What is Autrey Art?

Random artworks by Lucy Autrey Wilson

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Free Bird Evolution



In 2005 I painted the bottom picture of a bird.  The painting is 100% digital.   I liked it.  So, the next year, in 2006, I painted the same subject as an oil painting.  Now that I'm exploring paper collage, I decided to revisit my old favorite subject, and created the top picture in yet another medium.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Lucy's MOCA Class for families with kids starting this November

I've been spending a lot of time trying to come up with a fun project to do with families with kids that will result in a finished art piece in about 30 minutes.  This is for my paper collage art theory class at MOCA (link here: https://www.marinmoca.org/) this coming November.  I'm using nice washi paper and some recycled paper from an old telephone book.

For now, after some trial and error (see prior post,) I've decided on a paper collage portrait in the style of Yayoi Kusama.  This Pinterest link: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/230809549637151790/?lp=true includes Yayoi Kusama's 2016 self portrait  in yellow and purple.  It's simple, it uses complementary colors, and it's contemporary.   The image above is my self portrait done in somewhat of a Kusama style.

There are several great projects on-line for kids to create collage portraits in the style of Picasso, or Paul Klee or Matisse.  I thought it would be fun to do something in the style of a living, contemporary artist instead.  I have thrown in a few words of things I love to fill out the negative space.  Drawing the words out, inking them and painting them in, however, made the project take longer than desired, so the negative space surrounding the main object may have to stay empty!

Paper Collage and Color Theory



I'm getting ready to teach a few art classes at MOCA (Marin Museum of Contemporary Art) in Novato starting this coming November.  The classes are part of their Sunday family days - having fun making art with your kids- program.  Link here:  https://www.marinmoca.org/

As I haven't been doing much more than nursing this past year, I needed to practice for my paper collage class revolving around color theory.  I wanted to tie in my first class with the current 50 FACES exhibit at MOCA and come up with something that would result in a finished portrait in 30 minutes.

First off, I got Sam to pose for me (top)  Result looks nothing like him and this fill-in collage technique takes way longer than 30 minutes.  I filled out the rest of the image with doodles (a technique I'm planning to explore in more mediums coming up) and tried another approach.  

Next up (middle) was a portrait using recycled telephone book pages and some apple cut paper images to illustrate the complementary colors red and green.  This also took way too long and didn't come out that well.

Another effort (bottom) was a pen & ink drawing with complementary colors (yellow/purple) filling in the negative space around the main image.  Something to consider, but not the final choice.

Catching UP - Greek art

Since returning from Greece this past June, it's been a flurry of medical issues, doctor appointments, surgeries, etc.   Things are finally looking up enough for some catch up.  Here's the one and only 10x7 travel pen & ink and watercolor painting done in Paros, looking at the view of the Piso Logaras hills from our apartment balcony.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Seattle Pink Poppies




Sadly I no longer have a reason to travel up to Seattle a few times a year to take photos and visit family (since they moved to Portland).  But it's now fun to see how many ways I can edit the thousands of photos I' took in Seattle over the years.  The four above are from a Queen Anne poppies garden shot I photographed in 2014, starting with one unadulterated version.  The editing fun is almost as endless as the complexities of the original as created by Mother nature.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Marilyn Monroe, Floral Fantasy, and Photoshop CC Collide




I've been compulsively editing my best floral photographs, out of the thousands I've taken since I went digital.  This has given me the opportunity to not only go down memory lane, but to experiment with as many digital techniques as I can come up with to try to bring out the essence of each photo. Lately, I discovered a pattern feature in Photoshop CC I was unaware of.  Having done some fabric design previously, it was with excitement I realized I could create offset patterns in Photoshop using my illustrator art.  This has opened a whole new area in which to play.  In these four pictures I started with a beautiful field of flowers shot in Salem, Oregon in 2016 (bottom).  Moving up from there, I've combined the original photo with three alternate patterns based on my Marilyn Monroe vector drawing.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

A Day at China Camp

(Above) A digital collage of various photos take at China Camp yesterday.  It's been awhile since visiting this site in San Rafael - about 23 years!  Last time was January 1996 when I did this drawing (Below).  The best way to tell time is with old artwork and photos.  Makes up for having no memory.


