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Lisa Mertins' Life Illustrated

Lisa Mertins' Life Illustrated
kinda quirky, sketchbookesque, average people won't get some of it! life as an illustrator, mom, chicken keeper, love-life attendant...i don't think you'll be bored.
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Articles

Art That Makes A Statement
2008-06-05 07:58:00
I’ve wanted to talk about how cool it is for me to commune with other artists from around the world. When I post on Illustration Friday and get comments from other artists, I get to find out where they’re from. This week, I heard from colleagues in the UK, France (? I think) and Iran. I’ll start adding links here to the sites I like. Mam’zelle Rouge inspired me so much that I did the illo above on cardboard for the Register. I turned it around quick because that’s the new way. I REALLY like that painting on cardboard, which I get a lot of and feel so guilty about even when I recycle it, says something about disposable art. Get it? I think it’s interesting that what you see here will (maybe) run at ocregister.com while the print version will not have the cardboard background because it’s hard to design around a box in print. I think boxed art looks better online. Anyone have any thoughts about this? Or about me painting on cardboard after see...
More About: Statement
“Hush Little Baby, Don’t You Cry”
2008-06-04 21:46:00
This started as a post about the mockingbird outside our bedroom window that’s been singing all night long for a week. Then I listened to Eminem’s Mockingbird and I don’t feel like trying to make the joke I planned to make…
More About: Baby , Hush
He Called Me Baby…
2008-06-03 07:35:00
…baby, all the time. Illustration Friday’s word for the week is — BABY! This is an idear brewing for a painting. I’m exploring the idea of pet “ownership.” What if the world were more like Planet of the Apes?
More About: Baby
One Promise
2008-06-02 07:02:00
Weekends, I’ll continue to post photos of our garden. This shot of a Western tussock caterpillar makes me feel like a photographer. Isn’t he handsome? I fed him to Maxwell the rooster because he’s an oak tree pest.
More About: Promise
Oh, For Crying Out Loud!
2008-06-02 06:21:00
This is what drives me insane. Every time I mess with code, something goes drastically wrong. What next? Some disaster in my personal life? I’ll try to fix the hullabaloo going on at the bottom of this blog. Meanwhile, enjoy this dreamy picture of our sweet Jordan (and Cowboy Duncan).
More About: Loud , Crying
I Heart Suzanne Broughton
2008-06-02 05:53:00
Ok, this is kind of a fake-ity post. Anybody who’s visited this week (thanks!) read my manifesto about switching up this blog. The only thing I figured out was how to add a plugin. Sigh. So the ugly presentation of the video in my sidebar is gone and TA-DA! Here’s a much more civilized look at Suzanne’s video of the Register art studio. Hahaha, not MY studio, we share it of course (don’t tell Suzanne I’m not the Queen, k?): Lisa Mertin’s Workspace at the OC Register from Suzanne Broughton on Vimeo Won’t you visit Suzanne? She’s so fun and such a natural on video…
More About: I heart , Heart
Shedding Some Monkeys Off My Back
2008-05-26 05:45:00
Off on a vircation (A new word! I claim it. But how excited can I get about a virtual vacation?) to think, regroup and decide some Big Things. I’ll be back here next Sunday. Thanks to Emily Gould for a great story about her blogging experience in the New York Times which I read old school today. This illo runs tomorrow in the Orange County Register to accompany a story about staying safe on vacation.
More About: Back , Monkeys
The Money Tree
2008-05-22 04:19:00
This illo ran Monday in the OC Register with a story about how people aren’t very financially literate. All I could think of was how my son says, “can’t you just go to the bank and get some money?” I’ve resorted to trying to starve our children out, claiming poverty. Sometimes it works…
More About: Money , Tree
If I were “Shot in the Butt”* I’d Fly Off Like A Rocket
2008-05-20 06:43:00
The IF word this week is wide. And in the 9 months NJ and I have been back together, I’ve gained a ridiculous amount of weight. Do you know the song by the singer formerly known as Cat Stevens “Wild World?” I’m thinkin’ it would be hard for me to get by on a smile these days (what with my wide butt and all). Ok, so another kooky post. But I’m having fun. Are you? *I hear that line gets lots of clicks. If you’re visiting here because you saw SITB, would you let me know? Thanks!
More About: Shot , Rocket , Butt
Restoring Vintage Terrazzo With Encaustic
2008-05-19 06:01:00
My grandparents lived next door to the Bozzios on 6th St. in Alhambra, CA. I’m not sure if that’s how you spell their last name and I don’t know much about them but Mr. Bozio (sp?) made this terrazzo topped table back in the 1960s and gave it to Mimi and Poppy. In 1983, Mimi gave it to me because she wanted something new for the patio of her Laguna Niguel home. The dull pink is how it always looked and I couldn’t ever think of how to restore the top until I started working with encaustic. I poured the beeswax and damar resin mixture on and although I used the blow dryer and the iron to melt the mixture and a plastic putty knife to scrape it thin, the heat of the sun eventually made the job go much faster. I’m pretty pleased about how it turned out. But I’ve never liked the design of the base and I’m trying to come up with a better style for that.
