Friday, December 18, 2009

James Jean

A friend of mine tipped me off to James Jean and while there's a lot I should say about how much I love his extensive and diverse body of work, I simply must post his tree of life, because... wow...

Monday, November 30, 2009

only 6 pgs?

I've been working on eve (well, working off and on, and more off than anything) for how many months? Certainly longer than my proposed NaGraDraMo of November. And now I am still only 6 pgs in?! (Do those last two pages even count? They are still a work in progress... so... I'm guessing not). I'm struggling through a learning curve: narrative sequential artwork not being my usual MO. I have also been struggling with a pretty strong avoidance tendancy surrounding this project (directly relating to the fact that this project is not my usual MO). But, then, working on those last few pages I really felt like I had hit a good stride... was finding my groove, was getting the HANG of it~ but that was over a week ago. Work Obligations and Family Obligations and Holiday Obligations hit. So now I have to go and find that nice little line, that feel good spot, but I'm back in avoidance mode, writing BLOG POSTS about it rather than doing it. Oh, and I'm hungry, need to make some lunch first. Then, it will be only a short time before it's time to pick up the little guy from school, then homework, then making dinner, then cleaning up, then bedtime routine.... Another day gone forever. Brooke's poem is close to the front of my mind right now.
Yah, I'm whining right now. Pay me no mind.
Anyhoo... if you want to see these two-page spreads individually see the flickr set here.

Oh... and because this looks AMAZING (and hits so very close to home): the trailer for the documentary "Who Does She Think She Is?" (women and mothers who are also artists)

[wishing I was so cool.....]

Friday, November 13, 2009

wordless (and style too)

Because putting words in is my least favorite part of making a comic. And anyhow a picture = 1k words to start with:

Davide Fraternali

Michele Toffalori

Robin Ha

[click on the thumbnail sets to be able to read each page.]

Also, I've been struggling a bit with style. That's another reason I like the aforementioned comic artists, the styles they are working in absolutely blow me away. I am trying to reconcile my initial tendencies towards comic-book hero type renderings, working to meld my visual story telling into a more sophisticated (sophisticated = wrong word, but close enough for now) method that more closely approaches my painting style.
(Yes, still working through my identity crisis.)

That's all.
Except here's the trailer to In The Realms of the Unreal, beautiful documentary about the work of Henry Darger. Because his work almost brings tears to my eyes.

Monday, November 2, 2009


In solidarity with my many friends who are NaNoWriMo-ing this month, I shall be GraDraMo-ing. Graphic novel Drawing Month (not a National event yet, but who's counting.)
Because I have a class deadline coming up.
Because it is a personal goal.
Because all I have done up till now is sketch, plot, experiment, and doodle thumbnails yet have successfully avoided just jumping in and doing the real thing; and because I have reached the end of all my avoidance techniques (including writing posts about it. Heheh.)
Therefore I declare this month to be my offical NaGraDraMo. Starting... NOW!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Gah... I missed Inktober?!

Feeling crushed... I had no idea it was Inktober, and my heart is breaking.

What is Inktober?

In the words of Agent 44:
"It’s a month long appreciation of the art of drawing in ink and the practitioners that embrace that art. To celebrate I’m posting one ink drawing a day for the entire month. No pencils, no water colors, no photoshop, just the unadulterated black and white beauty of thick black ink on crisp white paper. Drawing with ink means commitment. There’s no hemming and hawing as to which pencil line you’re going to use, no sitting on the fence of values, no pussy footing with color. When you make your mark you better mean it. It’s black and white. True or false. On or off. And that’s what Inktober is all about."

(Or here, to see it in cool inked visuals)

(Thanks, Thmazing for bringing it to my attention)

Here's the thing, for years and years, a cheap ballpoint pen was my tool of choice for sketching and I always enjoyed the spontaneity/whimsy/creativity of those sketches... something my belabored "official" work (fleshed out in pencil, multiple erased marks at a time) DIDN'T have.

