trips and travels

Angie Brown | They Draw and Travel: Philly

From the folks who brought you, there’s also This map of Philly was my first submission, and then the following week I drew a map of my favorite spots in Las Vegas:

Angie Brown | The Draw and Travel: Las Vegas

Those are the two places I’ve been in past 12 months. Traveling is one of my top 5 favorite things in the world, and if there’s one thing I never leave at home, it’s my sketchbook.

I have created a new section for my travel journal on my recently redesigned my portfolio website, which now includes loads of new, never-before-seen-on-the-internets stuff! I’ve added lots of new illustrations, since I’m focusing on that more than fine art or graphic design lately.

In fact, I start my illustration course this week– I’m taking Eccentric Illustration online through the Academy of Art University in San Francisco this semester. It’s being taught by Roman Muradov, whom I’ve googled excessively since seeing his name on my schedule, and I’m really excited to learn a thing or two from him. Posts may be few and far between in the coming months– or they might not, since I’ll be producing heavily for class, I might actually have tons of new stuff to show off.


Catching up

I’ve fallen behind on my bloggings. I would be ashamed, but I have three very good reasons for this.

copyright 2013 Angie Brown1. I was working on stuff.    A.)  I finished putting together a portfolio and submitted it to the Academy of Art in San Francisco in order to waive out of taking all the prerequisites for an upper-level class called Eccentric Illustration. I’m not pursuing a degree there, so they call it the “Personal Enrichment” path. I can dig it. I got in, by the way, and I’m really excited about it. Starts in September.  B.)  I’ve also put together a submission for a large fine art show in le capitol city. I’ll hear back if I got in June 17th. Pins and needles, y’all.  C.)  I’m also currently taking a class through called Constructing a Story: Advanced Visual Storytelling. It’s just begun, and I haven’t had any feedback from the instructor yet. I’m about halfway through thumbnailing my book Annabelle & the Bear. 

2. I went to Philadelphia.
Melissa, the author of the other book I’m working on, Square Dog in a Round World, lives there, so we hung out and talked about books and stuff. Melissa showed me ’round the city and I took some amazing pictures. We went to the zoo, the Philadelphia Art Museum, 3 life-changing restaurants, met an incredible cheese called Humboldt Fog, drank a good bit of Spanish wine, and strolled about the city and the UPenn campus, which is inhabited by an army of creepy gargoyles. She also took me to a truly awesome comic book shop, Locust Moon. You must go there and buy stuff next time you’re in Pennsylvania.

Literary Jenksy3. I got kittens. I wanted to get a little friend for my 3-year-old cat Vivi, but I knew it’d take some time to convince her that’s what she wanted too. So to keep Jenkins company during the transition phase, I also took in her sister, Zoe, on a temporary foster basis. And while we will all miss her dearly, I’m thinking my household will be slightly more peaceful, as Zoe Does Not Sleep. Ever. Unless it’s on my laptop keyboard. Then, apparently, it’s super warm and fuzzy snooze time.

So, with most of that in the bag for now, I hope to get back to my regular bloggings. Did you miss me?

what i did with my staycation

Hello, 4-day weekend. So nice to have you here. So sorry to see you go… It’s been a lot of fun, having four consecutive days off and no homework to slog over. I painted. I meant to do a lot of other stuff, but I got into painty-land and just kind of stayed there. The large canvas is almost finished and I’m really in love with it. It’s my most ambitious painting to date. Here’s a li’l preview:
That’s only about one square foot of the 3′ x 3′ canvas. More about it when it’s done.

I went for a walk Sunday, in the industrial wasteland of North Charleston’s old navy yard. That place is a veritable goldmine of visual riches. See here:


an inexplicably festive balloon


the new sculptures are up at Riverside Park. this year’s show is better than last year’s.


this one makes noise. the wind hits the vertical steel poles & makes a bongy bell-type song.


the cattlegate. employees only, single-file, no pushing.










So that is my latest photo essay about the post-industrial world of North Charleston. I’m working on a new photo book through That’s on my list of Things I Should’ve Done, But I Just Painted Instead.

isupov and jean and klein, oh my!

The Mint Museum in Charlotte has a sculpture by one of my favorite contemporaries, Sergei Isupov, who is awesome. I love his style, his imagination, his subject matter, his fine detail and exquisite rendering ability. He is by far my favorite ceramicist and one of the most interesting contemporary artists still alive.

Sergei Isupov Thinline.JPG
this image courtesy of

During my wanderings about the vast and labyrinthine internets of late, I have discovered James Jean, an artist originally from Taiwan, now apparently living in California. I googled “seamstress” and came across the painting behind that link, which I love to the point of wishing I had done it. I am currently working on a piece which may or may not turn out to be about the plight of sweatshop seamstresses in Asia and Indonesia who, for 13 cents a day, produce the designer garments which retail clerks, making $8/hr, sell to trust fund darlings for $100+ a pop. I am on chapter 10 of No Logo by Naomi Klein.

