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Archive for the ‘art’ Category

a bunny and a raven

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

So remember back in May when I fell in art love with Ellen Jewett’s sculptures?

I ordered a custom one.

It arrived today.

Bunny Raven 3She does what she calls “creature stacks” so I asked for a raven and a white bunny and mostly left the rest of it up to her interpretation. I could not possibly be more delighted with what she came up with.

Bunny Raven 1They live on the mantelpiece now. Maybe someday they’ll tell me their names. I have a feeling they have a story.

Bunny Raven 2(More of Ellen’s creatures can be found on her websitedeviantART & custom work is available from her Etsy store.)

art love: ellen jewett

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

I found Ellen Jewett‘s sculptures via Tumblr this morning and fell promptly in art love harder than I have in quite awhile.

ellen jewett bird

More creatures can be found on her websitedeviantART & custom work is available from her Etsy store.

And of course I couldn’t resist ordering a custom piece. I am giddily excited to see what she comes up with, and I’ll post pictures when I receive it.

gallery show

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

I am in NYC this week, so in lieu of proper posting while I am running around, I thought I’d prepare a mini virtual gallery show, as there isn’t much of my artwork around online anymore. This is a selection of pieces from the last few years, I hope you enjoy it.

(I recommend looking at this post while sipping wine and nodding sagely and shush-ing any nearby loud-talkers for a proper virtual gallery experience.)

 

music for the apocalypse part II: nocturnes #2

mixed media, 2011

wonderland at night: sweet dreams for the mentally unbalanced

acrylic & charcoal, 2006

postcards from the gods: persephone

embellished photograph on board, 2008

rapunzel

acrylic, 2009

lost things: dreams & buttons

mixed media, 2008

rainy day lovebirds

acrylic, ink & colored pencil, 2006

 

this is about the phantomwise tarot

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

 

As some of you may know, during 2006-2009 I painted a 78-card tarot deck in black and white and shades of grey. I spent the same approximate time writing and re-writing The Night Circus. I lived in monochrome for a good long while there, and there are references to the circus in some of the cards.

All of the paintings can be viewed on phantomwise.com. (Click on the aptly-named gallery.)

There was a stunning 100-copy limited edition deck of the 22 Major Arcana cards, which was available over here but is currently sold out. Sometimes they will show up on tarot trading sites and such.

I get asked this a lot lately, so to publicly clarify: I do not have a publisher for the complete deck yet.

It is on my ever-growing to-do list and I promise I do intend to get the deck published because I want it to be available for the tarot-loving masses, but I also wrote a book and it sort of ate my life. (If you happen to be a tarot publisher and are interested in publishing the deck, please feel free to contact me.)

The tarot aficionados will likely appreciate this aspect of my current life balance issues: in the summer of 2009, just before I started querying literary agents, I had a wonderful professional tarot reading and the only negative element was in art/writing balance, where The Tower showed up to remind me that I cannot give all of my energy to different things without falling down. Something had to take priority, and the universe clearly and loudly decided it would be writing.

My apologies for the continued wait, but I want to give the deck the time and energy it deserves, including possibly touching up some of the paintings, so it’s going to take a while. Thank you for your patience.

 

endings that aren’t really endings

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

I finished the kings for the tarot deck this afternoon. That means that beyond a bit of re-detailing and a Happy Squirrel and a book to go with it, it’s done. Which doesn’t really sound all that done typed out like that, but it is complete in some sense. The core of it is finished and the rest is extra and details.

I started it in October of 2006. I think I’d intended for it to take 2 years and it ended up being just over 3. The kings took the longest, probably because they were last and I wanted to make sure I got them right. I think I did.

The whole deck is now up in the galleries on phantomwise.com. It looks like a journey, which is probably exactly what it should look like.

Other than tarot finishing everything around here is holiday preparation and revision notes and hungry kittens. I have Beautiful Creatures waiting to be read and I should probably bake cookies at some point. The end of 2009 is shaping up to be quiet and dark and cold, in a cozy sort of way.

creative messes

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

While I’ve been in revisionland I’ve been silently bemoaning how messy my writing process is. I’m not sure what I expect would be better, or less messy, but it seems to tend toward chaotic. I have handwritten notes scrawled sideways on paper in two different colors of pen. I have snatches of dialogue scrawled in between. I have a Scrivener file open with bits of potential new scenes written in no particular order and odd bits highlighted so I know where I need changes. I have a hard copy of the current manuscript that I’ve started to mark up with purple gel pen.

It’s messy.

But when I was working on the bastet postcard (already sold!) yesterday, I realized my art process is just as messy, particularly toward the end stages.

This is a picture of my workbench, taken right after I finished:

creative mess

There are several things in this photo that I didn’t even end up using (the gold metallic worked better than the copper, for example) and yes that’s my hand covered in Mod Podge. There was an incident. I promise my camera hand was clean. Comparatively.

