Monday, November 14, 2011

The first day/catnip

I felt like I wasn't getting around to art enough. So, I have decided I am going to post some piece of art on here everyday. Most of the time it will be whatever I did the day before, whether its more veggie illustrations for SESE, or just half of a painting that I am in the middle of, or a new chicken painting, or just a simple sketch because that was what I had time or energy to do. And I plan on writing a little something about the things I post also, rather than just putting the picture up. Hopefully it will be a story about the subject matter, a fun fact or two from the SESE catalog, or just why or how I felt like drawing or painting what I did. So here we go, day number one: Catnip

This picture is a bit flattened/stretched sideways due to this computer. I am not sure how to fix it.
I did this one over yesterday and this morning. It is another illustration for an SESE seed packet.
(If you are reading this and don't know what SESE is, it stands for Southern Exposure Seed Exchange and they are a company that sells vegetable and flower seeds, a lot of which are heirloom and/or organic. They are owned by an income-sharing, egalitarian, intentional community called Acorn located in central, rural Virginia, and they are really great. :) I began doing illustrations for them a number of years ago when I moved to another intentional community down the road called Twin Oaks.)
The painting is done in watercolor and a little bit of colored pencil on bristol board. The cat in the painting is my mom's cat, Elijiah. He is fun and playful and cuddly and also a bit weird. I knew I wanted to use him in the catnip picture, but I needed him to actually look like he was playing with catnip and I didn't have any around. So, I took advantage of one of his weirdnesses, (some people might find this a bit gross as a warning), which is that he really likes to roll around on my shirt after I go for a jog, very similiar to how he would be if he were rolling around on catnip. As weird and gross as it may be, I think it worked out well for the picture.

And, fun facts from the SESE catalog about catnip:
Only about two out of three cats are amused by catnip. The remainder who do not have the dominant gene for this response are bored by this plant. Medicinal: Traditionally catnip used for colds and flu primarily as a diaphoretic for feverish conditions. Nepetalactone, the primary ingredient of the essential oil is chemically similar to the sedative constituents of valerian.

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