Monday Drawings #16

Monday drawings is back. At least for this week. After I finished the illustrations for The Prince’s Day Out, I’ve become lazy about posting my drawings and paintings regularly. Today’s offering is another Fresh Paint psychedelic, insomnia induced landscape.

Waiting for the Right Light

Waiting for the Right Light resized smaller

Monday Drawings #16

Friday Snippet #46

My art on Someone else's cell phone

Another great week in the Pacific Northwest. Last Sunday, I went for a hike and discovered I’m not in the wonderful shape I thought I was. The climb is quite steep though and I did swim in the icy waters of the lake once we reached the end of the trail. It felt awesome, but I temporarily lost the use of my limbs. Worth it.

I finished several paintings using Fresh Paint, but I hesitated to share the one titled Rainbow Feelings on twitter. I thought it looked too crowded. I’m glad I decided otherwise, because I received several kind tweets commenting on it.  My naïf art is now a lock screen background on someone’s cell phone. And that is priceless.

On the writing front, my latest news is that I joined a co-op on NetGalley. I have no data to report at the moment. I’m working on Elios and keeping a steady 1500 words a day, while also editing Gaia. Crossing fingers, I should be able to publish the two of them for Christmas. Meanwhile, Marie’s Journey, the fourth in The Ginecean Chronicles series—formerly known as a trilogy—is in the capable hands of my editor, Amy Eye.

From Elios:

“Now, I want you to do it again, by yourself,” Lex said.

I blinked.

“Try.”

In earth time, several hours had passed since the beginning of the session and I was mentally tired. Almost certainly, my physical body—lying naked on the bed—was aching as well.

“You must trust me.”

“Of course.” I summoned the image of when I had gone deep diving in one of the seawater pools by the Academy. Lex had asked me to find a memory that symbolized my reaching for the innermost part of my soul and that image had stood out. I shed my clothes as I had done that day and dove into the bright, turquoise waters. It wasn’t a coincidence my human eyes had turquoise flickers in them. I kept diving and the colors all around me darkened. Soon, I was surrounded by black waters, but I wasn’t scared. I felt at peace; cocooned in a warm, safe liquid. I was ready for the next step and surprised it had taken so little effort. I switched my point of view, and, as I had done in the previous sessions guided by Lex, I opened my eyes to a different scenario. I was in Seattle, but I wasn’t. I levitated over the vast expanse of the city, myself as big as the sky, floating over the roads and the buildings. I expanded my consciousness. I stretched my ego until I was no more. I looked down and I saw reality as a constant stream of mathematical possibilities. Every single action taken by the individuals living down there could be explained and predicted with great accuracy. I lingered to analyze one of the possible futures this city would live through in the span of ten years. I fast forwarded to one century. Then, I came back to five minutes from the present. A second later, I was in the now. “Amazing.”

Lex chuckled and when I looked at him I saw the sparkle in his eyes. “You, my pupil, are the youngest Observer to ever achieve the Dark Void with barely a mission in.”

Friday Snippet #46

Fresh Paint and Insomnia

There are advantages in sleeping less and less. Sanity slips away, but creativity gets a boost. My latest digital oil painting is inversely inspired by the grayest sky I’ve ever seen during summertime. Before I’ll lose my ability to articulate understandable thoughts, let it be known I like Fresh Paint quite a lot.

Summer Thoughts

Summer Thoughts

Fresh Paint and Insomnia

Fresh Paint and Long Flights

One of the worst things that can happen on a ten hours flight is when the little screen screwed on the seat in front of you doesn’t want to cooperate. It happens. A lot. That is why I fly organized for the worst. My plan is to go through batteries. Once the phone dies, I switch to the laptop, then to the zune—I’m one of the few people on planet Earth who actually bought not one but two zunes and still loves them—then to the kindle. Rinse and repeat for every single flight.

On the last flight coming back from Paris, I tried Fresh Paint on my Acer Aspire—one of the sexiest laptops ever produced.

Paesaggio Campestre

Paesaggio Campestre

Fresh Paint and Long Flights

My Fourth Radio Interview and the solved case of the Mysterious Blackout

Black ParadiseIn case you missed me last night, here is the link to yesterday’s Journal Jabber Show. There was a four minutes blackout, due to a storm. During that time, I was transported to a parallel universe. I lived there for three thousand years without aging a bit. I wrote fourteen different series of twenty three books each. All of them bestsellers. I learned one hundred and fifteen different languages and became proficient in fifty-eight of them. I invented ten languages. One was accepted as a common koine and taught in schools. Kids all around the world hated me with a passion. And it was okay. In the meantime I let my hair grow until I had a train eight meters long. Two maids followed me everywhere and took care of my hair. After four hundred years, I decided I didn’t need to eat anymore and stopped. It improved my skin and my productivity. I also stopped sleeping. I learned how to play the piano, but didn’t enjoy it that much and switched to viola, violin, harpsichord, and clarinet. Finally, I admitted that music wasn’t my cup of tea and pursued a career as a ventriloquist. Given all the free time I had, it wasn’t difficult to master the art. To avoid getting easily bored, I also studied medicine and cured several diseases. Collected a dozen of Nobel prizes. Among them, one for finding the cure for a virus which was also my creation. Nobody is perfect, but I almost succeeded. Then, I was sucked back here and finished the interview without missing a beat. While I was there, Klingon was added to bing translator. You’re welcome.

