We have winners!

It is finally the day. The day we find out which lucky folks get to take home copies of the talented Bethalynne Bajema's art books Sepia and Gloomy Sunday. Excited? Why yes I am. These are some seriously fantastic prizes!

 Random winner #1 is.....

Congratulations, Hilary! You have won a copy of Sepia

Random winner #2
Andres Casciani from AndresCasciani.blogspot.com

Congratulations, Andrés! You are the lucky winner of Gloomy Sunday

Winners, I will contact you with details for claiming your fantastic prizes. Many thanks to all who left a comment and entered these drawings. 

And a hearty thank you to Bethalynne for providing such fabulous prizes! If you'd like to find out more about this incredible artist check out some of these links:


Random tunes & doodles

Ripe Fruit ACEO

I hadn't put pencil to paper in a while, so last night it was time to let my mind wander over some scraps. I set Itunes to shuffle & had fun scribbling. 

Here are some little 2.5" x 3.5" pieces and the songs that were playing at the time.

woman & fruit ACEO

If anything catches your eye, they are now in my ArtSnark etsy shop ($4 each + free shipping). Just click the captions for more info.

the psychic ACEO

Remember Crash Test Dummies? Man - I loved their 2nd album back in the day. Brings back some memories.....

bird girl ACEO

And this last less-than-lovely lady is just cuz I like zombies. Although I did have the phrase "Don't worry. I will never leave you" creeping around in my noggin.
Ghoul Girl ACEO

Well, that's all I've got for tonight. Still redoing the workspace so I need to go organize lots o' glue - woohoo! Actually I have a bit of a thing for adhesives and have  been looking forward to this. Weird I know. But, that is mixed media for you. Hope you all have a creative day!


Musical Monday - Jude

Listening to Jude tonight

Felt like sketching so doodling up some ACEOs.

Off to scribble some more. Wishing you a creative week!

If you are looking for new tunes or want to share your own, visit RunDMT & Bloggin' with Amanda.

If you haven't yet entered Thursday's random drawings for Bethalynne Bejema's super cool art books, leave a comment before 1 a.m. (EST) 4/28 to get your name in the hat. Click here for details & a chat with this talented artist.



We have 2 New Winners!!!

I've been a bit scarce this week on all fronts. Got the bright idea to seriously tuck into the pigsty studio and control some chaos this week. Sheesh - what was I thinking?! I seem to be making more mess than headway.... c'est la vie.

So thanks for your patience (these random drawings were supposed to go off yesterday). Now, let's get to it!

blank book, notecards & decor/growing book

The winner of the floral themed destash giveaway is....  Denice (Inkstitch) !

Indigene will have her doodle or name included on the graffiti wall found on the last page of  graphic novel #1 in the Black Ibis series. 

The Black Ibis, Book 1 by Bethalynn Bejema

The talented writer/artist Bethalynne Bejema raised the funds to print Book #1 using Kickstarter.com. You can find out more on her kickstarter page or in this interview from 4/14.

Winners, I will contact you with details for claiming your prizes.  Thank you everyone who took the time to leave a comment over the last couple of weeks.

Looking for another chance to win? Leave a comment before 1 am (EST) next Thursday (4/28) to enter another great giveaway from Betyhalynne Bejema. Two random folks will be selected to take home copies of the artist's previous publications. 

One lucky winner gets a copy of Sepia 

and the other fortunate soul will receive Gloomy Sunday, a book of dark pinups. You can find out more about both of these prizes by clicking the links or checking out the interview post (which also happens to be ripe with eye-candy).


Random Drawings delayed until tomorrow

I am so sorry. The day got away from me.

I will draw the 2 random winners tomorrow.

Again, my apologies. Thanks for your patience


Musical Monday - Frenchie and the Punk

A little toe tapper to get you moving this week from Frenchie & the Punk (formerly the Gypsy Nomads)

The ongoing studio clean out continues. Sheesh.... mixed media.... I never had this much stuff when I only worked in pencil.

Green eyes (cropped)

On the plus side, I'm finding all kinds of things that I need to list on Etsy. First up is this digital alteration. Glossy print measures about 6" x 8" and is already mounted in an acid free 11" x 14" mat. Mat fits a standard off the shelf frame. For more info click on any of the image captions.

