Friday, December 29, 2006

President Ford's Funeral - Palm Desert

Gerald R. Ford Funeral - Palm Desert's St. Margaret's Episcopal Church

The day couldn't have been more perfect for waiting if it had been planned. It hovered at the 72° for most of the afternoon, no sign of clouds and hot air balloons dotting the sky just east of the Indian Wells Tennis Gardens.
There were barely 150 people in line when my father and I arrived to wait for the shuttles at 1:30 (took me a while to get there, the traffic from my house was backed up for a while). As the crowd grew I noticed how laid-back and well-dressed so many of the people were and mentioned to my father how like the residents of the valley that really was.
We waited and talked with those around us, most of which were in the older age bracket, 60's to 90's, yet there were still many people with young children and teens. We waited more until the line started to reach the grassy parking area of the 16,000 seat tennis stadium and after an hour and a half the gates to the Garden were open and we filed past 3 sets of Sheriff's officers (who were reminding us what we were NOT allowed to take with us, "...no explosives") and briskly walked around to the other side of the stadium. The winter sun was just enough to keep us toasty but not uncomfortable as we were facing the lovely San Jacinto and Santa Rosa mountain ranges to the south west...where St. Margaret's is quietly nestled.
As if precisely timed, the moment the sun set behind the Santa Rosas the buses (which had been running and parked out of view) started to roll along to the back gate. There were 5 banks of Sheriff's officers who conducted searches and metal detector passes of each individual before letting them head towards and enter the buses. Each bus was equipped with one Sheriff's officer.

Map from IWTG to St. Margaret's

There were about 30 or so buses which had come from the Orange County Transit Authority (about a 3 hour drive from Indian Wells). Some buses came from elsewhere and a few of the buses were of the articulated variety...the big city buses. ;)
By this time darkness had fallen upon us as we drove up Palms to Pines Highway. Through what seemed like endless pylons, police cars and secret service vehicles, we could see the front of St. Margaret's illuminated from a single light, nothing else was lit, not even the church parking lights. Our eyes were naturally drawn to the end of the large wall of windows which lined the south side of building. The last window glowed with the American flag-draped casket of former President Ford.
Each bus, we were in the first five to arrive, was unloaded and the mourners/visitors were instructed by yet more of the Sheriff's team to follow the stairs leading up to the front doors. Our regular ushers were there to greet each person and to give them two commemorative items, one from St. Margaret's and one from the family of the President Ford.

Front of commemorative handouts



Back of commemorative handouts

Then through the second set of doors. St. Margaret's was dimly lit save for the soft spotlights cascading down upon Ford, three large, round white wreaths, two gorgeous floral displays and the four honor guardsmen, one from each branch of the military*.
Much like Ford, the display, was unassuming, relatively unadorned and simply understated. The ushers led us down the south side of the church who's windows overlook the glowing lights of Palm Desert...one could not help but look out. This shot shows daylight:
Down to the front, almost behind "The President's Pew" and then down to the center aisle where each one of us was greeted and sincerely thanked by Jack Ford (John "Jack" Gardner Ford, pictured on the left), President Ford's second son (he had very large and rough hands!).
It was very, very quiet (I learned later that the silence turned to whispers with the following visitors), no music, no sounds. My father and I walked up to the casket, I said a silent prayer for the family and my father saluted, at that point I let a tear or two loose.
We exited through the wall of glass doors on the north-side of St. Margaret's which lead to the garden and maze and out to the front of the church and the bus.

Once we got back to the stadium we were told there were condolence books available (from the Rancho Mirage Public Library) if we wanted to sign them and we were given an insert from the Desert Sun devoted to Ford. Many people were being interviewed by various news crews for the evening's newscast around the tables set for the condolence books.

By the time we got back to our cars it was 6:30, a slight chill in the air but very mild, clear and dry with the stars shining brightly above us.


