Monday, September 30, 2013

Day 377 - We Are the Knights Who Ride Scooters

My mood when I woke up this morning was not much improved from what it was yesterday.  It was most assuredly one of those mornings where I would've rather hid under the covers, pretending that I didn't exist but, being the responsible grown-up type person that I am, I went to work and dealt with it.

There's a story that goes with this drawing today but my brain is so taxed that I don't have the mental fortitude to explain it all.  Basically: My husband's friend Phil rides a scooter.  Phil accidentally said "sire" instead of "sure" during a chat between the two of them and Josh ran with the knight analogy.  He asked if I'd draw a knight on a scooter.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Day 376 - Sarah and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

To think, my day started off so positively full of hope... "It's alright that the Steelers game isn't televised here in Columbus.  I'll just listen to it on the radio and work on my aunt's painting."

I was so young and naive when I made that statement just twelve hours ago.

As it turns out both things were train wrecks... my beloved Steelers embarrassed themselves on an international level (they played in London, today) and managed to earn an 0-4 start to their season.  My painting didn't fare any better.  By the time I'd given up working on it I wanted to hide in a deep, dark hole and never pick up a brush or pencil ever again.

My malaise lasted... well... until now and it doesn't look likely to lift during the remainder of the evening.  I think I may just retreat to the bathtub with my book and try to hide from myself for awhile.

I did manage to draw some half-hearted faces today.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Day 375 - Blasted Internet!

You know what happens when you spend time looking at other artists' work online?  You hate yourself, that's what, and you question why it is you do anything at all and other various and sundry self-effacing statements of that sort.

Stay off the internet, kids, it'll rot your brain.

I did some work earlier this afternoon as I had plans to be out for the evening.  It's a color sketch of one of the church mural sketches I've drawn up.  I've still got some color tweaking to do on this so it's not a final design by any means.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Day 374 - A Memorial of Sorts

Since this is my blog and I'm allowed, I'm going to get a bit somber today.

Tomorrow marks nine years since my maternal grandmother, Ethel, passed away.  She and I were very close because she lived with my parents and I my entire life.  I'm an only child so I had a built in grandmother all to myself during my childhood.  We were kindred spirits of sorts and I never realized how much like her I am until after she was gone.

My grandmother (I called her "nanny" and then "nan" as I got older) was a heck of a woman.  She was very intelligent, classy, always dressed to the nines and had more integrity than most people you're ever likely to meet.  And the woman could cook.... good gracious could she cook.

Nan made her own spaghetti sauce and meatballs from scratch and I continue this tradition by making my own... although, I've tweaked her meatball recipe to my own tastes.  (I'm very vain about my meatballs, you see.  They're delightful.)  She also made gnocchi from scratch and I was always enlisted to help in the process, whether I wanted to or not.

For the uninitiated, gnocchi are little Italian potato dumplings.  You mix together various ingredients to make a stiff dough.  The dough is then rolled out to one's particular preference of thickness and cut off to form little pillows.  My job in this process was to take the gnocchi that Nan had just cut and lay them out side by side (God help you if they touched) on a cookie sheet that'd be floured to within an inch of its life.  This was a task that was enjoyable when I was younger then, as I got older, I grumbled about it.  Grumbling about it is one of those things that my thirty-one year old self wishes she could punch my fifteen year old self for doing. I'd give anything to have those moments back but we never can quite see that when we're younger, I guess.

Anyway... Today's drawing is sketchy, the hands are bad and I need to work on my me-as-a-kid face but I love how Nan's face came out so much that I cried when I was finished with it.  It's she and I, making gnocchi.  I miss that woman like crazy.

Incidentally, I make my own gnocchi from scratch from time to time along with my homemade pasta sauce and meatballs... which you'll find delicious, or else.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Day 373 - More of the Same

I don't really have much to say to you today.  It's no fault of your own, of course... but I'm just not feeling overly verbose today.  That, and I don't have much to say about my drawing which is yet another mural sketch.  Sorry.  Maybe we'll have more to talk about tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Day 372 - Pastiche

That's a great word, isn't it?  People don't use "big words" enough anymore.  I use words like that on a daily basis and am often looked at in a manner suggesting I've arrived from another planet. Stretch your brain muscles, folks... it's good fer ya.

Anyway, today is a jumble, a hodgepodge, a patchwork, potpourri, and mix of random drawings.

