns. To add insult to injury, once these patterns arrived at the factory overseas, their employees would interpret them by very primitive hand painted methods and the results weren't always so pretty. They, too would always throw it back to us, to try to cast blame on the patterns they were given to follow.

Anyway, one of these standard shapes happened to be a star. The check signer had this idea that there existed a uniform and perfect five pointed model, similar to the old fashioned gummed, foil types one might get as a reward if such a thing existed. But we were rewarded richly- with vellum sheets of these stars printed by the row, in every imaginable size, waiting in our flat files for the next design that summoned the surgical precision and dreaded honor of wielding the golden Xacto. Needless to say, we avoided including these shapes in our designs if we could help it!

Coincidentally, "Star" is also the posted topic at Illustration Friday this week. From the heavens above, the sparkly radiant objects that inspire poetry, songs and dreams also stir dark memories of living nightmares. So I'm just here to have some fun with watercolor today- Imagining star shaped leaves in autumn, wobbly, little hand painted stars and a kind and gentle moon nestled in the clouds.  I never set out to be perfect. And I think that is universal knowledge by now. ;o)

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Ink

Ink, for Illustration Friday
Some things are indelible and can't be erased or covered up, no matter how badly we'd like them to disappear.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Mermaid

Mermaid and Friend
I can't believe it's not summer any more. September is tricky that way. But as long as it's going to be warm outside, then we're still thinking about the beach and cooling off in the ocean. 
Illustration Friday, how did you know that it's still mermaid season here?

No, we're not going to cast any nets or harm any sea creatures this week, real or imagined. I just thought I'd try to capture one in colored pencil this week, maybe just to take a quick dip into the coloring craze that seems to have snared the creative world. 
So don't put those pencils and crayons away- It looks like autumn also promises to be a colorful season!

Happy fall, y'all!