30 December 2009

New Year's Tidings: Retrospective

It's a wonderful self-given assignment each year to create your holiday tiding. I always opt to go with best wishes for the New Years for a number of reasons. The most important... I am always late so there's NO CHANCE I ever get them out before December 25th. Besides, I send them to a number of clients I have worked with over the years, and I'd like to think my cards are waiting for them upon returning from the winter break.

The common theme that my New Year's card have is a bit of beverage history. And not just any beverage, typically the festive, spiked kind! Inside, I also like to research a bit of the culture and folklore of the drink along with the needed recipe to fabricate such lovely concoctions! It all started in 2003, (I have since lost the file)when it began with a tipsy bluebird on a steaming mug of hot cocoa. The following year, I decided to invest in some supplies to increase my mailing. I bought 500 coin sized envelopes and 1000 manila tags. I might have saved a total of $12.97, but I have been finding all sorts of purposes for these tags! The size of the envelope has since determined the shape of the following years. Finally, this year... I have RUN OUT of those coin envelopes! Wouldn't you know I needed about 20 more to finish this years cards... and they only sell them in boxes of 500. Instead of risking the arrest by a Staples employee, I shall purchase another 500 count box, and continue the format that has been ruling these past years.

Here's a run down of the past years. Because of the wedding planning and hoopla of 2008... it was my one year I was not able to create a card. If you know of any drinks that your family or culture imbibe this time of year, please let me know! I am always searching for new recipes!

2004: Hot Toddy

2005: Glogg

2006: Mulled Wine

2007: Wassail

2008: Kelly's Lame Excuse

and now, for 2009... for celebrations galore...

2009: Champagne!

Champagne first gained world renown because of its association with the anointment of French kings. Royalty from throughout Europe spread the message of the unique sparkling wine from Champagne and its association with luxury and power. The leading manufacturers devoted considerable energy to creating a history and identity for their wine, associating it and themselves with nobility and royalty. Through advertising and packaging they sought to associate Champagne with high luxury, festivities and rites of passage. Their efforts coincided with an emerging middle class that was looking for ways to spend its money on symbols of upward mobility. Legend holds that when Dom Perignon first tasted the sparkling wine now known as champagne he called to his fellow monks,

‘Come Quick, I Am Tasting Stars!’

Kir Royale
1 part Crème de Cassis (Blackcurrant Liqueur)
5 parts Champagne

Pour crème de cassis into a Champagne flute and gently pour Champagne on top. Serve and enjoy. Santé!


A Little Erin Merryweather Sketch

Nothing more, nothing less.

Lawn Dandruff 2K9!

Well, it certainly is that time of year again. The warm smell of cookies, the light flurrying of snow... and more importantly the zazzle of electric glow. Lawn Dandruff Night 2009 had a few obstacles in its way, but we got it done, and in regal style! With baileys, bourbon, and whiskey in our flasks, off we went, camera's in hand!

We had originally scheduled it a week before before Christmas Day, and had even rented a twelve person van to facilitate this years growing interest. But low and behold... we got a blizzard that dumped 15 inches of snow on that very night. Gah! So, we agreed to make it for December 29th. Also new to this year, was a location change! We decided to hit a bustling suburb of Boston, and thank our lucky stars, it did not disappoint.

So let's get down to it... the best of 'druff, the worst of 'druff. I saw a rising trend of angels, penguins, and bear this year, with a steady decline of Santas on choppers and blow up ornaments in general. I am thinking the hard hit economic times made people think twice about running those loud fans all night. Thank bejesus! One of the more fascinating, yet slightly morose finding this year was a dandruff cemetery. With Christmas day long over, the owners decided to let all of these wonderful plastic gems sit there in a dark, frozen wasteland. It was quite moving. There is a certain sadness when one unplugs all of the lights, and boxes all the glitter. With only President's Day to help focus us through January... we need some of that glitter! Another morose find was a dead reindeer, a probable victim of the previous week's blizzard. I've seen this kind of carnage before, and they always come back guys. Those reindeer are invincible!

These small sad happenings were outweighed by a great party, and increasing amount of insanely colored LED lights, two cars of Dandruffin' fun, big buck riding (A NEW EVENT), Chinese food, and most importantly... scorpion bowls. So, come snow or shine... Lawn Dandruff survived the blizzard of 2009!

10 December 2009

Mo' De-Mo's!

This was a painting demo I used in my classes and at a gallery show in California (which I want to write about in the next post!) It's always fun to take your time with a painting and tinker with it over a few weeks.

