merimask: (Default)
( May. 4th, 2009 04:01 pm)
This is a test...I'm checking out the new Dreamwidth digs.  The toolbar looks familiar enough, which is a Really Good Thing since I'm a luddite and technology gives me a rash.

I don't know if this will crosspost back to my LJ account.  I don't know if all my new LJ entries will keep showing up here or if I'll have to import them too.  So much I don't know...

I do know one thing though.  It's sort of my cardinal rule; "If you can't be competent you should at least be entertaining".  So, here's a pretty picture.

That's one of my Persian masks, which I sold at my Etsy Shop a week or so ago.  I need to make more.

So!  Pictures work, links work...this is all Good News.

More coming soon, I'm sure.
merimask: (Default)
( Jan. 4th, 2008 08:13 am)

Anyway...I just want to thank everyone for being so sweet & calling/leaving messages for me yesterday.  I'm SO sorry if I made anyone worry.  I was honestly pretty scared & the pain was really bad...otherwise I wouldn't have made a fuss.  *hug*  You guys are too kind to me.

 Whew.  It's been a tumultuous fifty-two weeks.  Aside from 2001 (the year my Dad died & the towers fell) I can't remember a more dramatic year.

All in all, even though I've had some really serious disasters befall me (on a personal level), I feel like this year I handled myself pretty well.  I guess, if you live long enough, you'll run into difficulty sooner or later.  It's how you handle that difficulty that shows the strength of your character.  I feel like I don't have anything to be embarrassed about, in 2007.

But oh!!  I really hope 2008 will go a bit easier on me!!

merimask: (Default)
( May. 2nd, 2007 11:50 am)
Disclaimer:  I'm not showing off!  I'm...just sharing.    V___V

My house is full of art.  Only a very small portion of this is my own work.  I know artists who only hang their own work in their homes; I think that's so one-dimensional.  It's what you like that defines your taste, in my opinion.  Without tastes and influences and preferences, what kind of artist are you?

Anyway, here's a little of my eclectic collection.  

We'll start with one of mine.  I did this when I was eighteen.  Watercolor on cold-press D'Arches paper.  18 x 21.

I did not peak early...I rocked early.   This is what I was doing before I found leatherwork...a little of everything (except oils yuk!) but mostly watercolor.

That's not everything.  I'm trying not to make it look like an Applebee's in here, but I just keep finding new art for my walls!  To paraphrase Roy Scheider in "Jaws"; we're going to need a bigger house.

OMG I have to re-do this ENTIRE entry because I did something that angered the LJ gods and I lost the whole freaking thing just as I was finishing it...and I didn't copy or save it or anything.  Arrrrgh!  I hope you all know how much I love you...

So!  Anyway!  I've had a terribly busy weekend.  I decided to attend a very small local SCA event,  primarily so I'd have something to do on Saturday.  I was hoping to have a good time hanging out with friends (which I did) and maybe make a few bucks so I could do some much-needed Christmas shopping.  To my surprise, I ended up selling a lot of really nice stuff (among other things, the Amaterasu mask and one of my new ribbon masks).  I brought little low-cost things like pins and prints, that I figured would be good impulse gift purchases, and instead I was running cards all day for big ticket items...woo!

I was very pleased with myself, by the way, because I had the foresight to bring a cute little bento box full of sushi for my lunch.   I found out it's absolutely the perfect food item to have on hand during a bustling busy event.  If you get swamped with orders or customers and you have to pause, it's ok because it's supposed to be cold!  :-)  Also, it's compact, neat, and you can impress the hell out of folks with your mad chopstick skills.   Hee!  It turns out a lot of my friends are into sushi too (who knew?  Not me.), so now I have a number of pending lunch dates...and the only thing better than sushi is sushi with friends. 

So, y'know, color me happy.  :-) 

So now the tree is up and decorated, the lights are on the shrubs out front (little white net lights...very tasteful), and the flag has been changed from "fall leaves" to "winter snowflake".   It's beginning to look a lot like...well, you know.   ;-)

Gift art for [profile] shvetufae .
 Is it tacky to show off someone's gift art in your own journal first?  Hmm...  Not sure of the faux pas factor here, so, no offense intended. 

I think she turned out looking warm and breezy and summery (three things I wish I were right now, in fact!).    I left her offset because:  A... I just liked it that way and B... she'd make a great icon, and there's plenty of space for text there.  *hug*  Hope you like her, Shveta.  :-)  I sort of loosely based her on some pictures I saw of you...not that you have pointy ears or anythin' like that.

