Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Halloween decorations are up!

Ryan and I decorated the apartment for Halloween last night. Why, yes, it is still September!

It's so close to October though, right? Like, super close. And we both love Halloween. Between the two of us we had four big cardboard boxes of decorations. This is the first year we were able to combine them, last year mine were still in storage back in Rhode Island. Ryan accepted my "single girl glitter pumpkins" and I accepted his "life sized grim reaper that he keeps hiding in the apartment."

If you think Autumn couch looks pretty,
you should see Christmas couch.
"Don't worry, the tv's not haunted. Those
are decorations." Ryan told the cats last night.
Our Halloween tree.
True story: I have an extensive collection
of tiny gravestones. Since 2006 I have gotten 3-4 a year.
Halloween table.
Last night I walked into the bathroom and this
was waiting around the corner for me to scream and scream at.
You thought I was joking about the life sized grim reaper,
didn't you?
Above Ryan's desk.
Above my desk.
I have had these ghosts since college :)
Ryan had ghosts too!
My favorite Halloween sign
belongs in the kitchen!
Elvis and Puck investigate the decorations.

Bring on the hot apple cider and scary movies! We're ready.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Three geese on their way to Canada, and Prints in Portland!

The commissions kept rolling through the weekend! This morning I sent these geese on their way to Jessica in Canada. She contacted me on Etsy asking if I could paint three Canadian geese flying in a sky similar to my Penguin with a Red Balloon print. She listed the personalities of the geese and how she wanted them placed, and I was only too happy to create this illustration for her.

Three Canadian Geese
Returning to Canada

In other news: Portland friends, my prints are now for sale in your weird, wonderful city! On Friday morning I sent an order of prints and Zombie paper dolls to the new store Swift at 2020 N McClellan Street. I am really excited about this, because it marks the first store selling my prints in the North West! Owners Scott and Miranda are working hard to stock Swift with unique, artistic wares and I was thrilled to add my prints and dolls to their already fabulous inventory. 

Portland Bound!

We go to Portland a few times a year for video game tournaments (yup) and my only usual demand is a visit to VooDoo Donuts. The next time we're in town, a trip to Swift will be in order!

Friday, September 23, 2011

New webcomic: Swan Eaters

As promised, today the new web comic about The Hawkers is up and running! I have been posting in it the last few weeks on the sly, because I like to invite folks to comic a few strips in. I figure it gives readers a little cushion to get to know the characters. I have about 9-10 posts up right now. If you read the Hawkers comics back in June when I first posted them here, today is the first day new material is debuting!

Part of the delay was due to the fact I needed to learn ComicPress. I put a shout out in Twitterland asking for anyone who could help, and one of the Comicpress developers Mr. Philip M. Hofer himself contacted me and sent a marvelous tutorial my way. It doesn't get better than that! Sometimes the internet is a grand place.

The comic itself is called "Swan Eaters", a name which will make more sense in time. It's about a ne'er-do-well family of scoundrels, mystics, and con artists traveling the world in the 1940s. Circus folk selling snake oil, telling fortunes, and inciting angry mobs of townspeople along the way. If I had to rate it I might give it an R, it's meant for grown ups. These are scoundrels, after all.

If you have already read the first few strips this summer, you can go right to!



I plan to post on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and I hope you'll tune in! Please let me know what you think :)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Mom's Early Birthday Present

I'm turning 30 in November (que dramatic music!) No, really I'm actually okay with it. I keep waiting for that "OMG 30 freak out" everyone warns you about to start, but so far so good. I think my older friends have done a lot to show me that the 30s are a great stage of life. The changes I have made the past couple of years and focusing on illustrating make a big difference too, for the first time I'm really satisfied with the road I am on. And looking perpetually 12 years old helps, because no one can believe I'm almost 30 when I have to give my age. 

Mom sent me a dress in the mail as an early birthday present, and I had to share. Have I mentioned my Mom is a trekkie?

I love my Mom. I think the biggest reason I don't mind turning 30 is my Mom is (mumble mumble) years old and still beautiful, hilarious, and brilliant. She has aged gracefully and looks about 20 years younger than (mumble mumble). In fact, she looks no where near (mumble mumble). When I look to the future, I hope I can be half the woman she is.

And boldly go where no man has gone before.

(And no, I've got a little over two months to go and I still have never had a Whooper or a Big Mac. Soon, I promise!)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Three Chipmunks Named Everett

This has been a great week for commissions! I just finished a painting of three chipmunks named Everett enjoying a feast of blueberries and acorns.

Toadstools: Nature's Tiny Tables.
Have a blueberry.
Acorn bowls, for sipping and dipping!
(This clever little guy is storing
snacks for later).

While the original painting is shortly on its way to RI, I have prints for sale HERE in my etsy shop!

Next on the drawing board I have a princess to design, and three very intriguing Canadian geese. (These will not be sharing the same painting, although perhaps one day I will design a Candian goose themed princess for myself). I hope it stays busy!

