May 30, 2010

The Four of Us Are Dying

The Four of Us Are Dying

You can purchase the William Shatner painting I also did for the show, HERE

I'm very excited LAWeekly's blog about the show mentioned this piece, Thanks!

"The Four of Us Are Dying is about a man who can change his face when he studies a picture.  As he creates a web of deception and theft, he subsequently destroys the lives of the people around him, and ultimately his own. "

Andy and I just wrapped up a marathon 48 hours at the Worcester Art Museum this weekend.  We were artist/mentors for Art All State - in it's 23rd year!

Every year, thousands of high school juniors apply to go to Art All State, but only 1 or 2 from each high school are awarded spots.  Those kids come from all over to spend a weekend at the museum, broken up into groups lead by two professional artists, and are challenged to create an entire installation artwork with only 3 surprise materials.

My partner was craftsman Steve Butler - a super cool guy who makes the most gorgeous furniture I've ever seen.  Our group was only given : colored wire, white trash bags, and three ring binders.  

Do you know what they did?? They made an entire sky serpent winding around our room, and a wire-girl floating away, with tons and tons of white trash bag clouds.  Fantastic.  Sadly, I had no time to actually take pictures.

And also - when teenagers see my artwork and think I'm cool - it feels like a tiny party inside my brain.  I'm cool!  Alright!

Ok friends, time to get back to work - on to the Ed Wood painting! Well, first, Alley needs to go out ...

May 26, 2010

Jolie choses

Well, life is officially crazy:

PROJECTS for June //

1. Finish "Ed Wood" painting for Gallery 1988 "Crazy for Cult" show
2. Ink, scan, tone + letter 90 more pages of "Pirates of Mars" graphic novel
3. Vectorize 230 illustrations for a corporate client
4. Plan wedding

Phew.  But, I do love to be busy, so it's time to fire on all cylinders!

I'll have lots of new artwork to show soon; including the anatomy of a comic book page, my process for doing a painting on paper, and a recipe for chai tea - among other things.

In the meantime, please to enjoy some photos from my week

 showing my museum students how to print CMYK
Amelia sent me a lovely package this month - all the way from Romania!  She hid a beautiful heart necklace inside the flap of a Moleskin (!!) journal.  Thank you, Miku!

Also, super-sweet Jenny said I was cute this week, so this is for you, dollface

me, at age 7 in a Little Mermaid bathing suit

No, that's not a bowl-cut.  
I know it looks like a bowl-cut.

May 24, 2010

Pirates of Mars - Nami [なみ]

You may remember Nami from the pen + ink piece I did for Space 242's Robot show this past winter.  Nami is one of my favorite Pirates of Mars characters, and everything from her introduction to shocking plot twists keep her more complicated than she seems - and excitedly biting my tongue not to give away any spoilers!

Nami carries with her a set of old aviator headphones and a retro radio, she's modified herself.

Some early character designs + sketches

She was a bit too "waif-ish", so JJ let me go into super-cute Japanese kid mode, which was fun. 

May 23, 2010

Flashe Paint review + Painting

C.C. Lowell's asked me to try out their newest paint; Flashe by LeFranc + Bourgeouis.  I'm always happy to oblige them!
Flashe is actually vinyl-based, like acrylics which can be almost plastic-based, they are extremely colorful and vibrant.  

- comes in a HUGE glass pot; you can probably paint from just the lid residue
- extremely flat matte; layer-able and smooth
- a bit inkier than acrylic paint, a little more translucent than gouache
- comes in a HUGE glass pot; you may not need this much
- if you like to blend smoothly, you will hate these
- not as opaque as text suggests

Flashe is not for everybody - it really depends on the kind of artist you are.  If you enjoy gouache, layering separate colors with little blending, then you will enjoy working with these.  If you are a watercolorist, these are paired really nicely with Aquaboard (*recommended)  If you are an oil painter and like to blend smoothly, you will hate these like poison.

Personally, I would invest in only a few colors that I'd use as a flat, mono-chromatic under painting on paper.  Lately I've been working like this: 1. colored pencil drawing on paper 2. flat under painting, usually neon aqua blue 3. final painting on top. (*I'll be posting this method soon, as I'm working on a new series for a show in February 2011)

However, they are on the expensive side: averaging $13 per color.  If you do small paintings, these will last you about 230 years.

Final grade: B


May 20, 2010

Pirates of Mars - Victoria Lovelace

I'm very excited to be drawing ever closer to finishing the first volume of Pirates of Mars this spring.  I thought I'd start posting a series of character designs along with style guides. [OH yes - I know you want to dress like a steam punk airship pirate.  And the internet allows you that anonymity.  I won't judge you.]

In order to keep each page looking consistent - I construct several reference pictures for each character.  When I start inking these 96 pages, it's important to make sure random pieces of clothing or props don't disappear because I forgot to draw them.  
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
We'll start with our super fierce protagonist, Captain Lovelace.  I'm not sure if JJ wrote her to be British, but I pictured her having an English accent with all-around American tom-boy toughness.  When we first see her in the opening scene, she is in full-pirate mode, but with some Equestrian and Hans Solo elements tossed in.
some early sketches

© 2010 JJ Kahrs + Veronica Hebard

Are you excited yet?  I love teaser trailers.

May 18, 2010

Koi in the sky

 the original sketch with some sky painted

 Genki-ya // our favorite sushi-joint in Brookline

Hawaii roll - sweet potato tempura, cream cheese, banana + mango slices on top 

The top image is a work in progress for Chopsticks NY; a magazine dedicated to all that is Japanese in New York.  A few more hours of work and it will be finished.  But it got me dreaming about our dinner last week at Genki-ya with Lindsay, Alex, Bamcat and Kate.