Taking a Walk on the Wild Side

Going to nature on the Estero trail at Limantour Beach in beautiful Point Reyes National Seashore.  More Estero photos up now in my Shutterstock portfolio here:  https://www.shutterstock.com/g/Lucy+Autrey+Wilson/sets

Friday, June 14, 2019

The Cat Who Took Sam and Lucy for a Walk














On a coastal walk in Piso Logaras, Paros, Greece, we were adopted by a cat who herded us along, waiting for the photographer to catch up, sometimes leading, sometimes in the rear to make sure no one got left behind.  It was the best guided tour I've ever been on!

Greek Cat GIF

Doing a series of Paros, Greece cat photos.  This black cat was happy to show off its super special glittery neck jewelry belt.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Something Old, Something New



Top to Bottom

Top:  Old photo, shot in Haleakala Crater on Maui in 2012, recently edited using Topaz AI sharpen software, and uploaded to my Shutterstock portfolio:  LINK to my portfolio

Middle:  Pen & Ink and watercolor of my memories of Maui

Bottom:  Most recent photo collage combining a photo shot at Brazil Ranch in Tamales, while volunteering for MALT, with three hand painted paper collage cows (from cow photos shot in Albion)

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Paper Collage on High Quality 13 x 19 Photo Prints




Top to Bottom:
Red-tailed Hawk flying over San Anselmo
Pelican and a Boat with Galapagos Heron in Inverness
Blue Heron in Briones
Flower Man at the Estero in Pt. Reyes

Friday, March 29, 2019

When in Doubt Cut it UP


I didn't like my collage much after looking at it for a few months (bottom image).  So I cut it up and embroidered it onto another painting I didn't like that much (top image).  Now I like it better!

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Little Gull: Lost at Sea Book Now Available in Print (in full color) as well as in a Kindle e-book Format


An Interview with the Author of the book Little Gull: Lost at Sea

Interviewer:  What is the story behind the story of Little Gull: Lost at Sea?

Lucy Autrey Wilson:  I wrote and illustrated Little Gull in 2019.   I love to go to the various beaches in Pt.Reyes National Seashore and am always amused by the sea gulls.  We are also lucky here in California to witness whales migrating past various sites on the Pt. Reyes peninsula.  So I came up with a story that included sea gulls and whales.

Interviewer:  Is there any significance behind the names Greta Gull and Wanda Whale? 

Lucy Autrey Wilson:  No, I just thought Greta Gull (GG) and Wanda Whale (WW) sounded good.

Interviewer:  I remember you telling me that your first book, Little Cloud, had a message of friendship and you hoped it would instill awareness of climate change, however subliminally.  Are you trying to do that again with this new title?

Lucy Autrey Wilson:  I used to write little morality short stories when I was very young.  I was strongly influenced by Aesop’s fables (still one of my favorite books).  So, yes, I have a tendency to add some little positive takeaway in my writing.  In Little Gull, that is a bit tempered.  Although it is fine and good to make friends with strangers, and even to count on them to help you out in a jam, it’s not a good idea to take any kind of serious risk hoping someone will always be there to rescue you if things don’t work out.   

Interviewer:  Can you tell the reader a little bit about your illustration process.  The artwork in Little Gull looks different from that in Little Cloud.

Lucy Autrey Wilson:  Again, I wanted to make both a digital and a print book so needed to make as much of the art vector based to reduce the file size.  Drawing water with mathematical lines and curves, however, turned out to be really hard.  So, I took original photographs I shot at the local beaches and converted them to traced vector images for the backgrounds, and then painted in Illustrator on top of the converted photos.

Interviewer:  What source material did you use for your illustrations?

Lucy Autrey Wilson:  All of the birds and ocean scenes are based on my photographs.  I’ve never had the good fortune to see a humpback whale breach, however, so I had to go searching for a lot of other reference to draw the various whale pictures.

