6.28.2011

Day Two Hundred Three

Phew!! Long, long day. We traveled around Bozeman; it's a pretty decent little town. Picked up a couple pretty good albums. Too bad this cabin doesn't have a turntable. Sad face.

Maybe it's just the fact that one of my younger brothers has decided that he is now a "Michael Jackson zombie", but today's word seemed kind of creepy and animal-like.

feed v. To supply with food; to provide as food; to consume food; to keep supplied, as with fuel for a fire; to enter data into a computing machine; to draw support or encouragement. n. The mechanical part, as of a sewing machine, that keeps supplying material to be worked on. Slang A meal. 



Because we find ourselves in Montana and, in Montana, there are a large number of bears, bear attacks have been on the brain. I decided to do a sort of cheeky take on the word "feed" for today's word.



Now, if you'll excuse me, I really must be getting to bed.

xx
-r






Day Two Hundred Two

Ah, writing in from gorgeous Montana. If I had the ability, I'd upload some photographs of Yellowstone but I didn't think to bring along a card reader...eh.
I settled down with a hot cup of tea and a piece of toast (it's actually cold here!!) to figure out how today's post would turn out. As soon as I read the word, I had a pretty clear idea of the illustration I wanted to end up with.  I twisted the word a little bit in order to make it fit my idea.

bell n. A metal instrument that gives a metallic sound when struck.



I really liked the idea of a sort of Victorian dress shaped similar to a bell. I wanted to really channel Gorey on this one; I sought out my most finely-tipped pen to work heavily on small detailing and shading. 



I got a kick out of this character. She seems proud yet self-conscious. 

Good evening everyone.

Xx
-r

 

6.26.2011

Day Two Hundred One

For once in the history of this blog (okay, that’s a little dramatic...I think I’ve posted this early before) we have an early post! I didn’t want to be scribbling something out at the last minute on my flight, so I decided to do the responsible thing and actually do some thought-out art on time.

Today’s word was one that I’ve found difficult to illustrate. The job of the illustrator/artist/what-have-you when it comes to things like this is really to take a flat area and bring it to life. To trick the eye into accepting something it knows is not real. Knowing how to capture the correct perspective plays a key part in this; it’s one of the most difficult things, in this artist’s opinion, to get good at. For today’s word, getting the correct perspective was extremely important.

chasm n. A very deep crack in the earth’s surface.



I really enjoyed the idea of having a kind of creepy “chasm” with a few little creatures sort of peeking their way out of it. I began with two crooked lines, which I then shaded strategically to create the sense that the space between them was a steep descent.




Opting, as usual, for simplicity, I decided to keep the characters more mysterious and leave them as just eyes. Although this sketch could definitely use some improvement, I’m fond of the way the shading came out. I wasn’t sure I could bring that kind of angle out semi-successfully-I guess it’s good to experiment.

Enjoy your Sunday-thank you, as always, for stopping by.

Xx
-r

6.25.2011

Day Two Hundred

Wow.
Two hundred days.

I can’t believe I’ve sat down every night for the past two hundred nights and scribbled something on a piece of paper. It’s so strange-feeling like this has been going on forever, yet also feeling as if it has just begun.

I won’t build it up too much, because today’s piece isn’t worth any real hullabaloo.

bone-—dry adj. Completely without water.



I found this word so delightfully ironic that I just had to illustrate it. If you hadn’t been outside in Kansas today, let me assure you that it was anything but “bone dry”. In fact, it was just about as far from bone dry as it could possibly get with the exception of actually being underwater.

Anyway, this word reminded me of summers in New Mexico-how crisp and dry everything gets. The sun beating down-making everything harsh and glaring. The thing about those bone dry days, though, is that they turn into mountain nights. Everything gets cold and breezy, and that clean smell of piƱon and powdery red earth just sits calmly on the night air.

Oh, how I miss it all.



Now, today’s bit of line doesn’t do it justice, but I wanted to illustrate the peace that can come hand-in-hand with the bone-dry. I’m through with thinking of “bone dry” as a bad thing-any amount of dryness weather-wise sounds like a blessing at this point.

Now, considering that I’ve slept 3 hours in the past 48, I really must be getting to bed.
Happy two hundred days.

Xx
-r

6.24.2011

Day One Hundred Ninety Nine

Rest assured-this blog is still up and running and will be updated very super late tonight...because I'm lame like that. Xx


Oops. I guess I lied about this being updated that night. Oh, well. I’m playing the migraine/I-had-to-get-up-early-to-shoot-a-wedding card. As I was at Punk Rock Formal from noon to 1 in the morning, I took a brief minute while snarfing down some dinner, to pick and illustrate a random word.

