I miss my mind the most.

Some of you are no doubt too young to remember that saying that made the rounds in the ’80’s. I wish I was, for a number of reasons. Mostly I wonder what goes on in my mind these days, because it sure isn’t keeping track of stuff.

My friend Deborah Weber and I had a lively and spirited discussion about where time goes and how it seems as we age it goes by faster. We volleyed that ball around the court for a few days until we both had more pressing business to attend to. Unfortunately, it seems as if my pressing business has to do with thoroughly and completely losing things. If I was really maintaining things in proportion to how much TIME I spend maintaining things, it would be like the Library of Congress up in here. Or at least the way I envision what the Library of Congress would be doing to store all that stuff. Who knows? Maybe it’s all for show on the first floor and then you go up on the elevator and it gets worse and worse until it finally ends up looking like my garage on any given day. Librarians are wandering around with their high buns coming undone swearing that they just SAW that copy of Tom Sawyer.

So, a few weeks ago I wrangled the man Bob to the Adobe Elements program I use to adjust my images. I’m good at doing it in theory, but it’s the little technical details that continue to elude me. It’s the same as working the remote. There is so much going on, so many balls to keep in the air to get the channels right. Elements is really very simple to use but my problem is that if I don’t use it every week or, these days probably daily, I forgot everything I know about it. Or might have known, it is so bad that I don’t even remember if I did know it, or I thought I knew it, or I was bullshitting and said I knew it to impress you when I really didn’t know shit from apple butter about it. On any given day I can handle taking a scan for you, cropping it so that it is not ginormously-sized, changing the dpi so that it isn’t a decade to load.

The trouble came when I wanted to make color copies of my work at the copy shop by sending them digital files. I believe I mentioned last post that I’m ready to use my art as a jumping ground for new work. I might have misled you into thinking that I am much too much of The Artiste to reuse work, I must sully forth into uncharted waters each time. If you bought that I am as good as I thought I was. Really, I’ve meant and wanted to do this for a long time, but I wasn’t up to par on the technicalities. What size? DPI, physical, inches, pixels? How can I get it to print 6 times on a page, or one time, or for that matter, anytime? Was it going to get all blurry, or was the copy person going to have a birthday before it would load? Was I going to get a call in the middle of the night from the Office Depot manager saying I was responsible for the copy techs quitting en masse?

In some ways Bob is not much more skilled in Elements than I am. He likes to do filters primarily. He can play for hours on a shot he took at the Grand Prix, fiddling around with filters and color saturation. I have no patience for it and I lose track of what I applied, what I didn’t. Then I end up with a terrific photo that I have no idea how I made it. Then I roll the rock up the hill the next time.

It was the blind leading the blind, let me tell you. The copy center prefers PDFs so we got that settled. Then there was the figuring out how to get it to print multiple times on a page. We had to go into a separate program to do that, because Elements is a mystery we have not cracked the code on when it comes to printing. Then we went over to the copy shop software and uploaded it. I only did one image in various sizes using up the page so as not to be wasteful. I got 1, 2 and 4 images on a single page and that was cause for celebration.

I recorded, in minute detail, six ways from Sunday, each exact step. I made him do the process several times so I could be sure I had it all written down. The idea is that I can do this in the future without manly help. The man works about 12 hours each day on a computer and it isn’t his favorite thing to tutor me over and over. (I cannot even describe how it goes with the remote. The eye rolling, the sighs, the extreme exasperation. It’s like teaching a puppy to sit. You want to pull your hair out, but at the same time you are filled with pity).  It was all so perfect and clear and I was able to take a scan and resize and such very quickly. The copies turned out great and we were happy. By and large at .59 each it is economical and as you know, laser copies are waterproof.

So, imagine the excitement I had this morning with my plan to scan about 20 pieces of art and get an order going. I got concerned when I couldn’t find my notes on the desk but the desk was messy. I was sure the notes were there. I tidied the desk while I was at it and 20 minutes later I discovered my notes weren’t there.

