Monday, August 30, 2010

The Art of Shadowscapes Tarot - Minor Arcana

It's here it's here!

Well, the proof is at least.

Now accepting pre-orders for this lovely companion volume to the Major Arcana book! $55.00 for the book alone, or as usual with Shadowscapes-published items there is a sketch option for an additional $15.00. The shipment should be coming in 8 weeks, so the aim is for me to start shipping pre-orders in late-October and September. Please note that if you select the sketch option that will require extra time as well because those are all done individually by hand!

Hardcover with dust jacket, 160 pages (that's over 50% bigger than the first book!), full color, 8x11 inches. Featuring each of the 56 minor arcana paintings, along with text to accompany the images and ink illustrations created especially for this book. Followed by sketches of the development of each piece and insights into the symbols depicted, inspirations, and the lore behind them. An excellent companion to the deck kit published by Llewellyn!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

New Batch of ETSY Pendants

A new batch of pendants uploaded to etsy. Some old, some new designs. I'll have lots of these with me at Dragoncon as well. (Eek...gotta get started packing for that!)

SALE! Original Watercolors (more)

More listed. All done for now.

Friday, August 27, 2010

SALE! Original Watercolors

In an attempt to clear out some room; and also because I think paintings deserve to live on peoples' walls and not line my closets, I'm having a sale of many of my older game-related paintings. They received no less love than any of my other work in their making, but it's the sad fact that a lot of commissioned game work is often less sought after than the fantastical forest groves and dream spirals of my more personal work. You can find these sale paintings -here-. These were done for ChessMage, Bella Sara, Warhammer, Warlords, Legend of Five Rings. But their genesis doesn't matter if perhaps something in these pieces might catch your fancy. Prices range from $20.00 - $95.00

And now I'm off to sleep, and then to SF BATS tomorrow!

Keyword Sketch Cards

Was too busy finishing my painting and prepping for shows this week, so I didn't get any special editions packed up. But these will be going out next week:

clockwise: hope, pegasus, vibrance, panthera, books, happiness, vanir, phoenix, hope, ophion

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tam Lin - The Knight

Size: 10.5x18.6 inches
Medium: Watercolors
Detail close ups: -here-
Prints & original: -here-
Sketches: -here-

O I forbid you, maidens a',
That wear gowd on your hair,
To come or gae by Carterhaugh,
For young Tam Lin is there.

-Child ballad #39A Tam Lin
The English and Scottish Popular Ballads, 1882-1898 by Francis James Child

* * *

Third piece for this set finally done!
For a wallpaper of all three pieces, -click here to download-

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

SF BATS and Dragoncon

With both of these around the corner, here's my annual reminder that if you want me to bring something specific with me to the convention please don't be shy to email me and request it. I have a lot of prints and so the selection that I carry with me to the convention is only what I think is more popular. Every year there's always someone who comes up to me at a show and asks if I have a particular print with me and I have to disappoint them with not having brought it. I'm also happy to reserve items ahead of time.

SF BATS - August 28, San Francisco CA
Dragoncon - September 3-6, Atlanta GA

Friday, August 20, 2010

Blanket of Night

Blanket of Night
Size: 10x12 inches
Medium: Watercolors
Details closeups: -here-
Unpainted Sketch: -here-

In our daughter's first few months when I would be in a semi-comatose state in bed trying to catch up on much needed sleep, I would hear Dana singing as he wore a path between our dining room and kitchen, rocking her:

Claire Miranda sleeps at night; when she sleeps at night she dreams of day.
Claire Miranda sleeps at day; when she sleeps at day she dreams of night.
When she dreams at night it's of the day
And at day it's of the night.
When Claire Miranda falls asleep she falls asleep into her dreams.

Even if it didn't work on her, it certainly lulled me to dreams on many of those nights.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Blanket of Night Sketch

Sketch for my next painting. My sleeping Claire.

Final painted piece: -here-

Keyword Sketch Cards

Going out in the mail this week:

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tam Lin - The Rose

Tam Lin - The Rose
Size: 10.5x18.6 inches
Medium: Watercolors
Detail close ups: -here-
Prints & original: -here-
Sketches: -here- and -here-

She had na pu'd a double rose,
A rose but only twa,
Till upon then started young Tam Lin,
Says, Lady, thou's pu nae mae.

Why pu's thou the rose, Janet,
And why breaks thou the wand?
Or why comes thou to Carterhaugh
Withoutten my command?

-Child ballad #39A Tam Lin
The English and Scottish Popular Ballads, 1882-1898 by Francis James Child

* * *

Finally had some time to go back and work on this series. Second piece (of 3 eventually). And I know most versions of the ballad refer to her "yellow hair" but...artistic license! Wanted some nice contrast from her and the faery queen.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Tam Lin - The Faery Host - giclees now available

22x42 inch giclees of this piece arrived today and they look lovely! The limited edition print (of 100) is available for $110.00

Friday, August 13, 2010

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Beginnings - Part 2 - Burning the Midnight Oil

A continuation of -this post- from several weeks ago.

In 1998 I started working full time as a software engineer at Plumtree Software, in San Francisco. So the funny thing about me and software is, that I didn't actually hate it. There's a part of my brain that really enjoys problem solving. In a way, I look at art and the creation of a painting the same way. Composition and color are all part of a puzzle that you piece together organically. I had a blast living in San Francisco as well, and the office was six blocks walking distance from my apartment. Which meant minimal "commute" time, so that I could do other things (i.e. paint).