*These young men fly from Washington, D.C. to accompany/guard those state and military funerals, the Air Force division is commanded by my cousin's wife out of Washington D.C. (many of her special unit stand guard over the Constitution of the United States).

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Vintage Poster Collection

The scans are now up at Breygent Marketing's site...come take a look!

HERE


LM

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Breygents' Wizard of Oz card series II



I am producing 150 sketch cards for this set, the release date is the end of January, 2007.

:D

LM

Monday, November 06, 2006

Outside world?


This is what a stack of nearly 300 (some are placed aside) sketch cards looks like...here they are. The pile is only somewhat daunting, I'm actually very excited to be working on this project for Breygent.
My natural tendencies towards particularity and ritual become heightened when I have projects such as this. For instance, I don't like to watch anything on my regular TV, I watch what I can on my computer screen (purely a time saving habit), a short walk in the morning to clear my head, an hour of work on my site (nerf-herders-anonymous.net) to warm up my digits, play with my son at regular intervals (keeps my perspective clear), and eating well (and by well I mean HEALTHY, a very positive byproduct of my particularity), and somehow I manage to regulate my usual business throughout the day. The stronger regimentation makes me feel all tingly inside. *big laugh*
I do take a few breaks but only for a few minutes, any more than that and it's too much time off and I begin to feel anxious about work...mealtimes are interesting.
With the exception of the walk and the occasional mailing I don't see much of the outside world! ;)
LM

Monday, October 30, 2006

Lord of the Rings - Portrait 4 - Aragorn


Lord of the Rings - Portrait #4 - Aragorn!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Breygent Official announcements

Breygent Marketing just announced their promo cards for the Wizard of Oz Series II cards and the Vintage Movie Poster card sets.

Go to Breygent Marketing to check them out...
http://www.breygent.com/wizardofoz2.htm
http://www.breygent.com/scifi.htm

LM

Sunday, October 22, 2006

New Sketch Cards




Wizard of Oz & Movie Poster - Breygent Marketing



Starting October 30th I will be working on two more sketch card series. This time for Breygent Marketing out of Canada, the sets are the second series of Wizard of Oz collectible cards and the second is a Movie Poster series. Here are a couple of samples from each...

I'll also be working on another set with another card company in the next month or so. I'll give updates on when and what that project will be!
LM




Tuesday, October 17, 2006

George and Me - Special Offer!

As a special thank you Vin Kelly and Sky Wilson are offering all those who visit the sites below (the sites covered in the documentary) a 40% discount on the purchase of the George and Me DVD.

Click HERE to order a copy now, they are selling fast!!

LM

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Lord of the Rings - Portrait 3 - Saruman the White


Saruman the White - Colored Pencil
SOLD!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

George and Me - Available for Pre-Purchase!



In just one more week, September 30, 2006, George and Me is released on DVD!
You can pre-purchase the documentary film at the George and Me website by clicking this link.
Thanks to Sky and Vin for all their hard work!
Leah

LOTRM sketch card release date

It has been confirmed. The release date for the Lord of the Rings Masterpieces card set is now October 25th, 2006! yay!

LM

Lord of the Rings - Portrait 2 - The Ring


The Ring - Colored Pencil on Mi Teinte

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Lord of the Rings Sketch Cards update

Hey!
Looks like the Lord of the Rings Masterpieces will be delayed. Originally the collectors card sets had a release date of October but it looks to be a little later. I'll let everyone know the final release date when it's available.

Leah

Monday, September 11, 2006

Work and more work

There has been a lot of work coming my way in the last month and a half and it looks to be one of my busiest seasons ever.

Lord of the Rings Masterpieces will be released sometime in October or November.
I sold the first in my Lord of the Rings portrait series, Arwen Undómiel, on EBay a few days ago and she'll be off to the happy owner tomorrow or Tuesday.
The next portrait isn't of a human but the ring itself. It is much larger than its film counterpart. I am half way finished with this "portrait" but will not finish it for a short time due to other pressing business...it's a good thing.

