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Weather is up and down and blustery. A strong indicator of the changing climatic situation.
I am dealing with some health issues particularly involving my vision so my ability to sit at a screen and edit is very much affected. Still, it is being worked on, and once there is some improvement, I have rather a lot of things to post.

And, yes, I have seen the notice about DA having been bought by WIX. What that will mean I have no idea of course, but I will say this. My stock, may NOT be used to make web pages with, of any sort. It is for artists to create art with, as whole works. It is for students to use to study and practice. It is for traditional and digital artists that paint, and sketch and work in traditional forms, if not necessarily traditional media, to use for their studies and polishing their skills. Any thought that my images may be used as they are for any purpose, other than for the creation of derivative art and academic practice is violating my terms of use. Anyone using my work as I have published it here that has not actually set down and worked with it to create their own works, are violating my terms of use. Simple as that. And people that keep putting my stock in their "collections" that are not artists and have nothing on their galleries will continue to be removed.

I have been very happy to provide material for the arts community. However, I will, with no regrets, delete this account if I see it being misused. The safety and the ethical protection of my models, and my own images has absolute first priority. Always.

Go forth and create for it is our purpose to "Instigate Art"
Binging... it is not healthy with food, alcohol, tv, books, gaming, anything. Balance. Without balance, so much is lost.

I do not feel it is healthy to become so deeply absorbed into something that you lose the reality of the day. I think to much of the disconnection we have today from real problems affecting real people is due to our diving too deep into something that was never meant to replace life, but rather to reach our creative spirits and inspire them. Instead, we are drowning our Now, and the cost is all around us. My opinion of course.
I have been mulling something over for a long, long time, and perhaps it is a good time to bring it up. There are so many truly gifted, hard working and talented artists that work in the fantasy field, and obviously they do pretty fantastic work. However. It occurs to me it might be fun, to set up a theme where the gear, costuming, outfits, weapons, etc, have to actually be able to be used, worn, put on and taken off, etc. Quite a few costumes for instance could never actually be worn due to things like horns, spines, tails, wings, claws, leg forms, and so on. Weapons would never work as the shape and form of the item simply does not fit the form of the wielders anatomy. How about we have some work, all part of one great movement, that requires that you should be able to physically make that costume or weapon, and would actually be able to be put on, or used, by the character it was meant for? Bit of fun, yes?

And a word from our sponsor. :)
 for gifting funds,
And a word from our sponsor. :)
 for gifting funds,
For Megan. To me, it matters.

"One final post.
One final request for help.
The last few days have been rough beyond words.
So I figured a third and final try couldn't hurt a thing.
I am thankful each and every day for your support, your love, your encouragement and kindness; things that are more precious than money.
But unfortunately, money is a necessity in this world.
And for someone in my position, it can make or break a life.

Over and over and over again, kind, caring people - friends, family, even acquaintances - ask me what they can do to help.
And I'm at the point where I need it, and I have an answer.

This is not an easy post for me to write.
To some outsiders, I appear aloof, intimidating, or outright cold. I'm not. What I am is shy and proud in equal measure, socially anxious and afraid to ask for help.

My grasp of language is still too feeble to write a proper GoFundMe. I can write, but I just don't know what to say. I'm two months into an aggressive Babesia treatment cycle that will last half a year, with at least six months of IV treatment beyond that.
I'm in too much pain to work; in effect, financially helpless. My health insurance plan is excellent, but extremely expensive, and doesn't cover the mental health treatment that is essential during a very long and extremely painful course of treatment. My medication regimen is stripping me down to skin and muscle and bone, resulting in decreased cold tolerance and even more pain.

All I can offer at this point is my Paypal information, and a sincere plea for any help you can spare.

The address is

Any money you send me will be used for warm clothes, gloves, winter boots, and other essentials to keep me going through the winter, as well as medical expenses and psychological maintenance.
Thank you for hearing me out, for your understanding, and for your support. "
So, I am going to start posting some of my own recommended places to buy gifts from. :)

Additions as I get to them.
And a word from our sponsor. :)
As we approach the thinning of the Veils, and the time of the Ancestor's Feast, do not bow your head in fear of your source, but stand proud, and with honor for the life you have lived in the respect of tradition, ancestors and an honest heart. If you believe in a creator, then how can you believe that it would create you in fear? Creation is an act of love. Remember that.
© 2016 Marion Z. Skydancer
I have had what I suppose is an epiphany. Seeing the little meme going around about describing yourself as three fictional characters. My world view, and my literary world, does have fictional characters in it, but those are far out numbered and out weighed by the historical, legendary, and mythic. All of my life has been shaped not by fiction, but by history. I find that somehow, comforting.
Well now, this is a great bit of fun. Does this mean we have to redo all those artsy zodiac calendars?…

It took some digging but I found what I believe to be the accurate dates determined by NASA for the Zodiac signs, if you include Ophiuchus and adjust for orbital precession. NASA explained that the signs as we know them have completely different date ranges now.

