Phoenix nebula

So I thought I was going to have a book cover reveal this week. Yep, that’s not happening, Life has blown this week out of the water. I’m counting myself fortunate enough to be doing this post, thought it’ll probably be short unless I find myself with something suddenly to say or rattling on like this sentence is. Yeah, I go off like that sometimes. *grin*

I thought I’d show you one of the paintings I finished last week. I do wish I had more work in progress pictures of it, but I wasn’t certain about this painting. It probably really hit rock bottom when I had just started it and my youngest son walked by and said, “So, Mom, what’s up with the eclipse and the alligator.”

Eclipse and alligator? Well he wasn’t wrong. Here’s sort of what he was seeing:

You see the “eclipse” at the top of the painting and the alligator at the bottom left. I do believe this is actually after he had made his comment and I had started a second coat, getting rid of the alligator’s open jaws so much. You can still see the two parts sticking out that originally made it’s mouth. Yep, can’t get much worse from there.

I wish I’d remembered to take a picture of the first layer when I started, but I really did feel like I’d messed it up right from the get-go. Then the eclipse and alligator really made me question it. But I had this burr that I really wanted to work with, to try this, to see what would happen. So I continued. That’s when I ended up with the picture above, and then this.

This is after a few more layers and some stars added. I was tempted to go with the angel look here, but I decided to hold to the idea I really wanted.

More layers, added so black back to it, and more stars. This is the finished piece.

I really want to do this, or something like this, on a larger canvas. I am having so much fun with these space nebulae. I’m learning something new with each one. It’s definitely been an interesting journey. I never thought I’d be creating these as beautiful as they are. My first attempts at nebulae were so awful. I’m glad the urge to continue attempting to paint these never abandoned me.

Onward! Let us continue our explorations!

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It was a date, remember?

So on yesterday’s blog, I showed some pictures of a space painting I’d been working on in 2018 and thought I had done.

But then, as any good tale would have, conflict struck.

I painted another picture that made it look like garbage. Well, what’s an artist supposed to do?

I’d say that the correct answer is not to pull is back up on the easel and keep working on it, but I know that’s exactly what a lot of painters do. But I do understand the need to let something hang for a bit so you can look at it just to let your mind mull it over.

So let’s talk about this painting.

I started this painting the same night that I started the other two paintings, but I was way too embarrassed to show it. I honestly thought I’d be painting over it. I mean, what do you do when you have a mess like this to start off with? So I let it sit with some creative procrastination for a while. I figured if I didn’t look at it, I wouldn’t think about how badly I would feel at having to paint it over because it was a horrible start. However, I had some ideas I wanted to experiment with, so I decided I’d play and see what happened. I figured it was only a 8″x10″ flat panel canvas, so who cared if I messed it up so badly that I ended up breaking it in half over my knee like a ninja master? If nothing else, I would learn something.

But I sure as heck wouldn’t advertise my intent to fail.

Nope.

I took a picture for me to document my learning process and didn’t show it to anyone.

Then, on January 1st, I decided it was time to pull out the painting and play with it. How better to get a start at painting for the new year than to learn if I could or couldn’t pull this painting out of the fire.

This was the next layer. Honestly, by now I was a little wowed by the hole thing. It was so simple, and yet so pretty. Just brushstrokes.

Look at the depth now starting to come into this piece. There was a part of me that wanted to stop right here.

But, I’m a fool and I pressed on.

Here it is finished:

Yes, there are parts of this I wish I’d been able to express some self-control on, but I do wish the picture did it justice too. I’m happy with the lessons it taught me and and that I managed to save a painting I wasn’t sure would work out.

So, for hoots and giggles, let’s look at the “finished” painting from yesterday compared to this on:

I hope you see what I mean when I said it nearly made me want to cry. The “finished” painting seemed so clumsy and blockish compared to the smooth grace of the new one.

Now let’s see them both together after that 1st one had the reworking:

What a dramatic improvement, don’t you think?