Man, I've been boring lately. I'll be more spunky next post, I sway-yuh. Sorry for the New England accent.

02 December 2009

The Lodge

And I am still really excited about Shybird's near completion of our haunted houses book. Antoine's line work is really what makes these pieces excite me. With school and a few projects ending up, it's time to move on the picture books again. I am looking forward to working on paintings again.

Another Nate Sneek Peak

It's so much fun to work on a series... and know what is in store for the characters before everyone else! Cover work for Nathaniel Fludd 3 is passed in! These book by R.L. LaFevers keep getting better and better!

Interview at the Ruby Winkle Review!

I was very flattered when I was approached by Meghan Killeen to do an illustrator interview. It's really envigorating when you meet new people who are this excited about publishing and illustration. She states is very simply: "The Ruby Winkle Review represents adult authors, illustrators and other individuals who create with a unique style and vision for kids."

To check out the full interview, visit this great site for other fun features as well.

23 November 2009

Nearly Fully Spooked

Holy smokes, so sorry I have been so quiet. It's been intense sketchwork these past few weeks instead of painting, but here are a few sneak peeks.

The haunted house book with Antoine is nearly completed. VERY EXCITED.

And got my monster dummy off to the publisher. I am a little nervous what they think.

I promise I will have more, but I got to jet!

24 October 2009

Geisha Painting Demo

After a painting demo at Montserrat College of Art, plus a little tickling when I got back home, my Geisha girl is done. Not a brainbuster with concept, but fun to create a piece with a lot of glow. It was also great to spend a little time tinkering on something not for print.

20 October 2009

Monsters, Scaries, and Moves... OH MY!

I think the scariest of all those three words in the title is MOVE. Wow, glad that's all over! The new place and studio is slowly shaping up, but it's been tough to readjust. Don't get me wrong, it's fabulous having a new space and MORE space, but being a creature of habit, I have to create my whole new daily ritual.

Been working a a bunch of projects, which I am very grateful for. A very fun monster picture book:

More on the scary short stories, done in collaboration with Antoine Revoy:

And just some fun random sketches:

Looking at all this, I've been devoid of posting any color work lately. I'll get right on that!


28 September 2009

What Do I Need When I Can't Paint Anymore?

I need a friend like this, to save me from my artistic woes!
Thanks for showing this to me Fred!

21 September 2009

'Tis the Spooky Season...

... and guess who's working on the haunted house project! Shybird! Very exicting to be working alongside Antoine on this project. Here's something to wet your whistle!

10 September 2009


Have yall seen this thing? Lovely internet searching landed me upon this little doozie. I'm heavy breathing here... the more I read about this product, the more faint I get.

Allow me to break it down.

Not to be confused with a 'pony' keg, the Arkeg supports a slim keg, which contains 55 of your favorite domestic, craft, micro, or even home brews! It fully supports the 5 gallon Cornelius (corny) keg used by homebrewers.

Think of it as an in-home iPod for your video games that also serves up cold, frothy brew. They've included some of the most popular Arcade games from Atari, Midway, Taito, and others (see list to the left). You can put any game you want onto the Arkeg by downloading online, buying games from a retail store, or installing games you own.

Besides the 69 pre-loaded games, Arkeg comes ready to play any video or audio file, as well as any video game in their computer-archived form (roms). If a game came in a cartridge or on a circuit board, it has been transferred to a rom image and is available online. Please note Arkeg only includes games that it has the legal right to distribute.

*Check out these stats*:
Liquid/scratch resistant black vinyl melamine
Protective trim-moulding
Stainless steel handles
Authentic arcade back-lit marquee
WiFi capable
24" HD gaming LCD w/ protective overlay
Chrome beverage faucet
Interchangeable tap handle
Gloss black custom kegerator
Digital temperature control
Effortless CO2 draft system
Classic 6 button layout
Arcade size 3" trackball with Mouse function
Side pinball buttons double as mouse buttons

Are you heavy breathing like me yet?

2.1 HD surround audio
Adjustable volume, treble, bass knobs
Accessible power, game exit, and pause buttons
Protective speaker grilles
Completely hidden drop-down access
Slide-out slim keyboard
Dual USB 2.0 jacks

The starting price for the maximum deal is around 4k. It's a bit of a price, but just think of it gently humming in the corner of your living room. An instant fun beacon, ready to transport you to another dimension. Hot damn, thank god for nerdy people.

08 September 2009

Basilisk Tease

With Nathaniel Fludd: Beastologist Book 1 almost on bookshelves, I thought I'd give you a teaser to BOOK 2's cover!!

