Masthead header

Have you ever tried to write something you though would take you a few hours and it ends up being this monster of a project that takes many agonizing hours to drag out from the depths of your mind to the ink on the page? Well, that’s what has happened to my blog post about dreams. I’m not sure when it will finally be finished, but I’m determined to get it written! In the mean time (again) I though I would share with you the concept art for my next project (one of them anyway.)

If you haven’t heart about it Neil Gaiman has teamed up with Blackberry to make this amazing collaborative art project. It started off with Neil asking 12 questions, one for each month of the year, on twitter. He then chose his favorite responses and wrote 12 short stories. The stories have now been released and artists can submit their work to illustrate these stories. Once submission closes, Neil will again choose his favorites and the project will continue, eventually leading to a book among other things. You can find out more about the project here.

I read through the tales and chose two of the images that left the biggest impressions on my mind to turn into artwork to submit. Here are the concepts for what I’m hoping to create.

February Tale:

“Only when my great-niece was gone and I was alone, did I swim upward, letting
the pendant pull me home, up into the vastness above us, where we wander with
the lonely sky-whales and the skies and seas are one.”¬†[1]

Concept art for the February tale of Neil Gaiman

I adore the idea of sky-whales! This guy swam … flew … swew?… into my head and I knew I wanted to bring him to life with my wool sculpture. I am really eager to felt him. I’ve felted a narwhal before, but I want this guy to have feathery fins, so that will be something new for me. I’m looking forward to experimenting with different techniques.
.

July Tale:

“I built an igloo out of books in my back yard….When I went outside I observed that someone had covered the whole world with¬†books: pale-covered books, all shades of white and blue and purple. I wandered¬†the ice-floes of books…I saw the shadows of the bears before I saw the bears themselves: huge they¬†were, and pale, made of the pages of fierce books: poems ancient and modern¬†prowled the ice floes in bear-shape filled with words that could wound with their¬†beauty. I could see the paper, and the words winding across them…”¬†[2]

Concept art for the July tale of Neil Gaiman

This story caught really my attention. I immediately wanted to build an igloo out of mini handmade books. I also want to make a papier-m√Ęch√©¬†polar bear out of the pages of old books. I wish I could think of a way to make the words wind around the bear and move like in the story; I think to pull that off it would have to be digital though.

I only have 14 days until the deadline, so I don’t know that I will have the time to make both projects. I am planning on felting the sky-whale first. If I can finish him quickly I’ll make a start on the bear.

I would love to hear what you think. Which idea is your favorite? If you’ve read the stories, which story was your favorite? Will you submit any art to the project? If so, be sure to comment with a link to your work so I can check it out!
Have a wonderful night!
– Joules

A digital drawing of Jereth from Labyrinth

 

 

Today I have been running behind and I didn’t have time to finish writing the post I was planning to put up, so instead I give you, Jereth, The Goblin King! He’s highly unimpressed with this world, but he’s so adorable when¬†perturbed. I’ll brave his wrath to stick him in here. I suppose I should sleep with one eye open in case any of his gremlins come try to snatch me into the Labyrinth tonight.

If you don’t know, the character is from the movie Labyrinth and is played by David Bowie. It’s a great movie (if you like fantasy, muppets, and Bowie, but who doesn’t?) and one of my favorites.

Check back on Thursday for a post about taking your dreams seriously and let me know if he made you smile!
– Joules

 

 

 

 

 

A digital painting of an artistic raven on a page of John Keat

Have a raven… or he’ll have you’re heart!
(to view larger, go here)

I am not a fan of the commercialism of Valentines Day, and since it’s a Singles Awareness Day for me, it’s mostly just another day this year. However, I wanted to create¬†something to share with¬†somebody, but what? I decided I’d make a Valentines for all my readers, watchers, and followers, but I didn’t want to make something pink or cutesy or kitschy. In fact, I wanted to do the opposite, I wanted to create something darker, especially because love has its dark underbelly that the Hallmark cards never talk about.

Now I had a direction, but still didn’t know what I wanted to create. I thought perhaps I could felt an anatomical heart, but to make one that would satisfy me would take more time than I had at the moment. Perhaps I could use my drawing of one? No, I wanted to create something new…

I was pretty stumped until this guy flew into my head! One he was embedded on my neurons he was very cooperative since he managed to get through my hand and onto the digital page without any fuss and came out exactly as I had envisioned, which is a rare, but extremely pleasant occurrence!

His name is Poeykeats, which is both a play on the word Parakeet (but please don’t tell him that he might peck my eyes out!) and alludes to the content and meaning of the piece. I didn’t just want him to be any old corvid with a heart drawn on him, I wanted to combine him with my love of literature and writing as well as with some symbolism. So, he became a raven, with the associations to Edgar Allan Poe and with death, but he also represents love in all it’s aspects with his heart and bloody talons and beak and he’s painted on a “page” of love letters. I chose John Keats’ love letters to Fanny Brawne because they are both wonderful and sad and fit the connotations I wanted the piece to have since Keats was extremely ill and died without being able to marry the love that he composed such beautiful work for. When I finished¬†painting him and saw the thumbnail of the image on my computer, I also noticed that the raven himself formed a heart shape. How appropriate! Of course I totally meant to do that…..¬†subconsciously.

So, here he is, a valentines raven from me to you to bring you a message of love and appreciation because if you are reading this, I very much appreciate you! I hope that wherever you are and whoever you’re with, you’ll share some love, appreciation, and kindness with others and remember someone out there loves and appreciates you, even if you feel alone.

