Pen and Ink...and maybe some paint

Saturday, December 31, 2011

More doodling...

Yeah, yeah, back to doodling! I came across a YouTube video by someone called miraculousmosquito. I had subscribed to this YouTuber's videos, but had forgotten about it. Now I see why I subscribed! I love watching people draw on this type of tutorial video. Hope you enjoy it!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


I often seem to have a block when it comes to thinking of something to draw. After seeing a lot of people doing "doodles" and "tangles" I thought, "Hey! That's it! I'll draw something that doesn't have to look like anything particular!" So, I visited the Zentangle website and copied a few of their tangles just for fun.

Yes, it was fun...for a while. And then I found myself thinking that it's a lot more fun to draw something REAL. Like my little friends below.
I love this little cottage from "Each Peach Pear Plum"...
...this smart alecky cat...
...and this frightened bunny, also from Each Peach Pear Plum.

I guess our inspirations are different every day!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My new art spot!

I haven't broken it in yet, but this is my new spot to be creative! This is the corner of our bedroom, and is where I've been doing my arduous studies for school. Now that the books have been put away until next fall, which is the soonest I can get back into nursing school, I hope to enjoy some time drawing and painting in my comfy chair!Everything I need in one little corner...
My colored pencils and pens occupy this little table along with a very nice bright lamp. My table is small, so this helps to keep it less cluttered.

This little piece of furniture I found somewhere years ago. I think it is for keeping some type of record books in and the slanted top was for placing an open book or map. Anyway, it's perfect to hold my supplies and I love it! Now I just have to find some time to draw! Probably after Christmas and my entrance exam for nursing school on December 28.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Have a Carl Larsson Christmas!

I love Carl Larsson's paintings. With their red accents they always remind me a little of Christmas. Up here in Minnesota, where all the Scandinavians live, his art strikes a chord with many of us.

I saw that my blogging friend from The Art of Children's Picture Books was showing pictures by Carl Larsson and I thought one of his paintings would be just the thing to decorate my blog for the holidays!

Happy Jesus's Birthday and Merry Christmas!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

On the Road Again!

Mole, Ratty and Toad are off on their next adventure! They experienced our first snowfall of the season...
Shortly after this experience I found them working on this sign!Maybe the snow reminded them too much of the time they got lost in the woods! (Although that ended very well, in front of Badger's fireplace!) They were very kind, saying they enjoyed seeing the north woods and the beautiful lakes, not to mention learning about poison ivy *itch* and wolves and black bears *shiver*. They were sorry to know that they had arrived too late to hear the haunting call of the loons, who had headed to their wintering places by now. But...they had heard rumors that Texas was warmer this time of year. (I withheld the fact that the area where they are headed has experienced some earthquake tremors lately. I think that was a fluke, so why worry them?) I wish they could have seen the Aurora Borealis, but that lightshow can be very elusive even for those of us who live here all the time. So...
we packed them up snugly and after many good-byes and thank you's, and a few tears, I gave them over to the care of the nice lady at the post office. The outside of our little post office is decorated with this beautiful mosaic of a tiger muskie, which is fabled to live in the waters of our beloved Lake Belletaine.
Mole, Ratty and Toad are on their way to visit Gigi at Firefly Cottage in Texas. Maybe they can wave at my two sons who live in Ft. Worth, as they pass by. Wish I could ride along with them and visit my sweet boys, but I will have to wait for larger accomodations! Gigi, they are looking forward to seeing all of the wonders of the Lone Star State. As a native Texan myself I enjoyed hearing of their expectations of BIG things in Texas. Have lots of fun with The Three. I sure have enjoyed meeting them and decorating The Book!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

WITW Happenings in Minnesota...

Ah, finally we had our tea party! Toad was a little put out that my English Cottage cups were actually made in Japan, but he liked my Irish biscuit tin. Did you notice my little mushroom teapot? It has been glued back together, but I think it's a cute little teapot. After our tea...
...the boys located my copy of their favorite book! They gazed admiringly at it and stroked the binding. I think they're a little homesick. Well, I promised a visit to the Ancient Swamp Willows...
These old willows have been around for a hundred or more years, I'm sure, and they won't be around much longer, but I think Mole, Ratty and Toad enjoyed being back close to nature for a bit.
Boys are boys the world around and these are no exceptions.
Their noses were pressed against the windows as they watched this huge log cutting machine on its way to harvest some trees in our woods.
Yes, Pom Pom, I did get a photo of The Willows posing with little Miss Audrey. I'm not sure she quite knew what to think of it, but she'll be impressed someday to find she posed with these famous folks!
Well, it's time for everyone to be off to bed. I'll keep you posted! :D

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Three Set Foot on Terra Firma Once Again!

