Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The 30 Day Drawing Challenge Continues!

So when we last spoke of the 30 Day Drawing Challenge, I was all caught up to Day 10, Favorite Candy. Next came "Turning Point in Your Life". That one threw me a little bit, for I do sort of feel as if my life has been something of a smooth, rolling lumber from one inevitability to the next. Well, okay, not really, but it's not like fraught with Aha! moments or anything either. Plus, honestly, I was kind of tired over the weekend and didn't feel like drawing anything. So I snoozed on through Saturday and Sunday and utterly didn't draw anything.
Early Monday morning, a flash of inspiration hit me for my turning point. Back in July of 1996, before I moved to Albuquerque, I drove down here from Rochester, NY, to see the place and see if I could find a job. At night on Interstate 40 coming across Eastern New Mexico, there's a whole bunch of frigging nothing. Then you start meandering through the mountains east of the city of Albuquerque, and at some point along the road, you come up over a crest, and the utter nothing turns into a vast sea of city lights. Well, okay, I'm from Back East, so I've certainly seen more lights in one place than that, but it still makes quite an impression as you come up over the crest and can see for miles, and, all of a sudden, there's something to see. It made quite an impression on me, and little did I know what a turning point in my life it would be. I moved here and have been here ever since.
It was a fine idea, I thought. I could execute it on a piece of black paper with colored pencils, it would be somewhat abstract looking, yet representative of my memory of the event. It was a done deal. Except, I forgot.
So anyway, here's a lousy drawing of my house, the first and only house I've ever owned.

I made it pretty small, so you wouldn't be too disappointed.
Day 12 of the challenge was "Most Recent Accomplishment". I had been thinking about drawing my newly painted kitchen, but the thought of drawing my kitchen bored me for some reason, so I picked something else. I picked getting a new hairdo.

Yeah, I know, as actual accomplishments go, getting a new 'do doesn't really rank, but I'm the sort of person who gets the split ends cut off twice a year for years, then once every five or so years decides to spend WAY too much money getting highlights done, but always really natural-looking highlights with colors that look like my hair probably used to be that color at one time. Well not this time, Bub. This time I wanted something fun and different and not natural-looking THAT PEOPLE WOULD ACTUALLY NOTICE. So I went with deep mahogany low-lights with kind of magenta-like highlights. Not so much that it was too crazy, but enough that people could see I was taking a chance. It came out absolutely beautifully, thanks to a lovely gal named Emerald at the Trilliant Salon over across town. I like it so much, I might even go back and have her touch it up (or even ADD MORE COLOR) once it grows out some.
Day 13 of the challenge was "Comic", and at first, I wasn't really sure what that meant. Like the Sunday Funnies, that kind of comic? Or draw a stand-up comedian? I thought for a little while of drawing a comic strip of my Facebook Friend who's a comic, Erik Bergstrom, telling one of the jokes he posted on Facebook, but that started getting too complicated, so I just started drawing some comical dude. He turned into a somewhat creepy comical dude, so I labeled him "My Creepy Valentine".

Of course, he's not my actual Valentine--my real Valentine is awesome and adorable. This guy is the Valentine for that self-absorbed someone who just can't seem to find a guy who will accept her for how wonderful she really is. Don't fret, girl, I'll give him your number.
Well now it's getting late and I'm really starting to talk out of my ass, so I should probably wrap this up.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

I do hope you are all having a lovely Valentine's Day! I decided this year to have a Zombie-hunting theme to my Valentine's gift giving. My Valentine's card is from noncomposcards on Etsy, created by the hilarious and talented Erin Appledale, author of an ACTUALLY ENTERTAINING (as opposed to what I'm doing) blog, here.

To save space, I'll give you the punchline on the inside--it says, "If I were a zombie, you'd be the first to die."
Right after I found that, I chanced upon a fellow WePAY shopkeeper who was offering up some pretty awesome, hand-cut signs, one of which looked like this:

I thought this was pretty romantic, so I had to buy that as well. You can get your own sign, or other nifty items, like etched glassware, in Desolation Allie's WePAY store.
The last part of my Valentine's gift we're just going to have to agree to pretending like it goes with the theme, which it might, if you consider the realm of Zombie hunting or Post-Zombie-Apocalypse survivalism, or something. I was on Groupon (totally addicting, by the way), and they had an online deal on some Night Vision Recording Stealth Goggles, and I knew I had to buy them immediately. I figure, if nothing else, my husband can finally find Bigfoot, and put the whole issue to rest already. He'll have a carcass to the local Game and Fish by the end of the month.
For anyone following along on my 30 Day Drawing Challenge, I'll get back to that tomorrow. I've been keeping up with it, just needed a break for today.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Finally Caught Up, Just In Time For A Hard One

So, the past few days I've been blogging about the 30 Day Drawing Challenge, looking at other people's works, beleaguering myself with the choices for each day's challenge (oh, such problems I have!). One of my fellow participants, artist Megan Mars, hasn't been posting to the same group I have, but has just been posting it to her Fan Page. When she posted her most recent entry, it occurred to me that I hadn't actually checked to see if we were using the same list. As it turns out, we weren't. So since I believe I used her list for my very first post (and it shares the first few challenges in common), I suppose I should post the list that I am actually going from myself.

