happy art, happy me

So… August. Incredible, isn’t it?

Mr P is still home, and I don’t want us going anywhere, unless absolutely necessary (hardly ever), until there’s a vaccine.

I won’t be able to roll my sleeve up my arm fast enough, I can tell you that. Right now, the mere notion of leaving the house is unbearable to me. Mr P being here, medicinal oils and herbs, and staying home, this is what has enabled me to keep it more or less together.

PTSD is… manageable (see “not going anywhere” above), though my voice is definitely never going to come back after all this (and everything else that happened before all this); the vocal cord dysfunction is no doubt permanent. Lately, I’ve been sleeping a little better, so there’s that.

Art. My joy has been art.

After picking up my pencils and colored pens and so on, trying this and that, doing various tests, I hit on what really worked for me: canvas, miniature art, alcohol ink backgrounds, and water-based brush markers for the rest, with three coats of Krylon archival spray varnish sealing it nicely. I do plan on doing illustrations on paper too, with colored pencils and fine liners. What I’ve been creating on canvas, however, is my favorite art method for sure.

After I drew that little Crooked House piece, that’s when I realized that tiny art, miniature dream interiors, was My Thing. I spent years drawing things like that, many moons ago, and it all came flowing back. It left me both surprised and utterly delighted.

And it all came together when I did Burger Diner, 8X10.

BurgerDinerLP1.jpg

That’s when my Happiness Index went through the roof. If someone had told me six months ago that I’d be doing this sort of thing again, if they’d showed me this art and told me “you did it,” I don’t think I would have believed them. Yet, here we are.

Then I did Magical Toadstool, 8X10.

MagicalToadstool1

Right now, I’m working on Hot Chocolate, 11X14 (detail).

HCpencil.jpg

The other tool I’ve been using when creating this art: 2.5 reading glasses.

An 8X10 takes me roughly 24 hours to complete. When I put an original piece up for sale, an 8X10 will be 230 dollars.

Burger Diner and Magical Toadstool will not be up for sale, but beautiful prints, journals, stickers, magnets, bags, and so on, are now available in my brand new Redbubble shop, and I’ve already had my first sales. This project has made me extremely happy. That people want my whimsical art in their homes is an incredible feeling. All I want to do now is fill up my shop with images of magical miniature dream worlds. I already have the outline of Root Beer Malt Shop, and a Halloween-esque happy haunted house, on canvas. I can barely keep up with the ideas flowing from my head.

And the thing is, I’m much more comfortable sharing my art, talking about my art, and showcasing my art, than I ever was doing the same with my books. I’m much happier drawing these tiny worlds. I’m glad I wrote books like Rascal and Masterful, but I feel like I’m done with that part of my life. When I think of books now, it’s more along the lines of books of illustrations with commentary. But mostly I think in terms of canvas.

Once the world goes back to normal (don’t give me this “new normal” crap), I can envision myself having a small setup at local markets, art happenings…

Art, my Patreon and Redbubble, and eventually local avenues, this is my focus.

After I finish a piece, I’ll add it to my shop. I set up my tripod and take a high resolution photograph in natural light; it works very well. It’s not the original, but it’s the next best thing.

Look at how happy my miniature worlds look on a tote bag (and as you know, I have a Big Thing for bags):

MTtotebag

It also makes a lovely poster:

MTposter.jpg

And here’s Burger Diner on a cozy and snug pillow:

BDlrgpillow.jpg

Or on a hardcover journal:

BDhcjournal

Lots of fun and pretty things on Redbubble, cards, backpacks, blankets… Much more to come! I can’t wait to sink my teeth in various 70s Holiday Extravaganza themed miniature worlds that radiate happiness all year round. My art will center around food themes, holiday themes (Halloween! Xmas! Valentine! Eggster!), spooky themes, picnic baskets and corner stores and rainbow layer cakes and so on and on… Worlds that people can gleefully lose themselves in, comforting, secret worlds filled with color and details details details…

My Patreon members know about it all first, they see countless pictures of works-in-progress, and they’ll have access to original works first, to limited edition, signed and numbered prints… And I write there more than anywhere else nowadays, apart from my journals.

As much as this worldwide garbage fire has sucked, at least it got me back into art, the kind of art that gave me so much pleasure years ago, and gives me even more pleasure now.

So that’s what’s been happening.

And now I’m going to eat and relax. I’ve been watching a lot of silly shows every day.

Deep gratitude to everyone who appreciates original art, independent artists, and creators. That’s the kind of individuals I myself am supporting, more than ever, as opposed to trawling billionaire entities that already have all the funds they could ever need (and it still isn’t enough for them).

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