Summer Seas

Hello readers! I’m surfacing from the ocean of work I’ve dived into, inhaling a few deep breaths to let you know I’m OK and so is our story. Mermaid Music will resume posting on September 9. Fear not, Maggie is having a good time on that life ring, so just consider it a summer vacation for her!

I mentioned in my last post that I was working on a book about the sea — I’m hoping to be able to reveal some of the artwork for this soon. I’m also working on a solo show to be hung in August that will be only cats — including a few catfish, so I’ll post those soon. In the meantime, here’s a scratchboard piece I did while working on the first drawings for the book, inspired by the paintings I was doing at the time:

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Scratchboard is a specially coated board from which you scratch the black surface, revealing the white underneath. It’s kind of like drawing in reverse, and often ends up looking a lot like a linocut or woodcut.

I spent much of July sorting, packing, and moving out of my long-time studio at Xchanges, an arts cooperative. After 23 years, I have all my art supplies under one roof! My little home studio won’t hold it all, so I’ve been playing Santa with all my artist friends. It’s fun, and kind of liberating, to be honing my artistic possessions down to just what I need for illustration and comics. No more large painting, no more big canvases to store… except the ones I’ve already done.

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My ex-studio, with stuff I gave away laid out on the tables before the move. I had a crew of wonderful friends who helped my schlepp what was left down the two flights of stairs!

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Much of what I kept is now stowed on the back porch (we won’t mention the chaotic pile in the music room). I think I’m going to have to have another giving-away party! My little studio upstairs where I do illustration and make comics is pretty much full and functions well already, so I’ve got my work cut out for me in organizing all this.

I treated myself to a vacation at a beach resort at Qualicum Bay for a few days after the move — oh boy, did I need that! My friends and I stayed in a camping cabin, quite a new experience for me, as I’m usually a tenter. We explored the local beaches, lakes and rivers for a few days; a lovely watery break (it rained, with thunder and lightning, so we even got sky water!) Here’s an adorable little crab from Parksville Beach:

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This little guy was one of a myriad of tiny crabs exposed at low tide on the broad sandy beach, their shells only about an inch across. The beach is also home to millions of sand dollars — a very rich place!

See you in a month, aboard The Mermaid once again!

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