Friday, December 30, 2011

Gift of Inspiration - heads, hearts & song....

Everyone has a a story. Here are 3 to think about:

Read this article from our local South Bay newspaper, THE DAILY BREEZE, and learn how the guest services supervisor at a local shopping mall keeps customers happy, and answers a question from a patron who had a "head-shrinking" spell cast on her:

18-year-old Ben Breedlove was an active teenager who loved life. Sadly, he passed away on Christmas from a final heart attack. He had a life-long heart condition and had cheated death 3 times before. He had many fans from his videos on You Tube. He shared his reflections on his life journey in this thoughtful message with his on-line fans not long before Christmas. In just a few minutes.. on a handful of flash cards.. he reveals an inspiring depth of character along with his amazing smile:

And something lighter as we all look to what's next... "What Are You Doing New Years Eve?" sung by Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt...don't you just LOVE the ukulele:

Wishing you a festive, safe and inspiring New Year's holiday!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Gift of Inspiration - 3 wishes

Merry Christmas and season's greetings! Thanks for sharing your gift of interest by reading the blog. I'm a reader and writer, not an artist, but I have to admit the truth to the old cliche that a picture's worth a thousand words. Consider how a single image can convey a Christmas wish. Here are 3 lovely wishes to share with you...
My favorite George Ford Morris image (Stuart gave me one of these lithos years ago for a milestone b'day):

Mele Kalikimaka... may the spirit of aloha always be with us!
There are no photos of me on horseback from my years of riding... but this image from Courtney's great blog about the equestrian sport of 3 day eventing ( is a pic of her on her favorite horse Harley... and boy it captures great memories...
Wishing you and yours all the best for the holiday season! Thanks for reading!

Gift of Inspiration - last minute gift idea

Here's some holiday to play. I do like cats, especially this one who is fond of wrapping paper and bows:

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Gift of Inspiration - Terryl Whitlatch holiday bonus!

Artist Terryl Whitlatch is well-known for her creature designs and her book "Animals Real & Imagined." The posts here about her book signing at Stuart Ng Books, and her recent appearance as a guest artist at CTNX, are some of the most frequently viewed pages on the blog. Terryl has kindly forwarded this finished version of her CTNX demo drawing to share via the blog with her worldwide fans. Be sure to click on image above to enlarge; lots of details to enjoy.. and ponder the creative decision behind each choice. Happy holidays, and thanks Terryl!
Here's a quote from Terryl about her inspiration process for this work:

" It was a lot of fun doing the Peggysaurus for the drawing demo down there (at CTNX). I think that the real reason the dinosaurs became extinct is because, at least in the Drapersaurus’s case, they drank too much, smoked too much, ran around with females they weren’t married to, and stayed up way too late."

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Gift of Inspiration - Charles Livingston Bull

Highly regarded as a wildlife artist, Charles Livingston Bull (1874-1932) also worked as a taxidermist, including a stint at a Natural History Museum! His powerful images of wild animals in action were featured on government posters for the war effort, as well as national magazines and ad campaigns. He enjoyed sketching animals from life during frequent trips to the Bronx Zoo and illustrated many books. Read more in this bio on the National Museum of Wildlife Art website:
And enjoy these samples of his work from Google Images:

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Gift of Inspiration - George Ford Morris

For some time, I've been meaning to learn more about the artist George Ford Morris (1873-1960). He's best known for his equestrian art. These samples of his work are from Google Images...

The George Ford Morris story I heard that lingers with me is that most of his portraits of horses and dogs are of pets... specific animals that were obviously loved enough to have a work of art commissioned. You can read a short bio on Morris at

Photo below includes Morris portrait of collie Sefton Hero (top row center). This dog was imported in the early 1900s by JP Morgan, at a cost of $6,000 (that's turn of the century price.. so add zeros for today).

Here's the intro from Horseandhoundart's bio page on Morris:
George Ford Morris
born 1873 Joseph, MO
died in 1960 Arcadia, CA

George Ford Morris was the foremost American equestrian artist of his time. He documented the fast changing world of the horse in American history in the early to mid 20 th century. He was equally talented as a painter, sculptor, illustrator and lithographer. He was mainly self-taught but attended classes at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1888 and later at the Academie Julien in Paris (1925). In the early twentieth century, Morris worked mainly from his Thirty-Third Street studio in New York City.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Gift of Inspiration - Glen Keane remembers Pres Romanillos

Here's the YOU TUBE clip of "Glen Keane remembers Pres Romanillos". Yes, it's bittersweet, but still the best stories are. That's why they stay with us....To paraphrase the Sufi proverb: "When the heart weeps at what it has lost; the soul rejoices for what is found."

