Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Posting Pause

Will not be posting until March 8th. Have a good one! I will have lots to share later...

Monday, February 23, 2009

Visit with Folk Artist, Malcah Zeldis

I promised a post about our visit in NYC with folk artist, Malcah Zeldis. She looked wonderful. I met Malcah many years ago while working as a museum educator. Her Anne Frank paintings were exhibited to complement a larger exhibit called "Daniel's Story" from the Holocaust Museum in DC. "Do you like my tree?" The first thing Malcah wanted to show us was the "tree" in her living room made up entirely of found objects, including, of course, a photo of Lincoln, her favorite. Her apartment is like a gallery with her paintings covering every square inch of wall. Notable were the holocaust paintings and a large painting of Marilyn Monroe. In her studio room, there were more paintings stacked in shelves and against the walls. On her studio table was a "Peaceable Kingdom", in pencil, waiting to be painted. Like Edward Hicks, Malcah has painted many of them.

Malcah often collaborates with her daughter, Yona on books. You can see all the books she has illustrated and get her books here.

She liked showing us her sculptures of found objects and especially wanted to show us her homage to her mother who died several years ago. (She was in her 90's) Malcah took care of her for many years and sometimes paints her, as a ballerina (which she really was), into her peaceable kingdom paintings, which I posted about before.
In her studio, she had set up a bed and carefully set out things on the bed that belonged to her mother; her shoes, photos of her as a young girl, her tea set, and a wicker head that had a crown of clothespins. "She was a queen" she told us. In another corner was a square lampshade she painted on with markers immediately following 9/11 ("..because they were all I had that day)--before, during and after the attacks were depicted on each side of the lampshade. She lives 2 blocks from ground zero.

More about Malcah...

"Malcah Zeldis was born in the Bronx in 1931 and shortly after she moved with her family to Detroit. In 1948 she moved to Israel to work on a kibbutz. While there she married, and she began to paint. She returned to New York in 1958. Her husband actively discouraged her from painting. In 1974 she obtained a divorce and began painting in earnest. Her paintings are an expression of her own life, her experiences, her feelings, her religion and her environment. With her flat style and bold colors, Malcah creates works of art which have great appeal. She does not concern herself with academic rules of painting; she follows her own rules. Malcah's work in in the permanent collections of many museums around the world including the American Folk Art Museum, the Smithsonian National Museum of American Art, the Jewish Museum, the Milwaukee Museum of Art, and the International Folk Art Museum and the . There is a book about her art titled "Moments in Jewish Life - The Folk Art of Malcah Zeldis". She has also illustrated three children's books ... "Eve and Her Sisters - Women of the Old Testament" , "Honest Abe", and "Peaceful Protest - The Life of Nelson Mandella"
(bio from here)
Go here to see her works in the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Happy Birthday

February is a birthday month in our family.
Happy Birthday to my oldest daughter...lover of life.

IF: Instinct

"Jake's first instinct was to run away from the fire. But Zeke was still in the house, somewhere".

This is a repost of a pastel illustration for a story about a fire in a small town (Pharsalia, NY)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Drawing Trip to Lab of Ornithology, Cornell University

Another road trip to Lab of O. Our GNSI group met to do research sketches for the "Common Birds in Decline" exhibit that our local chapter will be doing later this year there, which I posted about before. It was good to finally get to see the real McCoy Common Tern aka Sterna hirundo. I had a female and male and a one-day old chick "skin" as they are referred to. The Common Tern is also referred to as a sea starling. It's wing span, according to its tag, is 772mm or 30.3937 inches. I did the drawing on a cream -toned pastel paper and used HB pencil, along with some graphite and white and orange pastel pencil. The feathers on the breast are an almost pinkish grey while the top feathers are more blue-grey. Also got to see a nesting hummingbird and a ruby throated hummingbird's nest. They were so teeny...just amazing! Also out in the hallway was an astonishing skeleton of a very large snake!! EEK!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Illustrator Effects: Cutout

Some interesting effects in Illustrator with "cutout".

IF: Celebrate

Congratulations Penelope!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Sketchbook Studies: Watercolor

Watched another Burton Silverman video from SmartFlix-this one on watercolor. He works utter magic sloshing tinted water around a sheet of paper...must work on some larger wc studies. This small watercolor study I did of Lisbeth Zwerger's Little Red Cap. My favorite of her illustrated books is Little Hobbin. Here is a talented illustrator whose work makes me think of Lisbeth Zwerger and she lives in NY state! I may have to pay her a visit. It sounds like she lives on a big farm with lots of animals that she draws. I'd also like to be a fly on the wall in the studios of Lisbeth, Louisa, Camilla, Burton, Chad, Q and Catharine....and so many others...

Monday, February 9, 2009

The City

Back from a NYC break. This city ceases to amaze me. After a few white-knuckle cab rides, (Oh we took the subway too) we managed a visit to the Time Warner Building, friend and artist, Malcah Zeldis, the Society of Illustrators, and then there were the restaurants-- Pure Food and Wine and Candle daughter was in vegan heaven.
The Society of Illustrators was really inspiring...Brad Holland, Sam Weber, Dan Adel, Kadir Nelson, Donato Giancola, Marc Burkhardt, Jody Hewgill and Frances Jetter to name just a few.
All the illustrations in the exhibition were editorial or book. It seemed abundantly digital, but there was a lot of mixed media, and some straight out traditional (watercolor, pastel, oil, acrylic, pen and ink) which was fun to look at up close.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

NYC Trip

Photo courtesy of Ronnie del Carmen ©2007
Excited about going to NYC soon to visit family and also go to the Society of Illustrators for the Annual Exhibition Illustrators 51
(Jan 7- March 28) I'll be posting again on Sunday. Have a great weekend!

Sketchbook: Know Where Your Food Comes From

Ahhh, choosing what foods to eat has become a real challenge. This is an idea sketch, in watercolor and pen and ink, for a larger piece about foods that are toxic. You can click on the image to see it bigger.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Pastels: Fire in Pharsalia

Just trying to continue on with Fire in Pharsalia. This is just what came up for me. I am trying to think of different scenarios for this story...which isn't really a story... yet. Trying different options in editing for color (saturation and exposure)

Here, Jake discovers the fire in his house.I referenced an old drawing of my son I had done and tried to add a surprise expression with the firelight reflected in his face. I think I'm not done with this...later.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Burton Silverman video at SmartFlix

I just watched an amazing video, Drawing: The Language of Vision, with Burton Silverman. Highly recommend. I rented it from SmartFlix and plan on renting the others maybe, I think there are four in all.