Monday, December 31, 2012

Year Ends ~ Journey Begins

It's been over three months since D(raw) Day.  I wasn't really sure where the trek would be at this point.  Looking back, I imagined I'd be sketching more.  Somewhat bruised from beating myself up - not enough "real" art, but we'll work on that in 2013.  However, the little bit of practice and the excess of play have brought about a few milestones:  drawing nearly every day, sketching in public, arting on a wall, vacation sketching, gifts of art for family and illustrating the annual Christmas letter.

I continue to doubt, but my biggest fans (you know who you are) have encouraged me and insisted I'm not selfish (still doubting).  I'm told I have a responsibility to nurture a God-given gift (trying not to doubt the gift) and am inspiring others to be creative in whatever way suits them (that's my favorite).  I say these things not to fish for compliments - really - I want my art to lift up others, not me.  If it's my gift, I want to re-gift it!  It's a long winding road to recover some talent, confidence & skill.  This blog is just to keep me honest and hopefully inspire a bit.   So, we will deem the beginning months a success.  The tackle box is still open, the artist has stretched a bit and the art supplies aren't so dusty.  New plans are marinating to keep the sketchbooks open and will be shared soon.

As I've been thinking and typing, it's been snowing - all morning.  A magnificent winter day to end the year.  The world outside is a blur of white fluffy flakes.  The earth is a rolling white canvas.  Inspiring.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Germy Pens

I caught a particularly nasty cold this past week, or as my son calls it, "The Plague."  It's been a few years since I had one of those colds that completely knocks you down.  My luck ran out & I discovered it's hard to focus on being creative when you're fighting "The Plague."  Days 1 and 2 - no art, just germs.  Day 3 - a little zentangling - not a lot of thought, just patterns on the page.  Fortunately no one else uses my pens.  One less thing to sanitize.  Day 4 - today - finally feeling almost human and able to sketch a bit.  It's amazing how feeling awful makes you appreciate feeling almost human.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Sketching Two Thousand and Twelve

I adore Christmas letters! ... Stop groaning.  We have two albums of Christmas letters, notes & photos - a record of family and friends stories/greetings/faces - going back to the 80's.  I have composed a yearly Christmas letter since the arrival of our second child... 19 years ago, yeah that makes me feel a tad old.  I attempt creativity and/or humor - always through the written word.  Some years are more successful than others.  Well, this year, thanks to recent drawing & doodling, the 2012 letter went in a new direction.

An idea started brewing in November.  After Thanksgiving, Christmas-related doodles appeared in the sketchbook.  The original intention was just a little ornamentation.

Then, as thoughts of the past year filled the brain, illustration ideas barged in right along with them.  I started sketching these in my new bigger, wire bound sketchbook.  Of course I had to redraw them in proper chronological order, ink over the pencil, erase the pencil and add a little color.  For mass production, they were scanned, "perfected" in Photoshop & Illustrator for a few hours (while my husband kept asking when was I ever going to be done), and finally printed and tucked in the envelopes.

A random sampling...


But wait - there's more!  I couldn't ignore the doodles originally intended for the letter.  So, a day was spent inking friendly snowmen, chunky trees and tiny Christmas greetings on the envelopes.  The last of these were sent yesterday.  Another new adventure accomplished thanks to the sketchbook trek!

On to more Christmas projects, which I can't share just yet because it will ruin a few surprises.

The joyful day is less than a week away, so Merry Christmas dear imaginary readers!  My gift to you is this suggestion:  Have a little fun and create your own Christmas doodles on anything handy - envelopes, post-its or maybe bits of wrapping paper that usually wind up in the recycle bin.

Merry Christmas to all!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Cross My Heart

In case one or two imaginary readers stop by...

Yes, I am drawing (and/or doodling).  I really am.  I promise it's true. 

No time for photos or thoughtful blogging this past week.  I will post soon.  In the meantime, check out a favorite illustrator & sketchbook keeper, Mattias Adolfsson.  And now, back to Christmas projects & preparation.  

That is all.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Growing Trees

Thanks to the advice of a wise reader, this artist is going with the flow for the rest of 2012.  Permission has been given to just play - to do whatever I want in the sketchbook as long as I do something in the sketchbook.  We'll get back to some rules and a plan of action in the new year.

One of my current paper playgrounds did not come from the art supply store.  While merrily pinning drawing ideas, I discovered altered books - pages of old books transformed into sculptures, paintings and sketches.  So, this past week I picked up a free, about-to-be-discarded 1952 almanac from the library.  The somewhat delicate pages take ink nicely.  Bare winter trees have caught the artist's eye lately and creating a tree on something that was a tree so very long ago seemed fitting.  First, a couple of trees appeared in the almanac, then scrolling leafy trees in my hardbound sketchbook and another in my pocket size Moleskine... a bit obsessed.  I'm fairly convinced that anyone can draw or doodle a tree - just keep adding smaller & smaller branches or swirls and a few leaves - tada!  It's actually quite therapeutic.  The dark wintry tree grew during an evening of discussing Christmas ideas with my husband.  Grab a marker or pen and give it a whirl.  No fancy drawing surface needed.  Any random piece of paper will do!

Side note - old book pages make lovely antique-ish paper snowflakes.

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