Thursday, March 31, 2011

Firefly


Just when you thought I couldn't get any nerdier...I started watching the show Firefly.
I wouldn't be surprised if most people don't even know what that is - it was a short-lived sci-fi (sorry, syfy) show that aired in 2002. I had never watched it until this weekend (when I might have watched the entire series in one satisfying marathon) and now I have a soft spot in my heart for this beloved series. So naturally I started spending my doodling time sketching out some of the characters - most notably, Nathan Fillion in his low-slung belt and suspenders. I have a real soft spot for suspenders, too. 
So, even though I have ventured into even nerdier territory, I am happy to have brought Firefly into my life. 
At least I'll have one more thing in common with cute nerd boys at Comic Con.

Today's post is dedicated to my friend Josh, 
who is most likely the only person who will think I'm cooler after finding out that I spent my weekend watching Firefly.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Game of Mouse & Cat

Don't you just hate when your pet mouse captures a cat and leaves it on your doorstep?!
The question is - is this a giant mouse or a little itty-bitty teeny-tiny cat?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Love Like It Matters.

I spent a lot of my weekend (more than I'd like to admit) working on this drawing. 
But I love it, so I feel like it was worth it. Sitting with a big piece of paper drawing things in pen is my favorite thing to do, so hopefully that can somewhat justify the hours that were devoted to one simple little sketch. Except it's not that simple, and that's part of what I like about it. It's almost like Where's Waldo a little bit, or "I Spy," since there are so many little items hidden around within it. Can you spot the dandelions? Or the basket of apples? Or the heart? I think the more important question is - why did I draw a bunch of random stuff around these words? (And what exactly does this phrase mean, anyway?) I thought of this phrase a few weeks ago (although I'm sure I'm not the first) and I just like the idea of there being an urgency in loving each other. The love we have in our lives matters, so why not treat it like it's really important? By that I mean, I want to be the friend that calls. I want to be the daughter that visits often. I want to be known as somebody who tries to love others well (I need to work on this one.) Because I do think it matters. Love matters. And my thinking behind the random clutter around the words in the drawing is just to represent the stuff (the clutter, I guess) that gets in the way. I'm hoping to work on it a little more, maybe add some color, and hopefully I'll have a finished product later this week.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Do you want to be well?


I always feel so cheesy trying to explain these things...
It's just, sometimes I forget that I need Jesus. Life seems pretty great sometimes, just how it is.
It doesn't feel like I need help from anybody - rather, it doesn't feel like I'm "sick," in need of being healed. I have to be reminded from time to time. Because in reality, I am far from perfect, far from having things figured out, and very, very far from comprehending how much healing God is actually capable of doing in my life if I let him.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Z is for Zombie


Okay, after this I am officially retired from zombie drawings. They really gross me out. This guy is actually pretty tame (he still has all his limbs) but he's still an oozing, ax-weilding member of the undead. I'm sorry for subjecting you to this, really. Zombies are grody. But Z just had to be for Zombie, right?! What else could Z be for? Zeppelin? Zebra? Zinc? All a little too mainstream for my taste. So Z is for Zombie, whether I like it or not.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Zombie Laser Shark!

So after yesterday's post, I felt like I really owed you some zombie-laser-shark action. So here you go.
I didn't realize how gross zombies are until I googled zombie images for "research" for this drawing. Zombies are totally disgusting! I've never actually seen a zombie movie (although I did see that one episode of Community) but somehow in my mind zombies were just kind of harmless. Like big, undead puppies chasing after you. But no, actually - they're almost always bloody and creepy and oozing stuff, with weird eyes and missing limbs...what is this world's fascination with zombies? I'm officially anti-zombie, as of today. And yet, here we are. Zombie shark and all. I just had to follow through, you know? So here is a zombie laser shark, for your viewing pleasure. I don't know why he has a headband, except that I think he might secretly be an undercover ninja zombie laser shark, which really takes this drawing to the next level. I mean, the kids these days, they love the ninjas. The only thing left to make this shark cooler would be to give it a mustache...but that would just be downright silly.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Live What You Love.

 I feel like my blog has been kind of boring lately - all trees and watercolors and mushy stuff. Today isn't much better, but I worked pizza into the equation, so that's a good start. Lately I've been wanting to draw an old-school phonograph (aka record-player-thingy) but I didn't really know what should be shooting out of it. So I went for the sappy angle on my first try (above) and got sillier as time went on (below).