In my cubby where I keep my camera cards organized, I recently put a reference book with assorted papers stuck all anyhow in it. The reference book is on grammar and punctuation, in an effort to keep you less irritated. There are about 15 notes on its, it’s and its’, which probably surprises you! ha! When I saw that book, I was sure that the note was in there, because it is right next to where I was sitting with the man. I went all through that about a dozen times, reviewing it’s its and its’, and also how to properly punctuate with parentheses and whether to underline or italicize a book title. I bet you are both surprised and horrified that I have notated such things, considering the state of my writing most of the time. But I digress.

The dining table was directly behind me when we were working so I was sure I must have put the note on the table. The table was messy so while I was there, I tidied the table as best I could and discovered the note was not there. I went through the small amount of paperwork on the kitchen counter, thinking it might be under the Joann’s sale book or my calendar. No go. It was not on top of the scanner. It was not in the notebook I started keeping around that time. It Was Not Anywhere.

I am constantly cleaning and organizing yet I can find nothing and there is always a mess to clean up. I am seriously considering a neurological workup, as I imagine you are hoping for me. Paper.Paper.Paper. It is a digital age, and I do digital work. I do nearly everything on-line, but there is paper. There are notebooks. There are mysterious scrawled notes, quotes and numbers all over the place. I put them in places I am sure are smart but they are never there. We need astrophysicists here stat.

Now, I have to go to the husband and do it all over again. Because there is no way I Can Remember. There were too many steps. I know this because if he leaves the room to take a nap I have to watch the one TV channel the whole time because I can’t get the channel to change. I end up turning off the TV or have no sound. Pity me.

There isn’t any art today because I can’t even with it.

batgirl

The image came out sort of large, didn’t it? Bat Girl Up Close and Personal.

This is a 4×4 deep stretched canvas. I have a bunch of these because they were on clearance somewhere sometime and I picked them up because I like to work small. But sometimes small is not so easy. And square is not so easy, either. I’ve pulled one out occasionally and never got very far with being inspired.

I’ve been drawing these simple faces during TV time. I think with a fine line marker, not micro but I can’t handle much more of a line working in this size. The canvases are using the original drawings, and I’ve made nine of them so far.The second three were yellow ochre. bright blue, white and black. The last three were tan, black, white and a touch of red. All of the characters have red lips.

I tried to give them a consistent background. This is a good idea for a series, besides color families. Being that the canvases are so small, I used pages from an Asian book (sorry, don’t know the proper language) and junk mail envelope paper because the marks are tiny. My techniques were collage, drawing, painting. Mediums were matte fluid and gel mediums and Sharpie™ Paint Pens.

There is limited real estate here. I maximized the space by making heavy use of the borders. This  helps hold the eye in the design. The face is the lightest part of the canvas which reinforces our brain’s preference to see eyes and light first. Red is also grounding and provokes attention. The other design decisions were to utilize the Rule of Thirds and place color to create triangles to move the eye around.

This young lady began with an idea of wings like an angel. I tore brown envelope pieces and placed them and wasn’t getting an angel vibe; I decided she was a Bat Girl and outlined the wings in that spiky form. (This appears to be becoming autobiographical–TMI). With a little red necklace, and the “tree” on the left, she is ready to use her sonic ears and maybe “hang out” a bit. HAHAHA.

It’s possible I will have a visit with my gallery owner friend tomorrow for her to give a look see and perhaps some guidance. After a wander around her space, I see she has fully transitioned into a fine art gallery. Not that she wasn’t before, but now it is about 85+% fine art. But I so respect and appreciate her feedback that I will likely suck it up and follow through, if only as an exercise in my recovery.

Unlike my tendencies in the past to make something and promptly forget about it, since I am blogging I am getting scans of all my makes and I plan on trying some “products” with these pieces. I’m thinking about creating journal covers and cut up some of the collage for art journal pages. I could also make some fabric paper and figure out how to use that. We’ll have to see how it goes. I’m not really one to rehash stuff but I’m also getting over reinventing the wheel. If I’ve made a piece and love the elements and colors, why not build off that? The clock ticks, people. Tick Tock.

