I had no inspiration this day, so I swiped some paint across a page, then made animals from the blobs. I don’t know what creature that big-fisted pink thing is. I also don’t know what the animals might be protesting or supporting. I painted, that’s enough.
Know that Tom Petty song, Wildflowers? The lyrics go, “You belong among the wildflowers ..” and so on. I had a note in my inspiration folder to finish it as “six feet under them” and finally got the spark to do it. Although the small size makes it more like “at least three feet under them.” Love this one.
Three this week! Woot!
Most people who know stories of Baba Yaga first envision the chicken legged house, or the witch herself, but the part of the most familiar story that sticks with me is the coals. It was the goal of her quest, the coals were well-earned, and they are hastily given at the end in a skull. That part lives in my head. Magical, red and gray coals being tossed into a human skull for carrying. It always seemed the bone wouldn’t be enough insulation for carrying. I always imagine Vasalisa picking up the first sturdy branch she found that had forks to wedge the skull into during her travels home. Last year when Slick and I were clearing branches from our yard, I found a really good one. I even tried it on against my head to be sure, and it was a good fit for a human skull. I idly wanted to toss some red LED battery lights in an appropriate Halloween skull and make my Vasalisa’s torch. Fortunately for my project list, I didn’t keep track of the branch – although it is probably still out there.
In one of the subscription art supply boxes I receive, there was a skinny landscape format watercolor sketchbook. (Just a link if you’re interested, no affiliate or any strings at all.) I’d seen it before but not purchased because I don’t do city or land scapes and I was unsure I’d find uses for it specifically. Between this sketchbook and a sample sheet of some truly luscious Daniel Smith Watercolors, I was carried gently on a wave of painting thoughts back to the lunchtime paintings. The long paper called out for this torch rendition, although I didn’t use the WC samples on this.
In one of my dreams, Slick and I attended a sort of estate sale, but it was for an institute or club of some kind. There were art books, pieces of furniture, a variety of things. I went out some dark, double doors onto a small courtyard fenced with black wrought iron. The sidewalk was damp with rain and the tree leaves sparkled as their wet surfaces caught sunlight. In the shadow of a branch, I saw what at first appeared to be a fox. As I got closer, I saw it wasn’t really a fox. The fur was flat and the snout had an oddly long shape to it. It was a taxidermied fox, and it appeared unnatural enough for me to remember later.
We wound down an evening looking at funny cat clips online and this one stuck with me. The angle of his eyes and that single tooth sticking out won me over. Had to snap a screenshot and paint this silly cat. It was fun. I like combining a couple layers of pen linework and watercolor. The look of it pleases me.
Now to see if this week is equally productive.
Between workload, inconveniently timed meetings, and the almost-dead creative funk, I only got in two lunchtime paintings the past couple weeks.
Got some good creative work time in yesterday and will share some pics soon. Yea for sewing!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
… 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.
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.
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.
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.
Only two paintings last week – new work project is sucking up a lot of time, including lunch breaks. Grrr.
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.
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.
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.
[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!
[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!
[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!
[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!
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.
Only two paintings to share from last week. I have other projects taking time, but they are not in a state ready for sharing.
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.
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.
Collection of paintings from last week.
Attracted by the pancake breakfast, a mutant giant slug incidentally destroys the Depot Plaza, bringing a halt to many CFD activities and breaking the record for slowest destruction of a building. I was inspired y this giant snail meme:
… which I found hilarious.
What I saw on the shower door this morning. The condensation formed a leaf on a stem and a tiny mushroom floating above it. Was pleased to observe shapes in the droplets. They were crisp and distinct.