Friday, August 30, 2013

Post #30 of 30

Blogalong success! Again, I don't really have any art to post - my CEO has been keeping me really busy this week! But since I usually blog today about what I did yesterday, I figured I'd just give you the run down.

This is how I'm making sure these buttons are correctly sized on all pages of this website:

Me & Liam sang "Happy Birthday" to my niece in Florida:

I made tacos the way Kelly taught me!

And I colored my hair:
Look cute right there, doesn't it? Nothing like the sloppy ponytail it's usually in. 

Thursday, August 29, 2013


This is my iPad, who I've named Ivan. Ivan the iPad, it amuses me!

I got it for digital art. Sketching, journaling, all that stuff. It's the latest generation, 128 gig, blah, blah, blah. Everything a graphic designer could hope for. I got apps. Every art app recommended by people teaching iPad art classes: Ink, Paper by 53, Concepts, 123D Sculpt, My Sketch Paper, Adobe Ideas, Penultimate, Sketchbook Pro, PS Touch, Dailybook, ArtStudio, Noteshelf, ArtRage, Paperless, Day One, Procreate, Brushes, Bamboo Paper, vJournal, Fit Paper, Inspire Pro, Pattern Brush, ArtTree, Scrapnote, Jotter. And yet...I haven't made a single piece of digital art. Zero. Oh, I've started a couple of things, a journal page or two, played with some apps, downloaded some brushes. But no art. Yesterday, Kelly asked me "Why are we afraid to make art on our iPads?" and I have an answer. I'm not afraid - I have no fear of the blank page or computer screen or whatever. It's not fear that stops me. It's that when I'm journaling, when I'm sketching, when I'm pouring my heart into my work - I want to feel it. I want to touch the texture. I want to feel the pen scratch across the page. I want to dip my brush in paint and spread it across the paper. Yes, I think it's cool when you can simulate that with a digital brush. But I can't FEEL it happening. I told Kelly what we should do is forbid ourselves to do any other kind of art for a month and force ourselves to use the iPads. She said we'd never make it, and I'm sure she's right - I doodle on EVERYTHING. I'm not sure what the solution is, or if there is one. We'll see!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Only Human

Sometimes I get caught up in people's expectations. I "have to" do this, go there, be whatever. Not lately. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, changed for me when Tami died. I am only one person. I have thoughts and feelings and they are valid and they matter. I left a family party abruptly on 8/25 - it was exactly five months since I lost my friend, I was at a cousin's house who I called when their dog died and who didn't reach out to me at all when my friend did, and I'd been there for three and a half hours. I left without saying good bye, without saying thank you...I just left. And it's OK. It's totally fine. I don't even care what they think. I needed to leave and I did. I needed to curl up on the couch and cry and watch the white butterflies outside my window and I did. I needed to journal and I did. No one has to understand me or my life or my grief. No one has to accept it. They can be angry, think I'm "wrong", think whatever they want. I can't care. I just can't. I am getting through one day, one hour, one minute at a time and it's OK.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Chaos & Hope

I think I'm going to make this one into a "real" painting. On canvas or wood or something. For now it's just in my journal, making me smile. The quote is from Bones, my very favorite TV show. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Real life drawing?

Sometimes I think that I want to journal my days. My everyday life. Everyday Matters kinds of things, you know? Then I remember that I like to draw girls with blue hair and purple eyes. But I've enjoyed working in lots of different journals lately AND I've been writing a lot more in my journals, so maybe I'll stick with it! (Or maybe not, you know me...)

Today I felt the urge to paint my coffee cup. 

It looks pretty wobbly here, but it looked a lot better after I outlined it!

And then I journaled.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

White Butterflies

I've been seeing them ever since Tami died. I know people are probably tired of hearing about her. But, you see, I can't help talking about her. I've always talked about her to people. I have lots of stories. Lots of pictures. Lots of memories.

I assumed they were moths, I though all the brown, black, and white butterflies were moths. But it's possible they're not. I Googled it, of course. She loved butterflies, which is obvious, I guess considering the tattoo.

It was hers and now it's mine. She loved all things Celtic. I have the most beautiful journal she got me in Scotland. I'm rambling.

Anyway, people keep tell me about all the beautiful blue butterflies they've seen since she died. Honestly, I'm a little jealous. I've only seen one butterfly with color in the past five months. Every single butterfly, save that one, has been white. Dozens of them. Maybe hundreds. There are several outside my new apartment - front and back. There was one fluttering around the pizza place we found. I want to think they're from her. Or of her. Or something. I don't really think that, but I want to.

Today it's been exactly five months since she died. I still feel lost. Alone. Afraid of the future and what it holds and how to handle it without her. And I feel strong. Determined. Capable. But mostly I feel her loss every minute of every day. I miss my friend.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

98% Excited 2% Scared

Journaling in my new place. Big things are coming my way. New, big, amazing changes. I'm excited and terrified. Sometimes there's a lot to say and I LOVE how the writing is a mess around her.  Usually I paint over most of the writing, but I'm thinking I'll leave this visible. I really like it!

Friday, August 23, 2013

New Tattoo

Tattoos are kind of art, right? My friend Dana and I barely managed to squeeze this appointment in before I left Minnesota - our appointment was Sunday night and I left Monday morning! She designed it for us, and Nik of Fluid Ink drew it up and tattooed us both. I think they came out AMAZING and the words are so helpful to me. I'm an overthinker, but I've been practicing letting go of the looping thoughts in my head. I love it.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Dead Quiet

This movie (it's short, but we call it a movie anyway) was a class project. I think it's hysterical, and we had a ridiculous amount of fun filming it! I was in school for Visual Communication, which I always tell people means "graphic design" but it mean a ton more that's kind of hard to explain. In this class we learned how to do camera and audio work, and also video editing with Adobe Premiere Pro. We did a little bit of 3D modeling just for giggles (and explosions) and I was very annoying when other people were in "our" labs and classrooms when we needed to film! In the credits, I'm "Captain". I hope it made you laugh!!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


OK, I know I already talked a little about Paint Happy, but I'm really having fun with how FAST it is to shade a face with her method. It REALLY makes me happy! Watch the magic happen.

Girl (on prepped canvas board):

First layer:

By the second later, the magic is already happening, but she's still kinda funky:

Oh, less funky here:

And look now! C'mon, that's freaking magic. 

Here she is now, possibly finished, but you know me!

On the New York front, we aren't there yet. Sigh. My husband is a HORRIBLE planner, but he wants to pretend  he's a GREAT planner. So he "planned" the trip. I told him I wanted to leave EARLY on Monday and drive as far as we could, so we wouldn't have as far to drive today. We didn't leave until 8:30am. He wanted us to stay together, which led to me driving 45mph for HOURS yesterday when I could have zipped around him like the aggressive river I am, ignored the speed limit, and made it to Pennsylvania yesterday with no problem. Instead we stopped just inside Michigan and we weren't going to get to NY till around 8pm. Unless you asked him - he said "400 miles, that's only four more hours!" I didn't even point out that we would have to be driving 100mph for that to be true. I just got in the car and drove away. Then I pointed out to him that our apartment complex office probably wouldn't be open by the time we got there - he called to check and they weren't going to be and wouldn't give the key to someone else. Um...that would have been good information to have, wouldn't it? What if we'd driven all the way there and THEN found out - I would've been pissed. (I'm pretty pissed anyway.) These are the details that are important for someone like me. So, we'll be there tomorrow. Sleeping in our new place.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Pencil on crappy paper

I really, REALLY wish this was on better paper so I could paint it!! I gotta keep better paper close to me for doodling. Day 2 of moving to NY - we should be arriving today. I'll let you know!!

Monday, August 19, 2013


Big changed coming. Ready? GO! Today I'm moving to New York. It's going to be a long drive!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Cloudy Day

I've been experimenting a lot lately with started with a prepped page. Now, I have zero fear of the blank page (sorry for everyone who is scared of it!), but I think this adds a lot more depth to the page. I could be wrong, but it's making me happy lately. This page was (obviously) pink, orange, and a little vanilla. I drew her with pink pen and journaled in her hair.

I didn't intend on covering up all of the journaling, but that's how it worked out and I LOVE the finished page. The blue drippy water was the last thing I did, and I wasn't sure if I liked it at first, but I really do!

A little closer up of her face:

Friday, August 16, 2013

Journaling Restrictions

I made this journal for a class with Jane Davenport. I ADORE her - her work, the way she teaches, pretty much everything about her. She said it would be a good idea to use a new journal for the class and I'm a good little student (graduated from college 6 weeks ago with highest honors!) so I made a new one, and I love it. I really do. But.

