The short of it is I was bogged down in long-term projects and one morning I woke up and realized what I needed to do was paint an owl wearing one of Chronographia’s marvelous hats. So I did. This was the result:

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Elf owl in a Sprout Beret

It made me so happy that I did another one the next day.

Barn Owl in a Sky Blue Counterpoint

Barn Owl in a Sky Blue Counterpoint

By this time I was on a roll, and knew I had to keep painting owls, if only to keep my spirits up.

Snowy Owls in Pixie Hats

Snowy Owls in Pixie Hats

Chronographia tells me these hats were made on commission for a couple going on a skiing trip—so my choice of owl was extra appropriate!

Great Gray Owl in a Yellow Star Jester Hat

Great Gray Owl in a Yellow Star Jester Hat

Half the fun of this, of course, if looking for reference pictures of various owls. Great Grays are incredible—I could do a whole series within this series of great gray owls!

Northern Hawk Owl in a Scarlet Pinwheel Topper

Northern Hawk Owl in a Scarlet Pinwheel Topper

Northern Hawk Owls are also stupendous birds! Very serious and majestic. So of course I had to put mine in the most outrageous hat!

Eurasian Eagle Owl in a Sugared Violet hat

Eurasian Eagle Owl in a Sugared Violet hat

Painting the owls in flight was very time-consuming, because of their wings, but also highly rewarding! Doing the details of light and dark on their feathers without white paint was an additional challenge.

Tawny Owl in a Red Atagaric

Tawny Owl in a Red Atagaric

There is something about owls that is so self-possessed and dignified that when they look offended it is particularly adorable.

Burrowing Owl in a Pine Jester.

Burrowing Owl in a Pine Jester.

As of this post the series consists of eight owls, which are available as prints and greeting cards over on my Red Bubble shop, but I expect there will be more in future. The original Elf, Barn and Snowy Owls have been sold, while the rest are slated to appear in art shows at AnthroCon and World Con this summer. Chronographia will also be peddling her wares at the later, but in the meantime I encourage everyone to go check out her Etsy shop, where she lists hats and other goodies for sale!

All were done in watercolor on 5″x7″ paper.

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Hunter and Hound

2016 by Goldeen Ogawa, watercolor on paper

This is a somewhat cheeky piece of work. You see, it could be a depiction of Arawn, King of Annwm, (or possibly Gwyn; the distinction between them being so fuzzy), with one of his red-eared Yeth Hounds…

or it could be Sirius, the Dogstar, incarnate in a bastard Yeth Hound/golden retriever mix and the Master of the Hunt, who is probably the original Child of Darkness on whom legends of Arawn and Gwyn were based. It entirely depends on how much of a Diana Wynne Jones fan you are, I suppose. 😉

Personal work done between book projects, to remind myself that yes I can make pictures that don’t take months to finish.

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Belated, I know, but if there is any overlap in between my readership and members of WorldCons 2015 (Sasquan), 2016 (MidAmeriCon II), and/or 2017 (WorldCon 75), and you’re having trouble filling out your Hugo Nomination ballots, here are my Hugo-eligible works, and their respective categories:

Best Novella

(A science fiction or fantasy story between 17,500 and 40,000 words that appeared for the first time in 2015.)

  • “The Dogs of Canary Island”
  • “Missionary Man”

Best Novelette

(A science fiction or fantasy story between 7,500 and 17,500 words that appeared for the first time in 2015.)

  • “The Moonfoot Problem”
  • “The Case of Countess Baronia”

All of which can be found in Apsis Fiction: Aphelion 2015from Heliopause Productions, July 2 2015.

In addition, my own person can be considered for Best Pro Artist thanks to the examples below:

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RotationTwoCoverSm06MonstersDaughterSmAphelion2015CoverSmHugo nominations are open until midnight (11:59 Pacific DST) March 31 2016. Look to your email for your member number/PIN, and happy form-filling!

Best,

G

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On this final Sunday in March, in honor of #DWJMarch and all fans of Diana Wynne Jones, I present a very tired author reading from Dogsbody, as suggested by Dragonrose, plus a bonus of my own choosing. It also features accompaniment from the iPad-Who-Would-Not-Be-Silenced, and my own dog, Frieda, on Squeaker (fairly certain not a Zoi) Toy.

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dogsbody

Dogsbody is a standalone novel, but like so many of her works, its world is deep enough that it leaves one wishing for more stories with set in the general vicinity. I first read it in the same mad imaginative growth spurt  during which I read Homeward BoundersArcher’s GoonTime of the Ghost and a number of her other standalone works (this was in the early naughts, before Year of the Griffin had been published), and at the time was deeply unsatisfied with the story in a sore, cold-foot-ache (to borrow a phrase from Jamie) sort of way, because although I wished for a happier ending, I understood even then that it was the best possible ending it could have had.

In revisiting portions of it in preparation for this reading I discovered, to my astonishment, that it has a downright miraculous ending. Still bittersweet, yes, and it still gives me that cold-foot-chest-ache, but it is altogether a wonderful and beautiful thing: unflinchingly realistic in its depiction of humans and human behavior, and yet it injects into a very dark and troubling story an unmitigated beam of optimism, which, though narrow, is bright and sharp as a polished knife. And it is that, I now realize, which hurts. Because there are a lot of Duffies in the world, and precious few Miss Smiths.

