Saturday, December 14, 2013

etsy holiday news

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thanks to everyone for all of the holiday orders from my shop! with your help i've been able to invest in a bigger, better printer, which means larger scale prints will be available in the new year!

i am one average-sized but nimble elf working all by my lonesome to process, print and package your orders and trek them through the snow and bitter cold to the post office as quickly as i can, but at this point, due to the holiday rush and inclement weather here in the northeastern united states, i cannot guarantee international orders' arrival by christmas (although USPS has been doing a stellar job getting my packages even as far as australia within one week!) all open orders have now been shipped, and my shop will remain open through the holidays, but only greeting cards will be available, starting tuesday, december 17th.

Monday, December 2, 2013

ENDED: cyber monday

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use this code at checkout to receive 15% off your purchase in my shop. promotion ends tonight at midnight EST. this promotion is now over; many thanks to those who participated!

Monday, November 11, 2013

anna karenina

anna-karenina
a pretend book cover for anna karenina. this novel took me several years to begin and only six days to finish: i read laying on my bed, curled up in an armchair, sitting on the floor, in cafés, at the library, on a park bench, first thing in the morning and well into the night; "the next couple hundred pages" became my reward for a couple hours' work. sometimes a book means so much to me that i cannot even talk about it; all i can say is that i'll carry it with me forever (not literally of course, it's a brick of a book).

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

cheapside hoard

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a couple of illustrations for amelia gregory's review of the cheapside hoard exhibition at the museum of london, dedicated to the contents of a buried wooden box discovered by workmen under a london building site in 1912: a collection of more than 400 pieces of elizabethan and jacobean (16th-17th c.) jewelry. the hoard, which is being displayed together for the first time in more than 100 years, will be on view through april 2014.

Monday, November 4, 2013

the elephant house

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this weekend b and i drove to cape cod to make one of our longtime dreams come true: we visited the home (now museum) of one of our favorite illustrators - and personal hero - edward gorey.  photo gorey3_zpsc6c1d7ad.jpg
prolific artist, obsessive collector, voracious reader and TV-watcher, compulsive mail order catalog shopper, avid ballet patron, wearer of fur coats with white chuck taylors, playwright, puppeteer, cat hoarder and part-time recluse with a small group of well-loved friends, the man himself was as fascinating as his work.
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i'm grateful to have been able to explore "the elephant house," which has been preserved with care and special respect for his sense of humor. this year marks the 50th anniversary of the vinegar works and many of the original drawings are on display, but the exhibitions change - a good reason to return to the museum every once in a while, although if i lived on the cape i'd probably be a regular.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

becca

becca
a portrait of my best friend becca stadtlander in her home, with ronnie. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

the FAF

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thanks to everyone who came out to the fall arts festival in woodbury, new jersey and stopped to chat and purchase some prints and cards, and to all of the little girls who requested cat drawings! it was a fun weekend with great weather and delicious cheesesteaks, followed by a week of driving through all six new england states and québec, unbelievably beautiful this time of year.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

barbarella

barbarella
i watched roger vadim's 1968 space romp "barbarella: queen of the galaxy," which explained where duran duran got their name and inspired me to try my own interpretation of barbarella's appearance, using digital collage. for most of the "textures," i used hubble space telescope photographs from NASA's royalty free image gallery.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

the FAF

 photo map_zpsda0d5c27.jpg this weekend i'll have a booth at the fall arts festival in woodbury, new jersey (just outside of philadelphia), where i'll drawing live and selling prints, original paintings, greeting cards and other small things with the assistance of a little helper elf (my mom). the festival will take place on saturday 11 am - 6 pm and sunday 12 - 4 pm.

afterwards we're setting off on a week-long road trip through new england (newport, portsmouth, portland, burlington, stowe, hanover, amherst and the berkshires), stopping in montréal for two days along the way!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

a home in tibet

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a new book cover for tsering wangmo dhompa's a home in tibet for penguin books india (calligraphy by joy gosney, jacket design by pallavi agarwala).

