Wednesday, December 28, 2011

How to Start a Sketchbook Journal

Last year,  I made a New Years Resolution to sketch at least 15 minutes a day.
With my little resolution, I began my very own sketchbook journaling adventures.

It's a quick and easy ongoing project.

Here's how to start your own:

1)  Begin with a trusty journal.
 Hand Book Journals really are fantastic.  The bindings are sturdy and the paper is nice and toothy.  The pages come unlined.

2)  Draw in your date boxes.  
 Zig Writer is my favorite pigment marker.   You can sort your journal days any way you like - by one week or a few days...  

 3) Start Stampin' 
At this point, I'll stamp the dates.  I might stamp some other images too.  I keep all of my stamps in a cute little tin I found on eBay.  I bought the date stamp at Staples.  
4)  Pick out some favorite scraps.  
I use magazine clippings (Real Simple is great) or scrapbook paper.  Sometimes I use old sketches too, like the Sunflower I'll show you in must a few moments.  After I've picked out & arranged a few clippings, I'll decoupage them to the pages with archival safe glue.  

5)  Fill in any important dates or holidays.  
(Can you believe it's almost 2012??)  

 6) Add some watercolor.  I'll wash in an area, or I'll paint in some doodles.  

7)  Be Happy with Your Pages!  
There you have it!  A set of sketchbook pages, ready to be filled with your thoughts & memories.  

Happy New Year.  Happy Journaling!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Have a Merry Little Christmas

I'll be taking a few days off...
:)  Wishing you all a wonderful holiday! 

Inspiration: Linus & Sufjan Stevens

December 25th is just a few days away!
In what should be a beautiful holiday, I've been stressed, grumpy, snippy,
sleep-deprived, dizzy & tangled in wrapping paper and bows.

These two little clips remind me to slow down and settle into Christmas.

Linus - A Charlie Brown Christmas

Sufjan Stevens - "Holy, Holy, Holy"

Both bring tears to my eyes.  

Wishing you warmth and peace this week and always. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Don't Abandon Your Work

"Art is never finished, only abandoned."
- Da Vinci -  
Whenever I work on a drawing or painting, I always have these thoughts tugging away at me during the process: 
        "I can do that differently.  I can do more."   
I like aiming higher.
While this is a good thing, I tend to get obsessed, and I usually have to tell myself to walk away and be done with it.
But, whenever I'd look at those completed pieces (and this is the not-so-good part), I'd be plagued with nagging, overly-critical thoughts: 
         "I should have done that differently.  I could have done more."  
Regrets!  I'd never really feel good about my artwork. 
So I would go for days, weeks, months, without ever wanting to start something new.
Perfectionism at its worst.   
This brings me back to DaVinci's quote up there --  
How many his paintings come to your mind when you think of DaVinci? 
I think of 3 off the top of my head. (I think he completed only about 30 in total... ). 
He did a lot of "abandoning." 
Were they masterpieces? Absolutely. 
Was DaVinci a brilliant artist?  Without a doubt. 
But when I think of DaVinci as a person, I imagine a grizzled, old unhappy man, always tinkering with inventions, overly critical with his work and unsatisfied with life. 
And miserable people abandon things.   
Like puppies and unwanted kittens. 
Who wants to aspire to that?   
So, instead I say,  
Don't abandon your work!  
Try new things.   
Decide when to move on.  
Nurture your talent. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

First Framed Piece

I picked up my first professionally framed piece of artwork today.  :)

Tiger In Water
Charcoal  18"x24"

My little one took the photo of me.  

When I brought the piece home, she told me, "Mom, whenever I see you painting or drawing, I can picture you as a famous artist... and I just wanted you to know that I'm proud of you." (She's 9!)

My heart nearly welled up. I love her to pieces.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Inspiration: the Muppets!

It's almost Christmas! 
What's your favorite Christmas movie? 
Mine is A Muppet Christmas Carol. 
I could watch it over and over again. :)

Friday, December 9, 2011


When I was little, my grandfather would fill up giant sacks (one for each grandkid) with presents at Christmastime & sign them, "from Santa".   My sister, brother, and I would dig through those sacks and make a big mess in the family room.

I drew this in pencil and framed it a couple of years ago, with a note that said, "Thank you for always making Christmas magical for us." I am so grateful for him.

Looking forward to spending time with him & my family this year.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Inspiration: MewithoutYou

MewithoutYou weaves their music and story-telling with such depth and magic.
(Their album covers are pretty cool too.)

"In a Sweater Poorly Knit"

This song reminds me of the tough times I've been through
-- where I've been, and where I am now --
 and I can't help but tear up when I hear it.

"You're a door-without-a-key, a field-without-a-fence 
You made a holy fool of me, and I've thanked You ever since."

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Sketchbook Journal - December

Can you believe it's December already?  
Are you guys ready for Christmas?  I am most definitely not (not yet, at least.)

I had fun with these pages.  Especially the birthday ducks. :)
I used watercolor, a tiny rigger brush, and a Zig marker.

Hope your December is lovely.