Sunday, January 31, 2010

January Doodles


My drawing mojo went to Tijuana for the weekend. Couldn't draw a straight line with a ruler.

Decided just to doodle but the doodles were even looking awful. Since they couldn't look any worse I slopped some paint on them. Hey! They don't look so terrible anymore. Amazing what a little paint can do.

Went back through all the less-than-stellar doodles in my square Hand*book and added paint. I was feeling the need to be creative even though I couldn't draw. Some came out kinda cute. Others not so much.

Sudden thought:The dude with the monocle looks just like Captain Peacock from the British sitcom "Are You Being Served?" That's kinda neat. Didn't intent it to be that way, it just happened.

Here's a larger version of the doodles on the page above:

Friday, January 29, 2010

EDM #11 - Draw Your Glasses


Nana called wanting an obit from the hometown newspaper. I spread the paper out on the living room floor to search. When I found the one she needed, I took off my glasses to read it to her. "That's the one, send it to me please." Tossed the page on the couch, got up and wandered off continuing to chat.

Realized sometime later my glasses weren't on my head. Wandered around the house, still chatting, looking in all the usual locations. Back to the living room to look among the papers on the floor and didn't see them there.

Thought maybe I had laid them on the couch and covered them up with the obit page. (Of course I wouldn't have laid them on the floor on the dark, highly patterned rug, that's not a good place.) Leaned over the and heard the ccccrrrruuunnnccchhhhh...under my foot. Found my glasses. They took a direct hit from my size 9 clodhoppers.
The lenses weren't damaged, just the little fishing line thingies that hold them in place. Those can be easily replaced. The frames are a little whomperjawed, but they too should be easily repaired. I really needed new glasses anyway. Off to the optical shop on Monday for an eye exam.

Wearing my old 1993 specs now. Luckily the prescription is the same as the current ones.

Falling Down

This is my entry for "use THIS reference photo" #9; a scene from the movie "Falling Down" with Michael Douglas and a bald-headed guy.

The guy on the left is supposed to be Michael Douglas. I'll wait for you to get through laughing.

drums fingers on desk...

The guy on the right is supposed to be bald-headed. I went in the weeds with the shading on his head and it kinda looked like he had on a watch cap. I just shrugged, drew a little more and made him one.

I like how bald-headed guy turned out, especially his eye, nose and hands. Michael Douglas not so much. He looks a little cartoony and nothing I did seemed to improve the effect. I finally had to put the pen down and call it done before I ruined it completely.

Pentel Pocket Brush Pen
PITT brush pen - light gray

Purple Iris

Dug out a seldom used sketchbook and found an abandoned sketch of purple iris I had started using colored pencils. There were vague pencil outlines of petals and leaves and such, but only one petal had been colored.

I remember starting it but giving up on it early on because it was going to be too detailed for my patience quota. My intent was to do a piece of "fine art" and fine art just ain't my style it seems. Anyway, I thought I would play with it a little for practice with my new brush pen and waterbrush.

I inked the lines and started slopping paint without much thought. I had no idea what the shapes were supposed to be. It was drawn from a photo of the iris in my garden last year but the photo has long been deleted. So, I just happily flung paint and let it be whatever it wanted to be.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Pigma Brush Pen - Lion Statue


Taking the new Pigma Brush Pen and Niji Waterbrush (medium, 12 mm tip) out for a test drive today.

I like the Pigma brush pen much better than the PITT brush pens. It has a more flexible tip so it didn't feel like I was drawing with a Sharpie. The flexibility make it easier to achieve varying line widths and the pen itself felt good in my hand. This may become my go-to pen for daily drawing.

The Niji waterbrush took a little getting used to. It flowed out a lot of water without squeezing at all. I had to do a bit of dabbing so it wouldn't soak through the paper. This journal paper only takes light washes, not swimming pools of liquid. On the other hand, it made doing the wash a dream. I've always struggled with the paper drying out using a regular brush and cup o' water.

