Happy Holidays!

LUNDMAN - Merry Christmas 2010!

Merry Christmas Everyone! I hope you all have a fun and relaxing holiday. Peace!


CTN Expo Wrap Up

The CTN Expo was a lot of fun again this year, although the attendance was about three times the size of what it was last year yet the floor space was the same, making it very crowded. Jamie and I didn't get to see any of the panel discussions this year because we were manning down his both, selling prints and books, and answering portfolio questions to the many students who were seeking advice.

It is difficult to give advice actually, given that the animation industry has changed so very much from when Jamie and I both began our careers. Well, to be fair, I'm not sure my 'career' in animation ever 'started' - I worked at Calabash Animation for many years in Chicago on many commercials and short films, and then went into games after I moved to California, while Jamie began his career in 1981 at the age of 17 working at Hanna Barbara...big difference! Even so, I think we both have some perspective on how to survive as an artist; it was nice to share some of that perspective with the students and new grads. Jamie's advice is so good that HE should have a panel discussion. He's certainly talked me down off a ledge more than once (actually more like twice a week). I imagine students would benefit from some iron clad Jamie tips for how to protect your fragile artist soul.

Speaking of fragile artist soul, here are a few life drawings from the past few weeks. I have been very busy at work lately. I have been contributing design work to game pitches, mostly background game board paintings and a few other things.

I was going to crop these in Photoshop, but I kind of like how noir the the photos turned out. haha

Some of the things on my desk right now are: a Christmas card, a reworked sketch for my Seasons piece, "Winter", a sketch for an elaborate blog header illustration, and some fairy and faun sketches.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all my readers. I am truly GRATEFUL that you visit my blog. It encourages me endlessly and feels so good to know people are actually paying attention. THANK YOU.



Jamie will have a BOOTH at the CTN Expo this year! # T-05. The convention begins this FRIDAY and runs through SUNDAY evening in Burbank, CA. I will be there helping out at his booth and answering questions. Since this is an animation based convention, we are excited. Last year's event was fantastic! This year should be just as amazing - lots and lots of panels with leading animation industry legends. It should be pretty inspiring!


Reliquary Class at Ulla Milbrath's Studio!

This past weekend I took a class taught by the talented artist extraordinaire Ulla Milbrath, whom I met taking classes at Castle in the Air. Ulla teaches regularly at the Castle in the Air and also at her incredibly inspiring home studio, filled to the brim with handcrafted projects and antiques of all kinds.

I was inspired a few years ago by the reliquaries I saw on her blog after googling 'reliquaries'. I found these amazing pieces Ulla made, and discovered, even better, that she sells them at the Castle in the Air and other places, AND...she teaches classes in how to MAKE THEM.

She finally offered a class that fit with my too busy schedule, this past weekend. I couldn't wait! What a treat it was! Ulla taught me how to make each one completely from scratch using illustration board, mica, pieces of my own art, hand dyed ribbon, and - a new skill - soldering the pieces together. If you aren't familiar with a soldering iron it's like this: a very hot iron, who's tip is as hot as volcano, which you use to melt pieces of metal wire, which you then manipulate into pools of molten hotness and try not to spill on either your hands, clothing or art piece. How thrillingly DANGEROUS!

Details below each piece:

"Luna, Reliquary portrait"

Luna is a painting I did a few months ago and sold as a print at the APE festival. For this application, I printed her out on heavy stock and cut carefully with an xacto knife around the edges. The original has fairy wings and extends to a partial view of her torso, but since this is a small piece, I sacrificed those areas for the reliquary (Perhaps sometime it would be cool to try making another one with real cicadia wings!). The cut out illustration is sitting on top of a blue fabric I lightly dusted in clear glitter and on top of that a few pieces of luscious moss. Tucked in between the moss and Luna are a few vintage flowers and a few pieces of dried baby's breath. The outside is soldered metal, which attaches the mica covering.

Learning to solder the outside was a bit challenging and intimidating, but also dangerously FUN. I can see how it becomes addicting. Melted metal is so SAUCY! haha

"Daisy, Reliquary Portrait"

This is the very first piece I made, also using a painting I cut out and altered in order to fit the reliquary. It's still not quite working the way I want it to. But learning is all about making mistakes and trying new things. I hope to try alternate versions of this one too!

"Mossy, Reliquary Portrait"

The tiny painting of a woman inside this piece is something I painted a few years ago. Again, I cut her out very carefully, made the box, glued together...AND, for this one, cut some glass for the very first time to make the covering. Honestly, I am in awe of the vast knowledge Ulla has in all manner of techniques! This one is a bit bigger than the others, so I thought I'd show the context by photographing it in a few places. I left the edges un-soldered (is that a word?) because I like the way the copper tape works, but also because I plan to go back and tidy up the fabric edges and trim in the back.

Displayed next to my very small collection of Ephraim Faience hand made pottery and a pretty photo of my sister. :)

I am really excited about making more reliquaries. At the moment I don't own a soldering iron or other materials. The way I'm feeling is that the strongest one is the "Luna" portrait. I would like to try her with some cicadia wings. I also hope to make several more fairy portraits and reliquaries - maybe I'll even be able to finish some by WONDER CON! :)

Thank you so so much to my friend and inspiring artist Ulla Milbrath for spending an entire weekend teaching me the techniques involved. She worked really hard - I imagine it must be difficult to be teaching others while in your own studio, resisting the urge to make your own creations! I am deeply appreciative.


Clover and Luna concepts, close...but not close...

"Luna", 8.5x11, pastel and gouache on paper

"Clover", 8.5x11, pastel and gouache on paper

These are two experimental concepts for characters in a book I am working on. They are fairies, although they don't have wings in these portraits.

I have been obsessed with face painting and floral adornment for some time now, and would like to apply the idea to my story; for me portraits are a good way to figure out mood until I land on something that feels right for my story. I'll also do the usual character proportional line up sheet, etc, but for now I'm feeling out mood and experimenting with technique.

And, these, sadly, are not quite what I'd like. :( They are a bit too cute, a bit too young. Back to the drawing board.

But, having said that, they were totally FUN to draw, and I may even do some more. In fact, next weekened I am taking a reliquary class at Ulla Milbrath's studio, and have thought about making LUNA, into a reliquary.


Purrcasso Charity Benefit

I made my first donation to the Purrcasso Art and Craft Gala benefit for the Berkeley Humane Society. This year is extra special due to the tragic fire that damaged much of the shelter and killed many cats and dogs. Please come by Saturday evening for the auction on ORIGINAL ART by bay area artists!!! ALL proceeds go directly to the shelter.

November 6-7, 2010
Saturday 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Sunday 12-4 p.m.

2865 Seventh Street, Berkeley

Learn more at BerkeleyHumane.org

Here is my contribution to the auction.

"The Good Ship Purrcasso", 8x10", gouache


Booth at APE!

One of the many things I struggled with in getting my booth together for my debut into the convention world was how to present myself at my table. What font to use, what color scheme, is this really 'me'?, how much glitter to use...too many butterflies? Do I like scroll banners and should I add glitter flowers to it? All of these pressing questions led to a lot of panic and stress in the last few days leading up to my first con. Thankfully, well, more than thankfully, Jamie was there to talk me down off the ledge and help me organize what I needed to get done.

Besides the booth prep, there is the art itself, printing... what sizes to print, how to scan, what paper to use...and then: ordering clear bags and backing boards, then bagging all of them, figuring out pricing, signage, attaching the signs, and more. PHEW! It was a lot of work getting set up, but absolutely worth it.

But the VERY BEST part? At the beginning of the show, a little girl was excited about my fairy print, so I gave her one. The next day she came back and gave me her creation. Her gift filled me with JOY and makes me feel really super excited to continue working on my Fairy Conservatory project. What a GIFT!!! :)))

The next convention I am signed up for is the San Francisco WonderCon, in April. From now until April I will be working on my "Seasons" series (new pieces coming before the end of the year) and probably fleshing out some details regarding the Fairy Conservatory by that time, too. I'm also donating a piece of original art to the Purrcasso Art and Craft Gala, which I'll post when I finish (next few weeks). Good times and lots of creating!!!


Alternative Press Expo - Table #102

Hello! I am making my ***DEBUT ** this October 16-17th at the Alternative Press Expo in San Francisco - BOOTH 102! I've been outlining and designing a few long term projects that I plan to work on incrementally over the course of a few years. At this years' APE festival, I will kick off by selling 4 prints (and some original art) that represent a piece from each project that I will be expanding upon:

- the first in a series of art prints entitled "The Seasons". This series will continue with "Winter", "Spring", and "Summer".
"Daisy" - this is an art print from two self published children's books I am working on. The first book centers around a little girl who imagines herself to be a flower. In the second book, she imagines herself in an aquarium. The books will have no words, only illustrations.

