State of the Art – Week 24

Happy Sunday, folks!  Right now I’m in a good mood because game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals is tomorrow night and here’s hoping the Blackhawks win it at home!

Oh, and I have some art and writing to share as well from the past two weeks.

Storytime first – I’ve finished two “new” fanfiction stories since last SotA and posted them here on the site and over on  I’ve also double-checked to make sure that all my stories are posted here on the site as well.  I’ve posted them with the actual dates they were originally put online, so except for the new most recent ones, it’s all in the archives.

Broken (Naruto) and Faded Memories (One Piece)

As for artwork, I’ve finished the two WIPs that I posted last time and added three more pieces to that.

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Broken (Naruto Fanfiction)

Title: Broken
Rhyssa Fireheart
None at this time
Rating: T+
Don’t own it, never will. Just like to play around with it in my mind.

Posted today over on (which is where I archive almost all my stories – gaming related ones aren’t there).

Shinobi don’t fall out of trees. They receive rigorous training in chakra control in order to stick to the sides of objects (such as trees) or run across water or even to move quickly in short bursts, making it seem as if they can disappear. So why was she lying on her back gasping for breath, sprawled in the grass with a large root digging into her back? Not that it mattered, she couldn’t have fallen, obviously, because shinobi aren’t supposed to fall, at least not after they’ve graduated and become genin and chuunin and especially not once they’ve reached the rank of jounin.

Dragging herself to her feet, she tried straightening up, gasping at the line of fiery pain down the left side of her back. Something was wrong back there; something beyond simple bruising caused by a not-fall from the trees, but now wasn’t the time to worry about that. Right now she needed to get moving again, get back up in the trees she hadn’t fallen out of and keep going.

Forcing her body to keep moving, she jumped back up into the branches of the tree. Pausing to rub eyes gritty from dust and lack of sleep, she leapt to the next branch and then another, the uncertainty of her steps fading after several more jumps. There was still a long way to go before she arrived at her destination. Not that it mattered; nothing anyone could do would help the dead.

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State of the Art – Week 22

Hmm, I missed last week for reasons.  No idea what they are, but I’m sure I had them somewhere! I’ve completed three pieces and have two more in progress, so this might be a bit of an image heavy update.  And I’ve also managed to post a new fanfic over on and discover that I’ve somehow missed posting like five of my old fics here on the site.  I know I said that last SotA but I’ll get it done this weekend.  And I have another old fic that I was reviewing to see if I could finish it and found out it was finished, just needed a bit of editing, so I can post that as well.  Crazy.

On to the painting updates though! Continue reading

Faded Memories (One Piece Fanfiction)

Title: Faded Memories
Rhyssa Fireheart
None at this time
One Piece
Rating: K
Don’t own it, never will. Just like to play around with it in my mind.

Also posted here over on, which is where I archive my stories.

The sea train pulled into the station at St. Poplar on a stormy day. The passengers grumbled as they got out, fumbling to find umbrellas or coats to protect them from the rain. One woman didn’t bother though; she simply limped her way up the street, pausing to notice the houses covered in, where those soap bubbles? Shaking her head, she continued on to the hotel, not wishing to spend more time getting wet than she had to.

When he finally woke up, Rob Lucci was relieved to find himself alive and alone. Hattori fluttered to the window sill of what appeared to be a hotel room and let out a happy chirp before flying off again. He closed his eyes again, falling asleep this time.

The next time he woke up, the room was filled with the other members of Cipher Pol 9 perched on stools, chairs, the window ledge (next to a returned Hattori) and even crammed into the corner, filling the room. They’d been talking quietly amongst themselves, waiting to see that their leader was truly going to survive after all. The doctor squeezed into the room to give Lucci a quick exam and then left, saying the patient needed to rest in bed for at least another four days and warning the others not to tire him out too much.

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State of the Art – Week 20

Hey, two weeks in a row!  I’m on a roll!  And I realized that my idea of time when working on a painting is skewed.  I was finishing up today’s piece and thought to myself “This didn’t take too long” but then I looked at the clock and realized I’d been working for almost 2 hours straight.  Not that that isn’t still fairly quick compared to how long others put into their work, but to me it felt like nothing, a few minutes.