Green Eyed Girl with mat from ArtSnark.etsy.com

This digitally altered print is based on a polaroid emulsion transfer

Blue Eyes Polaroid Transfer with mat from Artsnark.etsy.com

 of a life size drawing.

charcoal & lithochrome nude - sold

Talk about recycled art - haha

And now I have to get back to the mess. If you are looking for more musical memes, pop over to RunDMT or Bloggin' with Amanda. Sharing? Be sure to add links over there to your own tunes.

Oh - almost forgot to mention all the cool giveaways I am hosting this month.  A comment gets your name in the hat. Click links for details & prize photos:

On 4/21 one lucky winner takes home floral themed bits & pieces: 1 blank journal, 1 decor & flower growing book, and 1 set of notecards.

Also on 4/21 a random fortunate sort will be selected to have their doodle or name included on the graffiti wall back page of a new graphic novel, Book #1 in The Black Ibis series

So leave a comment and you might win something. It is that easy to enter.

Okay, I am really out of here this time. Hope you are all off to a fantastic week!


IF - Journey

Work in progress - digital manip. 

“Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.” ~Greg Anderson

I am such an art-addict. Each Friday I eagerly open my email (usually over coffee while still in p.j.s) to check out the new IllustrationFriday.com prompt. Then I pray to have some free time!

Loving this week's challenge,"journey", and the quote that came with it.

I recently finished a fabulous online workshop, Photomainpulations 3, with the always brilliant Susan Tuttle (I absolutely love her  blog, Ilka's Attic) and have been looking forward to playing with a few of the things I learned.

There are a few things I still need to tweak, including some subtle faux hand coloring which is a little too subtle. And some more blending/ shading.  I'm trying to show motion but wanted her face to be clear. This has been fun to play with... But I have to run & don't know if I'll get to work on it again for a few days - so best to post as is. By the way click on the image for a larger view.

Stock used is from these generous & talented deviant-art stock photographers:

If you are inspired by the thought of a journey, I hope you add your creation to  IllustrationFriday.com. You have all week to play along. Or just stop by & see what other folks have made.

And if you want to see some amazing figurative/fantasy art, click here. It'll take you to yesterday's interview with the insanely talented Bethalynne Bejema. You can also read about the 3 awesome prizes I'll be giving to random blog commenters for her


Enter 3 artbook giveaways + a visit with Bethalynne Bejema of EttaDiem

Saturnine by Bethlynne Bajema
I have a bad case of it. How about you? 

Quill by Bethlynne Bajema

I firmly believe I am supposed to be wealthy someday ...... so that I can support talented artists whose work needs to get "out there". It is truly mind blowing just how many undiscovered underfunded creative people there are in this big big world. These are folks who need to be creating full time, not worrying about mundane stuff... okay,okay .... rant over. Thankfully our featured artist, Bethlynne Bajema should arrived any minute to pull me off my soap box.

This talented artist is one half of the genius that is Etta Diem, my absolute favorite Steampunk-illo shop on Etsy. Bethalynne and the equally brilliant Myke Amend share a world where "All items are 75% guaranteed to not devour you in your sleep (restrictions apply)" 

Cthulu meets Hidden City by Bethlynne Bajema

Airships, monsters and dark mysterious ladies....What's not to love?

A sneak peek at The Black Ibis by Bethalynne Bejema
Bethalynne recently launched a fundraising effort to finance her graphic novel series, The Black Ibis. So what is The Black Ibis? I'll step aside and let the artist explain.

BB: The Black Ibis is a graphic novel told in nine books. Each book takes you a little deeper into a dark fairy tale that is based upon my own love of the idea that there exists a world beneath the world. This idea that sometimes a door is not just a mundane door but an entrance to someplace we reserve for our dreams. 

The story, at its heart, is a simple one. It revolves around one sister trying to find her sister who has become lost. She must follow the same path her sister has set out on, going a little farther into this underground world of dark cabarets and strange theaters as she attempts to catch up to her sister ... who is falling faster down this path in her desire to finally find a performer known as the Black Ibis. The story is absurd at times, illustrated in my particular style and filled with my legion of wonky characters and enigmatic performers. Two tarot decks accompany the story, the Sepia Stains tarot and the Black Ibis tarot, which offer illustrations of the Black Ibis underworld on each card. More about the story and samples of the tarot and artwork can be found here.

