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Entries in Warren Ellis (8)


Pimp My Artwork 050: The Emperor

When I first spoke to Warren about the deck in London last year I still didn't know the direction of the deck.  I just knew I wanted him in it.  I even knew what card.  He gave me a look.  "Which card do you see me as?"

"The Emperor." I told him.

"I can live with that." He said. 

And so the deal was made and I left England happy.

Now it took a while for the tarot to actually take shape.  Warren let me guest post on his blog a while back to give the back story.  You can find it here.  Basically the deck to shape in the time it needed to. 

A few days ago my aunt passed away.  This aunt was incredibly special.  Warren  messaged me that morning.  He was the first to message me actually.  I walked around my neighborhood for a while and settled back into the house knowing I'd be fairly useless.  About five minutes into my uselessness, I decided to paint.  But the painting couldn't be just anything, it had to be something or someone special.  "I just want to paint someone I really care about." I told my mom.

I pulled up my reference and started to paint.  Now the original idea for the card was something Warren would have killed me for I'm sure.  The layout was nice, it contained pretty purple flowers and a ram but as I started to paint it felt wrong, so I left it for 10 minutes and tried again.  Still it didn't work.  So I did what any artist would do when stuck on apiece that just isn't right.  I ripped it into tiny pieces and threw it out the window. 

I tried again, this time using a different picture for reference.  One I wasn't attached to.  This is the key in painting people you know.  Sometimes you fall in love with an image, and the image is so wonderful and beautiful that you can't capture it again, even if it is a different medium.  I tried a different angle and there before me the image started to come to life.  I painted furiously, remembering wonderful conversations Warren and I had, had over the years, and being so grateful to have him in my life as he helped me through, terrible breakups, book troubles, and so much more.  By the time I had finished I had created what I thought was a masterpiece. It was time to glaze.

The first coat of glaze went on smoothly, it dried fast and perfect, or so I thought.  Funny thing happens when you have a terrible rainstorm and you leave all your doors and windows open.  The place gets damp and even though your paint feels dry, it's actually still wet.  I put on the next coat of glaze and watched in horror as the face I had so lovingly painted melted before my eyes.  It was 3:35 a.m. and I was in tears.

Now of course I blamed Warren for this, as he once said he'd curse me.  For what? I don't remember but he did and that very same day I got my heel stuck in my fishnets and toppled over the couch.  The man is very talented with his internet cursing.  So I shook my fist at the computer knowing he was sleeping soundly while his evil curses did their trickery.  And I tried to fix it.  No matter what I did it wouldn't work.  So I left it alone.

Today I got the urge to finish the painting.  I was done being frustrated and in a relatively good headspace.  I quickly painted Warren's face onto a fresh piece of paper covering the mess that was there while waiting for my apprentice.  As I was doing so, there was that familiar crack of thunder and the downpour began.  This time tiny ice bullets pelted down onto the tin roof in the backyard.  I finished and added the first coat of glaze praying it would dry right.  I scanned it in and waited.  The second coat is drying this second.  The edges are taped and all is good in the world right now, my world at least. 

So thank you Warren, from the bottom of my sewn tattered little heart.  Thank you.

Jim Shirey's photograph of the Lily of the Valley are much lovelier than any I can paint.  I used Lily of the Valley in this piece as they symbolize the return of happiness.  Quite fitting for an emperor don't you think?


The Caravan 036: Potpourri

Do you want to be among the very first audience to see Warren Ellis: Captured Ghosts? There will be an exclusive preview screening at San Diego Comicon for people in the film and media VIPs. There's no tickets, but donate $35 on Kickstarter now and you will be on the VIP list and be able to see the film before anyone else, with the filmmakers, and a number of Ellis collaborators in attendance!

Prints of Beth Hommel's photo of me are for sale on her site.  They are inexpensive and awesome.


Killin' It 057: ChinaShop & Hijacking Warren's Blog

My dear friend Molly Crabapple did an interview with me for ChinaShop.  Words cannot express how much I love that woman.  Click the pics to be taken to the link.