I was a couple days behind, but I think I've caught up. Yesterday, I managed to finish and post Day 8, Favorite Animated Character. I have loved Looney Tunes' Wile E. Coyote since long before I ever moved to the Southwestern Desert. Having built almost my entire preconceived knowledge base of the desert on watching Wile E. and Road Runner, I have to say, living here now, I got it pretty much correct.

Day 9 was "Favorite TV Show", which is another thing that changes every few years. Some runners-up included "Supernatural", "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", and "The X-Files", but as far as the TV show that I currently can't wait to see in my Tevo lineup each week, I had to go with the BBC/SyFy Channel series, "Merlin". It's a true escape from real life, present day, and, well, historical or literary accuracy. I think it's really sweet.

Plus, I got to pretty much make up the sword from thin air--Excalibur hasn't really made much of an appearance on the show yet. This drawing was all in graphite except for his blue eyes, which were colored pencil.
Day 10 was "Favorite Candy" and that was pretty easy. According to my Dad, my first word wasn't "Mama" or "Daddy", but "emmanem".

I only drew one, 'cos I'm on a diet. But the red ones are the best.

Today is Day 11, and the challenge is "Turning point in your life." I've had quite a few turning points, so that will require some thought. I guess you will just have to wait and find out.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

More 30 Day Drawing Challenge!

I'm a few days behind in the 30 Day Drawing Challenge, but not as far behind as I am at this blog! I told myself I was going to get back to it, and by gosh, I am!
So when we last spoke, I was on Day 4's challenge on Day 5. I did finish Day 5's challenge that evening, just didn't blog about it. Day 5 was "Best Friend", and I used a photograph of my honey as the model, as my actual husband was all scruffy-faced and Don-King-haired on his day off all day.

This is one of the few shots I have of my husband smiling. Not that he doesn't smile, he just doesn't do so on purpose for the camera. Cute puppy, Troy, appears courtesy of our daughter's boyfriend.
Day 6 was "Favorite Book", and I had a good amount of trouble thinking of one for this, too. I'm not exactly a bookworm, but not exactly illiterate; I was just having trouble with the superlative nature of the word "Favorite" again. Then, I thought, what book do I use, go back to and enjoy the most?
Yeah, I know, I'm a word nerd. Plus, sheesh! Two days in a row of pencil and shading! Seriously, ENOUGH, for a minute, anyway.
Day 7's Challenge was "Favorite Movie", and I won't bore you with how difficult a choice that was, but, again, I went with my heart, and not what I thought would make me look good or whatever, and picked the movie that still seems as good today as it did when I saw it on some fuzzy Baltimore station on a little Black & White TV.

I went back and watched some clips of "Yellow Submarine" on YouTube, to get an idea of some of the shapes and colors, and it was just as much fun to watch! I was dorkily quoting dialog the whole day, which, out of context, makes even less sense than in context.
I'm all caught up(ish) to yesterday's challenge, "Favorite Cartoon Character", which I'm putting the finishing touches on. I decided that, although color is bold and fun and all, shading is really what I'm better at. Plus, I thought it'd be fun to create a shaded cartoon character from a flat, outlined image. As soon as I finish that, I'll only be a day behind (which, as I mentioned, is better than I've been doing at blogging).
So, is anyone else out there doing this challenge? What other challenges are out there that people are participating in? I had found a fellow artist doing a 28 Days of Faces challenge for the month of February, which looked like a lot of fun, and, had I seen it first, I probably would have picked that one instead. I love creating faces!
Feel free to leave a comment and tell me all about your mid-winter creative endeavors!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

30 Day Drawing Challenge, Day 4! (Which Should Be Day 5)

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, the challenge for Day 4 was "Favorite Place", and I had a hard time of it. I've been to a lot of different places in my life, yet none of them particularly stand out as my absolute FAVORITE. The places we go and how we feel about them often don't have so much to do about the places themselves, but more about our reactions to them, the preconceived notions we had going in, the events that took place there, and who we got to share it with.
One example of a place I've been where my memory of it was utterly dictated by my reaction to it was South Korea. Ten years ago or so, I had to take a business trip there, and from the second my boss told me about the trip, I was braced for disaster. Our customer there was not happy with our company because most of the equipment we had sold them had screwed up in some way. I was going with our lead programmer and Director of Engineering, two (let's not mince words here) nerds, whereas I was the technical sales representative--yes, little, shy, introverted me, I was the personable one of the group. It was going to the other side of the planet, in Asia, in a county that didn't even share the same alphabet as me. I was so screwed.
But then, once I got there, the folks we were there to see were SO personable, kind, understanding, and hospitable. They really loved our product and could see all of its potential and couldn't wait for it to be up and running. One of the days we were there was a national holiday, and one of their technicians spent his day off showing us around one of the historic villages. We explored traditional Korean food, went out for beers with them, and I even learned their alphabet during a long, boring drive from one city to another. Overall, it wasn't so much that Korea was the coolest damn place I'd ever been, but it had so exceeded my expectations in every way, that it remains a cherished memory to this day.
So that got me thinking: My favorite place didn't have much to do with the place at all, but the place it inhabited in my mind! Therefore, that was what I drew: the inside of my mind.

