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Archive for February, 2012

Eric and I have been so busy doing fun stuff, I’ve been forgetting to write about it!

This past Friday we took a long planned for trip up towards Albany to visit with our good friend Jeremy Fitchett. Jeremy makes beer. Jeremy makes really awesome, delicious beer. He’s given us a couple bottles, sometimes just because he’s awesome, once because we got married, and recently with a promise that we will someday give him some of our homemade beer.

Another really good friend, Sarah Thomas, got us all the supplies to get us started on our own beer making adventures as a wedding gift. So far we’ve brewed and bottled 3 batches of beer, all from kits but we hope to ween ourselves off kits in the near future.

A weekend trip to visit Jeremy had been talked about since the night of our wedding, hanging out and talking beer. And like I said, finally this past weekend we got to go up and take part. When we first showed up the three of us brewed parts of a “small” (5 gallon) batch, which started fermented while we slept:

Joel & Carina joined us, since they’re seasoned beer makers as well. We spent most of Saturday brewing up a much bigger batch (10 gallons, though that’s nothing compared to the 220 gallons he sometimes does for a local pub) of one of Jeremy’s award winning (seriously) brews, a Black IPA he’s named Nuclear Winter.

Here’s some of the photos from the event:

We had a really awesome time not just making and tasting delicious beers, but also hanging out with awesome people. We’re really looking forward to Jeremy opening an amazing brewery in the near future, and Eric and I are already both on-board to help to help out as much as we can. This is a guy we really believe in…

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In the summer of 2010 when Pocket Vinyl kind of first started and we first began touring, I drew up this poster to advertise our shows. We wanted something very straight-forward that easily depicted exactly what our shows consist of.

Recently we’ve been thinking that maybe it’s about time we had something new, and something a little more energetic. Eric really wanted something that incorporated some of the monsters that show up in my artwork, but we wanted to keep with the theme of exactly what our shows are like (the whole “one man piano band & on-stage artist” deal). We also decided to steer away from having colour in the new poster, simply to help cut down some on printing costs. So here it is, our brand-spankin’-new Pocket Vinyl poster:

Eric is currently packaging these up to ship out to the venues we’ll be playing on this coming 2 month tour starting in March. So, keep an eye out for our poster, and come see us when we’re in your town!

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It’s a really nice feeling. Since my dental expenses emergency, I have quite the long list of commissions. Which I love by the way! You guys are just helping insure that Eric and I can continue to make more art and music and live off of it too! Right now we have almost exactly 3 weeks until our next really big 2-month tour starts, and by then I want to have the majority of my current commissions done, just so those of you still waiting know. (Also, I am always still accepting commissions. See my “about” page on this blog for details.)

One commission that I completed yesterday is for a very good college friend, Eddy. He is a fiction writer, and he asked me to give my own spin to a logo for a university that shows up prominently in one of this stories. The original logo he had is here (and you can see it on deviantArt as well):

The requirements Eddy gave me were to keep the black background the each of the 4 colours. Each represents an element, and it was important that they stayed balanced, showing the initials of the university, and if I could keep arrows as part of the theme, that’d be good as well.

So, here is my pencil sketch…

I decided I wanted to expand some on the “elements” theme (which, btw, is as follows: blue=water, white=air, green=earth, red=fire; pretty straight forward). The final piece is below, it’s done in watercolours and black ink, and it measures 9″ x 9″:

Eddy also posted the finished piece on his deviantArt site, which you can view here: http://destiny-smasher.deviantart.com/art/SRU-Logo-Elements-286550757

I don’t use deviantArt anymore, but if you feel like shuffling through some very old art of mine (dating as far back as 2003) you can check it out here (just please don’t comment on it, as I’ll probably never see your comments): http://elizabethjancewicz.deviantart.com/

Of course, and as always, if you want to see a lot more of my current artwork, you can check it out on my Facebook art page: https://www.facebook.com/elizabethjancewiczart

It was awesome working on this project with Eddy, and I’m glad that even though we live on opposite sides of the country now, we can still stay in touch and do projects.

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I think a lot of you have already seen our new documentary on the Pocket Vinyl Facebook page, but in case you haven’t yet…

Yesterday Eric spent a good amount of time editing together a whole bunch of footage we took on our last week and a half long tour in early February. I have to admit, I never thought any of it would be worth watching, but Eric edited it together really well and it’s turned into a fun record of a really fun little trip. So, if you’re interested in seeing what it’d be like to go on a mini tour with Pocket Vinyl, I encourage you to check out our very first documentary, or as Eric likes to call it, our very first Pockumentary: (Also, I think my voice is weird! And I’m funny looking. It’s sort of unnerving to see myself on camera!)

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Recently, when Eric and I were on New London’s local radio station, Moon Cheese Baby on WCNI with Karrie, a call came in from a man named Don. Karrie took his call and took down his number, and afterwards she explained that Don had won a free Monsters Talking Pocket Vinyl album the last time we’d been in (Gramma Dot’s show back in January), and because of this he wanted to give us a gift in return.

