Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Anti-Conjuror

Honest, I am not the most dedicated, organized, or consistent keeper of sketchbooks.  That said, I do keep one in my purse, and one by the little television in my studio.  One of my favorite things to do when I just want to more or less relax and watch something I've recorded on the DVR is to pause the program and quick draw something from the screen.

I have a an inexpensive little (3.5x5.5 inches) notebook I bought at the drugstore last spring, thinking I'd fill it up and use it in a future journaling/sketching workshop for homeless high school kids.  I wanted it simple - just black pen and maybe a colored marker.  The notebook is slowly filling up, with jottings from trips, ideas from art books, sketches of things in the house, quotes and so on.  Anyway, I did this sketch while watching a show called The Illusionists, who turned out to be magicians working in various styles.

Dan Sperry bills himself as  the "Anti-Conjuror" and has gothic makeup, lots of tattoos, and a really interesting act.  I ended up liking his sketch best, complete with a fairly wonky job on the hand on the left side of the drawing.  I like the way the drawing ignores the center fold of the notebook, like the simple use of color, and I like the use of a frame.  I've been looking at books concerned with cartooning, and they use a frame, which make the drawing more appealing on the page, I think.

This may affect the design of my future pages.

Monday, December 21, 2015


Today is the start of the winter solstice - a dark day.  I woke this morning to the dimmest of light, and a steady rain.  It was hard to haul myself out of bed, though the singing and tap dancing of the cat on my half asleep body was encouragement to get up.

The good thing about dark crummy weather is that I spend lots of time in the studio, though lately much of that studio time has been spent doing Christmas crafty things, organizing and cleaning, and reading about art - and not so much making of art.  Still, I have been playing around with some painting, and some collage work.

5x7 inches, paper collage

I am lucky to have friends who save old magazines and books for me.  This  little collage was assembled from a painting from a tattered guide to the Uffizi Gallery, a book of Japanese nature photography, and a picture of a butterfly from a very old National Geographic.  

I keep two separate files of collage papers. One contains all colors and textures from papers I have painted, or magazine pages that I have altered in some way. The other file contains photos and classic paintings, mostly from vintage books and magazines, but also old maps.  I have categories like Faces, Hands and Figures, Sacred Images, Animals, Birds, Insects, Plants and Nature, Diagrams and Graphs, Text and Numbers, and so on. Images for each category get stashed in a large zip close plastic bag.  I try to take out no more than three bags to rummage through to find materials that go together for any one collage.  

I like how this one turned out, and think it could be the beginning of a series