I did initially consider going to the Academy of Art in SF, instead of taking a programming job. It would be a chance to take art classes that wouldn't sneer at anything that looked remotely representational; since they did have an illustration department. But when I realized that route would put me in debt about the same amount my starting programming salary would give me...I decided instead to go with programming.

Rather than a compromise to my goals, I formulated what I wanted to achieve in the next two years (which would be the time I would otherwise spend in a Masters program at the Academy of Art). Two years to get a serious portfolio together, start approaching publishers, get my website together, attend conventions, and market market market myself.

Well that was the plan. And it did kind of happen like that, more or less.

At the time, most of my portfolio consisted of digital art. I got really excited about working digitally during college. And actually I really cringe at the sight of some of that older work now. It's a testament to what daily practice for 10+ years can do when I look at the old-art and the now-art. Anyway, I went to the bookstores and game stores and browsed through all the role playing game books and anything else that looked of the sort I would like to do. I wrote down the publishers names. Went home and investigated them on the internet to find their submission guidelines. When there were no guidelines to be found easily, I would call and ask for the art director, or for information about art submissions. I aimed pretty high initially, and among the first few publishers I contacted was Wizards of the Coast.

The art director of Magic: the Gathering actually got back to me. I still remember how dazed I was when I got a response. He told me (...wait for it...) that it looked pretty good, BUT (...and you'll never guess what the "but" was...) he didn't really use digital art. "Try working in some traditional medium and come back to me in a few months with your portfolio again," he told me. Yeah, pretty funny now to think that digital wasn't really an acceptable medium huh?

So while the rest of the illustration community has gone from traditional mediums -> digital over the past decade, that is the story of how I did the direct opposite and went from digital -> watercolor (and have never regretted)!

Anyway, I really wanted to do some M:tG cards, and his response had been very encouraging. That week when my uncle Horatio Law was visiting and we went gallery-hopping through SF, there was one artist in a little gallery that caught my eye - Daniel Merriam. I was immediately captured by the brilliant jewel-tones of his watercolors. I had never imagined that watercolors could be so vibrant and beautiful. And remember I hadn't even been allowed to consider watercolors as an option during my Berkeley days.

That night I realized my preferred technique with acrylics (many glazed layers) was actually much more suited to watercolors, so I pulled out some old paints and did this piece over the next few nights. "Dreamcatchers" - I worked with basically only two colors; I figured I'd keep things simple after not having ever considered watercolors as a viable option all these years.

I was pretty happy with the results. In fact, over the next few months I fell in love with watercolors, and started doing fewer and fewer digital paintings in favor of watercolors.

By the way, all this was happening while I was working super long-hour weeks at Plumtree Software. Basically I would codecodecode all day, then go home and paint between 2-4 hours every night. Somehow I had time for a boyfriend (he was a software consultant...he worked longer hours than me!) and flamenco 3-4 days a week. Honestly I don't know how I did it. It makes me exhausted just to remember it now. But I had that two-year deadline I had set for myself and I really wanted to meet that goal.

So after a few months of watercolors and a few acrylics, I sent in a new portfolio to WotC again. The AD told me he was happy to hear from me, and by the way, "We do accept digital paintings now too." (Doh! Though as I said, no regrets!) And then he assigned me three cards to do. I was skipping for joy that day.

I eventually did some artwork for Forgotten Realms as well, and art directors from some of the other companies I had written to and mailed my portfolios out to also started getting back to me. One company that approached me through my website (I'll get to that in my next posting on this topic) had a new game concept ChessMage. They commissioned a few pieces, and wanted to debut their concept at GenCon. They wanted me to appear with them at GenCon, and it sounded like a perfect opportunity to me. That year I went to GenCon for the first time, and in between wandering around wide-eyed at this HUGE convention (compared to the tiny 2000 attendee one I had gone to locally) I did actually manage to show my portfolio to numerous other art directors and get work out of the trip. Alas ChessMage did not live on, but they did have a very interesting concept that I've seen played out among many bigger ccg companies in the intervening years.

.to be continued.

Perseid meteor shower to watch right now!

(Part 3 - Continuation of this thread can be found -here-)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

More Remarques & News on the Minors Book

A couple more remarques. Almost done. Just need to get the Tam Lin giclees in so that I can mat one of those!

Chessmates (still one of my favorite paintings).

Dragon's Pearl. For this one decided to do a little bit of storytelling in the ink drawing to go with the painting.

Spent most of today actually going over my final draft of The Art of Shadowscapes Tarot - Minor Arcana. I'm hoping to send it to press in a week or two, which would mean the books would be ready about the end of October. Unfortunately not in time for SF BATS or Dragoncon, but I didn't want to rush it. Although I might have the proof ready for viewing at DC for pre-orders. It'll be 160 pages (quite a bit chunkier than the Majors book which was only 96 pages) and will probably be $55.00 (with a +$15.00 option for a sketch in the front as usual).

Monday, August 9, 2010

More Remarques

More remarques for the prints I'm putting in Dragoncon's art show.

Almost done, just a couple more to go.

A peek at a few more of them:

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Dragoncon Mats

Dragoncon is around the corner again!
September 3-6, Atlanta, GA

I'll be having a booth in the Exhibitor hall, sharing with Elmore Productions; and also will have artwork hanging in the art show. I always like to individualize the prints that I hang in art shows by doing an ink remarque on the mat. Been working on those the past few days:

This one's my favorite:

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Keyword Sketch Cards

Didn't get around to sketching or mailing any of these last week because I got caught up in finishing that Tam Lin painting. So hopefully I can get this set all packed up today and shipped: