emperor norton

April 7th, 2014

letterpress-card -emperor-norton

letterpress project #4, Emperor Norton I, bay bridge visionary and a damn great san franciscan, with apocryphal canine companions bummer and lazarus.

>>a bit more about norton in an earlier post of mine<<

letterpress-card-emperor-norton-close

i printed norton on crane’s lettra paper. the texture is amazing!

black birds

September 10th, 2011

a series of animal collectors.

seven for a secret magpie nest bowerbird on panel

seven for a secret
crows love shiny things. there are seven here, for a secret.

magpie nest
a magpie collects things for its nest.

bowerbird on panel
bowerbirds love the color blue.

fruit corset giclee prints

March 24th, 2011

fruit corset giclee print

new to my etsy shop, lovely giclees of my Fruit Corsets in History painting.

historical fruit corsets

March 10th, 2011

fruit corsets in history
^^click for biggerer!

new painting!! this was so much fun to research. the antique corset gallery and bridges on the body were especially helpful. while i was working on it, i liked imagining who would be wearing these undergarments. elizabeth bennett reading impassioned letters from mr. darcy in her blueberry underpinnings… laura ingalls walking on the prairie in her apple corset… mary poppins in that sassy s-curve banana… ladies on the titanic sinking in that skinny boob-to-hip constriction… me own nan in a postwar pear girdle.

i painted this for jessica ayre, who made me the strawberry corset which was the original inspiration!

ants fer me dinner

May 13th, 2010

we have been gobbling up david attenborough documentaries like giant anteaters gobble up ants. the life of mammals series is totally mesmerizing! it’s a wonder that deer and owl people keep drawing deer and owls over and over again (ha! guilty!) because the world is full of crazy, adorable, and just plain weird creatures. for example, the aforementioned giant anteater:

anteaters gallumphing on the pampas. i think they are actually fairly solitary, but i couldn’t resist.

here is david attenborough running one down at about 4:26 in this life on air segment. of course, you can’t have fun like this anymore!

and the pangolin, a walking artichoke! i always pictured them scrambling around like armadilloes, but they trundle along on their hind legs, i had no idea.

really!

magpie bits & bobbin

April 21st, 2010

magpie bits)

getting sketchy for a panel i am thinking on to go with the bowerbird one. why do magpies collect shiny things, anyway? maybe what they really want is the moon and stars.

magpie panel rough

the actual panel will probably look something like this, unless i have an epiphany.

sunday morning bowerbird

April 18th, 2010

good morning! i finished painting a bowerbird on a panel last night. i’d like to make it the first in a series of animal collectors. next: a magpie with a nest full of string and shiny silver things. then: a long, sinuous ferret with a bunch of toys and knickknacks. i’d like to do four, but the only other creature i could think of was a pack rat. i’m not even sure if it’s a real animal.

this panel is so pretty and shiny in person! i used some gold acrylic paint for accents and felt naughty about it. do real illustrators give in to the lure of gold acrylic paint?? it doesn’t reproduce very well. i should have just used ochre and made it look like gold instead, but oh! so sparkly. i will probably be selling this, i’ll post again when i come up with a listing.

march was hard! either the young man or i have been sick since the last week of february, except for a brief respite over a dear friend’s wonderful wedding. april has been sunnier and i’ve been listening to happier kate bush this week to lift my wheezy spirits. cloudbusting: “i know that something good is gonna happen / i don’t know when / but just saying it could even make it happen!” also, morning fog, because it sounds so wake up and enjoy.

i have been remembering a conversation i overheard while i was sitting outside the academy of sciences in the sunshine. it took place between a 7 year old goth-in-training and his little sister:
brother: Somebody DIES every day! there is a funeral EVERY DAY.
sister: Somebody buys an ice cream every day!

they were both irish and so actually it sounded more like “soombody buys an ice-crrreem every deyy!”

mutantly delicious!

May 28th, 2009


(click through to the etsy listing for biggerer)

i like the colors in this print a lot. there is something very satisfying to me about the combination of navy blue, green, yellow and red (the red is a bit more stable and dark than in the picture). i wonder if anybody will want this one, though? it is a bit on the creepy side of my usual creepy-cute.

julia pastrana: singer, dancer, & bearded lady

May 24th, 2009

for my beards series… let’s not forget the ladies, eh?

Julia Pastrana
Charles Darwin described her thusly: “a remarkably fine woman – she had a thick and masculine beard.” a charming person and graceful dancer with a beautiful voice, julia toured the world as a bearded lady in the mid-1800s.

mutants!

April 17th, 2009

i ate a strawberry that had a nose the other day, and it made me have a think on a new print.

looking at hordes of these on flickr gives one a strange squicky feeling.

another beard: emperor norton

April 10th, 2009

hmmmm, this may be a mite difficult to turn into a gocco print. simplify, simplify!

Norton I, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico, with canine companions Bummer and Lazarus.

norton was this awesome san franciscan who, during the 1800s, went a little crazy and declared himself emperor of the united states and protector of mexico. people back then were totally into it! he wore a blue suit with gold epaulets and they would salute him in the streets. he printed his own currency, which tourists would buy and use in local restaurants. he declared that calling san francisco “frisco” (“which has no linguistic or other warrant”) was a high misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $25. he also made some prescient decrees which eventually came to be: that there should be a suspension bridge built from oakland to goat island to san francisco, and that there should be a tunnel built under the bay.

world beard champ

April 8th, 2009

world-beard-champ_jack-passion

we were at the velo rouge the other day when in walked (according to the open mike acoustic guitar players) Jack Passion, World Beard and Moustache Champion 2007. the words streamed out of their mouths on ribbons. jack’s beard was truly lovely and luxuriant, a bright red with auburn undertones. he was wearing a green cardie that made it pop beautifully.

“Quirky East German car that drives like ‘a pig'”

March 22nd, 2009

this weekend, i watched Goodbye Lenin! again and have been thinking about trabants. they were manufactured in east germany and made out of resin-soaked cotton & paper (omg for reals! if you tap on the hood of one, it sounds like knocking on a door), smoked terribly, and were difficult to drive. plus, you would sign up for one, and it would take about ten years to be delivered. they were the worst cars ever, but there is something sweet and kind of intrepid about them. they carried thousands of east germans over the border to freedom!!!! (and were subsequently quickly abandoned) plus, they have an appealing shape.

trabant-daisies

hmm, maybe too super beetle-ish iconography? dandelions?

to close, some trabant jokes for you that i stole from the internets:

Q. How do you double the value of a Trabant?
A. Fill up the tank!

Q. Why do some Trabants have heated rear windows?
A. To keep your hands warm when pushing.

Q. How many workers does it take to build a Trabi?
A. two, one to fold and one to paste.