Category: art

Summer is over.

Summer is over.

And so much for my plans to blog more often! Anyway, a brief rundown:

I got the new job! It has more hours! It is closer! The people are lovely! I kept the old job on for a bit to give me extra cash!

It was harvest season! I picked a monumental amount of fruit, and turned it all into a barely-feasible amount of wine that scares me every time I look at it.

The car died! The laptop died! (Seriously, I was out the room for under ten minutes, and came back to a dead brick).

…My relationship died!

Yeah, bummer. I won’t put much about it because privacy of all concerned etc, but it turns out me and the G Monster wanted very different things, so after eight years together we have decided to try for an amicable split. I will miss him, he says he will miss me, etc. Unfortunately, (from my point of view) this means I will be looking for somewhere else to live. I might have found somewhere, though, just waiting to see what happens next. It’s all in the laps of the gods and/or solicitors. Unfortunately (from his point of view) he now has a massive garden needing maintenance. Well it’s never an even break, is it. From here on in I’ll be (touchwood!) working all the hours I can, probably for rather crappy wages, but they do add up, and if I can keep the heid, as they say in Scotland, and more specifically keep the heid down and the nose to the grindstone, I might come out okay.

That might have all been quite depressing, for anyone who cared, so I will say, a) here is some art I done recently!

and b) I am now old, and never was terribly attractive, so hopefully nobody is jumping up and down with delight at the thought that I am back on the market. c) because I am not, dear lord, no. There’s gonna be a whole lotta work before I am back on an even keel, and a whole lotta belt-tightening to go with it. I might dip a toe in the dating pool around, ooh, 2022, and even then that will be dependent on a lotta things!

So, as Hallowe’en draws near, the days (in the northern hemisphere) grow shorter and the leaves drip from the trees like slow, rosy-coloured tears, all the very best to everyone reading this, and may a brighter day dawn for all.

The 28 Drawings Later Challenge has ended in the nick of time!

The 28 Drawings Later Challenge has ended in the nick of time!

For the last few years, I’ve entered this online challenge, where you produce something creative (or at least work on one – and it can be a scribble, a doodle, a piece of knitting, bark sculpture, or as one person did on a day they were short of time, a face made by hoovering the carpet just so) every day for the whole of February. This year, I actually managed to put something up on time every single day!

Fortunately it’s all over, not because I didn’t have a lot of fun, but because this week I not only got offered extra days at a different office, covering long-term sick-leave, but also I’ve been accepted for some piece-work; technically I am Lady Three Jobs for the foreseeable, and there will be no time for such self-indulgence, by crikey!

Because I am just as great at timing as I am at making money (none of these are particularly well-paid gigs, I’m hoping to save up a bit simply by sheer… mass?) it is also the season to start on the garden after its winter sleep, there are gallons and gallons of wine to be racked off, and I took on being treasurer of a charity, didn’t I, because nobody else was available. For free, of course. None of us are getting paid for any of this!

Meanwhile, the 12 Days of Cthulhu-mas proofs came back and they are BORKED, so I have to do them over even though I have little idea what caused them to go wrong in the first place. I can see this being a Groundhog-Day-esque fiasco where I endlessly tweak the template and pay my money and wait three weeks and get back roughly what I got back last time.

I’m a bit scared of how much I have bitten off, in short, and am thinking wistfully of how, if I didn’t need to sleep, I would have two whole extra days in the week to get stuff done!

…Mind you, there is something psychologically very comforting about the way sleep breaks life into manageable chunks. ‘Eh, I’ll deal with it tomorrow,’ I can say, tossing the borked proofs wrathfully into a corner.* ‘Eh, I’ll deal with it in… seven hours and forty four minutes’, by contrast, really lacks a certain something.

*I didn’t. That was earlier this week. I still haven’t, and probably won’t for some time.

Anyway! Here be a whole lot of pictures; not exactly 28 of them because some were works in progress, and some are from January. My theme this time around was ‘Skyrim’, if anyone’s familiar and wants to play ‘guess where this is’, please feel free! Just don’t look at the names at the bottom which I did not know about when I uploaded them, ha. Live and learn.

While there is either little or no artistic Value to these (I cannot sell them, they are not originals, etc), I had a lot of fun playing with the lighting and colours, and I feel confident that I could use the practice as a good basis for turning flatly-lit and boring photos of castles (of which I have many) into something a good bit more striking. I could even, or such is the dream, sketch out my own structures purely from imagination and bring them to life!

…Oh wait, I’m Lady Three Jobs. Never mind!

Woo! My first ever picture-book is at the proof-printing stage!

Woo! My first ever picture-book is at the proof-printing stage!

I really shouldn’t start everything with “woo!” but I am easily excited, and clearly quite immature.

Anyway. After much labour of drawing, scanning, editing out pixels (and then almost the same amount of time again wrangling PDFs, because you know where you are with a virtual eraser, just saying) the publishing company reckons it can make me a proof of the book and in about 2 weeks I shall discover if I have to do the whole process over. Excitement! Dread! Etc!

And now I will be fit for nothing for the rest of today and probably the next fortnight, go figure.

Tis the season…

How did that happen already? I swear, you take on two jobs and suddenly the year is just gone. In theory, I would at least have a shed-load of money to show for it, but unfortunately I blew all that on a massive gardening project that ate my entire autumn.

And now it’s two weeks till the winter solstice. Go figure.

I have, however, cunningly managed to find time to put together a batch of Christmas cards for this year. If I’d been even more cunning, I would have marketed them slightly sooner, but here we go in case anyone is even more behind the times than I am:

Christmas owls! (Click link if you wish to buy from Redbubble).

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Also a pagan/ LGBT mashup featuring the Power of Love Mistletoe that… well, as the punchline of that old joke goes, ‘sometimes, señor, the bull wins’. So they aren’t available for sale.

Phew, just got that in before the end of the year, eh. Merry Hectic Shopping Season to all!

Your opportunity to own a clock with work-safe pseudo-medieval humour plastered on it!

Your opportunity to own a clock with work-safe pseudo-medieval humour plastered on it!

Read on to see why that sentence above does actually make sense!

So. Many years ago, I did a series of wee drawings of a knight chasing a dragon through the alphabet. I had good reasons, let us not discuss what they were because I don’t recall. I do love early Christian and Medieval illuminations, though. For anyone not familiar with the term, it’s the doodles around the edges of the books the monks used to copy out. Some of them are absolutely mental; the Toast had a series about it, someone has thoughtfully collected some of it here. Although apparently it’s all allegory and therefore quite possibly some sort of pithy political commentary whose point has been lost to the ages.

So, first to admit, my wee alphabet was quite tame by comparison with all that. However, in order to retroactively justify the amount of time I spent on it*,  now it’s been dragged back into the light of day and tarted up. And lo, by the power of modern technology, it is now available on mugs and T-shirts and cards and bags (and, apparently, clocks. I’m just gonna go with it. You never know if someone might be jonesing for such a thing, it’s a funny old world).

To check it out, click here!

If you want to buy something, I will of course love you forever, but if they aren’t your cuppa or you’re broke, feedback is welcome too!

*Oh okay, I had a deadline I was avoiding.

That was the week off, that was

That was the week off, that was

Somehow or other, I’ve managed to get nearly to the end of the business year with two whole weeks’ leave in my pocket. This greatly distressed my manager so I had to take this week off. It’s a hard, hard life.

I had so, so many plans it was hard to choose. Build the log-store I’ve been meaning to get around to for a whole year? Write that sequel that’s been popularly demanded? (If you count as ‘popularly’ one person, who was drunk at the time, which I will, dammit). Gut the house? (Now we have a dog – who turns out to be ninety-percent floof by body-weight – it badly needs it. Within approximately three hours of the last time it got done, too). Socialise? Pfft, what even is that?

Alas for all of this, I had an Idea.

Then some more ideas:

Then it kinda snowballed:

Then it got completely out of control. And, somehow, the whole week is gone…

A very happy 2018 to all!

A very happy 2018 to all!

Whoa, it is 2.5 hours till the Bells, and I have no earthy idea how this crept up so suddenly. Not that I’m not kinda glad 2017’s nearly over; if 2016 was the year everyone I knew was bewailing the deaths of artists they loved, this year’s been the year it got a lot closer to home, for a lot of people I love. Bad trend, dude, so I’m already giving 2018 the side-eye.

