Banner Article Skin and Ink 2001

When I was in Berlin Guen and I were talking about hand painted banners and she suggested that I bring back my article on banner painting that I did way back in 2001!

I hope you can read this easily. I may be able to edit this article soon with the text typed by hand. Thanks for looking!

Écolede Louvre Part 2


From the Devon wing of the Louvre with all the Italian painters, an extrait of Orazio Samacchini’s painting, « Mercury Orders Énéide to Abandon Didon ». This is Didon and her little doggie, it’s part of a larger scene with a lot more people. I’ll have to try to sketch the others in the painting one day. I’m so excited about the next paintings that I’m going to copy. I’m doing this in hope to improve my eye and my drawing skills. I think I have tons of room for improvement. I would love to take lessons, but until I can, I will try to educate myself by study and practice.


Sculpture « Mercury kidnapping Psyché » by Adriaen de Vries, also in the Denon wing. This one didn’t turn out that great. I think it’s because 1. the scupture is dark and 2. the pose is complicated. My drawing is very stiff. Or maybe the sculpture is stiff ! On the bright side I met a bunch of really nice people, everyone was talking with me, which is fun! They were very encouraging, which every artist needs! I must work on dynamics more. Or what is another term for movement and weight?


Head Games, from sculpture in the Richelieu wing. Well, yesterday’s lesson at the Louvre didn’t go so well. Sometimes I feel that I am making progress and other times I seem to regress. Confidence and head space has a lot to do with my performance and in all parts of life. I’m really interested in the mental discipline of athletes, the power the mind has in phyiscal performance.


Todays’s lesson at the Louvre. Jean Simeon, “Le jeune dessinateur”. At first I was attracted to this image because thought it was a girl, a girl artist ! But my drawing didsn’t capture the androgynous quality. I was too much in a hurry, and I don’t know why. What did I learn from this lesson? That my impatience needs working on to get over! I didn’t spend enough time on checking my proportions. I was depending too much on how I already know how to draw faces. So I did tons of shading and decoration to hide my errors! So much revealed about my inner workings!


Help! I woul love to have some critique on this one. Les trois grâces, the three muse, sculpture, done at the Sully wing of the Louvre. I think that I find it easier to draw from paintings as they are already flattened out. It’s easier for my eyes to translate to my brain to my hand. Speaking of flat, I read recently that monocromatic artists were trying to push the flatness of painting to it’s limit. BS or interesting theory?

École de Louvre

Last year I had a small obsession begin; an overwhelming desire to go back to school. An old dream to go to art school reawakened in me. When I was choosing Universities back in the day, I was looking at CCAC, the San Francisco Art Institute and UC Santa Cruz. It was very expensive to go to art school and I thought it might be more reasonsible to get a general education, who knows what the future might hold? But I always regretted not having a formal art education.

I started to become obsessed more and more with L’école de Beaux Arts. I started to hang around there a lot and tried the competition to get in. There were 1500 applicants, 800 were invited to submit a portfolio. I submitted mine but didn’t get to the next step. I was very disappointed. But I had a Plan B: I thought I would look for a painting instructor, take tap dancing and try to seriously get better at the ukulele.

I started talking to the artists I know in Paris and asking for introductions to painters who I consider to be possible mentors. One of the first ones I met with said he learned more at “L’école du Louvre” than he ever did at L’école de Beaux Arts. It’s true that technique is not really taught any more, even though students are very interested. I responded: “But L’école du Louvre is art history classes!”. “No” he responded, “I’m referring to going to the Louvre to copy the Masters”. So I went with him one saturday to sketch.

This was the first lesson. Poussin. Saint Frances of Rome. It looks like a witch but it’s actually the virgen Mary. Mary borne on a cloud appears to St. Francis, the broken arrows symbolise the eradication of the plague.

L’année dernière j’ai été prise d’une « légère » obsession : une forte envie de retourner à l’école. Un vieux rêve qui refaisait surface de joindre une école d’art. Au moment de faire le choix d’une orientation à l’époque, j’ai d’abord pensé à m’inscrire au CCAC, à UC Santa Cruz ou à l’Institut d’Art de San Francisco. Mais choisir une école d’art, c’était hors de prix et il m’a paru plus raisonnable de me tourner vers une éducation plus généraliste car qui savait ce que l’avenir réservé?

Reste que j’ai toujours regretté de ne pas avoir reçu une véritable formation artistique.

J’ai donc commencé à être complètement obsédée par l’idée d’entrer à l’École des Beaux Arts, commençant à y traîner régulièrement tout en préparant le concours pour y entrer. Nous étions 1500 candidats au départ dont seulement 800 ont été invités à présenter leur portfolio. J’ai fait partie de ces 800, mais malheureusement, je n’ai pas été sélectionnée pour l’étape suivante. J’étais très déçue mais j’avais un plan B: me trouver un peintre instructeur, et prendre des cours de claquettes, et m’améliorer toujours plus sérieusement au ukulélé.

J’ai commencé à parler avec des peintres que je connaissais sur Paris, demandant des directives plus précises à ceux qui, je pensais, pouvaient me servir de mentor. L’un des premiers que j’ai rencontré m’a dit qu’il avait appris plus à l’ « École du Louvre » qu’à l’École des Beaux Arts. Il est vrai que la « technique » n’est plus réellement enseignée aujourd’hui, même si les étudiants sont eux mêmes généralement intéressés par le sujet. Je pensais que l’École du Louvre, c’était une école d’histoire de l’art. « Non » m’a-t-il répondu, il parlait de l’ « École du Louvre », celle où les peintres se rendent au musée afin de copier les Maîtres. Et c’est ce que j’ai fait, l’accompagnant un samedi matin pour réaliser des croquis à base de tableaux qui y sont accrochés.

