Double Chin

Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Tonight my epic re-engagement with lifedrawing continued! It went a bit better than last week; no great drawings, but there was a proportionately higher number that had that elusive 'something' that starts to hint at how much I adore drawing the human body.

30 sec.

1 min

1 min

1 min

5 min
(there's lots of problems here, but the foot and the right hand... they make me happy.)

Having spent most of the session drawing large with conte (that size and medium has always been a struggle for me,) I rewarded myself with drawing a some poses in my sketchbook with a pen. I felt much more at home doing that; it was relaxing.

Today I borrowed from the library three issues of the design periodical, "Print". It's really exciting to read articles about design, because in some way's it's so different from animation and illustration. But it uses a lot of the same basic visual principals. And... I don't know, it's just really interesting to learn about issues in another field... the one I've been reading so far is concerning the responsibilities today to design for sustainability. I must confess that I've been quite cynical in regards to the environment, bitterly believing that "I'm just one person, there's no way anything I do can make any difference." That's being challanged, and I like that. It gives me hope.

And I'm still reading Nabokov's Lolita. Such an incredible, brilliantly written, effectively disturbing work. Absolutely amazing.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Random blabbing

Man, my computer's fan is so noisy. I think it's semi-clogged with chinchilla hair (those crazy rats shed their soft, soft fur all over the place. man.) But I'm pretty nervous about opening up my computer tower to clean it, because I suspect that the second I attempt to do anything dis-assembling-like to the tower, it's gonna be like "uh, no, no touchee." and explode. And I really love my computer and don't want it to die. That would be highly awful.
But my computer is so loud, it's annoying.
Life is so complicated. God.

So, I didn't get a call for the job at the art supply store, which I don't understand because I'm so incredibly qualified- I've worked retail, lots of art background, willing to receive crap pay, and work crappy hours, and know how to act cheerful to customers even if I hate their guts. So why didn't I get the love call? What's wrong with this world?
Looking for a job is lame. I'm sick of it. And Johann gave me bronchitis. So I'm actually sick. Sick is lame. Bitch bitch bitch. :P

On a very positive note, I just discovered two new sources of amusement:

The Adult Swim Fix, where my sad lack of Cartoon Network can be somewhat remedied! Horray! And they have a blog for people who work there, that is also fun to read. Man, people in the industry are just as biga lameo dorks as I am! It's so awesome!

And... I really can't remember what the second one was. Dammit. But I'm sure it was something good.

On a related note, I don't know if it's the internet that's ruined me, or just plain ADD acting up, but I can't seem to find the attention span to watch an entire episode of anything on tv. I just get so bored I wander off half way through a show. Or it just might be a product of how boring so much of tv is right now. But I rented a couple movies from Blockbuster a week or two ago, and it took me several different tries to finish watching the first one. I loved it, it was an INCREDIBLE movie (The Sweet Hereafter) but I just couldn't sit through the whole thing in one shot. I had to do it in installments. I'm about half way through the second movie after a couple tries.
Is watching tv and movies really something a person should be "working on"? Am I the only one alarmed by this?
Making art is the only thing really holding my attention lately, and with that, jumping from project to project and medium to medium keeps it interesting.

When your chinchilla tries to bite you, that means she loves you, right? She's lucky she's so cute. Same thing for my crayfish. If she wasn't so cute in such a super ugly way, she wouldn't get away with trying to pinch me all the time. As it is, it's more like a "aww, she's trying to claw my eyes out!" Ned Flanders kinda thing. Johann suggested that I name her Cars, because that's what the old label on the side of her tupperware container home says. I like the idea. As long as no one thinks I'm naming her after some Pixar movie. That would be lame.

Wow, I'm rambling. But that's why Sunday mornings are for, when you wake up earlier than your roommates. And you're procastinating from cleaning computer fans.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Collage (mostly)

Layers of a Room

(Collage, yarn, google-eyes)

Inner City
(collage /w sketchbook drawings)

Asymmetrical German girl
(white pencil sketch on black paper)

Friday, May 26, 2006

Further experiments...