Using Kickstarter.com, Bethalynne is seeking investors for Book One.  You can find out more about this exciting project on her Kickstarter page as well as in this short video (created by Evelyn Kriete) which beautifully showcases a number of characters from the story.

The idea is to print Book One in time for the May World Steam Expo . With 7 fundraising days to go I am thrilled to announce that Bethalynne has achieved her minimum financing goal....  

And guess what? One of you helped!

The Black Ibis project

We just don't know which one  ... yet.  

I've made a $10 donation in one of your names. On 4/21 one random reader will be picked from those who leave a comment on this blog over the next week. That lucky person will be credited with  helping this gorgeous graphic novel come to fruition. This means they will get their name &/or doodle added to the graffiti wall on the back of Book 1. You can read more about your potential 15 minutes of fame (plus the other cool donor swag) on Bethalynne's Kickstarter page. Go ahead & check it out - I'll flip through this gorgeous issue of Insects & Angels till you return

Insects & Angels Magazine

What is Insects & Angels? Another fab project from this ingenious artist! This magazine is filled with all sorts of eye candy and dark goodies.
BB: Insects & Angels is a very loose concept magazine. Each issue has a general theme that focuses mostly on art and photography that embodies dark fantasy, neo-Victorian, dieselpunk, steampunk, and gaslight genres for that theme, but honestly anything the editors find visually appealing is included in the issues and the blog. This magazine and site is a labor of love by its creator and therefore has no other function than being able to collect together a body of striking artistic work and offer it in a neat little package to the world. 

And they are looking for submissions, by the way. If you think this is your kind of scene, click here for details - but be quick you only have until 4/20 to apply for the next issue.
BB: At Insects & Angels we are fans and creators of dark fantasy.We have the places we prefer to visit and take a bit of tea.. We are looking for artwork, fashion, photography, music, and general things of interest as they pertain to the neovictorian, dieselpunk, gaslight, dark cabaret, and steampunk sub-genres –and any type of unbranded dark fantasy that fits so nicely among those subjects. We want your antique flying machines and mad scientists. We want your tinker box dictators and steam powdered submarines. We want your modernized Victorian fashions and the dapper gentleman. We want your alternative histories...

The Moon Card, from Bethlynne Bejema's Black Ibis project

Fun stuff, eh? Ok, reign me in... I know I am all over the place today.  I am just too dang excited! Put your feet  up & grab a cuppa. I'll go get us some fresh baked no-cal virtual cookies (with extra chocolate). By the way, if anything catches your eye, feel free to touch & click on through. There is lots of great info to be had.

The Pale by Bethlynne Bajema

Okay, I'm back -  Bethalynne, who are some of your favorite artists?

BB: My absolute favorite artist is Brom  

politely nicked from Bromart.com

and following a close second is Joachim Luetke. Brom because he does straight up dark fantasy and also writers. Luetke because he's just multi-awesome. He creates small stories to go with much of his work and has these labyrinth like websites. His website has always been one of my favorites. I've also gotten into Aya Kato in the last few years. Her work is incredibly beautiful.

Any other favorite websites?

BB: I don't really have any real favorite sites. When I have free time online I spend too much time on Wikipedia hitting wonky links to see just how far I can get from my original inquiry. Yup, I'm lots of fun at parties too

Do you listen to anything when you are creating? 

BB: NCIS is almost always on the tv in my room but only because I love the show. But I know every episode I can just sit and ignore it and work. 

What are you watching / reading right now?

BB: As far as actually watching something that I'm enjoying, my mate and I are watching Deadwood for the first time. Love that show. I love to, I love to read but haven't had any time lately. 

The Sunday Girl by Bethlynne Bejema

Now for my latest go-to question: If you could have any superpower what would it be? And would you use it for good or eeeevil?

BB: Superpower? Hmm... super brain, without the giant cranium look. I'd probably use it for both good and bad depending on my mood -but not evil bad, more like mischief bad. Luckily I'd be too busy trying to know everything to pay attention to the world. 