This is a phonograph with pizza coming out of it. I wanted it to be kind of hidden, like maybe it wouldn't be noticeable right away....but then I did a color version where the pizza slice is more obvious. And that's all for today. I'll try to liven the blog up tomorrow with something more exciting, like lasers or zombies or sharks. Of course, now I feel the need to combine all three...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cloudbrains Unfurled

I don't really know if this is supposed to be a brain or some clouds, so I decided to lovingly refer to it as "cloudbrains." There's no real story behind it, other than I wanted to doodle and this what I came up with. I'm not normally one for abstract artwork, which I think is why I feel the need to try to create a backstory to it, or decide what the cloudbrain's intentions are. Either way, I love that one loose strand, and I'm rather pleased with how it turned out. Makes me want to climb up those loose pieces and take a little nap on the cloudbrains.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Tree Square


This is a tree I drew this weekend on a piece of really thin wood (pictured above on my sweet Ikea-clearance-patio-table-turned-desk). I thought the medium would be a unique canvas, but it ended up being a little tricky for me...I wasn't very invested in this piece at first, when I started, just sort of sketching and goofing around - but then I just fell in love with this tree! It's silly, but I rarely like a tree drawing as much as this one. I keep staring at it. So then suddenly I really cared what happened to this little piece of art, and how I would finish it. The problem is - I don't know what I'm doing. I still don't know much about watercolor and how it reacts to a wooden canvas...so I did my best to add some color to the drawing. In the end, I think it's a little boring (and the tree deserves better), but the tree makes me happy enough to consider it a success.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Wannabe Tangled


I saw the movie "Tangled" this weekend, and I really liked it. Sadly, I've kind of outgrown animated films but this was one of the first ones that I've really, really loved in a long time. A lot of that might have to do with the fact that the Zachary-Levi-voiced character Flynn Rider is, like, the third-cutest animated boy of all time (1st is Sleeping Beauty's Prince Phillip and 2nd is Anastasia's Dimitri. Don't try to argue with me on those two.) So anyway, I really enjoyed Tangled. And the point of this post is that I also really enjoyed the ending credits. As the credits rolled, there were these cool illustrations (see some below) that looked like they were done with watercolor and an old-school ink pen. The brush strokes were really distinctive and I loved the whole vibe, so I decided I wanted to copy the style and draw some Annie-style characters in the Tangled-credits-style. The picture above is what I ended up with. I like it, although I admit I didn't quite capture the vibe the way I wanted to. But maybe that's okay, that the Annie-style always shines through and I can't prevent it.

 
 


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Alex's Fears

So, apparently I am -- I mean Alex is -- afraid of becoming a crazy cat lady. This isn't autobiographical or anything. I don't really even like cats. I mean, except when I'm catsitting and there's a large TV involved. If anything, I'd be a crazy dog lady or crazy squirrel lady and that just never happens. No one's ever a crazy dog lady, right? Unless you're one of those people on Animal Hoarders...I feel like I'm digressing. We're not talking about me here, anyway. We're talking about Alex...the cartoon version of me...as if that's any different.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Bulletin Bored.

So, today's post isn't really a drawing post, but it's artsy...and it's all that I have to show for my artistic efforts yesterday.
This is a bulletin board I have up in my bedroom:
I got this bulletin board about five years ago, and I thought it would be super-creative to montage a bunch of photos all over it. I was pretty proud of this idea at the time. I figured out that I could print on tracing paper in my printer, and my hope was that the photos would be a little transparent and it would almost look like I printed right onto the cork of the bulletin board. But it didn't come out nearly as awesome as I was hoping, and the pictures continually curl at the edges and start to peel off. Anyway, I'm always this close to tearing them all off and having a normal bulletin board again. Lately I've been considering getting rid of the bulletin board altogether, since I always end up just sticking random stuff on it.

But last night, after giving all the pictures a new coat of spray-glue and modge podge, I decided that my bulletin board is going to serve as a place of inspiration from now on. I want to use it to hang things that I want to look at - not phone lists and receipts and addresses, like before. I definitely want to keep adding to it (since right now there's not much "inspiration" here), but it's a start. 


