A few months ago, I went to Universal Studios Florida with some friends—mainly to visit Hogwarts. (These are the same friends that I made the Yule Ball costumes for last year. We do love us some HP.) We had an amazing time, as expected, and so I have memorialized some of my favorite parts of our trip in a cut-paper diorama, as expected.
Featured scenes include the Jurassic Park water ride, chasing the Lorax through Suessland for a photo op, the guys getting stuck on the broken E.T. ride for 20 minutes, the Red Rip Ride Rocket or whatever it’s called (by far the Best Rollercoaster Ever Made), and—of course—Hogwarts, Weasleys’ joke shop & Gringott’s Bank), as well as the Hogwarts Express that connected Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley.
The green Hulk rollercoaster is attached to the bottom of the box. It’s also a great rollercoaster, but the inside of the box was too crowded for a second one. I really needed a bigger box tbh, but I wanted to incorporate this particular box, because it came from the St. Augustine Distillery, where we stopped for a tour and some samples en route to Hogwarts. I highly recommend you pop in there if you enjoy adult beverages and are in that part of Florida.
I am proud to say that I have recently increased my moose knowledge by about 98% due to an almost-direct encounter with moose-kind. While visiting Lake Massasecum in New Hampshire last month, I witnessed a moose swimming across the 409-acre lake. Said moose seemed to be criss-crossing randomly, but moving at a rather determined pace. While watching breathlessly through binoculars, I began to question the moose’s motives. And then, being a worrier, I began to worry about the moose.
I have a rather visceral reaction to taxidermy, always have. Nevertheless, I went to the American Museum of Natural History in New York a couple of months ago. The museum itself is a walk through time, as much a museum of museums as of natural history. One can see the evolution of exhibit design while moving through the halls in endless ancient didactic displays and forays into educational design, and always, always—taxidermy.
The place is immense; we all but ran through as much as we could in 5-6 hours and only saw about 40% of AMNH’s offerings. The gift shops are very high quality—some of the best I’ve found in NYC. I have a rather visceral reaction to museum gift shops too, but on the opposite end of the Spectrum of Feels from taxidermy.
About a month ago, I went to visit some friends in San Francisco and I had an absolute blast. Ever since I returned, I’ve been laboring over this 3D mapmento of my trip’s highlights.
There’s the Botanical Park in Golden Gate Park in the lower left, with the bridge and blanket of fog above, with Haight-Ashbury and a few of the “Painted Ladies” — the characteristic Victorian townhouses SF is known for—near the center of the map. In the bottom right are a few of the stops I made on my solo adventure day, the high point of which was the Comic Art Museum. In the top right, wine country — featuring the Fremont Diner, home of the World’s Best Chicken-n-WafflesOMG and the vineyards of Chateau St. Jean, where we stopped for a tasting and tour.
There’s so, so much of San Francisco that I didn’t see… Can’t wait to go back, and I actually wouldn’t mind living there for a bit. SF, you’ve been added to my Bucket List of Residency.
I went to St. Louis last weekend on a lark. We spent much of the first day at the Art Museum, gawking at Nick Cave’s Soundsuits (see weird humanoid shapes above, far left.) On the second day, we found the mile-long graffiti wall on the riverbank and took a gazillion photos– I’ve incorporated a few details from those photos in my collage. Theride up to the top of the Arch was rather anticlimatic (it was too foggy to enjoy the view), but then we took a 10-minute ride on a motion simulator at the Planetarium. And *that* my friends, was the high point of the trip– a freakin’ rollercoaster through space is just as awesome as it sounds.
St. Louis is pretty cool and has a lot of fun stuff to do. I’ll definitely stop there again to see more of it next time I’m on my way to somewhere else.
Sadly, I’m not going to Europe any time soon. A friend of mine just returned from a few weeks in Germany and surrounding countries, and I enjoyed her photos so much I made this little map for her, including the canals of Amsterdam and Metz, France, and the castles of Bavaria.
I’ve been playing with layering cut paper, and there’s also ink, graphite, color pencil, gouache and watercolor.
I created this aptly titled Triptych (pun intended) using bits of ephemera and memorabilia collected during my trip to New York in April. As seen on They Draw and Travel.
*The Beastie Boys’ No Sleep Til Brooklyn was our theme song for this trip, as we drove all night—12 hours— to NYC from Charleston, SC, made a stop in Midtown before we checked in at our rental in Brooklyn, where we promptly napped. So, like, it kind of literally HAD TO BE our song, right?!
Other materials used include photocopies of antique city maps, oil paint, ink, vellum, and various papers. And now I have to figure out where to hang it…
This is a little woven landscape I made on my trip to Edisto Beach, S.C. last weekend. I prepared the box with embroidery thread before leaving home, and carefully wove tiny bits from our campsite and the nearby hiking trail into it. There are elements of palmetto, oak, and muscadine, and a few other random weeds and what-nots.
This is my first woven landscape, but I rather like the idea. I think I might try to do one for every trip I take, as a little memento of le journey. It’s often hard to find time to draw when you’re with non-drawing friends, but there’s always time to pick up little bits and stuff them in a box. Weave later.
I’ll return to Edisto soon, and spend more time in Botany Bay, a hauntingly beautiful section of beach filled with ghost-skeletons of trees and littered with shells.
The past month has been a whirlwind. I finished the last piece of the collection commissioned by a New York law office, grabbed my BFF (he’s an excellent driver), rented the biggest SUV ever, programmed the GPS (which said incredibly helpful things like “proceed to the route”) and headed off into the night to deliver the paintings to their final destination in midtown Manhattan.
The paintings look rather comfy in their new homes, and a big shout-out to interior designers Brooke and Yiannos of Input Creative Studio.
After the bizness was concluded, BFF and I roamed about the city, having various adventures and seeing many things. Turns out New York is, indeed, just as awesome as everyone says. Since I got back (and recovered from the bronchitis I picked up in the City), I’ve been working on a 3-panel collage incorporating ticket stubs, business cards and my Metrocard. I can’t wait to show it to you and the folks at They Draw and Travel.
Have I ever mentioned my day job? I ‘m a graphic designer in the marketing and communications department of a large law firm. I’m bringing this up now because one of the attorneys I work with recently commissioned three paintings for the office in Manhattan. This one, bearing the working title Le Big One–NYC, measures 42″ x 42″. It’ll be the focal point opposite the reception desk in the lobby. I took progress shots along the way, because, hey– that’s fun, right? I like to look back at earlier stages and layers to see how it developed and evolved– it’s a bit like archaeology, in a way…
So as you can see, I started out layering in various papers–including maps–and blocked off areas with a little oil paint. I then worked in a few gel transfers and more paint (rinse & repeat) until I was satisfied with the result.
But the real take away here is that I’m going to have paintings on display in New York City.(pause to let that sink in.) Also, the beloved attorney that commissioned the works sent this to me via email: “To have personal, original, meaningful work from within the family in our space is priceless.” That brings a l’il tear to my eye, it does.
The Even Better News is that my BFF coincidentally just moved to the Lower East Side, and I’m going up to visit her this spring. We’ll take a jaunty little hike up to Midtown East and pop in to see my work in its shiny new home.
Cheers to that!
And hey, –thanks for stopping by. Got any questions about my methods and techniques? Ask away!