I'm busy with a few commissions and getting prepared for two upcoming projects which I can't talk about just yet. I'll let you know as soon as I'm allowed to give out info!!

The Star Wars Insider #90 will be out sometime this month and will feature my Boga somewhere in the Bantha Tracks section of the magazine. Thanks to Mary Franklin!!

So, back to work she goes!

LM

George & Me - Release Date

Hi there,

Taking a break from the drawing.


George and Me - documentary release
Hi!
George and Me, the documentary by Sky Wilson and Vin Kelly, will be released on September 30th, 2006 for regions 1 & 2.
I am one of the interviewees.
Here is a press release/article found at MoviesOnline.ca:
New Star Wars Documentary: George & Me
5HeadsTall Productions, the Manchester UK based company responsible for the hugely successful online TV show "Inside Report", are thrilled to announce that the long awaited documentary, "George and Me" is to be released on DVD on 30th September 2006. "George and Me" investigates how much of a positive "force" Star Wars has been on fans' lives since its release nearly 30 years ago. It shows that the traditional stereotype of the "geeky" fan has little value in today's world and that being a fan can really enrich your life and give you the courage to shoot for the stars.

It features interviews with fans such as Albin Johnson founder of the 501st,, and Shane Felux director of "Revelations", the most successful fan-film to date. It also features many other fans from across the globe who have all done amazing and wonderful things because of their love for Star Wars. The film took the two indie producers, Sky Wilson and Vin Kelly, nearly 2 years to complete, financing the whole operation themselves. They travelled across the United States and all over England in order to see first hand the amazing accomplishments that fans had achieved. "All of the fans fans we met were special people and should get the recognition they deserve", said Sky. "We wanted to show that Star Wars fans are really wonderful people who have done great things as a result of liking Star Wars," adds Vin. This film is the company's first foray into documentary filmmaking and they hope it's not the last. The film is released on DVD in Region 1 and Region 2 formats on 30th September 2006.

Visit GeorgeandMe.co.uk for more information and to eventually purchase this DVD!

Thanks!
Leah

Friday, September 01, 2006

Comic-Con 2006



Short summarized highlights about my pleasant trip to Comic-Con this year...

I attended Fri., Sat and Sun. I was introduced to so many people now I can't possibly recall all of them...I remember faces photographically but names come a little bit harder. :P

Friday:

* I had some difficulties finding the portfolio review section of the convention, it was in a different place than it was last year. But, acquaintance and good guy John Hudgens (Sith Apprentice, the upcoming American Scary) stopped to chat with me for a little while and gladly pointed me in the right direction.

* Short meet with Lucasfilm portfolio reviewer Troy Alders, he was very pleasant and positive.

* I headed over to Artist Alley to say my hello's. I recognized someone right off the bat but saw that artist Grant Gould was standing right behind him and headed over to introduce myself formally. I then saw Bonnie Burton who was talking to someone else..but Grant quickly pointed out that Joss Whedon was right behind me. Yes, the very same person I'd recognized but didn't filter to the right "fan" related cell in my grey matter. While I kick myself for not getting a photograph with him I did introduce myself, showed him my Serenity artwork and gave him my card. Really nice fellow.
Grant got a great picture of Whedon with artist Tom Hodges, which he took just before I arrived (you can see Bonnie in the background). Grant took a picture of Bonnie and I together. You can see all of Grant's awesome pics HERE, make sure to click the links too.

*I think I said hello to half the artists I'd talked to online over the past few months...Joe Corroney, Justin Chung, Cynthia Cummens, Gabriel Hernandez, Tom Hodges and his wife Terri, Otis Frampton. As I chatted with Joe Corroney at his table I met Able Peña and Dan Wallace. We all headed over to the Star Wars Spectacular.

