Oct 162017
 

Lunch hour painting
Lacking energy, motivation and time, I bunted with an easy page of autumn leaves. This day, I’d hoped to have a walk to enjoy the leaf colors, but it snowed and destroyed my plans. So, I have these colorful ones, at least.

Lunch hour painting

I will take your heart with me
carry it in a red bag tied around my neck.
Down the path to the copse
and the tiny cabin we never got around to.
More of a shack, really.

We will wake with the sunlight and birdsong,
your heart and I. No alarm clocks here.
We will forage in the woods for toppings
and roast them for a pizza in the evening.
It won’t be very tasty.

We will drink cider and more cider by starlight;
we will serenade the sliver moon.
The night creatures will scoff at us,
but we are free, wild, and alive!
And maybe a little drunk.

I will bring your heart back to you
you are weary, worn, flat.
Your heart and I will remind you
how to believe in magic, how to live.
Because life is magic.

Lunch hour painting
Voodoo lilies, or corpse flowers. Once a year, the giant varieties give off a rotting corpse scent to attract carrion flies, their pollinators. Some medium varieties are a food source; the spadix (big center part) is quite tasty and part of many dishes, having a gel-forming property when combined and cooked. I think they’re quite pretty and have carved a couple blocks to see if I can pull off a small fabric print.

That’s it for this week.

Oct 092017
 

Inktober has started and while I am not interested in using a month long challenge to focus on my ink linework, I thought I’d get involved just enough to have some fun. I combined two drawing prompt lists, the official Inktober one and another by an artist more focused on drawing than ink, Drawlloween.
Drawing Prompt List

Drawing Prompt List
The official list wasn’t interesting enough, nor was Drawlloween, so I’m doing mashups of the two together. Since my Inktober is strictly based on the fun I might have doing it, I am only doing it when I feel like it, am inspired to, and don’t have anything else going on that might be more fun.

Inktober Day One
Swift Werewolf. This was not a lunch hour painting, but an evening workshop bit. I thought it would be amusing.

Inktober Day Two
Goblin, Divided. This was another workshop one. I say eat the cake first. You don’t know what can happen next. “An asteroid could hit. Do you want to be the schmuck who apologizes right before the world ends?” Community quote. I’ll likely go back and add color to these later, when I’m in a crunch and only have time or capacity for something like that.

Wolf needs coffee
Wolf needs coffee. Certainly inspired by work nonsense. I wanted to express how I felt and wanted an animal to stand in for me so I quickly took a couple of those stupid internet personality quizzes. What animal are you? One said wolf, another said ring-tailed lemur because I like groups (WTF?!) and another failed to process. So, I went with wolf. It works.

Inktober Day Three
Vampire Poison, harvesting for cash! Found an index card on my desk and doodled out this bit for the Inktober/Drawlloween mashup. I had simply given up on art for the night as I had a nasty headache, but this was apparently the minimal effort I was willing to go to.

>
This bit was inspired by my supreme tiredness and desire to go home and go back to bed. While doing my fast, minimal research, I learned that bears don’t actually hibernate, as in they don’t sleep through the winter. They go into torpor, sleep longer and have much less activity. That is what I feel like sometimes.

Inktober Day Four
This one was surprisingly fun. I wasn’t that inspired by mothman as a prompt, until I did some research. I was familiar with the movies from the book, but not the IRL urban myth that spawned the book. I learned about the sightings, the sandhill crane supposition, the Silver Bridge collapse (very interesting, from an engineering standpoint – even though my engineering is quite different than a bridge, the philosophy and lessons learned apply the same) and the statue! After learning the best explanation of the mothman was a wayward sandhill crane, I searched for moth that had similar wings and coloring. The silk moth, tragic existence though it is now, caught my eye and became my mothman inspiration. Those antenna! Thus, this painting is my “What really happened to the Mothman” proposal – trapped in the wreckage of the Silver Bridge collapse, drowned and never discovered. Got him underwater!

