Sunday, December 26, 2010

Bye Bye Christmas

Well the busyness of Christmas is once again past and now we look forward to a new year. And trying to remember a new year when writing the date.

Last year I did the end of year overview and the new year's plan. That turned out to be the most terrible year I have had. So I'm not doing that this year. I found out the hard way that no matter how you plan, nothing is guaranteed.

This year instead I will try to make a new start. I still don't have a "normal" to my life. I can't seem to find what fits for me. I don't do anything on a schedule and that leaves a lot of things that get put off or left out. Right now that left out stuff is my art. I have hit another dry spell.

I do so pray that I will find my normal, find some organization in my house and body, and find the joy that left last year. I want to look forward to getting up again and facing a new day. I just have to remember that my Father is the reason I am here, and He will be by my side.

Penny, Dizzy, and I hope that everyone has a very Happy New Year.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas

The time is fast approaching. Before you know it, Christmas will be here. I have been having some very emotional days with the realization that I won't have my husband next to me at Christmas dinner this year. I didn't realize how hard the situation was going to hit me.

I will be having lunch on Christmas Eve with my nephew and his family. That includes a very active 1 yr old which will make the day enjoyable. Then on Christmas Day, I will have dinner with my husband's sister and her husband. It will be very difficult as it has been only the four of us for the last few years and now one will be missing. I just hope that I can sit at the table without bursting into tears. His sister is still having a hard time too and we will be a wet mess if we can't hold it together. My tears are staying pretty close to the surface the last few weeks.

I may not post again before Christmas so I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. And don't forget to remember the reason for the season. Thank you God for sending your son to die on the cross for my sins.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Scavenger Hunt #204

As promised here is the new Scavenger Hunt which will run from Dec 17-25.

tail, tell, or tale
seam inside a garment
closed eye
jar with a lid, stopper, or cork
still life with 5 totally unrelated items
something in or on your desk
something that represents peace
something that starts with the letter "C"
the strangest thing you own
a handle
open book
your hand with your fingers curled - bonus holding something
inside of an envelope
a luxury item
something new
something bumpy

For this one I'm not putting any challenges. I pulled items from many different past hunts hoping to have quite a few that haven't been listed for awhile.

If you have to have a challenge, then do as many as you can twice but in different mediums.

It should be interesting to see how many will be able to keep up with their sketches while still doing all the busy work of Christmas preparations.

Scavenger Hunt

I am the host of the next Scavenger Hunt. It starts the 18th and runs thru Christmas...the 26th in fact. I decided to take that one as I have the time to keep up with the posts. I have no idea if we will have that many but our group is pretty loyal to their sketching. I figured if I do the hosting, everyone else can just concentrate on getting stuff done.

Tomorrow I will post the list if I don't forget.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Every Inchie Monday

I joined a new project at Every Inchie Monday. You can visit it at the link on the right. I thought that ATCs were small. Well I have committed to making art at 1 inch size every Monday starting Jan 3rd. I haven't done one yet so I don't know how that will work. But I'm game to try. I guess I had better get a magnifying glass ready. My eyesight isn't the best in the world.

The last few days have been non art related. I have been browsing a lot of blogs. Starting at one, following their links to other links, to other links, and on and on until I can't even remember where I started. It gives me a chance to see and comment on art I don't usually see. Like sewing, knitting, etc.

I have been kind of blah lately. Can't seem to concentrate. Maybe it is the season or my lack of interest this year. I am sleeping a lot, puttering, but not accomplishing much. I did make brownies tonight. Maybe chocolate will help.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Today there was a post in the Drawspace forum asking some questions. I decided to put my thoughts out there for the person asking. Below are the questions and after that my answer.

"Well its been just over a year since i joined this great site and took up drawing/art. I have some questions for all of you and would love you opinions now i feel im in a position i will understand.

ok first am i just drawing or am i doing art i don't know.

How do i move on from needing reference photos and be able to pull it out my head is this going to be just practice and let my work go back ten steps to be able to make it go forward or is the use of ref photos used for even the greatest drawers/artists?

Paper!! why am i finding it harder to get (thinking how to word this) my pencils down on a more quality paper card than i seem to get it down on my sketch pad paper (lot less grain so i can force it on even though i want to use the stiffer paper/card as i know the finish is better

Its nearly Christmas :D I want some mechanical pencils BUT how many should i get i was thinking 3 one for HB one for say a 5-6B and one for 3H , what do you all have, is there a best type and a best type of lead, i want to up my game .

Colour pencils, this is a struggle should i just leave it and play some times as not to get despondent or have i just got poopy pencils. what would you recommend ,, do you use these lightly as i think i press to hard?

look forward to the replys :)"


I'm no expert but can give you my 2 cents worth. I think if you can produce art and have a great passion to do it, you are an artist. It took me a long time to admit that I was one. I think that is because there is always someone you think is better. The problem is that even the best artists have the same feeling. They are never satisfied with their art and feel they could do better.

