Friday, May 31, 2019

Creative Slumps Can Be a Good Thing

Although I've always tried to view slumps as a recharge period, I have to admit they do bother me.  Especially if they go for what I consider a long time. 

The worst I ever experienced was not wanting to pick up a pencil or brush that lasted for close to if not over a year's time.  It took making a trip to the United Kingdom visiting my mentor (at the time) to help get me back on track. 

Normally my slumps last for a couple of weeks.  This last once lasted almost two months so I was a bit concerned.  Not like I can afford another trip overseas.....ha ha. 

Anyways.......the book "Draw Your Day" has definitely helped snap me out of this last one and I'm extremely happy about that.  My husband likes the direction I've taken with my pages and to be honest, so do I.

KG sketchbook / Micron 01 / Daniel Smith watercolors


Thursday, May 30, 2019

What Today Has Been Like

Another two pages representing my day. 

I am truly enjoying what I'm sketching...illustrating my day to day like this.  I'm sure there will be days I may not feel like working all the various illustrations or thinking about how to layout them out on a page like this, but for now it's fun and it's helped get me back to sketching.  I'm just taking it one day at a time :-)

KG Sketchbook / Holbein and QoR watercolors / Micron 01



Wednesday, May 29, 2019

A Good Day - Finally Have a Working Refrigerator

Today started out with our refrigerator being repaired........3 weeks after it stopped keeping food cold in the frig compartment, 4 trips made by technicians, and two companies involved (one which we'll NEVER use again).  And the problem was what we initially thought but first company said no......the damper.  Instead we were talked into having the control board replaced that proved not to be the problem.  After two trips by first company, we called in Sears and within five minutes said it was the damper not opening and closing as it should.  Sears diagnosed it last Tuesday, ordered the part, and today we have a working refrigerator :-)  It's been a LONG 3 weeks without it wondering if it would ever get fixed.  The frig is only five years old so we were not in a hurry to purchase a new one.

That was the highlight of our day and then I added the bit about the packages coming in and the toy our little dog has claimed as her own.

KG sketchbook / Micron pens / Daniel Smith and Holbein watercolors

Just took notice after seeing this online that I made a boo boo with the day on second page.  Right date but wrong day.  Memorial Day holiday has thrown me off..........ha ha.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Documenting Ideas

Today is not so much drawing my day in the same way as I have the last two days.  Instead, it's my documenting ideas going through my head as I think about this new direction with what I might want to include in my sketchbooks.  I had all these little scribblings on the back of envelopes and scrap paper and thought adding to my journal would be a great representation of how I'm spending my day.  It also provides one place I can refer back to.

I still need to add face on my weather top left later once I see how my overall mood has been like throughout the day. 



Monday, May 27, 2019

This Was Fun - Draw Your Day 2

Here's another 'draw your day' journal entry..........taking two pages to complete. 

It's possible I could fall into a habit of working my pages like this.........maybe not EVERY day but often (even once a week if not daily).  I really like how it looks as you flip through the pages.

If I were to try and do this on a regular basis, I have certain things I'd want to include on each page.  date/day, weather, and a mood tracker of some sort.  I'm starting out with faces on the weather illustration to depict my mood.

From there I guess it would depend on what grabs me.  Maybe art exercises I might want to practice, food that really stands out to me (maybe incorporate a diet tracker), something that calls out to me during the course of the day whether inside or out, etc.  I'm also thinking of including a sleep tracker in some way as I struggle with that.  Working with 'draw your day' in mind definitely opens the door for all sorts of possibilities.  We will see how it goes taking it one day at a time. 

KG sketchbook / Micron 01 / Holbein watercolors


Sunday, May 26, 2019

Draw Your Day

Found a book I had purchased but never sat down and read or looked through called, "DRAW YOUR DAY" by Samantha Dion Baker. 


I found the book to be quite inspiring and proceeded to look up this artist on the internet.  Love her style from the various examples I found on the internet as well as examples in the book.

Although I felt a bit lost, I thought I would TRY to work a page based on a few suggestions offered in the book.  I normally just look around and if something moves me, I'll try to capture on paper.  Designing or working a page like this is a bit out of my norm, and one that you either wait until the end of the day to work on or you do a little at a time throughout the day as events unfold.

