May 02, 2006

Am I Still Doing This?

I've been finding that life has started moving so quickly that somehow my time for postcards is getting whisked away. But I will not let it stop me. I'm only a month behind. Well, hopefully, this weekend will be a good time to catch up - Matthew is going to williamstown without me (boo! fie!) to play a gig, catch up with his last graduating class of international students, contribute to a board meeting and assist the new photographer for the campus photo shoot on monday. This sure makes him seem like a man of the world, doesn't it? I plan to stay home, clean my office, repot my plants and paint paint paint draw draw draw. Luckily, cable is supposed to be disconnected by then, so I will have no excuse for distraction (stupid abc family channel made-for-tv movies!).

Perhaps due to the mania at home, I've seen a dramatic decline in quality of drawings. Or, maybe it's me seeing things. I have gone back to my trusty gouaches in the name of speed, but maybe this weekend I'll get to do some more experimenting with my new Dr. Martin'ses and figure out how they really work. I suppose it's a little presumptuous to think that I can figure it out in one weekend (and clean my office, and repot the plants, and paint paint paint draw draw draw) but what the heck. For the moment, I am feeling energetic and productive. Why not humor myself?

(The various images of frustrated computer guy on one end of the line and confounded non-computer person on the other end were inspired by my conversations with the tech guy at my hosting company Nexcess- he was so awesomely helpful that I made him a card (you have to be awesomely helpful in order for me to make you a card). Now that it is scanned, finally, I can send it off to him. Thank you, Greg Swaney. You rock.)

Posted by ribbu at 11:17 PM | Comments (3)

April 05, 2006

Needs Practice

In a fit of optimism and wild excitement, I got out my new Dr. Martin's vibrant watercolors and put them to work. Of course, I started out on the brussels sprouts, which was my new favorite, and was slated to become the next promo postcard. Boys and girls, never ever ever try out something new on something old that you love. It's not that I ruined it, it's just that the stuff doesn't move around the same way that my gouaches do, and I felt like I was stubbing my toes every time I put my brush down.

I'm not sure if I'm just not used to the vibrant color, or if I don't like it because, in spite of all the in-your-faceness of my drawing style, I'm fond of subtlety. Either way, I don't dig the outcome that much on this one. Maybe I just need to get used to it. Frankly, I just need more practice before I give up. I'm just so darn impatient. I want to be an expert like right now. (There is a huge oil drum up in Alaska that the neighbors use to fuel up their big rigs, and on the side of it, someone painted in big white letters, "TIRE SERVICE FIXED LIKE RIGHT NOW" which for some reason makes me giggle inside).

And this one, below, is a little scary bright. Matthew doesn't mind the brightness, though. I don't think I messed it up as badly as the brussel sprouts but I wish my transitions were a little bit less abrupt.

I'm learning that with these, more water doesn't equal less bright. I'm looking for just the right red, too, I'm such a red fiend. I like orangey reds, not pinky reds. All of the reds have mysterious names, like alpine rose, sunset red, moss rose, and tahiti red. So I'm going to have to do some color identifying before I embark on any more actual painting. Any art person is probably horrified that I haven't already done that. Oh well.

Posted by ribbu at 09:19 AM | Comments (3)

April 04, 2006

I've Got Some Catching Up to do...

Whew boy.
I don't know what's wrong with me, but these days I am plumb tired. I must be the lamest 30-year-old ever. Aren't I supposed to be popping out babies, making lots of money, running to the gym, hosting cocktail parties and being altogether too productive on all counts? Isn't that what your thirties are all about?

Well, today I did come home from work and rake old leaves that were 5 inches deep out of our front yard. So I'm making my thirties comeback!

Ahem. Our very very tiny front yard. That's 5x7 tops.

I'm planning on a 9:30 bedtime to celebrate.