First, my every-other-month drawing for the creative writing publication at work.  I find it increasingly difficult to draw things that will turn out well when reproduced on the copy machine.  This month I've decided that I'll just do a silhouette, fill it in with black and call it a day.  Obviously, I haven't filled this in yet.  Use your imagination.

Second, a member of the feline persuasion.  I don't draw cats well despite the fact that I have one and am able to regularly observe their general shape.  I'm not sure why I drew a cat today but it's one of the more successful ones I've attempted. Sorta. It's a bit cutesy.

Finally, tonight we hung out at a park with some friends and while everyone was talking I sketched a garbage can and, when I got bored with that, a something-weird-out-of-my-head.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Day 371 - Blech Part II

Today we commemorate the thirty-sixth anniversary of the day my husband arrived on the planet.  His birthday, of course... he didn't just show up in a spaceship in 1977 or anything.

Attempting to draw a picture as a birthday homage on a day when drawing doesn't come easily is frustrating.  I was having another off day today so my plans to draw Josh as a pirate or as one of the kids from The Goonies or as an 8-bit video game character crashed, burned and were magnificently unsuccessful.

During one of the many Google image searches I conducted for reference material, a picture of Speed Racer popped up.  I can't stand Japanese animation but I thought it'd be fun to draw Josh in the Speed Racer pose with his Saturn SL in the background.

Guess who can't draw cars on a good day? Moi.

Guess who can't draw her husband as a Japanese cartoon character either?  Yeah, you guessed it.

I did this little sketch as well...  I thought it was kinda nice.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Day 370 - Blech

I feeling a bit under the weather today and had zero energy with which to draw.  One idea was able to make it through the mental fog, however.  I thought that since I draw Josh so much, I should make a model sheet like animators use for characters that they're animating.  It's basically a reference to keep the character consistent.

That's an ambitious project on a good day.  Today wasn't a good day.  So I've got this:

A tiny, hastily drawn sketch of Josh that makes him look not his 36 years but maybe 17 instead... and Asian.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Day 369 - I Don't Wanna Talk About It

My beloved Pittsburgh Steelers... My beloved Pittsburgh Steelers with their six Super Bowl titles, their winning legacy, their overall consistent excellence... My beloved Pittsburgh Steelers are now 0-3 for some inexplicable reason.  It's not for my lack of screeching at the TV, I assure you... goodness knows enough of that was done tonight.  They haven't been 0-3 since 1986.  I was five.  (correction: it was apparently in 2000 that the Steelers were last 0-3.  So I was 18. It doesn't make any better.)

I actually started out calmly tonight... sketching my foot while watching the game.

Things started getting ugly... I was sketching less and yelling more... Finally, I decided I needed to vent my emotions in a non-verbal way that wouldn't drive Josh to his office and scare the cat.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Day 368 - Lessening My Stress

Several times over the last few days I've mentioned that I have a lot on my plate right now as far as commissions go (and that this is a good problem to have).  In an attempt to have less to lay awake at night thinking about, I was determined to get some solid work done today.

Guess what? I did!

One of the things that's been stressing me out the most is the series of murals that I'm working on for my church's children's wing.  I've already posted many drawings related to this and you'll see many more until we're done.  In addition to a mural on either side of a very long hallway, there are four other rooms to design, two of which have a mural on two walls, the other two have one wall each. All of them have a nautical theme.

 The folks who have the final say want to see what amounts to basically a smaller version of what the walls will actually look like.  Today I scaled down the proportions of the wall and drew out my designs on the back of scraps of mat board I've had lying around.

They're long and had to be scanned in two parts.  Photoshop's photo merge wasn't playing nice so there's a bit of a shadow on all of these.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Day 367 - You Had To Be There

Yesterday, Josh and I went to a barbeque restaurant for dinner.  I ordered a half slab of ribs and Josh had pulled pork on a bun with hushpuppies.  We had the following conversation when Josh started to read our receipt:

Josh:  The receipt lists our dinner as "Half Slab" and "Pork Bun".
Me: Those sound like nicknames from a silly cop movie or something.
Josh: You should draw that.
Me: I could pose them like Charlie's Angels or something. (I posed like I was holding a gun out to my side). Not a regular gun, though... what would they use instead?
Josh: A gun... (looks down at his plate)... that shoots hushpuppies!
Me: Ooooook... What does that look like?  How could I visually convey that it's not just any gun but one that shoots hushpuppies?
Josh: I have no idea.You could... ummm....write "gun that shoots hushpuppies" and draw a line pointing to the gun.