There's a chill in the air today, and we're beginning to lose leaves from the cherry tree. Autumn dawns on Friday, my favorite season of the year! I can't wait for Halloween costume preparations, scary movies, orange Oreos, (okay, we might have already broken out the orange Oreos) and pumpkin carving. I especially love cozying up to draw and paint when it's cold outside and I can see the leaves racing outside our windows.

Friday will also see the start of another webcomic from me! The Hawker Family is about to find a permanent place in the internet world. I will post more about this, and the link, then!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Video of our Wedding!

Happy Saturday, everyone!

While our wedding photos should be ready soon (I promise!) you can watch our wedding right now!

The latest episode of Keith Apicary's Talking Classics just debuted, and it has our wedding in it! We're both big fans of Keith Apicary, and the incredibly talented actor who plays him, Nathan Barnatt. When Ryan asked Nathan if he'd marry us as Keith we never dreamed he's say yes, let alone make it into an actual episode! What we didn't realize is what an amazingly kind, wonderful guy Nathan is. He seemed as delighted to perform the ceremony as we were to ask, and he worked hard to find the right balance of funny and sweet for Keith's words to give our life a hilarious, memorable start! He and his friend web comic artist Jenny Fine (who filmed the wedding for the episode) were a lovely addition to our day. You hope that the people you're a fan of are great in real life and let me tell you, Nathan is that dream performer who cares about his fans, his characters, and his performance and gives his all to each.

Okay, okay, enough stalling! You can watch it for yourself BY CLICKING HERE!*

A photo Ryan's Dad took. More actual
wedding photos to come!

*(I'd like to add that the fact Martin Starr is in our wedding episode is further proof God loves me. His character Bill in Freaks and Geeks is easily one of my top favorite fictional people ever).

Friday, September 16, 2011


It's not often that I paint on a surface other than cold press watercolor paper. However, I do have a small stack of tea stained paper that I save for certain ideas. Honey colored and velvety to the touch, it's a richer soil for the idea to bloom. The thinness of the paper means less brush strokes to work with and less opportunities to mess up.

Today I cut myself a fresh square and painted Friendbot, a sweet, well meaning robot.

Those flowers come with many
encouraging beeps and boops.
The little girl and a
very familiar bunny blanket.
The Friendbot
Robots struggling to understand human emotions are my favorite kind of robot. I also sketched the beginning of Ryan's Dr. Strange challenge.

Dr. Strange sketch

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Owl Dahlias

Ryan brought me home a bouquet of lilies and dahlias last night. I have adored lilies all my life, but dahlias may be stealing their way into my heart. What big, beautiful blooms! I clipped a few and tucked them into the owl vase our friend Jackie bought us for the wedding.

Look how proud and jaunty he is
with a few dahlias to guard.
I think it's their petals that captivate me the most, that curling shell curve is lovely. And their range of colors is delightful. The whole apartment smells sublime, but I believe that's the lilies working over time to win our attention away from these big blossom buddies. The dahlias have a very subtle earthy, honey scent.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Trick or Treaters II: Attack of the Arm Squeezy Thing!

I just completed the last few pen strokes on the second illustration of trick or treating woodland creatures!

Trick or Treat II:
This time it's adorable.

Skeleton Skunk!

Pirate Beaver!

Ghost Raccoon

Painting was extra enjoyable this afternoon, as I endured my yearly check up at the doctor this morning. I'm such a baby. However old I get, once I walk into any doctor's office I'm five. "NO SHOTS RIGHT? WHAT'S THAT? WILL IT HURT?" (It's a tongue depressor). "NO, NOT THE ARM SQUEEZY THING!"

Not that I say any of this out loud. My inner monologue prattles on like a lunatic while I sit frozen with a polite smile nailed in place. The only thing creepier than my expression, are my actual thoughts. "WHY DON'T THEY MAKE ME TAKE MY SHOES OFF WHEN THEY WEIGHT ME? I DON'T WEIGH 150 LBS. CLEARLY THESE SHOES WEIGH AT LEAST 15 LBS. THIS PAPER DRESS SMELLS LIKE NAPKINS. TELL THE DOCTOR YOU NEED TO BE WEIGHED WITHOUT YOUR SHOES. TELL THEM YOU WORE YOUR HEAVIEST SHOES--"

Afterwards I took myself through the Burger King drive through. I don't like to make fast food a habit, however like birthday cake I think it has its place in life as a rich and dangerous treat. And it's important to reward your inner child for sitting through anything scary and uncomfortable. They don't give lollipops out to adults, but when you're a grown up you can give chicken fries out to yourself.

So I came home, pulled out my paints, tucked into my chicken fries, kicked off my 15 pound shoes, and got down to paintin'!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Trick or Treat and...Planescape?

Right now I'm working on two paintings of woodland critters trick or treating! I just finished the first one with a squirrel witch, a chipmunk vampire, and a devilish hedgehog.

Trick or Treat!

Her tail was really fun to paint.

I kinda love him.

This hedgehog is just begging for a belly rub.

The sketch this morning.

This is the next sketch: skeleton skunk, pirate beaver, and ghost raccoon!

