sketchbook

I am an Artist with Lisa Congdon

Last weekend I was lucky enough to take part in the fabulous online course on art business offered by the inspiring Lisa Congdon. I was doubly lucky enough to have been given a VIP spot for Christmas by my husband. The VIP membership included a one hour skype with Lisa on Tuesday after the course ended. It was a great experience and I feel better prepared to go out in the world with my artwork and to stop waiting for my work to be perfect. I shifted uncomfortably in my seat when she discussed how perfectionism is a career killer.

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Enjoy the magic

That happens in everyday life. Adjusting to being back in England after holiday in Spain has been a challenge. It still doesn't feel quite like home, especially after time away. But there is a lot of beauty and magic here as well even if I have total wanderlust for more and more trips.  

Playground magic  

Playground magic  

Oxford campus always crowded with tourists magic  

Oxford campus always crowded with tourists magic  

Midori (travelers notebook) love

Not the noxious green melon liquer that I drank in college! But a beautiful and simple leather folio that holds various notebooks. I wanted one and got one for Christmas. But it wasn't love at first but it has grown on me this summer as the item I carry with me everywhere and put my life into. Why wasn't it love at first? Because for urban sketching I prefer a proper bound usually hardback sketchbook. Summer has not contained much time for urban sketching but there has been more than enough time for Sketchnoting, journaling, reflection and planning. The Midori has been well used and perfect. 

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Going with flowers for spring.

When I went to bed last night I thought that I was about to start a hundred days of self portraits. But in the eleventh hour I changed my mind. Spring rebirth and flowers it is for the next hundred days. Follow me on Instagram to see how I keep it up and keep it lively and interesting. My goal is to learn, strengthen my skills, connect with others and stretch myself.  #the100dayproject

Starting with the simple daisey. We saw a lot of daiseys around Versailles.   

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Sketching Memories in Paris

Sketchbook keeping on vacation/holiday is one of my favorite activities. This morning I woke up and sketched a corner of the living room on our Parisian apartment. Memories of this trip kept forever in a precious book. 

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On patience.

Sometimes (often) I need to remind myself that I am still learning and that I need to be patience with my style and keep working and I will get where I need to go. I have been painting for less than a year and I enjoy it more than I ever expected. But the truth is I have no idea what my work will look like in a year or two. My personal style has not yet developed and I get frustrated waiting and searching for it and I must remind myself to enjoy the journey and keep working hard and I will get there. That there are no shortcuts. That said if anybody has some tips on honing in on a more personal style I am all ears. In the meantime I am enjoying the journey in my soon to be relocated art studio with a sketchbook always nearby. 

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Product Share : Noodlers Ahab Flex Pen filled with Noodlers Bulletproof Black ink

This is a weird pen. But $20 for a flex pen with a converter for taking bottled ink I figured it was worth a shot. I got it months ago from Amazon before I had heard of the Goulet Pen Company. If I get another one I will be ordering from Goulet in the future. My pen arrived and the ink flow was too much, too wet and it smeared all over the place. I adjusted the pen and got ink all over the place but the pen worked better when I was done. Then I decided it could be better after watching some videos and reading some pen adjusting tutorials and adjusted it again. Another mess and in the end my pen functioned worse than it did new out of box. I was frustrated and I put the pen aside and started using my Lamy Joy and enjoying how that pen just works without adjustment. 

But after a few months I really started to miss that flexible line quality that I can get with the Ahab and nothing else. So I rubbed some Gloves in a Bottle lotion on my hands and adjusted my pen again. Now I love it again and I am not fussing with it anymore! This pen is not an entry fountain pen for novices. That honor belongs hands down to the Lamy Safari, another affordable fountain pen that works straight out of the box and continues to work for many years. But for people who don't mind getting their hands dirty fiddling with a pen this is a fun pen to try. For me the line quality is such a joy to draw with that it was worth the hassle of learning how to adjust the pen properly. 

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NYC - Traveling Artist (with family)

Spent the holiday weekend in NYC with my family. First stop was The Cloisters where I showed my unicorn obsessed daughters the Unicorn Tapestries. What I didn't count on was how the tapestry series ends with the unicorn being slaughtered. Alex was devastated. Also didn't count on an adult reaching out and handling the famous tapestry that dates back to the 16th century. We all enjoyed the courtyard, especially Alex and I who sat down and drew flowers and the fountain. My oldest daughter has picked up on the fact that I draw every day and she now does it herself so she "can be a great artist like me or Van Gogh". Thanks kid! Next stop brunching in Brooklyn with friends, The Lion King musical, the MOMA and Central Park. 

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Portable Art: Vacation Day Bag

My vacation day bag includes:

  1. my sketchbook
  2. camera
  3. iPad Mini
  4. stylus
  5. books (Die Empty and Daily Habits)
  6. travel sized watercolors and water brush
  7. pens
  8. colored pencils
  9. iPhone
  10. my brain

Will see how many of these items I actually use during this trip and report back. What art supplies do others bring when they travel? 

Thinking about my home of Boston today while on vacation at Disney with my family. Good luck to all those running in the Boston Marathon today.

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