Zazzle is running a big 50%-off card sale that ends today (Saturday 10 December 2022)! The coupon code is SHOPXMAS2022
I only have one card for sale there at the moment, Magic Flute, but quite a few mugs including Involute, below. More direct mug links in my shop, & please do let me know if there’s another design you’d love to see on a mug!
Our final act for this year’s concert of words is Tatterdemalion. I’ve often used this word to describe myself, as I detest shopping, & will wear favorite garments to tatters.
When I was sketching ideas, I first thought of Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Little Match Girl,” but the idea of painting her just made me too sad, so I decided to portray a busker of the Victorian era. His sheet music is Gilbert & Sullivan’s “A Wand’ring Minstrel, I” (“…a thing of shreds & patches, of ballads, songs & snatches…”). Oh, & why is he an otter? Just because I love painting anthropomorphic animals & the name Otterdemalion popped into my head!
I painted him in warm colors, but given the subject matter I thought it would be interesting to offer a print in the sepia-toned series I call “Tinctures.”
Today’s illustration of Rutilant was one of the many times when my fingers come up with an idea before my brain does. As I was doodling R shapes in my sketchbook, one of them reminded me of an old-school flip hairstyle. And what could be more rutilant than a redhead?
At first my sketches centered on the face, but then I thought it would be funnier if the hair were floor-length. A little distortion of proportion has never bothered me, so I went for it! And the long red hair made me think of Rossetti, so I added a pomegranate & green gown as a nod to this painting.
In keeping with the red, gold & gleaming theme, a pair of ruby slippers & a golden hair ribbon were my last additions. It didn’t even occur to me until mid-painting that the color scheme is very Christmasy!
Today’s word, Pelagic, like last year’s Lentic, is a scientific term describing a water ecosystem, in this case the open sea. Researching various inhabitants of the zone, I was drawn in by the giant squid– not as scary as that sounds! Aside from this squid’s many fascinating qualities, its tentacles can conveniently be arranged to read as a Curiotype P.
Dangerously near pelagic in the dictionary lurks plastic. That coincidence reminded me of a painting commission I did a few years ago, to illustrate the word Obfuscation: an octopus emitting ink, & surrounded by a gyre of floating plastic. Plastic pollution in the ocean is a serious problem, & I decided to make this painting a companion piece of sorts.
This painting, & prints of the others referenced, are available in my Etsy shop, CuriousArtLab.
For our second word, Nidus, my first few thoughts took a very dark direction, but I decided to go a little lighter, mainly because I wanted to cheer myself up! Painting imaginary critters always takes me to a happy place, & these little hatchlings did the job. I doubt they’ll be this creepy-cute when they grow up, but I suspect we’ll be glad they’re on our side!
Life has been a bit chaotic around here this year, but now that it’s time for my week with Anu Garg’s A.Word.A.Day, things are looking up!
Our first word, Cherubic, had me thinking literally for a while & getting nowhere, but when it occurred to me that a rather devilish kitty could also be a little angel, all the chaos came together.
And isn’t that the way life is? Things fall apart, then reassemble in new ways. Years can be brutal yet beautiful– full of new challenges, but also happy accidents & comforting constants. Oh 2022, I guess I’ll forgive you for all the mayhem & mischief you caused! I know you didn’t do it on purpose!