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2014-01-04 07:09 pm

Fandom Snowflake - Day 3 (somewhat belated)

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Day 3

In your own space, post a rec for at least three fanworks that you did not create.

I'm going to try to go for smaller fandoms here (Hunger Games probably being the largest of the bunch). Otherwise, all my recs would be in SPN, Avengers, Sherlock, etc. and would probably have been recced in a bazillion other places already.

So, here we go...

Much Unseen

This Friday Night Lights story is heartwarming without being cloying. Tyra Colette embarks on an unofficial summer reading program, and it will take her places she never expected. I love reading stories about people falling in love with reading. Even if you're not that familiar with the show, you'll probably enjoy this story a lot.

Dweller on the Threshold

I just recced this for Yuletide, and I'm going to rec it again here. This is the Twin Peaks fic I have been wanting for years. It resolves (but not too neatly, and with plenty of Lynchian weirdness) the series-ending cliffhanger. It has a fantastic Albert voice, and Audrey is simply magnificent. Plus, Denise gets a meaty role and Harry is wonderfully tortured (mentally, that is).

Hope In the Darkness That I Will See the Light

Hunger Games AU, covering the events of Catching Fire and Mockingjay. In the Quarter Quell, Haymitch goes into the arena instead of Peeta. This story (along with its sequel) has amazing world building, going far beyond what we see from Katniss's point of view in the books.


This beautifully written Chronicles of Narnia fic follows what happens to the Pevensies after they defeat the White Witch. As the author says, "after the coronation festivities, the real work begins." This work introduces a heavy dose of reality to the Chronicles, but without destroying the feel of the series or making things too dark.

(Also, I'm delaying challenge #4 until and if I find an appropriate opportunity)
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2014-01-02 06:44 pm

Fandom Snowflake - Day 2

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Day 2

In your own space, promote three communities, challenges, blogs, pages, Twitters, Tumblrs or platforms and explain why you love them.

SPN Artist Swap: This LJ comm was a fun place to play with some other artists in the SPN fandom. I love the premise, which is that each artist submits a rough sketch, that is then assigned to another player in the round. That artist then creates something based on that rough sketch. Working off of someone else's idea is definitely a challenge, but it was a good way to stretch myself.

31_days: This LJ comm provides a list of various prompts - things like idioms, quotes, snippets of poetry or lyrics etc. - with a different prompt for each day of the month. The comm is still active, though not as active as it once was. It's a fun place to read fic in unexpected fandoms, and it's a great place to go find a prompt to get the juices flowing again. Prompt lists are posted a few days before the beginning of each month.

Diane Duane's Tumblr: Not only does Duane post about her own writing, she is also an unabashed and enthusiastic fangirl. Sherlock is a huge favorite, as is Star Trek (fittingly enough, as she's written some of the best ST novels out there).
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2014-01-01 05:57 pm

Fandom Snowflake, Day 1

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Day One

In your own space, post a rec for at least three fanworks that you have created. It can be your favorite fanworks that you've created, or fanworks you feel no one ever saw, or fanworks you say would define you as a creator.

I thought I'd rec across a sampling of the various fandoms I've dabbled in across the years.

Apocrypha (SPN)
This is the longest complete work I've ever written, and it's also the fic I feel is the one that most represents me as a writer. In short, it's my baby. It's also probably the ultimate example of my love of telling stories out of exact order, with multiple timelines echoing each other as they pull towards the conclusion.

Home Front (X1999)
This story illustrates two of my proclivities - playing with history and tying canon to history (WWII in this case) and exploring the backstory and motivation of minor characters.

Child's Play (Bleach)
In this story, I indulge my love for a particular character archetype - the apparently easy-going, lackadaisical, irreverent type (frequently a functional alcoholic and/or lecher) who has hidden, and frequently very dark depths.
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2013-12-12 08:16 pm

December meme for [personal profile] de_nugis

[personal profile] de_nugis asked me "Pick a piece of your art that you are proud of and say a bit about its inspiration or your process for that piece or just why it's one you especially like."

