Day 12: Mousecat


MouseCat, 2006 Posed digital photograph of a needle-felted scuplture of a cat. Minor digital cleanup/tweaking.

I made this for my mother and psoed and photographed it on her desk, which is made of a long-ago-gutted pianola. It's a charming little bit of fluff, but some of the photos I took were downright surreal.
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Day 11: Kiss:Heart

Kiss:Heart, 1999. Digitally manipulated and retouched photobooth picture. Originally intended to be a study for a painting.

I feel a little squicked about this one. On the one hand, it's really an iconic, almost perfect image. On the other, that's me and my ex in the original. It's very hard to be objective about its artistic value when all I see is a bad breakup (even if I was very much in love with the guy at one time). It's not as if you can tell who those people are in the picture, anyway.

Don't make good art with relationship overtones, unless you want to feel faintly dirty about it for the rest of your life. I may do the painting, just to work out the feelings I have about this piece. It's a good piece, even if I wouldn't hang it in my house.


Day 10: Gofer Service Awards

Gofer Service Awards, 1995. Pencil, colored pen and gel pen on 8.5 x 11 copier paper.

Wow, this one's the oldest so far. Very much created on the fly. We had so many apparently suicidally helpful gofers at Anime America 1995 that I felt that we needed to give them something. My sister had a small laminator, so they were photocopied and laminated, and given out to the volunteers.

I think we gave out 16 of them. I'm not sure.

The mere fact that I still possess this flimsy scrap of copypaper is amazing.


Day 9 bonus: Scary silverware


Scary Silverware (1999) Chapter heading illustration for privately published cookbook. Pencil, ink, colored pen, scanned and digitally cleaned, then finished in Photoshop. About half digital and half traditional, and one of my earlier tablet pieces (not much was done with the stylus though - it really isn't that difficult to draw a glob with a mouse...).

I did several illustrations for this cookbook project, including two page layouts and two old-style cookbook glamour food shots.
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ETA: oops! I thought this was posted today, but it wasn't, so there'll be another up in a few.

Day nine: Shonagon


Shonagon (2000) Digital illustration, incorporating lines of a poem.

I wrote a poem some years back about the famous Heian era journalista Sei Shonagon, and her Pillow Book. I wanted to incorporate it into an illustration, so both could be presented together. This is the result of that first attempt.

In future, I'd like to re-work this concept, using more references to her world in the illustrative piece, such as some of the complex and beautiful color and symbol language that was used, and possibly use a more Heian drawing style. Just not too Genji-like...I think I might be capable of doing this, as I am very Asian-influenced, and I like doing linework. We'll see.

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Day Eight: Study for August Hunt


Study for August Hunt (2004) 11 by 14 inches. Pencil on paper. Same-size plan for an illumination in the style of the Tres Riches Heurs.

I planned this as a gift for a friend, whose birthday is in August. The background is planned to be similar to the background in the August month illumination in the Tres Riches Heurs, except later in the same day or week - the grain is stacked, the reapers are gone. The foreground is a portrait of the owner of the finished piece and her horse, with her dogs running beside.
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Day seven: Winter Solstice


Winter Solstice (2002) Digital photograph. Taken with an older Canon digital, most of the framing was done while shooting. Cropped, and slightly altered digitally (saturation and contrast were adjusted).

Sometimes landscape photography is just good. I'm no Ansel Adams, but pictures like this make me significantly less embarrassed to hold a camera in the name of art.

It was a gorgeous winter day at my mom's place, so I took the camera outside and tried to capture some of that magic.
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Day 6: Androgynous Boy#2


Androgynous Boy#2 (2001) Scan of a three dimensional object, a jointed, poseable doll.

Amazing depth of field effects can be got from scanning 3-d objects. I was photographing this doll before sending him to the person I made him for, and on a whim, posed him several times on my flatbed scanner and this was one of the two most pleasing results. No further digital maniputlation of the image was necessary.

