This guy started out as just a small portrait–a fun little character design, nothing big and sweeping–but as occasionally happens, the story came with it. So now, at some point, I really oughta paint the Pied Anteater charming a horde of ants…

http://yerf.com/vernursu/piedanteater.jpg

Sex Ed

So I was reading “Savage Love,” and they have the hilarious, and painful “childhood misconceptions about sex” column, where people write in to recount the sordid tales of how they believed sex worked before anyone sat down and explained it to them.

It would be both too graphic and too embarassing to relate any of mine–particularly “How I learned that homosexuality existed (by reading Mercedes Lackey books)”*–but I was reminded of the time that I put my mother on the spot (with no warning) and she rose magnificently to the occasion.
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The Chronovore is obviously back.

Time is skipping around like a sugared-up two-year old on a Piccasoesque hopscotch course. I swear, it was just nine-thirty-ish, it has no right to be eleven-and-some-change. I have too much to do today. Time is forbidden to progress at this unseemly rate. I haven’t even been in the studio ONCE this morning, which would account for time being sucked away. The studio is the Chronovore’s den. I paint a bit, clean my brushes, dump out my paint water, and just as I’m starting to walk away, an evil voice says “Hey, a little raw umber would really pick those shadows out,” and then suddenly it’s half-past midnight, I’m beat, and the Chronovore’s had to let its belt out and is picking its teeth for stray nanoseconds. But that isn’t happening now, so there is NO excuse, damnit.

It might be that it’s pouring rain today, so the outside has that heavy grey early-morning look, no matter what time it really is. Throws my internal clock off something fierce.

I have some ideas, but I gotta be strong and get this work out of the way first.

Having a sort of leisurely weekend. James has been working like a fiend–he had a deadline tonight–and is wandering around muttering about getting his levels under memory budget and other arcana. And yesterday he had to spend several hours taking my computer apart, putting it back together, getting a blue screen, cursing, and taking it apart again. I will not comment further for fear of jinxing the fragile functionality he won at such great personal cost.

Painting. Will refrain from telling people what I’m painting, again for fear of jinxing. You’ll see it soon enough if it works. Nothing terribly complicated, just a portrait-style, one main figure posed. But as usually happens, as soon as I started painting, his story started showing up in my head, and I realized immediately that I would have to do ANOTHER painting to illustrate it. Oh, well.

Keeping an eye out for Lumpy the squirrel. Mostly I want to point him out to James. James is seriously grossed out by the idea of squirrel bot flies, much more than I am, which is kind’ve nice, because he’s always so calm about the wigglers when I’m levitating in mid-air by sheer force of disgust. The last time I saw Lumpy, he appeared to have a dark spot in the middle of the growth, although whether it’s a wound or a bot-fly butt, only Lumpy knows for sure.

This took two days, and I was pleased with it. One of the more ambitious scenes I’ve tried in acrylic, and my first try at painting gravel in that medium.

And of course, you need the description!

The griffin knew that the mouse was blind, and thus had no idea that he was having tea with an enormous monster that, despite the foreparts of a dodo, nevertheless posessed a carnivorous feline stomach. But it’s lonely being a monster, particularly when your front half is extinct, and so he pretended to be a much smaller creature, and drank tea very cautiously out of the mouse-sized teacups, and kept his voice down to a whisper whenever he visited the mouse.

The mouse was, indeed, blind (being descended from one of a moderately famous trio) but was also nobody’s fool, and there was absolutely nothing wrong with his hearing. The griffin’s breathing couldn’t come from anything smaller than a bull elk. He occasionally wondered if he should offer his guest a bigger teacup (or possibly a barrel) but figured that if the griffin wasn’t going to say anything about it, neither was he.
http://yerf.com/vernursu/dodogriff.jpg

Acrylic, 16 x 20, for sale as always. Went out today and bought more clayboard. I was down to two pieces! MADNESS! God, I love that stuff…

In other news, computer is choking to death. It would appear my power supply is going the way of the non-griffin dodo. James promises to pick up a new one–hopefully that’ll be the problem, and not the motherboard. Good thing I backed everything up last week…

While I realize that accounts of magnetic-poetry-like spam recieved is by now trite, I was nevertheless impressed by this peculiar vignette at the bottom of an ad for Soma muscle relaxants from Canada* :

4The Vegetable Kingdom After the Wizard had wiped the dampness from his
sword and taken it apart and put the pieces into their leathern case again,
the man with the star ordered some of his people to carry the two halves of
the Sorcerer to the public gardens

What an odd thing to put in spam. I’m sure it’s just to circumvent some filter or other, and yet, I am intrigued by what sort of public gardens these are that one can dump hemicorpectomied bodies there.

*Soma, as many anthropology majors who did a lot of drugs know, is a divine hallucinogen from India, widely believed to be derived from fly agaric mushrooms. The easiest way to concentrate it for maximum potency is to drink it. And then…drink it again. And again.** After a few runs through t’old urinary tract, it’s potent enough to make you see god. However, I have already met a god on drugs, and while he was a pleasant sort, I would require a lot more incentive before drinking recycled Canadian urine.

**Kids, don’t try this at home.

That poor squirrel.

I noticed a squirrel hanging off the neighbor’s feeder, who appeared to have some kind of large, pale growth on his side, just under his shoulder. I stared at this for several minutes, baffled–it was pale cream color, and stuck out. I thought “A tick? A parasite? Squirrel mushrooms?”

Finally I went outside, and he hopped down, revealing an identical growth on the other side. Although hard to tell, it looked as if the skin was identically swollen on each side, with fur covering part of the swelling, and a bald patch on top. While hard to judge the size, I think each swelling was a little smaller than a quarter, and on one side, there appeared to be some kind of groove or rut in the fur and possibly the skin.

I could be very wrong, but I almost wonder if a dog managed to get its teeth around him, and the puncture wound has abscessed on both sides, or–it’s a long shot–if somebody shot it with a BB gun and it’s scarring rather grotesquely over both entry and exit wound. It’s a very bizarre looking appearance, and I feel badly for the poor squirrel. I don’t like what they do to my feeders, but I wouldn’t wish that on ’em, either.

In relief and joy at being done with happy frogdom (except for the edits) I painted this little Christiansen-inspired guy (And YES, Rafferty, it’s a rat!)

http://yerf.com/vernursu/packrat.jpg

My original thought was to draw it all out carefully and paint around the edge of each little individual bit. Then I said “Screw dat!” and just painted in the big bags and the chest–everything else I added in over the top. That’s the nice thing about the covering power of acrylic, and it took a great deal less time–I was able to do his entire pack in an afternoon. Ah…sweet clayboard. I should get more. Except that I’ve run ’em out of the cradled stuff and need to wait for their warehouse to ship more.

Photography came out a LOT better this time, with the new lighting. The washout, while still present, is a great deal reduced, and the colors came out nice and bright. James is doing all the photography, and hopefully it’ll get better with time.

Man, so nice to be able to spend most of a day on one of MY pieces again!