Lots of rambling behind cut. )
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2013-12-09 08:12 pm

December meme for amy37

[profile] amy37 asked me "What is one thing you would love to learn to do?"

I have to think of just one thing? Eek.

Seriously, one thing I adore is learning, whether it's learning about something or learning how to do something. I'm an inveterate dabbler, and sometimes something that catches my fancy "sticks" and becomes a lifelong interest.

That said, one thing in particular that has been nagging at me for the past several weeks is the desire to learn calligraphy. I'm pretty sure that this came from starting to use dip pens with various nibs in some of my drawing (if all goes well, you'll see results in my spn_j2_xmas entry) and enjoying the way they feel and the quality of the line I get from them. My everyday handwriting kind of sucks, so there's an appeal to the idea of producing letters and having them come out pretty. I could also see it being a fairly meditative process, allowing me to concentrate on one. simple. action. at a time and having it all flow together (currently I get some of that from weightlifting, but calligraphy would be less sweaty).

I'm also seeing there as being a fair amount of application to my artwork, both in terms of lettering things (not-so-secret dream: create a webcomic) and in terms of getting better control of my linework for doing things that I don't want to look "sketchy."

Just for grins, here are the next four runners-up on "things I want to learn how to do."

1. Home brewing - not to actually do at home, but just to learn the process for grins. I may see if there's some sort of class at one of the local microbreweries.
2. Draftsmanship. Dear heavens, do I need this for some of the art projects I've got noodling around in my head
3. Coding - I'd kind of like to be able to build a web site to my specs without having to hire someone to do it
4. How to actually use some graphics software effectively. I doubt I'll ever shift my focus away from traditional art, but having a few more basic skillz would be good for when/if I start promoting my stuff.
5. How to grill meat and have it be something I would like to eat.
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2013-12-07 08:30 pm

Finbarr Fancypants McGee update

Finn the cat continues to be adorable, although he decided that I should stop drawing 1 page before my end goal for tonight. I decided to stop, as fang marks in bristol board would not be a lovely visual effect for this project.

Also, I may have done something incredibly stupid with regards to Finn's leisure activities. I saw that he was intrigued by seeing things move on my iPad, so I checked the app store to see if there were any apps for cats. I found one, and it was only 99 cents, so I figured it might be worth a laugh.

Bad move. I can't use the iPad unless I give Finn a minute or two to chase the mousie first. Afterwards, he's only moderately obnoxious instead of completely obnoxious. He will still bat at the screen when I turn the page on the Kindle app (sometimes turning the page back, or turning it ahead). He will also try to attack the Bitizens when I play Tiny Death Star.

It's a good thing he's adorable.
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2013-12-07 06:47 am

December Meme for etrix

Sorry this is a day late! I ended up crashing about two hours earlier than usual last night.

Anyhow, the question for today yesterday is: "How does world history influence you and/or your art?"

Well, the first part of that question is one that could take pages and pages to answer, or could be summed up simply. In this case, I'll elect to keep it simple. To wit, when I look at various events in world history - especially when it comes to the way that people treated (more often mistreated) other people - I wonder, "how would people judge me ten, fifty, a hundred years from now?"

It's easy to look at news reports of groups of angry people waving signs and make assumptions about how they'll be compared to other groups of angry people waving signs forty or fifty years ago. It's a little harder, cognitively and emotionally, to think of myself. It's relatively easy to pinpoint the biases, unconscious cruelty, etc. of my Victorian or 1950's counterparts, but to pinpoint my own? Not so easy. But when I do pinpoint something, I find it has an interesting effect beyond prompting change in my own life. I find it increases my empathy, both for those who came before me and for those who are around me now.

Well, that went longer than expected... now on to the second part, and how history influences my art.

