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28 Dec

I seem to have gotten an unintended Christmas present from my godson’s family. Their preschooler puked just before the holidays, I visited shortly the day after, and now I have what is probably a mild version of norovirus. Yee… I haven’t been puking, but everything else fits. So I won’t probably be posting until a few days into next year.

Well, good excuse to just sit and read and sleep a lot for a couple of days. And I’m feeling enough under the weather that I can probably also do that without getting too bored.

Photos of two paintings

19 Dec

Lousy ones, the camera I used is on its last legs. I really do hope scanning will produce better quality copies. Only that has to wait a few weeks, these are still wet, and just a liittle bit unfinished – there is an unpainted spot in right lower corner of the elf picture (the yellow/black/grey one – the colors are off, too, although the clouds are supposed to be sort of yellow, there is a city just below the horizon and they are reflecting the light from it – yes, these are both based on my stories. I might be able to fix some of that color problem with one of the editing programs, but I don’t think I will try before I see what I’ll get with the scanner) since I painted it while holding it in my hand (these are both small, about A4 sized) and I may add a lace shirt for the vampire. Maybe.

I will put up some drawings tomorrow or the day after, I have some ready, I just wanted to see what kind of result would taking a photo of an oil painting produce. Yep, not good, at least not with that camera and under the circumstances I did it. Might work a bit better if I tried to do that using daylight, or the daylight lamp.


14 Dec

painting, writing and cleaning. I’m usually rather lazy when it comes to housework, and many a year the end result has been frantic cleaning consuming most of Christmas eve, and then ending the day with a late meal and falling into bed, exhausted.

So I decided to try, for once, to get everything done at least a day or two before. So, cleaning. Very thorough cleaning, I’m also sorting out some of the clutter – books and magazines, mostly – and carting the ones I probably can’t get rid of by any other means to the paper recycling bin. Painful. Especially the books. But I have several which I just can’t get rid of, no used books store will buy them and I haven’t been able to sell the privately either – or give them away for free, I have tried – so yep, I guess I have no alternatives left but that bin. I simply don’t have the space to keep ones I will probably never again want to read, the limited space will have to be reserved for fiction which I like well enough for multiple reads, and nonfiction. I do have a very eclectic collection of the latter too, I like to have at least a bit of everything I might ever need for researching any subject I might possibly need to look at when writing so there are books about such things as poisons, historical weapons and armor, modern weapons and warfare, field medicine, plants you can eat, plants with medical uses, physics, chemistry, astronomy, ancient Egypt, folklore of different European nations, folklore of several non-European nations, geology, cryptozoology, different magical systems (ones actually in use now, plus historical ideas of magic)… okay, perhaps you are getting the idea. I buy what interests me, but I can also simply buy what I can find cheaply, especially if it’s about something I don’t know anything about. Or what I find amusing. Or weird. I love to read about all kinds of fringe theories, they can be hugely entertaining. And sometimes those books may ask good questions. The answers they came up with are mostly rubbish, but some of the questions seem actually to be valid.

Okay, some art next time. It will be weeks before I will be able to scan the first painting, but I will show some of the sketches I have been doing while planning the next ones.


30 Nov

Some more art reference photos. As said earlier, for me one of the main reasons for this photo shoot with Nina was to get pictures I could use when I try to figure out how to paint or draw a full cloak. So she is wearing that green cloak in almost every one of the photos, and even so I realized I could use more, ones where she is doing things like kneeling. Well, maybe next time. Nina said she is willing to pose for me again, but it might take until spring, with bad luck. First of all we are now in that part of the year when we get only a few hours of sunlight in this part of Finland (and I live in the southernmost part…), and second, the weather has been lousy so even what little light there would be if it was clear has been hidden behind clouds and the days have been just one long morning twilight changing into a long evening twilight. Well, usually the weather starts to get better around February, when, with luck, we might get some nice sunny days with a good snow cover and the snowbanks glittering prettily in the light. Or not. In this part of the country having a whole winter of slushy, muddy snow alternating with no snow, just some ice in places where the slush got hardened by people walking on it – yeah, icy sidewalks are one of my banes, I rarely manage a winter without falling down several times, and I really hate that even if I have, so far, only broken my wrist once – is quite possible.

