Monday, October 11, 2010

Fables: The Lion and the Mouse & The Grasshopper and the Ants


We all remember how this one goes, right? A lion is sleeping and a mouse scurries too close and wakes it. It pins the mouse by the tail and the mouse begs for mercy. It says that if the lion lets it go it might be able to return the favor someday. This amuses the lion so he releases the mouse. Some time later, when the lion is caught in a net, the mouse comes to its aid and chews threw the rope.

I'm super pleased with how this one turned out. I painted the ochre paper for the lion's face and paw and I love how it came out looking kinda like suede. Using green paper in the mane was my "risk" factor - but because it's an earthy tone, I think it works and adds interest. Then the blue background really makes the orange eyes pop.

The biggest challenge was probably playing around with the patches above the eyes to get the expression I was going for - powerful, yet curious. Like he hasn't quite made up his mind yet.


As autumn approaches, a grasshopper sees a group of ants carrying food back to their hill. He asks them if they can spare any. He's hungry and he hasn't stored up any food for himself because he's been busy singing all summer long. They ants basically tell him to take a hike and if he likes to sing so much he can eat his song.

I don't know if ants would technically collect a leaf for food - probably not - but I thought it would look good and maybe this ant is a little more like Ferdinand the mouse - he wants something colorful and beautiful to look at during the long winter months.

Speaking of months, it's a month until Open Studio Weekend. I'm in pretty good shape. Basically, I have enough to put on the wall - I just have to cut mats, frame and wire the pieces. I also have to make cards, make prints, make t-shirts and finish making the pendants. This is the not-super-fun nitty-gritty stuff and I will try to do a little every day. I probably should make a schedule. Will I? Perhaps.

(But I also have one more fun thing to add to the show.)


Ă„iti said...

Gorgeous. :-)

Jessica Franz said...

You have got to write a story with bugs in it! Those are gorgeous:)

Julie_c said...


Angela said...

Julie: I think these are amazing. Your lion reminds me of the Pinkey illustrated Lion and the Mouse. I love how the ants are carrying all kinds of food. They are wonderful. If I made them, I don't know if I could part with them! ;)

Julie_c said...

I think it helps when you keep in mind that you are making art to be sold. Also, when you have buttloads of art all over the place it helps to be able to get rid of pieces. But I always can make a print of something I love, like The Crow and the Pitcher.

Plus, I like money.

Nicole Gravagna said...

I just found this post and used your picture. I credited you with a by line and url. Please let me know if you would like more or different credit. I love your work. Very inspiring.