Happy almost Summer Solstice Everyone!
I've had my head down and focused on so many projects it feels as if I've been running my own private marathon! At last there are a few free moment to catch up and fill you in.... and I've got something different to share with you!
Back in February when we lost electricity for a day or so due to some bad winter storms, I decided to sit down with my sketchbook and just dream a bit. To my surprise a fully formed world appeared in a matter of a day or so of dreaming. Here is that sketch:
As you can see, I was led into a Faerie Glen garden in full summer regalia in the middle of winter!
I sometimes work with a jig-saw puzzle company so I sent the sketch to them to see if it was something they might like to see developed. The art director there said "Yes, please!" so that was exciting.... but then I realized I'd have to choose how to bring this image to fruition; either by painting digitally or old-school style in watercolours. For the past several years all my graphic/image-making had been using digital techniques. It had been more than 8 YEARS since I had picked up a watercolour brush! It seemed like a big risk...but it also seemed like it would be a lot of fun and I was itchy to see if the old skills could be revived. So I decided to take the plunge and began dusting off all my old painting equipment.
So I'll tell you about how it went in the next few installments. :-)
Along with doing the painting I've been very busy with my book project and have made some significant progress on how the look of the whole book will be. I wanted some subtle texture and botanical type details on the page if possible, rather than just stark images plunked down in the middle of white space. It has taken me a lot of experimentation but I'm close now to achieving the look I'm after. It's all about trying to create a sense of other worlds and dimensions. Not always easy to do on a flat page.
Additionally I've been working on commissions and also making houses and doing more field work for locations for more images as I prepare for the 2016 calendar that I'll be developing with Amber Lotus.
And then there is the grass and the weeds and the gardens around my home-studio and all the delights of finally emerging from winter's cave. I think this winter was so long and so hard that now it is finally the warm season I've just been out and enjoying it all as much as possible and not wanting to sit indoors writing about it! Frankly, things have been moving so fast there has not been any spare time to write. So it is the season of DOING in a big way and I will enjoy sharing the stages of the painting work with you. I have about a half-dozen images taken along the way to completion. I'll post one every few days with notes and then the final image at the end so you can see how it is "built".
Hope everyone is out and enjoying the magic of the season. Last night I stood out in the warm night air overlooking a vast meadow that was completely engulfed in Light... from fireflies! There must have been 10,000 of them, I'm not exaggerating! It was incredibly enchanting to see them dancing and twinkling all over the meadow... words cannot describe it. I hope you have fireflies where you live and can get out to enjoy them!