Now that Mardi Gras is over...'s time to get back on the horse!

There are lots of new prints at the shop, which you can see over here:
"The Crying Ledge" is one of them:

Thank you for looking, and for sharing your favorites with your tribe - word of mouth is the only way anybody learns of my stuff. If you wanna see/hear more regularly from me, I'm over here on FB:, or @marrusart on Twitter.

I'll leave you with my fave shot from Carnival: Me, dressed as Dorothy Vader (embasketed, a tiny RTotoD2), with my friend Tom, dressed Heh.

Dorthy Vader

I've been a busy girl...

Pretty much lived in my studio for all of January. Here are the results!

Crying Ledge-wm
"The Crying Ledge", 12x24" oil on canvas, $3000

Ghost Horse-wm
"Ghost Horse", 24x18" oil on canvas

The Bride-wm
"The Bride", 12x24" oil on canvas

Ghost Triptych-web
These became my first triptych, along with "BloodSprite"

Cage Heart Angel-wm
"Cage Heart Angel", 12x16" oil on canvas board, $850

Roses and Bones-wm
"Roses & Bones", 14x8", oil on canvas board, $650

Fog Kitteh
"FogCat", 12x16", oil on canvas board, $850

I've got prints of most of these over here:, and if you're interested in any of the originals, lemme know. All three originals of the triptych are sold, though. It made the beginning of the year MUCH easier:)

This is a Quoilyn... ink, yanked from my last sketchbook. Quoilyns galloped, rude & laughing, out of my head when I was about 16. They are the embodiment of greed, avarice and lust, and they delight in it.

You can also see them in "Soul Owning",

"Bindlestiff Sideshow Stabbing",

and there's a tiny one hidden here in "DreamStag":

These pieces (and lots more) are available for sale on my website, by the way. Thank you for looking!

New painting!


This is my new painting, "LoveWave". I'm pretty juiced about it - it's got the complicated underpinning, yet simple approach that I've been after for years. Let's see if I can keeep that going!

If you'd like the original, it's 12x24", oil on canvas, and $2500. I'm currently taking pre-orders for open editions lithographs here:

If you'd like a limited edition canvas, they're signed, numbered-to-200, and archival. $600 each (not including shipping) until ten of them are gone, at which point the price goes up. I can also make them bigger, and they'll still be part of the edition, but we'll hafta discuss privately.

I hope you like the new piece:)

CTRF 2013

I hate having to write this, but I won’t be at my beloved CTRF this fall. This was a hard, hard decision, but I wanted to tell you why:

For one thing, the event is moving sites, and while I’m sure that they have good reason to do so (yay, booze!), management is unsure as to camping or onsite facilities. This means I'd hafta rent an apartment or go to a campground, which is a lot of added expense at an event that is already expensive for me (we ARE talking a 1500 mile drive). I won’t in good conscience agree to do a show when I don’t know all the factors going in. I can’t be as flexible, cuz I’m not currently…flexible. (Badum-DUM.)

And with that lovely segue, the biggest part is that my body just isn’t cooperating. I’m in grinding, constant pain, particularly in the morning. I’m doing everything possible to fix this, and I’m doing my best to not slow down, (just got back from Spain, and I hit the gym yesterday!) but my screaming was the delightful backdrop for my traveling companions. I just can’t see being on the road for a month and a half, sleeping in my car in inevitable 30 degree weather, taking daily painkillers, and still delivering to you folks the service & shenanigans you’ve come to expect of me (and that I love to give you).

(That's a dying disk in my lower back. Doctor's words, not mine. Dem bones ain't supposed to grind on each other...)

I was hoping to have my artwork available at the show through a friend’s booth, but the Faire has implanted a new policy that an artist who creates the work must be WITH the work, so that means none of my stuff at CTRF. Pat and Diane, of Tintagel’s Gate in Athol, Massachusetts (, carry a selection of my art and books, so if you’re in the neighborhood, stop by and say hello.

In the meantime, I’m down here in New Orleans, doing my best to fix myself, and selling my work locally. I WILL be at LARF (Allah willing and the crick don’t rise) as I’ve got a permanent booth there, and the traveling is not nearly as hard on me. If there was a piece or five you were hoping to get, I have a store here: Use the code “SMARTART” to get 15% off. (Thanks for continuing to support my work, not doing this show is a BIG bite out of my income.) I’m afraid the technology has yet to be invented that will allow me to decorate skin via a laptop, but I hear they’re working on it.

