Sunday, September 30, 2012

Shuttle poem

The photo is from the Astronomy Picture of the Day, Sept.26th, 2012, and the prose poem below is by my friend and fellow artist, Ray Ridenour:

"There are particular pictures that appear that strike me as very alien, particularly when they also have the air of everyday.

A spaceship on the back of a plane, "retired" with two incredibly designed jets escorting. The quality of the photograph, and the usual crappy urban utopia in the background.

This would be an incredibly sharp and telling illustration by Freas, or Finlay in the forties or fifties, pointing towards the bizarreness of the future, and how strange could be the everyday.

And I can see myself, on the next page as a smaller illo, surrounded by story.

An old man sitting outside in a plastic transit booth, and looking at my personal info tablet, and shaking my head. On the tablet is this same picture but only slightly different, having been taken and loaded onto a social network seconds ago."

Monday, September 24, 2012

Congratulations on your member joining!

Our Shoppingmall tilt the ear in demand and interest of the customer and we make Internet Shoppingmall together. :: The case which will purchase the goods with the member :: It is not a necessity which will input information of the member always. The member is a possibility of receiving the annexed service benefit of the various event and point and the mail ring back. Maybe IT comes [ Modify ] of the topmenu which when forgets a ID or password IT guides rightly. :: The member in order for the ID and password not to be exposed to the others. We thank with sincerity. More the possibility becoming the service which is convenient in order to be and IT will endeavor. While site using which will drive recommendations or the inconvenient fact is contacts controls at any time quickly as the head office. Thank you.


This is the email I received after signing up again on the new Immortality of Soul site; the website and domain has been changed to be much easier to navigate than the highly mysterious previous site, where you had to just mouse around hoping to hit a link, and spend a lot of time looking at the artist's cats while trying to locate the Store and what releases were coming up. I have a single IoS doll that I adore, and that doll "G" was released at the same time "S" was. Both were very limited (I think there were 20 of each) and I would very much like to have an S. IoS is going to release S again, but I am not going to tell you when. Because you will just have to do your own homework--that way I have a better chance at getting an S of my own :D But here is a link to her site:

Immortality of Soul Index

Rummaging about on the site I found something interesting: Artist R is the founder (she started IoS in 2006, I believe) and then more recently invited her twin sister Artist M to created dolls with her. My "G" is by Artist M.

Galactic Geographic

My friend Karl Kofoed also likes cats, so one of his cats, "Mille" is on an earlier blog post here, and I have another photo of Nium, his other cat, that I will post eventually. Karl is also a remarkable artist, with two unusual talents--he can "see" color in black and white images, perhaps from years in the tv industry dealing with black and white images; and, I swear, he can see into outer space. (He took some of the early Huygens raw data and brought them up to a level of detail that not even the Huygens team could surpass.) He has done some visualizations of Titan and Enceladus that turned out to be scientifically accurate -- some of his images are on the Cassini site. As a sideline to his other art and his photo restoration business, he's been doing the "Galactic Geographic" for years, turning out pages of future history for Heavy Metal Magazine. Recently he updated his website and started uploading pages of it there, if you would like to see them:

Galactic Geographic Online

Don't be surprised if in a few centuries it all turns out to be true.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Character Study

Painted in Photoshop, using a photo of Sir Kenneth Branagh for the basic bone structure, and then adding things unique to the Beecroft character. (I need to update my online portfolio so I though some fan art would be fun and keep me motivated. Plus I like to paint guys.) :D

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Space Shuttle Flight Deck

This is one of several photos by Ben Cooper;

of (I think), the flight deck of the Endeavor. I found the photo series here if you want to look at all those controls (!), and the autographed walls of the main section:

Rogue Planet

I was poking around on a flash drive that I found and here was another galaxy painting...I think it was sold at a Lunacon a while back.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Jessica Ladybug

Yes, my Iplehouse Jessica actually fits in a cheap Costco baby costume. The shirt was too big and the tights are long enough to be a catsuit, but the silly suit is fine even large. And it's all sewed up already :D

Angelsdoll Sarah

Every now and then I get an email from a doll company--usually very short and in somewhat opaque English. I do like Angelsdoll, though--my friend Candy has an Angelsdoll "Rin" that is gorgeous, and around the same size as an Iplehouse EID at like half the price. Sarah looks pretty--the faceups have kept improving as time has passed from the first ones that came out, though the sculpts have always been nice underneath the paint. (The old "Violet" makeup was a little alarming.)Sarah's order period is from September 22 to October 8th.

Angelsdoll Main Page

570 Megapixel Camera

Galaxy NGC 1365 is one of the first pictures from the new 570-megapixel Dark Energy Camera, built here in Chicago at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. The camera itself is in a Chilean observatory, high up in dry air so that the atmosphere will interfere less with the view. If you want to read more, here is the link to the original article I swiped the photo from:

National Geographic Article 9/2012

I'm looking forward to more galaxy photos that I can crib from for paintings :D

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pythia and a Snake

This lady needs more clothes, although it would help if I cleared off the sewing table so I could actually sew her something. Work has distracted me, as well as discovering a bunch of the Age of Sail books and romances that I had not read before. ("Master and Commander" is one of them, as well as the very adults-only "False Colours"). I did find another tot-sized Halloween costume that some luckless doll will be modelling tomorrow. And here is our garden snake--this is the only time I have seen him (or her) I think the rain filled up the snake hole so he had to come up for air.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Migma Parts

I needed a Migma body for the Migma head I have floating around..I had bought a Breccia body without the foot paws and then realized I did not have any ankle balls for it..I had feet, and shins, and hands, but no ankle balls. (I will have to rig something up or see if I can find some heel feet with built-in balls).

