Sunday, January 31, 2010

trilobites and friends

trilobites and friends
Originally uploaded by megan_n_smith_99

Yesterday jesse and i went to Cruising The Fossil Freeway at the Burke Museum which features fossils from the Burke collection and the art of Ray Troll. It was a fantastic show and I will try to go back again! if you aren't in Seattle you can still enjoy Ray's book, also called Cruising the Fossil Freeway which is about a roadtrip he and his paleontologist friend Kirk Johnson took. 5,000 miles to visit fossils all over the United States.

Under the influence, as it were, I drew this little 5 x 5 inch drawing, which features trilobites, coelocanths, and ammonites.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

tree sloth

tree sloth
Originally uploaded by megan_n_smith_99

i finished my tree sloth drawing! i am so happy with it. This pen and ink drawing is 6 x 6 inches. While researching sloths for this drawing I learned a few facinating facts. Most mammals have their fur growing down in the direction of their limbs, but the tree sloth has its fur growing in the opposite direction as an adaptation to spending most of their lives hanging upside down. they even sleep upside down! their bodies have evolved so it is effortless for them to hang in this position. They are lovely shy creatures.
He's available in Etsy.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

monster village and some thoughts of the Iceland Conquest.

monster village
Originally uploaded by megan_n_smith_99

for some reason i never seem to get tired of drawing houses. and monsters. my monsters are all kindly friendly monsters, though. sort of guardians, i guess. but they seem a little needy too, like maybe they would like someone to be good friends with. but they are not scary, not really.

i have been enjoying working on another drawing this week, a tree sloth, i will show you when i am done. i've been listening to Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth on audio book while I draw. It seemed a natural follow-up to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Land Before Time. Journey to the Center of the Earth sort of makes me want to go to Iceland! It's an absolutely beautiful place and did you know they are taking over the world? Yes indeed, there is a spreading center under iceland where magma is welling up and they are slowly, oh, so slowly, expanding into both the Eastern and Western hemispheres. There is your mini geology lesson for the day. You might want to learn Icelantic, someday we'll all be speaking it!

Monday, January 25, 2010

red fox #1

this weekend I completed Lacy Baktus #1 out of Handmaiden Casbah in the color Red Fox. Which is just gorgeous. My Baktus is about 55x 16.5”, though I may block it more agressively. I have already started another one ALSO in Handmaiden Casbah Red Fox, but it is entirely different. The 1st one is a dark cranberry red with grape, periwinkle, and orange. The 2nd Red Fox is more more in the slate/grey/amber family. Obviously a very different dyelot, though the name suits both and both are gorgeous. It will be interesting to see the results of the 2nd one.

Red Fox #1

and some inspiration:

Saturday, January 23, 2010

...And Several Monsters

...And Several Monsters
Originally uploaded by megan_n_smith_99

i am under the weather, yet again.. as i seem to have been for most of the year. i've spent most of the past day and a half asleep, but did finish this pen and ink drawing, entitled "And Several Monsters.." When I find myself conscious I've been reading a bit (To Kill a Mockingbird) or listening to an audio book (The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.) I must say that is the best deal I've ever gotten from iTunes for 95 cents.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Originally uploaded by megan_n_smith_99

so, once upon a time before i started working in "the arts" as those of us in "the arts" like to call it, i had every intention of being a paleontologist, maybe a paleoclimatologist, someone who studies ancient climates. that might sound very archaic and outdated but frankly i think our only hope of understanding how our own actions are changing the climate and what that means is to study how climate has changed in the past. computer models can only predict so much. but the earth has been warmer before, and sea level has been higher before. why, the Mediterranean Sea was once a desert and the Arctic was once tropical. Whatever changes we can imagine, they have probably happened in the distant past.

well, anyway, i digressed. i was meaning to talk about paleontology, or the study of past life. this is a triceratops i drew back in 2007. And I wanted to tell you about this wonderful show that is at the Burke Museum in Seattle. I have not gone yet but I hope I make it this weekend. It's Ray Troll's art and fossils from the Burke Museum collection. it should be great. I love Ray Troll, I have all his books. He's an amazing artist and combines art and science if really fun ways.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

iphone photo - january sky

iphone photo - january sky
Originally uploaded by megan_n_smith_99

i quite like this iphone photo. this is the sky in seattle in january. it's like charcoal and dove lace.

kingfisher blue

kingfisher blue
Originally uploaded by megan_n_smith_99

I guess it is no surprise that I love birds, because really I love all animals.* I admire birds from the view of an artist and from the view of a scientist. Right now I am listening to some music I wanted to mention - Shearwater's album Rook. Shearwater is based in Texas, but you'd never guess so. Their music does not invoke Texas for me- not what I thought Texas was. So I am pleased to have my opinion amended. **

Here is what Shearwater says about Rook on their website:

