PERFECTLY IMPERFECT-I may not be the best at what I do, but Nobody has MORE fun trying than I do! :)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Partial Internet Service

"Stubborn" quirky journal sketch

I got up Tuesday morning with no internet service and didn't have time to see about it 'til that night. I tried everything I knew to fix it that night and the next morning (Wed). I finally called the internet provider, which also happens to be my land phone service provider. The service rep could hear all sorts of growling, dripping, whistling noised in my line and said that could be affecting my dsl modem, so she put in a work order to have it checked out. No internet Wed either since the service man didn't get here.

The very nice service man came yesterday morning (Thurs) and worked all morning checking lines. He even replaced one down the road. Turns out that the clicking noise we've had on the phone for years is caused by an electric fence bleeding over somewhere down the road. Can't stop that. I doubt the neighbor is going to unplug his fences to stop my phone from clicking. He has a lot of cows. He did get the growling stopped. Still no internet service.

The first dsl modem they sent wouldn't program, so they had gotten me another one and turns out it was bad, so they've ordered me a third one, which should be here by Monday. I asked if bad modems were a problem and he said no, that it rarely ever happened. I guess I was just lucky enough to get two in a row.

The service guy was nice enough to leave me a loaner to use, but it's only a tester and doesn't have wireless, so I can't go online on my laptop where I have everything. I'm having to use the desktop, which doesn't have my password saved to get my email, and I can't find the paper that I have it written down on. It's buried on my kitchen/art/writing table somewhere, so if you've written me an email since Tues night, I haven't gotten it yet. But I will as soon as my new modem gets here. At least, I hope the third one works. I could have paid $14.95 to get it here overnight, but I couldn't see being out that expense when it should be here by Monday anyway. The weekend made it take longer.

At least, I can blog and I can pick up my yahoo email and visit my group. So I'm not totally in withdrawal. :) And I may find that paper where I wrote it down yet!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Music and Jesters

Quirky Art Journal Sketch-"Jester"

I discovered two new musical artists this weekend that I thought somebody might enjoy.
One is Dana Fuchs. I watched the movie "Across The Universe" last night and she plays the landlord/rocker in it. The movie is set in the 60's amidst all the turbulance and is a love story/musical featuring Beatles songs, so if you enjoy the Beatles music you might check it out.

If you like the blues, Dana is amazing. Reminds me of Janis Joplin, only better. I found and added several of her songs to my playlist on the right. You may have to scroll down. I also found some videos of her performing on utube. I had never heard of her, but I'm glad I watched the movie. I love the Beatles' songs and enjoyed the movie, but Dana really stood out in it and I became a fan.

Then today on Just Be Connected Melba posted about what she's been watching, reading, and listening to and she had a link to the Foiled album by Blue October. I had heard of Blue October but wasn't familiar with their music. She enjoyed it so much that I followed the link and had a listen for myself. I liked them, so I also added a few of their tracks to my playlist if you want to have a listen, or follow the link to Just Be Connected and read what Melba and others are reading, watching, and listening to. You may discover something new to try. You might even want to add your own list in the comments. Enjoy!

I joined the Be Brave challenge the other day and have faced a few things that scare me and did them anyway this weekend, but I'm too sleepy to write about them right now. Maybe later.
Click on the Be Brave button to the right for an explanation of the challenge. It's inspiring.

Today is the first day I've missed for a few months doing a quirky journal sketch and it feels odd to me. Just didn't get to it today. However, yesterday I colored one and started painting another one, plus I started a painting based on Alex Shur's technique which is featured in the Sept/Oct Cloth, Paper, & Scissors magazine, so I guess it's ok. I do love doing them and I missed my morning doodling though. :)

Hope the little jester makes you smile. She was one of my first. :)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Mojoart Challenge Entry/Quirky Sketches

"Walls"-Pencil, Sharpie, WC Pencils on Drawing Paper

I don't really have time to write much today, but I wanted to post so I'll share the two sketches I have entered in this month's Mojoart group challenge, which is Abstraction Satisfaction. Not sure if these qualify as really being abstract, but I wanted to participate, so there they are amongst some REAL abstract paintings. Plus I had a lot of fun doing them. :) Members work entered will be voted on in a couple of days and the winner's work will be displayed on the homepage until the next challenge is over.

