Surprise Art!

Sneak attack!

I have a surprise post over at the Waterworld Mermaids today — Kerri Mermaid wasn’t feeling well, so I jumped in the pond to debut some NEW ART that I worked on last week.

That’s right! I said NEW ART. BY ME!

But you have to click here to see it.

(And you better tell me how awesome it is.)


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Wishes *Do* Come True!

I have always admired artists with a sort of fangirl squee appreciation. I’ve had boyfriends and best friends who were artists. I have a wish list of artists I’d love to have design my book covers…and some have! I can stare at paintings for HOURS. Everyone who brings me to art museums eventually regrets it. (I’m SO GLAD I went to the Tate Britain BY MYSELF.) I adore these people because they possess a coveted skill that I do not.

At least, I never thought I did.

Sure, I’m passable at Pictionary, and I’ve done a few really awesome fluke things (like the header on this website). But I’ve always wanted to be one of those kids who sat down and sketched out a picture in ten minutes.

I was kicking back old school (literally) at the afterschool program this week, and some of the girls had a bit of an art club and were drawing manga. Now, I’ve never drawn manga in my life. Sure, I traced Betty & Veronica back in the day, but I didn’t have Sailor Moon and friends to get all excited about. Sure, I said to myself (and them) I miss art. This would be fun!

So I drew these:


Yes, I drew them from a picture in a book, but I did not trace them. I showed them to my new middle school girlfriends just like I would have back then, as if I had discovered a newly-acquired magic power. Because WOW, these are awesome! (I mean, for me.)

The little girl inside me is all happy, as if a fairy granted a wish I made twenty years ago.

But lo, I cannot do art right now BECAUSE I NEED TO FINISH THIS NOVEL. You are all allowed to commence with the butt-kicking. xox

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Happy Baby Oops Day!

Today is the official release day of the supercute mini edition of AlphaOops: H is for Halloween, affectionately referred around the house as “Baby Oops.” HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BABY OOPS!

If you aren’t familiar with AlphaOops: H is for Halloween, artist Bob Kolar posted a few of the gorgeous gigantic spreads from the book you can go check out. There’s one set here, and another set here. I love all the imps and monsters. Heck, I love everything about this book.

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A Match Made in Heaven

I’ve been neck-deep in novel edits these past few weeks, so I missed the day that Comic Buzz posted about Marvel’s new Emma comic, debuting on 3/2/11.

Marvel is pleased to present your first look at Emma #1 from New York Times best-selling writer Nancy Butler (Sense & Sensibility) and rising star artist Janet K. Lee (Return of the Dapper Men)! This March, delve into the world of nineteenth century courtship courtesy of a Rita Award-winning author and the illustrator whose work calls “truly breathtaking.” Local matchmaker Emma Woodhouse can make anyone the perfect pair – provided she can stop the men folk from falling for her first! Find out how one upstanding young woman comes to find herself stuck in a love triangle as big as an English village, only in Emma #1!

I made a screen shot of one of the images to give you a feel for what’s in store..I think .Janet’s gorgeous artwork totally complements the book and gives a great feel for Austen’s work. I will absolutely be in the comic shop that day to pick up issue number one. I’m glad I don’t have to wait much longer!

Click through to see more luscious artwork from Emma #1:

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Lots of errands to run today. Strategic hits, all of them…it’s kind of amazing how much we got done. SEARCH AND DESTROY, BABY.

Now, I am organizing art supplies. And then I will work on my novel. Maybe not necessarily in that order…but both need to be done.I am SO behind on NaNo…but I am so not worried, because I know I will do the work.

How’s your weekend shaping up?

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Return of The Ladies

Back in December, right after Christmas, my little sister sat me down with a paintbrush and a piece of gessoed masonite and said, “Paint me one of your ladies.” It was a lot of fun, and reminded me of something I should be doing…that I *haven’t* been doing. Not because I haven’t wanted to or needed to or had the time to, I just haven’t been focussed where the art is concerned.

