Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Golden Penn

The nice people who write and edit the Western Pennsylvania Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators quarterly newsletter (called The Golden Penn) have chosen my artwork to fill the current issue. Sorry, no link directly to the newsletter, so I guess you'll just have to take my word for it (you kind of have to pay for it, so they're not going to put it online). But I do have a link to their/our Web site: And from there, here's the link to my page: They used some of the ones with the "crazy" eyeballs (The Rots) that were mostly spring-related.

Thanks to ChrisAnn Goossen for helping me out on this one.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Ohiopyle Weddings

I've finished my first entirely Flash Web site for Ohiopyle Weddings. I still have way too many things I want to do, but don't know the ActionScript to do them, and don't know the correct terminology to be able to search for the scripting on the Internet. Still, it's functional and basically attractive, and best of all, approved by the clients!

Sunday, July 27, 2008


This is Ben.

He's a quick pastel I did while visiting friends yesterday afternoon.

Westmoreland Biennial

This image was accepted into the Westmoreland Biennial which ran from May 11 through June 8. The exhibit included 83 works of art from 80 different artists who lived within a 125-mile radius of Greensburg, Pennsylvania.

The image is called "Murder of Crows," it's a 16"x20" acrylic on canvas. The handwritten text in the background is partially painted over, but only because my husband stopped me before I painted over all of it. He walked in at the point you see here, and made me promise to stop where I was (even though I said I wasn't finished) and look at it with fresh eyes the next day.

Thankfully, I took his advice.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


So we did a SketchCrawl at the Pittsburgh Zoo a couple weeks back. I didn't get a lot of drawing done, but I did learn some things, mostly about myself.

Things I learned from the SketchCrawl at the zoo:
  1. The animals at the zoo tend to turn their butts toward you when they realize you're trying to draw them.
  2. It's hard to draw when the humidity is, like, 120%.
  3. I can't draw so much when there are people everywhere. Screaming. And running.
  4. By the time we got to the bears, all I could see were animals being forced to exist in confined spaces so humans could gawk.
  5. If I owned the zoo, I would let all the animals go.
Anyway, I was inspired by the animals in spite of their situation (and mine), so I painted "Jeeraffe," the first of (hopefully) an extended series of "Rotty" animal paintings.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Up on eBay!

I've listed my first item on eBay. It's a small chalkboard, hand-built from stoneware clay with a fabric eraser and using hemp as hanging material. It's one of my fine art pieces, and is inspired by indigenous creations and natural materials.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The Raw Shark Texts

So. I know I'm late. I finally got around to reading The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall, and if I'm writing about it on my blog, you should understand that means something. The book takes bites from The Matrix, Memento and Jaws. The DaVinci Code should probably be thrown in there as well, except that Hall doesn't telegraph his passes (as my high school basketball coach used to tell me I did with mine), and he certainly doesn't hold your hand throughout the plot.

Where to start?

First off, the reason I bought it was because I like novels that have visual thought somehow. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer, The Thin Place by Kathryn Davis and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon come to mind. I'm a graphic artist; what can I say? These novels, however, didn't affect me like TRST.

Secondly, the novel is written in such a way that different readers can come to different conclusions. I know, I know. How is that possible? My best possible answer is that it just is. Hall, who is British, meant it to be that way, and he basically says so in the title. With a British accent, "The Raw Shark Texts" sounds an awful lot like "The Rorschach Tests."

And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

The official Web site,, has many discussions on what readers believe is going on. Look under the "Unspace Exploration Committee" link, and see for yourself. I would suggest not allowing yourself any spoilers (the "Crypto-Forensics" link) before you have a chance to read the book, but after you've finished, you'll probably be heading there for answers.

But guess what? There aren't any. And Mr. Hall is tight-lipped, as well he should be.

I also love how this book is still developing. New things are coming out in new editions, games have been played online about it and Hall has even developed Raw Shark Texts "negatives" (From the site: "For each chapter in The Raw Shark Texts there is, or will be, an un-chapter, a negative. If you look carefully at the novel you might be able to figure out why these un-chapters [are] called negatives.").

Please read the book. Then get back here and tell me what's going on.