Totem sketchapalooza!

Well. I’ve been passing the time by mostly being quite anxious and stressed out. I like to redirect that energy when I can, and as I can’t seem to relax right now (I tried some breathing exercises and all I got for them was some lousy heart palpitations and hyperventilation for my trouble!), I decided to go the animal totem route. Here’s what’s on my drawing plate right now!

*

Barnevelder

Barnvelder Hen Sketch by Ravenari

*

Celestial Wolverine

Celestial Wolverine Totem Sketch by Ravenari

*

Chudditch

Chudditch Totem Sketch by Ravenari

*

Dutch Bantam

Dutch Bantam Totem Sketch by Ravenari

*

Short-Tailed Paradigalla

Short Tailed Paradigalla Totem Sketch by Ravenari

*

Rhode Island Red

Rhode Island Red Totem Sketch by Ravenari

*

Short-Tailed Weasel

Short Tailed Weasel Totem Sketch by Ravenari

*

Sussex Hen

Sussex Hen Totem Sketch as Totem

*

Phew! Thank goodness I’m going on a small holiday at the end of June, that’s all I’m saying!

*

All of these will be available for sale once completed. 🙂

Other artists are AWESOME: Riikka Auvinen

On a private blog, I’ve been sharing the art of artists I love, admire, respect, who evoke resonance and emotion in me, or challenge me. Some of these are artists are well-known, some are professionals, some are amateurs. All do amazing stuff.

*

Today’s feature is the work of Riikka Auvinen from Finland. Her work is sensitively rendered, with an excellent eye for colour and shape. Her newest release today:

Cold by Riikka Auvinen (Tirri)

*

Interested in checking her out?

*

Go to: Her DeviantArt account. All of her work is exceptional, and I highly recommend you check her stuff out.

Live nature. Love nature.

xanthorrhea seed stalk close up, by Ravenari

*

…’Yet I also appreciate that we cannot win this battle to slave species and environments without forging an emotional bond between ourselves and nature as well – for we will not fight to save what we do not love (but only appreciate in some abstract sense). So let them all continue – the films, the books, the television programs, the zoos, the little half acre of ecological preserve in any community, the primary school lessons, the museum demonstrations, even (though you will never find me there) the 6.00am bird walks.

Let the continue and expand because we must have visceral contact in order to love. We really must make room for nature in our hearts.’

-> Stephen Jay Gould, Eight Little Piggies.

*

One of the many reasons I’m an animist. Illustrate nature and animals. Walk the land. Research it. I love it tremendously. It’s not just some abstract beauty in my heart, but a real, visceral, existing force combined of many living forces.

*

For if we do not truly learn to love it, like we love our family and friends and lovers and animal companions; we cannot truly preserve and nourish it in more than an abstract way. Animism is one of the many pathways to that love, but so is genuine research, spending time in a landscape and learning it for what it is, talking to others who love the land and sea and the animals within it, and connecting with that love.

*

I wish more people would take the time to learn to love that which gives them life in a truly real way.

No good title today!

I have a new project. It’s a trade in exchange for some serious quality editing I’m receiving on a manuscript that I’m hoping to eventually seek publication for. Anyway. This new project is huge. For example, here it is taking up most of my art desk:

*

Katt's Forest - WIP 01 - by Ravenari

*

But like that you can hardly tell what’s going on! So here’s a section of the bitty corner that I’ve started finally inking:

*

Katt's Forest - WIP 02 - Frogshroom - by Ravenari

*

And to prove that on the rare occasion I can actually sketch (since sketching is not something I frequently do), you can see some sketches here:

*

I sketch I promise! - by Ravenari

*

Yes. The frog’s name really is George.

*

Lately, the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) has been doing some controlled burns of and around the Gnangara Pine Plantation in order to clear away fire hazards and make space and essentially make pretty patterns in the sky. Observe:

*

smoke and inversion layer - photo by Ravenari

*

So it’s made everything kind of interesting, as it’s been going on every day and the fires are huge. The other day I was walking and the fire smoke contributed to some cumulus and ended up making these massive, charcoal clouds. When it broke and rained over our house, the rain smelled strongly of smoke, which was just so ‘Western Australia’ that I had to smile. And cough a little. Because you know; smoke.

*

because you know, smoke - by Ravenari

*

Have been seeing a lot of kangaroos around locally, lately. They come out and crop the grass at the local parks, and so I see whole families with joeys grazing and watching us in that kind of ‘hmm, you going to interrupt us with our grass or what?’ look on their faces. Thankfully haven’t noticed too many huge males, since they can be aggressive at times. It’s mostly just the smaller, svelte females and their young.

*

I have decided that walking through a suburb that is ‘still in construction’ is a unique and strange experience. Seeing whole streets and blocks literally get raised from bushland in a matter of weeks, sectioned into blocks, artificial topsoil sprayed down (which the common bronzewings love), have their little block numbers with ‘SOLD’ stickers across them (Ellenbrook is a desireable area right now in that any area is desirable due to the housing shortage/crisis in Peth), and then finally seeing the tradies come in and actually build a house in a matter of months. But I walk the streets before the houses are there, and then when they’re just concrete slabs showing their floorplans to the world. And while I walk on tarmac covered with windswept sand and the tuna cans empty of a tradeperson’s lunch, I see ravens and magpies walking through these houses looing for bits of food left over. Living in the houses before people ever could.

*

How are you, today? 🙂

Matt Pryor of The Get Up Kids fame crowdfunding next album.

Hi folks!

*

When I do a lot of my artwork, I either listen to music, or I watch TV series in the background. When I listen to music, the vast majority of the time, I listen to work sung and written by Matt Pryor. So I listen to The Get Up Kids or The New Amsterdams or The Terrible Twos or his acoustic album Confidence Man. I listen to it over and over again. On my Last.FM, the works of Matt Pryor together are the top music I listen to. The top track, that I have listened to 309 times since 2007 is The New Amsterdam’s ‘Strangled by the Thought.’

*

Aside from purchasing CDs and merchandise, it’s rare to really get a chance to give back to a man who has inadvertently and indirectly helped me to create some of my favourite pieces of artwork. Pieces like this, would not exist in the way that they exist, without Matt Pryor:

*

Wandsuna – Foxes Don’t Cry

Wandsuna - Foxes Don't Cry - illustrated by Ravenari

*

Wandsuna – The Universal Language

Wandsuna - The Universal Language illustrated by Ravenari

*

So, this morning I woke up and discovered that Matt Pryor is CROWDFUNDING HIS NEXT ALBUM. Yes, indeedy. The link takes you to the Kickstarter page, where he is looking for $10,000 in backing by Wednesday, June 1st. In exchange for backing, there are some seriously awesome ‘rewards’ you can opt in for.

*

I don’t have many heroes in this world, but Matt Pryor is one of them. I don’t know him personally, obviously. But I know and love his music. And I think if you gave him a try, you would as well. And on an aside, I’ll keep producing awesome artwork if he keeps producing awesome music! (Okay, crude, but I had to give it a try!)

*

This combines a lot of lovely things though. Wonderful music, with collaboration, and the excitement that is crowdfunding. I’ve had to crowdfund some of my own work over the years, and know personally how exciting it is to do artwork requested by others, or financially supported by a group who want to bring a creative project to bear. Crowdfunding for someone you respect is always fun and happy-making. I highly recommend it. And if you haven’t heard of Crowdfunding in general, here’s a good primer!.

*

Signing off, your artist (who is doing too much artwork. There will be an artwork post soon! I’ve finished six pieces in about a week! Dholes and Gila Monsters and Llamas oh my!)