My Fourth Radio Interview and the solved case of the Mysterious Blackout

Friday Snippet #39

*Didlr Staycation Week

Almost at the end of our annual staycation. It has been a great week. I sent Gaia (working title) to Redadept Publishing and it should come back with notes and changes in fourteen days. The editing of Prince f War is almost done. Amy and I are working on the final touches before sending the document to the proofreader. My cover artist, Alessandro Fiorini, is playing around with Prince’s cover and I’ve just to decide which color and texture I like best. My talented and very patient husband helped me with a presentation about indie publishing. I was asked to give a lecture on the subject on May 9th, at the Bellevue Art Museum. He made my text pretty by adding animation, graphics, and other neat stuff I didn’t even know existed. Now, I must memorize the speech and time myself. Despite capricious weather, this week, I walked a staggering twenty miles around my green neighborhood. According to endomondo, the app I’m using to track my walking habits, I burned almost 2k calories and I was outside for a total of nine hours. Too bad today is pouring down like there’s no tomorrow.

From the YA paranormal, All the Rainbow’s Colors:

“Milla? What are you doing, there, all alone?” Giorgia is calling me from the stairs outside our classroom.

Since the Scholastic Authorities have decided that opening a transit directly inside a classroom creates distraction, duh, every school in the City has adopted the external staircases. Architecture gone wrong, if you ask me.

“I like eating alone,” I answer, while climbing the steps two at a time.

The rest of the day drags to the point I contemplate to slip into a coma. If I only knew how. Instead of taking the transit with Rachel, I go home walking. It’s colder, and it’s silver-raining harder than before, but I don’t mind. When I get home, I’m silver, from head to toe.

In the kitchen, I prepare a snack I will never eat. I’ve become quite the accomplished actress. Nobody has discovered me, yet. In two years I haven’t lost weight, and my pale complexion is all the rage.

I put the sandwich I made on the nightstand, and I go take a shower in my bathroom. After, I look at myself in the mirror, and I’m satisfied by my green. It’s a shade too dark, but it will do, for now. I should’ve looked for a bigger animal, the effects would’ve lasted longer, but I don’t want to complain.

*In case you’d like to take a look at my didlr gallery.

Friday Snippet #39

Monday Drawing #15

Today’s Painter’s drawing is yesterday’s didl, which in turn was my personal take on a picture I saw on facebook. Can’t we always be that original, can we?

Moonlight Enchantment

Moonlight Enchantment

Moonspell

Moonspell

Monday Drawing #15

Linda of the Night, genesis of a cover for a short story

Copertina Finale AmazonBlessed be Skype and the abundance of technology that makes possible for people living thousands of miles apart to work on a project as if they were in the same room. Three days ago, I didn’t have a finished cover for Linda of the Night, my short that went live only a few hours ago. Linda was a long time in the making project, but only recently I decided to send it to Amy Eye, my editor, to have it polished for publishing. Last Friday, I contacted my cover artist, Alessandro Fiorini. I had already sent him some material to work on, but working by email can be frustrating. Especially when the person you are corresponding with is nine hours ahead of you. Three days ago, we connected through Skype and Alessandro shared his desktop with me so I could watch as he worked on the final version of the cover. I was able to give immediate input and cut considerably the waste of time between steps. In less than one hour, we finished the cover.

From picture to final product:

Everything started as my weekly exercise in practicing patience:  aka working with Painter. I received the software as a gift for Christmas and I still struggle with it.  Monday, I decided to play with one of my daughter’s pictures.

IMG_1419

First, I gave the picture a dreamier look with Paint.Net by altering the balance of the luminosity. I probably tinkered with it some more, but I can’t remember all the steps I took.

Gaia Polinesiana

Then, I used the altered image as a canvas and painted on it with Painter. I used a mix of oil colors and airbrushes.

Gaia Bionda Capelli Mossi

I went back to Paint.Net, applied the ink sketch filter, and then tinted the whole background in a flesh tone I picked from the image.

Gaia Bionda Capelli Mossi Paint.Net

Having a sudden inspiration, I cropped the eyes to make them stand out.

Gaia Occhi Blue

Knowing that Alessandro is quite busy, instead of sending him several emails explaining what I had in mind for the cover, I worked on my idea with Paint.Net and sent him examples instead.

Linda of the Night 3Linda of the Night 2Idea Preliminare per Linda of the Night

 

Finally, on Tuesday, early afternoon in Redmond and late at night in Marsciano, Alessandro and I started working on the final stages of the cover. The following images were all created by Alessandro in one fruitful Skype session. The whole process lasted the whole of one hour. Not bad, ah?

First try

Linda of the Night Cover 3

Second try

Linda of the Night Cover 2

Third try

Linda of the NIght Cover 1

You already know my final pick

Copertina Finale Cartacea

Copertina Finale Amazon

Linda of the Night, genesis of a cover for a short story