Tuesday, July 18, 2017

More Quirky Doodles and Grief

I am still in a state of grief and denial over the loss of my mama last month. I can't seem to unlock my insides to want to do anything that I don't HAVE to do. But I am slowly beginning to want to do art again by doing my quirky doodle sketches. I feel a freedom doing them, because the marks tell me what, or who, they want to be, and I let my pencil follow the lines to let them come forth. I don't worry about them being "perfect", and I love their quirkiness! Each one tells a story of some kind, sometimes loudly, and sometimes quietly, but it's there.

At night my head is filled with thoughts of mama's illness and passing, and I have trouble sleeping. This morning I woke up at 5 a.m. and couldn't go back to sleep, so I got up, went to the bathroom, crept into the kitchen, got a banana and my Kindle, and crept back to bed, where I sketched for a while. These are what came forth. I added a little color to the background with photo editing, just for a little variety.

I love the characters of the ladies that step out of the marks, and I could write a short story about each of them! I may do that at some point, and publish a book of short stories with my own illustrations!

Cats are a pretty common theme. I guess it's because we have some!

Love this lady! Her expression reminds me of a young cousin and our great niece, who often make these lips in their selfies. She looks like someone fun with her bird and scarf!

Another Koi fish? I love them and think they're beautiful, but I don't know why they're swimming around in my marks and mind. 

A rare sketch of fruit, grapes and a peach on a checkered tablecloth. Don't know where that came from either, unless it's because eating and sleeping is how I've been dealing with the grief over mama, but also a dear older cousin that we lost in March, whom I considered my older sister.

It's been a hard four months for us, and it will take time for us to heal. Hubby and I are not young any more either, and not in the best of health, but still very blessed.

After my doodling, I read a few of Kahlil Gibran's writings from a Kindle book that I had bought some time ago. I was introduced to him by my Literature teacher, Jack Anderson, who also became a friend, when I went to community college at age 47, the same year I lost my little 16 year old pekingese, Kibbles Marie. His writing is very thought provoking and somehow soothing.

I went back to sleep for a while, sleeping much later than I meant to, but that's ok. I have laundry going, we've had breakfast, and hubby has the 1945 version of The Picture of Dorian Grey on. It's too hot to be outside anyway. All we need is a bowl of popcorn! :)

I will tell you that I've been looking at tea bag art and bullet journaling, so don't be surprised if my attempts at that pop up on here...

Do something creative every day, even if it's only five minutes! It's good for your soul!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Today's Quirky Doodle Sketches

I couldn't sleep in the wee hours of the morning (thinking about my mama), so around 4 a.m. I turned on the lamp and did some doodle sketches. These are the images that emerged from the random marks that I made with my eyes closed. Of course, I made some adjustments and added a few marks for the final image.

I don't know what's with all the fish, but they were what wanted to come out of the marks, so I went with it. I sure wasn't thinking "fish" when I made the marks! I'll have to see what fish symbolize.

These will be fun to paint/color in at some point. Quirky doodle practice is also a good stress reliever. I finally went back to sleep and slept half the day away...

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Towel Teddy Bear

I saw this cute bear video yesterday, and I just had to try it. I saw it on facebook, then couldn't find it again, so I went to Pinterest and typed in "towel teddy bear" and got all kinds of videos/instructions on, not just the bear, but other animals as well, all folded from towels, wash cloths, baby blankets, etc.

It took me a few tries, but I did it! I know the bow is too long, but the scissors weren't handy, and I need to get neutral rubber bands, instead of red, but that's all I could find.

I guess it's a "he" since it's a blue towel?

This was a cheap dollar store towel, kind of coarse. I think a soft baby blanket or towel would probably work better, but this is what I had at the moment. When I get tired of the bear, I can just take the rubber bands off, and I still have a hand towel.

Anyway, it was a distraction for a while, and it felt good to learn something new, plus it was fun, and made me happy. That's the important part! He isn't perfect, but he is FUN!

