Paintober art for your living room!

I thoroughly enjoyed #paintober2017, and would like to thank my readers, plus all the other participants who kept me inspired!


Because I don’t have room for 31 additional paintings, I’ve listed most of the #paintober projects in my Etsy shop. They’re looking for a good home!  Will it be YOURS?

giphy (1).gif


Paintober, Day 31 – The Weather Always Feels This Way

I’ve really enjoyed this project, y’all. It’s going to feel strange to wake up tomorrow and realize there’s no Paintober Day 32. I highly suspect November will involve a different “create something every day” initiative.

Let’s hear it for blogging!

giphy (1).gif

Since today is Halloween and I wanted to paint something theme-appropriate, my last painting for #Paintober is “The Weather Always Feels This Way,” based on Jonathan Coulton’s “Blue Sunny Day.” It’s a cheery, jaunty tale of a vampire who hates himself.

Birds are singing, bees are buzzing, sun shines overhead
I’d be there to see it, but I can’t get out of bed
Since the day you left, the weather always feels this way
One more blue sunny day

This is the first piece I’ve done that was almost entirely painted via sponge, except for the bat (which probably looks a little too much like the Batman logo, but I don’t imagine he’ll mind).

How did the door get placed in the middle of that field?  Why isn’t the vampire’s hidden room larger?  Why doesn’t he at least have some furniture or something?  Since the only handle is on the OUTSIDE, how is he going to open the door once the sun goes down? For that matter, how will he KNOW when the sun sets?

It’s a Halloween mystery. 

the weather always feels this way.jpg

Goodnight, dear Reader. Goodnight….whatever you are.

Paintober, Day 30 – Soothed

When I moved to the Portland area in late January, it rained every third day or so for months. I became accustomed to the perpetual drum of precipitation on our roof, to clothes and shoes never quite drying before they were soaked anew, to splashing through mini-moats every time I drove.

And then in early June, it suddenly stopped, and didn’t start again until October. At the same time, we had the third-hottest summer on record, AND the hottest August ever recorded in Portland.


Also, we did not have air conditioning, and with temps frequently exceeding 100 degrees, even multiple fans didn’t cool us down.

giphy (1).gif

Oh, AND the region also had a dust storm for several weeks, plus an enormous wildfire that’s still burning.

Things were a bit uncomfortable.


And then, one glorious day, the rain finally found its way back, and NE’ER WAS THERE A MORE BLESSED DAY IN ALL THE KINGDOM.

“Soothed” is the transition to relief, that sigh of contentment that only the long-term parched know.

Original version:


With soft light and color burn effects:

soft light color burn.jpg

Paintober, Day 29 – Incorporeal Incredulity

The trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens currently has 99.5 million views on YouTube, and I’m reasonably certain that the half-million are mine. I saw the film five times in the theater, and while it certainly did have its problems and valid criticisms, they detract from my enjoyment not one iota. NOT ONE.

I’ve followed that same pattern with Rogue One and now The Last Jedi. There are PORGS, people.


So I was re-watching the Last Jedi trailer yet again and decided I wanted to do a Star Wars-themed painting. The option most likely to bring success, I thought, would be a stormtrooper helmet. And since I painted the Mega Man helmet yesterday, I’d have a little theme-within-a-theme going on.


That is not what happened.

I used sponges and blotting to create a background I was happy with, waited for it to dry (something I don’t normally do), and then painted the helmet’s core structure in white. That went OK, but when I added the black eyeslits and respirator hardware, something went a bit wonky. And then kept going.

It became apparent within a moment or two that my stormtrooper more closely resembled a ghost demanding to speak to the manager.

It’s almost Halloween–so I went with it.

Original version:

20171028_080847 copy.jpg

With watercolor effects:


Paintober, Day 28 – A Leaf Shield on the Wind

One of the surefire ways for me to begin sputtering geekily is to get involved with a conversation about Mega Man 2. It’s generally considered the most popular game in the Mega Man series, as well as of the greatest video games of all time.




Air Man? Heat Man? Metal Man? All perfectly reasonable villains for a video game in the late 80s. But Flash Man, with the power of…flashlights?  Quick Man, who looks weirdly like The Flash, and yet we already used that character? Wood Man, who has a shield of leaves for some reason?

