My home city is full of bicycles. The Twin Cities love bicycles, and they are everywhere. There are so many and they are all so unique that there has to be a project in there somewhere. I had been considering taking up a new illustration challenge this summer, and since I love bikes and drawing characters I decided to combine the two. I take pictures of bikes around the city, then design and illustrate a character based on each bike. These have been going up on the Paper Bicycle blog, but it is about time I share some of them here.
Andrew has a collection of strange collections: a collection of bottles manufactured before 1980, a collection of patches that are at least 70% yellow, a collection of cheap plastic dollar store toys…
There are more characters on the Paper Bicycle blog, plus little blurbs about each of them, but I think I may try and update this blog with them in future, so stay tuned!
An appropriate first (official) blog illustration:
A new space. It's funny how we sort of take up residence on the internet. I'm still breaking this site in, but I don't expect things to change too much.
I made this illustration for a show and then ended up not showing it. The other pieces intended to be displayed with it never were finished and I put something else in the show.
This one might not necessarily be Minneapolis. Or St. Paul. They've certainly influenced this painting, but even more than with the other city paintings, I was more interested in depicting the impression a place can give.
Next week I'm going to L.A. I love L.A. I've only been there once, and between then and now my brain has painted it into this glorious place that it almost certainly isn't. The great thing about it, though, is that I think part of our existing experience is in our heads. I think we make our places beautiful or terrible.
This painting is for my godfather, who travels the world. I've learned a lot about loving places from him.
I think I'm sick. It makes me want to paint more than ever. My apartment gets really warm, and that combined with being ill kind of helps me focus. You know what I mean? It's that weird state of mind where it's way too hard to think about more than one thing, so I only think about the painting. It even helps focus on a specific part of the painting, so I don't rush as much as I usually do and the decisions I make are more careful (albeit slower).
This sounds like a weird argument for being sick. I don't like all of the side effects–the soreness, the throat thing, the leaking head–but it does force me to stay inside, and I like that.
This is the last piece for the Urban Winter series I've made for a show I'm having with Tiff. We hung it this weekend, so I'll take pictures and post them as soon as I'm able.
I had a hard time with this one. Ultimately, I think it's one of my favorites, but boy oh boy did it put up a fight. I struggled with getting it as deep and vibrant as I had planned, and then when it was deep enough I was frustrated with the lack of subtlety that watercolor usually provides.
This also served to remind me that sometimes sticking with something is the best course of action, even when you want to start all over.
There is nothing prophetic about predicting snow at this point. I've been feeling more motivated to work on these urban winter pieces–possibly because of the upcoming deadline, but also because of the subject matter.
I'm really fond of this one. The thing about these pieces is that some I favor for aesthetic reasons and some I favor because of the moment they are meant to represent. This one I like for aesthetic reasons.
A gift piece for some very very kind people.
I'd also like to direct your attention to that border. As usual, I masked the border off with tape. Unlike usual, when I took the tape off, it turned out perfectly clean, straight, and without weird bleeding. I used regular old artist's tape and didn't really do anything different that I know of, otherwise I'd be talking about it because do I ever want the official secret of clean watercolor borders.
Excited things, guys.
I made some small paintings for a pattern. Every once and awhile, I decide it would be really fun to paint icons with paint for a pattern instead of working digitally. I enjoy it so much more, but it also takes twice as long.
I'm working on a few city-related projects whose deadlines are fast approaching. Last night I pulled out the paints and ink and a few pieces and sat down to work. Computers are wonderful things, and they are excellent tools for making art. Still, after a few minutes into actually painting, with actual paint, I can't help but feel one medium is superior to another.
I did a watercolor demo for my friend Adam's class and here are the primary remainders. As I was biking to the class I noticed how crazy amazing my neighborhood is looking these days. The fall foliage always seems very short-lived, but it's worth appreciating.
I've been working on and off on a series of watercolor paintings inspired from winter settings in the Twin Cities. One of the things I marvel at the most is how easily the idea for the next image comes. I do have plans for the future ones, but until I start the next painting, there's no telling. The one I'm currently working on I hadn't decided on until the moment this one was finished. You can see the other two I've already done here and here.