Grrr, I still struggle with this. A whole month of ink only may have been just what I needed. Maybe I'll do my own unofficial version of Inktober in November?
Hmmm, we'll see.
Meanwhile, a trip down memory lane to some of my earlier ballpoint pen sketches.

shield and guard

<span class=

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drapery slut


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Lest They Should See (a comic in 18 hrs)

From the initial handful of startup inspirations, (a few random images, and a random sentence on a page of a book) I wrote this brainstorm:

Food, Starvation, Fertility, Plenty, Want, Sterile, Poison, Wrath, God's Wrath, Full Bellies, Apocalypse, God watches, God Judges, God Giveth and He Taketh Away, Eyeballs, Watching, Take, Give, Need, [God is a Cruel God]...

Then, I begin putting pencil to paper, just drawing out studies, first from those starter images, then expanding out, and scripture verses began to come to me, Amos 8:12, Acts 28:27, Luke 11:34, John 7:34, etc..
anyhoo... the following are the 12 pgs of looking, finding, and losing that resulted.

Lest They Should See
They look from the north to the east, but cannot find it. The land is dry as bones

They look, but cannot find it. Until... one day... it's there.

A promise. Of harvest, of feast, of plenty, of multitudes of people and them all fed

Promises of fruitful loins, of posterity as the sands of the sea

All eyes are upon it, the promise, long awaited, long looked for. But, watched too closely, it cannot sustain.

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust

Saturday, October 24, 2009


Comic Challenge Day.

I will be updating and retweeting/facebooking this post throughout the day as I upload pages (or if I have anything interesting to say about the process) (Twitter hashtag #18hrComic, if you want to search it.)

4:30am~ get up.
tea and toast, read a bit.

5am~ loaded Neutral Milk Hotel on my iPod (thanks @aarontbell ), got three starter images from @johnremy (here, here, and here), picked a random phrase from the Fob Bible: "Remember that the full observance of the Feast of the Holy Mountain is necessay for an adequate harvest."(pg 151, from Ezra's Inbox) (thanks @thmazing)
k... time to start this.

7:30am~ Second Breakfast! (this time with hubby and kiddo). Narrowing down brainstorm/sketching ideas. have rough thumbnail layouts for the 24 pgs. Got layout ideas from Scott McClouds first 24 hr comic and from Nate Powell's Swallow Me Whole (btw, pg 6 simply has me drooling). Oh! And, for the heck of it, read the rest of Fob Bible's Ezra's Inbox... LOL!!!

11am~ just hit a rut. pacing problems. and monotony problems. and obscure-narrative/lack-of-story problems. Oh! JohnR's got several panels up, zombies! WAY COOL! go check them out!

2pm~ k, 16 pgs. That's my revised goal. The pages are rough-sketched, now to ink (and photoshop?) Check out JohnR's Flickr Set, Benjamin Lind's first panel, Angry Young Woman's first panel, and Bored in Vernal's set up here. Giving myself an hour to get my first... 3 pgs up?

4:30pm~ /groan!! this is hellish for a perfectionist! Just uploaded 6 pgs to this flickr set. Unphotoshoped, no text or color or anything... Not yet, I will add that as well as more pages... I swear it will make some sort of sense eventually.

11pm~ drained. brain dead. only pulled together 12 pgs. didn't have the energy to color of photoshop. Some panels I quite like. Many things I want to revisit and take more time on. Later. See flickr Set here, blog post here. And yes, it is an obscure, weird, wordless thing, but hopefully vaguely interesting.

Friday, October 23, 2009

comic challenge + zombie walk

This Saturday I"m going to have to do some balancing between two awesome amazing events. It is the 18 hr Comic Challenge, but I have also discovered that it's the day Tucson is having a Zombie Walk (complete with Michael Jackson Thriller dance along).

So, I'm tailoring my Comic Challenge just a bit, to make room for a walk with the dead. I'll be doing a 12 hr draw (5am to 5pm) but still hoping to put out 24 pages (the Eastman variation "noble failure" may be an option).

Then me, the hubby, the kiddo (and maybe the dog?) will apply fake blood and head downtown. We'll watch the local undead do the Thriller Dance (in sync with thousands around the world) donate canned food to the food-bank, then meander downtown in a zombie-ish way looking for fresh brains.

