In other, less interesting news:
1.) The cat is neurotic (expected), and we're all getting used to him appearing at random under us. I know cats do this--I know--but see, our dogs do this, too, but unlike cats, they don't have preternatural moving out of the way powers, so basically, there's no point in my life I don't have bruises on my shins, just now they're not necessary a third of the time.
2.) I got to the journeyman stage in tortilla making. Two coworkers gave advice, one of them taking up a very zen approach (You'll know you're ready when you can feel the tortilla is ready) which inspired me to stare into the pan trying to becoming one with flatbread. That worked out well. However, out of three batches, my second was wildly successful, by sheer accident, and they were eaten while I was cooking them so none for storage. The problem is there's no recipe that has what I call a small batch, which makes sense, because of the amount of margarine/butter/lard/shortening you use is so small that it's hard to divide it down more. However, that means when I get it wrong, there's a lot of leftover unbaked and waiting to be badly cooked. The last batch isn't bad, but it's--very flakey, too much so, and I have yet to figure out how this one went wrong when the last one didn't since the recipes are identical.
I think it's how I'm doing the margarine/butter/lard/shortening and flour mix together. I may try to start with one cup of flour mix and the margarine/butter/lard/shortening, then add in more flour when that's well mixed. It's enough like pastry in basics--and I know basic and complex pastries, it may be my only true gift--that I'm stuck in the wrong mindset while making it and treating it like pastry, hence very flakey and not very much tortilla. OTOH, it still tastes okay, just utterly useless for wrapping around fajita meat or carne asada.
(In case you're curious, I'm not using margarine/butter/lard/shortening, just one of those at a timee, but I was originally switching, and after consultation with people who are really good at this, decided to stick to lard until I get it right, then I can judge how to use substitutes. If I get this right, a coworker has promised she'll teach me naan, but I have to get a handle on flatbreads in general first or it will not end well. Well, and I have to pay her with a batch of tortillas using shortening or something vegetarian/vegan.)
3.) In food related news, my Indian coworkers are bringing out the snack foods again to helplessly addict us all. I usually get first pick, since I mentored several of them, and also it's a subtle test of my ability to eat hot things (there was a thing with lemon peel that mostly metaphorically set my mouth on fire; they were all extremely excited about this) or random things that they refuse to name until I eat it, because I'm the kind of person that responds to that very well. The latest is a very hard rice-based--I want to say like a chip, but it's not, it's in twists not unlike a pretzel (but nothing at all like a pretzel) and it has a faint spicy undertaste that was amazing. Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to eat any until the woman who brought it left, so my Monday will be spent finding out what it is and who I need to kill to get a bag of it.
4.) In more food-related news, we finally got a rice cooker and I'm eating rice and veggies like it's a drug. I remember someone on my flist or dcircle talking about making rice and then just mixing it with leftovers and eating it for days, and for the record, that works. I've been mixing it up with wild rice, sticky rice, jasmine rice, random rice, and orzo (I think?), but I am actually eating healthier in general now, because add a little cheese on top of everything and my God, yes. It's also nice not to have burned rice. I know there are people out there that can cook rice without a layer of burn at the bottom; I am not one of those people.
5.) In even more food related news, we got a deep fryer. I don't want to talk about how my son managed ot master chicken wings and vegetables and my chicken wings and zucchini so failed sadly, but let's just say it happened and leave it at that.
6.) I had a lot of food related news, okay? It was fucking freezing and I'm either skipping meals or eating my own weight. It's--something. Food, okay?
We have lots of great art and are just waiting on a couple of final pieces. The Claiming post will go up on the Dreamwidth sgareversebang side, visible to members of that comm only, on March 9th. It will be locked to comments for a couple of days so writers get a chance to look at all the lovely art and to make a list of their top several choices.
Then the actual Claiming will be at at (about) 00.01 (midnight) UTC/GMT on March 11th. When is that where you live? - World Clock Link.