I used a flier I’d been given as both a drawing surface and a source of inspiration. Of all of the words printed on the flier, “Crossroads” really stuck out at me. (Sadly, my poor dictionary doesn’t have the word printed in it-what the heck??-so we are left without a formal definition.)

Because I was much too lame to remember anything great to draw with, I was stuck with a comparatively wide-tipped pen with which to sketch in a tiny area. Thus, this drawing came out looking quite blurry and too filled out.



Oh, well. I still really enjoy this word and how it applies to life. I think that there are often times in life when one finds oneself at a crossroads. What’s important, though, is to recognize that you are in that position, and be able to decide which road will lead to something best in the long run.

Who knows.

Xx
-r

6.23.2011

Day One Hundred Ninety Eight

There is really nothing to be said about today or, I’m sure, any of the days that will closely follow it.

ech-o n.,pl. –oes Repetition of a sound by reflecting sound waves from a surface; the sound produced by such a reflection; a repetition; the reflection of transmitted radar signals by an object. V. To repeat or be repeated by; to imitate.



I thought about this word a lot. It made me think of the way I feel as though every attempt to calm things echoes back at me in the form of another mistake. Oh, well...we learn, right?



Today’s piece doesn’t quite illustrate that feeling directly, but I like the way it came out.

Xx
-r

6.22.2011

Day One Hundred Ninety Seven

This evening routine has slowly become my favorite part of my day. What once was a chore has become a savior. Okay, maybe not quite “savior” but a pretty good method of decompression.

After a few hours of sleep, I ran...er...dragged my feet...down to the darkroom to knock out the development of a couple rolls of film. The “mystery” roll turned out to consist of several photos of a dead bird-just the pick-me-up this magnificent day called for.



 After successfully bringing to life a few decent images, I headed outside to try and get out of my head.

It didn’t work, though.

I took today’s word and ran with it a tiny bit-the illustration doesn’t quite fit the technical definition of the word. Then again, this is MY blog. So, I guess...deal.

bay n. The inlet of a body of water; a main division or compartment.



For some reason, this word reminded me of a small seaside town we stayed in while in France. From the centre ville (city center) area, you could see the road winding up over a hill; supported by a large stone bridge of sorts. As you drove into town from our house, the beach arched around, ending with these magnificent stone arches. Although it has been more than a year since I’ve set eyes on this scene, I can see it in my mind as clearly as if I was standing there.




I did a rough sketch of the Banyuls beach; putting emphasis on the texture of the stone. I have a difficult time sketching a realistic beach in pen, but I tried to convey the choppy water. Although this beach was pretty sheltered compared to open ocean, it was usually very windy during the day; the water stayed pretty lively.

I hope someday to return to this beach, maybe to get a decent picture of it this time.

I hope you enjoyed whatever day this is.

Xx
-r

6.21.2011

Day One Hundred Ninety Six

I’ve been longing for some sense of normalcy lately. Things seem to be in constant flux-while not necessarily a bad thing, it has definitely thrown me off balance. I realized today that I’m happiest when I’m alone.
Maybe not happiest, but most at peace.
I think that year spent 90% alone has ruined me.

It was cloudy on and off today. I did a journal entry while sitting in the alley between 8th and 9th, and remarked that it was “half cloudy and half sunny; the sun doesn’t seem to add any heat”. I’m not sure why I feel the need to quote myself as opposed to simply relaying that thought-it seemed more interesting, I guess. Although...I’ve ruined the interesting-ness with a long explanation.

Anyway, as I sat there and watched the clouds roll in and out, I thought a lot about the past few months, and realized how much of a hermit at heart I am.

Not that I won’t continue to adore people, and to spend time with them, but I think I need to accept the importance of shutting the world out for a bit.

Keep reading; things brighten up a bit with today’s word.

poise v. To bring into or hold one’s balance. N. Equilibrium; self-confidence; the ability to stay calm in all social situations.



Originally, I had intended to illustrate an elegant, cool character. (Not “cool” as in awesome; “cool” as in calm and collected.) I decided to go a little beyond that, though, and give the character something to be poised despite.



Because of a terrible fear and unnecessary hatred of spiders seen at different levels in most of my siblings, I immediately jumped to “spider” as something to resist freaking out over. I’m not incredibly satisfied with the way this spider came out; it seems a bit too cartoonish, but I still enjoy the sketch.

Thanks for reading.
Now go away.

Xx
-r

6.20.2011

Day One Hundred Ninety Five

Ow.