Here the "new" dates for all 13 signs:

Capricorn: January 20 - February 16

Aquarius: February 16 – March 11

Pisces: March 11 – April 18

Aries: April 18 – May 13

Taurus: May 13 – June 21

Gemini: June 21 – July 20

Cancer: July 20 – August 10

Leo: August 10 – September 16

Virgo: September 16 – October 30

Libra: October 30 – November 23

Scorpio: November 23 – November 29

Ophiuchus: November 29 – December 17

Sagittarius: December 17 – January 20

Now that you've caught your breath, here's a hard truth: From the get-go, astrology was not intended as an exact science. And as NASA has shown, some of its most foundational values, like these very signs, can be challenged by astrology's hard-science counterpart, astronomy.

"Minor comment here by me"
Most folk that look at this closely will realize the length of time for each sign is different. Astronomically, the angle that each constellation covers varies a lot, so unlike the arbitrary division of astrology, if you use actual astronomical data, that is how it works out, the sun is only in each constellation when it actually IS in each constellation's arc.
Just wanted to clear that up.

If you are not an artist or student wishing to use the resources in your artwork, as references, stock or for working on your skills, then please do not watch this account, and do not comment on this account. The only reason it exists is as a resource for the arts community and the various university student programs that use it.

Safely back from Dragon Con, and rather a lot of new material to post, but, also a small colony of virii and microbes came along for the ride, so I need to deal with them first. Be patient and there will be much fun things to come. :) A tiny bit of a teaser for you.

2016-09-03 Sailor Moon 0035 by skiesofchaos
Into rather high gear. Naturally anyone that might like to do a photoshoot with me at the con, is encouraged to send me a note.

I will definitely be shooting with The Dresden Files, Cinder Spires, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and in the parade. Otherwise I will most likely be around the art show, and shooting small individual shoots with different folk, as well as wandering about in wizard garb with a camera in my kit. :)

All donations of course toward my work is deeply appreciated. Note me if you need my address to send props, costume items or wish to donate directly to my fund through paypal. Never hurts to have the option.
Ok guys, we need to push this. If we can hit $1400 she will send the original to DRAGON CON ART SHOW, and you simply have NO IDEA how amazing that would be until you actually stand there in AWE and see it for your self.…
Go here. Do that. You will be helping accomplish astonishing things and getting really great art in the process.…
Back am I from my journey to the North, and settled back into my mountains. Much to do of course, photos to post, stock to sort, stories to jot down upon the pages of life experiences.

The replacement camera seems to be doing pretty well, much better than I expected in someways, missing a few options I used heavily with my Pentax, but over all, an interesting piece of kit. Eventually I must save up, sell a bit of the accumulating stash of art and work I have around here, and get a new Pentax, But I think I will be keeping this Sony. It lets me finally pull all that lovely Minolta glass I have had in the drawer for years again.

So, Happy Solstice, and we continue ONward. :)
I will not be able to do anything definitive over the next week. So any questions, requests or permissions you might need I will have to get to when I return.
All goes well, I will be back by Midsummer's Eve.
Camera replaced, so that is sorted, though I have an entire new system to learn.

Looking forward to Midsummer's Eve, the fireflies are out and about, the weather is much warmer, and the mountains are green and gorgeous.
just goes to show that no matter how careful you try to be, you can still screw up quite royally. My poor faithful Pentax is so much scrap now. I will not get into a long tale, but let us just say that camera, plus long lens, plus tall tripod, plus improperly secured quick release plate = camera meeting concrete at a regrettable velocity.

However. Thanks to my dear friend NicholasArts and his assistance, I have a replacement that will serve well, though there are a few things it has that I have to figure out, and is missing a few things I found extremely useful on the old one, but... we adapt, we stretch, we grow and we make stock. :D While is is a blow to the budget... which I find to be much like fudge, it melts away just laying there in the pan... Dragon Con is very much in my sights and we will be there with wand and staff and lens. Which also means that if anyone would like to shoot some artsy stuff, or a nice stock series while I am down there it would be great fun.
What with climatic shifts in the weather patterns and the continuing rise in global heat energy, the storms get stronger, longer, and more often, and the expected goes into the historical past, with completely new patterns forming, many of which are going to be extremely destructive to the ecology, the biosphere, and every living thing on the planet. Of course most of those in any sort of power position or who make great fortunes from the exploitation of everyone and every thing are pushing and throwing resources to support the "sceptics" and their claims that we cannot possibly have anything to do with it.

The world is changing. Art about it while you can.

In other news... much work going on to get ready for this year's 30th anniversary of Dragon Con
Why yes you should, and not only to support, but these will make the most astonishing gifts to any artist, or admirer of the arts. :)