The Tough Guide to Fantasyland was perhaps the first book by Diana Wynne Jones I ever read. (Aunt Maria was the first I encountered, but I didn’t muster the courage to actually read it until some years later). It has, more than any other work, influenced me in my decisions of what not to do.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my Diana Wynne Jones read-aloud! If you want to revisit any of the episodes, you’ll find them all collected in the DWJmarch read-aloud 2016 tag. Enjoy!

And follow, follow, follow…

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This week’s DWJMarch read-aloud was requested by my Wonderful Mother, who asked for something from The Spellcoats!

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spellcoats

The Spellcoats is the third book in the Dalemark Quartet, though it takes place prior to all the others. However, like the Chronicles of Narnia, these books are best read in the order in which they were written: Cart and Cwidder, Drowned Ammet (this author’s personal favorite), The Spellcoats and finally The Crown of Dalemark, which brings together threads from the three preceding volumes in a truly masterful and epic fashion.

One last week to send in requests for my DWJ March read-aloud! Shoot your ideas over to goldeenogawa@gmail.com!

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This week I’m blogging from the road, but I’ve still got a snippet of Diana Wynne Jones for you! This time it’s my own selection, from my personal favorite: Hexwood.

 

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hexwood

Hexwood is a standalone novel—sadly. But what a novel! Robots! Dragons! And a definite treat for anyone interested in a new take on European mythology. Given infinite time and money I would acquire the publishing rights to it and reissue a hardcover with my own illustrations. Lots of them. More than any other work by Diana Wynne Jones, it’s imagery has stuck with me. Perhaps by the time I have the means to do so, my skills will be up to the task of bringing what is so strongly cemented in my mind out into the real world.

Got a suggestion for me? Go ahead and send me an email! goldeenogawa@gmail.com ! And I’ll be back with another reading next week!

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Good morning! And welcome to the first edition of my Diana Wynne Jones Read-aloud for DWJMarch! This week I’m reading an excerpt of The Magicians of Caprona, as requested by Kristen M of webereading.com. Enjoy!

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caprona_us_pb*The Magicians of Caprona © 1980 Diana Wynne Jones is the second novel she wrote which takes place in the related worlds of the Chrestomanci multiverse. It is notable as being the only novel which does not feature the multiplicity of worlds, but focuses on one aspect of the Chrestomanci’s home universe. Commonly listed as Book 4, it takes place sometime between the events of Charmed Life (1977) and The Stealer of Souls (2000), but this blogger recommends reading it second, after the aforementioned Charmed Life. See my handy Reading Chrestomanci post for more opinionated rambling.

It can be found pretty readily in paperback, either alone or as part of the Chrestomanci omnibus editions, as an eBook, and audiobook. Amazon is a good place to start looking if you need to add any of these incarnations to your collection. This blogger highly recommends it as a Gateway book for those not yet familiar with Diana’s style, both for young readers and adults.

Got a suggestion for me? Go ahead and send me an email! goldeenogawa@gmail.com ! And I’ll be back with another reading next week!

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As I mentioned on Twitter last week, I’m going to be doing something a little special this year for #MarchMagics/#DWJMarch. In an effort not only to celebrate the work of Diana Wynne Jones but to perhaps introduce her to people who might not have had the joy of reading her—yet—for every Sunday in March I’ll be posting short excerpts of her work—as performed by your’s truly.

Now, I could easily fill every day in March with selections of my own, but as this is to be a social event I thought I’d toss the ball out to you, fellow DWJ-fans! Are there any scenes you’d particularly like me to read aloud? Any books from which you’d like to hear?

Drop me an email at goldeenogawa@gmail.com — anything by that grand old queen of the fantastic will do! Whether you’d like to hear Wendela Horselady’s tirade from Darklord of Derkholm or perhaps Howl’s temper tantrum from Moving Castle or the entry for Swords in The Tough Guide to Fantasyland… even if you can’t think of a specific scene, a request as vague as “something from the Dalemark Quartet, please,” will do.

Once again that email is goldeenogawa@gmail.com, and I’m open for requests beginning…

…right now.

#MarchMagics/#DWJMarch is helmed by Kristen M.—you can find her full schedule for March 2016 on her blog!

 

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hint: click for full view!

hint: click for full view!

Colored pencils • prints and merch here!buy the book here!

Cover art for Professor Odd Episode 7: The Dogs of Canary Island. Now that the book is out, I can finally share the original cover art!

This was done largely over the course of January/February 2015, all in colored pencils, as I do with the Odd covers. Still getting the hang of doing art-for-book-covers rather than just art-as-illustration, but this one came out pretty good, I think.

As for the story… genetically engineered dogs. A sarcastic Borzoi. A long-suffering Akita Inu. Professor Odd wears a ruffly apron. Dave makes breakfast. ALISTER FLIES THE ODDITY. Also wormholes. Good times.

Buy the book and read it yourself!

Professor Odd is a series of science fiction novellas about a universe-hopping woman-thing and her friends as they travel the multiverse looking for pizza, nice beeches, peace and quiet, and sometimes helping stray dogs on the way. You can find more episodes on it’s Heliopause page, prints and other merch for sale on my Red Bubble store.

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