I started out using photos and a grid. I thought that was not quite what an artist would do and strived to be able to draw without a grid. So I started drawing from life. I drew anything that came in front of me. And I drew something every day. Art is like anything else you want to learn. It takes lots of practice. The more you do from life, the better you get. Your confidence grows, your hand eye coordination improves. I was scared to death but continued and I never use a grid now.

Next step was that I found out that a lot of really good artists use a grid. Or they will transfer a basic outline onto their paper. And I have done that when I wanted to make sure I got proportions right with a face.
I draw with a mechanical pencil only and colored pencils for color. I have only #2 pencil lead in it and use pressure or layers to get darker. I haven't the patience for using different levels pencils to get darker. I started drawing on my lunch hour at work and only had one pencil and computer paper to draw on. I also use a fine lead of .5. They break easier but I don't like the thicker leads.

Colored pencils are a challenge. I like a dry pencil instead of a waxy one. I tend to go in dark and heavy right away. many people say they do anywhere up to 25 + layers. I really don't have the patience for that many layers. With colored pencil I think you just have to keep doing it and trying new things until you come up with a style that you are comfortable with.

Paper is just a matter of preference. I started with cheap stuff. Now I work almost only on Bristol Smooth or cardstock thickness paper. I sometimes will use the smoother side of watercolor paper. If you want more tooth, try the watercolor. Another paper is pastel paper. I have used that. I like the textured ones but not the ones that feel like sand paper. They use up the pencils too fast.

I've been seriously doing art since 2006. In that time, I have read everything I could on blogs and the internet. I have tried the style of lots of different people, adopted some and not others. Listened to and read about things that are wrong and right. I don't think there is a right or wrong way of doing things. You just have to find "your" way of doing them. And that takes trying them all. Finding what is comfortable for you.

If you are happy with the way you do artwork and enjoy what you are doing, just keep doing it and continue to learn and evolve your talent. I don't let the rules and restrictions keep me in a box. I do my artwork for me and hope that others like it as well. If I do a commission, I usually don't show it until it is finished. If they don't like it, they don't have to pay and take it. If I do it someone else's way, it becomes a chore and no longer fun.

Just enjoy and I hope this helps.

Friday, December 03, 2010

2 More Christmas ATCs

Well I have finished all the Christmas ATCs. At least until more sign up. There are still a few days for sign up.

Even though the heat in summer here is just about unbearable, I have discovered I just do not like to be cold. And cold for Bakersfield is nothing like cold in "cold" places. We don't often get to freezing level. And we have had snow only about 4 times in my lifetime. Not even a lot of ice. Just fog. And even the fog has gotten less dense than it was in the late 1970s. During that time, you had to drive with your window open so that you could see the white line on the street (or to hear the traffic) because you sure couldn't see anything in front of you, not even the hood of your car. You pretty much said a prayer and drove.

The cold makes me want to sleep all the time. I turn into a big old hibernating bear. And the figure to match. The dogs enjoy our "naps" up to a certain point. They don't want dinner to be late, or their barking time outside to wait. Plus they want to play. I sometimes wake to several animal toys in bed with me. At least with these 2 dogs, I don't wake to their faces in my face.

Our Golden Retriever KC used to stand over me and put her face right in front of mine and wait for me to wake up. If I didn't soon, she would lick me. Nothing like waking up looking at a face right in yours and a threat of a wet kiss. But on the other hand it was wonderful. I miss her so much and would love to wake to her beautiful face again.

I miss most of my passed babies but I think I miss KC and Friday the most. If you have never had a Golden Retriever, you have missed a wonderful experience. I have never had more lovable companions. They always knew when I was sad and would sit against me for comfort. And they could sure share in any happy times.

I would love to have another but at this time in my life, I'm not sure that would be a good idea. I don't want to raise another puppy (not exactly true, I'd love to but don't have the strength). But maybe somewhere down the line I will find one that is older and needs a forever home to ride out the last days of it's life. Will be bad for me to lose another at some point, but I hate thinking of Goldens out there with no forever family. That breed of dog just lives for family and interaction to humans and/or other dogs. They aren't the kind of dogs you just put in the yard and feed. They need to be a part of the family.

The two dogs next door are outside during the cold. I feel so sorry for them. Mine are nice and warm inside with me. They really don't know they are dogs and they know that they are an important part of my family. Please just make sure your animal babies have somewhere warm to sleep, plenty of food and water, and plenty of love.

Christmas trade

I am in a trade at for Holiday Traditions. So far there are 10 people signed up. I have finished 7. All are ATC size (3.5 x 2.5) and in colored pencil. Some ink was used on the eyes and noses. I am doing my cards from my stash of Christmas ornaments and stuffed animals. The one of the door is my front door with a dog stocking hanging on it. It has new toys for my 2 dogs for Christmas.