*Snakes on a Plane panel. After the SW Spectacular ended I stayed to watch the Snakes on a Plane presentation. We sat next to one of the stars of the film the lovely and sweet Lyn Shaye. We chatted for a few moments about some of the films she'd done. Frankly I recognized her but wasn't placing her name or her films immediately but knew I'd just seen her in something. The film I'd seen her in was Detroit Rock City, I watched it again to grab the Star Wars reference during the beginning credits. She's very cool and helped to design the Snakes on a Plane jewelry. I got some good shots of Mr. Jackson, et al., as well. The panel was a riot.

*The 501st dinner was next and after a short break and finally checking into our hotel, my husband and I made our way over to the dinner. Many of the artists were there as well as Karen Traviss (who I spoke to briefly, lovely woman), Kevin Rubio (Troops), Aaron Allston, Steve Sansweet as well as the great people of the 501st!

*Headed over to the almost over Master Replicas party hung out for what seemed like only minutes then headed over to the Gentle Giant/Dark Horse/Weta thing. Met with many of the Star Wars artists and chatted and drank...a little. ;) Was pleased to meet the sweet and cute Bryan Singer (Superman Returns) and then the formidable but very pleasant Edward James Olmos (Adama - Battlestar Galactica) who gave me a big hug and a very wet kiss on the lips and cheek! Awesome. Another party followed. I can't recall at which wee hour I finally made it to sleep but I was very glad to get it.

Saturday:
I honestly don't know where most of the day went but I did hang out quite a bit with Joe and Justin at their table, talked a lot with Randy Martinez and Gabriel Hernandez...met a ton more artists and talked and talked and talked.

I did run into an old acquaintance from the early 90's back in Santa Barbara, Mark Andrews. He was down for the day hanging out and promoting his stuff. If there's anyone out there who hasn't picked up a copy of Tales of Colossus...shame!

We had an ok dinner that night (service was nearly non-existent) but the company was great (Abel, Dan, Jeff, Joe, Justin, Andy, Michael).

* Headed over to a place downtown and hung out with more of the same. Randy Martinez took some great photos. The picture of me and "Rick" actually me and artist Ryan Waterhouse. I was enlisted to take the pic of Randy and Matt Busch. :P Finally met Pablo Hidalgo and his beautifully-coifed girlfriend Kristen and...well, look at the pics you can see who's there.

*Several stops, drinks and walking ensued and a chance meeting with LOST actor Jorge Garcia (see the pic on MySpace page...what luck! Then a final stop at a party which lasted until...oh...5:30 am.

Sunday:
More talking with the artists, I did a lot of that obviously since I saw almost nothing of the convention itself...good thing I got in free. I Bought my 501st exclusive and a TIE fighter and had to get on the road and relieve my parents of my 3 year old son. The drive home was quiet and peaceful (totally needed) and there was a sunset to die for.

I swear...conventions seem to be the place where artists get all their talking out in between drawing gigs. Drawing is so very solitary (thankfully) and quiet and the conventions are in complete contrast to the normal day-to-day of that.


Back to work.
Leah

Arwen Final


Presenting Miss Arwen Undómiel!
She is up for auction so please, take a look and happy bidding.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Arwen Unfinished

Arwen - Unfinished - Colored Pencil on Mei Teinte

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Masterpieces release


Lord of the Rings Masterpieces will be released on or after October 4th (not 100% positive of the release date yet).

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Finished!


So much for making updates as I crammed through the Lord of the Rings sketches.

I did 850 sketches total. It was an interesting experience. I will no doubt take another go at the process for another set, though most likely I will do far less.
Overall I was pleased with my contribution to The Lord of the Rings Masterpieces card set.

Topps has released some of the samples (pictured here), I did not make the selection on purpose I just picked a scanned page at random and sent it in. I will be sending all the scans Topps' way shortly and maybe I can release a few more!

To see samples of the other artists' sketches please take a peek at this wonderful site and stroll through the list. More updates will happen once Topps releases the scans they have.

Thanks!