In complete contradiction to what I've been saying lately about abandoning illustrative, figure-based drawings... here are two illustrative, figure based drawings. Go figure.

This morning I tried out vector art.

Last night I tried thin acrylics washes over a conte tonal drawing.

I am pleased with what I have learned from the above experiements.

I like art.
And hummus. I looooooove hummus.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Lifedrawing, acrylic doodle, books

First of all... I am very suspicious that my roommates make my chinchilla smoke pot, somehow. (one of them used to hotbox his hamster on a regular basis, until he crushed it in the couch accidently.) I just got back from lifedrawing, and she is acting INSANE and twitching and bitey and paranoid-looking, to an extent I've never seen before. Now she's intently chewing the lifeblood out of a piece of wood I gave her. Man, I have to confront those roommates, and tell them NO. Bad. My chinchilla is NOT going to become a dope fiend.

Soooo... a couple posts ago, I flippantly remarked that I know how to draw the figure, and don't need to prove that anymore. Well, about that, um... lifedrawing tonight suggested otherwise. I got there, and sat my brain down, and said "hey, brain, there's a naked lady right there, and we KNOW how to draw naked ladies. So let's just take the conte and make an ok drawing of her. Capiche?" And my brain said, "SURE THING! I can do that, no problem!"

Oh, there was a problem.
There was a definitely a problem.

So, I also posted last week that I'd put up some lifedrawings, no matter how badly it went (what with this journal about being honest and not trying to impress anyone, etc.), but ouch. I really want to take it back, and go hide under a rock.

But I won't. I'm a trooper. And...

SERIOUSLY, my chinchilla is INSANE! She's all over the place!

But, yeah, anyway, here are the least disgraceful of the lifedrawings!

30 seconds.

1 minute

1-2 minutes

3-5 minute-ish

So in conclusion from this evening of lifedrawing: There's nowhere to go but up! I'm starting to get the feel for it again, just have to keep at it.
Now here's a little acrylic painting I did today! Playing around with the medium, testing out some things.

I also visited some art galleries today and received plenty of inspiration. And then went to a used bookstore and bought some books I didn't really have the superfluous funds for. But they were pretty cheap. It's all good.

"Fantastic Painters"- color plates of some wonderfully surreal and bizarre pieces
"Russian Folk-Style Figurines" - AWESOME.
"Folk Art of Europe"- Oh sweet Jesus take me now. I'm happy.

Today while I was painting, I felt so perfectly content and at peace with my life. It was a very nice moment. Playing with texture and brushstrokes, mixing up paint with my palette knife, gliding it on to canvas; not worrying if it's the right or wrong way to paint, but just getting caught up in the act... so therapeutic. Purr. Now I just need to find that same zen while lifedrawing.

Monday, May 22, 2006

new play

Collage, acrylics, human hair, google eyes

Collage with google eyes.

Acrylic and conte stick on canvas board.

This is all very exciting! Everytime I create something new, I discover:
-new interesting ways to use materials
-the wonderful variety and power of color
-unexpected compositions and imagery that come from intuition, not logic (but in retrospect, make more sense and provide more insight then anything I would have 'thought up' and planned through concious effort.)

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Boo art world!

Some tired, cynical (probably overly pessimistic) observations:

-figurative and narrative art is popular; transparent storytelling is valued for its accessibility
-contemporary attitudes towards art demand that it serve a definite function
-presently, 'art for art's sake' is commonly considered pointless, self-indulgent, and elitist
-indulgent 'art for entertainment's sake' is valued and popular
-highly developed "skills" and "techniques", functioning as a display of 'talent', are worshipped
-being a starving artist is no longer cool, unless you somehow still had money for an iPod. Or unless you USED to be a starving artist, but have since become an underground sensation/commercial success.

-experimentation is only valued if it is successful
-success is largely measured in commercial viability

I am sick to death of the competitive and elitist side of the commercial art/illustration/animation world. Not that those qualities don't surely run rampant in fine art, as well. Figurative, studied art that has a specific 'point', no longer satisfies me. My interests/obsessions are always transforming, but this is a stronger change than is usual for me.... More experimenting, more abstraction, less clear 'storytelling'. I know how to draw people, I don't need to prove that (to myself, or anyone else) anymore. It's time to explore some unknown territory.