It was a cold and blustery Minnesota night when my hubby rescued The Three travellers from a chilly fate...inside our mailbox. He quickly ushered them into the warm house and placed their cold toes close to the crackling woodstove. They were very appreciative!

Because they had been served a late meal in route, we said our goodnights and they quickly snuggled down into the little sleeping spot we had prepared for them in the loft of our log cabin. (We haven't quite gotten moved to our new place!) I will look in on them later to see if they need a quilt. At the moment the house is quite toasty, thanks to our trusty woodstove.

We couldn't put them to bed without first posing them with my laptop as proof of their arrival. They loved my desktop picture of Jerusalem!

I was aghast at the thought of putting my own picture online, but I see it's a requirement of all WITW hostesses. I'm really not bald, as my picture might suggest. I just wear my hair pulled back in a braid. (I'm seriously thinking of changing my hair-do after seeing this photo.) Anyway, I'm looking forward to adding my touches to this wonderful copy of The Wind in the Willows.

I will follow up with more news as our adventure continues. I hope to take The Adventurers to visit The Ancient Swamp Willows of Nevis which grow in our pasture. Their leaves have gone for the winter, but I thought it might help the boys not to feel so homesick for their own willows back home.

Goodnight, all!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Waiting for my new art spot...

It looks like it may be a couple of weeks before we can move into our new place. Well drillers, trenchers, etc. are all a little behind schedule. I'm planning a spot for my schoolwork and art. Our daugher, son-in-law and granddaughter will probably be bunking with us throughout the cold winter until they can prepare their property to move their trailer there, so we are trying to make snug places for everyone to sleep and have some space to themselves if needed. It will be close quarters even in a three bedroom home, but we are happy to help them out and will enjoy their youthful presence! I've always loved the idea of communal living. (What an old hippy!)

Instead of having a bedroom to myself for my art room, for the time being I'll be using a corner of our bedroom. I have a couple of small pieces of furniture that will work well to make a place to study and to store my art supplies. I'll post pictures when it all comes together.

It looks like I'll have to unpack my sketchbooks and paints because I do want to draw something to enter in this month's Sketchbook Challenge!

Still awaiting the arrival of The Three, Pom Pom! You enjoy your vacation!


Friday, October 14, 2011

Moving on up!

Our new house just arrived! It won't be ready to move in for about a week as they need to stitch the two halves together! We will miss our log cabin, but we hope to enjoy our new house with no basement or loft stairs which make so much of our cabin inaccessible to my husband.

My art supplies are packed and ready for the move. I look forward to having a whole room just for my artwork and study area! My bookcase will hopefully fit on one wall with a couch and a desk. It will be fun to arrange things and decorate, but art will probably have to sit on the backburner for a bit.'s always changing!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Do you find this as fascinating as I do?

Why doesn't my mind work like this? I think this is such an amazing idea. This sketch came from the Sketchbook Challenge website.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Wind in the Willows worldwide tour!

Super excited to be one of the stopovers on Ratty, Mole and Toad's world tour! This is such a wonderful, fun and creative idea! Thanks, Pom Pom and Mags!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Makin' a grid...

Diana Trout, from the Sketchbook Challenge crew, suggested the idea of making a grid sketchbook page. I thought it was a great idea! Instead of having a huge blank page to fill, you divide the page up into small boxes and then you get to fill them with tiny pictures! Here's the beginning of mine!

I picked a little sprig of flowers while on my walk yesterday and thought I'd try drawing them for my first square. I also found a rustic oak leaf and some acorns, so I'm working on them as well. I want to think of a different border for each drawing. It's a work in progress and I think it'll be fun!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Richard Scarry!

My little tribute to Richard Scarry from his version of The Gingerbread Man. Muffed it a bit, but it was fun!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Hey, look Pom Pom!

