Monday, February 11, 2013

Fox Wedding

A month or two ago, I heard a beautiful scrap of folklore. I follow Jessica Marquez aka Miniature Rhino and author of Stitched Gifts on Instagram. She posted a gorgeous photo of rain pouring through the California sunshine, and it was mentioned on the thread "when it rains like that, foxes are having a wedding".

That struck me as incredibly lovely and fiercely adorable. I pledged to paint it on the thread, and the sweet notion of foxes marrying under raindrops and sunshine rolled around my mind since. I sketched a few scenes in quiet moments, and this past week I finished an illustration of a fox wedding in the rainshine.

Fox Wedding

Detail of the Bride

Detail of the Groom

The pencil sketch


I confess, I had a harder time scanning this painting and creating a print than I usually do. The pale yellow clouds and soft blue raindrops were nearly lost in the scan, despite however I tweaked the brightness and contrast levels on the scanner. Finally I brought them down to about negative 40 each, and adjusted the levels (several times) in Photoshop to bring the clouds and raindrops back. Real fascinating stuff, I know, but important when it comes to accurately reproducing a painting for prints.

The actual painting is a little smoother, as you can see in the photograph below.

This is the first painting I've completed start to finish in our new home, and I think I'm going to hold onto it. I very rarely hang my own paintings on the wall, preferring to stack them jealously away in a "sell someday when I'm ready" pile, like a deranged squirrel hoarding acorns too precious to eat (I'm going to start offering my watercolor paintings in the shop sometime this year, I promise. 2013, that's the year. Promise. Hold me to it!). However, this being the first painting in our new home, and being so light and happy and celebratory, I feel like it belongs here, in this new promising place, at the start of our new chapter.

I posted the print in the shop a few days ago, you can find it here. It can be found in larger sizes here on Society6, too! I've started selling larger prints of my work on Society6, and I've enjoyed it so far. They can print on a greater scale than I can, and they have so many options for printing. They sell laptop skins, cellphone cases, and tote bags but my favorite design option by far are their... throw pillows?

I'm obsessed. And just so you know, I have not sold one. Plenty of prints, cellphone cases, and a few laptop skins, but not one single throw pillow. They are not a lucrative idea. In fact, they are a ludicrous idea. A ludicrous idea I am crazy about. I have plans to design 2-3 for the baby's nursery to casually set on the rocking chair. OH NO BIG DEAL, THAT'S JUST SOME THROW PILLOW I DESIGNED. HOW MANY HAVE I SOLD? 2-3. TO MYSELF.

We have a lot of plans for the nursery, which I'll share in my next post. I'm glad I decided to be so honest about my pregnancy experience in my post last month. Several women came forward on the blog, FB, and Twitter to say they really appreciated it; gals who had been there and girls sick of pregnant ladies with frozen grins telling them how amazing they feel. (To be fair, they probably do feel amazing, a lot of pregnant women have a blast...I'm just not one of them).

A couple of young women also expressed their fears about pregnancy to me, saying they worry about morning sickness and labor, etc. Those fears? Totally normal and a big reason why I waited until my 30s to have a child. Trust me: When you're ready, you will care more about the baby than yourself. That's all it takes, and that's how women get through it.

Tonight we tried the local Chinese take out (it was good!). Whenever I choose my fortune cookie at the end of the meal, I try to focus on certain topic before I crack it open, thinking, "This is what the fortune is about." Tonight as I picked up my cookie, I thought to myself, "This fortune will be about the baby".

Nailed it. High five, cookie!

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