Leah

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Lord of the Rings Sketch Cards

Lord of the Rings Masterpiece Collectible Card Series

I've been invited to do sketch cards for the series that will be released this fall. I'll be making a few updates as I go but the deadline is super tight.

Thank you!
Leah

Monday, July 24, 2006

Comic-Con Souvenir Book - Gumby's 50th


GUMBY!

Imagine my surprise when I'm flipping through the Souvenir Book at Comic-Con this past weekend and I see a drawing I submitted printed at the top of page 78.
Here it is, simple as it may be...

Leah

Trivia Contest with a Prize!

Who is the woman in the photo? Hint: She is very connected to the Star Wars films.

Hey all!

I'm holding a small, one-question, visual trivia contest.

A winner will be chosen at random from all the correct entries.

Contest ends on Thursday August 31, 2006.Winner receives a personal sketch (non-color, penciled, 2.5" x 3.5") of their favorite Star Wars character (films only, no EU).

International entries welcome.

Winner will be announcedon September 1, 2006. Prize to be delivered 6-8 weeks after confirmation of winner.

Good luck, Leah

ENTER HERE

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Eagle Project



Eagles are Forever project - Colored Pencil on Mi Teinte 2006

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Belle Final



Belle 6" x 9" Commission Colored Pencil 2006

I don't normally show the pet works here simply because it's limited and they really only mean something to my clients...and me. But a friend asked to see a scan so I obliged.

Leah

Friday, July 07, 2006

THX 1138:4EB

I purposely waited for the right time...11:38
THX 1138:4EB

Belle Portrait Super Rough


Commission - Belle Rough Sketch

It's so rough you can barely see it. ;)

Which Superhero am I?

You Are Wonder Woman
A true goddess, you have the strength and skills to rule the world.You're one sexy amazon... all of the superhero guys are fighting over you!


Not sure if I needed someone else to tell me this! ;)

I've Joined MySpace!

How did I get talked into that?? haha, I don't know.
But here it is anyway.

Leah

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Oh! Brother!

From msnbc.com lol...

>>Gisele Bundchen is worried that she’s starting to look her age.
“I definitely feel that I had more men hitting on me in the past, when I was younger, maybe 15 or 16, for sure. Maybe I am not as good looking. I don’t know. Maybe my age has started showing? I take off my sunglasses and I’m 25.”<<

The horror....the horror.
Maybe the old pervs who like 15-16 year olds have moved on to the next girl, sweetie, time to grow up and look for a better class of man. ;)
Any bets on whether miss worry pants makes it to 40 if she's worried about looking 25?

I can't roll my eyes enough! Silly girl.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Yeiser Art Center

After years of waiting The Yeiser Art Center in Paducah, KY is finally back online, not all of the site is functional but it is a start. This Center belongs to a family member and yet I've never been there. I do hope to get there at some point within the next couple of years.

LM

Friday, June 30, 2006

George & Me - Documentary Blog


As many of you know I am part of the documentary called George & Me that is being made by Sky Wilson. I wanted to let you all know that there is not only a trailer for the doc but a brand new George & Me blog which give us the opportunity to see what's going on with the production and other updates. I will have a permanent link to the blog too. :D

The documentary comes out at the end of September 2006 and will be available to purchase at that time.

Leah

Monday, June 26, 2006

Astounding Amounts for Artwork


If any of you have been keeping up with anything going on at Sotheby's or Christie's in London recently you would have watched some jaw-dropping art auctions this year...especially for Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary works of art.
Starting in June and continuing through summer is traditionally a slower time for art dealers and high profile auctions. This year seems to have made a turn for the better in terms of record sales for this time of year...and then some.

On June 19th alone sales hit an all-time high of £153,580,000 ($280,238,000 US). There were 73 items that sold for near a million/or over a million (£ or $) Modigliani's portrait of his mistress, Jeanne Hébuterne au Chapeau (seen to the left), sold for a cool £16.3 million ($29,745, 000 US). This painting, which was completed in 1919, was originally estimated to sell for around £12 million and was part of a private collection.

