I wanted to do this map sooner but other projects got in the way. I am taking Mike Lowery’s “Getting Paid to Draw Course” and I am doing it as a repeat because he has a whole new group of artists and special guests for 2023. I started the class early because we are going to be busy over the next couple of weeks so I wanted to ensure I had my projects done for this class and what I had going on in the studio. I have lifetime access to last year’s class so I am able to rewatch the lessons before Mike releases them in this year’s class. This way I can timely submit my class work.
This map was on my “to Do” list so I finished it as I was listening to the second week’s lessons. The nice thing about repeating this course is I get updated information in the design and illustration world while working in a class environment which helps inspire me to create more work.
This is not an art class. It is a class for artists wanting to learn how to get their work out there to art directors of companies needing illustrations and designs. It’s fun because you get to talk to other artists and Mike has mini workshops and drawing sessions throughout the year after the course is over. The course itself runs 8 weeks but it’s great when Mike does additional Zoom parties that are really helpful with keeping us on track with our goals.
Mike is a great instructor with a lot of information and he’s very supportive with his students. The registration for the class is over but if you are interested, I am sure he’ll run it again next year.
This map is from our trip to Jekyll Island and I wanted to do it to keep honing my map making skills.
John and I went to Jekyll Island this past weekend to get away and to also celebrate his birthday. It was a spur of the moment decision. The weekend’s forecast for Jensen Beach for this past weekend was high 80’s, possibly hitting 90. We were vegging out and decided on a whim to go exploring so we made reservations and departed North to Georgia. We just weren’t ready for summer yet.
Packing for this trip was a little tricky because although it would be shorts weather when we arrived, it would be cool the rest of the weekend. We threw a little of everything in the suitcase and away we went.
We took Mack with us because it was a last minute getaway. He still misses Chloe, as we all do, but the three of us are coping with her loss. We commented on the trip up what she would have been doing in the car. It was our first road trip without her.
Jekyll Island is about 30 minutes above the Florida State Line which was awesome. It is a very small quiet island that you have to pay a toll (they call it a parking fee) to enter. It is surrounded by salt marshes and the island itself is not very developed so there are a lot of trees. Our hotel was in the Beach Village which is right after you enter the island. We checked in to our room and we immediately went out onto the balcony. We had a nice view of the ocean but what really struck me was all of the bird calls. This was very exciting because some of these calls I haven’t heard in a long time. We could sit outside on the balcony and also hear lots of birds! So AWESOME!
We grabbed dinner and took Mack for a walk. It was getting dark so this walk was a bit of a challenge. The island is very dark at night, especially since they use sea turtle friendly bulbs. We could see a lot of stars and we walked along a path that runs along the beach, which is very nice. They really have the Beach Village planned out nicely.
On Saturday the three of us took the nature trail to check out the historic part of Jekyll Island. The nature trail had sooooo many birds chirping and singing. My app was going berserk identifying all the calls. We came upon a clearing that was roped off and there was a huge gator lolling on the banks of a large pond. Whoa! We expect these guys in Florida but we forgot that they can be found as far north as North Carolina. Good thing we didn’t meet that critter the previous evening!
We checked out the little shops and strolled by the historic homes. We saw people playing croquet which was fun. We got attacked by no see ‘ums until we stopped and bought a spray. We even sprayed Mack. They were brutal.
What we really liked about Jekyll Island is the layback atmosphere and that you really didn’t need a car. Once you park the car, you can walk or bike to everything. We didn’t bring our bikes but we will the next time we visit.
I liked the salt marshes which reminded me of New Jersey. We came upon a park that was along the back bay/salt marsh side of the island and I wish I had brought my plein air gear because it was the sort of landscape I would have painted. It’s in the sketch above.
One last thought, we saw mistletoe “balls” in the trees everywhere. I sketched the Mistletoe cottage because of all the mistletoe we saw. They also have water towers that looked like giant golf tees! And it was March and their azaleas were blooming. That was pretty cool! We definitely want to go back.
I was playing around in my sketchbook trying to work on some illustration “to do” lists and one of the items on my list is to do more maps. I usually go very project detailed and would post them on They Draw and Travel but sometimes just freeing up my creativity to play in my sketchbook and allow myself to make mistakes takes the pressure off to explore, play and create art for the fun of it.
I started the map the beginning of the week and made all these really cool icons. However, I decided to do the map while in the car when John and I were out and about. We were listening to the Yellowstone Podcast. I wasn’t paying attention to what I was doing until I realized that the paint marker I used was awful for this project. I didn’t like how the first map looked and the acrylic was shiny, not matte and you couldn’t write or draw over the acrylic. Well that was big a fail.
When I came back to the house, I had to go back to the drawing board, pun intended, and redo how I thought my map should look, minus the shiny marker. (The shiny marker came from an Artsnacks box.) I have Posca paint pens and Molotows which are much better for what I wanted to do. I drew the whole map again in pencil, playing with my placement of few things and I like this one much better.
I have included the image along with a version that shows what supplies I used. My Lamy Safaris are filled with Carbon Ink so they were perfect for this project. One Lamy is an extra fine point and the other is a medium point and I am really happy with how the map came out. There’s a few things that I would correct digitally but overall I really enjoyed doing this map.
