Books I've Read

Favorite Things : Raskog cart from IKEA

Happy Monday! Relaxing and cleaning filled weekend on one of our final summer days here in Boston. This cleaning has led me to rediscover some of my most favorite things in my art studio.

IKEA Raskog cart is hugely popular for a reason. It looks good in a retro kind of way and it is well made and can be used to store a variety of items from plants to kitchen gear to art supplies. Guess what I use mine for? Art supplies of course. Only my favorite and most reached for supplies go on this little cart. I love how sturdy it is, easy to clean and with wheels that actually move smoothly and don't fall off like so many cheap plastic carts I have tried in the past. Mostly pens and ink up on this top level along with books that I am currently reading, with watercolor supplies down below and markers and scissors on the bottom level. I must really trust my children to leave the scissors and sharpies on the lower level and bottles of permanent ink on the still quite reachable upper level!

recently reorganized art cart from my recently reorganized and decluttered art studio.

recently reorganized art cart from my recently reorganized and decluttered art studio.

Morning rituals revisited and revised for summer.

Mornings are hard. I thought they would get easier when the days started out sunny and warm but so far it is even harder to get to the work and I need to be even more disciplined. I still very much want to sleep in until 7 or later and writing my morning pages snuggled in the cozy warm bed is no longer very appealing. I got out of the habit of writing Morning Pages and I think my blog suffered and I suffered as a result. Now I am working to get back into it and establish a new routine and new location for my morning work. Only to have that all change in two weeks when the girls are both out of school for the summer! My mornings will remain basically the same this summer and in a way be easier since there will be no rush to pack lunches and get dressed in the morning. We will be keeping very busy but not rushing out of the house at 8am kind of busy. I put down some scrap paper on my desk this weekend and started taking notes on it. Really great system. Protects my desk and I always have something to write on. Those rolls of paper from IKEA are going to get a lot more use now! Morning pages, blogging, warm-up sketches before I check my email or get on Facebook

notes from last week 

notes from last week 

Throwback Thursday : Stolen Messenger Bag

The beloved green with scooters Timbuk2 messenger bag that I have had for about a decade was stolen out of my car while I dropped my six year old off at kindergarten. I take her to a reading specialist in the burbs on Thursdays and we get to school late so the street was quiet and empty when the thief struck. And I was distracted after a difficult morning and must have left my car unlocked for the two minutes it takes to drop her off inside the building. They got my wallet, bag, phone, a library book, a bunch of art supplies and two sketchbooks. My favorite and nearly full sketchbook is gone. I am still hoping that at the very least my sketchbook comes back to me. I feel sad and violated. This thief ruined my morning but not my day. I had this bag for ten years and I can't find a single picture of it.

find me and the treasures inside me.

find me and the treasures inside me.

Saturday Share : The Jealous Curator (Danielle Krysa)

I picked up the book The Creative Block by the popular blogger The Jealous Curator, also known as Danielle Kysa. But as the Jealous Curator is how most of us that follow her online know her. Truth is I have been traveling so much and haven't wanted to bring such a beautiful large book such as The Creative Block with me so I haven't done more with the book than thumb through it at this point. But I follow her blog daily and that was perfect when we were on the road a week ago.

I will get to all these wonderful projects eventually! 

I will get to all these wonderful projects eventually! 

Saturday Share : Daily Rituals by Mason Curry

One third of the way through Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Curry I realized I need a wife or a servant to be a successful artist. In all seriousness I learned a lot from reading this collection of habits and routines from various famous creatives over the years. While many of them did have wives and/or servants to deal with the children and more household duties so they could lock themselves in a room for hours at a time. Still plenty of others had/have day jobs and would create during their lunch hour or after hours. A number of them were married women with children. As long as I have discipline I have plenty of time to work hard and get things done. It was a great book for reading on the road until it became too dark for me to see clearly. I highly recommend picking this book up if you are a creative type looking to feel less crazy and be inspired in the process. You can buy a copy on Amazon, your local bookstore or check it out at your local library like I did. 

Transient

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.

Transient

Oh Alex! Feeling the love.