I was looking through the very old copy (1905) of A Child's Garden of Verses that I just found at a garage sale, and there were your little girls looking at their reflections! I thought that was pretty cool.
And isn't this a pretty picture? It's from the same book.
I posted this picture on my other blog. It's a neat old book, but the pages are falling out. I'm wondering if I might try making an altered book out of it. I'll have to find out more about that, but I'm hoping I can do something with it to preserve it. Since it's in such bad shape I wouldn't be afraid to draw and paint on the pages. Just a thought! :)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A few new sketches...

I added a few little sketches to this sketchbook page I've shown before. I'm enjoying doing some little bits from "Each Peach, Pear, Plum" by the Ahlbergs

.Sure glad I found this little book! I love the illustrations!

Shalom! I'm off to bed after I check in on Pom Pom's blog!

Monday, August 8, 2011

My Pom Pom sketches are complete!

I'll be looking for yours, Pom Pom. :D I finished my little veggie picture and now I will put it on the Sketchbook Challenge website!
You know, I almost like these little paint testing pieces as much as one of my intentional paintings! The colors are so pretty! I photographed them sitting on top of my watercolor notebook that I keep finished paintings in.
And I also finished my little "Cottage of Content" painting. I kind of like it though it looks very different from the picture I copied it from! :)
Now I'd better take care of some book ordering for school! Bye for now!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Yes, Pom Pom, I did receive your package! Thank you so much for the colored pencils, which I will put into use coloring my Pom Pom sketches. I love the fat "little kid" pencils! How cute! Your drawings are wonderful, as usual. Is that Old King Cole dancing around? Here is my rendition of the little fairy girl picture that you sent
My granddaughter is doing fine. Mother and daughter are working on adjusting the nursing/bottle routine so she will gain some weight, but they're getting there. We're enjoying rocking her!

School starts officially on August 22, but my online Chemistry class will open on August 15 so we can get a head start. This one will be challenging just figuring out the webcam, headset, microphone, etc. used for Webinars. Sheesh! I almost freaked out when I got the email from my instructor listing all of these things, but I'm going to try to be philosophical about it and just do my best and let the chips fall where they may. I really have to trust God this semester. Lots of classes..This is the picture I'm working on for the Sketchbook Challenge. The theme is "Everyday Objects", and I thought the pure colors from one of my little watercolor boxes were so pretty that they ought to be used just as they were for a colorful little vegetable picture. I'm going to do some outlining and it will be ready to submit.

Keep up the creativity! :D

Saturday, July 30, 2011

I learned something new...

I created a handmade birthday card for my son Josh's 27th birthday. Several years ago he bemoaned the fact that nobody writes their own cards any more. He doesn't like "store-bought" sentiments. So, I made a card with a picture of himself at three years of age. I added ink and watercolor details. The new thing I learned is that you have to do the watercolor FIRST and the ink LAST or you get a smudged mess! Do you believe I didn't KNOW that? Hey, I'm a beginner! I thought the ink was waterproof. Oh well, live and learn. My ignorance didn't harm the card very much. I just wanted Josh to know that he's worth the effort of making a card just for him, and I thought his wife and little son would enjoy the picture.

I've been having fun today sketching pictures from Pom Pom's last blog post. I'll send her a copy of my sketches to use as a coloring page. She can color it her way; I'll color it my way and maybe we can both post our results and see how different they are. Interesting!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A pleasant morning of artistic pursuits...

I've had the house to myself for a couple of hours this morning and I'm taking advantage of the solitude to do a little drawing. I've also been looking through some of the wonderful children's books I purchased lately, looking for drawings to copy for practice. I'm posting this in a hurry because I have to leave for work shortly, so I may come back and revise it later.

These are the two little A.A. Milne books I got at the library sale. They are full of wonderful drawings by E.H. Shepard.
I certainly need to work on drawing children and people in general, so pictures such as these will provide some copying practice.

I'm going to try to begin doing things in a more "sketchbooky" sort of way buy putting many small drawings together, fitting as much as I can on each page. I think I try to draw things too big and then get discouraged because it takes so much time. I also want to write more in my sketchbook. This really gets me excited thinking about just doing little drawings that I enjoy and seeing where it leads!
I recently discovered Alisa Burke's blog. What a talented artist! One thing that really encouraged me was comparing her drawings to the model she's drawing from. The two are very different and the colors are even very different. You can see that she makes her own interpretation of the object. This is a very freeing thought; that my drawing doesn't have to replicate the reality. I love that she has lots of little "peek inside my sketchbook" links on each page. Gorgeous stuff!