One of my favorite aspects of this make session was using yellow ochre. Do not ask me why I am so into yellow ochre, besides it’s versatility as a “neutral” yellow. Face it: it looks like a baby diaper gone bad, not that anything much good happens in there. Perhaps I have an overly ambitious perception of it as gold, which is about the opposite spectrum from diaper contents.

I also have a love of provincial french country color schemes…I’ve loved that for a long, long time. OMG Quimper ware, one of my all time favorites. I love the freshness of bright blue, white, yellow ochre and black living happily in a little country hamlet. The tiny splashes of red kick it into next week, IMHO. Anyway, a day with this color palette is a happy day.

Today is studio clean up and miscellaneous day. I dug out a bunch of letter stickers and scanned them. I’m going to make a journal with dedicated pages to each letter and number and use my stickers and rub-on letters, so I can make ransom notes. Speaking of which, this dude’s in a bit of a pickle.

kidnap

wall of faces

Here’s a bonus post, since you missed me so bad last week. This is a crop from the page of drawn faces I talked about earlier. It is a piece of printer paper with a paper doll upper body shape numerously traced on it. Not all the faces are female, some are male and some are cross/transgender, gender neutral, with a couple animals thrown in. Basically I sat down with the blank face/neck shapes and a Artline black pen and drew. I experimented with different sized/placed eyes, hairstyles, mouths and noses. Once I got warmed up and engrossed in whatever we were watching on TV, I found myself drawing without any plan or thought. The results are loose, simple and expressive. I liked this sheet and had it sitting around where I could see it.

The biggest problem I have with drawing is never being able to duplicate stuff that I like. It’s so hit and miss. If I draw a cool chick, I’m never going to see her again. I admire artists that create a character, say, a comic character, and they can draw her in every expression, emotion and situation. My comic character would have to be a shapeshifter, cuz she ain’t ever going to look the same, one drawing to the next. You could not pick her out in a lineup. Some of them look like a criminal element.

I do think they will work well in vignette-like stories, small pieces that can stand alone or be grouped comfortably. I look forward to drawing this way again, it is so enjoyable and low pressure. If one face is horrible, I just move on to the next one. I filled a page in about an hour or so.

Get yourself a piece of paper and draw egg shapes, rectangles, circles or squares. Draw robots and animals and kids and adults. Or, do like I did and trace around a doll pattern, paper doll or animal silhouette. Just go for it. Who cares what they look like?

 

tibetbeads

Update from this time last week. The Fridge Caper slowed down making early-mid week, and then I got a raging attack of allergies and was under the weather for a few days. That explains my absence last week from posting.

By Saturday I was froggy enough to get back in the studio for a few hours. I took up with my mixed media Tibetan-inspired bead project as they had come well along and I didn’t want to lose steam. I got them painted, gilded and sanded, put a couple of glazes on and then sanded again. Finally I sealed them with Matte Medium to seal and applied 4 coats of Renaissance Wax. The bead at center front was my inspiration bead. It is a terra cotta (I looked it up) glazed and gilded authentic Tibetan prayer bead. I do not know it’s age. My beads in back primarily use the same paint colors, glazes and embossed design. I was not trying to replicate the bead…just want to make some Tibet-inspired jewelry and cannot afford (nor does it play with my Make Do Initiative) to buy Tibetan beads. Or any beads.

The two beads in front on the left are completely different. I liked the way the yarn ridges looked with several coats of Mod Podge and dressmaking paper so I did not go on with the rest of the paint and gilding process. They were waxed. Unfortunately I do not have any more of these odd shaped beads to work with. They remind me of pods and then the words/marks on them adds a quirky kick.