I’m working my way into some serious soreness after roller derby practice. I fell quite hard on my butt; I’m hoping for my first real roller derby bruise.
Fingers crossed.

As I sat and sipped a mug of peppermint tea, I came across a word that I knew I had to illustrate. After seeing a showing of sketches downtown today, I’d gotten it into my head to create something very light and airy using pencil. Today’s word provided a good opportunity to explore both subjects and a style I do not often incorporate into my artwork.

field mouse n. A small mouse inhabiting fields and meadows.



I have had a bit of trouble in the past with drawing plants and such, but I decided to forge on and try it again in today’s piece. After all, a field mouse needs a field.




I blended the pencil quite a bit to soften the piece up and to better integrate the various elements. I wanted the blades of grass and wheat to seemingly stem from one single place; becoming more defined and separate as they grew higher. Although he’s quite small, I like the way this little field mouse turned out.

I wouldn’t stick with this style; I prefer the clean contrast of a fine pen on paper to the more subtle look of pencil, but it’s always good to experiment.

I hope you enjoyed your Monday; thank you for reading.

Xx
-r 

6.19.2011

Day One Hundred Ninety Four

Whew!! Finally all caught up on this blog...

Coming upon today’s word was actually kind of an unusual experience. As soon as I read it, I knew exactly what I was going to illustrate. Not in the sense that I had just a concept or even a plan...I could actually see the product I wanted to end up with.

First!

The word...

im-plo-sion n. The action of bringing to a center.



Alright, so, back to the story. This was one of the rare occasions in which, after having been able to envision exactly the piece I wanted to bring onto the page, I was able to pull it off and come up with what I had seen in my head.



I remember, in grade school, some young kid learned the word “implode” and it became the new cool thing to discuss every gruesome (over-imagined) detail of what an imploding head would look like. This stuck with me; it seemed to be such a serious topic at the time; it’s just become funnier as I get older. I like that this piece is very clean and minimalistic while coming across as pretty creepy.

Enjoy the few remaining hours of your weekend.

Xx
-r

Day One Hundred Ninety Three

So, I think I’ll just start in on this post...

This word really made me laugh. After a long day, as I settled down on the hotel bed, I knew I wanted to illustrate something light and airy...relaxed and funny.

This word provided the perfect opportunity to do just that.

ob-struc-tion-ism n. The deliberate interference the progress or business.



I went with a quirky little character...someone annoying but just a little too cute to really be grumpy at in a serious way.



I kept the sketch in pencil because I didn’t want to lose the shading or the soft look.

Xx
-r

Day One Hundred Ninety Two

These past few days have been quite a lot. It was odd-going radio silent here on the blog. I didn’t know how much I treasure the rhythm and the chance to express myself in some small way. I’m proud to say that I didn’t miss a day; I’ve kept the sketches safe in a notebook to be (finally!) uploaded here for you.

This dictionary entry provided the perfect opportunity to do a (not-all-that-) clever play on words.

out-let n. An exit.



I decided to use outlet in both the electrical sense (there’s something so appealing and pop art about a cartoon outlet) but also in the creative sense. I kept the sketch simple and clean.



I like the way this one turned out. It’s nothing special; without much detail and quirky.

Xx
-r

6.16.2011

Day One Hundred Ninety One

I’d like to begin this post by stating that I am preparing to leave for the weekend, and I’m very unsure about the status of the internet where I’m headed. I’ll continue to create art every day, and to post it to the blog as frequently as possible. Worst case scenario-I’ll be seeing you all on Monday.

I really loved today’s word, because it related to me in a big way. As I spent most of my time packing, I began the day with an almost full pot of coffee...by the time mid-afternoon rolled around; I was pretty hyped up on caffeine.

jit-ter v., Slang To be intensely nervous.



Now, I’m not really sure today had anything to do with nerves, but I liked the idea of illustrating the intense caffeine craze in kind of a goofy way.



I’m pretty fond of this one. Not entirely because of the look of it, but also the manic energy it represents.

Thanks for reading.
Xx
-r

6.15.2011

Day One Hundred Ninety

Well, I think I’ll start out with...have you SEEN the moon?



I had the good fortune of catching it while out at Clinton Lake, and got a wonderful view of it as it rose. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera with me, and was stuck with my not-so-awesome phone camera. Oh, well. It was still pretty brilliant.

Today’s word made me pretty bummed out that it’s summer. Sounds strange, right? Last fall, while in New York City, I picked up a bright beautiful blue scarf from a street vendor there, and probably wore it at least 3 times a week for the following 6 months. As it is beginning to regularly reach the mid-90’s here in Kansas, I haven’t been able to comfortably flounce about in it...which has made me sad. Anyway, today’s word served to twist the knife on that one just a bit.