The other  Not so much.  I'm unhappy with it so I think I'll hang onto her and mess with her some more.  This is why I drew two...I figured one was bound to work.  How many artists employ backup fairies as part of their arsenal?  Not very freaking many, I bet.  *is a smart monkey*

So!  Everyone, keep an eye on the mail in the next couple of weeks.   I'm sending out the holiday swag soon and you're all on my list.   :-)   A little somethin' somethin' for everyone. 

Happy belated birthday, [profile] moko_moko!   Quick, go check out this girl's Okami art and tell her she is the reigning queen of fanart (and really, she's just an all-around great artist!  I'm in awe of her talent). 

It snowed, it snowed!  Not in a scary "cut off your electricity and ravage your trees" kind of way but in a "pretty white fluffy Christmas postcard" way.  Cool!  Though, it IS freaking cold out there (seven degrees with the wind chill...brr!) so I'm really not planning to romp in it or anything.   Kiba is loving it though.  If the wind would just quit, I'd take him for a long walk.

Pictures (from just before the snow flew) of my newest mask design:
Purple ribbon....
Blue ribbon!   I flipped the design to make 'em more interesting, because they were ordered as a pair of companion masks.   Special request for a custom design, to be sent to an NYC photographer who uses the masks on his models.  He likes to just give me vague ideas and then set me favorite kind of custom order!  :-)  *spoiled brat artist*  

Ribbons? )

Anyway, if you're a Stephen King fan, pick up "Lisey's Story".   You'll probably like it. 
Today is X-mas card day!  I have declared it so!  I'm getting these babies finished if it kills me!  Well...I'm going to get them started, anyway.  I find it's better to underestimate my ability to complete any major task.  That way, I can pleasantly surprise myself.  Or, at the very least, not disappoint myself by failing to reach my most modest goal.  What?!   It's called bargaining!   *not in the least defensive about wacky coping skills* 

Fairy art coming along nicely.   Pictures soon.  I'm in a "fairy" kinda mood, reason for it.  It's a "pretty girl with wings" thing and I'm feeling like I better work it out because otherwise it'll get distracting.  *shrug*     

merimask: (Default)
( Nov. 30th, 2006 06:39 am)
Dum dee dee...I'm online wasting time because my hands are KILLING me...just finished carving a new mask (brand new design) and it was a bitch on my hands.   So, break time!  I took new pics of some of my stuff.  Super high res so you know it'll stay crunchy in milk.

Wave Dragon Redux.

Boo!  I'm HUGE!!  

Dragons, dragons, and more dragons.

It was warm today but not that sunny...oh well.  I bet my brother can tweak these and brighten them up somehow...he's clever that way.

*sigh*  Back to work!  I know I had other stuff to yammer about but my head is fuzzy with all the ideas I've been getting lately.  At least I'm not having a hard time coming up with new designs. 
Oooh!  Before I forget, BIG thank you to [personal profile] moonphasedbecause she totally rocks and she made me the FUNNIEST icon!  Based on my Okami fanart and a comment she made in my LJ a week or so ago...I give you...the "poop" icon.
 It kills me every time.  :-)    Those of you who are playing Okami and have the "brown rage" move know what this icon's all about.  Death by wolf dookie!

EDIT:  Holy creeping crap...these pictures really ARE too dark, aren't they?  *scowl*  Un-freaking-believable.  I just took a new batch because the sun peeked out briefly...SO briefly.  This is why I need my suntanning booth in the winter months; you just never get any good happy daylight.

OMG these pics better be okay because I think my hair is starting to fall out over all this picture-induced angst.  Waaah!

By the way, anyone who wants to use the "poop" icon can...just give [personal profile] moonphased credit for making it.  You can give me a mention too (if you are feeling the love) for doing the Ammy artwork.  I'm not fooling's just a drawing of my Kiba with a little red makeup added.  :-)
merimask: (Default)
( Nov. 22nd, 2006 09:18 pm)
Here's how tired I am... I actually considered using this header:  "I  Just Flew In From San Francisco, and Boy Are My Arms Tired".  Is that horrible or what?!  I'm pretty sure the earth would have opened up and swallowed me whole in retribution if I'd actually gone with that.  In my defense I only considered it for a very short moment .  *tired but not completely addled*

Anyhoo!  Back from SF, which is a glorious place.  I'll expound later, when I have energy, time, and downloaded pictures.   Chinatown was fun, Japantown was fun, seeing the Golden Gate bridge was fun, Fisherman's wharf and Pier 39 was was all fun.    I met the adorable [profile] zipis1 and her roommate Griffin, and that was a hoot (those poor kids!), but again, more on all that later when I'm feeling chattier.  Red eye flights...*sigh*

