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Jan. 13th, 2012

File Under: Bad Ideas

Iron Man v. Magneto Marvel poster, art by Adi Granov

No, Tony!  Don't do it! This is a BAD IDEA. LOL.

(Marvel Comics Event: Avengers vs. X-Men poster by Adi Granov)

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Nov. 4th, 2011

Quilt Festival Day 1

So today Mom and Aunt Marlene and I spent the day seeing approximately 85% of the Exhibition floor and about 10% of the vendors at the Festival. Very exciting.
Mom and I return tomorrow for the Vendor Extravaganza!

I am so tired.
Here, have an exceptional and amazing Yin Yang quilt. SO BEAUTIFUL.


More photos in the set.
And more to come tomorrow! :)

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May. 26th, 2011

stuff, things, travel

So I find myself suddenly traveling to Nashville for a conference next week. Anybody know any good places to visit if I have downtime? I've only really ever driven through on my way somewhere else, taking time to visit the Parthenon and not much besides. I shall be there on weekdays.

This comes at an interesting time of year for me, since we are gearing up for ApolloCon the last weekend in June. (Houston's Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Convention, full of awesome! I'm in the Art Show, too. Come on down!)

Work = Intense as well. Fun, but intense. We've got some stuff going on. :)

Art is progressing. I'm thinking that one of my challenge entries is going to involve major angst, and Colin Morgan's face just lends itself to that so well. I'll have to find some cute fic to get me through it all. LOL.
I've been contemplating fic writing, too. Although I must have a rule that I make progress on my original fic (I can pretend I'm writing fanfic for it, right?) before I indulge.

Speaking of fic, I am almost at the point in my BSG viewing where it will be safe for me to announce that I would like to read all the Adama/Roslin fic in the land. I may also have to create a very belated reaction post to the end of the series, as everyone I know has lately reiterated to me just how badly the show ends.

I have several Dreamwidth invite codes if anybody wants one, by the way.

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May. 22nd, 2011

Art Car Parade Photos

I've got a set on Flickr full of hundreds of these...

Rice's Centennial Model-T Ford

A Car covered in Peeps

Seeing my hat in the dragon's head

Mermaid on a bejeweled car

They just keep adding and adding and adding the glitter

Ambulance Chaser

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We had a good time!

Got good seats in the shade, had an excellent view, and Dad and I had time to go for a walk through the first few blocks of cars on display before the parade. More photos to follow!

Dad with the Hutto, Hippos art car

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Mar. 12th, 2011

let me sum up

I wrote this at Con-Jour in Clear Lake, but as they did not have wifi available for the public at the University facility (???), I had to wait until I got home to actually post it. Here it is:

Well, the last few days have been super busy. So busy that I have a precarious stack of dishes overtaking my kitchen. It's all been great fun, though.
Let me 'splain... No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

I've been writing )

and drawing )

and pondering costumes )

and engaging in a brief, fruitless studio search )

and attending a lecture by Dr. Jane Goodall )

and attending Con-Jour 2011 as an ApolloCon rep. )

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Feb. 24th, 2011

ART: Nursing (PG)

Title: Nursing
Artist: [personal profile] zephre
Characters: Original
Rating: PG
Summary/Notes: Obviously heavily influenced by Alice Neel, I had a photo that I worked from but did an experiment in laying out bulk color form before any lines.

art under cut )

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Feb. 15th, 2011

WIP meme

Ganked from a few places.
Post the names of all the files in your WIP folder, regardless of how non-descriptive or ridiculous.

Also, people have WIP folders? ;) I certainly don't. These are just lying around in other folders.

Well, hm.
Art WIPs )

Writing WIPs )

Too bad I don't have file names for the crafts in progress. ;)

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Feb. 6th, 2011

Tarot Cards

So yesterday, I pulled The Gardener from the Gaian Tarot.
The Gardener, Gaian Tarot )
I'm thinking this is both a statement about my need to go grocery shopping (after being stuck in the house because of the ice for days), and then also the fact that I got so much done. I cleaned, I created, I cooked, I exercised, I really felt good about myself and the things I was working on.
The only thing that didn't get done was sewing, and I am working on that. But it was a very fertile day, and weekend, and then I went to a dinner party last night that was full of laughter and friends and music.

Today's card is Explorer of Water, also from the Gaian Tarot.
Explorer of Water, Gaian Tarot )
This is a card that speaks of meditation, ease of mind, and being "in the zone". I can see how that would be a good thing for me, especially since I'm getting more creative projects on the horizon, and trying to bring in a deeper spiritual connection in my life.
Both of those things are the sorts of things that the focus and inspiration of the Explorer of Water can aid.

(This time I've remembered to add a link to each picture, so you can go to the website for the Gaian Tarot and see the whole deck, or find out when the mass market version will be published. It's a great deck, I highly recommend it!)

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Jan. 23rd, 2011

Weekend adventures - photos!

So, it was a pretty epic weekend.
Saturday, we left early to go to the country where my cousin was hosting a surprise 75th birthday party for my aunt. It was a very successful surprise, and my aunt was suitably astonished to see so many faces. Some of the folks who came out I hadn't seen since I was a small child, and some I had never met. I got to connect with relatives I hadn't seen in a while, too.
Happy Birthday, Aunt Marlene! )

When the party wound down a bit, many folks headed home, but a few of my cousins stuck around, as did my parents and I. We ended up sitting around discussing various topics, and somehow got onto the topic of this scarf that Nicole had seen on a blog that you made out of cutting and creatively re-assembling t-shirts. Suddenly, Nicole and Kristen found themselves working on just such a scarf, with intermittent "help" and help from various other folks. It was pretty fun. Then when the person scarf was finished, there was enough leftover fabric bits that I tied them together to make a matching "scarf" for their dog. Cute! Kristen vogued it up alone and with the pup.
scarf-making )
(More photos at Flickr)
After the epic family craft session, we headed home and I lingered for a bit at the ancestral homestead before heading back to my place, where with the help of some Sudafed PM I actually managed to sleep. w00t!
Today after a mostly lazy morning and lunch, I went with my parents to the MFAH to see Sanjay Patel give a presentation about his book Ramayana: Divine Loophole. It was a really great talk - Sanjay was really funny, and had an eclectic set of slides about his childhood and the motivation behind his reinterpretation of myths. He asked regular quiz questions and gave out prizes to keep the audience engaged, favoring especially any kids in the audience. I think all the kids went home with prizes by the end. Toward the end he did an in-depth process talk about one particular spread in the book, which I found fascinating and wonderful. He covered a lot of technique, layout, roughing in Illustrator, and finding the right color palette. Great stuff.
At the reception later he signed copies, and in every book he did a drawing of Hanuman. I was amazed - he must have been tired by the end. While I was in line, I met a lovely woman who was in town visiting from New York, and we had a wide-ranging discussion about museums, art, music, books, sci-fi, mythology, etc. It was really great, and I do regret now that I did not stop her to get her name, or give her my card, because those sorts of random connections are awesome, and can be more than just random if you let them. I've got to learn to do that.
When I got up to Sanjay, he spotted the rather battered Bubbles keychain on my belt, and asked me about it. He went to school with the guys who did the Powerpuff Girls, and we chatted a bit about that, and then about art. He asked if I was an artist, we exchanged a few names of portrait folks that we liked (I hadn't heard of his favorite, he hadn't heard of mine). I mentioned that I was trying to move from portraiture to drawing people in motion, and he agreed that it was a tough transition. It was great, and I am amazed that he was able to keep up that level of energy for all the folks in line. (I was near, but not too near, the end.) Then he handed me my book with his signature, a drawing of Hanuman, and my name in fun text.
book signing )
After we left the museum my folks took me to dinner to wind up the day. Now I should really try to get some writing done before I crash for the night.

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Jan. 20th, 2011

ART: Dogwalker

I saw this guy walking his dog in striped pajama pants and a black pea coat on my way home, and I had to try to get something of it all onto screen.

This is the result of my wrestling with Painter. Egads, what a program.

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Nov. 18th, 2010

life imitates art

I just got home from a very enjoyable evening at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston with my Continuing Studies Advanced Visual Arts classmates and our teacher. We stormed the European Galleries building and saw lots of cool stuff, but more importantly discussed the lives and times of many artists, the tragedies and joys and physical hardships that influenced their work. We also did a lot of interesting technical discussion, on media and material, the function and meaning of art in its various times, and the nature of aesthetics. It was great.
I love visiting museums with people, although I admit I am not always a good co-museum-visitor. I tend to bounce from place to place without rhyme or reason, only occasionally reading the signs, or I will systematically go through a gallery in such a way as to hit every single piece in the least number of steps. Or sometimes I'll just sit on a bench and slowly rotate my view until I've taken it all in.
So now I want to paint. I have paints, even, but not much time. I need to get my workspace set up so that I can leave my in-progress stuff on the drafting table and not have to do an elaborate song-and-dance every time I want to paint.

In other news, photos have been posted from the epic week of Jaye, including some nice ones of Houston sights, but nothing from the Observatory because I left my camera at home. Besides, it was dark. Still, our tours of the various small telescopes on the terrace and the two big research domes at the George Observatory were excellent. We did a lot of running around in the dark with our hands in the air squeeing, "Space! It's really big!" Seriously. I mean, people who know us will just know that we did exactly that, but it's not a cute text message code or something. We jumped up and down and waved our arms in the "touchdown" manner.
It was awesome.

As for the Zoo, I may need to go back one day just to sit around the elephant enclosure for a while because, OMG BABY ELEPHANTS! So adorable.
One of them tried very hard to escape from the stalls where they were being bathed, and the tiny one kept poking his trunk through the bars at his slightly bigger friend as if to say, "Hey, Baylor? Wanna play? Huh? Huh? Huh?"

Latin continues to be hilarious in the way that it can be for me since my grade is just so much happy funtimes. We're reading about the martyrdom of St Alban in Bede's Ecclesiastical History of Britain. It's funny, but the medieval stuff really is easier, despite the way that it warps the Classical grammar and conventions. Medieval Latin syntax starts to resemble English syntax, so it's amazingly simple to connect concepts. Sometimes there are things that are just weird, but so far it's been very straightforward and also quite fascinating. I may ask about auditing next semester after all - if the professor doesn't mind a tourist.

I had my first of four dental visits this afternoon, and spent the latter half of my workday with a Novocain-induced numb jaw. I had to hold a napkin to my mouth for part of it because I was drooling all over my desk. Very professional. Still, at least it's done, and I can get all of it done now before I need any major surgical work. I am thankful that it's a relatively straightforward couple of procedures.
Although I do have to say, contrary to the conversation I had at lunch with coworkers, those needles they used to numb my jaw were HUGE! HUUUUGE!

Now I am going to do some translating, and mourn the fact that I haven't been able to draw all week. Perhaps this weekend.

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Oct. 31st, 2010

ART: A Prince's Vigil (PG, Spoilers for Merlin 3x08)

Title: A Prince's Vigil
Artist: [personal profile] zephre
Rating: PG
Fandom: BBC's Merlin
Characters: Arthur Pendragon, Merlin/Gwen
Summary: AU of the opening scene of episode 3x08: The Eye of the Phoenix, requested by [personal profile] oconel at the Fleet Spoiler Party

large image under cut - MILD SPOILERS for Merlin 3.08 )

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Oct. 27th, 2010

Red-Orange Study in Progress

Had a good time in art class yesterday.
Red Orange Study in Progress

Also, have discovered Thorn Coyle's pagan podcasts and have been mainlining them for a couple days. Really excellent stuff here. Wow.

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Oct. 22nd, 2010

Returning to the Top Fives

From Emily: Top Five Things I've Made (with pictures!) All images are clickable.

1. Victorianna (aka My First Doll). I bought the pattern at the Houston Quilt Festival when I was 13 or 14, and made the thing by myself. I taught myself how to use a curved quilting needle, Mom helped me learn how to tea-dye muslin, and I had a lot of adventures with sewing yarn, stuffing, and finishing. The doll pattern comes as a "boudoir" doll, with sewn-on undies, and you can buy several dress patterns from her. Some are fancy Victorian-style things, some are clever transformations of traditional quilt patterns. I did make her a "Grandmother's Flower Garden" dress and apron, but I don't know where they are off the top of my head.
Victorianna Doll

2. Wedding Quilt: Michelle and Andy. This was a collaboration between me and Shelley, and it took four years to finish because we were horrible procrastinators and then we had to shuttle it back and forth between us. Once the top was done, I took it home and eventually did all the finishing, quilted it and put little crystals all over. This was my first time working with: printer fabric sheets; wedge-cut circular piecing (which was hard and involved a hell of a lot of precise math and careful measurement); heat-bonding crystals; free-motion quilting. The writing you can see is from the day of their wedding - we did have the top finished just enough to get it there and have the guests sign it. It all had to be taken apart and redone eventually, but it got done!
<Full quilt before finishing edges
(I can't believe I don't have a photo of the finished version! Here's one of it in situ at Chez Michelle and Andy in Ithaca.)

