Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Solemn stillness.

We've been doing what we can to squeeze every last drop of peppermint flavored Yule from the old place. The result is...not quite right.

Alexander chafing against his scarlet bonds.

A chilly and forlorn Yoda Claus--clearly caught in his own attempt to flee.

Eerie, floating ghost tree.

Dead-eyed Creepy, doing his best to keep his cool--imitating art as The Hare with the Pear Earing.

Joining together with hollow, reedy voices that freeze and crack in the air:
Du grunst nicht nur zur Sommerzeit,
Nein auch im Winter, wenn es schneit!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


Sir Orfeo's queen. Just one more hapless soul nabbed by Mab.
For one of Alex's precocious little cousins who has a love for horses. I was debating whether to send her one of the (many, sigh) tiny glass unicorns unearthed during the moving process, but (in my experience) hard handed, tyrannical little girls should never be given custody of soft-mouthed beasts, especially porcelain ones. So I settled for paper.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Inverse proportions.

Never fails. Dreams get vivid when the drawing stops. Got to keep those mothers away.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Oh, Mickey.

Sorted, pored-over, pilfered, packed, and finally moved a mini-library these past weeks. Including but not limited to:

--three French primers
--two signed Madeline L'Engles
--a shelf of reference volumes inc. Roget's Thesaurus In Dictionary Form and Crabb's English Synonymes (you tell me the difference), the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, a pocket rhyming dictionary, and a small volume on the Queen's English.
--The Essence of the Talmud and an extensive nonfiction on Islamic women
--forty issues of Ebony
--one pamphlet on the Gay Men's Unitarian Choir
--at least thirty years of National Geographic
--countless books on UFOs
--a Penguin edition of Greek Lit
--...and one lonely copy of The Hobbit

A small peek into the highly engaging, highly literate mind of Alex's great aunt.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The dawning realization...

...that both fingers and ink move more slowly in fifty-eight degree temps.

Thursday, October 09, 2008


Something live has for the last two days been slamming itself bloody against the inside of the fireplace. It's been threatened, pleaded with, abused, and named, all to little avail.
You tell yourself that you'll never be the sort of woman that leaps onto the highest surface at the merest flash of a wing or a tail or a glittering eye. You tell yourself.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Morning routine.

mullberry rouge from Persia--2 gold pieces
Black Sea kohl (Medea's speciality)--one shorn ram
age defying appleseed oil from the Hesperides--5 rattlesnake tails
UV-blocking balm (Heal-ios Inc.)--one amber necklace
membership to Atlas Gym--12 wool blankets
hair brightener--courtesy of Midas
making your wishes count--priceless

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

More trouble than they're worth.

Hobbit's a delicacy that can be prepared any number of ways. They're soft and tender with flesh so aromatic that herbs just become a redundancy. But there's only one way to cook a dwarf and that's to boil it, salt it, crack it like a nut. And watch your teeth around its basalt bones.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Hold it.

Too early for Poe? No matter. I was hoping for a neat convergence by him with what was just a random sketch, but the story's called The Oval Portrait, damn it. Also, turns out that unless you're searching for masses of online galleries, googling "paintings in fairy tales" is really no help at all. Of course, there's the uncomfortable event behind this particular painting (the model didn't die, but nearly froze in a bathtub of slowly chilling water), but once again the shape of the pic figures prominently.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Birthday present.

Saturday, September 20th: finished my second(gasp!) reading of The Hobbit
Sunday, September 21st: 71st anniversary of the publishing of The Hobbit
Monday, September 22nd: Bilbo (and Frodo) Baggins' birthday
Funny how things align.
There are thirteen dwarvish shadows there, in case anyone was counting.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

"Chip the glasses and crack the plates!

Blunt the knives and bend the forks!
That's what Bilbo Baggins hates--
Smash the bottles and burn the corks!"
An Unexpected Party, The Hobbit
The appropriate sentiment of clumsiness and mayhem to hang on my virtual door while bandaged hands and mangled fingers heal.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Bits and pieces.

For loss of a pic, a Wednesday was lost. And all for the loss of an eraser nub.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Moon pies.

Strung with the guts of a great-cat-grandfather,
There's a ghostlier note to that fiddle.

A spoon that's more rake took the dish and the cake,
And the sunrise was left with the riddle.

A post-vacation, post-baptism "halloo" to the little Rubaby.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Children of the Night.

I tried, I really did.
The enduring (and, to my mind, mistaken) image of the Beast has been that of a big cat. Ferocious, to be sure, but also powerful, sleek, attractive--watered down and prettied up to romance an audience of fourteen-year-olds. I always liked to think I'd resist the urge to, well, lionize him in the Disney sense. Rackham did, and Dulac--forgoing fashion and form and arriving at something resembling more Murnau's Nosferatu--something nearer the ugly truth. (The three were comtemporaries--did one inform the others? was there something in the postwar waters?). But has a grace been lost and are you plucked from the story because of it?
So maybe I didn't try at all. I clearly don't have the stomach for the unsettling, so here he is--curried and cleaned for easy viewing.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Sitting here amazed at how much work it took for an eh. It aspired toward Golden Age/Art Deco and instead fluttered to the windowsill of 1970's German b&w.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sing wit me now.

New United Airlines commercials aired during the Olympics. The animation for this one is crazy.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

...sensitive about my shit.

