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Illustrator Moons Own Work, Achieves Brilliant Effect

May 8, 2014

May 15, 2014 Update: The essay referenced below, After The Fall by Matthew Fogarty,
has been posted on The Rumpus. To see it, click here.

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I just completed some illustrations for The Rumpus, for an essay which hasn’t been posted yet.

The essay was written in stream of consciousness format, and jumps from one thought to another. I decided to do an illustration based on the following passage:


Summers, we’d go to our family’s cottage, an old green-painted cabin built on an eroding sandhill above Lake Erie. The hill had been blown out from under parts of
the house, including the bedroom I slept in. We called the room “Precipice.”


Here’s the Before shot:

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House balanced precariously on precipice point of mountain, guy sleeping in bed which is hanging out window, night sky with stars but no moon

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And here’s what it looked like after I “mooned” it. No wonder I have a reputation for brilliance… : )

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House balanced precariously on precipice point of mountain, guy sleeping in bed which is hanging out window, night sky with stars and big moon framing teetering house, mountain goat on side of steep mountain

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Have you ever lived in a summer cottage that’s seen better days?

Ever been up high enough to see a real live mountain goat?

Have you ever slept in a bed hanging out a window??

Hope you’ll leave a comment.

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Other Posts You Might Enjoy:


My, What Big Sand Traps You Have, Grandma: Mason Rudolph Tribute

How To Dye A Die Using Photoshop Blending Modes And Layer Masks

About Face: Some Thoughts On Redesigning My About Page

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18 Comments leave one →
  1. May 8, 2014 11:09 AM

    Your illustration paints quite the picture. I think I have been in a deteriorating cottage but not hanging out in a bed like that. Scary!


    • May 12, 2014 4:04 PM

      Say, maybe I could hire out to real estate companies to make certain properties look a lot more “fun” than they really are: Precipice House: a true “peak” experience, where you’ll get plenty of fresh air– especially while you’re sleeping!!

      Or… maybe not. Thanks, Leslie– good to see you! : )


  2. May 8, 2014 1:01 PM

    With a moon that bright, would so many stars be visible? 😉


    • May 13, 2014 3:31 PM

      Arrgghh! That’s it– I’m withdrawing my application for membership in the Galactic Astronomy Club… : (

      Right you are, sir! I should have put twice as many stars in the Before picture, cut them back by half in the After picture, and dimmed down the remainder. Oh, well– I’m gonna blame the whole thing on the Northern Lights or an alien invasion– or something!! : )

      I appreciate your keen eye, thanks as always for stopping by!


  3. May 8, 2014 1:49 PM

    Of course the brilliance is evident and I would accept nothing less from the master himself!
    This house is giving me the shakes! I have lived in a secluded shack with no electricity but it stood well on the ground. As I come from a seismogenic country I would avoid anything of the sort!!!! 😉


    • May 13, 2014 3:40 PM

      My dear Marina! Your wonderful comment has shaken me to my seismic core!! (And they were exceedingly good vibrations!!)

      As a great artist, naturally you’ve lived a spartan existence, eschewing comforts, living only for your art– so I’m not surprised to hear you’ve lived in a secluded shack. I wish I’d known. I’d have had some satin pillows and caviar sent over… : )

      Thanks for brightening my canvas, and please be careful traipsing around up there on Mount O.!! : )


  4. May 8, 2014 11:56 PM

    Well I slept outside on the rooftop of a 3 story inn on a Greek island. The summer air was dry, no mosquitoes. Could hear the Mediterranean ocean.

    Oh yea, it was $15.00Can per night for the 3 of us.


    • May 14, 2014 7:30 AM

      Wow! Sleeping on a rooftop in the summer, drifting off to the sound of the surf instead of the whine of mosquitos– sounds so idyllic, Jean! And all for $5 Can per person?? Please don’t tell me you woke up to the smell of fresh coffee and pastries– I’ll die of jealousy!! : )


      • May 14, 2014 11:18 PM

        I could imagine you doing a cartoon of this one, dancing in the middle of night on roof by the ocean. Truth was, at the time, I was so overwhelmed by cultural change and tired, that I just snored away.

        I haven’t yet seen the wild white long haired mountain goats in the Rocky Mountains which are in our province.

        Another unexpected experience was going on top of Mauna Kea, a dead volcano mountain on Big Hawai’i Island. To see the stars at the U.S. Observatory (federal govn’t run). It was truly thrilling…it was like the whole night sky was thick with stardust. I had never seen so many stars all at once. Without telescope. It is one of the top spots on Earth to see the stars at night.


        • May 19, 2014 2:10 PM

          Ha! Thanks, Jean. Boy, that’s the truth: we sleep thru some experiences just because we’re utterly exhausted by the time we get there!

          I’ve biked both the U.S. Rockies and the Canadian Rockies, and don’t recall ever seeing a mountain goat. If one had chased me on my bicycle, I suspect I would have set a new personal speed record!!

          Your star-gazing experience sounds fantastic. I don’t think you can top a clear starry night for conjuring a sense of wonder. It’s such a staggering sight, some people even forget to take a picture of it with their phones… : )


  5. May 9, 2014 10:28 PM

    We have stayed in a few summer cottages – in Canada and in Upstate New York. None quite like the one you illustrated, thank heaven. Love this, Mark.


    • May 14, 2014 9:53 AM

      Many thanks, my dear Judy! Glad to hear your summer cottages were more firmly anchored. As a bullet-dodging reporter for a great Upstate New York metropolitan newspaper, you spent quite enough time “living on the edge.” No need to vacation the same way!! : )


  6. June 11, 2014 11:09 AM

    Moonlight becomes you 🙂
    Hey, I grew up in almost exactly the opposite. In a house half diggered into the church hill. My bed did not hang out of the window, but the house was so close to the main street that it was always like the trucks were driving cross the kitchen.


    • June 26, 2014 5:46 PM

      My dear Tutti!!– you are truly The Mischievous Moonbeam of the Rhineland!! Your witty comments are in a class by themselves– and so, most emphatically, are you!! : )

      I’m trying to picture you as a young fräulein, sitting at the breakfast table, with trucks driving thru the kitchen. I see you calmly grabbing a can from a passing milk truck, and pouring it on your Bratwurst Flakes cereal. I’m convinced that even at a young age, you knew how to make the best of a situation… : )

      Always so good to see you– may your bratwurst flakes never get soggy!! : )


      • June 28, 2014 10:27 AM

        Ha Ha Ha 😀 Your brain works obviously similar to mine. Everything is instantly a picture.The key difference is that you really draw!
        My dog is so entusiastic since you’ve mentioned the bratwurst flakes he doesn’t stop wagging anymore.
        I’ll see if find some sauerkraut, then I could invite you to a typical german beakfast.


        • July 17, 2014 8:34 PM

          Great minds think alike– that makes us doubly dangerous… : )

          Has your dog’s tail stopped wagging yet? No? Maybe on warm days you could use him for a fan, and save on electricity!! : )

          Breakfast with Tutti… now there’s a delightful thought! I must be prepared in case this opportunity ever presents itself. So from now on, I’m going to sprinkle sauerkraut on my corn flakes, eggs, pancakes, oatmeal, toast, donuts, and ice cream– yum!! : P


  7. September 16, 2014 11:35 AM

    Wonderful illustration! 🙂 Thanks for sharing.


    • September 16, 2014 7:04 PM

      That lovely comment was like the smell of fresh-baked cookies– delicious! Many thanks for your kindness, and for visiting the Armstrong Kitchen! : )


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