I'm not forever abandoning the commercial art world, or illustrative images. I'm just taking a bit of a break. This rant is really more in frustration with myself and the silly views/priorities I used to follow, than with anything else.

-blog posts that are not funny, irreverent, or do not contain 'skilled' artwork are usually not popular

Thursday, May 18, 2006

the fiercest things I know

Ok, the model didn't show up last night for lifedrawing! So I worked up all that nerve to go to lifedrawing for NOTHING! I did get a chance to catch up with some schoolmates I hadn't see in a while. that was cool.

Since I don't have any lifedrawings to post, here's some other stuff.

I painted this dinosaur in acrylics, copying part of an old children's educational book thing. The acrylic painting has been sitting around my room, staring at me angrily, because I didn't have the nerve to add anything to it. This morning I finally grabbed it, forced a googly eye onto it with glue, and collaged it in photoshop. I'm happy with the results. The pattern is scanned from one of my favorite shirts, that I bought a long time ago at value village. It's never fit me right (it's too tight around the chest and armpits), but I own and wear it strictly because it's print and color is so great.

A photograph I took. I like it.

"Strange Powers" by The Magnetic Fields is a great song.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Ok, so I'm going to finally make it to lifedrawing tonight (previous 2 weeks things came up), and hoo-boy, this is going to be interesting. I'm going to be rusty as a... as a... a very rusty peice of metal.

clever, Sarah. Real clever.

Regardless of how out of shape this drawing session goes, (I'll be like a former runner that's so out of shape, they're falling over after a little jog. There. That's a better analogy) I'll still try and post something from it.
I've decided that this blog is NOT some portfolio to impress people, or trying to win a job. I'm going through a period of change in my artwork, and a reassessment of my creative priorities. I intend this blog to be a brutally honest documentation of my artistic adventures (for better or worse!) And also, the blog is useful as a motivator- it gives me something to do with a piece once it's finished, rather than just tossing it in the corner of my room. I still do that... but now at least I scan/photograph it first.

Color saturation, fetuses, toys, etc.

I havn't been drawing in my sketchbook a whole lot, lately... I think it's because all these colored playings that I've been working at has been satisfying my compulsive need to image-make. Which I'm ok with, because I've been phobic about color for too many years, and finally getting caught up in it is a lot of fun.

In this image (ballpoint pen and markers) I've exercised my God-give right to pump up the saturation of colors using Photoshop. Thanks, God. Color rocks, and was a really good move, creation-wise! And a worshipful shout-out to whatever science deities created Photoshop!

I think that dark blue on the head was a bad call. I'll know better, next time.

Another thing. Am I the only female out there that's a little unnerved by the idea of something like this:

growing inside my torso? Seriously. LOOK at it. The movie Aliens wasn't too far off in its imagery and metaphors. Maybe that's why there're hidden inside for most of that time, until they're at least a little less freaky looking. This sometimes gets on my mind, since cousins and old school chums my age are starting to produce offspring. Yikes.
Wouldn't it be nicer if fetuses looked more like this:

I'd DEFINATELY have a very difficult time choosing to abort something THAT cute.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

create create create, freely you silly people

Trying some more things, breaking more of my own rules and having fun doing it:

Folk art style in acrylics! Horray flatness, texture, and wonkiness!

Unplanned play in acrylics and collaged paper! A painting that descended into the abyss of incoherence and ugliness, and had to be dragged back into pictureness.

The not-PG friendly collage! wuh-oh! She's touching his larva covered worm, as the Queen Elisabeth in her leisure suite looks on. I don't think she approves.

Sunday, May 14, 2006


Photoshopping: It's like Cowtipping, but with more photos and shopping. And less cow poop. Usually.