Briefly though (SO briefly, in fact, that I'm going to cheat and lift all this from the IM convo I just had with [profile]'s THAT for lazy?), the lowdown on the Lahaina Gallery thing.    It was complicated because, hmmm...complicated.  It really IS who you know...y'know?   The gallery is an established traditional art gallery that specializes in REALLY established artists in the middle or ends of their careers..I'm too new plus I do "art object" fine art, so I'm all wrong for them.  BUT...He did look at my stuff, LOVED it, talked w me for an hour or more, and gave me contacts for a gallery that'd be just right for me.  I'm not discouraged because he really thinks my work is perfect RIGHT NOW for the art object galleries.  And high end too.  He said "Oh double that" when he asked about the price on the water dragon...AFTER I said 2,000.00.

So I know what to do he actually called the gallery OWNER of the biggest art object gallery in SF...while I was right there...and set up the call-back for me.  I just need to call this other guy in a week (he's on vacation).   I have a new contact name, new battle plan...all I need is a new portfolio (but I already knew that), because I sort of embarrassed myself with the old one (it sucks!).
  So, y'know...very promising.  I'm not giving up yet.    Welcome to my world.

And I'm out of energy, so, nap time again.   :-)
merimask: (Default)
( Nov. 16th, 2006 03:36 pm)
I haven't slept much this week and here's why...

Random sharing of personal case I die in a flaming ball of airplane doom tomorrow. 

Ahh...I KNOW I had more crap to babble about but I'm tired and I have a ton of stuff to do today.  Quick shout-out to [profile] rumdiculous, who'll be back online soon, I hope.  :-)     Damn, girl!  I miss our chats!
Okay, this has been KILLING me.  My brother gave me permission to post this picture.   Remember when I said he was in Belgium a few months ago, working on a super-secret project?  Here's who he was working with.

That's John, STING, and Franco Dragone.

Yeah, I was all HOLY CRAP NO WAY!   John e-mailed it to me with only the words "...pick out your brother in this picture."  He's funny like that.

As a child of the 80's, I find it incredibly wrong that my brother looks better than Sting.  It hurts me, some place deep inside where Duran Duran still rules my internal airwaves and the MTV rocket takes off over and over for eternity, and I look pretty in pink.

*bemused sigh*

Here is a link to my brother's website.  Funny thing #1:  My brother tends to draw his girlfriends/wives/significant others as "characters" and so he's gone through distinctive phases that I call his "Jesse period" or his "Janine period".  He's in a Kari period right now...that girl on the home page looks a lot like his current squeeze (she's awful cute).  'Cept, she doesn't have pink hair.  Or stripes.  Still though, you can chart his social life through his art.  I wonder if he knows he does that?  :-)

Here is what Wikipedia has to say about Franco Dragone.  He's a fascinating guy.  I haven't met him personally, but John's told me some great stories.  I made this mask for him (a gift that John commissioned) last year, and (this is why I've been thinking about John and Franco and stuff) I'm making a copy of it to show to the director of Lahaina Gallery in San Francisco next week.  My mom in law did the most amazing thing by getting me this interview, and I'm a tad (okay, a LOT) nervous about it.  Check out the link anyway and tell me what you think.   think this place could really carry my work because it has 3-d sculpture as well as traditional wall art, and a really funky eclectic style.  We'll see, we'll see.  *crossing fingers*

I'm working on a second "wow" mask...something in the same vein as the Dragone mask but ...impossible to describe, I'll just have to show you all when it's done.  Celestial theme (sun and moon) but heavily influenced by Art Nouveau and Japanese woodcuts.  See?  Hard to describe.

Busy busy.  My hands ache!  Totally blue-skying right now, but wouldn't it be incredibly awesome if I actually "made it"?  I've been so close SO many times...I can taste it.
Yay!  Back online via high speed cable.  Thank you Time warner dude for not charging us for dog damage.  It seems the squirrels DID have a go at the cable as well.  I know Kiba is a bit of an acrobat, but he certainly didn't chew the cable waaaay up on the pole where it connects to the main line.  Little gray bastards.  *mutter mutter*

Also, a big *hug* to [profile] rumdiculous...who is such a good friend (she's had computer problems and I miss her terribly!!), she sent me a beautiful watercolor painting (I have to scan it!!) and a jar of wonderful jam that I suspect she made sweet!  I had some on a bagel this morning and it was SO good.

