Aby-a-Day: 20 Augusti: Jackpot! (Cartoon Tuesday)

This upcoming weekend is NEMO’s seventh annual show! You may remember that I did a drawing of Marlin playing craps, because the theme of the show this year is “Lucky 7’s” with a Vegas theme.

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I also made this spoof of the infamous Vegas sign for the club to use as incidental art. I don’t know if they used it, but it was fun to make.

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For the cover of the program, Iris and I brainstormed other Vegas gambling motifs, and I came up with Marlin winning cat food from a slot machine. And, even better, I was able to incorporate my Vegas NEMO sign. I’m pretty proud of how it turned out; Iris said she thought it was one of my best! I wonder what the theme will be next year?

Aby-a-Day – 13 Augusti: Remembering Jacoby in Helsinki (Cartoon Tuesday)

When we went to Aino, the Finnish restaurant in Helsinki, I noticed a sign-in book.

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When we visited Helsinki with Jacoby in 2016, we ate at this restaurant.

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I just thought they needed to be reminded of that event.

Aby-a-Day – 30 Juli: Random practice sketches (Cartoon Tuesday)

I found a couple of sketches I did back in SFI that I never posted. The first, I think we were talking about Swedish wildlife, so of course I started drawing lynxes. Then I started trying to compare a lynx to an Abyssinian.

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This one I did before we got Logan. We had one teacher who lived on a farm and loved to talk about all the animals she had. I guess that day, it was all about chickens. After I got tired of drawing them, I started practicing the differences between Abys and Singas. I haven’t gone to SFI for about a year now (they moved to a different location and changed teachers and we just got unengaged busywork – stuff I’d actually already done a couple of times already). But it was good for something: it made me draw more regularly than I do now.

Aby-a-Day – 23 Juli: Louis Wain (Cartoon Tuesday)

In London, we spent a good bit of time looking for treasures in second-hand shops. I was on the hunt for anything regarding the early Abyssinians, and I figured England might be the place to find it. Unfortunately, I was unable to find any Victorian-era cat breeding books, but I did find a print by the pre-eminent cat artist Louis Wain. There were a couple of different ones, actually, but I thought the limerick was charming:

A girl, who was dreadfully flustered,
Helped Ma-in-law to a spoonful of mustard!
Her Ma-in-Law stared,
Asked how she dared!
But she told her she thought it was custard.

The print was marked as being from 1910.

When I got it home and framed it, however, I discovered it wasn’t just a print…it was a page from a book! And the other side was also very cute…but there’s a mark on it that I Photoshopped out when I scanned it, so I kept the limerick side out. Louis Wain is known for more than just his drawing…he also had some sort of mental issues (possibly dementia or schizophrenia; mental illness wasn’t as sophisticated 100 years ago), and, even though he was put in an asylum, he kept drawing cats that became more and more psychedelic as his illness progressed. In the filigree decoration on the back of page seems to presage his future drawings.

He was an incredibly prolific cat artist, and his work was published in books and as postcards. I found this very Aby-looking fellow online as a part of series of postcards celebrating “taking the waters” at Harrogate, one of the first ever “spas” where people went every summer for sulphur treatments. The treatments involved both drinking and soaking in the water, and Wain did four series of six cards each as souvenir/advertising. After finding the Abyssinian “sulphurer,” I became fascinated by these little glimpses into history…probably because, as a kid my dad tricked me into drinking sulphur water from the Lithia water fountain in Ashland, Oregon. I know what it tastes like!

In researching Louis Wain’s work (I was unable to find my images online anywhere, believe it or not, so I don’t know what book my page came from), I also came across this happy little guy. I know know much about him…but doesn’t he look like Izaak!? It actually kind of reminds me of that sketch of Zak I did back in March.

Aby-a-Day – 16 Juli: In memory of Jacoby Stealin’ Home (Cartoon Tuesday)

Last week, I got my memorial tattoo of Jacoby.

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Whilst in London, I realised that the Red Sox logo needed to be a part of his tattoo, because the Red Sox were such a part of who Jake was. I mean, his name and identity was based upon an event in Red Sox history.

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This is the photo that the tattoo was based upon…The time we went out in the courtyard and played in the snow five years ago. It’s one of the most iconic photos I ever took of Jake.

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Linus started with the Red Sox logo and then worked on Jake’s parka.

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Then Jake himself was filled in.

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The parka’s fur ruff was the last to be done.

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Here it is, almost finshed, where you can see how it looks on my calf.

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And this is Jake, finished.

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Linus made a little video of the tattoo. Click on the image above to view it in Flickr.

Aby-a-Day – 9 Juli: Art in Camdentown (Cartoon Tuesday)

Our first full day in London, we went to the Camden Market. Neither Björn nor I had even managed to make it there on our previous visits to the city. But one booth in particular caught my attention: An artist, Carlotta Mascolo. She said she would do a drawing upon request.

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Well, how could I resist? I showed her this photo of Jacoby wearing his Red Sox gear after Game 6 of the 2013 World Series. Since we were in London to see the Red Sox, it seemed appropriate.

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This is the drawing Carlotta did of Jake. I absolutely love it. It’s perfect, especially the expression on his face.

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I also bought a couple of her printed cards as well. I mean, how could I resist this illustration of a “cat show”? I’m pretty sure the bottom left cat is an Abyssinian.

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And this one of a dad-cat carrying his kittens up to bed…so sweet. I am so glad we noticed this little booth amongst all the shops in Camden Market!

Aby-a-Day – 2 Juli: Sketches in London (Cartoon Tuesday)

Even though the posts have been coming regularly every day, Björn and I have been in London since last Thursday evening. We came mainly because I got tickets for both games of the two-game series of MLB games between the Yankees and the Yankees, the first time major league baseball has been played in Europe. Even though Boston was the official home team for both games, and despite there being more Red Sox fans in attendance than there were Yankees fans…the Evil Empire ended up winning both games. But it’s been a lot of fun, and we’ll be home Thursday afternoon.

When we weren’t at the games, of course, we have been doing a lot of sightseeing and shopping. One necessary stop, of course, was Harrod’s. Whilst in the souvenir shop, there was a display of pens, 3 for the price of 2. Whilst Björn hunted for pens, I decided to test them out on the provided pads.

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First, I drew Jacoby…but I didn’t like the way it turned out; the ears were too small. So I tried again, with Izaak. This one turned out much better. Still not as good as I’d have liked…but then, the pen I was using wasn’t the best.

Harrod’s is known for its souvenir shopping bags. I bought a rather generic one back in 2002 the last time I visited…but this time I found something much, much better! And, not to mention, Cartoon Tuesday-appropriate.

One last thing: at the first baseball game, we were sitting just in front of a Red Sox fan, Charles, from Connecticut who had come all the way to London to see a game. After the first inning, he started sketching, saying he was “a bit bored.” He was a wonderful artist! Here is the drawing he did of the game; Björn is in it, but I am not…the lines to buy merchandise were insane, so I sucked it up and went to stand in those. For four innings! If you ever happen upon this post, Charles…it was great to meet you!