I've been putzing around in photoshop, reaquainting myself with the program. I havn't really done much digital painting in the last several years (with a couple exceptions, such as when Giullaume gave some lessons a little while ago), and before that I was using Paint Shop Pro. So it's learning-curve time, playing with the different tools, learning about all the masks and levels and brushes.... I'm challanging some rules I had in my head, that basically said using tools is cheating. As though using computer manipulations is just a crutch. Well, it can be, but it also can be an opportunity for expanding what's possible. I'm also taking on my "never ever use photos for anything" rule, and am starting to manipulate and use pictures I've taken myself. It's crazy how years of drawing with the same methods can build up such a list of do's and don'ts, that creativity can be severly restricted. Man, I used to think texture and pattern was a lazyman's game, but now I'm just nuts about it's potential. And collage: it's fun! Neat!

And now, "The Lab Results", featuring "New Experiments" ie. "Having Fun with Visuals"

The last illustration's my favorite. I love it's lack of slickness.
And now, the most awesome picture I've ever taken. I love everything about it, the colors, the odd composition, the content, the washed-out-ness... I can die happy now. My artistic purpose is fullfilled.

Final note: I very much want to get a copy of Painter. I've wanted to use that program for years and never have got my grubby impoverished little hands on it.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

retreat of the manchild (and womanchild.)

My latest musings, theories and generalizations about society, contemporary culture, and the art world, in an attempt to develop some understanding of the endless stream of information and opinions I'm continually consuming.

A theory on the growth of art inspired by naive art, cartoons, outsider/folk art, children book illustration, and "world through the eyes of a child" art.
Many young artists of my generation seem to seek a simplified, childlike view through art, because we hate/can't understand this complex, contradictory and cynical adult world. In the past few decades, "issues" (economic divides, racism, cultural intolerance, religious intolerance, corporations/consumerism/worker exploitation, [insert society's other ails]) were thought possible to combat and cure, through education, research, political correctness, therapy, government programs, etc. But in this new century, we've had brutal reminders (terrorism/war, corruption scandals, intense liberal/conservative divides) that we're not as progressive as we thought we were. Hatred, intolerance, corruption, prejudices... they run deep through the foundations. Maybe mankind's problems can't just be 'goodwilled' and 'reasoned' away.
Oh, and all that expensive education suddenly isn't a sure ticket to a job. There's no social security anymore. You're probably gonna have to work for 'the man' whether you like it or not. And, you are probably a racist. Just like everyone else.
"Solutions' feel inadequate, "one-person-can-make-a-difference" now feels silly. So by retreating into a child's world, we (and by we, I refer to many of the 20- and 30-somethings of today) find our best way to survive through this. By reviving that aura of magic, make-believe, and anything-is-possible-in-our-minds, we can get away from the big, crazy, complex adult world with all its problems. We can't fix anything. So instead, we'll daydream, watch cartoons, smoke some pot, take our pills, eat sugary nostalgia childhood cereal for breakfast, follow a guilty pleasure like the OC, collect toys, and tuck ourselves in at night. Go back to a time when a sugary novelty fixes everything. Safe and secure.

Ok, that dealt with mostly with why a childlike lifestyle is popular. But I think it's pretty easy to connect that to the appeal of such a style in art, and the draw of naive and folk art as well. The current strength of surrealism makes sense, too: this world doesn't make sense, it's irrational, it's surreal.

All this thinking is a lot of work. I'm not sure if I explained that all well enough, but I sure am tired. I guess I'll reward myself with some candy, and go take my nap.

Friday, May 12, 2006

ink doodling

The knees of the girl in the last one makes me think of Steamboat Itchy, when Itchy shoots Scratchy's knees out, and when Scratchy crawls along the floor, it leaves two trails behind him. Cartoon violence. I love it.
It could use some color to clarify this, but she's holding an internal organ in her hand.

I'm developing some personal iconography that reminds me in some ways of the later work of Philip Guston. Paticularily the simplified, flat buildings.

a passage of displeasure

Anyone disinterested in honesty, skip this post. For anyone who dislikes intense feelings, pain, or hearing the innards of another... come back another day, when I'm feeling irreverent again. You've had your warning.

I sobbed. The deep kind of sobs that shake your whole body, right from deep within your gut, inside your internal organs, beneath the muscle sheath that helps you breathe. Diaphragm, that's the one. And your entire trunk is racked back and forth.