Keep learning new things! It's good for your health and well being!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Quirky Doodles From this Morning

HAPPY 4th OF JULY! Hope you all are having a safe and happy holiday with friends and family!

I started my day off with Quirky Doodles! Beginning to feel my muse coming back. Yay!

Sad Elephant

Dove and Flag

Vase of hydrangeas and forsythia

Cat Watching Birds

Candles and Leaves

Elephant with Tulips

Y'all may not miss seeing my creative attempts, but I sure have missed doing them! 

Monday, July 3, 2017

New Assorted Quirky Doodles and one Blind Sketch

The first art of any kind that I've done after several weeks of trauma, ending with my mama passing away. I did part of them last night and part of them this evening.

When I haven't done any art in a while, I often use quirky doodle sketches to help get my creative juices flowing again. The first seven of these are quirky doodles, where I close my eyes and make several random marks lightly on the page with a pencil, then open my eyes and let an image emerge from the marks. Thus all the extra lines in the background and through the image.  I used a black water-soluble pencil on all of these in a mixed-media sketchbook.

I almost have this sketchbook full of doodles to color in with paint, create stories about, or just to see what was going on with me at the time, according to the images that emerged.


Mother and Daughter

Creepy Clown

Pirate Dog?

Ancestral Support


Sort of Creepy Clown

The last sketch is not a quirky doodle. I decided to actually try sketching a vase of hydrangeas and calla lilies with my eyes closed. I have a large vase of silk hydrangeas and calla lilies sitting on my piano from mama's funeral, and they are what I tried to hold in my mind while I lightly sketched them "blindfolded." I am surprised they even resembled flowers in a vase, but they did. Of course, I touched them up after I opened my eyes, but the "bones" were there and recognizable. I will definitely try this again.

Doing these has lifted my spirits a great deal, and I look forward to doing more and/or getting back to painting and journaling, plus I want to do some more weaving. Getting lost in creativity, whether it's any good or not, makes me happy! And I could use some happy about now!

Hope you enjoyed this post! Til next time!

Enjoy your Creativity!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Mama Around Sixteen

Stella Lee Stricklin
April 27, 1932-June 6, 2017 

Hospital Digital Self Portraits?

It's been several weeks since I posted here, and a lot of life has happened during that time. My 85 year old mama was sent from the local ER to a hospital a couple of hours away from home with breathing problems at the end of April. She had been having problems with high blood pressure and a racing heart. My husband and I stayed with her day and night for three and a half days. They said she had Afib, and she had three tumors on her brain, two of them calcified (nothing to be done for any of them), and they adjusted her meds and sent her home on her birthday, April 27.

We were home four and a half days, which I spent most of with her at her home, because she was still having trouble breathing and was very confused. I am an only child, with no children, so no help. Other family does not live close. Very thankful for my husband, who has a great big heart.

On Monday, May 1, we took her back to the local ER, having a very difficult time breathing, and were sent back to the hospital about two hours away. We stayed with her day and night for thirty-two days and nights this time. Hubby went home one day a week to check on our homes and spend a couple of hours with his ninety-three year old dad, who lives alone.

Thankfully, I had my Kindle Fire with me and was able to be on Facebook and to message family and friends, among other things, so I was able to stay in touch with the outside world. Mama didn't feel like having phones or company much.

One morning I couldn't sleep, so I played with an art app on my Kindle and did a digital self portrait, just trying out the different tools and patterns. I did not know that the other shoe was about to drop.

One health problem led to another for mama, including a blood clot and pneumonia in one lung and kidney problems, which led to her not being able to walk. They thought they had everything under control and released her to in-hospital intensive rehab for two weeks. She continued to have kidney problems while doing rehab. They did a kidney scan and discovered that she had liver cancer, but it was also in other places, and nothing they could do.

I did another self portrait, of sorts, with my art app, during the rehab stint, after they told me about the cancer. Rehab and swallowing became unbearable to mama, and they released her to a local nursing home/rehab center half an hour from our home. She wanted to go home, and I desperately wanted to take her home, but we had no choice.

