Venturing out today, we travelled up to Smokey Point to visit The Plant Farm.  We have a small list of local nurseries that are our favorites, each with its own unique strong points.  The Plant Farm has fish.  Dozens and dozens of gorgeous Koi.  Armed with a pocket of quarters, Ben keeps himself busy buying fish food to feed the hungry buggers while daddy shops.  There is something incredibly adorable about old fashioned vending machines a child with a fistful of change.  Amazingly, we did not leave with any plants this time, just temporary pots for our blueberries until they have a permanent home in the ground next year.

There's a Michaels very near The Plant Farm, and as I haven't been in one for-EVER, I indulged in a browse.  I even treated myself to a few purchases.

I couldn't pass up a great deal on gesso – I'm low, and this was on clearance.  It could by 937 ml at this price, or I could buy a full gallon for about $3 more.  I shouldn't be running out anytime soon.


I was pleased to see that Michaels' selection of clays has expanded since I'd been there last – they have several I've never seen in person before.  I've been wanting to try La Doll air-dry clay since I first read about it a couple years ago, and although I paid through the nose for it (Michaels is always always more expensive than ordering through an actual fine art supplier, like Dick Blick), I got to take it home today and try it out.

I fell victim to a standing-in-the-waiting-line-offering with this one.  I haven't bought a Somerset Studio magazine in several years – I just don't have the mad money for it – but I noticed that this issue's artist porfolio was on our local Teesha Moore.  We have met her (and her talented husband) several times throughout the years, at various shows and Artfest – they are very personable and fun people, and Teesha's artwork is a feast for the eyes.  Kind of like a buffet at a chinese restaurant – so many wonderful things to devour all in one place, it can be overwhelming.  I likely will get up an hour or two early tomorrow morning so I can enjoy some uninterrupted alone time reading this.


I didn't actually buy this book (I'd already spent more than my share of gift money today), but I did make note of it so I could look it up at the library when I got home.  There are about a bajillion art journalling books out there, but I guess what sparked my interest about this one was that unlike 99.9% of all the others, this one is authored by men.  Flipping through the pages quickly, I didn't actually see what the book was actually about (More technique based vs eye candy?  More introductionary vs geared to those already familiar with the basic concepts?) – I found the artwork itself rather inspirational.  It wasn't necessarily better, it was just different.  More shapes and scribbles and colors and lines, and less flowers and vintage photos and, well, girls.  I just found it to be refreshing enough in the two minutes I glanced through it that I already have it on hold at the library.

It feels good to be even remotely artistic again.  This has been a long and dark and dry spell.

Journal Day

Today is a day to journal.  If you are a journaller, you know what I mean.  If you aren't I encourage you to consider jumping on the bandwagon.


This is a journal I made my last year at Artfest.  I was over 8 months pregnant, in a tiny room at Fort Warden in Port Townsend, over-filled with 6 foot tables.  I literally couldn't maneuver in there at all.  But it didn't bother me, as I had great fun in the class.  Traci Bautista was teaching us to make great messes with scraps of various papers, most of which was from my recycle bin, along with inexpensive liquid watercolors and markers of all kinds.


That was over 2 years ago now, and I still had yet to write in the
resulting book.  Nothing really seemed to fit, and it still really
doesn't, but I'm tired of my poor little book being all dressed up with
nowhere to go.  I have been experiencing some dark times of late, and though I am a journaller, I haven't
ever really been one to write out all my unromantic, depressing worries
and sad thoughts.  I guess I assume someone will read my journals someday, at the very least after I'm dead,
and I don't want them to think I had a morose personality.  Despite all this, however, I have been putting pen to page, deciding that my own
journal therapy is more important that what people think of me
(especially since the only ones reading these will probably be those
who knew and loved me anyway).  Perhaps the bright cheery colorful
pages will have a positive effect on the words I write?  We'll see I
guess.  But either way it is nice to be scribbling again.