Last year, across this same numbered distance, our seperate minds still found the same mental stream to swim in. And yet this time, the umbilical cord feels clamped. He's gone his separate way, and is not inviting me along. The thin feelers I send out, the runners of a strawberry plant... they do not find fertile ground.

How can one who’s core I have absorbed into my own, become foreign to me? It’s as though my own arm… no, something more vital: my liver or stomach… an internal organ has suddenly become not my own. It’s not that my body is rejecting it… But its cells, they are no longer my cells. And its continued place within, will only kill me.

The sobbing is my body trying to save itself, begging me to eject him.

Thursday, May 11, 2006


This is the caricature done of me by my highly talented teacher Peter Emslie.

Man, look at those mischevious cat eyes, I'm totally about to start some trouble of the saturday morning variety.

Right now I'm totally using blogging and the internet to avoid writing an essay. oooh essays. We have strong feelings towards one another, don't we.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


I could never be sad in this life, as long as this blog is still around to read:

A sure-fire pants-peeing good time.

And when I was in Chicago, I bought a pink t-shirt with this picture on it:

that says something like "Can you BELIEVE that we actually made a movie like Lolita?" in french on it. At least that's what Guillaume translated it as. I love wearing shirts I can't read, that might be showing off how bloody ignorant I am.

Yeah, so anyway, best shirt ever.
And funniest blog, ever.
Or EVUM, in homage to Mike from Milwaukee.

*This same T-shirt can be seen on my dynamic cameo appearance, in the video, "Sheridan Animation: Beard Wars", in the intense final scene at the barbers. Man that was good times. Thick bristly hair flying everywhere, and hot a blade going slice, slice. Then just two men with baby soft chins and dazed looks on their faces.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Zoo sketches

My favorite drawings from the St.Louis zoo. (which btw is a fantastic zoo with lots of cute kids. Oh, and animals.)

Me drawing the bears at said zoo.

The way that I've been drawing lately, it's terribly ovbious that I havn't lifedrawn much in over a year. I miss it, and am glad to get back to it this summer. I want that feeling of energy and structure back in my drawings.

I think it's also time to end my hiatus from drawing with pencils. There's an exploration of form and volume that pencil drawing lends itself to.

In closing, please behold the most delicious pecan-filled waffle to ever be consumed by a visitor to Vicksburg, Mississippi. Yes, the blessed breakfaster was, indeed, I. Oh, my good Lord be praised.

Friday, May 05, 2006


Today I'm learning to draw coyotes.

She had to do it. He was eating her arm.
I attempted some inking in the above image.

In the second (below) I played with ink and marker on illustration board, with some colored paper cut out on top. Kinda makes it feel like something from a children's magazine, teaching kids stuff.

Oil Paintings

These are the two oil paintings that I did a little over a month ago, when I was staying at Eric's, and he let me use his supplies. It had been years since I'd tinkered with oil paints. I didn't plan anything out each time, I just sat a canvas in front of me, and resolved to create something, ANYTHING, start to finish, in one sitting.
I found it very fun and exhilarating to do this, to just grab colors and let your subconscious do whatever it wants. Now I can't wait until I've saved up the money to buy some oil paints and canvases of my own, and keep practicing.

This next one actually didn't start with ANY kind of image in my head of the total composition (the above image, I was disciplined enough to at least work through the entire canvas simultaneously.) For this one, I actually started with just doing little painting doodle exercises, experimenting with globes and areas of color, trying different brush techniques. Several times I turned the canvas 90 degrees to doodle on another part of it. And then, once I had far too many disconnected shapes and colors going, I decided I had to SOMEHOW pull the whole thing together into something of a balanced composition. I don't think the painting is an overwhelming success, as an end piece. But in relation to my goals (pulling the composition and color scheme somewhat coherently together from a huge mess) it was fairly successful.

wow. I just went to another browser to find the name "Aya Takano", and that was like... must have been an hour ago. I completely forgot this post was here, waiting to be finished. Geez! But, at least I just found some new amazing and inspiring artists, and got some ideas for some kinds of things I would like to make!! (next year when I take a ceramics class, I'm DEFINITELY going to make a cookie jar! I've also been thinking of making a coloring book for young adults. Very excited about that project, too, although I don't know how exactly I would distribute it.... hmmm.)
ANYWAY, I went to find out how to spell Aya Takano's name, because I was going to mention that that second painting of the girl in a trippy space world was, I think, vaguely inspired by her beautiful work. Because I'd been drooling all over her paintings in a book, just shortly before making that picture.

