Saturday, September 30, 2006

The End of September

Friday's Tile

It's more of an art journal piece, I think. I wanted to tell my story in the shape of my fingerprint. I wanted to do it pictorially, but this was an awfully small support for something like that. I started in the center, with the magenta color, and moved out from there. I was thinking all about what is and isn't in a fingerprint. What's in our physical selves? Where are the things we are completely attached to, that we cannot live without? What is so ingrained that it cannot be ignored?

I plan on showing my month of work at the Artists Among Us show. I think this piece will be the one I feel most insecure about. I guess because it's in words, it's something "the scientists" can understand. It's not something where they can appreciate the skill that went into it, as in a finely detailed painting or sketch. It's writing that anyone can do. How is that art? I think it's art that explores an issue (rather than making a pretty picture) that is less accepted by non-artists.

Saturday's Tile

This tile is one of the pieces I folded and soaked in water, then painted with watercolor on the back. That's where the colored lines come from. For this self portrait, I went into a semi-dark room, and put a candle very close to one side of my face to make a strong shadow. I sketched it from life for a while (in a mirror), but at a certain point I was pretty sure I was going to bump the candle and set my head on fire, so I took a picture and worked from the picture. As usual with my self portraits, I got the eyes right, the lips are mostly right and the nose isn't quite right. All the old high school insecurities come out in self portraiture- I'm totally fine with my nose now. I think it fits my face, and I'm rather fond of it for allowing me to breathe. But once I start drawing myself, I have such a hard time getting it right; I either make it too slender and small (as I wanted it when I was 16) or I over-compensate in trying to avoid that problem and make it too large.

And that, my friends, is my September art project. I'll wrap up tomorrow, including showing that card that my camera wouldn't work on the other day.

Thursday, September 28, 2006


I was trying the 10 day creativity prompt on Dreamy, but I don't know that it agrees with me. Or maybe I feel too confined by the cards to take full advantage of these prompts. The second day, the assignment was to look at ads and find a blueprint to use in a piece. I found one, and I started out with my watercolor pencils, hoping I could make an interesting background to do more on, but once I did it, I got stuck. I wanted to use the background to lay out the blueprint, and hoped that once it was down, it would suggest something further. Didn't happen. So that was yesterday's piece, but I think I'll wind up doing something more to it.

Today was rainy, gray and cold. There are a lot of ash trees where I work, and I noticed today in the diffuse light that the brilliant yellow leaves are really showing off the nearly black branches. This was a glimpse that stuck with me today. There was a little opening in the canopy- I'm not sure if the black branches had leaves on them, or if they were dead and that's why they stood out so well. It looked just like that, though. It was the first thing I saw when I closed my eyes to dream up today's piece. I tried to use ink with pastel over it. Jury's still out on how I feel about the two media together.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

What's up with my hand????

I won a copy of Claudine Hellmuth's book "Collage Discovery Workbook: Beyond the Unexpected!" from Craftsanity, and it arrived today. [I took her 20 minute challenge at Craftsanity, submitted my piece and then my name was one of the ones drawn for the book!] It looked like so much fun, I decided to do a collage family portrait. It makes me laugh everytime I look at it! I love it!

And yeah, I have no idea what I did with my hand. It looks like I'm wearing an oven mitt. I'm sure I intended to change it and then forgot. It goes with the insanity of the picture, though.

P.S. There is no piece from Monday. I was still all mooshy and maudlin and perhaps a bit menstrual, too. M-words make me inartistic. Yeah, it's a word. MY word.

Killing time at the office...

Your Power Color Is Magenta

At Your Highest:

You energize yourself and push others to suceed.

At Your Lowest:

You feel frustrated and totally overwhelmed.

In Love:

You are suprised by who you attract. You're a love magnet.

How You're Attractive:

Open and free spirited, people want to explore the world with you.

Your Eternal Question:

"What is my next source of inspiration?"
Ok, I'm going home now. Hopefully I can get the camera working. Ta!

Just in case there was any question...

You Should Be a Painter

You have the vision, patience, and skill to bring your unique visions to canvas.
And you're even tempered enough not to cut your ear off in the process!
Um, hey, guess whose camera isn't working?

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Self-indulgent post

I want to move on. I want my husband to come out on top in his struggles with depression. I want to have that baby I tried to have this summer. I want to move back to the Twin Cities. I want to be out of debt.

Sometimes I get so tired. I know everyone does, and I'm a lucky person to have only the worries I have. But sometimes it overwhelms my resolve, and leaves me with the desire to wallow in self pity.

I have been sad. I figured out how much it will cost for us to move. It seems so far away. We have to save a lot money, but how do you do that when you're living paycheck to paycheck? The damn truck alone is going to be around $1,000, along with another $400 in gasoline. Plus, we have to be able to pay our bills, buy groceries, etc during that time. And we have to have jobs to go to, of course.

I want to have our baby. But do we move first? Or do we have a baby first, even though it may mean that we have to stay here longer? How long can we work together before we begin to get really sick of one another? How long will it take to move? I don't want to wait that long to try again.

Yesterday, my Mom said, "Oh, forget about the moving costs. We'll take care of those. We'll move you. You just concentrate on getting jobs and getting pregnant again." Just like that. And I couldn't stop sobbing.

I heard from my sister Annie on Thursday. She had the terrifying experience of being told that her AFP levels were such that her baby could have spinal bifida. They did an ultrasound. Everything was fine, thank god. And... it's a boy!

Saturday's Tile

I bought my niece a fused glass suncatcher for Christmas, and I wanted to paint the cover of a notebook or a photo album to match it. I love the little red flowers, they make me think of my Gabby-girl.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Kouros Helps Again

How do I ever get anything done without him?

I felt an almost visceral craving for Art Nouveau on Friday. But Art Nouveau today, a century later. I like the empty white space, like the woman had found her way into the framework and then made herself comfortable.

Once again, love me the sharpies.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Two more down

Last night, Carl and I took a walk in the moonlight. When we got home, I made my tile.

Sharpies come in lots of fun colors!

Today, I came home from work early and I worked on a self portrait for about 20 minutes uninterrupted, and then in bits and pieces until now. I started it in natural light around 4:00 pm. By the time I was really getting into the details, I was under artificial lights. Not good for consistency. Still, you can tell it's me. Or it could be my sister.

Well, that's who I was when we played as kids...

I'm not a bit surprised.

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

A strong-willed herald of causes against injustice, you passionately strive to right the wrongs around you.

Somebody has to save our skins!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Aunt Anna

You've never seen Manhattan looking like this in your lifetime, have you? The picture was taken in the late 20's, I'm guessing. Could you imagine? No cars! My grandma's family lived in a poor, immigrant neighborhood, so even if there were plenty of cars around, they were scarce in their neighborhood. This picture is of my Great Aunt Anna, who was a vaudeville dancer and who looks like the epitome of the era to me. She's been gone for about 15 years now, but her stories were amazing. I absolutely love the original picture of her.

I do not love this version that I did yesterday in water color pencil. Wrong tool for the job. And I was too lazy to sharpen it until it was too late to do any good. And there was no erasing to be done, hence the 3rd foot. This is all part of the project. I would probably never have shown this purple mess to anyone, but I'm learning to allow myself to make mistakes. Sometimes we have to make bad art to let the good art out.

In response to my complaining about the piece, Carl said, "You could always try it again tomorrow." Exactly! So I did. I'm much happier with the results, but not with the photography. The piece is actually higher contrast than you see here.

None of them do the original photo justice; Anna was so glamorous.

Oh, and P.S. Here's a picture of our Pirate T-shirts!

All they did was require a body mass index of 18 or above, which is still considered underweight. The model in the photo looks plenty thin to me! Cry me a river, fashion designers.


Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day, ya scurvy dogs!

I've taken pictures of my piece from yesterday AND of our Pirate-themed work t-shirts (Fantastic Boss makes a Team Rootstock t-shirt every year), but I'm at work, where we have enough light to take pictures, but where I don't have my camera software and cord. You'll have to wait until I get home.

My favorite Pirate Joke:
Pirate walks into a bar with a ship's steering wheel in his pants. Bartender asks, "Is that a steering wheel in your pants?" To which the Pirate replies, "Arrrrrr. It be driving me nuts."

Monday, September 18, 2006


So Sunday I got my oils out. I love oil. It's my favorite medium, probably because I know what I'm doing with it. My acrylic piece from a few days ago was an adventure, because I've only used them once or twice before. Anyway, I treated a few tiles with shellac (just your regular hardware shop kind) a week ago, which protects the paper from the oil, which would eventually degrade the paper. It also give a very smooth finish, and I like the way painting looks on it.

