Wednesday, December 29, 2010

IF ... Winter

©2010 Mardi Speth All Rights Reserved • watercolour and ink

The woods behind the house hid a pond that was easy to traverse in the winter months. When the mousekin finally arrived, after an unusually long gestation (23 days!), we set off to...

Saturday, December 18, 2010

IF ... Mail

* * * * * YOU'VE GOT MAIL * * * * *
Wishing you all the joy and frivolity of the season.

©2010 Mardi Speth • All Rights Reserved • Digital

About the image ...
The nomenclature unique to typography is rich in history, dating back to Johannes Gutenberg's invention of the letter matrix in the mid-1400s. • Molten metal, poured into the matrix, quickly hardens to produce a single unit of type, of any character, and is known as a sort. (Be sure to keep enough on hand, or you will be out of sorts) • Not all typefaces are about letters – some contain imagery that is used to embellish text. These decorative sorts are dubbed ornaments.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

IF ... Phenomenon

©2010 Mardi Speth All Rights Reserved • Watercolour and Ink

A long time ago, in a civilization far, far away, a bright star appeared in the night sky proclaiming a gift from heaven.

Monday, November 29, 2010

IF ... Savour

©2010 Mardi Speth All Rights Reserved

It's so much more than a specified taste or seasoning. Smell certainly enhances epicurean pleasure, but savouring is far superior to any lip smacking activity. At it's best, one takes complete delight in the participatory dance, and the brain, having undergone an emotional reaction, locks the experience into it's deep, dark recesses only to have it burst forth, full flavor, when the ambrosia tickles the taste buds once again.

Monday, November 22, 2010

IF ... Sneaky

©2010 Mardi Speth All Rights Reserved • watercolor & ink

Short of an original idea, I'm playing the cuteness card in this
stealth escapade. There's no mark of treachery or deceit, just a hungry mouse. Shifting perspectives, this composition had my focus on ellipse progressions and shading. Still easier in theory
than with a paint brush.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

IF ... Burning

©2010 Mardi Speth All Rights Reserved • watercolor stained paper and marker

Oh, how I thirst for you, my little jalapeno.
Or as Elmer Fudd would sing, 
"Baby, I'm on fie-wah."

Sunday, October 31, 2010

IF ... Spent

©2010 Mardi Speth All Rights Reserved

Momma always said there'd be days like these. Being spent contains an interesting balance. It's eerily vacuous; missing the familiar 
push-pull. Gone are the longings and desires that drive us to action. 
It is simply a state of suspension, where the multitude of our psychological and physical parts are seemingly held in check 
by gravity alone. Who said nothing matters?

Monday, October 25, 2010

IF ... Racing

©2010 Mardi Speth All Rights Reserved

Fear, love, and exercise are three culprits that cause our hearts to race. That accelerated pounding, where it feels like the heart wants to jump right through the chest, places us smack in the moment, and makes us feel so primal, so human, and so alive. 

©2010 Mardi Speth All Rights Reserved

And then, there's the classic story of the tortoise and the hare.

Monday, October 18, 2010

IF ... Spooky

© 2010 Mardi Speth All Rights Reserved

Here, some common household items - a wrench, staple remover, tape dispenser, egg beater, and soda bottle with it's neck cut off (certainly THAT'S spooky) are buried (ooo ... the word sends chills down my spine) within this composition. OK, so they're not exactly buried ... they've been resurrected (a nod to Doc Frank) in this collage of paper, ink and pastel. These items were a requirement for a basalmorphic analysis for my drawing class. (Yes, the study of psychotherapy for mutant herbs, but frankly, I'm banking on Gestalt.) I examined the still life before me, sprawled across the table like amputated body parts. Perfectly still and lifeless. Deader than a doorknob, really. And then suddenly, an edgy transformation 
occurred ....  bbbrrruuuuaahhh!ha!ha!ha!

Monday, October 11, 2010

IF ... Transportation

©2010  Mardi Speth All Rights Reserved

Man has a romance with magnificent flying machines. OK, so this is woman and her perspective drawing class. With limited time, mandated objects, and a splash of creativity, both Illustration Friday's weekly word challenge and my homework assignment are resolved.  Hmmm ... my son doesn't think it will fly.

