Sunday, January 30, 2011

Day 28 and 29 - back to visuals and rant on sensationalism

Finally I was able to get my art on.

I think when I'm mid-way though some commissions, I avoid working on them because I'm stuck, but I avoid workin on my own art because I'd feel guilty for not working on the commissions, and then I'm stuck doing pointless things like playing minesweeper and clicking aimlessly through the internet.

Day 29 - I finished the main image for a tarot card commission, did a little aceo and filled some sketch pages. I'll wait to post the tarot image until I've heard back from my patron (and I need to make a border and label for it too)
In the meantime, enjoy these!

2.5" x 3.5" aceo, ink and acrylic - available for $9
somewhat inspired by Dave McKean's style in the "Arkham Asylum" comic book.

sketchbook. Includes a dream about large carpet beetle larvae.

Small rant about public taste, instant gratification and Sensationalism!

- I also saw part of a new show, where people have 30 seconds to impress an audience with their awesome talent. Kinda like 'America's got Talent' only, without the constructive criticism. This is pure instant gratification sensationalism. Lets cut out the art, lets cut to the chase and immediately share the punch line, show the grand finale, and get to the peak of the story. Where is the fun in that? No wonder public taste is horrible - no one knows how to appreciate the process, the building up to, and the gentle art of just being creative. Instead we have people that are immediately judgemental on first appearances and demand constant entertainment from those around them. I'm somewhat horrified, but hey, on a shallow day it could be amusing.
Miscellaneous and Inspirations
--- Quote of the day from work "the more influences you have, the more original your work is"
--- Watching my favorite show on tv - "Fringe" - how can this not be inspiring! fave quote: "after all, we do share 50% of our DNA with a banana." - Walter
--- Watched the movie "UP" - I am reminded of how much the concept of 'nostalgia' makes me cry. a LOT.
--- Watched the first half of "The Fountain" on Netflix - very surreal movie - I remember reading the graphic novel illustrated by one of my favorite artists, Kent Williams. I am interested to see how the story progresses in live action. So far its done very well! very wondrous visuals!
-I was directed to the interesting giant wood weaving work of Patrick Dougherty - Link.
- I was also directed to the performance art of Marina Abramović - some very bawlsy and dangerous work, creepy at times, such as laying out 70 objects for anyone to use on her how they wish while she remained passive for 6 hours- some that could be pleasurable, some that could be painful, including a gun with one bullet. Interesting but batshit crazy way to study the human mind. I Read about it at the Wikipedia link.

Learn more about Marina Abramović on the page about her: >>Click here <<
I find it wonderful to look in all sorts of places for inspiration. There are even more things I mentally ingested in these 2 days, but I can't share them all!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Day 25, 26, 27 - lots of rambling

The past 3 days have been full of art but not a lot of visuals to share until I get the ok from finished commissions.
Commissions and Projects
I worked on a portrait and a logo commission
I also worked on a narrative project and spent hours ranting on the difficulty finding the correct references to match my visions.
Along with this struggle, I also had the revelation (again) that I need to do more studies... of everything! I sometimes curse my fine art training for not teaching us specifically how to draw cloths, technology, buildings, cars, etc. Granted, they did teach me how to paint from life and how to mix colors like a pro. Technically, if I know how to paint and draw from life, I should be able to draw anything right? Well, sorta. I feel like I am beginning my training from scratch and on my own when it comes to illustrative works.

bat ears
On one of those days, I went home to bury Leo. Dad, Dave and I gave him a proper funeral and I did a little drawing to bury with him. I drew a picture of him with large ears and a pic of me (with long hair) and him eating my hair. I wrote "You always did have bat ears. Love, Always." Leo was a cat that never went in for sappy stuff, so that was appropriate. While dad covered the grave with dirt, I read from the 'good book' (the sketchbook that was in my hand anyway) - I found a random passage about Horace Walpole coining the term 'Serendipity' and creating the quote "The world is a comedy to those that think, and a tragedy to those that feel"

