Saturday, February 11, 2017

Love is All You Need....

 With Valentine's Day just around the corner, I've been filling my sketchbook this past week with images of Love.

All of these are based on photos people have posted on Sktchy.

I hope this week finds you having days and nights filled with Love: spending time with people you love and doing things you love  to do, like singing songs of love, caring for your loved ones, and filling a sketchbook with images of Love!

And yet another quote from the great wise poet, Paul McCartney, "And in the end, the Love you take is equal to the Love you make!"

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Another Week in This Crazy World...

Sometimes, I think the thing to do is to ignore the crazy, and just escape...

...escape into my cozy home with my sketchbook and crayons and a cup of hot tea. 

But then the crazy just gets too crazy too ignore...

.... and I have to put on my 'spice' and send emails and letters to make my voice heard.

 Some will listen, some will not, but I still have to do my part.

There is at least one place in this crazy world where I know I'll find peace. Trespassers are not allowed in my studio... not in my space, and not in my head.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

A Hysteric - Oops! I mean, Historic - Week

This past week we said goodby to the Obamas, who have graced our White House for the past eight years.  I just couldn't be happy about that, and so Friday I went with my sadness to my daily sketchbook.

Saturday, I planned to take part in the Women's March, a massive event which took place all over the world to encourage compassion and equality in all people. Here in my small city, over ten times as many showed up as were expected, and that seems to have been true everywhere! Before I left the house to march, I did the above sketch in my Sktchy sketchbook.

One of the things that was so great about the march were the pink 'cat-ear' knit and crochet hats! They were everywhere! Each one was created by a knitter or crocheter, and they (we) literally made millions of them! I loved that!! So when I got home, I posted a photo of myself in my hat on Sktchy, and before long, five artists had sketched me!

Sktchy has a tradition that, if someone sketches you, you can sketch them back (if they have made their photos available.) Three of the artists who sketched me also took part in the March, and posted photos, either of themselves or of their family marchers.

I loved doing these 'drawback' sketches of these women and girls; all of them with the handmade hats that made the March especially special to those of us who create such things. I feel like it gives me even closer ties to the women of an extended world: We are 'makers,' we are artists, we are women with compassionate concerns. We are more alike than we are different. If only the whole world could come to that conclusion!

I have been having some back issues - aging issues, I guess is more accurate. But I made my way into the studio today and spent more time than I probably should have at the loom. I have been having trouble being excited about this tapestry that is on the loom. But working on it again is restoring at least my appreciation, if not yet passion, for it. I am beginning to look forward to seeing it progress.

To paraphrase what Garrison Keillor has said, the next four years can be a time for me to create, to tend my garden, and to be kind and compassionate in my own sphere. But I will not be doing that with my eyes shut.

Monday, January 9, 2017

"Take Your Broken Heart; Make it Into Art..."

It seems like sometimes we lose more than we gain. Recently, we lost 'Princess Leia' and her mother, Debbie Reynolds. Several generations of young girls grew up wanting to be Princess Leia, and I think she was a better role model 'princess' than the Disney ones. The sketch I did above is from a Sktchy photo of one such girl.

Last night Meryl Streep quoted Carrie Fisher in her wonderful Golden Globes speech, as telling her to, "take your broken heart, make it into art." That is what I have been trying to do. I am still working on a design for a tapestry that is to be my reaction to the election results; a broken heart in fiber form. Not an easy thing to design. It is much easier to design 'pretty' or 'happy.'

In the meantime, I am doing little quick sketches, mostly from photos people have shared on the Sktchy app. The one above is of a migraine, and, with the winter storms hanging over our valley this week, I am quite familiar with the feeling.

This one, which I call 'Banjo Love,' was this morning's sketch. It was done with ink and watercolor pencils. The others are done with a combination of water soluble markers, crayons, and pencils.

This little sketch of my sitting room was done in ink, then with several diluted ink washes, then a bit of watercolor for a final color wash. I'm not very fond of either that method, or the result. But I will give it another chance. It takes much longer than my normal quick 'inked line work, then color' method.

So.... I need to get back to work. The time has come.....  Now has arrived. (Ready or not.)

(psssst... If you follow me on Instagram, you will see my daily sketches on the day they are created. Link in the sidebar. Also, some sketches are for sale on Sktchy, there's a link to that, too.)

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Looking Forward to A New Year....

Here are a couple more sketches I did through the holidays from #Sktchy photos. You can only see them on Sktchy if you have the  app, but I usually post them on Instagram, so don't post them all here.

I am not getting weaving time, as that really requires several uninterrupted hours to be satisfying (rather than frustrating) to me. But these little sketches (all about 5 x 6 inches) just take minutes here and there. So, by doing them, I feel like I am still keeping my creative brain fed, though on a bit of a diet!

This sketch (also from a Sktchy photo) was done this morning. It is on behalf of all the little girls who wanted to be Princess Leia, and as a tribute to the one who got to actually be her. May the Force be with you, Carrie Fisher.

Gus and I say Happy New Year to you all. May the Force be with all of us in the coming year.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Ho, ho, ho....

Like every other Ms. Claus, I have been doing holiday stuff: shopping, making, and performing holiday songs for various audiences. Busy, in other words. 

And a bit grumpy, I guess, too.

But one of the things that has kept me sane (or as sane as I get at this time of year) has been to sit down almost every evening for 20-30 minutes to do a little sketch in my sketchbook. They are not complex. They are not great ART. But they are pretty fun, and the practice helps dump my brain-busy-ness.
I have been sketching photos I get from the Sktchy app. People upload their photos there for artists to use. It has also become a lovely supportive community of artists who encourage each other. 

The sketches I've been doing the past week or so have mostly been holiday related.

Fun. I hope you have a practice that keeps you sane and enjoying the holidays, as well.
 Ho, ho, ho.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016


I finished the small "Graffiti" tapestry. It is a sampler for a larger tapestry I want to do. I haven't been feeling great the past few days, and haven't finished sewing slits, etc. on this piece, but it's small enough that I could just scan it into the computer without having to do a photo set-up (which usually requires that the piece be finished and mounted in some way.) It is about 8x10".

I don't know that I regard this as a great work of art, or Art, in any sense of the word. Visually, I don't think it is all that appealing, except that it truly expresses my emotions while creating it, as true graffiti should do. Because it is a tapestry, I did pre-plan some shapes, but the colors were chosen as I went along, based strictly on my mood, which has alternated between small moments of hope, and larger periods of frustration and rage. A few unplanned things showed up along the way, as well, like the pink wings on the peace symbol and the little 'escaping man' in the upper left corner.

The larger tapestry that this will lead to is still 'fermenting' in the mind of my muse, but it is definitely working it's way towards the loom!