I’ve got my ear to the ground on events I could do in New England that won’t take such a toll on me, and of course, if you know a convention that is interested in having me as a Guest, please have them contact me at marrusart AT yahoooo.

I’m gonna miss you all so much – you don’t know how much the family I’ve found (over the last – can it be thirteen years?!) means to me. Have a great Faire!


Well, hello there, 4:15 am....

...when you work for yourself, you're always working!

I'm in the process of overhauling the website, beating on three paintings, refinancing the house, and trying like hell not to get a pain med addiction. Good times!

I've also been experimenting with a new store, which you can see here: The interface is really clean, and I add things regularly. I don't think I'm particularly prolific, but it LOOKS like that when you add all the years together...

State of the Marrus...ow...

I'm sorry for the radio silence, but on-going health issues (I've got a disk that's dying in my lower back, and have been told I can't do anything but manage the pain & hope the two vertebrae knit into one), coupled with running a full-time business, are taking their toll. One or two lines on FB is just easier. I hope to get back to writing more when New Orleans festival season dies down (hello, next book, maybe?), but I do have a few things over here:

and I post regularly here:

Also, I made a new store over here, and I really like the interface:

If you like something, use the code "SMARTART" for 15% off. Thanks for helping me do what I do:)

Why you’re sitting home alone...

Because I am fascinated by why people do what they do, and therefore pay close attention to human interactions, I’ve been hearing a refrain with heartbreaking regularity: “I’ve lost touch with my friends. I don’t go out anymore. I’m so lonely.”

While I’d like to soften the blow, if you’re all alone, waiting for someone to reach out to you, you’ve got no one to blame but yourself.

Look at this way: When you’re a single digit protoplasm, your folks probably coordinated play dates with other similarly sized blobs. You got a little older, and there was grade school, then high school, with a whole new cast of characters planted in your path. You became buddies with the guy whose locker was next to yours, you met a cool group of kids at the drama club, you hung with your fellow players after hockey practice.

If you went to college, suddenly, your schoolmates had similar majors, or at least interests. There were a plethora of clubs & activities & parties to hit, maybe fueled by the social lubricant of beer bongs & body shots. One group of friends led to the next, and you were overwhelmed with more people than you knew what to do with. Good on you!

But once school was over, with its prepackaged camaraderie, you were out in the real world. The first few years of adulthood are often a bitch – you’ve got student loans, maybe a young family, a shitty job that hopefully leads to a less shitty job, but it’s probably gonna be awhile before you’re self-sufficient. This means the focus is on the next buck, the next rung on the social hierarchy, and those advancements are often made at the negation of interpersonal relationships.

I think this happens because we are told, constantly, that money & status are the only worthwhile goals. By the time we come up for air, twenty years have evaporated, and everyone has retreated into their own specialized compartments. Suddenly all your friends are gone because no one bothered to nurture those relationships, and you have no idea how to make new ones, because you never really had to learn.

It’s a lot harder when they’re not pre-packaged, pre-approved, and shoved in front of you, isn’t it?

Lasting friendships take WORK. They’re not about clicking a box on a website, or sending out a mass text on New Year’s Day, or hoping that at least one person can be conned with a six-pack and a pizza to move a sofa after seven months with no contact.

We must make time for the ones that matter. Pick up an actual phone and CALL someone. Schedule a shared cup of coffee on a Saturday morning. Have a potluck dinner party (it’s also a great excuse to clean the house). Reach out when you’re happy, not just when you’re depressed & need an ear. Relationships (not just the romantic kind) take effort. If you plant a garden, you wouldn’t just drop some seeds on the ground and expect to eat salad for the next 30 years, would you? Nurturing a beloved inner circle is exactly the same, right down to cutting back the wayward bits or dousing groundkill on the weedy ones.

Because you don't need to spend the rest of your life with a friend who just happened to drop in your path, either. Questioning a toxic relationship, I was told, “we’ve known each other since kindergarten”, as if this was enough to allow someone to continue making her miserable forever. If your “friend” drags you down, tries to make your life smaller so you’ll stay with them, belittles your triumphs, sabotages your happiness, it doesn’t matter how long they’ve been doing that – it only matters that you’ve already let them for far too long. Time to cut them loose. Better to be lonely than brutalized.

And perhaps you don’t have anyone who DOES interest you. You can find them, but yeah, YOU need to make the effort. Figure out what you like to do, find a place where other people do it, and GO THERE. Join a group online, and if one doesn’t exist, start one. Make an effort to make it happen, cuz it won’t happen otherwise. Be the catalyst.

