Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Today is a BIG day... My baby is EIGHTEEN!!! How did this happen so very quickly?! 

I am so VERY proud of Cami! She is a constant inspiration to me... She is witty, smart, a talented performer and artist, generous, thoughtful, level headed, sweet and sassy, tough, determined, fun-to-be-around, a great friend, a good listener, gorgeous... and I just can't believe that she's my daughter. I'm so lucky.

6 months old and crawling! (Walking at 9 months!) Feels like yesterday...
Nearly 18 years later...
This past weekend was the first competition of the season for the high school dance team Cami is on... It was so much fun to watch her perform. I love seeing the joy with which she moves across the floor. She and the team did GREAT! Here are some shots from her solo...

Competition Solo #3
Leaping into her first solo of the competition season...
Competition Solo #2
Love those lines!
Competion Solo #1
Another lovely leap...
and stretch...
Such a performer!
Cami... I love you more than words could ever express. I know that whatever you decide to do in your life, you will accomplish it with determination and grace. I couldn't be more proud.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

A Blustery Day...

As I drove home from yoga, I admired all the leaves blowing around in front of me. Yellow, oranges, and reds moving around in unison... It was beautiful. I wished it was possible to sketch while I drove, alas, probably not a very good idea. :)

After pulling into the driveway and getting out of the car,  I found this gorgeous leaf on the driveway. I immediately knew that this would be my object to sketch for the colored pencil assignment in Koosje Koene "klass" this week. My reminder of a lovely "Blustery Day."

Sketchbook : Week 2 : Colored Pencil : "Blustery Day"
"Blustery Day" {Colored Pencil} SBS Week 2

I so appreciate your comments! Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Sketchbook Beginnings to Draw & Feel

I started a new venture this week... Sketchbook Skool! It's my goal to complete all three courses (kourses) this year. I started out with "Beginnings." The artist teacher for this week is Danny Gregory. Oh. My. It is so inspiring to watch him draw, peek inside his art journals, and just plain listen to him talk about art. I am so happy I decided to add this to the things I want to accomplish this year. (I definitely have an art filled year planned between Zentangle®, Sketchbook Skool, and continuing work on my calligraphy!) 

One of the assignments this week was called "Draw & Feel." You were to find something that had meaning for you and sketch it. You were encouraged to try the technique that Danny shared. This was to begin with a watercolor wash, then "eyeball" the shape of your item and use gouache to create the shape of it (basically painting it before drawing it), and THEN you would use pen to outline draw over the shape you painted and add in the details. The rule for this exercise was no pencil sketching allowed! Just start drawing with the pen. There was a time when this would have paralyzed me... What?! NO PENCIL??? But that was before I started creating Zentangle art. It's made me comfortable to just pick up a pen and draw. I knew any "mistake" would just be an opportunity to be creative.

It took me a couple of days (okay... I did have other things going on!) to figure out what I would draw... I was stuck, I wanted to choose something that had meaning to me. Then one day I was speaking to Cami in her room, I looked at her walls, and I knew! Worn out pointe shoes line the top of her walls... It was perfect! I borrowed a pair. I was set... and then... I had to get over that freezing of putting the first mark in my new Sketchbook Skool sketchbook. Why is this so hard?! I took a deep breath and went for it! 

One of Cami's MANY pairs of worn out pointe shoes!
I decided to try the technique that Danny demonstrated. I began with the watercolor wash, realized I didn't have any gouache so I subbed acrylic paint. A couple of coats gave me the opaqueness I was looking for. I really like this technique! It was fascinating! After giving my page plenty of time to dry I picked up my trusty micron and began drawing the outline of the pointe shoe. I was very surprised by how closely my "eyeballed" shape ended up matching the drawn shape. I filled in the details of the shoes and then used watercolor to shade. 

Beginnings... Watercolor wash and a quick acrylic paint shape study.

Working on watercolor shading...