Working with all this acrylic layering and glazing, shifting away from my experience with tempera paint, resulted in beginner mistakes. I made a few that slowed me down on the four big beads. I wanted to play with neons on these, but found that using them over the black base coat turned the oranges (which I really wanted) into green. I couldn’t fix it with further coats and decided to use the terra cotta, yellow ochre and some metallic glazes to make them a bit more traditional. I do want to get on with that neon, I think it will be terrific and hope I can figure it out this time around. The processes involved in making these beads are fiddly, messy and extremely time consuming. Way more than shaping them in terra cotta, glazing and firing them. The four I finished have at least 20 hours in them. The amount of time invested in these beads make the authentic Tibetan bead’s price a bargain.

paintchip first spread blocked

Here is the update on the paint chip brochure I showed at the start of last week. I pulled all the neon paint I have and painted over the colors that were on the chart originally. I didn’t like half the colors and the whole thing needed unification. I wasn’t careful with the segment painting but tried to keep the colors “opposite” on the color wheels as much as possible. I have no idea how I will proceed here. Pointillism is a strong possibility, perhaps a quote or word in the center. Or a photo. This side project is on the back burner.

I am not abandoning my Daily Practice of a 5×7 paper foundation project but it will not be a fundamental in my studio work. High Priority Unforeseen Household Events derailed the daily work, but I have developed the interest, desire and ability to make studio time a higher priority under day-to-day conditions. I am considering the 5×7 project when I’m uninspired for other projects, to keep me moving. I am reminded, though, after the down time last week that for me, and I think for every creative, down time is important. I was able to watch two films last week that my husband would not watch under threat of physical harm. The film break was nice.

I returned to the studio today  with a vengeance after hard yard work yesterday. The beads being done, I wasn’t sure what to do. I pulled out 9 3×3 canvases. There is a local gallery I would like to get back into. The owner is fabulous; I have had a few pieces in there over the years but not for since 2010. I would love to be back in her gallery and frankly, need the money, but I’m refusing to make work for either of those reasons. As soon as I do that it is not fun, the work is forced and there is an audience behind me whispering in my ear and ruining the experience. Just not doing that.

Of course, I went in today and did just that until I grabbed myself by my PJ top and slapped myself around a little. Brought myself to my senses. Suddenly, I saw a page of people/faces drawings I did about a month ago. I tried to ignore them, but they are a good size for the small canvases. You know how I feel about my drawings, so a last ditch idea would be to use them as focals on the canvases. I couldn’t talk myself out of using them, so that’s what I did. I also used old stand-bys, like paper drink umbrellas, black ink, tissue paper, photo corners and junk envelopes. I used a restricted palette of tan, black, white and red and got three canvases done. Sort of a graphic cartoon-y mix of asemic writing, pointillism and collage. The silliest of the cartoon faces was the one I used first, as is the case in all good Follies. If I can get 9 done that I like I’ll suck it up and take them to the gallery and see what happens.

So, it’s back to normal around here, whatever that means. Back to inky, glue-y hands, cats with paint on their paws, piles of torn papers and a tossed studio.

alteredcolorchart1alteredcolorchart2

Well, I’m back for another Continuing Stooorrrryyyy.

Sunday the refrigerator died, a timely death for sure at 28 years of age, and a noisy one demise as well. It was reminiscent of PeeWee Herman’s lingering death scene in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie (worth watching the whole movie to see). So, Sunday was Buy a New Fridge Day and Monday was Install the New  Fridge Day and Tuesday was Clean the Hell Up all the Attendant Mess Day.

Which brings me to today and my return to the studio. Daily Art practice has fled the scene and I am thinking of revamping it for several reasons. I won’t bore you with them now, I’ll bore you with them later.

I finally remembered to shoot a picture of the Before; it helps the After make more sense. This is a paint color book that I got at the hardware store, likely to look at paint colors back when I painted the entire house. Being an artist, I am particular of the colors I use. It took awhile and a lot of paint brochures to get to the selecting paint stage.