I think I like it enough to use it for daily drawing and painting in my journal. Won't have to worry about the cat drinking the brush water anymore or having to change it before it becomes a science experiment.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Pentel Pocket Brush Pen


Dick Blick order arrived today with the long-awaited Pentel Pocket Brush Pen. It is everything I've hoped for in a pen and more. I've waited almost two years to be able to lay down lines like these. Now I can. My soul is singing.

Also in the order:
-Niji waterbrush - medium, 12mm
-Sakura Pigma brush pen - black
-Winsor & Newton watercolors - 5ml tubes of Perm Sap Green, Cerulean Blue & Payne's Gray
-P.P.B.P. ink refills - 2 pak
-Kneaded eraser - 2" x 2"

Momma's always happy when she gets Blicked!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010



Words feed my brain and nourish my soul. I love a good quote - a well-crafted phrase that makes me laugh, makes me think, or gives me inspiration or fortitude. My quote collection was scattered...newspaper clippings, margin notes, post-its, comics, email bits, blog comments...they were everywhere.

Decided to gather them up and write them all in a little 4 x 6 journal I can keep adding to as time goes on. Ought to be a pretty interesting collection by the time it's filled.

It's pretty interesting what I think is worthwhile to save. Some bits come and go, having outlived their usefulness or relevancy. Others seem to endure the test of time and have floated around in my files for years. Found some dated 1986.

(If you want to read the quotes, click on the image to embiggen it.)

Monday, January 25, 2010

EDM #154 - Draw a Lemon

I'm having so much fun with these Crayola Paint Brush Pens I'm about to wet my pants.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sunday Doodle

Doodling with Crayola Paint Brush Pens in square Hand*book while watching Vikings vs. Saints.

Picked up these Crayola Paint Brush Pens on a whim. I didn't have a lot of expectations for them since they are a children's paint product. They are FABULOUS. The paint flows evenly, doesn't blob or drip, and, best of all, you don't have to squeeze them to get the paint out. They are a dream to draw with. The only drawback is they only come in five colors: yellow, red, blue, green and purple.

Dear Crayola,
Love your Paint Brush Pens. Would you make them in more colors for us big kids please? I would like black, gray, tan, olive green, and cerulean blue. If you could make a black one with waterproof, archival, lightfast, permanent pigmented ink I would buy a dozen tomorrow and love you forever.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Bald Eagle


This is the first spread in the new larger journal...that I've drawn. All the newness and vast amounts of whitespace were too intimidating so I pasted stuff and wrote notes about it on the first few pages. The splashes of color seemed to kickstart my creativity.

This eagle was on a piece of mail from the DAV today. I liked how he looked so I decided to paint him with my own kinda style - thick black ink lines.

It was so much fun to be able to draw big and paint big!

I see I'm still avoiding the valley in this journal too, just in a much larger way.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Light Classical


Our cable TV company started broadcasting about 40 music channels on the upper end of the digital stations. One of them is "Light Classical." It is 24/7 with no commercials or interruptions. I feed it through the stereo and Bose tower speakers and rock out to Mozart all day and night. I love it!

It's late at night, I'm tired, so I'm doodling in my square Hand*book with an oddball colored Pentel Pilot G-2 unearthed from the bottom of my pen box. Drawing what is flashing on the TV screen on the Light Classical music channel.

Dinner and games with Mr. Hotdog and Cindy Lou tonight. Hubby tried out their new Wii Fit: snowboarding, golf driving range and hula-hooping. My husband is a sweetheart of a guy with many wonderful attributes but grace is not one of them. It was like watching Herman Munster hula-hooping. I nearly wet my pants with laughter.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Saints & Sinners

(Click to embiggen)

Apparently we have neither (saints nor sinners) in our family at the moment because these are the mementos that nobody wanted. How my very Methodist grandmother ended up with two very Catholic Virgin Mary statues I'll never know.

Labels, starting at the top, then left to right: Jesus on a cedar slab, Virgin Mary with rose, Virgin Mary with Baby Jesus (I guess this should really be Madonna with Child), Craggy praying hands, Roving Eye Shotglasses.

Kind of a weird dichotomy of stuff here, swinging from one extreme to the other.

The Jesus-On-A-Slab and the Virgin Marys came from my grandmother's house. Jesus hung on her kitchen wall over the big Dearborn heater since the beginning of time, along with some trivets, plates, and a small painting by a cousin. The varnish on it is very yellowed from the heat and fumes.

I can remember sitting at her kitchen table eating purple hull peas and skillet cornbread, staring at it, wondering why she kept it. The other things around it would change every so often getting replaced or updated, but Jesus was always there. He stuck out like a sore thumb looking like a roadside tourist trap souvenir among the nicer things.

The Virgin Marys were probably gifts. The one with the baby Jesus has maker's marks all on the bottom and is stamped "Germany". (sigh) I've been watching too much Antiques Roadshow and wonder now if I should get rid of it or not.

The craggy praying hands and the shotglasses were Mom and Dad's. I find it ironic that they had these things. Not a lot of praying going on at our house except for the rare dinnertime blessing when company came. And there was absolutely no drinking going on. Alcohol was strictly verboten.

The Roving Eye shotglasses are 1950s era I think. They have the face painted on the outside of the glass and the black and white eye painted on the inside of the glass. When the glass is moved, the eye seems to rove around up and down or side to side depending on which way the glass is moved.

The red one has "Down Da Hatch!" on the back. The other one, which is yellow, has "S-SDelightful!" on the reverse. There were four in the set originally. Don't know what happened to the other two. They lived in the high kitchen cabinet with the fine china and crystal. I wasn't supposed to play with them because they were glass but I think I did anyway. Humm....the other two might have fallen victim to my little hands.

These things are now going to Goodwill since nobody in the family wanted them. Maybe some shopper there will be able to find or lose their religion.

Yay! Lots more stuff out of my house!

(Virgin Mary with Rose detail)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010



Daddy worked for Reynolds Metals for most of his life and retired after 30 years. Because of that, we had lots of aluminum products around the house when I was growing up. We even had an aluminum barbecue grill. Somewhere I still have a little bar of aluminum called a "pig" with the Reynolds name stamped in it.

The coaster was from the 1950s or so and I think there were 10 or 12 coasters in the set. My sister Nana has all but this one. When I was little the coasters lived in the top kitchen cabinet with the good china and crystal. They were the only things in the cabinet I was allowed to touch.

The coaster is stamped with the Reynolds Metals logo used since 1935. It was inspired by Raphael's version of St. George and the Dragon and symbolizes the crusading spirit. Daddy had cuff links, tie tacks, tie clips and a signet ring with a diamond in it with this logo. He was a Company Man.

He starting working for Reynolds at the Jones Mills Reduction Plant. A reduction plant zaps white powdery alumina with a zillion gigawatts of electricity to turn it into molten aluminum. Daddy was the electrical supervisor in the rectifier building.

I'm not sure what rectifier means, but I think that's where they take standard electricity off the grid and gig it up to make it be a zillion gigawatts. There is a second identical ashtray from the Jones Mills plant to denote the five billion pounds of aluminum production mark in November 1974.

Later in life Daddy transferred to another Reynolds plant where they made alumina from raw bauxite ore. I got to work there with him one summer when I was in college.

These aluminum mementos are now going to live with my niece R'bie along with the Reynolds Metals story.

Three more bits of tchochke out of my house. Yay!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Car Repair and Purple Hair

Worked with Hubby today to fix the ceiling handle in my car. It's been broken and dangling over the front passenger's head for months. Hubby went to the wrecking yard to search for a replacement but they didn't have any.

We decided to create blanks to just cover up the holes in the headliner. We started with a piece of old oak threshold cut two inches long. We grinded and sanded all the contours off until we ended up with this:

That got spray painted flat black and a hex nut was glued to the back as a spaced to account for the thickness of the car's headliner. Bought some super strong button magnets to attach the blank to the metal showing in the hole.

Worked like a charm and they look like original equipment. We were out only $3.00 for the button magnets.

Stopped by Walgreems to pick up some razor blades and found these really cool Staedtler Metallic Gel Pens. They are a dream to write with. The ink is juicy yet fast-drying, acid-free, permanent and waterproof.

