March 2004

James: The mice have eaten the spatula again.

Me: I’m sorry.

James: We’re going to have to get a new spatula soon.

Me: God, I’m sorry. I’m sorry we live in a world where mice cavort naked through our drawers, attacking innocent spatulas and defecating wildly amidst the silverware. I’m so sorry….

James: I don’t know what’s worse, naked mice or clothed ones.

Me: Clothed?

James: Yeah, top hats. And combat gear.

Me: Top hats with combat gear.

James: Top hat optional with mine. In camo.

Me: Right, then.

(For the record, they don’t defecate amidst the silverware, ‘cos I wouldn’t put up with that, but they do seem to gnaw on this spatula for no particular reason. The cat is useless.)

Okay…first wave of auctions up!

I would like to state categorially that the wombat beefcake was all kalluna‘s fault, and I cannot be held responsible.

There’ll be more auctions to come soon–I’ve got a sad tapir in the rain similiar to the odd donkey, and more things based on all those great suggestions.

In other news, spent today updating my portfolio, noodling around with aforementioned watercolors, working on those pirate paintings and so on. So it was a good day, overall.

Tomorrow I have a pap smear and my first physical in about fifteen years. Woo.

Oh, and in case you missed it–Snidely Whiplash meets capybara. Because fireborn was right–no capybaras anywhere!

Finally say “28 Days Later.”

Hmm. Not bad. About as good as a zombie movie gets, I suppose. Not that scary, although the fast, rasping zombies were rather more alarming than shambling “Braaaaaiins…” types. Although, as with many horror movies, I found myself saying, over and over, “Stupid, stupid people.” “I know there are zombies in dark rooms, and I know this place is chock full ‘o bodies, but I’m going to go poking around alone, with only a baseball bat, because I’m bored!”

If I am ever in a zombie movie, I anticipate dying off-screen in the inital wave of carnage, because I will be busy thinking about painting wombats and will thus answer the door with a paintbrush in my teeth, and my dying thought will probably be “Hey, these don’t look like Jehovah’s Witnesses.” Thus I will never get a chance to demonstrate my amazing intellect by not poking around in dark cellars, staying with the group, sitting quietly when people who know more about it than I do tell me not to turn on any lights, and never, NEVER, going back for the cat (I love the cat dearly, but I’d have let the alien eat it) etc, but I assure you, it would’ve been inspiring.

No blooper reel, though. Guess it just wasn’t that kind of flick.

A big thanks to everyone who suggest t-shirt and sketch ideas! I’ll be working on those–expect the auctions to start up near the end of the week. Y’all rock.

Speaking of market research…

A temporary poverty looms on the horizon for James and Ursula, as the taxes for moving expenses finally get yoinked from the paycheck, causing it to wither and shrivel like a salted slug. Que sera sera, these things happen, money always comes from somewhere and we aren’t going to starve, we’re just down in the red for a month and forced to dip into funds that I was hoping to put towards paying off the rather hefty taxes we’re owin’ this year.(Ironically, I’m plenty busy–even got a waiting list built up again!–but they’re mostly things that won’t pay until publication and so forth. Isn’t that always the way?)

However, I’m devoting today (and possibly part of tomorrow) to doing some quick little watercolor pieces, which I’ll be putting up for auction in the $15-to-$50 range. I don’t expect to make a killing or anything, but I figure they’re in a price range low enough to appeal to people who might like to buy art but can’t afford the heftier price tags on the bigger stuff.

So, hey, anything you guys have always wanted to see? I can’t promise I’ll get to ’em, but since I’m just noodling around anyway, I’d be glad to hear anything that you liked in a past sketch or think might be a cute/neat quicky piece or whatever. So far I’ve got wombat beefcake, a chicken doomsayer, a My Little Slug, and a peculiar donkey in the works…and god knows, what *I* think people want is often wildly at odds with the reality…

Market Research Ahoy!

So I’m hoping to take advantage of the swapmeet function to sell Digger T-shirts–the incomparable Ellen Million, who handles most of my merchandising, assures me that it’s possible, and I’m excited by the prospect. (Irrational Fears and Gothbat T’s will probably also be forthcoming, but Digger first)

And that, O dear readers, leads me to you guys, and market research.

What sort of design would you like to see in Digger T-shirts, mousepads, etc? Any particular page or panel that strikes you as “Man, that’s be a great T-shirt!”? Left to my own devices, I would probably fall back on Digger leaning on the title, uttering the line “We’re like biceps with feet!” but I wanted to get ideas!

Also, anything you’d like to see as a print? The color cover art? Any others? I could do signed prints of any of the pages the same way I do prints of paintings, I just don’t know if people are interested in any of ’em in particular…

Thoughts, ideas, mad rambling–all welcome!

(crossposted from Digger forum)

Our remote host is currently down, meaning no e-mail, and no website.

But I’m not in withdrawal.

Not at all.

I’m not hovering, twitching, over my e-mail, like a vulture with a heroin habit that has just seen a drug mule go down in the desert. Not at all. Nope.

Chemistry for the Artistically Inclined

Well, that’s interesting.

Acrylic ink, which I use for love of waterproofness and opacity and so forth, is indeed waterproof.

Evidentally it’s not milkproof.

I laid down some treetrunks in acrylic ink and glazed over them with white gouache. They weren’t receding as much as I’d like after multiple coats, so I went to the next Big Gun–casein, a milk-based paint that’s more opaque than gouache, but still workable for awhile after drying, unlike acrylic.

And I discovered, about a minute afterwards, that the casein picked the pigment right out of the acrylic ink and turned into a tan smear.

Painting was salvaged through hasty paper-towel use, and a little experimentation would indicate that dripping and patting the casein is reasonably safe and delivers the white-over-brown effect I was after, but it was still an interesting discovery. Ultimately a fairly happy accident–the globs and splotches look very bark-like–but kind’ve a surprise. Water does not equal milk. Who knew?

This is why I don’t use oil paints–the notion of linseed oil and turpentine and god knows what toxic solvents would overwhelm my feeble brain. I got a B in AP Chemistry because I always typed my lab reports and wrote clear, lucid prose, not because I ever made any of the experiments work. (I maintain that this is entirely the wrong way to teach kids science, but that’s another rant for another day…)

Got back from a very good meal of Japanese boiled stuff (boiling broth, drop raw chicken into it, etc) with lintqueen who is groovy, and brought me up to speed on several aspects of authentic Southerndom, including what the heck a debutante ball is, and the proper usage of “bless his heart” in a sentence.

And…I saw…the art supply store. I love it. I have been going to a succession of craft stores, which, while not to denegrate crafts in any way, just ain’t the same. An art supply store, for example, has illo board. And gouache. And paintbrushes that are not endorsed by Bob Ross. And racks of paper handmade from mulberry pulp chewed by Tibetan virgins and impregnated (the paper, not the virgins) with ginko fibers and red thread or whatever. And books on making egg tempera (not that I plan to, but it’s nice to have options.) And the aisles of canvas, the glorious aisles! Aeeeiii!

Also, has anyone ever tried watercolor on gesso? According to one of the guys at the store, if you lay down two or three coats of gesso, you can actually watercolor on the surface. Seemed crazy to me, but I’m willing to try it–the notion of being able to watercolor on Masonite or canvas made my heart sieze up, so I may experiment.

Politics? No. Gay marriage? No. Life? Death? No. Religion? Not even close.

You wanna get people REALLY talking, the thing to bring up is obviously the Land Crustacean Who Shall Remain Nameless.


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