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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Just some art

 It has been a while since I posted some art in here. As you have read, often I draw to see my characters better. Sometimes I draw for the fun of it. A funny pose, or something unique that I like, when I need something to do and I am in a drawing mood I will spend my down time with my pencil and paper. So, enjoy the fruits of my boredom.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Just 0.99 cents

Yes, you hears it right. For the next month, 9/15-10/15, my book The Crystal Needle, is only 0.99 cents to download on Kindle. If you haven't read it yet now is your chance to pick it up and read it. 

Coming this November: The Crystal Needle: A Christmas To Remember. (More details to come.)

300 years ago, in the dark shadow of the Salem witch trials, two kind stitching witches founded the city of Featherville as a haven for the unfortunate victims of the witch hunts. Soon after Featherville’s founding a father and his three children arrive seeking a safe home. They are not human, but Kitsune, a magical fox people from Japan. Their story, and the loss of their mother to hunters, tugs at the hearts of the sisters. Elsabethe comforts them, but Adel becomes angry. She uses her magic to avenge the Kitsune against the humans who had hurt them. After tasting vengeance, she begins to desire dominion over man. In her lust for power she destroys the father of the Kitsune and curses his children. Adel is ultimately magically imprisoned by her sister in the forest nearby so that she can do no more harm. But, the seal is not eternal.
300 years later fate begins to move. A family takes up residence in Adels old home and finds a friend in the little old lady living next door, Elsabethe. This family has one son, a 19 year old boy who happens to enjoy embroidery. Joseph is flirtatious, kind, and pretty good on his feet. He becomes close to Allison, the cursed Kitsune girl. Unaware of her true identity, he comes face to face with the reality when Adel makes a terrible and triumphant return. Together, they must find a way to defeat her, saving Featherville and the whole world from the wrath of the 
Obsidian needle.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Darkness and the Light

It was early in the school day for me. Class had only begun a short while ago and the room was quieting down for the teacher. Being in Oklahoma we were used to thunderstorms with loud booming sounds. But today it was blue clear skies and spring was all around. So, it came as quite a shock when the whole school was rattled by a thunder like echo in the distance. We weren't terrified, as I said thunder is a fact of life for us. Curious is more like it. Moments later one of the teachers came running into the room and said, "There was a bomb set off in Oklahoma city." Now we were scared. We were used to the death and devastation of tornadoes, but a bomb!? My home town is an hour north of OKC and yet we felt that blast. Worst of all we felt the impact it had on the lives of everyone in the country. We were only in fifth grade and our world was shaken. My father was supposed to teach a class of Marines at a Vo-Tech days after the incident. Those Marines and their commanding officer were all at the Murrah building during the explosion. The commanding officer was the only one to survive.

Fast forward six years. We have moved to East Tennessee. The memories of April 19th are faded but never gone. Settled back into the comfort of protection we feel as Americans, life has gone on. I get up on September eleventh as I do every day and look for my brother and mother to start making breakfast. Then my father calls. We don't often have the television on during this time of the morning, but he was telling us to turn on the news right now. Mom is frantic, I am getting scared. She turns on the television and there it is. A sight that has been burned into my mind and heart like nothing else. One plane has plowed into the Trade Towers, smoke rising up into the sky. A cold sweat spreads across my body and I am unable to process what is happening. I can only think that it was a terrible accident, a pilot committed a serious error. The idea of terrorism hasn't even crossed my mind yet. Then it happened. The news was live back then, no delay, just reality. That second plane plows directly into the building and my heart sinks to the floor. Oh my God. I cannot imagine why anyone would do such a thing. Then the pentagon is hit. Then another plane is crashed into a field for God only knows what reason. Mom and my brother go to make breakfast, she does not want to watch anymore, my brother feels the same. I cannot tear myself away from it. Mesmerized by the spectacle of this, I am breathless as I watch both towering giants plummet to the ground. The cloud of dust and debris exploding outward across the city. Citizens running and crying in pure terror. The camera operators doing all they can to document what is happening without becoming victims themselves.

I have seen death. I have seen destruction. I grew up with it. Living in a natural war zone tempers the soul against the harshness of life. At a young age you have already come to understand dark things when death falls from the sky. NOTHING prepares you for this. Nothing.

Life continues. The enemy did not succeed in its ultimate goal of completely crippling this country. But the scar will remain in our souls so long as we live. That scar reminds us of the despicable tragedy and the images that came from it. But it also reminds us that we cannot live in hatred, anger, or sorrow. The enemy wants that hatred, wants that anger, loves our sorrow. We must look forward, and love one another for tomorrow could be the last day you see your best friend. Don't seek retribution, seek forgiveness and to forgive. Don't count others sins, count your blessings. And always know that no matter how many evil, wicked, terrible people are in this world, there are more that are honorable, respectable, and good. America was touched by evil that day, but it was also touched by the kindness and honor of our allies who came to our aid and offered help in any way they could.

Many souls were lost that day and many people affected. Mourn them, pray for them, help them. But, do not, under any circumstances, only see the darkness and forget the light.  