In any case, I had a chance to get this Migma body cheaply, and when it arrived I realized that the seller did not just send me the body, but all the fantasy parts, including the wings, the horns, the magnets and the hilarious "bat feets."

The wings are fun, if puzzling. They have a resin hinge that goes into the back cuts,(here):

but the inner shape of the hinge is odd, and not shaped to fit neatly in the cut. In fact when I tried to fit it just with my fingers, it pokes the strings. Some investigation will be needed, I guess. I do know to be careful with the wings, they are heat-sensitive--and Australian collector had hers droop when the temperature in her house hit 110 F.

The old girl Soom body armspan is 17 inches across,wrist to wrist, in case you want to know. :D

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Mr. Wolf (and Mr. Frog) plus bonus flavor of the day

A wolf shape-shifter from the current cover I am working on (fur takes forever to draw), plus a photo of the frog in our pond:

And finally the Flavor of the Day at Culvers...mmm cherry chocolate pork melt!

Saturday, September 15, 2012


Another Poser piece with an acrylic painting; "Ami on the Edge of Forever." Ami is the creation of Fu-minn on

Chihuhua Costume

Yes, that is what it is, with some scissoring; I need to stitch some extra panels on and make some feet, but most of it is already finished. And I saved a dog some embarassment. Bryan will be Puff the Magic Dragon for Halloween. :D

Friday, September 14, 2012

Spotting Blacks and unused Cover

Another cover rough design that was promptly put aside by the director, as it didn't have all the elements requested. I'm not a great designer, being self-taught, but I thought this one was better designed than the current version I am working on, especially the placement of black in the design. There is a whole art to putting black to where it will work the best,(called "spotting blacks" in the comic book trade) as described in this blog post:

Spotting Blacks part One

I'm still discovering how much I don't know about art.

By the way, this font is Machiavelli and it's not good for something that has to be reduced to 2 inches by one inch, it was just handy for placemarking.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Face Protectors

When you collect dolls, you need odd things. Something that I am always running out of is "face protectors", the little plastic masks that fit over a doll's face makeup to protect it from scratching and wear. I have no idea where the protectors go--when I sell a doll and ship it, I always include a face protector, and the dolls always come to me with face protectors, so the number should stay even. But in reality, I am always reduced to looking for Slurpee lids and plastic cups when I want to store my dolls; or in the case of my Cuprit, a shark puppet.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Fall Swallowtail

I saw this swallowtail when I was outside weeding, and I had time to go get my camera and come back for a photo. Sadly, the butterfly wasn't willing to open his wings for me until he actually hopped off the leaves.. and flew up over the roof. I need to remember to keep my camera in my pocket.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Mr.Toad, a Cover; Tiny Donuts

Mr. Toad lives in the rockpile by my steps, and comes out to look around occasionally. He lets us get close, but not close enough to poke him--not that we want to. I prefer him to the chipmunks.

I haven't had much time to take out the dolls and work on them--I have two covers I am doing at the same time. This cover needs a lot of hand-painting for the heads, though I can tack up reference right next to where I am working, and that helps.

I do sometimes forget to lock the reference layer and end up drawing accidentally on it, which is a pain.

I did find time to go to the farmer's market on Saturday, and there was a stand making tiny, Iplehouse-sized donuts. I didn't buy any--neither Bryan the doll nor I can eat them, adorable as they looked.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Virtual Dolls

In case you might think I am not a fan of Boris, here is a Poser homage I did a while back with Bobby Peacock's Ashley. It was a lot of fun to do. :)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Can Opener

A friend sent me this classic Boris Vallejo cover, since I am working on a new cover and it was part of the discussion. The cover shows what happens when you have a large can of tuna and can't find the can opener.

"Will you two shut up? I am doing the best I can!"

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Chicago Worldcon

I had a good time, I sold some paintings, and I accepted a Chesley Award on behalf of Tom Kidd:

Those awards are heavy, like 10 pounds heavy.They are for work done in 2011, which is why that date is on the awards. Here's the lineup with the one we need to repair

More stuff from the weekend--I didn't take too many photos, I was busy. Here's a spacesuit in the Exhibits:

The view from the hotel window:

A bandolier of convention ribbons worn by Kerry, the Art Show Director:

Traditional convention food:

A restaurant review near the party board announcements:

A circuit box in the Art Show I can make into a small robot in a painting:

The ambulance who came to remove a fan not feeling well:

And what I think is a traffic signal on the river, since ships pile up behind it on the landward side:

And finally the underside of the Bean in Millenium Park:

I'm still pretty sleepy today.