Long before I was a college professor, design professional or military officer I was a working man. I worked as a janitor, a grocery clerk, roofer, carpenter, ranch hand, firefighter, landscaper, inventory recorder, oil field hand and general maintenance worker for an apartment complex. Other than during my time in the oil industry I was paid a fairly modest wage, but it never occurred to me to cop an attitude about my situation…and I don’t recall being on the receiving end of the grief customers heap on people working in the service sector in the new millennium.
What the h*ll happened?
(At this point you’re probably wondering if
- Did I remember to take my meds today?
- What does this have to do with the color image I’m posting today.)
Usually I get my copy work done at the local Office Max by a young lady names Sarah, who is has a professional mind-set much like my friends and I had back in the Seventies. Sarah has a BFA in graphic design and is working on another related degree – and while others a similar situation have acted as though the job is a major step down Sarah always turns in outstanding work. I do what I can to help her out but company policy forbids tips and there are only so many times I can file one those good service nomination forms for her.
However, there is one other way I can show my thanks, and that’s by telling you that she did NOT make the color copy/scan I’m posting today. Sarah has weekends off but I wanted to appease my inner OCD demons and show this image today.
(FYI, she made the scan of Stargirl that I put up a day or two ago.)
To be fair this kind of drawing is tough to scan. One slip with that salmon colored ground tone and the whole palette is messed up and it is never easy capturing the subtle nuances of marbilized paper.
In the future I’ll try to time things so Sarah does all my scans in the future…
Latest member of the Informal Fairies.
When the linework is done I have several copies made – at both 100% on 11″X17″ paper and 64% on 8 1/2″ X 11″. That allows me to try out several color combinations involving both paper and marker. When I find a palette that works I’ll start cutting and pasting.
…and I will still have a clean copy in reserve if I have to start all over again!
Camera phones are handy and for the most part give good results. I’m not totally convinced with this image but I did want to show the revised white gown I wrote about earlier.
…actually I did consider naming her “Stumblina” but the concept is already a few degrees to the side of the core Informal Fairy concept: impish little ladies garbed in formal attire causing mayhem. With this young lady it was easier to see her doing the stumbling than try to portray her with implements she could use to cause a regular person to trip and fall.
A unforeseen time crunch kept me from finishing this drawing to the same degree as the Vision Fairy but I think the marker work establishes volume well enough.
I think I am going to have all the Informal Fairies in white gowns to be watching for a revised Vision Fairy
Last Christmas I shared a collection of watercolor paintings I’d created in the mid 1990s as part of a proposal for a line of collectible figurines and as all the paintings were produced in a two month period, Myrmaids ended up a strong, cohesive body of work. Unfortunately the follow-up project ended up spread across a nine year period and didn’t turn out as well, so my goal for 2018 was to rework Informal Fairies into something just as nice as my first concept.
That’s when my wonderful idea was savagely struck down by cold, cruel reality. I’m twenty years older than the David that painted those undersea ladies , and I can’t handle a brush as well. I’ve developed a tremor that periodically quiets down but the truth is I cannot consistently handle a paint brush anymore. I can use a pencil, pen, marker, X-acto knife – anything that can make contact with the working surface and steady my hand but when I paint there’s a 50/50 chance I’ll end up with something that could have been done by Monet.
…so I have to change my creative gears
This Vision Fairy is the source of all your broken glasses and lost contacts. She was first rendered on an 11″X17″ sheet of white paper using various ink pens – Flairs, gel pens, Micron-Pigmas and Sharpies. I had the image copied onto salmon-colored paper which was then colored/embellished with a pencil like a drawing done on a toned ground. I used colored pencil, Micron-Pigma pens, Prismacolor designers’ markers, and acrylic paint – but the more intensely white/light colored areas are pieces of white paper cut to shape and mounted with spray adhesive – gives it a nice POP that works a lot better when you see the actual artwork.
The marbilized paper used in the background graphic device is also David-made.. Every couple of months I barricade myself in the shop and spend a day making a supply of the stuff to draw on later.
Sometime after putting together the Myrmaids concept I came up with a second line of figures called (In)Formal Fairies, a mish-mash reimagining of the traditional gremlin concept but based on female fairies dressed in formal gowns rather than ugly critters that you can’t feed or get wet. I wasn’t able to put nearly as much time and energy into this second concept, so production of the concept paintings ended up spread over several years.
Long story short: quality is very inconsistent so I’m going back to the drawing board for a new set of images on which to base my copyright application.
I produced sculpts for two of the fairies that have held up well. Occasionally I will sell a casting, but I haven’t sold very many because:
- A) I’d like to get the entire set of images finished and under registered copyright first
- B) I have to put a pretty hefty price tag on them – there’s a LOT of clean-up work required after casting, not to mention the time involved in quality painting.
Now, do you ever wonder where those car keys went? The ones that you just had in your pocket yesterday? Well, look no further than the young lady imp pictured today. Done up in a shimmering formal gown complete with cocktail gloves, she is getting ready to drop the aforementioned get of keys down a heating vent, where you’ll never, ever think to look for them…