I’m back to retro-circles with a twist, and liking how these are turning out.  I start with placing the circles more or less randomly, drawing them wherever it seems to work best.  This time I went with curved lines for the anchor points (I use a compass to draw these initially) and wanted to see how that looked versus the straight lines I usually have.  I made for a nice effect, I think.  I already have the next piece drawn and down on the board with the initial background wash put down and drying.  With the way I work though, that one will be completed next weekend.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention, I’ve finally started transcribing one of the fanfics onto the computer, which is how I edit.  I do the initial write longhand in a notebook (and reading some of the stuff I’d started and never finished years ago.. hoo boy!) and then edit as I type it into the computer.  Then I read it out loud to myself (helps with dialogue and sentence pacing) and then do another edit.  Then I post it somewhere for it to be ignored, lol!  Seriously though, I’m finally starting to get back into this part of my creativity as well, so I hope to have something posted later this week if I don’t slack off.

“Cotton Candy”
Watercolor on paper
12″ x 9″

Cotton Candy | Watercolor on paper | 12" x 9"

Cotton Candy | Watercolor on paper | 12″ x 9″

State of the Art – week 19

Seeing as my last State of the Art was back in week 8, I’ve disappeared from updating here for over 2 months.  Pathetic.  It’s not that I haven’t created any art in that time, but a fair amount was spent in an art funk of some sort that I’ve finally decided to just push through.  I have a few new pieces to show off, including the art block-breaker, and I’ve added those pieces to the gallery here.

Another reason I haven’t been painting is that I’ve been writing.  I enjoy reading manga and watching anime and for some reason, I’ve gotten back into One Piece hard, to the point where I’ve been working on some fan fiction again.  I used to write a lot more stories years ago but for some reason, I stopped.  I’m not sure if my creative juices ran out or if something else happened, but according to the dates in the notebooks I write in (I start writing longhand, then edit as I transcribe onto the computer), the last story I was working on was dated 2009.   So I’m enjoying that bit of creativity as well.  Unfortunately, it takes me a long time to write, so the stories won’t be available for a while yet.  I did discover that one of my Ghost in the Shell fics was never posted here on the site for some reason.  It’s up on but I never cross-posted here.  I’ll do that as well.

On to the visual art though – here’s a bit of an art dump for the most recent pieces I’ve completed.

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State of the Art for Week 8

Yes, I missed a few weeks in there, c’est la vie.  I was in an art funk for a while and just needed to take a break, but this weekend has been really productive, I think.  In addition to getting my donation for the Art for the Paws fundraiser, I’ve been doing work behind the scenes on the website and today, while the husband and his friends were watching the Daytona 500, I was at the drawing table working.

First item – finishing a WIP I’d started as part of the January 30-in-30 painting challenge.  I’d done a bit of work on it earlier this month but decided to finish things up today.  Here’s an in-progress pic from when I turned the piece on its side and saw a gate into… something.  Which prompted me to start building a wall around the opening, but it had to be broken down and worn away.  I don’t know why, but that’s what I saw.  Today saw the addition of more wall building and greenery, plus the moon shining down.  Oh, and the iridescent paint isn’t as obvious as it seems in the photo.  Strong light plus angled paper equals extra shiny bits.

Beyond the Gate (WIP) | Watercolor on paper | 9" x 7.5"

Beyond the Gate (WIP) | Watercolor on paper | 9″ x 7.5″

“Beyond the Gate”
Watercolor on paper, 9″ x 7.5″

Beyond the Gate | Watercolor on paper | 9" x 7.5"

Beyond the Gate | Watercolor on paper | 9″ x 7.5″

Since watercolor needs time to dry, I also had two other pieces I was working on at the same time.  One was a practice piece to try out a technique that Stephanie Pui-Mun Law uses in her art, which I adore!  So I tried this with a basic tree shape and.. I dunno.  I’ll have to work with the resulting tree and see how it looks once I add color and more details (if I can think of any).  The other is a larger abstract that I’ll add lines and other marks to once it’s completely dry.  I haven’t decided if I’ll use white or black for the lines though.  I’m just glad I seem to be over my art funk and back to making pretty things again.