Two things you might need to arrange to get ready for this:
1) Almost all the authors are now members of the Dreamwidth sgareversebang community - but if you're not, just go to the DW comm and join up as a member in the usual way. Organize OpenID for yourself if you need this and haven't already done so.
2) If you can't join in at the Claiming time, you can arrange for a friend (who would need to be a member of the DW comm) to comment for you with your list of choices, as a proxy. Or you can ask the mods to be your proxy and post your list for you. Email us at email@example.com to let us know about any need for a proxy, at
It's getting exciting! See you all at Claiming time.
Unusual Suspects by kitlee625, Sarahastro
Gen; ensemble; casefic/crossover; G; 4233 words
Summary: The detectives of the Brooklyn Nine-Nine investigate a series of burglaries where it almost seems like the thief is invisible. But that’s impossible, right?
(I'm not familiar with Brooklyn 99, so I read those guys as quasi OCs that provide an entertaining outsider POV. The fic did make me want to check out that show.)
Ghost Towns by enigma731
Clint & Natasha, Fury; teen; 4000 words
Summary: S.H.I.E.L.D. did brain scans the day they brought Natasha in. Clint doesn’t recognize half of the words in the report he’s given, but he knows enough to understand that there are signs of chemical tampering in her brain, of the pathways that form her memories being repeatedly wired and rewired again.
For the prompt: "Whisper a dangerous secret to someone you care about. Now they have the power to destroy you, but they won’t. This is what love is."
A beautiful interpretation of the prompt.
Here's a new trailer for The Winter Soldier, several minutes long, and it's looking good!. It really looks like Natasha is going to play a significant role as promised. I'm so excited!
Meet the Somalis - The illustrated stories of Somalis in seven cities in Europe
Very interesting webcomic based on real experiences. Each story is four pages long and can be read very comfortably frame-by-frame.
on buzzfeed: 37 People Who Failed So Spectacularly They Almost Won
(I'm mostly linking it for the cuteness that is #14.)
Das Haus der Gärtner im Schlossgarten von Sanssouci…
5.9 x 5.9 inch / Oil on MDF board / 15cm x 15cm / Öl auf MDF Bord
If you would like to purchase this daily painting, please send your bid by email. Startprice 150 Euro. End of sale March 8th, 2014 at 6.00 pm (local time Berlin Germany). Terms of Sale and Right of Withdrawal.
Wenn Sie dieses Tagesbild erwerben möchten, senden Sie bitte Ihr Gebot per email . Mindestpreis 150 Euro. Ende des Verkaufs gegen Höchstgebot am 8. März 2014 um 18 Uhr. Beachten Sie bitte die Informationen zu den Verkaufsbedingungen sowie die Widerrufsbelehrung.
© Edward B. Gordon, all rights reserved.
Emmanuel Malin is an illustrator, art director and concept artist for the gaming industry based in Paris. I initially profiled Malin here on Lines and Colors back in 2010.
Malin creates fascinatingly textural images with layers of shapes within larger shapes defining his compositions. He works with both bright and muted color palettes, often contrasting low chroma complementary pairs with brighter clashes of more intense color.
Malin frequently divides his larger forms into sub-forms with slight variations in color or value, and fills many of his spaces with visually appealing textural patterns. On top of these elements, he creates foreground elements that swoop and swirl in curvilinear fashion, the whole often suggesting not-quite-recognizable biological forms.
On his website you’ll find highlights on the home page, along with two short animated sequences, and then galleries devoted to illustration, video games, sketches and comics.
I particularly enjoy a series in the video games section for a gaming project he titles Alice Return in Madness (I think the eventually released game was titled Alice: The Madness Returns in the U.S.).
Malin has a blog on Tumblr, the older version of which is on Blogger. In addition, you can find galleries of his work on Behance and CGHub, as well as some older entries as a participant in the Gorilla Artfare group blog. There is a brief interview with Malin on ImagineFX.
Questions for the flist:
1. A couple of you have mentioned the India Black books. In what order should they be read? I have a gift certificate and I'll be back to reading fiction eventually.