(Note: I really am making a bigger deal out of this scarf issue for the sake of writing-I’m not really this heartbroken over it.)

re-bo-zo n. A long scarf worn by Mexican women.



After a search to get a few ideas, I decided to go with a less traditional but still as striking use of this type of scarf.



I like the way this came out; it makes me long for a bit of cold weather. Ah, well. Maybe we should just move.

Enjoy your evening.

Xx
-r

6.14.2011

Day One Hundred Eighty Nine

We confirmed, today, several things. One; skating with the 12 and under group in roller derby practice does not mean you get out of being incredibly sore the next day. Two; there is no place to skate in Lawrence that doesn’t involve potholes and fast-moving cars.
Ugh.

Spent the evening downtown, surrounded by music and the people who make it. I’m content, I think, to be in awe of them and what they create rather than attempt to join them in that creation.

Some fabulous evening busquing courtesy of Alden..I think this was Chelsea Hotel. 


The brilliant pb&j balancing act by Ron of Up the Academy (check out the sandwich...perched just so atop that guitar...)

This makes a perfect transition to today’s word; I think I’ll start in on the art. (Well, it’s all been about art...I’ll start in on MY art...)

a- round adv. To or on all sides; in succession or rotation; from one place to another; in a circle or circular movement.





I decided, for today’s piece, to do a very rare self portrait. Although, in some way or another, I think a lot of my art is a self portrait of sorts. “Around” got me thinking about my approach to people and, in a broader sense, the world in general. I don’t wish to be directly involved in things, or to be paid attention to; I simply enjoy being...around.



Artistically, I’m not fond of how this came out, but I do enjoy the story behind it.

Thanks for reading.

Xx
-r

6.13.2011

Day One Hundred Eighty Eight

Oh no! Apologies for the mess-up with yesterday’s post...it saved it as a draft and I didn’t quite catch that one. Anyway, it’s published now so I guess that makes it good..

Well, it was my second official roller derby practice today. It went a little better than the first, I think mostly due to the fact that they threw me in to skate with the “12 and under” group so...uh...I’d be with people more closely matched to my skating skill. Lovely... Ah, well, I’m hoping to get a practice space in town soon.



I guess I’d better get started on today’s post before my head hits the keyboard.

I was thinking today, while I hid inside away from the 95 degree weather, about this time last year and what I was up to. In case you’re unaware, we spent a good portion of last summer traveling in the south of France. Enjoying leisurely days at markets, and long hikes through ancient castles...I’m not sure the weather ever reached a temperature higher than 85 degrees. So, upon seeing today’s word, I knew I had to do a tribute, in some small way, to this life-changing adventure.

pass-port n. An official permission issued to a person allowing him to travel out of this country and to return; a document of identification.



I wanted to illustrate the tiring, but also the thrilling aspect of travel. I remember dashing through the airports of Bordeaux and Paris; a pack of brothers trailing behind me. I had imagined how thrilling it would be (and possibly less stressful) to be running through these airports on my own.



As I plan to return to Europe in a few short years, I can imagine just what it’ll be like to make this trip once again.

Until then, I guess I’d better sketch it.

Xx
-r

Day One Hundred Eighty Seven

Today passed the way a blissful summer day should. The hours slipped by slowly and peacefully as my buddy and I dashed around town-enjoying the brief reprieve from the sweltering heat. (Soon to return tomorrow with the expected high of 95...) I’ve spent the last few days trying to stay out of my head; trying to shake this weird nihilistic mood I’ve gotten into. The problem is...I kind of need my head.

Today’s word was a difficult one.
Not because it was particularly unusual or difficult to use-it was the opposite, actually.

dull adj. Stupid; lacking in intelligence or understanding; insensitive; having a blunt edge or point; not intensely felt; arousing no interest or curiosity; not bright; overcast of gloomy; unclear. v. to make or become dull; to blunt or to make blunt.



As I read this word, and its definition, I began to loathe it. “Dull” went against everything I strive to do. Not just within my art, but throughout my entire life. Almost offensive in nature, I hesitated to even contemplate ways to illustrate such a word.

After a few long minutes, though, I took a deep breath and made an attempt to get over myself.




I wanted to illustrate a character who, although not necessarily “dull” themselves, was experiencing a bit of dullness. I can almost hear the exasperated “sigh” making its way from her mouth.

I hope you all did something good with your weekend-I certainly skipped out on that one.