You know those couples that you see in restaurants that never talk to each other because they've run out of things to say?  Is it evident that that is not a problem in my marriage?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Day 366 - Liar, Liar, Pants On Fire

Yesterday I said that I was going to take today off as a reward for my year of work.

I lied.

I taught the second installment of my art class this morning and did some drawing there so technically I blew it right out of the gate.  Plus, I've got six different commissions right now and I decided that I don't have TIME to take the day off.

Admittedly, it's a good problem to have.

Now that I've completed an entire year, I may allow myself a little more leeway as far as taking days off.  Maybe I'll skip my birthday in November. Maybe if I'm sick I won't force a pencil into my hand just because I have to.  We'll see.  As far as today is concerned, though, it's back to business as usual.

I drew more today than I do on a normal day, come to think of it.  I produced a lot of terribly uninteresting things so I scanned the most interesting uninteresting thing... the finished version of The Donut Friar that I was commissioned to do.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Day 365 - It's Definitely a Big Deal

Three hundred and sixty five days ago I got really angry.  I was tired of the self-loathing, anxiety and frustration that accompanied my very sporadic drawing habits.  I was fearful of ever being commissioned to do a piece of work because I was so out of practice.  Three hundred and sixty five days ago I decided I had had enough.

When I hesitantly stated "I'm going to start a drawing-a-day blog." I had serious doubts that I'd see it through for any significant length of time.  I knew my past track record with toughing things out and the odds were not favorable. So, when I hit six months, I was shocked... and I drew half of a cake to celebrate half of a year with the promise that I'd draw the whole one if I hit one year.

Well, guess what today is?

It is not possible to overstate what a massive accomplishment this is for me. I'll spare you the boring back story regarding my years of struggling with drawing regularly, etc.  Just take my word for it... this is a big deal.

So now comes the part where I reflect on what I've learned in the last year and get all sorts of mushy about all the lovely people in my life that tolerate me...

(Before I go on: I fully realize that there are heaps and loads and bushels of people out there who are eleventy billion times more talented than I am.  For someone who doesn't know me, it may sound like I'm being melodramatic.  But as I've said, it's a big deal.)

My number one takeaway from this past year has been this: drawing is fun again.  After I hunkered down for a few weeks, long enough to knock the rust off, I started noticing that I was actually improving.  People would say "Sarah, you should draw _____." and I could say "Ok!" and actually have confidence that, YES, I could draw that.

Speaking of drawing requests... Shall I commence with the acknowledgment of a core group of folks who were integral to my success in this endeavor?

Do you remember that music video for the Blind Melon song No Rain? The video featured a little girl in a bee costume who spends the duration of the video trying to find a place to fit in among the non-bee costumed population.  At the end of the video, she finds a field with people dressed in nothing but bee costumes just like hers and all is well with the world.  That "core group of folks" I mentioned?  These silly, silly individuals are my field of people in bee costumes. So to Scott, Carrie, Jim, Leslie, Ross, Alexis, Fred, Susan, Amy, Jonathan, Rob and Meghan... Thank you.  Thanks for knowing me well enough to realize that no request is too strange and for enthusiastically cheering me on during the whole process.

My parents and my aunt have also had their share of requests and have been (lovingly) depicted one way or the other as have my co-workers.  Muchas gracias to you all.  You've all dealt with hearing me blather on about this blog more times than I can count... and your only lousy reward was being depicted in it.

Last but never, ever least... Josh.  My favorite person on the surface of the planet and the subject of such a large percentage of my drawings that I (almost) feel guilty.  My years of not drawing and hating myself for it were something he suffered with alongside of me.  It affected him just as much as it affected me.  He's always believed in me and always known what I was capable of even if I didn't.  Josh has allowed me to draw him, has endured me picking his brain for ideas and has sloughed off my numerous rejections when he attempts to trick me into drawing something disparaging involving Benedict Cumberbatch (as if I ever would - psh!)  So thanks, Joshie... you're a peach, a plum, a whole fruit salad.  AFNMW, my friend.

So!  Now what?  I'm taking tomorrow off.  Technically, I'll be teaching an art class tomorrow but I'm not going to sit down and DRAW draw.  I think I've earned it, don't you?  But the day after? I'm back to it.  I don't trust myself enough to stop now and you know what? I don't want to stop now.  I'm having fun!