The Before Tour

Well, after six or so years in my current apartment, it's come time to move on. With two people, two animals, and two fish... my closet kitchen can only go so far. So with great sadness, we made the decison to go for a bit bigger of a pad. I'll miss the one giant room, being the top half of a renovated hay barn, with a super cute grass backyard. Lily, Mama, and I have loved sunnnig ourselves on the lawn, so this might be the biggest loss. The new place? It's on TWO floors, has a washer AND dryer (it's been over 6 years of not having one) AND a dish washer!!! Here's a quick tour before everything begins to get pulled apart.

02 September 2009

Energizing Musical Interlude

Radiohead + Joy Division = AWESOMENESS

Glass Armonicas are AWESOMENESS as well!

29 August 2009

It's All Over And I'm Standing Pretty, I Mean Twitchy...

Well folks, it's official. I actually finished Over At the Castle, the sequel to Boni Ashburn's Hush, Little Dragon. I honestly never thought I'd get there, but thank bejesus I did. The end of a book is a momentous occasion. You feel a pressure lifted off your shoulders and you can wipe your desk clean. But, typically because I have a tendency to stockpile my workloads, the end of a book equals more stress. You have to scan all of the work, wrap, and then box it all for delivery. All nighters are the norm before driving/sending a book to NYC. One (of the many perks) to being married (which mean insta-studiognome) is that they will gleefully scan all the images FOR you. It's AWESOME. You have no idea how much time it saved. I am uber thankful. So, without further ado, I will give you the final image of the book, and it's an exact representation to how I felt the moment it was finished.


24 August 2009

Cloud City

But not where Lando lived. This here is a recent-ish finish for a Cricket magazine cover. There were a few sketches that were thrown around, involving Marduk's dragon. Marduk was the Babylonian name of a late-generation god from ancient Mesopotamia and patron deity of the city of Babylon. The mythical Dragon of Marduk with scaly body, serpent's head, viper's horns, front feet of a feline, hind feet of a bird, and a scorpion's tail, can be seen on the famous Istar Gates. King Nebuchadnezzar, and who's name comandeers the giant bottles of Champagne, ornamented the monumental entrance gate dedicated to Ishtar, the goddess of love and war, and the processional street leading to it with scores of pacing glazed brick animals: on the gate were alternating tiers of Marduk's dragons and bulls of the weather god Adad; along the street were the lions sacred to Ishtar. All of this brilliant decoration was designed to create a ceremonial entrance for the king in religious procession on the most important day of the New Year's Festival. Sure beats our lame 2009 goofy glasses. You know, the one's where the zeros are the eyeholes! CLEVER!

ANYWAYS. Here's the progression into the final cover. Obviously, the Babylonian referrence was a bit too obscur, but still cool to research and learn along the way.

14 August 2009

The Ol' Wave

So, I am seriously within a stone's throw to finishing the dragon sequel. I am GIDDY with the thought. I never thought, while in school, that balancing projects would be so difficult. Granted, school is hectic for many reasons, but I figured after I graduated I'd enter the known business world of 9 to 5. I tried it for a short while, and hated it. I've been in this freelance career for roughly nine years. I may whine and complain more frequently than I say it rocks quite simply because it's really tough. Mentally and physically. It's been even tougher to try and fit social life events in there, too. Thankfully, there are great friends and family members out there who know that you are really working your hardest at your true passion. ANYWHO. This latest bookcover piece was shoved in between a month long painting marathon. It's got waves. I like waves!

Ok, the crystal clear has dried. Back to painitng.

13 August 2009

Thursday Motivational Music Interlude

Sorry guys, I am way lame. Haulin' buns with a deadline, and then getting ready for school to start... so the only thing I got for you is Clap Your Hands and Say YEAH!

02 August 2009

Peach Boy Birth

Peach Boy is officially published by Usborne Publishing! It's a UK release but you can still purchace it through Amazon. Here's a link to some samples pages from the publisher.

Check it out here.

Many more post to come!

07 July 2009

Inky Nights

Here's the inked version of the previous pen sketches. Been using inks for a few illustrations lately, and am enjoying it. Alas... no typie, must keeping workie! This will be in Ask magazine in a few months.

06 July 2009

Tea Hooouse... OoooOoo!

Here's a hot off the desk sample. Antoine Revoy and I are noodling ideas for a potential new project. Collaborating has been quite fun with this. Starting off with Antoine reading all the stories to me as I paint, we then did a series of thumbnails and character sketches, that slowly progressed into this scary lady. I'll let you know if there is any positive feedback. If so, GREENLIGHT on a Shybird book! Yahowee!