Showing posts with label illustration. Show all posts
Showing posts with label illustration. Show all posts

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Package

Yesterday Fedex buzzed my door and a cheerful fellow handed me a large white package.

Inside is what they call a 'flat' of the final card design with a winner seal attached and signatures of the Hallmark group. The card will be sold across the USA and Canada after October 21 in box sets of twelve cards to benefit UNICEF produced by Hallmark.
So now I am going to look for a frame and I'm now looking forward to receiving packages of the finished cards. They should arrive around the end of October. The wonderful people at Hallmark promised to send me twelve boxes of twelve cards with my design of children skating in each box. What a treat! I am so excited.

Monday, September 10, 2012


After much deliberation I posted  my new video on YouTube. I have no idea what to do with it but I am so glad I made the piece. I guess an artist just has to keep on making art. So I may as well share this with my dear friends who also blog and who occasionally come by maplepancakes. Thanks for being there!

The video is six minutes long. The story is about a kid living in the 1950's and her discovery of cowboy movies. So far I have shared it with my friends and I posted it on my portfolio blog.

My project was an experiment in animation.
I created the animation using an online drawing program created by Zefrank and Mario Klingemann, edited in Painter 12, and animated clips created using my drawings in sequences with Animationish (A wonderful animation program designed for kids).

I used my iPad to record the sound track with Garage Band. I had to make a few runs through it to get it without helicopters flying past or ambulances or even crazy drivers spinning wheels on the streets below. I recorded in the bathroom but then it sounded as if I'd recorded in the bathroom. I recorded in the bedroom with the story taped to my closet door so that I could stand up and read the whole thing without stopping because I haven't figured out how to split tracks without them sounding disconnected. I also added voice tracks running under the dialogue. I became singing nuns and then later for the video, the voices of kids playing cowboys.

If anyone had been looking in at me sitting with my iPad laying tracks into Garage Band they might have thought I'd lost my mind.

But it is now finished and I had so much fun with it I am so glad I put the time into it.

If anyone wants to comment I will be so happy to know you looked at it.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Sunshine Days

It is a beautiful sunshine morning in Vancouver. Before I take Maggie out for a walk around her favourite park in the loveliness of the cool fresh air I thought I'd post a little note with a drawing related to my project.
I have been enjoying the process and I get totally lost in it. I forget all about time but my dog Maggie has to go out for walks so she makes me get up and away from the computer every once in a while. This is good for blood circulation and keeps me from blood clots and stroke which I am constantly reminded of by an advertisement on TV that repeats itself into my brain until I want to scream or turn the TV off. My TV is near me and it keeps me company while I work when I'm not listening to music.

After many years of working for others and creating images to fit the requests of clients, I am enjoying the freedom to play with this stuff. Some retired folks play golf and some travel and some go shopping. But since I can not afford those things I write stories and draw and now with the wonders of technology and computers, I can put little movies together that would have been impossible in the past without a team of people and expensive equipment out of the reach of folks like me. As far as I am concerned this is heaven. I give thanks for every minute of every day.
The software I have been using to put together a short animated video is Toon Boom Studio and Corel Painter 12. I am drawing with my Wacom Bamboo Fun tablet using the online program ScribblerToo created by Mario Klingemann. If you love to draw I guarantee you will have fun with scribbler if you are inclined to play with line drawings. Once I get this finished I will post it on youtube in case there is anyone out there who might be interested in seeing the results of this experiment. Later. Maybe next week.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Four Colourful Cats

Four cats appeared on the page. They need to say "Hi. Happy Spring!" They are the colour of Easter eggs and ended up sitting on their tails which is because of poor planning on my part. They were supposed to be sitting on a fence with tails hanging down.
I think they are waiting for an Easter bunny or maybe a butterfly or a bird. I suppose they would prefer a mouse.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Updated Portfolio

I updated my portfolio this week.
I have almost forgotten how much work I have done over the last three years or so. It is probably too long and  too many images but it was fun to put some of them together. If you have any interest in looking at my explorations in digital art and colored pencil and watercolor illustrations please ignore the advertising for the video which comes up on that site, and many thanks for your interest and time.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

I Mailed it Away!

