Tag Archives: painting

“This week in Ravi is the Best” from Jane Says is one of the things I’m most looking forward to about the show coming back.

29. iZombie I: Dead to the World- Chris Roberson & Michael Allred

30. iZombie II: uVampire- Chris Roberson & Michael Allred

32. iZombie III: Six Feet Under and Rising- Chris Roberson & Michael Allred

33. iZombie IV: Repossession – Chris Roberson & Michael Allred

My issues with the iZombie comics are basically the same issues I have with the depiction of female main characters by male writers occasionally – overly sexualized drawings (Such a comics norm, but, is it really necessary to have so many skin tight outfits in a non-superhero or athletic setting? Must one be aerodynamic to be a zombie? Who is this for? I miss Daria. Tangent.), seeming agency revealed to be influenced mainly by dudes (Daria squint. I really do miss her.), and of course, that female main character must be sacrificed (and she’s nude…because she becomes a Grow Monsters- those are heroic tits I guess) in order to save the world. Gwen seems nice, has some quirks, and barely felt real to me. Why did she like that Horatio guy exactly? Sometimes vampires aren’t necessary. Why does she call Scott “Spot” if he’s really her friend? He didn’t seem to need his self-esteem lowered any further. How many characters do we need in this story? Really, Amon? REALLY? What a dick.

Reading the comics just made me feel like I missed something. I loved Gwen’s Halloween costume in the first issue (Shaun). I like the idea of a were-terrier. I thought Dixie seemed like a pretty cool diner owner and needed some more scenes, maybe a spotlight issue, and after a little research I see the series was ended after 28 issues due to low sales. That makes some of the plot line drops and the wrap up make more sense. I can’t help but wonder if maybe Gwen’s choices weren’t as a result of a dude-issue (whether it’s Amon or Horatio) it might have found a female audience just a bit more solidly. The agency and dude influence issues are definitely something I don’t notice as much when watching the iZombie television show. Also, Liv Moore wears a lab coat a lot of the time. Doesn’t seem to make her less of a zombie or solid heroine. All I can say is, the show better not specifically end with Liv becoming a Grow Monster to eat an alien entity bent on devouring the world. Although if it does, it will just be one more reminder of what women won’t be able to get any credit for after that disaster of an election. If they go that route, maybe she’ll just let the alien eat us. I think we’d be better off…at the least it would be unexpected and it’s not like we’ll get equal pay or recognition before I’m dead anyway.

Now is the time on Guinea Pigs and Books where I brag about how Rose McIver liked the postcard I gave her of this painting. She asked me if she could keep it, which was the sweetest possible thing she could have done. Rose McIver is excellent and very small, not unlike Ozma, the guinea pig playing her in the painting.

Now is the time on Guinea Pigs and Books where I brag about how Rose McIver liked the postcard I gave her of this painting . She asked me if she could keep it, which was the sweetest possible thing she could have done. Rose McIver is excellent and very small, not unlike Ozma, the guinea pig playing her in the painting.

 

Thankfully, the very small Ozma will never have to worry about any of the things I get to worry about or becoming a zombie.

Thankfully, the very small Ozma will never have to worry about any of the things I get to worry about or becoming a zombie.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under art, Review, Writing

Summer Ends

20. Touched with Fire – Kay Redfield Jamison
The title comes from a line in the Stephen Spender poem “I Think Continually of Those Who Were Truly Great.” The subtitle of this book is “Manic Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament.” After finishing this book, I know two things: 1. I am not manic depressive. I have never been manic in the manner described in Touched with Fire; although perhaps in retrospect it will seem like I was when I finished so many creative things this year. And I haven’t even put all of them up in my store . 2. I relate more to Henry James than I like. I hated reading Washington Square, now I begrudgingly respect it. Actually, I still have that “ugh” feeling in my gut thinking about reading it, so it may mostly be a product of whatever mental state I was in at the time.

One of my favorite aspects of Touched with Fire is the list of artists, composers, and writers who were either manic depressive, had probable cyclothomia, or had major depression. It’s marked with who was hospitalized, who made a suicide attempt, and who committed suicide and it was super interesting seeing who did what. Like extremely late to the party gossip.