The thing I forgot about my precious oils is that they 1) don't cover well in the first coat on shellacked paper, 2) they take a long freaking time to dry and 3) I usually need to paint in layers. So, this medium doesn't work so well with my daily art project. The piece on the left is my piece for today, but you can see that it's rather splotchy and needs some more paint, some more shading, etc once it dries. I'll have to show you a final picture once I get to do it.

I also did a version of my last woman painting in oil. It will benefit from more paint, too, but you can begin to see the difference. And you might be able to see in the corner that there is yet a third lady being painted. That one will be unveiled once it's completed.

Wow. I've got to get to work on my piece for today. You probably won't see that one until tomorrow. Try to soldier on.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Geometric scraps

So, Friday? No art piece. There was a going away party for a friend at work, and it went from after work until about 11 or so. I was pretty damn tired, so I crashed. And I didn't beat myself up. So, I missed a day. I was tempted to try to fudge it and do an extra one today, but, no. I'm not going to lie to myself, either.

I was doing some trimming on the DIY Hipster PDA planner cards I downloaded and printed out, and had a bunch of cardstock scraps. I love geometric patterns. It reminds me a little bit of the ecclesiastical art on the old missal covers from the Catholic Church of my youth, but I try to ignore that.

And Kouros helped take pictures.

Grocery Shopping

I made a list of the groceries I need to make the tart we're taking to a potluck wedding reception today, and I told the Sleepy-Voiced Husband to add whatever he thought we needed to get for the week. He scribbled for about two seconds, then brought the pad back to me. Tossing it on the table, he said,

"There, that should do it for the week. Hell, two weeks."

He wrote:

This is why I love him.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Random News Round-Up

Do you have that coworker who talks on the phone about her private life too much? I do. I've spent my break listening to her arguing with her husband because he doesn't get up and get going on the properties he manages as early as she gets up and comes to work. They keep hanging up on each other. It's stupidly annoying. Oh wait, I think she just picked up the phone for call #5 to continue the argument. Newsflash- I don't care to hear about your arguments with your spouse in our office! Now, if say, one of my imaginary friends were to post about an argument with his or her spouse in a blog, well, that's a completely different story. I enter your blog at my own risk, you know? Neither my cubicle nor yours, dear coworker, is soundproof. You can tell by how the cubicle walls go only HALF-WAY to the ceiling.

I had my first Artists Among Us (AAU) meeting yesterday. I'm one of those motivator kinds of people. You know? I've got enthusiasm, I've got ideas, I'm a cheerleader for the cause! The organizational and follow-through parts? Not so much. I'm thinking I'm going to have to delegate. A lot. But, there were a lot of cool community art projects suggested, and some new blood on the committee, so it should go well!

Oh yeah, I've also taken on scheduling yoga clases once a week at work. Did I mention I'm dumb about doing too much at once? Actually, the work with yoga is nearly done. I just had to gauge interest and then set a time for the classes. Of course I'm trying to please too many people at once. I'm not good with executive decisions.

I got the word that next year's Theatre Guild show is La Cage Aux Folles and I'm on the grant as the scenic artist again. That's cool. We've been hoping we'd be in MN by next summer, but realistically speaking, we've got a good year at best before we can move. Oh, did I share that one? I decided to get realistic and look at what a move is going to cost. Of course it's contingent upon at least one of us having a job when we move, but I figured the actual costs (truck rental, gasoline, food, tolls, etc) of the move, plus one month of our living expenses, plus the initial move-in costs (1st month rent, damage deposit, etc). It's a big number. For us, anyway. All of that costs nearly the same as hiring a moving company to do just the move for us, so that's a luxury I don't forsee us ever having. My parents never did, either. I'm trying not to go by the seat of our pants, which is how we usually do things.

In other semi-creative type news, my boss has me designing a sticker for a new breeding-line of grape that we're supplying to research groups. The stickers will go on the pots so we can "all be rich and famous" as the Fabulous Boss says. I've found there isn't much to be done, creatively anyway, other than put our logo and the name of the line, "Pixie." Isn't that just nauseatingly cute??? I doubt I'll be able to show a picture of what the final sticker looks like, because I might work for a government agency.

In other news, after nearly a year of living in our apartment, Kouros has discovered the mantle piece. What is it about cats up on their hind legs that delights me to no end?

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Grayness

It's been very rainy and gray in upstate New York this week. I think my mood is reflecting the weather.

It's coming too soon! I'm not ready for this yet.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The ladies

I did this painting during my art class when we were assigned to do an abstract piece. It's a picture I had in my mind for a long, long time. I call it 3 women. I think I can see the influence of the kind of art my father had in our house when I was growing up. I remember one in particular that had a line of all sorts of abstract objects. There were so strange, but to me, they looked like they could be people.