Enjoy, and stuff.

Xx
-r

6.11.2011

Day One Hundred Eighty Six

I’d gone to bed last night with a desperate frustration. I’ve been working my way through a bit of an artistic funk-trying to come up with a solid idea for this super 8 movie. (No relation to the upcoming Super 8 movie, although that has certainly done a number on my Google search results for information about super 8 film...curse you, JJ Abrams.) Anyway, I’d gone to bed mulling over this issue, and becoming increasingly frustrated with trying to come up with some form of idea or script. This morning, although it is not complete or even, possibly, usable, something came to me. As I gained consciousness, I became aware that I was mumbling a stream of words. I quickly grabbed my trusty notebook and pen, and scrawled what I could before I began to forget it. Inspiration, in the form of writing, does not come to me often. When it does, though, it comes suddenly and without explanation. Today was one of those rare bursts of inspiration, and I spent the rest of the day editing-working back and forth between pen and typewriter. (Somehow, it makes it easier to edit something that has been typed out and is clean.) I like looking back through the versions of this piece to see it as it evolves.



I won’t reveal the final version of this yet. For one, it hasn’t been written, and two; I haven’t made up my mind as to the quality of this work Ah, well, let’s continue on.

I really liked today’s word-it got me to thinking about my family, and the collection of brothers I’ve got going. It’s strange when we’re out and about, all of us. We’re all very different; equally weird in unique ways.

mot-ley adj. Composed of a variety of components.



I decided to illustrate the (future) difference between my brother Jasper and me. Because we have very different fathers (mine, 5’6; his, 6’2) the difference between us is already striking. Although he is barely 6 years old, there is one shoe size and two pants sizes difference between the two of us. He’s long-legged, with white blond hair; an outrageous extrovert-my opposite in many ways. “Motley” made me think about the love I have for my brothers, and how I cannot wait to see the men they become.



I really enjoy the way this one came out. Neither of the characters looks quite like us, but I think they embody us in a sense.

Well, I think I’d better finish up this post now; maybe I’ll get to bed at a decent hour.

Thanks for reading, everyone.

Xx
-r

6.10.2011

Day One Hundred Eighty Five

I thought I might get something done with this day. Silly me.
I did spend quite a few hours scouting for locations to shoot the super 8 movie which, although very fun, served to make it very clear to me that I have yet to come up with a decent idea. I find myself with all of the energy and resources to really say something, but am without something to say.
I’m not sure if it’s that, really. I think I have plenty to say...I’m just not entirely sure what I’d like to say first, or how to form it into a coherent message. I’m hoping, as I load the film into the camera, something will really come to me. But, with cartridges hovering around $14 per, I don’t have much room to mess around. I’m hoping, as the frustration builds, the dam will break and I’ll be able to get this out...whatever it is.

I think I’d better stop ranting now and begin to tell you about today’s project. (Maybe I should make another blog...just for the rants...nah...they’ve got to be mixed with things that really matter or no one would listen. Is anyone listening anyway?)

mag-nil-o-quent adj. Speaking or spoken in a lofty and extravagant manner.



I love the way “magniloquent” fits, in its very essence, with its definition. I really wanted a character who embodied the definition of this word, and ended up with the same little person that’s been haunting (for lack of a better word) this blog for the past few days. I’m not sure what it is about him/her, but I can’t seem to shake them.



Maybe they’re just versatile; maybe they’re just not finished with me yet...who knows. I like the way that this one has ended up a little more abstract; a little more...out there.

Oh, well. I’m not sure if I’m stuck in a rut or working my way through something. I guess we’ll see!
Enjoy your weekend, everyone. Sleep in for me.

Xx
-r

6.09.2011

Day One Hundred Eighty Four

Gah! I’ve only got half an hour to hammer out this post...I’d better hurry this one up. I received my first Super 8 camera in the mail today (gasp) and am really looking forward to trying it out!

Now, for today’s project...

I’m pretty sure I’ve gotten this word before, but I couldn’t resist.

ar-gyle n. a pattern knitted with varicolored, diamond-shaped designs.



Because argyle is a pretty noticeable pattern anyway, I wanted to create something really loud, but still interesting at the same time.




I absolutely adore this character. I’ve always wished I was able to pull of the tailored menswear look in such an elegant, laid-back way. Unfortunately, being a teeny girl, it’s almost impossible to find any men’s clothing that is so well-fitting. Oh, well, at least I can (kind of) draw it.

I’d better publish this now, before it hits midnight and someone ends up a pumpkin.

Evening.

Xx
-r