Past The Town Of Strange

An archive of Ursulav arts, quotes, fan flailings, and other things she may leave lying about.
Warning: Contains Wombats


A quick little spot illo for a commentary about bees, gears, clockwork, and mechanical honey in the Gearworld blog — [link] This obviously digital, more cel-shaded style isn’t one I use all that much any more, being a texture junky these days, but it’s not a bad look, and I suspect it’s got a lot of graphic potential I’ve never been able to tap. Like many of the spot illos in the Gearworld blog, it’s just something at random I felt like doodling that was either related to the text, or became related to the text in some fashion. Ironically, not long after I’d written the section about bees, and finished the doodle of bees, I swear every show on TV suddenly involved bees, there was a radio interview on NPR with the author of “Robbing the Bees,” in which they discussed how apiculture was the new craze striking the nation, and so and so forth. Like most large, wussy mammals, I fear bees all out of proportion to their size and ferocity, so I have no great affection for them, and I’ll be glad when the sudden bee-mania in my geekosphere fades a bit. On the other hand, the best substance I have ever had in my life was a comb of wildflower honey. I don’t know what it was about this particular honey, I’ve had plenty of stuff billed as wildflower honey that did not compare, but this stuff tasted like flowers smell. After a rain. It was sweet and floral and unbelieveably delicate, and I b’lieve I would sell my own grandmother to find the stuff again. Oh, well. - Ursula Vernon

A quick little spot illo for a commentary about bees, gears, clockwork, and mechanical honey in the Gearworld blog — [link] 

This obviously digital, more cel-shaded style isn’t one I use all that much any more, being a texture junky these days, but it’s not a bad look, and I suspect it’s got a lot of graphic potential I’ve never been able to tap. Like many of the spot illos in the Gearworld blog, it’s just something at random I felt like doodling that was either related to the text, or became related to the text in some fashion. Ironically, not long after I’d written the section about bees, and finished the doodle of bees, I swear every show on TV suddenly involved bees, there was a radio interview on NPR with the author of “Robbing the Bees,” in which they discussed how apiculture was the new craze striking the nation, and so and so forth. Like most large, wussy mammals, I fear bees all out of proportion to their size and ferocity, so I have no great affection for them, and I’ll be glad when the sudden bee-mania in my geekosphere fades a bit. 

On the other hand, the best substance I have ever had in my life was a comb of wildflower honey. I don’t know what it was about this particular honey, I’ve had plenty of stuff billed as wildflower honey that did not compare, but this stuff tasted like flowers smell. After a rain. It was sweet and floral and unbelieveably delicate, and I b’lieve I would sell my own grandmother to find the stuff again. Oh, well. - Ursula Vernon

(via fuckyeahursulavernon)


I know, I know, everybody likes the weird little stories. I like ‘em too. They usually come to me as I’m working on the painting, and solidify into a pithy paragraph towards the end of the painting. I had another artist tell me once that he thought my paintings were like the punchlines to my jokes, and I’ve always thought that summed it up pretty well. Occasionally, though, something comes along that doesn’t have a story, that’s just a pure visual. In this case, I just had this idea of a cliff, and high falls, but instead of water, a spill of tree roots. I really wanted a sense of…I guess, massiveness, or height, or something. I suspect that, given my recent doodles of houses built from tubers, and giant root cities and whatnot, that this takes place on the same world, probably the one with the Rootveldt, but I don’t really know much beyond that. I don’t do many landscapes, and this sort of thing, which requires more use of the airbrush than is usually my wont, comes out much more obviously digital than I usually go for, but still, whatever gets it out of my head! - Ursula Vernon

Sings-to-Trees was the sort of elf that the other elves find a little embarassing in their dedication to nature. He loved all earth’s creatures, even the stinky and vicious ones. He could wax eloquent about the majestic buzzard, the worthy slime mold, the noble carrion fly. He used every part of the buffalo, including bits that the buffalo might have preferred he throw away. He knew things about compost that compost itself was previously unaware of.Even he, however, had to admit there was something unloveable—maybe the foul odor, maybe the low IQ, quite possibly the tendency to bite its own head off as a defensive response*—about the festering dodochicken. - Ursula Vernon
                                                            
*Its somewhat novel reasoning was that nothing could possibly hurt it if it took itself out first.

“You just always have to be the center of attention don’t you?” - Ursula Vernon

So I’m trying to crank out art for Trinoc, and I’m just drawing a total blank on the standard fantasy things. And for some reason, probably because it’s late, and I haven’t had a chance to do more Digger for weeks and I’m itchy, I start doodling wombats, and somehow I get the idea that hey, a Wombat Tarot would be great!So here’s “The Hermit” from the non-existant Wombat Tarot. It’s done on matboard, because when I’m punchy, I can’t tell matboard from illo board, but that’s okay—you can watercolor on matboard and get a nice texture, if you don’t mind that the stuff is terrible unforgiving and takes forever to dry. - Ursula Vernon


A little limited edition miniprint for HeroesCon 08. Didn’t sell, but I liked the design anyway. - Ursula Vernon

One of the set of Chinese zodiac tiles.Free to use as icon. - Ursula Vernon


Dead Dragon Breakfast Blend…strong, full-bodied, and gets you back up on your hind legs after a long night storming the countryside.When the peasants come with pitchforks, though, you’re on your own. - Ursula Vernon

I saw a pair of mergansers out on the pond by my apartment t’other day, and wanted to paint one. The males barely look real. More Klimtian stuff, with a hint of Michael Parkes thrown in… - Ursula Vernon

While the seeing-eye slug is good natured, never bites, and never gets overly excited, occasional problems do arise. But provided that the person being assisted doesn’t mind spending a lot of time in bars (as a result of the slug’s tendency to be attracted to open containers of beer) and doesn’t live in a climate where they salt the roads in winter, and above all, carries a couple of spare slugs with them in case the slug stops abruptly, it works out well enough. Acrylic, 9 x 12. I was musing about depth of field, and reading commentary by James Christiansen about his art taking place in these tiny, unreal spaces, like shadowboxes or theatre sets, and that made me want to try setting a few pieces in a similiarly small, shallow space. This was the first stab at it, featuring one of the little mouse-tailed gnomey guys from “Catching Kite-Moths” and I was pleased (and c’mon, who doesn’t love a seeing-eye slug?) - Ursula Vernon

I had this urge to paint rocks. Really, that was it. Rocks showed up and said “Paint us!” I do not argue with the rocks. Since the rocks needed something, and I had recently been looking at the art of Michael Sowa, who pops a lot of random bunnies into his art, I figured I could do worse than a random bunny.I don’t know quite why he’s there, but his name is definitely Archibald. I could see him showing up in another rock painting. There is something about a small bunny and massive rocks that I find vaguely appealling. It’s not a complex image, per se, but it definitely has rocks. (Also. Bunnies have hairy feet, not pads. I am aware of this, but have taken liberties.) - Ursula Vernon