Also got some Crayola paintbrush pens. Tried them out and drew this doodle.
Showed it to Hubby. He said, "Looks just like you except for the blond hair."

I said, "Her hair is purple."

It's amazing how people see things.

Up the side: Yes, my hair was up in a ponytail like this but I hope it isn't purple or that I look this haggard.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Baci di Roma - Kisses from Rome


Made another 2008 scrapbook page today with the stamps and card Blogger buddy Willym sent from Rome. (He had signed it Baci di Roma.)

This guy was on one of the stamps. It says "Cappella Sistina - 1508-2008 - Daniele" That means this is Daniel from the Sistine Chapel. Oh. Slaughtering the Masters in Watercolor.

Sigh. I didn't know. I really didn't know. I thought Cappella Sistina was the name of the painter and I misread Daniele as Danielle (female.) Doh! What was I thinking??? The package was mailed from the Vatican. Vatican = Sistine Chapel. Hello Einstein.

Daniel does look a bit feminine here except for the massive forearm and big ol' hamhand. And he must have been having a rillyrilly bad hair day when he posed for Michelangelo.

The scrapbook page from Rome was the last of the pages from 2008. That's *just* the ephemera that's been scrapbooked, none of the photos.

Today Hubby and I went through all the digital photos we took in '08 and tried to cull them down to just the really good ones. Sometimes that's an easy task, sometimes not so much. Now I need to get them printed and mounted.

At the rate I'm going maybe I can start on 2009 sometime before Christmas. Sheesh!

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Wall


My alma mater is building a Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall on campus. They wanted to have a family member at the dedication. They found family for all but two and gave them to me to find this morning. All I got was a name and a hometown.

Found who I think is a brother of one, if he will call me back.

Got in touch with the sister of the other. She was thrilled to talk about her brother. Said she loved listening to my Southern drawl. Said it reminded her of home. Also said she was amazed I had found her since she has an unlisted phone number.

The two guys I was looking for received the medals and patches shown above. Found them on The Virtual Wall - Vietnam Veterans Memorial website.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Ham & Beans


I've been craving beans & hamhocks since New Year's Eve. Hubby refuses to eat them because he's a Yankee and doesn't know a good Southern meal when he sees it. Luckily his little brother loves my beans. He'll happily take all the leftovers.

Process notes:
Drawn with Elmer's Paintastics Paint Pens, then swished with water for shading and blending.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Weary Man Doodle

Finally worked up my courage to order a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen and Dick Blick has the dreaded "Out of Stock" on them. Not even an "available on" date. Phooey.

However I realized I had a cheapo version that I hadn't even broken the seal on yet. I bought two sets of Elmer's Paintastics Brush Pens about a year ago to repurpose as clear waterbrushes. I converted one which I used last night to paint doodles; I used seven others with the paints that came in them just to try them out; and I had saved back the purple and black ones to use as waterbrushes in the future.

I snapped open the black one and started doodling on a scrap of copy paper. Smeared some water across the lines to see how waterproof the paint was once it dried. Not at all. The paints are kid-friendly with easy water clean-up. What was I thinking??? Anyway it gave a cool shading effect.

I'm getting to the point I enjoy doodling with brush pens more than drawing real things from real life. Uh oh. I need to get out of this house. Cabin fever is rotting my brain.

Cleaned out my office supplies and art pen collection today. Ended up with a fistful of art pens that were dead or dying. Some I hadn't even used. Dang! Others that were still good but unused are going to work with Hubby tomorrow. There's no use in letting them dry up in the drawer.

Unused art and office supplies make the Baby Jesus cry.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Brush Pen Doodles

Brush pen doodles done while watching TV.

First it was the Dallas Cowboys vs. Monster Truckfest, then Tommy Lee Jones vs. The Volcano That Ate Los Angeles. Hubby had the remote, could you tell???

He was flipping back and forth between shows at a seizure inducing rate.

Tommy Lee Jones always make me think of giant fried eggs.