Overcoming my intense fear of mailing away, I made myself feel all the fear and I put that manuscript with my illustrations in the post box. Whew! I had no idea how much emotion I had over this project. I get stuck when I am almost done. For five years since I retired  I have been holding back.
Everything seemed to get in the way.

The Interact Books Contest got me started and led to a picture book with seventeen illustrations completed instead.  But  I can not exactly express my thoughts about how hard it was for me to mail this away.
It was finished and ready three weeks ago. But then I decided to do the whole thing over in order to change the characters from piggies to children.  The entire project changed in front of me on the screen and I realized it would take me to January to finish a new version properly. So I argued with myself thinking that maybe the story actually stinks and no one would want it anyway. And I have other projects I want to do waiting in a box.
But two days ago after setting myself the new goal of the end of October I decided to go back to the completed work I have spent so much time on. I packed it up with a few samples of my new character ideas. I spent a day composing a letter to the publisher. Then I packed it all up with a return stamped self addressed envelope and I headed out the door with it under my arm. While walking to the post office I had second thoughts and almost turned around because of something I wanted to add. But "No" I said to myself.  All the words are there with the illustrations and it either works or it does not work. The worst that can happen is they will hate it and mail it all back. But I can handle that.
Now I am free to move on to other projects. I toasted myself last night with a glass of wine for putting the darned thing in the mail.
I took a picture of the envelope ready to go with some samples of what I placed inside the envelope when it was ready to mail. And on the screen I took a shot of the beginnings of my new character designs to replace the piggies. See below.
So now I will work on other things. And even though I never made that APP on time, this  picture book idea came out of the effort. I decided a book is a better format for this project. I learned a lot about what can be done with Corel Painter and a Bamboo Fun  low end price-wise Wacom Tablet. This was a good project for me to try.
Now I think I might try to create an APP with Interact Books regardless of the contest. But that's a whole other story. And it is waiting for me in my box of papers. I can't wait to see who wins the Interact best APP contest. It won't be me. But I wish them all luck! And I will wait to see what comes back in the mail. I will let you know one way or the other dear blog and any friends who happen by.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Setting a New Goal This Week

Hello out there. Is anybody there? I have been working on a book and got lost in it revising and changing and editing and I've been wondering when I will finish it. What first began as an idea for an APP turned into so many illustrations I realized I had enough for a book. So...I finished it as a book. But then I started having second thoughts about the character design.
And then my computer had major problems and I ended up with a new computer which is absolutely lovely so far. Fortunately I saved and backed up files all along the way. So nothing was lost. I must have created over six gigabytes of files working on this.
Then once I had the new computer up and running I changed all the characters from piggies into kids. And I like the kids much better. This led me into doing some research about costume and current fashion.
Now it is October and each day I get closer to an ending of this project.
I have set a goal for finishing by October 31.

On and on and on it goes. I need a support team.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Getting it together piece by piece

I apologize for not posting much this month so far. The reason is, I've been working on the illustrations for a little book that has been sitting in my portfolio for many years along with several other stories and ideas. I am hoping to meet a deadline with Interact Books and I am hoping I can figure out how use their software. The story is for kids from K to grade 3 or so. I can't say much more about it while it is in process. But I hope there are good vibes out there because this is a pretty lonely business when it gets down to the wire. Wish me luck please. No matter what happens, this has been an excellent exercise for my brain and it is fun to work on something that may bring delight to kids. I hope.
Meanwhile, to perk up the boring look of this post  I will post these sun bathing turtles captured at Van Dusen Gardens three weeks ago.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Fur Coat Sketch

In the nineteen forties, before animal rights groups fought to save animals, my mother owned a beautiful beaver fur coat. As a child I loved the feel of the fur. It was so soft and so warm and so perfect. It smelled of her perfume and when she died at the age of thirty nine years old, I remember sitting in the hall closet holding the coat between my hands and burying my face into the fur trying to hold on to her presence, at least for a little while longer.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Whatever Happened to Albert's Old Shoes?

