Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Business Cards

I made business cards today. I hand-lettered the logo, then scanned it in and designed the cards. I am very, very proud of them.

Check out etsy.com. I don't have anything listed yet, but it's an amazing site for handmade items of all sorts. Crafts, paintings, purses, furniture. You name it.

Madness, Mayhem and Merriness

It's been such an insanely busy month, with demanding renovations, haphazard redecorating, massive housecleaning, messy furniture refinishing, delightful family visits, lovely holiday barbecues and so forth that I have been left with very little time to draw or paint. Perhaps that's no excuse, but I have not yet perfected the skill of carving time out for myself when there are other pressing demands. I am still having trouble thinking of this as REAL and WORK, which must be a priority, and not PLAY, which is not allowed except when everything else is done. I let myself be pulled away too easily. However, all of these events have actually been great fun, if a bit stressful, and I filled with inspiration.

In spite of the recent schedule, I won't leave you empty-handed (or empty-sighted). This is a watercolor I did a few years back and have loved ever since. I keep it on the wall to cheer me up. I can almost feel a warm summer breeze, smell the grass and hear kids playing when I look at it.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Back in Time

I've spent a great deal of the day balancing the checkbook, so I went to my old sketchbook for today's post. Most aren't dated, but I think these are mostly from circa 2000. I went through a somewhat intense period of drawing back then, before I decided it was a waste of time because it was too late for me to be an artist, especially with no formal arts education.

I am so glad to be back.

I like this girl, because she's reading the way I read, if I am sitting at a table. Her hand looks like she was stung by a bee, though. Poor thing.

I do like this drawing, but didn't do so well on the face. I get frustrated with faces, and unless I'm copying from a photograph, as I did with these, I don't do well with figures, either. I think a Life Drawing course is in order.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Tilt your head a little to the right... that's it.

(My apologies: this image is currently missing)

Another colored pencil drawing altered in Photoshop, although the only things altered in this photo are the background (to make it a uniform pink) and the border.


Okay. So, she doesn't really look like me, but maybe she could be a cousin. My hair does curl like that, if it wants to. And she looks quite a bit more like me than the original version, which looks like Sarah Michelle Gellar and not a whole lot like me. Drawn in colored pencil on paper and then altered, smeared, poked, prodded and fussed around with in Photoshop.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Pitcher Picture

This is what I worked on today, a pitcher from a Crate and Barrel catalog, while the contractors plastered upstairs. (That was before they upped the bll by $700 -- FIFTY percent -- and made me feel like I'd been punched in the stomach.) I like the drawing, for the most part -- it's the first time I've ever tried to draw a glass object that I can recall, and I think it's a pretty good start. But I don't know if I'll ever be able to look at it again without feeling this despair and anger. And yet, still, I am happy I got a little drawing done today. Now I need to get out of this house.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Rainy Day Blues

I wonder, as I slowly realize just how many people are pursuing paths similar to mine, and how many have already succeeded, and how many have yet to succeed, and how trendy the art world seems to be, does the world really need another artist or writer?

And then I realize that, yes, of course, the world needs many artists and many storytellers. The world doesn't get by on just one banker, after all, does it? Or one grocer or one auto mechanic or one pilot or one farmer or one architect?

Friday, May 05, 2006

Another Greeting Card

I've put up a new card at Cafe Press, featuring a photograph I took from Pacific Coast Highway at Big Sur a few years back.

I hope to find a way to create my own store so I can have more control over pricing, but until I do, I will keep adding designs at Cafe Press, since it is so user friendly. Please feel free to pass the link on to friends and family.

More to come very soon.

Something's Always Happening

So, workers have been here for the past two days and they're supposed to show up any minute to finish our aborted-DIY renovation of our bedroom upstairs.

Haven't been able to work on the computer much, since the bedroom and office are joined. So I give you this as my sort-of-daily artwork.

I have discovered that tearing airplane magazines apart and collaging them into my journal/sketchbook is a great way to keep myself entertained in flight (particularly since I haven't been absorbed by any books lately), and since I've had a lot of flights this year so far, I've done a lot of this. It's been great fun and has inspired some lovely creative binges (although I'm sure my seatmates thought I was nuts). I can't post most of them because they involve distinct photos/text that are surely copyrighted. But this one is generic enough, I think.

It was only after I finished it that I realized sitting in a jetliner at 40,000 feet is not the best place to be thinking about jumping out of a plane OR escaping.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Little Things Aren't Intimidating

I've taken a little hiatus while Husband and I went to California, but I'm back at work now.

I'm learning one important thing. Once you start to take something seriously, it becomes very hard to do it. I already know that Sitting Down to Write is a difficult thing to do. And now I am learning that Sitting Down to Draw, Paint or Do Artistic Things is also difficult, once you start to think of it as something important. Immediately, this little nagging voice starts saying things like, "Write? Draw? Take photographs? Hah! You'll never succeed. You're a fraud! Go wash the dishes instead! Make yourself useful, you lazy ass!" I know, from reading so many books on creativity, writing, art and living well, that hearing this particular voice is normal and that it can be overcome. But it takes time and I am battling that little voice every day.

And yet, I have found one somewhat successful way to work in spite of that voice. I have to trick it into thinking I'm not really being serious and that I'm just taking a break from my real duties of cleaning the house and being a good wife (since I'm not working at a "real job" and I need something to show for my time). The voice does think of itself as generous, and does allow breaks. (Let me just add that this voice is all in my head and everyone in my life, most particularly my husband, has been very supportive of this new adventure).

So I've outlined a 3 x 5 index card all over my sketchbook, and I sit down for 5 to 10 minutes to fill them in. Not a lot of time to worry about perfection, and after all, this is play. Who cares about coloring in the lines? It also helps me get used to using colored pencils again, since I've relied on acrylic paint for so long.

Here are some of them. They're not perfect (and neither are my scanning methods). But that's the point.