There was also a section of shorter biographical pieces dealing with the family histories of “madness” of famous artists and writers called “Genealogies of these high mortal miseries” after a phrase by Herman Melville that I truly love and that was the section that resonated with me the most. Writing and art are both solitary pursuits and when you consistently wonder if anyone is ever going to connect with your work or why you should care or if you should really be doing this work when you’re not that stable financially and it’s not really helping with that and you know that it’s all you’d like to pursue regardless but you can’t put aside everything you care about aesthetically just because people tell you should if you want to make money… well, that whole section just provided a lot of material for me to relate to. There are a lot of differences between the time period when Herman Melville was writing and now, but, those differences are easily bridged by the mental anguish a large swath of artists and writers feel on a regular basis.

Personally, I remain true to my artistic vision regardless of what anyone tells me; which doesn’t mean that I don’t listen to criticism. I just look for relevance in the criticism. Sometimes you’re doing something people don’t get, and the main thing to consider in that case is whether or not what you’re aiming for people to “get” is coming through. If it’s not, there’s work to do. If it is and they don’t like it, that’s a different story altogether. You’ll have to beat them to death with their own shoes. Or not. To be fair, I know that many people are not ready for guinea pig domination or ladies being clever in realms where men are used to being the only clever ones. I would like things to be different and therefore I create. And I had a shitload of catching up to do after my on and off dealings with depression over the past thirteen yearsish. I proved to myself that even if I’m very stressed and very depressed I can write and paint and when I can focus, I can write and paint A LOT. I did drop one giant amount of baggage between last year and this year, which enabled me to focus on myself and what I want and apparently that was to finish manuscripts, print, paint and paint and paint, print some more, and actually execute some of the ideas I’ve had for so long while still working full time in a job that can be really stressful in so…many…ways. And I can’t say that me doing all of this has been met entirely positively. Some people really want you to stay in the place they expect you to be. But it’s not up to them and I have also received a lot of very encouraging sentiments too and I do want to specifically thank everyone who came out to see me at the Wizard Worlds I participated in this year, it made it clear to me that my work is unique, and, Cute, – and a special additional public thank you to those that facilitated me actually being able to participate. Overall, my experience reading Touched with Fire worked like a door through the darkness I get overwhelmed by sometimes and reminded me that I’m not the only one like this, even if I’m on the major depression side and not the manic side. To borrow a phrase from Mr. Presley, I’m a bit more “Filled with fire” now than anything else – no touching-; although that fire has turned to a smoky haze quite often in the past. No phoenix metaphors, it was there the whole time.

I also have muse-pigs to honor and I'll never let them down. Danger Crumples, perpetual muse-pig, stepping on all my journals, would personally thank everyone who purchased images of him and expressed how adorable he is, if he was available.

I also have muse-pigs to honor and I’ll never let them down. Danger Crumples, perpetual muse-pig, stepping on all my journals, would personally thank everyone who purchased images of him and expressed how adorable he is, if he was available.

 

My little unexpected muse-pig Peregrine and the start of my Pigoween painting. She (and Merricat, their relationship was very Duke of New York-Snake Plissken) was very much the inspiration for my John Carpenter's Guinea Pigs series of paintings.

My little unexpected muse-pig Peregrine and the start of my Pigoween painting. She (and Merricat, their relationship was very Duke of New York-Snake Plissken) was very much the inspiration for my John Carpenter’s Guinea Pigs series of paintings.

Leave a comment

Filed under art, Books, Review, Writing

I’ve been told I’m not good at recommending this movie…

The final John Carpenter film to receive the three pig painting treatment is Prince of Darkness. I tried to explain this movie to a friend of mine in the not so distant past and was told that I wasn’t really “selling” it by explaining that I like it, it seems pretty long, and that a lot of people seem to think it’s boring – but it has some really nice green tones and there’s what I describe as “Satan juice” in it. And old computers. And a very nicely lit classroom scene and this repeated shared dream sequence where the antichrist appears but it looks like the tracking needs to be adjusted. I see where he was coming from, but, I forgot to mention Alice Cooper was in it, so, that was probably the whole problem.

See? Satan juice. Corrosive Satan juice is compelling Pere and Ozma to wear 80s colors and reach out expressionlessly. I accidentally squirted half of my tube of titanium white on this when I was finishing the detailing...but I fixed it. Mostly.

