Saturday, June 30, 2012

Danny Gregory

hi everyone.

No art from me today,
but I do want to share something from this man.

Danny Gregory.

I love this man's work.

He is a prolific illustrator and has published
several books and art journals.
 He reminds me that art is life.

He reminds me that drawing can be done anytime,
with anything as a subject.

He is skilled at handwriting
and illustrating
and combining color
but more than anything
he is skilled at living.

He is skilled at observing.
At taking the time.
At sharing a day in the life...

I am grateful for people like Danny Gregory,
who give us a glimpse into their world
through art and words.

Danny reminds me that we all have a story to tell
and that we all have a different way
of looking at the world.

He reminds me that we're all ok.

He also reminds me that
there is room for everyone in this world
and that there can be such beauty
in sharing the most simple things.

The drawing of a bagel

a cup of coffee

a smile

a park bench.

His latest book is this one.
A kiss before you go -
an illustrated memoir of love and loss
(about his wife, Patti)

You can hear Danny talk about his book here.

This one will be sitting on my shelf soon.

Wishing you all a great weekend
and for my Canadian friends,
a WONDERFUL Canada day tomorrow, eh!! :-)

Tomorrow is all about fireworks and lollipops for me.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

and the winner IS....

hello folks!

See all your lovely names here?

I was looking so forward to picking the winner's name,
it's not even funny.

You'd think i was giving away a friggin' car... :-)

I put all the little pieces of paper in this lovely red cup...
picked a name, and...

it's the lovely April Cole!!!

I would've been happy to see anyone's name here, honestly.
This is almost as exciting for me as it for you!
I am in such need of having more fun in my life. ;-)

April, expect an email from me soon (for your address)
so i can send the little Scuba girl on her way to your home.

Congrats, girl!!
I'm happy it was you. :-)

And this was last night's play time.

Dry pastels on textured paper...

A happy lime balloon,

in honor of the talented April, our lovely winner...

I had fun doing this.

Love the messy feel of pastels on my fingers.

Thank you all for playing along.
i know this won't be my last giveaway. :-)

There is some truth to the saying
that it feels better to give than to receive.

Although if anyone's in the mood to give me a car,
i'll happily accept, no problemo.

Wishing everyone a great day!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

sailboats and Brené Brown

hi everyone!
Happy hump day.

Remember the sailboat painting?
I finally continued it last night...

The sailboats aren't all yellow in reality.

At this point, i'm just looking at dark and light
and i'll be adding the color of each boat later.

Initially, i thought i would paint the sky around the white lines (sail posts)
and then i wondered why the hell would i do that
instead of just painting the white lines after the sky is done?!

Sometimes, when i'm painting, i get caught up in the moment
and i think my brain ceases to function.
My heart works fine,
but my brain is sometimes a little off.

I know professional artists who paint from left to right.
Some who paint the front first,
and work their way back.
Some who paint the lighter colors first,
and then the dark.

There's no right or wrong way to paint.

Don't let anyone tell you it needs to be done
a certain way
to qualify as art.

The only way it needs to be done
is your way.

I always look forward to sitting for another few hours with a painting.
I'll post the finished piece on my blog when it's done.

Flora Bowley recently said something that i thought was interesting.

She talked about the importance of just painting
(or journaling, or writing, etc.)

The percentage of time we spend making art
should be higher
than the percentage of time we spend on the computer
looking for inspiration.

We all need inspiration now and then
but more than anything -
we just need to do our own thing,
share it with the world,
and go to our next own thing, right?

I watched a 20 min. video on TED yesterday
that i thought was profound.
Brené Brown, on vulnerability.
You can watch it here.

I believe that being vulnerable
is necessary in art.
In music.
In writing.
In blogging.

If we never risk anything
and keep ourselves safe and protected in our little bubble all the time,
how can that ever be growth?
How can being static ever become the birthplace of creativity?

I believe creativity happens because there is vulnerability.

A little reminder...
for those interested in leaving their names
for my 1st giveaway (scuba girl!)
you can do it here!

Draw happens tonight!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sharpie doodle and the rain...

hello peeps!

I went for my morning walk and just had time to come back
when it began to rain... and then it poured. 

I love the rain.

As long as it doesn't last for a week. :-)

Here's my little doodle, done last night
while i watched a bit of TV with my son.

Done on a piece of leftover card stock (5" x 15") with a black Sharpie marker.

I don't doodle too often, but i discovered last night
that it can be quite meditative. 

Unlike other distractions in life
like tv
or drugs and alcohol
or gambling
or arguing
or facebooking... (yes, it's a verb...) 

Art is about going within
rather than looking for comfort outside of oneself.
Yoga is the same.
Walking is the same.
Music is the same.

The world is filled with intolerance
and hatred
and fear
and anger...
and sometimes, it's easy to get caught up in the storm.

I rarely watch the news for that very reason.

