Sunday, June 28, 2009

Alice and the Dust Train...

Well Hello Lovelies!

Whew, the weather here in Maine has been misty and rainy for almost two weeks and while it does wonders for my work (because I always imagine my characters in this sort of setting), it doesn't do wonders for my mood. But alas, I'm grateful for the inspiration. Let me start off by sharing a little bit of excitement, one of my photographs made it to the front page of Etsy! Yep, my Skydiver print has done me proud and it has convinced me to keep taking those photos and listing them for you fine folks.

Moving on, as I mentioned in my last post, I have been busy working on a new painting for the gallery and July's First Friday Art Walk in Portland. It is finally done so take a peek at From the Dust to the Grave, a fun little romp inspired by the art of Joseph Mugnaini. Joseph collaborated a lot with Ray Bradbury, illustrating some of his most famous book covers including Fahrenheit 451 among others. Both are favorites of mine. Make up any story you wish when you see this. I like to think that this run-down and eccentric train is taking these monsters to a ball far out in a barren wasteland where ghosts and witches and creatures of all kinds dance and celebrate in a dark mansion until dawn.

And, as many of you faithful followers know, I am a huge fan of Alice in Wonderland. I did a photo illustration series based on this story and I find the imagery and characters in general one of my biggest inspirations. I also adore Tim Burton's work so you can imagine how overjoyed I was when I found out he was doing Alice in Wonderland slated for release next year. Well, some promo shots have been released and uh... IT LOOKS AWESOME! Oh. My. Goodness. Seriously. Johnny Depp's makeup? Needless to say, this is going to be a version that resembles none of its predecessors. Sigh. Love all of them.

And let's wrap up with some more strange news folks, shall we? Sigh. You are not going to believe this one kids. Apparently, a couple in Shelbyville, Tennessee has been charged with assault against each other... using Cheetos as weapons. (For those of you not from the US, Cheetos are puffed cheese snacks.) Now, I don't know how one commits assault on another person using a snack but it can be done because both were arrested and charged. I don't think that's what they meant when health experts said excessive snacking wasn't good for you.

Until next time: unpleasant dreams!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Champagne Parties and Hot Summer Dreams

Hello Lovelies!

It's been awhile since my last post, but I'm back from St. Louis and ready to create more great things for you to enjoy! While in St. Louis (which was 95 degrees and sunny the entire time), I went to an opening at a great little letter press studio downtown called Firecracker Press. Not only do they have wonderful pieces of letter pressed work; boxes, cards, posters, signs, they also talked all about the presses themselves and gave demonstrations! Being a graphic designer by trade (and consequently a big fan of letter press), I was fascinated by all of this. Now I'm on a mission to save up some dough for the prints I love. If you're ever in the area, stop by; they're really nice.

I also took a ton of pictures both for fun and for the shop so expect fresh things in the coming weeks! Here are some shots of the Missouri Botanical Gardens, the Loop and the City Museum (which is a repository and safe house for all of the architectural detail that gets torn off of buildings in St. Louis when they're demoed.) Apparently, they have lofts in the museum and I would give my eye teeth to live there! Sigh.

Most importantly, the fundraiser for Susan G. Komen (the whole reason I went to St. Louis) was a success! Over $3,000 was raised for the 3-day walk next month down in Boston which helps out a great cause.

Oh, while I was away, my Nocturnal Garden James Bond illustration was featured on the Halter Hotties blog. The whole post was about James Bond, one of my favorite characters in literature, so of course, I was flattered.

Let's wrap up with some news, shall we Kiddies? Did you read about the teen in Colorado who was caught with 53 very small baby birds in his bedroom?! Apparently, his mom went in and found 53 birds that he had "confiscated" from nests all over his neighborhood. It's not clear WHY he did this and unfortunately 40 out of the 53 died as a result. The rest are being cared for at a local shelter. Talk about a teen who needs a hobby or a job. What's next? Stray cats? What the...?

Until next time: unpleasant dreams...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Snow, Skulls & St. Louis

Hello Lovelies!

I hope this Wednesday finds you well. I have been busy as a beaver over here doing a new painting for the July show at my gallery. I don't want to spoil the surprise, but it's going to be a doozy folks. (Think carnival train meets monsters... in pastels.) Yeah, it's going to be good.

Oh! And my Ringleader's Elephant piece was recently featured over at the TotusMel's Wunderkammer blog which I follow and I was really flattered to be shown there. Thank you!

Since the painting has taken most of my time, I have decided to mention a couple of great artists that I think everyone needs to know. First, Mark Ryden. If you haven't heard of this painter, that's okay. Better late than never. I love Mark's work. It's almost photo realistic but at the same time surreal and it pulls liberally from consumer culture icons (his studio is full of antique toys and Barbies apparently), all with a dark sense of humor. Here are a couple of his most recent works... Did I mention I love his paintings?

Another artist I recently stumbled across is Lisel Jane. I couldn't show any of her pieces here due to her website restrictions but click on that link and take a gander. She paints on birch for the most part and her works are detailed and realistic and haunting. I especially love the Civil War people she has superimposed over swamps and bogs etc... Love it.

I will wrap up by saying I am off to St. Louis tomorrow until next week to help out with a Susan G. Komen fundraiser. It should be a fun party with some interesting stories to share with all of you. I may have time to upload photos of my trip while I'm there, but if not, be safe and...

Until next time: unpleasant dreams.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sneaky Sweets and a Killer Octopus....

Hello Lovelies!

