Friday, November 30, 2012


Oh how I wish I had as much balance, flexibility & steadiness as this fellow! He's from one of the AWAD curiotypes from last year, but I realized I'd never posted his finished incarnation.

In-progress versions are here & here.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Wassailing Woodworkers

This is another curiotype for A.Word.A.Day. It was really challenging (but fun) to paint because of all the teeny-tiny tools. I cribbed them from Joseph's workbench in Campin's Mérode Altarpiece.

'Tis the season for maximum mess-making around here. I love making gifts, but as always when I'm in the midst of an interesting project, I seem to develop a severe case of mess-blindness. Between all the crafting, Etsy packaging, card-making, decorating, gift-wrapping & artwork, my studio tends to build up quite an alarming residue of tools & materials as Christmas approaches.

By Christmas Eve I always feel exhausted, overwhelmed by the surrounding detritus, yet giddy with some sort of seasonal magic. I figure Santa's elves must feel the same way. Also, I think a little celebratory beverage can make clean-up time a lot more bearable, don't you?

Good Wassail to all of you lovely oddment-hunters!

Acrylic on text (scanned from an old dictionary) on canvas, 6" x 6"

Monday, November 26, 2012

That Old A.Word.A.Day Magic!

Last November I had the great good fortune to illustrate a week's worth of words for Anu Garg's brilliant A.Word.A.Day. It was so much fun that I asked Anu if I could do it again this year & to my extreme delight he said yes!

If you're a friend/follower of Oddments & have never been to AWAD, hustle right on over there & subscribe-- it's an amazing resource of word lore, as entertaining as it is educational.

Of course if you're coming here from A.Word.A.Day, I don't have to convince you that Anu is a genius! Welcome to Oddments-- I hope you'll have fun browsing through my blog. You'll find plenty of words & letters playing with the paint around here.  And perhaps you'd like to see some in-progress versions of last year's AWAD illustrations, or have a look at my Etsy shop, Curious Art Lab, where I have prints & some originals from both years.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Cosmic Cats

Another piece in the series I mentioned in the last post. On Monday my secret will be revealed...

(And no, I'm not pregnant, ha! I can see why some of you thought that, though.)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Bouncing Baby B

AlphaBooks may be over, but my obsession with letters & text is still hopping right along! This is the first in a series of five illustrated letters that will make its proper debut next Monday. If you have been visiting this blog since around this time in 2011 you can probably guess what it's for. ;-)

I took some extreme liberties with the "B" (not to mention marsupial anatomy) in order to illustrate the word "bursiform"-- meaning shaped like a pouch.

I'll likely make some further tweaks & will post the other four images next week, but until then, I hope those of you who will be celebrating Thanksgiving this Thursday have a delectable holiday. I'm thankful to all of you who come this way!

Acrylic on text (scanned from Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary) on canvas, 6" x 6"

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Z is for Zaphod Beeblebrox

AlphaBooks has finally come to an end! *sob* And I'm sure I won't be the only one to ride into the sunset with Zaphod Beeblebrox, the two-headed (and also tow-headed), three-armed, flashy-dressing President of the Galaxy in Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. 

In this scene, the maniacal Zaphod makes his entrance on a semicircular leather sofa floating within a 20-foot transparent globe. In case you can't make out the text: "His fair tousled hair stuck out in random directions, his blue eyes glinted with something completely unidentifiable, and his chins were almost always unshaven."

I won't say what happens next, because I hate spoilers.

But for those of you who have read the book, you'll know why the page number was particularly pleasing to me. ;-)

Acrylic on text scanned from a 1979 Pocket Paperback, ~ 7" x 4.5" In addition to the "zequined" jacket, I attempted to manhandle his two right arms into something resembling a zed.

And with that, AlphaBooks is over! Goodbye, & thanks for all the fish! I still hope to fill in a few gaps to complete the alphabet, but you can see what I've done so far here. And some of us AlphaBooks regulars are currently planning a new project to begin in the new year. In the meantime I have a personal series underway that I'll be posting soon, so stay tuned!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Y is for You!

My penultimate entry for AlphaBooks is a bit of a departure from the usual format. It comes from Italo Calvino's If on a winter's night a traveler, one of my all-time favorite books. In essence it is a book about books, about reading, about the way fiction intertwines with life. Every other chapter in the book is written in the second person, making you, the reader, one of the main characters in the novel.

Once I hit on this concept, I was stumped about how to illustrate it, until it occurred to me to make the book itself the focus, essentially a reader's-eye view. It may take a little imagination to see a "Y" shape in the hand position, but it's the best I could do!

Acrylic on scanned image of a 1979 Harcourt paperback edition, ~ 11" x 8"