Another person's anger is not my anger,
and what good am i doing the world
by knowing about another murderer,
another child molester,
another rapist?

What good does it do the world
if i carry such judgement and fear and hatred
on my own shoulders?

I am not ignorant.

I know these things are happening, and always will,
but i also know that they take too much out of my own heart
for me to be glued to the TV or the newspaper
day in and day out.

I do not feel any less intelligent by not knowing
every little play by play happening in the world.

I read.
I breathe.
I observe.
I shut up and listen,
to myself and to others.

...honest, i do. :-)

And i do what i need to do 
to make sense of my own world.

Isn't that what we all do?

See what the rain does to me?

It gets me feeling all fucking poetic...

Wishing you all a peaceful day -
one where you don't carry the weight of the world
on your shoulders,
and where you remember how to be kind
to yourself.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

birthday and my FIRST giveaway!! Yay!

Today is my birthday (yay for me!)
and i celebrated with a few things...
one of them being a Dairy Queen treat with my son.


Then i decided to put a bit of order in my blue room.

i'm no clean freak, but when things get so messy
that i don't even want to go in the room,
it's time for order. ;-)

I had paper everywhere.
When i finish a painting or drawing,
it tends to just sit on the corner of my table.
Eventually, that one painting turns into 3, or 5, or 10
and i just thought it might be cool to put them on the wall.

Some are copies of my work, some are originals.
I bought this ball of string and tiny little clothespins
for like $2 at the Dollar Store. Gotta love it.
Cheap can still be efficient.

Two little nails at each end, tied the string,
use the cute little pins to hang the paper, and voilà.
Perfecte-mondo. :-)

A few other things i did to celebrate the day...
watched a movie with my son,
chatted with a few friends,
enjoyed a glass of wine,
had a nice dinner,
and went for a walk (despite the crappy weather...)

.....and...... (drumroll)....
did this little baby for a giveaway!!


What a better way to celebrate my birthday than to have a giveaway!?

Scuba girl...
the size is 6" x 9", so if you're the big winner,
it shouldn't cost you a fortune to frame... 
Or if you prefer, you can always just tack it on your wall as is. :-)

I've seen a few blogs that had a giveaways,
and they had this fancy shmancy way of picking the winner's name,
done electronically, some randomizer, exact name picker
more accurate than NASA's moon landing gear.

I somehow got it in my head that if ever i had a giveaway,
i'd have to figure out how do this electronic shnazy picking a name bit.

Then i thought, "hey, i have an idea!
How 'bout i just pick names out of a hat,
like they did in the good ol' days?!?"
(notice i said they and not we...?!) ;-)

Yeah. We're picking names out of a hat.
Or in my case, out of a bowl, cause i have no friggin' hats in the house.
Fair and square.

So anyone interested in getting this original little baby by moi,
just leave me your name in the comments,
and give me ONE word that describes
why you live where you live in the world. 
(family? job? responsibilities? etc...)

Not too difficult, right?

I'll be picking a winner this Wednesday, June 27
and i'll post the name on Thursday, June 28,
so you have a few days to get your comments in...

For those who don't make it, don't worry.
I'll be having more giveaways. :-)
My way of saying THANK YOU
to all of you who have made the choice to follow my blog,
and to leave such heartfelt comments...

Saturday, June 23, 2012

IF - space

I'm linking this to Illustration Friday
on a Saturday!

This is only my second entry
in the Illustration Friday weekly challenge.

This week's topic: SPACE.

dry pastels on paper...

and the little guy was done in watercolor
and black micron pens.

The colors are off (the white space around him is not really this white!)
 but you get the idea.

Weekly challenges like these are great
to help keep me on my toes.

I remember looking at Illustration Friday entries
not so long ago,
and thinking this:

I wish i was good enough to post on IF.

Not so many months later,
and here i am. :-)

I've learned that it has less to do with being good
and more to do with being brave.

Daring to participate.

Daring to share.

Getting past the fear of "not being good enough".

There are some fabulously talented illustrators there,
but i am no longer intimidated.

I am rather pretty happy
about sharing this space
with so many of them.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

wrinkles in perspective

hello friends!

I've been thinking about pressure lately,
and how we're often swayed one way or the other
to be something else
or have something more
or create something different than everyone else.

The world is filled with people
who always seem to have more than we have...

The bigger house,
the newer car,
the better opportunities,
the yearly vacations,
the fashionable clothes...

But it's all a matter of perspective, isn't it?

I am fortunate to have a caring, compassionate
and intelligent doctor. 
She practices during the day at her office,
she also treats patients at a nightly clinic sometimes,
she is occasionally on call at the hospital,
and she does work at the oncology center nearby.
More recently, she partnered with someone in medical aesthetics.
She also has a husband, and children.