Happy Valentines! <3
– Jools

I’m so excited! The final prints I’m submitting this week to the¬†Jenkins Arboretum¬†just arrived. They’re having their second annual photography exhibit for photographs taken at the Arboretum. I submitted last year and one of my images was given an honorable mention. Here are the five images I’m submitting this year:

A macro photograph of two moss seedlings

This first image, which I couldn’t resist titling “Children Of The Moss”, is a macro shot of two little moss seedlings, about 1/4″ tall, growing up from a small patch of moss on a rock. I got soaking wet laying on the ground to get close enough, since it had been dreary and rainy. Still, to find something so tiny and make a print of it that is much larger than life¬†was great fun.

 

Colorful fungi growing on a fence rail

This is a colony of lichen growing on a fence rail. It was almost dusk and I didn’t have a tripod, so I ended up wedging my camera between the fence rail and the wire fence attached to it to get the right angle without blurring it. I’m glad I took the time to stop instead of passing it by on my way out. I am really in love with all the textures and colors!

 

A black and white Hipstamatic photograph of a cone flower

Here’s an image I took this past summer. There was a small cluster of cone flowers growing by the pond and I thought they’d make a great test subject for my new black and white “film” in the Hipstamatic app on my iPhone. I’m pretty happy with how it came out, what do you think?

 

A black and white Hipstamatic photograph of a fern growing up from the forest floor

Another image from last summer, titled “The Forest’s Feather”. I grew up next to a lake and the surrounding woods were carpeted with lots of ferns. Unfortunately there are not many ferns where I am living now, so it’s¬†nostalgic¬†walking through the sections of the arboretum where the ferns grow, as they wave in the breeze as if they’re greeting their long-lost friend.

 

A Hipstamatic photograph of a sun ray touching a bench in remembrance of my grandfather

This last image, while it may not have much meaning to anyone else, is particularly special to my family. It’s titled “My Grandfather’s Bench” and the bench itself has a plaque dedicating it to my late Grandfather. I was asked to take a photo of it by my aunt and was really happy to have been there at the right time of day to capture the sun’s rays as they¬†reached through the trees towards the bench. Without those rays it would just be a picture of a bench, but with them, perhaps it will convey to others a little of the meaning it has for my family.

 

The reason I was so excited for the prints to arrive is because I ordered the first two images as canvas prints from¬†Artsy Couture. I’ve never ordered their canvas prints before, but they said they have “the tightest corners in the industry” and their prices are significantly less than other print labs. I am extremely pleased to say that they do indeed have the tightest corners I’ve ever seen and the quality of the canvas and print itself is outstanding! I am in love with these prints and will definitely be ordering from Artsy Couture again. Here’s a picture of the canvas, though you can’t really see the texture, you can see how sharp the edges are:

An 11x14 canvas print from ArtsyCouture.com

Here’s a close up of the corner. Pretty amazing!

The corner of an ArtsyCouture.com canvas print

Also, the canvas is mounted on a block. It’s solid all the way across the image, rather than just being on a stretcher frame as the other canvas prints I have are. This gives it stability and prevents the sagging of the canvas as it stretches. My only thought is that over the years it might develop a bubble, but I doubt it would.

The other images I ordered as dye infused metal prints from¬†Bay Photo. They came out pretty splendid as usual. You really have to see them in person to appreciate the satiny finish though, so if you’re in the area be sure to stop by and visit the gallery! It’s running at the¬†Jenkins Arboretum¬†in Devon, PA from March 1st through April 5th.

Have a great day!
– Jules

 

I have been waiting to do this post for a long time! I’m very excited to finally show you the pictures, so without further ado I present to you, Stitch!

A wool sculpture Stitch from Disney

So mischievous!

The reason I’ve been waiting to post these pictures is because Stitch originally started out as a gift for a dear friend of mine. He and I met in photography school and discovered we both loved Stitch (from Disney’s Lilo & Stitch for those who are unfamiliar with the character). This love eventually became¬†a tradition of giving each other Stitch themed presents for birthdays and Christmas. In the past couple of years I started making the Stitch gifts myself rather than buying them, especially because it’s nearly impossible to find something that depicts stitch with all six arms and¬†antennae¬† In 2011, I decided I would make a Stitch wool sculpture for my friend’s birthday/Christmas present. I felted up this little guy and promptly fell in love. So in love I couldn’t bear to part with him. My mother, upon seeing him, actually told me I was not allowed to give him away! So what could I do? Well, make another of course. Unfortunately, finishing that other Stitch took me until this past Christmas! The poor guy sat on my shelf 90% finished while I was buzzing around dealing with life and teaching. Finally I was able to finish him and send him to my friend for Christmas. He was a big hit and now I can now post pictures without spoiling the surprise. (See what I mean about how I’ve been waiting a long time?) He stands about 3 inches tall at the top of his head, though I’m sure he would insist I measure from the top of his antennae.¬†Here’s a few detail shots.

Multiple views of my needle felted Stitch

And here is my Stitch with the one I made for my friend. His is larger and the face is not quite so flat. I think it’s more accurate to the character.

Two needle felted wool sculpture Disney

I told my friend that his Stitch came with a hug, here’s why:

Two needle felted Disney Stitches hug

D’Awwww……

I hope you find my needle felted Stitches as adorable as I do, cause that’d make it feel a bit less like bragging! Ha!
Aloha!
– Jullese

T w i t t e r
F a c e b o o k
P i n t e r e s t