Thanks so much for popping by Bethalynne. And congrats on the fundraising efforts. I can't wait to see the book!

The Angel Balm II by Bethalynne Bejema

And thank you, Visitors, for popping by today.  Please do leave a comment. Many featured artists have shared just how much they appreciate your feedback. Sometimes they get so bogged down with  creating & marketing  that  honest thoughts from real people can help pull things into perspective.

Plus your comment gets you an entry into three great giveaways! 
  Wait! Did I just say 3? Why, yes I did!

Random Drawing # 1:

On 4/21 one random winner receives credit for helping The Black Ibis #1 get published. Plus their doodle and/or name will be added to the graffiti wall on the back page of this new graphic novel. Click here & check out Pledge $10 section for details.

Random Drawings #2 & #3

One week later, on 4/28, I will select 2 other winners to receive copies of Bethalynne's previously published books.

The first name drawn receives a copy of Bethalynne's first book ever, Sepia
And the next winner takes home the 40 page dark pinup collection Gloomy Sunday. 

So what are you waiting for? Get typing! All 3 giveaways are open worldwide. Simply leave a comment before 1 a.m. on the drawing dates to enter. Please remember to add your contact info if it is not in your profile in case you win.

Want to find out more about this talented artist and her many incredible projects? Check out the following links (There are a bunch. This gal really gets around)


Also check out Overbury Ink's feature which has loads of juicy details on the Black Ibis books including an excerpt.

Winner of Uprinting magnets giveaway

Uprinting.com business card magnet printing
We have a winner!

Random.org has spoken & the lucky recipient of Uprinting.com's latest printing prize is......

Congratulations, Lynlee! I will contact you today with instructions for claiming your magnets. 

Special thanks to those fab folks at Uprinting.com for sponsoring another great giveaway.  And thank you to all who took the time to leave a comment and enter this random drawing.

Still hoping to win some free stuff? Feeling lucky?

Leave a comment on my blog before 4/21 to enter a floral themed random drawing. Prize includes a container planting/ decorating book, a blank journal & a set of flowery notecards. Click here for details and photo.

Plus later today I'll post a chat with one of my favorite fantasy/figurative artists.  That post will include info on three (yep, 3) new prizes you can try for. See you then!


April 12, 1861 from the Diary of Mary Chestnut

Pyrrha by S. Merrill 2009

"I do not pretend to go to sleep. How can I? If Anderson does not accept terms at four, the orders are, he shall be fired upon. I count four, St. Michael's bells chime out and I begin to hope. At half-past four the heavy booming of a cannon. I sprang out of bed, and on my knees prostrate I prayed as I never prayed before.

Ghosts of the past #4 by Jamie Ribisi-Braley
There was a sound of stir all over the house, pattering of feet in the corridors. All seemed hurrying one way. I put on my double-gown and a shawl and went, too. It was to the housetop. The shells were bursting. In the dark I heard a man say, "Waste of ammunition." I knew my husband was rowing about in a boat somewhere in that dark bay, and that the shells were roofing it over, bursting toward the fort. If Anderson was obstinate, Colonel Chesnut was to order the fort on one side to open fire. Certainly fire had begun. The regular roar of the cannon, there it was. And who could tell what each volley accomplished of death and destruction?

The Bombardment of Fort Sumter, artist unknown courtesty of Learnnc.org
The women were wild there on the housetop. Prayers came from the women and imprecations from the men. And then a shell would light up the scene. To-night they say the forces are to attempt to land. We watched up there, and everybody wondered that Fort Sumter did not fire a shot.

The House-Tops in Charleston During the Bombardment of Sumter, Harper's Weekly from sonofthesouth,net
To-day Miles and Manning, colonels now, aides to Beauregard, dined with us. The latter hoped I would keep the peace. I gave him only good words, for he was to be under fire all day and night, down in the bay carrying orders, etc.

