16 January 2013

Feature in Fantasy+

In the mail today, wrapped nine ways til Sunday, came a book that Antoine and I were featured in.

Fantasy+ 4: The Best Artwork of Fantastic Art:
Fantasy art, like literature, continues to have a growing resurgence as consumers of popular culture long for a respite from today s forced reality. For this fourth volume of the highly successful Fantasy+ series, the selected artworks are arranged thematically according to the focus or manifestation of the work. The international roster of commercial artists featured offers the very best in imaginative art created for movies, animation, publications and games. Not limited to illustrative output, this volume gives voice to the talented sculptors in the industry, with three-dimensional models and garage kits presented for the first time. Thoughtful commentary and interviews enhance the work and inspire, providing rich tips and insights for professionals and would-be artists alike.

It was very fun to both be featured and interviewed. I loved seeing our names side by side. Although I cannot say my work is the best artwork of the fantasy genre, I was thrilled to join others who are!

11 January 2013

Childhood Memories

After a long time working on projects, I decided to take a break and work again on a project started back in the summertime. It's a painting of my childhood woods, behind my house on Fairbanks Road. Looking back on the time spent there, many amazing and bewildering events occurred.

Most memories are miniscule, and only important to myself, but then other richly bizarre tales: Such as my black cat Magic appearing and disappearing from her grave. Our woods naturally had a pet cemetery, where our beloved pets and sometimes accidental drowned chipmunks were laid to rest. Magic, after suffering an extremely bad broken leg, was put to sleep, and then placed in our family plot. About a year after, my best friend and I were taking a walk through the back woods and noticed that the cat's grave had been... dug up! But, there was no body to be found. We though this must be some strong nosed animal and dirt was filled back into the tiny hole. Well, what followed were several months of the grave being dug up again, and occaisionally the body being seen in other parts of the woods. Each time, we'd quickly rebury the poor creature, pour bleach and other noxious smelling chemicals to deter what we though HAD to be an animal. Me thinks... there was more at play here.

The woods near my old house lies in a very spooky section called the Bridgewater Triangle. Many odd occurances have caused the locals to name this area as a very supernatural swamp. There's quite a lot of documentation about it, so I welcome you to poke around. What I can tell you is I am also a beliver of this area's oddness. My woods were the home to many Wampanoag burial mounds, and I secretly hoped their spirits kept me safe as I played. My brothers and I made bark masks to keep watch of the woods while we were away.

They were very fun days, but incredibly imaginative days. But imagination can conjure up all sorts of playfulness... and wickedness. It was New England after all... a region rich with old lore.

03 January 2013

...Just Draw.

If there is one message I try to get through to students or anyone looking to become an illustrator, it's this: Just draw. Draw all the time. Draw to get excited, draw to get angry, draw to improve, draw to make mistakes. But for God's sake, just draw!

Renata Liwska's sketchbooks take the cake! Check out this really great video made by Mike Kerr.

A Quiet Look - How to become a children's book illustrator in one (not so easy) step from mike kerr on Vimeo.

Reminders like this are important for me to remember that important ingredient for creativity!

02 January 2013

A Toast for 2013!

There are good ships,
and there are wood ships,
The ships that sail the sea.
But the best ships, are friendships,
and may they always be!

Happy New Year!

Hot Buttered Rum

2 oz Rum
3 tsp Sugar
.5 tsp Allspice
.5 tsp Cloves
1 tbsp Unsalted Butter
Hot Cider

Warm a mug or glass, and then add sugar and about 1.5 oz of hot cider to the mug.  Stir sugar and water until sugar is well-dissolved.  Add rum and spices and then fill top the mug with hot cider. Add butter and stir until it is completely melted. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and/or orange peel, depending on the flavor you’re looking for.

An 18th century recipe would sometimes call for heating a loggerhead to red hot in an open fire (a fireplace poker knocked clean of ashes will do), which would then be thrust into the drink. Soon after, the concoction would steam and sputter. It was strongly advised to drink immediately after!

Rum, a distillation of sugar cane or a byproduct like molasses, can be made just about anywhere, like other spirits fashioned from ingredients that can be easily imported. Invented in the West Indies in the 17th century, rum caught on in the American colonies, where distillers began importing molasses and quickly created a major industry. At its peak in 1770, the American colonies imported six million gallons of Caribbean molasses, much of which became rum in New England’s 159 distilleries. The style varied widely, but it was said to be thicker and less sweet than its Caribbean cousin.