Somebody loves me. My six year old made this butterfly card for me with careful hand lettering. She loves making cards for people. I recently purchased 20 Ways to Draw a Tree to share with her and she is loving it. She especially loved the pages on butterflies and snails. I think we are going to have a lot of fun drawing together with this book. 

Transient

Thanks Ira! I will keep going and work hard every day.

Keep going. Over and over again. Thanks Ira Glass for the stellar advice and encouragement. A week into the hard focused work and it is already paying off. Of course I already knew this from my own life experience and from books I have read like The Artist's Way and The War of Art. It is so obvious that even my little kids do it. They are always working hard and practicing every skill that they know new and old over and over again. I leave out a scrap of paper and my eldest writes and draws all over it. She can't help herself. But adult me still forget and needs a fresh reminder from time to time. Now I am finding ideas that I didn't have two weeks ago are suddenly coming out of apparent thin air. I can feel my brain working better. Sticking to my Core Hours and working is begetting more energy and more ideas to work with. Planning ahead for summer and fall.

Transient

Mini-Vacation!

Going on a trip this weekend to NYC by myself to see this show and so much more. My family will be staying behind and while I will miss them and call every night I am going to enjoy myself doing adult childfree things for three days. Oh and taking the train! The reading. The quiet. The headphones. So great! Really looking forward to this spur of the moment trip and spending time alone and with friends and great art.

The Goldfinch by Fabritius

The Goldfinch by Fabritius

Jury Duty

I have Jury Duty on Wednesday and we are trying to get our favorite Parents in a Pinch babysitter here otherwise Jon will stay home with the kids. I'm actually looking forward to spending the day away from the children and my responsibilities at home and getting some reading done. As long as I don't get picked and it is just the day it should be nice. Jon's parents will be visiting on Thursday and Friday and offered to watch the kids those days if I have to serve but those days are very busy and I would like to be home and not on a jury during their visit. But right now Wednesday is sounding a bit like a vacation that I pretty clearly need. I just starting reading The Goldfinch and could use some quiet time to read and sketch. If the weather is nice I can bike to the courthouse. A day away from my little princess on Wednesday is starting to look pretty nice after this weekend of craziness.

Transient

Content Creators

This month I set a goal for myself to blog every day. As I write more and more and put more content up online I recall this article from the NY Times that I read a few weeks back. Born of the frustration of working in a culture that doesn't value creative content but laughing with the frustration. I think I am going to just keep blogging here for myself and keep doing my drawing, carving and printing and seeing what comes of it.

Content Creators

Transient

Why I Blog?

 This is a question I ask myself a lot as I get back to writing and blogging. After all I am not a writer I am a visual artist. That is the script that I formed for myself long ago and it can be hard to break out of that mold even when doing so is so obviously the right choice. By nature I am insecure about my words. Rather shy and reserved by nature I prefer to let my art speak for me. But writing my morning pages every morning (except once) these past two months and blogging on a regular basis has been changing me. And changing my art as well. It creates feedback with myself and causes me to consider things that I wouldn't necessarily consider if I wasn't forced to write all the time. Seven hundred and fifty words for my Morning Pages every morning is a lot of page filling. But I do it and stuff comes out and I learn how to write while doing it. Blogging is a lot. Instead of just going on with my busy life with my family and making art whenever I can I am forcing myself to stop and think about what I'm doing, why and what's next. I blog because it is changing me and I like it. 

Next is an older piece that I never loved or hated. During my printing last week I found it and added one more layer and now it is finally finished. 

Next is an older piece that I never loved or hated. During my printing last week I found it and added one more layer and now it is finally finished. 

The Sad Sisters of Cheerier Cloths

Getting geared up to carve a large woodblock this winter and getting inspired by the patterns from the Textile Designs book that my inlaws got me for Christmas last year. So many awesome patterns to sift through it is such a great book for any artist. I am especially drawn to the page of black and white textiles of "half-mourning" from the late 19th century and early 20th century used to cover widows who had passed through the early morning period but not quite ready to wear colorful fabrics. Interesting but I am not sure where I am going with these just yet.

 

inspiration  

inspiration  

Resistance and the War of Art

What keeps so many of us from doing what we long to do? Why is there a naysayer within? How can we avoid the roadblocks of any creative endeavor—be it starting up a dream business venture, writing a novel, or painting a masterpiece?