New rose tattoo and spinster shirts!

sppI have been ill, so I haven’t been the usual powerhouse of prolificity (is that a word?). Instead, I have been nursing my belly, and resting. I had a good solstice and as I write this, tomorrow is xmas eve.

The days before solstice I finished up a commission (which I’ll be posting soon) of a magpie with some roses, which was incredibly fun. I did it for a friend of mine, a supporter. She’s rad. I also did some sketches of seasonal hare paintings, which will be my main project in early January. And the rest of the time? When I felt well enough, I got caught up with making shirt designs.

A few people have asked me, so I thought I’d make sure you knew, you can order these in any size, any color- a few are even in kid’s sizes too. Just look to the right on the listing page, and use the little chart and dropdown to choose. Under each image there, you can see options like kid’s sizes, hoodies, or shirt style as well.

Here are the shirts I’ve been working on from my own art…

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burning my face off

full (16)I love fire. I was afraid of it as a child, but as I grew older and began to challenge myself to other new and frightening experiences, I decided it was time to meet flame and make a connection with it.

A few years ago, in the middle of a bad relationship, I watched my lover breathe a huge fireball. In a very unsafe and exaggerated manner. But Oh! it was beautiful, billowing out of his mouth. I was hooked. I learned through friends who had been doing it more carefully-to look up into the sky and send the breath with the flame, to sputter just right so as not to splatter, to use the right fluids…to wet down my hair and tie it back, to clear the area first…all the standard precautions. I began to breathe fire often, at most occasions, dancing under fireballs at parties, on the beach, even alone, in the desert, on a solitary road trip. Just to see it dancing. Just to feel the glare on my face.

I love fire.

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The Horrors!

coloring book, horrorThe Horrors is a frightening collection of cryptids, monsters, and ghosts from around the world, drawn in crisp black ink, ready for you to color! I started collecting ideas for creatures to draw about a year ago, and thanks to a large group of people who enjoy the paranormal and the weird, I had a long list of possible monsters to whittle down!  After finishing ten of the sketches in pen and ink, I decided to expand the horror art into a book. For each of the 30 nightmares, there is a short story explaining their origins and history.

I may be a strong skeptic, but there is something I love about these monsters. Anything horrifying, that goes bump in the night, intrigues me and makes me happy.

There are no franchised TV or movie monsters in this book; only myth, folklore, ghosts, and cryptids that exist outside the universe of fiction.

Check it out, sponsor me and if you can’t sponsor, share the link! People who back the project get the book, colored versions of the art, and more!

Here’s the link to the project: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1390602110/the-horrors-coloring-book-of-cryptids-ghosts-and-m

And here are a few of the illustrations included in the book (there are thirty.)

I’ll post a full list of the monsters for backers on the ks site as we get closer to print!

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ACEO and mini paintings.

I’m still not quite sure how I feel about working so small. I do like the idea of people without a lot of spare cash being able to own my art, though. So with a little nudge from some friends, I decided to paint a few.

I had done a few mini deer paintings before. I’m thinking of doing more- does anyone collect tiny art? What sizes do you like? I don’t even know how much to price things at, that are this small.

Do you paint mini-size, or ACEOs? What’s been your experience with them? I find it really hard, because for things like this I usually use a round nib on an ink-dip pen, and had to use such a tiny nib- also I am accustomed to doing BIG soft washes, so switching down to tiny-brush-size felt a bit odd too.

I suppose I will wait and see how much people want them too, before I make up my mind!

Let me know in the comments, if you have any thoughts about small media. I have a few more tiny frames for new ones.

“Heiliges Rochus”, canid skull mount with quilling, wings, and gilded frame

grey fox skull with wings
Originally Published on: Mar 19, 2012

St. Roch is the patron saint of dogs.

He is also a preventer of the plague.

he remained behind during the plague to treat people; he himself became ill. he went into the forest to die, but a dog (who is not named in any story) brought him bread and licked his wounds, saving him.

This is made from a grey fox skull, sea urchins, rockdove wings, and quilling done with paper I made myself. the tattered roses are preserved in glycerin and poly so they will stay just as they are. All mounted in a gilded frame.
I’ve got another quilling project in the works, I’ll post some progress shots this week.

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all sweetness and light.

just another negative asshole on the internet

just another negative asshole on the internet

I was reading someone’s site earlier, an artist someone pointed me to for ‘ideas about selling more art’.  The artist makes good stuff, illustrative art made from collage, very design-y, very positive and girly. It’s good art. Their art is on all kinds of stuff.

So I started reading their posts, and reading through their archives, and looking at the stuff they’re doing. And holy hell, talk about happy positivity and sugar smiles. Not a single negative thought, or statement. Not a droplet of anger, or unhappiness. I mean this girl is sweet as pie. Her life is made of rainbows and cupcakes. She’s never posted about being poor, or being sick, or being lonely. Not once. She’s pretty, she’s only a bit younger than me, she’s always encouraging, she has not a single personality flaw. And she’s nice about it too. She has her stuff licensed for home decor things, and has other companies wholesaling it or retailing it, and sells only originals here and there if the whim comes.