More dailies, done during down time at work:

Posted by ribbu at 08:35 PM

March 19, 2006

Week #6

Here's the latest:

Matthew thinks it's my "best round yet" but I'm not really sure why. But hey, I'll take the compliment and wallow in it (for a little while at least). For the poppy picture (oops, I just accidentally wrote "poopy" - which wouldn't narrow things down one bit) I used my one precious bottle of Dr. Ph. Martin's concentrated persimmon (uh, that makes it sound like I used the whole bottle, which I didn't). And didn't it turn out yummy? Perhaps too yummy - in real life it's a little blinding. I oughtn't use straight out of the bottle, I've been told. It's considered an artistic cop-out. I covet a complete set, but really only because I think that will be what makes me a great artist. (Though, I just read about them, and it says they're fugitive. Maybe I should covet these, instead...) I normally use gouache because it has nice, intense color, but sometimes run into an opacity problem. [all non-artists, yawn here]. Plus, because I'm lazy, I've been using the same 5 colors of gouache because they are sitting on my tin foil palette (thanks for the budget painting tips, katherine!) and I hate to bust out the new stuff. Another artistic cop-out. Frugality gone wild.

Posted by ribbu at 11:50 PM

February 21, 2006

Week #5+

Finally got down to doing some more drawings this morning at the crap of dawn. I've been too wiped at the end of the day to do anything interesting, so I tried working on some drawing before work. I was disappointed until I scanned them in this evening, when I decided they aren't as bad as I thought. It's always good to have low expectations (or high disappointments)... it keeps me generally satisfied, even with mediocrity. Huzzah.

The sad story was that last week I thought I accidentally sent out a bunch of postcards with no writing on the backs. Oops. I looked everywhere and couldn't find them, but knew I had sent some completed ones out with the mail at work around mid-week. I eventually became certain that all of them had been sent out in one of my (sadly all-too-typical) moments of reckless postaling (past moments have included mailing my return bus ticket in the mailbox right outside of the White Plains bus station, mailing my train ticket in the mailbox outside of some train station in Germany (just a commuter train though, no big loss) and mailing a new book of stamps just outside of the post office in williamstown, mass). I had resigned myself to having to write new postcards explaining the old blank postcards, which just makes me look like the absent-minded dummy that I am.

WELL. Today I found them. They are now nearly a month overdue, but were hunkering down with the new books of stamps I had bought and totally forgotten about. I felt like I had received a special gift, just what I really wanted. Sometimes, see, it's good to have a terrible memory.

Posted by ribbu at 09:41 PM

February 07, 2006

Not a Fan

I decided to get back into postcard action last night after walking the dog in her sad medical boot (which is now just a ziplock bag taped to her foot with a sock taped over that). I got a bunch done but didn't have time this morning to resize all of them to post. So, I just picked out a couple.


Strangely enough, this one looks just like Winnie Cooper. Or, enough like her that I thought, "Hey, she looks just like Winnie Cooper!" And who doesn't like Winnie Cooper? In fact, apparently, lots of folks just love her. Frankly, I find that creepy and a little pathetic. I once had a discussion with a friend about how weird it is that some people write fan letters (on the heels of him telling me that he was meeting someone who had written him a fan letter). Needless to say, he is a fan of fan letters. Maybe if I ever got any, I would be more of a fan. As it is: creepy and pathetic.

If I were the sort to send fan letters, though, I would send one to this babe:


It would say, "You rock, saggy face!"

And who wouldn't be a fan of that?

I tried using brown ink this time around, which promised to be waterproof. It lied. When I was watering my dead yam plant this morning, I spilled water all over and it made these suckers bleed. So, we'll see if they get totally ruined when I try to color them in. I'm debating whether I should write a bitter un-fan letter to Higgins telling them that they lied about the waterproofness of their ink. I bet they wouldn't be fans of that.

Posted by ribbu at 08:43 AM

January 24, 2006

Week #3

It's 11:04 pm. It's time for me to go to bed. When did I get so old? I think it was around Week 2. These guys got painted in last night - nothing too exciting, except I do love that elephant. And the octopus came out reading a lot better than it had as a black and white.

Today my dog rubbed off most of the top of her nose trying to arrange her bedding. I feel a little at fault, in spite of the fact that she is a woefully stupid dog.

