Art Journals, sketches, TV sketches, watercolors. Read: guilty pleasures, fixations and obsessions.

characters

Dunked and Drawn

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Noodler’s Bulletproof Black in a Lamy Vista EF, DS and WN watercolors in a 11×14″ Canson XL Mix Media pad. Yes, the paper buckles; it’s not the greatest for wet work. But I don’t mind if I slosh beer on it while I splash paint around…

On the last day of Spring, I dunked Stella, the amazing expanding sponge toy into a glass bowl and placed her on the front porch table where Stego was ensconced. She had been egging me on for weeks and because Stego was nearly back to his old tiny self, I obliged. Stella began to grow slowly, but when she made progress, she meant business.

Recently, I found some toys on the walking path near the house and scooped ’em up because they were winking at me. They immediately began to hang around Stella’s bowl and they clearly desired to be drawn. I’ve been keeping track of Stella for a week now and so have the boys. They’d better watch out, though. Stella’s going to get way too big for that bowl.

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A Good Soaking

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Noodler’s Bulletproof Black in a Lamy Vista, EF and DS & WN watercolors in an A5 Moleskine watercolor notebook. Windham, Maine.

I am now officially a fan of those cheesy “expands by an amazing 600%” sponge toys! So much fun documenting the transformation and prodding the jelly-like and slimy critter with a stick to adjust its position in the vase. Guess I’m just one of those people who never really grew up. It doesn’t take much to amuse me.

Here’s my second sketch of Stego in his early stages of expansion. Finally, he grew so long and heavy that his tail busted under the soggy dino’s weight. Yesterday, I tenderly pulled him from his bath and cobbled his slick tail back on with a toothpick (ouch!). Now he’s on a platter and enjoying a small snack. A good soaking apparently made Stego so very hungry. If it warms up tomorrow, I’ll grab a chair on the porch and sketch’im again as he withers.

Very soon, I shall plunge his companion, Chandra the Sea Star, into an appropriate vessel and observe her progress with pen in hand. What do sea stars eat, anyhow?

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All Wrapped Up

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Miyoho serves food and beverage to the entire shuttle crew en route to Kaguya Lunar Station.
Micron Pigma pen, watercolor on random scrap of paper, glued into the approx. 8×8″ hand bound journal filled with Strathmore 500 Series mixed media paper and Canson Mi-Teintes paper.

My participation in the International Fake Journal Month has consumed me. My creative sketching and painting energy is all wrapped up in my hand-bound fake journal where young Hoshi Banks, a college engineering student, has taken an internship position on the Moon. At “present” she is on a shuttle, about to orbit the Moon and descend to the Japanese Lunar surface station Kaguya. Hoshi has been sleeping quite a bit on this journey, the reasons for which she is (finally) becoming suspicious. There are three other interns in the program and Hoshi is growing desperate to tell them she thinks the aerospace corporation which has organized this expedition to Kaguya is not what it seems!  I wonder what lies in store for them on the Moon?

Have a look through the pages of my fake journal, Kaguya’s Gift, and let me know what you think! Maybe you will want to participate next year?

Click here to learn more about International Fake Journal Month, created by Roz Stendahl.


The “Unwatch” Option

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The Governor to Milton: “You kill or you die. Or you die and you kill.”
Pentel Pocket Brush Pen and watercolor on 9×12″ 400 Series Strathmore hardbound sketchbook.

Ugh, I was worried that the dream Goddess would punish me with zombie dreams if I watched the season 3 finale of The Walking Dead right before going to bed last night. The Governor is one messed up unit and without spoiling the outcome, the character no longer has a shred of pathos intact after what he did in that episode. I sketched with my new Pentel Pocket Brush Pen, with which I have obviously not developed a working relationship. Rough sketch above! Need to keep sketching with it to learn its nuances.

On the subject of dreams, watching last night’s show doesn’t explain the dream that I did have: In it, I was a feudal Japanese house servant/wife, complete with a filthy floor, a smoky kitchen, a cranky mother-in-law and an oafish, arse-scratching husband. The family did own a beautiful exotic wood desk that had two big drawers, each of which had its own key. Needless to say, I did not possess the keys to the desk and during the dream I was intensely absorbed in fantasy about the contents of those drawers.

If I could “unwatch” last night’s tv show, I would select that option. I hope the bloody mess that was The Walking Dead season closer won’t enter my dreams.


Because I’m the Leprechaun!

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Noodler’s Bulletproof black, watercolor pencils, watercolors on A5 Moleskine watercolor journal.
16 March, 2013. Windham, ME.

Wish I’d bought two of these punching Leprechaun pens at the dime store last month, because I gave this to the hostess at her St. Patrick’s Day party last Saturday. (Great party, though!) Every time I look at the face on this sketch, I think of the comedian Chris Rock. Come to think of it, he does kind of remind me of a Leprechaun, somehow.

And then my mind goes down the association tunnel and quickly lands on a certain Saturday Night Live skit involving Wayne, Garth and a flashlight.


The Eyes Have It

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From last fall’s TV sketching obsession, this is CW’s Supernatural Archangel Castiel in the midst of smiting the devilish Crowley with his laser-blue eyes. Noodler’s Bulletproof Black and watercolor on 11×14″ Canson Mixed Media Pad. 14 Nov. 2012.

Last night, I just couldn’t fall asleep. Tossed, turned, counted backward from 100 several times and never once nodded off. Oh, I was tired enough to sleep. Yes, I was. And no, I didn’t consume caffeine or the like after noon yesterday. What I did was teach an early evening yoga class that ended at 7:30 p.m. Sleeplessness after teaching has happened to me before. I also get this skimming consciousness after practicing a pranayama, or breathing exercise, called Nadi Shodhana. I’ve casually queried my yogini friends and nobody else admits to this experience. Maybe this was a spontaneous Yoga Nidra experience? Naaaa. I feel refreshed and alert after Yoga Nidra, quite the opposite of how I feel at the moment.

Today I will have to endure feeling … and looking … like this sketch of poor old red-eyed, dry-lipped and sleep-deprived Castiel.


Branching Out

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WIP 25 Feb., 2013: Acrylics on 9×12″ canvas board.

Working out my winter-blues demons with my tiny watercolor portrait last week was incredibly productive for me. It shook me out of my doldrums, spawned several productive studio days — now I find myself itching to branch out further and signed up for a Strathmore multi-media instructional art workshop. After I signed up, I thought I’d better reacquaint myself with my rather neglected collection of acrylic paints. Initially, I’d set up a rather ho-hum still life. Bleh, no fruit or household objects, please! Since I’d learned so much from my little watercolor self portrait revelation, I again turned to my mirror for a handy subject.

This work-in-progress shows about three hours of fiddling. I’d dreamed of big swaths of brushstrokes and thick, buttery paint … the opposite of my effort. Yes, there are primitive stabs at technique, nearly fatal proportion problems here and, ugh, I have portrayed my eyes as flat and too small. Something I didn’t omit, however, was my brilliant fledgling set of Gramma jowls; looks like I exaggerated them, instead.

Ach, unless I spontaneously burst into an interesting new rhythm with my approach, this strange “selfie” will likely be covered in gesso after a few more hours of fiddling.