Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy All Hallows Eve.

I can't help but want to share this picture of my cat doing the classic "RAWWWWR, I'ma get chuu!" Halloween pose. She was *very* little here, but let me tell you something - she is still a monster. Don't you forget it. Meow.  

I recently watched an old History Channel special on the history of Halloween and how it progressed through the ages. It went a little something like this: 
Serious business with the Pagans and Druid priests → serious business adapting the Pagan/Druid rituals for Christianity  less serious, more fun times and parties and beginnings of costumes → serious business making it seeming less 'witchy' with those costumes for the church; slightly less serious business for the rest of the people still celebrating it. This happens for a while in Europe, while the Puritans head over to North America and take the fun out of everything later, the masses immigrating from Europe (see also: Ireland, land of awesome Druid lore) start bringing the life of the party back to October 31st in America  things are fun for a while, still a mostly adult holiday, but teens start taking it to the streets and putting the 'trick' into trick-or-treat. And by trick mean fire in order to not have people killed, Halloween is put fourth as a holiday where kids are really excited and cute and parade around in bumblebee/Buzz Lightyear/princess/Elmo/ Frida Kahlo/witch costumes and beg for candy. Halloween is no longer life threatening (except for that whole razor blades in apples scare in the 70s... but that was found to be mostly untrue) → those kids who grew up in Halloween-fun-era dress up their kids and take them out... but also want to go out themselves and pretend to be something their not. Like a raccoon. And the cycle continues. 
Which brings us to this: 

Some of us may be more excited than others to be dressed up. But only some
of us are raccoons. Suffer with that one pissed-off-cat-man... and sorry I tried to bite you. 

EDIT: I had forgotten how very different it is for trick-or-treaters in the city versus upstate. Personally, I had the classic 'you dress up and your parents take you from house to house' or if I was lucky, I had the 'you dress up and your parents stand in the road so you can go up to the house alone'. My sister and I would take pillowcases as bags and tromp around with friends and neighbors, working our way through the town for maximum candy ownage. Here in the city though, people seem to either trick-or-treat strictly within their buildings (weird) or at businesses in their neighborhood (weirder). I mean, I suppose it's not REALLY that weird, but it is weird to me. Either way, I'm sure they make bank on candy. There are way more places/people around here then in my hometown.

Have a super fun holiday everyone!!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Costume Masters Extraordinaire!

Yesterday, before we knew that there was going to be an epically cold rainstorm/snowstorm, my friend Audrey and I were hired to make some costumes for a couple going out to a Halloween party. They wanted to be Infinity Nets by the artist Yayoi Kusama. They come in a variety of colors and styles, but we were working to make them look something like this: 

Infinity Net, Yayoi Kusama

We used some metallic fabric paint and small brushes to essentially paint what would be the negative space in the paintings. We set up on the floor, mixed our paints, and went to work. The goal: paint one silk dress and one velvet suit jacket. I got the jacket, while Audrey worked on the dress. 

I'm not going to lie: fabric painting on velvet is NOT THE FUNNEST TIME. You have to apply and reapply it as it sucks the paint in and THEN deal with all of the weird furry edges that are still left. All that we could really think about while painting this was how it kinda ended up looking like the SVA flower....

Audrey worked diligently with the dress, which was turning out really shiny and awesome. It also kinda looked like a stained glass window... and then an elephant. And then a fancy ball gown. And then mosaic tiles. We saw all kinds of patterns as the blue one went along.

FINALLY, about 7 and 1/2 hours later we had reached this point here. And that was where we stopped. It took so much longer to do than any of us thought it would, and they needed to wear them that evening, so we worked until it made sense to stop and still looked good, blow dried them, and called it a night. I think that they look pretty snazzy. And I never could have gotten it done without Audrey... not in a million years. THANKS GUY~!! We always go for the win.  

Don't worry - We're professionals. 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Hang on... I thought it was Halloween.

Oh wait... It is. At least it didn't hit us like it did upstate at my parents house... they got 15 inches and are apparently not going to have power until Wednesday. 

WHOOPS MOTHER NATURE, YOUR BAD. I can't wait to see what you have in store for Christmas. 

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Hunger Games III - The girls are back in town.

What's that? 


Which is probably why I ended up being a citizen of District 3. Go tech. ANYWAY, I got really pumped by the release of the posters for the Hunger Games movie that came out yesterday (which can be seen in all their glory here), so in their honor I present some of the more likable characters/few female friends of Katniss from book one: 

Rue was the very first character that I drew this summer, and when I started on her... she wasn't Rue yet. She was just some girl with curly hair that I wanted to be intertwined with flowers. So that's part of the reason why she looks so very, very much older than she probably should. I know already. I know. 

Also some Lady and Buttercup action up in here! What whaaaaat. I think that's the first goat that I've ever drawn...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I am the Queen of Swords. And don't you forget it.

I've always thought that tarot cards were awesome, even though I don't fully understand them. That being said, I know someone who sort of does. So I forced him to read them for me (under pain of death), and this little lady was my significator:

The Queen of Swords

This is the magical Art Nouveau deck Queen of Swords, as well as 
the old school Rider deck version of her.

