Tuesday, December 29, 2009

End of the year and works in progress

The year is coming to an end. I am excited for the new year. I am ready for the mental 'fresh start' although until I organize all my paperwork, I won't feel caught up yet.
The last couple of days have been a bit lazy (as they should be during the holiday!) and I am feeling anxious about teaching. I DO like teaching, and I know things will (should be) fine but I am not used to this much responsibility yet. I realize that I have never been good about working for others, except for the independent book store I worked at before going to England. (Viewpoint in Columbus, IN.) Books make me happy. Doing art and Research makes me happy. I am still constantly searching for the perfect 'job' for me, and I have a feeling I won't find it until I am able to support myself on my own creations.
Lets hope 2009 brings not only productivity, but also a financial boost. (I think everyone is wishing for that last one!)

Moving on to works in progress:
I'm not exact on the size as it is not in front of me currently (I think its a bit larger than 14" x 17"). I started this with the idea of making it like my sketchbook. I let it sit untouched for a few months, unsatisfied with the results. Recently (after realizing my new love of pastel colors and cross-hatch brush strokes) I decided to give it a wash of colors.... and NOW I am excited!

Here is a closeup:

I am enjoying the variety of colors and paint effects.
I am keeping things random and I'm not sure where to take it next. At least I crossed over the first obstacle!
Christmas was small and wonderful. D and I played a lot of games with the family: Contract Rummy (a traditional fave), Blockus: Trigon, Fill or Bust, and Scrutineyes. We all found good gifts for eachother despite everyone feeling the tight strings of the economy. Best of all, we were able to enjoy eachother's company. I wish we had been able to see everyone - and hopefully we can visit D's family in the spring.
Thats all for now! I'll be working on my 'resolutions' soon.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Weird Alphabet and recent inspirations

The Weird Alphabet!
I have started a new series, spinning off from my other new series!
The weird alphabet! This idea has given me an artistic boundary to work within, and allows me to explore my long dormant love of RESEARCH! Thinking about letters, I also wrote a very naughty alphabet poem, but I will keep that secret for now.

The most recent of the new alphabet series is C = Cacophony

"A = Ambiguity" and "B = Blissful" as well as the rest of the new series (sans alphabetical meaning) can be seen on my website under "Sketch-Panel Series"

Recent Happenings and Inspirations

As its December, I will express my love of my favorite Rankin/Bass Christmas special. "The Life and Adventures of Santa Clause". Its one of the most bizarre and beautiful and somewhat pagan Rankin/Bass special, and it RARELY gets played on television. I watched the whole thing on youtube a few days ago - but alas, I checked today to show someone else and it has been removed due to copyright issues. I believe this special should be available somewhere, as it is so rare and most of the people I talk to have never heard of it! Do not be fooled by the animated version (ok, but not as hauntingly interesting) - find the CLAYMATION Rankin/Bass version. I own the movie, and the book - I just realized I have not read the book yet. Check it on IMDB. By the way, even though that is my one true favorite special, I am a fan of all rankin/bass productions (that I've seen so far) - including the wonderful "The Last Unicorn"

Fine art: last Thursday, when I lectured about contemporary art, I realized that I hardly own any books or magazines about 'fine art' - I mainly collect fantasy and horror illustrative art - including periods of art history usually gleamed over quickly in general art history books, if mentioned at all (symbolism, romanticism, pre-raphaelites and sentimental Victorian art, and going further back to Bosch, Bruegel, and any artist that focused on darker and fantastic themes). I am hoping to expand my art book collection now to be more inclusive. (Like I need any more books. for the past year, I have had piles on the floor because I ran out of bookshelf space.) Speaking of books, I recently picked up one of my favorite books that I had never finished previously : "Color: A natural history of the Palette" by Victoria Finlay -written as a travel journal, a woman's quest to find the meaning behind colors.

