Today is Friday the 13th and I decided to play around with my Arteza brush pens. I used a sketchbook made out of the Arches Text Wove paper which can be a little temperamental for using the brush pens.
Black cats are not bad luck so I thought this kitty would be purrfect for today….
I wanted to go back to doing holiday stamps. I played around with reindeer ideas because today’s prompt is energy and a flying reindeer definitely has energy. This stamp was quick and easy, after drawing a bunch of jumping and flying reindeer in my sketchbook first.
This morning, I let the dog children outside so they could go potty. I saw movement over by our potted flowers when low and behold, I spotted a hummingbird! I couldn’t get close enough to see any details, but it was a busy little bugger. Last night we had Great Horned Owls hooting it up, today, itty bitty hummingbirds.
Any time I see a special creature in the wild, I am truly grateful for that gift of nature. Taking the time to notice one’s surroundings can be full if wondrous things. Today was one of those days.
I played around with a hummingbird design today in between painting and putting up holiday decorations.
I was totally uninspired by this prompt. There are some prompts, like this one, where I want to go off the reservation and just draw something else. The nice thing about a subject I don’t like, it forces me to be more creative and just do it. The more I tackle prompts I don’t want to do, the better I get as a creative.
When I first graduated from college with that degree in Art, I didn’t push myself to draw all subjects. I didn’t sketch as much as I should have but I did paint, sometimes plein air. However, my painting skills got better when I began drawing in my sketchbooks. My friend, Jenn Danza, showed me her sketches and explained why sketchbooks were so important and a lightbulb came on.
The one thing that I have observed over the years is that artists that have the best drawing skills are the ones that do it every day. I have heard various artists complain over the years that they can’t do this or that, but the common denominator I observed among the complainers is that they don’t have a daily drawing habit.
I am a fan of James Gurney and his wife Jeannette. They have a daily creative practice. I wondered why they used sketchbooks instead of boards or canvases until I realized that painting in a sketchbook has a TON of pluses. Painting in a 7×5 sketchbook is small and portable and they only require a small storage space. James paints on one side of the page which makes removing a page painless. Using sketchbooks instead of boards and canvases saves a TON of space and MONEY on materials. A sketchbook doesn’t require an easel, although James has made a custom easel for his sketchbooks. A sketchbook is small and convenient and makes a daily painting practice less intimidating. If it sucks, you turn the page and you didn’t waste an expensive board or canvas. Genius!
I tell kids aspiring to be artists to draw in their sketchbooks every day. It’s the same thing as soccer drills. Practice makes it look easy but like sports, practice gives you muscle memory of your eye/ hand coordination.
Practice made me think of a pumpkin head for EGO. LOL.
Six more days left in October. It’s always amazing how fast October whips by. Then Christmas goes into high gear, pretty much skipping over Thanksgiving. I think that Thanksgiving has been turned into the Memorial Day of the Holiday Season. It’s a shame because it really is nice to enjoy November for the beautiful month that it is. You can get some bitterly cold days, maybe even some snow, and you don’t quite get Indian Summer anymore. However, the crunchy leaves and the pumpkins, Indian corn and corn stalks left out to celebrate the holiday of Thanksgiving have their own charm. Thanksgiving is the holiday to be thankful for what you have been given during the year and to celebrate with family and friends. No gifts. No annoying fireworks. Just good food and spending time together, maybe watching a parade, football or some annual activities.
My kids love Thanksgiving and my daughter tells me that it’s her favorite holiday. She says it is the food. I can see why. Thanksgiving, at least in my family, was all about homemade food. Everything from scratch. I even use a Food Network scratch recipe for my biscuits, which I make the day before and then reheat them on Thanksgiving. (I use spelt flour instead of white flour.) The joke in our family is that it takes days to make the meal, then everyone seems to wolf it down in about 15 minutes on Thanksgiving.
The favorite Thanksgiving food? Stuffing, hands down.
It seems fitting that today’s prompt is “tempting.” Especially as October winds down. We are coming into the season where healthy eating goes flying out the window. Halloween with the excessive candy, Thanksgiving and the holidays with the rich foods, wine and desserts, and cookies; it’s the season of food and calories.
Speaking of today’s Inktober sketch; this is a pen and ink version of a watercolor sketch I did several years ago, when Cleo was still alive. I swapped out what was originally on the plate for the fish.
OK, someone please tell me why cats are associated with fish? Cats are domesticated from the African wildcat, a species that still exists today and they eat mice, rats, insects, birds, lizards and sometimes baby mammals. Where’s the fish?
Ooooo, today is a fun word. Heist. One movie came to mind, “Tower Heist” with Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy. I cracked up through that movie and was especially delighted when the Tower staff was distracted from their duties by the Thanksgiving parade. Adults that are young at heart, I loved it. The woman hitting on Eddie Murphy cracked me up, too. It was just a movie but it was fun and entertaining.
Thinking of that movie made me think of how I could represent the word “heist” for today’s Inktober drawing. I was watching a bunch of seagulls and my husband and I were commenting about how laughing gulls steal sandwiches right from human hands on the beach. Always a hilarious sight. Some poor unsuspecting human, usually a child, is eating a sandwich and holding it in a way that it won’t get sand on it and the laughing gulls will power dive to steal the sandwich. Always cracks me up.
