Inktober Day 13

Today is Inktober Day 13 and the prompt is “kind.” I almost pulled out a KIND bar for this one. We have two different types of Kind Bars in the closet and my first thought was to sketch one of them. It would have been fun. I can still do it even though I already did this sketch first.

I thought of “kind” as people being nice to each other. I have these two little dolls in studio that I often use as inspiration and I chose them for today’s representation of “kind.” The girl doll is giving the boy doll a flower and the boy doll is giving the girl doll his heart. Usually it’s the other way around but sometimes hearts don’t work in the way they normally do. I have these drawn as cats but I am not sure if they are cats or mice or what. They could be dogs. Either way, they caught my attention this morning so they are my prompt inspiration.

I can’t believe we are nearing the end of the second week of October. Time just seems to zip on by. We didn’t buy a pumpkin yet. We found out the hard way if you put them out too early in Florida, they become mush in a week. When we used to live in the Northeast, pumpkins could last outside until Christmas if they weren’t carved and the squirrels hadn’t found them yet. Once the squirrels found them, they got “carved” pretty quickly. The squirrels were pretty devious about it, too. They would eat the side that was hidden from view. We usually discovered the “crime” when we put up the Christmas lights and the pumpkin was being removed due to the holiday swap out.

Well, I am checking off another Inktober day.

Inktober Day 13
Pen and Ink drawing of two catlike creatures dressed in clothing.  They are giving each other a heart and a flower. The one on the left has a satchel and has a coat on and the one on the right is wearing a dress.  They have catlike ears
Inktober Day 13 – Kind

Inktober Day 11

Whoo hoo Day 11!

Today’s prompt is Eagle. Our National Bird. Eagles are really cool and I have been lucky to see many eagles in the wild. One really good place for eagle spotting is Assateague Island, VA. Actually, the whole MD/VA Eastern Shore is a great spot for eagle watching. I was driving to Chincoteague down Snow Hill Road and and eagle flew right in front of my car. Talk about a close encounter and a near miss. I had to swerve not to hit it.

I have seen eagles in NJ. One eagle pair used to stalk the wild cats near my office and would pick off the kittens. Sort of ironic how birds are usually prey of cats but the roles were reversed here. Eagles are opportunists, LOL.

We used to have a place in Villas, NJ, where along the Delaware bay, eagles would hunt off the beach. We had to make sure we our chihuahuas were on leashes and supervised at all times so they wouldn’t become dinner. The eagles would sit on the sand by where the bay was when the tide was out. I was always fascinated by that because I didn’t expect them to be on the sand. I guess they felt safe out there because not too many humans would brave the mud that had to be waded through to get out there.

Here in Florida, I have seen them in Port St Lucie near the Savanna State Park. I have also seen them in the Lake Placid area of Florida. They are BIG birds. I have heard that their nests are the size of a king sized mattress, but I don’t think I ever seen an eagle’s nest. Plenty of Osprey nests, but not eagles, as I can recall. I guess I am due to see one.

Inktober Day 11
Pen and ink drawing of an eagle on a large branch, making some noise
Inktober Day 11 – eagle

Inktober Day 10

Well I made it to Day 10.

Happy Monday Everyone.

Today’s prompt is crabby. I went for the crustacean although I imagine some folks may go with a cranky person. I am fond of crabs, both watching them in nature, and the consumption of the Blue Claw persuasion. We used to catch blue claws when my kids were younger. I remember measuring them to ensure they were the correct size. My kids were really good about measuring and tossing back the females and smaller crabs to ensure we had more crabs the next year. Or even just later in the season.

Land and Ghost crabs, on the other hand, are pretty awesome to just watch. I am really amazed that I have seen ghost crabs on every Eastern seaboard beach that I have been to, and that’s quite a few. I have seen ghost crabs on Fire Island, in NY, at several beaches like Cape May and Sea Isle City, and Wildwood, I have seen them on Assateague and on the Outer Banks, (where kids run around the beach at night with flash lights, playing flash light tag with the crabs.) I have also seen them here in Florida. I have seen some pretty cool land crabs along the coast in Jamaica. I don’t remember if I saw ghost crabs but Jamaica definitely had the land crabs digging holes in the grass.

