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So I discovered I finally have enough seasonally appropriate images to make a calendar! I designed it over the weekend and called it "of men and magic" since that's the primary content, fantasy based images of guys. That's what I do, folks ;)

Calendar 2014 by ceruleanvii

The main link is here: fav.me/d6xx1bk and it's a huge download image if you want it.

and if you wanted to see the images for each month, take a look see here: www.deviantart.com/print/34783…

I had a lot of fun putting it together and I'm happy with how it came out. If you're interested, pick one up. I know DA offers all kinds of sales through December so it may be possible to get it on sale.

As the year draws to a close, I want to thank you all for your support this year. It means a lot to me because it's been a helluva year. But somehow I've managed to keep making art through it all, and it makes me happy to be able to share it with you. Hope you all have happy holidays and a great New Year - may 2014 be the year it all turns around.
  • Listening to: Rise Against
  • Reading: Empire of the Summer Moon
  • Eating: gum
  • Drinking: tea
As we approach the end of the year, I guess it's time to update my poor neglected journal. It's been one hell of a year for me. Tumultuous, chaotic, sorrowful, amazing, enlightening.

I went to Greenland and Iceland this July. It was an incredible experience to see such a different part of the world. Beautiful, mystical, filled with people just like us but who live their lives in such a different way. Spellbinding, magnificent, the trip surpassed my wildest dreams.

I am now once again a single woman. If you are a hot straight male between the ages of... ( just kidding ;) )

I would say I've had a hard life. I've had a lot of bad things happen to me, some due to bad luck, some my own bad choices. This year I went to a place where I saw I was not alone in my suffering. I heard stories from people that brought me to tears. It's a rough world out there, for sure. I learned that sometimes the only way you can save yourself is through the help of others. People need each other to survive. To quote my favorite Rise Against song, "Come in, out of the cold. Forget all that you know, because there's always been room by the fire for you. Come in, out of the cold". I learned compassion. We all hurt sometimes. The best thing to do is lean on others to help you through it, and help others whenever we can. We need each other, that's how the human race continues on.

I'm finally getting around to completing some artwork, and posted two this month with another in the works for December. Thanks for all the faves, I really appreciate them. I've been thinking a lot about why I do my art. It's for me, because I do what I love to so. Any thoughts of going pro have left me, because I don't fit into that world. But I do love to share my work with others, and DA is my little corner where I do so. So thank you, my friends and watchers, for letting me share my vision with you, and for enjoying it enough to continue watching.

edit: wanted to add, if anyone wants to see my 3D work (my day job :) ) I've put together a demo reel here: vimeo.com/78928682

2013

Journal Entry: Wed Apr 24, 2013, 11:29 AM





  • Watching: GoT Season 3
  • Eating: painkillers
  • Drinking: tea

ceruleanvii reappears

Journal Entry: Mon Jun 25, 2012, 9:32 AM



I know some of you probably have been wondering where I've been... Lets just say that thus far 2012 has not been kind. As a matter of fact, right now I'm viewing fate as this sort of gigantic stellar sshole that has centered up and delivered me a crapload of crap. Personal problems, relationship problems, and a recurrence of a serious health issue. Meh.

But... I am hoping that the second half of the year is a bit more crap-free and I can focus on some artworks that have long been in limbo - there are at least 3 that are between 90% and 65% done, if I can just dig myself out here. Anyone have a shovel? ;)

And THANK YOU THANK YOU for the DD on invictus
invictus by ceruleanvii
the other day! Special thanks to alicexz for featuring it. I had a great time rendering it and I'm glad it's introduced some new people to my work - hi there! :waves:  :)  I really do make art - hang in there!

Hope to be talking more with y'all soon -

Del

  • Reading: The Magicians (again)
  • Watching: Brave (I LOVED THIS MOVIE!)
  • Eating: flank steak & jarlsberg
  • Drinking: tea

the end of 2011

Journal Entry: Wed Dec 28, 2011, 12:41 PM



It's been an up and down kind of year. My poor right  shoulder, which has taken years of art abuse, has finally given up the ghost. It causes me severe pain to work on the computer for more than a few hours. The good to come of this is that I've been exploring traditional crafts like jewelry making, and I've really enjoyed creating these tangible little things. There are two cicada wing items still for sale, this pendant:

Cicada wing pendant - orange gold copper by ceruleanvii

and these earrings:

cicada wing earrings - green and gold by ceruleanvii

Note me if you're interested.

