Wednesday, December 31, 2014

12.31.14 One Last Post for 2014!

Hey there!
welcome back to my studio....for this, my last post of 2014, I thought I would focus on the other work I do that gets tons and tons of hits--my dancing drawings!  This year I had my first solo exhibition featuring these drawings. Normally, I view drawing as a means to an end because as a story-teller, I am using it as a visual language to communicate but this project was just about the act of drawing--and drawing the thing I love to draw the most which is the figure in motion.  I'm not much of a dancer but I love to watch it and even more, I love to draw it.  I'm not a fine artist and I never had any ambitions of being a gallery-type artist so it was a really nice treat to have had this experience. Thanks, Altered Esthetics, for putting it on!  And here, direct to you, is the full collection:

Company BLU, 2013

Dancing Arms, 2013

Saut de Chat Arabesque, 2013

Twirling, 2013

Twist, 2013

Spiral Arms, 2013

Zenon 2, 2013

Zenon Arms, 2013

  And here is a bunch of solo poses:

Solo Poses, 2013

It was really fun to have an opening with all my friends and a bunch of strangers!  And overall the show had a super positive response, which was really's a pic of me at the show (this one is my fave:)

Beckaroooooo!!! 2014

But there was even more!  I submitted some other dancing themed work for a juried show at the Las Lagunas Gallery in LA and I got in!  Well...this piece got in:

Ballerina Graffiti 3, 2013
 I really liked the moody lighting in that photo so I made these, too:

Dancer Adjusting Her Shoe, 2014
Neon Tutu, 2014
I did a few more of these but I'm running out of time and space!  So those are the ones you get.

My favorite part of this project was getting to sit in on rehearsals and dance classes and to see and draw the dancers in action right in front of me--it was such a fun experience working on this series and huge ego boost to boot! haha  ...But, alas, I haven't been able to pursue it recently because I've been so busy with my book and other things and that's cool--I really enjoyed the experience--I'm sure I'll do more in the future, in the meantime--thanks for all the hits and all the encouragement and compliments--I love compliments!! :-)))

I hope you had a good 2014, mine was pretty cool, I must say.
Thanks for visiting and I'll see you next year! :-)
Love, Beckaroooooo!!!!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

12.24.14 A Holi-DAZE post!

Hello friends!
It's been quite a year for me and, after reviewing my blog traffic, I've decided to create for you an all Phantom post!  It's a Happy Holi-DAZE present for you! (since you all love it so much--thanks!!!)  I'm working on hashing out a script for it but that is not something I will post--it does mean there is more to come, though!  I'll be posting layouts as I go along, of course...anyway, it was a lovely surprise this year to learn how much people like the work I've done for Phantom, it's very encouraging and much appreciated! :-)
 So here you go--
A Very Phantom Collection for the holidays!
"The Chandelier" 2013

"Christine Daae" 2013
"No More Talk of Darkness..." 2014
"The Trapdoor"  pages 1 and 2
"The Trapdoor" pages 3 and 4

"The Red Death" 2014

"Masked Ball, panel detail" 2012
"The Masquerade" 2014

Of course, the Opera House has a dark side too....

"On the Underground Lake" 2014

"That Voice Which Calls To Me" 2014
"Secretly Possess You" 2014

And here are some sketches that I'm particularly fond of:

I think I will play a bit with those Paris Opera House sketches...I love this project and I'm excited to see what new work for it will come in the new year!  Right now it is the holiday time and I am determined to relax and have fun!!!!! ....I kinda suck at that--but I'm working on it!!!
  Happy Holidays!  And thanks again for all the Phantom love I got this year!!  I love the love.
Now for some eggnog and roasted chestnuts....(:
Love, Beckarooo!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

11.18.14 Little Red Riding Hood!

Hi there!
 Welcome back to my little studio...  I was recently asked to pitch a series of toddler books based on Grimm's Fairy Tales--and I jumped at the chance of course!  Not only do I love Grimm's Tales but, having worked with toddlers for several years, I also love little primer books---BUT!!! when the series gets picked up I will have to delete this post, so enjoy it while you can!

