old sketchbooks.

drawsomethingFINALcontrast1Sometimes when I’ve run out of creative energy I feel the urge to look through my sketchbooks. Forgotten pages of quick sketches and magazine cutouts serve as some great reference material for projects I don’t know how to start. Last night, I stumbled upon a stack of my old sketchbooks from college and high school. To be honest, most of it is useless to me now, but it reminded me of my frame of mind–or maybe my motto– in art school. Just draw something.
askewbookfinalTAPETEXT2I don’t know if I had a finished product or work of art in mind when I filled these few hundred pages, but when I look back at my doodles now, I remember exactly where I was in my life, where I lived and how I felt.  At one time I had eight full-sized sketchbooks in progress at one time.

My Drawing Anatomy for Illustration professor in college highly influenced my obsession with always having paper and pencils at hand. In just a short little comment, that may have gone unnoticed by most students, our professor shared with the class that he, as a practicing professional painter, never went anywhere without his books.
longbookstrio2bRIBBONTEXTI began to draw everything I saw, and especially things I wanted to simply remember. Above are two rough Prismacolor marker sketches I did when I moved to Center City, Philadelphia. I vividly remember the second one, done from my apartment building’s front steps in early evening. I had just walked down Pine Street and purchased a few single bottles of beers that were completely out of my price range, and spent time watching people walk home from work, drawing little things I saw, (oh, and drinking), and enjoying my alone time in the city.

I’m taking the time to revisit my old sketchbooks, and maybe I can find something that inspires me for projects I have planned. It has always been my goal to integrate my own work into my Etsy shop, although I also find a certain kind of inspiration from vintage. Even if, for right now, “just draw something” means, Just Draw Something Again.

can’t keep me from vintage.

newfebtapeTEXTIn my efforts and time spent creating and crafting, I have neglected to list my recent vintage finds at AMPERSANDxyz on Etsy. Well, until now that is.

Although I consider myself an artist first, and a collector second, I cant help but be drawn to items from the past. And, to be honest, the majority of my shop is made up of retro pieces  It’s hard not to appreciate the design and ingenuity of common household objects or fashion of the generations before.  Some were mass-produced, yes, but each and every item has a great artist (or artists) behind it.

Feel free to visit the shop at AMPERSANDXYZ.etsy.com.

the artwork of dan eells.

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Recently, I received an awesome package in the mail from the multi-talented Dan Eells of Philadelphia. Inside were two original watercolor pieces, a mixed media collage and two glossy stickers of his digital work.  I have been a fan of Dan’s work since I stumbled upon some of his collages through mutual “art friends” on Facebook. It isn’t often that you see an artist who is completely confident in nearly every artistic medium, and still has the ability to unify them with a common weirdness.

Source: dieells.tumblr.comDan Eells’ work brings old printed images into the modern era with strange juxtopositioning and bright bold colors. His ink drawings when combined with watercolor allow you to see portraits and animals in a unique new light. Although, a lot of the surface may remain untouched white, the amount of detail in what is drawn or painted is overwhelmingly powerful.

collage

I was immediately reminded of his art when I randomly acquired a giant stack of vintage National Geographic magazines from the early 70’s to late 80’s.  By sending Dan a small stack of these magazines, I am the proud new owner of several of his pieces!  I couldn’t be happier.

To find out more about Dan Eells, follow him on Tumblr at DIEELLS.TUMBLR.COM.
Some of his paintings and printed work can also be seen at daneells.com.