Ceci fut la première leçon. Poussin, Saint Francis de Rome. Cela ressemble à une sorcière mais c’est en fait la Vierge Marie. Marie, portée sur un nuage, apparut à Saint Francis, les flèches brisées symbolisant l’éradication de la peste.

By the second lesson at the Louvre, I was on my own. My drawing is about 400 percent bigger than the original. Jean Cousin le Fils – The last judgement, it doesn’t do justice to all the volume and expression in about 3 square inches.

Pour la deuxième leçon au Louvre, j’étais seule. Mon dessin est à peu près 400% plus grand que l’original. Jean Cousin le fils, Le Jugement Dernier. Mon croquis n’a pas le rendu de l’original, tout ce volume et cette expression dans seulement 8 cm² !

Antoine Caron “Tiburtine Sibyl” Emperor Ceasar being shown the way to Christanity.

Antoine Caron “Tiburtine Sibyl” Emperor Augustus being shown the way to Christanity.

Jan Vander Straet “vanity, moderation and death” (except I didn’t get death in my sketch).

Jan Vander Vanité, modération et mort (je n’avais pas inclus la mort dans mon croquis).

I usually go saturday mornings.These sketches were copied after bronze sculptures of Aphrodite. I get to the museum by 9:00 and draw until lunchtime. Often I go to my studio after and tattoo. I pretty sure this is the life I dreamed about when I was studying french in high school!

J’y vais généralement le samedi matin. Ces croquis ont été faits d’après des sculptures en bronze d’Aphrodite. J’arrive au musée vers 9 heures et dessine jusqu’à l’heure du déjeuner. Souvent je vais ensuite à mon studio pour tatouer. Je suis sûre que c’est exactement la vie dont je rêvais quand j’étudiais le français au lycée!

Pygmalion fell in love with his sculpture. Anne-Louis de Roucy-Trioson 1819 (I was so disappointment to find out that Anne-Louis was a man) a student of David’s at L’école de Beaux Arts, later a teacher there.

Pygmalion est tombé amoureux de sa sculture. Anne-Louis de Roucy-Trioson 1819 (j’étais vraiment déçue de découvrir qu’Anne-Louis était en fait un homme), étudiant de David aux Beaux Arts et plus tard un Professeur dans cette même école.

I think I’m making progress already! What do you think?

Je crois que je fais déjà des progrès ! Qu’est-ce-que vous en pensez ?

Tattooed Furniture Part 6

Finally, I finished my own piece of tattooed furniture! A cute little good luck footstool. You may have seen some of the inspiration I posted here and here.

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I used the special sign painter’s paint called One Shot. It is a paint also used by hot rodder’s to do pinstriping. It is very stinky and should be used in a well ventilated area. The finished result is glossy like an enameled glaze. It is tricky and messy and needs to be cleaned up with turpentine. That’s why it took me so long to finish!

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The footstool will be on display at my upcoming performing art piece here in Paris. Intrigued? You will hear all about it soon!

Artsit Alan Aldridge

Inspirational artwork from english artist Alan Aldridge, works from the ’60’s and ’70’s. Mind blowing technique!

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Learning Lettering

Back when I was apprenticing at Goldfield’s I got interested in lettering. Henry Goldfield was a sign painting nut and I always admired lettering in tattoos. The problem was, I hated my own handwriting. So I decided to practice and studying good lettering for tattoos. I bought a notebook and started filling it up by copying or trying to copy the styles I admired. I also did my designing for lettering tattoos in the book. Now when anyone asks for lettering I can show them the book so they can see all the styles available and chose what they like. It’s a great exercise for any kind of drawing you want to get better at. I’m filling up a book of pretty ladies and I want to do one with dragons someday.

lettering
Disclaimer: I can imitate some popular tattoo lettering styles but I’m pleased to see that I’ve really developed my own style. Copying may be sometimes ok for the sketch book but it’s not fair to bring it in your own work. Like they say “Emulate, NOT Duplicate”.

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Where Ideas Come From

I fell in love with this image and was tempted just to redo it with girls instead of mustachioed chinamen. But, after meditating on it and sketching a bit I came up with the drawing for Alice’s Voyage.

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It was around the time I was coming up with images for Tea and Circus an art show I had in Berlin. First she’s traveling in a tea cup. Disney, oh how you have influenced me.

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This sketch is very close to the first inspiration.

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Some of the research images.

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Final drawing:

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Inspiration for color: Tim Walker fashion photo

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And final painting:

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Tin Toys

I’m a huge book collector. I find tons of inspiration for my work in books like 1000 Robots, Spaceships and Other Tin Toys and American Tin-Litho Toys.

I had the chance to go to the Museum of Tin Toys in Yokohama last spring, it was like a pilgrimage for me! (I will tell you more about that later)

Here’s a silkscreen print that I did and the toy that inspired the image. The title is Solve and Coagula (seperate and rejoin) the first priciples of alchimy. Instead of turning lead into gold she’s turning fabric into monsters!

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The silkscreen print is available in my shop (ten colors!)

After The Vacation

I’m just back from 5 lovely days on the cote d’azure. While I was relaxing I tried carving some little stamps. Apparently it’s all the rage in Japan, but I don’t know what this craft is called. It was super easy to cut into the rubbery surface. I think I’ll try to do some larger images to resemble lynograveur.

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