29 January 2015

Once again, obsessed with words.

Today I had to use a foreign language site to order a book for the library where I work. This is much easier now that browsers include the right-click option to Translate This Page. I had to register and fill out all of the forms for shipping. One of the drop down boxes has stayed with me all day. It has amused and puzzled me. 

24 January 2015


One of the many coping skills suggested for folks going through stressful times (and whom out there is not?) is to focus on happy thoughts and images. The theory being that if you imagine a happy spot, or even look at pictures of kitties & puppies instead of dwelling on your particular situation, you will rework the neural pathways in your brain from negativity to positivity. Of course, sometimes this takes odd twists. Here are some of the pretty rainbow pictures that have begun to crop up in my sketchbooks since I started thinking positively.

30 December 2014

The 2014 book list

For those of you interested, here is a list of all the books, magazines and comics I spent time with in 2014.  I highly recommend #8, 19 (especially if you've read the first two), 48, and 95. Feel free to ask me about any of the others. Keep reading!

  1. The Maltese Falcon - Dashiel Hammet
  2. The Casual Vacancy - J.K. Rowling
  3. The Testament of Jessie Lamb - Jane Rogers
  4. The Inventor and the Tycoon - Edward Ball

26 December 2014

Year end review...

And suddenly, it was the end of the year. Here are a handful of sketches to walk you out. See you next year!

01 August 2014

journal sketches to share

I have reached the end of another sketch journal. I always page through them before I place them on the shelf with the others. Here are some of my favorite pages from the last several months. Enjoy!

03 April 2014

random sketches from another journal

It has been a hard couple of months to get in any sort of serious art work. I still try to sketch or doodle something everyday. Here are a few worth sharing.

10 March 2014

other duties as assigned

My boss is off at a conference. She emailed me asking me to go into the museum proper, visit the gift stores and price all of the pens and pencils with the Academy logo on them. I'm a visual person, so instead of a list, I sent her this image from my sketchbook. :)

02 February 2014

February is Letter Writing Month!!

A challenge to get you letter writing. For each mailing day in February, write a letter and mail it. It is that simple. (More on the challenge here.)

My first set of February letters written yesterday and heading to a mailbox near you!

01 January 2014

the books of 2013

Below is the list of books, journals, and comics that I spent time with in 2013. How geeky!

  1. The Unwritten #42; 43; 44; 45; 46; 47; 48; 49; 50; 51; 52; 53; 54
  2. Wild Blue Yonder #1; 2; 3
  3. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, season 9, #16; 17
  4. Angel & Faith, season 9, #16; 17; 18
  5. Willow, season 9, #1; 2; 3; 4
  6. Shimmer #16; 17
  7. Creative Non-Fiction #47; 48;  49; 50
  8. Tin house 14(4)
  9. Saga, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16
  10. Print, 67.5

24 November 2013

little successes

Many layers make up the background - it's a little wobbly, but good.

I first learned to use Photoshop and Illustrator in the 1980's, when it was "the wave of the future" and only available on Macs. Photoshop was used for scanning in your reference sketches and converting to a masking layer. All the *real* drawing was done in Illustrator. I spent long hours in the computer lab creating images too large to fit on a 3.5" floppy, images that the "help lab" would compress by turning into 300 page documents of ASCII text.

A lot has changed since then. My abilities as an illustrator as well as the capabilities of both programs. For the last several years I have done the majority of my art "by hand", by which I mean non-digitally. Each time I attempted a computer-based illustration, I would get frustrated with the learning curve necessary to master the tools available in the latest software version. It was faster to create the whole thing with pen and paper because I had a proper understanding of what those materials could do.
A new layer for adding "characters".

Recently, my boss at my day job asked me to throw together a sign to put in one of the display cases. I could see the image I wanted in my mind. But all of the tools I would normally use were at home in my studio. I opened up Photoshop on my work computer and gave it a whirl. Being trapped at the office gave me the impetus to push beyond the first 17 mistakes of color and placement and work up something I could live with, even feel proud of. :)
The final image.

The only sketch I did "by hand"

Two things I would like to do next time around:
1. draw at home using my wacom tablet instead of the jerky mouse I used at work.
2. dig up that tutorial on how to make my own brush settings instead of just using the pre-sets.