Tuesday, May 31, 2005

A recent picture of Mike and I outside the best breakfast joint in town, Kerbey Lane - home of the gingerbread pancake! Posted by Hello

Monday, May 30, 2005

Here's my practice at "Manga" style cartooning... I took me and my five fab friends from childhood and made them characters... and it was FUN! Yes, I remember fun... Posted by Hello

There it is! My name on the dotted line. I'm keeping my maiden name, partly out of respect for my awesome family who supported me through school... ok, and partly because Regan Deutsch sounds a little like a bank... Posted by Hello

I love Legalese... wait, no I don't!

Well, I'm signed on, literally, to do my first official to-be-published book cover and inside illustrations job! Woohoo!

Downside was I had to read a big contract written by lawyers for lawyers. However, I was able to break it down into its parts. I'm doing the work for this project, and the publisher's buying me out, so they will have the rights to it. I know, I know, when I get a name and some clout, I'll negotiate to keep my copyright and sell usage of it... oh, but screw it! I'm getting published, I'm getting published! *will remember to be sagely wise later*

Insert rationalization: It's understandable to work for hire starting out, and with a small publisher. And since the art created for the book will be SO tailored to this story, it's not like I could really have sold it to anyone else. And it's in the contract that I can have the artwork appear in my promotional uses. So... s'ok.

However... I don't think I can post in progress sketches like I'd hoped. It's part of the confidentiality clause, see paragraph III page five, underscored legalese blah blah blah...

I'm going to need a gin and tonic after this contract. Whew... I found a cure for the artistic muse, I think...

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Mom, Dad and Lucy the Cavalier King Charlse Spaniel make for a truly "Jet Set" little Trio!
 Posted by Hello

They Like It, They Really Like It!

I got this email:

Congratulations Regan!One or more of the images you uploaded yesterday are found on today's Top Ten reports. You can view links to the reports you are found on at:http://www.ArtWanted.com/topten.cfm?Artist=18335These reports are updated daily, so be sure and tell your friends/family to go check out your top placement today - you will be listed for the entire day (05/24/05). We have also added a 'Top Ten Club' icon on your portfolio page. This icon will stay there as long as your images are found on our Top Ten reports.Thanks for being a member of our site and we hope that this top ten ranking will bring you additional exposure to your portfolio.ArtWanted.com Staffinfo@ArtWanted.comhttp://www.ArtWanted.com

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Who's Who by Regan Johnson Posted by Hello

Who's Who is DONE!

Yeeha! It's all done and put together. Scanning wasn't too bad, there was a iddybiddy missing part in the middle that I had to rescan for, but it came together nicely.

I added a thin border to set it off, and obviously the copyright thing on the bottom is just because it's online. The prints and posters won't have to have that since it's signed in the corner.

I'm calling it Who's Who. It was fun to work on, and I think it will be a hit at the show.

These are the 6 dino cards for getting to bed. Mike suggests I make a copy of the set for myself... heh, heh, grrrr.... Posted by Hello


I did a cute little project for Mrs. Elliot's grandson. It's these 4x6" cards featuring the getting ready for bed chores, and as each one is done they can be flipped over. Mrs. E. asked to include dinosaurs on one or two of them, but of course I found a way to squeeze a dino in each one. I particularly like the smiling T-rex on the toothpaste.

I should do more cutesy kiddie stuff. It's fun and fast and good practice.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Puzzle Pieces

I don't know if anyone's interested in this, but I feel like letting the world know that after I finish painting a painting, I'm far from actually being DONE.

Getting a painting into the computer, which is practically a necessity nowadays, means I have to scan the painting with a flatbed scanner. It's kinda like a copy machine.

The problem is unless I'm working 9x12 or smaller, I have to do multiple scans and piece them back together. For the owls I scanned it about 10 times, and now I get to fit them all together... only sometimes they don't want to fit because they're not 100% aligned. This results in much cursing and pounding of fists and heads and the promise to all that is holy, one day I WILL have a scanner that's the size of a king size mattress.

It's a bitter note to end on sometimes. The painting could be one of my best, but if it was a b*tch to put back together, I won't forget that.

Let's hope the owls come together in perfect harmony, and I'll buy the world a Coke...

A Sneak Peak of my finished owls... I think this one's my fave... Posted by Hello

Friday, May 20, 2005

First Wish

I was rummaging through my files and came across this one. It's been tinkered with several times, and I may just do it completely over at a later date. It may not end up on my website, but I do still like it.

The Quote: "The first wish is always the same" is meant to imply that most of the men who meet her use up their first wish pretty fast.

I think I came up with this one after Mike, Ryan and I went to a Hooka bar in Dallas. We had cherry cola tobacco if that's what they put in there.

Anyway, it's a fun one...

First Wish Posted by Hello

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Me and John

I played around with this unfinished sketch Mike did in my sketchbook while we were waiting for our pizza. I'd done one of him, and a few minutes into his turn our food came. I looked at the sketch later, and I just loved it!

It reminded me of the doodle of John Lennon with the glasses and the suggested shape of the head and nose. Mike's a little rusty, but he's had life drawing and given adequate time and enforced seriousness, he can do realistic art, but I've always liked his cartoony look. It shows his Simpson's influence.