Really, everyone on my f-list has been so generous to remember me on my birthday.  I'm at the age where I'm starting to resent the annual intrusion of reality into my youthful fantasy (seriously...I look in the mirror sometimes and think "Holy crap what is happening to my freaking EYES??"  Don't even get me started on my boobs.  They're going all "National Geographic" on me and it's heartbreaking.), but this year was so joyful and full of surprises.  You are all wonderful.  :-)

And!  I've been busy making stuff just for the sake of being busy making stuff.  Boredom is sometimes a great motivation.  I screwed up on a wolf that was supposed to be gray (I spilled blue dye on it...heh) so I just said "Hell, let's make a blue wolf!"  And so it was done.

I might put it on E-bay, just to see what people think.  I kind of like it!   I want to do a red one now.

It's freakishly warm and nice outside today.  October was such a monumentally CRAPPY month, weather-wise, that I hardly went out on my bike at all.  I think I'll go out today, even though the trees are bare and sad.  We were robbed of our normally beautiful Autumn, I tell you.  Robbed!

I had waaay too much fun making these.  Greg says they look like cel-shaded masks, which is exactly what I was going for.

Ammy!  Whee!  I wanted to capture the swirly brush-strokes in those wing patterns.  I know the game-version has a simpler face, but I just had to include those wing elements because they look SO cool.

See?  Fun fun.  :-)

Anyhoo, that's what I've been making for the last couple of days.

In other news; I know now without a shadow of doubt that I am old, because I am VERY excited about the new king-size bed we're supposed to get this weekend.  SO happy.  :-)  Though I've been warned that when you get the king size bed you quit snuggling with the significant other...I guess it's a common phenomenon.  All you get is a sprawly leg-touch and that's it.  More than one person has warned me about this.  I'm willing to lose the occasional snuggle in exchange for the ability to reclaim my territory.  Greg is a horrible pillow-stealing sprawler, so I'm thinkin' a little extra room won't hurt.  :-)

And (I'm afraid to announce it, in fear of jinxing the situation further) we should close on the house this Friday.  Finally.  I hope.  Thwarted in August by a sump inspection certificate, in September by a title search, and in October by a freak storm that shut down the entire region for two weeks.  Crap!   Guess we'll see.  If the entire state of New York suddenly implodes in a flaming ball of doom, you'll know it's just 'cause I was getting a little too close to actually closing on this house.

So wish me luck.   Next time I yap at you I should be a home owner.  Again.  Maybe.
merimask: (Default)
( Oct. 2nd, 2006 11:37 pm)

Wave Dragon.  Technically, Natsu no Nami (I think I got that right)...Summer Waves.  I'm very pleased with it.    I do not even know how many separate pieces I used.   I just kept making waves until everything fit together.

Here's the dragon...

...and a close view of the head.  I used pewter-dyed pearls for eyes.

This one was a ton of fun to do.  The waves were SO tricky to lay out but very rewarding overall.  The piece is HUGE and absolutely swirls.

In spite of being gun shy after my Koi plaque debacle, I decided to trust my instincts and really let go with this one.  I changed it a LOT from my original concept drawing, but I have to say that I feel like it's doing what I wanted it to do and then some.  The gold suede I used for the sky is absolutely the right choice.  I even like the asymmetry because it seems right that the waves have sloshed out over the border of the original circle.  You can't really tell from these pics, but the thing has a LOT of motion and some places it rises off the plaque a good 7 inches.   Viewed from the side it looks like a typhoon.  :-)  This is certainly the most ambitious piece I've ever made.

So!  Very happy tonight.  Glad to be done with this piece.  It's consumed me from the moment I did the first sketch.  I can't wait to bring this one to a show.
merimask: (Default)
( Sep. 28th, 2006 12:10 am)
Well, I finished my newest Asian dragon plaque and I'm quite pleased with it.

It's another commission piece, but I was given a lot of leeway by the client (a wonderful person who knows that letting me run with an idea often results in fun stuff).   He wanted an Asian dragon like my Cherry Blossom dragon, but with fall leaves instead.  I went a step further and did the sculpted branches too (which was the only part about the koi plaque that I liked).  I was SO careful sculpting and laying them out...I even did a mock-up before I started glueing, laying everything in its place and photographing it for reference.  All the caution paid off though...I feel like this one's doing what I wanted it to do.

I let myself go a little and added all kinds of fun embellishments to the face and spine.  I even found some lovely dyed golden pearls for the eyes, which I think totally work.

Fun fun!

In other news:  Steve Irwin's widow was interviewed by Barbara Walters tonight and I shouldn't have watched it  'cause she broke my heart.  :-(
Okay, I'm not going to bitch about the Catastrophic Koi Plaque Experiment of '06 anymore.  You were all wonderful and very sweet and supportive.  :-)

But I've learned something new.  No more fish plaques.   Unwilling to roll over and admit defeat, I did another plaque based on this drawing:

...and even though I really liked this drawing, and even though I copied this drawing as precisely as I could in every way...I'm still unhappy with the resulting plaque.  It just does not translate well into 3-d leather sculpture.