Wow, what a day!
Pics of both will be uploaded throughout :)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

18 hr comic details...

So... this Saturday. Four more days an we're gonna do it. Our own version of Scott McClouds 24 hr Comic Challenge. I got to thinking about it and realized just how long 18 hrs will be: I will start drawing at 6am and have my final product (an 24 pg comic) by midnight (whew!), that's my plan. What are your various plans? Will you do the full 18 hrs? Or are you tailoring the challenge around other obligations? What are your goals? And, because I'm curious, what about this challenge intrigues you (or turns you off?)

Here's me:
I've made arrangements with hubby so that I have the full day to do this. I think I'll mostly just draw with pen on paper but I'm keeping my options open (refer to my first link for suggestions on the multitude of ways to make a comic). I will format it horizontally (landscape) for better viewing on the web (for print, you may want to format vertically/portrait). I plan on having no preconceived idea for the story, but getting spontanious inspiration at the start by some sort of random selection (ya know, open a book and put your finger down and read what's there, that sort of thing) but I DO plan on having a goodly selection of reference material available; for example, I will have handy my books on religious imagery, Janson's History of Art, and my favorite anatomy books.

Now, what appeals to me about this challenge- the immediate-ness of it and the immersion of it. I find I do these rather neat spontaneous sketches, but when I go to work on a "planned" piece it tends to fall flat. Exercises like this one help to merge the two ways of working, so I'm all excited for that.

But how 'bout you?

Now, for your viewing pleasure, @pizzocalabro posted a link to this video and I LOVED it, Milton Glaser on drawing, while drawing.


Blasphemy Art

A friend tweeted this article about the schism among atheists and it mentioned this art show in Washington DC, held at the Center for Inquiry, featuring artwork by Dana Ellyn (skim down through that link for images and articles about the art show).

A few brief conversations with some friends has made me aware of my own little schism, which is this:

~I am absolutely in LOVE with Dana's artwork~ Christ painting his "nails", Blood flowing from his wounds and into a wine cup (another version here), a quirky "Mary had a little lamb/nativity scene", etc. I love her style, I love her subjects, totally IN LOVE!!

And yet

~I do not consider myself one of those atheists who disparages belief systems and people of belief. I am FASCINATED by the faiths people have, the myths and rituals that are pivotal (or not) parts of their lives and don't intend to poke fun or mock.

So... how do I explain, how do I justify my proclivity for creating artwork that most believers would find fairly offensive? I'm working on my own slightly twisted slant on Jesus (not to mention my love for Zombie Jesus). The story of Eve I am drawing out is highly unorthodox, I'm obsessed with the underlying eroticism in Christianity, and wait till you hear some of my ideas for Mother Mary.

Yah, how to explain that I'm not TRYING to offend, just working out, through, around, and with all the symbols and stories and systems of my upbringing whose shards still lie embedded in my psyche (I paraphrased that last bit; something that Joseph Campbell said)..

anyhoo, just some thoughts this morning.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fob Bible

I'm in love... swooning away wrapped up inside of these insideout tellings of old testament tales contained in the Fob Bible.
I'm a sucker for a good twist on orthodoxy. I can't help myself. (BTW, CLHanson liked it too.)
A few of the "plain and precious parts" are online here. Among those my favorites are Blood Red Fruit (a captivating conversation between satan and the snake), Genesis (the rib and the fall), Capitulation: Forbidden Squirming (childbirth and the fall), How Long Till Two Times (a newly fallen yet still ignorant Adam and Eve) Abraham's Purgatory (a horrifying, provoking take on the sacrifice of Issac), and Faith of the Ocean (Jonah as you've never seen him before).

This was just what I needed this morning, to get my creative juices flowing, many thanks to the Fob Family.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Invitation to 18 hr Comic Day!!

eve thumbnails

Please Join Us!!!! On Saturday October 24 2009, Me, John Remy, Catgirl, and a goodly handful of other friends are going to do our own version of Scott McCloud's 24 hour Comic Challenge. Here's a quick rundown of McCLoud's "official" rules but for the purposes of our comic challenge we're being flexible. (Hell, we already decided that we are just too old for the 24 hour version.)