That is all for now. As usual, I am desperately available for commissions, etc.
This Friday: I will be vending some art at a club event called "Sanctuary" at the Melody Inn Reception Hall, Indianapolis, IN.
This Thursday will be the last day of my very first university teaching job. Its been a tough start, but I think I like it. If I can keep up with the grading.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

New Series of work

Finally, I think I've come to a landing point and found something I can work on quite happily for a while.
People are always admiring my sketchbook and just recently I was able to find the happy medium between my 'art on the wall' and the raw automatic feeling of my sketchbook.
These are all 7.5" x 7.5" mixed media on wood. (also, originals available for $75 + shipping)

"Mental Transmission"

"Conquer Quest Rest Repeat"

"The Secret Garden"

Visit My deviantART gallery for more descriptions of the text and a larger image)

Have a happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Get me to GenCon! And NEW WORK

Greetings Folks!

This year, I went to 2 conventions, but barely scraped by on funds to do it. This year, I want to be ready - My first goal is to make enough art money to buy my table at GenCon. This will be my 3rd year, and I do not want to miss out!
If you are interested in art, or would like to buy something as a GIFT for a friend, you'll be helping me get to GenCon.
For this personal fundraiser, I am offering things at a pretty good price.

I will be making a specific page for available works soon, but in the meantime I will be uploading new images I do - and you can browse my deviantart gallery for most of my works.

I am also accepting commissions. I can of course, do any size/medium you like, but to make it easy I'm starting off with standard sizes and prices. The work tends to be mixed media, so I kept it to a simple 'B&W' or 'Color'. Any other specifications can be made later.
The 5" x 7" come with a frame. Shipping is included.

Small Commissions

If these aren't the specifications you want, send me an message through lydiaburris @ gmail.com (minus the spaces) and we can work something out.

I also have the fun super secret donation art button!!!
you can donate any amount of $ (5 and above) and I will send you art based on the donation value or better!


(but you are allowed to send a hint)

AND NOW TO the most recent works! If you want something, let me know.

Innumerable Dragonflies
5" x 7" acrylic on cardboard paper (for the texture)
Available for $40 (includes shipping and frame)

Sub Terra
5" x 7" ink and colored pencil on brown paper.
Available for $30(includes shipping and frame)

What do you know?
5" x 7" acrylic on cardboard paper (for the texture)
Available for $35 (includes shipping and frame)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Upcoming Shows and updates!

Greetings Bloggers!
A lot has been happening, and I've been forgetting to post here!

About 40 different artists....!
There will also be 6" x 8" original works of art by various artists available for $100, half the proceeds will be donated to Brooke's Place (www.brookesplace.org), a nonprofit organization providing grief and loss support groups and counseling for children and their families.

Click on the image for more information

I will be the first to admit that I am not consistent in art. I do not stick to one thing. I explore and have fun. This quality may or may not deter me from pursuing more illustration jobs. I have been feeling especially disjointed these past few weeks, and as an artist, I'm not sure who I am anymore. I am starting to appreciate and explore abstract work.
My latest exploration involved wood blocks, plaster gauze strips and glass pieces.
I'm not sure what I think yet. These are WORKS in progress.

However, I finally got back to drawing strange faces a few days later. A place of comfort and interest for me. -
A few days ago, I was browsing some fantasy art, and was inspired by Mark A. Nelson
- I love everything about his work, but I was particularly interested (this time) by his color sense and cross hatching. The idea of colorful crosshatching stewed in my brain for a few days until I came up with this:

A larger image can be seen at my deviantART page for now.

That is all the news for now!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Publications and new art

Despite getting addicted to some internet puzzle games this week, I have managed to get some work done! (bejeweled on facebook, 'trapped' on yahoo, last few weeks was 'shape shifter' on yahoo)
Last time I was in the studio (Sunday, I need to go back!), I did a lot of work and started a lot of new pieces. I managed to finish one personal work from my 'Miscellany' series, and at home I finished a commissioned drawing about vampire ducks of apocalypse. (I love bizarre requests!)

But FIRST, I wanted to share a publication I was involved in:
Cutting Block Press's "Butcher Shop Quartet II" - 4 short horror stories. I illustrated the front and back covers, and did 4 inside illustrations. The book is available for $16.99 - Free shipping to anyone in the U.S.! Check out the site HERE

By the way, the stories are really great! I enjoyed reading them and illustrating them.

