My entry for the Global Talent Search-"The Snailmaid"

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I'm entering the Global Talent Search held by the Lilla Rogers Agency. There are three rounds of the contest, and the winner gets representation by her agency....dreamy. The competition is pretty steep-there are over a thousand entrants, and many of these people are already fabulous working artists. It's a long shot, but it's my dream, so here we go!

I've been taking Lilla's courses for a few years. They are hands-down the best classes in the industry on creating illustration work that will actually get you work. I'd recommend them to anyone who wants to pursue a career in illustration.

This is my entry for the 1st round, and I also wrote a story to accompany my garden journal. I'd love to write and illustrate a collection of classic-but-new fairy tales for children. I'd love to fill libraries everywhere with mysterious tales and beautiful images. Stories like that were the highlight of my childhood and I'd love to be able to give that back some day.

The Snailmaid
Once upon a time, deep in the woods, lived a snailmaid who couldn’t have children of her own. She was kind and fair to look upon, and had a voice like a lark, but her shell spiraled the wrong way, making it impossible to find a partner.

More than anything, she wanted children of her own. Daily, the snailmaid wept bitter tears under the oldest walnut tree in the woods. A staghorn fern grew in the branches of the old walnut, and everyone knew the fern had a wisdom that could be tapped only by the deepest longing. After a year of tears, the staghorn fern took pity on the snailmaid and directed her to look into the hollow at the base of the tree. There she found two small anemone root cuttings. The fern told her to take them to her garden, plant them under the full moon, and care for them as she would her own children. Confused but determined, the snailmaid followed the fern’s instructions.

Day and night, through the blazing heat of August and the bitter frost of January, she cared for the tender plants the best way she knew how. One morning in early April, the snailmaid sensed a change in the air that could only mean the arrival of spring. She trailed through the garden and gave the anemones a drink from her copper watering can. She closed her eyes to the warmth of the sun and hummed a soft lullaby. The foliage rustled gently below. The snail maid stopped, but the air was still.

The second day, the two anemones had grown enormous buds overnight. They were a deep purple and a delicate pink. The snailmaid watered them, sang to them once more, and a tiny coo drifted up from below. The snail maid peered carefully into the garden, but all was silent and still.

On the third day, she watered them from the copper can, and started her lullaby once again. The leaves of the anemones shook, as though they were tiny arms reaching up impatiently for her. The snail maid ceased her song, and all was silent. Brushing the leaves gently, the snailmaid began to sing again. The leaves grasped onto her fingertip, like the hands of a newborn babe. To her astonishment, the anemone buds began to rapidly unfurl. Soft petals opened to reveal a pair of babies’ faces staring back at her.

“Oh!” Startled, she dropped the watering can and their petals snapped shut. She apologized and made shushing sounds. She petted and cajoled and begged, but the only thing that could coax them back out was the lullaby, so she sang until she was hoarse. She was overjoyed with her new green babies, and spent the night on the ground, curled up next to them in her snug shell.

The snailmaid moved into the garden for good to care for the wee flower babies. The larger one with the velvety purple petals and blond hair she named Abercrombie. He had a quick laugh and a grin full of mischief. The little girl with dark curls and warm pink petals she called Hallie. The girl had the softest voice, and was always on the verge of a yawn.

And there they stayed, the happy family in the garden in the woods, until the end of their days.

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I'm a winner for the Lark on the Park blackboard competition!
So excited---I won the big chalkboard in the main dining room.
It's located at Klyde Warren Park near the Dallas Museum of Art and the Nasher Sculpture Center. They film us while we work, and I'll be drawing from a scaffold, so fingers crossed I stay ON it. :) 
Texas artists compete to have their art in this stellar restaurant in the Dallas Museum District that changes out their huge chalkboards a few times a year. The next installation will be up July 17th.
If you're having a "museum day", stop by to see it!

Wrapping up Assignment Bootcamp 2018

I've completed my Art Bootcamp for 2018-yay! This is my second year to take this course from Lilla Rogers Studio classes, and I learn something new every single time. You get a fresh, professional assignment per month January through May to add to your portfolio. I'm going to miss it!
 

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When Mother's Day is Hard

To everyone who finds Mother's Day difficult, my heart goes out to you. For people who have lost a mother, a child, or a person that felt like a parent, this day can be a painful reminder that their loved one is no longer here. And not everyone has a great relationship with the mothers or children in their life. There's also a lot of anxiety involved for some people over step-families, the inability to have children, or the conscious choice to not be a parent, or sadness related to adoption. To all of you that find Mother's Day challenging, I hope you find some peace today.
(I wrote this a few years ago, but wanted to share it again.)

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New series-"American Agates"

I've been working on a new series of paintings. I'm crazy about geology and maps, so I wanted to combine those passions with this series. I create an acrylic poured under layer to mimic natural stone and gems. I create a very thick, matte textured layer of acrylic and other materials on top to create a silhouette. Then I flood the bottom layer with a high shine coating to give the look of stone. The piece has the feel of a textured topographic map, along with the polish of semiprecious stone.
6" x 6"-$96
8" x 10"-$144
All gallery wrapped canvas-ready to hang, + $10 US shipping
Paintings are available by vising my shop link or emailing me: laurairrgang (at) gmail.com

 

Laura Irrgang speaks at "Drawn to Extremes"

Laura Irrgang Etta Hulme Drawn to Extremes Texas Cartoonist

I had a great time speaking at the University of Texas at Arlington on the panel "Drawn to Extremes: Cartoonists in the Digital Age". It was an honor to share the stage with Bill DeOre, award-winning editorial cartoonist for The Dallas Morning News for 35 years, Ed Owens-reporter and cartoonist, and William "Bubba" Flint-cartoonist for the Dallas Morning News and Dallas Cowboys. Thanks to Samantha Dodd (special collections archivist) for having me on the panel!
It was also a treat to get to see the Etta Hulme exhibit in the Special Collections library. Gifted to the University from the Hulme family, this collection consists of over ten thousand original cartoons, sketches, and other artwork.