David Hockney's The Splash was sold for a record (for the artist) £2,920,000 ($5,329,000). Other record breaking sales for artists: Lyonel Feininger (£4,152,000 / $7,688,888) Peter Doig (£1,128,000 / $2,088,888) Frank Auerbach (£456,000 / $844,444) While most of the buyers hailed from the United States (44%) other buyers included 23% European, 14% Russian, 11% British and *8% Asian.

The Asian market for modern artworks has dramatically in the last few years but mostly for their own modern pieces. In addition Christie's of London held their Impressionist, Modern, Post-War and Contemporary art auction from June 20 - 22 and the take for that was £141.5 million ($258m US)

On June 20 - 22 Christie's auction brought in £141.5m ($258m US). 81 lots of art going for at least £/$1m each.

Just incredible.
L

Pulp Fiction Final...


Pulp Fiction Final 8" x 10" Colored Pencil on plain black paper 2006
This project is for this contest. We'll see how it goes. Wish me luck!

Leah

Bettie Page...


Miss Bettie Page 8" x 10" Colored Pencil on plain black paper 2006

This commission was rendered several weeks ago.

haha...and you really thought I was kidding when I mentioned the red. ;)

LM

Pulp Fiction Rough...

Pulp Fiction Rough (WIP) 8" x 10" plain black paper.

Here's a rough sketch of a Pulp Fiction project I just finished. I'll post the finished illustration soon.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Serenity Illustration Finished!

Serenity Illustration - 9" x 12" Colored Pencil
I've been juggling various projects these weeks but I finally finished the Serenity illustration. I thoroughly enjoyed working on this project and am up for another Firefly/Serenity based illustration when I can fit it in.

As I worked at this one I kept thinking how much I enjoyed watching the series and the film. I also feel the small creeping of smitten I have Malcolm Reynolds (Nathon Fillion), the same way I did for Han Solo/Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford). Don't know if I'm ready to be called a "Fillionaire" yet but I can surely see and feel the appeal! *wink*

I still would like to finish the Rancor drawing sometime in the next couple of weeks. I'll try to post some of the pet illustrations I've been working on as well....dogs, all dogs.

Thanks for stopping by.
LM

Friday, April 07, 2006

Art IS work...

This afternoon I received the new issue of Smithsonian in which there is an article (also online HERE) on a painters palette that may have belonged to American master painter James McNeill Whistler (think Whistler's Mother if you're unsure of this name). It's not so much the famous owner which made me take note here or the palette itself or how the way the paint was arranged. Nope. It was the opening sentence of the Owen Edwards article: "Those of us who love to look at paintings for the sheer pleasure of it tend naturally to think a lot about the end result and very little about the means to that end. We forget that a work of art is work." How true is this for those who are not artists? Many people haven't a clue how much work is involved in the process of creating art. People who first lay eyes upon Da Vinci's Mona Lisa (La Gioconda) see a simple portrait of a woman painted by a master. What they may not realize is that the style in which Da Vinci painted was time consuming.

Da Vinci made extremely thin brush strokes, some say small strokes combined with very tiny "dots" (a precursor to pointillism perhaps?), in layer upon layer until he was satisfied that the forms had sufficiently blended...a technique he termed "sfumato", sfumato meaning "smoke", as Da Vinci said: "light and shade should blend without lines or borders, in the manner of smoke..." It took Da Vinci several years to complete the 20" x 30" painting.

Artists tend to work quicker now, if they like eating and having a place to live, but the work is still time consuming and labor intensive...don't be fooled by an artist's love for what they do, the supposed ease of their technique, their chosen medium or genre (comic, fine, sculpture, etc., etc.) it is still work.

Leah

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Amazing...

Amazing work for interesting reasons.
Norman Rockwell's stuff faked and experts never questioned discrepancies enough to research.

Leah

Friday, March 31, 2006

Stuff!

