Monday, July 18, 2011

Got elbows? Or perhaps a coin purse?

What does it say when you spend a couple hours of a Monday evening, only to conclude that you can't draw a character that you yourself have created? A sorry state of affairs. The table-facing surface of my right hand is covered in leaden smear. My dastardly eraser is more prone to sullying paper than to restoring it to a white(ish) surface. Let's skip the "progress" photo.

Instead, here's something cuter:

Isn't he great? A coin purse that wants to be a Muppet. The photo really doesn't do justice to his glittery emerald vinyl. Clearly the crafter must be a fellow Henson fan, which made me predisposed to like her. Amber( WoollyMammothDesign ), was selling her wares at Ypsi's Shadow Art Fair this past Saturday.

It was a fine time with a wonderful friend, a pint of Bavarian Bliss Hefeweizen, and loads of visual stimuli. Oh! Also scored a couple old nude drawings from the talented Helen Gotlib, who was wedged into a corner, but seeming to hold up pretty well. Shadow is always 12 hours long, which is a bit brutal on vendors, IMHO.

In any case, anyone who can successfully draw the human form is pretty amazing in my book. My woodblocks have cartoony attempts at people. After tons of redrawing, they strike me as relatively ok (in a highly stylized way) until after I have printed the designs and they are drying. At which point, various internal reactions begin to flow through my brain, in an unfortunate fashion, like so:

  • "Hmm. If that person were real, her neck would snap under the weight of her cantaloupe head."
  • "Really?? Is one arm....LONGER than the other?? Seriously?? Damn, it is. Damn." 
  • Of course, my Mom is also happy to periodically offer reactions. Surveying a design:"Well. I mean, with you, it's more about the WORDS, more about the ideas, isn't it? So, I'm....okay that this arm...doesn't have an elbow. You can get away with it. It's"
Well. I'm really not selling it, here, am I? But hey. At least I got style.


  1. I want one! (coin purse) My answer to drawing figures -- draw trees, or become a photographer - which I don't really recommend.

  2. See, super cute!! I didn't know I needed a coin purse. Oh Stone Bridge, if there was some area of drawing that I was STELLAR at, I like to to think I'd gravitate to those things. As it is, I'll just continue flailing about. My Dad and sister are quite talented photographers, while I'm happy to fluff about with the little digital camera. I look forward to seeing more of your photos at Art on the Farm. Will you be visiting Michael Paul Cole's booth this week? If you don't already follow him, I bet you'd like his work.

  3. I do like Michael Paul Cole's work (his cicada is gross but oh so fascinating). I also like Sally Mann's work which is similar in style I think. I don't think I'm going to make it to the big fair this year; just don't have the get up and go I suppose. If you find yourself bored the evening of the 13th, (which I really can't imagine you would be - given your energy!), stop by the Riverside Arts Center, I'll be the lost giant in the corner.

    I think your illustrations are just perfect btw. They really do make me smile - how many perfectly drawn elbows can make that claim? eh? (I personally can't think of any piece of art with an elbow in it that was so captivating that I've committed it to memory - let alone makes me smile.)

  4. I like Sally Mann's intensity and color. I remember there was an exhibit at the U of M art museum several years ago -- can't remember whether it was solely her, or a shared exhibit, but to see the prints at full size -- whoa.

    Glad you mentioned the opening! I haven't been to that Gallery in a bit and I won't be at the Rust Belt, so that sounds like a good outing!

    You are so supportive, it means a lot to me. Down with elbows!

  5. Hi!

    I looked you up on etsy and found your blog through there... You said something in one of your posts about how when you wear or see a piece of art regularly, you build a positive perception of the person who made it. I feel like the reverse of that concept is also true:

    Shadow Art Fair is definitely a painfully long day, but what made it not only bearable, but joyful as well was all of the people like you who stopped by my booth and stayed long enough to share a little of themselves with me while I shared my toys with them. I always wonder after the fact what happens to my toys after they leave my booth and it's a wonderful treat to find them again later in someones blog, or through a future customer who had been given my work as a gift, or seen it in a friends' apartment.

    You brightened my day last Saturday, and provided me with an excuse to try to find my way back to New York to see the Henson exhibit! (You were right, I have always been a bit in love with Jim Henson:-)


  6. Amber, thanks SO much for stopping by the blog and leaving me such a thoughtful message! I'm glad I made you happy -- and I am in utter agreement that those connections during fairs make it worth it! Sometimes getting back-story on a customer's purchase, or how it falls into their life is awesome. I love etsy for that. A couple years ago a woman placed an order for a bear woodblock I had made and she told me that she wanted it "because I live in the Yukon and bears keep crossing my path lately." Umm, COOL. Thanks Amber! Hopefully we'll also cross paths.