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

london fashion week SS14

LFW_SS14_2 it's london fashion week, and i'm a contributing illustrator for amelia's magazine again, like in the old days! i've been experimenting with digital collage quite a bit due to the quick turnaround, as well as the multitude of shiny textiles - which i simply don't know how to replicate with watercolor - appearing in a lot of the shows. so far i've illustrated amelia's reviews of ekaterina kukhareva, bernard chandran, holly fulton and orla kiely, as well as maria papadimitriou's review of lug von siga.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

red cap feature + nahcotta news

 photo studio_blog4_zps9d6b8a46.jpg red cap cards shines their artist spotlight on me and my work in a new interview, wherein i reveal my secondary career choice (if the whole illustration thing didn't work out)!

hundreds of people trickled in and out of nahcotta gallery at last friday's opening. portsmouth was alive and magical in the cool evening air, even more charming than it was in february. three paintings are still up for sale.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

rainy day

rainy-day_blog
 photo ETA_framed_blog_zps9560511f.jpg all six paintings from this series are now available for sale online at nahcotta gallery. my frames were handmade by signed & numbered in salt lake city, utah.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

enormous tiny art show no.14

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six new paintings are framed and ready to go to new hampshire for the enormous tiny art show no.14! the opening reception is on september 6th, 5-8 pm. i'll be there along with b, who is also in the show this time and with such beautiful work, inspired by japanese woodblock prints. nahcotta gallery, 110 congress st, portsmouth, NH 03801.

Friday, August 23, 2013

herbarium

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Sunday, August 18, 2013

unicorn

unicorn
a few images from my greeting cards, like this self-satisfied unicorn, are also available as 6"x8" prints in my shop.

Friday, August 16, 2013

red cap cards

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my red cap cards are here! the collection will officially debut this weekend at the NY NOW gift show, but the cards are already available in my shop. each card is 4.25" x 5.5" in size, blank inside, printed with soy inks on 60% tree free recycled paper (which gives them a nice, cozy quality), and comes with a matching off-white envelope.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

dancing with myself

yelena bryksenkova_dancing
you know, just a late night dance party for one. i really held my breath over those miniature dalida and bardot faces! tiny painting requires too much time and concentration to make a process video, but i hope an animated gif is close enough. i'll try to break it down into more stages next time, but you get the idea:
dancing on Make A Gif

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

green thumb

potting another tiny painting for the enormous tiny art show. it started with a pair of floral oxfords that i've been eyeing and grew into an entire conservatory.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

solitaire

 photo dc1b0368-ee99-43bd-a46c-9860f635b818_zpseca80719.jpg this is the first in a series of six paintings for yet another enormous tiny art show in portsmouth, new hampshire. after seeing the édouard vuillard exhibition at the jewish museum and then impressionism, fashion and modernity at the met, i feel a renewed enthusiasm for drawing pensive women doing solitary things. and what's more solitary than solitaire? i've been laying out this particular game of patience since i was little.

 photo solitaire_palette1_zpsa6e03cb1.jpg the palette was inspired by a bouquet of flowers i saw on the street in new york. i'm trying to move away from my usual, intuitive blue-gray and be more courageous and deliberate with color.

Friday, July 12, 2013

red cap cards

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here's a little preview of my new line for red cap cards. some of my favorite illustrators - jon klassen, lizzy stewart, anna emilia laitinen, anke weckmann and my BFF becca stadtlander - have created cards for red cap, so as you can imagine i'm over the moon about getting to join the party. the twelve cards are coming out next month!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

my favorite books

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a few of the books that have deeply affected my worldview, life and work and which i return to again and again.

Monday, July 1, 2013

aquamarine

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i'm taking a break between two major projects and spending this rainy day with some leisurely drawing, green tea, and lots of "star talk radio."

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

process video


i might share my work process for more elaborate paintings later on in a series of step-by-step photographs, but for now, here is a quick video of me drawing a little horse. music: alexei rybnikov, "vertolet" (1978)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

assateague island

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“ for him, it was liberating to be alone, small amidst the vast universe.” (tove jansson, moominpappa at sea)

this weekend i went camping on assateague island, off the coast of maryland. among the free-roaming wild ponies and nocturnal, funny ghost crabs that scuttle sideways and burrow in the sand to escape the light, i felt i grasped what it means to come face to face with "the sublime." the constant roar and crash of the ocean, a strong wind that violently whipped my little tent all through the night, and when the clouds above our campfire parted to reveal countless glittering stars and even the faint glow of the milky way - all of these things inspired wonder, but also fear of what our planet is capable of and how helpless we really are against it. it's something to consider the next time i need a little perspective.

