Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Patsy Cline re-visited

She has been one of my favorite singers for years, and I've drawn her several times in the past, for my own artistic pleasure:
The above was done with watercolor pencils in 2003, and has never appeared on my blog, as far as I know. Below, you can see my first digital painting ever, from 2007. Click here if you'd like to read how that came about.
This past weekend, the Significant Other and I visited relatives in western Virginia for Thanksgiving and decided to drive home the scenic way on Saturday instead of the interstate. When I realized that could take us past Winchester, Virginia, Patsy's childhood home and also where she is interred, we decided to pay her a visit... 
You can see the Shenandoah mountains in the distance from her gravesite, but they didn't show up too well in my photos. It seemed a serene resting place for her. The bell tower on the left was a gift from her fans, it plays hymns at 6 pm--the hour of her tragic death at age thirty in 1963.
So sad.... I took one of the oak leaves to put with my drawing of her.
Then it was on into downtown Winchester, to her teenage home where she learned to sing by playing records incessantly...
To our surprise, it was open for tours and we had gotten there just in time for one. Our docent, Joe, was very well-informed and personable. Photos were not allowed inside. Click below for lots of info and a short clip featuring Joe (whom I just found out, actually KNEW Patsy when he was a boy):
I actually started shaking in the living room when told that Patsy spent many an hour next to the fireplace listening and singing along to records or the radio, honing her skills so that one day she could do this:

While there, I bought a book called Patsy Cline: The Making of an Icon, by Douglas Gomery.  While I haven't had time to read it fully yet, I came across this passage, which really resonated with me as an artist:
I love the fact that sometimes my own personal interests coincide with those I admire. Drawing ability, like singing, is also a general characteristic of the human species---nearly every child draws. Those who don't give up either discipline become artists. :-)

Monday, November 28, 2011

An Advent Social

Hope y'all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! On Sunday of the holiday weekend, I was booked to draw at an afternoon Advent Social, by a gentleman who had been drawn at this party. I am including the link because I found out, while talking to him yesterday, that his parents are the second couple in that video (one of my favorite caricature reactions ever!). They have my drawing framed and hanging in their family room. :-)
This is a major way I get bookings, by people who have been drawn or seen my work at the parties I do.
So, yesterday's event, held in the church hall, contained people of all ages:
 My spot was in the center of a ring of chairs, and we used a sign-up sheet which went pretty well, because I had a tween helper.
After the event was over, I was invited to see the church's pipe organ, which is about to undergo renovation....wow!!!! I absolutely love the sound of this instrument and have since I was a little girl.

My client told me there are more than 14,000 pipes within this church. Here is a link about it if you are interested:
One of the myriad things I love about my job are the opportunities I get to meet interesting people and see interesting things like this! :-)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My studio entry for the 2011 ISCA convention

This year, I decided to try to do something different for my studio piece entry---something topical, somber, and opinionated:
It's a digital painting based on the famous boxing images done by George Bellows in the 1920's, except I substituted some current personalities for the boxers....

Sunday, November 20, 2011

2011 ISCA convention in St. Pete's Beach, Florida

I've just returned home from the best caricature artist convention I've been to in my nine years of attending them. Everything from the beachfront venue, to the weather, to the food and drink, and especially to the camaraderie, was just wonderful. I created a competition piece to be proud of, which is amazing because there were so many stellar artists present with just spectacular skills. My caricature batteries have been recharged!
My wall this year was a rather large collage based on Monty Python and the Holy Grail. If you are fan of the movie, you know that it's an ensemble piece which fit in well with my adapting friends to fit the characters. All the faces on this are of fellow caricaturists. If you'd like to see all my con pics, below are public links to the albums on my Caricatures by Emily FB page:
I'll probably have more to say here on my blog about the con, but for now I need to recover---we spent all day at seminars and all night drawing for almost a week...I was getting by on four hours of sleep per night. We are that passionate about caricature! For now, I'll put up a photo provided by the talented Mr Tom Brennan, of me in my work spot...which was occasionally visited by large palmetto bugs! (Our 24-hour drawing room was housed in a large outdoor pavillion ;-)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Irish Festival 2011

This past Saturday, my wild, 25% Irish self was drawing other Irish! (everyone there was at least honorary Irish!)
"The wearing of the green"
 These two guys are identical twins!  Below, one posed with his girlfriend as well (or as he put it, his lover! ;-)

I drew this couple and all NINE of their kids! below, as they wait patiently)
Some of the sights you see at an Irish festival:
 Irish dancing...
 A stroller's cupholders----holding GUINESS...
Older men with lovely younger ladies...
and a hard-working caricaturist with shamrocks on her head. :-)
My cherished assistant got a caricature too... ( I haven't attempted him for a few years, it's hard to draw your loved ones!)
It's about 75% finished here.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Girl Scout meeting..with a little something out of my comfort zone

Last night, I drew an excited group of young ladies at a Girl Scout meeting:
That part was certainly IN my comfort zone. No, what made me a little nervous was that I was asked by the Scout leader to give a half-hour talk about being an artist...specifically being a female artist. Public speaking is not my thing--my usual line when people ask how I can DRAW in front of others is, " I can only do it because I can't see my audience--they're BEHIND me!" 
Anyway,  I told the girls and their moms how I got into the (male-dominated) field of professional caricaturing, and how with perseverance and practice you can be anything you want. Then we looked at some photos on my computer of various gigs, and they asked questions---good ones! I actually enjoyed it once we got talking. When the half hour was up, I couldn't believe it---then it was time to draw them in color. Thank YOU, girls! 

Monday, November 7, 2011


This week's Caricaturama subject is an actor, Michael C. Clark, whose television show, "Dexter" I have never seen:

Apparently, the character is a vigilante serial killer with a non-threatening public persona, which some commenters told me that I emphasized in my digital painting of him. Below are the stages my piece went through:  

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A self-indulgent, non-caricature post...

Usually, I try to keep my blog relevant to my professional life. This past weekend, I shirked my caricature career for  "me" time...my significant other JB and I went up to NYC to see my favorite pianist/composer/lyricist/comedian/critical thinker/rock star wannabe, Tim Minchin, in concert. (This was my third time, click if you'd like to read about the first and second--where I was able to connect it to caricature somehow ;-)
This time, after a wonderful day spent eating and subwaying around Manhattan (with one unintentional detour because we accidentally got on an express instead of a local) we strolled to Times Square from our hotel, expecting to be awed by the colossal technological displays to be found there. Instead, we bumped into Tim Minchin himself! He wasn't being mobbed, he was just standing in Times Square chatting to a few people, and was happy to see us. He took this wonderful photo with my phone and it just made my night... and we still had his concert to look forward to!

JB later remarked, if we hadn't messed up on that one subway ride, we wouldn't have gotten there right when Tim was standing in the street, as he left about ten minutes after our arrival to go get ready to perform. 
 I guess I could say my caricatures made this all possible. I do love my job!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Phils Phans commission

Awhile back, I did this party-style commission for the female half of this couple to present to the male half on their anniversary...and I drew them with a dear friend of every Phillies fan. ;-)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Retirement commission

Last week's rush-job party-style retirement caricature: ordered at 9 am, hand-delivered by 4 pm for his party that evening!