On another note, I just got a free desk the other day from some random girl I met in the elevator, who was moving out of the apartment building. So now I have a BEAUTIFUL desk right under my window where I can paint and ink and draw and keep my art supplies and make up all kinds of nonsense. Before, I was usually just sitting on the floor to paint, and it was hurting my back. booo. So new desk=YAY!
ps. Oh God I need to find someone to hire me. Oh no money. super boo! I hope the Blockbuster downstairs hires me, I'd like getting employee discounts on movies. Mmmm, moooovies. ::drool::

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Fattie Miss Sun-Face

A little painting doodle done today in acrylics and ink, on the inside of a cereal box. That paper does not take water too well.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Lots of pictures in this post. Horray! Pictures R Fun!

Hmm, it's been a few days since I've posted! I've been distracted by the visiting Eric, but today that muse departed for Montreal, and I'm going to have to find new things to draw and become entranced in. Boo!!

This weekend there was an end of year, animation student party, and some non-animation students that showed up started fighting like drunken savages. Eric was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and got punched, choked, and smashed on the head with a beer bottle. He had to go to the emergency room, where they put STAPLES into his HEAD!! I almost passed out when I saw them, it was terribly gruesome. But lucky for him, chicks did scars, and soon he's head will be even MORE irresistable to lusty women worldwide. He was very put off by the whole awful experience.
Here's Eric's Brain-Staples.

That night, Eliot and I walked to the hospital to see Eric, having drank 4 cups of coffee a piece, as well an Extremo (or something) energy drink that they don't even sell in Canada; it was an attempt to sober up, but I think they just mixed unsettlingly with the alcohol. Anyway, so we were walking through Oakville residential streets at 2 or 3 in the morning, and the next day was a spring cleaning garbage pickup day, so homes had piles of old appliances and wood and furniture and boxes of random stuff out front. It was a very surreal night. So, I found tons of pieces of wood I wanted to paint on, but they were too big to carry. And Eliot found a long pole with what looked like golf balls on each end, and decided that it was his Gandolf staff. I think it was more of an awesome poking-people-from-a-distance stick. Then in a cardboard box, I found a faded scrapbook, filled the cards, announcements, childhood drawings, and other memorabilia for the first 5 or so years of one 'Jaclyn''s life. How could someone throw that away? It's now MINE.
This absolutely AMAZING little card was in the scrapbook. So find that's so DEFINITELY worth becoming a garbage-picker. Aw-yeah.

I don't know if that story was going anywhere. But anyway, it was a strange, weird walk. A firetruck drove by us, as Eliot swung his Gandolf stick and I tucked Jaclyn's precious memories under my arm. I wondered what would happen if I fell into the street and a was run over, how trying that would be for Eliot- one friend in emergency for a head cut open in a fight, another smashed in the roadway on the way there. When I ran the thought by him, it freaked him out a little. There was no wood to knock on, so I stomped on the cement instead. When we finally arrived at the hospital, Eric was alone in the waiting room, still waiting to get in and be stitched up. This is a sketch I did there. I hate lead because it always smudges up in sketchbooks.

And these are from me being the cliche, "creepy girlfriend that draws you while you're trying to get some sleep". hehehe. Sucks to be him.

In the last one, I was experimenting with a new way of applying acrylics. But Eric was too busy sleeping to realize that he had to hold still for me, so he rolled over right after I'd only blocked in his basic flesh form. So I had to make pretty much everything up. Fortunately, it was still a victory, because I figured out some neat new techniques with paint. Admittedly, my figure and drapery painting needs some work, but one thing at a time. hehe. funny thing is, after I finished the sketch, I realized that I neglected to paint in his beard. haha, I demasulinize you for rolling over in the middle of a session!