My Cape May watercolors have been featured in the Concierge Magazine printed for the Cape Resorts group for use at all their hotels. It's fun to see them in print, and I'm especially pleased with the cover. That was such a fun Victorian house to paint. It's one of several cottages they rent out.
Seeing this makes me want to go back there again. I hope I get to soon.
For week two of Advent, I'm delivering two more O Antiphon prints to the churches that subscribe to my weekly bulletin drawings. Usually I do lectionary based pen drawings, but Advent is my favorite season of the church year, and I like to do something special for it. Often I do a special series for Lent and Easter as well. This Advent I'm doing the seven O Antiphons. Above is O Key of David, and below is O Root of Jesse. (Given the Presbyterian nature of the churches I serve, I'm not using the traditional Latin titles. I'd like to give people an easy way into the images.)
I'm having fun playing with the "O" motif and getting it prominently into each image.
These images will be published next year in Call to Worship magazine, published by the PC USA.
My last of four issues of Call to Worship magazine that I'll be illustrating is Advent-themed, and the deadline is a bit into the new year, but near enough that I'm thinking ahead and creating art for this Advent at the same time. I had pondered a print series based on the hymn "How Can I keep from Singing", which I love, but Call to Worship suggested the O Antiphons instead, and they grabbed my imagination. I didn't have time to do both just now, so O Antiphons it is.
Advent snuck up on me this year, what with several trips, my dad's wedding, a good friend making the hospital/nursing home transition, and a few other distractions. I usually like to have time for a print series to marinate a bit in my head. This time I felt under the gun, started carving right away, and as a result have recarved three of the original four.
Here's a snapshot of the first batch.
The first one is O Wisdom, or Sophia in the Latin. She is the female personification of God in the Old Testament, and I love that image of God. She was neutered into the non-gendered Holy Spirit when the Bible moved into Greek, and I'm happy for the chance to reach back into the Hebrew tradition and show the female side of God.
Below is O Adonai, one of the names for God.
I was happy with my original image for it, but I recarved the other two prints, as well as one more not shown here. Fortunately these are small, just 4" square, but I'm going to try to think through the final three more clearly and not be as rushed. I had to get images to my churches for their bulletins, though, and sometimes time gets short.
I'm the illustrator for the four editions of this year's Call to Worship magazine put out by the Presbyterian Church. For the upcoming edition, they've asked for four small prints to show the progression of worship -- gathering, word, eucharist, and sending. I'm using my own church Idlewild as a model for the prints -- sketching on Sunday mornings when I'm there and coming home to do the prints. Here they are in progress, and I'll post the finished prints soon.
For the top photo, you can see three progressive proofs, where I carve a little more each time and then print again to se
It's been so crazy since the Memphis Magazine issue came out that I've been tardy asking them for some PDFs to show on my website. But I met an illustrator on our recent trip who reminded me to have illustration highlighted on my website if I'd like to do more of it, so I've been working on that this week. I set up a new Illustration page here, and I got a batch of the magazine urban sketches uploaded. Hopefully I'll receive the rest of them to add soon. You can see all the excitement here.
It's calendar time again. I had a surprise show scheduled at Playhouse on the Square for this coming week (a great opportunity to show my work from Greece and Turkey), and I decided to go ahead and get the calendar ready for the opening. Once again, it's a Memphis calendar, showcasing the city I love, and it's made up of sketches I've done over the past year. See below for the sketches that will be included.
The calendar will be available starting Friday for $16, and I'm happy to mail them to folks who are out of town.
I probably say this pretty often, but one of the really fun things about drawing in public is meeting so many different people. Yesterday I was still lacking a header for the Medicine section of the City Guide, so I headed to Methodist. I was lucky enough to find both shade (always a bonus) and also a couple of ambulance drivers (also hanging out in the shade) who were waiting for a new battery for their unit.
They were interested in what I was doing, and I learned why some ambulances are red and boxy (city-owned ones) and some are white (private companies). Having a little company gets me out of my BBC podcast routine and mixes things up a bit.
I've been working hard to get all the different categories illustrated for the Memphis Magazine City Guide. Above is an overall view of the skyline (maybe for the table of contents). Bonnie Hopkins, a Loyola art student and assistant at MCA this summer, went downtown with me Saturday afternoon to draw from Mud Island. We found a picnic table to work from (great comfort compared to my normal urban sketching on the sidewalk) and had a great visit while we worked. It was a very social and creative day for me, with the Memphis Urban Sketchers that morning and Bonnie's company all afternoon.
I also got permission to paint inside Brooks with my watercolors. I'd been wanting to paint the rotunda, and working for the City Guide issue seemed like a great opportunity. There's an arts section, and music is already pretty well represented in my illustrations, so I thought I'd plug my own area of visual arts instead.
Brooks allows sketching with pencils only during their regular hours, but they kindly invited me to come paint on an off day for this project. Since they regularly serve drinks at special events in this space, I didn't feel too bad asking for special treatment for my small palette cups. (It's a marble floor as well -- very little possibility for serious damage.)
It was a challenging subject, but also a lot of fun. And I liked that I could get in different forms of art -- the main sculpture, a framed painting and photograph on the left, and a peek at the ancient art collection on the mezzanine floor. It seemed like a good scene for "The Arts" section.
I've enjoyed the few illustration jobs I've gotten to do so far, so I've been more consciously approaching people about the possibility of doing more such work. Very happily for me, the art editor of Memphis Magazine has asked me to do urban sketches to introduce each section in their annual City Guide edition. Usually they have lovely, glossy photos, and I'm so honored they wanted my artwork this year.
I've got a long trip coming up, so I'm working hard to get all of them turned in before I leave. Above is the one I did for the Newcomer's Guide section. We just drove in from Arkansas last week, and I loved the view of the Lone Star tower (sadly, soon to be torn down) with its "Memphis" guitar sign and the Convention Center behind it. However, there are certain views an artist (at least one who works on site) just cannot paint. The view from the interstate bridge over the Mississippi River falls firmly into that category. This was as close as I could get. I painted from the pedestrian bridge to Mud Island. You can still see the bridge and the exit signs for downtown, and I do like the addition of the Pyramid.
Below is one of today's paintings. "Volunteering" is another section of the City Guide, and MIFA is my favorite organization in Memphis. They do meals on wheels, emergency services and housing, senior ombudsmen, a handyman program, and other services too multitudinous to count, for a city that needs as much help as it can get. I set up this morning in the parking lot to get the meals volunteers loading coolers into their cars.
I was recently asked to illustrate a short story for April's issue of Memphis Parent (free on news stands right now!). It was my first illustration job since doing ten block prints based on the book of Revelation for the Presbyterian Church, USA, and needless to say, it was a much different process.
I love working from a text, though, and trying to suit my work to the author's intent, and I thoroughly enjoyed doing this job. I'm hoping to be able to break into some more illustration work. The watercolor sketches I'm doing seem like a good medium for both children's books and place sketches for magazines or newspapers. The Seattle Times actually has an urban sketcher on staff. How cool is that?
The above image of the story shows the double page spread all put together, but it isn't very legible. If you want to really read the story, try this PDF instead.