So I thought, looking at this mess, why should I expect my writing process to be different? Just because it’s words and not paint doesn’t mean the process is all that different, I make writing/painting analogies all the time. Of course my writing process is going to involve weird notes and seemingly disorganized bits and pieces. Clearly, I am the type of artist that needs to put paint I’m not going to use on the table and get my hands dirty.

I used to have this complex about working messy with my art. I thought all the paint should actually end up on the painting and not on the table, on me, occasionally on the cats. I got over that somewhere around the time I started splattering things. It’s difficult to splatter things and keep paint properly contained. But I liked the finished product, I liked the way it looked and it’s become something of a signature technique now.

Time to apply the same train of thought to writing, methinks. At least writing messily doesn’t involve as much cleanup.

springy

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

For spring, which has sprung, a random list of artsy things I would like to do/try/attempt someday, when time and space and money and such fickle things align properly:

  • Re-finish and creatively paint furniture, in muted technicolor funky-but-classy patterns. You know, when I have the room to strip and store furniture.
  • Art dolls, quirky creepy pseudo-Victorian porcelain nightmares in lace. This will likely require improving my sewing skills.
  • Documentary film. I don’t know what subject, maybe something will come to me eventually. But I like documentaries, and have an odd desire to make one myself.
  • Encaustic painting. Painting with hot wax! C’mon, that’s awesome. Expensive and messy, but awesome.
  • Some sort of collaborative photo-based project to be star odyssey 2.0. No idea how to fix what went wrong with 1.0 yet, though, so will require pondering.
  • Zen garden, with koi pond and fountain and meditating Buddha statues. Need a yard first.
  • Another tarot deck, perhaps in a minimalist pencil sketch sort of style.

And I have a long-harbored desire to make an installation sculpture consisting of a skull stuffed with teabags and a top hat, entitled Requiem for the Mad Hatter.

finished bunnies & suggestions welcome

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

The Phantomwise Tarot 10s are done, remarkably ahead of schedule. You can see the set in the tarot minors gallery on phantomwise.com or over here on my art-based LiveJournal. Someday I might combine that blog with this one. Today is not that day.

Here are the finished bunnies, in bookish tea party glory:

I kind of can’t believe the numbered minors are complete. I’m really pleased with how they’ve all turned out, so often the minors are dull in comparison to the majors, and I’d like to think these hold their own. Now it’s just a matter of getting the courts completed, and then the deck is done. I doubt I’ll know what to do with myself then, I might need another epic art project of some sort.

In other news, I am going to endeavor to blog here more frequently. I was going to set a lofty goal of once a day but that seems too lofty at the moment. So I’ll start with several times a week and maybe attempt that every day thing in April.

I’ll need topics, though. Suggestions are welcome, just comment. Otherwise you’re just going to get more writing, art, kittens, and possibly a lengthy essay on why I love LOST in general and Michael Emerson in particular.

And you get a Watchmen review on Friday, of course.

technical difficulties & a bunny

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

My Macbook is unhappy. Googling indicates that it’s suffering from a kernel panic, a malady that makes me want popcorn. I’ve tried all the helpful hints for creative restarting but it persists in panicing, so it will get a trip to the Apple Store in the nearish future. In the snow.

I am sick of snow. I am bored with hibernating. It’s pretty, but I’m cold and I would like some greenery. Flowers and butterflies and a world outside my window not covered in ice, please thank you.

I am working on the 10s for the Phantomwise Tarot. They are all sketched and some of the paintings are started. I should be able to finish them by the end of the week.

The ten of cups got overrun with bunnies. Here’s a teensy peek:

I decided I only had a few cards left to be silly in, to make the deck more me than Rider Waite, and bunnies, books & tea seemed a good way to do it. The pents are rather non-traditional, too, and I managed to sneak each totem animal in their respective suits for good measure.

So, painting and editing in a winter wonderland, waiting for Spring and trying not to get impatient about it.

filling the well

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

I think it’s Julia Cameron, maybe in The Artist’s Way or The Right to Write or maybe in both, who talks about filling your creative well on a regular basis. That you need to replenish your creativity by absorbing other creative things or nature or just stuff. Having constant input to properly maintain artistic exportation. Or something. She probably puts it much better, and it likely involves Artist Dates.

I sometimes forget I need to do that, to recharge and consume art rather than constantly working on my own. I’ve been busy with other things over the last week or so but haven’t been properly recharging.

And now in the last 24 hours I’ve read the entirety of Watchmen (I had been meaning to pick it up off the to-read shelf for ages) which was even better than I had expected, and watched Tarsem’s The Fall, which might just be my new favorite movie. It immediately earned a place in the all-time top ten at the very least.

I think I feel better because my creative well is fuller from binging on good books and good films and good tea. Must endeavor to be better about consuming them on a more regular basis.