a WIP, tentatively titled, "Eat Dat" [Manga Studio 5]
Picture2.5"x3.5" gouache painting, "Dear Eating Deer"
Every artist has their 'focus', right? That thing they're known for? Maybe they have a background in anthropology, ecology, wildlife conservation, architecture, and their work all tends to be somehow related to that? 
Well. I feed my dogs big hunks of meat.
It counts, I suppose. 
But aside from that I've always been very drawn to the idea of dichotomy. Opposites living in harmony, irony at its finest. I've done paintings of snakes slithering around piles of candy. I've drawn spiders with bows in their prickly, fibrous hair. Picturesque monsters befriending field mice. And now, domestic meets wild.  
My malamute mix, Baldr, eating raw meat. Dogs are precious to so many people, they're seen as friends and family more than they are animals. As a proponent of NOT anthropomorphizing animals, I'm painting Baldr eating prey-model-raw to remind us that these companions are animals. They have teeth for tearing, they have saliva for dissolving, they have acidic stomachs for assimilating flesh. Dogs are metal, guys, I hope that these pieces remind us of that. 

So, I admit it, I've succumbed to the addictive pastime of carving rubber stamps. I'm the first to admit I have a problem. To rid myself of this surplus of stampage, the above stamps are all up for grabs on the Etsy. Please. Take them away. I fear they may multiply to numbers beyond reason. 
I know you guys probably don't get it, but if you're interested in understanding the reference, ask me for a free eBook copy of my book. 
Some new pieces up in the gallery today. Gonna try to update here more often! Consistency and whatnot. Enjoy the moody pooches! 
Moody Pooches should be the title of my memoir. 

I am trying to raise money because I have Adult Responsibilities that require it! Lame

See those drawings? I am offering drawings in that style for $5 each! (Up to $10 for more complicated designs.) They will be done with black pen, white gel pen, (if you want) one color of your choice, drawn on 5.5”x9” brown paper. Physical copy can be mailed upon request, we’ll discuss shipping in that event.   

[And don’t worry, your high-res digital file of the final product will be scanned, not taken with my cellphone, like these sketch samples are.] 

* There are FIVE SLOTS available! First come, first serve. Place your order by email at marandart@gmail.com. * 

♥ BLOG BONUS: because you actually read my blog, if you take advantage of this deal, I’ll also give you a coupon code for my Etsy for 25% off any of the listings. :) ♥

—♥ Maranda

Wyoming, I am in you!
I think one of my favorite emotions is, "Wow, I forgot I did that a long time ago, look at it paying off right now! What a surprise!" Felt that today. Because a few months ago, I entered the above piece, 'Mountainous', into the Wyoming Wilderness Association's 30th Anniversary traveling art show. At the time, I thought, hey, I've done a piece inspired by Wyoming. Why not ship it in? So I did and promptly forgot about it. 
Few days ago, I get a congratulatory email. I got in! 
It's always going to fill me with glee when I see my art on another side in the manner of, "Hey look at this cool thing!" Giddy. Just... giddy. 
Check it out! And if for some reason you're around Sheridan, Moose, or Laramie... go see it! Say hi for me! Tell it, "Mommy misses you, but you're on to greener pastures. Do mommy proud." 
You might want to whisper it when no one else is looking, though. Just as a precaution. 
Hello, friends! (I can say that with certainty because only my friends read my blog. Love you guys! Smooches!) It's That Time Again, in which I produce more horrible creations that are also shirts and stickers. On that note, I have a Redbubble account now! Now, if you're an illegitimate clone of me (or just me), you can have all the stickers and throw pillows of fishdogs you've ever wanted. Click the little red dot on your right. I will now utilize a Very High Tech arrow emoticon to indicate the location of the aforementioned red dot.  ==> 

Also, I have a mailing list now! I read recently that RSS and blogs and social media are dead (we can dream) and that email marketing is kind of in right now. So, being the hip cat I am, I went ahead and got a mailing list. You should be on it! It's like being in a club! Clubs are cool, right? People like clubs? I'm going with that. 