...which I guess makes sense. All I know is that she looks like she could maim you if you messed with her and that I love her. As for what she actually means, I have to rely on the wisdom of others, mainly that she is 
  • insightful 
  • precise
  • witty
  • stoic
  • seeing with clarity
  • upholding high standards 
  • cynicism
  • honorable
  • perfectionism
  • mentoring
  • sarcastic 
Bam... that seems about right. So the Queen of Swords I shall be.

I should also mention that I did not make the art for either of the above pictures. Antonella Castelli illustrated the Art Nouveau Tarot Deck, while the Rider Waite Smith Deck was illustrated by Pamela Coleman Smith. Wouldn't it have been cool if I had illustrated them? Maybe I will... one day. 

Anyway, all of the art in the Art Nouveau deck is lovely, though I may be biased because I love art nouveau. In it, I find the Queen's whole 'ho hum' attitude while holding such huge sword hysterical - she is tolerating the person looking at her with a half smile and head tilt, but you can just tell that she will CUT YOU if you rub her the wrong way. The Rider version is a little more hardcore and mannish in appearance, but she also seems like she is totally willing to let you to plead your case before she cuts you. Her crown has butterflies on it for cripes sake. How bad could she be? 

P.S. "She wields the sword of justice, don't ya know?"  
- My tarot friend. Word for word. Win. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Well, the mention of mermaids eating crabs reminded me of something... I made a collage with a crab once. 

Collage/Found Objects, 14"x 13"

That, my friends, is a real crab shell that I had to sanitize the crap out of for a couple of days so that I could work it into this piece. After a mermaid probably ate it. It seems to have held up pretty well, all things considered... and it now lives with my sister in Boston.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011



I will tell you.

I love mermaids. They are all floating hair and whimsical bodies and MAGIC. Plus you can give them neat fish ears.

I thought for a while that mermaids were going to be the new vampires (just like vampires were the new pirates and pirates were the new... wizards? I think it may have been wizards. I guess I can't remember that far back... ) which really pissed me off because MERMAIDS ARE MINE. Back the hell off. However, it now seems like zombies maybe coming back as the new vampire... or that could just look like the case because it's real close to Halloween and that's a really easy costume. Whatever. 

The bottom line is that I love mermaids in all of their ridiculous, biologically impossible glory. 

While doing the drip-paintings, I thought it would be fin ( accidental typing pun. Leaving it.) to do the Little Mermaid as she would probably look if she were a real fish lady chillaxing under the sea, shoving any crabs or flounder unlucky enough to cross her path into her fanged jaws. And still managing to look saucy enough doing it to entice a prince or two:

The Little Mermaid

Oil, 20"x 30"

...I've also done some colored pencil illustrations for the original Little Mermaid Hans Christian Andersen story, but those came later. You'll be sure to see them eventually, don't worry...

P.S. On the topic of zombies, I recently read a book called "Warm Bodies" by Isaac Marion which turned out to be pretty damn good. It's from the perspective of a zombie which I imagine is hard to do while making an interesting/coherent book. Plus the cover art is neat. If you want an easy, different, and entertaining read you should check it out: Feel free to ignore the fact that Stephenie Meyer has anything to say about it.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Hunger Games II - More from District 12

Well, here are some more of The Hunger Games District 12 residents/Katniss support crew members/people who Laura loves to be frustrated with. I may have tried harder on one than the other... but they both have some freaking weird shoes on. 

I'm a Peeta girl myself, but darn if I didn't do a good job with Gale... Haymitch... sorry I made you look so awful. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I like princesses. Especially when they look weird.

I am really, REALLY overtired today, but I AM DEDICATED TO YOU, INTERNET VIEWERS. Seriously guys, you have no idea. 

ANYWAY, I made some weird princess drip-paintings last year so I figured that I'd give you the inside track into my (sort of) process on the first one:




Oil, 20"x30"

In this, I wanted to give the heroic princes an obvious reason to face all the perils that they do for one random chick - and how the princess in question would be dealing with her ridiculous fairy tale situation.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Dear The Hunger Games, I love you. Love, Laura

Recently (and constantly) I have been obsessed with the Hunger Games book trilogy.


Since Harry Potter ended, I guess I needed something amazing and special and magical-ish to occupy my time, and this book series filled that particular void. So I have pimped it out to friends, relatives, people who come within a 10 foot radius of me in an effort to find someone else around with whom I could babble on about them for lengthy periods of time. However, now that that's done and I've read them all (twice) I. Need. More. Stat. I know that the first movie is coming out early next year, which I am pumped for, but thus far the 30-seconds-of-trees trailer just isn't doin' it for me.

So, to make myself feel better over the summer I started to draw a bunch of the characters from book one. It started by accident, I swear, while doodling with a No. 2 pencil. And no reference. Just desperation. And I suppose a desire to put down on paper what I saw in my head before my brain was influenced by the movie. But mostly I think that I was just desperate.

SO, without further ado, here are Katniss and Peeta:

More to follow in the future!

*sigh* I do love that boy with bread. 
I did not do him justice. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

I am here now. Get pumped.


Well, I guess this means that I now have a blog. To commemorate this momentous occasion, I have baked the internet a cake.