Friday, December 6, 2013

Work in Progress

Sometimes, when I look at the shelf next to my art tables, I think, "Ack! Ack! Too many unfinished projects!"

The horizontal binders on the bottom shelf in this photo contain the pencil sketches, line art, paintings and rejects from my finished smallbooks.

The vertical ones are stuffed with unfinished projects, and they outnumber the others at least two-to-one. Years and years of work lie ahead. Sometimes the sight of it sends me into a nice little anxiety attack. Other times, I feel like patting those binders and purring. They remind me of a well-stocked kitchen cupboard: full of possibilities.

The grey boxes are old tax files, necessary but boring. No need to talk about those!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Rough Stuff






They say you have to take the rough with the smooth. I've been working on this Bonfire Boys sequence (for my Storydello blog) for months, and parts of it are still pretty darn rough!  I hope it will come together soon. I'm looking forward to taking some "smooth with the rough."

Friday, October 4, 2013

Supervisory Cat

Happiness is a messy palette, a mug of tea, a supervisory cat, and a rowdy ancestor.

The smallbook in progress is for Storydello. It's about my great-great-great grandfather, John Stanbridge. He and his brother went to prison for "riot and tumult" after a Bonfire Night celebration that got out of hand. I could hardly wait to finish the research and start painting their exploits. Those guys were bad

The supervisory cat does not approve. But I suspect there are some dubious characters in her own family tree!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Bigger and Bigger


My "small books" are gradually getting bigger and bigger. Is this a subconscious reflection of my growing confidence? Or does it have more to do with my changing eyeglass prescription?

Whatever the reason, you can see the progression in this picture. From right-to-left: 1) tiny coil bound sketchbooks from the dollar store (I think they were sold as party favours), 2) "livretti"--which is my made-up name for the little 8-page books made from single sheets of letter-sized office paper, and 3) "small books," which are quarter-sheets of letter-sized paper, printed double-sided, sewn with dental floss and bound in cover stock.

Small books are my favourite, these days. But lately I've made a few "tall books" as well, from half-sheets of letter-sized paper. These were made as presents, and have been given away, so they aren't in this picture.

Friday, June 28, 2013

My Wonderful Mess

In my dayjob, if my work-space gets cluttered, my brain gets cluttered, too. I seem to have to file stuff and straighten things, or I can't think straight.

At home, my art-table creates the opposite effect. If I tidy it up, I can't work well. My brain starts trying to follow the rules, and my ideas get all tight and well-behaved, and it takes me a long time to realize that they've led me down the wrong path.

This jumble of odd-sized paper, weird brushes and crummy pens seems to say, "There's nothing to lose, and God knows there are plenty of us, so just get in here and play around." It's a good place for messing around and making a lot of mistakes. Once in a while, a good idea pops out.

And there's a big old bin underneath the table, for catching the clunkers.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Day Job

In the 15 years I've worked at the library, I've changed offices about five times. I share the current one with an office-mate fondly known as "Roomie." In this photo, her desk is behind me as I point the camera at my own desk. We feel lucky to have a window that really opens, and a view across downtown Kingston toward the Royal Military College and Fort Henry.

In addition to my three personal blogs Alphadello, Storydello, and, of course, Everdello, I manage three more at work: Kingston 1812, Presents from the Past, and StoryMe. Luckily, most of the StoryMe entries are done by my colleagues. It's a bit of a juggling act to keep all of these blogs in the air, but wow--I love it!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Note to Self


Oops!  Note to self: remember to read the text.  I happily coloured my drawing of a Regal Walnut Moth and was starting to type its text for my Insect Alphabet:
Nearly all caterpillars, however formidable they may look, are in fact harmless. The fiercest one I have ever seen, that of the regal walnut moth (Ceratocampa regalis) is very large, and with horny spines stretched over the head...
I had collected the text weeks earlier, and I'd forgotten that the picture was supposed to show the caterpillar; not the moth. For about two seconds, I told myself it didn't matter. Then I looked at photos of these bizarre caterpillars and could hardly wait to draw one.

It took some tweaking and fiddling-around, though. I wanted to place the caterpillar below the moth, but there wasn't enough room on the paper to extend the drawing in that direction, so I drew the caterpillar in a separate panel, and "stitched" them together on the computer. (If you look at Monday's Alphadello post, you can see the line.)

In real life, the caterpillar and moth would not appear in the same place at the same time, so I put the caterpillar in a circle. It's supposed to remind you of a magnifying glass, but believe me, you would not need a magnifying glass to see a real one. Check this out.  Eeeewwww! And yet...wow. Magnificent!