Saturday, September 30, 2006

Watercolor Moleskine

The Weekly Drawing Event is in full swing over at WetCanvas, so go check it out, if you haven't already. Here's my offering so far - all done in the large Moleskine watercolor sketchbook.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Hosting Once Again

It's my turn to host the Weekly Drawing Event over at WetCanvas! This was so much fun back in March, and I'm looking forward to it again. Come by and check it out - choose an image and create some art. It's fun, it's inspirational, and best of's FREE!! Click here to see the images I've chosen from my personal collection!

And if you are interested, here's how the whole thing works. You'll have to sign up at WetCanvas if you don't have an account - but it's a great place to be, and registration is free!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Field Trips Galore

Well, our family outing was like a field trip, right? The folks over at the EDM Yahoo group have been talking about sketching in grids alot. I've done that off and on since I began keeping a regular sketchbook, and find that it helps take away the fear of the blank page quite a bit. I thought I'd summarize the family field trip to the aquarium and the school field trip to the zoo with a couple of grids.

I think the cuttlefish was flipping me the bird.

black Pitt pen in Moleskine sketchbook

Family Adventures

One of the joys of home-schooling cooperatives is that you have complete control, two days a week, of your family's schedule. Occasionally, on a DH Friday off-day, we manage to take off on an adventure, just to see what we can find to do. Last Friday was one of those days. We left with no real destination in mind, and realizing that the impending monsoon was upon us, but decided it was worth it anyway. Our first destination was the airport, where DH spotted a B17 bomber (the flying fortress from WWII) sitting at one of the smaller carrier's hangars. We found out it cost $10 per family to view and tour, so we headed off to find an ATM and grab lunch. Unfortunately, the rains began and we unable to tour the plane up close. We ended up at the aquarium in Gatlinburg instead, and had a great time touring the exhibits. It seems that no matter how often we go, we find new and wonderful things to see! We watched 2 dive shows - one in the tropical reef tank and one in the shark and ray tank. D got to pet ray for the first time. J wasn't really sure about it.

After the aquarium, we headed up into the park and toured the Elkmont campground, where we'll be heading in a few weeks. We stopped at a stream and did some sketching - or at least I did - the boys ran off to throw rocks in the river pretty quickly. I spotted this plant and sketched on a page that had some hand made paper pre-glued on it. I don't know what the plant is - could be a weed, but I liked the shape of the leaves.

One of my dreams is that adventures like this will instill a love of learning in my boys far greater than any seatwork will ever do. There is, of course, value in sitting at a desk and learning in a classroom, but I know that I have personally learned far more while exploring my world and becoming curious about what I've seen, than I've ever learned in a book.
Black Pitt pen, watercolor and handmade paper in large Moleskine sketchbook

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Back in the Saddle Again

Thanks to everyone who has commented publicly and privately about my latest lack of productivity. I appreciate your encouragement more than you know! I've been slow to work out of this funk, especially in the day to day sketching that I like to do, but I'm getting there. Here's a few things to fill in the gaps.
This is page in remembrance of my brother, Brian, who has been gone 17 years, now. It's so hard to imagine that it has been so long. I was just thinking of all the things I miss about him, and none of them are huge things - do you know what I mean? Treasure the little things about your loved ones, my friends. Store them up in your memory so you can draw on them when they are no longer around. No one, when remembering a dear loved one, ever remembers the things we spend all our time striving for and making our lives stressful and busy and crazy for. Nope - we remember smiles and stupid jokes, curly hair and standing with hands on hips. Store them up - treasure them and SLOW DOWN!! Hang up the phone and shut off the computer. Okay. I'm done with my soapbox, now...
The next page is after OVER a month of NOT slowing down (maybe I should start reading my own blog). I finally took the time, while lying in bed, to record some thoughts and images. I'm very whiny lately. Sheesh. I've not been this angst ridden since graduate school. Getting kids back in Kindergarten and First Grade must bring back some memories of my own very protracted schooling. I miss those days sometimes - not the angst part - but the excitement of a new semester. This sketch has nothing to do with that.
Have you all heard of Zentangles? Linda sent me the link a while back, and it made me giggle, 'cause all my high school notebooks were filled with things like it instead of Algebra or Biology notes. I had no idea I was so meditative or artistic, then. I felt the need to play around with one over the last few days and remembered why I enjoyed what I called "doodling" so much - it's a very right-brained activity, very relaxing and I never once thought about Algebra while I was doing it.
Okay - last one. This is from last weekend's WDE over at WetCanvas. I haven't participated in ages, and I'm hosting the last weekend of the month, so I felt like I should participate at least a couple of times before then. I did this one very quickly, trying to emulate sketching from life, and very loosely. It was a good warm-up exercise for me. I'm ready to re-enter the everyday, now, I think. Wish me luck.

For larger versions of any of these, click over to my Flickr account.

Sunday, September 10, 2006


I've not been around the blogosphere in a while, for reasons still unclear to me. I'm stymied and stuck; shackled and squabashed. In any case - I've taken a vacation, down to the beach - and spent an entire week free of the things that I'm required to do, and from the responsibilities that I gladly undertake each day in the role of wife and mother. I hope that the break has loosened some creative force heretofore unheard of in this household. Or, that I at least stored up some rest for the everyday stuff so I can stay up all night on the things I am driven to create.

I spent a long time on the phone yesterday with my dear friend. We don't get to talk often, and she lives about 700 miles away, but it seems that anytime I pick up the phone, we pick up where we left off the last time, even if it was months ago. Does everyone have a friend like that? I can't imagine that they do, but at the same time I would wish it for them. I've known her since I was 12 - way more years than I want to count, now, and we've been through just about every emotion and situation together. She's seen me at my best and at my worst (and vice versa) and she loves me anyway. That's how friendship should be, don't you think? Not the constant struggle to stay in the good graces of someone, and always wondering if you've done something to tick them off. Nope - it's being able to pick up a phone, any time of the day or night, and call someone, knowing the first thing they'll ask is "how are you?"

I don't know why I'm waxing all sentimental today - but take it for what it is. I hope you all have a friend like that, and that you are a friend like that. Mo - girl - I love ya. Go buy that Julia Cameron book - commence to writing - you're gifted, my dear friend! Always - Dino
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