3. Girl in a Headscarf, prismacolor on paper. This was my first project using Prismacolor Pencils. I took a course at Rice Continuing Studies with a very awesome teacher, and chose a gorgeous photo released under Creative Commons licensing to render. I used a grid method to get the image onto the paper, and then colored very carefully. :) This one currently hangs in my office.
Finished and Framed

4. Canterbury in Colors, watercolor on paper. I did this in my watercolor class at the Art League of Houston. I loved that class, and it's kind of a toss-up between this piece and the one of the girl in a chair. I find the Canterbury painting so appealing, though, plus it's based on one of my own photographs. I plan to make an art quilt out of it. This one is framed and hanging next to my door at home.
A Street in Canterbury

5. Wedding Quilt: Lisa and Tim. (Do you see a pattern in my quilt-making? LOL.) This is my first really finished pieced art quilt. I had done one earlier than this of Professor Snape for a fellow Harry Potter fan, but that was based around a print on fabric of one of my illustrations, so it doesn't count in the same way. For Godzilla, I pieced and appliqued the whole thing together and then did shaped quilting to emphasize form and line. And Godzilla's back spikes are actually 3-D. Mom found a great skyline fabric to use on the back so it could be linked to New York, as well. I really enjoyed the shopping for this - Lisa and Tim got some really exciting novelty fabrics. (And they were really enthusiastic when they opened the package, too!)
finished quilt

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Oct. 9th, 2010

Bayou City Art Festival

Today was the Bayou City Art Festival Downtown, and I headed out with the parental units for a couple of hours browsing the creative talents on display.
It was quite awesome. And after we went through lots and lots of booths, we stopped at House of Pies for dessert! Delicious!

My photos from the fest are on Flickr. Click this one.

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Jul. 23rd, 2010

ART: Rosie, Top Student in Necromancy (PG-13)

I've started taking in the Character of the Week challenge at, although I have only completed one so far.  That one was Rosie.  The assignment:
Rosie von Kreuzberg is top student in Necromancy at the University of Dark Arts. This school has been around for hundreds of years and only the most talented students are accepted! With her talents and skills, Rosie could easily become the most powerful Necromancer in history...

Title: Rosie, in the lab
Artist: [personal profile] zephre
Rating: PG-13
Content: blood, dead animals
Character: Original, per the assignment
Artists' Notes: When I posted this I didn't really expect much except a good excuse to get drawing, but a few folks on the site actually voted for it in the poll!  Neat!

image under cut )

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Jun. 28th, 2010

Iron Artist 2010: Miss ApolloCon

Iron Artist: Miss ApolloCon 2010ApolloCon did an Iron Artist panel this year, which is like Iron Chef in that the panel of distinguished artists get a bin of random art supplies and have to create something according to the given theme.
This year's theme: Miss ApolloCon Pageant winner.
The supply I got out of the bin: finger paints in four colors (red, green, blue, yellow).
I worked on a foam board taped to the wall in front of a live audience, which was encouraged to heckle. I had my own personal heckler in Brian, one of the guys from the Jedi demo, who was there in full costume. I kept threatening to come over and pat him on the shoulder with my paint-smeared hand when he commented on my pageant-winning cow. (ApolloCon's unofficial mascot is the cow. We have a lot of "space cow" gags and jokes and even art.) At one point, Katy brought me some towels and I cleaned off my hands, but Brian didn't know that, so I walked up beside him while his head was turned and said, "Thanks for the support," and patted his shoulder, dragging my fingers.  He *jumped* and whipped around and then looked SO relieved when I showed him my clean hand. LOL.

So there is my contribution, one that I think turned out really well, for being 15 minutes of live finger painting.

In other news, ApolloCon was very successful, we had a fantastic bunch of guests, I got to go to several panels, our procedures went pretty well, I had another great group of volunteers organized by my On-Site Reg manager, and the after-Con parties were awesome. We managed to get loaded out in good time, and now I am utterly EXHAUSTED.

Also, Doctor Who freakin' rocked, OHMYGOD, how awesome was that season finale?? 

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Jun. 24th, 2010

happy web news

The art is not down!  Yay!
Everything else is, but I managed to clean out the malware without having to gut the Gallery portion of the site, so hurrah. 
Still, got to clean things out and get the domain back up and running at some point.  :)

And now I am just getting ready to load my car with all the exciting boxes and boxes and bins and boxes and... boxes...  oh, and my personal luggage... for APOLLOCON!

I managed to print everything (I hope!) and get it all into place to transport and wow, there is a LOT of gear involved.  Whee!

Hope to see all the locals there. :)

ETA: ok, I have no idea how the usernames ended up in this post - must have been some stray code from my crossposting software. Oops! Sorry, guys. ;)

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Jun. 23rd, 2010

site compromised - art going away

It looks like the website where I manage my art gallery has been compromised by some malware. I am thinking that I may take this time to just do a complete overhaul of the domain, since it's woefully out of date anyway. But that will have to wait because ApolloCon needs my time for a while first. I am going to end up just deleting the whole thing, I think, and it will be a dead url for a time.

The upshot of this is that all my art will go away in a little while, and any other sites that use art hosted on my site will also get errors.

Ah, the joy of the internet. Time to take a more active interest in my websites, I see.

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