Sunday, September 22, 2013

Put A Bird On It Redux

Nothing could be more iconic than a New York City pigeon. Yeah, I know you've got pigeons in other cities,  but there is just something about sharing the sidewalks and streets of NYC with hordes of these "flying rats," that makes them feel uniquely New York. And truly intrepid Nw Yorkers they are.

 NYC Subway Card Pigeon No. 7
2.5" x 3" oil on metro card

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Guggenheim Redux

Here's another NYC icon --

It's an icon I've tackled before. Let me know how this new version measures up against the prior versions:

 NYC Subway Card Guggenheim No. 1

 NYC Subway Card Guggenheim No. 2

Here's a close-up of the newest version:

And in a frame:

 NYC Subway Card Guggenheim No.  4

I can't pick a favorite. Just like my children............

But you can! Let me know.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Empire State of Mind Redux

I love painting this view - simple and iconic  - but experimenting with different color palettes. The same shape but different hues gives it a whole different mood and feeling. 

2.5" x 3" oil on metro card

 Compare it to one I did a while ago, such a different result:

2.5" x 3" oil on metro card

I think I'll do a series of these this weekend and see how many variations I can create. Committing to a series really frees you up to experiment - you've got the subject matter out of the way,  and also knowing that you're going to create as many variations as you like really takes the pressure off any single one painting. If it works, great! If it fails, put it aside and try something else.

Popped in a frame and it acquires a bit more grandeur, no?

NYC Subway Card Empire State Building No. 14
2.5" x 3" oil on metro card

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A Better Face BOOK - Volume 1

Next up in my handmade tiny books -- a collection of some of my most popular pen and ink drawings, the Loosey Goosey portrait series.

There are 14 miniature prints in all, assembled accordion-style, just like my previous tiny book, NYC H20.  I printed the drawings on archival art paper, and fashioned the covers out of chipboard, covered with hand-made paper from Thailand.

I think between the two photos here. above and below, you can see just about every image that is included, save one - guess that will have to be a surprise.

This tiny book is secured with a slim leather strip fastened to each cover:

Signed and numbered inside the front cover, I've assembled a limited edition of 25. And yep, these are tiny, 2.5" x 3."

Available for purchase here.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

I'm going to submit -- how about you?

I've just received news of an "Upcycling Design Challenge," sponsored by online retailer Uncommon Goods. UncommonGoods celebrates high quality art and design by supporting a large community of independent artists and designers. 

For this  challenge UncommonGoods is soliciting talented artists to submit their most unique upcycled designs -- anything from handbags to kitchen tools, or from gadgets to wall art. 

I'm planning to submit several of my Metro Card paintings to the challenge, now also available in frames made of  sustainable wood (rubberwood and bamboo). Crossing fingers!

Here is the info provided to me by my contact at UncommonGoods:

-Grand Prize: $500 and an UncommonGoods Vendor Agreement

- We accept all sorts of materials as long as they are safe and animal-friendly. So no lead, leather, feathers, or pearls. We love unique materials, especially those that tell an interesting story, so don't forget to share your medium's tale with us in your product description.

- Judges: Writer and Reporter Yuka Yoneda, Chief Design Junkie at TerraCycle: Tiffany Threadgould. andUncommonGoods Associate Buyer for Home Decor Alexis Campagna.

-Submission Deadline: September 30, 2013 at 11:59 PM ET

-Submission page: click here.

- Judges will provide runners-up with a critique of their work, tips for marketing and growing your business.

Wish me luck, Night Shifters!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

A Painting Progression - the next lady on the train

 Step 1, first blocks of color:

Step 2 - more contrast, deep shadow under the bench, refining the shape of her head....

Step 3 - changed up the color in the background behind her, modified her hair, more detail to the bench and changed the color of her big, slouchy purse:

Step 4 - a touch of lipstick and more attention to her legs and feet. Hmmm, still muddling with them:

Finished? Not sure -- think I prefer her hair as in the step above and still not sure about the wall behind her head nor her folded arms. Added the iphone earbuds but they're not clearly attached to her head! Happy with her legs and shoes, tho, very happy:

Back to the drawing board -- stay tuned for the finale.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

"Give me such shows — give me the streets of Manhattan!" Walt Whitman

A stroll through Times Square is rarely on my schedule - to be truthful, I avoid it whenever possible. It's a must-see for visitors but hellish for locals.

Still, I was happy to take on a commissioned painting for one of my Etsy customers - it gave me the chance to see Times Square in a different light. Or rather, as a jumble of lights and colors. 

It was tricky condensing that landscape into a 2.5" x 3" rectangle, particularly since there really isn't one iconic image that screams "Time Square" -- it's really the cacophony of sights and sounds that you see as you do a 360 degree panorama-style view of the place. 

I decided to stick with a very loose, impressionist style to just suggest the buildings and lights at night. I added a slice of a taxi in the foreground that I think pulls it all together:

And once framed, giving you a chance to stand back and take it in, I think it works - what do you think?

Subway Card NYC Times Square No. 1
2.5" x 3" oil on Metro Card