Come on, you can't be surprised that "M is for Mullet" made it on there. That's inspiration gold.
And the tree on the right is actually a tree-shaped bookshelf that I saw in Martha Stewart Living. I can't stop dreaming about it. I love it. Mark my words, I will create something like that in my house someday. The real thing costs $2,500 (not going to happen), so I'm going to have to get really crafty on my own...unless of course I marry a carpenter and then I'll put him to work.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Growing Hope


This is a random art piece I did in Illustrator. It's not for anything I'm working on, and I had no real reason for designing it. I just saw this page in Martha Stewart Living this month (below) and decided I wanted to design something similar. I still think I like Martha's better, but at least I gave it a shot. Can't go wrong with trees and birds and trendy fonts, eh? 


Monday, March 14, 2011

Carry on

Ahhhh, the metaphors are really flying here. This drawing is not meant to be taken literally. I mean, I just want to make sure everyone knows that I can walk and I am fully capable of doing so myself without assistance. But let's move away from "walking" for a moment...in the spiritual sense, there are often times when I wish God would just explain some things to me. I want to know what he's doing and why he's doing things and where we're going...and I don't always get to know right away. Or ever. But I like to think (I hope) that it's because God knows what he's doing. And maybe it's better that I learn some things the hard way. Maybe I need to learn patience and discipline and self-control and maybe I wouldn't learn anything if God just taught me things the easy way. You'd think he could try it once or twice though. Maybe I'd surprise him. But nope. Hard way, most of the time. 
I'm learning to accept it. And maybe that's a sign that it's working after all.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Phoning It In

I haven't had enough time to draw this week! So this morning I'm really lowering the bar of what is considered art and/or blogworthy. Last night I drew a couple of things on a magna doodle, and that's what we're going with today. Here you go.

The picture on the left is a dog. He's saying the word "dog" because we were talking about a little boy that is just starting to talk, but he can say "dog" and he uses that word to refer to lots of different things (and people.)  The guy on the right is no one in particular. Maybe he's the dog's owner?

Here on the left we have a martini glass with a cherry in it. For whatever reason, I thought it would be fun to draw a martini glass with something other than an olive. Are cherries ever used in real life? That seems like it would taste good. Or maybe grapes. And finally, we end with my favorite of the series: Annatello, my Ninja Turtle alter-ego. That's right, you heard me. I spent a lot of my childhood with my fingers taped together so I had only three fingers on each hand like the Ninja Turtles. My mom sewed me my own mask to wear when crime-fighting. I practiced twirling broomsticks so I'd know how to fight with a bo staff if the opportunity ever arose (which it hasn't. Still waiting.) A part of me will always be Annatello, and I'm glad I could immortalize that here today.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Four More Trees

This is something I drew recently - it was inspired by this drawing. It's just sort of an expanded version. I wanted the tree to have some friends, you know? It was fun to do because I drew it on wood and used watercolors, pencil, pen, colored pencils, and then a wood stain...it's rare that I use so many different mediums, and when I do, I feel really smart and crafty. Normally I'm just a pen and paper kind of girl, but sometimes I mix it up. I think having this blog has pushed me to use different mediums more often, which has been a good thing. Except maybe for when I think it's clever to paint on cardboard.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Just When You Thought I Couldn't Be Any More Obsessed...

If you've known me for any period of time, you probably know that I adore Liz Lemon. Liz, Tina Fey's 30 Rock character, makes me laugh every week and I find myself relating to her when she sings songs about cheese or uses a scented candle as deodorant in a pinch. So anyway, there's a piece of art that Liz Lemon has up in her office on the show, and I've noticed it for years. It's shown below (please also notice that Liz has her hair up in a chip clip on the left.) I've just always thought that this art piece was really cool. So after years of wondering about it...I decided to see what I could find. And low and behold, it's one of thousands of "mid-century modern wall plaques" produced by the Illinois Moulding Company in 1964. And I found one on ebay. I know it's nerdy, but I bought it and I'm thrilled. So, to clarify: since one friend, when seeing my excitement, asked "Wait, is this the art from the actual 30 Rock set?" Nope. It's not. It's just a duplicate. But I love it.
But the thing is - it's not quite the same as Liz Lemon's art. From what I can tell, this (below) is what the original wall plaque looked like, and the 30 Rock set designers must have made changes. Because every one of the wall plaques I've seen look like the one I bought, not Liz Lemon's. I knew there were differences when I bought it, and I actually got pretty excited at the thought of redesigning it to look more 30 Rock and less sixties. For starters, there was this crazy plastic nonsense stapled to lots of the orange parts...I don't know if you can tell from the picture how ridiculous it looked. I ripped it all off within two minutes of owning it. 