I also received a whole pecan pie for using my meager talents to maybe or maybe not fix an illustrator file. If only the consumer system worked like this all the time, I could be gigantic and fat every day of the year. *sigh*

Posted by ribbu at 10:57 PM

January 20, 2006

Go smoke yourself

Okay, so the fish tank one is a repeat. Except that this one is called "Fish Oil". They don't call me clever for nothin. Actually, they just don't call me clever. I finished these last night after watching the first two episodes of Arrested Development, Season 1. Since we've finished watching Jack Bauer save the world, I figure it's time to watch the Family Bluth ruin it. Or, at least maintain its status quo. I have never watched the show but received Season 1 from my good friends The Christian and The Piendak. Thus far, it has lived up to the hype. Just keep them coming, Fox.


Posted by ribbu at 09:20 AM | Comments (1)

January 19, 2006

Dance, Monkey, Dance!

Believe it or not, I had some time last night to do a little coloring-in. I say "believe it or not" because I was at work til 9 trying to prep a file for some in-house printing. Turns out I get in to work this morning, and they decided they don't need it printed today after all. I love when things are apocalyptically urgent one day and then casually inconsequential the next. It makes me feel like a dancing monkey. Dance, monkey, dance!

And then, don't!

Okay, now, dance again!

Posted by ribbu at 12:26 PM

January 18, 2006

Fish Tank

So, all that talk about painting in the daily postcards was a bunch of phooey. You see, we watch 24 (con Jack Bauer) in delay mode: we get the last season's dvds so we can watch them totally compulsively, instead of having to wait every week (a whole week!) for the next person to hate. This means we have to be ultra careful not to see any promos for this year's season, and not to listen to the office chatter about who is still alive. I've decided that all of the parts that have Jack in them have gotten a little bit boring because you know he's going to make it through okay... it's all of the other people who are totally expendable that make it so exciting. So, anyway, we watched the last three episodes of last season last night (that's a lot of lasts, no?) and are feeling post-coital about it all. (I'm sure that is going to take a lot of search engine hits, maybe I should have spelled it post-co!tal, thanks for the advice, mingie). Anyway, I only got one postcard done this morning, in spite of getting up wicked early to do it. I got up, walked the dog in the rain, painted my one postcard, but then the snuggy bed looked so inviting. Maybe tonight I'll fare better.

Posted by ribbu at 07:52 AM

January 16, 2006

Week #2

So - here are my black and whites for week 2. Okay, so I'm already running a little behind, but I have Jan.1-12 already written and sent out (thanks to staff meeting this morning), so I'm not feeling too bad. If I can color these in tomorrow, I should be in good shape. (Take note: this is me being overly ambitious.)

Last night when I was drawing them, I was convinced they all really stunk. Upon second examination, only three of them really stunk, and there are even a couple I kind of like (the woman and the snail... where did that come from?). I'm having a dilemma on what I should send to Michael Bierut at Pentagram (he's like the Odin of all design) because I want it to be really good so he'll instantly fall in love with me. Yeah, well. I guess I need to face the facts and just go for quantity over quality.

And really, wouldn't I rather be in the New Yorker?

*luckily, there isn't a chance in Hel that he'll read this. If he does, uh, Mr. Bierut, just kidding.

Posted by ribbu at 10:41 PM

January 09, 2006

Week #1

So ends week #1 of my new-yearsly-resolute marketing plan. I haven't actually written anything on them yet, but that should go pretty fast (say, in staff meeting tomorrow morning). I'm posting these weekly - doing them in clumps is just way easier. At the end of week one, I find myself with a surplus of images. Hooray! I completed 12 postcards this weekend so I am even a little ahead of the game - the best! But of course, it's past midnight and I guess this means I will have another week of sleep deprivation.

This dog did learn a new trick though - to keep Iggy from snuffing and snorting in my face in the morning I just need to feed her. Feed her. Not take her out on a 45 minute walk, toss her toys for her, rub her belly, etc. Nope. I still have to take her out to water the lawn and whatnot, but I still contend that this is a fantastic discovery, like electricity, or silly putty. I think some fourth graders should write about me.

And, did you see? Matthew posted a story - from the Dead Sea! It takes leaving the country to get the boy into blogging mode.

Posted by ribbu at 12:14 AM | Comments (4)