"Snuggle Bunny"-Pencil, Sharpie, WC Pencils on Drawing Paper

Friday, September 12, 2008

Quirky Art Journal Sketches/Technique

I had some interest in how I do the quirky journal sketches, and I finally got time to post it. First, let me say that I learned the technique from Judi Russell, whose link I followed from Megan's post on links that she had discovered on Just Be Connected a few months ago.

Judi had a page teaching her technique on her website. She has recently taken it down, but she has a gallery of her paintings and journal entries (drawings and writings), which is very interesting. Some of her paintings derived from her art journal drawings. Visit here to check out her journal pages.

I don't have permission to write her version here, so I'll show you what I learned and took from her page. I appreciate so much her sharing the technique, because it has been so much fun for me, plus it's really helped me to loosen up and enjoy drawing. You don't have to worry about everything being "correct". Just go with it and have fun if you decide to try it.

Judi does three pages of stream of consciousness writing first to clear her mind and prepare her heart before she starts drawing the shapes, which would really be helpful, but I tend not to do that because of time. It would make it more meditative.

Okay, here goes: (my version)

Step 1:
Close your eyes, try not to think about what you're hand is doing, and with a pencil start drawing shapes, lines, etc. very lightly on your paper (dark enough to see, but not dark enough to be confusing). I've found that smooth paper, like sketchbook or journal paper, works best for me for these sketches. I tried them on watercolor and textured paper and the doodle lines were much harder to see, thus making it harder to pull an image out. All of my quirky sketches start out like the example above, just shapes jumbled together.

Step 2:
When you're finished open your eyes and look at your shapes until you see an image emerge that means something to you. Turn the page around if you need to. Sometimes an image will jump right out at you yelling, "Here I Am!" and sometimes they play hide and seek, taking a little longer to emerge.

When you find the image go over the lines and make them darker with your pencil. You can enhance the image by adding a face, feet, legs, whatever. If a line suggests something that you think it needs, draw it. I tend to leave as many original lines or shapes as I can, just like I find them.

Step 3:
Once you have the drawing like you want it, go over the lines with an ultra fine black sharpie. Write down any words, phrases, titles as they come to you while you work on it. These can be added to the sketch.

Step 4: "Magicians and Levitation" (colors are better in person)
Use watercolor pencils to color it in. Then take a DAMP brush and go over the colors to make them pop. You can use the sketch for ideas and you have a pattern to transfer to wc paper, canvas, etc. to do a finished painting if you want.

Step 5:
Write about what the image means to you or what message you get from it.

This is kind of a condensed version, but these are the steps.

Some of the images are more realistic, some of them are cartoon like, some are magical, fantasy, or whimsical, but they've all been a lot of fun. Kind of like Forest Gump's chocolates. You never know what you're going to find. :)

Sometimes I leave all the lines in so it looks like patchwork or stained glass kind of and sometimes I don't, which is why in the ones I've shared here and in previous posts you can see the pencil lines both in the image and background. Since they are journal sketches, and not finished paintings, I feel free to do that.

It's kind of like solving a puzzle and winding up with your own original coloring book. Plus it's gotten me into the habit of doing at least one drawing daily, thus exercising my imagination and drawing skills, and I'm much more relaxed with wc than I was. The added bonus is a ton of ideas for canvas paintings and short stories. :)

I hope you will try it at least once. If you do, let me know. I'd love to see what you come up with. I warn you though. It's kind of addictive once you get started. :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sometimes I Just Feel Like Dancing!

This is a page from one of my art journal/sketchbooks that I thought I would share today. I don't really feel like dancing right this minute (I am still half asleep), but this sketch always makes me smile, so I thought if it makes me smile, maybe it will you too. :) The resemblence to Dolly Parton with black hair was not intentional, but it's ok. I like Dolly. I had noticed it already, but it has also been pointed out to me a couple of times. Like I said, it's ok with me. Hope Dolly doesn't mind. :)

I learned a new "to me" art journaling technique 3-4 months ago, and I've had so much fun with it that I haven't missed a day since doing at least one, sometimes 2-3 a day. I've done about 220 so far, filling up about 5 sketchbooks, several loose pastel sheets, a couple of envelopes, and a couple of cards. I never know what the sketches will end up being and they have spawned tons of ideas for painting and writing for me. I never really enjoyed drawing before, but this has sharpened my skills and my imagination and I love drawing this way. The last post also contained a quirky sketch. They aren't meant to be perfect or even "correct." Just loose and fun. I'll share the technique with you, if you like, when things settle around here a little bit. Okay?

The picture quality is not good, but you get the idea. Hope it makes you smile.