Allen West: News?

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It's Christmas Eve, Deal With It.

December 24th, 2014 - Allen West

Wrapping it up

December 22nd, 2014 - Allen West

Lots to do, lots to photograph. Trying hard not to spoil anybody's christmas present with premature online presentation. Did a postcard in the middle of much procrastinating.

4 Feet 6 Inches

December 5th, 2014 - Allen West

I finally photographed this guy. I did it. It's done. Nah not done. Just kidding. I still have to take it's picture with a person. But look, a live-sized, WWII bomb!

Another Plant, C'est Mort

November 13th, 2014 - Allen West

I have an instagram now (by the same name) and it's been taking my mind off posting here. Apologies.


November 6th, 2014 - Allen West

In Seattle. Quick post to get stuff out there. I'll finalize an image of the dress soon and add it to the appropriate page. Also coming soon, a page for the postcards.


August 21st, 2014 - Allen West

Had a photo-shoot yesterday with the skirt and a 10lb black wool dress. It's not the season, but the weather and I have an understanding. I'll be sweatering someone for this coming first friday. If you were going to avoid congress square for some reason, reconsider. I'll be there.

I love having this much wool around.

July 23rd, 2014 - Allen West

So I made two more games for indiequilt. This time I just did the programming for ForgottenFire. But, now I have my black merino. (it's so black and so soft.) Also I'm finally satisfied with how the mixed BFL skirt is going. Check it out!

Indie Quilt

July 7th, 2014 - Allen West

While waiting for wool is stumbled across a fun game jam. Game jams are events where game makers make a game based on a theme in a limited amount of time. Indie Quilt runs longer than normal at 2 months, but I gave myself a week. All the games had to be won or lost in 30 seconds, have 10 difficulty levels, and eventually they'll all be stitched together and sold to benefit Child's Play, a charity I know nothing about. I had fun. Here is the result. It's on level 6.

All of the wool

June 27th, 2014 - Allen West

My 8lbs of mixed BFL came and is already almost gone. It turns out a skirt takes about 5lbs. While the grant money isn't going very far, the results are amazing. I've got 10lbs of Black on it's way and I'll be posting some pictures once I get it on a human.

June Time

June 7th, 2014 - Allen West

Here is what is up. I got a grant (yay) to make a small series in experimental fashion design. It pays for about 15lbs of wool. Half of which has arrived. I ordered it from a local shop, but the wool comes from the west coast. Next week I'll be starting experiments. In the meant time I started working on christmas cards, delivered artwork to NYC, and edited a couple interviews for a book MOTH press will be publishing. While I was in New York I got to see Alex Kanevsky's solo show, a big James Jean painting, and the most brilliant city planning decision made in the last few years. I'm talking about the above ground train-turned-park that runs through chelsea. So good.

I don't know any of those people.

The Opening

May 4th, 2014 - Allen West

It was a lot of fun: I sold a piece, many people met my dad, we tried (and liked) tea infused champagne, and Peter, member of the local orchid society, brought a flowering bulbophyllum hybrid. If you missed it, the work will be up for at least the month and Sarah will make you a personal cup of tea at Homegrown. It wont have any champagne in it though. Also my dad will likely by other places.

I did a bad job of taking pictures. My father took this one. It's me and that way better painter than me, Meghan Howland. :)

Two Shows This May

April 13th, 2014 - Allen West

May First Friday will be the one to hit. You can see my work twice! At Homegrown Herb and Tea is the solo show Orchidacea. My favorite pieces from all the botanical illustration I've been doing will be hanging on the walls and I'll be there most of the night with my best schmooze face on (it's not that schmoozey, sorry). Come to the plant party! I'll also be there to give advice about your own orchids and which ones not to buy, see The Plants I've Killed.

I'll have one piece in the group show Eat More Art 2 at Pinecone and Chickadee. I promise there wont be any orchids on my piece. Well actually, I promise there wont be any visible orchids on my piece. There might instead be a plane, a cheerleader, and a band leader from the 70's. PLUS, there will be so much more art from so many more artists... and cheep beer.

Hurray Dinema polybulbon

March 18th, 2014 - Allen West

After putting out some fires, launching a website or two, and meeting a grant deadline (and not even on the last day) I got to start working on the big paper. Since my studio hasn't thawed out yet, I've been donated an end of a table in a much nicer studio to work on. Below is the early progress on a Dinema (previously Encyclia) polybulbon wreath. It's in a group called carpet orchids because, grown well, it will take over whatever space you give it and then keep going. If someone so desired they could grow an actual orchid wreath and I would highly recommend this species for the task. I'm trying to find an image of that species' seed pod for the painting or if anyone knows what they look like I would greatly appreciate a sketch.

This new year has been very productive so far. I really like it.

It's still quite cold outside

March 2nd, 2014 - Allen West

Adam Chau is back in town. We did a one-shot photo-shoot of what I made with the rest of my favorite yarn. I don't know where it came from and I'll probably never see it again. It reminds me of uncooked meat. I miss it already. Also a date has been set for the botanical illustration show! May first friday, the 2nd, is what you should be marking on your calendars.

It's quite cold outside

February 8th, 2014 - Allen West

Lot of knitting, lots of flowers, lots of coding. I still haven't set a date for the show, but I've been pretty on top of production. I might have to build a drafting table to complete the 2 large pieces I have planned. I bought paper bigger than my table. Oops. I promised myself I would finish all the smaller paper first and I've only 5 pieces left of the original 30 sheets. A few of which is this awesome blue paper that seems to make me a better painter.

I'm not sure exactly where all this is going yet. I wanted to learn watercolor and botanical illustration, but traditional illustration is not the end goal. I have a hand-full of ideas bouncing around, but nothing has stuck yet. Either way it feels good to have a new tool in my art arsenal.

I think I forgot to announce that I have a small piece at SPACE right now. It'll be there for the month with lots of other things by lots of other people. It's cute. Go see.

I made a tulip commission for a friends valentines gift. It was the quickest painting!

Botany part 3

January 16th, 2014 - Allen West

I got some bigger paper. I am missing the rapid production of the small pieces though. I've spent as much time as one of those as on this Voacanga africana below and only have a bunch of unfinished leaves at different stages. Plus having paid work to complete is slowing things down even more. Next acquisition will be a palette! Turns out being able to premix colors is very helpful. Ha!

I also want to gush about watercolor brushes for a second. They are amazing. I have been using only one brush to do everything from thin filaments to broad leaves. I think it's a number 6 round, but it was given to me and the handle is worn off to just wood. I will see if I can get an image of the painting this brush did with a more skilled hand (it's unbelievably accurate & beautiful). When I jump to the huge paper I'll probably step up a couple sizes, but this kind of control I never got painting with acrylics. Ok, I'm done now.

Learning Watercolor part 2

January 8th, 2014 - Allen West

A couple more plants. I've been using gouache (pronounced guash) because I didn't know the difference. Since it was really cheap paint, there actually wasn't much difference, but a friend got me some nice gouache and (wow!) it's completely different. I'm pretty sure I'm improving none-the-less. I do still tend to botch one thing each time. There's a peony and a fern down below for you.

Holidays are over now and I've got websites to code and videos to edit and installations to build and other peoples art to make. I'm determined to finish this book of watercolor paper and then get a larger size since I was offered a botanical illustration show. All I have to do is make enough work that I feel confident in and it will happen. How cool is that?

Learning Watercolor

January 4th, 2014 - Allen West

Not exactly a resolution per say, but I'm committed to learning watercolor painting. I'm starting with botanical illustration to give myself a more technical base. Not being able to pick up something and be instantly great at it will always be frustrating.