Professor Stella 8"x10" (10"x12" framed) Acrylic on canvas in carved, golden wood frame
And here we have the resident Astronomy teacher, the demure but lovely Professor Stella. I thought it was only fitting to preview this portrait after Professor Silas, because they are sweethearts of sorts.
Professor Silas 8"x10" (10"x12" framed) Acrylic on canvas in carved, golden wood frame
It's kind of an open secret that I have a little crush on Professor Silas. I actually based Oddfellow's resident cryptozoologist loosely on the dashing John Hodgman - don't know if many people know that fun fact?
Felix 8"x10" (10"x12" framed) Acrylic on canvas in carved, golden wood frame
I was looking very forward to Felix's portrait. His skeptical eyebrows in the graphite drawing-version are one of my favorite things in the book. He's Josiah's favorite character, and I have big plans for him to figure more prominently in the next Oddfellow's adventure (Ollie, too!)
He's just such a grump and I want to tousle his hair (which I'm sure he would love about as much as wearing that corsage.)
Nurse Effie 8"x10" (10"x12" framed) Acrylic on canvas in carved, golden wood frame
I am getting lots of questions about these paintings and when the originals and prints will be available, so here's a quick run-down: - I created these for the forthcoming Oddfellow's website, and there are 13 paintings total. - The originals will be available for sale after they've all be previewed here. I will announce the exact date & time they'll go up for sale. - I make prints available after the original is spoken for.
I hope this is helpful!
As you can see, gentle, pretty Nurse Effie is the portrait-of-the-day:
Little Bear in Blue Bow 8"x10" (10"x12" framed) Acrylic on canvas in carved, golden wood frame
I boxed myself in a bit when I decided to go with black backgrounds for all the portraits - Ava and baby bear, both of whom should have dark, dark hair/fur, are represented a bit lighter in these paintings. But I like their backgrounds very much otherwise.
And I love the frames I ended up going with - all thirteen have the same frame. It was kind of a gamble, but I think they're very Oddfellowsian.
Ollie 8"x10" (10"x12" framed) Acrylic on canvas in carved, golden wood frame
Who better to start off the sharing of the new Oddfellow's portraits than the character that seems to be (almost) everyone's favorite: Ollie Onionhead! Decked out in a snazzy plaid bow-tie, he's all rosy-cheeked and beaming.
I'm going to try to unveil a new portrait every work-day until they're all posted - so keep your eye out!
(Photo above taken by my unofficial event photographers, our pals The Berkleys)
The reading/event at the cozy Green Bean Books was so nice! There were lots of sweet children and parents and ladies who came to visit, hear some of Oddfellow's, and draw some monsters. We read the 5th chapter/story in O.O., in which Professor Silas and the gang goes off to look for a lake monster, then I talked a bit about what seems to make for the best mysterious creatures (mixing two real animals, etc) hence my school-project looking posterboard there!
We had tons of colored pencils, and fueled by lollipops, we all drew for a good little while. Some of them drew monsters, some drew characters from Oddfellows (!!! - I wanted to steal those!)
This anonymous flying dinosaur was left behind, and I thought he should be immortalized here:
It's a sight of a lot cooler than the silly creature I was doodling.
Portland locals should visit that lovely little store! I left with an armful of books from their expertly curated and beautiful collection.
Thanks to everyone who came, and especially to all the kids I got to talk to and draw with and sign for. It was the best time!
I've been putting together this set for a little while now, and I am so excited that it's in the shop! This deluxe book & print set contains the following delights:
- One signed and officially stamped hardback copy of my illustrated book of stories, Oddfellow's Orphanage
- One 10"x8" signed and dated print (available exclusively in this special set!) of my very favorite spread in the book, The Circus Parade.
- One Official Oddfellow's red ribbon bookmark
- One 1" dapper Ollie Onionhead pinback button
So happy with how this came together!
A few more things:
-The new series of Oddfellow's portraits will be debuting here starting next week, and will be available framed up nicely for sale after all have been shared.
-Local folks, please come say hello this weekend on Sunday at 2:00 pm for my signing/reading at Green Bean Books on Alberta! Treats will be on hand and it'll be a lovely way to pass a bit of a late Winter's afternoon.
I've been stuck on the idea of treasure boxes for a while. Probably my whole life, but especially the last little while. When I say treasure box, all I really mean is a small box filled with small things - as simple and wonderful as that.
