Storm Arcana

Heroic Tarot & Arcana Academy

Month: December 2008 (Page 1 of 2)

What I did for Winter Solstice

pink-solstice-with-clouds-and-flowersSo here I am in all of my Pink Goth glory from Comfort & Joy’s Winter Solstice Celebration!  I performed “Flower in My Hand,” a song by Book of Love, my favorite band ever!  Book of Love was an 80s New Wave band whose electronic synth pop tunes always made me smile!  I was extra happy to share that love with the crowd in attendance that night!  Photo by Jason Fleetwood-Boldt.

pink-solstice-with-cloudsPerky princess STORM working the curls (Thanks for the wig loan, Silverfang).  I had it in my head that I was Bubbles from the Powerpuff Girls and this red light just reinforces that idea!  Although diehard Powerpuff Girls fans would have remembered (unlike me) that Bubbles wore blue and not pink.  Oops!  Whatever.  I won’t let that little detail derail my fun.  Like my friend Brian Socko says, “Yeah, I like to play pretend, too!”  Photo by Jason Fleetwood-Boldt.

Pharoahic Intentions

IMG_4599, originally uploaded by Tom Schmidt Photography.

Another amazing photo by Tom Schmidt from Comfort & Joy’s Winter Solstice Celebration! Thanks to worthless for the headdress!

Pose Like an Egyptian


IMG_4597, originally uploaded by Tom Schmidt Photography.

This amazing photograph was taken at the Comfort & Joy Brighter Days Ahead Winter Solstice Celebration by the inimitable Tom Schmidt (also known as Dot)! Dot caught me right before I went on stage to perform an opening ritual with members of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. He knows how to bring the best out of his subjects, like a great photographer should!

Performance: Suppervision III Tickets Available!

suppervisioninfoflyerweb-versionI am super stoked about performing at this event!  III (pronounced “three”) is cooking up some fun things!  I am very excited about performing with Yabette of Swankety Swank (did you know I have art for sale there?)

Here’s a promotional video for the event with some clips of the past shows. I’m sharing it because I want to give you a taste, but I just don’t think the clip does it justice!  Suppervision 2 was downright enchanting!  This is live art, folks!  Sound and light and fierce fashion!  If Dazzler was real, she’d be performing here!

Buy your tickets now! Tell your friends!

“a little boy in our house”: Mixed Media Painting by stormantic

a-little-boy-in-our-house-paintingThis is a new collage painting by yours truly from a batch of recently created works.  This is a 12″ x 12′ canvas that was primed with at least three layers of gesso.  Then the images were soaked in water until pliable.  They were blotted and then applied with matte medium to the canvas.  Then I painted over the entire piece with acrylics once I was content with the composition.  The images are from a diverse assortment of paper I had been holding onto, including part of a cover of a Tarzan comic book, a Tarot card, a picture of Shirley Manson, a magazine page of Britney Spears, a panel from the Dazzler graphic novel and the text is from a children’s storybook.  There’s a small paragraph or two from the Tao Ching in there as well.

a-little-boy-in-our-house-collageThis is the original collage composition before I began the painting process.  I used origami paper to tie in some of the more disparate design elements.  This piece was challenging in that it seemed to have a more complicated narrative going on with the images. That may have been because it was the last piece that I worked on in the batch (It is usually my process to create many collages at once and then give them one on one time during the painting process).

At first, I wasn’t sure what palette I would be using when painting it and I left the piece alone while I considered it.

a-little-boy-in-our-house-painting-intermediateOnce I started applying paint it became a struggle to not cover up the type.  It was important to me retain the phrase that I had assembled because it represented the narrative to me, even if the images didn’t correspond in a logical manner.  “a little boy in our house causes floods and sometimes earthquakes” was the important narrative.  How The Fool and the Tarzan comic informed that phrase is a bit loose, but those are the kinds of things I like to leave up to the viewer.  I let myself be guided by my inner creative spirit.  Of course, I have my own meaning for this piece and have to admit, it is perhaps my favorite of the recent batch in spite of it not being the most iconic or dynamic of finalized images.  I think art is more interesting when there’s a constant push and pull.  For me, the resolution of this piece is in between that discord.

When you look at this piece and then at the completed painting at the beginning of this post you can see how I chose to intensify the dark reds around the text and in the brown paint.  This was done with a blend of black India ink and some red inks known as Bat’s Blood and Dragon’s Blood.  I like to use these when I can to give the art a magickal intention.

This piece is on display and can be purchased at Swankety Swank, a San Francisco gallery and boutique specializing in conscious consumer commodities.

