morning sketch project

road trip and other things

12161459833_b4d75ed5e5_o12194111114_0cb3baccd1_o12208304015_d8ae294843_oWe recently took a small road trip to Richmond. Highlights were the Hollywood Costume exhibit (no photos allowed) at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, a delicious lunch at Nacho Mama’s (don’t you just love this name!) on Cary Street, and Ellman’s to stock up on dance supplies. Oh, and there was a wee bit of shopping at World Market and Trader Joe’s. I replenished my dwindling tea stash, even buying some flowering tea which I haven’t had in a while. It was great to fill the creative well and have time with family and a friend I hadn’t seen in years. A big ole soul vitamin.

The rest of the week found me under the weather. When I could, I drew and sketched out painting ideas, playing for the first time with vine charcoal and also working on trying to get better at drawing hands so that I don’t have to put so much effort into avoiding them! I have to say that they are getting a fraction easier with practice-just a bit.

What have you been working on?

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”  -Harriet Tubman

something I forgot to share


Back in October, I took a fun art class with Zephren Turner. Oh goodness, what a nice guy! And so talented! His wife, Page, was equally as wonderful. (Check out her amazing assemblages.) It was such a pleasure to meet them both and I meant to blog about the class months ago. But if you have visited this blog for any length of time, you know how sporadic I am with posting.

The class was an abstract drawing class and I was horrible at it. No fault of the teacher, to be sure. My issue is that I look for a story in everything. My mind can’t grasp how to make shapes without the end goal being a recognizable object. I think that one of my tablemates, D., was the first to see the bird. Maybe she found a bird in her drawing first, I can’t recall. But once the bird was revealed, I couldn’t ignore it. When I got home I gessoed around the shape and gave her a crown. All the while thinking of my friend, N., and the Portlandia episode (put a bird on it) we joked about once.

It’s not a good photo. I took it with my phone, Hipstamatic app, in the evening when the light was low. It was a fairly large drawing for me then, 12×12, maybe a bit larger. Running across the image on my phone this morning was what made me think about how I had meant to blog about that day but didn’t. And I wish I had. It’s so much better to write about an event while it is fresh in the mind.

Oh, and thinking of things that are fresh in the mind! Do you ever visit the TED talk page? I usually watch a video or two a week while I wait in the car for Olivia to finish up at dance. The latest picks were true winners! First, there was Janine Shepherd. I can’t stop thinking about her soaring journey. (warning: have a tissue nearby, the chance of tears is high.) And I had Olivia watch this one on body language and I’m so glad I did because wouldn’t you know, there was a situation today where the information about posture affecting mood and “fake it till you make it” came in very handy.

The morning sketch project is still in full swing. I was a bit late getting to it yesterday, but managed a few minutes while Olivia worked on some math problems. (The drawing was inspired by a dream: There was a bowl of three red pears and me, delivering them to a stranger’s door.) The no rules, not striving for perfect, only having fun attitude toward drawing is working. I wake up, anxious to get to my sketchpad. Now, just how to find time to get to the art room and paint some of the ideas! I am hopeful for some time this weekend. 8380390255_a78e7257d1_oWishing you lovely, creative days. xo

The last few days…

…have been filled with creative goodness, only not in the art room messy paint brush kind of way. Here are seven things that have given me cause to smile.

1. Olivia made a second batch of carrot cake cupcakes. They are downstairs in the kitchen right now, calling to me. There’s pineapple and coconut mixed in, along with the carrot. Cream cheese frosting on top. Yum! 8366121012_1957c9d64c_b


8366121390_261588ba8b_b2. On Sunday, we had a family day at Snowshoe. What a pretty drive! I squealed when I saw the snow on the mountain tops! I am like a child when it comes to snow. I love it! But, oh my, I thought I was ready for the cold. I thought I was dressed warmly but the wind on top of the mountain was BRUTAL. It unwound our scarves, took our words, and reddened our eyes. There is a nice row of shops and restaurants, like a little village, at the tip top. I would have loved to take my time and enjoy meandering through, but instead the wind chased us into a pub where we had lunch and warmed up. I added a sweater layer and got some hot tea before heading back down a bit to the tubing area. Not as windy there, thankfully. We were able to relax and enjoy. How wonderful to put my hands in the snow, to kick up my heels, to let my eyes rest on the big stretches of white! Heaven, I tell you! Olivia and her friend tubed until they couldn’t tube anymore. It was a day trip that we plan on doing more often. The next visit will be in the spring, maybe when my hubby’s band plays (they played there twice last year in the village), to walk the nature trails and maybe, maybe, do some ziplining. Or most likely, I will stay rooted to the ground and take photos as they fly by. We will see. I may surprise myself with bravery. 2013 feels like it could be that sort of year. There is also an observatory nearby and a mineral springs that has to be checked out. And soon. “Taking the waters” is a big part of the book I am working on so I must see for myself what the fuss is all about.

8365173381_f7dd85aa0b_b (1)3. In homeschooling news, we have taken a detour from our purchased curriculum (Oak Meadow) and are reading about India for Geography Club. And reading Anne Frank’s diary for our mother/daughter bookclub. The latter has Olivia so inspired that she has been writing nonstop in her own diary. The sight of her scribbling furiously stops me in my tracks every time. I stand there beaming at her until she looks up and gives me either a smile or shoos me away. Let’s just hope she is not writing about me in the same way as Anne wrote about her own mother. My heart would break!

4. And while flipping through an old notebook, (old as in 1999) I ran across a copy of  The Desiderata. Do you know this poem? I used to read it daily. I’ve never read it and not felt good afterward. So, I taped it to the inside of my current sketchpad after I shared it with Olivia. It’s what a friend of mine would call a “soul vitamin.”

8365173853_0faf88247a_b (1)5. Some new colored pencils arrived in the mail and have made the morning sketch project even more fun.

6. Writing news: I’ve had a slow start to the novel revision but I’ve a bit of time tonight to work on it. I can’t wait!

7. Also reading: The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly? by Seth Godin. I found out about it at Lesley Riley’s blog. (thank you, Lesley!) I love the sharing of good information!

And now, I am off to make the most of my solitary hour and half. To Revison Land, I go.

Happy Creating!






reclaiming my mornings


“To me, being creative is a very fragile thing, and somehow I’ve always felt the need to be very protective of that.” ~ Holly Hunter

On December 31st, I made a declaration. One that feels important and life-changing but is at the same time, so simple. No more morning email checks. No more heading straight to the computer/phone. No looking up anything on the internet. No FB, no Pinterest. Important real life, being the best me I can be things will be first in the day and not saved for last or not at all. Less looking outside, more contemplating within. I am bringing back mornings like I used to have them. A cup of herbal tea with a nonfiction book containing some sort of wisdom, something to help get my head and spirit in the right place before our busy homeschool days. A bit of meditation and thoughts of gratitude. Some yoga. And writing. Lots of writing. And I was thinking of setting the goal of a small sketch a day and seeing how that goes. Playing with ideas for paintings on paper so that when that precious art room time presents itself, I will be ready. So, the pencils and paper will remain out on my desk. My alarm is set for an hour earlier than my usual. It’s the fifth day of 2013 and so far, so good. Here are 4 quick sketches to share. (I haven’t taken a pic of today’s yet.) Fun and quick. No worry about perfection. No worries at all. Just the tentative beginnings of something. Or not. Just getting some graphite and ideas on paper. A good way to greet the day. Good for the soul!

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… and the one from New Year’s Eve.
8347196187_9e0891452e_bWishing you a lovely, creative weekend! xo