Gulls are the ultimate thieves. In the summer, when my kids were younger, I would come home from work, scoop them up into the car and we would drive to the beach for the evening. We would stop at Blitz’s in Sea Isle and get hoagies. The kids would pick out 2 bags of some sort of snack food, usually Doritos and something else. We would take it all to the beach and sit and have sandwiches and snacks on the beach. One evening, we had put the food down to walk to the water first. We came back to a large gull flapping down the beach with our large bag of Doritos. It was already open and he was fighting off a bunch of other gulls of all shapes and sizes and before we could blink, the bag was shredded and chips were everywhere. So were the gulls. The gulls definitely know that red bag. There’s a video out on the internet about a gull that would walk into a beach front store in NJ and walk out with a snack sized bag of Doritos. It cracks me up every time I watch it. It’s so true that they like Doritos.
FUN FACT – Doritos were invented at Disneyland! I just found that out the other day on Aaron Mahnke’s Cabinet of Curiosities “Well Seasoned” Podcast.
I was going to sketch the Dorito gulls for today’s prompt, but then I thought of cats. My daughter’s cats are the ultimate thieves. If you leave any carbs out, her cat, Piper, will steal it. Piper and Lili are the inspiration for today’s heist of fish.
Today’s prompt is “bluff.” I thought about sketching people playing cards or a game. I also considered poker or Texas Hold’em, you know, games where you have to bluff. I bluff all the time when we play “Cover Your Assets.” This is a great game that I highly recommend but you need to be devious with the high point cards. It’s not a game that you play with sore losers because it’s a little ruthless, LOL. You steal other players cards during the game to build your own pile for points so sore losers whine a lot during the game. You can find it on Amazon and occasionally in a specialty toy store.
That would have been the obvious choice but as I was doing my sketches, I thought of that canyon out West that keeps showing up in movies. You know the one. It was used in “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” when Indy goes over the cliff and that same cliff was used in the new “Star Trek” with the young James T Kirk speeding in his stepfather’s antique ‘Vette to the tune of Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage” and sends it over the side, quipping to the police officer who chased him, “Is there a problem officer?” Now THAT’S a bluff!
I then pictured a cowboy who brakes to a stop on his horse because they both realized that they were at a dead end at the top of a bluff. Two eagles look on annoyingly at the disturbance. There were a bunch of children’s books illustrated and/or written by Glen Rounds that had these quirky cowboys and horses and those inspired this sketch. I have picked up one or two of his used books over the years because I like to have old illustrators on hand for inspiration and I was fond of his quirky western characters. It’s funny how things you learn or read as a child still have influence as you get older.
Wow, 13 days to Halloween and 13 days left in the Inktober Challenge. Today’s prompt is ponytail and I decided to have a little fun today with…..a pony!
Yeah, I could have done a girl with a ponytail but I thought it would be more fun to draw a pony. A happy little thing with a big flippy tail. Usually I am trundling along, trying to make the prompts fit my Little Witch series. I was going to do my Little Witch series but then I just started playing with different things in my sketchbooks and I moved on to other ideas. I have to say I have been having fun pulling ideas from my head but that’s part of the whole Challenge.
Being since today is the first day of the 13 days of Halloween, I am playing with working on a side project to the Inktober posts. I have a prepped sketchbook but since I only want to do 13 days plus maybe Dias de Los Muertos, I may just make one just for this quick side project. The prepped one I have has more pages than what I want for this side project. I also have to run our truck to the dealer for it’s 15,000 mile maintenance today so we’ll see how far I get with that.
Our sweet little Chloe had her oral surgery yesterday. She needed her teeth cleaned but since she’s getting older, some of her teeth needed to be pulled, too. She came through the whole procedure like a champ. The vet we are using now is very good and said that Chloe did very well. Their process is very safe and the vet explained that if there were any issues, they could pull them out of the anesthesia quickly. I feel much better that she had her teeth cleaned. We tried to do the “awake” cleaning with Chloe but she gave the techs a tough time. Maybe now that the bad teeth are out we can try it again. It takes two people to do Chloe’s nails so we’ll see. As tiny as she is, she’s tough and wears you down. She’s such a diva.
Mack did the “awake” cleaning with no problem at all. They said he was a very good boy. He also gets his nails trimmed like a good boy, too.
Over the mid month hump and into a prompt most “fowl.”
There are a ton of birds that fit this category, but I went with a chicken. Chickens are pretty cool. They come in all sorts of shapes and feathers. I like the ones that look like they have chicken hair dos.
Chickens are usually thought of as barnyard creatures but I have found that over the years, chickens are not just farm animals. When I used to live on Long Island (NY), there are a few chickens that ran the neighborhood. One chicken took it upon herself to be her block’s watch dog. If you went near a house and she didn’t like you; you were chased down the street. The USPS mail lady said it took a while before the chicken stopped bothering her. I am sure if she carried bird snacks instead of doggie biscuits, that would have helped, too.
On Bermuda, of all places, chickens literally run amuck. They are wildlings that have the run of the island and make small chickens. At first the government wasn’t too happy about it, but the tourists like them so they leave them be. After all, if there is a food chain shortage, there won’t be a shortage of eggs on that island. There are some really pretty and neat looking chickens on Bermuda.
So when it came to picking my fowl for the day, I had to pick a chicken. I wouldn’t mind having home grown eggs but their are too many predators here. If the coyotes don’t get them, the bobcats will. And bobcats can jump some really high fences. They are really impressive jumpers, having seen them jump a fence first hand. Then there are owls and other raptors in the air so alas, chickens are off my pet list.