birds, Odd Little Stories, short stories, storytelling art

Birdwoman Elevated

birdwoman-jpg

This is a story of a woman who is elevated to another existence by geese who save her life through love and by chance.  They hold her up to relieve her pain and to fly her to her new home through a break in the clouds.

I am still working on the story and I will link it soon.

Ajijic, Odd Little Stories, street scenes, unborn sculpture

Street findings continue for the new year. My history of wire at its finest.

wires smashed
most recent collection, that won’t fit in the original box anymore
metalscraps.box
the beginning collection in mid 2017

I have walked these beat up cobblestone streets for almost 2 years now.  As I have stated before, it is safest to look down when walking.  It’s pretty easy to get snagged on a loose or projected cobblestone and fall on your butt, or on your side, or head first.  If it happens and you are walking fast,  you could go flying.  If it happens slowly, you stand a chance.

My eyes wander as I walk and look down and that brings back memories of walking on the beach when I was a kid and searching for anything living that was beautiful that I could take home.  Where the heck does that come from?  I do remember the shock taking home starfish.  I soon found out they dried up, smelled pretty bad and rotted away.  How come I didn’t know they were dead when I collected them?  Of course I should have known there was a difference between dead ones on the sand and low surf and live ones clinging to rocks that I could not pry away without a crowbar.  It’s called an early education I guess.  That’s life when you are nine.

So here we go with angels flying around tempting me with stories and events that happened, never happened, or could possibly have happened.  When they are building something here in Mexico, such as houses or apartments, and since just about everything construction-wise is done by hand, the process is slow, very slow.   I’ve only seen one or two backhoes since I’ve been here, There are big dump trucks with sand running around all the time.  There are also big trucks with rocks:  big rocks.  I hold my breath every time I see them flying down the Libramiento, going way too fast.   I pray they will slow down and I pray they don’t lose their brakes.  It has happened and a few of these big babies have landed across the caraterra right into the walmart parking lot. 

I often wonder where all the rocks came from.  If you go up to the mountains you can really see the land formations and it’s all about big tan, yellow and sometimes red rocks.  They are sharp and not worn down.  It looks like a giant’s fun puzzle that once was something…but now just busted pieces of history we don’t know anything about.  I was told this whole area is rock. We are surrounded by  remains of the days when Mt. Garcia used to spew lava for a long time.  I can just see the earth stretching up and cracking and groaning while it spit out lava and swallowed living things who got caught in its way.

When the trucks tear up the narrow cobblestone streets, they also smash anything left unprotected in their path.  Ha ha God has ordained me to pick up these pieces of wire which at one time were a part of something  and are now smashed flat by being ground and flattened by all the construction traffic.  Every damned one is different so of course my hands are attracted to them like a magnet, and I just have to pick them up.  They have personalities, just like people.

The above photo shows the newest collection and the very beginnings. The last photo is the latest and believe it or not, these smashed wires have not lost their quality .  The new ones are just as good as the old ones.  When time allows, I will make them into mobiles, or film their shadows as they slowly turn from my ceiling.

Here’s some new ones.  Feast your little eyes and just imagine how they look like animals, other things, and of course,  people.

wires smashed

flora and fauna, Illustrations, Nature, Odd Little Stories

California Live Oak Tree, WIP

oak tree.web.wip

This new drawing and is part of a new way of working for me.  I am in the process of writing a story and want it illustrate it.  It takes place in California under a big live oak tree.  There are animal characters that will be placed under this tree.  The big difference about this drawing is that it is completely digital.  I am still pretty overwhelmed with the digital process because I am doing everything from scratch.  I am working on my Wacom Cintiq every day, and every day the environment gets a little easier.

By far the layers and brushes successfully keep me somewhat mystified and even though I am not new to photoshop, I am new to the amazing number of choices I have to work with on the Cintiq.  The tablet is still huge at 24″ and I am slow because I have to process the thoughts of how and where to find things on the interface.  Which of the new brushes do I use and deciding which colors.   Nothing is coming quickly and easily.  But today I feel I successfully captured the light of the California landscape here.

So at the end of today’s session, I merged all my layers into this one piece.  The next time I will add a new layer and that will be the beginning of the animals that I will be placing in the landscape.  I don’t know how I will figure out how to capture the specific point of view I am looking for.  But for now, I am happy.