Basically, she's a dedicated workaholic and/or an overachiever,
and probably a rich one. :-)

This morning, we were talking about perspective and gratitude,
and she mentioned seeing a patient who was 35 years old (or young!)
and desperate to get rid of her wrinkles.

On the same day, 
she worked at the oncology center
and saw another patient who is 37 and in chemotherapy
for breast cancer.
The woman has no hair,
one breast,
and 2 small children.

I doubt she's too concerned about her wrinkles...

For one woman, wrinkles are the focus,
and for the other - survival.
Being there for her children.
Staying in this world just a little longer...

This just tugged at my heart
and reminded me of how petty our problems often are.
How important it is to be grateful,
to not complain.
to think of others who have so much less than we do.

The new cars, the big houses
the trips around the world
mean nothing to someone with 2 months to live.

This day matters.

Make it worthwhile.

And on the subject of gratitude,
i am forever grateful to have you all here
on this little journey with me.

Who knows where we'll go?
Much love

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

orange fantasy land and silhouette woman

good morning peeps!
(or whatever time it is in your corner of the world...) 

A fun little painting session last night...

I hardly ever watch tv,
so painting at night is easy peasy.

i had fun with this one.
At this stage, it reminded me of Dr. Seuss's imaginary worlds.

I visited the blog of Tara Leaver yesterday,
(for the record - i love her and i love her work. Check her out, kay?)
and something she wrote inspired me to do this.

She's taking a pen and ink class,
and in one of the exercises,
she "took a line for a walk".

I suspect that means making one, continuous line,
without lifting the pen (or in this case, marker).
I ended up lifting at one point, but generally,
i took my line for a walk. ;-)

Added a few dots and a few wisps with black micron pen,
and there you have it.

It was fun to do.
That's what i love about semi abstract stuff.
There's no pressure to make it look like anything.

Not sure about the wisps, but they're there to stay. ;-)

It was still early when i finished the orange fantasy land,
so i thought i'd do a quick watercolor 
with my watercolor crayon
using this silhouette from a magazine as inspiration.

I used my small postcard size watercolor paper
so this was really quick... this only took about 10 or 15 minutes to do.

As i always do with most of my artwork,
i turn the page around,
to see what it looks like from a different perspective.

This levitating kinda freaked me out,
so i put the paints away and went to read. 

I want to say something about habit.
The wonderful Tracey Fletcher King is no doubt
far more qualified to teach us about the creative habit,
but here's my 2 cents worth.

I take a meditative walk every morning and sometimes again in the evening.
This one habit was formed by telling myself i would go
for a 15 minute walk. That's all. 15 minutes.
Eventually, it became 20 minutes,
and then 30 minutes.

I look forward to my morning walk now
and if i miss it for one reason or another
i feel less grounded. Less connected.

The important thing is consistency,
whether you want to develop a habit

of walking

or meditating

or painting

or writing

or (fill in the blank)...

We often go too big at first when it comes to habit.

We've all seen those people who join the gym in January
with the intention of becoming Mr. fucking Universe in a year,
but by March, they're back to sitting on the couch
cuddling a bag of chips the size of a house.

Habit is about baby steps.
For me, it's about doing it alone,
and doing it consistently,
at about the same time every day.

So for those of you out there who read art blogs
and yearn to create something,
but still haven't "found the time" yet...
try doing it for small intervals of time at first.

Like 15 minutes.

Take out a pen and paper
and draw.
That's it.
It doesn't need to be a whole broadway production.
Just a pen or pencil and paper.
And then the following day,
do the same.

Your awesomeness may surprise you. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

the woman in the moon

Life shrinks or expands
in proportion to one's courage.
Anaïs Nin

I decided a while ago that i would blog less often
and paint more.

And guess what i discovered?

That blogging is what kept me painting more often.

Knowing that i would be posting something in the morning
inspired me to be creative at night.

I blog less now (about twice per week)
and instead of using the extra time to paint
(like i thought i would!)

i clean the house

or go for coffee

or read

and more often than not

i work.

That's just yucky.

So i'm back to posting more often,
every day or two.

Yay for me!

It just gives me the kick in the ass i need
to keep myself creating.

I did this one in my journal last night...
acrylics, markers and white pen.

I really have a thing for twirls, don't i?

colors are off and i don't usually fiddle much
with making adjustments,
but you get the idea.

The woman in the moon. 

and this is my little blue room,
after the painting last night.

more stuff

and still more stuff. :-)

i took this pic this morning, in natural light.

By the way, i got a lovely invitation a little while back
to be a featured artist on Jennibellie's fabulous blog.
For those of you interested in reading the little interview
just click here.

Jenny is a talented and kind artist and spends much of her time
making beautiful things and spreading the love by
sharing her artwork and her tutorial videos for everyone.

I just love anyone who's willing to share so much of themselves
with the world.
Thank you Jenny!

Wishing you all a wonderful week
filled with sunshine and lollipops.