Fish Noir

March 24, 2014

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RED HERRING

This week’s Illustration Friday theme is “red” and the first thing that popped into my addled brain was “red herring”. So I thought, hey,  I’ll redraw and repost this from a couple of years ago. What the heck, I’m on a roll.

Most mystery novel and film buffs know that a red herring is a plot device used in film noir, murder mysteries and suspense films, to distract the audience away from the more important aspect of the plot. The red herring can sometimes be a character, believed by the audience to be the killer, only to discover later in the film that they are innocent and another character, never even considered is, in fact, the murderer.

Now that you have your twist ending, do you know where the term red herring originated?

Wikipedia tells us:

A tradition whereby young hunting dogs in Britain were trained to follow a scent with the use of a “red” (salted and smoked) herring. This pungent fish would be dragged across a trail until the puppy learned to follow the scent. Later, when the dog was being trained to follow the faint odor of a fox or a badger, the trainer would drag a red herring (which has a much stronger odor) across the animal’s trail at right angles. The dog would eventually learn to follow the original scent rather than the stronger scent.

I’ve also heard that British fugitives in the 1800s would rub a herring across their trail, in order to divert the bloodhounds pursuing them.

All this talk is whetting my appetite for a bit of kipperes and toast (NOT!) and a Hitchcock film or two (YES!).

 

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Voice

March 5, 2014

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The Illustration Friday word of the week is “voice.” So I decided to redraw yet another oldie. I better get off my duff and come up with some new ideas I suppose, eh?

Post Holiday Doldrumoids

January 2, 2014

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We’ve always known of their existence, but for the first time ever, caught in mid listless, despondency, is what experts commonly refer to as the Post-holiday Doldrumoid…in the flesh……or rather, in the doodle.

No matter. It’s official. We have a Doldrumoid pandemic on our hands. They are here and we have got to deal with them.

Some effective methods for coping with these ubiquitous yet unwelcome creatures are as follows:

1. Ignore them. Doldrumoids have been known to eventually lose interest in their host and reluctantly disappear after a week or two.

2. Keep that crunchy Christmas tree up for another month, along with the exterior icicle lights and the inflatable snow globe on your lawn. Do this while ignoring the fact that the holidays are over. This method seems to keep the Doldrumoids at bay, but leaves the door wide open for Lackus Deselfrespectus spors to take hold.

There are no easy answers, but…

3. For those of us who need to get back to business… pronto, there are some drastic measures that can be implemented. Take tree and exterior lights down, box up Christmas decorations, shove said boxes up in garage rafters, eat salad, go to the gym and then actually make that deadline for your employer/client as opposed to staring blankly at the computer monitor (close mouth, wipe drool off chin, mind don’t get any on the keyboard.)

In the event none of the above methods prove effective, one can always hold on until February 14 when a virulent strain of Guiltus Cupidus overcomes the weakened Doldrumoids, offering minimal relief to some sufferers.

This has been an important public service announcement. You may now return to your regularly scheduled program. Thank you.

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Another redraw and a repost from a few years ago. Thought it might be apropos.

HoHoDooDa 2013 Day 14

December 18, 2013

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Didn’t get a doodle done today because I was finishing up my holiday cards. (Yeah, it’s tradition to be this late, thank you very much!)

So although it’s a bit of a cheat I decided to repost this from a couple of years ago. Thought it might be appropriate.

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I love holiday cards. I love getting them, but most of all I like making them.

At least it starts out that way.

There’s the initial concept. Fun!

Sketching it up. Fun!

Drawing, painting, tweaking. Fun! Fun! Fun!

But then, there is the whole standing in line at the post office because I absolutely must have those special snowman stamps.

Followed by an attempt at addressing the cards and the subsequent admitting to people that I wrote their address on a scrap piece of paper last year and my cat batted it under the couch and apparently a spider drug it away to it’s nest, so could you pleeeeeeease give me your address for the fifteenth time… and I promise I’ll key it safely into my iPhone this time!

Couple that with the fact that I waited until pretty much the last minute, even though I promised last year and the year before that and the year… ok, the past ten years that I would start in August.

Before you know it, I’ve got a holiday card meltdown on my hands.

Does any of this sound familiar? Am I alone with this?

Anywho, fun? Not so much.

But despite the griping and moaning, after all is said and done, the truth is, it’s just not Christmas until I’ve sent off all my cards and, of course, I receive that very first card in the mail, be it Christmas, Hanukkah or Festivus (I’m still waiting for my first Kwanza card.)

I just love holiday cards!

It’s tradition! Every bit of it, from fun to meltdown and I hope it never goes away!

Now get yer elfin shoes over here to see what the other doodlers have in store for you!

SkADaMo 2013 Day 4

December 4, 2013

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Aunt Anna’s Anise Cookies

I made anise cookies last night. I made them to share at my Illustrator monthly meeting’s holiday cookie exchange extravaganza today.

I chose to make anise cookies and this sketch (from last year), in memory of my sweet Aunt Anna who passed away last year, at this time and who’s recipe this is.

It was passed down to her from her mother-in-law of German decent. So they’ve been a family tradition for eons and my family became part of that tradition somewhere in the 50’s, I believe.

I suppose they are an acquired taste, what with that licorice taste from the anise and all. In fact my husband and niece both called them poison cookies until those lovely, seductive, little holiday shaped biscuits finally grew on them. But to say my family loves them is an understatement and now they’ve become an even more important part of our holiday tradition.

Anise cookies.

Anna’s anise cookies.

Aunt Anna’s anise cookies.

Thank you auntie, for being such a wonderful, loving person, my godmother and for leaving us with such a lovely, sweet tasting tradition. You’re always in my heart.

Hummingbird

August 28, 2012

mmIt was early morning and the sprinklers had just begun glitter-bombing the backyard. I was curled up on the couch with sleep still nested in the corner of my eyes, scrawling out my “morning pages.” Iggy, my calico girl, purred contentedly on one side of me, a steamy cup of freshly brewed coffee sat on the other.

Halfway through my writing, a loud THUNK startled me out of my reverie.

Iggy and I exchanged surprised looks and she joined me as I got up to inspect the patio ground for any possible stunned bird carcasses. The sound came from the French door window, so it stood to reason that one of our feathered friends could have taken a bad turn.

All was clear, or so I thought. As I began sitting down to resume my morning task, I could see from the corner of my eye, Iggy skulking back into the house with something tiny and limp in her mouth. Apparently in the stunned-bird-carcass-inspection department, she was superior to me in every way. But the involuntary scream that left my throat, stopped her in mid triumphant trot and caused her to Read the rest of this entry »

My Censor

February 17, 2012

I’ve been working with Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way” with an online group since the beginning of the year. It’s been a wonderful, insightful journey so far.

One of the things you become aware of through the weekly readings, exercises and tasks, is the nasty, critical voice, nattering constantly inside your head.

The Censor.

The Censor continually does you the great service of letting you know how much your work sucks, how wrong everything you do is, and what a hack you are, just to name a few.

Ms. Cameron suggests one of the many techniques for dealing with this annoying denizen of your psyche, is to draw a cartoon version, in an effort to expose it and take away some of The Censor’s power.

So, to that end… meet my big, fat censor! Booooo! Hisssss! Oh, shut your pie hole Mr. Smartypants Censor.

I’m thinking, with any luck and continued work he will eventually lose some of his size and girth. I’ll keep you posted.