So, lesson learned.  Koi drawings = tons of fun.  Koi plaques = pain and failure.  No more fish.


Anyway I didn't shrink or anything.  Plus when I wiped off my bike I cleaned it too, (not by design, but of neccessity), so there's that.  Always tryin' to look on the bright side.  :-)

Speaking of bright sides, Greg bought us tickets to the Buffalo Sabres season opener in two weeks.  We'll be playing Montreal, which is another awesome hockey team, and won't that be fun!!!  Can't wait!   *bouncebounce*

*smooch*  You are all too, too much fun and at this point utterly intrinsic to my sanity as an artist.   
Okay, maybe I'm being harsh with myself but I'm just not happy with my newest creation.   In the interest of being honest, I have proof here that I don't always get it right.   Anatomy of a swing and a miss:

First I did this sketch, and it came easy and I really liked it.  

On a totally different note (*changing subject* ) I'm trying an experiment and listing some masks on E-bay.  Good time of year for it, and I thought it'd be good exposure to a wider market so...*shrug*.  I put up a black wolf, a gray wolfAnubis, and Bast.   Of course in my present mood I'm a bit trepidatious because I know people are often looking for bargains on E-bay and I'm NOT going to play that prices are my prices (though just 'tween us chickens I am setting my reserve below my usual asking price on my personal I suppose someone may see that as a bit of a bargain).   They've been up for a day and I have a number of bids on them already, so that's cool I guess.  At least people are looking at them.  Guess we'll see how it goes.

Keep your fingers crossed.  I know it's a little thing really, but to me it's just another thing that could potentially go wrong and I need a little success sometime soon.  It'd be nice.  :-)

Okay, so we have a new flatbed scanner now, and I'm not nuts about it but it gets the job done.  This is my newest dragon be translated into a 3-d wall sculpture at a later date.

I noticed at the Chinese Lantern Festival that all the dragons were depicted with pearls.  It seems the dragon pursuing the pearl is so ubiquitous to Chinese culture that you rarely see an artistic representation of a dragon without the pearl in there somewhere.  Even the dragon dance (involving about a dozen people and a dragon puppet on a series of poles) had the pearl in there as well...the dance was led by a guy carrying the "pearl" on a long pole.  I was struck by the pearl, because it was covered with designs and brightly colored.  So my dragon's pearl will be black with bright gold clouds all over it, all made of separate pieces.  I noticed at the festival that the dragons were really brightly colored too, so I though this one would look cool in blues and reds.  All basic primary colors; red, blue, and yellow.  I think it'll be neat when I'm done.  :-)

And in other news I just fired off a terse letter to, well...let's just say it's a huge company called  "Circus Of The Sun" and they're up in Canada.  Those freaking people...they're making me old.  I've been in contact with them for over three years now and I've yet to see a dime from them.  They just called me a few weeks ago, blew sunshine up my ass about how badly they need to buy this mask design from me, and then failed to call me back the next day with a response to my proposal.  *sigh*   Why I expected anything other than unprofessional behavior from these people, I'll never know.  They've been a thorn in my side from the moment they contacted me.

Anyway my letter was bitchy and full of words like "resolution" and "expedient closure " and "copyright infringement"...etc.  They can buy it or mail the damn thing this point I don't care.   I just want the whole thing to be over, already.  *fed up*

So to console myself, I think I'll spend the night drawing stuff.  :-)  That always cheers me up.

I think I need a majic talisman.  Nothing fancy, just something small I can wave at my problems.  Something I can fit in my pocket and hold when I'm havin' a rough day.  A shiny little coping mechanism that'll make me feel better.  I'm still not religious...I just need a little spiritual placebo in the form of some innocuous little bit of wood or stone that I can brandish from time to time.  Juju!  An interesting idea.  S'fun.

Thwarted! )

So, tonight I was bombarded by my TV with images from Sept 11, 2001.  Can't believe it's been five years.  

merimask: (Default)
( Aug. 24th, 2006 11:51 pm)
Oh wow...I am SO BORED!!   And I have a bunch of fun ideas but my leather shipment has yet to arrive.  So!  I've been doodling.  Hurray for pen, ink, asnd prismacolor pencils.  They are my little saviors.

Next!  As promised!  Fanart!

And that's all I've got for now!  That leather better get here soon or I'm going to start drawing all over the walls.  *grumblegrumble*