 

Ajijic, Odd Little Stories, Places, thoughts behind the work

Early Days of Wire Collecting in Mexico

  • metalscraps.hook
  • metalscraps.boxmetalscraps.3metalscraps.2metal scraps.1

When I first arrived in Mexico I did a hell of a lot of walking.  I walked every day, up and down steep hills, and over broken streets with potholes and cobblestones.

When  you do this kind of walking, it’s very important to look down.  If you don’t look down, and look at the surroundings all the time, surely you will stumble and fall.  I believe the majority of seniors here walk with canes.  I walk with a cane now too but only when I’m going to wild places and very old parts of town like Ajijic.  |My vertigo has gotten much better as I work at it all the time.  The sidewalks are extremely narrow as are many of the roads.  The cobblestones are worn and bumpy and some stones are popping up, which can catch you off guard if you foolishly wear sandals instead of good walking shoes.

The most dangerous part aside from crossing streets is my depth perception problem.  I have a hard time trying to judge the distance from the sidewalk to the street.  Sometimes it can be very steep and that is really hard if you don’t have a cane; especially with a week leg, or if both legs are not strong.

When I moved to San Antonio my life got immediately better.  Before my infamous tumble when I injured by knee, I used to collect wires I found in the streets.  There is always lots of construction going on around here.  People are building all the time.  When construction is in full swing, the combination of chain link fencing, cement trucks, flatbed trucks of bricks and wire towers seem to be everywhere you look.

The vehicles run over everything and smash anything soft into the cobblestones, changing the poor victims into unrecognizable shapes.  Wires are my favorite things.  Although I dearly love the disappearing metal soup and soda can lids.  I find them pretty nice when they are rusted into oblivion and are full of holes, leaving them wafer thin like some sort of ancient ceremonial disc.

When wires are run over many times, it really improve their shape when the cement trucks do their damage.  I got to the point where I was actually looking for them. I just could not help myself from this new compulsion.  That can be dangerous.  I’ve had lovely friends collect some for me too.  They have left them for me on my patio table.  How fun is that?  I have kept these smashed treasures  from my travels and someday I will create a few works of art from them.  Until that day, I want to catalog my precious collection here so I won’t forget my early days in this amazing place.

alphabet, fantasy illustration, fonts, Holidays, Illustrations, kids, Odd Little Stories, scratchboard drawing, simple photoshop, thoughts behind the work

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary with text

mary,mary,garden-th-web

From the nursery rhyme the 1st paragraph of Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary is illustrated here. This painting is a digital drawing and painting of my own idea. I have tried to use colors and text that engage a nostalgic mood. Mary, Mary was quite the contrary miss, I think.

What started out as a cool idea and something nice to do on a quiet Sunday ended up being a 6 hour project….from the idea to the photoshop drawing and painting to the addition of text.  I made 2 versions, one with text and one without.  I ended up only listing the one version with text online.

What can I say except I love drawing like this and playing with text.  When I moved from the U.S. I left all my fabulous books and films behind.  For 40+ years, I had collected “primers” which in my collection, dated back to the 1880’s.

They were old beautiful books that I treasured and cherished. Primers were children’s elementary readers.  Heads up on this one.  The vocabulary, language in general was very sophisticated and advanced.  I had a 5th grade reader which was equivalent to what would now be 1st year high school.  There was no photography and dot printing had not been invented yet.  So all the art was line art only.  That is where I learned the fundamentals of drawing in grey scale by not using grey scale but using line art and the idea that drawing was an optical illusion.  The width of the lines conveyed the tonal values.  That led to my 30 years of drawing in scratchboard. I drew for over 25 years only in black and white and I am not ashamed to say it.  I also learned about scale from primers.  Think about this:  Convey a mountain with a few people on top of it…don’t forget to include the clouds, the weather, the country, etc etc .then ask yourself if it conveys a mood as well as giving all that info?  The  storyboard was alive at the turn of the century for sure.  All the rules and success of animation are in the old primers.

All of these principles have basically never changed.  You become a better artist when you learn digital media because basically art is science.  Photoshop and Illustrator are basically science and math is your friend.  After one month of working hard and trying to remember my old skills, they are coming back.  Now that I have the desire to use typography, this is just another icing on the cake.

Here is a product with this 100% digital art.