Practice Piece

Practice Piece

Paths of Light (WIP) | Watercolor (and white ink) on paper | 9" x 12"

Paths of Light (WIP) | Watercolor (and white ink) on paper | 9″ x 12″


Art for the Paws

The local shelter in my area, Helping Paws, is doing an art donation/raffle event and I decided to take part.  I donated my money to get a canvas, did my piece, and turned it in today.  I’m a bit nervous because this is the first time I’ve put my art out there like this.  I had to write an artist statement! :O  But you have to start somewhere so here I go.  I’m planning to go to the formal reception in April to see the full mosaic of pieces done for this event, because it’ll look awesome!

My biggest challenge was how watercolor and canvas can play together nicely with the tools and supplies I already have and the short answer is – not easily.  However, I’d done some research previously and knew I could mount the paper to the canvas (as opposed to applying watercolor medium and then painting directly on the canvas) but since I’d never done this before, I was pretty nervous.  It worked out beautifully though, IMO!

“Sky Full of Stars”
Watercolor and white ink on paper mounted on canvas
6″ x 6″

Sky Full of Stars (Art for the Paws) | Watercolor and white ink on paper, mounted on canvas | 6" x 6"

Sky Full of Stars (Art for the Paws) | Watercolor and white ink on paper, mounted on canvas | 6″ x 6″

Sky Full of Stars (Art for the Paws) | Watercolor and white ink on paper, mounted on canvas | 6" x 6"

Sky Full of Stars (Art for the Paws) | Watercolor and white ink on paper, mounted on canvas | 6″ x 6″

I really like how the painted edges turned out, including trying to paint the edge of the paper so that it wasn’t a stark white line.  I think that instead of doing this again, I’ll save my pennies and invest in some watercolor medium, which I can put on the canvas, sand down, and then use the watercolors as usual.  That would make a nice change from doing all my pieces on paper which tends to almost require a mat and frame for display.

State of the Art for Week 5

So here it is, my first “State of the Art” wrap-up for week 5, aka the week ending January 31.

I meant to post this on Monday, but work and not feeling good-ness got to me, so it’s a day late.  This week ended the 30-in-30 Painting Challenge hosted by Leslie Saeta that I took part in for the first time this year.  I was hesitant to do this at first but decided to jump in and see what I could push myself to learn.  And I did learn some things, mostly that doing a painting a day, even if it’s a small quickie painting, can be time consuming.  By the end of the month, I started to feel pressured and obligated to finish what I’d started and that was coinciding with end-of-month activities I do for work (it’s my busiest time of the month) and that dragged me down, to the point that I didn’t care if I finished some of my in progress pieces.

I did expand on some techniques that I liked and want to keep incorporating in my art going forward, so that’s one of the pluses from the challenge.  On the downside, I started to feel like I was doing a piece just to fill the day’s “quota” and not because I wanted to.  The weekends were easier because I could do several pieces at once and work ahead, but during the week… not so much.  I do think it taught me how to be a bit more flexible and free in what I do since I tend towards structure and nice lines and not messy most of the time.  Letting myself be messy is fun, especially the last two pieces I did when I dragged out the acrylics and just slopped paint around.

Here are the last three pieces I actually completed for the 30-in-30 Challenge.  I have three others that are still WIPs (for days 23, 24, and 29) but since none is close to being completely, I’m not going to count them.  Finishing 24 pieces, even if some were tiny, is a damn good success, if you ask me.  Tomorrow I’ll post a collage of all the finished pieces.

Day 26 – “Nebula”
Watercolor and white ink on paper
7.5″ x 7.5″

Nebula | Watercolor and white ink on paper | 7.5" x 7.5" | January 30-in-30 Challenge

Nebula | Watercolor and white ink on paper | 7.5″ x 7.5″ | January 30-in-30 Challenge

Day 27 – Abstract (Green)
Acrylic on illustration board
9″ x 10″

Green | Acrylic on illustration board | 9" x 10" | January 30-in-30 Challenge

Green | Acrylic on illustration board | 9″ x 10″ | January 30-in-30 Challenge

Day 28 – Abstract (Blue)
Acrylic on illustration board
10.25″ x 7″

Blue | Acrylic on illustration board | 7" x 10.5" | January 30-in-30 Challenge

Blue | Acrylic on illustration board | 7″ x 10.5″ | January 30-in-30 Challenge