May 26, 2011
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With the completion of the Garden of Remembrance Gnome, it’s finally time to open my new store!
The Graphic Content by Rosa Amarilla store will continue and will still be updated. What happened is that I decided several months ago that there was a piece I wanted to do. That spawned an idea for another piece, and soon I had ideas for enough pieces that I started scribbling them all down to make sure I didn’t forget any of it. They aren’t exactly a series, but they share a theme, so I feel they deserve more of their own space than just a category in a store.
The Garden of Remembrance Gnome is the first piece I’ve completed from that list, so it is he who opens Everyday Myth. In time, he will be joined by many other creatures, characters, and familiar spirits.
May 25, 2011
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Flanders the garden gnome was inspired by the poem In Flanders Fields by LtCol John McRae.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
I decided to do this piece with a program that simulates painting with brushes and paint, rather than my usual drawing and coloring in Photoshop. It was a very different experience. I had to pay more attention to how I handled the tools and make more purposeful strokes. So I spent a lot of time with this gnome and got to know him while I was painting him. We had a nice chat about how youngsters these days never watch where they’re going, just running along and tearing up all the flowers as they go. And he told me it is his honor to guard these poppies because there is no older or more potent magic than the spilling of blood, and the blood spilled where these poppies grow was the blood of men who volunteered to let theirs be spilled so others could live in peace and safety. It was impressed upon me that the gnomes would rather not have human wars breaking out on their doorsteps, but they know honor and love when they see it.
You can find my Garden of Remembrance Gnome at Fine Art America; RedBubble ; or on cards and postage, keychains, and other small gifts at Everyday Myth.
May 19, 2011
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See the Doodle Speakers in my store here.
The Doodle Speakers from OrigAudio allow you to put your own pictures and/or art on a portable speaker. Zazzle allows you to put your own pictures and/or art on a variety of items. Sounds like a great match? It seems the OrigAudio guys and folks at Zazzle think so, too!
The Doodle Speaker is small enough to fit in a jacket pocket. The exact dimensions are: Depth – 0.88″, Width – 2.44″, Length – 4.56″, and one weighs 9.6 ounces. It plugs into an MP3 player, iPhone, or other portable device with a 3.5 mm headphone jack. The speaker can be powered by two AAA batteries to play for around eight or nine hours, or it can be plugged in with a USB cord. The USB cord comes with the speaker when you order it.
When I checked the Zazzle countdown page for the launch of the speakers on Thursday afternoon, it said 1 day 10 hours and some-odd minutes and seconds. Zazzle decided to launch the speakers a little earlier than that, though. There are already over 7,000 speakers in the Zazzle marketplace (just click the picture at the top of this post to see all the ones in my store so far), and I’m betting this will keep Zazzle artists and designers busy all weekend!
May 12, 2011
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Episode 204 of The Drabblecast is up now. This is a Double-Header episode, which means there are two stories instead of the usual one, and I did the cover art.
If you aren’t familiar with The Drabblecast, it’s also called “The Drabblecast – Strange Stories for Strange Listeners”. It’s a free show (they keep it going on hard work and kind donations) and the stories are… odd. Some of them are about aliens, and some are about things that lurk in the shadows. Many of them are both disturbing and hilarious. Some of them are so touching you may not notice after a few minutes that the characters in the story may be zombies, possesed toys, or something too unknown to be named.
I’ve never been a big fan of audio fiction. I would prefer to curl up with a book and read a story myself, rather than having it read to me while I do something else. I have found, though, that I really enjoy listening to The Drabblecast while I’m drawing.
I was in touch with the art director for the show, Bo Kaier, while I worked on the cover art for episode 204. I cannot possibly say enough good things about the experience! While The Drabblecast does pay for stories, episode art is a volunteer project, and I was treated like I was really doing them a favor. I was asked how much time I would need to do this so that I could work around my own schedule. I was assured that I could still back out later if I needed to and it wouldn’t be held against me when being considered for future episodes. There was a real sense of being appreciated for the time and work I was putting into this, and genuine respect for the fact that life sometimes gets in the way.
I’ve listened to every episode of The Drabblecast, working my way through the archives over several weeks, and the show has come a long way since it started. It was good. Now, it’s an awesome podcast with a thriving listener community on the forums. If you want to support an artistic community online, I think it’s a good place to start. You’ll be supporting authors and podcasters, as well as a community that encourgages creativity and discussion about everything from why zombies are awesome to how we can see our own very real history and cultural development in speculation about alien worlds.
May 11, 2011
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Drawing Day 2011 is on June 4th! You don’t have to be a professional artist, or even call yourself an artist at all. If all you can do is a few stick figures who look like they might be waving to each other (unless that’s dancing… or throwing their hands up in surrender) you are still the kind of person Drawing Day is for!
All you have to do is take one day to sit down and draw something. The Drawing Day site has plenty of resources on how to participate so that you can share your drawings with everyone else. Don’t be afraid! This isn’t a contest. It’s not about the prettiest, most realistic, best technique, or any of that. It’s about spending one day with your family, friends, and as many strangers all around the world as you can doing one thing… letting your creative side take over!
Draw a flower. Draw a picture of your pets. Get the crayons out and draw something with your kids. Draw with as many colors as you can, or draw in black and white. However you do it, JUST DRAW!
Picture from RedBubble, where you can find the Four Little Ponies of the Apocalypse collection along with some of my other work.
I had an idea one day that should have sent me running to Google to see how many times it had already been done. I didn’t find out until I’d already finished the art that Robot Chicken had done an “Apocalypse Pony” skit that inspired many variations.
I’m still pleased with my work, though. In creating the Four Little Ponies of the Apocalypse, I spent a lot of time pouring over verses from Revelation I hadn’t paid much attention to before and reading papers on theological debates over interpretation. I learned that the only horseman who is named in the Bible is Death. And I learned that I’d never heard of Conquest because the popular interpretation is “Pestilence, War, Famine, and Death” and no one really seems to know why.
Each horseman is described as riding a horse of a specific color and having specific symbols associated with him. It was the symbols that gave me the idea – horses, symbols… ponies with little symbols stamped on their hindquarters. (I admit to loving those ponies when I was a girl, so a part of me will always look at a horse and wonder which My Little Pony it would be.) I stuck to the biblical descriptions, which is how I ended up going with the Conquest interpretation rather than Pestilence.
I understand why some people might be offended by this. I understand how easy it is to only see that someone is making fun of your beliefs and the scriptures you hold up as sacred. I will ask that you consider this before we agree to disagree (because I won’t say you have to change your mind): I was raised in a Christian family and do understand how sacred these scriptures are to many people all over the world. I put a lot of effort into sticking to the descriptions in the book of Revelation and studying the meanings of the symbols and colors. As a parody piece goes, I feel I have treated the religious source material with a great deal of respect. What you do with your reactions to my work is up to you. You can pray for me if you feel I’m a terribly misguided person. You can use this as an opportunity to discuss the book of Revelation in your Bible study groups. Really, it’s a book so many have trouble understanding, and I’ve heard the groans when someone says, “We’re going to study the book of Revelation this month.” Maybe you could start with, “I saw a parody piece on the internet the other day, and it got me thinking about some of the scripture in Revelation…” It might even make it easier for some people to remember those verses. It’s difficult to get those ponies back out of your mental image files.