“America”: Mixed Media Journal Painting by stormantic

america-painting-frontI have an obsession for blank artist’s books.  Unlined, of course.  I use them as a sort of diary, writing whatever comes to mind.  I make lists, jot down dreams and phone numbers, and make more lists.  I also tape in images from things that inspire me, like flyers or postcards.  By the time I’m done with one of these books, it’s spine is breaking from overuse.  But I have a problem using one of these books exactly as they are when I buy them.  I have to make them into art first.  So, I find images that I’m especially excited about, that might serve as an inspirational source for what the book will contain inside.  I gesso the covers a few times and I soak the images in warm water.  Then I dry off the excess water from the paper and apply them to the surface with matte or gloss medium.  Then I paint over the images until I like the composition and then, finally, I seal the covers in Polycrylic so it can handle the wear and tear I put them through.  I love to collage and I think the journals that I work on are perhaps the best representation of the kind of usable art that I like.  They are specifically created to create more art.

The journal featured in this post is titled “America” and has been painted with acrylics and ink.  The skull and heart images are from a postcard about a play.  The red paper is from the Academy of Art’s admissions book and the fabric flag is a left over remnant of post 9/11 patriotic fervor.

america-painting-backHere we have the back cover of “America.”  It features a cover from a Nightcrawler comic, a Spider-Man sticker and a page of the Tao Ching.  This piece involved a lot of marking over the paint while it was still wet with sticks, dried markers and pins.  I couldn’t get enough tecture to satisfy me.  If it were a wall painting I think I would have gone further with the layers.  I did find the ink and paint combinations to be satisfying.

america-collage-both-sidesThis is the original collage composition.  Much of the words from the Academy of Art admissions booklet got covered by paint in the end.  I didn’t collage anything in the upper left hand corner on the back cover because I knew I wanted it to be more painterly.  That’s a rare occurence as I usually like to cover everything and let chance take over.  What starts as a very precise composition exercise evolves into something more organic.

This piece is on display and can be purchased at Swankety Swank, a San Francisco gallery and boutique specializing in conscious consumer commodities.

“A”: Mixed Media Table by stormantic

a-collage-close-upIt’s no secret that I love comic books.  I simply cannot imagine my life without them  However, as much I love reading comics, I also love to rip images out them to collage tables, books and canvases.  Then I paint over the images with oil or acrylic paints.  Yes, it may seem sacrilegious, but some comics just don’t make the grade, you know?  They might have a really cool image that just screams for release outside of the covers.  Take the above photograph for instance.  The X-Men image with Havok and the original X-Men comes from a poorly made Marvel Comics Poster Book.  The Kool-Aid ad was the back cover of some really awful 80s comic book (same with the Trix advertisement).  Don’t they look much better with the trippy origami paper and Spider-Man stickers?  They went from irritating interruptions in a pretty bad story to stars in a red-color schemed universe of paper!

a-collage-four-legsSo here’s a view of the table.  It’s not that large, approximately 12″ x 12″ x 12″.  I continued collaging the legs and sides, sticking with the red color scheme.  Much of the red paper came from an Admissions book for the Academy of Art in San Francisco.  The giant A’s are from junkmail I received from the American Auto Association who think I still have a car three years after I sold it.  Bless their hearts.

art-087Now we jump forward a couple of days worth of painting to the final project.  You can see here how I broke the red color scheme and added designs of my own to the piece.  This was not a decision I took lightly.  Originally, I really wanted a monochromatic color scheme, but the red paint just made the table look like something had been sacrificed on it.  It was much too bloody.  So I added a little yellow and then suddenly green and blue and white got in on the action too.  What I like about painting over these collages is what bits remain.  Lots of images just don’t get to survive the painting process and I never know what’s going to need to be removed to satisfy the composition.  The paints are artist grade acrylics.

art-085Side perspective of the table.  I wanted to show how I worked on the entire piece.  Each leg is covered with images and then painted to give it a sculptural all around appeal.

art-0861And another view from a different side of the table.  I’m really digging the salt water taffy pastel colors that infuse the work overall.  There’s something about the pink and light blue that makes the red less harsh.  The table is sealed with many layers of Polycrylic so it can be used as an artistic addition to any room.  I’m a big believer in art that is usable as well as beautiful.

This piece is on display and can be purchased at Swankety Swank, a San Francisco gallery and boutique specializing in conscious consumer commodities.

Storm Sunday: Chris Bachalo

xmunl39I’m not sure why I’ve waited so long to celebrate Chris Bachalo‘s interpretation of Ororo, but this Storm Sunday is all about Mr. Steampunk himself.  I remember being bowled over by his work on the Sandman spin off mini-series Death:  The High Cost of Living.  He seemed especially suited to drawing that character.  I followed his work on Generation X, but didn’t really like many of the characters besides Banshee, Jubilee and M.  I still read the title and enjoyed his art for the most part.  When he drew Storm for the cover of X-Men Unlimited I was really excited because I felt that he merged Ororo’s punk phase with her post-punk self really well and liked his design for her hair.  All the buckles and belts really worked for me.  I’ve seen his style look clean and crisp and a bit chunky and clunky at other times.  For the most part I enjoy his cartoon kinetic lines.

