Thursday, February 20, 2014

Elissa Art

Getting psyched for sailing next month!  I'm assigned to the main mast for two daysails and one overnight (actually, it's two nights at sea following one at dock, so it's more of a cruise, really.  Except I'm "working.") Woo!

I'm doing this illustration as a sort of commemorative souvenir for this year's crew.  It's not the first tall ship I've ever drawn/painted, but it is the fist one that is even close to accurate.

I did this "naked" version first, which is just the ship without any sails, which I enjoy because it shows the rigging much better.  I'm just now realizing that I forgot the anchor!  I had intended to put that in's also (intentionally) missing all its brace bumpkins, foot ropes and crainl'ns...probably a few other important aspects, but, eh...maybe I'll add some of that later, maybe I won't.
My favorite thing to do nowadays is climb over the crosstrees.  That's the second little platform on the fore or main mast--where it's wood colored, not white.  The lower platform is called "the tops", confusingly but for a very good reason once you know what it is.   

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Illustration Friday 2/31/14

topic: Exotic
Nothing much to say about this one...pretty straightforward, really.  I took a bunch of photos one time when I visited the Jacksonville Zoo, and the point of zoos (at least at their inception) is to bring "exotic" animals before a local audience.

I remember this little guy was doing a good job distracting me from the GIGANTIC boa constrictor that was slowly, oh, so, slowly, mauling a plump white rat in the opposite corner of the reptile house.  No, who am I kidding...NOTHING could distract me from that.  Could...not...tear...eyes...away....

So this dude was looking pretty friendly.  Sorry, snakeophiles, I don't remember what kind it was.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Florida Skies (Hospital art installations, pt. 2)

The ribbon cutting ceremony for the new pediatric Congenital Heart Center at Shands was last week I'm so pleased with the way it all came together.  The theme, again, was "Florida Skies," and these funky floors were the basis for the images I did, seen here printed on large slabs of clear acrylic--a very cool method of displaying art in a hospital, when you think about it.  I did a set of four images that were printed and installed the same way in 2012 for the Pediatric outpatient clinic, and I've been really impressed with the quality of the work that this Gainesville print company does.  

In this slideshow from the local newspaper, and this short promo video, you can see a bit more of the unit, including the lovely mosaic work of one of my dear friends.   Overall, the team of people designing the physical space and visual experience in this hospital are just awesome.  It really helps that the Arts in Medicine program is so fully integrated into the hospital's mission and goals. 

The same print shop also printed my sun and moon decals that decorate the soffits in the patient rooms. 

The artistic experience won't stop with the walls and the floors; patients will be immersed in creative activities as much as possible while receiving care, as part of their whole-person treatment at Shands.  I just hope that soon, every major hospital will support a similar program and embrace this approach.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Illustration Friday 12/27/13

topic: Reflect
First I.F. of the year...well actually it's from the previous week, ergo it's from last year, but due to confusing wording in the newsletter that went out on January 3rd, I mistakenly thought this was the current topic.  The actual topic for this week was, ironically, Time. Seeing as it's now Thursday afternoon, I don't think there is enough of it to spare for a do-over.

I try not to do the first thing that comes to mind for any project.  For this topic, the fist association was, naturally, a mirror.  (Most reflective thing, I guess?)  I wasn't about to do one of those Art 101 curved metallic and glass surfaces technical drawings because...WHY??  Would anyone. Do that to themselves.   Sorry guys, they aren't any more fun to do than they are to look at.  

But then an image popped into my head from a long-forgotten story that I just could not remember anything else about.  The image was of a child walking across the reflection of the moon's light on the ocean's surface.   He actually walks all the way to the moon in this manner.  Anyone  have a guess?  No?

Thanks to Google, I eventually figured out that the story was called The Garden Behind the Moon and it was by none other than Howard Pyle, the father of American illustration himself.  Turns out I had actually first encountered the story while working the cash register at an art supplies store (that also sold books.)  Cashiering was obviously not requiring 100% of my mental faculties or attention that day, so I grabbed a book from one of the shelves because it had a winged horse on the cover and read it.  (Come to think of it, I still can't remember how the winged horse comes into play.)  Anyway, upon a quick read-through of the synopsis on Amazon, I remembered that the moonlight bridge, which happens in the first chapter, was the visual highlight of the story for me, and the rest was really boring in the way that only children's stories published in 1903 are.  (There is a nice bit where he has to polish stars with lamb's wool, but Mr. Pyle sort of did the definitive rendition of that scene himself for the book.)

So back to I.F.--I decided to go with the original imagery of moonlight reflecting on the water that sparked my memory, but skipped the supernatural stuff, planting my lovely tall ship there instead.  

As a heads-up, you might be seeing an increase in tall ships in my work over the coming year, now that I'm a sailor on one.