More About: Vintage
Art In San Juan Capistrano
2008-05-18 07:20:00
My dear friend and gifted painter Craig Pursley (on the left, NJ on the right) has a one man show of his work at the Villas and Verandas gallery through June 8th. The paintings of wild areas affected by fire and their rebirth is the theme. My mom came down and sat with the other relics (whaaaahhahaha! A joke Jaci!) and took in the terrific Pursley paintings. An amazing collection of over 24 works (painted in 30 days, I think Craig said). And oooo! Santos too. I love the Santos!
More About: Juan , Capistrano
Lisa Tries To Like Sports
2008-05-17 07:52:00
So, I’m watching the Lakers. Lots of my friends are fans and I think NJ would like a wife that didn’t groan every time a game is on the TV. I can appreciate basketball, and the team. But please don’t make me watch more than the last half hour. And if the Lakers are murdilating the other team…YAWN. Derek Fisher I’m liking because he usually makes the free-throws. Why would a professional basketball player ever miss a free-throw? That seems so elementary. Tonight I learned why he was deliberately fouled in the last few seconds of the game. AND I know what an assist is :) OH! I’m sure everybody but me knows this story about Fisher and his very sick baby daughter. “I’m committed to providing for my family no matter what it takes,” he said regarding Tatum. He seems honorable…
More About: Sports , Lisa
I Dream The Body Electric
2008-05-15 07:38:00
Random, I know. And my state of mind these days is mercurial. Today though, was happy and promising. When I think of the word electricity, I think of that stuff between people that makes them burn. Oh, and the one song ELO did that I really loved from the 80’s — Mr. Blue Sky. So, there you have it. Illustration Friday’s word for the week (electricity), some electric 80’s song titles and, well, the electricity that keeps us all going…
More About: Body , Dream , The Body , Electric
Garden GeeGaws
2008-05-14 07:23:00
Soon, but not sure when, I’m guest blogging for the fabulous Cindy McNatt on her Homebody blog (more about her genius later). It’s all about my penchant for ornamenting our garden. I just love this old playground toy that I got in a local shop years ago. But I just can’t figure out where to put it. Is this a lame post? Yeah, I think so too but tonight, the traffic kept me stuck for SO long that I can’t think straight enough for a proper one. Sigh. Orange County traffic sucks all my energy, resolve, good sense, zzzzzzzz.
More About: Garden
“…and she would ache for love and get but stones”
2008-05-11 05:05:00
Are you a Neil Diamond fan? Me neither. But I couldn’t get that lyric out of my head when I GOT MY BOULDERS TODAY! I love how this photo shows their slow, massive fall — the ground shook! Yup, thanks to the SimmCrew for these. I’m so thrilled. Now to move them :)
More About: Love , Stones
Beware Of Germ-Laden Hospitals!
2008-05-09 05:28:00
This illo ran in The Orange County Register on Wednesday. I know two people that have caught staph from a hospital stay. One, had to insist they test for infection. After a week, they finally did… Watch it if you’re hospitalized!
More About: Hospitals , Beware , Germ , Laden
If It Isn’t Scottish…
2008-05-08 07:21:00
So, I was thinking of highroads and lowroads today for some reason. That lead me to that song Loch Lomond. You know the rest; “and I’ll get to Scotland before ye.” What a coincidence too that I’ve recently found that I have Scotch blood in me! While researching the seemingly jaunty song, I found this great NPR program called What’s In A Song. If this illo is kinda creepy, listen to the 5 minute exploration of the song’s origins. Interesting!
More About: Scottish
This Little Piggy Might Save “Your Butt”
2008-05-07 05:55:00
Hiya tender readers. Have you noticed a bit of a “blue” tint to my posts lately? I’m trying to see which of my Register colleagues is right regarding the best way to get clicks on a site. This illo went with a story yesterday in the OC Register about interest rates favoring cds — butt not with this headline (twitter!). Some think a headline like the one above is the way to go (like this page on ocregister.com). Others believe making a personal connection is more honorable and I hope they’re right because, I think using “butt” in a headline is a cheap trick. If I knew how to fashion a poll, I’d ask visitors to let me know their opinion. Instead, feel free to comment! Thanks friends :) Oh, p.s.! If you find the grammar, sentence structure and spelling atrocious in any of my posts (extraneous exclamations!), weigh in on that too, would you?
More About: Piggy , Save , Butt
She’s A Bad Seed!
2008-05-06 06:50:00
Seed is the IF prompt this week. I started out doing my usual, quasi-cryptic self-portrait. Then I said aw, hell! No “faith-of-a-mustard-seed” optimism today. I can’t think of anything but the deliciously murderous Rhoda from the 1956 classic The Bad Seed, one of my favorite all-time horror films. Tapping her tap shoes as she charms with her psychopathic, sugary manners Rhoda’s one seed that should have never germinated. Heh, heh, heh!