"Luna" - this is a preliminary character exploration from a book I have outlined entitled, "The Fairy Conservatory".

"Sephalina" - this print is a pin up of my boyfriend Jamie Baker's character from his comic book, "Sephalina". Jamie self published a full color comic which will also be on sale at APE at his booth 108, a few doors down from mine. His book is hilarious, plus I love the way Jamie draws - I am honored to have a pin up in it! If you enjoy: Sci Fi, comics, humor, hot space girls, and art, you MUST pick this one up. MUST!

Please stop by BOOTH 102 to check out my prints, say hello and sign my guest book! I am so excited and *VERY* nervous! It is so, so ON!


"Terry", pastel pencil on paper.

On Tuesday evenings I attend the long pose life drawing open studio over at Sadie Valeri's studio. If you haven't seen her work, check out her blog. What an awesome artist to have discovered among my web of friends this year! To draw with a group of women on Tuesday nights, all practicing in the same classic tradition, is... well, I am grateful.

When I graduated from art school in 1993, I went into deep despair knowing that with working full time I would no longer be able to devote my days to improving my skills and perfecting the craft of drawing and painting. Over the years I adjusted and realized that what truly matters is the joy of drawing, learning, discovering in art - and that it never ends. There are still opportunities to learn and grow outside of work, nights, weekends, vacations... It's funny, too, because I swear that even in short bursts, one or two evenings a week, my skills have improved faster than I would have guessed. I'm not sure why that is.

At the same time I cannot deny that having a year or two off from working in order to dedicate my time to creating all the art I have in my head and take workshops would be great. It would. In fact, I'm not even sure how much longer I can hang on not being able to do so. But what eases the yearning a little is life drawing, sculpting, painting, and being able to do so with fellow artists. I am really grateful to be drawing over at Sadie's studio - it came along just when I needed it.


"Fall" work in progress, Part 5

I made a little more progress yesterday, although not as much as I would have liked. Hopefully by the end of today I will have finished all the birds and leaves in the hair so I can move on to the bottom half and background. One more week to go...


"Fall" work in progress, Part 4

This painting is taking forever. I only have nights and weekends to work on this, so progress is very, very slooooowwww...... so many little details yet to paint, two weeks left to go before I need to scan and make prints for APE.

The birds are cedar waxings, which have a field day in the fall pulling berries off of branches. My next step is to finish all the birds, add blowing leaves, branches and berries, and finish up the background, which I would like to be simply stated and soft. My process is pretty straight forward: block in the big shapes in a thinner mix of oil paint, breaking down light areas and dark areas first. After the basic shapes of light and dark were applied, I built up thicker areas on top, with more value transitions in between. For thicker areas of paint, I use less thinner and more medium, which is 5 parts rectified turpentine, 1 part linseed oil, and 1 part dammar varnish. I like this medium because it allows the oil paint to get a really nice sheen to it as it dries, which is the look I'm going for in this one.
I realize the entire painting looks very orange. It is intentional. Since this is a series of four paintings, each painting will have a dominant color. I felt the Fall painting would be predominantly oranges, yellows, burnt siennas and reds. The birds are a bit more gray, so once they are put in I will add some more gray tones to balance out the color throughout the painting.


"Fall" work in progress, Part 3

I used acrylics to do a rough underpainting. I tried not to get too crazy with this; it's meant only to be a little color underneath the oil paint so that bits and pieces of it show through. I brushed in warm tones of raw sienna and burnt sienna on top of a thin base layer of unbleached titanium.


"Fall" Work In Progess, part 2

I decided after transferring the drawing to a large board that I needed some more elements like birds and blowing leaves. So on a separate piece of tracing paper I drew out some leaves and birds, then transferred them to the drawing using Saral Wax Free transfer paper.
Btw, I highly recommend Saral brand Wax Free transfer paper. I've been using it for years - I discovered it back when I painted background environments for Lucky Charms and Trix cereal commercials. I needed a way to transfer the layout drawings very accurately on to a board before I began painting. I initially used regular transfer paper but quickly learned that the waxy surface of the transferred lines resist paint.

After I finished the transfer and was happy with the drawing, I moved on to a value sketch and a color sketch. The light pattern in this painting is important in portraying a sense of mood and time of year in this series, so I felt it necessary to fully work out a value sketch before jumping into the final. The planes here are simple: Foreground, Midground, and Background (sky), which are painted in three separate layers on top of my line drawing in Photoshop.After I spent some time experimenting with shadow patterns and values, I messed around with a color scheme, which I painted in new layers on top of the value sketch. I decided on mixtures of three hues: yellow, orange and lavender. I also kept the color very saturated in the foreground to reflect a certain emotional tone I am aiming for in this series.
This is a rough color sketch, so i omitted any details, wanting to concentrate only on the color scheme and figuring out my palette. To go any further would not serve me well because I would burn out on the idea and not feel as excited about finishing the final.

Next, I'll begin on the final painting. I will post the next steps as soon as I can!


"Fall" work in progress

I am working on a series of four paintings, emblems of the Seasons, as I envision them. I sketched out all four earlier this year and finally have the time to resume completing the series. These paintings are entirely from imagination, a skill I have always admired in others, and lately have explored more fully myself (and not for portfolio pieces aimed at gaining a job). I really enjoy aspects of designing a picture that I cannot get from posing a model and painting him or her from life. In addition to that, I have this desire to attempt to make beautiful pictures that are pretty, simple, sometimes fantasy, playful in proportion and design, interpretive, and entirely my own.

In addition to this series, I am also working on a series of Elements paintings. I also have planned two small self published books, which I've designed but need to illustrate. I have no idea how long it will take, given that I have a full time job - but I'll just work, work, work until they are done.

Here is the beginning of "Fall": I coated a piece of cold press illustration board with three thin coats of acrylic gesso, let dry, and am now in the process of transferring the drawing (enlarged from my sketch) on to the board via Saral wax free transfer paper. Since the sketch is so small, I am also drawing out details on top of the transfer, making my drawing exactly as I want it. I've added an expression to the drawing as well, which was not present in the original sketch. Next step will be a small color sketch before painting the larger piece seen here. Stay tuned! (may take about a week)


something a little different

I made this at a class last year. The class, described as "Mother Winter" came accompanied with a photo of a wooden artists manikin and a glass dome attached underneath with a brief description stating something about making 'Mother Winter' - I was intrigued. The class was created by Ulla Milbrath, who instructed us one Saturday afternoon at Castle in the Air in Berkeley, CA. Quite possibly the first store I've ever regarded as a miracle.

Here you can find my figure and a few of the other students interpretations

We spent all day in the second floor workshop of Castle in the Air, all women, contriving our interpretation of the phrase "Mother Winter", crafting with bits and pieces from Ulla's vast closet of paper, clippings, fabrics. We learned new techniques with fabric stiffener, starching and paper molding. Ulla provided sculpted faces that she pressed from a mold she made in preparation of this class. We each painted our own, and applied them to our figures. Each student's Mother Winter figure was distinct; we each had our own projection of this layered archetype.

At the time I made this, I was thinking a lot about an idea I kept sketching, botanicals used as adornment on a face or head, but also to describe a feeling:

The idea is certainly nothing new, many artists have used the theme of objects in the hair, morphing gracefully into something else. In fact, the idea goes back quite far. Check out the book Natural Fashion: Tribal Decoration from Africa:
Beautiful, inspiring, primal. Decoration, adornment, survival, expression, self...

There is something about crafting with women. Why do I find this activity so calming? Maybe it is a distant memory whispering in my ear about our hunter gatherer days, days when we made baskets and pottery or sewed clothing by hand for our families and ourselves, when our 'crafts' meant a means to survival and we did it together. But that seems too distant. More likely, crafting reminds me of something much more intimate: drawing on the floor whilst my mother endlessly sewed, knitted, paper mache'd, painted, molded, quilled, folded, embroidered, quilted creations for holidays, sheer whimsy, and quite possibly her sanity while we moved about the country in a lonely existence, as all military families do. And to think my mother did this growing up and then into marriage and motherhood. Crafting has a purpose. Looking at the cross stitch embroidered pillows and dolls my mother made as a child in the military, I can see this activity has a purpose far beyond frivolous decoration.
How else do we deal with the roller coaster of life, but create? And when we create together we enjoy some sort of primal connection. We have something to make, to talk about, to play with, to have fun with that has nothing to do with anything but exploration of our own creativity. We all enter with our minds engrossed in our daily lives and by the end of the day escape into the art of 'make', giving birth to something new and whole, something tangible that draws from bits and pieces of imagery and textures that our senses regard as important, creating a symphony of Who We Are.
It is the grand culmination of sharing, exploring, thinking, and expression. Although this habit of crafting is is not directly or obviously related to painting, my job, sketching, or the like, making frivolous, decorative things, sometimes it just feels good. It just does.