Charlotte: home of 90 mph winds & 3 mph traffic

Aside from the flaming garbage truck on the interstate at rush hour Friday (creeping 3 whole miles in one hour!) and the semi-hurricane-force winds on Saturday, Charlotte seems like a nice city. I went up to explore the town and attend the opening of a group show at Baku Gallery in the famed arts district of NoDa. This was Contrast, curated and promoted by the Culture Initiative- and it went well. There were a lot of very talented people in the group of 61 artists, and the show was well attended.


Actual people looking at my work- yay!

These two paintings were created especially for the requirements of this show- 12″ square, black and white.


The following Saturday, I made my way to the two art museums in uptown Charlotte– the Mint Museum and the neighboring Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. Both were fabulous, containing a myriad of treasures, as well as a few snicker-worthy bombs. I didn’t care for the featured exhibit at the Bechtler- Niki de St. Phalle. I find her work garish and simple, and her forms are crude and unrefined. She certainly has pop appeal though, which is for me another tick on the ‘con’ side.

this is the statue outside by St. Phalle. its shininess is its redemption.

I also saw the work of many greats- Tinguely (the aforementioned Niki de St. Phalle’s more talented husband), Picasso, Ernst, Miro, Rauschenburg, etc… and I was exhausted & a bit art-saturated afterward. The museums offered great views of the surrounding streets and were architecturally interesting themselves.



lobby of the Mint. Chihuly sculpture in the background.

Charlotte’s inner city has several great modern buildings and an aesthetic not to be overlooked.



from the backside of the Latta Arcade- an historic group of buildings around the corner from the museums



The wind was also against me and my plan for a walk. Aye, thar was a cold wind a-blowin, and mighty hard. I had to walk at an angle on some streets, and my hair would’ve been whipped off my head, had it not been firmly attached to my scalp by the roots.

These poor poppies were taking a beating, and were probably rendered completely petal-less shortly after this photo was taken.

I am also fascinated by Charlotte’s public transit system, the Light Rail… or whatever it’s called. Being from a city which barely has a bus system (which I have never ridden) I am enthralled by the trains of the larger cities and Europe. Subways and elevated rails are like alien constructs to me, providing hours of delightful window-watching and hands-free travel opportunities. Themselves worthy of being photographed, with all their tracks and stations and associated accoutrements, the culture of rail travel is exotic and captivating. Crossing trains also provide opportunities for erstwhile auto travelers to photograph other roadside interestingness whilst being stopped…



I wanna ride that train at some point. I also have several other things to do on my Charlotte list, and I look forward to returning at the end of the month to claim my unsold work (if any)  from the Baku Gallery.

roadtrip, part #1

I used to be the queen of road trips- I’d jaunt out at a moment’s notice, grabbing my tent, sleeping bag and my trusty road atlas, boldly charging into parts unknown. It’s been a while since I did that, having discovered air travel & therefore Europe sometime around 2005, and satiating my wanderlust in great big expensive leaps instead of little economical hops.

But now, with Europe impossibly far away for my bank account, I find myself wishing I still had my tent and sleeping bag. Especially after our experience with the hotel in Winston-Salem, NC…

For my latest birthday, I went to the nearest wine country to tour a couple of vineyards and check out other points of interest in and around Winston-Salem, NC. Our first stop was SECCA, the SouthEastern Center for Contemporary Art, featuring an exhibit by Oscar Munoz, a highly conceptual artist who deals with the transience of life and the imminence of death, and how identity is impermanent. His work was thoughtful and thought-provoking, and engendered a quiet sense of carpe diem tempered with futility.


Creepy leaf people, aaaaugh! The window shopping continued into Winston-Salem proper, where we wandered around until nightfall, trying to figure out why it’s called “the City of the Arts”.


she didn’t know either.


What we found instead was an industrial wasteland left ravaged by JR Reynolds Co., the tobacco magnate, and a lot of closed mills.



But even industrial wastelands have their charms and unique flavor of beauty… we discovered more of that the following day. Our biggest find of Friday was on the “Avenue of the Arts”, the 4 block strip of cutesy shops, galleries, bars and restaurants that serves as the cultural center of W-S.

We had dinner at a little place called 6th and Vine where the food was beautiful and delicious. I drank a cab called “Irony” in honor of my entire experience that day.


