watercolor nudes, rivers & roads

I’ve been working more with the tiny watercolor set of my mom’s, and one of my favorite things to use watercolors for so far is life drawing. I’ve been drawing with pens forever, I know how they work for the most part, and making those lines of a human body has become familiar and it’s easy to settle into a particular style that I already know how to do. Painting a watercolor nude is a whole new ballgame for me, using lines, yes, but with a brush, with these fast-drying watery lines, and also swaths of color. Sometimes there is more paint on the brush than i realize, or less. I can play with heavier color, lighter color, shading, mixing. Even just the physical act of dipping the brush in water, then in paint, then sliding it against the rough paper is captivating for me. It takes longer, which fills up the minutes of each pose more quickly. I am more engaged in each moment.

may 13 watercolor nudes

alex's last pose

And now for a little music: my cover of Rivers and Roads by The Head and the Heart on ukulele:

comics workshop at The Collegiate School

I went to the city (New York– I still call it The City, as if it’s the only one) last Wednesday to teach a comics workshop to the fourth grade boys at The Collegiate School. This is the second comics workshop I’ve done with kids this year, and I feel so inspired to do more. Seeing kids excited about reading and making comics I see myself at their age, reading Archie every chance I got (as well as Calvin and Hobbes and Sylvia), tracing the characters, drawing my own. Everything I do now as an adult (comics, stories, movies, dancing) is something I loved as a nine-year-old. To me, that is success.

It’s awesome that schools are finally treating comics as literature and teaching them as a storytelling technique. I got to see my friend Chris and watch him teach (so good!), and my dad came with me so we also got to spend a really nice spring day in Manhattan. Breakfast at French Roast, a movie at Lincoln Plaza Cinemas (Felix et Meira – soooooooo beautiful, I loved it, I’m still thinking about it), tried a new pizza place (it was okay– still not as good as our old favorite, Ray’s on 6th ave. and 11th st. which is now gone), and some nice walking around. It was a good day.

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Thank you so much to Chris Stevenson, The Collegiate School, and of course my awesome dad.

cheesy comics

One of the projects I’m currently working on is very cheesy– illustrating an instructional comic book on how to make cheese! Suzy Konecky, a lovely woman and local cheesemaker (among other things) invited me on board this past fall, and we’ve just completed the first draft of our first chapter: Milk Components. Hopefully lots of great things will come of this, and I’ll keep you informed. But for now, here are a few photos of the book and us at WCMA’s Publication Studio where we printed and bound the chapter.

me & suzy with bookchapter 1 milk componentscheese comic page

making life, making art

As spring finally starts coming in the door, I can feel myself exhale. Winter was hard. I’m so tired of being cold, of the dark and grey days, of wearing boots and coats and hats. I want to feel air on my skin and walk outside without being huddled, face aimed down at the icy ground. I know my new life is waiting to begin. Something has been percolating– ideas, freshness, sparks. I’m surrounded by my old life everywhere, and nothing seems right because my mom is missing. I want to start a new life.

So, part of that is making the old things new. Two weeks in a row I’ve gone to life drawing, something I always did with my mom before she died. I’m trying to make it my own thing now.

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