I am not beyond just picking up paint brochures to alter. We are such a wasteful culture, I can guarantee the paint companies change the brochures whenever new trends assert themselves. If I find an interesting chip book I will take it home. I don’t rob the store, I know people need them to make decisions. But I don’t guilt-i-fy myself-better at my house than in the landfill. (If I don’t alter them I use them to make pages of mini-drawings. Will try to remember to show you some soon).

The page I show here isn’t representative of this book. This is the first page spread. The rest of the book has cut circles bound into it. So you flip a page and there is a cut circle. It ends up overlaying both the pages, so it has potential for design variations.

My first step was to put a layer of clear gesso over the entire book, necessitating a great deal of drying time. This is one of the reasons I am so slow doing art journaling and book altering. It’s also why I wanted my Daily Practice to be a piece of paper and not a book. With a book, it’s hard to get stuff dry enough to continue to work. I know other artists  work in more than one book at a time. I don’t do that, one reason being I don’t have the room to have too much going at once.

I was surprised that the paper in this brochure ended up being wimpy when I applied the gesso. It tore easily. I made sure to put deli paper between the pages, but wherever there was paint seepage the pages stuck together and ripped. no matter how carefully I pulled. It doesn’t bother me but your mileage might vary.

Today I went in with white gesso and covered various parts of the circles. I completely covered the left-hand circle with white because I didn’t like the colors. This brochure lends itself naturally to displaying mandalas and I may go that route, don’t know yet.

I had to wait for paint to dry so I set myself to a different task that I’ve been wanting to try. I have a supply of large wood beads that I wanted to alter. Some of them were painted, some natural finish and several shapes besides round. Painting beads is a pain in the ass. Sure, some of you would take the easy way out and stick them on a dowel but not me, my friends. I like to hold onto them and get all painty-fingered and make much more extra work for myself, because that’s the way I roll.

Perhaps you are aware of how much beads cost. Especially statement beads, such as those used in Tibetan mala and tribal ornaments. I bought one years ago and spent a mighty penny on it. It has wonderful surface decoration, raised areas and fabulous texture. I’ve not researched how these beads are made. I’ve been told different things from vendors, from ceramic to bone to wood. The way they look to me any of these materials could be possible. It’s been in my mind to try and replicate the look of Tibetan ornaments. I figured I could make some cool modern jewelry based on these Tibetan-inspired handmade components.

So I took the nasty beads, got out Mod Podge and collected some dress pattern paper and a hank of perle cotton thread. The first step was to replicate the raised pattern of the authentic bead. I tried some hemp first and it was too Stiffly Stifferson to lie flat. I thought the perle cotton might be too wimpy. Doubled up it was the perfect diameter and it had the flexibility to lie perfectly flat on the curved bead. The perle cotton and the bead had to be slathered in Mod Podge and it had to dry before I could proceed to the next step. I applied the pattern tissue to the entire bead, right over top the raised perle cotton. This is a maddening process of sticky fingers working with a sticky object applying sticky stuff to it. I think I did 8 beads of different styles and shapes and it took awhile, my friends.

And of course they have to dry. I live in Drying Hell. By now the paint book was dry but I have no idea what I’m doing there, so I didn’t pick that back up. It was lunchtime so I made a sandwich and decided to check in with you. I know how much I’ve missed you and I have to believe you’ve missed me, too.

When I went to check on the beads, the four natural wood finish beads stood out. It seems possible I could use them the way they look right now. I think they are hot. I feel now that the stickiness was worth it. This experiment has legs on it.

But the Daily Practice has not recovered it’s legs. I am going to let this evolve. As I predicted, moving those beads in the studio may have brought back a jewelry jones. Since there appears to be a covert conspiracy to keep me from getting into the studio, I may let the 5×7 mixed media practice go and work on other projects each day. I didn’t take on any of my Initiatives except to experience daily studio practice and change my consumption habits. I want daily studio time now and my consumer habits are at 180 degrees. I’m going to follow my nose on this for now and let it unfold organically.

