January 31, 2011

Don't erase

some ballpoint pen sketches from this week
One of the things I like to drill into my art students (who are usually 14 - 17 yr) is not to erase anything.

It's hard!  Like, really hard not to erase!

We typically spend our whole lives learning to desperately avoid mistakes - the second we touch paper "OH GEEZ I messed up" [erase erase erase] and thus there is more delete than draw.  I think subsequently it makes us into insufferably perfectionists.

So every time I lecture them on something like that, I have to go home and make sure I'm taking my own advice.  The above sketches have their share of problems I'd like to change.  Oh well.


Speaking of don't erase - there is literally no place to put anymore snow and no getting rid of it.  It just keeps piling up and piling up... everywhere

Hope you are all keeping warm - anyone reading this in MA.  We've been hit by a snowstorm almost weekly since before Christmas.  YOWZA.

 my trusty LL Beans - perfect for snowpocalypses and snowmageddons

January 29, 2011

Dinner with friends

 a little Rody toy I bought in Kyoto

So life has been hard lately.  We had a loss in the family this week, my plants are dying again and we live like hermits in our studios. We've had one snow storm after another for two months and it just kind of wears you down.  

But when life gets hard like this it makes you realize how important human relationships are. We've been fortunate to have dinner with friends or family quite a bit - and it makes everything good again.

Alex & Buster

Elaine made an amazing spread

January 28, 2011

Webstore + Space 242 Boston

Hey friends, I recently updated my portfolio website + e-commerce.  You can go to veronicafish.com and click on the FOR SALE link and check out what's available!

Tonight is the grand re-opening of my fav gallery in Boston - SPACE 242.

After a hiatus, they are back - (woohoo!) with another super sweet show "GOOD Vs. EEEEEVIL" featuring a lot of people I love and call friends and lots of artists I don't know yet but would like to also be friends with.

Sadly we can't make it out tonight - some family things happening right now.  But the piece I was going to put in is available for purchase on my site.

☚I think I need to paint The Shat more often.

January 26, 2011

Superheroes for Quarto Press

My most recent client was Quarto Publishing of London, to make some superhero-related spot illustrations for their "How To Draw Superheros" book.  It was super fun, and I even did a Dr. Evil-like "villain's lair"...

One of my biggest shortcomings is just not drawing enough environments.  I love to look at photography books of environments, and other people's art, but for some reason I only seem to create them when I work in comics.  Why don't I paint them more often?  I should get on that!

You may remember I posted about my first project with them, doing an irezumi inspired piece for their "How to Draw Tattoo Style" book. You can see some of my work in these loverly Quarto publications!

All of these books were authored by my amazing husband, Andy Fish - after many hours of drawing step-by-step instructions, writing text, researching (not in that order of course) and compiling art.  Astounding diligence as usual.

January 25, 2011

At the market 「ピアゴ」

So yes, I am still working my way through pictures from our Japan trip ...
[- hope you're not tired of it, and sorry if I end up re-posting images accidentally!]

Some pictures of the supermarket...

kid's stuff
creepy, creepy mannequins on the top floor

I really miss the everyday things we did in Japan.  Go to the supermarket with my sister-in-law, refill the water jugs at Piago,  getting snacks at FamilyMart, putting the laundry out in the sun... doesn't sound all that unique to Japan, I guess - but it's still stuff I should be just as content to do here at home  : )

Japanese supermarkets are so coooool - they are so clean and quiet, and everyone has a nice uniform, and you can pick up anything you need, there is even a book store and clothing section on the top floor of this one - Piago's in Nagoya.

My favorite new snack - wasabi crackers + peanuts by Kameda
Thank you Tomoko!

What Japanese snacks to you guys like?

January 23, 2011

Super Color

I recently wrapped up a 16 Candles painting for Gallery 1988's upcoming "Tribute to John Hughes" show this February. It was really fun to go through pics of Molly Ringwald in 80's clothes - (she's so stylish in all those movies)  But I was really more inspired by some of these artists:

hibari foden

betsy walton

Great stuff, right?  I love their work : )

Using Acryla gouache on the under-painting.  *I highly recommend this brand!

Speaking of ridiculous colors, here are some photobooth snaps of me and my friend Yuka from our Japan trip.  My first time taking purikura : )

January 21, 2011

Inspiration - Japanese makeup

I was flipping through some of my magazines this week, and got all kinds of inspired to do some pretty-lady drawings.  I'll post those next, cross my heart - hope to die


at B+D in Nagoya   ビーアンドデイー

I just loved buying makeup in Japan. The packaging is spectacular even though the sizes are crazy tiny.  
The quality is just really excellent, the pigments are great, the conveniences and packaging is great - the only downside is the price [Maquillage mascara was $30 - woo boy]

Before I got engaged, I was only so-so about makeup.  Not really on my radar, owned a bit of foundation blah blah blah.  But some kind of girl-switch went on in my brain after Andy put a ring on my finger and I suddenly felt really freaking pretty.  And wanted to get dolled up ever after.  Weird!

Interestingly, just days ago the New York Times ran this article on buying Japanese makeup in the US...

Brands I like/bought....   Majolica Majora  |   KATE  |  Kose  |  Koji   |  Canmake

Look at the packaging for their other MM products!  Whoa
It's like "magic sparkle princess amazing beautiful sunshine carousel fun world"

January 19, 2011

2 days in Kyoto

 my favorite picture from Kyoto

Andy and I went to Kyoto from Nagoya October 21 - 22nd 2010 to see the sights and check out the famed 時代祭り - Jidai Matsuri [Festival of Ages] at the Heian Shrine.   We even planned to take a trip up to Kurama for the Fire Festival, but none of these things worked out and we spent the whole time walking around Kyoto Station and our ryokan.  No problem though - we had a great time anyway.

a family shrine

Mt. Fuji from the Bullet Train window

People/guidebooks/family - everyone told us how magical, wonderful and mystical Kyoto was.  The temples, the shrines, the gardens, the museums, the atmosphere - all my research put Kyoto on an almost unattainable pedestal of wonderment.  I expected Kyoto to knock our socks off the second we stepped off the train and be transported into a different world.

That's not really fair to demand that of any place.  I wish I could say we had this experience.  We didn't.


Kyoto is very warm.  Kyoto is full of obnoxious tourists and disaffected ex-pats.  Kyoto is home to many hard working people who don't have time for your cute Japanese conversations/questions.  Kyoto is magical and mystical and wonderful, so just two days and one night is not enough time to discover that.

We walked from Kikokuso to Sanjusangendo - a beautiful temple just over the Kamogawa.  All the tourists went the other way and we found ourselves walking inside an endless line of hundreds of middle school girls going to school.  They trudged along in the heat, what seemed like miles, all the storefronts dirty and broken, potted plants drying out and smokey old men with smokey old jackets.

It's real life.  Not the slick, Tokyo world we were immersed in just a day before.

★ But we can have expectations of anything - and when we are disappointed, we can do two things:
1. Get sad / blame the place
2. Never you mind and deal

The worst vacations  have been to Washington DC and Chicago - but I'll never think the places were bad.  Things just didn't go so well, but they'll go better next time!
We'll go back to Kyoto someday (and DC and Chicago) and try again

Osamu Tezuka museum in Kyoto Station

Kyoto is a magical place, and I know the next time we visit we'll discover even more.