Monday, December 18, 2017

2017 Holiday Greetings!

This year, for my Christmas cartoon/illustration, I took a different tack than usual.

It's a combination of futuristic idea and wishful thinking: What if all those Xmas trees we grow and then kill couldn't be killed anymore, but instead would be used as living trees to help re-forest swathes of the planet?






I know, I know... wishful thinking.

Years ago, my parents actually tried this.

At the time, we lived somewhere where the ground didn't freeze in winter. So they bought a small potted fir tree, used it in the house over the holidays, then planted it in the backyard in January.

This went on for a few years until the tree objected - and died to prove its point!

In my scheme, we wouldn't dig up and re-use the trees, it would be a one-time rental before permanent planting.

Not sure what I'll draw next year... but whatever it is, it will have to go on much brighter white photographic-level paper. The "white" of my sketch pad isn't white enough and, as they say, the camera (which I use to shoot the drawing) never lies!

Wishing everyone a very happy holidays season and the very best of new years in 2018!

© Deborah C. Sawyer 2018

Monday, December 19, 2016

2016 Holiday Greetings!

Life has certainly been hectic this past year, but I did find time to whip up a picture for my annual card.

One again, the medium is oil pastels on paper, with a small assist from water color pencils.



Now, if I can only find the time to share the link to my blog...

I actually have wild ambitions about having time to draw or paint something during 2017 other than an Xmas cartoon. Stay tuned!

And Happy Holidays and best wishes for the New Year to everyone!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Happy Holidays 2015

As it turns out, 2015 was insanely busy and I had begun to think I wouldn't find time to draw a cartoon for my annual Xmas card.

But, somehow, I pulled it off!
"No wonder they say moving is 'for the birds'!"

This year's theme shows Santa moving to the South Pole; given that the North Pole is melting - or so we are told - and that there is still more snow and ice in Antarctica, I thought it was time Santa gave himself the heave-ho.

The idea of using relocation came from being in the throes of moving my office and studio to a new spot. This has been a protracted affair since mid-2015 and is still not done.

Sometimes, I find it hard to remember what I did before I began moving files and supplies!!

Hope everyone will have a relaxing and enjoyable holiday season. All the best for the 2016 new year!

Copyright Deborah C. Sawyer

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Genesis One

No, this isn't a Biblical painting, I used the term "Genesis" because the painting involves eggs.

Or, we could ask the philosophical question: Which came first, the carton or the egg?

I decided to paint this - it is actually part of a series - painting of an egg carton, partly to see if I could still paint realistically, and also for the exercise of painting styrofoam.

Styrofoam has some interesting properties, if you examine it close up, plus the way it reflects light provides certain challenges.

(Other paintings in the Genesis series involve the clear type of egg carton and the pressed paper version.)

From time to time, I'll post additional examples of my egg carton work!

Copyright Deborah C. Sawyer
Genesis: Detail

Friday, December 5, 2014

Xmas 2014: As they say...

I actually surprised myself as to how quickly I got this year's Xmas drawing done.

I was overseas until early November, so came dashing back to a To Do list which included drawing something to then photograph and use for my cards.

I then get the prints run off and affix them to blank cards, adding the title of the picture, of course.

I tend to exchange cards mainly with overseas friends and family but post the art here, for others to enjoy.

This years's card has the title "As they say...Global warming changes everything!"


Santa has swapped his sleigh for a power-boat and is out trying to deliver to stockings. Not that there are many places to deliver to, most are underwater. (Humans do have a bad habit of congregating to live in low-lying areas).

As well, Santa has ditched his robes and toque for a fur-trimmed baseball cap (worn backwards, of course!) and a fur-trimmed T-shirt.

You might also notice there are reindeer water-skiing behind the boat. Union rules, you know! The contract stipulates that the reindeer must get an outing on December 24. So, Santa has hitched them up to his boat...

Hope everyone will have a wonderful holiday season and enjoy the best life has to offer. All the best in 2015!

Copyright Deborah C. Sawyer

Monday, September 1, 2014

A Plant's Eye View of the World: Part 6

This is the last of the six paintings in my "Evil Greens" series "When Plants Get Mad: Kamikaze Tomatoes".

In the case of tomatoes in the greenhouse, I suspect they know they are goners and so have nothing to lose.

But dive bombing the eater, rather than be eaten - well, what a way to go!

I used some of my favorite colors in this painting, notably the Gamblin color  'Radiant Blue', which I used for the sky.

(At one point, stores in the city where I live said they would no longer be carrying Gamblin colors. Catastrophe!  So I stocked up madly.

But, even in the US, they were hard to find at retail. Luckily, one of the suppliers I use is now stocking Gamblin product again. I just treated myself to a tube of Radiant Yellow but I haven't used it yet.)

Back to the painting: As with the others in the series, this one looks at the issue of our eating habits and assumptions. Vegetarians really have nothing over the rest of us omnivores, because, plants have to be killed for us to eat vegetables.

The only difference is in the way these food are a renewable resource. Keep the roots and you can grow again. That suggests eating potatoes and carrots isn't very pure...

Also, let's not forget that plants themselves  - some of them - are carnivorous: In total, there are some 670 species across the world. Butterflies, frogs and flies are just some of the food these plants consume.

Something to think about, next time you are on your way to the grocery store, or sitting down to eat in a restaurant...

Copyright Deborah C. Sawyer

Sunday, July 6, 2014

A Fly On The Wall (Sees What We Don't)

A Fly On The Wall (Sees What We Don't)
Partly because I often paint visual puns, and partly because I was being bothered by a fly buzzing around my house one day, I came up with the idea for this painting.



To get the right scale - and re-create the world as seen by the fly - I first cut out a fly-sized shape and attached it to a chunk of concrete I found outside.

The detail in the painting is therefore drawn from this model.




I also used a microscope to look at a fly's eye close-up - yes, I used a fly that had conveniently died on the windowsill in my studio - with a view to as much accuracy as possible.

However, the eye of my fly is showing us what it sees  - although you need to get "up close and personal" with the painting to be able to catch this level of detail.
Details reflected in the fly's eye

(I've taken a photo using the macro feature, to bring this detail into focus for my blog.)

And what exactly is it that the fly sees that we miss? If you've ever said "I'd love to have been a fly on the wall while that was happening!", you'll have an idea of what I'm getting at. In this case, it's not the happy stuff - but events and unkind actions, such as crimes, that the police cannot solve - but likely could, if they could just be a fly on the wall!

Copyright Deborah C. Sawyer