June 29, 2010

a 24 hour roadtrip

western massachusetts countryside

Last week my family invited me to New York to catch "Promises Promises" on Broadway with Sean Hayes and Kristen Chenoweth. I said yes, since it would mean only being away from my drawing table a total of 24 hours and I hadn't seen a show since college. 

My sister got Sean Haye's autograph, which is cool because she and my mom are fans of Will & Grace. (Sean Hayes plays Jack and also hosted the Tony's this year)  My family is extremely musical - my dad plays 5 instruments, my mom toured with a dance company, and my 2 sister is are singer/dancers in the theater.  So... artist, kind of unexpected.  We even ran into one of my mom's old students who is now on Broadway.  She toured in Cats, and now dance captain for Chicago

It was a really nice time - we took a roadtrip from Massachusetts to New York and then back again to see my youngest sister off to college (oh how they grow up so fast) which meant a total of about 5 hours in the city.


Even though the trip was so short, it was really special to be with my family again, and it will stay with me for a long time.   As we drove through the upstate NY country side at night, you could see hundreds of fireflies sparking in the fields, and the moon was new and dark.

More travel posts soon - but for now, I really have to get back to work!  Being away for 24 hours is actually too much!

June 25, 2010

Ed Wood

Here is the second painting going to Gallery 1988 LA's "Crazy for Cult" show, made as an ode to one of my favorite movies of all time: Tim Burton's ED WOOD

The film is a somewhat bittersweet rendering of the life of Edward D. Wood Jr - one of the absolute worst movie directors of all time.  The cast of characters is so perfectly quirky yet with a lot of depth.  Happily, Burton doesn't get into the real Wood's slow decline into alcoholism, and the picture you get of Ed Wood is how I'd like to imagine him in person.  If you haven't seen it - you must!

It also has one of my favorite quote to live by :{"You're lucky Eddy doesn't judge people"}

"That's right! If I judged people, I wouldn't have any friends"

{oh and "Let's hear you call Boris Karloff a c#%&*@"} but I know my grandparents are reading

 Here is the actual painting, above has been finished with some digital coloring

Available for purchase at Gallery 1988 Los Angeles July 9th and nineteeneightyeight.com

the process work

 Here are some of the original sketches, which actually stayed pretty close to the finish 
  1. blue colored pencil drawing on Reeves BFK 20x24
  2. then washes of blue acrylic + matte medium
  3. then black acrylic to bring out the depth of the darkness
  4. a layer of matte medium, then finish the last layer of painting

When I'm feeling down about my artwork, I have a couple of movies I put in and instantly feel better. One is Studio Ghibli's "Whisper of the Heart" and the other is ED WOOD. There is something so sincere about these movies - both are about people who have a passion to do great things even if what they make isn't very good. It's more about just having passion itself - and letting it drive you.

June 22, 2010

You Can Help

If you are far from the Gulf Coast, like myself, there are ways you can help.
TAKE ACTION // has a compendium of resources and charities dedicated to cleaning up the Gulf.
AMERICAN BIRD CONSERVATORY // you can donate as little or as much as you can spare

And please remember; look into how your donation is spent.  Each year, charities like the National Wildlife Federation and UNICEF spend much of your donation on operational costs and fundraisers.  Take a second to research how much of your donation will reach it's intended destination.  

You can see how your charity rates, including what the CEO is paid at CharityNavigator.com

June 18, 2010

One of Us

Inspired by the flim "Freaks" by Tod Browning (1932) - click for larger image

This painting is off to Gallery 1988 LA along with another work for their upcoming show "Crazy 4 Cult".  I am very happy to be apart of this show, as so many artists I personally love will also be in it (APAK, 64 Colors, Yuta Onoda, etc..) 

The movie "Freaks" is really something bizarre and special - you should check it out if you haven't.  Browning hired actual circus performers with genuine deformities and disabilities to play the characters.  In the 30's, the circus was a big part of American culture - a direct inspiration for Superman! (that's why he wears tights, like a circus strongman)  The colors, the lights, the music - the circus was a big family event.

Thank God for the internet, am I right?? (kidding)

mid-way through the painting process

 The piece looked too awkward with the bright orange frame, so I subdued it a bit and brought in some darkness to even it out.


I'll be away this weekend in New York - but just for a few hours, really.  My parents are taking my youngest sister to her college orientation, and asked if I'd be interested in seeing Promises, Promises on the way.

I haven't seen a musical in probably 4 years, so it should be fun :)

June 16, 2010

Go Forward

"Don't reflect on your life - just put the blinders on and GO"
~ Conan O'Brien

June 15, 2010

Nikon P100

♥ Thanks again for all the lovely birthday wishes!  Here's to the next quarter century ♥

After many years of dreaming about it, Andy and I finally sprung for a great camera {which put me over the moon!} We got the Nikon P100 - which is a fantastic entry level camera if you are in the market.

I've only used Nikons to date, and have no complaints.  If you are really into photography though, you may be disappointed that you can't change the lens.  There are a myriad of typical light settings that can be set to automatic, but the most fun part is the optional manual focus adjustment, manual f-stop, and manual shutter speed.  So if you want to get your feet wet with these kinds of  things, it's perfect for experimenting.

Andy used to be a photographer with a newspaper, so he is teaching me the ropes, since I am a total photo-rube.

So I've been going a little crazy with it ...

As you can probably tell by this myriad of aperture settings, I'm still getting the hang of it ... hope to master this thing before the wedding

I have lots more art posts planned - including the anatomy of a comic book page, how I ink my pencils, and some process work for some recently completed paintings.