The awesome thing about that, is that IT’S ART. You’re welcome to play around and do whatever you want to get your ya-yas out. Doing so is a lot of fun. Having a venue to show them off (like my artist’s table at Mo*Con — you’re going, right?) is a fabulous motivation. And having your friends all around you saying, “Hey, can I do art too?” is just wonderful. Because we all know: Magic is much better when shared.

This week I got a bazillion fun pieces done for Mo*Con, and I wrote my reviews for IGMS, and I showered (a few times) and packed and got everything pretty much cleaned up and ready to go. Which meant that last night was a freebie. Last night wasn’t work, it was just for me. I could play around and goof off and have the freedom to screw up and take as much time as I wanted doing so.

So I did what my sister asked me to do (and has still been asking me: “Lee, you should just do some! They don’t take that long!”) four months ago. I painted some Ladies. I finished them up, and will be proud to display them at my table. Hooray!!

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The Art of Screwing Up

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.
~Scott Adams

I screwed up one of the pieces I was doing yesterday. I had originally achieved the affect when prepping a rainbow-colored butterfly on a scrap piece of paper, and Gypsy and I both loved how it looked. My goal was to recreate that same butterfly above a sea of little black butterflies. The black butterflies came out great. The rainbow butterfly looked like trash. I tried to fix it. It looked worse. I wasn’t pleased, and said as much.

“You would just tell me that’s art,” said Gypsy.

She’s right — she’s been out in the garage tinkering along with me for the past two nights. Every time she complained about something being crooked or not the way she imagined it to be, my response was always, “That’s art!” and an encouragement to keep at it. The Hippie made a great analogy for her — one that a fellow writer would understand. Just as the written word is the tool you use to tell the story in your head, the pens and brushes and glue and glitter are the things you use to translate what you’ve got in your head. At first it’s rarely (if ever) the same thing. You just have to work at it. Just like writing. Gypsy frowned at us, but she kept at it, and I was glad to have the company.

But I was not happy about this piece, and I wanted to do something about it before that globulous layer of crap dried forever. I had seen some words on another piece of scrapbook paper, and I ferreted them out. “There lived a beautiful princess,” the words said, and I grabbed my scissors to cut them out. It seemed a bit tougher than usual, and when I snipped the last corner of the strip I realized why — it had been stuck to the page behind it. I had snipped the exact same similar strip out of the page behind it, a dark wine-colored print.

“Hmm,” my brain thought, and as I clipped the words into pieces, so did I clip the strip of wine-colored paper.I wiped off the offending glitter and pasted my new pieces right over it. I was so happy with the result I immediately did two more pieces in a similar vein.

“Look,” I said to Gypsy, showing off the finished piece. “That’s art.”

She stuck her tongue out at me.

For the rest of the gallery of artwork I’ve completed this month, click here and just arrow forward. I’m adding new pieces every day until Mo*Con! (And then I’ll remind myself how to do that Etsy shop…)

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More Arty Goodness

Yes, folks, Mo*Con is this weekend — are you coming? Don’t forget, we’re launching Dark Faith and there’s going to be a massive signing with lots of authors.

I’ll also have an artist’s table (which is starting to become something of a tradition for me at Mo*Con), with lots of lovely, affordable art that I’ve been working like gangbusters on all week.

Here are the newest pieces I finished yesterday — I’m really, really happy with all of them. There’s just something about collage that soothes me. Maybe it’s the glue.

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Art So Far

The third one is my favorite so far. I love the colors, and how the butterfly stamps contrast without distracting. The story/poem on it says:

“Darkest quickly comes the night and hardest brighty burns the light. One and two for counting crows, red and blue for rain’s arced bows. Tried and true and just pretend comes fast the love that never ends.”

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The Butterflies In My Stomach Were Blue That Night

Once at Mo*Con, I drew millions of stars to keep from bursting into church giggles (my cohorts know who they are). So when five minutes drags on into an hour and there’s no shutting the brain up, there’s only one solution: Butterflies.

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