Coming up next: roadtrip, part duex! wherein I tour 2 wineries vastly different in nature & explore the ruins of the tobacco empire…

Serendipitous Squash

Top news story this weekend? I finished the portfolio case! Project Self-Promo is coming along on schedule. Business cards have been ordered, and I think they’ve already been delivered to my staff the apartment rental office, according to the note left on my door by UPS. The final portion–the map-folded layout–is currently in the design phase. It took me 20 minutes to successfully explain this project over the phone last week, so I get that it’s kind of a hard to visualize. Pictures coming ASAP. For now- the 2 paintings that comprise the sides of the case:



Also finished, is my Illustrator portrait of a certain Film Director.

In other news, there was this: Serendipitous Squash Pad Thai
A startlingly delicious twist on the classic dish, which substitutes steamed spaghetti squash in place of noodles.


I randomly purchased a spaghetti squash for no other reason than that I had never done so before, I had no idea what to do with it. But then suddenly, out of the blue, a friend of mine commented on one of her friend’s links on Facebook, which I stalkily followed, & discovered this lovely little blog. And this lovely little recipe (seen here with my own vegetarian, bragg’s-centric & anti-plastic/anti-microwave modifications):

1 large spaghetti squash
1 cup snow peas or sugar snap peas
1 large bell pepper, cut into strips
2 green onions, chopped (white parts separated from green)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/4 cup water or veggie broth
2 Tablespoons peanut butter
1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 1/2 Tablespoons Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste (plenty, plenty)
splash of lime juice
2 Tablespoons dry roasted unsalted peanuts, chopped

Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Scrape away the seeds. Cover and steam for 12-15 minutes, or until a fork can semi-easily pierce the squash flesh. Let sit 5 minutes and then “shred” the squash free with previously mentioned fork. Set aside.

In a large wok, saute garlic in canola oil. Add the snow peas, bell pepper, and white onion parts, and stir fry over medium-high heat for 3 minutes. Remove vegetables to a plate. To wok, add water (or broth), peanut butter, Bragg’s, rice wine vinegar, and crushed red pepper. Heat until smooth. Return peas, peppers, and white onion parts to the wok, as well as the spaghetti squash. Heat over medium heat for 5 minutes or until sauce has coated all the vegetables.

Divide among plates and top with peanuts, cilantro, green onion parts, and spritz with lime juice.

it’s freakin delicious, y’all.

Next time: Paul and I venture into the $15 wine territory, and Architects named Frank. And also, I feel a rant coming on, due to the book I’ve been reading.

brought to you by the letter A

This is my last semester at design school, and I could not be more happy about that. There’s just not enough time in the day for life and school… which is why I only post here once a week if I can manage it, and why my BFF is still waiting ever-so-patiently for her still-to-be-designed website.

At any rate, here are a few posters I designed in the first 3 weeks of class this semester.

I… um, co-opted the flag idea for this one from a conference theme proposal I’m working on for my employer. I showed this poster to my boss, and she’s decided to co-opt it back for the cover of the conference event guide– with a few changes, of course. The flags are actually an alphabetic code, and spell out “Charleston Harborfest”.

This one, though receiving attention from the judges, did not win the contest. I expected as much, as it’s not quite as colorful and simple as some of the other entries. I took the image from the last painting I completed, and developed further for another project –namely a magazine spread about toxic advertising and corporate mind control. Quite appropriate for a graduation exhibition show for a graphic designer/marketeer, yes?

& as long as we’re  subverting the dominant paradigm, y’all, let’s have a little sumthin-sumthin about global warming:

This one is due next week, for another school-based contest. My instructor likes this a lot– she tends to favor typographical solutions. I think it’s got a good chance of winning…no monetary prize for this one, just a minuscule amount of campus fame. yay.

For my next trick studio practicum project, I am creating a self-promo piece for the Exit Show and beyond. This will consist of a handmade/painted portfolio case (constructed from two 18″x24″ canvases) which will match my super deluxe business card. As part of my process work, I am photographing the daily progress of said canvases. Here’s what I’ve got so far…

first layer of acrylic paint. green and gray. hinges in place and functional.

oil color added– split complementary color model- blue-green, orange and red. seems to cry out for purple, but we’ll let her dry first.

papers, layer one– brought to you by the letter A, which, btw, is the grade I hope to get. It also stands for Angie, which– btw– is my name, if ya didn’t know. 😉 I am slightly concerned that the big red A might call to the literary mind a little book called The Scarlet Letter. ahem. not exactly an association I want to encourage in the professional world… thoughts? When you saw this painting/future portfolio case, did you think immediately “ADULTERER!” or no?

alligators and alligator pears, oh my!

CawCaw County Park! After 3 days of rain, the sun pokes out her little head long enough for us to revisit CawCaw, this time with my camera.

our favorite picnic spot- cawcaw

This is our picnic spot on the reclaimed rice fields trail- see the little bench under the tree? And what you don’t see is the alligator snoozing in the sun just 20 yards away. shyah. More photos of CawCaw to come, but first– a bit about nutrition, yay!

