Wednesday, December 7, 2016

A book-lover's dream house

Prismacolor colored pencil on Stonehenge paper,  5.5" x 8"
(click to enlarge)

Sometimes an image niggles around in my brain until I just have to get it on paper. I've been sketching this little book house, in one form or another, or sometime. When I started to get serious about this drawing last month, I quickly reverted back to my old architectural drafting days. (It may seem like overkill for a little sketch like this, but when the perspective isn't right in a drawing, I find it really distracting.) I initially thought about making a linocut of this, and I still might.




I couldn't quite decide where each "layer" of the main color would fall, so I played around with blocks of color digitally as a bit of a short cut before applying lots of color to my drawing.


Working on this cozy little piece during the stressful presidential election was the artistic version of eating comfort food. I felt the influence of two of my favorite illustrators: I have been looking at the recent work of Jungho Lee a lot lately, and was certainly inspired by the color palette and dreamy quality of his fantasy book world. The soft pencil lines and hatching were Brian Selznick-inspired, as is the fact that it seems to want to tell its own little story.

So, I may have to listen a little more closely to see what story it is trying to tell, maybe I'll find out who is inside the house and why...!  Any ideas?

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Of pine cones and advent calendars


Once upon a time—six years ago to be exact—a sort-of-artist started a blog on December 1, with a simple post. She shared this drawing and talked about her love of pinecones and advent calendars. Years passed. She wrote another 220 posts and shared lots of drawings, some block prints and a watercolor or two. 

But lately, she started thinking, "Maybe blogging has run its course for me. The world is going effing crazy different in so many ways, maybe it's time for me to do something different, too." 

She remembered a quote from her high school French class: "Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose" which, loosely translated, means "The more things change, the more they stay the same." 

She thought and thought, and ate some chocolate. She finally decided that, because the world was going effing crazy changing, it was more important than ever to keep posting her drawings. 

And she will.  

And she hopes that you will too. 


The End (but not)


Author's Note: Giving nary a thought to this blog, or what I posted about in my first-ever post, or 19th-century French journalists, I bought this a few weeks ago:


Pinecones and advent calendars. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

Pinecone advent calendar handmade by the very talented Crankbunny.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Paperwhites and advent calendars: a fresh start ahead


My October "sabbatical" has carried over into November. It's been a weird month so far: my husband is away on a long business trip, and the election sparked a fair amount of distress and introspection. But things are looking up: My husband will be home in a few days—and my paperwhites are growing! I ask you, is there anything more hopeful-looking than sprouting paperwhites?

Actually, I'm all set for a new year of regular posting starting December 1, the six-year anniversary of my blog. I love December 1, because it's the day I break out my advent calendar(s) for the season, and you know how much I love advent calendars! I think that the ones I have for this year may be some of my all-time favorites, so be sure to check back.

In the meantime, you can follow my paperwhites' progress (and lots of other stuff) on my instagram page:  @sarahmellingart 

and you can read more about my love of advent calendars here.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

A change in the air


You can have your New Year's resolutions, your springtime with its new beginnings and house-cleanings. For me, it's autumn that always feels like change. One could hypothesize that it was the start of many a school year that played a big part in my feelings about fall. But I'm quite sure that the changing colors of the fall foliage, and that fall scent in the air are responsible. 

Change is in the air. A family wedding will be taking place soon. A new president will be elected.

I've been so busy lately (that aforementioned family wedding) that this little sunflower sketch is about all that's been on my drawing board. It looks a little like it's saying goodbye to summer. I feel as if I'm at a crossroads myself—a good one, I hope. 

Blogs don't generate the following that they once did—at least mine doesn't—and I just don't have the energy or interest to maintain the multi-platform online presence that seems to be the norm these days. 

I'm going to use the month of October to draw. print, create, think, and who knows see where that will lead. I'll report back. Change is in the air. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Homage to ?



I don't think that I've ever posted a digital drawing on my blog. I do very few of them, but this one was borne of necessity. This image was in my head and I couldn't stop obsessing over how to render it: Should the circles be larger and the whole piece huge? Should I paint them, cut them out of colored paper, color them with crayons?

What exactly is this thing? It's a 13 x 19 print, an infographic of sorts. Any guesses before you click to enlarge and read the fine print?  If you were a baby boomer, and even better, an artsy baby boomer, this shouldn't be too hard. Or if you've read this blog from the beginning, especially posts like this one, or this one, you should have it by now. Go ahead and click.

And yes, these are even in pretty much the positions they were in when you first split open the perforation, and saw them all in their waxy glory. (I have a small collection of old Crayola boxes full of crayons, and several have never been split open. (I have opened them via the top of the box to keep their packing order in place as best I can.)

Inhale...yes, that's an original box of 64 Crayola crayons, sharpener in the box.