Thursday, February 11, 2016

Red Fire Monkey

Gung hay faat choi
The Chinese New Year officially kicked off on February 8.  2016 is year of the red fire monkey. If that doesn't beg a graphic...
Midway through my first comp and rendering, I realized that my "monkey" did not have a tail. After more research, surfing on google and Pinterest. I found that yes, chimpanzees are part of the ape family and are not monkeys; and went back to the drawing board, literally and modeled my graphic after a macaque monkey. Flare include traditional (red) cloud
and some fender spoilers for flames. Voilå, a new year's card in two variations: white background and the yellow with brocade. The front and the kanji are cut out. The design is in trifold with a greeting on the inside panel. Happy newest year.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Language of Flowers

...title of a book about a teenage girl with difficulty trusting and forming close relationships. She goes to work for a florist while still homeless and living in Golden Gate Park. Through the arrangements she creates for the florist's customers, a second and parallel narrative relates the emotional story. It's a good read and a treat for being set in San Francisco. 
The Language of Flowers: A Novel Paperback by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

The newest trifold design is a long-stemmed rose. Red for romantic, passionate love; yellow for happiness and friendship(that would be my favorite); pink for affection; and white for congratulations, pride and forgiveness. These explanations are included on the back panel of the papercuts. The front panel is in full color and cut out completely; second panel backs the first and has an asymmetric pattern. Fits a legal envelope so it can be mailed (bonus)

I've had this idea in the back of my mind for awhile. Decided not to make a blue rose, which is a reference to The Glass Menagerie because it seems so sad. If you haven't read it (spoiler alert) the blue rose is a play on the word pleurisy and in fact, was inspired by Tennessee Williams' sister, the reference comes full-circle. Read more:

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Turtle Tableau


(That word tableau is tricky. Kind of like the word once. Sometimes it just doesn't look like the letters are in the right place.) This trifold papercut card is of the hatchling turtles making their way to the ocean. They get eaten in large numbers before reaching the water. I wanted the shell and the background showing through the front panel of papercut to be different and to refer back to the actual substance of sand and carapace. Check out the wiki article on turtle shells:
Quite interesting and complicated. I used a mosaic pattern that merges with the water on the backing, i.e. second panel so that it looks like the turtle cluster just below the surface of the water or their shadow from above.

Year of the Horse 2014

 Year of the Horse 2014 (papercut card)

Year of the Horse Green w/ Wood Element
The revisions have gotten sorted out and will be published this week. Slight variations but I hope to reprise the horse for a "golden" hills of California POPup-foldOUt that will feature artichoke thistles. Not sure if these came with the Spanish and their cattle in the 1500s. This is an oddly Gothic-in-the-daylight plant with blooms a beautiful purple that dry and blow off the ramble of spiny leaves becoming golden puffs. These create a texture to the hillside and make it fairly impassable.
Or...of coyote. The newest iteration has more cuts and swirls in the mane. I've been making the little enclosure envelopes out of red patterned scrapbook paper. The small enclosure card and envelopes are for money gifts. This is traditional and these usually go to children in the family.
A conversation developed with another papercut artist, based in New York City.
Her etsy shop is

She has organized a Year of the Horse card exchange. I'm looking forward to the exchange and wish you a happy and productive 2014

Cup of Beautiful

February 9, 2014
Year of the Horse.
last night, I was watching a local tv program that highlights the arts. It's on KVIE and airs Saturday night, 7PM. Has a ton of really good stuff and is hosted by the same guy, Rob on the Road. Here's the link

One of the segments in the program features Olympia Dukakis, reprising her role in a theater production of Mother Courage. During the the end of the interview she quotes a poet. (forgive me but what I heard was  Locker, Lokker, Lacher???! so in search of this lovely passage, replaying the clip and googling it word for word, found it! The Spanish poet, Frederico Garcia Lorca, wrote:

...the poem, the song, the picture are drawn from the well of the people(s) and should be given back to them in a cup of beauty so that they shall know themselves.

This seems a good underpinning. My uncle said that there are a couple ways to take a walk. Some people walk the same way every day observing and interested in what has changed on that walk. Some people take a different route to see new things than they had the day before. Often for me, it's good to have a purpose, an endpoint or a circuit  then I relax along the way. Working is often like that.

Gray Whale Off the Coast

The gray whale foldout is the next iteration of the foldout that went out to Rhode Island in August.
The design is more dynamic and has those fish again and a watercolor-up-through-the -depths landscape of the lighthouse. The colors are more vivid and has more ink coverage. There are also two variations. One is of the whale moving up through the kelp and the fish. The second shows it breaching and a wave curling up out of the surface. Highly stylized but hey.

Gray Whale Breaching  (POPup FoldOUT)

Gray whale migration off the coast of California


Monday, August 26, 2013

Whale Song, New, Newer Work

I have a new foldout in the web shop. It's titled Whale Song, which may be referencing some audio collection in my subconscious with whale calls. Sperm whales make clicking sounds that some researchers theorize is echolocution since they don't seem to have good vision. The foldout was created or rather finalized for a gallery in Rhode Island, i.e. Ambergris Gallery on Block Island. Gillian, the owner asked me if the new work...whale foldout depicted a sperm whale. The initial foldout sketches and file is of gray whales and I may drop in those images for a dual whale work. The sperm whale has such a blocky profile. Ink coverage has spread out over the surfaces.

It really helps to have a deadline. It's uncomfortable but it really helps to push the working.