Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Birthday Tiger

Happy Birthday to my friend of 20 years Heather... I made this tiger as the base of her birthday card.. tigers kept popping up for her today! Enjoy :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Khaleesi work in progress

When I finally got to watch the final scene of season 1 of Game of Thrones I was sooo excited by the dragons! So I have been thinking of painting that scene for the last week since I watched it and here is the work in progress. I want to do a larger shot so we can see all three dragons in the picture.  I'm still working out the other two dragons and her arm positions. I want her to completely own the dragons but also be protective of them. Hopefully that can come across in the final piece. Daenerys is a great character!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

ME/CFS Awareness week

I made these in support of ME/CFS Awareness day May 12.
Please feel free to use them, friends! (one is banner size and one is profile pic size)
I want to share this because I have found lots of people looking for someone to talk to about this, and I am always open!

My story in a nutshell: In June 2006 I went surfing with my roommates in Huntington Beach. While I was in the water there was a voice yelling at me to get out of the water. I didn't know what it was but I paddled to shore. By the time I got there my arms and legs were so useless I completely collapsed and didn't move for half an hour. I was hit suddenly by a terrible mono-like virus, but the doctors could not diagnose me. I suffered severe infections and relapses over the following 9 months, which resulted in a tonsillectomy. Over the next 6 months I attempted to resume life as normal, but continued to relapse until the illness just never went away. I got through grad school "45 minutes at a time" as I tell my friends, but when I finished my MFA in 2010 I became so ill again I had to move home, and subsequently to my sister's house so I could find a way to recover. I began treatment with The Optimum Health Clinic (London) in August 2010 and have seen significant improvement since then, with a focus on creating an environment where the body heals itself. I am happy to say I have not had any kind of relapse since October 2011, though I still have stamina issues, cognitive exhaustion, and overall low tolerance for stress. Anyone who wants to talk to me about this, I am here for you!

Symptoms of CFS/ME can be triggered by infection, trauma, PTSD, car accidents, or be a slow gradual development.

Here is also a great article to share : Article on ME/CFS Myths

I could go on about this issue for days, probably write a whole book on my theories and experiences, but more than anything I just want ME/CFS to get the recognition and research it deserves. I've had a few doctors who have been very interested in perusing knowledge of this illness but have been convinced to look otherwise and release me as their patient.  This is a very very real neurological illness for me, and I really hope some day more programs are put into place that study ME/CFS like the neuro-immune illness it is, and not as a psychiatric disorder. Trust me, I even did the psychological treatment route, and all my psychologists labeled me as the most psychologically sound and balanced patient they had ever had. If depression comes into play, it is only because it is impossible for friends and family to grasp what this illness means and how to help, much less the government (yes I was denied disability benefits), so it can seem like a hopeless plight, but I have great friends and family who do try their very best and day by day, I've found a way to make my life happy and meaningful.

Thank you for sharing!

Monday, May 7, 2012

working with references

This a screenshot of me working on another Castle Wall character portrait. I wanted to show work in progress and working with references. The author definitely had specific actors in mind to stand as references for her characters, and since portrait-ing is a new thing for me I am now working pretty directly from the references.  I really hesitated with this at first because it felt like cheating, but given how much I've been learning and improving I really feel it is a viable method for creating original pieces of art.  I'm certainly improving a lot and learning as I go.  A great tip I've learned recently in working (since managing my energy has been so delicate) is to try to do it as effortlessly as possible. This doesn't mean don't work hard, in fact I think it helps to find more creative ways to learn and move forward with projects. The alternative can sometimes be to be too overwhelmed or under qualified for what you think you should be doing and then nothing gets done at all. So by all means, Keep It Simple Stupid! And always, Keep Moving Forward!!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

King Work In Progress

Here is a glimpse of one of the character portraits I am doing.  I am learning so much. I realize I have absolutely no experience with clothing and should look into that!!! This King should give you an idea of what Ricky Gervais would look like as a king :P  Learning so much as each portrait goes.  For each of the twelve portraits I am getting them to a "mostly done" stage before then revisiting each for final corrections and details, because the nature of this work is that the last one you do is the best so hopefully going back I'll be able to make everything look like the best.  Sometimes it gets overwhelming when you just can't get something to look right, but I find that leaving it for a day or two and coming back makes everything much easier. It is easy to overwork something that is sitting in front of you. For this kind of work I definitely have learned that simpler is better.