My painting teacher said it made her think of the 3 graces. They're kind of the antithesis of the 3 graces in Botticelli's Primavera; all angles rather than fleshy roundness.

I want to do a series of my women figures. I thought I'd explore the idea in my project here.

I think I prefer the look in the oils. It gives the figures more weight. I hope to have time to pull out the oils this weekend!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Late Bloomer

I've always been a late bloomer. I'm just a little slow. So I'm a day late with my September 11 piece. Well, not my piece that was done for that date, but my piece for 9/11. This drawing is done on a watercolor crinkle background, and it has 3,016 dots. I included the hijackers and the 24 people still listed as missing. The light blue dots represent the people on flights, the light purple represent the missing, the deep red-brown dots represent the hijackers, and the green dots represent the pentagon casualties. The rest are obviously those in the towers.

It's so shocking. So shocking that at some point while doing this I completely lost feeling. At some point it hit a number that I couldn't comprehend any longer. It became unreal. If you take each dot and think of the mourning family and friends, suddenly the page becomes saturated, dripping with ink.

I felt like the pentagon got lost in my picture, with is something I felt during the coverage of the event, so I guess it's appropriate, although accidental.

So, I got an idea out. I tried something I wanted to try- to comprehend the numbers through art. But in the process of dealing with the numbers, I think I lost the artistic sensibility. I don't like the colors. I think had I made better choices in color, it would have been a more emotional piece. It feels a bit pedestrian, and completely unworthy of the enormity of the event and emotion. Perhaps another time, another medium, another support.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Gratuitous Cat Picture Ahead!

I was trying to think of what to do for my art piece today. As I was sitting here, the boy in the fur coat cuddled up next to me. His fur is so glossy, it reflects the light in such interesting ways- a subtle silver under electric lights, a blinding white in the full sun.

I used a tile that I had prepped yesterday. I played with crinkling up the cards, soaking them in water and then painting on the backs with watercolors. The water and subsequently the paint comes through the cracks and not so much through the unwrinkled paper (depending on the weight of the paper and how long you soak it). It's not showing up as strongly here, but I decided not to wait for tomorrow morning's sunlight to photograph this piece. Kouros tries to eat my cereal when I upload pictures during breakfast.

I think it's only appropriate that on the anniversary of such a terrible, terrible day that I focused in on my two boys (yeah, the human boy didn't make it into the picture, but I was thinking of him, too). I hope all of my imaginary friends are safe and well and surrounded by loved ones on a day of sad rememberence like today.

Self Portrait #1

I got it done Sunday... but just barely. I wanted to do some self portrait work, and do you have any idea how many Victoria's Secret Models it takes to make just one of me? Those girls are a dime a dozen, I guess. I really like the way the long, windblown locks of the models work for my short hair- it's believable. Almost.

I must have been insane to try something like this on a such a small scale. I'm pretty chuffed about the detail I _was_ able to get. I chose the flesh tones deliberately to create shading and contour. I took advantage of highlights, too, like the shoulder I used for the tip of my nose. I drew in the pupils and the nostrils, because I would have killed someone if I'd tried to cut them out. Did I mention I used regular old scissors and not an exacto knife? I think that's why I'm looking a little Frida Kahlo-ish in the eyebrows. Among other bizarre things. Sometimes my fingers were huge and the scissors unwieldy.

It is a little creepy.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

All before 3pm

I saw this on my way home from work this morning.

I ran home to get my camera (Silly, silly girl- NEVER leave home without the camera), but it started raining on my way back, and all the birds were gone. The dense grouping of birds stretched on for maybe 40 yards. My favorite were the regularly spaced birds on the diagonal line. I've never seen birds perched there before.

I think the birds are a bit heavy handed in my drawing. I had planned on doing the whole thing in ink (or stupid sharpie because I still haven't fixed my stupid pen), but I decided to bring some color into it for the background, then the pole, but neglected to bring some in for the birds. They would still have been black or gray, but they wouldn't be so dense- there would have been an ink outline.

I've enjoyed playing with watercolor pencil. It works well with the cards. I like the way the ink looks with it as well, sort of illustrative.


Friday night I heard from my sister who got married in July. I've not shared, because of how my pregnancy went, that she is pregnant. She's due 2 weeks after I would have been. She called yesterday to tell me that she had been to the doctor and they heard the heartbeat. Honestly, I was amazed at how genuinely happy and relieved I was to hear her news.

