anonyrrie: April 2006

Friday, April 28, 2006

Illustration Friday - Under the Sea & Inspire Me Thursday - Digital Art


Sling me under the sea.
Pack me down in the salt and wet.
No farmer's plow shall touch my bones.
No Hamlet hold my jaws and speak
How jokes are gone and empty is my mouth.
Long, green-eyed scavengers shall pick my eyes,
Purple fish play hide-and-seek,
And I shall be song of thunder, crash of sea,
Down on the floors of salt and wet.
Sling me . . . under the sea.

- Carl Sandburg (1878 - 1967)


More under the sea stuff from previous IFs ...Depth (illustrator) and Sea (micron pen/colored in photoshop). Click for larger image.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Illustration Friday - Robot

The blurred line between reality and illusion with regard to what makes a being human is a primary theme in both Philip K. Dick's 1968 novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and Ridley Scott's loose 1982 film adaptation, Blade Runner. Both works portray a dystopian future Earth (in the original edition of the novel, the "future" is 1992; in later editions and in the film, it is 2021) where humans who haven't elected or been permitted to emigrate to off-world colonies live in crowded cities and suffer illnesses and mutations caused by radioactive fallout.

Among the incentives to emigrate to the off-world colonies is the service of androids (called "andies" in the novel and "replicants" in the film). Made of biological compounds and endowed with intelligence and implanted memories, these androids are virtually indistinguishable from humans, except for their inability to feel empathy with life. Nonetheless, many androids escape their off-world slavery in search of freedom and the opportunity to live as humans. On Earth, bounty hunters known as blade runners are employed to detect and "retire" androids who are considered extremely dangerous because of their strength, cunning, and lack of emotion.

The central issue of what makes a being human is developed in both works through the characterization of the protagonist Rick Deckard and the various androids with whom he comes into contact. Among the most poignant expressions of this question comes in the film after the replicant Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer) saves blade runner Deckard's (Harrison Ford) life and then dies at his programmed time. Deckard muses, "I don't know why he saved my life. Maybe in those last moments he loved life more than he ever had before. Not just his life, anybody's life, my life. All he'd wanted were the same answers the rest of us want. Where did I come from? Where am I going? How long have I got? All I could do was sit there and watch him die."

What makes us human, if not those eternal questions?

(photo collage)

Monday, April 17, 2006

Illustration Friday - Spotted & Inspire Me Thursday - Vernal Equinox

Spring has arrived in New England - finally! Daffodils are blooming, the trees have wonderful little green and red buds all along their branches, and the birds are making nests and starting families. All is well in nature...

I chose to illustrate the Scarlet Ibis for both the Illustration Friday and Inspire Me Thursday challenges. This beautiful bird is one of the thirty-three ibis species, an ancient group with fossil records that date back 60 million years and historical references that date back 5,000 years. The ibis was sacred to the ancient Egyptians, and the Latin name ibis has Greek origins meaning "religious worship, sacred bird." The Scarlet Ibis is a tropical species known for its elaborate courtship rituals ( most certainly an avian rite of Spring) and the lovely spotted eggs it lays.

(micron pen, acrylic, and collage on canvas paper)

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Inspire Me Thursday - Series

Edit 4/17/06 - I finshed this acrylic study a few days ago for the pencil sketch below. Now that I have an idea of composition and colors for two large paintings, I'm going to get started.

I want to do a series of paintings inspired by the images and feelings evoked by James Wright's beautiful poem, A Blessing. Its sound, its figurative transference of imagery, and its meaning lull me into a blissful peace that's almost impossible to describe in words. The last three lines send a thrill of joy through me...

Above are a pencil sketch and a rough acrylic study (each about 4" x 9" on canvas paper) for two of three larger paintings I plan to do. I am also experimenting with colors I don't usually use, in response to Leeza's color challenge to try working in colors outside one's comfort zone. I'll post all three finished studies as soon as I get them done. In the meantime, please savor this poem...

A Blessing

Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota,
Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass.
And the eyes of those two Indian ponies
Darken with kindness.
They have come gladly out of the willows
To welcome my friend and me.
We step over the barbed wire into the pasture
Where they have been grazing all day, alone.
They ripple tensely, they can hardly contain their happiness
That we have come.
They bow shyly as wet swans. They love each other.
There is no loneliness like theirs.
At home once more,
They begin munching the young tufts of spring in the darkness.
I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms,
For she has walked over to me
And nuzzled my left hand.
She is black and white,
Her mane falls wild on her forehead,
And the light breeze moves me to caress her long ear
That is delicate as the skin over a girl's wrist.
Suddenly I realize
That if I stepped out of my body I would break
Into blossom.

- James Wright (1927 - 1980)

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Illustration Friday - Speed

Once again, Fortuna spins her wheel in my favor. I had thought about taking a break from Illustration Friday this week; I've had so much going on lately, and I've been backed up trying to meet both personal and work deadlines. But as it turns out, I am able to use the drawing I did for this month's Journeys book project (this month I had Debbie Weber's Energy as Movement book) to illustrate Speed as well.

Sometimes the energy of the universe seems to move around and through me with incredible speed. My senses become overloaded between processing the information I need to function in the practical world, and channeling the inspiration I need to create art. But when I can still myself and just let this energy flow, it's exhilaratingly beautiful. The experts seem to agree:

The energy of the mind is the essence of life. - Aristotle

There is more to life than simply increasing its speed. - Mahatma Gandhi

What kind of scale compares the weight of two beauties, the gravity of duties, or the ground speed of joy? Tell me, what kind of gage can quantify elation? - Ani Difranco

This drawing is intentionally very busy to convey the feeling of energy, speed, fragmentation, and elation.

(micron pen & prismacolor markers on 140 lb. cold press watercolor paper)