I soon began making changes to this thing, because I'd love for it to have less orange (much like the one in Liz's office.) So I started painting and sanding parts and taping things off and carefully making little alterations.


And here's where I'm at so far:
I already like it better. There was too much orange before. I think in the future I might make all the flowers white, and maybe even make the book in front all white...I know it's a lot of effort for what seems like such a pointless goal, but I really love this stuff. Some people restore old cars...and some people do this. Okay, maybe I'm the only person who does this, but I like it. It feels good to spend a lot of time crafting something. Even if it's just re-crafting something...that looks like it came from Liz Lemon's office.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Love Doodle

There's not much to say about this one.
It's a doodle that says the word "love."
I can't really think of anything more to explain about it.
I just wanted something to doodle, and I wanted that something to be a word...
So I chose love. Cliche, I know.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Questions


I'm still trying to figure out how God works. I don't understand a lot of what God does or why he does it or what we're supposed to do in return. And even when I read about Jesus and who he was, I'm still pretty confused about things. I've always assumed that, if I had been around in "Jesus times," I would have been hanging out with him and we'd be BFFs and I'd be right there with him in every conversation...but I think the truth is, I'd be just as confused then as I am now. Maybe even more so. I'd be like, "Why are you talking in riddles parables?" "Why aren't you telling us what you're doing?" "Why don't you ever just answer their questions?!" And Jesus would just wink at me or something, and keep going about his business with me toddling along behind. It's almost like he wants us to trust him instead of figuring it out on our own...sigh.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Cardboard Trees

I admit, this is not my of my finest works of art. I clearly didn't spend much time on this, so I guess the end result is what I deserve. I mean, it’s fine. I like it at first glance, but when I actually hold it in my hands, it’s very clear that I just threw a little paint on a piece of cardboard, drew a tree with a Sharpie, and called it art. I think I need to move away from drawing on cardboard. I don’t know why, but it’s like I think I’m clever for using it as a medium. Which is not the case at all. I know that. 



It wasn't until I started messing with the colors in Photoshop that I really started to appreciate this little cardboard tree...
Maybe it's just meant to be viewed in pairs or triplets. I like when trees look like they're holding hands... 
You could say I'm kind of sappy - get it?! (Gosh, why doesn't the world love puns the way I do?)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Gorillion

This is a picture of a gorilla-lion, or "gorillion."
It's a made-up animal, and I'm pretty glad they don't exist in real life because I would be terrified of them.
I drew this in honor of the current Survivor contestant Phillip Sheppard, who has a tattoo of a gorilla on one shoulder and a lion on the other. I think he said some jibber-jabber about how he's strong like a gorilla and fierce like a lion, or something like that. Even if that were true, and I'm not saying it is, does that make you go out and get animal tattoos on your shoulders? For most people, the answer is no. But Phillip Sheppard isn't most people. He's not even close.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

U is for Unitard

I don't know if you're aware, but U is for Unitard. That's right. Unitard.
I had a hard time choosing between unibrow, unicycle, and unicorn (and briefly considering "underoos"...get it? Briefly?), but I think the right choice was made. It's just such an awkward picture, I love it. Why does he have a top hat? Is he in the entertainment business? Is he a dancer? As an artist I like to think that each viewer can interpret this drawing differently with their own unique backstory for the gentleman. And I'm not even really positive what consists of a unitard (usually they have sleeves, right?) but I'm hoping this counts.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Four Trees


This drawing was born out of my desire to draw some telephone wires. 
I think they're so pretty to draw. Less pretty in real life. So I decided to draw four trees with telephone wires growing out the top of them. The tree trunks seemed kind of plain, so I added the swoopy thingies hanging between them...that's pretty much all there is to explain about this drawing, except I drew this while spending time with three good friends, and it seemed appropriate to draw four trees to represent the four of us. And even though I don't really know what the swoopy thingies are even supposed to be, they were added because I wanted the trees to be holding hands.