Today is Halloween and it is also the last day of Inktober. I can’t say that I am not glad to Inktober go. It was fun to do the prompts but tough to squeeze it in. I am happy it is Halloween and I am sad to know that it is the end of October.
There is a special treat today where I am adding a Halloween sketch along with the Inktober Sketch. Today’s Inktober prompt is “farm.”
I am looking forward to Thanksgiving and we were in BJ’s Wholesale Club and they had turkeys already! They were reasonably priced so we bought ours and stuffed it in the freezer.
Now that we are coming into November, I will be running around doing my Thanksgiving dinner scavenger hunt, because that is pretty much what shopping for my Thanksgiving groceries turns into, especially now since the pandemic.
The scavenger hunt starts with which store has the stuffing bread (I make my stuffing fresh, I don’t use those premade bagged stuffings), Publix makes fresh stuffing bread and they will even cut it and cube it for me. I pick that up right before Thanksgiving. Then its off to find who has turnips/rutabagas, getting the cream of mushroom soup, green beans and French’s onions for the green bean casserole for my daughter….buttermilk becomes hard to find because everyone is buying it, baking aisle items that are gone by Thanksgiving week. Oh hey, can I find chestnuts in Florida? Get that pound of uncased sausage for the stuffing….ANNNNDDDDDD, BEAUJOLAIS NOUVEAU DAY! woohoo! Have to get a few bottles of that for the holiday season before it’s gone.
And eggnog, which is usually everywhere.
Then I have to get pie making ingredients. Believe it or not, I already picked up melting chocolate because Sam’s Club got their shipment in already. The worst part is storing everything and running out to get the fresh produce right before Thanksgiving.
We have a running joke in our house that it takes almost a month to prepare for Thanksgiving, and the eating the meal take about 30 minutes tops.
Two days to go! I can’t believe October ends tomorrow! So sad because this is the best month of the year. The sad thing about October ending is we jump from Autumn right into the Christmas season without being able to enjoy Thanksgiving as an Autumn holiday. I mean, it’s nice to hear the Christmas music but I am not usually ready for holiday music until the day after Thanksgiving. What’s even more annoying is that the Christmas season ends in January, on the Feast of the Epiphany, but the music gets cut off Midnight on Christmas. Really? Like, at least play it until New Year’s Eve.
Sigh. Putting the soapbox away.
Today’s prompt is “gear” and I opted to sketch my backpack with some of my art supplies. I haven’t used this backpack in a while and I had just pulled it out to tidy up my art supplies closet. This is not a realistic sketch because I lug around more than this when I go out to sketch. Way too much stuff……
I usually carry around several different sizes and types of sketch books. I usually carry one with watercolor paper and a square one, that’s Instagram friendly. Various pens including my trusty old Lamy Safari and usually a Uniball Vision. I carry mechanical pencils because they don’t need to be sharpened. I just realized I drew regular brushes when my go to brushes when I am sketching on location are usually water brushes, which are brushes that have water in the barrel and you squeeze them for water and you rinse the brush by squeezing and wiping on a paper towel. I also drew a palette but the one I use the most is the size of a credit card and almost as thin! I bought it empty and I put my own colors in it.
Wow, almost at the end of October. We are now into Halloween weekend. Where does the time go?
Today’s prompt is “Uh-oh.” For some reason I went right to thinking about the wildlife in the neighborhood, probably because our friendly neighborhood Little Blue Heron, was stalking through everyone’s flower beds, looking for “yum yums” like lizards and frogs. The lizards all head for the hills when they see herons and egrets. It’s hilarious to see the tall gangly Great Egrets balancing on top of trees and hedges, looking to pluck a tasty lizard morsel from the vegetation. It was this image of the balancing bird on a hedge that inspired today’s sketch. I hid some frogs and lizards in the sketch as well.
The Little Blue Heron, whom I affectionately call “Sid” (from Ice Age), trots through our flower beds and lawns. Then he’ll slow to a gangly stroll which is quite comical. I say hello to him and he just strolls on by, checking a bush here, a flower pot there. I saw him this morning, head cocked looking upward into a bush, hunting something. He’s a dark greyish bird and he’s very pretty.
The lizards, on the other hand, are the stupidest creatures. They have this whole territorial thing going on where they claim physical territory, like a tree, bush or their own personal plant in a flower pot. The males argue and do pushups to intimidate each other over females and territory. It’s hilarious when they are trying to kick each other’s butts when they are on opposite sides of a screen. When they see a potential threat, they will run to their “home,” even if they have to run in front of a car, bike, human, dog, Mack truck to get to their home. I don’t know how many times they get run over. Even the Iguanas run in front of cars. John and I just scratch our heads and comment “no wonder Dinosaurs are extinct.”
I got the idea for this sketch from the season. What do we do when we are camping? Usually a campfire is one of the evening activities that people do while camping. A campfire brings light to the dark. It can be used to cook food, marshmallows, s’mores, it can provide warmth, or it can provide ambiance for an evening of socializing…..or the setting for storytelling by the fire.
We have seen a lot of movies from Hollywood where the purpose of a campfire was a location used to create suspense to scare the crap out of the people sitting around it. I get it it. There’s that primal thing going on where our ancestors used a fire for cooking, warmth, possibly storytelling and for security. We still have that primal basic human instinct where sometimes logic can lose control. Fire kept dangerous creatures away and other dark beings that walk in the night. We still seek the fire and light….to feel safe.
The first thing I thought of when I saw the word camping was the universal tent icon. I have fond memories of tent camping and if you are reading this and you have never tried tent camping, try it once. The tent segued into a guy telling a story by a campfire with just a ghost in the speech bubble pretty much summing up what’s going on. That idea just popped into my head to simplify that he was telling a ghost story.
I added the tree with the owl and moon for mood. I was thinking of adding a coyote howling at the moon. If you have never heard a pack of coyotes yipping and howling near your bedroom window in the dead of the night, I can tell you it’s unnerving. Exciting that we heard coyotes! Maybe even beautiful in a way…. But again…deep down, there is still that instinctual survival “thing” that kicks in and maybe you experience a little twinge of….panic? The house has concrete block walls but you still listen to ensure that the coyotes are gone….and try to go back to sleep.
Before I start the post with my Inktober sketch of the day, I just want to thank all of you for following me. I really appreciate the “likes” and comments (If I missed your comment, please let me know!). I don’t want to overwhelm you with a ton of blog posts or emails, so I really appreciate the patience and support during Inktober, when you are getting the daily posts. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
Today’s prompt is “SNACK” and I almost posted the wrong prompt!! LOL. I have Plumchester square sketchbook from Artsnacks that I have been sketching my ideas in first, before I do the final. I sketched an apple and did a couple of “ego” ideas, then I moved on to another page and did more “ego” ideas and a sketch for tomorrow’s prompt. Without thinking about what I was doing, I completed tomorrow’s prompt in my Inktober Sketchbook, LMAO. I was like “Oh crap!” when I caught it before posting the wrong one. So now they are out of order in my sketchbook.
Oh well, glad I caught it.
I sketched an apple for today’s “snack” prompt. Partly because I am telling myself I should eat more natural snacks, and partly because our elderly neighbor gave us a bag full of Red Delicious apples. The problem with Red Delicious apples is they aren’t good for cooking. Although I may try in order to get them out of the fridge. Any ideas?
My son and I were just discussing apples the other day. He likes Sweet Tango and Cosmic Crisp. I can’t find those here in Florida. But I can find my favorite, the Pink Lady. Which is indeed, pink. Wonderful combination of sweet and tart. Try one if you can find one.
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.