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Vow of Silence

July 31st, 2015

My internet service provider is currently incapable of providing reliable service to my entire neighborhood. It's getting worse and there are no other options in this area. That includes my phone since data requires wifi unless I take a 20-minute drive, one way. I may be unable to respond to personal messages or emails for some time.

I've given up.

You can license artwork through the automated system here without having to contact me and you can always purchase prints here, but I cannot provide the self-publishing/small press deals or quote meme packages at this time. Originals can be reserved at Etsy in the order I receive reservations, assuming at some point I can ever get back on the internet for more than 4 minutes at a stretch.

I have a pile of uploads waiting for uptime, but some of them have been waiting a month so I'm not optimistic they'll be posted here any time soon.

It's beyond my control but I still would like to apologize for the inconvenience to both newcomers and my regular clients. The internet has been down twice so far since I started typing this.... Three times now.

I choose to pretend this vow of silence is my choice so please wish me luck on the large, long-term project I took on offline in the meantime!

Pet

About Pet Serrano and Art for Geeks

June 28th, 2013

How do cats, history, comics and Sci Fi parodies all fit together here?

My obsession with Ancient Egypt started at an extremely early age with my interest in cats.

Animini cats are sculpted and painted by hand so they each have their own personalities.
Animini cats are sculpted and painted by hand so they each have their own personalities.
Click here to buy my original Animini wearable figurines direct.

I thought Bastet was playing Cat Woman on the Batman reruns. The capes on that show led to a more than minor obsession with Darth Vader, who had a much better cape, which somehow combined with Poe and Hawthorne and a penchant for authentic historical details to create an oddly cheerful, even-tempered goth sometime later. Temporarily.

I wore cat ears made of construction paper to my second grade class. Several times. My brother wore a Superman cape. My mother, a teacher in the school system, supported both of us. This should come as no surprise, as in addition to reading to us constantly she used Doctor Who and Star Trek to explain life lessons and Godzilla movies to explain conservation.

I eventually figured out Bastet wasn't Cat Woman on my own....

My historical research includes over 400 pages of handwritten notes on English-to-Egyptian translation alone.
My historical research includes over 400 pages of handwritten notes on English-to-Egyptian translation alone.
Click here to buy my original ancient artwork direct.

My dad was one of several art teachers in the same school system. I had all of them for class at one point or another, but he was the only one who taught any art history. In the summer he took us to every museum or historical site within driving distance, and some of my favorite memories are of leafing through the plates of his books and helping to sort and put away art supplies for the coming year.

I constantly do color and chemistry tests. It took paint from 6 companies to get a full palette of ancient colors.
I constantly do color and chemistry tests. It took paint from 6 companies to get a full palette of ancient colors.
Click here to buy museum-quality prints and greeting cards.

My son, 19 months old at the end of 2012, loves scrolling through the Louvre iPad app and my copies of The Egyptian Book of the Dead when he's not learning life lessons from Babylon 5 and Puss in Boots. He helps me put away supplies in my studio and does quality control by telling me when I've succeeded in making a "Good Lil Cat".

My assistant checks the paint details on a chip- and shatter-resistant Maneki Neko.
My assistant checks the paint details on a chip- and shatter-resistant Maneki Neko.
Click here to buy my original artwork direct.

Right now he thinks King Tut is a robot, but he'll figure out the truth on his own. Eventually.

Gaia Bathing in a Pool of Stars

December 2nd, 2010

The earth mother goddess Gaia bathes in a pool of stars. This piece came straight from a dream I had in early October a night or two before I found out I was pregnant. I have often had dreams where I'm swimming in a pool of stars and looking up at the earth, but this is the first time anyone else showed up. I deliberately chose not to show her face, partly because it shouldn't matter and partly because I didn't actually see it. But she was bald and had skin the color of rich, dark earth like a freshly tilled field, and she was humming to herself in a shifting five note scale pattern that reminded me of change ringing.

Art Prints

While I was trying to figure out what this woman with the globe in a bubble in her belly was doing there, I heard my husband say from behind me, "Without change something sleeps inside us and seldom awakens. The Sleeper must awaken." Then I woke up thinking he was there, but he was out of town.

Up until then I had no reason to think I was pregnant, but I keep pregnancy tests around just to rule it out if I miss a month because that's the first thing the nurses always ask if you show up saying you feel funny. And I did feel funny, all of the sudden anything vanilla was making me queasy and I didn't need any caffeine. So anyway, my bundle of Starstuff, who by all medical logic shouldn't exist, was conceived on the new moon and is due June 1, on another new moon. I don't believe that signifies anything. I just think it's neat.

Now, did I tell my doctor any of this when she asked what compelled me to take a pregnancy test? No. I told her it was because I started craving Fritos. I believe that's the first time I've ever lied to a doctor. But I didn't want her to diagnose me with some kind of pregnancy-induced hallucinatory psychosis and hand me a bunch of irrelevant pamphlets just because my subliminal brain sorted it all out with imagery before my conscious self did. Everyone's brain works this way, it's just that most people don't listen to themselves. Or Gaia.

Gaia, Gea, or Gaea is one of the first gods or titans of the Greek pantheon, representing what the modern West now calls Mother Nature, and is still worshiped by some pagans and neopagans today. "Gaia" in Latin was also the name used to describe everywoman, or Jane Doe. In science, the "Gaia Hypothesis" is a theory which describes the earth as a single superorganism, which probably makes humans a virus since we are killing our host.

Obligatory technical notes: Oddly, I could have done the stars faster on a real canvas with a spray bottle and some flicks of a brush. I'm sure there's some kind of star thingy you can use in Photoshop or something, but I downloaded it for the first time ever this fall. I've used it twice but I didn't like the results so I went back to Corel. It took a lot of brush changes, size changes and stippling.

I used Celestia's earth as a morgue file. It was turning pole over pole in my dream but I can't do that in a painting, so I picked Starstuff's conception date, since in an earlier painting with the earth in it I picked my marriage date and time.

I don't like how her left hand looks. It blended in too much with her shoulder so I added blue light where there shouldn't be any. It looks better artistically but it lacks photo-realism. Sometimes that bothers me. I tried putting water dripping up there, too, but it just ended up looking like maple syrup no matter what I tried so I painted it out.

You can probably tell after finishing Sweetest Tongue Has Sharpest Tooth I spent some time browsing surrealists. I can't look at art while I paint because I am easily influenced (or discouraged) by the styles of others and the painting turns out a mess. Clearly my activities during my rest period between paintings influenced my dreams and my art.