I should have the next one painted shortly. Poor Ryan has a terrible cold, and it's made for a very quiet afternoon. In between brewing him cups of tea I have been painting away. For his part, he's spending his sniffles playing Planescape Torment. It has me wanting to pull out my 2nd Edition Planescape manuals and lose myself in Tony DiTerlizzi's amazing illustrations. What a marvelously rich game that was! It was so detailed, and DiTerlizzi made the world jump off the page. Here's a sampling of his Planescape illustrations:

DiTerlizzi's take on a Bariaur.

All of his characters come
complete with personality (even the ladies, thank you very much).

I read once he used a yellow
highlighter for this girl's eyes. Incredible.

Even the cities had their own personalities.

I already have to stop looking at these, or I'm going to get sucked into sketching warriors and dustmen for the rest of the afternoon.

One of DiTerlizzi's Dustmen,
clearly making her way to a Cure concert.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Rhode Island: the Cthulhu State.

When I moved last year, I expected the usual questions about Rhode Island.

Me: I'm from Rhode Island.
Listener: Oh! New York?
Me: No, that's Long Island. I'm from Rhode Island. It's the smallest state.
Listener: Is it an island?
Me: No.
Listener: Because my family went there once, in Suffolk county.
Me: That's still Long Island.
Listener: Are you sure? It was an island. And it was pretty small.
Me: Rhode Island is smaller than Long Island. And it's not an island.

I did not expect what the first three people I met in Washington said in reply.

Me: I'm from Rhode Island.
Listener: Oh. Where H.P. Lovecraft was from.
Listener: many times have you had to fight Cthulhu?
2nd Listener: Does your state have a special budget for all the damage Cthulhu causes when he emerges?

Weeks later a gentleman at a gas station saw my license over my shoulder and said, "Rhode Island! Lovecraft, right?"

Always one to strike up a conversation with the kind of man who reads a girl's addresses on her license and loves violent horror, he, the clerk, and I discussed the Necronomicon. It was surreal to this Rhode Islander, were we really known solely as the setting for horror stories? As I met more folks who had read Lovecraft and played Arkham horror, the answer was in part yes. Horror buffs knew Rhode Island was not Long Island, and when it came to Lovecraft's life there they knew more than we did. Ryan and I were even asked to describe the typical feel of the state's atmosphere. Was the architecture gothic? Were the woods misty? Was it typical for tentacles from another world to spring up from the shower drain?

In time Ryan and I began to take terrible advantage of this. We may have told people there is a giant statue of Cthulhu in Providence (on the state house). And we may have claimed the URI basketball team is called the Fighting Cthulhus.

...And that Providence has church devoted
to the worship of well, you know who.

I was reminded of this strange perspective again this evening. Tonight we went to the new Guillermo del Toro movie "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark". The film starts with the characters meeting up at T.F Green airport, and sure enough it takes place in Rhode Island. After a few familiar screen shots, it was actually shot mostly in Australia. And thus Rhode Island itself is a character, a spooky enough location to inspire horror lovers that anything is lurking around the corner. I enjoyed the movie quite a bit, and can even forgive del Toro for giving us Maine accents (at least they weren't Long Island accents).

To be fair, I spent more than one day of my RI childhood
wandering around creepy old banisters with a camera too.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Happy Labor Day!

Happy Labor Day, everyone!

We're grilling up some our kitchen. However, no less delicious! This urban living is so different, even a year and a half later. I still miss the chorus of hundreds of branches creaking outside a window late at night, accompanied by a stringed quartet of cricket legs. I look forward to a day when we can have a little backyard. Nothing fancy, just enough space to lay out on the grass and gaze at the stars. And perhaps a late summer/early autumn camp out. It would be great to have a place to roast marshmallows again!

Until then burgers fresh from the kitchen and the cherry tree outside our living room window are a happy alternative. Last night Ryan and I watched the sunset over the sound with our friend Stephen and a round of ice creams. Nature is always there, sometimes it's just waiting at the edge of the city limits. If we do ever return to the country, I will probably miss the store fronts, the coffees around every corner, and the mating call of a suped up Ford growling up the street.

Burgers are done! I hope everyone is having a marvelous, relaxing labor day!

A new facebook page for the shop!

I finally broke down and made a facebook page for my etsy shop!

I'm going to ask for a shameless plug here, because if I can get at least 100 likes I can graduate to a big girl URL with a username, instead of an address followed by a bunch of random numbers. Which, frankly, makes me feel like an inmate at roll call.

Here is the link:

Please "like" me and share the link with your friends! You have my permission to break out all the stops: share, recommend, tumble, tweet, paper airplanes, messenger pigeons, sky writing--THE WORKS!

Won't you help?
UPDATE: Thank you everyone! I got enough likes, and now my page is!

Say it with me: Ooooooooooooooh! Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!

Saturday, September 03, 2011

The Garbage Heist

Seriously, once I start drawing raccoons I can't stop.

Playing around with the idea that raccoons steal our trash, yesterday I painted "The Garbage Heist".

The Garbage Heist


There's some good eats in that trash!


(He's staying out of it).

It was all going so well...until the bottom fell out. Now the little guy on the right has to shush the "Oh what the--!" groan of the middle fellow or risk another brush with pest control.

Please click here to view "The Garbage Heist" on etsy!