See? Satan juice. Corrosive Satan juice is compelling Peregrine and Ozma to wear 80s smock-style shirts and reach out expressionlessly. I accidentally squirted half of my tube of titanium white on this when I was finishing the detailing…but I fixed it. Mostly.

 

There's also a scene where one student is translating some text and there's like a possessed computer moment where it says non-happiness inducing things, I've amended it a bit... the original messages did not involve hay. I assume because losing hay would be far too shocking for the world.

There’s also a scene where one student is translating some text and there’s like a possessed computer moment where it says non-happiness inducing things, I’ve amended it a bit- the original messages did not involve hay. I assume because losing hay would be far too shocking for the world. This image is going to be available as a postcard at Wizard World Chicago, as part of the movie set of postcards. So if you know any guinea pigs that can read and that you wish to play evil jokes on, I’ve got you covered.

 

Horace steps right into his role.

Horace steps right into his role. He’s also letting me know I messed up his little orange eyebrow.

 

The Finny Awakens

The Finny Awakens

 

These paintings also mark the painting debut of Finny, as the antichrist, the role he was born to play. He's not very happy about it. Too on the nose, perhaps.

These also mark the painting debut of Finny, as the antichrist, the role he was born to play. He’s not very happy about it. Too on the nose, perhaps.

I am one of several Smiths, yet again – Wizard World Chicago profile

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Shop smart. Shop…

…at the Guinea Pigs and Books booth at Wizard World Chicago, August 18-19-20-21.  Yeah, I know, that bit of terrible word play is not really going to pass muster; however, I have a good excuse in that I’ve been using most of my brain to work on paintings again. Paintings like these:

Trapped in time. Surrounded by evil. Very fluffy.

Trapped in time. Surrounded by evil. Very fluffy.

 

Danger Dixon-Rachel E. Smith

Guinea pigs sit down to use crossbows. They sure do.

 

Danger Crumples has taken over for Ash and Daryl this time around. Oh, and also Blaine.

 

iPiggie - Where I dared to question whether or not guinea pigs would use chopsticks, eat brains, and if Horace would dare to wear a sweater vest. They can do all those things, through the painful magic of painting.

iPiggie – Where I dared to question whether or not guinea pigs would use chopsticks, eat brains, and if Horace would dare to wear a sweater vest. They can do all those things, through the painful magic of painting.

These are but three of the six new paintings I’ve done since the Madison convention in April – six! And you bet there are Danger Dixon and Army of Dangers tea towels (and also prints on paper), Danger parodies only truly work if there are kitchen accoutrements. Plus, as established, I am a bit of a lunatic and I like tea towels with strange things on them. My kitchen will never be boring. Yours doesn’t have to be either.

Oh, and I should warn you, iPiggie is only available in mildly expensive painting and much cheaper postcard format. The world could not withstand the complications of an iPiggie tea towel. By the world I mean me, printing simplified versions of my two Danger designs was torturous enough.

Come facilitate further torture at Wizard World Chicago! Whee!

Here we go again with the linkage – Wizard World Chicago profile

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Did I ever tell you my favorite color was blue?

In the Mouth of Madness is one John Carpenter movie I won’t guinea pig-ify- because it is just too close to home sometimes. As a writer, who has written while watching In the Mouth of Madness, and who writes horror things that could be considered ridiculous under certain circumstances, and who decided that it would be a good idea to finish her Squirrelpocalypse Trilogy before Wizard World Madison started, I can relate to the “Did I ever tell you my favorite color was blue?” scene from both Sam Neill and Jurgen Prochnow’s perspectives. When I finished Night of the Squirrels, I yelled the same way Sam Neill does. And I wanted some Cheetos, if you read it, you’ll be able to tell that I wanted some Cheetos.  I did not have any Cheetos and it was late enough at night that I decided not to go out for some. Such a dilemma.

Anyway, Night of the Squirrels is up and ready for purchasing via the usual ebook retailers, I’m waiting for distribution to finish to a few retailers, and it’s currently easiest to find via my Amazon Author Page (Who knew that title would be so hard to search for? Me. I am a librarian, so I know some searching, but, still, that’s why I also decided to use “Squirrelpocalypse” repeatedly and I should have used it when I printed the first cover…damn the permanence of printmaking!)