Here are the beads I will likely leave as they are.

faketibetanbead

angel map blankangelmapdrawn

Since I didn’t keep up last week I decided to post a “bonus” on Valentines Day. More than just Romantic Love out there, right?

By no stretch of the facts or imagination do I consider this anything but a mediocre effort however heartfelt it might be. The angels in the map were immediately obvious to me, and while they seemed a simple project the many lines of roads on the map did get sort of mind and eye-boggleing. The faces are so rudimentary and ill-worked that I hesitated to show this on the blog. But really, it doesn’t matter. It’s a .01 piece of paper and more importantly, an expression to me of spirit presence today when I wanted a reminder. After completely and scanning the drawing I noticed the baby bump on the right hand angel. Believe it or not, I did not see it when I was sitting over the drawing.

I am not certain but I believe “where would we be without angels standing by?” is an original phrase. It is more than possible I read it somewhere long ago and lifted it. If you find that to be the case, I’d appreciate a heads up. I’ve used this phrase frequently over the years because I have many angel photos at my disposal that are perfect to illustrate it. I “haunt”, one might say, cemeteries and shoot angels, statues, markers, gardens, iron fences, etc. I have my favorite cemmies and have accidently discovered some while traveling. I’ve also collected some amazing cemmie sentiments, right off old stones. I’ve done some rubbings but they are hard work, and what can you do with all these big sheets of paper? They are not practical nor is rubbing a lazy girls job so I let the rubbing go.

Old “memento mori” graphics are some of my favorites. I never tire of those distorted skulls and fancy calligraphy. They knew how to memorialize peeps back then. Our age would never stand for grim reapers and such. We are “on to sunny glades” peeps, more’s the shame.

So, I saw the angels on the map. I like the writing to show through so I decided on Copic markers because of their translucency. I outlined the night sky around the figures and gave myself a coloring book style shape. I added layers of marker down, defined features, added some detailing then added the phrase with a small block letter stencil. I think the small stencil may have been in a set at the Dollar Tree ages ago. I haven’t seen them in forever and they are very handy for getting simple small text on a page. The dark background did not allow for rubber stamping to show up and I could have hand-lettered on an expressive drawing without feeling too much pressure (as opposed to a “page”) but I wanted to reacquaint myself with the result of this stencil.

I’m glad to be back in the studio but frankly I am not satisfied with this image. It doesn’t surprise me how tight it looks because I missed nearly a week creating and that long gone makes me rusty.

I am at long last finished with my studio reworking and clean up after the Feline Bathroom incident. Unless I decide to take up Upholstery and Sculpture, there is little else that can be done in the studio now. If I can’t keep this organized and clean I give up. The cats have nothing to be tempted with, and we are now living with three litter boxes in a bathroom half the size of a small walk in closet. I found myself brushing my teeth with the top part of my body over the sink and the bottom of my body in the hallway. I am a short person and it was painful.

Here is a bonus look at the new studio. I know you are jealous as well you should be. But it’s nothing that, given several thousand dollars and years of your life, you cannot accomplish. And yes, that is a rubber bat and my plant is in a state of recovery. cleanstudio

atcdrawings

I’m not calling these Daily Practice pages because they are not. They are ATC-sized watercolor paper and I drew them in the evening without the clock to keep the time. This week has been unseemly to say the least. It turns out that my young cat, who has strange bathroom techniques, decided that those paper strips I was so proud of cutting and using last week seemed like a reasonable alternative to her actual litter box. My studio is small so I know I caught the problem early on but not early enough. Turns out the banker boxes where I stored a lot of my paper had urine wicked up into them and I ended up pitching a lot of stuff–lots of it my own work. In addition, I had to completely toss the studio to get in with my steam cleaner and baking soda to clean up the odor so that she won’t come back, AND while I was doing all that I decided to once and for all manage my art papers, my personal art papers, label/tag my journals, etc. Today I am going to Walmart (pinch me, I’m dreaming) to buy some plastic file box(es?) for the little remaining personal stuff.