Okay, that was a good week for paintings.

Sep 282017
 

It took me a while, but I made more fabric shag pouches and finished off the couple that were only started before. This is one of the past shags:
Fabric shag zip pouch, shag bag.
A blue pencil pouch sized job. Someone found my shop on Etsy by searching for “shag bag” which is hilarious. I’m using it. I don’t know if this is what they were looking for, or if shag bag means something else to them, but shag is a funny word and I’m going with it. Shag bag.

Fabric shag zip pouch, shag bag.
Red, small shag bag. This one was interesting because I’d only worked previously with blue theme on blue background, or theme on black background. This bag is also different because it is a double sided shag bag. The shag is on both sides and wraps on down to the bottom. It looks like some kind of fabric-Tribble-pufferfish when you stuff it full and it rounds out. Funny.

Fabric shag zip pouch, shag bag in Halloween colors.
A large, Halloween shag bag. Full-on, could-be-a-clutch purse size! I love Halloween (duh!) and had so much fun finding Halloween fabric scraps for this. I don’t know who would use it, but here it is. I love it.

Fabric shag zip pouch, shag bag in Halloween colors.
A small shag bag, in Halloween colors. I had enough bits left over from the large one to do this one, too. Seasonal fun!

Fabric shag zip pouch, shag bag.
Large, blue theme shag bag. This was a request/interest from a gal who missed out on the first one because it was too small at the opening to fit a sketchbook inside. This one fits a sketchbook fine and is off living in its new home.

These are all listed in my Etsy shop (except the last one) if you want to look at more pictures, or get one. Lots of detail photos of pockets, plus dimensions listed – which is why I’m not putting those details here.

Working on a new project (see previous post) is already producing a small nest of trimmed ends which will become new fabric bits. I think shag bags are going to be one of those things I make every few months (quarter? half year?) to manage all those bits. I might start a box to contain them – one mishap to the flat piece of cardboard I keep them sorted by color on could be detrimental my system. That and cats. You never quite know what the cats are going to do when I leave the workshop door open and unattended for more than five minutes. Yeah, I’m going to start a divider sorted box.

Sep 272017
 

Last night, after finally clearing the cutting board of three large projects, I went downstairs with a full 2.5 hours to myself and the self-imposed freedom to do whatever the hell I wanted. I thought I’d do the small, seasonal project which I have waiting in the wings and which could, reasonably be completed in the time I had that night.

I didn’t do that.

Instead, I found myself in a frenetic haze, pulling fabrics off the shelves as colors caught my creative eye and quickly sewing together some ideas. After a while, I realized something was off, tore them apart and redirected slightly.

Playing with fabric.
I don’t know about those gray skellies. I think they might be okay how I see them playing out. If not, I’ll do another. The greatest desire I had last night was the color combinations you see started here. There are three total combos for this blast of desire, two here; the other is in a pile beside Nome, which is what I’ve named my new machine (after having her for 1.5 years). Although, I have some longing feeling for Gretchen, my solid, reliable Pfaff mechanical machine which is gathering dust bunnies on the workshop floor. When I reorg the workshop, I’ll find a way to get her set up alongside Nome. They can share my attentions. I have plenty of sewing desire for both of them. Polyamorous projects?

Sep 252017
 

Amazingly, six paintings from last week. Sorta. Two of them I was able to fit in because I found and used old sketches, and one wasn’t a lunch time painting, but a Friday-night-on-the-couch drawing, but I’m putting it with these guys.

Lunch hour painting.
… than to confuse me with someone who builds a dam.
A couple internet otter-memes inspired this one. Otters are pretty fucking cute. Had time for this only because I’d sketched it a bit last week, but hadn’t the time to paint it then.

Lunch hour painting.
I’m sure you can guess that this was done immediately after a work meeting.

Lunch hour painting.
A few weeks ago, I did a rough sketch of some witches, but ended up having to work for lunch. I flipped through the current sketchbook (which is getting towards the end) and found it and used it. Autumn! Halloween! Excellent! I imagine them waiting for their stew to be ready to eat on this crisp, dark evening.