This was actually fun but not sure I would make this into a daily habit..........simply because of how I'm used to working and what I like including in my sketchbooks.  But who knows, this concept might grow on me to where I want to do more of the same.

As I was painting the coffee cup and the word BLACK, it occurred to me coffee isn't truly black.  Never gave it much thought before and now wonder why we call it black when indeed it's more of a brown color.  Imagine the look on a clerk's face at a coffee shop and he/she asks how you take your coffee and you say BROWN........ha ha.

Top right note is how I've felt all day today after yesterday's sugar/carb binge that I went on.....ugh!!!!

Worked in KG sketchbook / Micron 01 pen / Mixed brands watercolor


Saturday, May 25, 2019

Still Playing - Hummer

Today I thought I would try again with the wet in wet by using a mister before starting to lay down color.   With these I'm going straight in with brush and color. 

This is so not how I'm used to working and so outside of my comfort zone.  On the positive side, it's a nice change challenging myself to play without worrying too much if everything is precise.  Hard to be precise when working with varying spots of wet and dry paper and allowing paint to do its thing (giving it a fuzzy look in some areas).

I still haven't made up my mind what I think of the results...especially with the paper I chose to work this on.  Might try again on better quality watercolor paper.

Grumbacher watercolor pad and QoR watercolors.


Friday, May 24, 2019

Messing Around - Wet n Wet

Today I was in the mood to just mess around with color and brush.  I thought this subject might be perfect for playing.

I'm such a perfectionist always feeling I have to get everything just so-so and thought maybe if I do a few exercises like this, it might help allow me to play and not worry about the results.......at least not too much so.  And maybe it will help push me forward where I'm still on the fence with this slump I've been in.

Used a mister first lightly spraying the paper and then applying paint using basic strokes.  Then just dabbed color letting it go where it wanted.  Used a clean dip pen nib to bruise a few lines and allowed to dry.  Then dabbed a bit of color in a few areas trying to keep it loose.

Stonehenge Aqua / Holbein watercolors


Wednesday, May 22, 2019

When the Moment Hits

I've hinted or mentioned a few times about being in a slump and it still continues.  Normally I can work through these spells within a reasonable time by just trying to push forward, trying something new, or revisiting a medium I haven't used in awhile.  This go around, however, nothing is really working so I'm just accepting and going with the flow until the motivation returns.

Even with that said, now and then something might grab me and I'll try to take advantage of that burst of motivation.  It happened last night at the oddest time.  I was getting ready to shut down my laptop and go to bed when this key chain grabbed my attention and the itch to sketch him was too overwhelming to pass up.  It was after 2 a.m. when this hit me.........lol

KG sketchbook and Lamy Safari pen / Lexy Grey Ink



Monday, May 20, 2019

Bromeliad in Graphite


Each time I've been to Discovery Gardens, I head over to the area where they grow a variety of Bromeliads.  I'm really intrigued by this family of plants.......how some grow attached to trees while others are grown in the ground.  I love the various shapes and colors.

I decided to try my hand at growing a couple of Bromeliads and purchased two different types at Simon's Seed the last time our sketching group met there.  And, for now,  I've decided to keep as houseplants growing in our sun room behind curtains.  I really have no idea how well that will work but if similar to growing Christmas Cacti or Orchids, they may do OK.  Only time will tell.

Mechanical pencil 07 / Stonehenge Aqua 140 lb CP paper

Monday, May 13, 2019

Rose From Next Door

A couple of posts before, I shared about the Desert Rose that our neighbor, Thomas, gave us.  His son and his wife are so much like him....bringing us various gifts.  Sometimes it's a trinket from one of their shops.  Sometimes Paul will bring over a special dish they prepare.  And other times, cut roses from the rose bushes Thomas planted years ago.

Saturday Paul and his wife, Jenny, gave this cut rose to Terry to give to me.  I tried to capture the color as close as I could.......pink with a slight tone of yellow.  The pink is actually lighter in value but I pushed it a bit in my sketch.

QoR watercolors / KG sketchbook / Micron 01 and 02




Sunday, May 12, 2019

Granddaughter's School Project

Our granddaughter, Destiny, is working on a school project where she needed to create a doll that represents the main character in a book she's read as well as coming up with a "movie" poster about the book.

The book is Everything, Everything, by Nicola Yoon that is about a young lady with SCID.

So far she's finished making her doll.

I loved what she did with the doll and inspired me to journal about it  :-)

KG sketchbook / Micron 01





Saturday, May 11, 2019

Thomas' Desert Rose

It's been a couple of years now since our neighbor gave us a cutting off of his desert rose.  Thomas has since passed on but he's still very much with us through this cutting that has taken off and flourishing.  This year it's loaded with buds!

KG sketchbook / Micron 01 pen / Aliz Crim, Sap Green, and touch of Bt Sienna / Waterbrush




Thursday, May 9, 2019

Two Toned Covered Handmade Journal

With the last journal in this second batch, I decided to try my hand at a two-toned or dual covered book casing.

I've seen where the two different papers or fabrics were overlapped and I've seen it done "butting up" the two pieces together without overlap.  I decided to go that route.......no overlap.

And with this one, it's a combination of fabric for the spine area and decorative paper for the rest of the cover.  The fabric is as thin as the paper so I thought it should work well together.  Not sure how well this will hold up but time will tell.

The order I was waiting for to finish this last journal was from Hollander's.  They have such a fantastic selection of fabrics and papers specializing in bookbinding.  Their selection is almost overwhelming for someone who's still green with understanding best fabrics and papers for bookbinding.  I might have to get their samplers just so I can see and feel fabric before making another purchase. 

Anyways.........from my order, I used an Italian fabric which is paper thin.........much thinner than what I'm used to working with between my own handmade book cloth and that which I've purchased from Lineco.  I had to be careful of glue getting on the fabric because although the glue dries clear, it dries darker than the rest of the material.

I love the results but not sure I'd want to make too many like these...........definitely more time consuming.




Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Couple of Sketches

Considering I was at a stand-still with finishing this last batch of journals, I found myself itching to do a little sketching (FINALLY). 

Both are worked in the journal gifted to me from India.

This first is of a found dried up baby Brown Anole found in the bathroom along with eggs we found when we closed out our storage unit and was going through boxes sorting and deciding what to keep or give away.


Although the date says the 6th, I was mentally a day behind when I wrote that date in last night after finishing the pencil sketch.

This next one I started last night and finished off today as I waited for UPS with my order with fabric and decorative paper.   That's when I discovered I was off on the date.....ooops.

I pulled out a palette of Holbein watercolors I haven't used in years.......just for a change.  Amazing to me how well dried watercolor can be this old and still reactivate as easily as they do.

We have two Gnome gardens plus a Fairy garden and I worked this one little section of the larger of the three. 

It felt good sketching again and hope the mood stays with me for awhile before the next "recharge" period hits me.

My fabric arrived and I finished the last of the six journals this evening trying out something a little different.  That will be covered in my next post.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Making Journals

No sketching for me right now as I'm going through one of my slumps or "recharge" periods.  While I wait it out, I'm making new journals.  It's been over three years since I made my first batch of hardbound / hand sewn journals and decided it was time to do some with extra paper laying around and taking up space.

Spent several days re-viewing videos and asking questions on doing these as I had forgotten quite a bit in three years.  Once I felt ready to take on the challenge, I started by creating three 5" x 5.5" journals out of two sheets of found Arches 140lb watercolor paper (found in storage).

Once they were finished, I decided to create journals out of 10 sheet packs of Fabriano Artistico 140lb cold and hot press paper (11" x 14") purchased MANY years ago.  In fact, you cannot get these packs of 10 sheets any longer as they now sell them in packages of five at a higher price than I paid for these 10 sheet packs.  In addition, this is back before they changed how they make their paper.........back when Fabriano was my #1 favorite.

5" x 5.5" Journals out of Arches:







5.5" x 7" Journals from Fabriano Artistico (old stock) 11" x 14" Sheet Packs:

So far.....


Still have a sixth one partially done but waiting on fabric to come in this week I wanted to try from Hollander's. 

Now I'm trying to decide if I want to make spiral sketchbooks or continue with these hand sewn ones with the hard casings.

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