Process notes:
Used a waterbrush to paint these. I'm too cheap to buy an actual waterbrush, so I modified an Elmer's Paint Pen. Worked like a charm...a really cheap charm!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

61-62 City Champs


This is Daddy's bowling trophy; his only bowling trophy. We found it during the final clean out of the house. I was rather surprised there was a bowling trophy at all because the bowling alley in town closed when I was a wee tot. I only remember Daddy playing golf.

He took me bowling once or twice when I was a teenager, (special trip, neighboring town) but that's about it. I do remember his bowling ball though. It lived in the back of his closet for all eternity. I wasn't allowed to play with it because it was dangerous...a big, black 18-pounder with fingertip holes and his name carved in it.

That's about it for my memories of Daddy bowling. Trophy is now going to live with my niece R'bie. Another piece of history preserved; another thing out of my house.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New Roof


Men in large trucks showed up early this morning to install our new roof. They have been banging away non-stop for six hours now and I'm about to lose my mind.

The poor cats are having fits too.

Thankfully they finished up less than 30 minutes after this was drawn.

Showed it to my roofer dude and he said it was sweet. Not Cartman wicked sweeeeeet, but sweet as in charming, I'm-so-touched-you-thought-us-a-worthy-subject-to-draw sweet. He even asked for a copy. I was rather taken aback by that but I zipped him off a color copy.

As he was walking out looking at it he said, "I'm gonna take this home and put it in my photo album."

(big smile)

And he did a really beautiful job on my roof too.

Ugh. Got the wrong year on there. Should be Jan. 05, 2010.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Fridge Calender

EDM #49 - Draw Your Refrigerator - Exterior (What's on the door)


Made my annual fridge calendar today. It's always a fun thing to do. I'm getting faster at making these as the years go by. Only took about an hour this time. I got smart last year and made a list of all the birthdays and anniversaries in chronological order along with the age each year from 2009 - 2012. Makes writing them on the calendar soooo much easier.

44 Birthdays & Anniversaries; 36 holidays and days of note.

My turkey icon for Thanksgiving is the worst ever this year. The Christmas tree looks pretty cagey too. It seems like they should be better looking considering all the drawing I've been doing lately. Alas, no. Drew the New Year's Eve party hat on New Year's Day instead of Dec. 31st. Oh well, such is life.

To see a photo of the real thing (2007 finished, brand new 2008) click here.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Brush Pen Doodles

Late-night doodles, drawn while watching a marathon of Barrett-Jackson car auction on TV, drawing whatever is in front of me, then whatever poops out of my brain.

Showed the first one to Hubby:

"Do you recognize it?"

"No, should I?"

"It's the coaster you sit your Pepsi can on every day."


(eye roll)

Daddy's Chair - Where he reigns supreme over the household. (snort) The hump in the seat is one of those cotton hull neck pillows.

The fringed wool blanket on the table is for Smudge the Cat. She likes to sit in Hubby's lap because he is warm and she is old and gets chilly. He won't get up if she's in his lap even if he has to pee. So the blanket was the solution. It was that or Depends.

Smudge on her blanket and other brain poop:

Friday, January 1, 2010

Corsica Cemetery

My attempt for this month's Virtual Paintout challenge - Corsica. This is a hillside cemetery in Sainte-Lucie-de-Tallano, Southern Corsica, France.

Every month since I discovered Virtual Paintout, I spend the day lost in the streets of the target city. I wander about capturing screen shots of the scenes I think I might attempt. Every month I end up choosing:

1.) A scene with lots of structural ironwork: bridges, transmission towers, industrial plants; or

2.) Cemeteries; or

3.) A scene with a spot of bright red.

If I ever found a cemetery with something bright red in the middle and a transmission tower on the hilltop above it I would be in hog heaven.

I actually finished a sketch for Lisbon, Portugal, but was too much a scaredy-cat to submit it. I did the ink work for Nova Scotia, Canada but gave up in frustration and never got it painted. I have lots of screen caps of different cities that never even made it to a pencil sketch. This is my first Virtual Paintout submission. Yay!


Process notes:
All that hot, yellow grass is supposed to be a nice, calm lime green. Fought with my scanner twenty ways to Sunday and it would not see that as lime green. Phooey.