Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sad Charlie and His Crooked Tail

This is my piece for this week's Illustration Friday theme "crooked". I thought I would try something new and I am not that pleased with it.  I have wanted to try ink and watercolor, but I'm not feeling it.  Since I am new at it, I found it difficult to control the ink.  I am also disappointed with the scan which has washed all the color out.  But, it is Wednesday night and I wanted to enter this, which I have been working on all week.  I was also trying to compose the picture in a more academic way, by using the golden section division.  I feel like I need to work on how I lay out the composition of my work.

In a way,  I am feeling like Charlie here.  Everyone else is beauty and talent and I'm feeling very self-conscious.  But, I am going to play anyway!  Thanks for checking out my work!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Bursting Forth

I drew this for Illustration Friday.  This week's theme was "burst" and I had originally thought of a child with his mom shopping at a store where he saw ice cream and when she tells him no, he "bursts" into tears.  But as I was preparing to color it, I started thinking of a song that I love, called "In Christ Alone" by Townsend and Getty.  In the third stanza the song says, "And bursting forth in glorious Day/ Up from the grave he rose again!"  I kept thinking of how Jesus might have caused the grave to just burst open with his power and joy which I had hoped to covey in this picture.  His left hand is pushing away the stone while the right hand and his left leg prepare to pull him up out of the darkness which has been shattered by his light.  I added the vine to the upper right corner because in the book of John, Jesus calls himself the True Vine from which the life of the Christian must come.  All those who put their trust in him are given this new life.  And the little yellow flower in the foreground also represents new life, coming up from between the stones of the pavement.  Life in Christ will always push its way through the stoniest of circumstances.  I hope you enjoy my illustration.  Jesus came to give us abundant life, overflowing and bursting and I wanted to show that as he bursts from the grave that could not hold him.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


sketch for "imagination"
completed watercolor
Well, this is my next submission for Illustration Friday.  This week's theme was "imagination".  I had thought of drawing a boy with a telescope looking out to the horizon with literary characters behind him.  I didn't really like that too well. Then I thought of children playing dress up seeing themselves in mirrors in the way they wanted to look.  I liked that okay, but I felt like it was probably done by other artists.  Then I thought about the darker side of imagination.  I remember when I was a child being totally freaked out by the reflection in the window of what looked like glowing red eyes.  It took me several terrified moments to realize the devil wasn't looking in my window, it was the red numbers on my alarm clock reflecting in my darkened window.  Phew!  I want to post how I started and the finish.  I'm not very experienced yet with watercolor so I know this could be much much better.  Lots of room for improvement!  I plan to start doing a watercolor of some sort each week so I can get good at it.  Colored pencil really is my thing, but I can learn new things!!

Monday, September 10, 2012

An Eye to the Future

I wrote out a list of goals today.  Mainly I borrowed ideas from Holli Conger's article in 2006 Artist's and Graphic Designer's Market.  I felt like I needed to list the things she did that she found helpful so I had a jumping off place.  I posted them above my new work space.

I want to create a list of writer's goals too.  I've already gathered a lot of momentum already.  Just having a work space and supplies with in reach and books to keep me motivated is helping me.  This blog is helping.  Even if no one ever looks at it, it is something I want to create so I am drawn back to it every few days or so.  I feel like someone out there might enoy reading my words and seeing my pictures.  I know I am enjoying showing my work in a public space.

So my little goals will hopefully lead me to my big goal of being an illustrator and author.  Maybe I will only do it for me, but I'll be doing it none the less.  After all, what good is a dream if you don't do something about it?  So I am dreaming and trusting the Lord with the rest.

Proverbs 3:5 & 6:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.a  

Friday, September 7, 2012

Library Love

I wrote this post a couple weeks ago.  I drew the picture just for fun after visiting the library, but I thought it would make a good entry for this week's Illustration Friday theme of "Book".  I had fun drawing the books from a still life I set up to get the right look and shadows.  So, thanks for stopping by to check out my work!

(Written September 7:  I love the library.  I always have.  There you can find information on nearly any topic on the planet and beyond.  So many books on every subject packed into one little space, free of charge.

Since I have been attempting to get my creative juices flowing again, I am discovering just what a treasure trove the library can be.  I recently found a book called The Will Power Instinct by Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D.  It has really helped me with staying focused.

As I was browsing the Children's books for illustration inspiration, I found The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick.  I loved the drawings and was amazed that it was such a thick volume with so many illustrations.  I read it to my children over the past week.  I could hardly get them to go to bed on time, they wanted to hear more!  I was actually crying by the end of it.

Other's art used to make me jealous.  But now, I love to read a story or look at pictures or learn something new.  And there really is nothing quite like holding a book in your hands, turning the pages.  And I am one of those people who likes the way books smell.  So it won't be long and my books will be due and I will go back to gather another arm load and bring treasure back home with me.)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


I'm excited because I found this cool website called where artists of all strips can post their work as it relates to the chosen topic.  I came across it when I found an article about becoming an illustrator, by Holli Conger ( .  She talked about how it helped her to develop her portfolio and her skills.  So, nervous me, here I go!  This week's topic is identical.  Tell me what you think!  And if you have any sites that are inspiring to you, I'd love to visit them!  Maybe it's your site!

Be Fruitful...

What does it mean to be creative?  There are those amazing people who can make extraordinary objects, sounds and verse.  They create a porthole for us to escape the ordinariness of our lives as our emotions, intellects and energies are engaged and we are lifted by a song, a picture, a story or an object.  Are there only a chosen few who are creative?

I'm a Christian so I go to the Bible for my inspiration and wisdom. There I see God has a much broader concept of what it is to be creative and He calls it fruitfulness.  Genesis 1:28 records his command to the very first of his own creation, "Be fruitful and increase in number, fill the earth and subdue it."  God calls us to be creative by co-creating with him.  Raising children is one of the most creative pursuits humanity has undertaken.

Then Proverbs 31:31 the woman described here is told to benefit from the "fruit" of her hands.  She is productive, to the point of making the reader breathless, but it is clear that producing is fruitfulness and this a creative process.  To work is to be creative, what ever work one may be involved it, whether it is writing a symphony or making a sandwich!

In the New Testament, Jesus speaks in Matthew 12:33 about bad fruit and good fruit.  So not only can we be creative, but we must be wise enough to recognize if our creativity is for good or for bad.  Does my creativity do any good for anyone other than myself?  Am I creating to benefit others or is it all about me?  Does my fruit nourish or does it poison?  Is it to be shared or is it to be horded?

The Bible uses the word fruit and fruitfulness over and over.  We are to be creative, creating with our bodies, minds and spirits; creating things, babies and relationships. I wish to bear good fruit and share it with others.  Fear often gets the best of me and I may get started at some creative endevour and then stall out because of uncertainty.   I question if I am creative at all.  My inner critic is so quick to put on the brakes.  This in not my first attempt at a blog, but this is the one that is going to keep me accountable.  No more hiding or hording.  The fruit only spoils when we do that.  I'm ready to share!