Thursday, October 29, 2009

I Have No Words

It is time for me to Enjoy Being A Girl. You do not want to know what I want to be saying today.

So have a comic instead, to explain why I've been away this week:

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Dance Of the Bones

VOTE FOR ME! Or, you know. Vote for someone else. But vote here:

Soft skin blushes because it knows
It can never dance alone
Powder pink and sun gold,
Old and loose and young and toned,
Hot blood sweats and muscles struggle,
But the dance is made by bones.

Etsy Texas is having another one of their art challenges! The theme this time is Day of the Dead, a wonderful Halloween co-holiday that remembers those gone and invites them back into our lives. I'll post the voting link here whenever it's live, and of course you'll all go vote for me, yes? Or at least vote. Man, I'm not even in the running on this one, but I wanted to play along. I really love Dia de los Muertos, and every year I make sure to get a few calaveras and hold a memorial in the local woods. I've had no complaints, so I must be making someone happy.

I don't remember where the poem's from. Could be I got it wrong. But it was running through my head the whole time I made this.

Anyway. Go look at all the entries! There are some really amazing pieces up. And vote vote vote! Well, just vote:

And come say hi
to the great people who made the entries!

It's coming along...Nicely?

For those of you who asked-- oh, wait, no one did! I don't care! I'm going to talk about it and YOU CAN'T STOP ME because it's my blog! Bwahahaha!-- the cartoonish version of the dancers is coming along.

I have to love this piece, because it has been part of the process of a lifechanging discovery, about which more later. But for now, look! I'm doing stuff!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Party Panic!

I have blogged before on my deep and abiding love for Halloween, day o' hedonism. This year, for the first time in ages, Halloween is falling on a Satyrday, thereby allowing me to have aparty with those of my friends not granted the artist's schedule.

This means, for the first time in years, I need a costume. Now to be sure, I have plenty of fancy dress- Renaissance festivals of a decade have left me well engarbed, and my recent passion for steampunk had only added to my wardrobe's oddness-- but for me these are *normal* clothes, which I wear any day I don't attend the dread Office Job. I want to dress up as something unusual and disturbing for Halloween! Without falling back on anything political. I mean, Zombie Nixon is plenty unnerving, but so overdone, you know?

Also, I do not want any "sexy". This disallows pretty much every female costume in the stores.

So, this is a callout to all my hypothetically extant blog readers-- what should I wear to the ball? Give me your suggestions, and don't worry about making them too weird-- because if I can't wear it, I'll draw it, and do a Halloween Costume Ball of the suggestions I get here!

ETA: I monetized my blog pretty much just to see what weirdzo ads Google would throw at me. I note with bitterness that I now have an ad for "Sexy" Halloween costumes on the side. Next week, I am blogging about trolls and old socks. See what they make of that.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Etsyblogger O' the Month!

The Etsyblogger of the month is...Made By Melissa! Yaaaay, MM!

Now, this is a tricksy post for me, because I don't know Melissa that well. I am a bad dilettante Etsyblogger, and out of touch with even our most faithful members. And she does not appear to be co-geek, as Roseworks is. So let's go meet her, shall we?

Oh, dear. It looks like she's a very nice sane woman. And a very consistent blogger, too. A whole bunch of fine traits I cannot relate to. I suspect she won't appreciate my visit. Especially when I steal those fantastic glovies she's working on! Maybe she'll forgive me if I visit her shop? It looks like she's having a sale! Ooh, and look at all the scarves! I am sucker for a good scarf....


Sorry for the lack of pictures, folks--the internet is craaaawwwling for me today. Hello 26 kbps! My cybersecurity is ensured by obsolence, alack.

Monday, October 19, 2009

I'm Back! With Sketchness!

The Renaissance Festival was amazing! We had perfect weather; the place was busting with costumes; and there were a couple of amazing new acts, along with the usual favorites we go to see every year. Now I'm back, caught up on my sleep, and approrpiately, eager to try some new art.**

One of the most amazing shows at the Festival was Shunyata Bellydance, a troop of artists from all over the world. Bellydance acts often disappoint me, because they're prone to emphasizing the Sexy!! aspect over the sensual and artistic side, and turn into, essentially, a strip show. Which I'm not against, in theory, but am horribly bored by in practice.

But these dancers were completely about the art. Their costumes and the stage all worked together; they used the sun just right, even though that's some very unreliable lighting. They used swords and smoking candles and never seemed to be in any danger. And they were funny, telling all kinds of jokes in the movements of their dance.

Oh, yes, and they were very hot. I assume. I mean, I'm not wired to really say if women are sexy, but I'd be feelin' darn sure of my chances if I moved like that, you know?

