Monday, December 29, 2008

Fave Pics from National Zoo

I really have a passion for animals. Templeton even got me a membership to the Virginia Zoo. I love taking pictures, then creating art from them. Here are some of my favorites...just some...

I have always loved pandas, and I love that my cat kinda looks like one! There are only 1200 left in the world.
Spectacled bear, he was super tired.
All of these wild animals, but man, I really do like donkeys, they have such character!
Tiger was super hungry, looking for someone to feed him!
This lioness was beautiful...I can't wait to draw her!
Orangutans had free range to climb a tower and cross over the zoo, over the people, on thick wires. Temp and I loved this. He has pictures I hope he posts that give the scope of the event.
I decided to zoom in with my camera on his hands because they just looked beautiful, powerful and peaceful.
He was contemplating climbing the wires. I love his positioning.
Thinking much?
Little dude, looking happy!
Temp and I watched a documentary on red pandas a while back and think they are adorable.
Repetition of triangles and threes.
This guy kept pounding his chest, it sounded amazing. Like a hollow drum.
Love the otters, they were quick and hard to get a picture of.
Lemurs are cute how they jump around. Here's looking at you kid!

For more pictures, you can go to my flickr page here

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas with the Family via Skype

Templeton and I made our nephew Colin a skateboard for Christmas. Because we couldn't be in Jersey for the holiday, we did a webcam chat and got to watch him open the package in front of us! For a pic of the graphic, go to Temp's blog, click here.

christmas bike ride with the elliott's

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Eve

sal has been anxious to open his presents

Sunday, December 21, 2008

In honor of a great man

Yesterday I said my last goodbye to my grandpa. He was sick for the past week in a half in the hospital prompted by pneumonia. His health was a roller coaster of ups and downs, and at a time when we thought a miracle was to happen, it was his time. Fortunately Grandpa didn't suffer, he was bowling just a week before at the age of 87!

Grandpa is the closest person to me that has passed. I have so many fond memories of him. I grew up in the town next to he and my grandma, so I saw them often. I loved when they took us to parks, and holding my grandparents hands. When we moved from Michigan, we stayed with my grandparents for awhile until we moved into our home. Grandma and Grandpa gave me a sketch pad that I loved to draw in. Definitely starting a foundation to my love for drawing today. Spending every holiday with my grandparents, and them always wanting to know my adventures. I always felt like I had full support of my grandpa in every choice I made. As I grew older, my passion for big band music and jazz sealed a bond between my grandpa and I.

Grandpa played the saxophone in bands, for the Army, and even as music therapy. When it came time for college, my grandparents believed in me and helped support me financially for which I am eternally grateful.

My most special memories in my adult years is the recent family weddings where it was a sure thing that Grandpa and I would dance to some big band song. Whether it was Moonlight Serenade or Moondance, I knew my grandfather was going to teach me more steps I have never seen before!!

I am relieved to say that every time I ended my visit to NJ, I made sure to give grandpa a big hug and tell him how much I love him. Never be afraid to tell someone how much they mean to you.

My thoughts are with my father and aunt, and especially my grandmother who had the honor of being married to such a great man for 63 years. I pledge to myself to write her a letter every week to show her that I am thinking of her and she has the love and support of her family. My heart is still sad for the loss of my grandfather, but I know he is smiling down on me.

I made a photo collage for the wake, and here are some pictures that were in it:

Thought people would get a kick of this picture. My brother Brian, brother Rob, me and my cousin Jane. Yes, Brian is wearing a Transformers shirt!Grandpa and Grandma always happy and in love. I aspire to be them!
Grandpa with his great-grandson. They were adorable together and definitely had a connection.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008

drive to nj

like a meerkat

sal captured talking to us!

car ride up to nj for grandpa's funeral

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Man, I am so driven to make art lately! The most ever that I can remember. I am spending my planning periods at school just wanting to create, experiment, etc.
I drew a cartoon character in my sketchbook and I really didn't like the head. So I flipped thru magazines intending on just making a random collage. I found this head in National Geographic and thought it would be a cool replacement head! I colored his body in, then decided to make it look like he was painting a streak of paint thru the air. Then I found these dogs that took forever to cut out!! A little marker grass and watercolor sky and I am pretty stoked with the results. I have never done something like this before. I just think black children are beautiful and this kid radiated sunshine to me!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Ornament 2008

As most of you know, Templeton and I make Christmas ornaments every year together to decorate our tree. We like making art together, and our ornaments have a lot more meaning if they are made by us! So last night, we brought our craft supplies to our friends house and shared our tradition with them. I decided to spend quality time on one ornament this year, as opposed to years past where I made a couple.
My friend Andrew had mentioned making a cube. So I took some left over mat board and made a cube 3" x 3". I saw red paint and painted it. I put glitter borders and decided I wanted to put pictures on the sides of the cube. I added charcoal at the end to give an antiqued look. My grandfather is in the hospital very sick, so I was feeling sentimental about family. This cube is dedicated to our families:

My brothers Brian, Kyle and Rob
My grandparents with my nephew Colin.
Temp and I in Peru. The picture that started this project.
The 4 Generations of O'Connor's: Rob (brother), Grandpa, Dad and nephew Colin. Underneath are the girls, sister-in-law Lila, my mom, me, and sister-in-law Lisa.
Temp's side: Chris, Amy, Christopher and Mary on top. Mr. and Mrs. Elliott on the horses.
Salvador makes it to the top with the hanging ribbon to put on the tree.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Making art

So since I posted about making sketchbooks with my photo class, I was disappointed in the craftsmanship of the one I made. My kids made wonderful ones, so I decided to make another---that I'll use. So I made the sketchbook, a good handy size. Temp suggested I throw some 1"x 1" square graph paper in there to spice it up. So I did. My goal with this book is no rules. Layers of color, medium, drawing. Not feeling confined or the need for perfect lines. Being a graphic designer and animation, we tend to stay within the lines, and it's time to step out.

The sketchbook...I used handmade paper for the cover. Keeping it's hard to have a clean cover!

This was in response to Big Mama dying. I was feeling sick and frustrated so I cut up an image of Big Mama that I had printed for that watercolor picture. Glued it in, painted a bark-like background and splattered red paint on it. The pieces of picture are peeling up unintentionally, but I kind of like it, it reminds me of peeling bark.

I used the leftover paint from the tree page and just wanted to paint squares. Then I later drew the beaver which made me laugh because they like to chew on wood which is in the page right next to him. Art creates themes you don't even plan.
I call them "happy accidents".

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Christmas with the Elliott's '08

DC Portfolio Day

Brendan, I thought of you when I saw this...more for the Obama part. But I liked catching the guy working on this gigantic banner!

It snowed while we were there which was fun. This is a sculpture by one of my favorite artists Roy Lichtenstein.
Is a child's vision of Santa Claus diminished? (Tons of Santa's on the streets, was a trip)
Just enjoyed the lighting of this sculpture in the Corcoran.
Portfolio Day is a bunch of colleges around the country that meet with high school students to give feedback on their portfolios. We had 2 students accepted to colleges strictly based on portfolio.
Little coffee sculpture...I was intrigued by this. It was really just a trash can on the street
Camera tag with the kids!