Monday, May 6, 2013

drawing at the met

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a few small drawings i made in my sketchbook this weekend while wandering around the metropolitan museum of art. i love the ancient greeks, can you tell? they indulge my weakness for beautiful hands and noses.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

little thing magazine

 photo 3e9f8a0f-b332-4904-b646-705e66393cb1_zpsd03100c9.jpg some of my illustrations, along with an interview intriguingly entitled "st. petersburg is gloomy," is featured in the adorable chinese magazine little thing

Thursday, April 25, 2013

the reader

Reader by Yelena Bryksenkova this painting is for the annual children's book art silent auction at bookexpo america. the proceeds will go toward the effort opposing the censorship of children’s books and authors nationwide (like the kids' right to read project and banned books week). the expo, which will take place on may 29th in new york city, will bring together "booksellers, publishers, authors, artists, illustrators, [...] fans of illustrated children’s books and supporters of the free speech rights of young readers." see you there!

Monday, April 22, 2013

píccolo print

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my píccolo prints have arrived and are now available for sale in my shop! this limited edition print is a 5"x7" archival quality, full color illustration printed with an indigo offset press, on thick 24-point, 100% recycled natural chipboard. thanks again to everyone who donated to píccolo's kickstarter campaign!

Monday, March 25, 2013

ma mère

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Sunday, March 24, 2013

autochrome lumière

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it's been a long time since i've come across something so beautiful that it makes me feel restless. i recently discovered autochrome photography thanks to "edwardian opulence," the current exhibition at the yale center for british art, and since then i've been poring over various online collections, still finding it strange to accept that like ours, life one hundred years ago was lived in color. my favorite photographs, like the two above, are by belgian photographer alfonse van besten (1865-1926). his subjects are just like the dream-muses of j.w. waterhouse, with flushed cheeks and flowers that seem more real and fragrant than real flowers. ever looking to possess at least some aspect of the kind of beauty that causes me unrest, i'm thinking about how just something of the essence of these photographs can be translated into my watercolors. (images from here)

Monday, March 11, 2013

light and darkness

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someone recently described my work as dark and spooky, even nightmarish, although it seems to evoke warmth and comfort for most others. both aspects are essential to the way i perceive the world, and i always wrestle with myself: which side should i show? but if two people can see such different things in one image, perhaps quiet domesticity and peaceful repose are perfectly compatible with magical, unsettling darkness. i don't mind, anyway.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

la vida interior de las plantas de interior

 photo plantas8_zpsc9b96cff.jpg book cover for la vida interior de las plantas de interior (the inner life of indoor plants), a collection of short stories by patricio pron for random house mondadori (spain).

Friday, March 8, 2013

philadelphia

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i wandered the streets of philadelphia in search of art deco, and among the well-preserved, prominent examples - such as the two above - i found magnificent architectural details everywhere, many inconspicuously gracing the façades of dilapidated buildings; ghosts of former opulence above dusty storefronts with cheesy signage, existing in strange accord.  i've never seen beauty and decay harmonize quite so well as they do in philly. the weather dashed my plans to see the city's major neighborhoods on foot, but that just means i have a reason to come back at a warmer, drier time.

many thanks to eleanor grosch for being the perfect host and to the students who participated in my workshop at university of the arts - i really enjoyed getting to know you and your work!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

dpi taiwan + uarts workshop

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my work is featured in the "meticulous art" seasonal from dpi magazine, an art and design publication in taiwan!

i'm teaching a two-part editorial illustration workshop at university of the arts in philadelphia on february 26th and march 5th. on both occasions i'll have the following wednesday afternoons to spend as i like before i take the train back home, so if you know of some gems, i'm taking recommendations! 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

l'inconnue

L'Inconnue by Yelena Bryksenkova i've been thinking about something alain de botton said on his twitter the other day: "we're so unimaginative, we think liking always has to lead to buying, touching, having...what of simply admiring?" this liberty of london wiltshire berry print was sort of maddening - i was ready to purchase a yard of it for no reason other than to have it - and now that i've painted it, the sense of materialistic urgency is gone. for me, drawing can be a form of possession. a loophole, perhaps?

Saturday, February 9, 2013

real simple magazine

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 photo parents3_blog_zpsa1d061e9.jpg dream client alert! i have three illustrations in the current issue of real simple magazine, for an article on how to discuss sensitive but important financial issues with aging parents.

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