Finding Solace

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I haven’t written anything in the last few days…Which feels substantial, since I started this blog with the intent to publish a post five days a week.  I’m realizing that, perhaps, I’m not cut out for blogging every single day, because I can feel myself feeling mentally drained and pressured.  (Maybe publishing just a few times a week would be more realistic with my already busy schedule…?)  I’m going to keep riding things out, to decide what’s comfortable for me.

Anyways…  In other news, I’m (very) happy to report that my passion for illustration has been completely rekindled; and that I am currently updating my portfolio with new work!  (For example, above is a tiny sketch I was working on this evening, for an illustration series that I’m developing.  I took some of my inspiration, from the Saipua image that’s below.)   In the upcoming weeks, I will be unveiling new paintings and I have plans to open an online shop!  So, stay tuned for more details.

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Falling in Love with Woodworking

brooklyn_to_west_giveaway_02(Photography Credit for image above and below: Ariel Alasko)

Lately, I’ve been obsessing over the beauty and craftsmanship of woodworking. I’m in the process of researching various artisans, as I’d really like some quality art and/or furniture pieces in our home. Most recently, my favorite woodworkers have become Ariel Alasko and Blair Sligar of Hog Eat Hog.

Yesterday, I informed Hubby that I’d like to reach out to Ariel and speak about commissioning one of her large wood panels, for our living-room.  (I think he’s on-board with the idea; which makes me completely ecstatic!)

While I’d like to do a little more research on Hog Eat Hog, I’m feeling pretty compelled to reach out to Mr. Sligar, to learn more about the types of wood he works with; and to commission his services for the entryway table I’ve been dreaming of.

Oh yes… I need more of this in my life.

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The Art of Tim Burton

One of the first artists ever to influence me is the incomparable Tim Burton. He influenced the way that I process images and visual storytelling, so early in my life that I didn’t even realize what was happening, as I was learning. (Most people don’t realize that he was an animator for Disney, before he became a renowned director. He contributed as a storyboard and concept artist to Disney’s The Fox and the Hound and The Black Cauldron – which are two films that I loved, growing up.)

Though I’ve been less thrilled with most of TB’s film-projects, following (the stunning) Big Fish, I still consider myself a big fan.  And, when I heard that some of his closest friends and colleagues were collaborating to celebrate him, by publishing  a book of his (never-before published) artwork, my heart immediately started to pound!

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Hubby surprised me with the DELUXE EDITION, as a Christmas present.  (Not only that, we managed to snag it in time, to get it as a FIRST edition!)  Above, a bookplate that was signed by the man himself.

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Above: A special-edition lithograph, signed by the man himself.

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Above: An illustration drawn by Tim Burton, as a child.

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Above: Concept artwork of Catwoman and the Penguin, for Batman Returns. (I was obsessed with this version of Catwoman, growing up. In 1992, I was Catwoman for Halloween; and I still remember how awesome that costume was!)

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Above: “People in line for Rocky Horror show.”

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An Impromptu Trip to Rifle Paper Co.

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It’s not often that I come across a brand that has such a deep and lasting affect on me, in which my overall taste becomes impacted. Come to think of it, I really can’t think of any previous examples of this ever happening to me!

…With one exception, after coming to know the Rifle Paper Co

Rifle Paper is the brainchild of Anna Bond – an illustrator whose work has catapulted to the top of my list of favorites.  Rifle’s products are becoming accessible all over the world; but, their headquarters is located in Winter Park, Florida – which isn’t that far from me.  (It’s not exactly close, either.  A little over a three-hour drive.  So, it’s accessible within a day’s trip; but, a bit out of the way.)

I’ve been looking for the perfect excuse to visit Rifle’s main store, for just under a year or so.  A few days ago, their Facebook page advertised that they were having their Autumn Sample Sale, this past Friday and Saturday.  Seeing that was just the push I needed to send me over the edge; and get moving to Winter Park!

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Above: One of several tables, outside of Rifle’s brick and mortar shop, with various products for sale at discounted prices.

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Above: Rifle’s meeting room, modified to accommodate a full spread of discounted and specially priced items.

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Above: The reception area. (Loved the added warmth from the flowers, and the Halloween touch with the small bowl that was filled with candy corn.)

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Above: The main showroom – and heart of the store!

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Above: A nice view of the street. (Also, I’m such a sucker for a beautifully dressed window display.)

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Above: Another shot of the reception area. But, if you look closely at this one, you can see a slight capture of the behind-the-scenes operations. (Basically, I’m referring to their fulfillment area – where personnel was organizing products and preparing orders for shipment.) I didn’t want to distract anyone from their work, by leering around the corner with a camera; so, I really tried my best to be discreet.

I’m so happy that I decided to just get in my car and go. Hubby thinks I’m crazy, to go all that way by myself, just to turn around and immediately head back home. But, I don’t care. It was invigorating!

I Left My Heart In San Francisco

Yesterday, I spoke a little bit about recreating the art of your dreams when you can’t afford to buy it outright. I thought I might expand a little more on this subject, today, to share what I’ve learned about actually purchasing artwork for your home. (For all you guys and gals who save those pennies, euros, etc!)

I’ve never really been to San Francisco. I’ve never even been to California! But, I want to visit – and, badly. (San Fran, along with the rest of sunny Cali, are on my “Must See, Before Dying” list.) Though I’ve never stepped any where remotely close to San Francisco, I knew this piece from Jim Datz had to be mine. You see, I’m fascinated by the culture on America’s West Coast. Its free-loving attitude, its history…its roots in art, music, and motion pictures. (I’ll talk about my passion for film and television, some other time.) Maybe I romanticize it; but, the area seems to call my name. So, all that being said, you might be able to understand how I see this piece as something more than “just an illustration about San Francisco.” It represents the values I associate with that entire area.

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So, there you have it – I’ve explained how this piece is meaningful to me. I’ve learned that, once you can establish an item’s personal value, these are the key things to consider before taking the plunge and buying any item:

  • Its Quality. (I managed to snag my print, as a first edition. The value will only increase over time; and, because it was produced in fine quality, it’s less likely to fade or deteriorate.)
  • Its Scale. (I opted to have it framed in a large frame, to serve as a statement piece. If I didn’t have the space, I wouldn’t have bought it.)
  • Its Impact. (Was I happy with the colors in the print? VERY! Because I loved the impact it made, popping against the colors of my walls.)

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I think Caspian is as happy with the way things turned out, as I am!