My other dear friend Warren let me hijack his website for a post.  I talk about characters, legends, and archetypes.  Warren is a God among men and you should all donate your organs to him. 


Killin' It 029: Live From The Literature Lounge

While in London I was asked to read alongside The fabulous Year Zero Writers, Daisy Anne Gree, Dan Holloway, Mark Nash, Penny Goring, and Larry Harrison, as well as Cherry Smyth, the Mama of Dada, Sheri-D Wilson from Canada, and Nina Rapi from Brixton and Athens. Plus artwork by Sarm.  It was an honor to read with so many wonderful writers and our host Anjan was delightful.  The event was held at the ever delightful Poetry Cafe in Covent Garden and is home to the National Poetry Society. 

I read excerpts from Blood & Pudding and talked a little about Knickerbocker Circus, tarot, and life in NYC.

Thank you once again to Dan Holloway, Daisy Anne Gree, Year Zero Writers, The Newf for making it all possible, Peter James for allowing me to make an office out of his flat, Dr. Beetle and Jeff Mead for their support, and Warren Ellis, who is just as awesome in real life as he is on the net, maybe more so. A big thank you to Nina Rapi from BRAND Literary Magazine, which is absolutely fantastic.


Left to Right: Sarm and Daisy, Dan & I in the Literary Lounge, Marc relaxes before the reading, Penny strikes a pose, Me & Anjan right after he introduced me, Dr. Beetle, me, & Warren.  We are a tough street gang, I know. Bottom: Me and Peter James

Photos of Year Zero by Daisy Anne Gree, Photo of me & P.J. by Lilly Moss

To pre-order Blood and Pudding Please click the cover below.  The KC will be taking pre-orders up until the shipping date July 15th.


En Gypsy Couture 08: Lagniappe

I first heard of lagniappe from a woman who lived in New Orleans.  Lagniape is a little something extra to make your day special.  For example if you were at the market and picked up a few things for gumbo, the cashier might throw in an onion and say "Lagniappe."  It's a special gift to make the meal complete.  My life is full of little things to make it complete.  This week was no different.  It's been a rough one but these few gifts and events has made it much more bearable.  Venus and Mercury are in my Sun sign Taurus, and Aries, the sign we're in now, is my Venus so I'm thinking the universe is going to throw a little love and sunshine my way. "Lagniappe."

The little gem on the left arrived last week.  It's 4 x 5" and sits on my dresser.  Oh how I love Dame Darcy.  The book on the right has been one I have been talking about for quite some time.  My first year in New York I was absolutely obsessed with it.  I took it out of the library every couple of weeks and pored over it.  Just recently I was thinking of purchasing it again.  I was reading tarot for my Russian Gypsy twin and drinking red wine.  It was one of those nights where you walk along battery park breathing in the warm air and end up at the Ritz Carlton for drinks.  Pure magic if I ever saw it.  She told me she had something for me, that it was me, through and through.  She pulled out Kiki's Paris.  I nearly jumped.  This world has a very funny way of bringing people and things together.  It's downright charmed at times.

My beautiful friend Molly Crabapple did these wonderful sketches of me which can be seen at Max's Kansas City.  They may also show up later this year on the Dirtee Hollywood t-shirt line.

 The ravishing Veronika von Volkova paid me a visit as well.  We had a splendid evening of photography and grapes.  Her renditions of the photographs are absolutely stunning. We took the photographs together (except the ones of just me) and edited them seperately.  Mine will almost always look grainy and aged. Thank you to my friend Warren Ellis for bringing us Whitechapel, which I am convinced is the nexus of the universe.

This was taken behind the scenes at the Dolly Sister's shoot for the troops.  Bombshell Mandy is amazing and I would highly recommend her for any photos you need.  Her studio is absolutely wonderful as well and includes gorgeous handmade sets.  The Alice & Wonderland set will be up until the end of April.

And so this concludes the amazing week.  So much ahead of me in the upcoming weeks.  I am excited and truly inspired.  Gypsy Couture is creating your own unique life.

x to the o,