Groundhog Day was always one of those days that you acknowledged but didn’t make much of a fuss about, (unless winter has been an especially cold and snowy one…) until the movie “Groundhog Day” came out.
I fell in love with the movie immediately. We even had a VHS version, then a Blue Ray version of the movie in our library. If the movie wasn’t on TV on February 2, then I would pop the movie in and watch the video version with my family.
My children were small when the movie came out but as they got older, it began to be a tradition to watch it in our house. It wasn’t just that the movie was funny. It was philosophical and theological. What would you do if you relived the same day over and over? Is there a Supreme Being reliving days over and over and that’s how they know everything? I am sure Danny Rubin and Harold Ramis were thinking more along the lines of poking fun at the day when they wrote the script, but the movie became so much more that I am sure they intended. It was done so well and it really makes you ponder life as you are being entertained.
The lines in the movie are classic. How can you ever look at a groundhog and not think “don’t drive angry?” That line was so hilarious in that setting. And my special favorite was Bill Murray when he’s on the phone “What if there is no tomorrow? There wasn’t one today!” OMG, that made me laugh. I am sure many of us sitting at desk job have thought that very thing.
The music, too. As soon as the opening theme comes on the TV, it doesn’t matter where you are in the house, you know what movie is coming on. It’s as distinctive as the James Bond themes.
If you are working from home today, the movie is on repeat on the AMC channel.
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 did carve Day 14 yesterday and took the photo but forgot to post it. In my defense, we’ve lost some sleep and have been worried and stressed over Mack, our long haired Chihuahua, because he‘s been sick since Saturday. We could see him slowly getting worse each day and by Sunday, he was a limp rag doll. He wouldn’t eat or drink fluids, which was totally unlike him. He’s our food thief so for him to visibly refuse food and water was scary.
We took him to the doggie ER on Sunday. His face was swollen and his eyes were puffy and we thought that he maybe had a sinus infection. The ER couldn’t find anything wrong and chalked it up to an allergic reaction and gave him Benadryl.
Monday came with him being unresponsive after the Benadryl so we stopped giving him that. We called our family vet and made an appointment but the earliest they could give us was Tuesday. I took Mack out into the sun for 15 minutes which helped and he ate and drank a little.
Tuesday came with rag doll Mack again but fortunately had a vet appointment. Our vet knows Mack pretty well and she could see he wasn’t right. They took blood work, etc, gave him an IV and some B12. We were all perplexed because he had no obvious issues so all we could do was wait for all the tests to come back.
A Wednesday morning and Mack was still lethargic. The vet called after lunch. Apparently when we traveled up North with Chloe and Mack, the week after Thanksgiving, Mack must have been bitten by a tick on the trip. Yes, they are on flea and tick meds. Nice to know that the $50 a dose flea and tick meds helped. NOT.
The vet explained to us that ticks in Florida are uncommon so it’s most likely he picked up something on the trip up North, maybe at a rest stop. They gave him prednisone and an antibiotic that we had to get at CVS. We had to crush the first doses and mix it with gravy to get them in him.
Today? He just shoved Chloe out of the way to get to her lunch so I gave her his lunch. He’s doing better today and is eating and drinking on his own, much to our relief. We had a scary stressful few days but he seems to be healing.
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.
Today, John and I decided to get out of the house. I have been working on some ornaments over the past couple of days and John installed some sun shades yesterday for our patio. We really didn’t veg out too much yesterday so this morning we just sat outside and enjoyed our morning coffee. We try to leave the weekends open to just relax and, gasp! do absolutely nothing. After coffee and breakfast, we decided to get out of the house. We had no plan in mind until we drove past a new local coffee shop, just a few minutes from the house. After deciding to pop in to see if it was open yet, we were surprised to find that it was open! Apparently the shop is open every day from 7-1 every day and I was ecstatic because now we have two local shops to go to for coffee that are both in Jensen Beach and within biking distance.
After getting two iced coffees, we found a table in the shade. (Almost all the tables are under trees and in the shade, which is nice.) This shop is just across the road from the Indian River Lagoon, and beyond that, Hutchinson’s Island and the Atlantic Ocean. We couldn’t see any of the above because of all of the vegetation but we did enjoy the benefits of a lovely sea breeze.
I have been trying to get out of the studio and back in the habit of outdoor sketching so this seemed like a great opportunity for that. I love Bismarck palm trees with their blue green leaves, so I chose to do the one at the edge of the property, which had lights hanging from it. I pulled out a mechanical pencil and my trusty Lamy Safari sketched the scene. Then I added watercolor. I didn’t have a water container with me but I had water brushes. Unfortunately they chose today to make things difficult. The watercolors I used were a gift from a friend plus I also had use my mini palette, which has colors that I just can’t do without when painting anything green. The brushes were annoying but I managed to get by. (I’ll probably pull them apart after this to see why the water wasn’t flowing down to the brush from the barrel.)
This sketch is the end result of sitting outside drinking an iced coffee and dodging a rain sprinkle or two. It was a nice relaxing morning and John and I had a nice chat while I sketched.
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.
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