castles

I've been exploring different castle shapes for my fairy tale.

leaf brushes

I've been making my own foliage photoshop brushes this week, and trying out some different ways to paint with them.

snowy revisions

Here are the first set of revisions from last week. I get busy and forget to post. I really enjoyed Mike walking through my image with me and discussing how to make it stronger both as a image AND as visual story. The first thing we did was flip the whole image. If I want to lead people into an image with the rabbit than it makes sense to lead them in going the direction that they read. We also talked about using shadow to frame things or tell more of the story. In this image the rabbit was leading two characters into the scene so it made sense to say that with a clever shadow. We also talked about pushing the background further back by diminishing contrast and detail. After I showed him this, he suggested that I lose even more contrast in the next revision. And I also tried to use his advice about keeping my viewers eye in the image instead of having it slip through but being more conscious of how I was framing the images and the subjects within the image. It was so enjoyable to get such sound advice and use it to improve my work. 

bauhaus boobs

Pre-rez I was focused on my presentation. This residency's presentation came with a new format, Pecha Kucha. We were given 20 slides at 20 seconds a piece to communicate to our past semester to our fellow students and faculty. I tried to have a little fun with mine, luckily it went over well and I got a lot of good feedback. I made the most popular slide into a little gif. Here's my 3 second feminist critique of the Bauhaus:

back to work

Here's an environment I finished up last week. I tried out some color ideas Mike showed me. During our chat he did a paintover and crit of this and my previously posted piece. It's so wonderful to get to see, not just another artist's suggestions, but the thinking behind each edit. Right now I'm working on revising this piece based on that feedback. I'll post the newer version when I'm done and then go over the reasons for each change.

make it your own

"The fairy tale is in a perpetual state of becoming and alteration. To keep to one version or one translation alone is to put a robin redbreast in a cage. If you, the reader, want to tell any of the tales in this book, I hope you will feel free to be no more faithful than you want to be. You are at perfect liberty to invent other details than the ones I've passed on, or invented, here. In fact you're not only at liberty to do so: you have a positive duty to make the story your own. A fairy tale is not a text."

—Phillip Pullman, introduction to 'Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm'

VCFA Semester Three Begins.

A semester ended and a new one began. I am half way through my MFA program. So much has happened in the last year and in the last residency. I cannot imagine my life without VCFA people in it.

I'm excited to begin a new semester. I'm on the lookout for a new, more accesible, story to use as a visual development project. I am even flirting with the idea of rewriting a story to make it my own. I get to keep working with Mike Yamada via Motivarti. We've only met a few times and I get so much from each chat. And I know, like each semester before it, this one will have surprises in store. I will go where I hadn't expected to be, and be glad for it.

Above is my last piece from last semester. I painted an environment with my faculty advisor's pooch in it as a gallery surprise for our residency show.

process is product

Procrastination blog post—really I'm trying to write a letter and am finding myself frustratingly communicating in cliches so I'm taking a time out. 

My first year at VCFA is wrapping up. I'm getting ready for our Vermont residency and starting year two; thinking big thoughts about thesis-worthy adventures.

Here is a spread from my last VCFA packet. I finished reading The Skillful Huntsman. It made me really consider how I design/draw. I think I spend too much time working towards one finished image instead of spending time exploring all the possibilities in an idea before I commit. These are some of my first experiments with that in mind. The product IS the process.