Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Last Minute Holiday Gift Guide

For the bookworm on your list, a #1 New York Times Bestseller, ("now a major motion picture!") is sure to delight!

For the beer aficionado with a penchant for the handmade, who loves to sample craft brews and annotate the mouthfeel, (and who also doesn't mind late gifts, because it's seriously the last minute now and I just don't think it would ship in time for Christmas, or even Kwanzaa and Boxing Day, or Hanukkah which ended weeks ago, but maybe you know someone with a birthday coming up, whatever,) why simply mosey over to my Etsy store for a lovely selection of Beer Coaster Books! 

Or, when in doubt, give the gift of laughter, and send links to funny stuff on the interwebs! These have been some of my fondest gifts from friends, and the price is always right! I believe my friend Jennie first showed me Simon's Cat and now it's one of my favorite YouTube gifts to give.

Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, and Merry Boxing Day! (These are the winter holidays I personally celebrate in my heart; it is by no means intending to be a politically correct or exhaustive list of all winter holiday greetings, sorry!)


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Winter Holiday Fun!

It's the most wonderful time of the year! I had great fun recently creating this Ugly Christmas Sweater Party invite, commissioned by my sister. We are hoping to even get a toddler-sized ugly christmas sweater for little Ferdinand to wear to the party! Not sure if he will tolerate it, but we'll try our darndest to get a photo!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Family Physics: The Theory of Relativity

Nonfictional Poetry! Black Graphic Shapes! An Ode to Tacoma Hipsters!

I saw this as I was leaving my studio at my sister's house late at night last week, to go home for sleeping. It was so beautifully bizarre and tragically poetic that I was instantly compelled to immortalize the moment in art. 

I even wrote a lame poem about it!

An instant later I ruined it by rationalizing that it was just a hipster whose co-pilot was home sleeping because she had to go to work in the morning, and that even though tandem bicycles are rare, bicycles in general are a hipster's bread and butter, and anything rare and kooky like a two-person bicycle is icing on the cake, and that furthermore, doing something out of context like going for a bike ride at midnight instead of the afternoon is just the cherry on top. 

So while I was witnessing a tenderhearted vignette of moonlit longing, this man was feeling awesome about his trifecta moment of hipster self-expression. This is the theory of relativity.

Now, if you recognized the title of this post from an episode of my favourite radio programme, This American Life, bravo! If you didn't, listen to it for free here; you won't be sorry because it is delightful, and this one even has a hilarious David Sedaris story, the oft contributor who originally hooked me on TAL. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Autumnal Still Life With Naughty Kitteh

Here we have a lovely watercolored drawing of fall harvest stuffs from the punkin patch, with an adorable furry intruder. Meet Ferdinand. Ferdi has one major interest in life: snacking ("shnacksh!") He expresses this interest in a number of ways, from his insatiable lust for cat food and kibbles to his compulsive chewing habit (that indian corn husk did not go unpunctured.) He also has an adventurous curiosity about all things that fit, in part or in whole, in his mouth, and thus munches on unattended foods, beverages, and morsels of paper or plastic or other unidentified substances with a gusto so strong that it overshadows any concern for flavor, status of edibility, punishment, or uncontrolled weight gain. At this point, you may be wondering what, if anything, Ferdinand has going in his favor. Well, luckily for him, his indomitable cuteness, love for cuddling, and tolerance for normal levels of playful, loving torture keep him in perpetual good graces with his momma and auntie.

Friday, September 24, 2010

You Can Never Have Too Many T-Shirts

Lucky for you, you can get a limited edition silkscreened t-shirt with my illustration on it! It's a labor of love for a spiritual young people's organization I'm involved with, with the proceeds going to a scholarship fund to send said young people to our semi-annual retreats, and if you enter my name in the "coupon code" box on the online order form, part of your purchase will help send this young person to our upcoming event!

Here's how my sister, a talented writer, describes it for marketing purposes: 

From star-lit skies to the depths of the earth, the Our Roots Go Down official tee shirt is a wearable piece of art that spins a web of connection among natural symbols. Designed by NGUer and illustrator Anita Landree and inspired by nature, it explores roots that are not only deep within the ground but that expand all around us. Butterfly wings top trees, the ground shines in the moonlight, and Autumn constellations round out a design that is both natural and surreal.

The shirts will be purple with a metallic, chrome ink in sizes Youth Medium through Adult 3XL. Just $18 covers your limited edition shirt, supports our NW NGU Retreat scholarship fund, and includes shipping within the United States (shipping to Canada is available for an additional $2.00 per shirt). A great gift for art lovers, tee shirt collectors and dreamers! Order by October 24th; shirts will ship after November 8th. Thanks for your support!