ICON6 promotional postcard design

I have to have something like a business card or postcard give away for the upcoming ICON6 illustration conference. So I made up these post card sized cards, which is really a preliminary cover for a self published book I am working on in between projects. I think I want to adjust the decorative flowers on the top and bottom, and hand draw a title, which tentatively is being called "Daisy".
If you are at the ICON6 show, please stop by and say hello!

UPDATE: not sure if I would exhibit at this show again. It was promised that over 6,000 art directors would be there, but from what I could tell less than 200 showed up! Some had said it was because the show was in Los Angeles. Most art directors for print illustration are based in New York. I had heard from exhibitors that in the past when the show is on the East Coast, more art directors attend. If you are planning to try this show out as an exhibitor, be aware that this was my experience. If the show is on the east coast, I might consider it again.


LIfe Drawing at Sadie's Atelier

On Tuesday evenings I go over to Sadie Valerie's Atelier for an open studio life drawing workshop. We extend the pose for four Tuesdays, ensuring that all of us can get the level of finish that we like, thoughtfully observing and indicating anatomy as best we can. I have been experimenting with Pitt brand pastel pencils on charcoal paper and having fun with it, although I do feel the redness of the tone might be a bit much. (and for some reason hard for my camera to photograph)
Lately I have been engrossed in human anatomy while resting between illustration projects . After I finish up my various projects for the fall (hopefully four to five prints, the Sephalina pin up, and some additional pieces, revised website, blog header, and etsy shop...), I plan to fully immerse myself in a rather intense ecorche class taught by Andrew Ameral, who taught at the prestigious Florence Academy (a school I would LOVE to attend...). I want to, once and for all, KNOW what it is I am drawing, rather than just putting down shadow patterns. Shadow patterns are fine and all in drawing, but it's also very helpful to know the structure underneath in order to make a believable picture. Not to mention that knowledge of anatomy for sculpture is extremely useful, as well as drawing from memory and imagination. Solidifying knowledge of human anatomy, I expect, will go a long way, whether I am painting realist or imaginary subjects.

Hopefully by this time next week, I will be posting the finished PIN UP I'm working on at night and weekends for Jamie's new book, Sephalina. I've been taking photos along the way, so maybe I'll include a few work in progress shots to show the haphazard and chaotic way I approach an illustration, tears and all. :)


Submission to ICON6 Illustration Road Show

This is the piece I am submitting for the ICON6 Illustration Road Show slide show. I will also have a table and promotional materials at the show in Pasadena, CA, on July 15.

Daisy Girl was totally reworked from an old sketch and more fully realized. I had fun working on this. I should say, I had fun after I figured out a technique. For many years now, I have greatly admired the work of turn of the century illustrator Jessie Wilcox Smith and also Cicely Mary Barker. I have tried many times to mimick their techniques unsuccessfully. I finally came up with something (totally by accident!) that seems to come the closest to the aspects of their work I like the best: loose lines, some modeling in the shadows, some texture in the shadows.. imperfection yet still accurate drawing, some invention, imagination. I'm not saying this piece is all of *that*, but I do feel the spirit of the painting is in the ball park. Feels nice to research something for a long time and finally arrive in that ball park!


Technique Experiment

Today I have been experimenting with painting technique tests for the finish on the Sephilina pin up for Jamie's book.

I want to use the watercolor techniques I've often used in the past, but also preserve the line work. After several unsatisfying experiments, I decided to use gouache with smoothly modeled soft finish rather than a loose watercolor style.

The first thing I did here was draw out a little sample with tuscan red pencil, fleshing out the shadow pattern (which I took liberties with) and added some lines. Next, I applied Golden Acrylic Fluid Matte Medium in a thin layer.

After that, I painted in the local color of the face and hair, very thinly, in gouache, and then began building up layers in the shadows, preserving the white of the illustration board as much as possible. I did find I needed to glaze a little white gouache over some areas and used it for a soft highlight here and there.
After all of that, I used my all time favorite pencil, a brown Stabilo Aquarelle pencil, to add a few lines on top of the color.