Monday, October 4, 2010

IF ... Beneath

©2010 Mardi Speth All Rights Reserved
Thunder. Nothing drives me outdoors faster. It's a pied piper. Or rather, pied drummer. The sound is so magnificent. Rare and exciting. A little clapper came through a few days ago, bringing memories from Forth Worth. Now THAT was a storm! After my trip down Memory Lane, I took a long and winding philosophical detour pondering the enormity of nature and my insignificance in the overall scheme of things. You know, really got beneath it, and then tried to say all of that in a picture. (Is it really worth a thousand words?) At least one thing is certain ... when the skies finally open, change is on its way. I'm putting my moccasins on.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Saturday, September 4, 2010

IF ... Dessert

There's nothing in the world that compares to strawberries enrobed in smooth, dark chocolate. So simple, so classy, and oh, so delicious. The explosion of flavor is like a symphony on my taste buds. Sign me up for a dozen - and I'm not sharing! 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

IF ... Immovable

©2010 Mardi Speth All Rights Reserved

The Rock. At 1398 feet high, this monolithic limestone promontory located off of Gibraltar is home to approximately 250 Barbary Macaques and is going nowhere fast. The monkeys are a great tourist attraction, as are the tunnels dug during wartimes and over 100 natural caves, where Neanderthals lived over 30,000 years ago. Despite long sieges, it seems there is nothing that can destroy the rock or it's people.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

IF ... Atmosphere

©2010 Mardi Speth All Rights Reserved

Our lives may be influenced by our environment, but it's the gaseous mass of thoughts and ideas constantly streaming in our heads that really shapes our reality. When you consider the inner world of the artist, it can be a downright busy place. Watch out for those shooting stars!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

IF ... Caged

©2010 Mardi Speth All Rights Reserved

Being caged is a state of mind with a lot of emotional fallout. It happens when the world closes in with it's incessant responsibilities and impending deadlines, and is further compounded by the unexpected event (which, of course, will happen with the worst possible timing). How can the psyche escape these dastardly, invisible forces? A good cry and a glass of wine does an adequate job in taking the edge off. But do check with your doctor before beginning any treatment prescribed by this creative professional.

Giant ... Revisited

©2010 Mardi Speth All Rights Reserved

A rework of last month's IF word. Collage made with stained paper, watercolour, and ink.

Monday, August 2, 2010

IF ... Artificial

©2010 Mardi Speth All Rights Reserved

FD&C Blue 1.
Pretty darn natural.
Almost good enough to eat.
Watercolor stained paper collage with ink and acrylic.

Monday, July 26, 2010

IF ... Double

©2010 Mardi Speth All Rights Reserved

Dragonfly is a magical little flying machine. The iridescence found in his double set of wings contain colors we don't see in our everyday, ordinary experience. Quick directional changes cause a shifting of color and bring to mind distant memories of a time or place where magic reigned. Some Indian legends say that Dragonfly was once Dragon, but he was tricked by Coyote into changing form. What was once Dragon’s scales are now the intricate pattern found on Dragonfly’s wings.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

IF ... Diary #2

©2010 Mardi Speth All Rights Reserved

According to Native American teachings, Whale is the record keeper. Much like a swimming library, Whale carries all the history of the earth. In tribal legend, Whale (being a mammal), moved from the land into the ocean when the earth shifted and Lemuria, the Motherland, went below the waves. Whale saw all of the events leading up to the settling of North America and keeps the records and knowledge of the Motherland alive.

IF ... Diary #1

©2010 Mardi Speth All Rights Reserved

Today is the last day of my summer vacation. My sketchbook adventures will soon be a soft-focused memory. Sigh.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

IF ... Giant

©1996 Mardi Speth All Right Reserved

This pastel, illustrating a scene from Oscar Wilde's Selfish Giant, was completed long ago, but it still suits Illustration Friday's word-of-the-week.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

IF ... Satellite

©2010 Mardi Speth All Rights Reserved

Manmade objects in space are much less interesting than the satellite phenonema that occurs in nature. Don't you think? Whether animal or human, offspring and significant relationships orbit around each other. Perhaps not always harmonious, but an equilibrium is obtained.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

IF ... Paisley

©2010 Mardi Speth All Rights Reserved

©2010 Mardi Speth All Rights Reserved

©2010 Mardi Speth All Rights Reserved

Remembering our summers at the shore.
Happy Father's Day, Dad.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

IF ... Ripple

©2010 Mardi Speth All Rights Reserved

Waves of heat from the summer sun
send salty ripples across the sea.
Haiku not!
Perhaps a pillow or tablecloth design?

Sunday, June 6, 2010

IF ... Trail

©2010 Mardi Speth All Rights Reserved

Inspired by 1960's drug culture and the whimsical 2-D art of Peter Max, this illustration depicts the music concert experienced by today's teen. Ink drawing with color added in Photoshop.

Monday, May 31, 2010

IF ... Slither

©2010 Mardi Speth All Rights Reserved

With a nudge from a friend, the blogging begins. Joined at the hip with the Illustration Friday website, a weekly word assignment is just what I need to keep the creative juices flowing. One foot remains in the art world, while the other remains firmly rooted in not-so-creative deadlines.