Here's the link to the secure online order form: http://unitynwregion.org/ngugear/registerform.aspx 

Thanks for checking it out and maybe even buying one!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Still Life with Espresso

Jennifer bought these adorable tiny espresso cups at Ikea, and Martha Stewart is back on TV, so it follows that I made this wonky cutesy lifestyle still life. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Goodbye Summer

Hello, Blog. It's been a while. The good news is, that is partially due to freelance-gig induced busyness; the bad news is that is was design work (as opposed to illustration,) and not particularly well-paid. But I'm super thrilled to have something going anyway! And another recent project was a t-shirt design, which you, dear reader, can soon purchase online! I will post about it, well, soon. 

I started this picture weeks ago but set it aside because I was having trouble getting the face to come out cute and not creepy. The result is overworked, but sufficiently cute, I think. The tire swing is a summer memory from Carol's Cabin. My Auntie Carol and Uncle Butch used to have a cabin in the woods somewhere, next to a creek. There was a wonderful tire swing there, and the whole family went to camp there during the summer.

Fall doesn't officially start for one more week, but the Seattle rainy season is upon us, and for the first time since I was incredibly little, I am not returning to school. This is cause for much angst. Now that summer play-time is over, I must start my career in the adult world, and face my fear of failure. I know in my rational mind that I can expect rejection and failure on my way to publication and success, and that the only way to actually fail is to quit trying. Still, the dark side of my inner perfectionist has an irrational belief that if you don't try, you can avoid failure. Well, too bad, you cat-lady! I'm going to go grab onto failure and bludgeon it with my portfolio until it bleeds sweet success!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Grey Green Blue: Mason Lake Campout

Every summer my family goes camping at Mason Lake. The company where my dad worked for about 40 years before he retired has a private campground there for employees, retirees, and their guests. It's a really wonderful campground too—I feel blessed to have grown up summers there surrounded by extended family and friends. 

This year, it was cool and damp and grey, despite my hot sunny drive over to the lake. It was too cold for water sports or swimming so they fished and I drew. 

The lake schedule is like this: we always go in August, usually for more than a week (in recent years since we've had jobs, my sister and I go up to join our parents and whoever else on weekends) (actually this year I don't yet have a job, but I had to cat-sit my parents little Azure, the siamese princess.) We go for the fourth of July when we can, and go out in the boat to watch fireworks over the lake. This year we'll try to go again in September. It was kind of an off-feeling year. As September approaches, I'm feeling more and more angst over getting a day job. No flitting back off to school this year! All my uncertainty of what I'll do and where I'll live is really starting to build up. I don't know what is going to happen. But, as my sister pointed out when I was venting about this last night, maybe I can see this as exciting, because anything can happen. 

Monday, August 2, 2010

Oh, Applesauce!

I can't even eat commercially made applesauce. It's made from the blandest variety of apple and then artificially sweetened, and the texture consists of water with silty little apple granules floating in it. Homemade applesauce, on the other hand, is pure and beautiful: tart, and delicious, the essence of apple-ness in goo form. My parents were on vacation last week, so, in between waiting on their cat, with the yellow transparent apples at their peak in the front yard and the kitchen to myself, I cranked up the jazz on NPR and had a zen afternoon making applesauce. 

The conical sieve apparatus is used to separate our the peel from the cooked apple pulp. It has been used and passed down through four generations of women in my family. 

I harvested the apples from one of the (too) many fruit trees my mom had my dad plant when they bought their house about 30 years ago. Growing up, she had an apple tree in the yard and loved the idea that you could be playing outside and have a snack that was a gift from nature. I'm definitely grateful for these fruit trees, the joy of nature snacks and the happy hours making and eating dried fruit, pies, crisps, sauces, apple cakes, and my paternal grandmother's wonderful Croatian apple strudel, pogatica. I'm also all too familiar with the smell of rotting, fermenting apples, because having too many free apples results in waste, and when dad wanted to mow the lawn, it was my sister's and my hated chore to clear it of the windfall, sorting the apples into a good bag to bring to the kitchen and a bad bag to dump in the trash. 

Since our apples are grown organically (we don't really tend the trees at all, just receive of their bounty) some apples host bugs. It's not that bad of a problem, it just is. We don't bite into our apples whole, we always chop them up to see what's inside. In the few dozen apples I picked for this batch of applesauce, only one apple had maggots. So that's pretty good statistics. A little poem about apple maggots occurred to me as I discovered, executed, and discarded this little fellow. 

Oh, to be an apple maggot, 
to make my home 
and dwell in the juicy world 
inside an apple.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Saltwater Sandals

New work! After a post-graduation spell of inertia peppered with sketchbook drawing and unsatisfactory plein-air landscape watercoloring, I'm setting out to replace the student work in my portfolio. As my primary goal is to land a children's book gig, I'm focusing on painting cute kids! 