First, a fun little cover is my final little sketch and also the final inked lines:

Of course, I did a lot more sketching than should do as much sketching as you can before settling on a final image!  And here is the final cover image, btw:

"Little Red,"  cover design/concept art 2014
I love the bold color scheme and it's exactly what would appeal to the toddler-aged eye.  I have so much 0-5 development info, it's insane.  I sometimes surprise myself at how much I know about it and now here is my chance to incorporate that into my work--YAY!!! Also, FYI, the flowers are rhododendrons and in the language of flowers, they translate to:  BEWARE!  DANGER!  which I thought was apt.
...and here is a sample of a couple of pages from inside the book:

"Little Red, concept" 2014

  This is just a concept piece so a lot, some or none of it may change...but I am so loving this book already! Can't wait to move forward in the process,,,,:)))
  SO....even though I haven't made any dancing drawings in a while, this piece will be in a group show in December here in Minneapolis.  Here's a link to info on the web:
--come say hi to me and have a drink!  

"Chyna in Fifth Position," 2013
Why did I choose this one?  Because it's the one of the ones people responded to the most strongly.  Two people wanted to buy it, but as I have stated before I'm a selfish artist and I don't like selling my work. It's MINE! :-P  but thanks for liking it, too--you can always see it on my blog!

  And to close this post, here is a new picture of me because it's always nice to know what I look like:

I'm plotting world domination in this pic--that's why I look so happy. ;-)  
  Well...back to doing what I do best, drawing pictures and cuddling with cats...thanks for the visit and come back soon!  As always, there is much more to come!
(And bring me pumpkin pie when you come, it's that time of year.) (:

Love, Beckaroooo!!!

Monday, August 25, 2014

08.24.14 Even More Sock Monkeys!

Hey there!
This week was pretty crazy, which is a perfect way to end a crazy month!  I've been packing for a move and so I've been finding little art gems to share with you. First of all, I found a few more of my Sock Monkey Tarot cards that I love!  When some people read cards they like to say that no card is all good or all bad, but when you start researching their meanings and making illustrations of them, I don't know, some cards are pretty tough! These are the cards with the darker meanings, in the Major Arcana:

#12 The Hanged Monkey
 The Hanged Monkey card represents a time in life in which you are required to make a sacrifice of some kind--hopefully, for the greater good.  This is the card whose image was so clear in my mind that it spurred me to begin this project.  FYI.
#13 Death
 The meaning of the Death card is actually about change, not death.  But new beginnings are usually begun from something else's end, so there is a deep sense of loss with this card that is likened to death, hence its name.  
#16 The Tower

The Tower is one of the worst cards to pull!  It's meaning is exactly what it looks like--all your foundations crumbling, things around you falling away.  Though it usually is tempered with the idea of something new coming on the horizon, this card is not happy at all.  It is about being in the midst of destruction.  (notice that the blocks spell out Beckaroo!)  It's so fun, challenging and rewarding to work on a project with such clearly defined narratives and such a huge breadth of subject. Which is why I keep working on it, in my spare time.

  I think building up  a body of work is a lot like making a mountain.  It takes FOREVER, first of all, and most of it is made of up all the same old crap around you, nothing special--however! within the mountain, like gemstones and fossils, there are things that, over time, prove to be more valuable and worth preserving than the crap surrounding it. Haha Anytime I can use a geology metaphor I'm happy! (:  Here are a few little gems I found--this is the very first sock monkey themed project I did:
 Once upon a time I went to coffee shops and house parties and drew the people around me but I replaced them with sock monkeys.  These are just a few and all at The SpyHouse, in like 2005!
  I wanted them to have a photographic feel, so I kept them smaller and tried to compose them as I would a photo.  But they are graphite on paper:

SpyHouse Monkeys, 2

Jordan Monkey

SpyHouse Monkeys, 3

Graphic Designer Monkey

I love these!  I totally forgot about them and when they fell out of a portfolio in my closet I was pleasantly surprised. Sock Monkeys improve everything, I swear!  :)
  Well, back to working, packing and avoiding craziness--with only mild success....Thanks for the visit! More to come...
Now, I'm off!
Love, Beckarooo!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