Today’s crab is one I saw on the beach here in Jensen Beach. We were sitting out one evening and this little fellow was doing his thing as the sun was setting, so I snapped a few photos. I love how they dig holes in the sand and how some crabs try to steal another crab’s hole and then there is a little scuffle while that gets sorted out. It’s like, really Dude? Dig your own hole. Ghost crabs a re pretty awesome.

Inktober Day 10
Pen and ink drawing of a ghost crab walking on a beach
Inktober Day 10 – Crabby

Inktober Day 9

Happy Sunday!

We are up to Day 9 of the Inktober Challenge and today’s prompt is Nest. I opted for the bird’s nest interpretation of the prompt. There are a lot of interesting bird nests out there, but some of the more quirkiest nests are from birds that aren’t real, but imagined. This is one of those imaginary birds that came about from my morning (daily) practice of turning blobs of smeared acrylic paint into imaginary creatures. This blob practice was a little trick I learned from Carla Sonheim. Carla has many little tips for pushing the imagination to produce some really awesome imaginary creatures that I would never had thought of on my own. I have been doing the daily blob exercise for several years now and it has helped me produce many odd creatures.

This funny bird has popped up once before, in one of my Valentine’s Day sketchbooks. I played with him, again, for today’s prompt. They don’t always come out the way I originally sketched them but that’s ok. They become several personalities each time I redraw them.

This fellow is a bit stuffy but he’s a good nest builder and sitter. The Mrs is off scarfing up some insects while the Mr is having a turn at sitting. The nest is a little wild and hairy, sort of like the bird. His expression looks like something may be occurring either on the nest or nearby.

On another note, the Phillies have made the wild card and they have beaten the cardinals to move on to the next round of play, which I believe they are playing Atlanta next. I find it hard to watch my hometown teams. It’s sort of like watching a horror movie peeking from behind my fingers. My daughter says that’s not being a fan. Yes it is, it’s called being a fan of a Philadelphia team. On the bright side, they aren’t the Jets.

Inktober Day 9
Pen and ink drawing of a quirky bird sitting on a nest.  His expression looks like something may be occurring either on the nest or nearby. He has a fluffy crest and his tail is alert, similar to a Carolina Wren
Inktober Day 9 – Nest

inktober Day 4

Today’s prompt is scallop. I thought about doing some sort of design but I decided to take my mussels “inches” and make them into a larger 4×6 sketch and used scallops instead. OK, so it is a little macabre with the scallops crying over the ones that were cooked. I am not trying to make a statement or anything, my warped sense of humor was going a little in the “Far Side” direction.

If you are not familiar with the “Far Side” cartoons by Gary Larson, they were genius and took everyday things and turned them into humor, like cows, dogs and cats. Some of my favorites are the cows standing around on hind legs and smoking, one yells “car” and they all go back to grazing and doing regular cow things. There’s a frog that sticks his tongue to an airplane flying over and gets lifted in the air, but two of my favorites are the ones about dogs and cats and what they hear. These two are priceless. You need to read the dog one first to really appreciate the one for cats. It’s so true.

There’s also so the cartoon of the kid going to a mentally gifted school and trying to push the door that clearly says “pull.” Something we have all done at one time or another so the humor hits home. Gary had sooooo many cartoons. My coworkers and I used to stand in a bookstore at lunch time and cry over his books. We used to have everyone in the store laughing. We had one coworker who we would drag to the store when he came into the city so we could share the cartoons with him. Yeah, I think we actually bought him a copy, LOL.

Laughter truly is the best medicine and the best way to bring people together. Now that I think about it, we never complained about anything, we’d just go do something that made us laugh. That’s a good memory for me.