Lunch hour painting.
As I put on my silky, traditional pyjamas one night last week and laid there in bed, getting sleepy, I had a dream-snippet of a snowy owl, looking tired, in a pyjama top. This mostly looks like him.

Lunch hour painting.
The very next night, another dream snippet, this one of a Tyrannosaurus Rex in a party hat. It was so funny, I had to paint it and I gave her a task – picking out party cupcakes.

Friday night sketch.
On Friday night I had an image in my head of … a certain thing, a guy in a comic, ultra-color style, smoking and … this is not it. This is only about 25% it. But, seeing this wrong drawing reminds me of the right one in my head, so it will serve until I have a chance to actually do it right. More Hellboy, less trendy boy.

Wow, lots of quick paintings last week! I need to remember that even quick, partial sketches that I don’t have time to refine and line will help me out later. Every small step helps. As well, sometimes I get uncomfortable that these are so loose, sloppy, and messy. I have to tell myself, again and again, that I’m doing the whole process in less than an hour. The idea, fast research, sketching, getting out supplies, sketch and linework, paint, dry, refine lines, photo, edit, and post. That is a lot of actions for a single hour. Plus, who gives a shit (besides that naggy voice in my head) if they’re messy. Fuck it. I have a creative hour for myself in the midst of a corporate workday and it makes me happy and more able to cope with shit. This is good.

Sep 192017
 

Halloween fabrics made into shag.
After a couple weeks of struggle with a time-limited project, I gave up. I couldn’t get it right and the clock was ticking. Defeat was admitted, pieces were salvaged and set aside for future reuse. [heavy sigh]

Another time-limited project is up next, but I couldn’t jump right into it yet. Instead I found myself in the mood to sew hundreds of tiny bits of fabric down. You really do have to be in the mood to spend hours doing this. I got another shaggy pouch done (a large blue one that is promised) and started on a large and small shaggy pouch in a Halloween theme. I did have to seek out some fabric from the stash for this, which was fun. I finished the large (seen above) off and now have one small and one medium pouch to finish. Before I can photograph them, I need to finish them all and clear my cutting board space, as that is where I take pics at the moment. I have too many things out lately. Need to finish projects and get them out of the way. I’m afraid I’m going to have to make this a goal next year; finishing partial projects and paring down some supplies. I need more space to move, do.

Sep 182017
 

Got two in last week! Woot!
Lunch hour painting
Monday painting in response to the big events local to my country right now.

Lunch hour painting
After entertaining the night before, I was tired this day. I played around with paint until something came up, and a fast poem about being tired and looking forward to sleep. Written in silver Sharpie atop the watercolors.

Sep 122017
 

Only got one in last week:

Painting on my lunch break.
Dreaming of the sea. The random choice was a picture of a woman with hair whipping about in a breeze. I thought it could look like ocean currents, so I painted my own with blue hair and put some sea creatures in it.

Sep 052017
 

Only two paintings last week – new work project is sucking up a lot of time, including lunch breaks. Grrr.

Lunch hour painting.
Friday was impatient with me while I was trimming up the latest quilt and I decided to paint her as big as her stare.

Lunch hour painting.
A creature considering the path to the Haunted Forest. Inspired by a comment from two hikers about skipping the path to the Haunted Forest. I would go, all things being equal.

I don’t know how to squeeze more time out of my life without giving something else up. I am selfish, I want to keep all the things. Maybe there is a way, a space between the known, that I can exploit.

Sep 012017
 

This quilt has been done for a while, but I’m struggling to keep up with documentation lately.
Partitioned Batch Quilt - front
The Partitioned Batch Quilt!
57 x 81″ This is the first actual usage of my ice and snow dyed fabrics. At first I refrained from using them so that I could show them as examples during the ice dying session I had. When that was done, it took me a couple weeks to realize they were fair game and were now part of the usable fabric stash.