Interviewer:  What do you hope is the take away of your reader?

Lucy Autrey Wilson:  First and foremost, I hope the reader is entertained.  Secondly, I hope the message of friendship and the benefits of helping others resonates.  And finally, humans have created a mess filling up our oceans with plastic and other garbage.  It is killing off the creatures who live in and depend on the sea.  So, I hope to raise awareness to this problem as a little added benefit.





Top to Bottom Photo Reference:
Page 16 Photo shot at Limantour Beach in Pt. Reyes, 2017
Page 24 Big wave photo shot on Seymour Island in the Galapagos, 2017
Page 30 Photo shot at North Beach in Pt. Reyes, 2012
Page 4  Birds at the beach photo shot at McClures Beach in Pt. Reyes, 2016

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

An Interview with the Author of Little Cloud



The children's book Little Cloud is now available in print and as an e-book on Amazon.com  First published as an e-book in 2014, and a print edition on Blurb, it has now been made available as a print edition on Amazon.  Here's more information about the book, in the form of an interview:

Interviewer:  What is the story behind the story of Little Cloud?

Lucy Autrey Wilson:  I wrote and illustrated Little Cloud in 2014, at the peak of California’s driest period since record-keeping began, between late 2011 and 2014.  I was wishing for more rain so thought a story about a rain cloud might be nice.

Interviewer:  Is there a reason your other main character is a blue jay named Jack?

Lucy Autrey Wilson:  Since I made the cloud feminine, I thought it would be good to make the bird male.  I have twin grandsons who were four years old at the time, the age target of my story, and by making one of the characters male I hoped to appeal to them.  Neither of the twins is named Jack, but that name seemed to fit. I was also inspired by my backyard blue jays.

Interviewer:  Can you tell the reader a little bit about your illustration process.  It looks like your illustrations were drawn using vector software, is that correct?

Lucy Autrey Wilson:  Yes.  I wanted to make both a digital and a print book.  The requirements for an e-book meant getting the file size as small as possible.  I needed to create the art using vector software, instead of raster images.   A raster image is artwork created in a non digital medium, then scanned in to the computer becoming a digital file made up of pixels.  When these raster images are enlarged, the image quality diminishes significantly and the file sizes are much bigger.  Vector artwork, on the other hand, is composed of mathematical lines and curves.  Not only does vector art take up a lot less digital space, it can be scaled to any size without losing quality. 

Interviewer:  How did you come up with your book title?

Lucy Autrey Wilson:  The title Little Cloud just fit the story.  After I first published the e-book in 2014, I realized it was the same title as a book by Eric Carle, one of my favorite children’s book author/illustrators.  That was certainly not intentional.

Interviewer:  What source material did you use for your illustrations?

Lucy Autrey Wilson:  I am a photographer and am always looking for new ways to use the tens of thousands of photos I’ve taken over the years.  At the time I wrote Little Cloud, I was also travelling up to Seattle a couple times a year to visit my daughter’s family, including the aforementioned twins.  So the photo reference in the beginning of Little Cloud was shot in Washington State.  Where Little Cloud travels south to, is Marin County, California, where I live.

The tall mountains in my story are based on the Olympic mountains, as seen from the top of Mount Walker, in Washington State.  The tallest of the Olympic mountains is Mount Olympus at 7,965 ft.



The body of water Little Cloud and Jack fly over is Puget Sound, as seen from Seattle.



Small Mountain is based on Mount Tamalpais in Marin County.  Although the biggest mountain around where I live, its peak is 2,572 ft.  much shorter than the Olympic mountains.

The various flower drawings are based on photographs taken at the Botanical Gardens in Fort Bragg, California in 2013.




Interviewer:  What do you hope your readers take away from the book?

Lucy Autrey Wilson:  First and foremost, I hope the reader is entertained.  Secondly, I hope the message of friendship, and the benefits of helping others, resonates.  And finally, I hope there is a little more awareness of the beautiful world we live in and a desire to help combat climate change to keep it that way.