There’s a Fungus Amungus

There are mushrooms EVERYWHERE! Days of rain here in northern New England have produced a sprouting, thrusting crop of fungus, some of them edible and choice.

MUSHROOMS

Though I haven’t spotted any Chanterelles, like the ones Pumpkin is picking.

The shapes and colors of mushrooms make them fun to draw and paint. I have probably drawn them my whole life.

Lately I’ve been imagining them as tiny, secret houses.

You can own your own, hand painted mushroom cottage here.

Happy Hunting!

 

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Making a Fairy Card

Every summer I make many ‘copies’ of one Cottage Card to send to close friends.  I am lucky to have a lot of friends, so I make a LOT of cards.

I usually keep the prototype here in my cabin in Vermont. So far, there are 12 of them. The Fairy Card started like this, but a square image is harder to mail, so it morphed into a rectangle.

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I begin with a sheet of watercolor paper, grid it with masking tape and draw the design on each card.

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Then I use classic assembly line techniques, pioneered by Henry Ford. Of course, there is a huge difference since I fill all the positions on the assembly line!fairyprocess_1:web

I start adding color, working on all the cards sequentially. No two are alike, but the palette is consistent.

This is a group of brunette fairies.

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And they are all pleased to be bathing in an upturned mushroom cap.

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And to fly around with rainbow wings.

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Teaching…and trying to learn

I have seven, very talented writers in my class at Hollins this summer.

I am trying to teach them everything I know about conceiving, writing, revising, and revising, and tightening, and twisting, and revising yet again.

THEY are getting better every day.

As I have been teaching, I’ve also been taking an online course from Lilla Rogers: Making Art That Sells.

And, Oh, what a humbling and difficult road this has been. I realized immediately that my photoshop skills were dismal and needed a huge boost. My habit of trying out a new style for every new book really made decisions on which way to go on each assignment difficult.

And I realized I am not good at following directions at all!

Can the teacher learn?

I sure hope so.

The 1st assignment was to design bolt fabric using mushrooms and casserole dishes. Naturally, I did not follow directions very well and found the instructions for making a design that could repeat using Illustrator WAY too hard to learn.

So I painted mushrooms-which I have always been fascinated by…

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and casseroles, which are less appealing…

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and somehow  chickens demanded in.

Colors

This part reminded me of the good old days making fabric icons for Joe Boxer. I worked for them back when Nick and Denise still ran the place in San Francisco. My nickname was “The Queen of Cute.”

When I finally succeeded in putting together a jpeg file of the correct size and scale I was wrung out!

But I  had LEARNED! I was getting the idea of layers and I think there is some humor.

Let’s see what next week brings…

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