Categories
Drawing Every Day Matters Ink and watercolor wash Life in general Sketchbook Pages

Something That Scares Me (My Back) & First Aid Kit: Timely EDiM Topics

EDiM 16-17, Something that Scares You (Back Pain) and Something from First Aid Kit, ink & watercolor 8x10"
EDiM 16-17, Something that Scares You (Back Pain) and Something from First Aid Kit, ink & watercolor 8×10″

The Every Day in May cue #16 was “Draw something that scares you.” And I was mighty scared when I drew this because my back was in terrible pain. A couple times a year an old back injury flares up and I get really scared the pain will never go away. Fortunately it does, with good care and treatment. The funny crosses on my back above are special tape that my physical therapist put on my back to keep me from moving in directions that would make the pain worse. It really helped.

After a week of using the items in the drawing, “Something from the first aid kit” (pain relievers, ice packs including good old frozen peas) plus two appointments with my brilliant physical therapist Christine at Physical Therapy Innovations, my back was nearly back to normal.¬† I was able to go to my holiday weekend getaway in Santa Cruz and return home in good shape, even with two 2-hour drives.

Yay! Life is good again and now I can get caught up on the Every Day in May project and back to painting in the studio and plein air.

Categories
Ink and watercolor wash Interiors Life in general Sketchbook Pages

Computer Chaos Before and After Sketches

Before & After Sketches of my computer desk, ink & watercolor, 5x16"
Before & After Sketches of my computer desk, ink & watercolor, 5×16″

Back in January I got a new iMac to replace my aging PC. I hadn’t left my job yet so still needed my PC monitor and my work laptop to complete my last project. That meant I had 3 computers, a 27″ monitor and the iMac on my desk.

 

Computer desk: Before, ink & watercolor, 5x8"
Computer desk: Before, ink & watercolor, 5×8″

What a mess! Along with 3 computers I also had two keyboards, a trackball, a track pad, an old Wacom tablet, telephone and router, notebook, glasses, pencil holder and a huge stack of files and file folders I was working on.

Computer Desk After, ink & watercolor, 5x8"
Computer Desk After, ink & watercolor, 5×8″

It felt so good to finish the work, put away the work laptop, give the PC to my son, and clear my desk. I mostly love the iMac and especially appreciate how few wires there are now.

I’m also happy to finally post these last sketches from my last journal so that I can start posting some fun stuff in my current giant Moleskine.

Categories
Ink and watercolor wash Life in general Sketchbook Pages

The Justins Bieber and Timberlake Teach Me to Tie (Lost) Shoes

Piled up Shoes and Slippers, ink & watercolor, 5x16"
Piled up Shoes and Slippers, ink & watercolor, 5×16″

More crazy dreams! The night after the lost keys dream, I dreamed I was at a retreat where I kept losing my shoes. So of course I had to draw them, just to be sure they were still here.

Lately my every-day sneakers have started untying themselves several times a day. So then I dreamed that Justin Bieber and Justin Timberlake were giving me hands-on shoe-tying advice.

My Every Day Sneakers
My Every Day Sneakers

They unlaced my shoes and then snipped the laces into small pieces. They explained that you need a separate piece for each set of holes and then you knot each piece to the next. We started running out of laces. I think I’ll just start double-knotting them, thanks. Or maybe it’s time for new shoes?

Birkenstocks, Dansko Clogs and Fuzzy Slippers, ink & watercolor, 5x8"
Birkenstocks, Dansko Clogs and Fuzzy Slippers, ink & watercolor, 5×8″

Yes those are magenta polka dots on my ancient Birkenstocks: I painted the funky old shoes with acrylic paint dots and it worked great. I’m definitely not a high heels kind of girl as you can see.

Categories
Ink and watercolor wash Life in general Sketchbook Pages

Lost Dreams and the Kitchen Sink

Dreamt I Lost My Keys So I Drew Them. Ink & watercolor, 5x8"
Dreamt I Lost My Keys So I Drew Them. Ink & watercolor, 5×8″

Sometimes I have the stupidest dreams. It’s unlikely I would actually lose my keys since I always put them in the same place. I do this because, like Winnie the Pooh, I’m “a bear of very little brain.” Although I haven’t lost anything* in a long time, I used to lose everything. My parents always said, “If your head wasn’t attached you’d lose that too!” I may not have a good memory but now I am organized about where I keep things.