Monday, July 26, 2010

Mustang Weekend

A couple weeks ago my sister and I headed out to Washington's Olympic peninsula to attend a Rod Run (car show for Hot Rods and classic cars) put on annually by our dad's car club. We grew up going to these events every summer, so the spectacle of hundreds of fancifully-colored cars of yester-year all parked together, with the smell of gasoline in the air and the throaty rumble of souped-up engines vibrating in my ribcage is now highly nostalgic for me. We took my sister's Brittany Blue 1966 Mustang that our dad restored for her to the Oldtimer's Port Angeles Rod Run, after many years of choosing to do other, less boring things during that weekend. See, after you arrive and see all the pretty cars and get heckled by all your dad's car buddies and do a walk-through of the cars, boredom seeps in for all but the true "aficion-auto." These old, usually bald, beer-bellied, and camera-wielding men wend their way through the aisles of parked cars at a snail's pace, examining every detail of the body and engine. 
But after a several-year hiatus, we forgot the time imbalance between one's enjoyment of the colors and one's weariness at the lengthy duration of the event. Oh well. We escaped to hike Hurricane Ridge, which was gorgeous, with perfectly clear skies, so I took a zillion photos to paint from later. And we visited one of Port Angeles' famous lavender farms—again, beautiful watercolor reference. And we snickered at all the signs of Twilight-mania (P.A. is only about 50 miles from now-famous Forks) such as life-sized Edward n' Bella cardboard cut-outs in most shop windows regardless of what is sold there, and homemade signs chirping in Curlz MT "Twi-hards Welcome Here!"

So, last week my dad and I spent days of hassle getting my Mustang out of storage (of course Daddy had to build one for little sister too) including trying everything to get it started after a 2-year sit before fining the coil needed replacing; removing, disinfecting, and re-installing a mouse-infested heater core; removing all the seats and steam-cleaning the carpet, and various other cleaning and tune-up details. Then he decided to buy my registration at this weekend's Goodguys car show that his club helps host. It was fun to show off my Pink 1967 Mustang, but weekends are busy, and I fear we weren't present at the fairgrounds as much as Dad would have liked. Oh well. Again, my sister and I spent most of Saturday on a wonderful hike in Mt. Rainier National Park, where we saw not only breathtaking close-up views of the mountain, but also a cute park ranger in his hunky ranger uniform. That night we headed back to the fairgrounds for the bizarre phenomenon of "Cruising" at the car show, in which you join a lineup of cars that slowly parades though the fairgrounds while people in lawn chairs sit and watch the line of cars go by, occasionally heckling, cat-calling, complementing, or egging you on to rev up the engine. Apparently anything goes during cruising, (except burn-outs, which are ineffectually reprimanded by event staff.) Here we were greeted by a pack of pre-pubescent boys with "Sup Hotties!" Once parked, we found Dad to make sure he knew we were in attendance, and he encouraged us go meet boys. We assured him that there were no boys our age at the event. He insisted there were "dancing boys" at the bandstand. We sidled away when he was sufficiently distracted. On our way to the car, we were cornered in conversation with a pack of forty year old men (too old for my taste.) I think it'll be a while before I brave another Rod Run, even for the sketching opportunities. The cost in patience is too high!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Mid-century Charm

I love vintage, in my life and in my pictures. This is an illustration for an article from an in-flight magazine about commuter marriages. To make it more fun to draw and to use the mid-century climate of marital idealism to serve my concept, I set my picture in 1966. 

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Theatre Poster

My final project last semester for Jeff Pike's Illustrating Texts class. This was a major breakthrough in working process and media handling. Why is it that I've been making watercolor paintings for as long as I've been able to hold a brush, but I just got enough control over it to make satisfying illustrations starting five months ago? Because that's when Pike convinced me to invest in quality paper and bigger brushes. I figured out that once you reach a certain level of skill and understanding of your media, the quality of materials you're using becomes crucial to achieving a quality finish to your images. 

Friday, April 16, 2010

I stink at Blogging

Now that my senior seminar project is finished, bound, turned in and presented to the public, it must be time to make a new blog post. As it turns out, I no longer like most of the work I produced last semester, (hopefully because I'm getting better,) so disregard my earlier post that stated I would post more work from that semester.

Here's a project for John Hendrix's Narrative Sketchbook class. The picture implies a narrative through the juxtaposition of one each of the following: man, woman, dog, lizard (my drawn-from-a-bag muse) and banana. 

I fought my tendency to work in local colors—and lots of them—in this piece and I think it really paid off.

Here is the project just completed for the same class, an ambiguous book jacket assignment for a made-up title and author. The character in the jar is inspired by my character design for Boo Radley of To Kill a Mockingbird for a previous project (photos of the 3-d product coming soon!)