08.19.14 Sock Monkeys!

Hey There,
This week is all about sock monkey art!  I have always loved sock monkeys--and I have found that you can replace any character with a sock monkey and it will always make the story better!  I used to do a lot of sock monkey themed work and my favorite illustration project, which is still on-going, is a deck of sock monkey themed tarot cards.  I'm only sharing a handful because I made about 20 of these, mostly of the Major Arcana.  Tarot cards are a really project because each card has a traditional design but you can add your own twist to it, based on your theme.  Along with having fun with symbols, this was mostly a color exercise for me. FYI, I used all sewing supplies to replace the traditional symbols:  Wands=Needles, Swords=Scissors, Pentacles=Buttons, Cups=Mugs of Coffee.  ...mugs full of coffee are essential sewing tools, you know.  
  These are all hand-painted, these were the last things I did before I switched to digital painting.  These are all acrylic and ink on board--here is a small sampling:
#11 Justice
"#8 Strength"
#19 The Sun
#18 The Moon

#5 The Heirophant
#15 The Devil
  I have many more of these so I may post some more, one at a time--they were really fun to make and I still love how they look.  Of course, I want to re-do them now, so I'm working on the sketches for the rest of the deck.  Forthcoming project!  Moving right along.... 
  ....Another thing I loved doing with sock monkeys was comics of Greek Tragedies--they are so much funnier with sock monkeys!  I will show you my favorite part from my sock monkey "Hero and Leander":

Leander's Death
That one was in crayon and it's been deteriorating over time, so here is a cleaner and easier to read version:

Leander's Death, Inks  
And, of course once Hero sees that Leander has drowned, she flings herself from her tower--there is no other way to consider!!!!
Hero's Death

So tragic! But not really because they are sock monkeys. This is another project that is on the back burner, so to speak.  I still have other plans for it but right now I'm working on Joseph so it will just have to wait. That's what a back burner is for, after all!
  Thanks for checking out my sock monkey retrospective!  It's been such a long time since I looked at these, it's like saying hi to old friends! I hope you enjoyed it, too. (:
  More to come!
Love, Beckaroooo!!!

Friday, June 27, 2014

06.27.14 Princesses, Girafficorns and Ballerinas!

Hello there!
Welcome back to my studio.  I've been SOOOO busy the last couple of weeks!  I've mainly been focused on making a coloring book and posters for Columbia Children's Theater but I've also been developing my Joseph story into a graphic novel and while I've been doing that I've also been working on developing another one of my stories, "Princess Helen and the Dragon," into a book. I love how that one is coming along so here are the colors for a few sample pages:

pages 18 and 19

Pages 20 and 21

Pages 22 and 23
Watch out for those Girafficorns, they come out of nowhere!  Don't worry, this one starts out a little crabby but it's friendly in the end.  In my last post I shared the layouts for these pages and those have the words, so scroll down to check that out.  Princess Helen is super fun to work with, she's always down for an adventure and I love this story.  Also, her cat is purple.  Need I say more? ....since I'm super busy I have to keep this post short but I wanted to share this image:

Dancer, adjusting her shoe, 2014

 I still like drawing dancers!  And I think I'm getting pretty good at it! Actually, one of my pieces got in to a show called "The Art of Dance" which is being put on by Las Lagunas Gallery in Laguna Beach, CA. It beat out hundreds of other pieces, nationwide so I'm pretty proud.  :-D  Here is the winning piece:

Ballerina Graffiti 3 of 3, 2014,  Photo Credit:  Jyoti Omi Chowdhury
So, if you are in the LA area next weekend,  go check out this show!  It's going to be a lovely collection and the print I'm presenting is so lovely! In the meantime, I must be getting back to all my other work.  I still have a ton of stuff to do!!!  ...which is awesome becuase I love drawing pictures.
Thanks for the visit!  Check back, soon, for more fun stuff from me!
Love, Beckarooo!