2. Am I missing something or are there no tags or indexing available to find all of Ta-Nehisi Coates's columns about WWII? (I'm pleased to see I made some of the same choices in reading material, and have added a couple things to my already stupidly long to-read list as well, just from the couple of columns I managed to find.) His commentariat tends to be very knowledgeable about stuff but having to use a list of google search results to read from is tiresome. *is fundamentally lazy*
3. WHY DOES THIS WEEK FEEL LIKE IT'S BEEN EIGHT WEEKS LONG? I said something to my boss today about something I'd done earlier this week, except I was like, "yeah, I did that a couple weeks ago" and he looked at me funny, since it was something I not only didn't do, but COULDN'T HAVE DONE, prior to Tuesday of this week. UGH TIME. WHY SO INEFFABLE?
Characters/Pairing/Other Subject: Dodo Chaplet & Steven Taylor (and HiFi!)
Content Notes/Warnings: n/a
Medium: digital art
Artist on DW/LJ: n/a
Artist Website/Gallery: mustamirri
Why this piece is awesome: Two Companions you see far too seldom in art are Dodo and Steven. This is a really great portrayal of them together. There's a hint of Art Nouveau in the sweeping lines and soft colours, but it's restrained enough that their thoroughly 1960s outfits still fits right in. I love Dodo's excited gesture and that Steven of course has HiFi with him.
Link: 60's Girl and Future Boy
Alright, the first milestone of Chapter 6 has been reached! The first 20% of the chapter are illustrated now and it took me a little bit less than three weeks to do that. That's lying within the timeframe I've expectated for a chapter as huge as this one.
It's such a good feeling to start once more into this adventure and to see the journey of Jonas and Raya unfold. I have to admit that it wasn't too easy for me to start my work on the first panel though. It's been nearly one full year since I've finished the last panel of Chapter 5 (on March 24th, 2013) and it felt a little bit unfamiliar at first. However, when the first panel was finished it all came back to me and I enjoyed this first 20% of this chapter enormously. Unfortunately I obviously can't talk much about what's happening in the chapter but it certainly is no secret that in the beginning Jonas and Raya are still on the transport ship. I loved to paint all the different people in the background and I even started to tell little stories with them that you most likely won't even see in the standard version of the graphic novel because a lot of it will be covered up by word balloons. However, I really enjoyed putting these little extras in there and I'm already looking forward to entering the big city of Kingspeak where even more people will be running around.
As always there's a sneak preview of this milestone for you:
|Aboard the transport ship, Jonas and Raya face an unpleasant surprise.|
Ok, the next milestone will be delayed by at lest a week because once again I'm traveling to Graz, Austria to record new video trainings for Video2Brain. Although I'm generally not fond of delaying production, I'm really looking forward to that trip. And if you happen to be located in the vincinity of Linz, Austria, you might like to visit the Nextcomic Festival on which I will appear on Staturday, March 22nd to give a presentation about the Wormworld Saga on stage. I'd love to meet some fans from Austria and talk to them! And I'd be more than happy to sign anything you happen to bring with you.
Ok, on to the next milestone then!
- It is important to teach kids that you can work as an artist -
The other night I had the chance to go and speak to a large group of people about my artwork. After speaking a woman in the audience came up and re-introduced herself. She was one of my art teachers in Junior High. She was so supportive of me, even back then when I was a gangly nerdy art kid (not much has changed). It was great to see her and little emotional for me. It started me thinking about all the people who have so generously given of the time, energy and feedback along the way. I thought I would write a few thoughts about this and then, since this is an art blog, share a few things I have been working on over the last couple weeks.
My family has always been incredibly supportive. My parents didn't blink an eye when at 12 I told them I thought I should be an artist. My mom took me to visit the studio of an artist shortly after and this artist was kind enough to make me feel important and told me that if I wanted to be an artist that I could, and should. His name was Greg Olsen. It was inspiring. To see that someone could actually make it. For a kid, my vision of an artist was drawn from cartoons and caricatures that made them all seem a little crazy or poor. Here was an artist working and normal and kind. He gave me a full set of slides of about 60 of his paintings. I still have them.
