A Balance

Wired
Wired

I have been busy, with graduation receptions, Father’s day, a wedding, some GARBC conferences – all sorts of good stuff. But I have also tried posting a few things to my ETSY store, like this little wired pendant.

I really love this thing.
But I have discovered that things I love are pretty universally not the things that actually sell.
How do you figure out what will sell, if you sell things? Or do you just make things for the love of making them, and assume “the right person” will find it, when they find it?
Fortunately for me, this is not my main source of income (or I’d be starving, because I haven’t sold anything all year, heh).
How do you figure out what to make? Do you do it for love, or do you do it for fanservice? Where is the balance?
Also, I am taking suggestions, if you can think of something you’d like to see!

Finished: Parnassus the Dragon

Sorry I haven’t posted for so long!

UPDATE: I finished this pencil sketch, and added some color, using Photoshop. He is now named Parnassus, the shy dragon.

Parnassus the shy dragon.
Parnassus the shy dragon.

Here is something I was drawing tonight. It isn’t finished, but sometimes people like to see works in progress. Or at least that’s my theory. And it’s easier than thinking of an entire blog post topic.

Work in Process
Work in Process

The Art of Itchiku Kubota

Today I wanted to sleep in, but couldn’t go back to sleep. Instead I actually exercised on the stationary (stationery? erm.) bike. I have been trying to exercise this week – so far so good.

Then my parents went with me to see an exhibit at the Canton Cultural Center for the Arts on the Kimono landscapes of Itchiku Kubota. Here is a link: http://www.kimonoexhibit.com/ 

The kimonos were amazing. There was an installation comprised of 3A Kimono by Itchiku Kubota0 larger-than-life kimonos, sleeve to sleeve, and the intricate dyed and inked art spanned across all thirty, depicting the change of seasons from fall to winter. It included oceans, mountains, sunsets and snow storms. Each one took nearly a year to make. I never expected that I would be so awestruck by a display of kimonos. I have certainly never felt this moved by “modern” style art: give me something gloriously representational!

After touring that exhibit, there was a display of Taiko drumming that happened to be beginning. It was also stunning to watch! I had no idea how interesting it would be. I am not sure I want to run out and buy a lot of CDs full of Taiko Drumming music, but it was fascinating. The choreography was stunning and beautiful.

Here is a fuzzy camera-phone photo, because it’s all I had with me.

Icho Daiko Taiko Drummers
Icho Daiko Taiko Drummers

Sketch – Harpy

Not all harpies are screaming, bird-woman hags.

But since most are, Heldra felt very alone. She tried so hard to find companionship in the lost travelers of the waste – but none would go near her; all fled when they saw the shadow of her outstretched wings. Her sweet voice did nothing to allay their fears: all knew that harpies and sirens were kin, and so many had heard the (true) tales of folks ripped to shreds.

She still sits often in a dead tree, singing to wyverns and birds. Occasionally a faun or dragon. But for the most part, she has the wilderness to herself – and her terrible kin.

Until she met the wizard.

The Beautiful Harpy
The Beautiful Harpy

[I won’t tell you how old this sketch is. It’s really old.]

Old Art and Not Much Else

The quest to find copper sheet continues. Home Depot (or at least the one I tried) says they don’t carry it. So I did buy some copper paint (made of ‘liquified copper particles’ so it should look authentic). I will eventually have to go back to that first craft store, but it’s in an inconvenient location.

Finally, here is a bit of old art I just dredged up. It is really from 2005, don’t tell. But I hadn’t posted the silly thing yet so I’ll sneak it into here. It’s a lot like the Garjubble. My style hasn’t changed very much. Which is not necessarily bad, but I do always say I should work at doing more life sketching.

Behold the Thunderous Ossiput
Behold the Thunderous Ossiput

Promises

I promised JB that I would add a post tonight, “with art or something,” because this page lacks content. Actually this was predicated by the fact that my web hosting plan is ending so I need to renew. This seems to cost a lot, when I think of how much this site has done for me over the last two years. Then I realize that for about 20 of those months I left the site blank and I realize that I’m just a doofus.

So, for your entertainment, I have captured and sketched the elusive Garjubble, a chubby little fantasy fish of the warm shallow seas.

The Elusive (and cute) Garjubble
The Elusive (and cute) Garjubble

 

In more disturbing news, I was about to buy some copper sheet (to attempt to make something Steampunk-esque) and discovered that it is being stolen from local craft stores, so I had to ask at the back for them to bring the stash of copper out from the storage area.

That definitely seems like something from a novel.

Steampunkery will be in the works even without the copper (I am too cheap at this time, due to buying my web hosting, see above. And I bought a cabinet, while we’re at it.); I will just resort to making it “copper colored” instead of “copper covered”.  Oh, also I just discovered the exciting and informative contents of Instructables. I named myself Nickleplate there, to further confuse the fact that I use too many online names.  

Also I have decided that Doctor Gestalt is just too masculine to use from here on out, so that blog is not likely to be resuscitated with that name.

Steampunk Artisans, Inspirations, Resources [EDiT]

Oh! And just to plug the two other sites I know that use the Aspire WordPress template…
(And both are neat sites!)
http://steampunkspectacular.com and

http://steampunkwallpaper.com (great images! I’m using one right now!)
I’m not going to bother to explain what the Steampunk genre is all about this time.
Feel free to check out the Wikipedia entry. But what enthralls me about it, is the beautiful combination of craftsmanship, technology, history, magic, sci-fi… wow! No wonder it’s growing!
I want to do more in this style myself!