Gift of Inspiration - NY Public Library

Looking for some holiday season peace and quiet... and a little inspiration on visual storytelling? Visit your local library. If you're lucky enough to be near NYC, now on view at NY Public Library, this exhibition "The Birth of Promotion: Inventing Film Publicity in the Silent Film Era"

Read more here from NY Public Library website

And check out this clip from the "Carpetbagger" blog at the NY Times. It features the amazing & talented John Calhoun... who is not only a library legend; he's a terrific writer & journalist!

Gift of Inspiration - Louie del Carmen

In the same way that a certain housewife reinvented Vampires (or at least re-imagined them as sparkly and well-mannered)... never underestimate your own power to shift the prism of perception and look at your own favorite characters from a different angle. Case in point.. the amusing posts "Real Super Heroes Part 1 & 2" on artist Louie del Carmen's blog.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Gift of Inspiration - Hark the Herald Angelina & Jennifer Yuh Nelson

You know it's a great day to be alive when you can read an inspiring article like this:

where director Jennifer Yun Nelson hears the advice "Don't be scared of making bold choices" and TAKES IT..
and Angelina ("Tigeress") Jolie says "A tiger wouldn't say that" and somehow you know SHE knows exactly what a Tiger would say. Go girl power!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Gift of Inspiration - 12 days of Christmas

Counting down the 12 days till Christmas day. Feeling crushed by the holiday chaos? Take a deep breath and think of the simple gifts that matter most. Enjoy the season for what it should be. Hot chocolate always helps

Monday, December 12, 2011

Gift of Inspiration - Julia Lundman

Artist Julia Lundman's blog has an inspiring focus: she writes posts that share her learning and creative process. Read more on her blog about classes she takes! Her posts are full of details and pictures --- really amazing stuff!
Her Oct 31 , 2011 post on her blog, demonstrates her process for a sculpt of "Bowie the Greyhound".

Her photos show her process... from the model, to armature..
and the sculpture (in process here.. finished on the blog)....

If you don't have a studio.. you can still grab some clay at a craft store and see how studying your own pets can illuminate your drawing process. Try it! Here's a great quote from Julia:

The truth is, I am not really a sculptor. I am a two dimensional artist studying the 3rd dimension, sculpture. In the 3 years since I have been learning about sculpting with my friends each Thursday, I have found that the practice aids my understanding of depicting nature in two dimensions greatly. My mind is better able to process how form turns and how light falls on those forms far better than if I hadn't.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Gift of Inspiration - Mark Schultz art auction for charity - UPDATED 12/12

Artist Mark Schultz had these two original drawings for sale on Ebay. The auction ended on Sunday Dec 11th. Thousands were raised to benefit a good friend of Mark's who is battling cancer.
For more on the story of this inspiring gift, read the following post from John Flesk's Blog:

The auction winners are winners indeed: with art to enjoy and images to remind them of the good cause they supported!

Gift of Inspiration - CTNX recap by Stephen Brooks

This 13 minute video by Stephen Brooks at is a terrific recap of CTNX 2011. Be sure to watch his comments on STORY (at 7:08)...I'll paraphrase here.. "Absorb Stories.. Stories have life experience in them...emotion.. humor...pain..and those are all the things that make up inspiration." Also on this recap: Andreas Deja, Eric Goldberg, and Stephen's tips for attending this convention.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Gift of Inspiration - CW Anderson

An author-artist who was a longtime favorite with the horsey set is the beloved CW Anderson (1891-1971).
For a certain generation of young readers, his "Billy and Blaze" books were the perfect introduction to riding as well as reading....

He also wrote stories with heroines and horses. His stories for young people were gentle tales that stressed kindness to animals and common sense in the face of fears and danger.

His images of horses were popular in the 1960s and 70s.... and often used in home decor.