We took Don’s number and yesterday we found ourselves at his humble apartment in New London. Although I admit we were feeling cautious at first, what with going to a strange man’s house we knew nothing about, but Don turned out to be one of the sweetest old guys. He was sitting in a chair just inside his door when we arrive, next to a pile of found branches and logs that he had sanded and whittled, but only just slightly. He showed us different pieces of wood, handling each one carefully and referring to them as if they were alive and had feelings. Don is the kind of man who seems to view beauty in every thing he sees, and he wants to share this beauty. His gift to us was a knotty elbow of a dense branch, and turned it around in his hands he pointed out faces and said it reminded him of some of the monsters from our album cover.

Twenty or so years ago Don worked restoring the intricate artistic details in great old buildings around New England. Once, on a scaffolding, he took a wrong step and tumbled 80+ feet onto concrete. Within 6 months of this happening his house was foreclosed on him, and his wife and his mom passed away. He went through a ton of physical therapy and walks with a cane now, and he has difficulty focusing while he talks or making new memories. (Though he did say that music helps his remember old memories, and that’s why he loved listening to our album so much.) Despite all this Don is one of the most genuinely joyful people I have ever met. He is skinny with a big white beard and shaggy hair, and he walks around New London, collecting things he finds beautiful.

We talked with him for almost an hour, and unfortunately had to leave to get errands done, but I hope we get to stop in and visit him again soon. I feel like he has a lot of great stories, and a lot to say if someone would just listen to him.

Here’s the gift he gave us, our new monster:

 

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Well, you might remember me posting about The Black Meat, a running comic book series that I’ve been working on, written by the Porter brothers (Patrick & Josh, aka Josh Dies of the band Showbread). All the artwork for these pages is done entirely “by hand”: penciled, inked and watercoloured! I like things hands-on best, even though it does turn out to be a lot more work.

A very basic summery of the story is that it involves cockroaches that take over the world.

Issue 1 was released in the summer of 2010 and can be purchased here: http://joshdies.com/the-black-meat/

And the art for this entire issue can be viewed on my Facebook art page, here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.403043921217.187004.139428336217&type=3

The artwork for issue 2 became a collaborative work with my good friend Journey because I had a lot of other responsibilities come up. That issue was a much longer time coming, but the artwork is finally finished!! Journey did some amazing work on her part, and some her pages for issue 2 can be seen here:  https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.526094750744.2033048.100300930&type=3

Here is one of the pages from issue 2 that I worked on:

The rest of the pages that I worked on for issue 2 can also be viewed on my Facebook art page, here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150479712951218.370250.139428336217&type=3

Josh & Patrick are currently working on getting the script into the pages (the speech bubbles and all) and once they’re done with that, they will actually be releasing issue 2 and 3 at the same time!! I was able to complete all of issue 3 while I was living in Quebec last year, and I’ve been itching to get to show it off; I’m really excited about this issue! Here are a few of my favorite pages:

Page 12:

Page 13:

Page 22:

And finally, the cover:

Honestly, this was the most fun I think I’ve ever had working on art. I love the exaggeration of comics and how ridiculous and over-the-top things can get! (I did a full oil painting like this recently that I should be posting soon.)

To see all of the art for the pages that went into issue 3, you can check them out, again, at my Facebook art page:  https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150551903981218.379121.139428336217&type=3&saved

As soon as Josh & Patrick finish up their part of things and post issues 2 & 3 for sale on-line, I’ll let you know. And I’ll be starting work on issue 4 very soon.

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Since it’s coming up soon, I figured I’d post a little something about a local art show I’m in. First, the painting that I submitted. Remember Jaiden & the Snow Birds? Well, when I painted that image I also did two other full paintings of his two sisters, Susie & Kelly, who were students of mine at Jimmy Sandy Memorial School last year. (All three kids are pictured together in the cover of our DIY Musicians for Charity album, which you should buy if you haven’t already!)

Susie was in my 3rd grade class, and in complete honestly, she was one of the best artists I had in any of my art classes (which went from 7 year olds up through kids as old as 20). She just has an extremely talented eye; and since we were taking care of her brother Jaiden, I had a particularly soft spot for her.

Here’s the breakdown of the painting:

Because these kids are so far from me now, I worry and think about them constantly. I’m always wondering how their growing, what events are shaping their lives, and what kinds of people they will grow into. Of course, there’s nothing I can really do from where I am, expect to trust that they are safe and being taken care of, and that God is with them. This Raven, with claws placed firmly on Susie’s shoulders, and one wing wrapped gently around and covering her, represents that to me. her calm and confident face displays that.

I submitted this triptych to the 68th Annual Connecticut Artists Juried Exhibition , which takes place in the Converse Gallery at my old high school, the Norwich Free Academy.

Although the show is up now, the opening reception actually takes place this coming Sunday, February 26th, from 1:00-3:00 pm and I encourage anyone in the area to stop by! (There will most likely be free hors d’oeuvres and that’s a great reason to attend an art opening!) The address is…

The Converse Gallery

Norwich Free Academy

305 Broadway

Norwich, CT 06360

And for anyone who use to go to NFA and hasn’t seen the new atrium, now’s your chance (it’s pretty sweet).

Although my painting was chosen for this show, it got slightly damaged so the curator invited me in to touch it up, and I gotta say, the show is looking really sweet. Here’s a shot of my piece on the wall:

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