Painting a Wall Mural!

More than a year ago, I started doing artwork, most drawing with graphite. Soon after that, I took over the guest room as my dedicated office space. We used to have guests at least once a month, but didn’t have any last year and none so far this year. Nevertheless, the bed is still in the room, but in a way that it looks more like a sofa than a bed. My dog uses it a lot while I’m working too. So I knew any design would have to include the bed.

Mural in daylight and overhead light. The black rail is the daybed frame. The dark purple goes down to the floor but it’s mostly hidden by the bed.

I mention the bed because it takes up an entire, unbroken wall (except for an outlet that’s in a very odd place). This room was painted white on three walls and dark green on another by the previous owner many years ago. We bought the house more than eight years ago, and it looked newish then. Since I’ve been working in this room for the better part of a year, I got bored with the color. But instead of just painting it one color, I wanted to paint a wall mural. The wall is on the eastern side of the room, so I wanted to depict a sunrise. Note that I am a nerd and got out my compass, so the sun painted on the wall is exactly east when standing in the center of the room.

Dark view of the mural, with just the very cool night-light for illumination.

After watching a bunch of videos on YouTube, I was convinced I could do it in three days. HAHAHAHA! In reality, it took longer than a month from painting a sample to scale, sketching on the wall in pencil, buying the paint, priming the green wall, painting the other three walls a very light sort of rose-grey color called Winter Morning, painting the trim, painting the actual mural, doing touch-ups, and re-arranging furniture. I only bought three colors for the mural, a dark purple, a dark orange, and white. I mixed them for the shadows and highlights, and I added in my own acrylics (red, black, and green).

Overall, I am happy, but now I am thinking about doing a gallery wall elsewhere in the room, so another project is forthcoming!

Wolf Moon (my new book)!

It has been years since my Vampire in the City series was completed, but now I’ve finally started a new series! As you can see from my very beautiful cover art, the series is called Werewolves in the City, and the first book is Wolf Moon.

The release date for this book is February 2, 2021, but it’s live for pre-orders now!

Also, to continue with the tooting of my own horn, I also designed the cover for this book (did I mention that I think it’s very beautiful?). Since I’ve been doing a lot of art lately, I had to confidence to make my own cover this time around.

Tomorrow, I will have to get back to work on final proofreading but for today I’m basking in my sense of accomplishment!

New Hobbies in 2020

Like many others, I decided to try my hand at some new hobbies in 2020. I was always under the impression that I had no time for hobbies, but this year seems to have altered my perception of time and now I have a ton more hobbies.

My drawing of a bird!

In the spring, I started gardening and bird watching. In the winter, I am obviously not doing much gardening, but I have plans for next spring. I also started drawing, after wanting to do it all my life but convincing myself I would be no good at it so why even try. Now, I draw very often, and it become very therapeutic for me. (And if you like my drawings, feel free to follow me on Instagram @donna_photo_phylactery) However, I haven’t drawn much in the last month, as I was inspired to finish the first draft of a book I started a long time ago! This is very exciting but I still have a good month of editing, so I won’t talk about it that much.

Actually a portrait of the protagonist of my upcoming book!

These new hobbies got me to thinking about other stuff I have always wanted to try but put off until “later.” One of those things was learning to play the piano. I have no good reason not to play the piano, as we actually own a piano, and my older son has been taking lessons for about three years. I didn’t want to spend any money on hobbies, since I will never become a concert pianist, so I just use a piano app and the old piano books my son has long since graduated from.

My kids walking on a trail.

Since all this was not enough, I decided to learn a language in a game-like setting. I have, in the distant past, taken four years of Spanish. I decided Spanish would be a good language to learn now, since I may remember a little, I live in NYC and a lot of people speak it, I very occasionally come across it at work, and maybe someday I’ll even get to travel to a Spanish-speaking country again. Uno puede soñar!