...

Yeah so the digital has taken a massive hit. I have all sorts of ideas but not the physical ability to execute them. So  I'm stepping back from commissioned work for awhile to do personal things during my pain-free times.

I did manage to finish some pieces, among them a few bookcovers, and got something into Exotique 7, which I received the other day. As usual Ballistic did a fantastic job with the printing and there are lot of lovely things to look at. However, at the risk of sounding like an anatomy snob... holy COW there are some seriously screwed up looking characters in there. All the pretty colors in the world aren't going to help you if you have two left feet and a butt where your knee should be... Not quite sure what happened this issue. Anyone thoughts?

...

The teaching went GREAT this quarter, wonderful group of students, really feel like I've helped them move their art along. Very satisfying! Photoshop and Wacom, the best duo since Batman and Robin, wine and cheese, franks and beans! :)

...

And a big THANK YOU to everyone who watches me and expresses interested in my work. I know there's staggering amounts of beautiful art out there, so I really appreciate it when you take the time to comment on some of mine. Best wishes for health, happiness, and success for all of us in 2012!

  • Reading: James Gurney
  • Eating: hazelnut creme
  • Drinking: tea with lemon

taking a break

Journal Entry: Sun Sep 25, 2011, 12:01 PM



At least from digital painting for awhile. Which makes me quite sad, because it's been my all consuming passion for the past few years :(

But the situation with my back and right shoulder has gotten out of control. I can no longer work on the computer for 9+ hours a day at my day job and then come home and do more. The pain has got me practically on my knees by mid-afternoon. I've been falling behind on commissions, and avoiding work on my own projects because I'm avoiding the pain.

Finally did get a sort of diagnosis this week - my right shoulder is unstable, muscles that control/support it have been drastically weakened from work/surgeries, so my back and rib muscles attempt to compensate for the instability. They can only keep it up for so long before they too start to ache. We are hoping to strengthen up the shoulder, but it's going to take awhile.

Gotta keep the day job, so I'm going to have to shelve the extra digital for awhile. I'm hoping to be able to get back to it eventually, in the meantime I'm playing with various traditional media projects to keep the creativity going :) Hopefully will be posting my last digital piece and some finished cicada wings soon :)

  • Watching: more mindless trash
  • Eating: squash pudding
  • Drinking: lemon and water

Exotique 7

Journal Entry: Fri Aug 26, 2011, 7:45 AM



I'm very happy to say that this piece

October by ceruleanvii

got into Exotique 7. It was an older piece which I made some subtle changes to (his shoulders, background) and I guess luck was on my side this time around.  This is the second time one of my guys has gotten in to Exotique - my women never make it :)

Ballistic always does a beautiful job with their printing, so I'm very much looking forward to seeing the book when it comes out in November!

Working on a cool book cover at the moment, will post when I can - sci fi!

  • Listening to: Cheap Trick
  • Watching: mindless trash
  • Drinking: tea with lemon

what's been going on...

Journal Entry: Thu Aug 18, 2011, 8:37 AM



Lots o' stuff!

I was asked back to teach my digital illustration course in the fall, and got some pretty glowing reviews from my last students, so I guess I didn't suck all that bad! :) Which was nice to hear.  

Finally got a new piece of artwork up, the book cover for Jayden Wood's "Godric the Kingslayer"     ceruleanvii.deviantart.com/art… story and nice to work on, breaking out of my box a little :)

In the next few days I'm going to photograph a bunch of traditional stuff, so there should be a massive art dump soon...

It's been a slow year artistically but as I'm looking over all the things digital I started and never finished, I see potential in some... so I may work a few up and post. We'll see. So many ideas, such a slow artist!