I darkened the lines some to make it more graphic looking. The circles aren't as dark in the original because they were done to block in the shape of my head.

I just thought it was worth remembering here...

This unfinished sketch of me was done by my husband, Mike, while we were waiting for pizza at Saccone's. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The nose is connected to the hand...

What do you do when you're painting and you suddenly sneeze?

A. Hold it in, and risk blowing out your ears...

B. Cover you mouth with your dominant right hand that's currently holding a loaded paintbrush, then later wonder when you grew red, yellow, and green colored eyebrows...

C. Sneeze freely and hope the layers of varnish you've applied are enough to protect the innocent...

D. Train yourself to cover your mouth with your LEFT hand, and hope the papertowel you'd been using as a blotter won't smear paint all over your face, as seen in choice B.

E. None of the above, you go take some more allergy medicine and zone out to lala land.

Well, for me, if I do B, C, and D anymore, I'm picking E.

Never had much luck painting or concentrating in lala land. I think it's a misnomer that all artists like to work in a blissful purple haze. Chances are I'd have to redo everything when it cleared. You think drunk dialing on the phone is embarrassing? Woohoo... Put the paintbrush down, Regan, and back away slowly... (voiced by my inner rigid Left Brain).

So more anti-sneezyfit meds, perogies, and cartoons for me. I WILL NOT touch the owls, for fear I'd find a cuckoo in there later. *sigh* It'd just be a little cuckoo...

Monday, May 16, 2005

Just a short thought

Happiness is a small creature crawling up your face and sticking its little foot in your nostril for leverage.


In the last week, I may or may not have been "discovered" at least online.

I'm getting pelted with requests from people who've seen my artwork and would like my permission to use my art to make tags, banners, email stationary, and avatars. For those not in the know, all those things are basically things online users use when they post on a message board or forum, or email with. Kinda like wallpaper.

I'm also getting asked to be put in a stable of other artists who've given out blanket permission to use their work. That's not cool with me. Last thing I want is my art showing up in some Nazi message board, so I'm replying to these people that I'd rather have individuals ask me for a certain image, and that it has to be used for non-profit. This way I have a record of the request and the use.

I can also tell, sorta, which requests come from real people and which are some kind of animated request from who knows what. This would be a full time job to track down and make sure nobody's ripping me off. That's a frightening thought. I've been told if I don't want it 'out' then don't put in online.

For this reason, I won't put my kid's book online. I worked too hard for someone in Norway to steal it!

On the other hand, I like that people like my art. They like it enough to want my art to represent them in the digital world. So that's kinda cool.

I just hope Pandora's box hasn't flipped it's lid.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Working on Owls

I'm about half way done on the big owl painting (20 done). I'm finding they're all so individual and detailed, I may have to come up with a way to unify the piece so it's not a migraine waiting for some unsuspecting viewer. "Oh, owls what a nice- AHHH! My brain, it hurts, can't look, too many feathers..."

I do like that it's the UN of owls, though. Some from the desert, some from the Arctic. Some rural owls and some urban city owls. Some fishing owls, some burrow owls... Yeah, I'm glad my painting doesn't make noise, I'm pretty sure they would be constantly arguing with their neighbors.

For the show in July (which I'm still trying to envision), I think I'd like to donate a portion of the proceeds to go to the Austin Nature & Science center. They have a really nice facility and they have quite a few owls that they've rescued. Almost all of the owls had been hit by cars. Not to sound unsympathetic, but I've been staring at these owl's faces, and I'm beginning to wonder if those owls had figured they'd win in a game of "chicken" with a moving vehicle. Their faces look pretty confident and smug.

And a gold star for me for staying in on a Saturday night to paint. I kinda had to, because the paint I'd laid out will dry out soon, but still... The husband went to see our friends and watch a movie (ok, I told him to go), and I persevered here at home. I make time for plenty of R&R, don't worry.

Off to roost in my nest of snuggly flannel sheets and waiting Husky. It's been fun as she's gotten older to see how much she'll put up with before she surrenders her spot on the bed so I can stretch out my own legs. I wonder, does God get the same kind of enjoyment from me?

Thursday, May 12, 2005

This is "Chinese Humpty Dumpty" and it was done in a way to reflect the Asian block prints. Someday I hope to have the nursery rhyme translated in Chinese and added to the side... Posted by Hello

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


And here's where I reveal my nerdy nerdiness!

I'm in negotiations, you could say, with the directors of Austin's big/huge sci-fi convention Armadillocon (isn't that cute?!) which is in August, about being in their Art Show. This would be quite the feather in the Captain Kirk hat. They draw in hundreds of eager trekkies who, think what you will, are die hard fantasy fans and they are great fun for artists.

I'm a member of www.epilogue.net which is a premier fantasy art website gallery. My own site is http://regan.epilogue.net and you can read all the comments I get from fans. The comment on my Chinese Humpty Dumpty made me shoot coke out of my nose:

"HaHAHAHAHAHAhahahahahahahaahahahahahaha.....coff.... hahahahahahahahahahahahhhahahahahahhahahaahhahahahahahhahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahaha,....... DIE EGGY, DIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Now, as an artist, you have to love that! That painting's hanging in our Zen bedroom, and I'll walk in and smile and think, "Die Eggy!"