That sounds terrible. Of course I don't want what happened to me to happen to anyone else! But life just isn't fair, and this is one of those examples. They weren't trying, we were. She had no health insurance at the time, I did. We'd been married for nearly 7 years at conception, they'e been married for negative 2 weeks at conception (the moral of the story is, don't have your husband-to-be drive you home from your bachelorette party). So I was glad to know that I could just feel happy that her pregnancy was going well, and not haul along the rest of that baggage.

See, Annie and I haven't always gotten along. When she was acting like a rotten little wench, which was her specialty in days gone by, she used to say, "I know I'm going to have Mom and Dad's first grandchildren" because Carl and I weren't getting to it fast enough, and she thought this was a serious flaw in me and our plans. So of course I desperately wanted to have the first grandchildren, not only because it was my right as the firstborn, having had to blaze the trail for the rest of my siblings, but also to prove that my plan was just fine. And also maybe to spite her and her nasty self.

She's changed a lot. Sometimes I want to tell the body snatchers that they can keep my sister, because we like this person much better. We've made our peace, and I think I can thank Jason (her husband) for a lot of the new groundedness we sense in Annie. I really am happy for her. Sure, they were scared when they first found out: scared of what their parents would say; scared about what it meant for their brand new marriage; scared of what it meant for them financially. They're excited now, and that's good. I still feel a twinge of jealousy that she's going to have the first grandchild, but that's really more insult to injury, because I was much more concerned with the loss of my pregnancy than proving my sister wrong for something she said years ago in the heat of the moment.

But once I was off the phone, I cried. How could I not? I so wanted to go in for my first ultrasound and see a little embryo with a beating heart! Instead, I saw an empty round sac. So now you see where Friday's art piece came from.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Pine Fresh Scent

I took a picture of yesterday's piece today. But it was dark by the time I finished today's piece, so I'll have to take a picture of today's piece tomorrow as well as tomorrow's piece tomorrow.


P.S. I got home late last night- I drew this in bed. Slacker.
Hope you like it, Aprilynne!

In other news...

I didn't have my camera immediately available last night, so I'll have to take a picture of yesterday's tile when I get home tonight.

I've talked about needing to get the momentum going again, so I've decided to plan the Artists Among Us show in my workplace this year. I was asked to do it in the spring, but I had my painting class going and I had already committed to begin work on sets. I told them I would be willing in the fall, but I had too much going on at that particular time.

So I've gotten underway. I've finally gotten permission from the Powers That Be, after a lost email, and a couple of phone messages (Grr.), to begin planning. I'll be getting a committee together next week. I'm making a special point of reaching out to the fiber artists, because most people I know have some sort of fiber hobby, but they don't usually consider them worth showing in this show. I'm also working up another idea for a community art project. Last year's idea was a bit high concept. This year, I'm going to suggest something to do with the colors of harvest (we're in agriculture), possibly using the left-over tiles. Don't worry, I'm not even making a dent with my little project!

That's the news folks, and I am outta here! (Pictures to come later)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

CraftSanity Episode 32

Yesdterday's card was inspired by the most recent CraftSanity. She had collage artist Colleen Hellmuth as her guest. Colleen has a podcast in which she is given a theme and has 20 minutes to make a collage piece on that theme. She gave a challenge to listeners, using the word "Sweet," to make a piece of art.

My first thought was, "What are little girls made of/Sugar and spice and everything nice." I have wanted to try collage, but I had no paper in cotton candy pink, so I wound up drawing my pieces in sharpie. I liked the idea of adding myself in there, too, because I don't exactly fit the sugar and spice ideal. I just had to add the word, also. I had a lot of fun doing it. I've been interested in altered self portraits. I have the feeling I'm going to do more with it.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

And now for Tuesday...

Is this a cop-out?

Tonight, I was busy doing stupid housework, trying to figure out what was wrong with my iPod, etc., so I started my piece later than normal. I started this piece as a joke, but it began to feel right, so I went with it. It's kind of a journal bit. My pen looks huge, because it was foremost in my mind; I wanted to use it tonight, but it wasn't working and I wasted a lot of time trying to clean it out. It was really pissing me off and I let it get in my way. My ideas look very small, because they ended up taking a back seat to the fact that the bloomin' pen wouldn't work. And I am wearing a red dress. This is something new. The past couple of cartoony drawings I've done of myself, I'm wearing a red dress. I do not own a red dress. And yet, I picture myself in one.

