Thursday, June 28, 2012

Art Tip #2

The first tip I posted was to believe in yourself.   
It might sound super-obvious, but my second tip goes hand-in-hand:

I had a long 5 year stretch where I didn't draw at all.   I was a single mom, trying hard to get my life in order.   I felt lost and overwhelmed.   The idea of having to produce something "spectacular" seemed so stressful to me at that time.  I was letting a gift that originally gave me so much joy slip away.   

But one day I had a quiet little epiphany.  I realized, "I can't call myself an artist if I'm not actually making art, can I?" 

To get back into the groove, I grabbed my trusty sketchbook and resolved to draw 15 minutes a day.   Nothing big, just a little nudge to get me back on track. 

It's been one of the best decisions I've ever made.   Seriously.  That little resolution led me to this blog and pet portraits and meeting wonderful people like you.  I have had more fun with it than I ever have, simply because I started playing in my sketchbook again.

Miriam-Webster defines an artist as "one who professes and practices an imaginative art."  I love how simple that is.   

An artist isn't someone who marches right outside and paints the Sistine Chapel.  An artist professes and practices.  


How often do you like to draw?  :)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Wolf in Charcoal

I finished Mr. Wolf tonight.

charcoal on white charcoal paper

Now I'm off to mop the floor and take a hot bath.
There is charcoal everywhere!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Art Inspiration: Dan Madsen

Classy music + big, juicy brush strokes?

Dusty Signs
by Dan Madsen

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Backyards Make the Best Studios

I've been working on a charcoal portrait over the past few days.

wolf in progress

When I'm drawing or painting, I usually like to work at my kitchen table.  
Or sprawl belly-down on my bedroom floor.  

But I'll take a dry, shady spot in the grass any day.

A few little friends kept me company.

Where do you like to paint?


A common question I get asked is where I find my reference photos. 
I love istock photos.  You can also do a Creative Commons search on flickr.  I've also asked a photographer a time or two for their permission.  They are usually very generous when you ask.  :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

In My Purse

I've been a busy girl working on new charcoal portrait.  
You can find a sneak peek of it at my facebook page.
But until I finish that, here's a quick picture for today:

I always keep a pen & sketchbook close at hand.  
How about you? 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Father's Day

How cool is this dad? 

Good fathers are such a gift.
I'm grateful for my own.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Art Tip #1

I'm human.  I love compliments. :)

"You are talented!" 
"You are an amazing artist.  I wish I could do this." 
 "That is so neat!  If only I could draw."

But, I always feel mildly sad when I hear these phrases too.  Somehow, I feel like artists are placed up on pedestals.  I don't like pedestals.  I want others to feel like they can be great at art too.  I want to jump up and exclaim, "You can be an artist with me!  You can do this!"  

I was a normal kid.  I started off drawing big-headed, goofy-looking stick figures. 
I loved coloring in my My Little Pony coloring books.  I got in trouble for scribbling on walls.  

I do clearly remember, though, the day my 7 year-old-self "decided" to pursue art.

It was a bright, sunny day.  My mom, who had gone to art school, kept her college portfolio hidden under her bed.  I knew this, so I snuck into my parents room, sat indian style on their floor, reached underneath the bed, and dusted off that giant old portfolio.  I thumbed through all of her drawing and sketches, and I sat in awe.  

With a dusty sketchbook in my lap and sunlight pouring down on me, I remember thinking,  
"This is amazing.  I want to do this too.  I know I can do this...  I'm going to be an artist."  

And that's my first "tip" here on my blog: 

I humbly offer it to you, realizing that I still have so much yet to learn myself.

Know that you will probably stink in the very beginning, no matter what you pursue.  :)  Everybody does to some extent.

Believe that you can.  Keep going!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Sketchbook Journal - June

I prepared a few quick sketchbook pages for the week,
using washi tape, magazine scraps, and stamps.  

Loving the summertime already.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Ella & Sailor

I am so, soo excited to have finished 2 very sweet pet portraits this past week.

Meet Sailor and Ella:
(I put them in temporary frames to see how they'd look on display.)  

Both are 8"x10",
in watercolor and acrylic.

I'll be shipping them off this week to their owner in a bubble-wrapped envelope, 
so I secured each painting between 2 foam boards 
and then taped them closed with pretty washi tape.  

This project was tons of fun.

Happy almost-Monday, friends!

Monday, June 4, 2012


Oh what a crazy week it has already been.

Transmission is dying.  
Internet was down.
Phone wasn't working.  

Trying my very best to rise above it all.

"It isn't the mountain ahead of you that wears you down;
it's the grain of sand in your shoe."
Robert W. Service

With all the craziness of every-day life, I will be taking a brief "reprieve" from blogging this week.
I have a pet portrait that is due, so I'll be working on that too!

On that note, I'll leave you with few little notes and journal entries that I saved from grade school:

They make me laugh and bring up good memories.

Do you still have any journals & other memorabilia from your childhood?

Love you guys.  
See you in a week.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Art Inspiration: Music Painting

How clever is this?

Artist:  Alice Ninni

Hope you all have a sunny weekend.