The View From My Kitchen Sink, ink & watercolor, 5x8"
The View From My Kitchen Sink, ink & watercolor, 5×8″

I did this sketch at the end of January after a month of not drawing while focusing on year-end organizing, learning a new computer, creating spreadsheets and doing taxes. The sketch is crazy wonky but it felt good to get back to drawing, even if it was just the kitchen sink, and the view out my window of my bottle brush tree, lemon tree, little purple potato tree and my neighbor’s house.

*(oops…not true…I keep losing my metal water bottles because they fall out of the too-shallow pockets on my backpack. I use a carabiner to keep the bottle attached now, but I’m going to replace the old bag with one with deeper water-bottle pockets. No point in using something that is so inefficient.)

Categories
Digital art Faces Life in general Oil Painting People Portrait

Two Very Different Portraits of Very Different Women

Portrait of Cyndy, oil on panel, 8x10"
Portrait of Cyndy, oil on panel, 8×10″

I painted this oil painting from a 2nd generation scan of a difficult photo. The harsh shadows, eyes hidden behind sunglasses, and brilliant fall foliage in the background created a challenge. But this was the photo her husband wanted painted so I did my best. The subject of the painting is a beautiful woman, a brilliant researcher and educator, a terrific hostess and a wonderful mother. It was a pleasure to paint her, even with the technical challenges.

Caricature of Cristina, sketched on iPad in Art Studio
Caricature of Christina Aguilera, sketched on iPad in Art Studio

Like I said, very different portraits, very different women. I sketched this on my iPad while watching The Voice, a singing competition TV show on which Christina Aguilera was a judge. I don’t understand why the women on these shows wear skin-tight clothes and so much make up that they look like cartoon characters, but at least it makes them easy to sketch since they already look like caricatures of themselves.

I’m enjoying Nicki Minaj on American Idol. She goes even further in the makeup, false eyelashes and wigs department, looking even more like a cartoon character…and acts like one too, the way she says absolutely any random crazy thing that goes through her mind. Sometimes she’s really funny.

I guess not just movie stars are wearing false eyelashes now. The receptionist at my eye doctor’s office gets hers glued in at the salon when she has her nails done. I’d rather buy those hairs glued into a handle of a brush to paint with. Much more practical, don’t you think?

Categories
Ink and watercolor wash Life in general Sketchbook Pages Urban Sketchers

Electric Owls and Giant Rats: Pest Control at Pastime

Pest Control at Pastime Hardware, ink & watercolor, 5x8". Sketch of artificial owls and other pest control devices
Pest Control at Pastime Hardware, ink & watercolor, 5×8″

When we made our annual sketching pilgrimage to Pastime Hardware on a cold winter evening I picked the Pest Control department. I was attracted by the big, ugly, inflated hanging rat and the artificial owls who seemed to be discussing who was going to nab the rat.

The names of the products seemed inflated too: Pest Chaser Pro and Sonic Pest Chaser (both made me imagine cartoon critters that jump out of the box and chase critters away). And then there’s the Tom Cat Mole Trap (contains cat? that chases moles?) and Cat Stop (do you need Cat Stop after you’ve released the Tom Cat Mole Trap?)

I know someone who is courting real owls by putting up owl houses in her yard. That solution might be worse than the problem. My son has a family of screech owls living in a tree across the street from him and they keep him awake, screeching all night long.

Categories
Drawing Life in general People Sketchbook Pages Urban Sketchers

Waiting and Watching (and Sketching)

Waiting and Watching at Peets, ink, 5x8"
Waiting and Watching at Peets, ink, 5×8″

I love the way the big guy seems to be looking at the pretty girl’s butt in her shiny black tights. In reality they got in line at different times, but my drawing took on a life of its own.

One of the things I love about living in the Bay area is the wide variety of people you see, dressed however they please, with either no concern about fashion or a style all their own. I fit right in!