  • Reading: A Dance with Dragons
  • Drinking: tea with lemon

endings and beginnings

Journal Entry: Mon Jun 20, 2011, 8:13 AM



Well, I wrapped up my teaching job. I'm hoping to pick it up again in the fall, but now time for a much needed summer break! This time around I learned quite a bit and will certainly be modifying my approach if I teach again. The main thing is, I think I need to be less blunt.

I've always been a fan of honesty. To a fault. I know I tell people things they don't want to hear and I'm not terribly diplomatic. So -
if anyone reading this is a college or university level art student. I'd love hear your opinion:

Are your teachers giving you honest, helpful critique? Or do they just try and make everyone feel good about themselves? Do teachers have a responsibility to tell students what they need to do to succeed professionally? Do students feel they are "entitled" to passing grades?

Thanks for the input!

...........................................

And in other news... I have been LOVING Game of Thrones. Best. Series. Ever. I'm reading the Hunger Games trilogy - very interested to see what they do with the movie. And concerning artwork, I have a commission I'm finishing up - been tougher than I thought to balance work/teaching/family/life in general.

Related to this, a public service announcement about working on computers and your health...

I've been working on computers with both mouse and pen for a long, long, time.  Back when I was starting out I would get back pain between my shoulder blade and spine in the right, my mouse arm. It was explained to me that the strain of holding this arm in position to move the mouse caused the muscle fibers to knot and cause pain. Well, throughout the years the pain has come and gone, ranging from barely noticeable to excruciating.

Fast forward to now. I've had some surgeries that have weakened my back muscles and caused a cascading effect - whole upper back, shoulders, neck, head, and jaw is affected. Severe quality of life affecting pain. This issue is completely due to sitting at a computer desk for 9+ hours a day all these years.  When I walk around for a few days, it starts to abate.

What am I to do? I need to work, and my job involves sitting in front of a computer. With the advent of email and IMs "to enhance worker productivity" there is little reason need to get up and walk around. More and more studies are showing that the leading risk to our health is sitting at a desk for long periods of time.

So for those of you just starting out  - listen up! There is research being done on different desk configurations, standing style desks, treadmills, adjustable heights. Demand one of these if you can. And get up and walk around, take breaks, stretch. Don't end up like me! :)

I'm hoping to get hooked up with a physical therapist soon, I've been trying to kneel in front of my immobile workstation - tough on the knees, but better on the back. Hopefully I'll find and answer soon -

Take care,
Del

  • Listening to: Pixies
  • Reading: The Hunger Games
  • Watching: Game of Thrones
  • Eating: canadian bacon
  • Drinking: green tea

memory lane

Journal Entry: Tue May 24, 2011, 10:00 AM



The teaching (Digital Illustration) has been going great and I'm very much enjoying it - though  lots to prep and keep track of.  Plus when you add a full time job and family in addition to teaching, well, you get a very tired me! So no new artwork, just a swirling maelstrom of ideas waiting to get out :)

I had an interesting experience this past weekend while I was visiting my parents. My father has been nagging me for years to go through all my old high school and college artwork in the basement and toss it. So I finally did. Wow, quite the trip down memory lane. Lots of interesting realizations as well.

First of all, I was nowhere near as bad as I thought. A lot of it was actually pretty good. And I was surprised at the things I already grasped without fully understanding.

Second of all, a lot of the things I did then I'm still doing now, for better or for worse. Like making  legs too long. Like crappy perspective.  Like lots of images based around fire. Like lots of orange and blue color schemes. Like lots of semi-nude guys. though back then they were all black haired demons :)

Third, in spite of the previous point, I have learned a great many things in the years since school. And now I put more effort into understanding what I want to know more about. My eye is much keener, I can spot the subtle things things that make an image work. Or fail.

The most interesting were of course the self portraits. I was a pretty tortured soul back then, at least in my own mind :) But since then life has thrown me some experiences that put my early angst in perspective. Though now instead of cringing at how ridiculous I was, I am at the point where I smile, and indeed, remember fondly that old me. She had no idea what she was in for, but man, could she ever dream!

I stuffed a portfolio case full of my favorites and threw the rest in two huge garbage bags. So much work, hard to believe I once had the time to create all that. I'll see if I can post some of the more interesting ones.

