Sep 30, 2009

To Work, Max... to Work!

"A person who has not done one half his day's work by ten o' clock, runs a chance of leaving the other half undone."

~Emily Bronte

I don't know if I need a slap in the face, a kick in the pants, the threat of revoked privileges or a life-coach with a cattle prod... but this procrastination business won't work. I have got to dig deep down and muster up some self-motivation from somewhere, or things will not be accomplished.  If they're my projects, my responsibility, and I will be reaping whatever benefits are to follow -- then it's up to me to get 'em done, in a timely manner and reasonable fashion.

[exits soapbox, puts on Big Girl pants.]

In the words of the inimitable Professor Fate, "To work, Max.. to work!"

A bored fire-faery..

"Little Monster"

An experiment with PS brushes..

The knosk, rarely seen in the wild, is particularly
partial to the nectar of the terpinberry flower.


Sep 28, 2009

Everything Old is New Again

What was any art but a mould in which to imprison for a moment the shining elusive element which is life itself - life hurrying past us and running away, too strong to stop, too sweet to lose.

~Willa Cather

Well, no more poison ivy... what better way to celebrate than to get a "new" hand-me-down [read: old] engineering table?  We bought it from a friend who'd kept it in his attic for years, thinking he'd use it someday.  Hopefully history won't be repeating itself here.  I look forward to working with it!  This drawing table's seen better days, but it's still a great work surface.  It looks like the love-child of a big white porcelain board and a beige 60s-era filing cabinet, and it takes up three-quarters of a wall in our spare room.  The tricky part is going to be tearing myself away from my digital artwork to actually go in there and use the drawing table.  The digi-art is just so darn convenient!

But now I can say, "oh well... back to the ol' drawing board!"

Sketchin' around a bit...

"Pink Iris Faery"

"Sunbird", line art...

... and colored sketch.

An unfinished faery series I'm working on,
inspired by JB Monge's work:



Sep 21, 2009

Seven-League Itch

It's good to be home, even if it's not Home.  A quick weekend trip back to the ol' parental Homestead's always fun and all, but it is good to be back in our own house.  Unfortunately, though, whilst staying indoors almost the entire time, I somehow wound up with poison ivy all over my right arm.

It's not bad -- Caladryl lotion'll turn you pink, but it works.  (And, thanks to modern technology, you can buy clear Caladryl now, which I promptly did once I got home!)  It's just annoying.  Plus, I've never had poison ivy before, as I'm not often outdoors romping over field and fen.  How do I manage...?

Anyway, you see how it is.  Now, without further ado,  let us continue in this small presentation of arts and whatnot.

A study of Simone, the amazing sleeping cat.

"Snow Dragon"

"Red Dragon at Morning"

They're not always abominable, you know.

"Lean, Green & Mean"

I've always thought it'd be cool to have Seven-League Boots.

Sep 17, 2009

Dancing with Fireflies

"Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures."
~Henry Ward Beecher

You won't find too many hideous monstrosities, frighteningly evil villains or dark troubled beings in this sketchblog, just so you know.  I've never had much luck pulling off the truly grim, grisly and/or gruesome creations.  I do have a confirmed morbid streak [a la Poe, Edward Gorey, etc.], but apparently it runs pretty deep.  Usually my happy-go-lucky-laid-back-easygoing self shines through when I'm sketching -- and sometimes this is a drawback.
C'est la vie.
("La vie!" -- sorry, bad joke...)

"Giselle Dances".

Horse sketchings... it never gets old.





Sep 16, 2009

An Attempt at Productivity

“The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work.”
 ~Emile Zola

I must accomplish something today.  I've got lots of things that need doing, but, even if it's just this blog post, I need to actually get something done.  Funny how sitting around internetzing and watching your cat sleep doesn't really leave you feeling like you've duly justified the air you breathe.

Cats do sleep in a variety of very interesting positions, though -- just sayin'. 

Conceptual illustration of the ballad of Tam Lin, in which the Faery Queen is pretty hacked off that the heroine broke the faery spell and freed her lover, Tam Lin.

A phoenix rises from the ashes.

The North Wind summons little Diamond to journey with her. 

Pen-and-ink study of Alma-Tadema's "Roman Potter".

Unfinished study of Mucha's "Evening Star".

Pen-and-ink study of LIFE magazine photo.



Sep 14, 2009

Order and Abandon

"Great art is born when Apollonian form and Dionysian ecstasy are held in balance, 
when our dreams of order and abandon come together." 
~Michael Pollan, The Botany of Desire: a Plant's-eye View of the World

Still working on the whole "order and abandon" thing.  It'll come with time, I think, although it's always frustrating to see the work of the Masters and know that greatness is a long way off yet.  I can see some small progress in my work, though, and that's good.

I always enjoy working from photo reference.

Study of a Brian Froud drawing.

"Faery Pearl"


"Lil' Red" -- I wish I'd done this sketch at a higher resolution!

"Let Down Your Hair", a tribute to illustrator Gordon Laite.

A white stallion, again from photo reference.

Sep 12, 2009

Rainy-day Prokofiev

As I sit here in my jammies, listening to Prokofiev and watching the tallow tree leaves dance in the wind outside my window, I think it's good to be indoors on this misty-moisty Saturday.

Here we have a pencil sketch called "Medusa the Queen".

These are some pen-and-ink characters for a 
"Mardi Gras bayou jug band" t-shirt design collaboration.
Ballpoint pen horse studies.

Raptor-esque creature concept.
"The Lindwyrm."

Pen-and-ink dog study.

Sep 11, 2009

She Walks in Winter

It's been a rather pensive day, which I think is appropriate.  Though I'm still dealing with the tail-end of my cold, I'm able to see past the box of Kleenex to the light at the end of the tunnel at this point -- which is fortunate.  It makes it easier to reflect on the occurrences of 9/11/01.
Illustrator Tristan Elwell aptly portrayed the mood I was in this morning, with his quietly moving 9/11 tribute:

Eight years later, we have not forgotten; I hope that we won't forget any time soon.  Ours is a nation of very vulnerable might, and it's easy to take our freedoms for granted.
That said (I'll get off my soap box now), time is like water and life flows along.  I'm reminded of this as I look over my collection of doodles and scribblings and try to decide what deserves to be posted.  It's interesting to see what I thought was quite well-drawn, say, two years ago.  How the time has passed... anyway.  No more soap-boxing.

Just one of those days...

Character concept: the very wise faun-maven.
Study of a chili pepper.

Study after Mucha's decorative panel, "Le Lys [the lily]".

The queen of the Wilis, from the ballet Giselle...

"She Walks in Winter".