Bill Mayer
Many Thanks...
The Death of Crows © Bill Mayer 2014 BLAB! art director Monte Beauchamp

The last year came and went. We had a fabulous time in Canada at the cottage... Took long rides around the point. Such a beautiful place. Summer is like heaven only with mosquitos. really big, hungry mosquitos. In the fall we went back up to close up. I love that time of year. The trees are turning, there's a chill in the air. It's a kind of melancholy time for one last sail before we pull the boats up. One last ride through the woods trails along Jobe's Lane, Jobe's Woods. The maples that line the old farm lane are old and gnarled and you can see bits of evidence of old farm fencing just peeking through.
Farms were bought up back in the fifties to make the Provencial park. There is a great stoney beach we hunt down fossils and walk along the bank.
Detail of Death of Crows, rocky beach and oil soaked dress...not quite finished...

The stoney beach near the Presquile' Light...

 Fall is magical at Presqu'ile. The light is warm and yellow and we know it's just a very short time till winter sets in. it's great to take one more long ride along the road down to the light house, along the lake shore, through the woods... I could ride all day but we need to pull the boats and docks. We cover all the furniture with sheets, not sure why, just becaue it has always been done and I guess it keeps the little pests out of everything. We  will certainly miss being there, but we love our home in Geogia and miss our kids.
early morning ride along the bay shore...sunrise

wading out to Gull and Proctor Islands
There are two islands of the west coast of the sandy beach. They're usually closed. It's a bird santuary for breeding, and they don't allow people to go out there. Most of the birds have started thier migration so in the fall when the water is low you can wade out to the island. The Park has been oiling the eggs of the cormorants in order to control their number. They're an invasive species and numbers have been skyrocketing. So they started oiling the nests to keep them in check. We waded out to the island and stumbled upon acres of nests with remains of birds and pieces of eggs. It's like the killing fields. Bizarrely beautiful. The cormorants are very destructive and we all understand they need to be controlled but seeing it is so strangely surreal.
The Killing fields...

Canada Goose
Sushi...very fresh!

Some of what we love so much about the cottage is the Canadians. They're such genuine people. Unpretentious. We gather often by the bay for cocktails and laugh and tell stories. All of the families that live there are somehow related. We hash out who's what cousin married who. Reconnecting dots in the past. Such a rich history, I feel so lucky to be included in the circle.  Most of the families have been on the point since the eighteen hundreds. Great-grand parents , Grand Parents, Parents and kids all growing up together. I think we counted seven generations... I love it there. Mostly because Lee is so happy there. It is truly a sense of place for her.
Cocktails on Deck two...

I am so thrilled to have my painting included in the Society of Illustrators 57 show. It's a wonderful honor I don't take lighly.  We have to be in Florida on the sixth of February. Lee's Mom is having sugery and we need to be there to help... We won't be able to make the second half of the show but my paintings will be there! Stop by and see it if you get a chance.
Detail of a very nice Series Seven brush....

Smoking Crows. © Bill Mayer 2014 BLAB! ad Monte Beauchamp

Along with some of the new gouach painitngs There were some of my favorite pieces that made the cut as well. This piece I did for SooJin was always one of my favorites. I loved those fat little planes...
Best of the Best. PLanSponsor Ad SooJin Buzelli

Sometime art imitates life. Sometime the other way around. Life in Canada for us is so rich and full of things we love it's hard not to fall into it's s[spell. I think Lee would move there in a second. Me , I have roots in the south. So much family here, it would be hard to be so far removed. Long bike rides, paddling out through the marsh, or fishing off the dock. just can't seem to get enough of it...
Flower basket in Coberg Ontairio ...
These little gouache paintings have been a lot of fun... This year I won a gold medal for one of the little portraits of Marie Antoinette. It was such an honor to just be included with such a creative group of new talented artists. It has always been such a joy hanging out in the city. Seeing our old art family from Ringling and meeting some new friends as well. We're kind of bummed about not being there for the second show...

