Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Three Muses Challenge #70 - Victorian

I haven't been feeling that great the past few weeks, so I haven't kept up with too many challenges. I love everything Victorian, though, so I'm going to cheat for The Three Muses Challenge this week. I had an article published in Country Victorian magazine that I wrote about the Victorian male. There is always so much written about the Victorian women (take Victoria magazine, for example), and I wanted to give us men an equal chance. I scanned the article, and hopefully you will be able to read it. Try clicking on the picture, and you will see a larger version.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Digital Whisper Blog Challenge #18 - Pond

Here is the picture Kimmie from the Digital Whisper Blog provided us this week:

This is my altered version:

Whoa! Mermaids seem to be everywhere these days!

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Sometimes even people you think you know well can really surprise you.  My digital artist friend across the Atlantic, June, just doesn't understand some of my choices in music.  Well that's pretty understandable! I often think my medication for anxiety causes me to like some strange things. (That's my story, anyway, and I'm sticking to it!) But can you imagine my astonishment when I was searching the net for pictures of the sisters who are the singers for the group CocoRosie, and I found a picture of June in one of their publicity shots? Evidently she has joined the group, and they are considering changing the name to CocoJunibear. Wow! I can't wait for their next album to come out.

(I love June's new sleek hairstyle!)

((Does anyone have a place I can hide in case June decides to come and get me?))

Perry Como Lovers!

Evidently all of my online friends are a bunch of Perry Como lovers. No one had anything to say about the CocoRosie Fairy song I posted. Oh well. I guess I'm just a more hip, younger, and all around more fun guy than the rest of you! But don't get all offended now. I'll let you in on a secret. I bought Susan Boyle's CD when it came out. I think it's safe to say she's the complete opposite of CocoRosie. I just love all kinds of music. Well, not all kinds. I don't like rap. I won't even tell you how I really feel about rap, because someone might come and beat me up. We live pretty close to the hood. But I do love Jennifer Hudson, Beyonce and Fantasia. No one can say my choice of music is racially divided. I learned to dance to Gladys Knight, Diana Ross and the Temptations. Whoa. That's giving away my age! I guess I better not even mention how I watched the Beatles the very first time they were on Ed Sullivan. But CocoRosie is my current love. I guess strange people really do attract strange people.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Real Mermaid

Well, she's real in the sense that she was hand drawn and hand colored. Yay! I hope Suzi Blu will be proud. She has plenty of flaws, but at least I did it physically instead of digitally. Now I feel like I can call myself a real artist.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Digital Mermaid

I'm a little nervous about coloring my mermaid for Suzi Blu's class with Prismacolor pencils, so I played around with her digitally tonight. It's actually kind of cool to draw something, and then add it to a digital picture. I think I can call that multi-media.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Yep, I'm drawing mermaids. I'm taking Suzi Blu's current class on drawing and painting mermaids. This is another attempt to get myself back to creating physical art. Suzi is a wonderful, talented artist, and such a crazy character! She could easily be one of the CocoRosie sisters.

I stayed home from work today, because I've been feeling lousy after getting a flu shot on Monday. (I always get a mild case of the flu after getting the shot each year. It's sure better than how sick I'd be if I got the full-blown flu!) I was able to beat my inner critic down for a little while, and was able to draw a full mermaid. Here she is:

She didn't scan very well, but it's good enough to see. The next step is to start shading the picture using Prismacolor pencils. Supposedly we will be painting a seascape background on a piece of wood craft board, and then glue the mermaid on. If I can even get my final painting looking half as good as Suzi does, I'll be very happy. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A few new pics

You will probably get pretty tired of seeing pictures of my grandson, but I won't be able to help myself. I wished I had a grandfather to play with and teach me things while I was growing up, but that wasn't meant to be.

My maternal grandfather was a wonderful man, but he died when I was about 5 years old. I inherited my love for roses from him. A few years ago, I wrote an article about his beautiful terraced rose garden, and it was published in Country Homes Country Gardens magazine. That was and is one of the high points of my life.

My paternal grandfather didn't make any effort to have anything to do with us grandchildren. Once I grew up and left home, I found out some pretty disturbing things about him. My father ran away from home when he was only 13, because my grandfather was so terrible. He lived to be 93, but I think I only saw him about 10 times during my life. I do have to attribute my love for moose to him, though. Yep, I said moose. He had the largest stuffed moose head I have ever seen hanging above a table in his living room. He went moose hunting often in Canada. (He was Canadian French.) I would never kill a animal, but I was definitely in awe of the stuffed head. I have a collection of moose figurines that substitute for a stuffed head in our home.

That was all a long, roundabout way of telling you I hope I can be a fantastic grandfather to my new grandson. You'll just have to suffer through the pictures I keep posting!  :O)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Three Muses Challenge - Printed Word

Arting Without a Commitment

This should be interesting! Susan (Artangel) from is starting a year long art project that other artists can join in on. If you click on the link, you can go to her blog and read all the details. I'm not joining as an official member, but she mentions playing along as "arting without a commitment." That's my kind of project - no commitment to put pressure on. I really want to get back to creating physical art instead of digital collages all the time. This sounds like the kind of project to motivate me to do that.

