Archive for August, 2009

Second Cover- Gouache and Ink

August 28, 2009

The second cover completed but shown only in stages. Can’t reveal the finished piece until it’s published in September.

just the sunset

I used gouache for it’s richness of color, washiness similar to water color, and it’s compatibility for canvas board and drying quickly. It had to be finished and photo ready- can’t use oils.

Theme: Sunset Jazz in Frederiksted

. Once a month, the best local jazz performers hold an informal concert as the sun sets on the western end of the island. We bring chairs, blankets, Off, ( what did you think? ), and open ears. Free, and delightful.

I did small studies in a notebook to establish a color story and rescue my watercolor technique from the morgue. The beauty of gouache is that you can water it down or lay it on.

Did a larger sketch to place the key figures and work out details.

color wash sketch sunset jazz

Then I hit the canvas board with pen and ink, ready to place the actual colors on the finished piece.

sunset jazz B&W

So now you’ve got hair and make-up but you can’t see the dress until the not fat lady at the magazine says ” I’m Singing “.

It’s otherwise¬† summer torpor,


new puppyitis,

with elephant

and watching geckos eating mangos.

One more secret confession: I’ve sold a painting that also can’t be revealed as it’s a surprise from the person who bought it to someone who reads this blog.

More fodder for a September post.

Work in Progress, But a Different Sort

August 16, 2009

I was invited to do the cover art for a Virgin Islands-centric publication that’s widely circulated in the territory. Two separate covers- one for October, one for November.

The editor had a general topic in mind¬† and left the execution to me. The subject incorporates our amazing stilt dancers called “ Mocko Jumbies ” known as our Guardians of Culture.

B&W jumbie

Pencil sketch for the angular poses and foreshortening I was looking for.

They loom 12 feet over the crowds on 5-6 foot stilts and parade down cobbled streets with agility the rest of us couldn’t know of in sneakers.

I’ll post the finished piece and the official cover after it goes to publication.

But I enjoyed the process of sketching out ideas, working out color placements, and experimenting with mediums and techniques that I haven’t used in years.

jumbie watercolor study

Watercolor sketch for color and perspective ideas…

B&W cover with headingWorking out some scale and composition ideas. Exaggeration is good for eye appeal.

jumbie gouache color

Gouache on canvas- a new combination of effects. Lots of experimenting on cotton canvas panels before going for the finished piece.

Now I’m starting on the second cover- different theme.

Aiming for productivity despite the cutest damn puppy ever:

belly up

AND, the looming threat of Tropical Storm Bill, churning up the Eastern Atlantic, moving towards, we hope, not us.

Cloud Nine- A New Work of Art

August 8, 2009


Meet: Cloud


Gauge scale of dog by size of laundry basket.

every breath she takes

” You are kidding, puppy, “ I say to this face.


She ambushed me with her extreme cuteness and baby goat-like appearance. Could you pass this by if you saw it on the side of a road? Two days in the house and she’s already a lady.

A push and play puppy already assembled with amber eyes, Zen calm, smarts, sweetness and delivered by the spirits, maybe not coincidentally, on my birthday August 5.


Ears suitable for aircraft landing signals.

But as an artist, you can’t let yourself get poleaxed by sentimentality. Time to stop mooning over this puppy and concentrate on an art deadline coming up at the end of the month.


How am I doing so far?

Then there was THIS:


What was I supposed to DO?

I did the best I could- and here is the result.


Maybe tomorrow……..

angel encounter

But right now, I’m a little busy…….

As precious as Cloud is, and as lucky, there are far too many dogs and cats running feral, unwanted, abused and non-neutered here on St. Croix.

Support and encourage neutering and spaying programs wherever you can. Right here, we’re lucky to have The Sunshine Foundation, a non profit, educational outreach spay and neuter center within the walls of The Sugar Mill Veterinary Clinic. Their goal and message is to end pet overpopulation.

( just glad Cloud entered the population……..)