He was American, but there is a wonderful page about him on a UK website you have to love called "Ponymadbooklovers" This page also features a large number of covers of many of his books. He's best known for his fiction for younger readers... but also non-fiction books about famous real life horses. He also had cartoons published in the New Yorker. If you aren't familiar with CW Anderson, give yourself a holiday gift of discovering his work. We have some titles in stock.. and many of his books are available in print.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Gift of Inspiration - Walt Disney 110th b'day (via Andreas Deja blog)

Once again, the blog of Andreas Deja shares insights into the creative process. His post for Dec 5th celebrates the 110th birthday of one of the great artistic innovators... that Disney fellow :)
How about that 6 cents 1st class postage ... those were the days!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Gift of Inspiration - William Stout, creating the San Diego (zoo) Murals

UPDATE DEC 17th -- Stout now has 7 posts on his blog with the process of this new project!
There seems to be a theme developing for posts this month: the gift of inspiration. I get so excited when I see how artists are using their blogs to share their working process and what inspires them. The constant refrain I hear from the very best artists is that they are 1) always drawing and 2) always learning. Case in point, our friend William Stout, pictured here signing at our showroom:

And here is one of his amazing murals... this one at the San Diego Natural History Museum:

Bill has just shared a terrific post on his "Worlds of William Stout - Journal" blog. This is the 1st post in a series on his brand new mural project for the San Diego Zoo. Check it out... and learn from one of the very best! (also check out his post on the impact of those fearsome winds here in So Cal).

Also see the August 2010 posts here on the blog for the "Art of Animals" exhibition co-curated by Stout.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Gift of Inspiration - Paul Felix via Mark Kennedy

Paul Felix is one of the artists who contributed to Sketchtravel... and he joined us for the recent signing at CTNX. Here's Paul's drawing from the book:

It's always inspiring to see artist sharing their knowledge via a blog... in this case, you can discover two generous blogs at once!

Check out Mark Kennedy's Nov 30th post with links to "unofficial" Paul Felix blog, with several posts on Paul Felix's notes on layout

What a great gift to share to kick off the holidays!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Blackwing 602 pencil .. Returns! UDPATED Dec 2015

THE BLACKWING PENCILS.... SHARPENER .. AND ERASERS.. .Now for sale at Stuart Ng Books. Try them in store... or order them online:

Here's the original post for 2011

It's that time of year when gift item catalogs are showing up in the mail... and this page caught my eye:

In case you've never heard of it, one of the most beloved instruments in the artist community is the legendary BLACKWING 602 Faber Pencil... "Blackwing" sounds like a super hero, and in many ways it was... and is. It's the stuff of myth and magic, and if you read this blog, you know I love a good story.
This one has a happy ending... after many years of no Blackwings... it has been resurrected and is now commercially available again. Has anyone tried the new "Palomino" Blackwings???

Jenny Lerew's terrific blog "the Blackwing Diaries" is named after this pencil. Here's a link to her post on the famous blackwing:

More history of the blackwing here:

And two reviews of the new version:

Got an artist on your holiday shopping list? A box of Blackwings pairs well with a Stuart Ng Books Gift Certificate.

Monday, November 21, 2011

CTNX 2011 - 1st of 9 posts (CTNX posts UPDATED Nov 28th, more links)

(UPDATE Nov 28th -- I HAVE JUST ADDED 1 NEW POST & LINKS TO SEVERAL OF THE ARTISTS FEATURED IN THESE POSTS) Only 3 years old... CTNX has become the premiere animation event. This year featured more exclusive guests... and SOLD OUT panels and programs.....
The exhibit hall was the largest yet with all the spaces sold out... amazing for such a young show, but obviously the demand is there!
Around the convention you could enjoy free demos of traditional hand-drawn animation...
and demos of computer animation...
Artists appreciated the free live model workshops....I love seeing the models in all their different costumes & poses! So creative...
There was so much programming for the attendees to enjoy.. the hard part was trying to decide what to see!
The live drawing demo stage was always busy... and the overhead screens allow everyone to see the drawings in progress... not just those in the front row.
The screen also provided reminders about more programming not to miss, like the RalphMcQuarrie gallery!
In the lobby area, there were impromptu portfolio reviews by attending pros....
So much action going on... with an oversized Incredible Hulk overseeing it all!
Look at the long list of workshops and artist panels... all SOLD OUT!
Enjoy the following 8 posts with highlights from 2011.. and start planning now to see it all for yourself in 2012! I have just added new CTNX photos courtesy of Matthew K !