Or even able to draw for that matter: comics are diversifying in very cool ways, for example: consider storytelling with Legos, or cookies, or paper cut-outs, or photo snapshots, or stick figures. One of my favorite artists sometimes just takes his iPhone for a walk (just turn it into a 'story' of some sort, and voila!). You can PAINT a comic. You can Sew a comic. There doesn't even need to be words (wow, SO in love with that last link...!!)

More info will be forthcoming, but part of the idea is to foster the community aspect of it by sharing, discussing, tweeting, (etc) both heading up to the 24th and also posting real-time updates, panels, (etc) on 24th.
(if tweeting, consider using hashtag #18hrComic for easy searching)

If interested please leave a comment on john's post, or send an email.

We understand if you need to tweek the day/duration a bit to fit your own circumstances, THAT'S OKAY!! It will still be awesome to have you and we'll find ways of including your work throughout the 24th.

Pleeeeaaaase say yes :)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

pods and critters and things that come from inside us

We come into this world sticky and squishy, squeezed through a tiny orifice located extremely close to the orifices intended for sewage elimination. Weird, huh? I love it. So, since it's on my mind, here's a few artists and artworks that touch upon these slippery slopes in delightful ways.

~Tom Karlsson's dark comic Tell Me About The Mountain in From the Shadow of the Northern Lights, a disturbingly twisted pregnancy narration by a true mad genius. (I was too lazy to scan in a page from the book and also not entirely sure of copyright laws concerning that, however you can see some of Tom's work here).

~Eraserhead, 1970's surrealist-horror film with all things embryonic and fetal becoming the stuff of nightmares. (here's the chicken dinner scene for a brief sampling.)

~On the not so disturbing just simply amazing side, a wordless comic by Tyler Stafford; Trees and Mountains , bodies plopping from seedpods, re-birth, new life... Love it!

~And, Just because, the 1970's Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Philip Kaufman, Donald Sutherland, Jeff Goldblum, Leonard Nimoy, plus cameo by Kevin McCarthy, Awesome!)

Makes me want to revisit my vulva drawings, or my egg shell pieces. Or just pull out one of my anatomy books and do some studies of internal organs.
Anyhow, for your viewing pleasure, my latest sketchbook entry (brains, wombs, fingers...)


Friday, October 9, 2009

meet Eve

bite the apple
Okay, so BiV beat me too writing about this (and OF COURSE, she did it way better than I could), but anyways; I'm drawing a story about Eve. Yes, drawing, because really, I'm better at images than words... though we shall see if I can jump into the sequential nature of graphic novels with any success. Now I'm still working out the particulars, but the general run down goes something like this: After the fall, Eve returns to the garden to have it out with that angel who was placed as guardian. Whether she beheads him or just beats him to a bloody pulp I'm not real sure, but as with Virginia Wolf, she has to kill this angel to get on with what she needs to do. She also takes on the apple (see above, inspired by Brooke's delightful poem on eating the apple). Now I'm still not sure the exact outcome of all this, but Eve's bottom line here is to have a deadly serious conversation with God (who, of course, is also her husband Adam, because Brigham said so. Oh, and Adam is also Michael the archangel who helped create the earth, AND might just also be the angel guarding the tree. Maybe. Yah, serious identity crisis. Utterly fascinating.)

So here's the thing, several people have asked me why this isn't a story about Lilith (the usual suspect for uppity/aggressive garden of eden variety femaleness).

It's because I was endowed in the temple and, as a woman, was a stand in for Eve. I was dressed in her name, said things in her name, did things in her name, I was her and she was me.

And she was this silent and passive thing, created to please Adam. (Absolutely LOVE Lynnette's take on the subject. Wow.)

So instead of despising her, I wanted to re-invent her. To give her a quest. Give her a sword (she takes that flaming one from the angel). Give her a mind of her own and the grit to do what she needs to do which is different than what the 'authorities' are telling her to do.

I guess feel I owe it to her. And to me.

So that's why it's about Eve and not Lilith.