And Sci-Fi conventions are great for those of us on the fringe and definitely outside what could be called 'normal.' It's like Halloween/Carnival time and people are friendly and crazy. I hope I can get in the show if only for the great comedy material I'm sure to gather while I'm manning the table and talking to Wookies and Klingons.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Leopard Face painting, Pencil/Acrylic on Canvas Board Posted by Hello

Leopard Study

This was a recent painting I did that straddled the move into the new house. Sometimes I set out methodically: planning the sketch, transferring the drawing, carefully choosing a color scheme, ect... And then sometimes like with this one, I just start sketching roughly figuring it'll either become something, or get painted over or erased and become nothing. I had drawn in dark pencil a gesture like drawing of this leopard from a photo a friend had made a duplicate of knowing I like big cats.

What struck me was the intensity of this big cat's laziness. That sounds like an oxymoronic sentence, but what I read was that the leopard was looking at the viewer and could either eat his face off, or keep going on about his day. No biggie either way. He could attack you, but then he'd have to haul your carcass up a tree, and isn't it easier to just stare down the viewer and let them know you've been thinking about eating their face?

Maybe you didn't get that from looking at my painting. If you went, "Oooo, pretty kitty," that's ok, too. They are gorgeous creatures. I have in the past painted a leopard pattern on my face and torso for Halloween.

The scan came out a little more yellow than I was expecting. Funny what the scanner will do to things. I try to keep that in mind while I'm trying to get the color paint mixed just right. It's kind of a "Ah well, the scanner'll screw it up anyway" type of attitude at times.

The Squirrel that Went Nuts

Here's the poem since it's too small to read for the Squirrel piece:

Now, my memory may be kind of hazy;
But, I do recall a squirrel that went crazy.
Seems that gathering nuts of every single kind
Had driven the poor critter out of his mind.
One flock of geese that was flying South,
Claim they saw him foaming at the mouth.
And according to a certain cat from Yonkers,
He witnessed the squirrel going completely bonkers.
Some Park Officials tested that squirrel for rabies,
But it only proved he was just one of those crazies.
To help the little squirrel deal with this fate,
They gave him a jacket that doctors call “straight.”
In case someone might wonder, I myself am a klutz,
But that’s not as remarkable as a squirrel that’s gone nuts.

Here is a poem I had in the SCBWI "Picture This" show in April: Posted by Hello

Here is the commission piece I did of a quote, and since Mike's parents took us to the beautiful Wildflower Center... viola! Going from left to right: TX Bluebonnet, Indian Paintbrush, Indian Blanket, and a Cone flower. Posted by Hello

This is the schematic/mock-up of the big ensemble owl piece. Without being obvious, I wanted to show what looking at a wall full of perched owls might look like at Hogwarts. Posted by Hello

Nibbles Galore...

Feeling good business wise... Had two new projects fall in my lap today. One for a set of stationary (Dinosaurs! Woohoo, I get to get all prehistoric!), and a business card for a gentleman with a home repair business (who unfortunately was working on a friends house which had burst a pipe and flooded two rooms). I'd just sent off a couple of jobs on Friday, so it's nice to have more paying jobs come in. I'm feeling cautiously optimistic!

And I'm starting in earnest on a hopefully successful project for my show in July. It will consist of a huge painting that has 45 different owls perched on 5 rows, and a collection of individual watercolors and prints. Why Owls? Well, I've always liked them, and July is the big release month for the next Harry Potter book, and I'm going to be shamelessly riding on that gravy train!
I'm contemplating a title for the project: The Owl Project (a little dry), Owls of the World (... "UNITE!" I want to say right afterwards), Hootin' & Tootin' (while scientifically accurate, probably not marketable), or maybe just Owls by Regan (hey, gotta like my name in there).

Ok, Independence Day is on while I'm working... Jeez... Why am I tryin for reality with my artwork, the human race'll swallow anything... sigh...

I'm really enjoying working on all these owls. I have about 8 pages of resource photos I'm working from and had to number them to figure out which owl is which. It's like a crazy family reunion. They're all owls, but they're all kinds of different shapes and colors and size.

I'll try to scan some art soon so you, the reader, will have some ideas of what's cooking...

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Back to Work

Who knew Texas was crawling with so many beautiful wildflowers? I've been driving around and noticed a multicolored blur, but over the weekend, Mike and his folks took me to the TX Wildflower Museum and I saw the flowers up close.

So much diversity and color range. Butterflies and dragonflies and hummingbirds were lured to land on and drink from them despite the gawking museum patrons. We had a break in the weather, too, in the high 70s and low 80s.

And I was inspired to include texas wildflowers in a commission I'm doing. When it's done, I'll scan it and include it.

So... back to work after a nice little break. I told Mike he's to kick me out of bed if I don't do at least one art piece during the day. He seems surprisingly enthusiastic about his new husbandly duty.