Listen, you guys. I see people like this, and I start to feel so shitty on myself. Like- I watch horror movies, and I curse, and I get negative. I’m often poor and sometimes sick and always a little off-kilter. I have done things wrong in my life and will likely continue to be fucked up in new and surprising ways on a regular basis. Sometimes I get in arguments, or drunk, or say things that are crass or offensive. I’m extremely imperfect and not always a good person.

And so, if I am not sweetness and light, how the fuck can I ever succeed? Success seems to require this…this peachy keen persona, this happy-up vibe and I just cannot do it, can’t fake it. Even if I could there’s decades of evidence for all my failures and bad behaviors! I mean…I don’t even know how one lives without troubles and fuckups and bad times. I couldn’t even write this post without cursing. I don’t even know if that can be real. But apparently it is real, and there are people like that, and they make GOBS of money on their works, without even doing much actual work. 
28308_1344575736648_1298901221_30981550_4061441_nCupcakes-and-sunshine people discourage me. I don’t know what to do now. This should be an inspiring post, but the more I read there the more I realized I will NEVER have that kind of following, that kind of draw. I’ll NEVER be a nice happy positive person that nice old ladies want to chat about at some frilly gift shop, it will just NOT happen. There are no major contracts for wholesaling in my future, there will be no fluffy bunny pillows at your local department store with my name on them, you can exit through the gift shop but my work isn’t for sale there.

I can try as hard as I want, encourage others to try, but in the long run, I’m still a negative asshole, and I still get depressed, go broke, have toothaches, and offend people. I love what I do but I also love to read true crime, look at gross and gory pictures, watch shitty horror movies and make fun of stuff. Do we have to be perfect to succeed? Do we have to grovel?

This life, how do people live it?

So then I go look elsewhere for something else to read. I hit on an article talking about Van Gogh and how great it is that his work has so much recognition, how high the prices are at auction. Man, he’s dead. He died broke and miserable.  And wasn’t some of his work “cultural appropriation”? All those japanese masks and flowers… also, dude was negative, unhappy, self-destructive, and all the rest.

Since reading and thinking about art didn’t cheer me up any, I’m going to watch Body Bags- and maybe a couple other shitty horror movies- and snuggle the dog.

Obligatory gift guide post.

bird in the handYes, I made a gift guide. There’s a few hundred things there by now! I know SO many creative and amazing people- and every year I buy from them instead of going to big box stores. Why? Well, partly because I enjoy owning things made by hand, by people on their own time. And partly because I hated every factory job I ever had. If you’ve ever worked in a factory you know- you may do the job itself well or with some pride, but you do NOT put love into each and every piece of your piece rate. Especially since you get paid peanuts, made to work holidays away from your family, and -unless you have a GREAT union- every single thing you make is like a nail in your coffin, hurting your back, blistering your fingers. Also, handmade goods, the money you spend on them goes right back into YOUR economy, not to some CEO’s offshore hoarding pile of money. The money you spend on handmade gets spent, right back into the world.

For those reasons, and MANY more, I buy from people who make things by hand themselves, from people who create art (then sell it or get it printed and sell the prints) and from people who curate vintage things on their own. These people do these things because they love them. And all too often these people are broke at the holidays, while everyone rushes to trample and kill each other to buy mass-produced garbage they’ll forget about in a month.

You can’t buy every single thing like this, of course- but there are a hell of a lot of things you CAN. And so, you SHOULD. You will feel good, the receiver of the gift you got will love it, and unlike factory goods- it will not be set aside and forgotten when the day is over.

Go check out the handmade and small business gift guide I made.

a story from my youth.

still not cool enough.

I was ten years old, and the house I lived in was next to a small playground/park. Of course back in those days I was usually unsupervised; I spent most of my time climbing trees, swinging on the swings in the little playground, or catching minnows and salamanders in the crick next to it, or climbing trees in our little patch of meadow, or looking for animal skulls or bones in the swamp behind it. I feel like I should draw a map, but these little places were maybe within a few acre’s range of my house.

Unsupervised outside was the usual routine then. Almost every kid in my little neighborhood was the same- this was the seventies, and parents threw their kids outside as much as possible, only calling them in for homework, dinner, and bedtime. This was before video games, before the internet. We had TV but there was nothing on for kids my age at that time of day, right after school.

One day, I was at the swings, and two slightly-older, really cool looking girls that I didn’t know were there. They were on  the swings, hanging out together, talking. I wanted to be their friend! I really really wanted them to like me. They were just amazing! They had cool haircuts, and awesome clothes, and wore makeup, and they were talking about really cool stuff like riding bikes and smoking and where they were going over the summer. They were rich white girls from town, just hanging out in my little playground by the woods. I was in awe of them the way only a ten-year-old bookworm math geek can be in awe of worldly, confident and successful people. My heart was swollen in my chest, and I grew enthusiastic as I listened to them chat with each other.

I tried to talk to them, and they started teasing me. “You’re too young,” one of them said, “You’re too young to hang out with us. Go away.”