[Jan 24, 2010 update: I just self-published one copy of my first version of The Story of Bloody Eve. Woot]

Oh, and btw, I've written before about my artist's block and my neglected studio...
Well lately I'm back in the paint again! and it feels good. Just had to share :)
painting AFP (in progress)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

bitch-slapped by my muse

I sometimes wonder how other artists do it.

Do they have an idea and then work till they have a product that matches the vision in their head?

I envy that.

It seems so often I have an idea, go to work it out, only to get smacked around by my Muse (masochistic bitch) till the final product is something quite a bit different that what I had initially envisioned.

I do what she tells me.
I'm her bitch.

(She also ignores me completely for long stretches of time.)

Just a thought I've had lately.

Monday, August 3, 2009

identity crisis

Bitter enemies; the commercial arts and the fine arts. In collage, it seemed the two departments couldn't be in the same room without hostilities breaking out. And I bounced from one to the other. Back and forth again, shifting my allegiances, both sides looked at me with suspicion and distrust.

I feel that pull now too. the dissonance, in my work.
And every time I encounter other artists work, from the both fine and the commercial fields, I experience an identity crisis; "oh, THAT's what I should do!"
Swinging back and forth.
I'll be like this, I'll be like that...

Influenced. It's what artists do. We are influenced by everything.
That's normal.

I need to keep it from becoming the halting choking disabling identity crisis.
MY work.
Influenced by a plethora of other styles/genres/every day objects and individuals...
absorbed, assimilated into MY style.
"Just be yourself!"


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Boxes, coffins, death and dying

My mom took me to the Tohono Chul Park art exhibit the other day to see the show "Re-Visions: Art from Reclaimed Materials". It was awesome, me being a sucker for old stuff and all. But I was particularly fascinated by the several assemblage artists who stuck all their stuff in boxes. Found boxes, fabricated boxes, filled with ephemera and oddities. I loved them.
art box collage

(I got a thing for putting stuff in boxes myself.)

After the art show we went and visited my mom's father in the hospital. He's very old and got really sick over the weekend. Lying there in the hospital bed mortality seemed to lay very heavy upon him. He's in his eighties. Everyone accepts that it is only a matter of time.

Which is the same for all of us.

At a recent family gathering I was struck by how much I could see the writing of years upon friends and family members. Knowing they could see the same on me.
We are all just little wind-up toys tick-tocking away, the slow process of wearing down, wearing out, unwinding till we stop and are put in a box then put in the ground ourselves. In our graves.

Which brings to mind the recent cemetery scandal of bodies being dug up and the plots resold for profit.

It also brings to mind the art of Kiki Smith.

These things are always on my mind.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Christ + Blood pt 2

Did a little sketching in church concerning my son's theological question; "how did Jesus put our blood in?" Here's what I came up with:
blood of christ

[color and burlap texture added in photoshop.]

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Christ + Blood

"Mom" my 5 yr old asks, "How did Jesus put our Blood in us?"

My son delights me no end.

So speaking of Jesus and Blood, my little bro (who's on a mission) asked me to draw some pictures of Jesus for him. All I could come up with for ideas was Jesus as a Night Elf, or a Vampire (re the whole blood thing).

Then a friend reminded me of the Zombie Jesus genre. So very very delighted, all over again.)

Here's a Movie Trailer

And some artistic renditions

(including, of course, the zombie last supper, where Jesus is consumed by zombie disciples)
Finally, my own favorite sketch of Jesus; my study of Jose Benjamin Lopez's 8 ft wooden sculpture of Christ where his wounds become large bloody sores covering his body
bloody jesus

Anyhow... none of these are anything my little bro would appreciate....
But I'm excited for MY own next Christ-oriented art project

three items of interest

1) I went to the art store and buy paint yesterday. It's been several years (?) since I have had to buy paint because it has been several years since I have used any of the paints I have. Also, the week before, I went and bought three new paint brushes. Because all the ones I had had been used only by young children for several years and were in horrible shape.
so nice to be buying art materials again.

2) I'm having to deal with the technicalities/complications of creating R rated paintings in a household frequently overrun by young children. "Mom, why is his head missing" my son asked of my latest painting. And I showed him how the naked lady had cut off his head and was holding it in her hand. And tried to make it sound... child friendly... (need to get a lock for my studio.)

and finally...