In addition to odd powers and unusual characters, the game’s music is also quite catchy, and over the years, fans have remixed them to wondrous effect.

Today’s painting is a watercolor version of Mega Man’s helmet and Mega Buster, with the left side displaying some of the residue after a plasma attack. I used a wildly-alternating sponging pattern for the background. The helmet and cannon are comprised of four different shades of blue.

A leaf shield on the wind.jpg

Paintober, Day 27 – That Which Smashes

We’re about to enter the season of celebration! It’s that hallowed time of year when we are filled with spirit, rejoice in the things that bring us joy, and receive gifts.

I’m speaking, of course, about Sci-Fi / Fantasy / Comic Book Movie Time.

It begins next week with Thor: Ragnarok, which you already know because you watched The Hulk’s entrance like 495 times over the summer.


So I thought that today, I’d paint Mjölnir, Thor’s hammer.

This was my first time working with watercolors in several years, and I’d forgotten the extent to which they tend to be a bit….what’s the word?


Right. Within the first two minutes, it became abundantly clear that whatever I was panting did not resemble a hammer, nor ANY kind of tool or weapon. So instead, the painting’s focus shifted to the *aftermath* of said hammer. What would the sparks look like upon collision?

Salvaging some of the black and blue hues from the original work, I washed off most of the rest and used a combination of brushes and sponges to create a bruised, bubbly effect. I finished by adding sky blue as an accent. I particularly like the magenta  / ultramarine tattoo in the bottom left.

Original version:

that which smashes.jpg

With craquelure and watercolor effects:

craquelure watercolor


Paintober, Day 26 – If You Can

Before attempting sleep tonight, I saw this tweet from @seananmcguire:


This painting was both my last artist’s tile and the last of my acrylics. I’ll be switching to boards and watercolors tomorrow.

I think of the diluted forest green as the kindness Seanan talks about: surrounded by darker forces, a bit weakened…but also all around us, ever-present, and ready to swoop in when we need it most.

Original version:


With overlay, sponge, and watercolor effects:

overlay watercolor sponge

Paintober, Day 25 – Whenever You Don’t Call

One of my most joyful discoveries in terms of music in the last 5 years was Tally Hall, courtesy of my friend Sean. Self-described as “wonky rock,” the band recorded a handful of EPs and two full-length albums, the last of which was released in 2011.

They’re life-changing. Really.

Today’s painting is based on “Greener,” a song with particular meaning for me, and uses three shades of forest green at different levels of dilution. The lyric in the center was added with black brushpen.

The numbers at the top, in purple, are derived from a section of the song’s first verse:

Seconds tick like boulders
Whenever you don’t call
Does it seem like that where you are?
Wherever it is you are
Does it seem like that where you are?

Original version:

whenever you don't call

With linear light, lighten, luminosity, multiply, and grain effects:

whenever you don't call after

Paintober, Day 24 – Flexed on a Full Moon

About 12 years ago, I was hobbiting around the house when I heard this on my indie alternative station, back when that was a thing.**

**Somewhere, it’s probably still a thing.

All I knew then was that I loved the song; it would be another few weeks before I moved on to others and realized that Imogen Heap is one of the most creative musicians working today. It was through her that I discovered Zoe Keating, another groundbreaking artist, and one I’d be lucky enough to later meet on the Jonathan Coulton Cruise.

After many years of unsuccessfully trying to see Immi live and finally accepting it probably would never happen (I lived in an area where she never toured), I managed it by accident in 2016 when she was a featured performer on the JoCo Cruise. She received a standing ovation during her set (after the second song)–the only artist I’m aware of that has done so in the 6 years I’ve attended that event. Her show was everything I could’ve wanted.

So here’s “Flexed on a Full Moon,” based on Tidal.

Original version:


With color burn and hard mix effects:

tidal after

Paintober, Day 23 – Shadows

My objective for today’s painting was to create a soft lime green base where color shadows could live.

My eye keeps getting drawn to the teal shading in the bottom corners; I have no idea how I achieved it.


I like to think that the crimson-brass shape in the bottom right is a saucy velociraptor.