Partitioned Batch Quilt - detail
Then, I couldn’t figure out how to use them. I wanted to make a quilt, but I was concerned that cutting up these pretty fabrics would suck away their special-ness. If you can’t see the whorls and fades of all the dyed colors, why bother?

Partitioned Batch Quilt - detail
After a lot of hypothesis, folding, squinting, and arranging, I settled upon this design. I didn’t want to use only the dyed fabrics, nor dyed and solids, so I made it “anything goes” as far as source fabric.

Partitioned Batch Quilt - detail
As I began creating blocks of these special fabrics, I also began personifying them and their visual personalities.

Partitioned Batch Quilt - detail
This made me start thinking of them as people. Some are the same, but never identical. Some group together, while still retaining their individuality, but also becoming something more as a group.

Partitioned Batch Quilt - detail
Even groups with similar sizes, shapes, and colors have distinct visual and textural characteristics comparatively.

Partitioned Batch Quilt - detail
Perhaps I needed a more dramatic difference in the gray used in the background. There are actually two noticeably (maybe?), purposely mismatched shades of the background, but they look more similar now that the whole thing is completed.

Partitioned Batch Quilt - detail
I used raw edges on the layered blocks and I will NEVER do that on a quilt again. NEVER, you hear me, Future-Sarcastra?! Don’t fucking do it. Usually, I spend an hour or two finding loose thread ends and removing lint. This thing took nine. NINE HOURS! Even Friday was irritated with me taking so long on “her” new quilt.

Spoiled cat!

Partitioned Batch Quilt - back
And the back, previously discussed. This back makes me want to do a whole cloth quilt so badly, but my project list is too long and I am too busy for the foreseeable future.

Speaking of busy, documentation (blog posts) of projects and life will lessen for the next few months, unless I find some time between the cracks somehow. Work is going to be mad-busy, and after that I prioritize things like Slick, sleep, creative pursuits, and … and .. shit. What else do I do? Occasional social outings, hikes, moonlit walks? Fuck it, you get the idea.

Aug 282017
 

The week before last was very busy at work, so I only got one painting done. I”ve combined it in this post.
Previous week’s single painting:
Spider queen in her web.
Spider queen in her web.
I decided to paint a spider this time, and while sorting out how to go about that, came across the Moche, an ancient civilization in Peru. From artifacts, it is believed they were a matriarchy (women led, queens and/or priestesses) and one of their sacred animals was the spider. Thus, this spider lady wears a crown. I took my design inspiration from their pottery and jewelry artifacts. Also, I got a masking pen recently and was able to try it out on the web.

Last week’s paintings:
As of this painting, I started a new theme selection process. Instead of agonizing over what to paint that will fit into a lunch hour, I open my draw/paint inspiration folder, close my eyes and scroll wildly for a bit, then click. Whatever is selected, I have to paint somehow. It is working.

Lunch hour painting, Cave Cats
[Selection was the title “Cave Cats”] This is not the way I thought this title would lead – I envisioned pointy, lithe. dark cats changed from generations in caves. Instead, I came across some Irish mythology involving a cave and giant cats to defeat. This two-headed cat monster guards the Oweyngat (Cave of Cats) and the rare, magical flowers which grow at the entrance. Smart questors will bring treats and be ready to provide chin scratches. Furthering Irish myths into my graveyard world. I used Scottish wild cats for a creature reference. Originally thought the green was too green, technicolor, unrealistic, but then I remembered the way Ireland was green and I think I nailed it. Search my blog for Ireland and recall all the green for yourself!

Painiting of ensign wasp on bittersweet nightshade flower.
[Selection was a microscopic close up of an ensign wasp] Killer of cockroaches. Ensign wasp (aka nightshade wasp) on a bittersweet nightshade flower (solanum dulcamara). For an idea of actual size, these flowers are about half an inch across and the ensign wasp is about 1cm. The ensign wasps are mislabeled as parasitic, since they will insert their baby eggs into roach eggs. The wasps then devour the roach in the egg as they grow, and later hunt and kill cockroaches. Good job, insects!