New Halloween Illustration

I did a sketch this weekend for a new Halloween themed illustration, which will be used on the cover of the October issue of Country Pleasures magazine. We were going to use my pumpkin man, but it turns out that the magazine photo I took him from wasn’t actually that of an antique figurine, but a 2003 August Moon design by Lang! It was by complete chance that I discovered this – last weekend I was at Sumner for the second time in my life, and one of the shops had my man sitting right there on the counter. Imagine my suprise! She said it is broken, so she only puts it out as a decoration. Well, that took care of that – no using it in any publication! So I sketched this funny little troup out last night and just finished painting it up today. I’ll post a photo of the completed work later this week.

Hope you all had a good weekend – Have a nice night!


Day 32 – Anaheim Doodle

This is what I managed to accomplished while at my conference in Anaheim this last week – just some pen and ink drawing done inbetween workshops. The doodle started with the single swirl in the bottom left cluster – it is the shape of one of the pieces of iron making up the lamp in my room at the Marriott. It just went from there. This is just .01 & .005 sized black micron pen and mechanical pencil on drawing paper – I plan to add in colored pencil when the drawing part is finished. It doesn’t mean anything, it was just fun.

Now this, on the other hand, is why I’ll be doing very little art this weekend. Boo hoo.


Day 3 – More pen doodling

Today I worked on the first page of my little art journal. More Pitt pen drawing, with some water-soluble pastel and twinkling H20 watercolor paint added. It is easy to just do a quick doodle as my daily art when it is late and I’m tired!

Day 2 – Another Doodle

Another doodle for today’s installment of the Daily Devotions Challenge, using a Pitt pen on a page in my journal. Notes are from a class I took at Artfest from Keith LoBue.

Day 1 & Mirrormask

So tonight, despite the hectic day and the late hour I finally got home, I did manage to do some art. We wound down late this evening by finally watching Mirrormask. We have been waiting to watch the movie until we were in just the right mood, in case it was really bizarre and weird instead of just imaginative and cool. The last thing we want to do when we sit down for some relaxing entertainment is feel like we’ve just spent two hours letting someone mess with our heads. It turns out we both enjoyed Mirrormask very much. Yes, it was weird, unexplainable at times, and wildly fantastical, but it was very artistic, creative, and had a lot of fun and mysterious character. I’m having a hard time believing that Teesha & Tracy Moore didn’t do all the drawing! (Check out their websites, and you’ll see what I mean – Anyway, it really put me in the mood to draw, so I spent the latter half of the movie doodling all around a previous written entry in my journal.

I think I mentioned in a previous post that I signed up with a group that has committed to do something creative every day for a year. It can be anything – doodle, write a poem, do an ATC, an entire painting, whatever. Unfortunately, shortly after I signed up I had two classes and exams, a vacation, house hunting, packing to move, yadda yadda yadda, so although I did bits of art during much of that time, it was in no way consistent or even tracked. I don’t do well with commitments like this unless I have some sort of system or routine, and a way to track my progress. I considered starting a separate blog just to list what I’ve done each day, as many people have done, but then I thought why wouldn’t I just add that to my blog now, and use the title of the blog entry to indicate the entries that are speaking to my daily art…thing. I don’t want to be regimented and legalistic about it, and make it more complicated than it is, but I’d like to be able to look back at everything I’ve done, what I created during certain times in my life, and how far I’ve come. So, I think I’ll consider tonight my Day One.

Single Signature Journal

Front and back photo of the single signature journal mentioned yesterday. I wanted something simple and small to carry around with me on a daily basis, for doodling and such. Cover is a collage of hand painted found papers, using various acrylics, inks, hand-carved and purchased rubber stamps. Edges are lined with embellished aluminum tape from the hardware store. The inside pages are 140 lb watercolor paper.

Art Journaling on a Deserted Island

This week in my artistsjournals Yahoo! group, someone asked a couple of good questions: "If you were on a deserted island what journaling supplies would you have to have with you? Now could you answer this question with limiting yourself to just three items? How different do you think your journals would be if you didn’t have the outside contact and eye candy available to you?"

