September 30-in-30 Challenge – Wrap-up and Summary

So the September 30-in-30 Painting Challenge hosted by Leslie Saeta has ended and I managed to do 25/30 paintings for the month.  That’s not too bad, actually, considering I had a mild art block in the middle of the month and then life happened for a bit there.  I really did want to do the full 30 paintings but I’m satisfied with the ones I did complete.  Right at the end of the month I tried a new technique that I really enjoyed (“Colorplay”) and I want to explore that further.  I also did something new with the “Flow” series and plan to play around with that some more, especially if it means I can pull out my metallic/iridescent watercolors again.  Those are fun to use.

I think overall, I was more focused this time around because I decided to work with a set painting size (4×6 and 5×7) and that let me not worry about the paper so much.  It may seem silly, but sometimes I look at a larger piece of watercolor paper and think “what am I going to do with all this space?”  Even with more purely abstract pieces like “flow” or the layered ‘scapes, it’s still hard to fill the space (and that includes negative space) without overwhelming the page or making it seem too busy.  It’s a tough balance and I find it easier on smaller canvases.  I want to go back to doing (slightly) larger pieces though, so I plan to keep working on that.

Here’s my collage of the 25 paintings I finished for this challenge.  You can also see them on the 30-in-30 Challenges gallery page.  I’m looking forward to trying again in January if Leslie hosts another one.  In the meantime, I’m debating if I want to jump into INKtober again this year or take a break from trying to do a daily piece of art.  I’m tempted because INKtober was what started me down the path of doing daily art and I had fun with it, but on the other hand, I just got off a challenge, so maybe a break?  Or I can just do one piece a week, that could work too.

September 30-in-30 Painting Challenge Collage

September 30-in-30 Painting Challenge Collage

September 30-in-30 Challenge – Day 16

So here’s that background I posted yesterday, finished with some retro circles in purple and crimson.  I just felt like doing something simple so I got out the circle template and had some fun.  Along with my trusty crow quill pen, this is the result.

Day 17 – “Bubbles”
Watercolor on paper
4″ x 6″

Bubbles (Day 17)

Bubbles | Watercolor on paper | 4″ x 6″ | 2015


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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30-in-30 Challenge – Day 19

So I’m all caught up and working ahead a bit, which is a good thing.  I have day 19 done and ready to be sent out (?!?) and the base for day 20 is drying on the backing as I type this.

Day 19 is a two-fer piece.  In addition to doing this painting challenge, I’m also taking part in Postcard Swap #4 organized by Dawn Diamantopoulos.  I got my address to send an art postcard to and decided that I would do that this weekend and also count it for one of my daily challenge pieces.  For this, I went back to my retro circles a bit, but I also used a few new things as well from this month.

Day 19 – Postcard Swap #4
Watercolor and marker on paper, 6″ x 4.5″

Postcard Swap #4 | Watercolor and marker on paper | 6" x 4.5" | January 30-in-30 Challenge

Postcard Swap #4 | Watercolor and marker on paper | 6″ x 4.5″ | January 30-in-30 Challenge

In the interest of staying ahead of things, I also started working on the base for day 20’s piece.  Right now it’s at the “adding water to create shapes” stage but by tomorrow night, it’ll be completely dry and ready for me to start adding accents with paint and ink.  I can’t wait.

Day 20 Work in Progress

Day 20 Work in Progress

WIP – Chaos Leashed

I have a new WIP that I’m still working on.  I had to take a break to do a commission for someone but I’ll be back to this piece soon.

This one is called “Chaos Leashed” and is made up of nine 6″x6″ squares arranged in a grid.  There both an overall design and each square is unique, although I’m trying to keep a sense of organization through the use of color.  Basic lines are done and as you can tell by square 2, I’d already started adding color.  I’m pleased with how it’s coming along so far but I still need to figure out how and to what I’m going to mount these.

Chaos Leashed (full image) - WIP | Pen and watercolor on paper | Nine 6" x 5" pieces
Chaos Leashed (full image) – WIP | Pen and watercolor on paper | Nine 6″ x 5″ pieces

INKtober 2014 Wrap Up

So I decided to take part in INKtober this year and found that I really enjoyed the “formal” structure of doing an ink drawing a day.  Or at least attempting to do a drawing a day.  I ended up with 22 total pieces out of 31 days, which isn’t too bad.  I didn’t try to stick to a theme of any sort, although I did end up giving my aliens some personalities and having them enjoy the Halloween season.  I also decided I would try to do a map on Fridays, just for something different.  My mapping techniques are rough but I can definitely see improvement in some areas; it’s all about the practice.

So here are all 22 of my INKtober 2014 drawings, enjoy!

And the Stars, Like Grains of Sand

Another instance of not knowing where my titles come from.  The reference is to a Science Fiction classic (which I’ve oddly not read) by Samuel R. Delaney, Stars in my Pocket like Grains of Sand.  This is a merger between my Sun and Moon series and my Retro Circles series, plus it was rather fun to use such an unusual size at 6 x 18.

“And the Stars, Like Grains of Sand”
Watercolor and pen on paper, 6″ x 18″

And the Stars, like Grains of Sand | Watercolor and pen on paper | 6" x 18" | September 2014
And the Stars, like Grains of Sand | Watercolor and pen on paper | 6″ x 18″ | September 2014

Lady Sings the Blues (Retro Circles series)

Naming this piece was easy.  Sometimes I have trouble, sometimes the name just comes to me without a problem.

“Lady Sings the Blues”
Retro Circles series
Watercolor and pen on paper, 7.5″ x 9″

Lady Sings the Blues | Watercolor and pen on paper | 7.5" x 9" | September 2014
Lady Sings the Blues | Watercolor and pen on paper | 7.5″ x 9″ | September 2014