I can’t even say it’s been an eventful couple of months since the last post, although we did manage to get out a bit. We went to the local wrestling’s tenth anniversary at the Hydro (and had VIP tickets, it turned out, for the blasphemous price of thirty-seven pence apiece) so I got to have Swears screamed at me by thousands as we went up to the no-queueing door, which was… interesting… but it was worth it for a totally awesome night. Later that week, I got taken to see Deep Purple for a very cheap price by someone I didn’t know very well but who turned out to be totally lovely. I spent a lot of time trying to help someone who was going through a very bad relationship; then when we went down to Cambridge for a party and a couple of days’ peace, a bunch of bad news broke and we ended up inheriting a dog for Christmas. Within two hours of getting back, even, so that was a lot of running around even before my Christmas present (seven blueberry bushes) turned out to have arrived a month early and need urgent TLC.

Neither of us have had a dog before, so that’s certainly been an eye-opener. We’re very fortunate that he’s an OAP and as little trouble as a dog could possibly be (except for the separation anxiety. And the fact that he was terrified of the stairs. We ended up taking shifts sleeping on the couch, while I was under the attack of the worst lurgy I’ve had in a decade, so that was just fab, and in the end, though I was half-dead and the G-monster appallingly drunk (so jealous!) we got out the staple-gun and spent the midnight hour decking the stairs with cardboard until dog-breath could be persuaded to come up them and stop barking all the goddamn time already). He’s been here just under a fortnight and already it feels like we’re a proper family or something, so I predict he will stay long enough to break our hearts, and our bank balances with his medical bills, and then pop his poor little clogs, leaving us devastated. Woo, pets.

In the meantime, I fulfilled this year’s goal of writing a short story for every week for the year (if one generously counts poetry and sarcastic articles as short stories). The less said about all the other goals I had for this year the better, but who knows, maybe next year I will get more done. Not as much as I want, of course (until the lurgy, my plans for the Christmas period were to write eight short stories, and possibly a novel, and get a whole raft of drawing done, while somehow also gutting the house, getting fit with dog-breath and insulating the loft. Probably not realistic goals for eight days, but they never are.)

Nevertheless, it would be a small and mean world if one person had the slightest chance of experiencing it all in one lifetime, and I suppose it would be a small and mean lifetime if one had any chance at all of doing everything one wanted to do within it. Though I hope, for anyone reading this, you have a chance of doing all sorts of wonderful things and fulfilling all sorts of wonderful goals in the coming year. Remember, it’s always better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all. At least, until the landing.

On which note, here are some fever-animals. Happy New Year!

neon animals tiger dec 2017 smallneon animals zebra dec 2017 small

Is it too early to be plugging Christmas cards?

Probably, but I’m going to plunge on ahead with it anyway.

I’ve spent (what is probably far too much) time working on a wee series of cards that combine two things almost everyone loves – Christmas, and Great Cthulhu, who doesn’t quite ‘get’ Christmas.

Okay, when I say ‘almost everyone’, I mean, ‘almost everyone I know had to have Great Cthulhu explained to them, at which I did not do such a great job’ so it is the most niche of niche-y Christmas cards ever.

Here they are!

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And if for some reason anyone would like to purchase any, here’s the link. Season’s greetings y’all, even if this season is, um, still November at this time. Oops.

Great Cthulhu Hates Christmas

So that was a hiatus and a half

Woo, look at me, I started a new blog sit and it immediately fell on its face by the wayside. Much like when I started a new jogging regime that time, but that’s by the by. At least I was only in a metaphorical ditch, this time around.

So, things that have happened over the summer. First off, I got taken to Wales for my birthday, which is not a particularly long trip and yet one I had never made. For bonus points, we got stranded on the top of Mount Snowdon for HOURS when the tram (yes, we were being lazy, I mean, efficient – and supporting the local tourist trade!) broke down.

Not gonna lie, it got pretty grim. There was nowhere to sit, so we had to eat our pasties standing at a table, and the cider ran out so I was forced to drink local craft ale. The less said about my experience in the gift-shop the better, but lets just say I was rather lighter of pocket when we eventually got back to civilisation.

I will say, however, that I did love the round of applause that one of my fellow passengers got for making it to the very summit of the mountain. It may only have been about a 25 metre hike, in terms of verticality, but he suffered for it and I felt the spontaneous outbreak of love was well-deserved.

I don’t have any photos of that particular event because I felt it would be rude and intrusive. However, here are some photos of pictures drawn from photos of Wales, which is probably rather an unnecessary number of moves from the original:

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