******This week's Process/Inspiration brings us Allison Sommers. The world she has created is magnificent. Filled with adorably, grotesque beings who are sometimes dressed in lederhosen or beasts with teeth of razors and a sparkle in their eye and there always seems to be meat like objects strewn about within Allison's work. Sounds bizarre, and it is for sure but she creates her painted universe with such ease and fine technique, it's impossible to not fall head over heels into it. Covering both process and inspiration, Allison shares with us a painting in progress for her upcoming solo show, Schlaraffenland at Thinkspace. Comment section is open to engage with the lovely lady.******
...working on the lineart. I typically free-hand the enlargement to keep it dynamic. When I trace or grid drawings, they tend to lose some of their strength, get a little awkward...
Second fellow is getting some eyes, and more definition in his hair. I'm still working on this one, so you'll have to wait until my May show to see the finished product.
Here's the mess to the left of me. The tray holds my various... jars... clean water jar, the trash water jar which always smells like eggs, and the ones upside down are the colors I keep for underpainting. There are all the brand-new brushes, and the crap brushes I use for frisket. The jar tops hold large batches of color I've mixed together-- that teal on top, for instance, is the master color for my long-necked fellows. I use those Audubon books for reference, and to the right of them are my last few sketchbooks, to which I refer back for painting ideas.
These are my color studies from paintings past-- I posted about these a while ago on my blog. I love these. They make me want to have a dollhouse so I can hang them on the wall. There are repeated paintings because I was trying out (read: fighting with) different colorways.
A few recent sketchbook spreads:
Lately I've been attempting to work larger, and as a means of not totally botching the composition I've been using these grids. Perhaps only one or two of the grid squares end up making it to the painting stage, but they're at least good thought experiments.
So, onto the 'inspiration' part-- I've been feeling particularly inspired by children's books lately, so instead of boring folks with an exhaustive survey of the contents of my bookshelf, I'll limit myself...
My partner introduced me to Mecki a few years ago, and this book in particular is a delight. It also happens to illustrate Schlaraffenland, which is the subject of my next show, so I'll stay mum until then.
One of the illustrators that had a large impact on my childhood is Ed Emberley. I don't even think I was much attracted to the way in which he draws-- I've always loved extremely detailed work, and his is spare and simple-- but his how-to drawing books illuminate the alchemy of drawing. Each drawing has an inventory of how many lines and dots and whatnot are used to compose each object-- it's a funny, literal way of drawing that really amused me as a child.
My partner introduced me to Ali Mitgutsch, whose work reminds me a little of Martin Handford's, except with less direct narrative. You really have to 'walk around' in the paintings to grasp all that's going on, and they're really charming. I've always been partial to that sort of nose-to-book absorption, and I like to do it a bit with my own work-- I find it intoxicating.B. Kliban books that were mysterious and hilarious to me when I was little, mostly because he has a puerile sense of humor that I was too young to get. I knew they were naughty, though. I think they altered my brain wiring in some way, and as I look over the books I can definitely see his impact on my work. I've been particularly thinking about him during the Temple Monkeys piece, where more than one of the viscera bloobers ended up looking like weird genitals.
Right, then, that's enough from me. I'll be hard at work for my May show, Schlaraffenland, at Thinkspace, so if you're interested please do check my blog, for updates in the interim. Thanks so much to Meighan for the opportunity!