I looked at a cocophony of things to help inspired me...
2 books by Patrick Woodroffe, "Arkham Asylum" comic illustrated by Dave McKean (awesome!), The Etsy site of Sandra Arteaga, a host of people I watch at deviant art (but no specifics this time), PES animations (western spaghetti is my fave, and 'the deep' is pretty awesome too.), Concept art from "The Time Machine" (more recent version movie)

worked out my art MILEAGE for my taxes! woohoo!! roughly 4633.2 miles were traveled in the name of art last year. (and only 50 of that is misc stuff I didn't really have a record for)

Who designs this stuff? I will just repost what I said on facebook yesterday:
"Dear Hanes and Fruit of the Loom art department: I find the graphics on walmart napkins more appealing than the horrid designs you put on your women's underwear. Just because they are the cheap packs of underwear does not mean you have to make us feel embarrased to even look at them."
How does one go about designing underwear? I'd like to see some of MY designs on underwear!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Day 24 of art - the rhyming edition


Early day.

Some aceo play

Dave encouraged me to entwine art with thoughts of Valentine.
(2.5" x 3.5" available at Etsy for $9 each, isn't that a peach?)

While working in the morn,
some sketches not of porn.
(so I'm in a mood to rhyme, you cannot tell me thats not a crime!)

I must admit a small defeat
The Spectrum deadline I didn't meet
It would have been really keen,
to be included in number eighteen.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Day 22 and 23 - random tidbits and study

Here is the most interesting thing from the last 2 days, visually.

In a sketchbook too large to travel around with, but handy for studies.
Pose found while browsing deviantArt stock - I added the tentacles.

Saturday was spent at the Winter Magic Festival, where I enjoyed a great production involving 6 shows and about 12 magicians, 2 assistants, and lots of fun. Produced by Taylor Martin with the help of Indy Fringe. My guy helped out and I did the logo so we got to see everything!! I didn't do much art, but I did do a quick sketch of Taylor Martin doing a rope trick dressed as his colonial character (first page). Also other random sketchy stuff.

Sunday was spent at home, trying to stay awake and failing ... but at least I got study in (the tentacle character at the top.)

I also sent a query to 'Seawhite of Brighton' brand sketchbooks (jumbo square black cloth binding),asking how many they could send me for under $150. The only sketchbooks I love and they have to be from England. to send one book, the shipping + 17% international tax would be about 4 or 5 times the cost of the book and put me back about $40. Adding more books tends to cheapen the shipping. I can't afford it right now, but I am going through withdraw and I have a few people interested in pitching in. I suppose its cheaper than a plane ticket. >.<
here, have a hand.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Day 21 - oil study and more focus on hair changes

The day was actually quite productive, but most of it, I'm not sharing yet visually, so here's what I am sharing - an oil study of myself with the new doo. Freshly washed and softly settled onto my head. I do have terribly straight hair.

No, I'm not depressed, I just don't make any facial expressions when doing a self portrait study.
I found some old paper thick paper I had previously painted on, but the texture was going nowhere, so I decided to use it for a study. I already had my oils out for another project.

Ok. Most of the time, my colors are vibrant and drastic. Especially when I work with mixed media on Yupo or something. But when I was learning how to paint at school, I was using oils for the first time, and I was trained to paint from life. I have a very hard taking oils out for a walk in my own recent styles. This was just a study, so I'm not critiquing this little piece as being 'DULL', but it makes me want to try a few more experiments in steering oils toward my own current visual standards. I have tried this a few times, - I've had ~some~ success... but Of course, my training comes in very handy when I need to paint a portrait!

More sketchbook ponderings

Other work
*I am finishing up a commission right now - made a few changes and it is looking pretty good.

*Also, I did some work on the ~comic~ thing I'm doing - I watched the movie "Brooklyn's Finest" to get some references on how police outfits are formed, and that was a much better idea than scraping the images from google search. Granted, I also got stuck for 2 hours getting sucked into the movie, and doing random sketches from it for my own good.
Netflix + printscreen is a very useful tool for getting references and ideas for images!
I stuck together drawings, sketches and my own photo references to formulate how I'm going to lay out the panels on a page. This method seems to make me feel less overwhelmed at the prospect. Why am I having such a hard time doing narrative?! its getting easier. I have to put my perfectionist and anxious thoughts aside like "what if people see this and say 'this girl has no idea what a car, or a police outfit or a building really looks like, she sucks!'" OUT DAMN THOUGHTS! that's what study is for!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Day 20, in memory of the cat

King Leodegrance has frolicked from this world and into the next.
Or rather, Leo. I named him when I was 13 or 14 and felt he needed a grand kingly lion like name.

17 years of life, lived well, and he passed on at home, cared for by my parents.

I did a drawing, dedicated to him, and it is an extension of my doodle from the day before- the idea that my head will float away with short hair - and where does it go? you shall see.

I did the drawing with sumi ink (it could be better but I was just having fun here) and digital coloring and textures from previously scanned in paintings.

Also, I realized that I have a hard time drawing myself as a character with short hair. Ha!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Day 19 of art and self drive

commission work
Further along on the portrait... another snippit!

live changes

Sometimes one needs a little change.
Something to reinvent oneself... and yes it does tend to inspire new ideas.
I got a hair cut.
This may not seem like something so drastic... but it is, sorta.

Sketch inspired by something a friend said.

I have had long hair since I can remember. I had it cut to my chin once in high school, and let it grow out again after that. For many years, it has been about 2 feet long. I was nearly able to sit on my hair. For a long time I considered my long hair such a strong part of my personality, but over the past year I started to tire of it for many reasons. Now, the longest part of my hair is about 3 inches! I don't even regret the loss because I was ready for it to go. I have never been able to run my fingers through my hair and experience the full potential of a head scritchy. And being low maintenance, I don't have to worry about forgetting to brush it. But at the same time, I think I will have fun styling it and choosing a new color and playing with it as it grows. Very new and refreshing.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Day 18 -

Physical art took a backseat today, and when that happens, I focus on the mental aspect of creativity. I plot and theorize and ponder. Where is my art going, what themes am I running with now, where do my inspirations come from?

I will sit, staring into space while a cocophony of half formed images pass through my mind - a brainstorming of color and form, light, shadows and fog - it feels like I'm reaching into a side dimension of pure creative energy. I see a lot of reoccurring images and ideas, perhaps these will someday worm their way into a painting.

I also thought about stories and narrative. I have tried writing in the past. I consider my writing to be good, but I have no ... 'glue' to make things coherent. My writing is surreal, segmented, and occasional. I have ideas for stories and an interest in writing bizarre little vignettes, and perhaps they will surface someday, but for now it is a skill I do not practice.
However, I was reading Dave McKean's "Pictures that Tick"

There are fun little written vignettes here accompanied by images. This inspired me.
I started pondering how I might take the art I have and either write a simple story to accompany them, or how I might create some images to go along with some ideas I could write into words. Not all of them would make sense, but not everything in "Pictures that Tick" made sense either. It was personal and beautiful.
I might just try my hand at something like this in the future.

I'm thinking about getting his other book "Cages".

I did spend a small time brainstorming another commission in my sketchbook. I find no harm posting it at this stage.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Day 17 art art art along

Day 17 -
Worked on the commission for a magician portrait.
here is a ~snippit~

Then, inspired by using up some extra paint, I did a 5" x 7" on book paper.

available for $25.

Inspirations and Distractions
More minesweeper and sliders episodes. my 2 current addictions.

But today I work and have no more time to ramble.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Day 16 - last minute digital BUG

I wasn't sure if I would get much done today. But, last minute, I did!

The bug was all drawn/painted in Photoshop, reference from a 'long horned grasshopper' photo I took at the Cambridge England natural history museum. The background is some of my own paint texture (I often scan art in when its in the abstract stage, to use for digital works)

The struggle of trying to produce daily and other things in life.
other: visited home to see my family. Granted, I love 'other' because family is good and we played games and had good (intelligent, funny & strange) conversation.

I arrived home late, had dinner, watched an episode of sliders and tended to a headache that was (finally) subsiding. I wasn't really in the mood for art, but I decided to try something digital and I got carried away. Good thing I started! Now my headache is almost gone and I feel so much better having done something pretty today. (the bug)

I also did a quick sketch of my cat when I was visiting home.

I may have seen my cat Leo for the last time. He is not long for this world. He is a very feeble old man cat.
I didn't want to take a picture of him, he looked so scruffed up and skinny, but I felt compelled to have at least one more image of him, so I opted for a drawing. ... he didn't want to stay in one place.
Poor guy.

Day 15 of art for art sake

Most of the day was mainly a rambling mass of mental goo. Finally before bed I did some body and experimental color studies in my sketchbook.

The trees are a playful attempt to see what happens with pink, yellow, white, black, and red ochre.
For the figure: the background colors came first, then the sketch in pencil and bic pen, then the blue colors on top. acrylic. blue colored pencil for some shadows. The reference came from deviantart stock page: KristabellaDC3.

I also went back to a previous page and added in background color. Just because I felt like it.

OH yeah. Almost forgot. I also did a bit of organizing so I can keep up with commissions and projects. I have a newly cleared bulletin cork board - and have pinned little notes to it for each thing I'm working on and its progress. Just for fun, here is my format:

* I went back to browse the art of Nomi Chi -one of my favorite artists. Mainly her sketchbook work, but I love all of it!

* COMPLETED LOST SEGMENT OF FANTASIA.... collaboration between Disney and SALVADOR DALI!!! "Destino" GO WATCH HERE!
Beautiful and Inspiring!!!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Day 14 - And now for something completely different

Lets not paint today and say we did!

First of all, I am hungering to do another stop-motion animation. I found a good place in the
living room to set something up. This will serve at the background and 'set'.

The objects you see here are various things in my collection I've found at used shops, and the little creatures are mainly mom's creations. (Catherine Burris) I like to feature them in my few animations.
I have lots of ideas, not sure which one's I'm going to use or not.
I need to make some figures and things to move around and just see what happens. I'm thinking of making something in the context of advertising for an upcoming horror convention I'll be at - to give me focus. If you havn't noticed, most of my work is surreal and nonsensical, I have a hard time sticking with concrete subjects.

Stuff from my own current sketchbook.

My attempt at an angry strong woman crouching down - challenging pose with no reference...

I help out with a drawing class. When I'm not needed I covertly sketch student faces. Sometimes they get transformed, sometimes they get eaten by alien flora.

Fashion FAIL
Ok. I've recently gotten into sewing. I bought a sewing machine mainly to aid in my wacky creations as another art tool - the freehand embroidery setting is great. I have also been craving making strange cloths.
I recently acquired a wicker manniquin - something my family has had for years, and I borrowed it to use as a dress dummy, possibly for a vest idea. This wicker person is lopsided and when my cat Leo was a kitten (16 years ago?) he used to play inside of it. (the legs open to a hollow body)
I have some great ideas, but ... the random wayward haphazard way I paint cannot be applied to cloth... I decided to hand sew some old scrap jeans and tshirt together to create this awesome pile of poop you see in the picture. I may continue to make it worse... it is a learning process after all. I also learned that once you sew something around the belly of the wickerwoman, you cannot take it off again. Basic geometry and physics oops. DOH!

other stuff

-I worked on a small logo commission. As always, will post when done.
-More distractions with MineSweeper.... I'm determined to win on expert. my best so far is down to 17 of 99 bombs.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Day 13!

Today is a late post due to actual paid work! Yay!

Yesterday (the 13th of January) I finished up the Sketchbook Project sketchbook and sent it off today.

I did a few more quick painted pages to finish it off, but all I need to post here is the front cover (previously done) the intro page, one more inside page, and the back cover.

Everything else was documented and saved and I'm glad its done. Fun project to be a part of but I'm not in a hurry to participate again.

more minesweeper. bah!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Day 12 of art!

Again, the first have of the day was full of ZZzzzzzs and snow. Barometric pressure
knockin me down? daytime = not the right time? Either way, I didn't get creative till

New mixed media work on Yupo. 8" x 10"
available for $75.
the reference used is from my favorite stock/model artist "Voivodess" on deviantArt.

I scumbled acrylic on the page, drew the figure in pencil, added splatters and drips and redrew the figure with big pen. I wiped away the area I was unhappy with (side of face), redrew it in red bic pen and now she looks even more otherworldly / shifting in different realities.

The other work I did today was commission related. I am doing a magician portrait.
Using photo references, I came up with a drawing, and then scanned it in to move
the elements around to come up with a more balanced and dynamic image. I did
some digital coloring to get a feel for the real colors I will use in paint. It was after
doing this drawing that I felt warmed up for the yupo piece you see above.
When I finish the portrait, I will post it with work-in-progress images with
permission of the buyer.
In the meantime, here is a snippit!

-The Time Machine (older movie)
-Pickles and amaretto.
- Sliders (watching season 4, even though I told myself to stop after the last
horrible episodes from season 3. The writing has improved despite the loss of 2
great characters)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Day 11

Day 11 -
I am pleased.
A few of my seeds are starting to sprout, and I've got some nibbles on
commissions. My (general) rule is no details until I'm finished. 2 are magic related though.

My favorite from today was a sketch I started at work:

This in inspired by the effects of 'Quiddity' in Clive Barkers "The Great and Secret Show" Quiddity is a sea in a place of dreaming, and seems to transform the outward appearance to match their inner essence at the time, or so it would seem. ('the essence of a thing' is the definition of the word 'Quiddity' and now I know why he chose to use that name for the sea.)

What better way to demonstrate the twisted effect quiddity has by making a twisted version of my Quiddity sketch!

(in my current sketchbook) I stuck it in the scanner and twisted it around while scanning.

I forgot that I did an ACEO during my 2 days of not-much-art. how could I forget?

mixed media on watercolor paper 2.5" x 3.5"
available for $9 if interested

Today I did another one.

mixed media on watercolor paper 2.5" x 3.5"
available for $9 if interested

Both are a previously painted watercolor paper that I cut into smaller sizes.

Do you feel the need to eat or drink something while creating?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Day 9 and 10 - mostly white noise, some humor

After 3 weeks of no working and staying up to ungodly hours in the morning (5, 5:30, 6...) - I had an 8am work day. There was no way I was going to go to bed early ... so I decided to just reset by staying up ALL night, and going to bed early tonight so I can get back on a more regular schedule.
Its working. Its midnight and I'm exhausted finally.
Unfortunately, I didn't make any masterpieces.
Over the past 2 days, I did make some doodles in my sketchbook not really worth posting but I will anyway, was inspired by some hats (a friend of mine has gotten into millinery - check out The Deviant Hatter on Etsy), and created something humerous in photoshop not to be undone by lack of art for these 2 days.

Sometimes I wish my toes could chat with me.

And then some sketches where I've been writing some notes.

The notes talk about some ideas involving an Magician Tarot card commission for a friend, and a wedding portrait for some other friends, and a random doodle inspired by elements from those hats I saw.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Daily art # 8

My wacky schedule had me wake up at around noon, and I didn't do ANY art until 2:00 am.
I am now writing this at 5:21am.
I am surprised how much happened in that time span.

Yesterday I concentrated so hard on the master copies.
I think today I needed to just loosen up and create things purely from my imagination.
Automatism is the best way to get started for me when I'm feeling uninspired, and I really like how things turned out.

"Chaos Bliss"
6" x 11" on Yupo. Available for $75.

"Paradise Dream Women"
6" x 11" on Yupo. Available for $65.

While I was working on the first piece, I also did a small ACEO / artist trading card.

2.5" x 3.5" ACEO (artist trading card) on bristol. Available for $9.

A Word on YUPO
I LOVE yupo. It is the SMOOTHEST surface I have ever worked on, and yet it seems to work with everything I throw at it so far and it DOES NOT WARP. It is a little more expensive than regular paper (bristol for example) but it is COMPLETELY worth it, and I think I'm hooked. And well, its not 'paper' anyway, its plastic. (but fancy plastic! and apparently it won't yellow.) I have yet to try oils, but who knows! Perhaps I'll have to try it out soon. so far I have tried various inks, watercolors, bic pen, colored pencils and acrylic.

Random Art Question of the Day:
Have you tried painting with something other than your dominant hand?
how about your feet?

I have even gone so far as to draw with my belly. (I taped a pencil to my belly, sticking the end in my belly button... it was a hoot.)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Day 7 - master copies

(as always, written the night of the day, and posted the day after)
Last night (1/6/11) I went to bed and wrote a note in my sketchbook to do some master copies.
Today (1/7/11) I actually followed through!
I've been wanting to do more studies, to avoid getting stuck in my own drawing/painting habits, and to improve skills.

I chose to paint from my favorite era, copying some of my favorite paintings. I have always been a fan of Pre-Raphaelite depictions of magic users. Priestesses, Sorceresses, Witches, etc.

"Very Dangerous Secret" --- After "Medea" by Frederick Sandys
5" x 7" acrylic on book page
(available at my etsy - $35)

my version of "Circle of Magic" after Waterhouse
5" x 7" acrylic on book page
(also available at my etsy - $35)

I could also get into a heavy discussion about the Pre-Raphaelites - they are a favorite subject of mine - After teaching art appreciation/history, I was quite astonished to discover that nearly all the art books I used to teach from AVOIDED the Pre-Raphaelite painters like the plague, as if they had no drastic impact on the modern art world. HA! (one of my books merely mentioned them with no explanation, and provided a poor representation of the movement in black and white, and then proceeded to wax poetic about Cezanne for 4 pages and how he was the most enlightened painter ever. I wanted to throw the book out the window! "The Story of Art"
by Gombrich E.h." 10th ed - its actually a very good book, except for the Cezanne pages, and the chapters on modern art) I do understand why the Pre-Raphaelites got buried in art history, and why other movements won out in popularity at the time.
... but that is a story for a different time I'm not here to lecture, just to improve my self drive by showing publicly what I did today.

Currently Playing "Mystery Case File: The 13th Skull" Hidden object and puzzle game for the pc - by Big Fish.
Why do I include it here? Because the graphics in the hidden object game has made me see EVERYTHING in a new light - Every time I look at a cluttered spot in my home, I feel like I'm in a big fish game and I have the urge to turn places in my home into 'hidden object' images. I am starting to feel a new appreciation for all OBJECTS. While I was cutting veggies earlier, I was making note of how all the food was laying on the table. The balance and volume of everything.
I was looking at everything with fresh eyes. And I mean EVERYTHING.

- my bookshelves with the cornucopia of trinkets on top, and on the shelves, and on the wall above the shelves I have a type drawer filled with tid-bits.
- my bulletin board , fairly empty now but OH the possibilities!
-The kitchen cupboard, filled to the brim with cans and bags and other food stuffs.

Anyway, time to stop rambling.

Friday, January 7, 2011


DAY 6 of ART

Almost forgot to post what art happened yesterday.
First of all, it was my bf's birthday. I made a sign that said "HAPPY 14th BDAY", cutting each letter from printer paper and puttin the '14' inside a cut heart. (the 14 is um... I was having a dyslexic moment) Also, for his amusement, I provided a silly lesson on color mixing.

(Remember children, blue and yellow make GREEN!)

More Art:
I put some more quick creations in the sketchbook for the sketchbook project. I have to postmark it by the 15th for it to go on tour. And with the loose theme "Science Project Gone Wrong". My opinions on this project below the images.

My Thoughts on 'The Sketchbook Project".
Ok. I'm a huge fan of sketchbooks as art. I love the fact that someone is putting together a library of sketchbooks. The joy of hand done art that people can enjoy in person and touch the pages is extremely exciting. The problems with this project are that I feel hesitant to just give all this work away for free. (or rather paying to give it away, as there was a cost to participate - I understand this however, and my complaint doesn't lie there. They need $ to take it on tour and buy/send out the sketchbooks) Also, because of the theme and time constraints, the work is less like the organically developed sketchbooks I keep, and more like a desperate race to the finish line, resulting in sub-par work and nonsense as I try to make these creations bend (loosely) to the theme. Also, the paper is the thinnest paper I've ever had the ... ~joy~ of working with. But, I don't want to turn back now, and I don't want to waste my money, so I'm going to finish it dag-nabbit, and hopefully there will be a few visual gems inside to make flipping through it worth while.

I started watching the movie "Klimt" - a drama about the artist Klimt played by John Malkovich. I loved the art nouveau movement, and the movie even has some very nicely done surreal moments that reflect those ideas. Also, beautiful naked women wandering several scenes surrounded by colorful silks and elongated patterns can't help but be inspiring.