I was tired and wanted to go to bed as soon as the kids went to bed. I wanted them to go to bed early so I could go to bed early. Then they ended staying up drawing together in their room so I wandered back to my studio to tinker with some paintings. I am glad I kept going. Once I get through my to do list I will start putting watercolors up on my Etsy shop. I am nervous about listing these new creation as I still very much consider myself a student when it comes to watercolor. But I was a student with printmaking too not all that long ago.
I drew a lot on vacation. And I have drawn a lot since I have been back home. This one is from a photo I took outside the Art Institute Chicago during our first night there. Walking around the city at night was a memory I feel privileged to have and wanted to be sure to capture the memory in my sketchbook. Since I don't like using pencil using the wash and ink or fast and slow technique by blocking out the basic images in color using watercolor before drawing. That served as my guide when I slowly drew everything I could see. There are a couple of slightly wonky areas but overall I am quite pleased to have this image in my sketchbook. This is my favorite drawing of the week. Thank you Sketchbook Skool for the technique to tackle such a complex image and the focus to keep going and finish it.
We are all pretty done with this busy vacation and wanting to go chill out at home before heading back to school, work and chores. And home is a two day drive away. So we packed it in early and packed up and I spent some time relaxing with my sketchbook just filling pages with drawings and writing and we are heading home early. A vacation is supposed to be rejuvenating not exhausting and leave one primed for new more creative work. That is why when the girls showed little interest in going back to the Magic Kingdom for a fifth and final day we decided to follow their cue and pack it in and head home early. No rush to leave or get home just take our time and enjoy the journey. No pressure to meet actresses dressed as cartoon characters. A short shop in Savanna instead maybe? We have time and my studio and some inspired art making are waiting for me. See you there!
The radiator in the bathroom drips a little bit. The other morning the floor was so cold that the water was freezing on the tile in a little stalagmite icicle. There isn't much snow on the ground either so there isn't much winter fun to be had. Plus, have I mentioned that it is really cold outside and I have a three year old that hates winter coats and snowpants and is generally a pain to go outside with? Yeah that. It is all okay though because this makes it the perfect time to stay warm in the house moving around doing some pre-spring cleaning, organizing and purging and working on art and crafty projects with the kids. Look it is Olaf from Frozen in a shrinky dink that I made with my six year old! Winter isn't so terrible when you adjust your mindset a bit and adapt to what you are given.
There is a lot of art in my home, yet very little of it is hung up on our walls. Most of what I took the time to frame and hang is art from other artists that I have collected over the years. And mostly I hang work in my studio because it makes the room seem bigger and it inspires me. In the living areas of my home we tend to not have a lot of wall space or sense of permanence to hang art but that is starting to change. Today I hung some of my art in the hallway and in my bedroom. I almost never hang my own artwork but it seemed silly to have ready to hang pieces that I love just sitting in a bin unseen in my studio. Another thing to make our apartment feel more like a cozy home where we can stay and to inspire myself and my children with art every day. As soon as the little one came home this afternoon she asked about the artwork in our hallway and told me that she loves it. Thanks sweetie!
Snowy days, illnesses, furniture building, redecorating, milestones, birthdays, parties, no school and Christmas. That has been my life these long cold weeks. Before I knew it these things had taken up all of December. No time for myself or for my art. Then I got my surprise trip to NYC without the family to recharge and came home just in time for the New Year to start and Boston to get a blizzard. The snow is coming and my kids are off playing nicely together and I have a chance to write and think. It won't last so I need to seize the peace whenever I have it. It's all about balance. Sometimes I lose the balance but I always find it again with some effort.