Category Archives: A New Piece

Artist Trading Card Exchange at CAG

Posted by Yelena Shabrova

We had an artist trading card exchange at today’s CAG meeting. Here is my contribution:

My trading card - colored pencil on illustration board, 2.5" x 3.5"
colored pencil on illustration board, 2.5″ x 3.5″

That’s my first experience with the illustration board, I am not sure if I liked it. The thing has no tooth at all, very weird. Not sure who got my card, the exchange took place at the very end of the meeting and was a little hurried.

And this is what I got from a fellow CAG member, Sharon LaBouff:

My trading card - colored pencil on illustration board, 2.5" x 3.5"

I am very pleased to have Sharon’s little piece.

Fitting cumulus clouds into a tiny space

Posted by Yelena Shabrova

As it turned out, you can fit quite a lot into 3.5″ x 2.5″, more than I hoped to. If I planned a little more carefully, there would even be more space for the water at the bottom. Instead, I ran with the clouds first and fitted the rest into what little space remained. Morale: even for a tiny piece, start with thumbnails. I would love to do something with cloud reflections.

miniature - colored pencil on canvas, 3.5" x 2.5"

colored pencil on canvas, 3.5″ x 2.5″

Cover illustration for a book in progress

Posted by Yelena Shabrova

About two months ago I received a rather unusual request to create an illustration for a book that was not finished yet and didn’t have a title. All I had to go by was a short foreword and a few more details from the author. The interpretation and medium was left up to me. On one hand, it was very enticing to have that much creative freedom, on the other, it was as reassuring as walking through a thick fog. The temptation prevailed.

To make myself feel a little better, I sent the author a rough sketch of what I had in mind, and to my surprise she enthusiastically approved it. Since I didn’t know which parts of the storyline are going to be the most prominent in the book, I went with the main theme of an abrupt change from a farm teen to raising the son on her own in a city. The shadow in the illustration is the girl’s son in the end of the book, grown up and capable of supporting herself, her concern for years and a final reward. Today I turned the illustration to to the author. Thankfully, she loved the finished work which made me happy. She is till working on the book, hopefully the illustration will give her an extra creativity nudge.

Cover illustration for a book cover

colored pencil on drawing paper, 9″ x 12″

Artists party 2010 at the KALEID Gallery

Posted by Yelena Shabrova

Yesterday KALEID celebrated the 4th year of it’s very temporary existence on the 4th Street in San Jose. I think we had fewer people than last year, but the party was very nice nonetheless. I didn’t see most of the artists since last December, and talking to them again was a real pleasure. Funny how we forget names but remember each others’ faces :)

Since we came early, I could take a good look at the Rockin’ Stockings art show. Each artist’s works were hung together, and stockings with artist names were painted on the wall under them. Very cute :)

Also, found an artist I don’t think I saw before: Megan M. Eckman of Studio M.M.E.. She has wonderful pen and ink illustrations in KALEID. There was another artist whose work looks like illustrations, all with unusual perspectives, but there was no name anywhere on the display. I know that there was an article about her (or him?) some time ago in the Phantom Galleries blog, but of course now I can’t find it. Why, oh why do artists make it difficult to locate their name?

The best part of the evening was of course the gift exchange. All gifts were unwrapped on the spot, so that we all could see what it was and who created each piece.

I finally ventured into the land of collages with my gift, but since I could not find about half of the paper I knew I had, the result was not exactly what I originally planned. Not sure if the original idea would survive anyway since paper was not tearing predictably and there was no telling up front how a particular type of paper would take colored pencil.

It was fun working on the collage anyway, and Keith Bunnell seemed to be happy with it. Keith is a Raku artist whose beautifully shaped and glazed mug I picked earlier that evening from under the Christmas tree.

Gift exchange is a random process, and Cherry even shuffled the gifts to make sure no one could tell which gift was brought by which artist. Keith and me were the only two who picked each others’ creations.

Flashes of memories - torn paper collage, 5
Flashes of memories – torn paper collage, 5″ x 7″

Raku mug by Keith Bunnell
Raku mug by Keith Bunnell. You can’t tell it from the photo, but the mug is just as beautiful inside with random spots of black and dark earthy colors.

Longing for snow

Posted by Yelena Shabrova

Talked to my Dad on the phone yesterday – they have snow near Moscow already. We have rain, that’s good too, but snow would be so much better. Even a smell of snow would be wonderful. Since I can’t have that, I thought I would finish a snowy miniature that was lying around for way too long.

miniature - colored pencil on canvas

Silicon Valley Open Studios, 2010, weekend 1

Posted by Yelena Shabrova

It was a good weekend. The weather was perfect: just the right mixture of warmth and cool breeze. Nina Uppaluru took every effort to make the event enjoyable for all of us and our patrons. And this year more people who came were genuinely interested in art. Thank you everybody, it was nice to talk to you all!

There were a few really quiet times on both Saturday and Sunday, and I used that to do another tiny canvas:

miniature - colored pencil on canvas, 3.5" x 2.5"

colored pencil on canvas, 3.5″ x 2.5″

At this point I am convinced that a canvas is the most convenient little thing to use on the go. Besides the size advantage, it lays flat despite the wind gusts, and dust does not do any damage to it.

I bought two 5″ x 7″ canvases to draw something more serious. Need to decide what exactly it will be.