Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Upside Down

I really wanted Ned to participate in "the Sketchbook Project" with me, so we got him a book. He has a real talent for drawing and I always want him to draw more then he actually feel like. So then of course, the deadline was closing in and I was working on my book, and tried to get him to work on his, but he just didn't want to.

Eventually, we decided to make a collaboration out of that book, and mix Ned's photography with my drawings. Since time was running out, I thought that doing 12 pages in 3 or 4 days would be possible, but then I had the great idea of using tracing paper between each photographic print and do something with the half transparency. Which means - 24 pages instead of 12...

And so he past couple of days were super busy trying to finish it by today, but... it's done! And now, Ned and I are going to walk to the Brooklyn Art library to deliver the book.

Last Day of this Round!

I couldn't sleep last night, I was up with restless insomnia, so I painted the cover of my book--probably a bad idea, since I was tired and out of it.  But the thing has to be mailed today and tomorrow is the deadline for the Kresge Fellowship application which I am also working on.  And the paint needed time to dry.

When I painted it, I didn't realize the little protective cover I had made for the bar code went up as far as it did, and when I peeled off the cover, half my name and date were gone--too late.  Also, I painted the name on while the paint below it was still wet, because I wanted to go back to bed.  Bad plan.  I just left it--maybe I will do bette next time.

Sketchbook Cover
Acrylic heavy body.
(It has LOTS of texture)
Since my book's theme (which I let THEM assign) was the companion book. I made a companion for the white cat (already a companion).  Acrylic heavy body.

Black Cat
colored pencil
Two-page spread

One of the pages I had left had really bad bleed-through, and on previous bleed-through pages, I had tried all kinds of things--pastels (nope, they bled back through the other side), converting the bleed-through into a changed image--some were so bled through that the new image was boringly like the first one, and so on, so this time, I created an images on artrage on the computer, printed it, and pasted it in--last night while up at 2 AM.

artrage on iPad
At the top and the bottom, you can see the bleed-through, but it is worse in the center.  I hate that paper.

and, finally, the inside back cover:

Companion VII, Citrus
Acrylic and colored pencil
Yep, that's my companion
Two of the many moods of Keith.  What looks like dark brown in both images in the scan is actually somewhat shiny antique gold acrylic.

I am not terribly happy with this sketchbook, but it is the first sketchbook I have ever completed entirely on my own.  So, that's an accomplishment and hopefully, I've learned something and the next one will be better.

I did sign up for the next round.  Are you doing it again?

I took a video of the finished sketchbook and am going to try to embed it:

Monday, January 30, 2012

Next Round

I signed up for the next round.  I'm sure we could saved 15-20% if we signed up together, and I should have asked, but I was at the site and just decided to go ahead and sign up.  Please let me know if y'all decide to sign up, too.  And sorry I didn't wait.

I will be continuing this site and I hope y'all or some of you will also continue.

Second to the Last day

colored pencil
a tiny touch of micron pen

Bleed-through remediation
This is the bleed-through from a previous design,r redecorated.
Some of the detailing is pretty subtle and doesn't show up on the scan.

I took a video of the finished sketchbook and am going to try to embed it.


Friday, January 27, 2012

Monita Rides Again

Monita the Mannequin
5 x 7. colored pencil
When I got the sketchbook, I was thinking of a nature Journal OR better yet, a children's story, but the paper was so crappy I spent all my time just trying to find a way to do art on it.  I wish I had taken it apart.  Next time, I will know better.  I did this on the bleed through from a pervious page.  I don't have time (too much else to do and not as fast or creative as Aya) to start over now.  (I am applying for a fellowship in poetry and the deadline is the same day and I have a LOT left to do!

Plan B

So then, I decided to use watercolor paper and do the whole thing properly... A while ago I made a whole bunch of small accordion books for a promotion for me and Ned. So I decided to to use the same method. At first I thought about 18 pages, but then, between the tight deadline and seeing how thick 12 pages of heavy watercolor paper fold into, I decided to stick to 12.

I went on with My Andrea's book theme which was Recurring Nightmares.

The coolest thing is that "The Brooklyn Art Library" is about 6 blocks away from my apartment, so Ned and I just dropped the book in person tonight before heading out to dinner! 


So for some reason I thought the deadline for sketchbook project was in June. I have no idea why. I got my book real early, and started to work on it right away, then other stuff came up and I buried it under a plie of stuff and forgot all about it till 3 days ago when that e-mail saying "8 more days till deadline" came in.

So I opened it again to see what I have. First of all, I thought I was about half way done, but it was more like a 1/4 of a book done. Second I didn't like the concept I started with which was 2 pages dedicated to a personal disaster and 2 pages dedicated to a national or international disaster. It felt simplistic and sort of whiny to me now.

Then, there was also the problem of the paper. I know from the start that the paper in the book was really really shitty, and hoped to be able to get away with it with a combination of very little water color or other wet media and collage. However, looking at what I had so far, I really hated the way both collage and wet media looked at the crappy paper.

So, I tore out all the pages and decided to start over.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Companion IV (A's Cat)

Companion IV
by Mary Stebbins Taitt
5 x 5, colored pencils (and a tiny bit of micron pen)
This is my friend's cat.  The friend and cat prefer to remain anonymous. Unfortunately, the drawing on the previous page shows through, to some extent (too much to make me happy.)

Next time, I am going to take the book apart and replace the paper.

Slow Progress Toward a Fast-approaching Deadline

"Companions III:"  on the left is the bleed-through from the previous page which I re-decorated.
You may not be able to tell, but it actually is different than the one on the flip side.
on the right is a new portrait of Keith in metallic pens.

Trying again for an abstract design--mine are NEVER
as good as Andrea's!

"Companions I:"  Keith, me, and KT at Dylan's talking and listening to Dr. Bop.

Companions II:  me myself and I keeping each other company in the covers of this book.
(The Companion Boo is the theme of the sketchbook.)
This is the inside of the front cover and is actually much darker than it looks here in the scan.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


by me, Mary Stebbins Taitt
left pastels, right Copic Markers
The purpose of the pastels was, in part, to cover up the bleed-through of the previous picture, Pastels are so mess and smelly. I am no pastel artist!!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Runway

The Runway,
By Mary Stebbins Taitt
Sakura pens
Prismacolor and Big Mark-it markers
Snakeskin Hat
I also did a little more work on the Snakeskin hat.

Snakeskin Hat

Snakeskin Hat,
Mary Srebbins Taitt
Snakeskin Hat, by Mary Stebbins Taitt, Sakura Micron 05 and Sakura Brush.

Monday, January 16, 2012

I tried to do an Andrea-style abstract and failed miserably.
here is the two-page spread.

 It doesn't look good, but it actually looks a little better in person than it does here, because I used glitter ink and the colors look much prettier than in the scan.