They let me ride in the van with mama for the transfer. Very tough ride for both of us. Hubby followed in the car. We got her settled in to her room. She didn't understand what was going on, but I explained that I couldn't stay the night with her there, but I would be back early the next morning, which we were. Her sister and niece also came for most of the day.

We went home late in the evening and had been there a very short time when the nursing home called us back. Mama was worse. Hospice was called in. They made arrangements for us to stay nights with her too, as she continued to get worse. Her sister and niece came back and stayed with us until the end. She was in the nursing home four days and five nights, and about a week and a half after we found out about the cancer, before she passed away on the morning of June 6, 2017 around 3:00 a.m., with me by her side. 

Mama never left me in my life, and I never left her side, except for the first night in the nursing home, and I had no choice, during the whole time of her illness and passing. Because I promised her when she went that I wouldn't leave her, and I didn't. For the first time in our lives, she left me. And it'll be ok. I have to believe that she's with daddy now, and I'll see them again one day.

We made it through making the arrangements, visitation, and the funeral before I completely lost my voice and hubby almost lost his. For almost two weeks after the funeral we both were very sick with a flu/virus bug on top of already being exhausted and emotional drained.

We are better over the flu/virus, but still reeling over the emotional roller coaster we've been on for the last few weeks. I think I felt every single emotion there is during that time and since. A lot to catch up on that has to be done and a lot that needs to be done, but for now we're trying to let the healing begin, as we adjust to living without mama, who I lived with for twenty years, and next door to for forty-seven years, the last fourteen without daddy. 

With God's help, and time, the next phase of our lives will slowly unfold, and we will be ok. My husband and I are considered elderly now too, and I am constantly aware that life can turn us upside down in the blink of an eye, and that sooner or later, one of us will be left behind to cope without the other. Just going to try to enjoy what's left of our lives together and not worry about the unimportant stuff, and it takes a lifetime of living to learn what that is. 

Hope to be back to my art, and sharing, soon! Stay Creative!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Digital Angels

I've done very little in the way of creativity in the last couple of weeks, so I haven't had anything to share. Too much going on otherwise, plus I haven't felt that well myself.

I couldn't sleep early this morning, so I sat up in bed and learned some more about the digital art app on my Kindle Fire. I love bringing these little characters to life! I had already sketched the top one, but I added some spotted wings to her to add to her sweetness!

I played a bit more with the tools and colors on this one. Not quite as sweet as the top one, but she does have character! I love the black spotted wings too!

I'm so happy, and thankful, to the online teachers, who have helped me loosen up in my drawing and painting efforts. Art is much more fun when I don't worry about everything being "perfect"! 👵

Have a safe and happy Easter weekend!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Digital Pears

I played some more on my Kindle art app today! Just learning the different tools and how they work. Just a practice piece, but it sure was fun!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Digital Townscape

Playing with an art app on my Kindle tablet and learning a lot! Still a ton to learn, but it's fun, plus I need another art addiction! 👵

Friday, March 31, 2017

Today's Sketches

I haven't done any art in a few days, until yesterday, I managed to get in some quick sketches in my altered book (The Feather Journal). Believe it, or not, I used the same reference photo (original) for all three sketches, and none of them look like the actual person. :/

I did the one on the right first with a black stabilo pencil and a water pen, plus a bit of white stabilo pencil, then the one on the left with a black charcoal pencil and a bit of water, plus a bit of white stabilo pencil. Made a mess of both! Drawing and shading are not my strong points! :/

I painted over the third sketch with white gesso, right, then sketched with a conte pastel pencil. I also added a bit of acrylic color, and a couple of lines, to the sketch on the left, which I had done previously.

Not the best job, but it was fun to sketch to my favorite music and get my mind off things for a while. I LOVE art and music!

Do some of what makes you happy every day! You'll be better for it! :)

Friday, March 24, 2017

A Couple of Quirky Doodles

Did a couple of quirky doodle sketches to keep in practice! These are also addictive to do! I have enough of these to have a thick coloring book, and one day, if I live long enough and my eyes hold out, I'm going to go back and paint/color them.

These are the pages where I close my eyes and, with a pencil, lightly make lines and marks on the paper, then see what image/images emerge for my pleasure. I love it when the image comes out of hiding!

Images often emerge from the lines that I would never have thought about trying to draw, and I don't worry about them being "right". I enjoy their quirkiness!

Happy Sketching, or whatever your creative bliss is! :)

Face Sketch Practice

Still playing with quick sketches inspired by Katie Kendrick painting. Of course, mine look nothing like hers, but if I practice I might develop my own version! They're addictive!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Digital Face Sketch

Another sketch playing with a Kindle art app! I shouldn't have drawn all the way to the edges! But that's ok! I tried!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Sketches in Altered Book

When life gets in the way of my painting at all, or on days I don't have time, I try to sketch in/on something with various tools anyway, just to stay in practice with drawing and fearlessness. I love to look back through old journals/sketchbooks and if a page tells me it needs something more and what it is, I'll add it.

It's strange that I call this my Feather Journal, because, so far, the only feather in it is on the cover. It is an old book, titled, "Never Good Enough", that I read a long time ago. I needed a book (I think it was supposed to be really old, for effect) for an altered book project, and this one got elected.

So far, it has all practice faces and figures in it in various pencils, pens, charcoal, etc., but I've glued some pages together for strength, in case I want to go back and paint, collage, or do mixed-media on the faces/figures. I could cover up all the text except the message I want to convey, or just let some peek through the paint in various places. I still have a lot of pages to fill, but it will be fun to see where the journey winds up.

I haven't worked in this book in a long time, because I always have a bunch of works-in-progress and class work going on, but I had a few minutes before going somewhere, so I quickly sketched these characters off. Two are with a Posca Black Marker and one is charcoal, which is a little messy for my taste, but fun to play with once in a while. 👵

Anyway, it was fun to play, even for a few minutes! Keep doing what feeds your soul! 😇

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Digital Practice

Playing with a drawing app on my Kindle. I know it looks like a child did it,  but I like it.🐰

Sacred Landscape-Project 2-Group

Hello! I've just finished project two, group painting, in Ivy Newports's Sacred Landscape class (see link in sidebar). It's on an 8" x 8" wooden cradled panel in mixed media, and it involves photo transfer (I borrowed an image from Pinterest for the photo), and painting over it.

I LOVE the work coming out of this class!

Photo transferred to gessoed panel and the first layers of paint applied. Complementary colors of yellow and magenta, with burnt umber and white gesso for toning, open acrylics, and a Stablio pencil was used. I forgot and laid in the colors like I wanted them at the end.

So I used a palette knife to put thick gel medium over the clothes for texture, let it dry, then painted over the first layer, added faces, and a building in the background...

Layers of paint added, and I decided to paint the faces out to give it more of an abstract look and dry brushed white gesso over the dried gel medium...

Added some drips and runs and more texture, and wrote "That's what friends are for" in the sky and signed it done! There are things I might do differently if I did it again, but I'm pretty happy with with how it turned out.

I decided the writing was standing out too much, so I went over it with a white stablio pencil, sprayed it with fixative and brushed on another coat of gel medium. I think the writing looks more a part of the background instead of sitting on top of it.

I don't necessarily follow the teacher's steps. I watch the video and take notes, then do what I do. They never turn out like I envision them, but that's part of the fun. When the painting starts talking back to you and takes you on a whole different journey than you started out on, it's exciting, no matter the outcome.

I can't wait to start the Project 3 adventure! Happy creating! 💖

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Face Sketches

These sketches were inspired by a Katie Kendrick painting shared on Facebook. I loved the faces/figures and was inspired to try some in my sketchbook. I tried holding my pencil differently and sketching loosely.

Stabilo pencil...

Group sketched in stabilo pencil- I start with one and just kept addding them. Love the one in the upper right corner!

These were so much fun I tried one in a black gel pen. Love her!

I want to keep experimenting with these and some paint. Will share when I do!