NEXT: here is one of my new works from my 'Miscellany' series - 8" x 10" mixed media on 300lb hot press paper.


COME See a Holloween Magic Show!

Featuring: Vampire magician - David Alusik (my lovely D), Barry Rice and hosted by Madame Esmerelda Fallendo!!
Theatre on the Square * OCTOBER 27th * Doors at 7 pm
Wear a costume for a $5 discount on the price!
For more info click HERE!

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Hallelujah! The studio is already having an awesome affect on me. I spent over 6 hours in there today makin stuff. I gessoed out the wazoo, I worked on 4 new pieces, I cut up thick paper into six 8" x 10" pieces and three 5" x 7". When I got home, I worked on one 8" x 10" piece with watercolors and pens to near completion, using a reference for a figure...
I am VERY excited, and I just can't hide it, I'm about to lose control and I think I like it. *breaks into dance*
WHY am I excited? Without the separate studio, I felt like I could work on art at ANY time, which also meant I could put it OFF at any time too. It has also been a while since I've been able to work for such LONG hours! Usually I get distracted at about hour 2, and go do something else in the house - but its about at hour 2 that I start getting really good ideas!
I will post pictures soon.


I made butternut squash soup yesterday with crab meat. I have never TOUCHED a butternut squash before, but I was CRAVING the soup badly... so I figured it out and it was a success! Now I just have to figure out how to more easily cut up a butternut squash.


The Juniper berries are attacking. Run!

Friday, October 9, 2009

New Studio happiness

Today has been great.
Despite the COLD and WET outside from 2 days of rain, I finally made it to my new art studio at the Stutz building. D came along and we got there right at 6:00, the time the building closes. This was actually good, because it forced me to find out the procedures for how to enter the building after-hours. The night guard controls the garage door for car access (temporary for unloading stuff), and then I had to find the right doors with key-card access after I parked on the street. I've never used a key-card before, its new to me, kinda sci-fi.
I DO get internet - which is great in many ways - one of the things I was thinking of trying was setting up a small web cam and streaming live video while painting.

I brought some more items, arranged everything, and started painting. I worked on a large painting I had started month's before - it now looks like a rainbow that ran into a briar patch and exploded. I forgot the camera, so pictures will come later!
I also stretched canvas on some small wood blocks, and gessoed them.

This is really going to help with my SELF DRIVE.

We left around 11:00 (5 hours!)



thats all for now.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Tomorrow I can get my key for the Stutz Studio building! I am very excited.
WHEN I have the studio, there will be portrait sessions. There will be strange art makings and weird art happenings. There will be creative experiments, colorful failures, and exciting successes.
AND its in walking distance to the main downtown library. *JOY!*

I have recently revived my interest in my oil paints.
While working on the second Cthulhu-esque commission, I drifted off into that intense art state where time did not register. I painted until I was FINISHED, and realized that it was 3:30 am and I had not yet eaten dinner. I have not felt that state of art for a while, and I was so excited. I think I am ready to do some serious artwork.
Here is the outcome of that art session:

Recent EVENTS:
Yesterday was a big day for being social. First there was the 'Goth Picnic' - a different sort of social event for the goth and alternative community in Indianapolis. Finally, a chance to converse with my fellow darklings, rather than shouting at eachother in a nightclub. It was at the IMA gardens, I did NOT realize they had that much property in the garden! I shall have to return when I feel the need to escape the city and take pretty pictures. The day was chilly and the skies threatened rain with dark clouds, yet it did not rain. Perfect day for a goth picnic!
That EVENING, we attended 'vampire' themed club event (the theme was loose, but the cover was discounted if you were wearing fangs). A good night of music, sticking glow sticks in our noses, discovering a new tolerable energy drink ('Roaring Lion' or something) and of course, being social. It was good to see some out of town friends as well. :)

Friday, D and I attended a FREAK show at the library! The Blue Monkey Sideshow. A man hanging a bowling ball form his ears, someone lays on a bed of nails... I was quite impressed with the man walking, jumping, laying his hands and even his FACE (while a patron STEPPED ON HIS HEAD) all on a pile of broken GLASS. Very cool. And of course, there was Z'ja Dega and his human blockhead routine (we missed his 'through the tennis racket' act), and the ever impressive CREMBO - one of the best MC/Barkers I've ever heard. (who also does his own tricks when called upon) I need to upload some photos!

