from the jazz age to the space age

Monthly Archives: July 2010

my friend jennifer recently commissioned me to make some art for her. she’s an amazing voice artist, in addition to being a great beauty. we talked ideas for a few minutes & settled on her face & a mic. i focused on her green eyes & great mouth. briefly she was a “party princess”, someone who dressed as a disney princess for childrens’ parties. as you can guess, she was a big hit.

the finished piece~

here’s some of the process:
first i sketched her face, then i found a photo of a vintage mic & sketched that as well. then i scanned it into photoshop. i adjusted the levels & contrast so that the blacks were black & the whites were white.

next, i made the line drawing transparent. & using quick mask mode i pasted it into a new layer filled with dark brown. hide or erase your original layer & you’re left with a dark brown outline.

then,  i made a seperate layer for every color, that way if i didn’t like something or if jenn didn’t like something it would be easy to replace it.

i kept adding layers until i got something detailed, but not too sculptured. it’s going to be a cd cover so i need it to “read” easily. my color style inspirarion when i wirk in digital colors is herge’s “tintin” comics as well as other european comic artists like francois schuiten & milo manara.

jennifer is also going to put  an image on the cd itself.

and there you are! this weekend is the “renegade craft fair” here in san francisco. i can’t wait to see all of the goodies! maybe i’ll see you there – i’ll be the tall brunette girl with the baby 😀

make a hawk a dove, 

stop a war with love, 

make a liar tell the truth~

Wonder Woman, get us out from under, Wonder Woman~

all our hopes are pinned on you. 

and the magic that you do~

stop a bullet cold, 

make the Axis fold, 

change their minds, 

and change the world!

in case you can’t tell, i wish i was at comic con! next year!

{body by betty page. face by liz taylor.}

so i went through today & redid my post tags. i found a lot of comments i never knew were there bc they were being sent to a different email account. i fixed the problem. so if you asked a question & i left you hanging, i’m sorry. i’m still trying to figure out blogging ;D

mercer’s mayer‘s “east of the sun & west of the moon” is a curious book. an amalgam of the scandinavian tale of the title & “the frog prince” plus some elemental mythology. i’m still confused why he didn’t call it “the frog prince” instead of “eswm“. it certainly offers a more satisfying telling of “fp” than the conventional grimms’ tale. it bears a close resemblance to the slavic fairy tale, “finist the falcon” {itself a sister to eswm}

our beautiful but haughty heroine in lovely slavic costume wooed by some very ivan bilibinesque young men. her family suffers a reversal of fortune.

the colors in this tale are brighter that “beauty” perhaps to reflect russian aesthetics.

her father can be cured by a drink from this pool. however she loses the cup. a friendly frog offers to retrieve it, with certain conditions. she agrees.

she throws her frog against the wall & he turns into a prince. but instead of scoring big time for her rudeness he is whisked away by trolls. our lady goes to the guardians of each element to find her way to the castle east of the sun & west of the moon to rescue the prince. here she talks with the fire salamander who knows everything in the heart of the world except…

she climbs the stair to the castle. i wonder if that’s cyrillic on the steps?
that sky is amazing.

the troll princess. i’ve been to clubs with creatures like this wandering around. mayer demonstrates his growing fascination with hair which will reach its apogee in his version of “sleeping beauty”. i love that her hair is slightly frizzy throughout the story. before straighteners were de rigueur  this was considered quite charming.

…of course she saves him & they live happily ever after.

“I hold this letter in my hand

a plea, a petition, a kind of prayer
I hope it does as I have planned”
Nick Cave

carrying her love letter purse she steals a backward glance at her lover. her lunch hour is over and it’s back to a world of dusty shelves, creamy paper, and faded type…
print available in my shop
the second piece of my “floating world” series. the original painting is on canson 185 lb. 12″x16″ paper. i’ve written about how wonderful this paper is here.
it’s drawn in pencil and then painted with light watercolor washes.
i rarely paint blondes but i love the alternating tan & cadet blue. the only other color being the red in her cheeks, her ribbons, & the stripes in her air mail purse. i had a very similar pair of shoes, except mine were black {unfortunately} and i love plaid tights!

i sold my first print! i’m so excited & nervous! please check out her blog. she does some awesome nail art!


working on some new paintings which will be offered on etsy as well as two private commissions. in the meantime i wanted to share one of my favorite books when i was a kid, mercer & marianna mayer’s “beauty & the beast”.
they were husband & wife at the time~ i believe they were married throughout the pinnacle of mercer’s art. i’ve found 2 photos of marianna & not coincidentally she bears a striking resemblance to “beauty” as well as his other fairy tale heroines.

clearly a homage to durer’s “st. jerome in his study”, it depicts the moment the merchant must tell his family that they are financially ruined. of his 6 children only one son lays a comforting hand on his father’s arm as well as, of course, beauty herself. the others seem annoyed &/or stunned.

durer’s “st. jerome in his study”, conventionally thought to represent a life of contemplation.

beauty, at the beast’s castle, bidding goodbye to her father. i could chat endlessly about how beautiful each of these paintings is, but instead i’ll tell you what they mean to me. i learned to draw profiles from this picture, in particular the iris. i learned to paint skin as well from mayer. i still find his heavily blushed cheeks wonderful. in my own work i overemphasize them to create an artificial doll-like beauty. her hands also are particularly well drawn.

a difficult semi profile well executed. notice beauty’s hand on her book, how tense the fingers are. the beast’s castle is loaded with egyptian artifacts while beauty wears egyptian sandals. note the rose motif in the curtain & the castle’s stonework.

italian clothing & decor with egyptian details. each painting is outlined in india ink. the pencils are left as shadows & over-painted in watercolor. the sheer amount of detail in this picture is staggering. i used to day dream about wandering up the stairs in the background.

the text reads, “the beast was a magician as well. often while telling a story he would wave his arm & a picture would unfold before their eyes.”

i would die if someone made beauty’s jewellery. look at that gorgeous butterfly headdress!

the beast, alone & crying bc beauty has left. of course she returns & they live happily ever after.