Inchies Day 11

One more day of Inchies! I can’t say that this hasn’t been fun because it was a lot of fun. I like experimenting with tiny art. Today’s prompt is “interwoven” and I went in a bit of a different direction. We went swimming very early this morning and there was lightning out over the Atlantic. We debated the wisdom of our swim but we could see the storm clouds being shredded by the wind, slowly breaking up the top of the storm. The storm hovered offshore before being pushed out to sea.

This morning’s clouds inspired these Inchies;

It also inspired a bit of…writing…I usually make time in the morning to squeeze in a little creative writing. It helps my overall creativity.

2x2 inch square of watercolors in Indigo, Ultramarine Blue, yellow and pink....abstract pieces of an early morning storm, white gel pen illustrating the lightning
2 x 2 Inch squares of abstract storm clouds


In the distance, lightning flashes 

a spider web of electricity 

bolts down and across the sky

“It’s going offshore, right?”

“Will we be able to swim this morning?”

The sun is still considering its rising

But has to compete with the storm

Looming menacingly 

Slate blue thunderclouds

Adorned with puffs of light gray

An angry Poseidon reflected 

In the face of the storm

Thunder grumbles and rolls

“Should we get out of the pool?”

“But it looks like it’s going away

See, the top of the storm is melting away”

“Not yet!” says Poseidon

Stirring the sea with even more dark clouds

The winds challenge the sea god

Continuing to blow off the tops of his storm

Poseidon’s face is gone

Blown away along with the clouds

On the dancing taunting winds

gleefully shearing the clouds in the storm 

More lightning protests behind the clouds 

Slowly being pushed away 

But not without 

More clouds stacking and building

Poseidon shaking his fist at the winds

“I’ll get you next time” as the clouds and storm 

Get blown out to sea

Inchies Day 10

This is Day 10 of the Inchie Challenge with two days to go. Today’s prompt is “eclipse.” When I first saw the prompt. I thought of a bunch of little partially covered moons, but I also thought of a “man in the moon” concept and the “man” bemused that his light was being blocked by the sun.

I played with both concepts to see how they would look. The nice thing about working small is you aren’t using up a lot of art supplies to experiment and play and you can see quickly if something isn’t working. I did a second man (boy?) in the moon because the first one wasn’t as crisp and clear as I would have liked it to be. I added the dark background, stars and some “satellites.”

2x2 inch square art...Moon faces with the light slowly being taken away to eclipse the face of the moon, which looks like a boy/man.  Also two 2x2 squares of moon rocks
Moon Eclipse Inchies and moon rocks

As I was working, and being a horse lover, the term “eclipse” made me think of the name of the British racehorse, “Eclipse” who’s descendants are still on the thoroughbred tracks all over the world even today. The American Eclipse Award commemorates the memory of Eclipse and the awards are given out annually to recognize outstanding achievements such as “American Horse of the Year,” American Champion 3 year old colt, American Champion 3 year old filly, American Champion Steeplechase horse, etc. The award is also given out to the Owner, Breeder, Trainer and Jockey of the Year.

A large amount of race horses today carry Eclipse in their bloodlines.

Tiny sketch of Eclipse the thoroughbred racehorse from the UK.  Pen and Ink drawing with watercolor (burnt umber and Sap green)
Eclipse the thoroughbred horse (UK)

My little Eclipse isn’t meant to be a portrait, just an Inchie. But sometimes drawing whimsy, when you can draw the real thing so well, takes a bit of practice to make him look like a cute illustration and not a breed profile photo, LOL. If you research Eclipse on line, the portraits of Eclipse in the 1700’s look awkward. I don’t think he had a snaky neck but that’s how horses were painted back then. I would love to see better drawings because horses like Eclipse were closer to the foundation stock of the Thoroughbred.

Inchies Day 9

It is Day 9 of the Inchie Challenge and today’s prompt is “innovative.” The term innovative can be interpreted many different ways with illustration. It could be a light bulb over someone’s head, or an exclamation point to show a new idea. I decided to use innovative thinking to create a pattern out of something I usually use as a decorative border, a dash and a circle.

I started on the a 2×2 square with the dashes and circles, creating a pattern which included negative space. This is the square on the top left of the photo. I could have stopped there, but then I did a second one , top right.