Plus, now I've had the They Might Be Giants' song, "Birdhouse in Your Soul" going through my head for a few hours. At least it's not that, "Rock to Wind A String Around" song.
So I've got yesterday's challenge out of the way, but I still have to do today's! That should be pretty easy--today's challenge is "Best Friend". I really only have one best friend, my husband, so I should probably go draw him!

Friday, February 3, 2012

30 Day Drawing Challenge, Day 3!

Today, I'm blogging before I've even made coffee! That doesn't bode well.
I finally got around to my drawing for the 30 Day Drawing Challenge last night around 9 pm or so. The challenge was "Favorite Food", and the worst part was how hard it was to decide what my favorite food was! I even posted a poll on Facebook where people could tell me what their favorite food was, but I got exactly ONE response (Thank you, Baxter!). You would think that a Facebook post about something fun and light and non-political would get everybody jumping all over it. I probably should have named each food after Republican presidential candidates.
So after some more thought and deep introspection, I decided that really, no food in the world brings me as much happiness in as many different forms than... CHERRIES!
6" x 8", Sharpie markers on Bristol Board
Today's challenge is "Favorite Place", which is a pretty tough one as well. I've been a lot of places in my life that were pretty great, so it'll be hard to pick a favorite.
On a related note, my Facebook friend Judith Haynes Levin, an artist from rural Virginia, got inspired to participate in the challenge after I did, so she's on the same day. Check out her favorite food!

Look at that luscious berry cheesecake! She's pretty gifted with those markers, I tell you. She also creates some pretty beautiful clay work, which she sells, along with her 2D artwork in her Etsy Shop.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Worst Blogger Ever. Oh, Also, the 30 Day Drawing Challenge

Yes, I know. If you look, my last post is dated January twenty-something... of 2011!

I realize that my blog has no real focus, no rhyme nor reason, no direction. So I'm just going to have to give it all those things. Plus, you know, some content. I'd also like to put a widget for my new WePAY store on here and have a reason for people to come by and look at it.

So, let us begin, shall we?

Today's content will be about the 30 Day Drawing Challenge! A couple of days ago, I was aimlessly wandering through my friends' posts on Facebook, and discovered that one of them had joined this challenge called the 30 Day Drawing Challenge. It's just as it sounds; you draw something for 30 days in a row, based on the challenges listed.
I am on Day 3 (Favorite Food), but haven't drawn anything yet. Honestly, I love food, so I'm having trouble picking a favorite. Plus, I'm on a diet, so there's that as well.

Day 1's challenge was to draw yourself, which is always difficult, unless you're Frida Kahlo. By the way, did you know that Dorothea Tanning lived to be 101 years old? She passed away yesterday, which one can't really feel too bad about, since she made it to 101 years old. She did an amazing self portrait; I found it on her website last night. SEE WHY I SHOULDN'T BLOG? Let me write about whatever I want, and I'll just go all over the place. Can you believe I edit other people's writing and get paid for it? I can't.
So anyway, rather than show you the magnificent self-portrait of Dorothea Tanning I found last night, here's mine:

Yes, I know, I don't think it looks anything like me either. However, I am trying to stay true to the challenge, and simply draw one thing per day and take it for what it's worth.
Yesterday's challenge was "Favorite Animal", which, for me, is the dog. I have three of them, so I'm not lacking for models. I happened upon a square of black drawing paper and thought, hey, all three of my dogs are mostly black, so, easy-peasy! Mister Black Lab Mix, Axel, who would have been as easy to render on a sheet of black paper as *insert some noplace small town with no streetlights* at night, wouldn't participate, and being (apparently) part Amish, is afraid of having his photo taken. So I wound up drawing Cassie, the Aussie Shepherd, who, as colored pencil would have it, has the least black, but really likes having her picture taken. I drew this out freehand, so it's a little off, but I said I was going to take it for what it's worth.

Today's challenge is "Favorite Food", and I certainly hope the model is a bit more reasonable, once I figure out what it is. In the meanwhile, you can go check out the other challengers on the 30 Day Drawing Challenge Facebook Page. There are some very talented artists there who seem to be having a great deal of fun at this challenge!
Also, if anyone happens to know what my favorite food is, would you tell me? I'm stumped.