Ok, I know everyone thinks their weather is the weirdest where they live. But let’s be serious. Austin was weird to begin with, and now it’s being weird even by its own standards. What is this water falling from the sky? What is this feeling that seems to be something besides hot? If I hadn’t grown up in the midwest, I’d be completely lost. However, I do believe we’re experiencing a season called spring.
In another bizarre turn of events I decided to make a painting specifically for a frame, not the normal visa versa. For one thing it gave me a chance to work on something less dramatic and serious than the ol’ Bible illustration I’ve been working on. Also, it was a really great frame (I’ll have to get a picture of it once I find a camera to borrow). Anyway, here’s the painting, I call it “Welcome Spring”:
Because I had another great frame I touched up a painting that I did over Christmas. Mostly this was an excuse to play with my new watercolor postcards and gel pens, so that’s why it’s sort of mysteriously Anime and weird. Still, I like it:
They’re both about post card sized paintings, which was fun, but kind of makes me want to paint very large paintings now. We’ll see what happens.
“The trouble with poetry…is that it encourages the writing of more poetry”
There is a really lovely poem about it by Billy Collins, you should go read it right now:
Then you should read more Billy Collins, because he is great!
I could actually extol his work for quite some time, but I think I’d get distracted, and the problem with painting is different altogether.
The problem with painting is that it’s never enough. It doesn’t seem to capture even a fraction of the astounding beauty that is possible.
I’ve been working on illustrating the Bible, and still continue to be flustered by it. I lamented long and dramatically to my journal about how much more beautiful the stories were than anything I could hope to put down on paper. Then I did some angst filled drawings trying to demonstrate just how incompetent I felt. I proclaimed: I feel as though I am standing on the threshold of all the beauty in the world, and only have a thimble to collect a drop of it, to bring back to everyone else. Then I kind of liked my woeful illustration, so I turned it into a painting.
Here’s a close up on the poor overwhelmed person
Somehow, being able to communicate my own feelings of inadequacy somewhat effectively encouraged me to go on. I’ve been working on the stories of Martha, Mary, and Lazarus recently. Here’s one of the images:
This piece is reasonably similar to the murals I did for Hope Chapel for the Good Friday and Easter services. It’s an image I keep wanting to work with, a woman in dark robes, which are being turned to light and freedom. I blame John for his incessant light vs dark metaphors. I also blame the movie Argo for making me so sad for the people of Iran. I wanted to paint a prayer of hope for them, and this was part of the result.
I’ve continued to contemplate Biblical things and this has led to some paintings of mysterious symbolism. Maybe weird, maybe overused. They come mainly from ideas and images I get while reading the text.
Here is one that may look a bit familiar, from the beginning of John:
I’m still not happy with the way I draw guys, sigh….. they always look so boring when I draw them. Where is the emotion?!?!?!?
I think this is a very strange image. Not because of the content so much as the color and composition. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but something about it is just kind of weird…
And last but not least: After showing my images from John to my art group and going on about how I liked movie trailers, they challenged me to draw a trailer for the book of John. And so I did. It’s actually a really long scroll of brown paper that reads like a long continuous comic strip. Here’s a piece:
The scan looks so unfortunate I was not inspired to document it any further via scanner. The actual object though is pretty intriguing if I do say so myself. I’ve never really done anything like it before. So I will say again: more to come!
Sometimes when you stay until the veeeeery end of a bohemian potluck party, when dark has fallen, and there is magic in the air…
This painting was inspired by some midnight hiking I did with my friends. I told them they looked like modern-day nymphs wearing their glow-sticks and bohemian garb while frolicking around and singing mysteriously. I thought I would just do a quick color study of them to play with the idea of dark night with a light source of glow-sticks. Silly me- this took FOREVER, and still doesn’t quite inspire the same magic or mystery that I was going for. Also, it did not scan well. Enough complaining though, it’s nice to have such beautiful and frightening friends,
and here’s a close up on Laura, since I think the painting of her turned out best
As you may recall (or you can observe here http://elfwyn.wordpress.com/2012/09/18/acts-12-revisited/ ) recently I was playing with some digital color for my Acts 12 story that I illustrated many moon ago. I think this must be at least partially to blame for my reawakened interest in doing some illustration from the Bible. I mean, it’s the Bible! It’s so epic, full of intrigue, adventure and poetry and endlessly depth, how could I not be inspired?
Thus: I thought to myself “So what if I wasn’t happy with the way my Acts 12 story turned out? I will try something new!”
Thus began my exploratory journey. One of my first inspirations came from the poem at the opening of John. Or is it a poem? Literary people, you tell me! It’s at least a lot more cryptic and metaphorical than the more straight shooter and oddly snarky style of most of the rest of the book.
Here are some sketches and another attempt at playing with color:
Now, I’m not sure that this is on the path to being any better than Acts 12. I can’t help but feel that I may not actually be improving, but actually getting worse. I still feel positive about my concepts and ideas, but my ability to take them to a place of completion and clear communication seems to be slipping. None the less, I will keep trying! There is more to come, most definitely!
Within these pages you will find a breif guide to magical creatures. I have included a few of my own notes and sketches, but I have left room for your observations as well. There is always more to discover, so start exploring and have fun.
Back for a limited time! I created this little booklet for the Craft Riot around this time last year. I loved the idea of a pocket sized coloring book full of whimsical magical creatures. Unfortunately, I decided to cut out all the pages individually and assemble the book myself. This turned out to be rather arduous, and I must have forgotten how annoying and time consuming it was the first time. But I won’t forget again! Thus: I have assembled several of these and put them up on Etsy
And when they’re gone they’re gone. Some of these images may come back in another version of this some day, but this is it for version 1.0. Sorry for all the complaining, they really are cute, and if you want a stocking stuffer or small gift for under $5, this may be the thing for you!
Speaking of Etsy, I’ll be heading out of town soon, so if you were thinking of ordering some coloring books of prints, now is the time to do it. Like, right now! Yay for last minute notice! ORDER IN THE NEXT 24 HOURS BEFORE THE SHOP SHUTS DOWN FOR THE SEASON!!!!
Order in the next 24 hours and I’ll send you some bonus wintery cards for freeeeeeeeee!
Cherrywood was great fun, and a big thank you to everyone who came out and supported me!
If you came towards the end of the Fair and I was out of a print or coloring book, hopefully you can find it now on Etsy shop:
Or if you don’t see what you’re looking for, you can send me an e-mail at:
In other news: My latest coloring book is now available on Etsy! And by latest, I do mean that it’s been available at several shows already, but this is its internet debut!
So check it out, and stock up on christmas gifts for all the fairy tale lovers in your life at: