Here we are again. I have another spooky gallery of frightful art from the history vaults. You can see the previous posts here: Monster, Magic, and Moonlight and Eerie, Haunting, and Beautiful. Enjoy and have a Spooktacular Halloween!
If you weren’t able to attend the first annual Print Gala to benefit AbleTalks, you still have a chance to support this worthy organization and snag some cool art for your walls! The remaining prints from the event are available to purchase in the AbleTalks shop:
All sales go to benefit AbleTalks, a non-profit that provides Tuition-free, independent, continuing education for young adults with autism and other intellectual disabilities that allow students to achieve the career of their dreams.
Prints of my steampunk fox, The Alchemist, can be purchased along with many other fantastic works!
Don’t miss this chance. The shop will only be open till October 21st!
I can be a bit obsessive when it comes to music. I frequently listen to albums on repeat, especially when I’m working on art. Music helps me stay focused and inspired. Here’s a little taste of what I listen to in the studio…
If I’m working on something a little dark or Sci-Fi, I will often listen to the album Drink the Sea by The Glitch Mob.
I have several albums I love listening to while I’m painting a fantasy piece. If it has a mystical aspect to it I’m guaranteed to listen to Seven Lions.
If the piece is more nature based I might listen to Of Monsters and Men.
Then sometimes, I just listen to whatever is calling to me, like Masterplan, Bon Iver, Florence + The Machine, Placebo, M83, Blackmill, Metallica, Evanescence and many more.
The time has come! This afternoon I’ll be heading off to Atlanta with a car full of art for the 2016 Dragon Con Art Show. Drusilla and I have been hard at work in the studio preparing for what will be an amazing art show. I kid you not….
Drusilla is a little bummed I’m not letting her attend Dragon Con. She was totally up for a Kiki’s Delivery cosplay, which I admit would have been fun, but I would have to cut my hair super short–not happening. Sorry, Dru. On a more serious note, the 2016 Dragon Con Art Show is going to be an amazing show! This year’s Artist Guest of Honor is Stephan Martiniere, with guest jurors Daren Bader and Scott Fischer. You can check out the complete list of artist guests and participating artists in the show on the Dragon Con Art Show page. Below is where you can find me in the art show. I’ll have art for sale in the Gallery and for sale in the Print Shop.
If you’re attending, don’t forget on Monday at 2:30 I’m hosting a panel on digital painting. I’ll be taking attendees through my process from sketch to finish!
Dragon Con is fast approaching. Before I’m lost to the rush of art show preparations, I thought I’d share some facts about the panel I’ll be hosting this year.
Panel: Digital Painting – From Sketch to Finish
Day: Mon. 9/5 | Time: 2:30 | Grand Hall C
A detailed look into the process behind a digital painting. Gathering reference, models, the final sketch, using textures, painting techniques, and the myriad of decisions that go into a large painting. Slideshow presentation will be followed by a Q&A.
The painting I’ll be using for this presentation is Forest Dreams. I’ll be delving much further into the process than this GIF below. You’ll get to see all the reference I used, learn where I find models, hear me gripe about the challenges I faced and so much more. I might even show everyone the hideous first sketch I made for the idea of the painting.
If you’re not attending, I will be converting this to a video presentation after Dragon Con. It will be available first to Patrons and later on Youtube.
This week I finished a new painting for my Earth Rituals series, Forest Dreams. It’s actually the second painting I’ve finished for this series, but the first can’t be shown due to an NDA (Non-disclosure Act). It’s been a strange experience not being able to share that painting. I feel it shows a progression of where I’m going with my art, leaving this new painting without an anchor. Alas, it is, what it is. After a rough month and a half in my every day life, it felt good to truly dive into this painting. I hope it touches you, as it has me.
Earth and magic,
Roots and stones,
Azure circles sown.
Whispers and wings,
Tendrils and leaves,
Forest dreams weave.
This painting, like Signs and Symbols, is set in the dream forest. But unlike the young man’s journey, which only brought him to the space between the two worlds, here we are fully immersed. The young woman is a fae, dreaming her magic into the earth. Her magic gives rise to a blue fairy circle.
If you’re going to Dragon Con this summer, you can see her in the Art Show. I’ll also have limited edition prints available to order starting next week in my shop.
Two years ago, around this same time, I was preparing for my first convention as an artist. I’m doing the same now, for the same convention–Dragon Con. Genre art (fantasy, science fiction, horror) for me at the time was still a relatively new venture. I grew up on late 70’s and 80’s genre films. As a teenager I was consumed by Stephen King and other speculative fiction authors. You’d think this would be reflected in my art, but it wasn’t until 2012 that I began letting myself explore. A wall in my psyche came down and my art evolved. Two years later I was at Dragon Con and now another two years later I’m returning. In that time, I’ve continued to explore, evolve and learn.
I began thinking about what I truly wanted. What did I want to create with my art? What did I want to say? Did I need to say anything? That introspection gave birth to Renascentia. She is the first painting I felt connected to on a deeper level and I realized I need that connection. It reminds me of this quote I heard recently:
If you don’t feel anything for the painting your working on, your viewers won’t either.
When I brought Renascentia to Jordan Con in 2015, I realized the truth of these words. However, I still hadn’t figured out what I wanted. The vision in my head was still veiled in mist. It took nearly another year for me to begin piecing together what I now call Earth Rituals. I’m creating a body of work around this idea of connecting with the earth, but it’s not the only art I plan to make. I will continue to make purely nature art, delve into Sci-Fi, and whatever else catches my fancy.
But what have I done and learned over the last two years?
- I learned how to create art from direction.
- I ran a successful kickstarter and printed a book.
- I won Judge’s Choice from Todd Lockwood. O_O
- I signed my first contract with a small games publisher.
- I knew this already, but it was reaffirmed–true friends are invaluable.
- I will break my no dancing rule if you give me mixed drinks.
- I learned I don’t really enjoy game illustration.
- I learned you can be a part of a large community and still feel utterly alone.
- I learned there’s an art to using Instagram.
- I enjoy licensing art for book covers more than custom commissions.
- I learned I just want to create my own art, on my own terms.
- I guided my daughter through her last year of high school and into her first year of college.
- I was invited to be a member of Changeling Artist Collective.
- I launched a Patreon campaign that’s still going.
- I rediscovered my love of graphite and drawing.
- I’ve had a taste of being an art director (large project in progress now).
Ultimately, I’ve realized I’m not an illustrator, nor do I really want to be. Sure, there may be some overlap occasionally. If a project fits my vision and my style I might jump on board. But at the end of the day, I’m an artist. I think my art will always hover between fine art and the fantastic. In some cases it will sway back and forth between the two. That’s okay.
I have something different to share this week–a Throwback Thursday. Not an image, but words. In 2011, I wrote a short piece of fiction (flash fiction) for StoryADay. It won honorable mention in a contest they held that year. I always intended to return to this story, to breathe more life into the world and characters. It’s an odd feeling reading something I wrote five years ago. I have to stop myself from editing the little eyesores. So many things scream at me when I read this piece. Maybe it will be incentive to dive back into the words.
She wouldn’t break eye contact. A film of anxiety glistened across her forehead. In her hands she turned over a small trinket, again and again—a good luck charm. She’d need it. The baggy hand-me-downs didn’t hide the frail condition of her body, nor her spirit.
I glanced at the paperwork in my hands.
Mary Emerson – 8 yrs – Sole Survivor of Glendale
Eight years old is too young to be a trainee, too young to be sitting the across the table from me tonight. I’m the evaluator. I’m the one who gets to choose who will stand watch in the night. It’s the job no one wants.
Each evaluation begins with a simple statement: This is not a test. But the young are eager to please. When I was a child pleasing our elders involved passing Math, or cleaning our rooms without being asked. Now, childhood ends when you can aim and shoot a target at fifty feet. This ghost of a girl wasn’t ready.
I made motions to cross her name off the list, when her small voice broke the silence.
“That’s what you miss the most?”
Chocolate. I tried to hide my amusement. When was the last time I’d had chocolate?
“No, wait,” she said. “Batteries!”
“Better answer. Why?”
“Because, batteries generate electricity and we can use them to power machines, like flashlights and Thomas’ defibrillator.”
Eager and intelligent, she could be a malnourished version of me ten years ago. I’d been twelve and eager too. I’d sat with a group of ten other children, in the rain, shivering, waiting to be called inside. The room had been dark, like this one, but instead of a single candle there’d been a single dim light bulb.
Damn. I miss those generators.
“Okay, next question. You’re on the wall. You spot Leuks. What is the first thing you do?”
Her fingers squeezed the life out of the trinket in her hand. I’d had one of those too, a lucky rabbit’s foot. The silly souvenir was a gift from my father.
“I confirm with my binoculars. If there really are Leuks, I ring the bell four times.”
I pretended to make a few notes. There was no right or wrong answer, only reactions to measure.
“Next question. Leuks breach the wall. What do you do?”
Tomorrow could be the day. A raid now would obliterate this settlement. I wish my brother were here. Were we fighting the inevitable?
I tore my thoughts away from what I’d lost and focused on her fear filled eyes. Her need to prove herself had hidden the truth. But now I saw the jagged nails and torn cuticles. Who had she lost?
“What is it, Maggie?”
“Ma’m, are we are going to make it?”
“What?” Then I heard them. The bells were ringing. Shouts and screams began to pierce the darkness. Stay calm.
“Of course, we are,” I said and forced a smile.
I pulled a tattered white rabbit’s foot from under my collar and placed it around her neck. We all dealt with the stress in our own way. Some survived. Some became shells of their former selves. Some heard the call of the blood.
That’s right. I’m having a giveaway on Instagram! It’s my way of saying, Thank you. Thank you to everyone following me and taking the time to support my art. One lucky winner will receive the 4×5 inch watercolor painting shown in the image above. To enter, be sure you’re following me here:
Then, follow the directions in this post:
Giveaway Time!! I’m giving this 4×5 watercolor painting away to one of my followers. To enter: Follow Repost to your page (there’s an app) Tag #makepeaceart Deadline to enter is Friday July 15th! #art #painting #watercolor #blue #bluejay #feather #nature #giveaway #instaart #artlover #artistsofinstagram #artwork #birds #win #entertowin
The deadline to enter is July 15th!
We all have favorites. Favorite movies, books, authors, etc. But does everyone have favorite artists? If they don’t, they should. The worlds of the imaginary and mythic are sometimes the most inspiring of all. They are dreams brought to life. Here’s a few of my favorites from living artists you can support now–today.
Who are your favorite artists?
We’ve probably all wished at some point in our lives for a double of ourselves, to help us with our mounting To-Do list or just to be in two places at one time. There never seems to be enough time for everything. I’m continually blessed and plagued by ideas that I then have to prioritize. Do I have time for this? Is this more an experiment or is it part of my main vision? Sometimes side projects get put on hold, because I have to feed my soul and creative vision. That vision is the core idea of what I’ve been moving towards over the last ten years and it’s the heart of my art. Regardless, I’m still pulled toward these other ideas. Sometimes I jot them down in my sketchbook of ideas and that’s end of it. I can always return to them later. While others I start and then push to the side, hoping I can return to them later. Here are a few…
Yes, the steampunk fox everyone adores is part of a series of paintings. The Mystics are a fictional council, tasked with protecting the animal kingdom from human encroachment. I still want to continue with this series. I even have the fourth member sketched out, but… Time…
Rings of Magic
These are the pencil drawings for two of four small paintings I have planned. I even have the frames for these. Each ring has a story and a power someone has abused.
The White Crow
Remember these from Inktober 2015?! I said I was going to publish a book titled The White Crow. I’m still planning to publish this book. I promise.
I wouldn’t mind having a clone of myself–one connected to myself, so I was conscious of everything happening and also part of the decision making process. Science fiction, I know…
a child believed to have been secretly substituted by fairies for the parents’ real child in infancy.
Changeling. The word itself conjures fantastical visions and now it’s also the name of a new Artist Collective founded by Rachel Quinlan. I’m honored to be a part of an extraordinary group of fantasy artists. Each month we’ll be hosting themed auctions on our Facebook Page. The first auction, Bugs and Beasties, launches July 13th! You can also follow updates on Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr.
And now for what matters most–the Artists behind the Changeling Artist Collective! If you’re following our Facebook Page you’ll be introduced to these artists, one by one, in the coming weeks.
Rovina Cai, Kristina Carroll, Iris Compiet, Collette J Ellis, Tiffany England, Sam Guay, Emily Hare, Jana Heidersdorf, Jayde Hilliard-Simpson, Maggie Ivy, Heather Hitchman Lambert, Emma Lazauski, Amanda Makepeace, Serena Malyon, Belinda Jane Morris, Fergal O’Connor, Rachel Quinlan, Angela Rachelle Sasser,
Anna K. Szalas, Tiffany Turrill, Anja Uhren, Jabari Weathers, Ren Willows
Where do you get your ideas?
If you’re an artist, writer, musician or anyone working in a creative field you’re bound to be asked. However, the question is a disguise for another. What they are really asking is how did you come up with this final work of art. The question implies there is some secret formula for making art–all it takes is that spark of inspiration. If that were true, we’d all be artists! Having ideas is only one part of the equation. The other half is a ton of hard work. Ideas are important though…and passion. Without either you don’t have anything to fuel the hard work. I’m always a little shocked when I hear an artist say they are struggling to come up with ideas. Maybe it’s just a foreign concept to me. I always seem to be brimming with ideas, so many that I must reign myself in so I stay focused. The well I draw from is all around me and inside me.
Are they struggling to find ideas or are they struggling to find that BIG painting idea? Are they too focused on the end result? When I think of ideas, I think of all the scribbles in my sketchbook and the notes that eventually lead to a painting. It’s a process. Even when I think I have a core idea for a painting, it always continues to evolve before I have the final artwork. I think some artists are looking for that stroke of genius, that masterpiece. This quote from Chuck Close sums it up well…
“The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who’ll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work.”
“All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you’re sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that’s almost never the case.”
Just get to work.
Start by sketching something you love. What are you passionate about? Make list. I love nature, fantasy and myth. I also love horror movies, owls, crows and bones. I love taking hikes in the woods. My imagination is fond of mixing all of these together.
When I’m sketching the things I’m passionate about or getting out of the studio to embrace what I love, I can’t stop the ideas from forming. So if you’re struggling, stop sitting around. Take your sketchbook outside, or to a museum, or a busy town center or a cafe… Explore a new medium or tackle something you’ve never drawn before. Challenge yourself but remember, there’s nothing wrong with returning to things you’ve drawn or painted hundreds of times. You just might think of a new way to express that object or idea.
Follow me online:
You were with me till I mentioned bugs, right? Hear me out! These are three fun art challenges happening in June. Like #mermay and #inktober, artists will be sketching/drawing/painting daily based on one or a combination of these themes. You’ll be able to follow these hashtags on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook:
#JuneFae – All things Fae: Fairies, Pixies, Brownies, Hobgoblins, etc.
#Junicorn – That’s right, a month full of unicorns!
#JuneBug – Bugs!!! Bugs aren’t your thing? Are you sure… The insect world is full of beautiful creatures like moths and butterflies.
These daily art challenges are open to everyone and it’s up to you whether you post daily or maybe weekly. Tag your posts with one or all of the challenge hashtags. Invite others to join in! Art challenges are a great way to explore new mediums, improve upon a skill or break out of a creative funk.
I’m going to use the challenge as part meditation and part art experiment. Much of my art tends to be detailed and leans more toward realism. For #JuneFae I’ll be creating spontaneous little tree sprite doodles with Walnut Ink (and occasionally with a little gold pigment added). These mini paint sketches will be a fun departure from my usual work! Below is a test sprite I doodled this week in preparation.
Here are some of my artist friends who will be participating too.
You may not yet know the name Stacy Bennett, but you will. Last year I had the pleasure of reading an early version of one of her upcoming novels. The experience was thrilling–one of those instances where I couldn’t stop reading. I was wide awake in wee hours of the morning devouring every word I could. That good. Seriously. I thought it was about time I featured her here at Tessera and she was gracious enough to oblige.
Tell us about yourself, where you’re from and what you love.
I was born and raised in New Jersey, but I’ve lived in a number of different places, having moved more than 13 times between college and being married to a Marine. I’m back in Jersey now with my kids doing the single mom thing. As for what I love — When I was little, it was always “I love horses” and later became “I love my boyfriend/husband”. Now the answer isn’t so simplistic. Perhaps it was the years with the Marine Corps that taught me to grow where I’m planted because with the exception of my children (both in high school) and our pets, the things I love are subject to availability. Right now, those things include lunches on a sunny porch, rainy days off work so I can read and sip coffee, nature walks and anything that makes me laugh. Of course in any location, nothing beats good food with good company and bantering talks about life, the universe and everything especially when those conversations don’t end abruptly in the answer 42.
Did you always know you wanted to be a writer, a creator of stories?
Actually, no. I mean I wrote write stories as a kid just like I drew pictures as a kid. I also spent quite a bit of time daydreaming, planning out adventures in my head. But I never really considered it a vocation. Even now I’m pretty sure I won’t be quitting the “day” job. I love to write, I love to be immersed in a world of my own design and that’s why I do it.
What books inspired you growing up? Which stories have you held onto?
Like many people who have much older siblings, I was a precocious reader and grew up in a house full of science nerds with shelves of sci-fi/fantasy books. I finished The Forgotten Planet, The Hobbit, Narnia and the entire LOTR trilogy before I was 12. I read every book the library owned that had any horse stories in it by the end of grammar school (no doubt where I get my penchant for tragedy, later reinforced by a love of Shakespeare).
My mom was also an avid romance reader. She had this little book that listed all the complete Harlequin series and she crossed each one off as she read them. Because of this we made a weekly trip to the Book Swap near us since by then the library ceased to offer enough new options. I found some of my best fantasy books secondhand in that little shop in Milltown. It was there I found:
- Nine Princes in Amber by Roger Zelazny (I scoured weekly for the rest of the series)
- Dragonflight which led to an Anne McCaffrey addiction. My faves were The Ship Who Sang and Crystal Singer.
- In school, I was enthralled and amazed by LeGuin’s The Left Hand of Darkness and Lathe of Heaven.
- I also fell in love with C.J. Cherryh’s Morgaine Cycle and especially The Faded Sun Trilogy which I felt was a remarkable work of cultural commentary (in the same vein as Left Hand of Darkness).
- And outlier fantasy works like Diamond’s Lady of the Haven and Lindskold’s Through Wolf’s Eyes.
The world of publishing has changed so much in the last five years. What advice would you give new authors?
Personally, I don’t have time to be a master of all trades when it comes to my writing. My “job” in this enterprise is the actual writing, cranking out 70,000 to 120,000 coherent words. I’m responsible for the ideas, the story lines, the characters. But things like book covers and marketing, those are areas where I could use a professional’s input. So my advice is to not be afraid to hire a professional to make your work as good as it possibly could be. Professional editors and proofers to me are a must and worth the investment. A professional cover artist also can make a big difference in how people receive your work. I’m not saying you need to spend a fortune, but by all means have your work polished by people who know what they’re doing and know the business. In the end, it will improve your readers’ experience, and isn’t that the goal?
A few things. My fantasy novel Quest of the Dreamwalker is out for proofing right now, in fact. It’s Book I of The Corthan Legacy series and I’m hoping for a late September release on that one. Also, I’m working on The Goddess’s Dark Hand for my Goddess Stone Trilogy which is also fantasy and would be out sometime in 2017.
I have a paranormal fantasy novella available on Amazon now called Son of Anubis. It’s a fun but quick read. For those who like dogs or werewolves, it might fit the bill nicely.
Thank you, Stacy!
You are in for a treat today! Code 8 is a short film that was created as a proof for a feature film. The creators ran an IndieGoGo back in March of this year–a mega successful crowdfunding campaign. This is a movie I want to see! Here’s a description from that campaign:
The film takes place in a world where 4% of the population are born with some type of supernatural ability. Instead of being billionaire superheroes, most ‘specials’ live in poverty and resort to crime, forcing the police to become more militarized.
The story follows a young man with special powers (Amell) struggling to find work as a day laborer. After a dispute over payment, he finds himself in a confrontation with a police officer (Kang) and the autonomous robots backing him up.
I’m not a writer. When it comes to writing anything, even an email, I put a tremendous amount of thought behind it before I begin. I’m the same with talking. There is always far more I’m thinking than saying. This is who I am. Don’t be mistaken. I have the ability to talk for hours with friends on a topic I find interesting or one that sparks my passion, but sitting down to write a blog post… I’d rather go back to my drawing or painting. What do I have worth saying to the world? I find it easier to speak through art, or poetry, because in truth I have simple loves in life.
Satin soft petals reaching toward
the clouds, sway aloft sturdy stalks–
To and fro, to and fro.
They lure me with luscious hues
To places unknown, and
Capture me with Spring incense,
A meadow inside my soul.
Lay me down midst the Aster and Sage,
So I may rest, may dream,
If lucky, live again.
I’ve been home three days now, but they’ve not been the best of days. I woke up Monday feeling rough and then realized soon enough I had a stomach virus. Today I’m better, but not quite back to normal. Not fun, especially after such an incredible weekend. Part of what I love about conventions is meeting up with friends I only see at conventions. I have a couple I don’t see but once or twice a year. So that is always a treat. I definitely had a little too much fun this weekend.
Photos…. I have very few. I’ve found that since I’ve begun attending conventions as an artist, I either don’t think about taking photos or I simply don’t have time. Here’s a very tiny collection, if you’re interested in seeking more out, the JordanCon Group on Facebook has a great gallery of images from this year’s event.
This weekend was my most successful convention to-date. I sold my largest, most expensive piece, Renascentia as well as, eight other pieces from my art show bay. As for the prints I brought, I only sold 1 of the Alchemist and 1 of Spirit Guardian, but all 4 of the limited edition Dawn and Dusk prints. Those were more expensive than the regular prints and smaller, so go figure. I obviously should have brought more. Live and learn.
Regardless, I’m kind of blown away. I don’t think I’ve ever sold so much art in one weekend. I came home with empty boxes! A few of the unsold pieces will go into my shop, but some of the pieces I will retire and others I’ll store for another show.
What was different about this year compared to last?
2. I wasn’t an unknown. After winning Judges’ Choice last year I did gain new followers on Facebook from the convention, some of which became new fans of my art and in turn new friends. I returned to JordanCon this year feeling as if I was part of their family.
3. I was more active, socially. Last year, I didn’t really know anyone. This year, I had a few friends that helped me feel more comfortable. We all hung out a lot and went to various room parties where I met more people. I spent an hour behind John Picacio’s (Artist Guest of Honor) table, just chatting. And I was also a part of an event called Win, Lose or Draw. I’m hoping to be even more involved in the art show programming next year. Ultimately, I met and spoke with so many more people than I did last year. My lips are still chapped from talking so much!
It’s a little weird having a big blank space on my wall. But, I’m okay with Renascentia going to a new home. It was time. She helped me discovered exactly what I want to do with my art–what I want to say. It took a year, but now I have Earth Rituals about to begin. It’s an exciting time. 🙂
It’s time once again for JordanCon! I’ve been consumed lately preparing for the Art Show. Consumed. I got behind earlier in the year when I was working on a painting for a secret project. I still can’t share that painting and it’s slowly killing me inside. Ha! But attendees at JordanCon will get a sneak peek if they buy one of my prints or an original from my bay. A crop of the painting is on the backside of my new business cards! I will be carrying some business cards on me too, if you’re brave enough to come up to me.
This year is a little different than last. I’m officially a Guest of the convention. Just a small guest, but a guest. Yay!! Saturday morning, attendees should head to the Washington room, across from the Art Show. At 11:30 a.m. four artists, including myself, will be playing Win, Lose or Draw. I promise you it will be hilarious.
You can see almost all of the art I’m bringing to JordanCon in this public Facebook Gallery – JordanCon Art Show. I’ve pointed out which pieces will have prints in the print shop too. As always, I’m open to talking about my pieces if anyone is curious about my process and inspiration.
I’m heading out today around 5 p.m. for Atlanta. See you soon JordanCon!
Their notes drift in through the window
Tickling eyelids that refuse to open.
Instead of waking, the melody pulls me
Beyond dreams, a symphony of new beginnings.
I let go my troubles and worries,
Turn away from dark thoughts, those memories
Which haunt my days and loom over my nights.
Away I fly, each clang of the wind chime
Creating an opera in my mind.
© Amanda Makepeace
Friday, on April Fools Day no less, was the one year anniversary for the day my sketchbook funded on Kickstarter. It was an experience I’ll never forget. The months afterward were just as exciting too. Holding my book’s proof in my hands. Opening my box of beautiful little books. Working on the sketches for my Kickstarter backers.
To celebrate the anniversary of my Kickstarter success I’m offering the remaining copies of my book for the early bird price of $15–originally only available during the Kickstarter last year. So if you missed out on my campaign, or want a second copy to gift to a friend, take advantage of this sale price. The sale runs till April 5th.
Here’s a look inside…
My painting Bone Magic is currently in a group show at Eight and Sand Gallery in Seattle. It’s a little show, for little works of art. Take a look!
Bone Magic is a 4×5 acrylic painting on Arches Watercolor board. The painting has been sealed with a gloss varnish. I attached an actual vertebrae from my personal collection to the solid wood frame.
The exhibit runs till April 1st.
I’ve had a crazy week.