As much as I try to keep this an illustration blog - I still veer off into these personal posts.
Thanks for reading :)

June 14, 2010

Another Dimension

Thank you so much to my illustration colleague/buddy Juan Carlos Solon for telling me about this clip from Electric Playground! Two paintings I sent to Gallery 1988's "Another Dimension: The Twilight Zone" show are briefly featured.

You may recognize my artwork from previous blog posts, up on the walls behind the female host talking to gallery owner Jensen. You can see my pieces "The Four of Us are Dying" and "The Mystic Seer" one above the other just in back to her right. (about 36 seconds in is a flash of one of the paintings)

I just finished another set of paintings for Gallery 1988's upcoming summer show "Crazy 4 Cult" which will be hosted by Kevin Smith + Scott Mosier (very cool) I'll post about those pieces next, along with some process work.
more Pirates of Mars coming soon, too!

June 12, 2010

Happy Bee Day

Guess who is turning 100 today!

The Brooklyn Botanical Garden!  Okay, it's actually my birthday (woo!), which I also share with Anne Frank, George Bush Sr., and musician Chic Corea.  Oh! And one of the Kids in the Hall members.

giant whoopie pie
 strawberries with cream and pizelles

Andy and I went to Marblehead with Allison + Bret to head up a panel discussion on comics in front of a crowd of students.  

It was pretty inspiring - we got to see the kid's comics displayed in their library gallery, and most of them did really dark, intense scenes from S. E Hinton's Outsiders!  One just said 'I killed that boy,.." written over a picture of a fountain.  Whoa!  I like these kids!

It also turns out Marblehead is just next to my father's boyhood town.  So it was kind of sweet for me to see where my dad spent his highschool years.

After that we drove into the North End of Boston for the most amazing Italian food I have ever eaten in my life at Rabia's.  Chilean sea bass, apple + gorgonzola raviolis (yes apple) and lemon flambe with coffee, all sitting in the open window seat.  Serene perfection.

imfedore + yewhan photo credits

Thank you everyone for the birthday wishes, you've made my day!

June 8, 2010

What to Wear for Conan O'Brien

So I was hard at work in the studio, finishing up a painting for Gallery 1988 when it struck me:

"    I'm really sad I didn't get those Conan tickets to his Boston show   "

So I hopped online, grasping at straws that there would be seats for a show that started in just 3 hours, not really expecting anything under $250 each.  It just so happens there were some "Obstructed View" tickets near the stage for $65.  After much hemming and hawing, some nice people convinced me to just go for it - so I did!

I called my sister Audra and said "What are you doing RIGHT NOW" and she said "Dance rehearsal" and I said "DON'T GO, COME WITH ME"

It was one of the highlights of this year; if you have seen his show or are going to see his show - a gold star for you - it's simply fantastic.

Each show is different; new surprise quests, different cover songs, different jokes.  It was a crazy stroke of luck that we went to the Connecticut show instead of the Boston one.  As much as  I love the architecture of the Wang Theater, it's extremely stuffy and every seat is a bajillion miles from the stage.  

And! There was no obstructed view for our seats at Mohegan Sun! None! It was open and cool, but intimate at the same time.  It was also his largest venue, so the encore was insane with singing and clapping!

When something comes up that you really want to do - do it!  Seldom do I regret these things.  (The only exception being Auntie Annie's pretzels.)

our new couch + mod chair - to compliment the orange theme
another "Let's do it" decision 

And I also set up a Tumblr - mostly of my photographs and inspirational things ♥
veronica harmonica tumblr

EDIT: // Here is a time lapse video of the show I saw this Sunday - I can even see my sister and I in there! second column from the stage on the right

video by Tom from Team Coco

June 6, 2010

Storyboards for AA Films' 'Boy Band'

A few years ago, Andy and I were contacted by AA Films to do some storyboards for their comedy "Boy Band".  Andrea and Jon were great fun to work with, and the script had us laughing before we even put pencil to note card.

BOY BAND is wacky teen comedy about a high school quarterback who quits the team his senior year to turn his heavy metal band into the first ever boy band in 1982. 

It was a great time working on the opening football scenes - there are a bunch of great jokes you'll probably see bits of in the cards above. ☛ If you are in Massachusetts, check out their New England premier!
It's not a big leap at all from comics into film production.  A comic book is basically a movie on paper, anyway, and I think most comic artists are huge film buffs for that reason.

Oh! and speaking of 1982, I recently re-watched "The Last Unicorn" on Netflix, and I have to say, I really love Mia Farrow's voice.  It's hard for me to appreciate it like I did as a kid - now I'm so disillusioned and jaded, I can see all their cut-corners to save money/animation time.  Things like re-used loops and cycles, and mis-matched cel colors.  Ah to be young and sweet again!

June 2, 2010

Pirates of Mars - Rebel Victoria Lovelace

Above are some early character designs for more of Capt. Lovelace's wardrobe.   
WARdrobe (har har)

JJ created an amazing world in his Pirates of Mars script; and made notes to me saying that it takes place in a time that could be in the past or present; a mix of steampunk aesthetic and samurai swords, World War II and ivory-handle revolvers.

It's kind of like reading a history book chronologically, then you have a dream but all the dates blur together into something new. 

If you would like to know when Pirates of Mars is available to read on the web; check out PiratesofMars.com and join the mailing list.


You can read a teaser trailer of the first 7 pages of Pirates of Mars Aren't teasers intriguing? They are currently published in the anthology Detour volume 14; with an absolutely fab cover by my girl Lindsay Small.
featuring 14 different comics by 14 different artists 
$9 // available online HERE