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Art Study

It has been a while since I did one of these and thought it might be fun. I love to draw, that should be apparent right now. I do not classify myself as pro, or even semi-pro. I just enjoy the process and hope the final product is enjoyable. I have said before that why I draw is to see my characters. Years ago, when I was younger and wrote for school, I often wrote about fantasy people. I did not draw them and only had to use my words to describe them. Over time I wanted people to see what I was thinking and believed that my words were insufficient. I couldn't even see the characters that well, the details would shift around in my imagination. Was his fur color solid or spotted? Did she have longer hair, a mane, or a tuft of fur on her tail? So, my mother encouraged me to draw one and see where it led me. I drew my first animal human hybrid and was encouraged by the image. I now knew exactly what he looked like. Of course my earliest drawings were hardly comparable to what I can do now, but that is a symptom of practice.

I like to say "I have never had any training" because it sounds cool. "Yeah, I'm this good by natural talent alone" (even I don't buy that.). Okay, so ego aside, this isn't entirely true. No, I haven't actually been in a classroom and studied under a teacher/professor/artist to refine my ability. But that isn't to say that I haven't had instruction. When I was young I fell in love with Michelangelo's work. I got a book that showed his sketches and realized that even he, a great master of art, spent time drawing rough images before refining it to a final product. I studied his styles and tried to simulate them as best as I could. Then I found art books and read them, studied them, and put some of their teachings to practice. And practice I did. I have drawn and drawn and drawn. I have studied the human form from a thousand angles, with/without clothing (stop snickering), different lighting, and different body types. I prefer to start with a nude form (I said stop snickering.) it helps to draw the base of the body and then simply add to it. Though, searching for the nude form (Okay, now I am going to call your mother!) without proper qualifiers in the search can produce some rather nasty results.

"How does this enhance the characters?" you might ask, (and even if you didn't I am going to answer). When I finish a drawing of a person, I know them better. I start to see things in their drawing that tell more of their story. One character was a feline man with dark spots all over his body. The spots gave me the idea to nick name him cowboy in the story (his fur looks like cowhide). Then I noticed that the model I used had stronger thighs and hips than most men in his body type. It gave me the idea that this cat likes to swim. After that idea came to me I started to consider the notion that swimming is not a common sport among his kind and that sets him apart in a way. Thus more story could be formed with the interaction between characters about this. So, you see how this helps me? If you don't, well, enjoy the art anyway.

For this little study I chose a picture from a modeling site online. I have no idea who the model is or what he was modeling for originally. But the image was a good balanced easy picture to draw and that would make for a good study.

The pictures were all taken with my phone camera. It was easier to keep it in hand rather than continually scanning. Besides, as you will see with the final addition, the scanner is an imprecise art when pencil drawings are concerned.

Lets begin:
How do you get from this:             -              -                  -             -                        to this

2. I start shading in a corner of the body
1. First you have the rough sketch


3. I move across to the second corner

4. Start to add definition to the arms and shorts


5. Define the pants and legs more. 
6. Now starts the character enhancements
with the face.

7. Add ears and start the chest mane.

8. Fill in the mane and shade in the face.

9. Add definition to the mane, face,
and work in the details. 

10. Add tail and whiskers, and there he is. 

This is what he looks like scanned in. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Fall Pumpkin Square

Fall is around the corner. For me that means the end of summer, but it also means colorful leaves, cider, holidays, and pumpkins. Yes, my house isn't decorated with scary stuff for Halloween, or with little pilgrims all over the place, it is covered in pumpkins of all sorts. Glass, fabric, real, and many others have been gathered over the years to make my home feel a little like a pumpkin patch for nearly three months out of the year.

As you all should know by now one of the prominent themes of The Crystal Needle is embroidery. And what better time of year to stitch than fall? So, I present to you, the Fall Pumpkin Square. This little pattern was designed by my mother for a project with the EGA, Embroiderers Guild of America. Since it is her design, she has graciously offered it up for free for you to enjoy. It isn't hard and it shouldn't take too long to stitch, so get those needles out and craft a pumpkin for your own home this year.

Keep in mind that instructions for stitching are more like suggestions. If you want to duplicate what you see, then follow closely, but if you want to change it go right ahead. Have fun with it. If you do stitch it, please get me a photo of the final product and I will post it on this blog and on my Facebook fanpage. This piece would be perfect as a pillow, ornament, or in a small wooden frame for seasonal decor. Stitch in peace.

Here it is.
Stitched by Bonita Peyton 
If you need a larger pattern to print off, please follow this link  

·        28ct Lugana 10”X10” ( I used Summer Khaki, but you can use any 14 or 28 ct. fabric you like)
·        8in. Q-Snap ( or whatever you want to use)
·        1 skein Sherwood Forest Wild Flowers
·        1 skein Turmeric Wild Flowers
·        Beads of your choice ( I used DB-601 Delicas)
·        Beading Needle
·        Size 24 Needle
Design Area: 88 threads square
·        Border rows are worked over 4 threads
·        Pumpkin rows are worked over 2 threads
·        Pumpkin stem is worked over 4 threads
·        Each square on graph is one thread
·        Smyrna Cross – Sherwood Forest
·        Alternating Cross Stitch/Upright Cross – Turmeric
·        Pumpkin – alternate rows of cross stitch in the two wild flowers colors. If you want to use beads, pick your rows and sew on as you cross stitch.

Work the borders first as it will be easier to place the pumpkin. Inner square measures 56 threads square. The pumpkin measures 28H x 30W. Go over 15 threads from the right inside edge of the border and 20 threads up from the bottom inside edge of the border. This will place you at the bottom left edge of the starting stitch.