Hamilton the hamster hero,
wears face paint when he fights.
He faced his fear,
to save what’s dear,
and tamed ten evil sprites.
Ichabod the inchworm idol,
has tattoos on his back.
He measures days,
in many ways,
along his floral track.
Jonathan the jackal jester,
wears argyle patterned knits.
He acts the clown,
so friends don’t frown
performing one act skits.
Ernestine the egret elder,
loves all that glows and shines.
She prances right,
to see the light,
from neon exit signs.
Fabienne the ferret fairy,
adds ruffles to her clothes.
She takes the bleak,
and makes them chic,
by polishing their toes.
Gwendolen the gecko geisha,
puts rings on all her toes.
She bathes in milk,
her skin is silk,
like petals on a rose.
Benjamin the baboon biker,
wears helmets made of steel.
He thinks in rhyme,
to pass the time,
until his favorite meal.
Caroline the condor countess,
grows feathers tipped in green.
She pads her nest,
to please her guest,
then shares a jelly bean.
Dominic the dragon druid,
blows fragrant healing spice.
He prays for sage,
to grace his age,
then tithes not once, but twice.
Every day I write a little ditty. It's time to share. For 26 days I plan on writing a ditty for each letter of the alphabet. Here is the one for "A".
Annabelle the aardvark angel,
has wings too large to fly.
She rides on dew,
and matches hue,
with all the passers-by.
I am so pleased to be working with Darleen Wodzenski on her projct: Wake the Sleeping Dragon - Nurturing the Divinity Within Each Child
Darleen explains the project:
"The popular children's song "Puff the Magic Dragon" told the haunting but
bittersweet tale of a child who befriends a wonderful and mystical creature,
only to discover that the magic fades as childhood is left behind. More
recently, the best selling Eragon book series by author Christopher Paolini
depicted a trilogy of epic and enchanting dragon tales. Throughout time
mankind has associated the dragon with an alluring power and mystique. The
Vietnamese believed the dragon represented universal forces of life, while
the Chinese believed that dragons possessed mystical powers of fertility and
immortality. Recent advances in science have revealed some of the hidden
powers within the DNA and neuroplastic potential of humans. Perhaps the
long, winding serpent image of the dragon is nothing more than a
representation of what can potentially emerge from the DNA template that
gave rise to each and every human child. Our job as a society is to nurture
and tame the magnificent creature within, so the greatness of each child can
fully emerge and integrate within the social constructs of relationship,
family, society, and humanity. Within each child lies a sleeping dragon that
embodies the full potential of greatness that is the human soul."
The art of the Broward County Humane Society's Walk for the Animals 2013 is finished. This year the art will be used not only for the advertisements but also on the T-shirts. With the added T-shirts the art had some specifics:
1. All dogs must wear collars and be smiling.
2. Fort Lauderdale city buildings and palm trees to be included.
3. A sun in the sky.
4. The official Walk for the Animals logo included.
5. Only the colors from the WFTA logo allowed.
6. No gradients or transparencies allowed. Halftones okay.
So this is what I created and the Humane Society approved:
I believe there is power and presence in a name. Diane, a derivative of Diana, was a Roman goddess of the moon, hunting, forests and childbirth, but also has a root meaning “heavenly, divine.” I’ve been told that Sammet means someone who sells velvet. Other people, my parents and my husband gave these two names to me. When I thought about putting my art and other projects on the Internet I wanted a name that reflected my heart and soul, a name that I picked out.
Creations, was the first word chosen and easiest to select. It represents what I do, like surnames from the past often represented one’s trade or profession. I draw and I also sculpt. I write and I construct. I make things, tangible and intangible. I build ideas. I create.
In my world, joy, is the fourth divine attribute of a fully realized person. The other three are hope, peace and love. In my innately sequential thinking I started looking at these four attributes, hope, peace, love and joy. It seemed logical to me that hope was needed before there could be the other three. To paraphrase Proverbs 29:18, “Without hope the people perish.” Hope and faith are first cousins, similar yet not exactly the same. A discussion I could have later. I’m not clear if peace comes before love, or love before peace. I’m not even sure if it matters which attribute comes first. I do believe that in order to feel true deep joy that does not depend upon outside circumstances, that both love and peace must have taken over our thoughts. For me, it was love that came first; pure compassionate, forgiving, non-judgmental, patient, accepting love of myself, my close relationships and distant others (friends and foe alike). That love led me right into peace and that is where I found joy.