So I'm going to have lots of dance-based pictures coming to me in the next few days, I expect.

And here's where the problem starts. Every interview with any sort of artist will ask "Where do you get your inspiration?" or worse, "Where do you get your ideas?", which rather misses the point. I mean, getting ideas is easy. Editing them is the tricky bit. I know, for instance, that I want to draw some version of this insane three-bodied goddess move I witnessed. So I draw a basic sketch (aka Attack of the Random Stick People):

But now what? Do I take it in a fairly realistic direction? That could be impressive, if I pull it off. It is pretty complicated, though, and will require another half dozen preliminary sketches:

Or go very cartoony, which would let me emphasize the motions of the dancers and the circle pattern that's all over? That's...not easier, but it could be very neat, too, and let me try more exaggeration than I usually do in cartooning:

Of course, since my digital setup is working again,I may try to do both! What do you think? Would two versions of the same piece look weird in the shop? Should I worry that the two versions don't look very different in Random Stick form? Do you like cookies or ice cream better? Are any of them as good as well-made coffee, of which I should plainly have less?

These are the sort of questions that keep me up all friggin' night. Which explains the posts, yes?

**That's an era-appropriate act I'd love to see at a Renfest-- watch the mad artists! Boggle as they rediscover perspective, proportion, and the concept of "lighting"! Gasp in horror as they yell at the Pope not to interrupt them! Laugh uproariously as they lick the points of their cadmium-soaked brushes and go utterly bonkers!

I'd watch it.***

*** Stupid Renaissance artists, with their "quality" and "realism" and "using more than three colors in a picture". Had to go and make everything complicated....

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Not Exaggerating Here

Yes, it's fall in my part of Texas, which means I need to have my entire wardrobe, from swimtrunks to longjohns, on call at all times. That little vignette above? That was last week. I had the heater and hot chocolate and iced tea and air conditioning in the same day. It's...invigorating.

So of course it's perfect traveling weather! This weekend I'll be goin' down to Ren-Town, visiting the great big Houston-area Texas Renaissance Festival. It's laughably enormous!I'll try to get ya'll one more post before I go-- but since I think the next weather change on the wheel o' climate is Locusts, no promises.

And to all the new blog followers-- Hi, welcome, afraid that posts sometimes lie skimpy on the ground. And aren't all essays. I like essays, but sometimes a gal's gotta go cartooning.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

So Then There Was That Time I Nearly Burned to Death

crossposted from one of my forums, because hey, this was EXCITING:

My dear darling husband nearly burned our house down last week! Cooking! I don't know how the man does it, but he always makes huge billowing clouds of billow when he cooks *anything*. He can get smoke going in a stew. So I was not surprised to see the kitchen erupt in smoke; I was surprised to see him being lit by the flame of a merry blaze.

You know what my dear sweet wonderful husband did then, confronted with a brightly burning grease fire?

He blew at it.


And said "Whoa", when it jumped higher, and directly towards him.

Meanwhile, I was of course saying, in a calm and rational and not the least panicking voice, "BAKING SODA! USE THE BAKING SODAOHMYGODWHATAREYOUDOING BAKINGSODA! RIGHT! THERE!"

I handle stress well.
In my defense, I was gathering our valuables for imminent flight.
At last my husband's language processing centers finally realized that "baking soda" was not an epithet, and dumped about 1.5 pounds of white powder on our 4 inch radius burner. The flames went out, with a final billow of white smoke.

And quoth the cause of all the trouble, "Wow."

And so the day was saved, thanks to the power of common sense. Shouted at 150 decibels.

Until he did it again, five minutes later.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Reality is Dangerous

One of the reasons I like working in digital-- and am gnashing my teeth at the current tech-failure that is preventing me from doing so--is that in digital, nothing is irrevocable. For instance, if I got something to this level of Done:

where it's lookin' pretty good, but I can't quite get it the extra step to being just actually good, I can play with it, confident that if I make a horrible horrible mistake, I can just erase those steps and start again. That's problematic in itself of course, because I can waste hours playing with highlights and filters and oh hey maybe she should be holding a book oh wait no a shell. But at least I don't have the horrible paralyzing fear of being about to wreck something completely after hours of work, based on a vague sensation that there ought to be more shadows or something. Gah.

Anyway. Advice on what to do with these pieces to make them more...dramatic? Polished? Something? Is hereby solicited, while I go work on some protoform paintings that aren't driving me to existential angst. Gah, once more.

Friday, October 2, 2009


It's October! I don't know what's going on with your weather, but around here that means we're securely back in the land of double-digit Fahrenheit. Yay!

Oh yeah, and there's some sort of holiday. With candy and costumes and I'm having a party this year, and apparently can't even pretend I forgot Halloween.