He is a doll with a jointed, poseable skeleton, with padding sewn in place and a cotton knit "skin" laid on top and carefully sewn in place. He's a model, a needle sculpture, and an articulated doll in one. Practically speaking, he has yarn hair, faux leather trousers, silk shirt and waistcoat. His face is needle-sculpted and drawn in with art pen. His limbs and torso are intentionally longer than would be proportional, to make him appear tall and fey.
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Day five: Untitled


Untitled (1999) sharpie over pencil on bristol board, large areas filled with india ink. Some digital cleanup.

A study I did for a white-on-black leather jacket painting some years ago. Not much thought went into it, beyond rough subject matter - pretty girl, check, cemetery, check, rose, check...I never titled it beyond "that jacket thing," and never did the jacket, either. I think it's really more appropriate to some goth club flier, anyway, and I was really outgrowing the scene at the time.
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Day Four: Blue


Blue (1997) dilute gouache on bristol board.

This is really a quick, one off, color study kind of thing. Yet, I loved it. And I still love it. It formed the basis for a digital piece I did a few years later, but it stands as a good piece in its own right.
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Day three: Poppets, Bouquet


Poppets (1999) Digitally manipulated photograph of four posed, armless, faceless, rag dolls. Dolls are cotton and polyfil.

Bouquet (1999) Digitally manipulated photograph of detached, stuffed cotton doll legs, gathered in a box. Legs are cotton and polyfil.

This is something that grew out of my taking documentary photographs of a craft project. I was making a series of character rag dolls from a pattern I designed for the project. While photographing the various steps, I posed the dolls and their parts in various ways, and took photographs that had little to do with the steps involved in making the dolls themselves. There are about 10 photographs in this series, and perhaps 30 of the documentary, instructional series.

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Day 2: Kafka

Try a Cup of Kafka
(1996, 1998)

Sharpie over pencil on some thin, white board. This is the digital version, circa 1998. Original is currently AWOL, but not gone.

A cartoon advert done for an ... unofficial ... workplace newsletter. There's another one that I'm leery of posting, because it was a political cartoon about the warehouse being cold. The Kafka/coffee thing was an everyday joke, and I thought it might be fun to make a fake ad for our fake newsletter.

I ended up being very fond of my Gregor. He seems fairly content, here, and nothing like his namesake of the story.


Day One: Secret Book


Secret Book 1999

This is really two works.

The book is a journal, made of paper, board, cloth, thread, wire, glue and ribbons. After making the journal, I photographed it and digitally altered the photograph. The journal is approximately 5x7 inches, closed, and I think about 60 pages. It is in a private collection, and was intended for use.

The creative process of the book was very intuitive, involving as much "let's see if this will work" as traditional bookbinding techniques. The paper was sewn into signatures, which were then sewn together, and glued to the fabic-covered boards. I chose the spiralled wire decorations for the outer binding, as I enjoy working with wire and I loved the way the stretched spirals evoke Asian depictions of clouds. The ribbons tied along the spine serve the function of the spine of a traditionally bound book, taking some strain off the signature stitching when the book is in use. The third ribbon functions as a latch.

The book is so evocative of dreams, clouds, night, and older votive books that it suggested a certain arcane, occult feeling in the photographs I took, originally to document the physical work. I decided to explore digital manipulations of the photographs to further express that feeling.

This piece is the result.
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Just what the Intarweb needs, another Art Blog.

I used to be an artist, hey, sometimes I still am, though that gets shoved to the back burner most days. A new-years resolution this year for me was to create a blog, just for my art. I'll be posting a piece a day.

What is really going on here is that I have decided to try to explore my creative process and perhaps return to using it regularly, by posting, documenting, and writing about each piece, once a day.

My other blogs may suffer from occasional (or is that frequent?) lapses of content, but I assure you, and myself, that this one should have enough content for at least a year.

If this works, there will easily be more.