205scan6iz0Recently, Bachalo got to draw the X-Men during the Messiah CompleX crossover and he brought his unique style to Storm’s design once again.  I like the mix of old and new costume elements.  My fave being the corset he drew here.  It’s a bit Black Queen from the Hellfire Club, but it’s not a radical departure for Storm who still has her ruby, her cape, thigh boots and tiara (although the latter is a bit too small for my liking).

xmen-205_p031

This artwork is from X-Men #205, depicting a fight between the X-Men and Mr. Sinister’s Marauders.  Storm’s using Harpoon’s, er, harpoon against Sinister in a pretty cool way, although Goddess knows why she thinks she needs it.  And Angel is looking particularly awesome in the upper right hand corner.  This is my favorite iteration of Angel’s costume, btw.  

xmen-205_p05These pages are the only times Storm is used as anything other than wallpaper in Messiah CompleX.  I suppose I should be thankful she got to do anything since the spotlight has been all about Cyclops and Cable and their paramilitary blackops hardcore machismo for a while now.  

Bachalo has a great site and one of the images in his Gallery features the Age of Apocalypse Storm.  It’s totally worth checking out.

Wonder Woman Wednesday: The Fist of Flame

wwvscatwomanToday we continue to celebrate Wonder Woman’s mod era with this amazing cover of Wonder Woman #201 (1972) by Dick Giordano.  The white jumpsuit is killer and Catwoman’s outfit is rather ginchy as well.  I would love to see Catwoman guest star in Diana’s current book, but only written by Gail Simone, natch!

Storm Sunday: Winter Solstice

storm5_4
Today is Winter Solstice! Now is a great time to lend your greatest intention to your priorities! Perhaps the qualities you have been perceiving as “bad” are simply flowers needing sustenance to bloom into amazing assets! Come out of your closet of self doubt and shame let the sun’s rays illuminate your heart! Visualize the rays streaming into your heart and then rebounding back into the world! Be proud! Shine on!

Many thanks to the Cosmic Tribe Tarot for some of the words expressed in the above paragraph. I find this divination tool to be very inspiring and used much of its wisdom in last night’s ritual at the Comfort & Joy Winter Solstice party. I don’t have the book with me right now, so I typed from memory.  I had the most amazing time last night because not only did I get to perform an opening blessing ritual with The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, I also got to be back up girl for Rio’s dominatrix “Policy of Truth” number and I performed Book of Love’s “Flower in My Hand” complete with bubblegum pink dress, curly blond ponytails and lots of flowers (lilies if you must know).  The crowd was so appreciative and full of kind and tenderhearted sweetness.  It’s been my privilege to work with Comfort & Joy for their fundraising events (even though I’ve never been to Burning Man) and I find them to be a stalwart group of fun frolicsome freaks!  They take their good times seriously!  Who knows, maybe they’ll get me to go to a burn one day, but I dunno.  

I must say that before this event I had yet to meet the Sisters that I got to work with and just to soak up their radiance was a blessing!  Those girls know how to trick out some drag!  They must have caboodles full of little gems and things to spirit gum on their faces, because, dear reader, words do not do justice to how scintillating they sparkled in pearls, gems and stones!   They were adorned in fabulous fabrics and lovely rings, necklaces and magical woo!  But I make much ado about something that is quite regular about the Sisters.  Fabulosity is a way of life for them!  

I was very proud of my sisterbrother for bringing the dominatrix drag as she whipped, tied, gagged with an American flag hankie, paddled and otherwise tormented a performer (Hi, Lance!) dressed as George Bush (the rubber mask was truly frightening)!  Rio looked like a combo of Faster Pussycat, Kill Kill and Veronica Lake meets Barbarella!  I hope to have pictures soon!

And a kind faerie told me last night that they filmed my flowerful performance, so when I get a copy of that, I’ll post it to share with all of you stormanticals (stormanticites?  stormantics?).

Today’s image is from the Storm mini-series featuring Ororo and T’Challa falling in love as teenagers.  This mini was written by Jerome Dickey and drawn by David Yardin and Lan Medina.  I chose the image for today because of the tenderness it portrays.  I love the shafts of light illuminating the forest.  The lovers slumber in contentment and dream of all the possibilities that new love can bring.  Let this be a meditation for us on the new year!

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