oh, sunny days

Well, here we are. March 2021. Spring is around the corner at last.

Life is beginning to seem less grim for the first time in seemingly forever.

I dare to hope that Mr P and I will get the vaccine by early May… Who knows, maybe earlier? I have a feeling things will really start speeding up in April… Anyway. The mass vaccination campaign is quickly picking up steam after a terribly slow and depressing start.

Whenever we can schedule our appointments, I am so ready. I can’t get this damn vaccine soon enough. I’ll feel reborn and at least half sane (a massive improvement) when it finally happens.

In the meantime, I’ve been cheering myself up by planning my art table for local markets, and visualizing myself asking local shops and cafés to carry postcards and framed copies of my work…

This is one of the things that have kept me going during all this garbage. Hopefully, at some point this summer, I’ll be selling my art locally and feeling happier than I’ve felt in my whole life. Creating miniature dream worlds is wonderful. That’s what I want to do.

I recently ordered the first sets of postcards featuring the pieces I’ve done so far, and I was ecstatically happy with the results. The postcards are stunning, excellent quality, with a velvety smooth matte finish. I couldn’t have asked for better. And I designed (with an altered template) a table top sign. That’s just the beginning. Basically, I’m going to give my art table a candy/cake/ice cream counter vibe. When someone buys postcards, I’m going to put them in a little white bag and seal it with a sticker (details of one of my pieces). I’ll have jars filled with dollar store candy, and I’ll include a few sweet treats with each order.

Today, I received my first order of glossy mini posters (8.5X11), and they’re amazing. I’ll have mini posters of all my pieces, some of which I’ll frame. Those will be placed inside white boxes, as though the person bought cake or donuts, and I’ll tie the box with bright, colorful string.

Yummy art!

This is the round sticker I’ll use to seal bags and boxes and envelopes:

I’m currently at work upon Root Beer Malt Shop, which is in the coloring stage. This piece makes me tremendously joyful.

I also have the structure outline all done for the cover of the upcoming Rubber Clown Car album. Once Root Beer Malt Shop is done, I’ll get to work finishing the album cover. It’s going to be, surprise, very colorful and cheerful and dreamy.

By the end of this year, I’ll have a calendar and an agenda for 2022, and I have illustrated books brewing in my head.

Special journals with my art on the cover, and ultra fabulous bags featuring my art, are next on my list of “things I’ll have for my local market table.” These will be available online exclusively to my Patreon members. I’ve been posting on Patreon a lot.

Most of my pieces can be obtained online via my Redbubble shop.

January was very quiet. I was exhausted after the dreadful autumn, though Xmas cheered me immensely. Mr P and I had such a good time unwrapping gifts… It was a very bright spot during the Second Wave for us, not to mention that the news on the vaccine front were becoming more optimistic.

Pretty doll I got myself for Xmas. My Disco Rainbow girl.

Then February was rather rough, because after a year of trying to deal with my ear troubles on my own, I was forced to schedule an appointment at the nearby clinic so my doctor’s nurse could clear them up; the right one would need two appointments. This was incredibly stressful and draining, though everyone at the clinic was amazing, and the nurse extremely kind and understanding (I’ve barely left the house at all since last March). Narrow, twisted ear canals are such fun. Once this was taken care of, however, and I could hear clearly for the first time in months and was no longer constantly worrying about my ears clogging up completely, I began thinking a bit more clearly as well.

Now, my focus is creating as much art as possible while Mr P and I wait our turn to get vaccinated. My focus is getting my miniature world art table ready. I already have visions of the merriest Xmas market experience… I’m more interested in local offline sales than online ones. Anyhoo.

Here’s to a good summer.

I’m off to continue adding many many colors to my Root Beer Malt Shop.

is it 2021 yet

Here we are in December. It’s been a year, hasn’t it? And by “year” I mean “flaming garbage mountain.”

Mr P and I are still hunkering down at home. We hardly ever leave the house. This continues to suit us just fine, apart from the mentally draining outside chaos, that is. Thankfully, vaccinations have slowly begun… I have no plans to do anything much in the outside world until I’ve gotten my shot (and even then, things won’t be like they were before, far from it), which I’ll get the moment I’m able to do so. April?

Anyway.

Last week, I finished my latest miniature world, All Night. I slowed down a bit when September rolled around, because the horrible Second Wave began in earnest here in Quebec, and it hasn’t yet shown any sign it’s about to ease up. Maybe after the Xmas partial shutdown… Whatever. Herd humans just don’t seem to learn. They simply can’t not clump in noisy, clueless, virulent mounds, a phenomenon that has drastically increased my already great desire to avoid most people most of the time. There are treasured individuals I’ll be happy indeed to see again on occasion, but for the most part, I am now an avowed professional hermit (well, more so).

Basically, I haven’t had much energy. I look forward to having more stamina, and creating a lot more art, when life starts being less “Constant Red Alert.”

This comic strip by artist Alex Norris sums up it perfectly.

I did finish my piece Hot Chocolate in early September, if memory serves right. 11X14.

I love this piece very much. The pleasure I get from creating these worlds is truly immense. I do look forward to the day when I can sell my art at small local markets and artistic events… It’s one of the few reasons I can envision wanting to leave my lair at all.

And here is the piece I just finished, All Night. 8X10.

Those photos were taken with the smart phone, and thus don’t fully capture the colors and details. Hot Chocolate is already available on my Redbubble shop, and All Night soon will.

Here is my dear and lovely longtime friend, Cintronite, wearing a mask and carrying a bag featuring my piece Magical Toadstool:

Yesterday, I took a self-portrait that showcases how my messy shag has been growing back… I rather like it. I love ultra short hair too, but this is even less trouble, especially since I’ve never had fewer fucks about styling it; my flippy hair does what it does. It’s a 70s shag. I’m wearing my beautiful, golden Harvest Moon medallion by Satanme.

In other news, I shared this series of tweets a couple of days ago.

Writing these words about Masterful, a book into which I put so much, felt good. I doubt my work will ever be the sort of thing that’s acknowledged by mainstream fandom websites like Mugglenet etc, I’m too… oh, unusual? for that, but there it is. In any event, fandom as I once knew it has pretty much ceased to exist, and I prefer doing my own thing.

Future publications will focus on my art. I’m thinking collections of my work, with accompanying notes.

At the end of 2021, I’ll have a 2022 calendar and agenda featuring my miniature dream worlds.

Right now, I’m enjoying my 70s Festive Extravaganza. Gazing at my festive tree and the pile of wrapped gifts underneath is a source of unmitigated joy to me. This year’s haul will mark the beginning of my collection of Our Generation dolls. 2021 plans include playing games like Snoopy Monopoly with these dolls, because Artificial Human Companions are most excellent.

These are the two gorgeous Holiday dolls waiting to be unwrapped… My first Our Generation dolls.

They’re so delightful to me. They’ll soon be joined by more.

And if wrapped boxes are fun during the festive season, why not have a few waiting to be unwrapped on Valentine’s, Eggster, my birthday, Halloween?

I immediately felt that this was a splendid idea, and I’ve already selected special items for this purpose.

This year, I also have many amusing books wrapped beneath the tree, and it’ll be wonderful to read them during January and February while the world, well. You know. While the world hopefully starts improving. Anything less obtrusive would be fantastic.

So that’s what’s been going on over here. More art soon. I post on Patreon regularly.

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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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