Trying out some 'new' stuff. But I'd be lying if I said it doesn't feel real good to curl up in the spaces between a zillion tiny little lines.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Weak forces.

Came in from a dark and rainy run to a darker-still house. No reassuring tap-tap on a keyboard. No percussive thwock of japanese flash cards. Just vague rumblings of furniture moving around upstairs and this sound--clear as water--pouring from invisible rafters.

Simply the first few seconds of "Gravity" by Gorillaz on a Rhapsody left to run. But Albarn's ghostbaby voice just about sent me leaping from my soggy sneaks.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Parts per million.

Kidnapping of some knight. Though a distinction really must be made. The mythoscape is littered with so many maids a-wander, peering under every suspect toadstool for a handsome abductee, that how is one to know? How are they to know for that matter? One gent is like to the next when it comes to the tug of Faery. They are nothing but poor souls whose lot it is to be completely unmanned under the gaze of the Goddess--as Troll Princess, Titania, Venus herself. In that arena a Cupid looks much like a Beast, who looks much like a Bear, or a Frog Prince, or a Tam Lin. Under such circumstances, who would blame a girl for a slight blurring in discernment to make a quick end to her search? Keep in mind that half these women are trudging around with growing wombs.

But they do know and they stay the course--floating over the geography like pretty spores. White-gowned, white-crowned, with passive purpose. Until the time comes to get weedy and tenacious.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

A crowd.

First attempt: handshake for skill.
Second attempt: pat on the head for industry and effort.
Third attempt: cautious retreat of one who sniffs madness in his own kind.

Quite the third piece done in triplicate this past month. My happy groove has wound itself into a yawning trench. Dotted with the ghosts of bloodless pens who signal each other in code and keep travelling the same sad arc of a reindeer's horn. They think there's a formula to be found, but the Queen's cold math doesn't yield much.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

"How long I have stayed!"

Never expect consolation from the nodding snow drop. Or take a turn with the curtseying hyacinth. The narcissus is subject to flattery and the tiger-lily is the great prevaricator. Though their petals may be bright, the daisies have long ago fallen to rot. The shining ranunculus will blind your eyes.

Grab the stalk and scar the hand and the rose will lead you to Lapland.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Won't take no.

Third attempt at corsetting Andersen's arctic into an appealing package. Unfortunately, Lapland has proved to be a mess of bulges--all hips and desiccated breasts. Still more pitiable is my conviction that there exists out there some correct formula.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Lady Liberty.

Glancing-eyed, banner weilding. Feet in the corn, head in the clouds.

Monday, July 07, 2008


I've put them through their courses over the last few weeks, but The Snow Queen was the ultimate proving ground. Don't know why I didn't begin with her--she's such an exacting ruler.
Nosing its way into the lead over a cast of stout Staedtler pigment liners--THE FOUNTAIN PEN.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


Taking time to get--

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

In violet light.

Where the spectrum ends. From the earth, to the earth.

Thursday, May 22, 2008 say?

More "doin" than "devil", but it's a work in progress. I'd really like to explore the realm of toy manufacture/marketing in an environment dealing with legitimate monster problems.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Have cradle, will rock.

I've had infants on the mind, what with the arrival of the vandebaby, so more Zeus.
There's the familiar legend of Amalthea, the she-goat who nursed Zeus (holding off on all Last Unicorn references), but there were two lesser-known attendants--completing the naiad triad of maiden/mother/crone. I forget their names, of course. The mythology places them all in a cave, but a tree also figures prominently, and because branches are easier than caves, here you have it. Plus, I like the idea of the little Thunderer dangling over all--a "zeus" ex machina, if you will--it works better, artistically.
Anyway, I think it's been proven that a god hanging from a tree is the lasting image.

Monday, May 12, 2008


The Curetes. Stationed under Zeus' crib (hung in the branches of a tree so Mad Pappy Cronus could find him neither in heaven nor on earth), they would clash their weapons and shout to mask the baby's cries, foiling the Search and Destroy. Thus the king-elect was weaned from his surrogate goatmam: amidst the clatter of acorns, spearpoints, and warcry lullabyes. Pretty badass.
Also the new (first?) ex libris for the Livingston household.

Friday, May 09, 2008


Early design for the Greenferners. Doing a couple more fer ther perusal.

Recently watched The Unbearable Lightness of Being (aka The Incredible Likeness of Bean --you can almost taste the green of those sprouts!). It was alright, I guess--dark and thought-ish. Had to turn it off midway because it had neither magic, superpowers, spaceships, or a makeover scene. Know your limits. Work within them.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


(With the littlest vdv in mind.)
Zeus came to the lovely Alkmene in the guise of her husband and made the night last three days--thus Hercules was conceived. Unwilling to sit spectator to the grooming of yet another of the Thunderer's lordly by-blows, Hera did what she does best--vowed vengeance. When the human queen went into labor, Hera and her Lovely Arms bade Eiliethyia go to the palace of Alkmene. Once there, the goddess of childbirth sat at the doorstep with her hands wrapped about her knees, preventing delivery. Only the quick thinking of the queen's handmaid Galinthias saved the day. She rushed out crying the birth of a boy, causing the goddess to unclasp her hands in surprise and allow the birth. Accordingly, the angry Eiliethyia rewarded the girl's wits by turning her into a weasel.*
*a creature that was thought to give birth to its young through the mouth.