The Death Watch Beetle

When the death watch beetle opens, if you are lucky enough to witness such a thing, it becomes a window into the Land of the Dead. This beetle is showing Charon (the ferryman) launching a ship across the dead sea [“Launch” happens to be this week’s Illustration Friday prompt].

WIPs and Such

I did this drawing a couple of years ago for my sketch blog, which is where the idea came from.

From Wikipedia:

“To attract mates, these woodborers create a tapping or ticking sound that can be heard in the rafters of old buildings on quiet summer nights. They are therefore associated with quiet, sleepless nights and are named for the vigil (watch) kept beside the dying or dead, and by extension the superstitious have seen the death watch as an omen of impending death.”

Also from Wikipedia:

“In Greek mythology, Charon or Kharon is the ferryman of Hades who carries souls of the newly deceased across the rivers Styx and Acheron that divided the world of the living from the world of the dead.”

I know you already knew that, but it seemed prudent to document it.


Shadows of Pine Island

On Pine Island, which is in the dead sea, everything falls under the shadow of Death Cat. At night, other things come out of the shadows.

This shadow box diorama is based on the drawing “Death Cat on Pine Island” which I did a few years ago as part of my sketch blog. This story takes place in a can of Lapsang Souchong, which is no longer available in tins of loose tea leaves. I’m crushed – it’s one of my favorite things.


Here’s how I arrived at this piece.


Like a Fish needs a Bicycle

I’m super excited about this, which is the first of three in a the longer series of recycling objects into dioramas. I think I could perform eye surgery after making this. Heck, I probably need eye surgery.  Here’s some WIPS from this one:


There’s always a bigger fish in the food chain.


Artemis and the White Bear

The full title is Artemis and the White Bear at ‘S-Hertogenbosch.

This is for School 33’s Lotta Art fundraiser and exhibition, for Illustration Friday’s “cultivate” prompt and, really,  for  fun.


This week’s topic for Illustration Friday is “cultivate,” which makes me think of mold. Coincidentally, I had a great idea yesterday for some Art involving mold, but I don’t have time to make it work for this week’s prompt (I’m going to be a mold artist).  Thus, Artemis and the White Bear are cultivating a relationship with their surroundings.That might seem a little thin because, well, it is. I want to post this to IF and needed to work the prompt in.

So, yes, another Altoids tin. I have about a million of them, but I also have many other containers which I’m excited to work on. This scene needed a taller container, for the trees, the windmill and the scale between Artemis and the “bear.” Also, I’m revisiting a character from this post, so it seemed appropriate to revisit the curiously strong container, too.

This was an amazing week -my daughter seems to be feeling a tiny,marginally bit better, fingers crossed. Each little scootch of progress is a step forward. Also,  I finished teaching my Web standards course, this time in 7 weeks. It felt like a tornado. I also learned a great deal about iPhone/iPad programming and started a small app for fun. I finished reading “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” I finished a bunch of stuff at work. I can sleep in tomorrow.

It’s pleasant out. I’m sitting in the barn and smelling the night air. I think we made it though winter. Optimism abounds.

And it’s the weekend.


A Muse When You Need Her

The latest tiny paper-cut diorama, “Muse Ut Vos Postulo Suus,”  is in an Altoids “Smalls” tin.

The Illustration Friday topic this week is “layer.” There are seven layers in this tin, each spaced far enough apart to cast a shadow on the next deepest layer.

A few more pictures taken in sunlight – it’s a little easier to see the muse floating above the other layers.

Happy Illustration Friday, once again.


Hot Damn! This made “Pick of the Week” at Illustration Friday!

Completely awesome. Thanks, Illustration Friday!