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

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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)