Of course I didn’t go away. I kept trying to get involved in their cool conversation. In retrospect I was being incredibly annoying, in retrospect all kids that age are annoying most of the time. One of them finally asked me a question. “How old are you, anyway?”

My heart leaped! They were going to be my friends! “I’m ten, ten years old!”

I will astound them!

I will astound them!

“Bullshit!,” she replied, “There’s no way you’re ten. You’re like…eight. Eight years old. Stop lying.”

“NO I AM TEN I AM NOT LYING” I felt my face get red hot. I was in fact pretty small for my age- I was the shortest person in my class, and always unhappy about it. I was also embarrassed, ashamed, I don’t know why now and I didn’t know then, either.  I whined, “I’M REEEEEEALLY TEN YEARS OOOOLD”

She looked at me and said, “Prove it. Show me your report card or something.”

“I WILL” I said, and started running home. I got home, shuffled through papers (seriously, I was in awe of these two girls) found my latest report card, snuck it past my mom out the kitchen door where she stood smoking a cigarette (“what do you have there? why are you being sneaky? get back outside and play”) and ran at top speed back to the swingset, triumphant, ready to bask in my newfound coolness. Not only did my report card have my year in school on it (proving my age) but I ALSO had straight A’s that year! They were bound to love me after seeing that. I will astound them! So I ran with my paper in my fist, fast as I could, back to them. And when I got back to the swingset…

They were gone. They’d left. Those two girls didn’t care who I was, how old I was. To them, I was a pestering annoyance. Asking me to prove something was their way of getting me to go fuck off so they could escape my affections, their way of putting me down, of making me leave. I was so crushed, and suddenly, a lot of things made sense to me in a horrible new way.

Tests at school? Proving myself to people who didn’t care. Homework? The same. Chores?Proving myself to my parents, who should have already believed in me. Pretty much any kind of showing off, speaking up, explaining myself, anything, was people who disliked me, asking me to prove myself, in order to waste my time or get rid of me. Success was just a sham.

I swung on the swings for a while, alone, and then my mother called for me to come eat dinner. And that was that.

This memory is small, and isolated from other memories of my life at that time. The feelings that go with this memory are HUGE, and have made me feel that same burning shame, that same disappointment, even now, even into my adulthood. It’s incredible how massive the exact moment of disillusionment with the world can seem, when you’re young. I think it was two years later I started smoking, started slacking off in school, and sort of dropped out of the race to succeed in life. To this day, I am uncomfortable explaining myself, proving myself, showing my background or history or performance with people, or attempting any accomplishment that I can’t personally enjoy attempting. I stopped worrying about failure, that day.  I still  feel like doing some things is a waste of my time, is a fruitless effort for people who don’t give a damn. Still. I still feel that way. 

We all have our moments of realization, sometimes positive, sometimes negative. I’d have to call this my first epiphany. I think in one way it has served me really well, though. Because of the life I have lived and my lack of concern for social markers of success, I’ve done things that I loved, lived a very interesting life so far, and seen a lot of amazing things I would never have encountered if I was running the rat race. SO I am ok with this memory, this moment in my life. It’s all right by me.

some trees I have made, tattoos and the like.

I love trees. 

Most of the tattoo trees I do are drawn on the skin, in marker, right before being tattooed. That way the person getting the tattoo can control the size and scale better, and I get a better feeling for the flow the tree needs to have to fit on three dimensions. I go outside and look at trees. That’s what I use for reference-I take a lot of photographs of trees as well. I love drawing them.

I used to climb trees all the time. Actually I still do when I see a decent climbing tree. Climbing a tree was always a way for me to get some time alone in a house full of extroverts- a way to escape.

I learned a lot about what each tree was like. They not only have a personality because of their species, but individually too.

Willows are always friendly and mellow, but can be risky to climb- they like to slip their bark once you’re high enough to get hurt by falling. Oaks are big and old and kindly, but their twigs are crackled and dry. Birches are my favorite trees- spry, springy, and easy to take a nap in.

When I tattoo a tree, I try to imagine how a real tree would grow, if the muscles were wind and weather. This means each tree is form-fitted to the wearer, their own. It would only fit that person, in that space of the body. I feel like trees adapt to any place where they grow, they adapt so completely, twisting to fit- they’re the perfect subject for tattoos.

(Originally Published on: Oct 20, 2011)

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flower art by commission!


colored pencil, 7x9". flowers

I do lots of flowers, in mixed media- and I do commissions. My turnaround time right now is ten business days. I accept a limited number of commissions at any time, so get in soon! Email me your commission request to resonanteye at gmail dot com, listing:

  • size of art you want
  • species of plant or flower
  • predominant or favorite color
  • any additional costs or choices, see below

I will add up cost, set my deadline, and email you an invoice with all details attached, including date of completion, estimated shipping date, and options for rush shipping if you need them. Prices include shipping within the US, I will invoice for international shipping cost.

(Originally  Published on: Oct 17, 2011 @ 2:25)

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