Saturday, February 25, 2012

Not Winning

I've been trying to return the focus of this blog back to art, mostly my own, but I've been meaning to throw out a cancer update as I haven't had one in a while.

There isn't anything new to report, just some remaining issues to deal with. Some have gotten better, some worse. It's hard to say whether the saliva issue is getting better or not. It's been six months since my last radiation treatment and I have to say that I don't know that I'm all that much further than I was last August. There is some difference in that I can swallow certain foods that I wasn't able to then, chicken and certain other meats in particular. Breads are still pretty much a no-go unless I have a full glass of whatever to help it down. The lack of saliva simply makes it impossible for me to swallow such dry fair. I can swallow it part way but once it hits the back of my tongue, it sticks there, holding on for dear life and sometimes even milk or water won't force it down and I have to choke it up or choke on it. Makes for great dinner company.

The main reason I'm not sure there's been much progress, even though I can eat things I couldn't before, is how dry my mouth gets at night. This hasn't changed much since August. I wake up 5 or 6 times to get something to drink or simply rinse my mouth, as my lips tend to get stuck to my teeth and my tongue to the roof of my mouth. I used to keep a small bottle of Biotene next to the bed but that stuff is useless. Water works just as well, which is really only for about an hour. Then it's back to not being able to open my mouth. On the plus side, I'm fairly certain the surgery cured my sleep apnea.

And then there's my shoulder. This is part of the whole neck and chest muscle thing. The surgeon took my right pec muscle and used it to fill in the gaping hole in my neck after surgery. The muscle still works, but being a chest muscle doesn't much help in your neck. It needs to not work. Any flex of my chest muscle and I get an unpleasant "tug" in my throat and mouth, where my tongue attaches to the base of my mouth. The muscle was reattached at the underside of my jaw and any use of that muscle pulls on the jaw and tissue there, feeling like it's going to tear every time I do something like roll over in bed. Anything that uses that pec muscle. A push-up would be a bit traumatic.

But back to the shoulder. The chest and throat issues I've kinda learned to live with. Therapy doesn't seem to fix things so much as alleviate the tightness for a while. The problem with my shoulder can be helped by therapy, but I'm not sure how much, really. When they took the muscle from my chest, they only cut one anchor point, at the shoulder, and simply pivoted it around and reattached that anchor point to my chin. In addition to doing all the chest flexing, this muscle also helped keep my shoulder in place, helped keep the joint attached. Now any extreme movements of my shoulder, like scratching my ass or sleeping on my right side, make it feel like my shoulder has dislocated, which is a real possibility.

And then we get to the other issues. The ones that have nothing to do with cancer. My roommate, Kevin, was basically killed by a drunk driver in 2007. He died on the street and was revived in the chopper. Crushed skull, lacerated liver, broken bones now with metal in them, brain trauma. He should have been on disability since then, but since his wife was a waste of skin like mine, she didn't do much of anything to help him and the other people in his life didn't do much either, apparently. Anyway, long story short, he had a seizure the other day. Woke up on the floor with blood in his mouth. Went to the emergency room and got x-rays and a cat scan and yup, seizure.

So now, doctor's orders, he can't drive, can't work and needs to get the disability he should have been on since '07. Except that it takes about nine months to get approved for disability. And how is he supposed to live between now and then? Food? Rent? Bills? With no job and no car and no ability to work? Seeing as Arizona has no financial assistance for adults... No answer to that other than - I have to find more work than I already have but somehow make sure my part-time crap job is crappy enough to not make more than $900 a month or I lose my health insurance and can't get it back. As a friend said to me today, that's literally life and death for me.

So yeah, not winning.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Minotaur WIP

These aren't as nice as the octopus pics. Not too bad for a phone cam, but still. I thought you guys might like to see how I went at this one.
As before, I work from way lighter than the image will end up. This kind of helps me plan the process along the way as well as mitigate any errors I might make.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Long Gone Day

The name for this painting was inspired by the poppies, of course. I wanted to go a different route than the usual, and I was looking through song title to get an idea for a lyric or something that could inspire a name. My brain drifted to favorites and fell on Mad Season, Alice in Chains' singer and guitarist's side project. The band tied in because of their infamous heroin use - poppies, and the lyrics fit the mood of the painting pretty well.

11" x 14"
Acrylic on canvas

See you all from time to time
Isn't it so strange
How far away we all are now
and I'm the only one who remembers that summer
Oh, I remember
Everyday each time the place was saved
The music that we made
The wind has carried all of that away

Long gone day
Mmmm, who ever said
We wash away with the rain
I had painted it mostly because the poppy series has been very popular, and my friend Ivonne had the last one bought out from under her, a situation most artists would be very happy with. I am happy to be painting and selling, but I definitely don't want to fall into some weird niche where all I paint are poppies.