Jane is one of those people who talks about how they like to keep their journals "positive". Personally, I am not in a positive frame of mind most of the time. I'm a worrier, a doubter, a skeptic, an atheist. My days are mostly struggle. So even though I liked the journal, liked the size, made it out of my favorite paper - I never USED it. Because the pressure to keep it positive was a turn off.

I journal to get CRAP out of my head. My thoughts loop like your favorite song on repeat but not as fun. Writing the thoughts helps to get them out of my head for a little while. Sometimes only a few minutes - but the relief is enough. Sometimes longer. Sometimes I write the same things day after day after day because they come BACK day after day after day.

So I reclaimed this journal. I collaged over the "happy" cover and haven't decided if I'm going to leave it or layer some more stuff.

I spray random things on the pages and write wherever and whenever I need to. Here, I wrote the big word first, then journaled about it. It doesn't matter that you have to struggle to read it, reading it isn't the point. The point was getting it out of my head so I didn't have a panic attack in class.

This is a thought from an episode of Bones. How our bodies are like dust covers on books, and what's underneath is what counts. In my head, I'm thinking about what it means if I'm not beautiful on the inside OR the outside?

I think putting restrictions on things is the fastest way to discourage someone from doing it. I can't have the "need to be positive" restriction on my journals because I don't feel the need to journal as much when I'm happy. Journaling is how I self-sooth.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Shmousin's House

OK, I'm cheating and posting something I made in July. Sue me! I was at my cousin's house and I only had a few paints with me (I fit nine in a quart-sized baggie). Also, I didn't have a real brush, just a water brush.

But I think she came out decent. A little paler in the face than I generally like, but decent.

All finished! 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wolf Canvas

I so very rarely pay for art classes, because every single time I do I'm disappointed - either by teaching methods or lack thereof, or content vs cost. I was spoiled by Suzi Blu being my first online teacher - her classes are so fantastic, that people don't usually measure up.

However, I have been really enjoying Micki Wilde's class "Paint Happy". This canvas is based on one of her lessons. It's about the story of the two wolves, and a reminder of which one to feed.

First I covered the canvas with music - a piece I used to play, of course. 

Then just painted some color on. 

Then the girl in a wolf outfit. I LOVE it. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The way to ruin a cool background

So, Liam and I were painting together. I took him through all the same steps as me because I thought it would be fun and it TOTALLY was, but they came out amazingly different!

Here is how mine started:

And his:

And here is how mine ended:

And his:

His came out SO MUCH BETTER than mine!! I can't even BELIEVE how much better his is. I'm jealous of my six-year-old's painting, how silly is that?? I loved mine until I added the figure, that's where it all went wrong. His is adorable!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Crazy journaling

Mindy Lacefield-style. Sort of. Here's a page that's just ballpoint pen in a couple of colors. 

This is pen and then several different markers:

A little paint-y chaos over it:

Then a couple of faces:


I can't make Mindy people. I don't know why, but I can NOT get a good perspective with people trying to draw them in her style. Can't. Maybe I'll keep working on it, but the odds are slim!

Sunday, August 11, 2013


Sometimes all that comes out is chaos. Sometimes all that's inside is chaos.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Eagle's Wings

My grandma died. She was almost 92, and lived a long, happy life. Grandpa died five years ago.

She wanted to be with him. She was ready to go. She'd been sick for a couple of weeks. (Not a long time, I know some people are sick for years, but still.)

I was terrified that her funeral was going to being me back to the place I was when Tami died. I haven't even gotten very far away from that place, but every inch counts and I was scared.

But grandma is at peace. She was so loved and she'd lived a life that made her happy. And maybe she's with grandpa now. And Uncle John. Don't get me wrong - the services were hard. It all sucked. Death sucks. But I had my grandma for thirty-three years, and I'm the youngest grandkid. She was ninety-one (almost ninety-two) and her brain was sharp as a tack. She's had a few injuries over the last few years, and those have been hard, but she wasn't ill and suffering. I'm super lucky and I know it. I have an amazing family, and I know that, too. When I knew she was dying, I remembered the one thing that comforted me when grandpa died was this song:

Friday, August 9, 2013


I kind of am, but if I keep telling myself that I'm not, maybe I won't be!

Full spread: