New Blog & SmArt School

Welcome to my beautiful new blog. I can't thank Stacey Carpenter enough for all her work designing it. I was stunned when I saw what she had created. I always loved fall semester when I was in college: the hard heat of summer softening into fall, and finally the blissful cold of winter. (I went to college in Tallahasse, Florida. Believe me, cold weather was a treat.) I spent endless hours in the libraries. I even enjoyed the stress of studying for finals, because as soon as the last exam was over, that meant Christmas was here and weeks of freedom.

Spring semester was never as much fun. Instead of the weather gradually cooling, the days got hotter until the sun felt like a slap in the face, and finals were twice as stressful. As a vocal student, I also had my end-of-year jury to look forward to, which meant my head was on the chopping block, and the voice faculty would decide whether I passed to the next year-- or failed. I would have felt less terror if I had been going to the guillotine.

"I'm going to bed before either of you two come up with another clever idea to get us killed-- or worse, expelled."

Hermione Granger, I feel your pain.


Pencil & white pastel on toned paper, 8.5" x 11".

I haven't enrolled again in university, but a few weeks ago I started Rebecca Guay's SmArt School class. The assignment we had to have ready for the first week: a piece in pencil so that she could see how we used reference and evaluate our drawing skills.

IMC 2013 - Day Seven

Here's the belated IMC last-day post! So, on the last day, we cleaned up the studios and set up our finished (or still-in-progress) paintings on display. Unfortunately, I can't post any of those amazing illustrations yet, because some of them were still unfinished, and I need to get permission from the artists. I will post several of my favorites in a few weeks.

While wandering around admiring the art, everyone signed everyone else's sketchbooks. Here are just a few of the scribbles I collected:


Julie Bell and Boris Vallejo gave me a pair of dragons.


Rebecca Guay drew an elf. Irene Gallo, Julia Singh, Dirk Tiede, and Judy Riggenbach also gave me doodles and signatures.

Over the week, people had also been drawing on the whiteboard in the dorm's common room:


The IMC this year (and last year) has been one of the best weeks of my life. I learned and laughed so much, and had a few crises along the way, but so did everyone else. We're all mad here.

IMC 2013 - Day Four

Today I took the best parts of my sketches and mashed them together in Gimp, blew it up to the size I wanted, reversed the image, printed it, drew over it, flipped it over on top of my illustration board, and did a rubbing transfer. (Yes, it's a weird, complicated process.)

Then I began drawing over the transfer.


Rebecca Guay helped me design some interesting flowy robes for Loki. (I love Rebecca's paintings. As a child I loved the book covers she painted without ever knowing her name, until last year when I finally connected the name with the illustrations.)

So. Painting tomorrow!

IMC Day 3

So after much wrestling with sketches of dead deer, I decided to ditch Katniss and go back to an old idea of my own:  a fairy-like girl summoning spring at the end of winter.

And suddenly this creature of life and green things comes up against a tomb.  Death vs.  life, winter vs. spring.  Only her spring is not powerful enough to touch this winter.

Under the advice of Donato and Rebecca, I made lots of thumbnails.  Lots and lots of thumbnails.

Bottom right thumbnail was drawn by Rebecca as an example. (Famous illustrators are drawing in my sketchbook!!!)

I wanted a sort of creepy cross for the grave. I asked Brom for help, since is he famous for creepy.  So he drew a creepy grave for me:

On the left, sketch by Brom. (Sorry for the poor lighting. I am working on a borrowed computer that doesn't have an image editing program.) Hopefully tomorrow I'll finish the drawing.