I like this place so much, I now want us to get an apartment in Brookline.  Preferably across the street.

I have a few Koi fish paper windsocks that I won in an auction.  They are these neat-o, vintage ones from the 60's.  A bit faded, but charming.

May 17, 2010

Floral slip-ons

$40 // ink on canvas scotch-guarded // $5 US S&H  $10 Int'l S&H // Women's 8.5/9

recommended : not for wear in heavy rain or snow

CONTACT ME if interested

These are a lovely pair of customs, very comfortable and spring-time-y!  These say Women's 8.5 but they are really around 9s.  Please do not put in a washing machine or scrub canvas with cleansers.  The ink is stead fast, but cleansers will cause fading.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

This week Andy and I went to the Brimfield Antique Show - a few sunny miles of Massachusetts countryside filled with vendor upon vendor upon vendor.  Oh! And Mr. Perogi man - .... I love the Perogi man.

I found a super cool British Airways bag I was going to get for my sister's graduation present, but of course I passed.  Bad idea.  Now I keep thinking about that bag!  (My sister has an affinity for anything English) But I'll find her something cool...

May 14, 2010

Another Dimension // Gallery 1988 LA

Hey friends,

I just sent in two paintings to Gallery 1988 LA this week, for their a reprieve of their amazing Twilight Zone - themed exhibition.  After watching the series, I picked two episodes "The Four of Us Are Dying" and "The Mystic Seer" ... I had to paint William Shatner.  Just. had. to.

The Mystic Seer  // acrylic + gouache on paper // 11"x14" // $300 (available at G1988 May 20)

The Mystic Seer is about a couple stranded in a diner for a few hours.  While waiting, the husband (William Shatner) becomes interested in a fortune-telling toy (we actually own a replica of it, because we are geeks) and keeps putting pennies in, asking Yes or No questions.

The plot point, is that the toy doesn't give Yes or No answers - just frustratingly accurate but nebulous open ended remarks.  Slowly, the husband becomes obsessed with the toy, shoving pennies in, screaming at it, demanding to know things.

It's pretty awesome.

This piece looks different from my other work - I don't usually do likenesses, so the best way for me to get this to actually look like William Shatner was to make a Photoshop composite, along with a picture of our devil-replica, and use it as direct reference.

The toy's crystal eye is painted with a iridescent shimmer, which is kinda neat-o

If you're in that area, please go and have fun for me! 
I wish I could make it to the opening!

and for no real reason, a picture of Alley Oop

May 12, 2010

NYC - graffiti, izakaya + cats on Mars

cat on mars ... ball point pen on paper 2"x7"


Now, I'm not really into Times Square, just isn't my style.  BUT, it just so happens a great hole-in-the-wall izakaya is there called "Hagi"  It's a hidden place down some stairs, down a side street on 48th between 6th + 7th.  And wouldn't you know it, on the rare occassion I'm in the area, just a block down from us at the same time, the NYPD is defusing a car bomb.


But the onigiri was great!  And we were too stacked on Yuzu and shochu to notice. Which is a luxury of ignorance, if you know what I mean.

Misha's cat inspired me to do some sketching on the way home from New York. I really liked the neighborhood she is living in, a place called ReGo Park named for the Real Good Builders Company.  The heart wall art in the last photo is from a bridge by 63rd Ave. 

Well, I think that's it for the New York posts.  I've been working steadily on the Pirates of Mars graphic novel, as well as a number of paintings for some West coast galleries.  I'll be able to show more of that work really soon!

May 10, 2010

NYC - macarons + Irregular Choice

More "What-to-Wear" sketches from the trip ...
H&M bag, gold chains, thrifted shorts + oversized cardigan
That bag started to get really, really heavy walking around all day with it

So wouldn't you know it, literally across the street from Lombardi's is a fancy-pants macaron shop. And my goodness, are they ever delicious.  Misha and I got two bags of 6, trying as many flavors as possible.  Lemon cream, Orange Blossom, Black Sesame (*recommended), Peanut butter, Hazelnut, Pistachio, Raspberry, Grapefruit... 

and so the quest for them is over.  At least for now.

These are various shops in SoHo, places I thought were particularly cool.  The first picture in this set has a lot of handmade plushes sewn from vintage silk fabric and some kimonos.  Those are little stuffed macarons on a fabric cake.

The shop with the plastic dog + unicorn is called Irregular Choice, and was a bit of girly insanity.

May 7, 2010

BRKLYN - Botanical Garden Matsuri

lace shirt, thrifted jean shorts, Converse, 109 tote
Last Saturday, Misha and I headed into Brooklyn for their annual cherry blossom festival.  Sadly, all the blossoms were gone but a few (weep) but it was a nice time anyway.  Taiko drumming (swoon) fruit iceys, newly bloomed wisteria, and lots and lots of sun.

I thought about buying some vintage kimono fabric to make some pillows for our new couch, but I just don't think I'm all that great at sewing, and really, just don't have any free time.  There were plenty of young ladies decked out in sweet lolita clothing, some dragging their reluctant boyfriends along.  I'm not sure how these girls managed it - it was about 90 degrees and they had on multiple petticoats...

Brooklyn's Prospect Park station is lovely in the spring...

Someday I will actually see Japanese cherry blossoms in full bloom.  It's on my life's big "To-Do" list.  Also on that list?  Get a jet-pack. 

If you guys are in Boston, come check out the encore opening of SPACE 242's "Freak Show!" in which I am exhibiting a piece.  TONITE 6-8pm