Thursday, May 1, 2014

Projects Taking Flight....

Good Morning out there!

Well, it has to be a good morning out there, somewhere, just because we've had weeks of grey doesn't mean everyone else has!!

The fellow at right was from the 'southern hemisphere' exhibit at the Science Museum of Minnesota. Tiny little menacing guy. He looks like he's either busting the best prehistoric moves ever, or he just surprised everyone with 'No One expects the Jurassic Inquisition!!'

He makes me laugh :-)

I actually did some fun, albeit messy sketching there, trying to decipher the skull shapes and bony functions. Couldn't get close - this one was.....tall, among other things. But it never hurts to try ;-)

Today I am time-lining my project. It feels like it's coming together in a pattern of 'go', rather than no-go, so am adding an extra dose of discipline to the current goal of 6 hours/week studio time. I picked up a planner dedicated to studio hours only, which sounds silly, as I am indebted to Cozi on my phone to save my skin WEEKLY, but for concentrated planning, I need the touch and feel of paper....having my finger on the pulse of time for the month, and also it's more visually compelling to see the perceived space, rather than the intellectual knowledge of numbers and days.

While I have been - roughly - hitting the numbers, it's not been specific enough or stumble-free. Today, I am going to schedule the next concepts, block out the days that No work is going to happen, and see where I can up the time. Even though this fall will open up my days better with my daughter in school all day, I'd rather feel ahead of the game by summer, rather than feel compressed later on.

In trying to be ahead of the game healthwise, I've started pinning articles on pinterest for health and motivation. I was trying to do one day weekly of yoga, but my lousy planning has me at home with my to-do list, instead of in CLASS! Just another way that no routines = no progress!! I did perfect my lemon-cucumber-mint infused water recipe -  the trick is to let the ingredients infuse no longer than 6 hours, to keep the bitterness out. It doesn't taste too sweet or tart, but wierdly enough, it helps keep me from drowning my fatigue in coffee - i reach for it if it's in the fridge as easily as i do for the coffee pot!  It's even better to me in summer time.

Off to work, to plan, and to make sure things happen without stress. That sounds like a good way to start a weekend, right? I wish the same to everyone :-)


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Thundersnow.... in April....

A moment to say that even for Minnesota, this weather is ridiculous....sigh.

Taking another studio day today to work on fantasy-inspired art. Waffling between a more cartooney style, a more illustrative brushy style, and a more realistic - classic style. So, today I will lay out the waffles and see which is the prettiest.

I'd post a pic, but just imagine what could be a pretty spring green color in the grass, light yellow-green buds on some now very confused looking trees... and wet, slushy snow falling from the sky.

Cappucino, studio, and quiet time.

off we go....

have a good day out there!!


Thursday, April 10, 2014

All Things Bright and Beautiful in the Studio

a vignette in my favorite combo, blue and more blue.
It is bright today. And yesterday, and even the two yesterdays before that.

Not precisely newsworthy, but Minnesota seems to have ditched a horrendous case of cabin fever by NOT still having.....14 inches of snow and grey skies. Last year (which I barely remember, due to the puppy-centric spring) we had snow until MAY. Shiny days with brown grass, brown trees, and brown reeds around the pond are gold, in my book. But to make up for the drab, here are some SPARKLYS!!!!

I've been able to stick to the ~six hour studio time commitment pretty well. I am trapped at gymnastics with my kids for an hour-fourty five twice a week, Plenty of time (though zero quiet) to sketch.  I've found the mornings that work best for sitting down in the office. I can't get used to calling it the studio yet because it's still only half done. Today may be a good day to bribe my daughter to hang out with me in there while I organize. (Unfortunately, the price could be high. Lately she's been talking cell phones. I told her I'd listen to her when she could spell it.)

sketch from a quite blurry pig photo.
Cleaning and organizing aren't my forte, but it's necessary - the trade-off is me being more settled and at-the-ready to do more of

Friday will be the last studio morning for the week, and today is YOGA. I am not good at yoga, I mostly go to provide comic relief to my talented, athletic neighbors. They are dedicated and seem to know what they are doing. I don't particularly enjoy it, but I enjoy it more than running, biking, tennis, or anything else that keeps you running. Certainly, it's more fun for me than football. Eventually, I am hoping to at least forestall a dowager's hump by having one or two core muscles. I'll report back when I am 78.

So, it's off to chug some more water, wake some children, and feed that dog. Probably should see if I can find the yoga pants too.

Have a grand Thursday, and enjoy whatever sunshine comes your way :-)


Tuesday, April 1, 2014


Good, at least I think it is. The sky and air cannot decide to do clear and cold or.... grey and cold....or windy. It's been such a long time between posts....time to catch up.

Spring in Minnesota is more of an April Fool's joke than anything else. We had snow this morning, glare ice on the driveway and all. Since it's not blizzards and tornadoes like some parts of Minnesota, I am going to still call it a win. Since it was 61 F. two days ago, it just feels miserable by comparison. But, as always, there are worse problems to have.
Ready or not, the geese are back....

Geese are coming back, the robins look betrayed, and the blackbirds are sounding off each morning. That makes early treks outside with the dog at least slightly more pleasant. The soundtrack to the coming warmth is a nice teaser all the same.

We are on spring break, I've begun work on a new project (one I am not at liberty to fully discuss, yet. It needs more groundwork and a comprehensive go-no-go discussion. But that doesn't mean the odd sketch or two won't pop up here...)

India ink, graphite, watercolor, on bristol paper
For clarification, the sketch at left is a study of light through a gemstone in a 'fantasy' setting. Not creepy owl eyes, the assertion from my six year old daughter notwithstanding! My current plan, relative to the project, is to shoot for six good hours of sketching or painting per week, in hopes that some weeks will be impressive.... to cover the weeks that are not.

Reality is important, here. Remember my embellished
pointe shoe project? That took MONTHS longer than I had expected, the trouble being I know practically nothing about beading or sewing! Had I done a mock-up, and talked to the right people, I would have finished several weeks sooner. I am delighted with how they turned out, but let's say there was blood to go along with the sweat, and I'm in no hurry for a project like that again!!
peridot, pearls, moss, glitter.

Happily, the current project requires work in areas I am quite comfortable with, though somewhat out of practice. Let's just say that by upping my sketching time, I am redeveloping callouses on my fingers - a good sign of effort, if not a commentary on outcome! I am happily in the fun part of the project, the concept art, so my focus will be on playing with techniques and styles for specific subject matter, to find out what will play together, stylewise, and what sounds cool but simply will not fit. With my current schedule, I don't foresee posting updates here more than once per week, but aiming for one post a week is a good touchstone to track progress.

Speaking of progress, the work I began on the office (months ago) has resulted in a half-emptied, more spacious area to use my new drawing desk, which I adore. I'd be well advised to using NON sketching time to finish the overhaul. We spring-cleaned the hell out of the house last week, except for windows (pointless, right now), and just when we felt ahead of the game, the dog got herself skunked. May be the first real inkling she's had that Not Every Animal is her friend (no, she still has not given up on 'playing' with the cats.) So, we then cleaned her up, and now I am gazing at my floor, which needs a mopping. I think I will do the entrance today, and the rest tomorrow. I am thinking about dinner.....homemade tomato sauce needs to be started in.....hmm, ten minutes ago, if I want it with meatballs tonight! Time to start the sauce, then mop.....says the procrastination monster.

I have also procrastinated on final drafting the poem I wrote a few months ago....even I am tired of winter right now, so that may be on hold until July. The business venture I am working toward actually dovetails nicely with the current project, as it's going to be healthy to test out my working routine on something more low-key than a 50+ hour/week effort! Part of the effort has a lot to do with healthy habits, so it's off to guzzle some water, shelf the computer, make some sauce, and tackle the floor.

Here's to hoping to warmer weather, gentle April fools, and an easy spring break for us all :-)


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year to You....(and to my neglected blog)

Good morning!

I hope you are warm, and safe, and calm inside.

I hope you have a new year ahead with more light, more liveliness, more intentional moments, less unplanned 'life storms'.

I hope you try harder, and win.

And try harder, and learn.

And try even smarter after that.

And never quit trying.

We feel like we are living when we try.

I wrote a three stanza poem two days ago (will post it after revisions....not sure when, though) and am working through a to-do list.

So far, the list is slightly on the winning side, but to be fair, the list is a little hefty. In a good way.

Time to make breakfast and welcome my family into the new year.

I hope for you it's a good one :-)