Tag Archives: birds

Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven”

IMG_7758

Will I be doing any more hand lettering in the immediate future? Quoth the raven, “Not tonight.”

This is Halloween! This is Halloween! Halloween! Halloween! La la la!

Pretty often, the Halloween design is the bulletin board I’m most looking forward to. This one definitely was. I knew I wanted a raven, so I knew I had to do Edgar Allen Poe. The sticking point there was picking the right stanza; the poem is a lot longer than I remembered. I guess it could have worked with just “Quoth the raven ‘Nevermore’,” but where’s the fun in that? You don’t get very much poetry in 4 words.

Then again, cutting 170 paper leaves with terrible plastic scissors was nothing compared to the 4 straight hours I spent inking this bad boy. The raven himself was fairly simple. I sketched him out on Monday, cut and pasted him Tuesday (lost a lot of time because the Girl had hours of math homework to get to), fixed him up a bit more on Wednesday and blocked out the letters (in true Halloween horror fashion, I lost a lot of time on Wednesday because the school had a freaking hard lockdown because there was an active shooter across the street; The Man says it was an accidental discharge but tell that to 400 crying children who have just spend the last hour hiding quietly under their desks in a dark classroom), sketched out the lettering on Thursday (lost more time because the Girl had conferences at a different school in the suburbs and also some jerkface kid had pulled out 30 or 40 staples and tried to peel the raven off), and then strapped myself into my iPod and went at it with a handful of permanent markers on Friday.

It was 4 hours straight with no more than a few minutes break here and there to stretch. Made a lot of mistakes toward the end. It is what it is. I don’t have a name for that font; it’s just something that came up when I Googled “fun Victorian fonts for kids” and started clicking.

Sadly, the kids are on autumn break, which is a thing here. I always wanted an autumn break was I was a kid, and was always told to shut up about it, that I didn’t need a break because school just started. Kids today are lucky with their autumn breaks and their regular early dismissal days. But not so lucky with their active shooter hard lockdowns. Anyway, good thing their break had already started and the teachers just had grading day, because there’s no way I would have finished this if I also had to deal with children.

Anyway, you can read the complete poem here, and you should if you haven’t.

Seriously, my hand hurts. Happy Halloween.

 

Advertisements

Dragon Comics 104

And you forgot the ice water!

And you forgot the ice water!

This is the comic I would have posted last night, had I not been completely road burned from our epic drive through the Tonto Wilderness over the Mogollan Rim. I actually wrote the script last week; and it’s moderately ironic, because The Man and I were hiking in the desert on Sunday and even though we wore sunscreen, we both got burnt. I only burned a little, as my ancestry is Mediterranean and my whiteness comes with a decent amount of melanin all things considered. The Man, however, is of the Nordic persuasion and couldn’t be much whiter if he tried. His sunburn was especially hilarious because he wore a knee brace (on account of the 3 pins he got in his knee after driving a motorcycle into a guard rail) so he has a perfect red circle on his knee, inside a perfect white square. It’s a unique burn.

I helped him with the aloe.

Other than that and perhaps 1 or 2 tiny inconveniences associated with camping in a place with no services, if you catch my meaning (i.e. no plumbing), it was a stellar trip. We saw many wonderful creatures: jackrabbits, quails, egrets, herons, hawks, buzzards, and so on. Fish were literally jumping out of the lake. Flowers were blooming all over the desert. The weather couldn’t have been lovelier; ditto the scenery. We were on the north side of Lake Roosevelt, where no one goes unless they have a boat. We pretty much had to drive down a cow track to get there, and we had an entire cove to ourselves. So that makes up for the lack of plumbing.

The Trickster’s Hat Part 12

People never listen anyway

People never listen anyway

Some of what Bantock strives to communicate in The Trickster’s Hat is the need to tell your inner critic to shut up. He’s quite right; it was that voice constantly insisting that my work wasn’t good enough that robbed me of the pleasure of intensive visual creation for big chunks of my life. Art is subjective, and I have to believe that it’s better to create something flawed than not to create anything at all.

Exercise 44 is intended as a visual reminder. Paint two parrots, one green and one red. Simple enough. My parrots were born in the space of under a dozen brushstrokes each. But then, the directions continue: paint a big, black X over their beaks. How sad! I was rather pleased with my parrots and did not want to obliterate their little faces. Rules are rules, but, engaging again with the spirit rather than the letter of the law, I poked some holes in the paper and tied their beaks shut instead, a much more elegant solution, and the parrots are silenced just the same.

The text just came to me then; it’s a bit of a joke. I have a few thousand books in my office, and while I had envisioned the room as my personal space, my husband and stepkids would rather hang out in here than in the other public spaces of the house. When the kids (and sometimes my husband) get rowdy, I’ll tell them, “Quiet in the library!” My stepdaughter protested at first, “It’s not a library.” “Oh, really?” I said. “Look around.” When my stepson saw the parrot poster, he said, “OK, that’s hilarious.”