Hey Diddle Diddle



More experiments with collaging directly into photoshop. If this is tiny on your screen you can click on the image to see it larger. I'm experimenting with some changes with my blog and website to fix this. *Update: Yay! I think I fixed this.

 
 I posted these recently but thought I'd post the updates. The changes aren't much but I like them.

Meditative drawing

I posted this on Facebook but thought it might be nice to post here too

:

A combination of too much chai yesterday afternoon paired with anxiety from reading way too much about the Paris attacks before bedtime left me wide awake in the middle of the night last night. 

Usually if this happens I get up and write in my journal or read a book or do some yoga and I can manage to go to sleep again. 

I don't often draw when I wake in the night because my inner critic rages at the midnight hour (unless I've stayed up in a manic obsession over a specific project). But I've been teaching art this fall and I showed the kids I teach how to draw Indian Rangolis a few weeks ago. Turns out Indian Rangolis are pretty therapeutic to draw when my brain is in overdrive. 

It felt like a quiet rebellion to use my anxiety as an excuse to focus on beauty for beauty's sake while I cozied up to the stove in my studio. Here are my prayers for Paris and the world, drawn mostly in the anxious hours of the early morning, myself like so many: striving in the face of fear to turn toward the light. 

I'l

l add that I've had a lot of requests for coloring sheets.

Good idea. The

se aren't great pictures because they are just s

napped with the scanner app on my phone but I'll put some up so

on for anyone i

nterested.

Trying collage in a new way

 I've been experimenting with new ways to approach my collage for quite some time. The problem with the old way was that I was frustrated that some of the looseness and expression in my drawings would get lost in the final pieces. 
So with these I collaged directly onto the computer instead of using glue. I've been loving making them and I've been happy with the results.
More to come...



If drawing is the balm, I’ll take it


A partial pile of drawings from the last couple weeks.
Practicing Ahimsa (A yoga term for non-violence that basically means I’m honoring my edge) towards self while healing is not easy for me (or my family). Five weeks after the bike crash I’ve been given the clear for the splint to come off my left hand… but only when no children are around and I’m doing something restful. Also (and this one I’m in denial over but really have to admit) if I’m out and about doing too much I get dizzy-concussion symptoms still. So yes, the next few weeks still hold a bunch of laying-off-it for me.

Can I just say…Ugh. I don’t like laying-off it.

But then again, there’s another side to this silly attitude of angst. When I’m normally doing all that other stuff that I’m currently laying off of, I normally wish I were being better about honoring my drawing time. And drawing requires a lot of butt-in-chair. Which means…

Yay bike crash! You gave me an excuse to blow-off everything other than drawing.

 (Just as an aside this is also one of the many reasons I love deadlines. I love love love telling the to-do list to go to heck over a drawing deadline! Give me a deadline and I’ll love love love you!).

So ya, anyway drawing is what I normally wish I were doing but often set aside more than I wish to because well mommy and glacial speed of my industry, and well. Excuses pile up. I hope I remember this time as the time I crashed my bike so bad I could do little other than what I most wanted to do anyway.

So. Sorry husband! I still can’t change diapers. Sorry dirty dishes! My second hand is still too inflexible. Sorry millions of mommy tasks and house tasks and life tasks everyone is annoyed I’m neglecting! For most every purpose the next few weeks, I still only have one hand.

And meanwhile, if drawing is the balm, I’ll take it.

(But next time I think I’ll just blow off the other stuff on the to-do list if I want to get a drawing project finished and save myself a lot of trouble.)

Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum in Walnut Grove, Minnesota


When I was a young girl I lived in South Central Minnesota until I was 7-years-old. I knew cornfields and snow drifts. But one thing I never got to do as a kid — not even when I begged to go there during visits after we moved away — was visit Walnut Grove, home of "Plum Creek," where Laura Ingalls Wilder lived when she was a kid. 

I guess I was a bit too young when we lived in Minnesota and a little too busy whenever we went back to visit family when I was older. In my mom's defense, it was an hour away. Well anyway...
 Guess where I got to go a few weeks ago when I was back in Minnesota for a cousin's wedding and we decided to drive home to the West Coast instead of fly?
Yay for road trips!
 My favorite parts of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum in Walnut Grove were the displays with Garth Williams original sketches from the Little House Books.
 So cool!
 (There were lots more)

 I also loved looking at some of the miniatures people had made of settings from the books.