So a few weeks ago I fell deeply in love with the eggplant, that gorgeous and mysterious vegetable of so many asian stir fries,  italian pasta dishes, and of course–the french ratatouille. And while I will always hold a special fondness for that rather attractive and delicious vegetable, I find that this week, I’m falling for the avocado.

Oh, avocado, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways… I love you with my eggs at breakfast, I love you in spinach-based salads at lunch, I love you on the side of my stir-fry for dinner… but most of all, I love to mash you up in guacamole, OLE’!

After extensive research on the interwebs, I determined that all you really need to make guacamole is a few avocados and a little imagination. Ingredients vary from recipe to recipe- some people even added in mayonnaise or cream cheese… bleh. So I made up my own recipe:

Mash 3 avocados, mix with 4 scallions, finely chopped  (white and green parts), 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt, and  1 fruit’s worth lemon or lime juice (to keep avocado from browning). Refrigerate for 1 hour so flavors can properly mingle.

Some terribly interesting facts (no, really) about the our featured fruit(?), the  “alligator pear”:

  • Avocados are a good source of potassium, a mineral that helps regulate blood pressure.
  • Not only does adding avocado to a salad of carrot, lettuce and baby spinach or to salsa greatly increase the absorption of carotenoids from these foods, but the improvement in carotenoid availability occurred even when a very small amount-as little as 2 ounces-of avocado was added.
  • Adding avocado to salad increases absorption of alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and lutein 7.2, 15.3, and 5.1 times higher, respectively, than the average amount of these carotenoids absorbed when avocado-free salad is eaten.
  • Add avocado to your favorite creamy tofu-based dressing recipe to give it an extra richness and beautiful green color.
  • Spread ripe avocados on bread as a healthy replacement for mayonnaise when making a sandwich.
  • For an exceptional salad, combine sliced avocado with fennel, oranges and fresh mint.

And now, to go with that delicious guacamole, how about some Black Bean Burgers & Salsa? I found these recipes online (probably and modified them (as always) to make them my own.

Black Bean Burgers

  • 1 (16 ounce) can black beans, drained, rinsed, and mashed
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, minced
  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • big dose of  sriracha or hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C), and lightly oil a baking sheet.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix black beans, bell pepper, onion, and garlic with a fork until thick and pasty.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together egg, chili powder, cumin, and hot sauce.
  4. Stir the egg mixture into the mashed beans. Mix in bread crumbs until the mixture is sticky and holds together. Divide mixture into four patties.
  5. Place patties on baking sheet, and bake about 10 minutes on each side.

Serve in sammich form on whole wheat bread with spinach, sliced tomato, onions and bell peppers. Or mash up the patty & serve in burrito form in a whole wheat wrap with a little  Best Salsa Ever (drained well to preserve burrito integrity),  and OH MY Guac! In place of sour cream, use plain organic yogurt.

Best Salsa Ever

  • 1 can or frozen box of shoepeg corn, rinsed, drained
  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 zucchini, finely chopped
  • 2 or 3 medium tomatoes
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 3/4 cup fresh cilantro, torn into small bits
  • 1/2 cup scallions, white and green parts finely chopped
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar

mix and refrigerate for at least an hour.

And before we get to the photos, here’s an interesting factoid I found on another site: When crushed garlic was heated its ability to inhibit cancer development in animals was blocked; yet, when the researchers allowed the crushed garlic to ‘stand’ for 10 minutes before heating, its anticancer activity was preserved. A sulfur-based compound called alliin and an enzyme called alliinase are separated in the garlic’s cell structure when it is whole. Cutting garlic ruptures the cells and releases these elements allowing them to come in contact and form a powerful new compound called alliicin which not only adds to the number of garlic’s health-promoting benefits but is also the culprit behind their pungent aroma and gives garlic its “bite”.

Now, without further ado, I give thee CaCaw County Park:

<a href=”; title=”our favorite picnic spot- cawcaw by galacticbloom, on Flickr”><img src=”; width=”500″ height=”334″ alt=”our favorite picnic spot- cawcaw” /></a>











and here’s me, standing in the marsh grass, 20 yds from an alligator.


not a care in the world… but I never really realized how big those sunglasses are– they’re gigantor, omg.

Old Sheldon Church

On a slightly cold, but no less glorious day, we went here:



The Old Sheldon Church, about 50 miles down HWY 17 South. It was burned down during the Civil War and simply left standing. Lots of people get married there. But we just did this:


and some of this:


I won that hand. He didn’t see it coming.

and on the way home we stopped and photographed this: