I'm pumped that I can listen to Christmas music now without getting grief from people. We had a great Thanksgiving, but now we can fully focus our merriment on the Christmas season. Yes!
This weekend we decked our halls and decorated our tree.
And because I can't get enough, I had to draw Ransom his own cardboard Christmas tree to decorate. (I maybe helped a little).
And then I had to draw you your own Christmas tree to color.
My favorite part of that drawing is the angel on top. It's inspired by the angel that tops our tree. I bought it at a thrift store in Denton, TX 8 years ago for Ryan and I's first Christmas tree.
Oh, and speaking of Christmas trees -- I was awoken in the middle of the night to ours crashing down! It had toppled over. I guess because it's a real tree and so it's a bit asymmetrical... Hopefully it doesn't happen again! And thankfully only two ornaments were smashed.
You won't have to worry about that with my coloring sheet. Just paper cuts. I plan on coloring mine while watching a Christmas movie. I think it would also be a fun activity for a family Christmas gathering.
I have a couple of holiday markets coming up. I don’t do a ton of these weekend markets, but I enjoy them when I do. Especially the Christmas ones because they are so festive. I’m a Christmas nerd and love it all — the music, the lights, the cheesy movies. Here’s some info on my upcoming markets. You should come say hi if you’re going to be in Portland (you can click on the images for more info).
For that last one I have to wear cocktail attire. Which means I get to go shopping because my current wardrobe is all leggings and jeans with holes (not intentional holes, but holes from being on the ground with my toddler. Literally all of my jeans have fallen prey to the holes).
And while I’m here I might as well say that my Etsy shop is having a sales event now through Nov 25th — 10% off and free shipping. I myself am a little annoyed with all the emails I’m getting about sales this week, so I’m actually kind of hesitant to bring it up myself. But if you were thinking of buying something from me anyway, I thought you’d like to know.
And wow, tomorrow is Thanksgiving! All our family is across the county, so we are crashing another family’s meal. I hope you enjoy the day and eat lots and choose gratitude. Every day, really. (the last one anyway, probably shouldn’t eat lots everyday, that might get expensive.)
It's been a few weeks! My regular rhythm got thrown off (in a good way) by a visit from family. Now I'm busy getting my online shops ready for the Christmas shopping season, which has pretty much already begun.
One of my favorite new designs is this polar bear family. I originally drew them during my 100 Days of Animals last spring, and then added the color on my iPad a few weeks ago.
And remember that Winter Village from a month or so ago?
I used some of the same elements to create a card design that you can now buy in my Etsy shop.
I had a lot of fun drawing those snowflakes.
I still always have the challenge of deciding what to prioritize. I have so many ideas and so many things I want to learn, but such a limited amount of time to devote to my artistic endeavors. I know this is definitely not an uncommon problem. For instance, I would love to have an ornament for sale this winter, and I would love my bug coloring book to be printed in time for purchase as a Christmas present (so like, now).
But none of those things are emergencies. Well see what happens. My first jobis being a mom, and right now that is what most of my time is devoted to.
It's really the best and hardest job I've had.
I daily find myself wishing I had more time to do what I want to do, but really I'm so thankful I get to spend so much time with this 2 year old.
I'd like people to think I just draw things off the top of my head; that I approach a blank page with confidence and set to work. That rarely is the case. Pinterest and Google Images are generally close by to give me some inspiration and direction, especially Pinterest. In fact, I usually have collected a whole Pinterest board of images to look at before starting to draw.
Here's a couple of for instances. You'll see my drawing followed by what I was looking at...
And it's often not just one image I'm drawing from, but like 3 that I use different features of.
I sometimes get so caught up in the original picture that I forget that the whole point is not to copy it exactly but rather to use my hand to create something new.
(I just love hand-drawn designs, the imperfections are what make it charming and human.)
The only times I work completely from my own head is in something non-representational and usually geometric, like this.
Then, I'm usually just playing with lines and shapes.
So hopefully that's not too disillusioning. Artists don't create in a vacuum.
This little dude has become a prolific artist. And he's not even two (that happens next week).
I'm really excited to be able to create more with him as he grows up. The art teacher within me has been itching to let loose a little lately.
If you follow me at all on social media, you will see that I've commited to drawing lotsa whales throughout the month of October. Here's today's, a swirly orca ..
I didn't just choose whales randomly. I thought I was following the official rules of inktober. You see they have this list of prompts.
I thought that meant you choose one prompt for the entire month. But after a few days I starting thinking about how there are 31 prompts ... and 31 days in the months....
So apparently it's a schedule, not a list to choose from. Oh well, I like my whales and decided to stick with that anyway.
I think this flower-y sperm whale is my favorite so far.
I'm not being as strict with myself about it as I am when I do the 100 Day Project in the spring. It's not a big deal to me if I skip a day (I've already skipped a couple), but it's nice to have a focus for the month.
This week has been kind of a different week. We are in the midst of a bit of remodeling and so our usual rhythms are thrown off. Ransom is currently napping in my neighbors basement, and I am in her backyard on my iPad, while our contractor is taking apart our kitchen floor.
It’s easy to complain about it, but I chose this and it's really quite a luxury to be able to update our home. And I’m thankful for lovely fall days and kind neighbors.
(Can you sense I’m trying to give myself a pep talk? Cause I am. )
I’m also thankful for preschool! During preschool on Wednesday I got to chill at a coffee shop and work on this pattern on my iPad (you can see I was inspired by my location).
Here I was yesterday when I was homeless during naptime, finishing it up. Pardon the glare.
You can gather that I’m pretty jazzed about repeating patterns now!
Something I’ve had on my “to learn” list for awhile is how to create repeating patterns. In the past I’ve created patterns like this, where you can clearly see where the repeat happens.
A repeating pattern, on the other hand, is seamless, like in this pretty floral duvet cover by Alja Horvat.
The various pattern elements are all intertwined. How to achieve that had always been illusive to me
But not anymore! I’m taking a Skillshare class about creating repeating patterns using my iPad Pro. Here’s my first! It’s a cozy one.
Here it is in action, on a Redbubble pillow.
I'm pumped to create more patterns!
I try to check in with my blog every Wednesday, but last week I failed in this due to a hectic Wednesday -- Ransom's first day of preschool and plumbers at the house.
There's the little dude with his concentration face, working on his sticker skills
I myself have been working on my Procreate skills. I didn't realize until I was finished with this Russian nesting doll that Procreate is always recording what I'm doing, so I can have a time lapse of every project. So cool! I posted this on my Instagram stories a while back, but here it is again.
And then you might have seen the fall wreath I drew last week.
I'm always proud of myself when I start and finish something in one week, because my perfectionist tendencies is to drag projects out much longer. That was also a Procreate creation, so here is the time lapse for that one. (i need to learn how to rotate videos and add music to them ... )
I'm excited to learn more and make more with this!
A bit ago I mentioned my latest sketchbook series -- birth flowers. In case you missed any of my posts, here's a catch up slide show ...
My two favorite so far have been October's Marigold and December's Narcissus. And I'm already over halfway through! Man, it's nice to work on a series that is only 12 drawings longer rather than 100.
I've had to brush up on some of my cursive skills for this little project; I'm sure many of out there can relate.
There's my practice page. Today I had to google "capital cursive V," just to be sure I got Violet correct. And man, February is such a clunky word.
Next year it would be fun to turn these twelve drawings into a little calendar.
I thought I'd interrupt my regular blog post flow (all about me) and share with you some artists I admire.
I found Barlena on Instagram. She's an Austrian illustrator who uses fine lines and pastel colors, with a side of playfulness.
And then Anna Stead over at Thistle Moon also creates really lovely ink drawings, but her's are mostly black and white. These images are all from her Instagram.
Well, I will throw in one of my own pieces while I'm here. I just listed this llama in my Etsy shop. It was apart of my 100 Days of Animals.
And I will take this opportunity to inform you that you can get 10% off now through Labor Day in my shop. So if you've been thinking of getting something, now's the time!
A place to share the process. This blog is not a marketing tool or an additional way to show off, but rather a space to be honest about the triumphs and trials of my daily life as an artist and mama. Writing motivates and refreshes me.
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