Looking at the two, I figured, “OK, I did two. Why not a quad?” Before I knew it, squares 3 and 4 were finished. Then I took my photo. As I looked at the four together, I thought, “Why don’t I just color in the circles?” Filling them in gave the composition a whole new look.

I like how they can hold their own composition alone, and together as a set. This is an idea that is encouraged by Amy Maricle with her Inchies exercises. One Inchie can lead to an entire collection that can standalone as one square or be part of a large collection of squares. Last year I did 8 squares together as a set. I completely forgot about that until the “innovative” prompt. I have three more days of the Inchie Challenge to try a larger grouping.

If you are feeling a little stale in your creative practice, try creating art on separate panels, or breaking up a page in a sketchbook with squares divided like a window and then fill in each one with piece of a subject to look like you are seeing the scene from inside instead of outside. Or you could try adding different parts of the place where you are in each box so that each box has a piece of a location or subject and then the entire page is a compilation of the subject. The beauty of the Inchie Challenge/practice is the way it can clear your mind to inspire new approaches for creating art.

Four 2x2 squares with pen and ink dash and circle patterns.  The 4 squares were created to have individual compositions separately but they are also combined to be part of a larger composition.
Inchie Day 9 Dashes and Circles
Four 2x2 squares with pen and ink dash and circle patterns.  The 4 squares were created to have individual compositions separately but they are also combined to be part of a larger composition. The circles were filled in with this version
Inchies Day 9 with dashes and filled in circles

Inchie Day 8

Today’s prompt is “moth.”

I used my pre prepped cards for the background. The mixtures of blues and greens that worked for the ocean inchies also work for an evening sky. The white gel pen was the perfect choice for the moths. I added a hazy moon on the one piece because that area was already lighter in color which made the moon seem to look like it is peeking from behind some vegetation.

I like how the gel pen seemed to make the moths glow, almost like ghost moths. I tried to play with different angles to show them darting and dancing in the moonlight.

Moths are not a subject I normally draw so this was a fun change of pace. The Inchie Challenge is unlike many other internet challenges because we don’t get advanced notice of the prompt. The prompt comes first thing in the morning. The idea is to be spontaneous with your interpretation of the prompt and not get hung up on accurate representations.

There are only four more days to the Inchie Challenge. I will be sorry when it is over. I really like the size and not being concerned about whether or not they are masterpieces or playful exercises. The best part is just having fun and being loose. I have other prepped papers that I may cut down to Inchie size and just carry them in my handbag for when I want to play when I am out of the studio.

2x2 inch sized art displayed on a cutting mat to show the size.  Colors palette od blues, greens and a white gel pen was used to draw moths over the darker repainted paper.
Moths Inchies Day 8

On another note, John and I found this plant popping up in our garden. It had funny bulb like protrusions like an artichoke. I picked one of the tiny little flowers and I said to Hubby that they looked like they were orchids. After much research, I finally identified the little flower. Much to my happiness and then dismay, I found that it was a Chinese Crown Orchid, also known as EULOPHIA GRAMINEA. Apparently this little orchid has slowly made its way up the Invasive species list here in Florida and it is commonly found in flower beds that have wood mulch. Bingo! Flower bed and wood mulch is where we found several of them. It pained us to have to pull them out but Florida has 5 native species of orchid and that don’t need the competition in already shrinking habitats. The EULOPHIA GRAMINEA has tiny seeds that blow like dust in the wind so it is very prolific and it is recommended that gardeners pull them out and destroy them. I felt really bad for the little plants that were happily blooming in my garden, but I had to do what was best for the native plants. So sad that whoever brought this plant into the country didn’t think of the consequences.
EULOPHIA GRAMINEA aka Chinese Crown Orchid
EULOPHIA GRAMINEA aka Chinese Crown Orchid

It was so pretty, too. It looked like a tiny cattleya orchid.

Inchies Day 7

The prompt for Day 7 is “mussel.” I added tiny eyes to my mussels and then I, uhm, had a little dark fun with wondering how the mussels would feel about being dinner. I kept thinking about the song by Squeeze, “Pulling Mussels (from the shell)” so I thought of a bowl full of streaming mussels and their relatives dismayed over their demise.

It’s almost Halloween. What can I say.

Mussels with little faces done in Ink and ink wash on 2x2 inch paper.   Whimsy humor

Inchies Day 5

Today’s Inchie Prompt is “simple.” I used some of my “blob” drawings as inspiration for some simple character sketches using my Zig pen and a waterbrush.