Tag Archives: mixed media

So Now what do you suggest we do?

Well, the title says it all.

Acrylics, inks, crayon, 12″ x 18″, August 2019.

So Now what do you suggest we do 12 x 18 8-191

Revisits: Main Theme

I did some illustrations for an event at Fictive Dream, an online fiction magazine specializing in short stories. It’s called “Revisits”. In it, the magazine revisits “the best of the back catalog”, as editor Laura Black says. Every two weeks April through August 2019, a different theme was explored. Look here to see the line-up of stories from the event and to read them.

I wrote a series of posts explaining the art creation process for this event. Look here for the first post, Love, which also offers an overview of the parameters of the art aspects of this project; for the other themes, search under the term Revisits in this blog.

In addition to the illustrations for each theme covered in the Revisits event, I did an artwork intended for the main page of the Revisits 2019 page at Fictive Dream, the place where readers could go to access the collection of stories in one place. It’s a title page illustration, as I think of it, for a “book” of collected short stories.

As such it needed to fit in with the illustrations done for each individual theme: landscape, sky, tree(s). For this picture the choices were wide open – there was no theme to illustrate.

I did the work on this image at the beginning of the project. Looking back, waiting until the end might have been better, but I was not sure how quickly I’d get the theme illustrations done and I was afraid the event would begin, I had not done all the illustrations, and yet we needed the Main Theme illustration to be in place at the event page.

You may remember that Fictive Dream editor Laura Black and I were feeling our way with the illustrations for a little while in the beginning until we got a few produced and began to know what we wanted. This Main Theme illustration was part of that “feeling our way” process.

Originally my thought was to include an array of colors in the landscape to portray the variety of themes and stories in the collection. I came up with this collage:

Image 21 blog

Laura liked it but it was not what she was looking for. As an artist, it can be hard to hear this kind of news; even though it’s not a criticism of the work, it means I’ve missed the mark. But in commission work, missing the mark is not failure – it’s a way to better understand where the mark actually is and to try again.

When I was auditioning styles for the project, as the very first step, I submitted quite a few images to Laura as we worked out the picture, the text, the text placement and style, etc. I made some wildly different pictures to gauge her interest:

I am sure you can see the one that caught her attention. I had created it from magazine papers unified with a layer of paint, text digitally applied. Anyway, when we got to the Main Theme image she reminded me of this one and how she had liked it.

I created a new version in the same colors but using painted sketch papers so as to fit in with the other theme illustrations. The text is slightly larger to fill in the space better (since there is no theme word, using the same size type made the word Revisits look a little scared and lost!)

Image 22 final 92 Calibri blog

This picture fit the bill. I liked the look of it and more importantly, Laura felt it was a good long-term representative for the overall Revisits event as people visit it now or in the future.


This post wraps up the Revisits illustration event on my blog. Once again I’d like to thank Laura Black for her faith in my work and her unfailing support of it. She is a true pleasure to work for. And thank you to everyone for following me on this journey.

Now I’d urge you take a look at the stories:  here at Fictive Dream: Revisits.

Revisits: War

I did some illustrations for an event at Fictive Dream, an online fiction magazine specializing in short stories. It’s called “Revisits”. In it, the magazine revisits “the best of the back catalog”, as editor Laura Black says. Every two weeks through August, a different theme will be explored.

Look here for the first post, Love, which also offers an overview of the parameters of the art aspects of this project.

Today, August 21, the theme is War. Here’s the image:

Image 13 blog

The theme of War is more concrete than some of the earlier ones. We all have many images of war stored in our heads from exposure to the news, stories told to us by friends or relatives, war in fiction or movies, or from our own personal experiences.

Fictive Dream Editor Laura Black said in her notes on this project:

For the colour I have in mind khaki (perhaps the shade you used in Image 11 for February), and numerous splintery trees with damage from bombing or shooting.

The artwork to which she refers (Image 11) is this one that illustrated a story in Flash Fiction February 2019:

I also recalled an image I made for an earlier event at Fictive Dream, September Slam 2018 – the story concerned events of World War I. For various reasons the story ultimately was not included and the illustration did not appear, but I remembered the khaki-yellow color I used in it:

Fictive Dream Ypres full size 8-18 #1 adjusted text flattened small

So I used the greenish color for the landscape with a dull ocher for the sky, both colors associated with army uniforms. I also deliberately made the colors less vibrant than some of the other illustrations, though I kept the intensity.

When it came to the trees, Laura’s image of  trees splintered by bombs coincided with my own (and my husband’s too; when I mentioned this theme to him he immediately described trees blown up and lying on the ground in pieces). It was important the the trees portrayed the suffering, damage, and destruction of war. I created trees that are barely standing, with branches scattered around and who may or may not survive, trees irrevocably changed, trees whose years of growth were destroyed in an instant.

When I showed the image to Laura, it fit her vision, and so the illustration of War was done.

Image 13 blog

Thanks for reading! And take a look at the stories:  here at Fictive Dream.