So there you have it-- do as you must. I'll be waiting. Clawing at my keyboard, slamming F5 over and over, awaiting your arrival. No pressure. 
Sometimes, I sit down to paint, overwhelmed by the urge to paint, but nothing comes to mind. I end up listlessly browsing the 'watercolor' and 'gouache' tags on Tumblr and Google image search... most of what turns up is idyllic flower portraits or gardens or puppies or something else cute and wholesome. 
I have a natural aversion to that kind of kitschy cuteness. The more I browsed for "inspiration", the more I furrowed my brows and frowned. 
"Man, this stuff is boring." 
And then it hits me that I still have some skinned coyote feet in the freezer and bam, inspiration hits me like a truck. 
(You'll get the story of why I have coyote feet in my freezer... later.) 
It was to be my first really serious gouache piece in a while. The last full-on painting I did was in my oil painting class a year ago, and because oils are made of condensed demon's blood and are hellbent on making your life miserable, the idea of doing another painting (until now) kind of rubbed me the wrong way. And by 'rubbed me the wrong way' I mean 'plagued me with fever dreams of the Reflective Objects and Elaborate Geometric Patterns Still Life.' 
But, today, gouache was calling my name. And my blank pieces of aquabord were feeling lonely. One thing led to another. 
Colors start to  happen.
Adding color to the underpainting was thrilling and frightening. As an artist, paint thrills you, and no one else gets why washes of ochre and burnt sienna get your heart racing.
The final product: Wholesome, endearing, warm-fuzzy feelings. Wook at the widdle paaawws!
I made a thing!
So, BOUND TO ASHES is getting closer to being a final draft. Some might say that a final draft doesn't really exist, but we're using 'final' as loosely as we can. Anyway, I sent draft number six to my beta readers. (Hi, beta readers!) Just sitting back and waiting for their feedback, now. Resting on my laurels. Basking in my accomplishment. Because even if it's nowhere near being published, yet, it still feels good to have a written, re-written, and polished work under your belt. It's a good feeling. 
And I made a book cover, just to brush up on my graphic design skills*, and to finally have an image for my book. 

But there is no rest for the wicked, dear readers. I'm back to working on THE CHILDREN OF CADUCEUS, the sequel, right now. (You know, the book that I wrote in two months last year... it's got a sound story, but whoa, do the meaty bits need some TLC...) 

So that's what's been going on this past month. Besides the usual-- wedding plans, book reading, doodling, mentally preparing myself for school again, etc. 
Until next time. 

* 'skills' also used loosely

Yup, drawings. I know, right? Try to contain your excitement! Totally almost wrote 'excrement' right there, and yeesh, what a typo that would have been. Aaaanyway.

Left image features Ashton and dog Punk, characters from my book. (Which at this point might not ever be written completely, ever. Seriously, I've re-written this hunk-o-junk like four times.) But check out them dog feet. All six of 'em. 

Lately I've been pretty addicted to the draw-erase-draw-erase technique. Like scratch board that works in both directions. The rhythm is so... perfect. Giving and taking away marks like a benevolent art god.
What do you mean, 'power trip'? I just love how it makes everything seem so dense and three-dimensional. And black and white art is always stylish. Always. 

And admittedly at this point I'm trying to write enough to fit the giant space this tall-ass image has created for me. Thanks a lot, Ash. You're a pal. A seven-foot-tall-pal. Punk, this is partially your fault, too. 

Oh and you can click the image if you want to make him even taller


Tiefling butt! Gasp! (How lewd.)
Title of this piece: "Your Inner Fire". Alternate title: "Shameful Excuse to Draw Fire". Some  of the scratch board techniques I mentioned earlier are here, too, but now in violent color.
Fire is one of those things you don't really have to know how to draw, but if you get the general shapes kind of right, people will fill in the blanks for you. Because, think about it, fire never holds still. When you look at a photo of fire for too long, it stops looking like fire, because it's not flickering and fidgeting like fire does. So what I'm saying is that I know how to get away with crap like that because reasons. 


Man, does this artist draw nothing but naked Tieflings? I mean come on
"Somehow Not Sincere" was the first piece that I really tried out the scratch board technique. Love at first sight, let me tell you. My favorite part is doing deep black things that are super shiny-smooth, like those horns. One wiggly line tells you the texture and color of the object without even trying. Way to go, wiggly line, you're an inspiration. You're doing god's work. Or something. 
Even looking at this piece makes me want to do the scratch board thing more. Which is kind of dangerous because it took 100% of my artistic drive to finish the fiery thing up there, so, yeah. Such is life. 

Well, there you go. I had to dust off this blog sometime. Hope it was good. Peace be with you, denizens of Internetia.