Brain Corrugator 1000 painting.
[Selection was an image of a brain and various notes & ideas]
Thought it would be funny to have a product for your brain. The new Corrugator 1000 will empower you to wrinkle your gray matter faster and more efficiently than ever before. Don’t be left behind!

Pumpkin Vine
[Selection was a sketch of vines with flowers in a circle.] Decided it was okay to go ahead and get excited about autumn a little. I hope to grow pumpkins in the wasteland of my backyard one day. I may turn this into a sticker or card or something.

Another week of artistic productivity over lunch!

Aug 142017
 

Lunch Hour Paintings
Ever since I discovered the existence of pangolins (through an art museum) I have loved them. They’re as incredible as armored dinosaurs. They are REALLY hard to paint though, not because of technique, but because of reference images. If you do an image search, you’ll see that about half the photos of pangolins depict their horrendous abuse, poaching, hunting, and worse. Hard to look at.

Lunch Hour Paintings
This dog is having a relaxing time with his new record.

Only two paintings to share from last week. I have other projects taking time, but they are not in a state ready for sharing.

Aug 072017
 

Lunch hour painting
Thinking about fish and space. The two work together. Space is where the really big, rare, idea-fish live.

Lunch hour painting
Sure, you can summon a cat spirit; easy with some cat nip and sacrificial moths, but they give terrible advice, lick the flavor off your Doritos and shed spirit fur everywhere. You just can’t sticky-roller that stuff away. The purrs are otherworldly, though.

Lunch hour painting
A bit random, I’ve been thinking about how to make large numbers of small poppets. This came about when it was time to paint. Two of the white rabbits are suspicious of the black cat in their safe rainbow area.

Lunch hour painting
The Bone Raven, one of the magical creatures in the graveyard. He’s not awake often.

Lunch hour painting
Wanted to paint a squirrel doing something human and as a human, I definitely wait impatiently on Amazon deliveries. Once I thought it, I had to paint it since squirrels are so fast and jumpy.

Aug 032017
 

Recall how I said I’d be working on the latest quilt over the weekend to get it done?
Remember when I explained that I had enough fabric to last decades?

Yeah.

When I went to bed on Friday night, I had the perfect vision of a zip pouch made of a fabric, the print of the fabric was a bit grunky, the background was a deep, sweet red. The zipper on the pouch was black. I was enamoured.

So, instead of doing what I said I would, I spent the weekend making this fabric design.

The red I wanted doesn’t exist in Kona cotton, so I took three yards the darkest hot pink that does exist and overdyed it with cherry red. It took a lot of time, but the color was perfect. Meanwhile, I drew the design, scanned, printed, exposed screens and mixed up printing inks.
Making fabric
It took another day to get the printing done, there was a lot of mess. It is excellent! Just what I envisioned.

Making fabric
This is the first layer alone, in a silver-glitter white combo.

Used my handmade fabric to make a pencil case.
Then, using my max-visibility zip pouch method (calling it a pattern seems wrong, since it can be made in any size instead of a limited pattern) I made a zip pouch from my new fabric. It is EXACTLY like I saw it and wanted it.

Used my handmade fabric to make a pencil case.
The start tab has a cheeky eyelet for hanging.

Used my handmade fabric to make a pencil case.
The interior lining is a thick, silver glitter star print.

Now I have in my possession the precise thing I saw in my head. I don’t think I can appropriately convey how happy, satisfied, and generally blissed-out this makes me. I swear I get a warm feeling in my chest when I see it and hold it. As well, I have somewhere to corral my drawing pencils for my latest drawing sketchbook. To maximize chances of success, I made two in one go; the second is listed in my Etsy shop, if this is somehow your dream, too.

After all that, I did finish the quilt; although, it is awaiting the final de-lint and de-thread session before photography.

Aaaah. Excellent.

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