Convention Reflections: J1 Con 2018

My first convention of the season has come & gone. Although business was rather slow the whole weekend and the event itself could have been better organized as far as artists & vendors are concerned, it was not without good elements. Pandagrams certainly made a lot of people smile and laugh, and I got to walk along the beach. (Yippee!) That is because the hotel where the event took place is on the Atlantic Ocean. This was extra fun because a month ago, I visited the Pacific Ocean–I’ve gone coast to coast in a month!

I drew quite a little throughout the event, too. Here are some of my favorite character drawings from the weekend.


L to R (click to enlarge): Rey, Star Wars, Edward Elric, Fullmetal Alchemist; Makimachi Misao, Rurouni Kenshin

Convention Season Begins

‘Tis the autumn of artist alleys. September is here, and that means my season of selling at anime/pop culture conventions begins. What’s more, this year I can actually call it a season since I’ll attend more than 1 convention in closer succession than spring & fall. It begins this weekend.

  • Sept. 14-16, J1 Con, NJ
  • October 5, New York Comic Con, NY (I won’t actually have a booth here, & it lasts 4 days, but a couple friends & I will attend—in costume—for fun and maybe just a bit of learning.)
  • November 2-4, Thy Geekdom Con, PA

I was scheduled to do Shikkari Con, PA, at the end of October, but the convention has been postponed to 2019. The convention staff let accepted artists stay on the list for next year.

There are 2 other conventions in November I hope to attend – 1 will send acceptance notices October 1, and I have been wait-listed for the other (DerpyCon, NJ). I was wait-listed for it last year but got to go at the last minute and did quite well; I hope the same will play out this year.

On another note, you might have noticed I’ve been fiddling with making the email notifications you receive more interesting visually; I’m using 2 different programs since I’m not sure the two separately do everything I would like them to. You might see 2 versions of the notification now & then as I train myself to turn off one before I hit “Publish.” =)

Put on Your Sunday Clothes

Happy Sunday. After working months on the last painting I shared (À la côte sud d’ Île Sainte-Marguerite) & another one I haven’t posted yet, I desired to paint something quicker and less detailed. Sometimes doing a “quickie” after or during a longer painting gives new life or energy to the creative process. Granted, it took some hours, but it was done, to my satisfaction, over 2-3 evenings. I primarily painted with a palette knife. 

With a dress like that, if you don’t think of Hello, Dolly!, you must not have seen this musical. Note the added business card in her left hand.

In other news, I recently added some new little paintings to the Nature & Animal Art galleries; see whether you can spot them.

À la Côte d’Azur

À la Côte d’Azur = At the Azure Coast, more commonly known as the French Riviera. No, I am not enjoying the beach in a foreign land, but I did paint one such beach I did enjoy. This spot is on the southern coast of Île Sainte-Marguerite, which is essentially the title: À la côte sud d’ Île Sainte-Marguerite. The island about half a mile and a short boat ride across from Cannes of film festival fame. I visited both places in the summer of 2009 when I traveled to France on a short abroad program in college.

An intriguing tidbit: Île Sainte-Marguerite houses a fort and museum, Fort Royal; the historically elusive man in the iron mask made famous by literature and film was transferred from the Bastille in Paris to one of the cells here.

I worked on this painting in 2 stages; I started it in January (but had to pause–end stage 1),


Resumed it mid-April (and tried a different configuration for my studio space),

kept working on it in May,

finished it a few days before June,

and am posting about it in July. Go figure.

C’est fini!

July 2018 Art Show

Several months ago, I was charged with planning an art show for a large open house my workplace was to do for the greater Princeton community. As you might recall from my previous post, the event happened fairly recently (July 1), and, as the photographs below will attest, the show went on!

Really, this show came together from the ground up. I researched, found, & purchased the metal wire display panels for the organization, put out a call to artists, made signs & labels with matching designs, coordinated artwork drop-off & pick-up–all sorts of things. Big tasks right down to the details. I’m very grateful to the set-up and take-down crew. 3 of us did set-up–the perfect number for this, really–and it was quite easy to put the panels together. It took little more than an hour to set them in formation (rather like a boat shape).

It’s remarkable what good teamwork and working from a sense of completion can do. We also had a fortuitous surprise: the square pattern on the rug ended up being very helpful for aligning the bases–a discovery made by one of my teammates, who just so happened to have selected that rug for the chapel 30 years ago!

The panels were set up on the Friday morning before the event. Art drop-off was that afternoon.

14 artists and 35 pieces in various styles were showcased, including paintings, drawings, photography, quilting (note the gray quilt in the back right of the top photo — we draped the quilt over the organ console), woodworking (stool), and sculpture. You might notice a certain 4-legged helper in the background — he gave good moral support and made sure there was lots of room for doggies to run around the art show without knocking anything over.

If you are curious about any of the pieces (“Who’s the artist?” etc.) let me know. Glad to share. Here are my pieces. You might recognize a couple of them. (L to R, Bubblegum Pop, Asher, and Rescue Dog)

The whole event was well attended, and the art show very well received. Success! Ready for the next one–whenever that may be.