The first step is finding and decorating a suitcase or travel trunk to house the year's art treasures you create. It just so happens I rescued a small trunk from our neighbor's garbage. It's been sitting in the garage for over a year. Wow. How does one start decorating a trunk? It has that moldy, dusty, old smell that permeates all good antique discoveries. Maybe I'll try painting the entire inside first. It seems like that should capture the smell. I'll keep you informed on my progress!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Queen Junie's New Look

Well, will you look at that! Not only did Queen Junie quit eating her spinach, she also went to a Zetti stylist to get a new look. Evidently little Hector approves.

Seth Apter and Studioscapes

Muti-talented and multi-faceted artist Seth Apter has started a new series on his blog titled "Studioscapes." This was my reaction when I read it today. (By the way, being the computer fanatic I am, I turned on my laptop as soon as I woke up, and consequently the reason I had the "bedhead" look.)

My space definitely doesn't look that neat. It's unnatural!

Oh well. Everyone can't be a neatnik! Be sure to visit Seth's blog.  :O)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Dean's Problem

My online artist friend, Dean, has a problem with his donuts. I sure hope it's alright to tell other people!

(His blog is named Exploding Doughnut.) Egads! I had his title spelled donut. That's wrong!

Queen Junie Surveys Her New Realm

While walking around in Zettiland, Queen Junie makes an important discovery!

(Birds and little man are zetti stamps by Teesha and Tracy Moore.)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Junie, Queen of Zettiland!

At long last, Zettiland has crowned a queen. Long live Queen Junie! Move over Queen of Hearts. We've got a real queen now!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Real Me!

Every once in a while, you meet a special person who somehow immediately knows the real you. Well, in this case, the real me. I try so hard to keep the real me under wrap, but evidently I'm not doing a very good job of it. Junibear from Junibear's Jottings did a digital portrait of me that is just incredible. It's so incredible, I stole it from her blog to post it here. Please visit her blog to see all the rest of her beautiful, digital artwork.

I knew I shouldn't have changed my avatar! Maybe I should go back to my French Billizetti. Okay, June, you know what they say about "paybacks!"

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Three Muses Challenge 67 - Numbers

Ducks in the Wild

I have a very difficult time creating physical art. I love digital art, because I can delete anything I don't like easily. (My inner critic beats me continuously!) You can't delete so easily with physical art. A wonderful online teacher, Mystele, offered a free online course about letting your art tell you what the story is. Paint a background, and then look to see what you find in the paint. Then keep building on what you see. I ended up with a painting that is a little wild, but I am so happy I actually got out the paintbrushes and put paint on a canvas. Wow. If you would like to visit Mystele's site, it is:

Monday, September 6, 2010

Little Corben

Apple A Day

Can anyone explain the inner lunacy of my mind? Sherrie JD has a new digital scrapbooking kit out of the women in the old masters' paintings. (No. I'm not a salesman for her.) Naturally, I had to buy that one!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Pics of Corben

It's still hard to believe I'm a grandfather. I didn't get married until I was 29, and before that point, I didn't even think I'd ever be a father. But four children later, 30 years, and now one grandson, I fulfilled my duty to carry on the family name. Like any doting grandparent, I have to share some pictures of our little guy.

For only being one day old when these pictures were taken, I think he looks awfully darn cute!

Saturday, September 4, 2010


Did you ever have a defining moment when you realized you would never grow up? I did. I discovered a genre of music that I never heard of before - Freak Folk. In case you haven't heard of it, either, this is how Wikipedia defines it:

Freak folk is a genre of folk music associated with contemporary artists such as Animal Collective, Davenport, Devendra Banhart, CocoRosie, Panda Bear, Kelli Ali, Joanna Newsom, Vetiver, Bowerbirds, Greg Weeks, Hecuba, Akron/Family, Rio en Medio, Sufjan Stevens, Sean Hayes, The Dodos and with artists of the 1960s and 1970s such as Holy Modal Rounders, The Incredible String Band, The Godz and The Fugs. Freak folk draws from traditional folk music and uses mainly acoustic instrumentation, but introduces elements of avant-garde music and psychedelic folk, often featuring uncommon sounds, themes, and vocal styles. "If you were to ask me how I feel about the term freak-folk," said Banhart to The New York Times, "it's cool - you have to call it something - but we didn't name it. We've been thinking about what to call it, and we just call it the Family."

Uncommon sounds, themes and vocal styles is definitely how I would describe it. Well, to make a long story short, I've discovered I love CocoRosie.  I always knew in the back of my mind that I was a little bit strange, but this confirms it. The two sisters who are the lead singers for CocoRosie are the ultimate of strange. But I find their music makes me forget about the troubles of life, and for a few minutes, I'm transported to an Alice in Wonderland kind of make-believe world. Their music is perfect for creating art. After all, aren't all artists a little bit strange? Plus, we never want to grow up!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Marguerite Sings!

Sometimes you just don't know how talented your friends are! Marguerite is the hostess of the Ning site Hearts Desire 4 Joy. She posts little inspirational ditties to keep members happy and motivated. We've never met in person, but we keep each other entertained with our craziness. Well, when I emailed her that my grandson Corben was born, she outdid herself by creating a welcoming song for him. You'll find it below:

Officially Old!

I don't know how it happened. One day I was a good-looking, fun loving guy, and the next day I'm a grandfather. Grandfather? Egads! Oh well. At least I still have my hair.

Corben James Hoatlin
Born on "90210"
21" 8.14 lbs.