everyday matters

Have a great weekend!

I had big plans to attend another London Sketchcrawl this Saturday followed by a mini Sunday botanical garden sketching trip with my eldest.  But recovering from illness (again!) means I need to reevaluate those plans. No matter what it will be an art filled weekend. 

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Morning Pages

After months off this Morning Pages writing is extremely effective at opening up my mind and generating blog topics and content. Getting through a month of daily blog posting for #nanoblopomore would probably be a failure already if I didn't start up Morning Pages in late October. I came up with three rough drafts just this morning for me to expand on later. I love it! This leads me to believe that I should find a way to make Morning Pages work for me year round and not just during the dark and cold winter months. If I want to keep blogging and I do then I need to write more or my mind will just be visual. The visual is obviously super important but adding text to my visual thoughts and journey and being able to express myself with words is pretty important for eventual success. 

Why do I sketch?

I fill about a sketchbook a month these days. When I am done they go on a shelf in my studio and I look back on them often. My children look through them and I show them off to friends and other curious people. This number doesn't include the "extra" books I keep around. Why do I do it? Why do I use precious paper and other materials for plenty of less than perfect pages? Because if I don't I grow stagnant and miserable. Because the process is how I grow as an artist and as a person. Because my sketchbooks are important. I admire other artists that keep active, consistent yet varied and adventurous sketchbooks. It is a tricky balance for sure to develop and maintain a style while continuing to push yourself as an artist and experiment. As I try to break out of my sketchbooks a bit more and feel comfortable doing pieces for the public rather than for myself I know that making time for my sketchbooks is something that needs to come first in my art life. No matter where I am at in life I will always sketch.

The first page of every sketchbook starts something like this. Thank you  Liz Steel  for helping me get over first page jitters.

The first page of every sketchbook starts something like this. Thank you Liz Steel for helping me get over first page jitters.

Where to go? What to draw? Everyday Matters Challenge.

I get to go on some fun sketching adventures around Boston and when we travel. But sometime I have at home to draw and want to draw something real not something imagined and don't know what to draw. Am getting sick of drawing my coffee cups and couple of plants. That is where the Everyday Matters drawing prompt list challenge comes in handy. Going through that list one at a time at whatever pace suits me. Also, I am impatient to finish up this small sketchbook so I can move on to a larger non-wirebound sketchbook. Next up is a lamp.

Oh how I wish these Toms fit me!

Oh how I wish these Toms fit me!

My Color Free Weekend

Over the weekend I gave myself the challenge to draw exclusively in black and white and the various shades of grey to help myself see value better. I didn't get as many chances to draw outside this weekend as I would have liked so I may keep the challenge going in my travel sketchbook for awhile longer. I am happy to be using some old shades of grey Pitt markers after years of neglect. Very happy that I took on this extra challenge. Wish I had done something like this when I was in art school.

started out with painting a dried and pressed flower from the safety of my studio

started out with painting a dried and pressed flower from the safety of my studio

then moved on to drawing ginkgo leaves and seedpods at the school playground while my kids played

then moved on to drawing ginkgo leaves and seedpods at the school playground while my kids played

an owl from my imagination and sketches from the Museum of Natural History in NYC

an owl from my imagination and sketches from the Museum of Natural History in NYC

My bagel and the organ at church.

My bagel and the organ at church.

Repeating myself. Draw more, paint more, write more.

More more more! Also sleep more to keep myself energized. I went to bed early last night and woke up this morning feeling wonderful. Good morning indeed! We are going back to NYC this weekend and I am excited to bring my sketchbook to various places. After a bit of a slump I am back to drawing whatever comes to mind and strikes my fancy and enjoying it. Case in point moths are interesting to draw but I needed to draw a bird to eat them so I could sleep last night.

moths did not haunt my dreams last night

moths did not haunt my dreams last night

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.

A favorite meal.

Spent some time on Saturday wandering around Fenway by myself so of course I stopped by my favorite Thai restaurant for lunch. Being home with my two children full time over the summer is a lot of fun but it is also exhausting and it is important that I take time to be by myself whenever possible. So my husband Jon took the girls on a hike at Drumlin Farm and I headed to the Dick Blick in Fenway. While I did not end up buying much, being able to shop and then getting lunch at my own pace and not having to manage other human beings was such a welcome break. I left the weekend feeling ready for another week with my little girls.

Som Tum or Green Papaya Salad with shrimp and sticky rice. A little bit sweet, a little bit sour and a little bit spicy and very refreshing. 

Som Tum or Green Papaya Salad with shrimp and sticky rice. A little bit sweet, a little bit sour and a little bit spicy and very refreshing.