Emerging, like a butterfly from the cocoon and the flower from its seed, joy grows in degrees. Each day, each moment is new. Each breath must be consciously filled with hope, love and peace, the ingredients to joy. Some days, when the symbolic sun shines and life runs smooth, it is easy to give joy a quick thank-you note. The awesomeness comes on those other days, when the symbolic thunderstorm dumps situations for choice. That is the emerging part. With each second of life I choose to see hope, give love, feel peace and experience the emergence of joy. The awesomeness (translate “miracle”) is that the more I choose hope, love and peace, the fewer thunderstorms ruin my day.
I just watched the the documentary called I AM. At first the title sort of sounds deeply spiritual, but in reality the film (by Tom Shadyac) asks two questions:
1. What is wrong with the world?
2. What can we do about it?
They look into science and observe the natural order of living things and discover that we humans may have gotten the idea of survival all wrong. Parts of Darwin's evolution theory were not made popular. The conclusion seems to be that in order to survive, democracy and cooperation trump competitiveness. I think everyone (especially those in Congress) need to see this movie.
Rockwell Kent Inspired Style
Every year I create a poster for our local Humane Society that promotes their most important fundraising event, The Walk For The Animals. This year they asked me if I would design an image that could be screen-printed onto T-Shirts. I jumped at the opportunity. Then I learned that I could only use the limited colors from the logo, no gradients, and no special effects. I love a challenge.
Also, I love the graphic black and white work of Rockwell Kent. With such a limited palette, he like many of his contemporaries, defined form via silhouette shadows and then gave the illusion of 3-D with fine lines and zigzag shapes along the transitional edges between white and black.
I felt it was time to experiment in vector again. Using Rockwell Kent’s style as my inspiration, I developed a process in Adobe Illustrator that uses flat opaque color but along transitional edges I applied a zigzag pattern. From normal viewing distance, the zigzag “softens” the stark change from dark to light as our human eyes close in the gaps. Close up the zigzags add an almost woodcut feel.
How was this done?
When done the final image has moved past Rockwell Kent’s style into a new derivative. I think that is how it should be. Digital art learns from the past and builds upon it, making imagery that exceeds boundaries.
Charley Harper used geometric pattern to imply texture. This inspired my illusion of fur on Chimp. Fur is different on different animals. Even within the same species there can be huge differences in the feel and appearance of fur. Just look at humans and note the extreme variety in head hair. So too, animals show much variety in fur. Chimp’s fur is scraggly not soft. It is raised off the skin and in some areas dense and in other areas sparse. The fur is one color and darker than the skin itself. It grows downward. It rarely reflects light. It does not interfere with the shadows that describe the form.
Returning to Charley Harper style, I asked what is the essential shape of Chimp’s fur? Experimentation followed. After trying a multitude of shapes I decided that the basic shape for his/her fur was a single straight path. A single vertical black stroked path started the fur, then with the Transform Effects in Illustrator I copied the stroke but angled it slightly, then raised the copy, then lowered an additional copy. I made a row of these stroked paths and then a second row slightly off center. Basically I built a pattern of simple strokes. It took a lot of trial and error, but I loved every minute of it.
Once the fur pattern was established it was time to apply it to a body shape. It didn’t matter which part of the body, so I picked a leg. The texture required two separate shapes stacked on top of each other. As seen in the photo, the basic leg is just filled with flat gray or simple gradients (the silhouette of the leg was established). On top of the silhouette, a copy of the exact same leg is placed, BUT the copy has two effects applied. One effect was a mezzotint appearance, which changed the look of the gradient into specks. The second effect was an offset path, which took the mezzotint effect and extended it out past the edge of the path.
Now it was time to add the fur pattern. First I used Expand Appearance on the fur pattern to make it permanent (not just a series of effect appearances). Then I made of copy of the leg with all its mezzotint and offset path effects. I used Expand Appearance on the copy and then Pathfinder> Unite to build one single shape. My new shape became a clipping path/mask for the fur texture. Once the fur texture was clipped to shape, it was placed on top of the leg.
Each body part was completed in the same manner. There were lots of adjustments along the way. The final Chimp turned out pretty much like what you see here, but with color (not left gray). This character was so much fun to develop and build. It took a ton of explorations and experiments, and in the end I feel I made a Charley Harper inspired chimp ready for movement and adaptations.