3) Note to self - 18 x 24 inches is too big if you are planning on doing a painting a week. Just too much area to cover. Keep it to 14 x 17 or 11 x 14 or smaller. Much better chance of finishing it in a week.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

not a painting every week...

Meh... only my second week into my attempt to finish a painting every week, and already I've missed my first deadline.
I had a sense it might happen; it was a week packed with family obligations and I had a houseful of kids that fully occupied two days and one night. On top of that, my right hand has been acting up, the knuckles and wrist are inflamed and achy. I'm worried my art making is to blame. I am paranoid that it bodes ill for future art production, but am hoping it is something temporary and easily reversed. (Keeping my stiff sore fingers crossed.)
artistic highlights of the week: I did start doing some thumbnails for a hypothetical Tarot Deck dedicated to Amanda Palmer. And I did at least start the next painting (I will have it done by Sunday. I will I will). It's something to be glad about.
studio shot

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

shit, eros, and gods

I just stumbled across Break the Vessel by Vylar Kaftan at Pseudopod. If you're not into feces, or eroticism, or violent religious retribution (or horror in general), than don't bother going to that link. Me, those are some of my basic fascinations. Questioning faith and tradition, examining the gods we have created, exposing graphically explicit details about the bodily functions we usually hide behind closed doors... Kaftan's story will stay with me a good long while.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A painting a week.

amanda f. palmer

Inspired by Calan Ree's weekly haiku derived paintings, and jump-started by Amanda Palmer's offering of her nekkid body for artistic purposes, I have my new goal: a painting a week. Working with the cast of characters in my mind and the floating flexible exoskeleton of a story-line, It's enough. I'm sure. And I'm excited.

It's been a while since I have painted. Over 3 years. Such a breath of fresh air to get into it again over Amanda's body. I am surrounded by muses.

Monday, July 13, 2009

blood fail

My veins failed me at the blood bank on Saturday. It was humiliating, I pride myself on my fat veins and their ability, when punctured, to fill a pint bag with astonishing speed. But not Saturday, which, when I thought about it (while eating cookies and drinking juice at the blood bank's cafeteria) was a fitting close to a week in which I indulged more than usual on things gore-ish, dark, gruesome and morbid.

I started the week revisiting the illustrations of Henry Darger before moving on to Hieronymous Bosch. Then our netflix queue delivered Sweeny Todd and Tim Burton delivered buckets of bright red blood splashed all over the gloom of London (plus amazing performances by some of my most favorite thespians.) To top that, I discovered two wonderfully talented, very inspiring (delightfully dark and morbid) webcomics: gingerdead by Calan Ree and unconscious ink by Joenis Norac.

Each of the aforementioned artists deserves a post all for themselves, but time is short at the moment. As my vein stopped filling the bag just short of a full pint and the phlebotomist tried twisting the needle back and forth, sliding it in and out, trying to get the flow going again, I decided to just make one post full of blood and needles and sharp things and dark things. Since almost a full pint of my own blood had to be dumped down the drain.
Have a nice day!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

sex and the cross

"I saw in his hand a long spear of gold, and at the iron's point there seemed to be a little fire. He appeared to me to be thrusting it at times into my heart and to pierce my very entrails; when he drew it out, he seemed to draw them out also and to leave me all on fire with a great love of God. The pain was so great that it made me moan; and yet so surpassing was the sweetness of this excessive pain that I could not wish to be rid of it."
-the vision of St Teresa of Avila

A friend of mine just wrote a racy little tale of sex and religious innuendo. It tickled the hell out of me, religion and sex being one of my recurring themes at the moment; doodle after doodle of couples having sex on the cross, an obsession with St Teresa's orgasmic vision of God , and a sweaty palmed preoccupation with God's propositions to a young Jewish virgin.

I love the oedipal twist Richard Dawkin's puts on the matter of God's condescension: "...The Inventor of the law of physics and Programmer of the DNA code decided to enter the uterus of a Jewish virgin [and] got himself born..."

The divine lover becoming the divine son.

The mistress becoming the mother.