Through junior high and high school I had wonderful teachers. My physics teacher, who makes really high end field cameras (K. B. Canham Cameras Inc.) told me that I should really get serious about being an artist. He offered to photograph all of my work for me to help me apply for scholarships.
While in high school an artist came and did a demo in class and showed some amazing artwork. A lot of incredible pencil work for Hollywood posters. His name was J.D. Parrish. He went to Art Center and did some work with Drew Struzan. He was kind enough to treat me like an equal and we became good friends. I still have a roll of linen that he sold to me at an incredible price when I was a poor college student and the strobes that I do my photography he also sold me for almost nothing.
Don Seegmiller was one of my teachers in college and then my art director when I worked at the video game company Saffire. Don would let me come to his home and watch him paint and see his setup. He sold me a beautiful old Santa Fe easel that I still use for about the cost of a tube of paint. He also gave me two original oil paintings that hang in my studio. More than that, he gave me knowledge and support.
Another important person in my career is Dan Dos Santos (who needs no introduction here of course). Dan is incredibly generous, as many of you know. Dan helped me make contact with Greenwich Workshop, who now have a few of my prints in their line up, something I have dreamed of since I was a kid and used to pour over their catalogs. Those of you who have been to the Illustration Master Classes know that Dan (along with all the other teachers) holds nothing back, sharing everything he can. Thanks Dan!
Lars Grant-West also comes to mind. I was at Gen-Con and signing for a book I had done illustrations for. I met Lars and showed him some of my work. He said, "You should meet Jeremy Jarvis and do work for Magic: The Gathering." Fifteen minutes later, I was showing Jeremy my work and started doing work for Magic a few weeks later. There were no thoughts of competition, just Lars being Lars and giving me an introduction.
There have been many others along the way that have encouraged, supported and given me help. I consider myself both lucky and blessed. I work hard, but wouldn't be where I am at without so many others. Most artists I have met are generous both with their knowledge and support. I think it is because so many of us have had others lift us up. It is part of the common experience to this field of work.
So, now that I am working as an artist, I always say yes if at all possible when cub scouts want to come visit the studio, or parents want to bring their child and talk about being an artist. If the kid asks if they can make it as an artist, the answer always yes. Lots of hard work, but most definitely yes.
Take the opportunity to go into schools (by invitation, don't just show up...) and present artwork of the old masters and talk about art. Here in Arizona they have an 'Art Masterpiece' program just for this purpose. See if that exists where you live too.
Answer as many questions as you can when those who are a few rungs down on the ladder ask and if you get the chance, mentor someone. It is both eye-opening and rewarding.
Now, a few videos from some studies and a painting I have worked on over the last couple weeks.
What I've just finished reading:
1) Five Billion Years of Solitude by Lee Billings -- Non-fiction about the current state of searching for life on other planets. I've been slowly working my way through this one since Christmas, as I find non-fiction easier to read in smaller doses, and this one certainly covers a lot of territory. It's quite good. It begins with the Drake equation and the conference that got the SETI ball rolling in the 1960s and goes through the early hunt for planets, current work with the Kepler telescope and what the future looks like. In addition to being fascinating, it's also a very human story about the people who do this research, how rivalries and friendships and professional relationship (and govt politics) evolve and ultimately impact what gets done - and not always for the better. It's also well written, and I felt like the majority of the science was well explained. Some of the telescope physics was a bit tricky in the details, but I always felt like I could follow the main ideas.
2) Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein -- Fiction about two British women fighting/supporting the war effort during WWII. Excellent, and I highly recommend it. Read it as unspoiled as you can. What I will tell you is, it is about two woman who are best friends, one a pilot and one spy who gets captured by the Gestapo. The story is told, written down by the spy during her interrogation, and it unfolds beautifully the history of their friendship and how they ended up where they do, all while really setting the scene of the women's war effort. If you're looking for something to read, you'll probably like it.
What I'm reading now: Nothing, at this moment.
What I'm going to read next: I have Ancillary Justice on my ipad, but really what's next is the next Saga trade, which comes out later this month.
"You Are Here" [1.08]
"Are You Receiving" [1.03]
"The Bends" [1.04]
"Blood Brothers" [1.05]
"Simon Says" [1.07]
"Straw Man" [1.13]
Anyway, ISTG, half of the reason I never get anywhere with vidding is that by the time I get off my ass and get back to what I did last time, technology has changed.
So. People vidding on a PC. What are you using for clipping? I have VirtualDub and Ut Video Codec YUV420, as per the AMV.org guide. However, it's about four years out of date at this point, and I do not want to clip everything and then discover I've chosen the wrong codec. I know people used to point to Huffy -- is that a better option? Does it not matter, as long as it's a lossless codec? If I try to play a clip in VLC and it doesn't work, is that a bad sign?
SO MUCH MORE SENSE.
I AM EXCITE.
I AM GOING TO NEED SO MANY TISSUES FOR THIS.
I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH ALL THESE STEVE/BUCKY FEELS.
*FLINGS SELF INTO THE SUN*
It wasn't up on fandango, and I was getting anxious - the 8 pm show at Kips Bay was already sold out! - but then I checked movietickets.com and there it was. *relieved sigh*
* Captain America: the First Avenger and Captain America: the Winter Soldier only
- Actors and Movies: Photos: Daniel Radcliffe films "Frankenstein" on London streets, talks hair extensions.
Video: Emma Watson in 'Noah' film first on-set look, interview.
Emma Watson Talks Ron/Hermione on Red Carpet at the Oscars.
John Hurt Donates Doodle to National Doodle Day.
- Challenges: hp_darkages has opened claiming.
hd_tropes has opened sign-ups.
sshg_promptfest has announced their 2014 Fest.
dysfuncentine has posted their 2014 Reveals.
- News: J.K. Rowling among leading UK women who have signed an open letter to the British Government.
The fifth Pottermore Cup will soon be announced!
Will the newest location of the Wizarding World be in Beijing? Plus, Diagon Alley construction update!
I went to see Return of the King by myself first, because we were going to see it with my in-laws over Christmas holidays, and I knew I did not want to do that amount of crying in front of them. And it was a good decision, because I was pretty much a wreck from the scene between Galdalf and Pippin--oh, here, let's all have a cry.
PIPPIN: I didn't think it would end this way.
GANDALF: End? No, the journey doesn't end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass, and then you see it.
PIPPIN: What? Gandalf? See what?
GANDALF: White shores, and beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise.
PIPPIN: Well, that isn't so bad.
GANDALF: No. No, it isn't.
Antti Rautiola is a painter and art director living in Helinski, Finland.
On his blog, in particular, you will find larger versions of his paintings, showing his loose, confident brushwork. He also has a number of process sequences, and frequently posts images of his plein air work in progress on location, something I particularly appreciate as I enjoy seeing how plein air painters select and develop their composition for a landscape.
Rautiola has a wonderfully restrained use of color and value. Some of this may be in his response to the subtle light characteristic of the northern latitudes, but his interpretation of it gives much of his work a particularly strong feeling of color harmony.
You can see some similarity in the character of the light in the paintings of fellow Finnish painter Arto Isolatalo, who I profiled in 2012 here on Lines and Colors, and from whose website links I found Rautiola’s work.
Antti Rautiola currently has a solo window exhibition at Postikatu 1, Helsinki.
( spoilers, not particularly squeeful )
Also, here's a thing I noticed on my Life rewatch that I don't think I picked up on the first couple times: ( I guess it's a spoiler? ) While I have to say that aside from the gross and ill-advised Reese/Tidwell relationship, I don't mind Tidwell that much (though he is way too present; I liked Lt. Davis better), but I still need ALL the post-series fic where Reese moves on from him to Crews, because PARTNERS.
I also don't think I realized till this time around that the finale answers the very first question Crews asks Reese. ( spoiler ) But I am not up to the finale yet. I will probably have more to say when I get there.