More About: Seed
Rose Colored Life
2008-05-05 06:03:00
Recently, I was accused of wearing those glasses. You know, the one’s that make life seem better than it really is? It wasn’t the first time and it won’t be the last. How can it be wrong to be optimistic? To keep persevering, despite the lousy odds? I can be stubborn in my resolve to try to make things work, maybe to a fault even. But damn, I just can’t live life any other way. This rose, planted by our front door is named Tamora. My grandmother used to live on Tamora Dr. in Laguna Niguel. I’m thinking, that’s good feng shui, and a good sign that I’m on the right path. Yep, I believe it, try to dissuade me, I dare you!
More About: Life , Rose
To The A**hole That Dumped A Box of Kittens:
2008-05-04 06:32:00
Thank God there’s an Ethan Mertins to clean up your mess. I sure didn’t want any more cats but my family knows I wouldn’t have left these kittens in that box on the freeway offramp either. They don’t seem any different from any other helpless babies I’ve known in my life… irresistible!
More About: Kittens , Hole
An Oldie To End The Week
2008-05-03 07:09:00
Here’s a piece done years ago for a Fall Arts Preview in Orange County. The original was alkyd paint on masonite, my medium of choice. I remember the page designer wasn’t crazy about it but I thought it was a fun solution. I’m sure I spent at least 15 hours on it. And if I recall, it would have been shot on film for reproduction. Then of course, toned by someone in our imaging department. Tonight, I took it into photoshop and added some stuff to suite my current sensibilities. There isn’t more to say except we once lived a lush life in the news art department.
More About: Week
Thinly-Veiled Metaphor
2008-05-02 06:43:00
Time to chase away the blues! This week on Illustration Friday the word is WRINKLES. In my humble opinion, the only wrinkles worth talking about, are those we can get rid of. Ladies and gentleman, can I get an amen?
When Everything Else Fails
2008-04-30 07:18:00
EAT!
More Layoffs at the OC Register
2008-04-29 07:51:00
This post started as a spam art thing with the words “visual miscellany coifferi.” As far as a quick google search for the word coifferi goes, no luck, but a big haired coif came to mind. However, all my concepts got crowded out because of the cuts announced at the paper today. More friends and colleagues let go today. It SUCKS! And since the layoffs don’t end till Wednesday, the feeling that no one’s job is secure makes it hard to concentrate on anything. That and not feeling well equals another morose illustration. Sorry…
More About: Register
Japanese Maple!
2008-04-28 06:13:00
Last week, I got excited when I saw a Japanese maple in the full sun. It was next to a water source so we figured that was the secret (you can’t really see the water bubbling over the rocks here). That garden had a tiki that was pretty funky. But the one you can see in the bottom left has been in my family for at least 40 years, long before tiki was hip. He goes well with the rocks but I’m struggling with the Asian theme meshing with the country garden scene we have happening here. How lucky that our favorite nursery Newell’s is having a big sale (I’m LOVING this recession!), making the maple affordable. Twenty five percent off, whoo hoo! So loads of cocoa mulch and our tomatoes are in too. Now, if we could only block out my neighbor’s motorhome, also on the left, I’d feel in complete control of my domain!
More About: Maple
Never Let Me Go
2008-04-27 06:20:00
“Love me much too much…” Boz Skaggs I was antique poking yesterday and came across this photo. I can’t fathom why a family would part with such a precious reminder of someone’s fleeting childhood. So I snapped it up and added some doodles. I made these children mine. Aren’t they lovely? Such happiness in the chubby baby. The second child all broody, and the oldest seems carefree, doesn’t she? They remind me of my sister Leslie and me and they’ll be hung on my wall and contemplated often…
Where Were You In ‘82?
2008-04-26 06:21:00
My friend Suzanne over at Emphasis Mine (and the Register and heck, I can’t keep up where else!) posted a picture with her girlfriends including a song list and things experienced in O.C. in the ’80s. I’m under the weather and I thought yesterday was Friday so I’m all mixed up and it’s photos from the archives folks. Here’s a couple from my ’80s youth. My first job at the Register was in the circulation department and that’s me trying to pretend I was hip. Flying all over the place with a flight attendant friend meant I was ultra-sophisticated, and so cool, it made my hair stand on end! I loved The Pretenders, Bowie, Prince and Berlin then and my passion in life was European travel, boys and did I mention the partying? That too! By the mid-’80s I was in the newsroom illustrating. This photo shows roughly HALF our department at the time. Gwen Wong, Amy Ning (cute!), me (red beret, oh brother), Newman Huh, Stephen Rountree and my ...
Ending This Week On A High Note
2008-04-25 06:43:00
Long lost loved ones, honest words of wisdom from a friend, blooming Van Gogh tulips and truth finally. Bye bye whirly week!
More About: Note , Week , Ending , High
How Primitive!
2008-04-24 05:42:00
Oooo excitement when I saw Illustration Friday’s word this week! I love primitive art, folk art, untrained artist art. Well, because I fall into that as a (mostly) self-taught artist. So I queued up Ryan Adam’s Heartbreak album (loveityLOVE it!) and imagined a simpler time. This piece is influenced by that music, naive American art, the Ozz Franca prints I have in my studio, and an old metal doll head.
More About: Primitive
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