Just some thoughts.
Now, to move beyond the juvenile fixation with the missionary style into something more sophisticated.
Or, maybe not.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Bruce Mau's incomplete manifesto

So, immediately after getting just a little bit whiny and morose about feeling stuck and stagnant a friend linked to Bruce Mau's Incomplete Manifesto for Growth. Some pretty darn good suggestions.

My favorites (numbered how they are in the Manifesto):

8. Drift. Allow yourself to wander aimlessly. Explore adjacencies. Lack judgment. Postpone criticism...

9. Begin Anywhere.
John Cage tells us that not knowing where to begin is a common form of paralysis. His advice: begin anywhere...

18. Stay Up late.
Strange things happen when you’ve gone too far, been up too long, worked too hard, and you're separated from the rest of the world...

21. Repeat Yourself. If you like it, do it again. If you don’t like it, do it again...

33. Take Field Trips.
The bandwidth of the world is greater than that of your TV set, or the Internet, or even a totally immersive, interactive, dynamically rendered, object-oriented, real-time, computer graphic–simulated environment...


37. Break it, stretch it, bend it, crush it, crack it, fold it...

They are all good, all 43 points.
Something to kick me in the pants a bit. To jump start, to light the fire, something.

no time

Or maybe no initiative?
Not sure.
It seems that all I do lately is rough studies of other people's art.
Just copying what others have done. This used to feed my own fire, lead into my own work, my own original pieces.
Right now I'm not getting past the copying phase and only doing that infrequently and with haste.

I was going to say it is because I have no time. But this past weekend I had to myself, and had the determination to spend several hours working in the studio. Not sure where those hours went, wish I could account for them, but they weren't memorable. Puttering and frittering (and facebooking) and making dinner and reading a book etc.

I should just admit I'm in avoidance mode and deal with that, instead of trying to whine about no time.
(I've written before about my artist's block and my neglected studio. Yet another form of avoidance: blogging about it. ha!)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Michael DeMeng

Old stuff, rusty stuff, odd stuff, makes my heart so happy. So of course, I am in love with Micheal DeMeng, assembler of all things discarded. (in fact he wrote a book about rusty stuff. Need to get that book.) Quirky little totems, intricate shrines, odd animal creations, altered books, tiny matchbooks... An eye for detail and for the odd. He's awesome. He also has a blog. My favorite post concerned his trip to the island of the dolls in Mexico; death and love and devotion (and Tom Waits too)... a little look into his creative process and what touches this artist of immense talent.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

sunday sketching...

Not getting much time lately to do a lot in the way of artwork. Church is kinda 'meh' for me at the moment, but really, honestly, it is nice to have the three hour bloc where I can sit there and draw. Don't seem to get much time to do that other wise. So here, some nice uplifting little thumbnails that my brain spit up today while sitting on a pew listening to Sunday School chatter.

Monday, May 11, 2009


I've found a new heartthrob in Banksy, the pseudo-anonymous street artist. Surreptitious stenciled figures spray-painted on surfaces around Brittan and beyond, anti-war, anti-capitalist, anti-establishment. Small-scale surprises tucked away in alleys or large-scale blaring messages covering high-rise walls, confronting the masses. Asking. Demanding. Revealing. Tough Questions and Dirty Secrets. And also just because.

I think my favorite is the long drizzle of white paint trailing through the streets (of Bristol? Multiple cities?) and if you follow it far enough (across streets, through the park, around buildings) you will encounter a guilty looking man dressed in law enforcement garb crouched in some obscure place, holding the incriminating white crayon. Caught red handed. See a slide show of some of his outdoor stuff here.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Jan Svankmajer

Love love love the work of filmmaker Jan Svankmajer. Just got done watching some of his collected short films and simply wowed all over again. Food and angst and consuming and isolationist existentialism, not to mention pounds upon pounds of dirty rusty found objects that he animates to life and make my heart go thump thump. (A lot of my assemblage art was inspired by his work.)
Some of my favorite shorts of his are the "dialogues", Meat love and Dinner (really, the entire Food series is out of this world disgustingly awesome.) Ironically, none of those shorts have much in the way of those pounds of dirty rusty stuff I love so much. Just lots of mind bending oddness and brilliance.
(Btw, the image above is a still from the short Darkness Light Darkness.)