Always good to throw something new in as well. This painting I did as a pitch for Macy's flower word yet. Maybe still a bit macabre for them, but fingers crossed. I am sure it will find a home somewhere.
Tulip Head © Bill Mayer 2015

Deep Group- Monster Flavor
MONSTER FLAVOR © Bill Mayer 2014

Great fun project for Dan Stewart at Deep Group. Poster for a school lunch program in Missouri and Kansas... Headline is "Little Burgers, Monster Flavor." I have done these a hundred times and they're still tons of fun. This time I do three... count them, three! thumbnails. Dan picks one from 1, two from 2. Sketch them together. The only change was make sure each monter had at least one burger...

 After the sketch was approved I did the normal airbrush and photoshop art. Adding a few more burgers. Funny thing emerged when I flattened the image to pull a shadow from their outline... BOOBS appeared in the shadow above the head. Okay, completely accidental, but clients think artists do this stuff on pupose so of course I retouched it out.
MONSTER FLAVOR with BOOBS © Bill Mayer 2014

 I thought this was pretty funny...I posted something about it on FB and got some hilarious responses. Facebook. Still laughing anout this one...
detail © Bill Mayer 2014
MONSTER FLAVOR © Bill Mayer 2014

 The final was so clean and sharp, we left the background white. Dan's poster design, very clean. Much fun working on this illo. Thanks to Dan and the Deep Group for sending it my way.
Happy Thanksgiving!
A "Happy Turkey Dinner" from all of us here at Bill Mayer, Inc., and a happy holiday to you and yours!
PlanSponsor - Retirement Plans in Mergers
Detail © Bill Mayer 2014 Plansonsor
 I love this little piece I did recently for SooJin at PlanSponsor. Such a strange little concept. The article was about the complicated restrictions in regulations in plans around mergers and aquisitions and the importance of retirement plan  conciderations. The final direction SooJin picked was the circulatory illustration. Strange yes, but I think an appropriate solution. I was trying to do a kind of a strange old medical chart-like image but the old type was just pushing it off in another direction that didn't seem like it helped the concept.  It was so much fun working on it, was hard to stop even after the project was delivered.
 They always start the same way, had some great directions in the thumbnails sketches, couldn't wait to get the feedback from SooJin and see which direction she would pick... I love this part of the job , thumbnailing is so much fun. I have been trying to stop sending so many, and even stop doing so many, but I just can't seem to stop myself. The ideas just flow out kind of like a stream of consciousness.

Miraculously, she finds something that seems to make sense out of these little scribbles.
Paint a few color thumbnails trying to work out how to handle the final. My initial idea was to do an old vintage medical poster... but the type was too distracting...
 When I painted it I loved the body inside, hidden and more obscure.  To me, it was the way I view mergers. More as one devouring or absorbing the other. When I showed it to Forest and Lee they felt the head of the figure was too hard to read. I blew them off, continued working on textures and trying options with type. When i sent it to SooJin she said it was beautiful, but she needed to see the figure in the center faster for it to read as a "merger"...
Damn, I hate it when Lee is right. But I eliminate some of the veins around the figure and change the head to be more obvious. Still works. I throw away most of the type and just use some watercolor paper with torn edges... It works.
First pass more obscured figure in the center...© Bill Mayer 2014
Detail © Bill Mayer 2014

Screen capture © Bill Mayer 2014
© Bill Mayer 2014 PLANSPONSOR
I had finished the art on Friday and let it sit over the weekend. When I came in Monday I looked at the color comps and tried to see what it would look like in another color direction.... I sent them off to show SooJin. I think maybe it was too late to look at any alternates. Time was gone. I sent two versions the original and the blue one. I am guessing I will find out in a month or so which one she used. My bet is the original. Forest says I am worrying about it too much. The original looked good. Me, I just always want it to be better. Thank God for deadlines or nothing would ever get shipped!
BLUE BOY © Bill Mayer 2014
I thought these options were interesting in that the feeling they give the viewer is somehow very diferent. Color can add an emotional element to an illustration that sometimes can change the feeling subtly, sometimes dramatically. I guess I was just enjoying working on this so much, I just didn't want it to end.
BLACK © Bill Mayer 2014
Green © Bill Mayer 2014

BALI VERSION © Bill Mayer 2014
Here is a link to the story in the online magazine. Big thanks to SooJin Buzelli and PlanSponsor, with all of the other talented artists out there, you gave me a chance to work with you again. always such a treat. Thank You.


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