Saturday, May 30, 2009

9. make a bad drawing when you first wake up.

Laundry pile on the back of the couch.

Friday, May 29, 2009

8. make lots of bad drawings (and learn not to care).

Here's one from a couple of days ago in a waiting room.
It's not totally atrocious, but if you pay attention to where
the lines intersect, you'll find definite structural
(& perspectival, if that's a word) difficulties.

And here's a little collection of bad drawings from 2002:

Thursday, May 28, 2009

7. take a class.

The drawing class I took a few years back will have to suffice, although I went looking today and couldn't find any evidence of it. All those drawings must have either been stored or discarded. The class was really helpful, though, and I discovered that if I worked on something long enough (sometimes up to 16 hours!) it could turn out like I wanted! Until that point, I always quit way before things came together, and just thought, "Oh well, I can't draw."

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

6. find some drawing friends and arrange to meet for a drawing session.

I sure hope drawing at a playground with a three-year-old counts!
It was certainly the funnest meeting I've ever been to. These are Elliott's first recognizable representations of people. This one's me ("because I love you, Mommy").
And this here is Eric (notice the pile of curls on top?). I just think they're great!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

5. visit inspirational websites.

Recommended are and I had never seen the latter, and I really enjoy her illustration style. Another website I particularly enjoy is; she beautifully integrates linework & painting.

Monday, May 25, 2009

4. read inspirational books.

These are 2 of my latest faves, by Corey Moortgat and Claudine Hellmuth. They are written about two very different styles of collage, but both incorporate line drawing. Michael Nobbs' 75 Ways to Draw More recommends these: Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain (Betty Edwards), Everyday Matters (Danny Gregory), and The Zen of Seeing (Frederick Franck).

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Friday, May 22, 2009

2. keep a favourite pen in your pocket/bag.

This is a little set of 3 Pitt gray markers
(the warm ones) + one black, small-point
Pitt pen. Goes everywhere with the journal.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

1. carry a small sketchbook everywhere.

Oh yes, I do carry it everywhere. My current favorite is a Piccadilly brand fake-Moleskine. They run $3.99 at Borders, and I haven't had one fall apart on me yet. It's not the heavy-duty sketch paper, but it does the trick! Also, it's not so precious that I'm afraid to fill it up & move on to the next one.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

the summer as i see it

Thanks for hanging in there with me as I circle in my pre-summer holding pattern. I'll be getting the visuals up and running again soon! In fact, I've come up with a plan for that as well. I found this little booklet (you can download it too!) by Michael Nobbs on Seeing as there are 75 days of summer (not counting Sundays, since I only attempt 6 posts a week), I've decided to work my way through his 75 ideas (which include simple instructions like "draw your breakfast") in ink & gray marker. My reasons for this: a) coming up with a variety of artistic ideas & inspirations requires time, energy, and a brain; b) once the temperature reaches 95 degrees, I go through complete mental meltdown; c) whatever energy & wherewithall I have left will need to go toward the survival of my children; d) I find this little booklet fun & inspiring. So thanks, Michael Nobbs, for a summer's worth of guidance for my artistic preservation. If any of you would like to join me on this sketchy journey, it looks like he has a flickr group running for people who are doing the same. You can post a note here, and we'll head over to your blog or check out your work on flickr!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

my font!

Thanks to Hannah & Steve, who for a late Christmas gift gave me
my own font using an online font creator. I'm excited to start using it.
I always wish that fonts included symbols like empty and
check marked boxes, because I'm a listy sort of girl. So it was handy to
be able to include that sort of thing. Unfortunately, I forgot to put
an at (@) symbol in there. Oops.

Friday, May 15, 2009

summer preparations

This year I have felt the need to prepare well for the summer.
It's a very challenging chunk of time for me, what with the heat
and the total switch in lifestyle. We go from our little routine with
one child off to school every day and the other happily following me
around to two of them arguing and asking for things all day, and trips
to the pool and other kids flowing in and out of the house.
I really want to enjoy the summer this year, however, and I especially
want to enjoy my children. I mean, what a great opportunity to do so
since they will be around all day every day. I think that most of the blocks
to me enjoying the presence of my children on a daily and long-term
basis are related to me and my parenting. So I've been praying
and reading. I appreciate many things about Jo Frost's approach to
children, so I am in the process of reading Ask Supernanny. I've
already found some helpful ideas, and I've also been led into more
prayer through this. Because I realize that some of what I want to
offer my kids seems impossible: I have the hardest time focusing
on the things they're interested in for an extended period of time.
I'm also pretty distracted from the training process of teaching them
positive things and counteracting bad behavior.
And some of that's normal, and some of it can be propped up with
techniques for a time, but some of it is old sin patterns and the
fact that I'm a broken person. So I expect that a two-fold approach will
be the most helpful: a) arm myself with some creative parenting
strategies and b) fall on the mercies of God and fervently ask him to
transform me so that I would become capable of consistently
engaging my children, loving them well, and enjoying them like he does.

Monday, May 11, 2009


...painted to go with
...Karen (married November, 2007).

Saturday, May 9, 2009

checking in

Hello, my dear bloggie friends. I've been highly unmotivated this week, so I have no pictures for you today. I seem to still be recovering from last week's late night sign painting sessions and whatever energy went into the open house on Sunday. Also, though this may be in the too-much-information category, I spent the earlier part of the week struggling with unexpected hormonally-induced angst. Unexpected, because it was a time on the calendar when I thought I'd be feeling super duper. Hormonal, because my husband reminded me that I felt surprisingly low at exactly this point 4- and 8- weeks ago. The benefit of this kind of woe is that it disappears as quickly as it shows up, so yesterday I was feeling fine.
How are you all doing these days? I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

another perfect system

In spite of the fact that none of you accepted my invitation to show
us your perfect systems, I present to you the second of mine.
Of all the bags, purses, and backpacks I've used over the past few years,
this one tops them all in functionality. Now, it doesn't get top ratings on the
cute factor, but it also doesn't detract from the total look of an outfit
like, say, the pink backpack of 2004 did. The important feature of this
particular bag is that it has 5 pockets, mostly zippered, all just the right
size. This provides distinct locations for the essentials (cell phone, wallet,
lip balm, journal, pens) so I can find them immediately. When I'm in line at
the store or my mobile phone rings, I don't have to go digging around in the huge
abyss of a hobo bag, for example, to find what I'm looking for. Furthermore,
the main compartment is tall enough for a book but skinny enough that it
doesn't permit much more than that (I can cram my big camera in if need be,
but nothing else). This means I can't overload and get weighed down or
lose track of what all's in there.
So there you have it. What's your perfect system?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Saturday, May 2, 2009

and another sign

This is the other thing I've been up to this week.
My friend Ryan Mc. took my initial layout ideas and
transformed them into this beautiful piece of art.
Yay, Ryan!
I'm so glad, because this is a huge improvement over
what I handed him initially. I also love how the colors and
textures give it the look of a comic book cover.
This one we did order from the sign shop (Graphic Impact),
and I really like how it turned out. We got it in decal form,
and it was with great fear and trepidation that we peeled
off the backing and adhered it to a 4x5 foot sheet of plywood.
It turned out to be easier than expected, though, and now it's up!

sandwich boards

So this is what I've been up to for the past few days.
My fabulous little church just bought (with great external support)
a building a couple of months ago, and tomorrow we're having
an open house to invite our neighbors on over so they can check out
what's happening. We were originally going to order the boards
from a sign shop, but these showed up a few days ago. So we
decided to just paint 'em up. Of course, painting is something
Eric and I love to do together, so it's been great fun.
Glad they're all done, though.