Steam-type Dragon by Rachel Ross
Steam-type Dragon by Rachel Ross
Now, to start linking to people.
Four folks on deviantART whose Steampunk stylings really inspire me:


Porkshanks also on Etsy.
Earthenwood Studio also http://www.earthenwoodstudio.com/
Her husband is a great fantasy artist, too.
And of course, some other resources for you – these already include just about everything:

http://crabfu.com/ (even includes drawing tips )

Brass Goggles

Datamancer

And don’t forget

Girl Genius comic! (I am so frustrated, I can’t find my copy of Volume 5)

Finally, PMOG is a free browser-based Steam-stylized game (only for Firefox)!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nouveau

Author’s Note: I tell you right now I am too lazy to put accents in every time I type the word “Faberge” so just imagine them.

 

I love the works of Mucha, Lalique, Faberge, Tiffany… I just got back from the Artistic Luxury exhibit at the Cleveland Museum of Art (going through January 18 – hurry, if you want to see it! Next it moves to San Francisco, I believe.)

That exhibit was worth every penny! Never since 1900 have the works of Lalique, Faberge and Tiffany been together like that. It was jaw-dropping to see so many gold, diamond and platinum encrusted items.

My folks went too, and my mom would have liked to walk out with the House of Faberge Snowflake Brooch  (c. 1900, diamonds, platinum) as did so many other people there. It was one of the most appealing items and so images of this brooch were on the signs advertising the exhibit. We were curious exactly how many carats were in that brooch (and other things), but museum cases don’t list details like that. Probably so fewer people are tempted.

 

Another amazing thing in the display was the “Adams Vase”. It was on loan from the Metropolitan Museum so I will send you to their page  (it has the information, and close up photos – for some reason we weren’t allowed quite that close to the 23 lbs of gold and gemstones).

 

But what I love is not the material, but the form! The organic whiplash curves, the suggestions of feminine shapes, the naturalistic leaves and blossoms, the snakes and herons, the butterflies, bats, frogs, wasps! Nature re-imagined.

 

If you are looking for references to make your own Art Nouveau-inspired designs, I highly recommend looking for the economical books by Dover press. Dover prints many books, most of which contain copyright free art you can even use as clip-art. Here (But when I bought them, they didn’t come with fancy-shmancy CD ROMs of the art) and Here  and of course Amazon (Hmm I just saw a book I don’t have. Oh the pitfalls of browsing the web! Uh…well now my cart has about three things in it…)

 

Another great Art Nouveau resource is this online exhibit from the National Gallery of Art. This site contains an “audio tour” of 18 beautiful pieces. It also shows a timeline of the Art Nouveau movement, which really only spans about 15 years.

 

Finally, here are some links to information on specific artists.


Alfons (Alphonse) Mucha

http://www.goodart.org/artofam.htm

http://www.muchafoundation.org/MHome.aspx

http://www.mucha.cz/

 

Rene Lalique

http://www.renelalique.com/

http://www.collectics.com/education_lalique.html

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/roadshow/tips/lalique.html

 

House of Faberge

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Faberg%C3%A9

http://www.pbs.org/treasuresoftheworld/a_nav/faberge_nav/main_fabfrm.html

http://sxuhero.com/faberge/

 

Louis Comfort Tiffany

http://www.metmuseum.org/explore/tiffany/menu.html

http://www.jlsloan.com/lct1.htm (interesting article about rivalry with John La Farge)
http://www.queensmuseum.org/exhibitions/tiffany.htm

 

But before I attempt to name EVERY Art Nouveau artist, just check out this list that good volunteers at Wikipedia already compiled: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Art_Nouveau (I tried not to link you to Wikipedia over and over, but I couldn’t help this one.)

 

 

When I got home I started bidding on Lalique perfume bottles on ebay. Keep your fingers crossed!

 

Edit: Just swept to remove “Fabrege”.

 

Jury Duty

Monday
Monday I had Jury Duty.
Of course, in my head when the judge came out I called him “Udgey” and when the prosecution came out I called him “Edgeworth” and the defense was “Phoenix” – and, strangely, it was a little bit like that.
No the defense and prosecution and judges weren’t like that, really – the jury was!

Stolen from DS Fanboy
Stolen from DS Fanboy

The defense and prosecution started out by asking questions of the jury, to see if anyone was unfit to stay (due to some kind of bias), and it was amazing the weird stuff that came out of the woodwork.

They disqualified one person, and the replacement was the granddaughter of the previous judge in the court. (And she looked like someone that could be in an Ace Attorney game, too – she was about 19 and had loads of blond ringlets and was continuously chewing gum.) Another jury member turned out to be the neighbor and friend of the prosecuting attorney. They asked if anyone had ever had a crime committed against them and fully half of the jury raised their hands to say they had had their homes/cars broken into. And this is a small rural village, not some kind of grimy downtown depressed area!

I had no idea it was so hard to pick a jury, even in a little case like this.

Anyway they didn’t pick me to stay on the jury, so I actually got some other things accomplished like sending a package to Philippa Ballantine (go read her books/listen to her podcast novel) and getting my snow tires put on. I helped babysit a 5 year old for about an hour, too. I went to get out all my old action figures so he’d have something to play with and I had 2 Darth Vaders, 2 Darth Sideous, and 1 Darth Maul Uhh… well everyone knows bad guys are coolest anyway.

Other things I did yesterday include impulsively buying The Secret Sketchbook of Brian Froud. (I’m not sure I’m happy with this purchase.) I even made some art [$5 + shipping, if you are interested, e-mail glimmer (at) glimmerville].:

Buy me, I'm cheap.
$5
Also, the description of this Tome of Levity  game supplement book cracks me up. Any game mechanic that lets you eat the fruit out of still life paintings is awesome.
 And one more parting link: A poem by G. K. Chesterton, that was quoted in part on The Sonic Society.