Bill Mayer
Simple Ideas Simple Colors
Trying out some new illustrations, limited color palettes and concepts. Simple, thoughtful, conceptual... Blue is a color I don't usually use a lot but am liking more and more.... Always trying new things.. these were some nice surprises... I think I might try a few more...

I just did this really fun project with Mother Jones's art director Carolyn Perot. She had seen an earlier piece I had done for Yankee Magazine on the Green Eyed Flies and one of my alternates was the original inspiration for this illustration.

I wanted to create a kind of bigger than life, War-of-the-Worlds kind of invasion of the beetles.... I did a few thumbanils but decided to comp up the two directions I felt strongly about... Thumbnails # 1 and #2.
I knew this was certainly overkill for a sketch but wanted to push this in a direction I wanted.
Liking both directions was not a bad place to be.
Carolyn did this Killer design, flopping my original design. I love this layout so much. A little sorry some of the creepy fog was getting lost, but the layout is so strong I really don't mind.  Brilliant Carolyn!

Much thanks to Mother Jones and Carolyn Perot for such a fun project...

Full Story Here
 I recently met Torrece Gregoire through my sister Sue.  She goes by the nickname T. Maybe because I I kept massacring her name... Maybe it's just easier.

She's a contestant on the upcoming season of Hell's Kitchen. Such a dynamic personality, I just couldn't resist when she asked me to help out with some poster and T-shirt designs. Certainly sometimes working with clients directly can fall into uncharted waters but this was really a great experience. and the results kind of glowed with that. "Weeded" is her upcoming venture into chefs apparel. I think Weeded is going much, much farther. She's got a kickstarter; if you're so inclined, check it out and donate! Weeded
 We did the design based on a Max Award poster I did earlier in 2008 . T liked the way the lines overlayed each other. I loved this direction too. Limited color would work well for poster and especially T-shirt application.
Forest thought the first set of thumbs were a bit too aggressive so I did a few more a little closer to the Max Awards stuff she had seen before.
Like always I started with the normal 24 thumbnails but this time I decided not to show all of them. I picked my favorites and comped them up tighter. I showed T four and She picked my favorites. 
When we got to the Tshirt application the poster design just wasn't working so we reworked the design and droped the background. I think it was working Much better this way. Two variations of each ,one for a white shirt ,one for black. The colors had to be swapped around a bit but worked much better without the background. The heavy blacks on the "Kitchen Robot" had to be dropped. They worked great on the white shirt but too heavy in white ink on the black shirt
You'll have to tune in to Hell's Kitchen Season 14 and Watch T kick some ass in the kitchen.
Here's her contestant video on the Hell's Kitchen website.
She's still talking about coming over to the house and cooking for us. I can't wait...
Much fun working on this, Thanks Torrece!
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

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