I think it's really cool the way she writes all over the pages. Quite an inspiring blog! I highly recommend it! You can see more here.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Grappling with ideas...

I've been poring over the Sketchbook Challenge blog site. There is so much to take in! I've read numerous bits on the various artists who are the "experts" who keep the whole thing going. I'm very impressed with their creativity and originality, to the extent that I'm feeling very UNcreative and original! :( I know they all started in the same place I'm starting. I realize it takes years of practice to get good at this stuff. I'm just wondering if it's worth years of practice?!?

Where am I headed with this? (Thinking out loud, which is, of course, what blogging is all about, eh?) I'm also reading a book about professional artists who go to work each day and paint 8 hours a day to produce saleable art. Yuck! It's interesting to look at their studios, but I can't imagine doing art as a business. SO, I know I'm not headed there. At least not in the sense of artists who fill large canvases (canvasses?) with big splashes of paint that look like nothing I recognize, so others will buy it because their name is well known in artist circles. Nah.

On the other hand, small illustrations for greeting cards, picture books, that sort of thing...possibly.

What gets me is how many of these artists (on the Sketchbook Challenge website) can draw or paint something fairly simple, then they take it to a whole new level by adding really beautiful details that came from their imaginations. I just draw what I see and it can look pretty boring when I'm finished. So, I'm going to continue to try to ENJOY drawing and experimenting and I'm not going to worry about where it's going. I'm also going to keep reading and looking at what others are doing. Maybe eventually something will spark some originality and creativity that's "in there" somewhere!

In fairness to myself, I also see that many of these artists are drawing from photos or models and are taking classes from other people to get ideas, so maybe I'm not the only one who needs some help! :D

Just needed to vent, self!

BTW, this is a video called The Doodle Game. I've noticed that several of the people posting drawings on The Sketchbook Challenge like to do extreme doodles. This looks like fun! Come on Pom Pom! You're a doodler! I'm going to try this...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Another for the sketchbook challenge...

"Elemental" brings to mind such things as wind, rain and lightning. Not an excellent use of cross-hatching, but I'm still at the stage of recklessly drawing without the experience necessary to plan ahead. Still lots of fun!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Sketchbook Challenge...

I'm joining in the July challenge to draw something "elemental". What could be more elemental than a cheerful group of toadstools wriggling their toes into the dark, loamy, woodland earth?
I look forward to being inspired in my sketching through The Sketchbook Challenge. I only recently dug out my hoard of art supplies and have begun an art exchange with my pal Pom Pom who has been such an encouragement to actually begin creating! This sounds like another facet to the great adventure we've begun. :)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Pom Pom and Debbie...

Pom Pom, I put a letter in the mail yesterday. About time!! :D Hope you enjoy! (You'll find a little Van Gogh influence in it, hee, hee!)

Debbie, glad you got to order your very own English Cottage cup! Remember they are made by a Japanese company. I think the artwork reflects an Asian influence. See if you agree with me when you get it. Kind of different!

My projects for today include adding some pen outlines to my little Freya Blackwood girl. I'll probably try some shading with pen, also. I've got to take some chances in order to learn what works! I had some little smeary problems on her face. Oh well!

Another picture I'm working on is based on the English cottage below. I'm trying to rein myself in and take my time instead of getting rushed and trying to do it all in one day. What's the hurry? This is fun time! :D
I know, my stone walls are too dark. When I try to correct it with watercolors it just blends together. Maybe some colored pencils after it dries? Experimentation is fun!

I checked out five interesting books at the library. I'm looking for more drawing inspiration and I think I'll find plenty here. The books are:
I'd Rather Be In the Studio by Alyson B. Stanfield
Inside the Painter's Studio by Joe Fig
Mexican Churches by Eliot Porter
Garden Patterns and Mosaics by Clare Mathews and
Crazy Quilts by Cindy Brick, which I've mentioned before.

I'd Rather Be in the Studio is subtitled The Artist's No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion. It's more for people wanting to be professional and find ways to promote their work, so I'm not sure if it will be very engrossing. Inside the Painter's Studio looks really interesting. It's a compilation of interviews with artists and shows lots of pictures of their studios and they ask lots of questions about how they work, etc.

Yesterday I did these exercises intended to give one practice in creating various tones and textures. You're supposed to do them quickly. I just love the feel of the pen on paper!

Thanks for visiting, gals!