 The TV stuff took me down memory lane.
 My older son Oscar liked the kid museum part. He pretended to wash clothes with an old washer board.

 And we all liked the replica sod house.

 It's been awhile since I've made a travel post. Feels fun to do so again.
 Three cheers for bonnet heads!

After the bike crash

So I got home from vacation two weeks ago, got on my bike for a little ride before getting to work on Monday and...
 CRASHED!
Ouch.
So last week I practiced a new sport called concussion healing (I was wearing a helmet but took it hard in the chin). Concussion healing involves doing this: Nothing.

And by nothing I mean resting not only your body but your brain. No reading. No listening. No puzzles. No drawing. Nothing.

I am type A. Nothing suuuuuuuucks! I might have cheated a bit. But I did rest mostly.

And what's important is that I'm mostly okay. People do this awesome and amazing thing: we heal. We take crappy painful spills and even though we sometimes don't recover, we sometimes do. The healing process makes me marvel.

I'll spare my old blog the details of my crash but add a note of gratitude for the good Samaritans who picked me up in their pick-up when I was bleeding and wrecked on the side of the road (I can't even remember what you look like!) and for the firemen who ultimately got me to the hospital and for all the friends and family who've helped me heal.

And also to fate: I'm so happy that my drawing hand was the one spared. Which leads me to this week.
 This week has been quiet and full to the brim with drawing. 

I've had months of setbacks with my work and after all of it it is so nice to be able to just draw. And draw. And draw.

Because this is part of healing too.
I'm finishing up drawings for a revision I could/should/would have finished ages ago if I hadn't moved. It's delightful and fun to draw this much despite being self-conscious of not getting everything done long ago and right away and perfectly-timed and without any hitches involving mommy life and moving, and multi-tasking. Despite the perfectionist on my shoulder nagging me that I'm not perfect it does feel pretty nice to just pick up the pen and do it anyway.
 
So here's the imperfect me (still bandaged, pirate scar to come). Feeling lively despite the scars.
 

 

New Studio... Another post about it



MOVE is a four letter word.

My new house, my new studio, they are both fantastic dreams. These are pictures of my studio. Isn't it incredible?

But somehow I was in complete denial that moving would not throw me off my game (while I have a toddler around no less! HA!). While it was a fun challenge to be a superhero-mom-artist-mover person, it did not (of course) work that way really. Really it was a heck of a lot of distracting work (good work, but not my illustration work). And my studio was in chaos for far too many months (we redid floors, painted, etc etc etc).

Still I got a bunch of writing done. 

And! I upgraded my technology (since I was derailed a bit anyway and technology upgrades are always a bit unsettling).

Check out my new printer and scanner! BIG FOOTPRINTS! But it is beyond nice to have a scanner that works really well! HOORAY!

All this being said, I'd be lying if my inner mean-girl wasn't fussy nearly the entire time I was fixing my house and studio that she couldn't do everything. (*Sigh.* Why can't I always do everything? And do it perfectly? )

And it can suck to pick up the pieces when you drop the ball on things important to you. It's hard! You feel overwhelm! And neglect! So you procrastinate!

But then, one day, you decide to let the perfection go because what else can you do except never do it because you didn't do it all perfectly. Besides that who really cares except you anyway? 

In order to pick up the pieces you just have to pick up the pieces

So this is all just to say hi to the internet again. I'm still here. I'm really here this time. I'm drawing again and those projects I mentioned a couple posts back that were pestering me to finish are making me super happy lately because I'm working on them and I see many months in my future where I get to be type A like I like to be and try to get them done.

I have a big fat hairy goal that I'm working on. And I'm hoping to use this blog to help me make it happen. But let's save that for another post and for now I'll just enjoy the fact that I picked up the pieces and rejoined the internet. 

Cheers (always and forever) to letting go of perfect. Because perfect is truly the enemy of getting anything out there at all.