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Posts Tagged ‘art’

circus art

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

I shared this over on Tumblr and Twitter last week but I thought I’d put it over here for good measure.

Illustration of Celia by the amazingly talented Abigail Larson:

celia - abigail larson

Prints are available over here. I already ordered one.

The Night Circus was published 2 years ago this week. It seems like it was just yesterday and so very long ago, both together at the same time. Something about this picture is perfect for how I feel about it lately, moving toward something else but still surrounded by stripes and feathers and magic.

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.

on absorbing story inspiration in non-prose form

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

So Bioshock Infinite came out yesterday and I am being really good today by not playing until I get everything else on today’s to-do list checked off. I just got to “blog post” so here we go. It has a theme and some points, I promise.

I will preface this by (re)stating that I’m not much of a gamer. I am picky about games that I like and I am not widely versed in all the video game wonderment that is out there, but I have dipped my toes in and splashed around in my not-terribly-skilled way. (I remain annoyed that you can’t marry the Khajiit characters in Skyrim, do I at least get some sort of geek credit for that?)

To make everything ever somehow relate to Punchdrunk: I first became acquainted with Bioshock when I heard Sleep No More referred to as “live action Bioshock” which is a fairly apt description for something that’s almost impossible to describe. I’ve been waiting for Bioshock Infinite since 2011 when the first trailer came out, even though aesthetically the first two games are much more up my art deco alley, because floating city = swoon.

This brings me to my (first) point: I love this entire series largely because I am overly fond of architecture. The level of detail is amazing and I seriously spent about two hours playing Infinite yesterday and I’m barely past the intro because I keep stopping to look at things. (I really wish you could play in spectator mode and not have to worry about, you know, shooting things or getting shot at, which I understand is the basis of the game but it can be distracting when I’m trying to look at windows and statues and figuring out how the building docking systems work.)

It is immersive visual world building on an epic, gorgeous scale and still being somewhat in the architectural world building phase of writing a novel it is giddy-making for my storyteller brain.

Which brings me to my main point, because this post needs to have one before I am allowed to scurry off and play more, about how much I learn about storytelling in non-prose formats.

I suppose it goes without saying that I read a lot of books which are inspiring for my own writing (see this post for a recent example and also another Bioshock reference) but I also watch a lot of movies and look at a lot of art and listen to music and lately, play games.

There is some really innovative storytelling technique going on in games and I find it almost as fascinating as the architecture. How information is relayed and how plots are advanced and learning how a world works through interacting with it.

(I kind of want to do a documentary film about immersive entertainment. Need to figure out how to conjure more of that time stuff first.)

I’m a very visual person so it helps to be able to see things so I can expand my own mental treasure trove of images to include more things to build with. I suppose it is the visual equivalent of expanding your vocabulary, creating a visual media dictionary.

And a step beyond the visuals, games and movies and graphic novels and, oh, I don’t know, let’s say, puppet theatre all touch on telling stories without words which is a useful thing to study and figure out how to do, even if you end up telling your own story with nothing but various combinations of letters and punctuation.

That’s not to say that static visuals can’t be just as nuanced and layered. Take this Shaun Tan print I just had framed:

rabbits print

I know the context behind it because it’s an illustration from The Rabbits by John Marsden, but even as a separate single piece it’s full of detail and wonderment. And rabbits.

I’m losing my points here and instead of trying to pick them up I’m just going to throw them up in the air and let them fall in a visual waterfall of sketches and plush songbirds and inflatable presidents. I was going to include something more about graphic novels but maybe I’ll make that its own post some other day. I also still owe a post about cocktails (next week!) and also when my storyteller brain is in full absorption mode it gets a little weird and spongy in my train of thought.

Also, this is why it is sometimes difficult for me to describe my writing process because there’s so much stuff going on in here.

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 not a FAQ part the second

Monday, February 27th, 2012

Okay, this took longer to put together than I’d intended but here is Part II of the not really a proper Frequently Asked Questions extravaganza. This is more about me and miscellaneous things than about writing, thus the title.

Part II: Not On Writing 

I wonder if I’ve been changed in the night? Let me think. Was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I’m not the same, the next question is ‘Who in the world am I?’ Ah, that’s the great puzzle!

– Alice In Wonderland

  

About Erin

 

How old are you?

I get this a lot, I think because no one has stuck my birthdate on Wikipedia yet and I assume it’s difficult to guess from my appearance given that I still get carded frequently. I am currently 33 years old. My birthday is the 8th day of July.

 

Where did you go to school?

I went to Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. I lived in the same house that Julia Child lived in when she went there, which I still think is pretty darned cool. I majored in Theatre and I probably could have minored in Studio Art had I actually bothered to declare it an official minor. I could have done the same thing with English or Religion, most likely, but I didn’t sleep that much during college so I’m sure there were a lot of things I should have done and didn’t.

 

Are you married?

I don’t like that I even need to cover this but since there are still inaccurate author bios going around I probably should: I was married, I have been separated since early 2010 and I’m currently in the process of getting divorced. It is a long story that the internet does not need to know but I figure the clarification is fair.

 

Where do you live?

Currently Boston, previously Salem. I’ve lived in Massachusetts most of my life. I am thinking of moving later this year but I haven’t decided where just yet.

 

Where did you get that necklace/those boots/that dress?

A great deal of my jewelry comes from Etsy. I am almost always wearing at least one piece of bloodmilk. There are savage salvage pieces in heavy rotation and the necklace with all the keys is from star of the east. I also have a couple of pyrrha wax seal necklaces.