- Huge secret project deadline
- Drusilla skydiving off our banister
- Prom Dress shopping with my daughter
- An unwell mother (everything is okay!!)
There wasn’t room for a blog post this week, but I hope this will make up for it. Enjoy!
This blog post may disturb you or in the very least make you question the author’s sanity.
On any given day there are a multitude of random thoughts and questions that pass through my mind. This is but a glimpse.
- Is that a hawk or a vulture? Vulture.
- I want one of those for the studio.
- I NEED that for my studio.
- What would people think if I started collecting roadkill?
- Coffee. Coffee. Coffee.
- Ugh, this painting sucks.
- I need to draw more skulls.
- I should paint a skull.
- I need to find more bones.
- Will I ever find a shed antler?
- Tea. Tea. Tea.
- This painting isn’t looking so bad now.
- I really want to find a crow feather.
- I love this painting. I bet everyone will hate it.
- Should I cover my gray hair? Who cares!
- Is this a coyote track?
- I wish I could take this mini skeleton home with me.
- I should organize my _____ .
- I love this paper. I need to buy it all.
- I wish I could back this Kickstarter.
- I wish I could attend _____ convention.
- I should save this small scrap of paper. I might use it for something.
- I should save ______, I might use it for something.
These aren’t the only things that cross my mind, but they are some of the most reoccurring thoughts I have. I have folders on my computer filled with photos of bones. Not long ago I was keeping some bones in my jewelry box. Okay. I’m going to go refill my coffee now.
I don’t have much to say lately… So instead of me rambling about nothing of great importance, you can watch me draw a Red-wing Blackbird.
This drawing was my piece for this month’s #BirdWhisperer project. Red-Wing measures 9 x 9 inches, graphite and color pencil on Bristol paper. He has a new home in New York.
Life is never boring with cats in the studio…
Drusilla is a very paws on cat in the studio. She likes to be involved in my creative process every step of the way.
It’s not all mischief and mayhem though, there’s plenty of quiet moments too. This may look like adoration, but she could easily be taking a moment to ponder her next move.
Hunter is more reserved, a silent stalker type. Thus, there’s less photographic evidence… But he’s here. Watching. Waiting. Always.
Take a look at the first installment of Cats in the Studio.
“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”
― Lao Tzu
A marine biologist.
A wildlife activist.
A trail guide.
What would you be?
I told myself I wasn’t going to create any art for Month of Love, a weekly challenge in February, created by artist Kristina Carroll (she also runs Month of Fear in October–another addictive challenge). This is my busiest time of year. It’s essential I focus. My mistake was taking a peek at the challenges/themes for this year’s event. I thought, I’ll just take a look. Looking doesn’t hurt….
Said no artist, ever…
Month of Love (and its counterpart) are hosted through Tumblr. Click on the image above to read my official blurb. Below are some snippets from the creative process.
Ripley is Graphite and Charcoal on 9 x 12 inch acid free drawing paper. It would have been nice if I’d had some charcoal powder on hand, but I made do with a stick I borrowed from my daughter’s supplies. I haven’t worked with charcoal since my college days. It was fun and messy! Working with the stick also turned out to be the better option as it gives the drawing an organic rawness that would have been absent with the powder.
I worked on the drawing over the course of two days. On one of those days this was all I worked on. Now it’s time for me to get back to work on my personal project. I have my first exhibit of 2016 coming up next month! Details to come soon…
The subreddit r/Fantasy is holding an Artist & Illustrator week through January 31st. I’ll there today at 10 a.m. EST to answer questions about my art, inspiration, process, cats, favorite flavor of ice cream…you name it. You can ask me anything!
“Through art we can change the world.”
In 2014 I participated in my first Twitter Art Exhibit. <– Click to see my previous entry. The goal of every Twitter Art Exhibit is to raise money for charities, through the selling of postcard size art. This year’s exhibit is taking place at Trygve Lie Gallery in New York City, March 31st – April 21st, 2016. It will raise money to support Foster Pride’s Handmade Program. You can read a full press release here.
Once again I decided to with the magical bird theme… Big surprise, I know. This is Badb. She measures 4 x 6 inches and is watercolor and acrylic on Fluid Watercolor Paper (Cold Press, 140-lb).
Badb is a war goddess from Irish Mythology. She was known to take the form of a Hooded Crow and instilled fear among soldiers to sway a battle to her liking. Below is a series of time lapse videos I took during the painting’s creation.