Saturday, March 31, 2012

Return of the Spring

Feeling very Springy lately! Not only has my favorite season returned in its full glory, but I have a new, old 1940's watch (from the Fleam) that requires winding, & it's making me think at least once a day about clockworks & their intricate springy beauty.

And besides, I'll take any excuse to draw curlicues & tendrils! How convenient that I'm working on the flora in my painting right now... this is one of many oddflower designs, more to come soon!

Photoshop with background illo added from Scientific American Handy Book of Facts and Formulae, 1918.

Thursday, March 29, 2012


A scratchy little critter from the painting...


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Swamp Thing

This creature has migrated from the pristine lake it normally inhabits (in the painting I'm working on), to explore these mysterious & murky waters. It seems to have adapted fairly well!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

X is for Xing Tian

This week's entry for AlphaBeasts! is a Chinese character called Xing Tian, a menacing headless giant with eyes in place of nipples & a mouth where his navel ought to be. He runs around like a giant with its head cut off, wielding a deadly battle ax (also a shield, not included).

Admittedly I took some liberties adding the nose & adjusting the mouth... but that's just the kind of NEW MEN I build! Do YOU want to be one? Give me 7 days... I'll see what I can do. ;-)

Acrylic (with a bit of Photoshopic trickery) on an ad scanned from True Detective magazine, March 1939, ~3.5"x8"

Friday, March 23, 2012

Oddments on Hi-Fructose Blog!

I'm very excited to be featured today on the Hi-Fructose blog, with several images and an interview by Nathan Spoor! Thanks, Nathan & Hi-Fructose!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Mr. Ghostflower

As I was sketching out some flora for my painting (working in Photoshop), I flipped a flower & it made me think of a starry-eyed, mustachioed face, so I decided to add nose & lip forms just for the fun of it.


p.s. I almost forgot-- this started out as an experiment in shades of ivory, prompted by IF. Much as I adore color, I've always been fascinated by the ivory carvingsgrisaille work on altarpieces, &c. As with black & white photographs, there is a certain special clarity and depth about them. (I was thinking of these pieces when I did my Flea Circus painting too.)

Monday, March 19, 2012

W is for Wanyūdō

This week's entry for AlphaBeasts! is Wanyūdō, a yokai that takes the shape of a flaming wheel bearing an anguished, disembodied face. If you come too close, it's likely to steal your soul & roll it back to Hell. I think the kids in the background are probably wise to keep their distance, but hey, I guess it is "some tire"!

Acrylic on ad scanned from St. Nicholas Magazine, August 1920, ~6.5"x9"

edit: Joey Weiser sent me a fabulous YouTube clip of Gegege noKitaro featuring Wanyūdō!

edit #2: EC Steiner (a.k.a. King Unicorn) sent another Wanyūdō cameo, this time from The Great Yokai War! (The big wheel makes his appearance around 1:33.)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Where's O'Wald?

My sister has the amazing ability to glance down at a field of clover & almost instantly pick out a four-leafer. I've always wondered how she does it. Do they wave to her or something?

So in honor of Sarah, & St. Patrick of course, here's a crowd of ordinary shamrocks with one resident oddment waiting to be discovered.


Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Thursday, March 15, 2012


It's seed-starting season! (At least it is here in NC, USA.)

Growing things from seed still seems magical to me after all these years. It's weird and wonderful that such modest little bits of not-much can yield such spectacularly vibrant life forms.

This one hasn't popped up in my garden yet, but you never know when it might volunteer! In the meantime it will grow in the painting...

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Just a quickie today-- I was doodling with my flexible crowquill (Hunt 108) & this fellow flew out. I thought he belonged on my trusty Winsor & Newton Indian Drawing Ink bottle (fond though I am of the original Michael Peters spider, which you can just make out on my drawing table post).

Sunday, March 11, 2012

V is for Vanpaia

I took a few liberties with this week's AlphaBeasts! entry.  Japanese legends did not include a vampire in the Dracula model, & the word vanpaia certainly sounds like a modern coinage. More traditional was the Nukekubi, a creature who looks like a normal human, but whose head can detach at the neck & fly around at night attacking folks (somewhat related to the Rokurokubi). I mixed the genres a bit with this one... so sue me!

Acrylic on ad scanned from Sears Roebuck catalog of 1897 "I'm Dr. Barker & I vant to build your bloooooood!!" with some PS, ~4"x5"

Friday, March 9, 2012


Another character for the painting.

I think it's time to go do some yoga!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Break Time

I'm sure this oddment intends to resume his duties (whatever they may be) in no time.

Photoshop character for the painting I'm working on.

Monday, March 5, 2012

U is for Ushi-oni

This week's entry for AlphaBeasts! is Ushi-oni, a sea-dwelling, ox-headed menace.

I don't usually leave this much empty border around a piece, but I just couldn't bring myself to tear off the words "curiously illustrated" on the bottom.

Not really too pleased with the visual effect. That will teach me to indulge my verbal obsessions. Ah well!

Acrylic on text & illustration from St. Nicholas Magazine, August 1920.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Drawing Table

Sorry, I'm still a bit behind. I'll post an AlphaBeast tomorrow. In the meantime, I finally took a few pictures of my studio. This is my drawing table set-up. Yes, pretty much everything in my studio is this jam-packed.

Now you know why I felt strangely at home when I saw the studio of Henry Darger.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Best Intentions...

Yes, I should have posted this on the 1st, but when there are two odd days in a row, it throws off my rhythm. I intend to get back on the beat tomorrow!

This fellow was originally intended for the painting I'm working on (yes, still!) but the client was never too fond of him so he has wriggled over here instead. He is a true oddment in the "leftover bits & pieces" sense!


I also intend to post a less tenuous interpretation of the IF theme later this week. :-)