These days I keep my spirits up by listening to podcasts like Every Little Thing, and that's how I learned that the fork--that voluptuous utensil, as one listener called it--didn't find its place on the table until the mid- to late nineteenth century. The fork traces its roots back to Persia and to the Byzantine Empire, but it took fashionable courtesans during the Renaissance to introduce the fork among the aristocracy in Italy and later in France. First used mostly to eat candied fruit, the Church soon condemned its wider use as an instrument of the devil.
Big shoutout to Every Little Thing!!!!
What is it about cats that's so fascinating? On a personal level, the current absence of a cat in my life is at least one good reason I want to draw them. And now that I've gone digital (for now, anyway), their form is an easy one to experiment with, and the feline pokerface one that suits my mood. Right now, for example, I wouldn't want to draw pigs. They look too happy, even when they really have nothing to smile about. Especially in this country.
The skill I'm trying my hand at in these two pieces is digital collage. I must say, it was a lot of fun to digitally cut up an older painting and incorporate it here.
My mother is one of the few people who actually reads my not so regular blog--hello Mom!--and lately she's been unhappy about the gloominess of my posts. She has a point ... So, to lighten things up a bit, I'll be sharing some of my latest adventures with digital illustration. Last year I participated in a demo of the Procreate app at the local Apple store, and, as a total neophyte to digital illustration (and someone also quite suspicious of anything that doesn't allow me to feel the texture of things) was impressed. Really impressed! It took a pandemic to finally get me to give this a try. This past week I've spent every free hour experimenting. The biggest challenge for me (and there are many) is to create an image that looks the least digital possible. I was very fortunate to run across an instructional video by the wonderful illustrator and fabulous "creative encourager" Terry Runyan (!!!) and thanks to her entered through the right(as in 'correct') door into the world of digital illustration. Here's my first failed attempt at a animation. You got it. It doesn't move. But I'll figure it out eventually.
The outfit on the left was developed by a French physician during the seventeenth century to offer protection against the plague. His contemporary, the German engraver Paulus Fürst, titled his iconic image of the scary-looking garb “Kleidung wider den Tod”, “Dress against death.” So … is a pretty little mask too much to ask?
A little about myself:
Hello there and thank you for visiting my website! I have lived in Spain, Mexico, France and the United States, but now make my home in Germany. I have a Ph.D. in Literary Studies and a Master's in TESOL, and have published several books for children, among them El Loro Tico Tango and El Fandango de Lola, a 2012 Ezra Jack Keats Honor Book. As a writer and an artist I'm in constant conversation with my own anxious mind even as I celebrate the joyful possibilities of our crazy, incomprehensible world.