Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Flying backwards.

I have been taking steps to rebrand myself as an illustrator. First and foremost, I would like to present to you my new logo:

    My new logo is taken from the above I have created:  a nonsense bird, born decades ago from the mind of my grandfather Robert, or “Bob” to almost everyone. Bob, who was born here in Oregon, and my grandmother, Mary, who hailed from Wisconsin, met in Washington, D.C. in their twenties. Each lived in their own respective apartments with several roommates, just across the hallway from one another.
    When they were dating and Mary was about to visit the West coast for the first time in her life to meet Bob’s family,  he told her tall tales about the strange and fantastic wildlife that lives exclusively out West. The Filamaloo bird, which I have drawn to use as my logo, was one of these animals. The Filamaloo bird, explained Bob, flies backwards, “Because it doesn’t care where it’s going - only where it’s been.”
    In retrospect, as I write this, the bird would seem like a strange sort of foreshadowing. Since midway through last year, my grandfather has lived in a memory care facility because of his severe dementia from Alzheimer’s and needs help and supervision to be safe and to get through his day successfully. He sleeps a great deal and is often exhausted, confused, and mentally cloudy. He doesn’t know where he is going, but can remember bits and pieces from years ago of where he has been, so much like the bird, he is immersed in the past. He remembers he was born in Eugene, that he used to go hunting with his brothers, that he had a beautiful wife named Mary. He vaguely remembers me as a wide-eyed small child and not the mid-twenty-something who comes to visit. He clings to what he knows when he remembers how, and most of the time, happily obliges with suggestions as to where he is going.
    I chose to illustrate the Filamaloo bird not only to honor my Grandfather’s uniquely inventive mind when it was at its best, but to serve as a beautiful image and a self-reminder. I don’t want to live blissfully uninterested with the future. Instead I want to to live always keeping the past in mind as a tool for perspective and self-reflection. 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Drag Portraits #8 - #10

Hello, lovely followers. I have obviously not been updating this blog as often as I should be, but my latest work and lots of progress shots can be found on my facebook fan page (link on the right sidebar). However, I've just finished drag portrait #10, and realize I should have all the others on here! So, here they are!
"Ashley Jo'Elle," 6"x8". Gouache on 300 lb. coldpress arches. 2013. 

 "Ecstacy Inferno." 6"x 8". Gouache on 300 lb. coldpress arches. 2013.

"Bendelacreme." 6"x8". Gouache on 300 lb. coldpress arches. 2014.

All images © Amanda Russel, 2013 and 2014. All rights reserved.

In the meantime, stickers of all three of these plus Hoakx Monsoon are coming out soon and will be available in my etsy shop.  
I want 2014 to be a year of more getting myself and my name and artwork out there into the world, and this blog is going to continue to be a place to find up-to-date information. 

Thanks for following!