The work week has been busy, is there any other kind? The only obstacle has been trying to work through a case of the flu, mine, my husband's and my son's as well. Interesting at best.

I read today that they found an ancient Roman sculpture of a painted Amazon warrior woman. Yes, painted! A very rare find. The paint, red (of course!), was amazingly well-preserved considering the age of the work at nearly 2,000 years. The sculpture was found at Herculaneum, one of the towns that was covered with ash and molten lava during the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, the same one that covered Pompeii.
The piece is now on display at the Archaeological Museum in Naples, Italy.

Photo by Riccardo Giordano

~~This is also interesting. A Michelangelo Pietà?
An adult parishioner found it in the church of Santa Maria in Marcialla as a child while playing and kept it a secret for all those years. I wonder what made him confess?

Speaking of Renaissance...sort of.

I wanted to be a part of Santa Barbara's I Madonnari in May but I don't think I can make it. I will however try to make the I Madonnari in San Luis Obispo (SB's sister festival) which is held in September. This will give me a better chance to find a sponsor and make my arrangements.

~~I continue to work.
I'm hoping to bring you some colored projects soon.LM

Serenity WIP...


Serenity - WIP 9" x 12" Pencil Sketch

This is a work in progress from the film Serenity. The ship, Serenity; The Captain, Mal Reynolds; The Gifted Child, River Tam; The Operative with no name.

LM

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Serenity Sketch Cards...

Serenity - 2.5" x 3.5" sketches - pencilI thoroughly enjoyed the series Firefly and the film Serenity and I will no doubt be drawing more of the crew and others in the time to come.

Leah







Preliminary Sketch - Rancor...


Preliminary Sketch for Rancor Illustration 9" x 12" 2006
The Rancor, poor misunderstood, half-starved, bi-pedal creature. The Rancor seen in Jabba's Palace, as you see him here, was treated not as his kind were in the wilds of Dathomir or other planets but as a slave and in poor health, small for his species...even for a youth.

This sketch will be a full color illustration. 9"x12" Bristol Board - Colored Pencils.

Leah

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Boga...

The Boga - Colored Pencil 9" x 12" 2006

OK! She's all finished. I LOVE this creature.
That red made it in, was there any doubt? Nope, it was an easy bet.

The scanner only scans sizes 8" x 10" or smaller so the edges have been cut off...I wasn't going to run down to Kinko's at 3 am, no full size scan until later.

LM

Monday, March 13, 2006

WIP Commission

Private Commission - Colored Pencil 18" x 20" 2006

This is a private commission based on a real event and a fictional backdrop.

This work will seem (to me) to look so different by finishing time.

I enjoy my initial sketches (I'm a fan of sketches in general and thoughout the ages), I tolerate the first quarter, despise the second and warm up after most of the color is laid down in the third and fourth quarters.

LM

Red Flora...

Red Flora (WIP) - Colored Pencil 7" x 9" 2006

I'm betting at this point you're seeing the red pattern.

I love finishing florals, I cannot honestly say though that I love the process of coloring them. Real details are more important for my own style than shortcuts that trick the viewer into thinking there are more details when viewed at a *small distance, I want the viewer to see up close that the details are just as detailed up close as they are from a distance.

Don't get me wrong, I do have my periods of simplicity but I prefer realism over abstraction in my own work. I have not gone to the super realism plateau, I don't know if I'll ever feel the need to reach that stataspheric level of realistic achievement...or frankly to commit the time to such an endeavor.

*My works are generally small, less than 9" x 12"I'll post this when it's finished.LM

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Distraction...

I can't say this happens all the time but occasionally I am distracted from my work by research. Sometimes it's in the form of, or FOR, inspiration, sometimes for historical info (familial or otherwise), or whatever. Of course if there's no time limit and my purpose has been satisfied I will go off on a couple of tangents. It's like a whisper from one person to the next and so on. By the time I finish what I started the message has changed dramatically.