Albert's Old Shoes is a beautiful little story written by my son Stephen when he was in his late teens. It was a very succesful book and thousands of children loved the story. It continues to be relevant even twenty four years later. It is about bullying. Kids loved the story. The book was always a great way to start discussions and stories about bullies. All kids know about bullies.
We all know how they can appear out of the blue. They keep popping up all over the place.

I suppose there may be a way to get the four thousand copies of Albert out into the market place. They are stored somewhere in boxes at Fitzhenry & Whiteside who received them from Stoddart Publishers when that publisher closed down a few years ago. Albert's Old Shoes was a popular book. It sold over 67,000 copies when it was with Scholastic.

For over fifteen years I was often asked by teachers to go to their schools to give book talks and to entertain the students with my drawings of Albert and his friend Bill the bully. The children loved Albert and I always came away energized and so surprised at how the book was loved. But now, when no one except Stephen and I know it is there, I doubt the book has much chance of selling. And picture books are not selling well at this time if my information is correct.

Yesterday I found myself organizing the Albert illustrations into a nice little slide show with music. But it takes up a lot of memory so I have to figure out where and how to post it. It makes a lovely pdf. It would make a beautiful ebook. I wonder how that could happen? I am curious. I may see what Stephen thinks about the idea. A good story is a good story and Albert may be ready to go out there in a new form perhaps? I wonder what is involved? I have to do some research.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Two Sheep In A Green Meadow

This weekend the Wet Canvas All Media Event forum has so many beautiful photo references I can't resist taking part. Since I have been into sheep lately for reasons I can not explain, I chose a photo of some sheep to work with. I started by creating a vector drawing of the sheep using Corel Draw and my little Bamboo Pen Tablet. I was not pleased with it. But I decided to not give up just because it was not working for me. I took the vector into Corel Painter11 and using the pastels and pencil crayon brushes I painted over it.

Then, when it was finished as far as I could take it, on a whim I tried the 'woodcut' effect. I never expected what happened. But I think it is rather fun and different.

Happy New year to my friends out there who come by. I really appreciate your thoughts and comments.
Thanks to Maureen Whittaker of Wet Canvas for her beautiful photo references this week.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Cards

A log time ago, early 1980's, I had a position as a Liturgical Artist and Arts Coordinator at  Christ Church Cathedral in Vancouver. At Christmas time in the midst of pageant involvement with costumes and sets, and banners for services, I was responsible for creating designs suitable for the leaflets for the many Christmas services. They had to be black and white line drawings suitable for printing out by photocopier. We didn't have PC's at that time so I did everything with pen and ink.
Last week I pulled out a few of those old designs and I  began adapt them and to play in colour with in CorelDraw and Painter11.
I have also been doodling as you can see, in those three wise fellows on camels. Colour brings them alive. They seem to be wanting to emerge from the page into my life or at least onto cards.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Fish on a Sunday Evening

It is Sunday night and my eyes are so tired but I I've been working on this today. A new fish illustration to add to the Pink Flamingo below this post. Goodnight out there in cyberland. I hope you had a good day.

The older I become, the more I treasure each and every day.  This weekend I am remembering Edgar who died at the age of one hundred but who was wise and smart and gentle and kind right to the end of his long and eventful life. He wrote a weekly column for his newspaper right up to the day before he passed away. What an inspiration he was to everyone.

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Project From the Past

I keep playing with old drawings because of my constant need to experiment with images. Yesterday, while going through my portfolio, I pulled out a couple of drawings from a little story I wrote way back in the early nineteen nineties for a video class at Emily Carr College of Art And Design. It was a short story with images drawn very quickly with coloured pencils to meet a deadline for class. I finished the story but I never finished the final video. I made a promise to the instructor that I would finish it but I never followed through and it has haunted me for years. Now, with the technology at my finger tips, I think I might give it another try just to see if I can do something with it in video form.
These are two dusty old pencil crayon drawings scanned into Corel Painter11 and 'painted' over with the pastel brushes with my little Wacom Bamboo Tablet and my little plastic tipped pen. I do love technology. But I must get my portfolio together and I must stop experimenting. Oh my.