When it comes to visual art, I've only been back in that particular sandbox for about two years after a long, long hiatus from doing anything besides doodling during meetings. So, I'm still figuring that out to some degree - if you go back and look at the sort of stuff I've been posting, my style jumps around all over the place. That being said, I can see where some of my thinking has been influenced by my studies in medieval and early Renaissance art in terms of how I get my art to tell the kind of story I want it to tell. It's not just the subject matter - it's the composition, the color, the context, etc. This is something that I will continue to think about as I continue to draw and paint.

The answer's a little easier when it comes to my writing. Most of what I do is set fairly contemporary, but I also love to write stuff set in the latter half of the 20th century. What I love to try to do is get across an immersive sense of what it was like to be there at that time, with the history, slang, accoutrements, etc. (hopefully) settling naturally into the background and pulling the reader into the experience rather than providing the distancing effect of a "period piece." Am I successful at this? Not always, but there are a couple of stories (Homing, Apocrypha) where I feel like I nailed it.

If you want to ask me a question, there are still plenty of open slots - feel free to sign up here.
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2013-12-04 09:19 pm

December Meme - 12/4

Here is my response for 12/4 for this meme. The prompt is from [personal profile] cassiopeia7, who asked me "How and when did your love of space start?"

I have very, very vague memories of seeing broadcsts of (I think) Apollo 15 and being told by my cousin that "that man is walking on the moon." I was young enough that the rarity of it didn't sink in - all that I knew was that this was a thing you could do, and it was neat.

My love of space grew with my love of all things science and nature as a child. I loved, loved, loved going to the science museum/planetarium and seeing the films about the solar system and the stars. I read this book nearly to pieces (and I still have my copy!).

A love of science fiction (Star Trek, then Star Wars) cemented my interest in space, I think. The thought of going "out there" and seeing more just seemed like a natural part of my life. I couldn't understand not being interested. Then, the Voyager missions happened. And the Cosmos miniseries. I would read articles in Omni, Scientific American, etc.

I hate to say it, but school nearly killed my interest in hard science. I got it into my head that I was "bad at math" (not true, long story) and went in to the humanities instead. I did take basic astronomy as an elective in college, though. My interest has never really waned, although my personal studies into astrophysics and cosmology have picked up again big time in the past couple of years (along with readings on things like string theory and particle physics). Sometimes I have to wonder what might have been...
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2013-12-03 06:57 pm

December Meme - 12/3

Here is my response for 12/1 for this meme. The prompt is from [personal profile] cassiopeia7, who asked me "What is your absolute favorite art tool, the one thing you cannot live without?"

Read more... )
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2013-12-01 06:48 pm

December Meme - 12/1

Here is my response for 12/1 for this meme. The prompt is from [personal profile] aishuu, who asked me about three things I refuse to do again.

Thing one: Ride a horse. I used to take riding lessons a lot when I was younger, and was pushed into doing more and more as my parents got more and more into riding. I suppose I could have said "no more," or "can we slow this down a bit," but what child is going to say "no" to riding a horse? Well, after being stepped on, kicked, scraped off, nearly rolled over on and run away with, I was done. I adore horses, but have no desire to be on the back of one ever again. FYI, Sam's horse-related trauma in Fightin' Words is largely based upon my own experience. As they say, write what you know...

Thing two: Go skiiing. I love being active, don't get me wrong. What I don't love is being cold. Or cold and wet. Or cold and wet and bruised. Or cold and wet and bruised and having a knee that bends in a fun new direction. What I also don't love (see above, re. horses) is being physically out of control when it comes to high speed/change in altitude. I LOVE roller coasters, but part of that is that their speed and plummetting is pre-determined. Skiiing, not so much. Add the cold factor into that, and you've got sure-fire recipe for things I don't long.

Thing three: Go camping. The way I look at it, our ancestors spent tens of thousands of years so we could sleep away from cold, damp, insects, and the hard, hard ground. I choose not to dishonor their sacrifice.