Either way, I was happy with the way the painting turned out, for the most part. and Ivonne bought it right away. She's happy, I'm happy. All is right with the world, for about ten minutes.


I have had this image of an octopus in my brain for a long time now and after doodling it on scraps of paper for years, I finally decided to get something more substantial down on paper. The results are mixed. I am very pleased with the octopus, not so much the mermaid.

Of course, once the drawing was finished, it had to be colored. There must be something new with the toner they use for my printer, because I had previously tested it with my Copic markers and they definitely smeared the toner. For some reason they don't do that any longer. Regardless, I can now color copies rather than committing the ink right to the original. The face looks different because it is. I am using a copy made before I reworked it.

I'm getting better at planning ahead, but when the muse comes, I just have to follow and sometimes it's actually distracting to get up and get supplies and tripods and such, and I lose the thread of inspiration. It sounds silly, but when I've tried to muscle past it, I can't focus and it shows in the work. Hard to explain.

Anyway, I was thinking of the scrapbookers and and took the time to get some pictures of the work in progress so they can see how I work.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Internet-fueled, mental Frippertronics. The loops of useless information spinning through the web keep playing through my screenface.

I was looking through one of my favorite sites, Thinkgeek, when I saw this horsehead mask:
Which was cool in itself.

Reading through the description, I come across a link to this:

Now, seeing this would normally disturb most people. After all, it is a horse-man stalking a young schoolgirl and menacing her with a hairbrush, but I sat hear at my desk and lol-snorted to an empty house.
The scene is from Full Metal Panic, whatever in the Engrish hell that means, and my daughter watched it when she was younger. A normal late Saturday probably, Adult Swim off-night, as I called it, when they played a string of anime. I'm likely on the computer listen/watching, Kaia on her laptop and the familiar squeals and speed-talk chirps waft out of the tv screen. Suddenly a horse on two legs is screaming "Pony. PONY! PONY!!!" at this poor girl and then he's lunging at her with a hairbrush and screaming louder, "PONY!!!!". I don't think the two of us have laughed any harder together before or since. This epic, wierd, wtf moment was our nerd-bonding, like when my dad and I used to rush to the living room to catch Star Trek every week, or us going to one of the first Trek Cons. Good times.

Kinda like the time this guy must be having:

And then, of course, there's this:

Leave Britney alone!!

Skelecrows in the Mail

New Skelecrow© Stuff

In case you haven't seen these before, they're real stamps and 100% legal to mail letters or packages.

Regular postage stamps just too Hallmark for your letters? Now you can send your dark messengers out in the world with more than just Jedi mind powers.

Laudator Temporis Acti, has been published and should appear in the Zazzle Marketplace and in my Store within 24 hours!

Laudator Temporis Acti Stamp

Omens 3

Omens 3 Stamp


Murderwall Stamp


Nepenthe Stamp


Stormcrow Stamp


Bourne Stamp

What Do?

What Do? Stamp


New additions to my Protogallery:

In case you haven't seen these before, they're real stamps and 100% legal to mail any letter or package.

Carencro Church Stamp, has been published and should appear in the Zazzle Marketplace and in my Store within 24 hours!

Carencro Church Stamp

Persistence of Memory

Persistence of Memory Stamp

Poppy Dreams

Poppy Dreams Stamp

Seperation Anxiety

Seperation Anxiety Stamp


Haybales Stamp
Cloudscape No 3

Cloudscape No 3

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Working Man

Been busy trying to get stuff done around here. Actually, been getting it done for a change. I finished the mythology series for Colleen's scrapbooking biz, painted a smaller Poppy painting for the series which wasn't a series until I saw the response to the painting on the Facebooks.

I admit it was both cool and upsetting that two people both wanted the piece and it went right away. So it's a series now. As long as people understand that I am going to try very hard not to just copy the painting over and over. Ask my mom, I hate her favorite (besides me) artist, Rodrigue, for his canned and repetitive hackery. Or Kinkaide. I respect the guy as a business man, but not as an artist.

The cable is staying off until something I give a damn about comes on. Probably sometime in April.

I finally finished the portrait of my niece, River, that I had promised my cousin, Tara, all the way back in December. I'm happy with the results, though I'd probably peck at it forever if I didn't ship it out.

Probably going to head to my roomie's work to watch the game. Go Giants?