Monthly Archives: October 2014

Work-In-Progress

I think I’ll always find something new to learn.

The more I continue down this creative life path, the more things I discover. I look for new ways to stretch and grow from each experience. I think I know something about a few things and a little bit more about a few more. There are things that I’ve forgotten and have been relearning, and there’s nothing that I know everything about. And there’s a great deal of which I know nothing!

Maybe I’m a work in progress, too.

Watercolor sketches with a touch of colored pencils added.

Watercolor sketches with a touch of colored pencils added.

I like to sketch and paint. After a bit of a *layoff*, I’ve taken up the paintbrush again. Watercolors are fun and not at all easy. (Understatement, truly, especially if you’re a watercolorist.) I enjoy using acrylics and colored pencils, too. Mixed media, collages, photography, and… WAIT!! I’m getting distracted from the topic.

The *layoff* came about because I submitted a piece of artwork to be evaluated. I’d worked hard on that piece. I’d erased, rethought, listened to suggestions for revisions, revised, reworked, and wondered. It didn’t look like what I thought my original vision was by the time I completed. I sent it in anyway.

“Your style is not suited for our publication,” they replied. (Sigh)thought I.

I began to work on other creative things and lay my drawing supplies aside for some time. Of course, I still thought about what the reviewer had said, and as time passed, a new thought began to develop: What WAS my drawing/painting style?? The time away from my drawing gave me the opportunity to look at the artwork I’d submitted with new understanding. It really wouldn’t work for them the way it was presented at all. I can see that now.

I pick up my paintbrush with a new determination and the focus will be on FACES for now. They’re not realistic, they have character, they have nothing AT ALL to do with the suggestions made by the reviewer of my work. These are just for me. You may see something that you like, or maybe not. I may do a hundred of them before I’m satisfied. Some of them I like. Others, not so much.

When I complete a new illustration, I’ll send it to the reviewer, and should they not “like” it, to another publication, too.

Happy Creating!

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Surprise, surprise!

Morning, Glory!

Morning, Glory!

There is something wonderful growing out in the experimental garden. Look! See for yourself!

Wire cages were carefully placed there in the early spring to protect my young greens from visiting rabbits. Tall wire supports were put beside those to support Cherokee Purple and heirloom tomatoes. Two varieties of eggplant and some herbs joined in this space, as did a colorful glass bottle tree for luck. Did I have a real PLAN for this area? Well, no. That was part of the fun and wild abandon with which I approached this area of my garden. I dug the holes for planting with the end of my walking stick–just to see what would happen. I covered the holes by scraping the dirt over the seeds with the toe of my boot. I had water containers available and hauled rainwater from the barrels when it got hot this summer. Sometimes. Admittedly, I wasn’t expecting much and purposely planted the remainder of those seeds in another location, where the trellises were intentionally built for the purpose of supporting vertical growth.

When that part of the garden had produced most of its bounty, and I got busy with other tasks, I didn’t visit that particular area as much as when it needed regular attention. Another part of the fun and challenge of the experimental garden was that I tried to embrace the method of weedless gardening, which works really well when you follow the theories and application. I did most of what I had read about, but still, felt guilty at not being there for a while.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered this wonderful show of flowers which have almost entirely covered the garden area. I’ll take it as a sign that nature truly does understand the characteristics of the creative spirit, which can grow and provide such peace and understanding when we most need it and least expect it. I’m planting seeds now for creative growth, and I’m hopeful the results will be just as amazing.

Flowers form over the garden supports.

Flowers form over the garden supports.

(I wonder…if I build my garden supports really tall, could I sit in there under the flowers next year?)

Happy creating!

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Back On The Trail (Again!)

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I’m getting ready to attend one of my favorite writing conferences–the Southern Breeze SCBWI Writing and Illustrating for Kids (WIK) conference, close to Birmingham, AL. It will be great to visit with writers and illustrators– meet agents, editors and art directors. I always learn SO much from these conferences and come away inspired and with plans for creative projects. Plus, I get to visit with long-time friends who are creative spirits, too. We share news, tips and talk about our individual creative “path.”

So I put on my hiking boots today to take a walk in the backwoods. It’s so DIFFICULT to pack for these conferences. There’s so much to think about!! I can’t decide what to take along with me, and you know I want to do a lot and all at the same time!

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By the time I got deeper into the woods, I could hear the sound of the water in the creek. No cars. No phones. Nothing to create a distraction. Just the sound of my own footsteps as I crunched through the leaves.

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I went as far as the tree house before I stopped to rest. The sun provided a nice canopy over the bend in the creek. I took out my sketchbook, fully intending to spend some time writing or drawing while I was there.

But I stopped. I just stood still and listened. To my breath and the beating of my own heart.
I hope to include that in my writing and illustrating.

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Happy creating to you, too!

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