Taking a Second Look

Toward the end of 2017 I decided to take a look at this drawing again. I don’t often return to pieces I’ve finished, but this one was calling to me. I’m glad I listened! I used a combination of Tombow Mono pencils and a 2B mechanical pencil to help smooth and fill in some of the amazing texture on this paper, bringing more depth to the shadows and intensity to the drawing.

Raven Sight, Graphite, 11x14 inches

I realized after comparing these two images that I'd been lazy, or most likely busy so I rushed her the first time around. Now she is finished and you can tell. This is a good example of why it's important to set a panting or drawing aside for a short time. It's important to distance yourself, even if only for a day or two, to regain perspective. When you've been staring at a piece day after day for a week or more the chances of missing exponentially increase! 

I've been asked a couple times and it's true, I used my own witchy face as the inspiration for this portrait. I wanted something between the recent photo of me on the left and the younger me on the right. 

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The next seer portrait, Owl Sight, will feature my daughter. I'm calling these the Blood Mountain Seers, named after my favorite mountain in North Georgia.

Best Space Scene

Dragon Con has come and gone, but I'm still feeling the thrill of those four days in Atlanta. I owe some of that to a few fantastic artists I'm lucky to have as friends, but I also owe it to the generous attendees who took the time to visit my table, buy my art, attend my panels and vote in the Dragon Con Art Awards. I still feel like a newcomer to the world of genre art. It's only been three years since my first Dragon Con Art Show. That first show was also my the first time participating as artist at a convention. But my history with Dragon Con goes back even further.  I attended Dragon Con as a fan in the 90's. In some ways I feel like Dragon Con is MY convention, as I'm sure others do that have been coming here for years and years. So winning an award, voted on by the attendees of THIS show, truly touched my heart.

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Thank you all and see you next year!

Being True to Yourself

I've been making some big changes to my website and portfolio over the past year. Sometimes it's felt like like one step forward and two back. Other times, the work was completely stalled by my own doubts. What were these changes? I decided to give my SciFi art its own gallery, instead of hiding it away. When I read that sentence back to myself, it sounds like no big deal, but it was a decision I stressed over. I might still have the art tucked away if it weren't for two friends who saw its value. One friend wanted the art for his book covers. The other friend convinced me I had something special worth sharing with the world.

So what was the fuss all about? I've always had diverse interests. This isn't even the first time I've explored space and science fiction in my art, but it's always felt as if most people associate me with nature and fantasy. They wouldn’t be wrong but it's only one aspect of my identity. I don't think I've ever fit neatly into one box--who does? I grew up spending a lot of time outdoors. I do feel a strong connection to our planet, so it's not surprising it shows up in my art. The other side of me loves Giger's Xenomorphs, and as a teenager listened to heavy metal and alternative rock (and still do), played Doom and read a lot of Stephen King novels. I don't hide this other side, it's always been there, but it often surprises people who don't know me very well. I suppose I've also never looked the part!

The Hive

I think for a long time I let how others perceive me influence the art I gave center stage. Behind the scenes, I was still working on my SciFi visions, just not promoting them very much. I'd convinced myself that the two couldn't coexist together, that if they did I'd alienate fans of my nature/fantasy art. I'm such an idiot...

The two artworks above were created using vastly different techniques, but they look as if they were meant to hang on the wall together. This summer they will. My website is in order and I've recently relaunched my store to feature both my fantasy and my scifi art. It's time to be true to myself, my art and my vision.

The Jupiter Event

Beginning with LibertyCon next month and CONvergence in July, I'll have both genres present in art shows. I'm both excited and terrified, but there's also a feeling of calm that's spread over me. I'm embracing who I am and what I love. Being true to yourself is part of the that magical recipe that let's an artist create using their full potential. When you're holding back or trying to create something in what you think is a popular style, you're only hurting yourself.

Create the art you love, the art that drives to you to want to create every day. Be kind. Be humble. Be thankful for those that love your vision too.