Rook is its own animal, at once more accessible (the near-title track, "Rooks", anchored by Thor Harris' thunderous kick drum, a booming organ, and a stately trumpet line, could almost be mistaken for radio-friendly) and more accomplished than its predecessor, with a depth and grandeur that seem improbably packed into the album's tidy 35 minutes. Squalls of feedback have largely given way to sudden gusts of strings and woodwinds, though the band's fondness for unusual instrumentation remains intact - harp, hammer dulcimer, and a curiously carved metal box all take featured roles. Each song is a mini-epic, from the in-medias-res opening of "On the Death of the Waters" to the pounding (but drumless) urgency of "Leviathan, Bound", the abrupt rock of "Century Eyes", the crystalline depths and heights of "I Was a Cloud" and "The Snow Leopard", and the final, elegant flourish of "The Hunter's Star". Rook is unlike any other album you'll hear this year. It has the clarity and yearning ineffability of a waking dream, the strange beauty and internal logic of a fairy tale, and above all, evokes a vanishing world that may or may not be our own.

One of the things I find so exciting about Shearwater too, is that Jonathan Meiburg, one of the founding members, is an Ornithologist (the study of birds). As you probably know if you've read my blog long, I love to combine my passions for art and science and am quite keen when I find other examples of the same. This album is beautiful artistically and also full of bird lore.

* recently I said to my mother and sister that I really, overall, liked animals better than people. My sister made no reply but my mother, after a moment of reflection, said she thought maybe she did too. Obviously there are notable exceptions.

** My most clear memory of Texas is a stretch of highway, strewn with the occasional tumbleweed. I remember being 7 years old, driving across the United States (ok i was not the one driving) and being figity, no doubt. my parents, hoping to distract me, said "look, Megan, we're in Texas!" and I said dramatically, "I've SEEN Texas." Well obviously I have not seen all of Texas. Not to mention any state that produces Ricë is ok by me.

Friday, January 15, 2010

lonely whale

lonely whale
Originally uploaded by megan_n_smith_99

here we have another lonely whale. inspired be this news story.

i am getting over my cold and getting over my dental work. this is a very stubborn cold! or maybe my immune system is puny. jesse was not sick very long.

i hope you all have a good weekend. perhaps i'll have something wittier to say later!

this is on etsy. this whale. along with an owl.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

more tea

Originally uploaded by megan_n_smith_99

i wanted to review another tea i've been enjoying. It's Rooibos Rose Garden Tea from Teavana. I still prefer a good solid black tea for daily sipping, but as a special treat this sweet rose tea is lovely. Also with a cupcake, of course. I was recently given BabyCakes: Vegan, (Mostly) Gluten-Free, and (Mostly) Sugar-Free Recipes from New York's Most Talked-About Bakery by Erin McKenna. I can't eat gluten and I am looking forward to try to make some of the tasty looking cakes from Ms. McKenna.

birdbath chalet

birdbath chalet
Originally uploaded by megan_n_smith_99

i think i may have the cold that lasts forever. at least it feels that way. i could happily take a nap right here, right now. i did, however, drag myself to belly dance class in the hopes of sweating it out. i am not sure if it helped at all, but it certainly was one heck of a workout.

this little drawing here is something out of my imagination, my thoughts of what would be a good place to live, if one was a small creature of woods and fields. you'd want water and shelter -- i think i have come up with a reasonable solution. when can i move it?

Monday, January 11, 2010

king of the mountain

king of the mountain
Originally uploaded by megan_n_smith_99

my new scanner is up and running and i just added 5 new drawings to My Etsy Shop. They range from $12 to $40 for the budget conscious collector!

red fox and tea

Originally uploaded by megan_n_smith_99

well, the weekend was sort of a writeoff. jesse was sick last week and friday and saturday. i was sick up till sunday night. watched some tv, read, lay around and coughed together. not much else. i have begun to forgive my tv for existing since i realized i get the history channel intl. now.

here i am on my lunch break, phone picture,
wearing handknit skirt
(handmaiden pencil skirt pattern, handmaiden ottaway yarn in "earth") while knitting lacy baktus in handmaiden casbah, color is red fox.

handmaiden casbah, red fox is one of my very favorite yarns ever. the feel the colors, everything. it's LOVELY. also i got it at Church Mouse Yarns and Teas. a shop that combines yarn, tea, and mice is high up on my list. Lately I have been enjoying their dessert teas: Churchmouse Winter tea, made by Steven Smith, and a nice chocolate mint tea, made by Harney & Sons, also purchased there. For a more traditional tea, they have Barry tea and yorkshire gold, two other favorites of mine. Those are lovely black teas that I drink on a daily basis, I save the dessert teas for a treat.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

pen & ink drawings

pen & ink drawings
Originally uploaded by megan_n_smith_99

i am still waiting for my scanner so i can take proper photos. meantime here is one i took with my camera, click thumbnail then click all sizes to see larger. here we have, from left to right: owl, whale, ganesh.

i went to work today even though i am still sickly. i'd like to hibernate for a month or two now, though.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

whale pen & ink

wiling away the hours..
Originally uploaded by megan_n_smith_99

i have been working on a couple pieces inspired by a story that was in the news about a month ago. it's a story about a lonely whale. i found it to be inspiring and mysterious, imagining this giant creature moving through the depths singing in his own register.

of course today i stayed some with a terrible cold, slept a lot, read a little, and did not do any art. i did get some good mail: a package from soren with inspiring zines by Juliana Coles and Michael Nobbs, and the new graphic novel Greylight by Naomi Nowak.. I have all of Naomi's graphic novels and they are just beautiful.

I hope I feel better soon so I can take advantage of this wealth of inspiration!

Monday, January 4, 2010

wiling away the hours..

wiling away the hours..
Originally uploaded by megan_n_smith_99

i have been enjoying drawing the last few days. alas my scanner has given up the ghost, but fedex tells me the replacement is currently in memphis. i keep wanting to get the zen tangle set but then i remind myself i kind am my own zen tangle without even trying.

so back to work today, ate mostly well. worked out after work, under duress, let me tell you. am cooking broccoli now. researched cardboard chairs and lamps today. Frank Gehry created a collection of cardboard furniture and lighting. I've sat in the "Wiggle Chair" before. It is surprisingly comfortable but I would not recommend for anyone with CATS!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

books read, 2009

1. Inkdeath by Cornelia Funke
2. Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay
3. Dearly Devoted Dexter by Jeff Lindsay
4. Love Medicine by Louise Eldriche
5. Birds, Beasts, and Relatives by Gerald Durrell
6. Dexter in the Dark by Jeff Lindsay
7. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
8. New Moon by Stephanie Meyer
9. New Moon by Stephanie Meyer
10. Breaking Dawn by Stefanie Meyer
11. Beauty by Robin McKinley
12. Rose's Daughter by Robin McKinley
13. The Adventures of Langston St. Ives by James P. Blaylock
14. Charlie Bone and the Shadow by Jenny Nimmo
15. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
16. Geisha: A Life by Mineko Iwasaki
17. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
18. A Wind in the Door by Madeline L'engle
19. The Silver Chair by C. S. Lewis
20. Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
21. The Forest of Forgetting by Theodora Gross
22. The Island of Mad Scientists by Howard Whitehouse
23. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
24. Un Lun Dun by China Mieville
25. Theodosis and the Staff of Osiris by R.L. LaFevers
26. Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause
27. Mysteries by Lisa Tuttle
28. Time Stops for No Mouse by Michael Hoeye
29. The Sands of Time by Michael Hoeye
30, No Time Like Show Time by Michael Hoeye
31. Time to Smell the Roses by Michael Hoeye
32. The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson
33. The People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
34. A Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks
35. March by Geraldine Brooks
36. A Tale of Time City by Diane Wynne Jones
37. Theodosa and the Serpent of Chaos by R.L. LaFevers
38. Howl's Moving Castle by Diane Wynne Jones
39. Castle in the Air by Diane Wynne Jones
40. House of Many Ways by Diane Wynne Jones
41. Impossible Things by Connie Willis
42. Time at the Top by Edward Ormondroyd
43. Time and Time Again by Edward Ormondroyd
44. Gypsies by Robert C. Wilson
45. Passages by Connie Willis
46. X Files novel: Ruins by Kevin Anderson
47. Cruel and Unusual by Patricia Cornwall
48. Point of Origin by Patricia Cornwall
49. Black Notice by Patricia Cornwall
50. The Last Precinct by Patricia Cornwall
51. Blow Fly by Patricia Cornwall
52. Trace by Patricia Cornwall
53. Predator by Patricia Cornwall
54. Postmortem by Patricia Cornwall
55. Body of Evidence by Patricia Cornwall
56. All that Remains by Patricia Cornwall
57. The Body Farm by Patricia Cornwall
58. The Mysterious Stereoscope by Jane Langton
59. The Time Bike by Jane Langton
60. The Dragon Tree by Jane Langton
61. Emily Dickinson is Dead by Jane Langton
62. The Dante Game by Jane Langton
63. God in Concord by Jane Langton
64. The Shortest Day: Murder at the Revels by Jane Langton
65. Dead as a Dodo by Jane Langton
66. The Face on the Wall by Jane Langton
67. The Thief in Venice by Jane Langton
68. Murder at Monticello by Jane Langton
69. The Escher Twist by Jane Langton
70. The Deserter: Murder at Gettysburg by Jane Langton
71. Steeplechase by Jane Langton
72. The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
73. The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey by Trenton Lee Stewart
74. The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma by Trenton Lee Stewart
75. School of Fear by Gitty Daneshvari
76. Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
77. The Mousewife by Rumer Godden
78. Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women by Harriet Reisen

i have probably missed a few, I kept a list for about 8 months but had to fill in the last few months from memory! I usually read about 100 books a year but seem to have fallen a bit short this year, even figuring I've forgotten a few!

owl necklace

owl necklace
Originally uploaded by megan_n_smith_99

today i whipped up this little necklace for myself. it will match most of my wardrobe, which features a lot of brown and grey. i was recently made fun of for wearing so much brown and grey and black and told it was a northwest thing! but i like to wear brown and grey, earthy tones, especially in winter. making a little nest around myself so i can sleep till the sun comes back!

the pewter owl bead is from green girl studio.