For Josiah's Valentine this year, I got in my mind to make him a treasure box of sorts, one that told a story. I made a little collage on top of an old box I found, which came complete with a little key.
Inside, I gathered small curiosities that served as symbols of my affection and told bits of the story. Once I wrote it down, the story itself was included in a small, folded piece of paper tucked in with the odds & ends (a blackbird whistle, two miniature ivory dice, a beat-up blue toy car, and a skeleton key - which, together, sure seem like a recipe for a Tom Wait's song.)
It is a fairy tale of sorts about a magpie who steals the key to a girl's heart from a chain around her neck, only to be re-stolen by a ne'er-do-well fellow, who reunites the girl with her key and vows to win her heart fair and square.
We've given each other quite a few stories and pictures between the two of us, and they are the most special presents I feel I can get or give (although I'll never say no to a heart-shaped box of candy!). He loved it, and it made me so happy that I made him something this year.
Local friends & readers, on Sunday, Feb 19th, at 2:00 pm, I will be signing Oddfellow's and making mischief at adorable Green Bean Books on Alberta. I will be bringing cookies, drawing supplies for a little drawing prompt, and also debuting my official signing stamp (approved by Oddfellow Bluebeard himself!)
Richard Buckner has a song called Gauzy Dress in the Sun - they are one of those universal things of beauty, I think.
I happened into my rat's nest of a dressing room the other day when the sun was streaming in, and I couldn't resist taking a photo. We were temporarily using the curtains for that room elsewhere in the house, and now I wonder if I shouldn't just leave the curtains down. I could see all of my things much better in the golden light, messy as they may be.
If I ever get it into presentable shape, maybe I'll take some more photos in there?
I am almost finished with a bunch of new full-color Oddfellow's portraits. There are thirteen, I think. I began creating them especially for the forthcoming website, but it's also just nice seeing everyone in color, in paint, as a change from the drawings that fill the book. The frames for the originals came, and they are so pretty! I'm very excited about how this little series has come together.
I'll start sharing them here, soon!
Edit! A very sweet commentor raised a question that I get a lot, and my reply got so lengthy I thought I'd repost it here:
This is such a sweet comment. A lot of people send similar notes and emails. The reason I don't post outfit photos these days is this: I woke up one day, and suddenly, like a switch had been pulled, I had absolutely no interest in them at all. I still love clothes as much as ever, but I just don't have the interest, time, or daylight-gallivanting hours to document what I wear. Most days, I am at home working.
There are so many fashion blogs posting beautiful clothes all the time - that is their job (or part of it.) My job is to make images and stories (and various other things now and again) and that doesn't leave too much time or energy for documenting life or clothing the way many lifestyle-type blogs do.
I pour so much into my own work, and this blog, for me, is a place to post dispatches about what I'm interested in, what I'm making, what I'm doing. I know it has evolved over the years, and it has become what it is right for me at this particular time.
Thank you for your nice & funny note, and all your kind words!
I love Valentine's day a lot - of course, I love holidays in general. But Valentine's day is special to me, both for its proximity to my birthday (which falls on Valentine's eve) and all of its unabashed red-hearted, doily-covered exuberance. I also love the chance to mushily tell people how much I love 'em and that they're the apple of my eye, etc.
I was rifling through my small drawer of Valentine's ephemera, and I thought I'd pull out some of my favorite ones. The 3-D standing card above is definitely the nicest one I have...how could you improve on flowers, a sweet bird, a ship, honeycomb tissue, and a pair of scraggle-haired moppets?
I also have a soft spot for the dark-haired girl with the arrow at the top (variations on that little character show up in lots of Valentines from the time period, and I'm always drawn to them.) The grumpy blondie boy in the heart frame is pretty good, too. A pouty little grump after my own heart!
Yesterday I sat down with all the little odds & ends I needed to put together for Valentine mailing. I had parceled out the afternoon specifically for writing notes, stashing candy, and wrapping little gifts since I wanted to make sure everything could be in the mail with enough time to reach my scattered sweet-peas. It was such a nice way to spend a few hours!
I'm still working on my gentleman's Valentine for the year - so far he has requested caramels, but I've got another idea or two up my sleeve.
Powell's just posted an interview with me in which I talk a bit about Oddfellow's as well as cover topics as wonderful and varied as "Favorite teacher", "Favorite fictional characters" and "Favorite kid-friendly curse word."
It was quiet here this week, but keep your eyes out for more about what I'm working on behind-the-scenes, upcoming book events, etc. soon!