Today: I am dedicating to grading papers. Ahhh Teaching. Maybe a bit of art later.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cthulhuesque and other things

Today has been full of all sorts of things.
First of all, I took a trip to the Indianapolis Museum of Art to prepare for my Ivy Tech class tomorrow. (art appreciation) I am creating a scavanger hunt worksheet to fill out.
While there I discovered a whole new section I had forgotten about, tucked away in the European art, up some beautiful stairs - before I had dismissed the area as being connected to the 2nd floor elsewhere and did not bother to climb them - turns out that small upstairs area was exclusive to the EU art area. A while collection of J.M.W. Turner drawings, many when he was a student! Really cool stuff. I wish I had more time so I could study them in detail. Maybe one of these days I'll actually go to the IMA for myself, and look at just ONE section, in depth. And maybe stare at the Hieronymus Bosch paintings for an hour too.

ANYWAY. I thought I would post my progress on a small painting I'm working on.
I have a private commission to paint 2 Cthulhu paintings, 5" x 7". After days of thinking and sketching and brainstorming, I finally came up with 2 ideas. The first one I've been working on is somewhat complex. (for so small)

The INTERESTING part is, this is the VERY first painting I've attempted in oil that is both FANTASY and has actual DEPTH. (A definable background, and not just splatters or a flat design.) There are a lot of reasons I've not done this before - first of all, I have trouble with depth backgrounds - I usually stick to interesting flat or abstract backgrounds. The second - having to do with oil - for the longest time, I had a 'purist' block with oils - forbidding me to use oils for anything other than painting from life. I was trained on oils that way, and anything I tried from my imagination just looked terrible. (this is in oils only! I have no block with any other media) So, its worth mentioning that this piece is a great building block for me. Perhaps one of the final nails in the 'purist' coffin. Speaking of purist painters, while I was at the IMA, I bumped into one of my painting professors from IU. THE purist - but I do not say that as an insult. She was a genius, and I learned some of my best skills from her. She also doesn't seem to enjoy running into past students... it was a quick conversation.

Onward, to the posting.

The drawing and the work in progress.

The final (I've done a few touches since then, like adding some darker waves behind him)

(all images copyrighted by Lydia Burris, Sept. 2009)

This is based on brief reading of the Cthulhu descriptions early in the H.P. Lovecraft book, along with the city of R'lyeh. (my own interpretation, of course)

That is all for now. its time for my past midnight snack. I was supposed to make soup tonight but I forgot.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Art vs. Art - My creation LIVES!

Tonight was the main event for ART vs. ART! Thank you to everyone who voted for me online, at the event, and Screaming for support!

I was reminded of roman battles to the death - the bloodthirsty crowd cheering on the death of beautiful works! Another friend compared it to the "Flesh Circus" scene in the movie "AI"!

I made it to the top 32 (thank you online voters) and at the event, I made it on stage with the top 16! However, I was .2 decibel points away from making it to round 2. THAT is not a failure at all! The WHEEL of DEATH was spun, and I barely missed INSTANT DEATH! *EEP!* (the two previous paintings, including MY favorite - were DESTROYED by instant death! oh no!) My wheel of death option landed on "Cleave it to Beaver" - but first was the auction opportunity - and after holding my breath, it was FINALLY SAVED!

hurrah! It is now in the possession of the wonderful people who own Urban Optics - a kickass eyeglass shop and gallery, they are also currently housing some of my art on the wall!

Time for me to go to bed, its past 4:00 am. Stay tuned for more posts to come, I am enjoying how blogger works!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The beginning of everything

I just started this blog... mainly to watch other blogs. However I may transfer my blog to here eventually...
Currently at lj - http://zyphryus.livejournal.com/

Check out my art: