Wednesday, November 16, 2011

a little bit of guh

I have over-saturated myself with the internet this past week or so, and not in a good way. No, just in that old way that seems to feed SLB, to nourish her beyond the point that everyday insecurity can. She’s loud and fit right now.

Also, she’s angry that I’m not going to let her have any orange words right now.

I haven’t picked up a pencil in a few days, and I’m just over that. I’ve had enough of her.

I’m reassembling my doodle spot, and then I’m shutting off this computer for a while. I really need to teach myself some moderation in this thing.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

in this thing

Sometimes nothing feels better than to put on some music and just wait for the images to fall out.

These pages were doodled to an Old Crow Medicine Show on repeat. No plan involved, just going to where it takes me and letting the pencil move.

Sort of makes me lonely for weeds and wildflowers and porches.

Well, at least this way I get to visit.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Friday, September 9, 2011

the new kitchen

Watching this vid by Milliande inspired the hell out of me this week. Sure, we use different materials and themes and such, but I am really starting to fall in love with grid style journaling. I've done similar things before... but just, you know CLICK!

Yeah, I figured the writing blog illustration shit would eventually start sliding over into the art journal. I didn't so much count on the art journal/writing stuff just not fitting so well on the writing blog. Not yet, anyway, but it's all still in the pre-dating phase. I'm just glad to have pencils, to be honest.

I'm not even screaming with frustration over the fact that the journal is just too lumpy to get good scans anymore. See? Calm.

So many thanks to Milliande. My brain has been busy.

And here's Janie and Charlene in the new kitchen.

They're just glad that Michael does all of the cooking.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

slow going...


Sunday, August 28, 2011

moving on...

Moving past the last three weeks of sinus problems and television brain jelly. Sometimes I wonder if my attention span disappears like this every year at this time.

I can't remember.

But I did pick up the pencil again. It's a start.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Having a bit of a dry spell.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

trying to plan the spontaneous...

Half here, half there right now.


Lots of faces and no backgrounds. I has a flip-flopped crazy. Anyway, this is the last page I actually finished.

I've developed this weird habit of making components of things this week. Hopefully I'll figure out how to make the most of that.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

okay, seriously...

Dear Universe,

Remember all those times last winter when I randomly begged you for warm weather? I'd just like to let you know that you have gone above and beyond. Please feel free to stop now. Maybe just pull back about thirty degrees...


We've had a bit of an air conditioning blow up this week, so I've had to keep my art journal at a friend's house to prevent the pages from melting together. It feels so odd, not having it there all of the time...

I have been drawing in the beater sketch book, and the stuff from there will eventually be added to the journal. Sort of obsessed with rounded, cartoon-y eyes and whimsical faces right now.

I think the heat is just making me want to meld some sort of candy aspect into everything. I like that.

See, I said something positive about the motherfucking heat.

Monday, July 25, 2011


So it's one thing to hope for rain to cool down this blazing hot summer, right? Yep, that's one thing. I did that.

It is a teeny bit cooler.

So now why to I so feel the need to spray pages outside?

Contrary brain just isn't very cute today.

Saturday, July 23, 2011


It has been one of those backgrounds, circles, gesso, coughing, sneezing, stuffy head, fever, so you can’t rest weeks. Hello there, summer cold. I think I’ll make some backgrounds, then sit and stare at them.

Where did you get the idea that anyone would be interested in another hypochondriac health update?

Well, SLB, I probably got it from the same place I got the idea to put my little paintings and art journal pages up where folks can actually see them if they’d like. This cold is making me very tired, and I have done less drawing and painting. I hope that making note of how lousy I’ve felt and how little art I’ve done will help me find a way to push through the fatigue and keep going even on down days.

I did draw a cuttlefish, but that was early on in the week. I see more cuttlefish in the future, because I sort of have a crush on them right now. 

PBS Create is showing back to back wine shows today. I usually turn off the TV when the house clears out, but I’ve kept this running in the background because it’s making me want to draw bottles and glasses, maybe grapes.

I have spilled a box of markers and pencils on the floor today. I have spilled my big container of brushes today. I keep knocking shit into the floor. If I didn’t feel so crummy, I would just get down on the floor with everything dumped out around me and work.

I picked it all up, though. I’m staring at the box of pencils and markers right now. Part of me wishes it was better stuff, but another part of me knows that I’m lucky to have what I have. I’m lucky to be faced with the challenge of making something beautiful with what I have on hand.

Something tells me that if I won the art supply lottery, I would still be sitting somewhere with a mechanical pencil and a tub of gesso. Maybe not.

Where was I going with that? I don’t know. This is probably why I call it rambleday.

Perhaps randomday would be better, but no… I’m going to ramble. I just like the feel of that word more.

My art journal is getting harder to scan as I work deeper into the book. I’m doing what I can with what I have to work with, but I find myself cropping out shadows along the side more and more. Or sometimes just leaving them in the photo… which is something I don’t love, but something I have to just deal with until I figure out a good solution.  (By good solution, I do mean free solution.)

I wonder of I should be more tech-y. Maybe I need an art partner with tech-y leanings.

See, now there’s another ramblethought. Art partner. Most of the time art is my good solitude, but now and then I would love to share the process with someone, or work alongside someone on different projects. Art partner. Does that happen?

I mean, not so much a class. I often wish I was sitting at a table with my sister, both of us working on something. I like that thought.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

very low energy

Monday, July 18, 2011

comfort food

Jump, fucker.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

I just can’t seem to find my blue sky today. Feeling dulled down, and like I can’t even work up a tear for it. I have hope, though, that this is just one of my days. I have a few excuses that might even be reasons, but they’re just too tired to tell.

Hope comes from knowing how often I absorb inspiration without even realizing it. I hope my brain and my heart are just taking a little sponge break.

Sick of drawing your little orange slice flowers, are you?

At times, but I find myself drawing them by the dozen. Sick of you too, SLB. Don’t even try to get me worked up today because it ain’t even happening.

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve completed three 8x10 canvas panels, three small wood pieces, and three journal pages. This is incredibly productive for me.

I am currently trying to ignore SLB. She has a bucket of anxiety and wants to use it to shut me down. Sitting here writing this is taking more energy than I have.

I have a blank 16x20 stretched canvas propped up on the chair beside me, waiting for me to face my fear that I can’t make enough to cover large surfaces anymore. The fact that I am going to cover the shit out of that big white surface just made me grin a little bit.

I should run. Orange slice flowers refuse to draw themselves.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Ever have something accidentally turn out better than you thought it would?

I didn't like working on these canvas panels at all at first... then it sort of just clicked.

And then I ran out of everything. Well, I ran out of everything besides pencils, so I'm okay.

Monday, July 11, 2011

influences and inspirations...

I’ve been thinking about my influences lately. Seems like the more art I make, the more obvious they become. It isn’t deliberate. I’ve been working intuitively lately, and I don’t usually notice it until I’m done with the page. I also don’t think my work looks a lot like the stuff I’m filtering.

Why are you having so much trouble with the words? Feeling a bit unoriginal?

Well, “original” is a pretty ridiculous concept when it comes to… pretty much anything.

I’ve just been sort of having this boom of stuff lately. I see my sister’s influence in it quite a lot. I love the sinuous quality of the lines in her work, and how provocative and strong it is. Her women are vibrant with energy and emotion. I want that, and though I don’t think my stuff will ever have that same sizzle, I feel that studying what she has done has pushed me to use color and longer, more expressive lines in my own way.

You mean you’ve tried to express something other than apathy or isolation?

You know, those are things that I deal with all of the time, and they’re going to be there whether I like it or not. I think what I’m figuring out is that they are not the only slices on the pie chart.

There’s a link to Elaina’s art blog in the sidebar. Just look for the beautiful painting of a woman in overalls… This be the button. Go and look. Scroll back. You will not regret it. Also, just to make it easier here are links to her art blog and her poetry blog.

I’ve been drawing, doodling, painting (mark making) for as long as I can remember. I have no formal training, and there are years long gaps where I didn’t even pick up a pencil for anything more elaborate than a shopping list, but I always come back to it. And I miss myself when I don’t do it.

Art therapy is an amazing thing.

A few years ago I started seeing artists on youtube. This has been very cathartic for me as well. How can anyone resist being inspired by folks like Tamara Laporte or Suzi Blu? They show up at the party. They are fabulous and talented and generous, as are women like Samantha Kira Harding and Effy Wild, just to name a couple.

So, how long is it going to take you to figure out how to link their pages? We both know how hopeless you are with that stuff.

I’ll figure it out.

Let’s hope so. You’re already late to your own self imposed blabfest here.

Anyway, I did take a couple of Suzi Blu’s online classes a couple of years ago when I had the means to do so. I also took Tamara Laporte’s free Art, Heart and Healing class. I found all of these helpful and inspiring and would recommend them to anyone.
But you’re really too flighty to be a very good class participant, aren’t you?

Well, that doesn’t mean that I didn’t get anything from them.

After I did this page I could see Tamara Laporte’s influence in it.

You might want to borrow a lasso to rope in that wandering eye before it escapes.

Maybe, but I like the way the color turned out.

Also, after I did this little painting I could see Suzi Blu’s influence in it.

What makes me happy about noticing the influences in my stuff is that I can see them, sure, but the work still feels like mine when it comes down to it.

You know, this post is getting a little wordy…

But I didn’t even mention any of the artists I’ve loved forever like Alphonse Mucha or Patrick Nagel or Frida Kahlo or Frank Frazetta or…

Yeah, too many to list. It’s good, though, having so much beauty to take in.

Not to mention music, books, and the flowers on the side of the road.

Erm, you just mentioned them.

Can it, SLB. I’m having a moment.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Monday, July 4, 2011

friends, SLB, and humpbacks...

Wherein I shrug and hem and haw and explain SLB again…

Yesterday a friend of mine was reading my last blog post, and he turned to me with fire in his eyes and a fighting look on his face. “Who is this saying these things?” He was even in a determined posture when he asked this. He was ready to TCB.

I love my friends.

I think I shrugged and bit my lip and tried to look all nonchalant. “Oh, that’s just the ball of self loathing that lives inside me. She’s always orange.” See, no big.

His shoulders relaxed, and he gave me one of those looks that only a real friend will give you. “Okay,” he said, then went back to reading.

Have I mentioned that I love my friends?

The ones who get it in one or two bizarre sentences, who manage to slip in a little look that says they’re always keeping watch. You know, the ones who give you big buckets of freedom to be, but who will also sit you down with a coffee and a chat and call your ass out if they think you might harm yourself by just being the you that is some scary times you.

Anyway, I think he realized that writing SLB is just my current way of trying not to internalize so much. I mean, I can’t speak for him, but he did let it go.

Aside from reminding me how amazing my friend is, this little moment also made me think that perhaps not everyone who stumbles across this blog understands immediately that SLB is just me confronting, well, me. I’ve been letting her speak for the past couple of months, and have just become accustomed to allowing her out. I put a few words about her in the sidebar, but not everyone sees that stuff.

SLB is short for self loathing ball. Some people call it the inner critic. When she pops up here, her words are in this color and usually italicized, so she reads like this. Sometimes she doesn’t even show up, but some posts are pretty orange.

This way, I sort of feel like I’m putting up a flag for most of the negative stuff.

Having gone on for so long about the hostile bitch in my gut, I figure that now would be as good a time as any to share a page that managed to sneak up and surprise me a couple of days ago. Turns out this page is about love. It isn’t so much about romantic love, but more about the love that is still there when romantic love is absent. How odd is it to find that I still believe in that, and that it can sometimes pat back the anxiety? It is reassuring to me that I can honestly express this sort of love with art.

Who knew?

Sunday, July 3, 2011

swim or fly?