Today, one search took me from Clancy Brown to David Tannenberg. Another from Heart Surgery to Snow in the Desert and on to a series of dogs. One of the photos in the dog series was a man hiking in the mountains looking over the valley here. It was an incredible view, that lead me to thoughts of all my trips into the wilderness as a child and beyond, the bears we'd run across and other more secretive or smaller creatures too. So much beauty. That was enough motivational thought to keep me drawing for the next 5 hours straight.

My father and my husband both often marvel at how long I'm able to concentrate without feeling antsy, getting a headache or other pains, or tired. I can't explain that exactly but drawing gives me energy, yet calms. Some mornings I think I might be too tired to start (but I do anyway), once I sit down and put pencil to paper I'm pretty much set for the day. It's on the very rare occasion when I am sick or have a headache where art takes a secondary role in the day...not that I always have a choice in the matter. There are no sick days when you work for yourself.

I have two projects to share, I have many more but I'm only sharing these two. Both are WIP (works in progress) one is a commission and the other is for a show here next month (April). The next blog entry will focus on these works.

LM

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Ups and Downs...

Benji - Colored Pencil 5" x 7" 2006

I will almost never inject personal stuff here but I'm making a slight exception this morning.

For several months I've been preparing for a show that I've been juried into but wait-listed for. It's next week and I won't be told until then. This is the biggest show I've been accepted to and it would be a terrific boon to me to spend four days in maximum exposure. If it doesn't happen then I just keep going, on to the next challenge and so on and so forth. It's all good.
Yesterday I was pleased to hear that I'd won runner up in an art contest for Dog Show USA. The contest was sponsored by NBC/Universal and held at WorldFamousComics.com (run/owned by Justin Chung a comic artist, illustrator).
Here's the entry.

Each step, no matter how large or small, is still a step...no matter which stage in your professional career.
Setbacks or failures are only stumbles on the path. Successes are bonuses. As long as your goals are clear and your love of your art (work) is true, failures and successes are all just a part of the ride.

Personal Note:
~~My parents sold my childhood home, 30 years. Bittersweet. I don't like to dwell on the past with these issues but it's hard to ignore such a large change and loss. The sweetness? My parents now live 15 minutes away rather than 4 ½ hours. My son will know and grow with his grandparents, something I didn't have...that makes me very happy.

My great aunt and uncle died this week, Monday and Wednesday. They were so close that they died within 2 days of each other. I've never seen two people as a couple happier than they were, it was amazing. I loved them dearly and will miss them with all my heart.

My best friend, only 39, will be having double bypass heart surgery on Sunday. Yesterday he called me to tell me he loved me and that he just wanted to let me know again before the surgery in case something happened to him. It haunts me a little.

These may seem like "down" things. They are in some ways very sad but the thing is that the love I have for these people and others serves me well, if I lose someone or something dear it reminds me to keep each day in motion, to live for moments, to not waste time, to love fully and to be inspired by life and not jaded by it. There is always something new to learn no matter who you are, there are no excuses.

LM

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Boga Rough Sketch...

The Beautiful Boga - pre-color sketch 2006

I'm fascinated with the Boga, what an incredible creature with great moves, ravishing features (feathers AND scales...love it!) and their vocal calls are extraordinarily cool. I'm not sure when I'll be coloring this Boga but I'll give you a post when she's done. Any bets on the addition of red somewhere in the mix?? ;)

LM

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The Monkey...

Ningyo Monkey - Colored Pencil (8" x 10") 2006

This is the second entry (more of a testing really) since I have yet to publicize. This combines two of my favorite things into one bundle. Animals and the color red...as I explained before I'm drawn to the red in my work and drawn to it in others' works.
For this work I worked at a lighter touch. It struck me, as I started this drawing, how delicate the props seem for this Japanese Monkey. The Rising Sun symbol which nearly overweighs its paper thin home, the fan lightly held in his right hand and the fragile set of bells in his left. I just couldn't bear to press hard.

LM