Things have been busy as usual here at the mill. The YART sale ends today (50% off!!!) and things have gone really well with that. People have shown a lot of interest and that's always great.

Orders and other artistic endeavors outside of the shops altogether have kept me pretty hoppin' but not too busy to deliver to you kids the Sneaky Sweets collection as promised. These illustrations are now available in both shops and I'm excited about how they came out. My work is typically pretty dark both subject and color-wise because that's my aesthetic, but after getting several requests to do some brighter pieces that "I can put in my kid's room", I decided to make some cartoonish works... with of course, a dark twist. Here are 2 of the 4:

I have found a great shop on Etsy that I wanted to share with you all. Nutmegclick's shop falls somewhere between a supply shop and an art shop because her pieces are really well chosen... and at times morbid. I think a shark in a jar of formaldehyde was what initially reeled me in and as you can tell from the sample items below, you never know what you'll find. Cool shop.

And let me wrap up with a movie review here folks. Octaman comes from a long tradition of 2 horror movie paradigms; the "nature takes over" paradigm [think The Bees, Piranha, Slugs...] and the "thing in the lake/swamp/river" paradigm [think Creature from the Black Lagoon and Swamp Thing]. Put the two together into a man-sized latex octopus body suit and you have a winner folks. I won't ruin the plot for you (because there isn't one...), but suffice it to say there's a lot of girls/young studs continuously going into the swamp to get killed action and of course... the rubber octopus. The best part I think... is my VHS copy with the metallic cover on it. Real quality here folks. I'll give the suit alone 3 corncobs.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

YART Sale!!!

Hello Lovelies!

As promised, here is my short brief on my Yart Sale offerings at The Stapelia Company starting tomorrow. I am so excited about this sale! I think it will raise awareness about Etsy and all the wonderful artists and craftspeople who call it home.

Okay, here are the details. I have created a special Yart section in my shop. From June 10-14, photo prints in this section will be 50% off. I will feature 5 prints a day in this section and rotate them out, so 25 prints in total will be offered at 50% through the course of the sale. These items have already been discounted so no need to wait for that Paypal refund. Plus, I have reduced my shipping and I ship worldwide! So, a sweet deal for my Lovelies out there.

I will be back soon with my Sneaky Sweets series so until then; happy hunting!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Cones, Clams & Carnivals

Hello Lovelies!

Well, the weekend was long and eventful. The first Friday Art Walk was a success, I met a ton of new people and had some good conversations about art and the homeless people fist fighting in the park across the street from the gallery. Good times. The Old Port Fest was also fun. It was my first fair so I didn't know what to expect, but it was a beautiful day with lots of people and fair food and music. Here are a couple of shots of the booth.

At the fair, I learned that a lot of men like my photography so I am trying now to compile a list of blogs and websites that target young, hip urban males who might like my work online. If you have any suggestions; cool blogs or sites or otherwise, please post them here. The most helpful soul will be sent the print of their choice from my shop. So post away! (Winner chosen Friday.)

I was lucky enough to get my Fried Clams print into the gift guide on Etsy for Graduates over the weekend. As you Etsy sellers know, any headway you can make on Etsy to stick out there is a good thing so I was very happy about this.

I have put together Covetables #5 for you Lovelies centered around photography, cameras and camera-related items. These items are top-knotch, so stop on by these shops and take a peek!

And as I mentioned earlier, The Stapelia Company will be participating in the Yart Sale on Etsy starting Wednesday June 10th. I will make a quick post with details tomorrow... I'm really excited about my sale, I think you're going to love it!

And let's wrap up with some news, shall we? A sad yet humorous story. Did you read about the 90 year old woman who became trapped in her bathtub and survived for 3 days by drinking water she squirted out of her rubber duck? Let me say that again: 90 year old woman with a rubber duck... that saved her life. Luckily. And her daughters rescued her. But wow... rubber ducky you really do make bath time so much fun... and so much less lethal. 

Until next time: unpleasant dreams!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

New page...

Hello Lovelies!
Well, things sure have been busy up here in Maine and consequently, this will primarily be a Stapelia update. Recently, my Fried Clams piece was featured in a treasury put together by Cathy over at Babbidge Patch, a charming shop. Thank you Cathy!

I was also featured in a new blog Our Creative World, that is going to be hi-lighting the works of artists and crafters. Willow is happy to feature anyone who contacts her, so feel free!

As some of you may know, June 10-14th Etsy is running their second annual Yart Sale which is an opportunity for Etsy sellers to offer discounts, freebies (pretty much whatever they want to offer) on a mass scale. The Stapelia Company will be participating so if you're interested in owning any of my work, feel free to slither on over there and check out the sales next week!

As I think I mentioned in my last post, I am working on a new series of illustrations that I think I'll call the Sneaky Sweets collection. These drawings will feature desserts in various adventures and they will all be donning masks (thus, the sneaky part). I have completed my first one (below) and these will eventually be bright and colorful and perfect for kids or those adults who like cartoonish things. I'll keep you posted.

Let's wrap up with a movie review Kiddies, shall we? This flick isn't corny or cheap, but it's fairly dated and absolutely delicious. Blade Runner, starring Harrison Ford and Rutger Hauer (back when he was cute), is a wonderful look into the future full of cyborgs and scandal and Darryl Hannah scissor kicking the hell out of people and freaking me out. Some say this movie doesn't do the Philip K. Dick novel justice, but it made sense (unlike most PKD novels), so I'd say it did. I'll give this 3 corn cobs.

Until next time: unpleasant dreams