After returning home from Virginia in November I brought the larger natural beads (wood, shell, stone, bone) out of storage and put them into attractive thrift-found pottery, metal and wood containers. This material was put on the top of my two work tables. The idea was that I would have all the materials that I wanted to use where I could see them to inspire me. One of those terrific studio shots like in the fancy magazines. “Here is where I create my masterpieces!” Oh yeah.

After considerable cleaning and work and care, I promptly lost my jewelry-making mojo. I think it was because I worked pretty feverishly learning metalwork and torch firing and making new experimental work for a show in November. I just got played out which isn’t a problem except my desire suddenly was to return to art journaling after a significant retirement from it. Art journaling uses everything BUT beads and I now had no table space to work, and I wasn’t ABOUT to retire the beads because that would probably incite a jewelry jones. At some point one needs to quit jones-ing and get some work made.

Anyway, Husband bought a wood board last night to use as a bridge between the uprights of my 6′ table to create a shelf. The bead bowls will go on the shelf under the table. Findings will go in their current plastic containers on the floor under the shelf. Plastic file box will go under the other table, with my covered sewing machine. The cat will be manacled. And glory unto glory, I will be able to SIT DOWN in my studio for the first time since November.

This is the reason I’ve made no Daily art this week on Tues-Wed. There is no way to work in there. I literally have not had a moment except sitting to blog now, and I really shouldn’t be doing this.

I had set up a cigar box with basic drawing supplies and dug out some ATC watercolor papers. I have a travel-sized Cotman watercolor paint set. During the Superbowl I experimented with the w/c, dripping, tilting, scumbling paint around in many layers, getting a feel for it. The paper is cold press which I don’t like. I vastly prefer hot press because I’m not into the texture of the cold, but it was what I at hand and already a good size for portable work. I painted both sides of the paper for economy.

Monday night I felt lively and created my bear creature. It was a few marks in the face and ear that suggested the bear, plus, I am easily provoked to see bears. I had no idea what to do but I went with pen marks as inspired. He’s got black drawing pen and white Sharpie®paint pen, of course. Everything is better with anything Sharpie®. Just sayin’.

Tuesday was Cat Piss Discovery Day and the fun began. No daily practice, exhausted in the evening. I glanced at the w/c papers and the other one screamed Fish Face. There was a gaping mouth and one eyeball. I put the mouth in and it looked like the inside of a vacuum hose. Not what I was going for. I believe it should have been much thinner lips. Perhaps this fish had botox lip injections? That could be a story all to itself but I just thought of it now. I drew in eyes next, then drew what was meant to be fins alongside the mouth, but they looked like a mustache. Vacuum cleaner botox lips with a mustache. Where to go now? Not up, for sure; just downhill from here.

I outlined a forehead area because, what the hell? A mustachio’ed fish definitely needed eyeglasses, so I drew those and intensified the eyes a bit. He needed something under that mouth so I drew a teddy bear smile because, what the hell? I got the black and white Sharpie® paint pens, which make everything better, and added pointillism which always makes everything better as well. These are two tips you will thank me for if you follow up. I wrote the word ART on the forehead because, what the hell? I couldn’t think of another word and I was sick of the whole thing.

With some distance on the process I see that I like these drawings a great deal. I like the imaginative creatures. Mostly, I like that I pushed myself past my comfort level in drawing them. I had average ok drawings and didn’t know what to do to make them better. That’s where additional embellishment took them to another level. It’s hard for me to do that with drawing, I lack the confidence. I’m worried about ruining what I already got decently drawn. Practice pushing past comfort is what improves drawing skill. Remember, its only paper.

On a sad note, this week brought bad news regarding an immediate family members’ health. I hope that a return to my Daily Practice will produce some images that can be used to send mail to my sister-in-law and her son, since they live quite a distance from here.

I won’t have a practice today and perhaps tomorrow, so I will not resume the blog until next week. Have a good weekend.