Inktober Day 4 - Scallop Pen and Ink drawing of a steaming bowl of scallops on a checkered tablecloth.  There are scallop shells crying in front of the bowl because the others were cooked.
Inktober Day 4 – Scallop

Inktober Day 3

Good morning everyone! Today’s prompt is “bat.” Since it is October, I thought bat the animal would be better than a baseball bat. Although baseball still does run for another week or so. I am a Phillies fan so I hope we make it to the wild card game, at least. My husband is a Yankees fan so of course they clinched (eyes rolling). It’s not too bad with baseball and football in our house. I’m an Eagles fan (4-0) and he’s a Jets fan (notice I didn’t put the standings for the Jets), so the Eagles and Bucs are his back up teams. We have a saying in our house, well I do, that the Jets are the kiss of death for any player’s career. I said if I was a kid in the draft and the Jets picked me, I’d stay in school and wait for the next year. So there is a bunch of good natured busting of chops here in the house.

However, hubby is a RANGERs fan. Blech ptooie!!!!!!! I am a Flyers fan so we don’t discuss hockey unless I am gloating when the Rangers lose. I went to a Rangers/Blackhawks game once with hubby and was rooting for the Blackhawks. He goes with my daughter now when they are in Tampa.

For those of you who asked, we are on the East Coast of Florida, below the path that Ian took. We got a lot of wind (60+ gusts) and rain, but we fared well. Unfortunately, the West Coast not so well. I really feel bad for the Ft Myers region folks. Although Florida has hurricane building codes, there are many old Floridian structures that are being wiped out by these storms. It’s really sad to see them being wiped out and sad for the people who lived in them or conducted their businesses in them who have to rebuild. Yeah, they can rebuild, but it doesn’t have the same charm or memories, and when it floods, not even concrete is invincible. Our thoughts and prayers goes out to them.

Inktober Day 3 "Bat" - pen and ink drawing of a bat in a sketchbook using a black Uniball Vision pen and  a Cambio brush pen with grey ink, also in the photo.  Sketchbook was made by Innovative Journal
Inktober Day 3 – Bat

Inktober Day 2

For Day 2 of Inktober, I am sure that I am not the only one that used a mouse for today’s prompt, “scurry.” Whenever many of us hear the word scurry, we think of mice scooting across the floor. Which usually leads to someone screaming and if you have a cat, mayhem.

I played around with sketching mice for this one and settled on what I chose as my final idea. It was fun drawing mice although they aren’t something I normally pay attention to, unless the cat brought one into the house. My mom used to tell us entertaining stories about field mice when she and my dad were living in California. The mice used to come out of the fire place and duke it out. Now there’s an image, boxing mice. (Trying to figure out what they were doing in the fireplace?)

I was trying to find the post I saw this morning from Jake Parker, the artist that started Inktober. It tells about why he started Inktober (to help artists improve their drawing skills was one reason, and the important one I forgot to mention yesterday) and the ideas behind the challenge. I guess I will have to add the link tomorrow if I come across it again.

Adding my thoughts on ink, as an outdoor sketcher’s point of view, many artists, like myself, draw directly in ink because you want to get what is in front of you on paper as quickly as possible. When you are drawing on location, you don’t have much time if you are drawing something that will change, like people or animals. Or a delivery truck….When one parks in front of what you were originally drawing. Using pencil slows you down because no matter how hard you try not to, pencil enables you to erase marks, and the temptation to erase is too irresistible, inevitably bringing out the perfectionist/procrastinator in us and the subject long gone before scratched on the page with nothing to show for your time. Ink is there, ready to go (unless you forgot to refill your Lamy Safari) and although maybe not the most perfect of sketches, your recorded information in its raw form, has the subject captured on the page.

The other nice thing about ink drawing, all you need is paper and a pen and you can sketch anywhere.

pen and ink mouse sitting up on its high legs, wavy tail Inktober Day 2 "Scurry"
Come on Kitty, BRING IT.