Monday, April 27, 2009

guilt girl's tefillin,

guilt girl

A little bit about Guilt Girl's costume; she likes (skanky?) black leather (but money is tight so her costume is usually a second-hand, sales-rack, pieced-together, self-altered affair) and she wears a surgical mask (the easiest cheapest identity-obscuring thing available to her).

And she wears a black strap wrapped around her left arm.

A little about that black strap...

I've always thought that a black strap wound around one's arm would just be a cool touch to a costume, so obviously Guilt Girl would wear something like that just for the design appeal (in spite of money problems, she does like a bit of flair.)

Then, I'm working on a character who lives in a phylactery. When I finally got around to doing some research on phylacteries (or tefillin) I was enthralled and amazed to see what they look like when worn. The feminist in me was delighted to see the gender aspect of this ritual dress addressed by Barbie and even Rosie the Riveter.

So I am toying with the idea of her little black strappy costume thingy having a strong aspect of tefillin to it.

But I'm not Jewish, and I don't think Guilt Girl will be either. So... working on it. And hoping it won't be perceived as too offending to any members of the Jewish community who might happen across her.

micron pens...

I miss my size.005 micron pen. It went dry two weeks ago and the little craft store where I usually buy them has not restocked them in some time (I've check three times since it went dry.) I got a set of Faber-Castell art pens that have been an okay replacement- I especially like the brush tipped pen. But they just doesn't measure to the micron. They bleed. And leave streaks. And most importantly, the smallest size is nowhere near the pinpoint thin .005 that I covet.
Desperate, I finally went online to see what I could buy and found a place where the micron pens were nice and cheap. Of course, with shipping costs it all evens out to what I get them for in-store anyways. At least i think it all evens out. I haven't done the math. I hate math. Anyhow, now everyday I await the mailman, itching for my pens to arrive. But so far I have had to just make do with those Faber-Castell's.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


I got a kick out of Loeb's and Sale's Catwomen, When in Rome. But it also got me thinking, "ah yes... yet again, a comic written by men for men with the superheroine as male fantasy pin-up."
Here's the thing. I like sexy. And I like sex.
But how to get around the whole male-gaze thing in the male dominated field of Comics.
Anyhoo... I 've been enjoying Johanna Draper Carlson's list of comics by women. Also Feminist Allies has some interesting insights into comics and the gendered messages therein.

And I just have to admit my love for a gal who's alter ego dresses in costume and fights bad guys (Or makes mischief. Or carries a sword. Whatever.)
<span class= the moment after the killing blow... <span class=

unused muscles...

My right hand is sore. The muscles between my thumb and index finger. An area that used to be rock solid from daily sketching... it has long since fallen in to lazy softness. This week (after a good conversation with my cuz) I have determined to rectify that. Lazy and uninspired and stuck for too long, I have set the goal to draw for at least two hours a day. Initially I was only thinking of getting the creative pathways in my brain working again (they have become very image poor lately) but the soreness in my hand is indication that my brain is not the only thing that has gotten soft.

And so...
To refill my empty pool of inspiration,
and to rebuild my artistic brainwaves,
and to strengthen the adductor and flexor muscles between my right thumb and forefinger,
I am doing daily studies of Christian Icons, Comicbook characters and Childrens book illustrators (etc...)

[Thanks, AJ, for being a good example for me.]

Friday, April 17, 2009

guilt girl and shame boy

Her mother is a holy virgin, her brother a sacrificial lamb, the only release she finds from her own crushing guilty conscience is to don a (black leather) costume and fight bad guys. See, she has a gift; the ability to transfer her load of guilt to others, whipping them into such a guilt trip that they go crawling to the authorities to confess and be punished.
But mama thinks her costume is slutty.
And big brother will always be the favorite.

What's a girl to do?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

monsters and devils

"Be careful in casting out your devil 'lest you cast out the best thing about you."
-Friedrich Nietzsche

I happen to have a few devils, demons and monsters that gnaw and scratch (or is it just nibbling and tickling?). Here's trying to embrace the demon within.

pretty bird

monsters in the journal