Monday, February 28, 2011
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
I don't take advantage of its proximity often enough, and I was reminded of this as I started down one of the trails and that spicy scent of redwood quickly enveloped me. The recent rains were evident in the lushness of the undergrowth, the damp pine needles underfoot, and the verdant draping of moss along the tree trunks.
The trails closer to home (across the street) are a bit inundated with alien species (blackberries and ivy), but higher up on the ridge, it's mostly native plants.
Claire got impatient about a mile along the trail, so we had to turn back at that point, but it was nice to stretch my legs.
Monday, February 21, 2011
Size: 12x17 inches
Detail closeup views -here-
Prints and original for sale -here-
stretching proud arches upon the glass seas;
and I have heard echos of eons dead bells
drifting in tides of ghost melodies.
There are many legends of vanished cities, sunk beneath the hungry ocean waves. One of the most famous was the beautiful city of Ys, off the coast of Brittany, in the Bay of Douarnenez. There was once a King of Brittany, named Gradlon. He fell in love with a druid woman, a Queen of the North, the sorceress Malgven. Together, they slew her husband, and took his magical horse Morvarc'h who could fly across the shifting seas as upon land. The lovers fled back to Gradlon's lands. Their journey across the seas took so long, that Malgven grew pregnant, and gave birth while still in transit. Their daughter, born on the shifting ocean waves, was named Dahut.
Malgven died in the birthing, but to honor her, and as a gift to his daughter, King Gradlon built the most glorious and beautiful of cities. There were great white temples to the old gods, fantastic towers and spires and palaces. These were all built below the sea level, and protected from the deadly waters by bronze walls and a gate, to which Gradlon held the only key. He named this city Ys, and its beauty was to be rivaled by no others.
Dahut grew to be a lovely young woman, doted on by her father, but she reveled in debauchery. Ys was transformed into a haven for her wicked ways. Each night, she took a new lover, and in the morning had him executed. One day, a strange knight, clad in red armor came to Ys, and Dahut was smitten by him. He convinced her to acquire the key to the city gates to satisfy his whim and prove her love. In drunken giddiness, Dahut crept to her sleeping father's bedchambers that night, and lifted the key from the chain around his neck. She brought it back to the red knight, triumphant; but the knight turned out to be none other than the devil!
The gates to Ys were opened, and high tide and storm that had been raging all the while, came crashing through the bronze doors, flooding the city. Gradlon awoke and instantly knew what had happened when he found the key missing. He raced through the palace to his magical steed Morvarc'h, flying up above the waves that quickly were enveloping Ys in their saline embrace.
When he caught sight of Dahut, he pulled her up behind him on Morvarc'h, attempting to fly away, but time and again she kept slipping, and Morvarc'h struggled to stay above the clawing waves. A Saint appeared to Gradlon, telling him, "You must abandon the demon who sits behind you." Gradlon resisted, but eventually Dahut slipped from his grasp, falling back into the ocean, where she was transformed into a mermaid, forevermore to swim among the ghostly bells of Ys.
Sunday, February 20, 2011
This bristol board is what I use for drawings like the ACEOs that I've been doing lately, as well as larger pieces like these:
I also sometimes pick up sketchbooks with a neutral color base, and that makes for extra fun with being able to build up darks, or lights (with the use of white gel pen).
I usually prefer spiral-bound sketchbooks, so that the pages can lay perfectly flat. And while Hand Book journals are not, it still does flatten reasonably well. The other advantage to non-spiral binding is that the pages don't get as mangled when the book is tossed haphazardly into your backpack or purse. With spiral-bound books, I usually hand-construct a protective little box that the book can slide in and out of quickly, out of scrap mat board.
Here's my main and basic drawing tool, Hi-Tec-C gel pens:
New acquisition, Kuretake Fudegokochi Brush Pen - Gray Ink:
The only downside is that it's rather spendy. $7.50 for one pen. I'll have to see how long the ink in this lasts to decide whether its worth it to continue purchasing them.
I like to have a very light grey brush pen for gradual shading, and sometimes for "sketching" (before applying darker tones), and a second brush pen of a much darker shade for bolder lines and shapes.
This pen has a very fine point, but the brush allows for thicker lines quite easily as well.
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Clockwise: Enchanter (aceo), solace, Oya, cricket, patience, hope, panda, growth
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Size: 12x17 inches
Prints and Original available -here-
Detail closeup views -here-
Original sketch available -here-
In Chinese and Japanese legend the lowly carp spends its life trying to swim up the Yellow River. At the source of the river is a great roaring waterfall. If the koi were able to swim up that waterfall, it would be rewarded and transformed into a dragon. Thus, the koi is a symbol of personal advancement, perseverance, determination in the face of impossible obstacles, and inner strength. The journey of the carp to become a dragon was a metaphor for young scholars passing the Chinese state exams and become a mandarin.
Dana is amused by this painting. He says it looks like all the carp are saying, "HORRAY! You made it!!! Go go dragoncarp!!!"
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Sunday, February 6, 2011
2011 has so far been "The Year of Being Sick". It seems that our little household has perpetually had at least 2 members being sick ever since January 1st.