It's all three covers together at last!

It’s all three covers together at last! So squirrely.

 

Of course, I’ve also done some paintings and prints related to my series (I have a few sets of all three book covers, several of the Day of the Robots cover, and several of the Night of the Squirrels cover – all in multiple colors) for Wizard World, today is the last day, so…  Merchandising, where the real money from the novel is made!

 

 

I've always been inspired by the WPA posters. Not only because if I was alive during that time period, I would have been angling for a printing job, I'm also just super fond of the typography. This one recreates a scene from Night of the Squirrels. The travel poster, McWikken style.

I’ve always been inspired by the WPA posters. Not only because if I was alive during that time period, I would have been angling for a printing job, I’m also just super fond of the typography. This one recreates a scene from Night of the Squirrels. The travel poster, McWikken style.

 

Another WPA inspired one (oh, and although I am a printmaker, both of my WPA inspired works are paintings), this time in honor of Babette and Louis. Shiny purple!

Another WPA inspired one (oh, and although I am a printmaker, both of my WPA inspired works are paintings), this time in honor of Babette and Louis. Shiny purple!

 

They call her Regan Brite. This one is a silkscreen also available in glow in the dark green. This print was so involved that I barely came away with any to sell - and so I made some postcards of this version. A few.

They call her Regan Brite. This one is a silkscreen also available in glow in the dark green. This print was so involved that I barely came away with any to sell – and so I made some postcards of this version. A few.

 

Will you endure the placement of this link with me, one last time? my profile on the Wizard World site

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Dawn of the Interns, Day of the Robots, Night of the Squirrels, Writing

Consider the Dangers.

My little man.

My little man.

Danger Crumples was the most important guinea pig I’ll ever have. I love all my pigs, they’re all so completely special to me, but Danger Crumples always stood out. He was very clearly the star.  As far as I’m concerned, he always will be. There’s no denying his charisma- I can’t think of anyone who saw him in person that didn’t want to pet him or didn’t try to get his attention. He’s pretty unforgettable.

On January 22nd, he passed away after a relatively swift decline. I stayed with him the entire time, making sure my best friend and the most consistently inspiring of all my muses knew how important and loved he was and still is. I also had him cremated so that he has to come with me wherever I move for the rest of time. He’d already lived in three states with me and taken every transition remarkably well, so, now he’s stuck in his bamboo box with a fly nameplate.

I was working on drawings of him for paintings and prints to bring to Wizard World Madison when he passed. As usual, he took some major roles – the tenth Doctor, the eleventh Doctor, the captain of the Elizabeth Dane-ger in Pigs in the Fog, an infected expedition member in The Pig – so he’s The Pig aka The Thing, anyway, YA author Christopher Pike, 1990s YA book cover model for said Christopher Pike takeover, and a little bit of the role of his not-real twin spirit- Hello Kitty. It’s very hard for me to draw and paint my pigs after they pass, so I left the painting of the Dangers until practically the last minute of my painting “schedule” and ended up painting seven Dangers at once. That was hard.

The seven Dangers.

The seven Dangers.

 

The Danger Who original paintings and Hello Danger.

The Danger Who original paintings and Hello Danger.

 

The Christopher Pike-Danger Crumples takeover. Danger Crumples Is Pigture Perfect.

The Christopher Pike-Danger Crumples takeover. Danger Crumples Is Pigture Perfect.

 

Being both the author and cover star made it seem appropriate to make the titles a bit more literal - Danger Crumples...In a Car with a Skeleton.

Being both the author and cover star made it seem appropriate to make the titles a bit more literal – Danger Crumples…In a Car with a Skeleton.

 

The biggest one - where Danger Crumples is joined by friends Ozymandias and Horace - Pigs in a Graveyard

The biggest one – where Danger Crumples is joined by friends Ozymandias and Horace – Pigs in a Graveyard.

 

( my profile on the Wizard World site )

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Are guinea pig parody paintings better than movie remakes?

My answer would be: probably. I would certainly enjoy a remake of The Fog starring guinea pigs, which is why I made The Fog the second target of my “John Carpenter’s Guinea Pigs” series of paintings, available at Wizard World Madison April 8-9-10 ( my profile on the Wizard World site ).

Once nice thing about Carpenter's often short titles - they really leave themselves open for guinea pig parody. Also, Danger Crumples would have been an excellent pirate captain.

Once nice thing about Carpenter’s often short titles – they really leave themselves open for guinea pig parody. Also, Danger Crumples would have been an excellent pirate captain.

 

Horace and Ozma face a leper pirate inside their awkwardly spaced truck.

Horace and Ozma face a leper pirate inside their awkwardly spaced truck.

 

When I chose Merricat to replace Adrienne Barbeau's DJ character Stevie Wayne, I knew that she wasn't going to be playing jazz records in between warnings about the fog... She's got Zebras' The City of Sun, one of my favorite records from last year by the best band from(ish) Madison in my favorite of all my John Carpenter's Guinea Pigs paintings. Not priced to move.

When I chose Merricat to replace Adrienne Barbeau’s DJ character Stevie Wayne, I knew that she wasn’t going to be playing jazz records in between warnings about the fog… She’s got Zebras’ The City of Sun, one of my favorite records from last year by the best band from(ish) Madison in my favorite of all my John Carpenter’s Guinea Pigs paintings. Not priced to move.

 

Despite the obvious futility, I always try to photograph the pigs featured in my paintings next to the paintings (unfortunately, neither Merricat nor Danger Crumples were available by the time I finished these). Horace and Ozma are not interested in my work. Of course they aren't. They don't even know I menaced them with leper pirates.

Despite the obvious futility, I always try to photograph the pigs featured in my paintings next to the paintings (unfortunately, neither Merricat nor Danger Crumples were available by the time I finished these). Horace and Ozma are not interested in my work. Of course they aren’t. They don’t even know I menaced them with leper pirates.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

This is my design.

As I have been preparing mercilessly for my Artist Alley table at the Madison iteration of Wizard World ( my profile on the Wizard World site ), I haven’t been posting as much and now I’m posting without very many words…unusual for me. Anyway, the guinea pigs are making their public debuts in a couple of series I’ve painted and I’ve done some prints, and the end of my Squirrelpocalypse Trilogy will be coming out soon, and I’m going to share some painting pictures and some dear god what did I do to my living room printing pictures throughout the month of April, and let’s face it, probably also May because my hands and brain are tired. First up, The Thing-part of my John Carpenter’s Guinea Pigs series. All these paintings will be available at Wizard World Madison – April 8-9-10 at the Alliant Energy Center.

 

Danger Crumples has always been from another world, his role in my guinea pig version of The Thing just confirms it.

Danger Crumples has always been from another world, his role in my guinea pig version of The Thing just confirms it.

 

Peregrine gets to be Kurt Russell by virtue of having the middle name "Plissken." Here she is wearing the wrong jacket for the MacReady character adorably.

Peregrine gets to be Kurt Russell by virtue of having the middle name “Plissken.” Here she is wearing the wrong jacket for the MacReady character adorably.

 

And here's Peregrine as MacReady with the head monster, which ended up looking a mite Trumpish, not sure how I feel about that. I blame yellow ochre.

And here’s Peregrine as MacReady with the head monster, which ended up looking a mite Trumpish, not sure how I feel about that. I blame yellow ochre.

 

Blood test! Horace, Ozma, and an unhappy Danger Crumples await the sizzle noise in their sweaters.

Blood test! Horace, Ozma, and an unhappy Danger Crumples await the sizzle noise in their sweaters.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Dawn of the Interns, Day of the Robots, Night of the Squirrels

Jingle Bells…Jingle Yay…Jingle Good for You

A second jump into the murky seas of search terms. I mean into the fresh smelling forest of Douglas firs of search terms. I am trying to sound more winterish. There’s no snow, yet, in my area, but the bitter bleakness remains. I should change my voicemail to that “Hello, you’ve reached the winter of my discontent” thing from Reality Bites. Or I could listen to less doom metal while it’s totally cold and bleak outside. But it seems like the best time to listen to doom metal! And I just found out the singer dude from Finntroll (not doom metal at all) is cute and that made me nearly happy. Damn, I am rambling. I guess in this vein of trailing off I could mention that the purchase I’m happiest about lately is the game Cards Against Humanity. It’s free to download if you don’t feel like buying it. Damnit, Jerry!

7. Why are so many people looking for this? : son of rosemary incestuous

What kind of a world do we live in? Why can’t people just search for random incest? I mean, it’s on Game of Thrones, not just in these old tomes from the 1990s. Son of Rosemary…is the worst

Are Jon Snow and Daenarys Targaryen related? I hope not.

I originally wanted that review to be only two words: Shit Sandwich. And I loved The Stepford Wives and Rosemary’s Baby so I felt really guilty about how much I hated Son of Rosemary. It just sucked so hard. And it’s hard to see good writers write shit sandwiches. That’s why Pammy is hiding.

8. Amusing terms: guinea pigs named Lois

I wonder how many guinea pigs named Lois there are? I don’t have any, the only Lois here is Lois Duncan: Twisted Window , Lost in Time

Who watches Ozymandias? Will anyone keep from his detonating his Doomsday device? I watch him,  but I wouldn't.

Maybe in his previous home, Ozymandias was named Lois. Probably not.

9. Things I hope don’t exist: ebook on taxidermy of guinea pigs

I’ve never thought about having my pigs freeze dried or stuffed. Mostly because the idea of having their glares become lifeless and frozen in time is a little too much. Also, taxidermy has not progressed to the point where the adorable snout and ears of the guinea pig can be preserved exactly as they are, forever. I don’t think an ebook is going to help that.

Why specifically an ebook? It’s hard enough to find physical books on guinea pigs and you’d think a squirrel mold would probably work.

Twiglet – Not meant for stuffing.

10. Not on my watch, son: guinea pig rat cross

I have heard terrifying tales of escaped hamsters mating with mice and producing offspring. I have never heard about that happening with guinea pigs and rats and I never want to hear about that happening. It just makes me think of the Fly. And the Fly II.

Thaddeus and Pammy, so fresh and so clean clean

Thaddeus tells Pammy it will never happen. Just like he hopes his next bath will never happen.

11. Self-indulgent edition: captain sparkles

Next year, I will be putting up the sequel to Night of the Squirrels: Dawn of the Interns on Amazon. The sequel is called Day of the Robots. The character that I have nicknamed Captain Sparkles appears in both books and will also be included in the conclusion to the Night of the Squirrels trilogy: Night of the Squirrels. It is always darkest before the dawn. Anyway, I reviewed Nightlight , the Twilight parody book by the Harvard Lampoon people and utilized that nickname (which is also in my book in the spirit of Twilight parody, but there are no vampires in Night of the Squirrels, despite what that visiting Canadian writer decided in workshop, not bitter, there are also no particularly forlorn romances, just funny bad things happening, good grief this is a long aside) in the title of that review.

The main characters are people! They’re people! (to be said like you’re talking about Soylent Green)

Pickles is on the cover because she’s a clue that the content is kind of unexpected in a variety of ways. And she’s so cute.

Night of the Squirrels: Dawn of the Interns – a slightly more thorough explanation

Night of the Squirrels: Dawn of the Interns – purchasable

12.  High concept spelling issues: ginny pigs ghost hunter

So I started a series of paintings and silkscreens about this very issue… I also had Ginny dolls as a child. It’s like this person is psychic. Anyway, the first time I included the concept was in a painting for Mr. Cheese that is somewhat visible in some of my photos – Thaddeus and Pammy take over for the Ghostfacers from Supernatural investigating the Murder House from American Horror Story. Danger Crumples is their intern, kicking the pink flamingo from the Electric Six song. It’s basically the only area you can see behind Ozymandias besides Belvedere being Ryan Gosling from Drive and the bottom of Pickles dressed up as Constance from AHS standing on the end of the Chevy from Drive Angry.

Discussing my artwork in this capacity reminds me of the Maria Bamford bit about taking art classes from Wizard. “The last time I saw that look… Ojai, ’74.”

Are there ghosts behind this pumpkin? This chair is known to be haunted .

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Dawn of the Interns, Day of the Robots, Night of the Squirrels, Writing