I've been quiet. The heat, not so bad the last two summers, is here with a big, fat thud. I am never my most effervescent self in this weather. Add to that the fact that this is the third summer in a row when I've had a late August, early September deadline for big projects. So I wait for cooler (and *cold) weather to be energized and extroverted, and I do my work.
I had a fun assignment for the summer issue of Charleston Style & Design, illustrating a lively essay (read it here) that didn't have a lot of visual content. Well, there was a dead baby possum, but my editor and I agreed we'd leave that alone. A door hinge is the central image of the story, so here is my hinge!
In May, I accepted a job making illustrations and paintings for a new restaurant opening in Chicago this September. Along with some pen and ink work, I am to provide 7 paintings to illustrate key moments or motifs in the chef's life... moments that led to her decision to open her own restaurant, after having been the executive chef at a four-star restaurant for several years. The seven moments/motifs are set out in stories that will be displayed with the paintings.
I love a challenge and this is one: the hotshot interior designers want the paintings done on vintage cutting boards! The boards have come from France, and Texas and the lord knows where. I've had to have the surfaces sanded and filled to be able to paint on them. Here are some of the boards in progress, along with some studies I made on regular gessoed boards to figure out palette and technique. This is not my usual kind of work (is it anyone's?), but the chef and her business partner are so nice and are great fans of my work and the featured cuisine is northern Italian. Could I say no? I could not.
Here are some boards and some studies, some things-in-progress. To give you a sense of scale, the large round board is 22" in diameter, the smaller round one is 16":
Here's a close up of a study for the painting which will illustrate the chef's love for fishing in particular, and for nature in general:
Sketching classes at the Nasher Museum of Art, Duke University:
I'm going to teach classes on sketching at the museum for three Saturdays in September. I will tell more soon. I am SO excited about this and am full of ideas of things I want us to do! My approach will be different from the norm, but flexible enough to accommodate those who want and need more standard instruction. I'm eager to get back to sketching myself. My effervescence is revving up, just thinking about this!
Travel to *cold places:
My husband and I are going to the Bavarian alps and to Munich and Salzburg with friends in December! The idea for this grew directly out of my trip to the Dolomites with the same friends last October. I need cold. I need mountains (my mountain paintings series have gone into pause mode for the summer and fall.) Going back to the Alps, as I learned while in the Dolomites, connects me with the happiest moments of my childhood. I haven't forgotten Scandinavia, though! It's on the 2016 To Do list! Effervescence, here I come!
I hope you are cool or warm, whatever works best in your hemisphere. I'll be back soon with updates!