Come, stroke your imaginary beards and hum along with me.

Monday Tile

I tried to seam my Baby Yoda sweater yesterday, and do you know what I realized? I know NOTHING about seaming and finishing a project! I tried the intuitive thing, and it was sad. So I ripped it all out. I don't know what the hell I was thinking. I think I need to stop by the library.

I was still feeling the need to work with yarn, however. I tried playing with it on a card. I'm not wild about the results, but I'm glad I tried it. I wanted to try some new ideas during this little exercise, and I guess I have. I'm learning.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Two things: first, my artwork for the day-

Not a great picture, and maybe not a great piece. I like working with color, but it's kinda hit or miss with the watercolor pencils these days. I'm trying not to be too critical and simply do a piece every day. I do think this piece could use more contrast between the Gingko leaves and the background. I may mess around with some ink pen to add some definition.

Second, Kouros and Purple Hippo in a Cage Match-

Saturday, September 02, 2006

She looks happier here...

This drawing is based on a picture of my Grandmother at age 4 or so. I got a whole mess of photographs of her family in Manhattan from the 20s and 30s. I find them endlessly inspiring!

I cut it close to the wire here, because I'm busy the rest of the night. You know, me and my glamorous social life! Sometimes it's good to have a time limit, and not to fuss over every detail. I had to scramble to get the basic idea down and not expect perfection.

Friday, September 01, 2006


I completed Day 1:

I felt like an old rusty gate. I felt like I had lost my touch. I cannot believe how little I had done since July.

This was not the first tile I did today. I had to do several. At first, I could not decide what my medium should be. I did several in watercolor pencil and a couple in pencil before I settled on the pen. Oh- and my pen would not work, so this was actually done in fine sharpie. Thank jebus for sharpies- they are ALWAYS your friend.

It took me a while to settle on something to draw, also. I tried a couple of sketches from life, but the tile was too small for what I was seeing. I went next to a series of ideas I've been developing in little thumbnail drawings in my sketchbook and tried to follow the theme in watercolor pencil. But I needed more planning and sketching, because I knew what I wanted to see, and that was definitely not what was showing up. I think I want this exercise to be a little more spontaneous and less carefully executed than most of what I do. I was listening to the latest episode of CraftSanity earlier today (and if you don't listen to CraftSanity, why not? It's fantastic. I think I need to send Jennifer flowers on a weekly basis.), because the interviewee was talking about how one her projects in art school was to make 80 pieces of art in 3 weeks. You had to just do and not overplan or fall into perfectionism. That's more the kind of thing I wanted to do here. I tried something completely from my imagination that fit the style of work I wanted to try with this exercise, but it was too incomplete yet and didn't feel like it was coming from that place. That place where the work I love comes from. That place, I guess, is inspiration.

Finally, I took a sharpie and wrote a little mini-journal entry on a card, lodging all my complaints with myself. "I've lost my touch" and "I haven't drawn for so long, I've forgotten how" and "I need a paintbrush, not a pencil." I may have had a false start or two, but then I hit on what I did above. One take. In sharpie. It just flowed. When in doubt, head for the trees. The sketch above, as minimal as it is, is completely genuine. I'm never happy if it doesn't feel genuine. And I think you can tell the difference in the final product.

That little drawing above does not merit this much commentary, but the experience and the process does. It made me think of The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. It made me realize the beauty of morning pages, in which you get rid of all your psychic shit on 3 pages in a notebook as you start the day so that creativity can flow unhindered. I was not pleased with the morning pages when I did the Artist's Way a year ago. I'd spew all my crap into the pages and then it would all be fresh in my mind, so I could continue to ruminate on it all day at work, leaving me in a foul temper for the evening. But now I see that "morning" could be treated as being in quotes, and that perhaps I personally would be better served writing my morning pages during the "morning" of my art time. I could do them right before I started working to shrug off the day, rather than having them be like picking a scab everyday. She also talks about artists being a part of the larger creative force, and how creativity flows through you. When I let go and went with my gut- it just happened. Each mark worked.

I think this little drawing looks like how I'm feeling right now. My limbs feel a little rough and a little bare. I feel like that first time you go back to yoga, or that first run you take in months... out of shape, clumsy, rusty, but oh so GOOD! I've so needed this next step!

In fact, I felt so damn good I went ahead and finished all the pre-assembly knitting on Baby Yoda. This weekend, I will finish my very first sweater- albeit a small one.