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Green Raven on the Moon

Mr. Raven just happens to be green. Mr. Raven likes to sit on the crescent moon and think about stuff. He likes companions…like his friend spider who tags along. I would venture to guess he’s thinking about how far away the earth is now. Flying home might be a challenge. Do you think he’ll make it?

This drawing is a scratchboard from a series of green raven fantasies I did a while ago. People loved this character and I’m bringing him back. He really does hang out with a spider. He protects the spider and the spider protects him by warning him if he hears any bullies around. Bullies are a menace and don’t do anybody any good. Least of all to themselves. I never had compassion for bullies. They are boring.

Here he is on a tee.

alphabet, birds, fantasy illustration, Illustrations, kids, simple photoshop, whimsy

Alphabet letter F

Here is the letter F for the alphabet book I am working on. This fantasy bird is completely created with digital feather brushes. I had a lot of fun doing it and even though it isn’t a popular subject, it’s what I want to do. I picture it as a book in English and Spanish. This could be a complete time sink me thinks. I’m have a habit of doing projects that are too big for me but here goes. This is not a kids’ color palette but that can be changed. I have put it on products as a tester to see what people think of it. Personally, I like it a lot but I’ve been known to be prejudice.

Here it is on some products to have fun with.

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Figuring out where my love of letters originated

scrapbook of hand lettered type, 2015

My love of writing and reading came from my sister Noel who was my second mother. She read to me often as a child. I did the same with my children. When I was little we had a huge library in our little cold water flat in Connecticut. We lived by the railroad tracks and I would hear the train whistles blow every day at regular times. You would never know we were poor. We had books and art everywhere. My sister loved to read me English romantic poems. We memorized a lot of them. It was the print on the funny paper, the sound of the words, the languages in our house were English and French. They told me I spoke French before I spoke English. I switched to mostly English because my mom wanted to soak up everything I learned at school.
This is handy now that I’m learning Spanish. The written letters back then for me were more than shapes….they were a way out of our little barrio. They led me to being an excellent student with excellent grades. I learned Latin, French and how to diagram sentences with great skill. I worked as a stenographer in the ’70s. I took dictation and was a speed typist. My high school shorthand teacher was also a professional calligrapher. He taught us a lot and my eyes were glued when he demonstrated how he executed some of his formal documents. I often wondered what he was doing in this small town. I still wonder. He was very educated and distinguished. He would make us memorize sentences in our dictation exercises, beginning with short ones and progressing as the term went on to longer, complex ones. Believe it or not, it really helped train our teenage brains to learn to memorize and translate very quickly. Nobody teaches that way anymore.
When I was learning digital, I was working as a children’s librarian. I would do the html and thank God himself when I could put little pictures together with letters, words and sentences. Nothing has changed. It still fascinates me.

cityscapes, people, Places, street scenes

Raining in Old Town San Francisco

This is a scratchboard color engraving I did a while ago. I am feeling nostalgic these days and I love the way the old city’s lights shine the streets in rainy weather. People are walking around shopping and visiting, maybe getting hot chocolate or coffee at the local cafes. This is from a long time ago when there were horse drawn carts and a great old trolley car.
I wish I could have been there. Sometimes I think I was born in the wrong time. Art and books give us a way to transform our everyday lives into something magic. See the art here on my Fine Art America site.

alphabet, fonts, t-shirt design, thoughts behind the work

Working with Quotes WOMEN

I just ran across these lovely star brushes and wanted to practice using them. This inspirational quote is attributed to a few people but most seem to think it came from 1st lady Eleanor Roosevelt. I’m happy with that. It is certainly true.
There are so many quotes to play with, this is only one of many to come. I wanted to put a graphic in here so I did a quick line art of a woman’s face. It was hard to find a place to make her work in the composition. It’s funny how when you begin designing something with the background, the whole piece takes on a “painting” feel. This can be good and bad too because it’s just one more design element to consider. Painting elements take away from graphic elements. It seems like it should be an either or choice to make. That’s why I ended up putting here translucent face on top of text and she ends up being small.
Here’s a thought–if you look at the bottom 2/3rd of this artwork it is a square …and the words have an opposite meaning of what the quote is. It would be “women rarely make history”. Ha. Pretty funny. I think these colors work. check it out on tee public.