Category Archives: My Favorite Things

My Favorite Things – The Cleaning Ladies of My Youth

Actually, there was only ONE I really remember.  Her name was Fernanda and she worked for my aunt in the little town of Algueirão outside Lisbon, Portugal.  While we played with her daughter (who was close in age to me and my sister), Fernanda cleaned…

And cooked.

(She was pretty tolerant of our antics, but when we crossed the line, she’d come after us with her slipper.)

But at the end of the day, there was always laughter and plenty of hugs!

(Illustrations © Joana Miranda)

 

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Filed under art, cartoon illustration, drawing, funny art, humorous illustration, illustration, My Favorite Things, New work, practicing drawing, Quick Sketch

My Favorite Things – Snapshots from Goose Pond, New Hampshire

It’s hard to believe that our vacation is coming to a close.  We’ve had spectacular weather, oh-so-many delicious meals, and lots of opportunities to just rest and play.  In fact, I’ve been spending so much time doing all of the above that I  pretty much forgot to pull out my camera.  Sometimes really being in the moment is the best medicine!

And when I’m back in the grind of work in the city, I plan to pull out these photos and give myself permission to dream again…

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My Favorite Things – Boating on the Hudson

(Which, by the way, happens  for us about once in a blue moon!)

But we lucked out last week with an invitation to  dinner, along with a boat ride on the Hudson.  Even better, the weather was sublime AND we even had a full moon.  So, from the middle of the Hudson somewhere near Tarrytown, NY, here’s what life looked like on Sunday…

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Filed under My Favorite Things, nature, New York, photography, travel photography

My Favorite Things – The Early Fruits of Summer

I’ve had a hectic two weeks – including playing 14 Wicked shows and a trio concert in Vermont – so tonight I am relishing having a teeny breather before we head off to Saratoga, NY for more fun with New York City Ballet.  Escaping the heat and noise of the Big Apple is quite welcome at this time of year.  Speaking of fruit, my appetite was piqued on my short stay last weekend with my mom in her cottage in New Hampshire.

Here’s what’s flourishing in her garden right now…

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My Favorite Things – Coming Up With a Cartoon: A Step By Step Guide

Single panel gag cartooning is a challenging yet rewarding process on many levels.  For those of my fans who are curious how I work, here’s my step-by-step guide for creating cartoons:

  • Start with a strong emotion (anger, exasperation, love, surprise, jealousy, oblivion, etc.)  The more personal to your own experience, the better.
  • Google the emotion and read multiple articles taking note of any interesting phrases, words, or descriptions you come across. (I find that Googling “Huffington post + a phrase that includes my emotion word” is often a good place to start.)

  • *Search for synonyms, antonyms or words that rhyme with your key words.
  • *Look for “play on word” possibilities.
  • *Be open to letting your mind wander.  You may be surprised where you end up!
  •  *Research any potential cartoon themes using the Google IMAGE search to make sure your cartoon idea hasn’t already been done.

*These steps sometimes take me days and LOTS of note taking.  I keep my notes on my computer in a “Cartoon Gag” word document.  It’s important to have a record of your process since you never know when a discarded idea might jog your funny bone…

  • Sketch out your cartoon idea lightly in pencil.
  • Revise.  Scan your sketch into a photo-editing program (or hold it up to a light) so that you can see the reverse image of the sketch.  You’ll be amazed how many flaws you see when you reverse the sketch.
  • Ink over your final pencil sketch.
  • Choose a color palette.  For cartoons for publication, I stick with either black and white line drawings, or shades of gray.  For my shop at Etsy I have more leeway to introduce pops of color.
  • Pat yourself on the back.  Not only have you stretched your brain and your creative eye, but you’ll probably find that the strong emotion you started out with is now transformed…therapy doesn’t get much cheaper than that!

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Filed under art, cartoon illustration, drawing, education, funny art, humorous illustration, illustration, inspiration, Joana Miranda Studio, Joana Miranda Studio at Etsy, My Favorite Things, New work, pen and ink, techniques, Tool Box

My Favorite Things – Flowers, Of Course

With so much work on my plate this spring, there were almost no opportunities for outings with my camera.  So I welcomed having a free afternoon today to walk over to the Conservatory Garden to see what’s blooming.  Needless to say, it was a feast for my eyes and for my camera.

Enjoy!

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My Favorite Things – Springtime in Central Park

Spring comes without fail every year, yet I still find myself always amazed when the trees burst into flower and Central Park becomes a riot of colors.

Even though the skies were grey yesterday, here’s what I saw when I took my afternoon stroll  in the park…

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Filed under My Favorite Things, nature, New York, photography