Another project that I have been working on is horse illustrations/art. Something I did a long time ago that I picked up again just recently. We used to own racehorses and I would sit in the paddock and sketch the horses as they were getting tacked up and harnessed for races. A lot of the horse folks would peek over my shoulder as I used to sketch. It was a lot of fun and I used to love it. We haven’t had a racehorse for a while now but it was awesome. My husband used to drive our horses in the races.

I also collect model horses and being part of the model horse world, you have to go to Kentucky for the Breyerfest at least once. Breyerfest is an annual model horse event held at the Kentucky Horse Park every year. I went a few times and it was a lot of fun. I did a lot of things there, like watch a polo match, that I was never able to do before. I was able to see John Henry and Cigar, were stabled there. (John Henry was a naughty biting horse so there was extra fencing around his paddock.) Some racing greats like Man O’ War are buried there. There are breeds from around the world there so you can see them in person. My personal fave is the Akhal Take. I want one.

The American Saddlebred Association is headquartered there and that brings us to today’s sketch. This was originally intended to be posted on Independence Day but didn’t, and it was the next one in my sketch book, so I am posting it today.

American Saddlebreds, aka Saddle Horses, were bred to essentially be gaited riding horses. They are a true American breed and they have a long history for gentle temperament, used as mounts in battle, performance in the show ring, as well as just pleasure riding.

Chocolate Palomino Saddle horse with rider with red white and blue banners for a national holiday.  Horse is doing an gaited pace.
American Saddle Horse Sketch in my Pentalic Watecolor Sketchbook

Mixed Media/Collage

Well, it turns out that the Inchie challenge was only 11 days, not 12. I was surprised when I pulled up emails Saturday morning and there was no prompt. Well that was a bummer because the Inchie challenge was fun. I’ll probably keep 2×2 squares with me to work on when I am out of the house. They would make cool thumbnail squares and I have plenty of art that I haven’t posted yet.

That being said…

Several years ago, before Teesha Moore had her stroke, I was a member of Teesha’s Artstronauts Club. I really miss that club. It was chock full of mixed media collage (MM/Collage) goodness. I started a few mixed media collage sketchbooks that I still have to finish. Some morphed into my Zombie doll Sketchbooks and my creepy portrait sketchbooks that I did finish. I never really thought of myself as a collage artist until I took a few of Carla Sonheim’s classes and things started to click. I have been playing with patterns, lettering and other techniques that gave me the skills I need to finish some of these unfinished sketchbooks.

Most of my MM/ collage sketchbooks are home made and hand stitched so that they would could be a specific shape or size and they have a theme. Most have a limited amount of pages which makes the project easy to finish.

This sketchbook is a mixture of cut collage from pretty much anything; some collage is home made from paint drips and such. I used Teesha Moore’s “Amazing 16 Page Journal” format. It’s a full sheet of 30 x 22 hot or cold press Fabriano watercolor paper that’s cut into 3 10×22 pieces and are folded into pages and stitched to create the 16 page sketchbook. On my mixed media pages I use paint markers and gel pens, fortune cookie fortunes, cut out lettering and quotes, basically a miss mosh of pieces assembled to make a whole page.

This has been in my “to do” pile a long time and I and finally posting some of these pages. The page size is 8×10 and the excess wasn’t trimmed, it is a flap that became a design of it’s own on one side and on the other it was part of a full page spread. I had a ton of chihuahuas from a 365 desk calendar that I save and used in various art projects. Lots of paint marker embellishments.

8x10 Mixed media collage sketchbook page using various bits and scraps of collage.  Chihuahuas, old ticket stubs, embellishments with paint markers. The Chihuahua heads were added to "bodies."
Pages 2/3 Mixed media collage
8x10 Mixed media collage sketchbook page with lavender background  using various bits and scraps of collage.  Chihuahuas,  embellishments with paint markers.
Page/Flap 1 Mixed Media Collage