Look at those in your life who have brought you joy, clarity and support. Reach out to them, let them know how much they mean to you, walk across that burning bridge. And those who are dead weight? Love yourself enough to let them go. You deserve better.

"Why All Paintings Don't Grow Up to be Prints", or "Self-Preservation in the Age of Be-Backs"

I’m hearing a lot of grousing about why I don’t make prints of every painting that I do, and I’d like to explain my reasons.

I sell my work at festivals around the country and online. Originals start around $300 and go into the stratosphere from there, while prints average about $50 each. It used to be that I’d make a new lithograph if I’d really put my heart into the painting, thinking that if I’d spent so much time loving it, other people would, too.

Not the case. I learned the hard (and expensive) way that my tastes and those of the buying public don’t always coincide.

I use an online fan page to determine which new paintings have the biggest audience for a potential print run. When the clamoring grows loud enough, the painting is digitally shot, which is about $75. Then, off to color correct the image to the original so the colors between the screen, the original, and the press jibe - $85/hour (averaging 3 hours/image). Then paper selection, figuring out other pieces to gang up on the press, rinse, repeat.

Every time I make new lithographs, I’m investing at least a thousand dollars. Yay credit cards! (I won’t even go into everything that happens AFTER a piece has been printed, and what it takes to get an artist’s work out into the world - I wrote a whole BOOK about that.)

And then, that piece that everyone wanted? That I got emailed and messaged and called about? That racked up 143 “likes” on Facebook? That provoked so many buried memories from all who saw it? That made that one chick burst into tears?

Two sell.

And I’m on the hook for the rest of them.

A discomforting disconnect has emerged from the ensconced safety of our screens. We comparative shop with the best of the bots. We rarely, if ever, see the salespeople, let alone the maker of our purchase. Storefronts have become streaming lists of ones & zeros, and the human interaction is removed from the equation.

Many of us like it this way. If I need a new coil of rope light, I don’t want to deal with rush hour traffic and a bored employee to get it. I just want to hop on Amazon.

But there is a difference when we deal directly with the person who has MADE the thing. Or does the performance. Or is having a party. I’ve written elsewhere about the blessing/curse that is the intertubz, but a disturbing new trend is emerging, once again fueled by the facelessness that is the online world.

If you and I were sitting in a coffee shop, and I told you I was having a party in a week, and you said, OH BOY I’M SO COMING!! WHAT CAN I BRING, chances are pretty good that you’re gonna show up to my party.

Enter Evite & Facebook Events. How many art shows/musical events/birthday parties/dinners have you “joined”, with little intention of actually showing up? Clicking is easy, right?

But saying you’re joining an event is not the same as “liking” a post. Someone may be making food. Buying booze for coquetailes. Renting a theatre. Hiring additional help. And it’s all based on those RSVPs which have become more and more suspect.

I live in New Orleans, which means being bombarded with requests to stay at my place for Mardi Gras. (We’d better be really tight if you ask to stay for Mardi Gras, and be good riding a bicycle, cuz I ain’t driving you.) I’ve been forced to tell old friends that I don’t believe them til I see a receipt for their flight. Because people talk big, tell me they’re coming, and then just don’t show up.

I think it’s a combo of the be-back mentality (“Be-backs” are what we who sell directly to the public call uncommitted shoppers, as in, “I really like your art…I’m gonna look around and be back…”) plus internet anominity that allows us to say anything with impunity. Maybe it’s just that our integrity has gone to shit. Whatever it is, my business model has gotten caught in the middle.

I’ve always been a stickler for honesty. If I SAY I will do something, you can take that to the bank. I like being a person who can be counted on. And I’d love to see a reversal in this trend, so I put forth a challenge:

If you see an event, and you think you might go, pull out your calendar. Talk to your significant other. Make a decision. And if that decision is “yes”, and only then, click “attend”. Then SHOW UP.

If your child asks to go to a movie, and you say “yes”, look at your schedule. Figure out a time. Put it on the calendar. Then GO.

If your friend has written a book, and you think the idea is great, and your friend actually manages to get it published, BUY IT.

If there’s an artist whose work you love, and you write OHMIGODMAKEPRINTSOFTHAT, and the artist does, GET IT.

And at the very least, if you love something, link to it. Get your friends excited about it. Boost the signal. Reward the ones that have the stones to put it out there, to make something, to make something HAPPEN.

Our words are the only thing we have. Make them count.