  • Watching: Game of Thrones
  • Eating: nuts n berries
  • Drinking: tea

a small update

Journal Entry: Wed Mar 30, 2011, 10:07 AM



Just thought I'd update this journal since it's been a few months...

I'm not going to have a lot new paintings any time soon because I'll be teaching a Digital Painting (Photoshop) course from April until June. I'm pretty excited - it'll be a lot of work but hopefully worth it! One thing I've always enjoyed doing is sharing what I've learned with others, and this gives me a great opportunity to do so on a large scale - and figure out if this is something I'd like to pursue further.

So life is pretty busy right now. But I have been finding time for my favorite new TV show - Spartacus Blood and Sand. Now, I'm not a big TV watcher by any means as I find most of it a big waste of time, but this series really has me hooked. It came out in 2009 but I'm just getting around to seeing it - and man oh man! Good storylines, great action sequences - and I've never seen so many attractive naked guys on TV before :) plus there's plenty of female eye candy as well, for those into that :) If you're under 18, or easily offended by graphic imagery, it's not the show for you. But if you liked 300 and Gladiator, check it out!

  • Reading: mounds of paperwork
  • Watching: Spartacus
  • Eating: wild rice salad
  • Drinking: tea

welcome 2011!

Journal Entry: Tue Dec 28, 2010, 11:46 AM



Out with the old, in with the new! Ok, I'm a few days early, but what the heck :)

2010 has been a much better year for me than the wretched 2009, and here's hoping 2011 continues with that trend.

Productivity-wise, looking back, it was not great - just a few finished paintings, two of them re-working of older pieces. But I made my first foray into doing commercial work for other people, and it was a good experience. And after a great deal of soul-searching, I am much more at peace with my art, my abilities, and the way my life is going.

So thank you all for your continued watches, faves, and comments - and thank YOU for sharing your wonderful artworks and your visions with me. DA, warts and all, is still my favorite art web site. And I promise, as soon as I finish this #!@$% painting I've been working on all fall - I'll post it!

Best wishes for a peaceful and creative 2011!

- Del

  • Listening to: maserati
  • Reading: The Tsar's Dwarf
  • Playing: Angry Birds
  • Eating: canoli
  • Drinking: green tea

'tis the season

Journal Entry: Tue Nov 30, 2010, 1:13 PM



Just a little catch-up journal since I haven't posted anything new in awhile... I have a painting I swore I'd be done with By Halloween. Then by Thanksgiving. Now I'm shooting for December sometime, we'll see how it goes :) Been a busy few months and every time I look at this painting it seems more unfinished. This one may be a record for me - I started it over 2 years ago and have given up/restarted it sooo many times.

My husband is also an artist, more of a cartoonist - I guess you could say he and I have completely opposite styles :) He's starting a project where he's trying to paint an animal a day on his iPhone using the Zen Brush app and his finger

Sloth by scoodotcom Otter by scoodotcom Walrus by scoodotcom Octopus by scoodotcom

Aren't they cute? If you have any animal suggestions, drop him a comment! He's scoodotcom

Happy upcoming holidays to everyone, and best wishes for the upcoming New Year! I think it's going to be filled with a lot of interesting changes!

  • Watching: Tower Prep
  • Playing: Cut the rope
  • Eating: grilled veggies, hummus
  • Drinking: tea

just thinking

Journal Entry: Sat Sep 25, 2010, 11:28 AM



I've been debating with myself whether or not to write this journal entry... and decided to do it after all. Maybe it will help someone else, who knows?

I've had a dark cloud hanging over me these past few months, slowly sucking the joy out of my life. Last week the cloud lifted, and I feel good about the future once again. So now that the big looming dread is out of the way, I find myself once again thinking about the little things... like my art.

Yes, in the grand scheme of my life, I've realized my art is a little thing. It's something I enjoy very much, something that makes me who I am. But my successes and more often, my disappointments with my art do not define me. In the past I used to beat myself up about my work - when people hated it, why couldn't I create things that had more professional appeal, what was wrong, what I lacked. I am still constantly trying to improve as an artist, but all the crap life's handed me over the past few years has taught me something - that life's too short to be wasting time on doing things you don't like.  

I've had some great opportunities this year to do work for other people, and the best thing was, I was able to do the kind of work I enjoy. And that's what's important. As far as my full time career, I'm sticking with the 3D work. It lets me indulge in my love of light, ridiculous levels of detail, yummy textures, subtle nuances. And I'll keep my 2D work on the side, so I can paint what I like - all my pretty boys (and occasional girls :) ). I am considering opening up for commissions in a few weeks (after I finish a pretty pair :) ) so if you have something you'd like painted and like what I do, stay tuned -

Final word, and then I'll stop ruminating at you - you gotta do what makes you happy. Yeah, very cliched and obvious answer. But I see a lot of people on this site like me, stressing over getting better, upset with their general suckiness at art, and while it's a very typical mindset of artists - don't let it consume you. There are so many other wonderful things our existence here on earth holds for us, be sure to enjoy them.

  • Watching: Top Chef
  • Eating: a perfect plum
  • Drinking: H2O

dragonCon, art in the digital age

Journal Entry: Wed Sep 8, 2010, 11:35 AM



So I got to check out a bit of DragonCon last weekend... Now that was a lot of fun! I was mostly scoping out the art show with the thought of maybe doing it next year, still undecided... I have to say the comic/pop art area was a lot more fun and hopping than the fine art stuff, and more interesting as well. Too bad I don't do comics!

So DragonCon itself... First time I've been in years. First time I had to pay full price. Ouch. I've gotten free passes other years and was a bit shocked at how expensive it was! And the registration/purchase/badge process was absolutely ridiculous - chaotic, disorganized, and mind numbingly slow. OK, that's the bad stuff. The good stuff far outweighed it - lots of cool vendors, wonderful costumes (though much heavier on the female eye candy than the male) :) Anyhow, lots of fun and I'm looking forward to next year.

----------------------------

Came across this interesting blog post:

illustrationart.blogspot.com/2…

The comments are actually the interesting parts - lot of discussion about the nature of art, skills, technique in the digital age. Do digital artists suck compared to the traditional ones of yesteryear? Are young artists being spoiled, not learning the foundations when they jump into digital? All things I've thought about often, so if you're interested, take a look and post me a comment, I love to discuss these things!

  • Watching: Rachel Zoe
  • Eating: thai eggplant
  • Drinking: green tea

eBay resolution

Journal Entry: Thu Aug 26, 2010, 7:28 AM



Thanks everyone for your help and comments on this issue! Ebay has responded and they have had the seller remove both the listings. It took them a week to take action after I filed the first report - and a single day after I filed the second. So I guess they've been getting the message :)

This guy stores.ebay.com/mjart-2008 still has plenty of other art for sale, though, much of it illegal copies I am sure. So I am going to continue watching his account, and if you do happen to see works belonging to another artist, be sure to let them know.

Thanks again for all the help! :)

  • Reading: The Fellowship of the Ring
  • Eating: peaches
This seller on eBay

[link]

is taking other people's artworks and offering them for sale as "original" oil paintings. I was notified about him doing this with one of mine last week. I contacted eBay and they still have not taken any action. Today I have been notified that yet another one of my paintings is listed for sale on his site. I have also been informed that he is doing this with the artwork of other dA members.

From what I understand, he is collecting digital images via the internet,  having them re-painted as "original" oil paintings, and selling them for a nice profit. As he is based in China, I am not sure what, if any options there are for getting him to desist. But eBay needs to deal with it.

This guy is charging anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars for paintings that ARE NOT HIS - they are illegal COPIES of other people's ideas and hard work.

Take a look and see if any of your work is on there, and if so, let eBay have it.

eBay RIPOFF artist

Journal Entry: Tue Aug 24, 2010, 10:33 AM



This guy

stores.ebay.com/mjart-2008

is taking other people's artwork and offering them for sale as "original" oil paintings. I was notified about him doing this with one of mine last week. I contacted eBay and they still have not taken any action. Today I have been notified that yet another one of my paintings is listed for sale on his site. OK, now I'm getting angry :(  This guy is charging anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars for paintings that ARE NOT HIS - they are illegal COPIES of other people's ideas and hard work.