I wonder what will get cooked up this weekend on my easel. Just after I continue working on my edits for Tangled Magic.

Space – a continuing mission

I’m still continuing to work on the space paintings. Here’s my next step in their progress.

This one is the cloudy nebula.

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Trying to get a second layer on there without killing the first. The paints are still wet in this photo, so I’m certain they are much brighter than they will be when they dry. It really is scary to see how dark it gets. Its like I walk away from it, and then when I come back it’s so much darker and I feel like I’ve lost all the light. I begin to wonder if I will be able to pull any of it back in.

Here’s the next stage of another painting:

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Space painting – WIP

I mentioned in a couple of my progress blogs that I’d been painting. I have been experimenting recently with space nebulae.

Had to teach myself the valuable lesson of having fun once again a couple nights ago during my painting session. I was trying so hard not to mess up a painting I was working on, even though it was study painting and I should have been exploring concepts rather than trying to do a “masterpiece.” So guess what happened?

Yep, I messed it up. I was so not happy with it. I decided to play around with the mess I had on my canvas.

Wow! Rather than pulling my paint with the brush over the canvas, I started to push it. Because I had such a mess, I was getting incredible results. Well, I thought they were. Here’s what resulted:

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While waiting for this one to dry, I started a new canvas and I just let this playful state I’d reached have at it. Here’s it’s result:

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Progress – October 22, 2018

Four hours of yard work on Saturday has left me sore and achy. I didn’t even get up Sunday morning to record audio as I usually do. I was hard to get my words in Saturday night, but I did. I should have listened to the little voice that said I should have gotten my words done in the morning before tackling the pine needles in the back yard. Whoever thought to put a Ponderosa pine in a residential neighborhood was an idiot. The tree was planted years before I moved in. Now it’s a behemoth.

Other than that, I’ve been trying to get back into routine this week from Adrian’s play last week. My maniac drive to get audio done seems to have subsided for the moment, giving way to my need for sleep.

The only thing I can really claim that I’ve accomplished this last week, other than my daily word count and my daily Inktober posts on Instagram, is that I’m nearly done with the full plot outline for Tangled Magic and Walk the Path. I’m so glad that I’m building this because I’ve found some spots where I can move things around if necessary as well as a few holes from the mess of writing I was doing posting it as Onesong here on my blog. These two books are so going through two readers — one for continuity and the other for proofreading — before they see the light of day. I hope the two readers I have for this are ready.

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This just in – Salt Lake Gaming Con

Hello, fellow adventurers!

Pop goes the show!

What’s that all about, you ask. Well, I was reserving July 6th and 7th on my calendar because the weekend after the 4th of July is typically held open for a show I like to participate in. Guess that doesn’t count when the 4th is so close to the weekend. Maybe I’m just a little off since I didn’t do the show last year – remember the little voice telling me that I couldn’t do any shows until September (and then the reason why I kept getting that feeling).

Anyway, so I had this date all cleared. Then I get my application and it is for the same date that Wizard World Boise is going on (that’s July 13th-15th in Boise, Idaho). Unfortunately, I still haven’t learned how to be in two places at once. I am glad, however, that I read and thought about the dates on the application before filling it out and sending it in. 

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Progress – June 25, 2018

Hail, fellow adventurers.

I don’t know about you, but last week was a bushwhacking week. Some incredible high points (so lows too, but balance in all things, right?) Whew!

Let’s see… I got my print copy of Eggs at Play. That was fun.

Some people have also already noticed that the next Loki novella, 1-800-IceBaby is up for pre-order. It will officially be available August 28th. Spread the word!

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Cover and layout copyright ©2018 by Morning Sky Studios
Cover design by Dawn Blair/Morning Sky Studios
Cover art copyright © Ileana – Marcela Bosogea – Tudor | Dreamstime.com, © Maglara | Dreamstime.com, © Phive2015 | Dreamstime.com

PS. That word is “mischief.”

(insert Loki’s laughter here)

Yeah, he’s a bit excited too. 

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