Bombardment of Fort Sumter, Harper's Weekly - from sonofthesouth.net
Last night, or this morning truly, up on the housetop I was so weak and weary I sat down on something that looked like a black stool. "Get up, you foolish woman. Your dress is on fire," cried a man. And he put me out. I was on a chimney and the sparks had caught my clothes. Susan Preston and Mr. Venable then came up. But my fire had been extinguished before it burst out into a regular blaze..." - from the diaries of confederate bride & author Mary Chestnut

Fort Sumter Storm Flag 1861 from WikiMediaCommons

Mary Chestnut viewed the Fort Sumter attack 150 years ago today.  Most historians believe these were the first shots fired in the Civil War. You can read Mary's story,  A Diary From Dixie online by clicking here. This excerpt starts around pg 35.

Mary Boykin Miller Chestnut from WikimediaCommons

For other eyewitness accounts, CivilWarHome.com has a great selection of  links  with a variety of perspectives on this historic attack.

I also recommend Adam Good's interview that played on NPR tonight. Adam wrote 1861 The Civil War Awakening . One of the more interesting programs I've listened to in a while -  you can catch it here.

All images (except the first two) are floating around the web in the public domain. I've linked to where I found them in the captions. Some of the links also have additional interesting info or images on this fateful day. The top digital collage is mine.

The 2nd image is an encaustics painting, Ghosts of the past #4, by the talented Jamie Ribisi-Braley.  Back in 2009 when I discovered Jamie's blog she was in the middle of a Civil War / soldiers series. These powerful pieces have stayed with me and are some of the first images that come to mind when anyone mentions this conflict. You can see more of this artist's work on her website jamieribisi.com as well as her online shop jamieribisi.etsy.com and blog jamieribisi.blogspot.com.


Enter to win floral prizes - growing/decor book, blank journal & notecards - ends 4/21

Ready for spring? I hope you are enjoying the season whatever your corner of the globe. I have gardening on the brain this time of year and seem to spend as much time outside as in. Sooo.... the studio clean out is proceeding veerrry sloooowly.  

Want to help? Enter this new random drawing! Seriously, I've been having great luck (& a great time) giving away my odds & ends to folks who actually want them. Much better than just tossing things out.

This week I am going with a floral theme. The prize package contains a set of 8 flowery note cards with envelopes, a hardcover spiral bound blank book (pages are lined), and this wonderful container gardening book,  Paradise Contained - Growing and Decorating with Flower Bulbs.<---- clicking the link will take you to the amazon.com listing.

This wonderful book is full of gorgeous plant photos as well as advice. I've had it for many years and used the info when I lived up North. I've been in Florida for ages now and can't tell you the last time I grew bulbs inside. I just dig a hole, toss them in and most of the time they take off on their own. (I have turned into a bit of a Darwinian gardener over the years - survival of the fittest and all that stuff)

How to enter this random drawing? Simply leave a comment on my blog over the next 2 weeks and your name goes into hat. Comment must be made before 1 a.m. (EST) on 4/21. Be sure to leave some contact info if it isn't in your blog profile. That is it - easy peasy!

On 4/21 one random winner will be selected from those who comment. Prize ships free worldwide.

Well, that is it for me today - I am even more behind schedule than usual. A final note, if you are seeking printed business card magnets, I am also hosting a giveaway for Uprinting.com which ends on 4/14. Click for details. (But remember to comment here 1st to enter the floral-theme giveaway)

We have a winner!

Many thanks to all who popped by for a visit & left a comment over the last couple of weeks. 1 random visitor was selected (using random.org). That lucky individual has won a free item (valued at $20 or less) from the fun Etsy shop Curioddities!! And the winner is......

Congrats, Laurel! I will contact you today with details for claiming you prize.

Special thanks to Clara Boo of Curioddities.etsy.com for sponsoring this great giveaway! If you love her fantastic creations, please note that a 50% off sale is still going on in the etsy shop!!! But hurry as once these pieces ".. are gone they are gone for evs."

By the way, if you missed Clara Boo's visit last month, you can catch the Q&A by clicking here.

Looking for more random drawings? I am hosting one for Uprinting.com for 25 business card magnets printed with your design. That one will happening next Thursday (4/14). Click Here for details

Need crafty-stuff? Pop back here later today for another destash giveaway. (Still) cleaning up the creative space (ugh) and finding all sorts of goodies I had forgotten about or no longer use. I'll post a few here this afternoon & announce a new random drawing.