Tag Archives: anniversary

A Collaborative Piece


Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!

Our family’s present to Mom and Dad for their 50th wedding anniversary (it was on Christmas, but I’m just getting around to posting it now because the last 2 weeks have been crazy).

For my parents’ 40th anniversary, my sister presented them with a quilt made up of a squares decorated by pretty much everyone they knew or were related to, interspersed with family photos. She just reminded me that the project actually took 5 years from start to finish. My sister-in-law had knitted a square that represented her being pregnant for the first time, but by the time my parents received the quilt, there were photos of my 2 nephews included.

So I had this idea that I wanted to do something like that—collaborative art, a group effort that would create something personally meaningful for my parents—but would not involve herding cats and would be completed in 6 months. I asked my sister for ideas, and this was the one she came up with. You just take a photograph, divide it into a grid, and assign each person 1 or more pieces. All the different art styles and media come together to create this cool gestalt art.

Amazingly, we managed get all the pieces completed and to the framers within the deadline (granted, The Man was still working on his an hour before I went to the framer) and nobody spoiled the surprise, even though a goodly portion of the people involved were small children.

This piece is based on a photograph I took of my parents in a local rose garden. The square I spend the most time on (the enlarged segment on the right side of the photo) is mostly fabric, but the hands are made of leather, and the zipper pull is a real one cut from a discarded pair of The Man’s jeans. I also did the blue sky piece that says “50.” That one is all tissue paper, using the same technique I do many of the little animal cards in: just torn paper and matte medium. I also did the flower bit, far left, second from the top, in crayon. My sister’s pieces are all gouache. Her husband did his part (third from the top, third from the left) all in wood and The Man did his (right side, second from top) in metal. Other materials include oil pastels, colored pencil, and acrylic. My brother-in-law facilitated the process by creating the individual black and white pieces for guidelines, and by cutting all the 6″x6″ squares so everything would fit together perfectly.

Nothing to Report

I have no new art to upload today; the new design isn’t quite finished yet. The last bits are the hardest. Basically what I have to share with you is this:

Time flies.

Time flies.

Yes, an entire year since I started this blog, although I was doing the art bit for a few months before that. In some ways the blog has superseded the art, but I’m trying to get away from that, probably by changing the blog schedule as soon as I figure out the new plan. The blog is still a useful tool for me, and I have 130 followers, 98% of whom are total strangers who liked my work well enough to follow me. Thanks for caring. Tell your friends.

Other than that, all I have is a hilarious article about The Savage Sword of Conan coming out Tuesday morning. For a long time I’d thought about writing something in the style of articles from Cracked or Buzzfeed, sarcastic and mocking but also loving and full of admiration. I love these books, which transport me to the sort of world I loved as a child, even though the adult me can’t help but unpack the insane messages it contains. The thing is, yes, Conan does something that’s worth joking about, but it does that thing incredibly well.

I could probably write another article from a feminist perspective and tell the story in a very different way, but maybe simply pointing out the ridiculous can be just as effective as dissecting and analyzing it.

One Hundred!

Happy 100 blog posts to me!



I’m curious about how the above image came to be, since it’s not at all what I intended to draw. In hindsight, the thing I was going to draw would work better as a Valentine, so I’ll just save it. Plus, I can reuse the cake image if/when I get to 100 Dragon Comics! Anyway, 100 blog posts. A couple hundred pieces of art. It’s something! Yes! It’s not nothing.

To celebrate this milestone accomplishment, here’s some more of what I do. We’ve got mandalas!


An early plant-based design.

An early plant-based design.

The first couple dozen mandalas I did in this series were drawn on the flip side of the crossword pages hubby used to print out every day, but we’re rapidly reaching the end of these. When I started to take the project a bit more seriously, I used fresh paper without an image bleeding through the other side.

Beautifully blue

Beautifully blue

As I’ve mentioned before, my “blue period” was about 30 years long. Usually, I make a conscious decision to not draw everything in blue. But sometimes it’s nice to get back to your roots.

And speaking of roots, here’s a lovely dragon for your pleasure.

Crustofer, a Microscopic Aquatic Dragon

Crustofer, a Microscopic Aquatic Dragon

I think I’m more pleased with Crustofer’s appellation than his image, although he’s a cute little dragon. I guess a microscopic aquatic dragon would be considered a cryptozooplankton?

There you have it. Dragons and mandalas. As always, if you think my work doesn’t completely suck, please consider shopping my store. Stickers and notecards are only a couple dollars, and while the clothes may run a couple bucks more than in other T-shirt shops, the money does go to support an artist. If you’d like a T-shirt featuring any work on this site that isn’t in the store, drop me a line and, if I can, I’ll get it onto a shirt for you. If you’d rather buy a book off Amazon, you could also support me by clicking any book link on my Amazon Affiliate book review site. You don’t have to buy that particular book; any book you buy after clicking one of my links will refer a small percentage back to me and I will be one step closer to my goal of making money more or less on my own terms. Otherwise, I will have to go back to copywriting, and believe me, no one wants that.