Another work in progress shot

I am sorry I haven’t been updating this blog!

Here is a picture of something I didn’t finish yet, just to prove I am not sitting here playing Plants vs. Zombies 24×7.  The “artfully arranged desk clutter” probably reveals more of my personality than I want it to.

Two half-way-painted birds.
Two half-way-painted birds.
Wow, I just haven’t thought of anything to post lately. It isn’t that I haven’t been busy.

Work in Progress

I know a few of you people who read this are artist/crafters, and a few of you people like to see how artists/crafters do things. So I will show you a couple of status shots of a work-in-progress.

First, I found something weird that was on sale, and bought it. It turned out to be grungeboard (which is by Tim Holtz, available at fine scrapbooking stores everywhere). It comes cut up into shapes, or not – and covered with texture, or not.

Here is a random photo I pulled off of the web, because I was too lazy to go upstairs and take a photo of my actual package.

Anyway it turns out this stuff is fascinating and versatile, and smells like basement mold. Or, at least, the package I bought does. But anyway, you can paint it, you can bend it, you can cut it – it’s fun!

So I made up ten little tiles, using layers of paint, brads, gears, etc.

And they look like this:

 But what am I going to do with ten tiles? I thought about putting magnets on the back, or pin backs on them, or make them into thumbtacks. Or something. But instead I have put rivets through them all (actually 9 of 10), and am going to make them into a necklace. It isn’t done, but here is the beginning of my idea:

So far so good.
So far so good.

And if you want to see another wip, click here.

A Balance


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: 

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

Guard Your Heart

This past Saturday was the Hebron Youth Conference for 2009, entirely put together by the associate pastor of my church. He was simultaneously going through a rough spot in his family, so I am awestruck that he put so much time and effort into this as well. God definitely blessed his efforts!

I went as a chaperone, for the youth from my church. The theme was Proverbs 4:23 “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” The main point being that we, as Christians, are to be holy – which does not mean “off in a monastery” but it does mean “set apart”. We need to keep out of the grime and sin of the world and culture. It’s a hard thing to do, but when the fruits God promises are things like love, joy, peace, etc. it does seem like there are good rewards. (And it is your “reasonable service.”)

I am not going to go over every thing every speaker said, but I will point out a few things that struck me as interesting takes. When you have been listening to sermons since birth sometimes it is amazing and refreshing to hear something that seems new.

  • Holiness is supposed to be as desirable and enjoyable as a sunny day vs. a cloudy rainy dark day.
  • We are not to “pursue victory” and be “defeated by sin” – that puts all the emphasis on US. In reality we are to realize that sin isn’t just a “struggle” within us; when we sin, we mar God’s reputation, as God’s children, and show the world that being a Christian doesn’t make us any different. That should be one of the motivations not to do it. And so it isn’t a victory/defeat issue, it is a “you are being disobedient” issue.
  • Sometimes our ATTITUDE is what determines whether a thing is beneficial to us or not.
  • When you have daily devotions, the object of your devotion is God. Even your time of prayer should focus on God and not just on “God help me X, Y, Z”
  • Keep having daily devotions even if you have no desire; the desire will come later.
  • Since the Bible is inspired, when you open it, by definition you take the the very breath of God!

Penultimately, I want to add a list of “Five things we want the Lord Jesus to be able to say to us if the Rapture should occur today” – as listed by Dr. Michael Peck. (I was even more struck by these since I knew the two other chaperones sitting next to me were going through such family trials that these were heart-wrenchingly relevant – and still nodding and amen-ing along with this. I was humbled and awed.)

  1. You obeyed Me even when you didn’t understand why. (Mt 4:18-20)
  2. You trusted Me even when it was hard (Ps 125:1)
  3. You worshipped Me even when your heart was breaking (Job 1,2)
  4. You loved Me even when others walked away (Jn 14:15)
  5. You accepted My will even when it was not what you would have personally chosen (Ps 40:8, Ps 143:10)

Finally, in the border of my notes during the sermons I ended up with this little character. I drew her once during each message, and so this was message #5, the final version. (We did have a 6th sermon but I didn’t draw her again.)


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


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.