Oh yes, I have finally started painting again too, but since I paint with oils it will take a while before I can show anything. Finishing a small oil painting takes me somewhere between a month to a month and a half – oils need to dry a bit between layers, and I prefer to go slowly even so – and after that it will be several weeks before the painting is dry enough for scanning. But during this winter I intend to make enough for a portfolio I can show here, and some other places. And start advertising for commissions after that. Some of these first ones will become covers for my own stories, but if anybody wants to make a commission for something I’m open to offers even now. If you ask for something now, based only on my sketches, you can even have it for free (well, apart from mailing the original, I would want the mailing costs covered, and the right to show it in my portfolio if I happen to like it well enough myself so ‘nude portrait of my girlfriend’ might not be a good choice). 🙂

Okay, slight delay…

22 Nov

I’ve been a bit busy the last days, and now I will be out of town for two, so no pin ups yet. Well, I’ve drawn some, but there are only one or two might consider showing… anyway, that post should go up during during the weekend. Sunday, more likely. Until then, photos. One from one of the local cemeteries, two from nearby running path, others of Nina.

Walking on a path and others

18 Nov

I think will try to paint one of those where Nina walks on the path. I like the light on those, and trying to get that right would be good exercise.

Next time some drawings. I think I will do some pin up girls, I’m in the mood to sketch something I already do well. 🙂

Skull, swans and cloak

15 Nov

Photos again.


Two swans seem to have chosen the place as a permanent summer home, there have been one pair there for years. I suppose it’s the same pair, swans supposedly tend to come back to the same place where they nested the previous year. There are two different species nesting in Finland, the mute swan and the whooper swan, whooper swans being the original and the Finnish national bird, mute swans have been brought here by humans later as living decorations for parks and gardens, but they have been nesting here in the wild since the 1930’s. I have no idea which species those two are, I have never gotten close enough to see much more than two white blobs with long necks, which is not enough, not for me anyway, for identifying species.


13 Nov

Just a few this time. I tried ‘drawing the sword’ but wasn’t happy with the end result, will do it again so maybe next time. I can usually make about one or two which I am at least willing to show for about every four I draw. How happy I am with even them is another question. Well, I doubt I will ever be good enough for myself, what I would like to be able to do would be something like reproducing a black and white photo with a pencil well enough that you can’t tell it from the original photo. Long way to go before I’ll get even in the general vicinity of that skill level, if I ever will.

I like to use a rather soft pencil so there is usually some smudging. One of these, the side view of a woman’s face, was done with an ordinary marker pen while I was talking on the phone.

drawing a sword and a few others

11 Nov

The three old photos: the woman is my mother, during the late 50’s, a few years before I was born – she was nearly 40 when that happened, my parents married rather later in their life for those times – the man my maternal grandfather who died when she was just a little girl. The cross drawn in the picture means that it was used in his memorial service. My mother died when I was in my mid-20’s.

Some Finns have sort of slightly Asian features, one reason why my people were classified as ‘Mongolians’ by some researchers back when racial classifications were the fashionable thing in the emerging study of human genetics.  Genetically we seem to have some slight infusion of Asian genes, one of the male lines was found to have some markers originating from what is now Vietnam, and having migrated this way through Siberia, if I remember right, but mostly we seem to be common European stock. Unfortunately for my mother she had those Asian looks back in the time when not looking purely European was not the best possible thing to be – she was a child and a teen during the 20’s and 30’s. She once told me that she did get some trouble for it, she was called ‘The Chinese’ as a kid and sometimes bullied a bit.

Okay, I think it will be drawings in my next post. Maybe one of drawing a sword. Yes, I know, lousy pun… 🙂

photos from last spring

8 Nov


Some from the last spring. Plus one I played with when I was trying to learn something about the photo editing programs I have.


I don’t know – if you could combine some of those cloaked figures with a bit more dramatic background, like the one completely from behind and going towards the door with some sort of ‘castle in the distance’ or mountain or forbidding forest path view… Okay, I’m still thinking about what I might paint.