Take a look and see if any of your stuff is on there, and if so, let eBay have it. Maybe if enough people complain, this guy will get shut down.

edit: I did want to add something to this... I am usually not one of those people who gets up in arms about minor art theft. I can totally understand people being inspired by other people's paintings, photos, ideas. This is different. This guy is billing them as HIS original works. Some of the old master copies and reproductions are identified as such. But most others are not, just things like "ORIGINAL BOY OIL PAINTING GAY ART ON CANVAS MALE NUDE" (now why is any guy without a shirt gay, hmm? ), with NO credit given to the original artists . Plus if he's selling these things at the prices listed, he's making FAR more on them than your average DA artist would. At least a lot more than I ever have ;)

  • Reading: The Hobbit
  • Watching: those wretched NJ Housewives
  • Eating: eggplant

thank you!

Journal Entry: Sun Aug 8, 2010, 9:12 AM



Thanks everyone for the sweet birthday wishes and cake! They were a nice bright spot in an otherwise mediocre/borderline crappy day spent dealing with cat pee, commitments, and various messes - just another day in the life :) But I did have some great birthday cake with lots of frosting, mmm! Cake is my favorite food. Ever. :)

---

I'd read this awhile back, and wanted to share.

" Artists are in a unique position to leave an intimate record of human life as they give us the opportunity to see not only through their eyes but also through their thoughts and emotions. One could say that the greater the art, the more clearly we experience the communion of souls. Artists remind us that despite the pain and ugliness in the world, something deeper exists - a beauty that peeks through the drudgery of life, whispering that there is more just beneath the surface".

- Juliette Aristedes,  "Classical Painting Atelier" p xiii

I love this. It sums my feeling about art, and why I keep doing this - trying to capture that fleeting moment of beauty and share it with my fellow human beings. And I am so glad they do the same!

  • Eating: more cake :)

back, SIGGRAPH 2010

Journal Entry: Sun Aug 1, 2010, 9:14 AM



Finally back from all my travels, ah, it feels so good to be home! I spent last week out at SIGGRAPH, the big computer graphics conference, in Los Angeles. So here's my personal review...

It was fun, saw some interesting things, nothing that really amazed me though. I've been to quite a few of these now and there's usually some major new innovation everyone's talking about, but not this year. My favorites, and my love of lighting is prejudicing me, of course :) - a presentation about Iron Man 2, in particular how they did the shaders and light setups, and a presentation about How to Train Your Dragon that dealt with artistic direction and cinemetographic lighting. Both very well done.

Saw some fantastic animations, and some not so great ones - it's painfully apparent that the most important thing that carries an movie, no matter what the length, is a good STORY. One particular screening of game cinematics really got me thinking, though... I'm not much of a gamer, but I love me a good cinematic. However, every one I saw was incredibly, outrageously, insanely hyper-violent - brutal fighting, massive weaponry, blood spattering the screen, realistic gore flying everywhere. Not to say they weren't very well done - my two faves were Mass Effect 2 by Blur (their stuff is always awesome) and Marvel vs. Capcom 3, great style. But - why are all the popular video games all so crazy violent? Do games dealing with strategy or exploration or puzzles just not sell? Gamers, fill me in!

As far as the 2D digital stuff - lots of opportunity to drool over the new Cintiq, but no really good deals or show specials, which was a bummer :( I noticed, though, that there are TONS of books and e-books out there on digital painting techniques - I see people ask about how to get started a lot, and nowadays there are so many resources!

And that's about it. On a side note, last month I did end up getting the Huey Pro to calibrate my monitor and it's helped.  Biggest thing is that it adjusts for time of day with the room lighting, which is very helpful. I was getting so tired of having my paintings look completely different between morning and night.

Hopefully I'll wrap up my latest painting in the next few weeks. It was nice to get a break from it - time and distance are always helpful in determining whether or not something totally sucks :)

  • Eating: french toast
  • Drinking: coffee