My boots or shoes, with rare exceptions, are Fluevogs. I am not a shoe person, truly, but I am a Fluevog person.

Most of my tour wardrobe has included pieces from AllSaints Spitalfields. There are also bits from Ann Taylor and J.Crew and Trashy Diva.

 

Why do you smell so good?

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab.

 

What’s your favorite book/movie/band/etc?

I am bad at favorites because I like variety and layers, but here is a small sampling:

Books, some all-time favorites:

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri

Griffin & Sabine by Nick Bantock

Movies, same:

The Fall

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Gosford Park

Amélie

Spirited Away

Bands/musicians/etc:

Tori Amos

Florence + the Machine

Radiohead

Arcade Fire

and I’m all into classic jazz lately.

 

About Art Stuff

 

When is your Etsy store going to be back?

I don’t know. Likely not until I have someone else to run it for me which… yeah, I don’t know. I would like it to be active again eventually but I really can’t say when that will be.

 

When will the tarot deck be available?

Good question. Lots of details still need to be worked out and I’ve been putting it off because I want to have the time to give it the attention it deserves but hopefully that will be sometime in the not-too-far future. When there are deck publication details I will post them all over the place, I promise.

 

About Contacting me & Social Media & Such

 

Can I send you art/cookies/books to be signed/etc?

I’m still working on the best way to handle this sort of thing. Right now I can’t receive & return books to be signed, I’m sorry. I’m hoping I’ll eventually have a good setup for sending out signed bookplates or something like that but I don’t have one in place yet. I shall update this accordingly when I do.

If you would like to send me actual (non-perishable) things you can send them care of Doubleday, 1745 Broadway New York NY 10019. Putting “Attention Alison Callahan” will likely help, she’s my beloved editor. Eventually I will get a PO Box, but that will likely require knowing where I’m going to live for a reasonable amount of time.

 

Where else can I find you on the internet?

I’m @erinmorgenstern on Twitter, which is my social media of choice. I like it because it lives in the now. I try to respond to @ replies as much as I can.

I have a facebook fan page that I don’t keep up with personally as much as I’d like to, it is co-run by Doubleday and they speak facebook better than I do.

If you want to ask me a direct question, tweeting at me or blog commenting will likely be most effective.

 

Can I email you?

You can email me at erin@erinmorgenstern.com. I try to respond as much as I can but it’s usually not in anything resembling a timely manner.

If you write me (or have written me) at any other email address I cannot guarantee that I’ve even seen it, with the exception of the address you likely have if you are someone I actually know. I have recently (mostly) caught up on my email so if you have sent me anything important or anything that required a reply, please resend to the address above.

If you want me to do a reading/signing/interview/etc or have a question that involves rights or things of a business sort please contact Doubleday or InkWell Management.

 

Will you come visit my city/country/teahouse?

I would love to, especially if there is tea, but I don’t do much deciding of where I go myself so again, please contact Doubleday or InkWell if you want me to come read things or sign things or drink tea. (I am afraid I cannot do all three at once, alas.)

 

 

Okay, I think that’s it but again if you have other questions not answered here (or in Part I) please feel free to add them in the comments and I will update this accordingly!

march miscellany

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

I still have tons of things to post about but some of them require photographs that I haven’t taken yet.

Also, am baffled that it’s March already. But March brings Sleep No More, and therefore I welcome it wholeheartedly, even in my skepticism about the passing of time.

I have been petting my shiny, shiny ARCs. A few have scampered off to new homes already, and the fates of the remaining ones are being pondered. I have ideas but I need to see how practical they’ll be to execute.

I spent part of the weekend painting, because I haven’t painted anything in ages and I had new old sheet music to play with.

They’re a companion series to a trio of paintings I did last year called music for the apocalypse. This bunch is music for the apocalypse part II: nocturnes. They should be up on Etsy by the end of the week.

Other than that I’m all reading, writing & waiting for the snow to melt while I slowly work my way through my ever-growing to-do list.

There are photos of shiny objects forthcoming, too.

monday miscellany

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Stuff accomplished during the week of no internet:

  • Finished three (3!) paintings. One is off to its recipient already, another is waiting for payment & the third is available on Etsy.
  • Got rid of my stupid summer head cold that I had hoped was allergies but was really just a head cold. I don’t get sick that often and that’s twice this year already, bah.
  • Went through two old notebooks that contained two years worth of novel notes, and pulled out several pages worth of possibly useful stuff.
  • Transcribed the possibly useful stuff into a new notebook.
  • Made strawberry frozen yogurt.
  • Sort of figured out the structure of the new draft. I think. Maybe. I have to see what it looks like when not scrawled on a spare piece of paper in magenta Sharpie.

So, not the huge dent in revisions that I’d wanted, but still productive. Am revising-o-rama this week, and I feel better about it having gotten the paintings out of the way.

Also, this weekend I bought a gigantic (2′x3′) dry erase board. I am a nerd, but I am a happy nerd. Hopefully it will help with structuring and time line and such. The kittens were disappointed that it did not come in a box. But it does have four different pens! And it’s magnetic! Oooh, I should get magnetic poetry for it.

Um, anyway.  It’s hot & humid out and the Kitten Flop Barometer is at Heavy Flop. Tessa is heavily flopped over the printer at the moment.

Back to notes and time lines and coffee for me.

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.