Swim or fly? Why not both, right?

That’s a bit trite, don’t you think?

Just fuck you right now, SLB.


Just you wait; pretty soon I’m going to gumption up and start talking about love. Yeah, you heard me right. Love. Just not this very minute.


I always seem to get hung up on mermaids, even though my experience with the ocean is very minimal. I think my subconscious is trying to push me away from the typical mermaid image. Perhaps one day I will do a bit of research and a lake mermaid will fall out of me. Who knows, right? Maybe I’ll just continue to make shit up, which is pretty much fine by me as well.

It seems like it has been a long time since I drew a winged person, though I went through a phase of this several years ago. This page feels much removed from those old drawings, though. Reminiscent, maybe, but I also feel vaguely reminiscent of the person who was doing the drawing. Does that make sense to anyone but me?

You seriously just wrote that? What are you, nine?

Okay, for starters I am just trying to be honest and real. All of these words are just a condensed version of where I am right now. Just as the old art journal is my image safe place, this is my exposed words safe place. I wonder if it will ever happen that I get so sick of your orangey ass that you just cease to be.

Also, what’s wrong with being nine? I’m not nine, having been born forty, but I see no reason to have a problem with anyone who is nine.

Anyway, wings or fins. In some way I have them. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

No, not at you so much. More to one side.

I had a panic attack last night because I ran out of mechanical pencils. Really. Tore the house a new househole, but finally found one.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Art journaling? But why?

Sometimes your pencil (or brush, or marker, or crayon, infinity) has a snake goddess in it. Sometimes said snake goddess is holding a giant spoon in one hand, and a big cherry that sort of looks more like a small dark pumpkin in the other. Sometimes she will have wacky hair. Sometimes this will happen all at once or maybe over the course of one late night and the following afternoon. Why?

You don’t know, do you?

I do not know. Yet.

The point is just to let it happen, right? It wants to happen, so why not on a page that can be turned… in a book that can be closed.

One of the things that I really like about this book, though, is that it can be opened.

At least you covered her nipples this time.

I think my mom would agree with you on that one. Truthfully, though, I only did because my brain and my hand just couldn’t agree on the size and shape of them, so I ended up following the pencil.

This is as finished as she is going to get, but I do still have the idea of progress shots swimming around in my head.

the bit that I actually wrote yesterday...

So, the universe said, “How about a little reminder that most of your complaints are pretty trivial?”

To which I replied, “Um, no thanks, I’m full.”

“No really, I insist. I’d really like for you to try this one on. I’m calling it carbonated stomach virus.


Seriously? You share too much.

Yes, I do.

So, yeah, more grumbling and groaning than art-ing this week. Add to that crazy, non productive insomnia.

Oh, waaah.

I know, I know.

Anyway, it’s a bit better today, if not completely gone. My body is still hesitant to even look at food that might be considered in the least bit interesting. Yesterday my rebel brain  talked it into a cola Icee and a Hershey’s Air Delight bar. They’re still not on speaking terms, but at least they’re not shouting about it right this minute.

The taste buds, see, are siding with the brain. They yearn to be entertained.

So, I did start a journal page last night. Feeling a bit uncertain of it, as of probably the halfway mark, but not so much that I feel the urge to abandon it. I’m trying to talk myself into posting an “in progress” shot. I don’t think I’ve done that before, and it is a bit daunting to me.

It feels a bit like serving up cake batter for dessert.

What’s with all the sweets, fatty?

You honestly think that “fatty” is going to derail me for long at this point in my life? Wrinkles in the rug, SLB.  Getting flatter with every step.

So, yes, I’ll probably have a progress shot up either today or tomorrow. I’ll do it as soon as I can get to my bff’s house to scan it.

But what if you finish it before you can get over there?

It might end up being a completed page. Still, the seed has been planted and progress shots will come when they will come.

I tend to get lost in the journey on these pages I’ve been doing lately, so I’m interested in seeing a little record of it myself.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Saturday, June 18, 2011

where are we, exactly?

Very scattered this week. More so than usual. I haven’t made a mark on a page since last Sunday. I know that things have happened since then, but my mind only wants to make a few hours out of them. How do a few hours make a week? Have I spent so much time sleeping or trying to sleep?

I’m trying pretty hard not to get paranoid about my mind, my screwy memory.

But you probably should be paranoid about that shit. Folks have always known what a flaky mess you are, but it’s getting to the point where even you can’t miss it, right?

I’ve always known. What’s the use of paranoia?

Anyway, I have a couple of backgrounds done, waiting for me to turn off the computer and hide from the tv. This might be a good day for a bout of free writing. Something is pulling at me, and this feels like the closest I can guess as to what it might be.

It’s stormy out. I like it, but I’m a little unsettled by it.

This is the last art journal page I finished. I loved being in the lines while it was happening.

But it looks like something you would have drawn in high school.

Yes it does.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

mess around with color...

... if no one else will have you.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

and then the next day...

Be Free...

I never really got the hang of zentangles. I mean, I’m all for them. I just never really got the hang of them, and never like the way mine turn out. My attention span is short… I lose the thread and get bored about halfway through most of the time.

What I do like is art journaling using a circle as my base. I’ve done this for years. Picked it up in art therapy, and never felt the desire to shake it. If you’ve seen any of the journal pages I’ve posted, you’ll have noticed the circle. I love the circle. The circle pulls stuff out of me.

Earlier this week I was feeling a bit stuck. I made simple backgrounds in my journal. I drew my circles. I sat there thinking about zentangles, and the zentangles, as always, eluded me.

Then something happened. I made a mark. I followed the mark.

And she fell out.

She is not at all perfect, but I sort of love her because she just arrived unannounced out of… me. Following the lines. No plan.

I’ve come to think of her as C’thusan. She is angry and female.

Free drawing. Who knew?

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Hair. Charlie's Angels hair. I love to draw it. I can amuse myself for hours with it. It doesn't matter how the whole picture turns out, just as long as I get to fall the hell into making and blurring lines.

A couple of weeks ago, I took a couple of hours out of my birthday and used them to make hair.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

this blue

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Have you ever had a great idea, made a little plan for it in your mind, and then just chewed it all to hell?

Poor Alice… You’ll have to forgive the navel gazing here (again) but it’s time. It’s time to let go of Alice. Now if I can only figure out how to do that…

Alice came from a dream I had several months ago. She came to me whole, with a back story and an immediate situation. I could see her, and as it sometimes happens with dreams, I could see through her eyes. I was so woven into this dream that when I woke up I felt lost.

I felt loss. Without going much further into the specifics of the dream, I will say that Alice was waiting for the ending. She knew it was coming, and wore a smile for it. Inside, she kicked at it and raged.

For several days after the dream, Alice’s story grew in my head. Maybe a short story, but no, more than that. A series of paintings. A series of small portraits. Alice at the window in her nightgown. Michael. Their companions in the house.

In my head I painted and wrote. I assembled shadowboxes full of hairbrushes and wristwatches. I imagined the sky that haunted Alice’s artist friends. I could see Alice’s ink bottle, and the stains on her hands.

There is more, but… I’m struggling with it.

What came of all of this? Not a lot.

I made one small painting. I sat this painting aside, picked it up now and again. I added things to it. I washed it over. I scribbled at it and scratched it. Nothing made it what I needed it to be.

Just last week, I decided that it was time to stop picking at this poor, overworked scrap of wood. So it hit me… It hit me very hard that this silly little painting represents a lot of things I’ve held on to, if only in the back of my mind, for most of my life.

See, Alice and I both know that it’s time to let go. Neither of us wants to, otherwise she would have been covered with gesso months ago. We have lived together for a lifetime. We stand at the window and look at the sky and know that the end has to come. We rage and cry, sitting quietly with a little smile on top of everything.

My first thought was to burn her, but I haven’t. I pick her up and run my hands over the wood and still wonder how to let her go.

Funny, the marks we make.