Seriously, though, I used to enjoy camping to a degree, and I have no trouble getting comfortable in a day camp or roughing it in a cabin or similar. I also don't mind getting absolutely filthy doing something outdoorsy. But at my age, I like my creature comforts when day is done. I don't need luxury, but I like being dry, I like being warm, and I like my back not feeling like someone tried to play Jenga with my vertebrae.
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2013-12-01 08:52 am

Meme - stolen from various

I've seen this a few places on my flist, and I thought it would be good to help get me writing again.

Pick a date below and give me a topic — it can be anything, from fandom related to life related to art related to whatever you want.

They will probably be brief, or not, depending on the subject.

Also, I reserve the right to decline prompts that I don’t feel equipped to meet.

Topics: you can get an idea from my tags/from the stuff I usually ramble about/from things you maybe wish I talked about more but don’t.

You can request multiple topics (as long as they’re on different days — one topic per day!).

December 01 - (aishuu) 3 things I refuse to do again
December 02 -
December 03 - (cassiopeia7) What is your absolute favorite art tool, the one thing you cannot live without?
December 04 - (cassiopeia7) How and when did your love of space start?
December 05 -
December 06 - (etrix) "The Day That Will Live in Infamy" How does world history influence you and/or your art?
December 07 -
December 08 -
December 09 - (amy37) What is one thing you would love to learn to do?
December 10 -
December 11 -
December 12 - (denugis) Pick a piece of your art that you are proud of and say a bit about its inspiration or your process for that piece or just why it's one you especially like.
December 13 -
December 14 -
December 15 -
December 16 -
December 17 -
December 18 -
December 19 -
December 20 - cancelled due to simultaneous claims for 12/21
December 21a - (cupcake_goth) comfort reads
December 21b - (aishuu) Winter Solstice
December 22 -
December 23 -
December 24 -
December 25 - (aishuu) Fancypant's First Christmas (and nonrelated holiday stories)
December 26 -
December 27 -
December 28 -
December 29 -
December 30 -
December 31 - (etrix) "Looking for a Brand New Year" How do you reflect your personal history and hopes for the future in your art?
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2013-11-13 05:52 pm

Re-boosting Fandom Aid offer

I want to re-boost the Fandom Aid offer I made. One, I adjusted the donation requirements to be a bit more in line with what others were offering for art. Two, for those of you who follow me here, please feel free to request fandoms/subjects you think I'd be able to handle to your liking.

FANDOMS |Supernatural, Sleepy Hollow, Bleach, Supernatural. Willing to consider other fandoms. Will also do a portrait of your pet or any other animal of your choice.
MINIMUM ‘BUY IT NOW’ DONATION REQUIREMENT | $5 for 9 x12 pencil sketch, $10 for a 9 x 12 inked sketch, $20 for 9 x 12 inked and colored piece, (colored pencil and watercolor), $50 for 9 x 12 oil painting on panel
ANY OTHER INFORMATION | I will ship the original piece to you - international is okay! Rating of piece must be R or lower. You can see a meager sampling of my art here. I most likely won't be able to send art until around New Year's due to other commitments.
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2013-10-06 08:55 pm

A glorious fall Sunday

Cooler weather finally hit, and it feels properly like October now. I was able to get out for a nice, long walk and noticed that the maple leaves were starting to turn red.

Finnbarr the cat continues to be adorable, even if he insists on trying to eat things that aren't food (bleach, toes). He's been adjusting so well over the past week that I have to remind myself that he is still adjusting and exploring. He's only been out of the shelter for a week and a day, after all.

In other news, I finally finished the mermaid statue painting I've been working on for a show. I'm mostly happy with it (now that it's out of my hands, I keep seeing things I want to change), and am toying with the idea of ordering/selling gicle prints of the thing.

linnaean house mermaid

I am also toying with the idea of photoshopping in glowing red eyes and a trickle of blood at the corner of her mouth. Just because.

In other art news, I finally started on my SPN RBB picture. And by started, I mean I've assembled a bunch of photos and have Frankensteined together a reference photo for my painting. No, I don't think I'll be making the Early Bird deadline on this one.
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2013-07-09 08:41 pm

Big Bang Art!

I posted my first batch SPN_J2 big bang art yesterday, for Tripwire. It's a wonderful post-apocalyptic AU with the following premise:

The apocalypse rolls on as planned, with no Dean Winchester to interrupt, and Lucifer wins. As a result, humans are rounded up into camps and used for food and entertainment by the now-dominant monster and demon species. Adam Milligan, once the vessel for the archangel Michael (who is now presumed dead by the world at large) works as a bartender earning his keep, but his life is once again turned upside down by the appearance of Castiel. The angel asks Adam to look after none other than a weakened Michael and keep him safe from the demons who might want to kill him. Now Adam has to decide if Michael's really worth protecting, and if he is, what that means for both their futures.

The art I did for the story (pastels, pen and ink), can be found here. I'd be delighted if you would check it out!

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2013-06-26 06:28 am

Big Bang season kicks off!

I managed to pick up three Big Bangs to work on this year, and the first one went up Monday! I had the privilege of working on a story by [personal profile] twisted_slinky for the Supernatural crossover Big Bang.

She wrote a wonderful SPN/TW crossover. It's a solid case fic that blends the two series wonderfully. It's set after the S2 finale of TW and in S8 of SPN.

Fic is here: Of Wolf and Man

My art post is here, or if you want to jump straight to the art, it's beneath the cut.

Cut to spare friends' lists. )
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2013-06-05 08:11 pm

Checking in...

It's been a rough couple of weeks, and I've been laying low for the most part. A few of you already know this, but I had to have my dear, sweet kitty put to sleep two weeks ago. I had the little guy for fourteen years, and after the initial combination of shock/relief (he was very, verysick at the end), I'm just feeling, well, kinda low.

I did spend a good week working on artwork, both personal and fannish, but for the past couple of days, I've just been in a good old-fashioned funk. I miss my kitty, and I miss having him waiting at the door and meowing his head off when I come home. I've been spending extra hours at work the past few days because I just don't want to come home.

I do think I'll get another cat, but not in the immediate future.
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2013-05-04 08:50 am

Most recent art project - all done!

I just finished my first actual oil painting. It was quite a change from my usual pen-and-ink and/or pastel, and I'm very happy with how the final product turned out.


I did this from a photo my BFF took while we were on vacation up on Martha's Vineyard. I did a few alterations to the photo (removing some buckets and some ropes that looked like they were placed there by Escher).

If you want to see the start-to-finish on this thing, I put a selection of in-process photos behind the cut.

From start to end - cut to spare friends lists )
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2013-03-27 06:37 pm

So, I did a thing...

I participated in the first Supernatural Artist Swap, in which participants submitted a rough sketch that was then assigned randomly to another participant. Each artist then had a week to do a picture based on (in one fashion or another) the original sketch.

This round's theme was "road trip," and I love the range of interpretations of the theme.

It was a huge amount of fun, even though I'm feeling a bit self-conscious about throwing my hat into such a ring of talent.

Here is my final sketch:

Read more... )

The picture was done with Sakura Microns and pan pastels on rough-textured paper.

My initial sketch was extremely rough, as I was mostly blocking out composition/value/color and not a lot of detail. The final sketch that was done based on it is utterly amazing, though.
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2013-03-19 09:51 pm

Avengers Tarot - finally, a new card!

RL - including work stuff and house stuff - got in the way of me working on these, but I finally had a chance to sit down and finish the next card.

Card #2 - The High Priestess )
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2013-01-13 08:16 pm

Pastel project - dog portrait.

I haven't posted a whole lot of art lately, partly because work ate my brain throughout much of November and December. Also, I spent most of my art time working on a portrait of my mom's dog for her as a Christmas present.

Getting it framed was a bit of a pain, as I had to have spacers put between the frame and the picture so the inevitable shedding didn't cause a little pileup of pastel dust on the bottom edge of the frame. Fixative can only do so much.

Dog 1, stuffed lobster 0 )