I decided I wanted to have my journaling "dance" across the page. I used a piece of scratch paper to test out what I wanted to write and how I could make it flow to fit all the prose and the sketch. 

Sketchbook : Week 1 : Draw & Feel : Pointe Shoes
Complete! Cami's Pointe Shoes : Determination
I am so excited about keeping an ongoing sketchbook for the very first time (one that actually documents my life, the important and not-so-important things, an art journal sketchbook)! Danny... thank you for taking me on this journey. The whole process, as well as the finished art stirred up lots of emotions. I am so grateful.

Although it took me a long time to finish this assignment... I enjoyed every. single. moment. 

I so appreciate all who stop by and visit... I LOVE when you leave me a comment! Thanks so much!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Celebrating a Fresh New (Studio) Year

Okay... I have to start this post with saying that my family was tired of my art supplies over running the house... The latest place they had overtaken was the dining room table. That was where I would do my tangling and drawing. The reason? My studio was a... MESSSSSS!!! It was overwhelming to me and I just had no idea where to start. Plus, I just couldn't imagine drawing at the same desk as my computer, too distracting. So... how to fix this terrible situation? 

Before (Honestly, this is a cleaned up before... Norm threatened to call Hoarders on me.)
Instead of complaining, my thoughtful husband, gifted me a newly organized art studio/office for my birthday!! He measured off my small room to see what we could fit in it. He created detailed schematics and researched, checked to see what I envisioned, and researched again. 

The scaled to size plan that Norm made... (He's pretty awesome!)
We took everything OUT of my office and gifted all existing furniture to my eldest daughter who had just moved into a larger apartment with her boyfriend. They kindly agreed to take it all! The only furniture item that remained was a book shelf. Leila was also very excited to inherit art supplies that I frankly had TOO much of (I know... blasphemy... but I truly needed to get rid of some stuff). 

All the boxes arrive... My studio condensed!
Norm ever so patiently helped me go through MOUNDS of stuff and put together ALL of the furniture that he purchased from IKEA. I am so thrilled with how it has all turned out! I love that I am starting the New Year with an organized space that will accommodate all my projects! I will no longer have to pack up the dining room and hide my drawing stuff when we have guests! YIPPEE!! I have two desks... one for computer/sewing/silhouette and the other dedicated to drawing/art.

Art Studio (7)
The panoramic shot...
Art Studio (1)
Little treasures and quilt corner
Art Studio (2)
Right side of office
Art Studio (3)
Drawing desk with lanterns
Art Studio (4)
View from my art desk
Art Studio (5)
Computer/Sewing/Silhouette desk and printer corner
Art Studio (6)
Bookshelf and closet view
Art Studio (8)
Looking into studio from doorway
Leila added a wonderful gift to my birthday studio by completing a wall garden that she created out of a pallet. She painted it, created plant shelves, and planted it with my favorite... succulents! Now as I sit at my drawing desk in front of the window, I have a lovely view of the thoughtful beautiful, garden she created for me! 

Pallet Garden
LOVE my new succulent garden!
Cami completed this awesome birthday with a certificate she created that stated she will join me at a Bikram Yoga class... (I ALWAYS bug her about this! She joined me for a couple of weeks one summer before heading off to Joffrey Ballet School... now she's afraid of the heat!) It made me very happy!

You have to love the, "USE IT WISELY!"

My talented mom made me the cutest ornaments of Clark and our angel, Walter, for my birthday! I had them on the tree but will keep them in my office until next Christmas time. I was really spoiled as you can see! 

I am so grateful for my supportive family! Thank you for helping me find a way to better organize all my supplies... I LOVE my new studio! I feel like it's waiting with open arms every time I walk past the door. 

I'm looking forward to creating a lot of art and teaching more Zentangle® classes this year. It's wonderful to start the New Year with a fresh space. I'll also be participating this year in a couple of art journaling projects and will look forward to posting more about that soon. I hope your New Year is filled with health, happiness, and lots of art! 

A special thank you to all who take the time to leave me comments... I so appreciate it!
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