Romantic Minis – Part I

Sometimes you just need a break from it all. And at times like that, I either take a break from the artwork completely, or I go to a completely soothing, twee theme which always makes me feel like snuggling up to my animal companions or a good friend. That’s the Romantic Minis series.

So! For my latest holiday, I illustrated six new romantic minis, as well as listing an older romantic mini that I thought I’d lost track of! Here are the first three!

Bronze FoxhoundsAVAILABLE AT ETSY

Blue FoxesAVAILABLE AT ETSY

Gold-Red PeacocksAVAILABLE AT ETSY

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The Weather.

I am about to embark on an awesome journey of research. That’s right, research. I love non-fiction in general, but I think it will be the first time I’ve ever devoted so much brain space to weather, weather patterns, weather cycles, extreme weather and so on.

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Partly, it’s to do with a science fiction novel I’m worldbuilding for. In it, people from Earth have settled on a very Earth-like planet that has much more severe weather than we do (a lot more supercell storms and a much higher density of rain and so on). But in order to do that, I need to understand more about weather patterns and cycles. I started by researching winds of the world, like the beautifully named Euroclydon, Khazri, Kosava, Levant, Oroshi and Coromuel. And around that point I realised that I just didn’t know a great deal about what I was talking about. And this is from someone who is actually fascinated by the weather and can generally tell if we’re having ESE winds or SWs and what they’re going to feel like and can name different types of clouds and so forth.

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Definitely not enough anymore! I’ve ordered a bunch of books from the library. For once, I’m going to be able to hold a sustained conversation with an English person and actually know what I’m talking about. 😉

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Speaking about weather, our suburb of Ellenbrook was hit with a freakish storm two days ago, which resulted in a twelve hour power outage. It was pretty amazing. Within the storm was also a miniature tornado, and we had winds of 150 kmh. We escaped damage at our house, but others weren’t so lucky, and the cost will likely run into the millions.

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This is what the storm looked like over our house, before it broke and the rains fell.

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the storm before it broke by Ravenari

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And then, after I stood outside in the rain for a long, long time. We went inside, had about an hour with which to enjoy electricity, and then power lines in neighbouring suburbs fell and we had no electricity at all. Very glad I turned off my computer for that.

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We had lightning strikes like this every few seconds:

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lightning from the front of our house by Ravenari

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And this was when it wasn’t over our house! (That’s the view from the front of our house).

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I love tumultuous, stormy weather. I really do. I have talked frequently about how much I love the rain, but it’s a very specific kind of rain. It’s not drizzle, it’s ‘here, you asked for it, now TAKE IT!’ rain. Rain that is forceful and conquers the soil.

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It will be interesting to research, at any rate. Especially because it means I get to take a break from research nociceptors and a-delta fibres.

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Never fear, those who follow the art. I’m still doing it. I’m doing a lot of it. Here’s a sample of the latest stuff:

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Red Kangaroo Totem – pre-colouring.

red kangaroo pre-colouring by Ravenari

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Brolga Totem – pre-colouring.

brolga pre-colouring by Ravenari

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Both of these, when finished, will be for sale at my Etsy.

While the rest of the world has WTF? weather, we have FTW weather.

It’s been an interesting February so far. Some family drama, some personal drama, some interpersonal drama, website drama, ISP drama, money drama, some drama llama. Basically… well you get the picture.

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There’s also been a lot of artwork. On the 1st of February, I had 9 (NINE!) different pictures in progress. I’ve completed five, though I’m staggering putting them up (as an experiment), and the other four are… coming along. Sort of.

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Here. Have a Green Sea Turtle Totem:

Green Sea Turtle as Totem by Ravenari

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You can buy the original, and many others, Right here at my Etsy.

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I’ve also been beefing up the Animal Totem Dictionary. Did you know I maintained one? Maybe. Did you know it’s the most comprehensive on the internet? (Unless Google is studiously avoiding any more comprehensive ones). Well. So far, it is. 246 animal totems represented and counting. Boy that’s a lot of animals. And yet, it’s hardly any at all. It wouldn’t even come close to representing half of the world’s species of ants. Isn’t that incredible?

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I thought it would be hilarious the other day to do something like ‘Internet as Totem’ (which I’d probably have representing mostly themes like ‘innovation followed by conservativism and conformity, followed by rebellion of such.’) And then I started thinking of an ‘objects as totem’ kind of theme. Like cars, paintbrushes, the eponymous cookie jar, and so on.

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Tomorrow we are meeting a couple who own Finnish lapphunds. There are less than 200 Finnish lapphunds in Australia, so they’re not exactly easy to meet! I’m looking forward to it though.

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In the meantime, while the rest of Australia is hit with cyclones, monsoons, flash floods, storm surges, lightning storms, bushfires and such. Perth looks mostly like this:

Hillary's Beach by Ravenari

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How has your February been so far?

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Can it be art AND writing?

Something from the trenches:

silver wrens by Ravenari - SOLD

I’ve been not very inspired lately in the art stakes (outside of my silver/bronze/green-gold animals which are a ton of fun). Part of it is December, a month where I always experience a kind of major relapse in my post-traumatic stress disorder and have symptoms similar to Reverse SAD (never been officially diagnosed and some can sub as PTSD symptoms, so…yeah) and that affects my ability to get art out there (I say after having completed 10 illustrations this month; but it never feels like much when they’re little!)

I’m also sort of changing things up a little bit. Things are still ‘my style,’ but I’m mixing and matching up creative elements in my work and I’m not sure what they means for where I’m going. Finally, I have two Steampunk pictures to finish (and, er, start!) for next Easter’s Swancon/Natcon50 Future Imperfect art exhibition.

As I’m writing this, my cat Moet is drinking my paint-water. Business as usual, then! Maybe, our bengal cross, hasn’t discovered the joys of paint-water yet. Which is a relief. As she chews and eats teatowels and got herself a stomach impaction earlier in the year. She’s self-harmey enough, thanks!

Here’s a list of 10 things about what I’ve been doing lately.

1. Fringe is like my favourite show ever right now, and Misfits is AWESOME. Also, Community stop-motion Christmas episode!
2. Home-made chicken satay and sweet & sour plum.
3. Swimming again; yay swimming!
4. Killing a surfeit of redback spiders congregating around our house. Malvern Springs is mostly about finding mature venomous spiders in your house and thinking ‘OH GOD HAVE YOU BEEN HERE THE ENTIRE TIME?!’
5. Flashbacks and nightmares and scares, oh my!
6. Clicker training the cats (no, really).
7. Finished the first draft of a novel.
8. Read a whole bunch of new literature, loved The Wind-Up Girl and Karen Healey’s Guardian of the Dead.
9. Thinking about going back to university to do Honours. And by ‘thinking about’ I mean, ‘actually called them and got myself re-activated as a student in the system.’ I need a supervisor though.
10. Playing kick to kick outside on the oval, with the balmy Summery breezes at night, under the stars. 🙂

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I have often contemplated making this blog an art AND writing blog. I have had a few short stories and poems published in my time, though I personally identify as a crummy non-published novelist in terms of writing.

It’s difficult. Writing agents say you should have a writing blog, and art people say you should have an art blog!

Can I have both? Is this too confusing for the masses (and by masses, I mean my housemate and best friend Glen and my cats who avidly forget to read this blog too)?

I was always taught never to underestimate my audience (which I’m sure Glen and the cats are grateful for). I’m going to have both! Two for one!

And remember, when in doubt, there are always plenty of originals to check out at my Etsy store!