I apologize for any side affects you may suffer as a result of my loquacity but all of this needed to be said.  Thanks for toughing it out with me... not just today but for the last 365 of 'em as well.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Day 364 - Erroneous Ornithology

I'm not overly fond of birds.  It's nothing personal, really.  They're just sort of... flappy.  Unpredictable. I don't actively avoid them but I don't try extra hard to get close to them, either.

I do like drawing birds, however.  A Google image search for "exotic birds" exorcised some pictures of a "turaco" which is quite lovely, actually.  As with most things, I enjoy my version more than the actual version so I sort of edited it to look how I wanted... well, at least how I wanted while remaining firmly within the boundaries of my own drawing limitations.

Bird feet are curiously difficult to convey.  Which is why I sorta made 'em up.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Day 363 - Monday Night Motivation

My first day back at work after vacation was exhausting.  If it wasn't for my beloved Steelers on Monday Night Football this evening, I wouldn't have worked as long as I did.

We cancelled our cable subscription several months ago which leaves me without ESPN on which to watch tonight's game.  Enter a lovely AM station here in Columbus that carries the Pittsburgh radio broadcast of the game.  That was motivation enough to keep me at my desk, near the radio, to knock out a little more on The Donut Friar - one of the many commissions I have on my plate right now.

If you realized the extent of emotional turmoil I experience during a typical Steelers game you'd ask me why I chose to work on finalizing a piece for a client while listening.  You'd ask me that and I'd tell you to "shhhh!" because the game is back on.

This isn't done yet... I was too tired to truly finish it but I hacked away a little more at it, anyway.  The scan really does it no favors.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Day 362 - It Won't Be Long Now

I've stated multiple times on this blog that I love my job.  That's the truth.  But a job, no matter how much you love it, is still a job and sometimes it's nice to get away.  Well, I got away for a week... and tomorrow? Back to work.  In my mind, vacation is officially over with my first phone call... so if you'd like to be the one responsible for yanking me back into reality, just call me as close to 8:00 AM as possible.

I threw together this piece of silliness tonight.  No amount of hiding in boxes can save me now.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Day 361 - Begrudgingly Back

Whereas this morning my feet were in the Atlantic Ocean, this evening they're under my desk in land-locked Ohio.  We had a lovely time, as we always do.  Shutting down all non-essential brain function for a week has left me feeling energized and ready to hop back into my various projects.  Plus my feet are all manner of smooth after spending a week walking in the sand.  So you know... it was a success from every angle.

Guess who really didn't want to draw anything after sitting in a car for ten hours today?  I took my usual easy route and copied something out of The Art of Mulan.

You may have noticed that both yesterday's and today's post are "Day 361".  As I'm nearing my one year mark, I noticed that I incorrectly numbered one of my posts somewhere along the way.  Rather than dredge through a year's worth of posts, I just doubled up.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Day 361 - Enjoy It While You Can

As much as I'm sure you've enjoyed my more-simplistic-than-usual drawings that I've posted via Josh's iPhone instead of my scanner... our week's vacation has come to an end and I'll return to business as usual tomorrow evening.

I'll be spending 10ish hours in the car tomorrow so don't expect a fancy drawing from me because you'll only be disappointed.

Oh yes... I almost forgot... here's a rough sketch of Josh just (as the kids are saying it these days) "chillaxing."

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Day 360 - Shell-o

While on vacation, my full time occupation is the search for interesting shells. I always end up carting home a grocery bag of 'em. Tonight I sketched a few of the more interesting ones that I've found.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Day 359 - Coconut Shrimp

I couldn't figure out what to title this post.  Josh said "Call it 'coconut shrimp' because that's what you had for dinner. Sure, ok!

The Week o' Not Caring 'Cause I'm On Vacation continues with a shoddily drawn, poorly observed sketch of some towels draped over a chair, sketched half-heartedly while we watched Little Britain.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Day 358 - Here's A Flower In A Shot Glass

When I'm on vacation, I leave behind in Ohio most of my ability to think critically.  The average syllable count in a sentence drops dramatically.  So along with my "don't care THAT much" attitude about drawing this week, comes my lack of creativity with words.

I picked a flower off of a bush in front of the house where we're staying, stuck it in a Cleveland Indians shot glass that I found in a kitchen cabinet and ta-da... drawing.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Day 357 - Decked Out

The week of I-Dont-Care-I'm-On-Vacation continues with this sketch I did of a built-in bench at the ocean front deck/gazebo where we're staying. I usually hate straight lines but it was there and I was anxious to get back to my book/falling asleep in my chair.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Day 356 - Honestly...

Ok, listen... I've got to be honest with you folks. I'm on vacation right now and while I have no intention on skipping a day of drawing...I can't promise that I'm gonna really try THAT hard. There are a stack of Architectural Digest magazines at the place we're staying so I... you know... drew some chairs.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Day 355 - Ahhhh...

We arrived in beautiful North Carolina today at last. My intention was to have Josh take a picture of my drawings with his iPhone since I am without a scanner this week. He accidentally left the charger behind and we've been trying to figure out how to transfer pictures with our limited resources (namely his netbook and my Nook. We finally got it figured out, though.

I'm without Photoshop this week so I can't make any adjustments to my drawings before I post then. You get the idea, though.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Day 354 - Buh Bye

Finally! Finally... the time for our vacation has come.  How I feel this afternoon:

I'm in the habit of making whatever expression I happen to be drawing while I'm drawing it. I work in a high traffic area where I am highly visible so it's remarkable that I haven't yet been caught doing this while drawing at work.  I am quite close to actually having this expression today, though, and my hair isn't too far off from how I've depicted it.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Day 353 - A Meager Offering

Ok... So... Today was the first of eight drawing/painting classes that I'll be teaching at work.  I had a great group of seven residents, they all were great students and we had a lot of fun.  I did draw during that time for demonstration purposes. So technically I've drawn more today than it would appear.

Seeing as how I'm a'headin' to North Carolina soon, I was busy, busy, busy this evening with packing, etc.  I had ten minutes earlier with which to draw this one, little, teensy, pathetic shell.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Day 352 - The Octopus Atonement

I apologize for yesterday's ire-fueled post.  Today has been above and beyond a better day than yesterday.

Will you accept this very friendly octopus as an apology?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Day 351 - Bah!

The word of the day today, kids, is "misanthropic" because that is an apt description of my outlook. Maybe it's just the only child in me or the closet introvert but sometimes I just want to hide in a cave and never talk to anyone, ever, at all, ever again....never.

I was so busy at work today that I literally had no time to draw.  I'm not one to misuse the word "literally" so please understand that I literally mean that I literally had no free time today with which to draw.  By the time I got home I was feeling so acrimonious that all I wanted to do was find that aforementioned cave to hide in but I had to draw... I'm sixteen days away from a solid year for this blog and there's no way I was going to let a little crotchety mood stop me.

Beginning on Thursday, I'm teaching a drawing class at the retirement community where I work.  I took a few of the objects we'll be drawing and set them up in my office.  I decided that of all the music in my Grooveshark playlist, Radiohead was the moodiest (and therefore the most suited to my state of mind) so I put that on and set to work.

As it turns out, Radiohead makes me crankier when I'm already cranky... good to know.

I'm in the kind of mood where I was mad at my 2H pencil for not being a soft enough grade of graphite but yet feeling spiteful enough that I didn't seek out a softer pencil just on principle.  The result of all of this nonsense is pictured below.

Have I mentioned I'll be on vacation in four days?  It's about &$%@! time, too.

I also neglected to mention that someone racked up several thousand dollars worth of charges on our credit card today.  Thankfully, it's been rectified.  Thanks a lot, anonymous jerk.  I send many a colorful word and rude gesture in your general direction.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Day 350 - Monday Monk

Friar, actually... but then my title wouldn't be alliterative, would it?

Remember this?  I started coloring it today.  I'm going analog and doing it in colored pencil.  My scanner has done this picture NO favors.  I threw as many Photoshop filters at it as I could think of but it still looks grainy.  It's proof I worked today... that's all that's necessary.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Day 349 - Slapdash Sunday

My idea of "high fashion" is when I have to stand on my tiptoes to reach a Steelers t-shirt from my closet. So why is the September 2013 issue of Vogue on my desk?  Let's just say that I had a particular interest in one of the articles in that issue. I'll remain cryptic to hopefully spare any facetious comments I'd receive from my husband and friends. I'm teased relentlessly as it is.

Anyway! Imagine my delight when it was among a stack of magazines that someone donated at work. I'd never buy it otherwise... I have no interest whatsoever in things such as $800 purses and shoes that warp the internal workings of your feet.  My current purse was $4 at the thrift store and I wore Keds on my wedding day, for goodness sake.

I'm continually digressing today... anyway... I'm not great at drawing clothes so I thought I'd flip through a few ads and sketch some various outfits that only look good on exceedingly Photoshopped models.  The results are decidedly "Eh"...

Guess I need to keep working on it.

I did another to-scale mural drawing as well.