Nurturing creativity with art, animals, and science fiction

May: A Good Month to Re-Home Jan’s Art!

Denizen of the Winter Trees, 2009

I love selling art to someone who appreciates it. 

I’ve been able to do that twice this month–and in each case an original found a new home where I hope it will reward the new owners with enjoyable viewing for a long time.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have scheduled myself for three science fiction conventions in May and June. So far, I’ve sold an original piece of artwork at each of the conventions I’ve attended.

Denizen of the Winter Trees
Demicon 25 was held in Des Moines, IA May 2-4, and my 2009 piece, Denizen of the Winter Trees found its new home there.

Treetop Primaries, 2009: more Twig Dragons.

Denizen was an important piece for me, when I made it in 2009. I had not done too many paper sculptures at the time, and I was still experimenting with my materials. I conceived the idea of creating small “fire-lizard size” dragons (Thank you, Anne McCaffrey, for the idea of fire lizards), which could perch on real twigs.  I had a yard full of twigs and sticks, courtesy of the large sliver maple tree in my front yard.

My 7-piece “Dragon Parts” stencil

I created a seven-piece pattern for making the dragon’s body, head, and wings, with the idea that I could create a series of “Twig Dragons.” I used the pattern like a stencil to transfer a pencil outline from the pattern to acid-free paper, inked and painted in the details, sculpted, and assembled the piece onto a real silver maple twig.  The background trees are painted with Winsor & Newton watercolors on Arches watercolor paper. It was a pretty labor-intensive process.  I only made one other “Twig Dragons” piece, the larger work Treetop Primaries, 2009.

All of my “Snowflake Dragons,” as well as the multiple original Common Cliff Dragon-Male, 2012, are descendants of the Twig Dragons, because I adapted that original stencil design to create them.


Horsefeathers in 2012: finished, but with no background!

I have an even longer-standing love affair with horses than I do with dragons (in strictest honesty, there’s more than a little “horse” in my dragons). Horses were my absolute favorite subject to draw, paint, read about, and write about, all the time I was growing up.  It’s no surprise, then, that the fantasy “pegasus” or winged horse is a subject I’ve returned to many times in my career as a fantasy artist.

Black-Headed Heron,2012

Horsefeathers 2012 was mostly created during March and April of that year, inspired by the design I’d created for the wing of my Black-Headed Heron. I liked the way the wing had turned out, so I adapted the pattern I’d created for it, and made my horse’s wing.

You may note, if you know horses, that this horse isn’t the usual light, airy little Arabian normally paired with a set of pegasus wings in fantasy art.  No, this guy’s a Percheron, with maybe a little Shire or Clydesdale thrown in there. The idea of a “heavy” horse with wings appealed to my sense of irony–and the icing on the cake was the hair on the feet. Those luxuriant, furry feet are called “feathers.”

How could I resist?

Horsefeathers has a new home.

I am happy to report that, thanks to Signy Gephardt‘s helpful eye, I was able to find a framing approach that worked much better for my “heavy pegasus” than anything I’d previously tried: velvety black to set him off.  The proof that I’d found his best presentation approach came when I promptly sold him at ConQuesT 45, which I attended May 22-24, 2014 in Kansas City! He has gone home to live with the obviously-tasteful Terry Matz and Ken Keller.

As the paper sculptures have gotten more elaborate (and I’ve gotten better at making them), the complexity of the patterns has gone up.  Horsefeathers was created from 15 different pieces, based on tracing paper overlays of an original drawing. The pieces were cut from (acid-free archival) Canson colored paper, and subtle additional color was added using Prismacolor artists’ pencils, both before and after cutting. Then they were sculpted and assembled.

Look for me at SoonerCon 23!
My convention-going isn’t over yet, and I still have more artwork to sell.  My art and I plan to be in Midwest City, OK (Oklahoma City metro area) June 27-29, 2014 for SoonerCon 23. Perhaps I’ll see you there.

IMAGES: All photos are by Jan S. Gephardt, of her artwork (and also her friend, in one case!). If you use or re-post them, please do so with attribution and a link back.  Thanks!


Artdog Quote of the Week


Artdog Quote of the Week


  1. Jan, Your art work is incredible. I am so happy to see it ….and your lovely daughter.

    Ann Martin

  2. Congratulations on the sales! I hope they continue!

  3. That photo just shows how happy Jan's artwork makes people! We love Horsefeathers!

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