Assuming the journal itself is a given, my three favorite things would be a black drawing pen, like Pitt or Micron, a nice watercolor palette, and a set of prismacolor colored pencils. I would hope I also had a way of sharpening the pencils and a brush to paint with, so I suppose that’s five things instead of three, but those three mediums – watercolors, pen, and colored pencil – would make me happy on a deserted island.

I think most things in my life would be completely different if I wasn’t around other people to compare myself to and find new and creative ways to criticize myself and seem unworthy to do art. Actually, I did grow up in the middle of nowhere, and while there, I don’t ever remember having a problem sitting down to do art, deciding what to do, and knowing exactly what I had the ability to do. It was when I moved to the city that I started second-guessing myself. Not like it was the city’s fault, or that the city makes me feel insecure, but it can be both very encouraging and intimidating to be surrounded by so many talented and diverse people.

One thing about being in the middle of nowhere is that its just you and nature all around you, and you just don’t pay so much attention to what everyone else is doing – you just marvel at creation and digging your hands into the stuff of life, quite literally sometimes. Plus, you get to walk out of the shower in the morning, wrap your towel around you, and walk out accross the lawn to the street to get your mail if you wanted to, because no one is there to see you or care except for the trees and birds. How can you do thinks like that and NOT have great things to write and art about?! 🙂

So, without anyone to compare myself to, without deadlines to pressure me or hubbub of the world to complicate life, I’d like to think I’d do my best work. Hmmm….are there any available deserted islands anywhere????

What have I been doing in my journals lately?

What have I been up to with my journals lately? Recently, I worked in an art journal that I called my Fall Journal. Really, it was just play time in celebration of Fall, though I actually did very little writing in it. My plan is to do a mix of collages, journal writing, copied poetry and quotes, pressed leaves, even yummy autumn recipes in it. Whatever is celebratory of that season goes in the book, is just my way of experiencing my favorite time of year in another wonderful way. Like the Lent Journal, I’ve worked all over the place in it, rarely finishing a page in one sitting. Now that fall is over, I haven’t used it very much.

Also, I’m currently reading The Artist’s Way, which involves writing three pages of non-stop "stream of consciousness" writing each morning. This is basically all of the journal writing I’ve been doing for a while now. I do that in a plain boring notebook, and I hardly ever do it in the morning. In fact, I hardly ever do anything in the morning besides roll out of bed and rush to work, making sure my teeth are brushed and my socks are matched. My journaling ends up being late at night. I really would love to do some in the morning, as I think it would better prepare me for the day, but I just can’t seem to get out of bed that extra half hour earlier.

Finally, I just recently started altering one of my old date books. Since 1999 I’ve used a really nice leather-bound date book to keep track of my life, and I couldn’t ever bring myself to throw them away. Lately I’ve been feeling very depressed (for no reason really, our life is really great right now – I think its my serotonin acting up again in my brain), feeling the kind of emotions you can’t put into words, so I took down that first old date book and I’ve been altering one spread each night. So far I haven’t written much, I’ve just been giving myself some good art therapy cutting words and pictures I like out of magazines (I treated myself to cutting up a really GOOD new magazine! It felt so deliciously naughty!), painting and gluing onto the spread, and doodling. I think the theme of the book is going to be "do whatever the hell I want." (Sorry, it is unlike me to say such things, however it perfectly sums up the theme of the book). When I get like this I feel like I’m losing myself, and I over-analyze everything and start to feel like I’m going completely crazy, so being able to do whatever I want in this book really feels good and freeing. I’m giving myself permission to draw badly, say stupid things, be sappy, be angry, use colors that look terrible together – basically completely letting my hair down and not trying to impress anyone. With this particular book, so far, I’m veering away from my usual work-all-over-the-book and instead am sticking to one page or spread per day and leaving it at that.

That’s about it right now! I will work next on getting some of these photos online – still not sure how to get the pictures from the digital camera to the computer….