The Problem with Improving

     Sometimes I feel like Sisyphus rolling a rock uphill for the rest of my life. I do a piece of art, or a page spread as the case may be. I feel like I’ve done my best and I move on. Then, one day I have another look and see all kinds of ways that my illustration could be improved. Where does it end?!

Above is a new version, I’m working on, of a specific page spread that I hope is evolving in a positive direction.

   Here’s the first rough version done almost 3 years ago:

It was done as a small acrylic 5.5″ x 8.5″

I decided I wanted to do a polished version, the way I imagined it would look published.

Here’s that one, done over 2 years ago:

Now, discontent, I’ve pulled this apart and I currently have what you see at the top of the page. I’m looking for a sense of more energy and chaos.

Still a long way to go. Didn’t I just have that rock pushed up to the top of the mountain?

     Today begins November also known as NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). I’ve pulled out a chapter book that I got a good start on this summer and then put away a few months ago. I’ve set a goal of 10,000 new words by the end of the month. Inktober was fun but November goes further in helping me focus on my stories.

         I’m happy to say that I’ve done very well with my goal of posting a blog every Wednesday this year. From now to the end of the year, however, I may not be posting that much. I want to concentrate on my writing, work out new illustration ideas for “Serenity” (the above story) and of course . . . enjoy the holidays. I’ll continue to post, but the entries may be fewer and more random. I can assure you that one of my primary 2018 goals will be posting every Wednesday once again. Thanks so much for stopping by!

Inktober – 7 Word Combo

     The cook was blind in the darkness, but able to hear the individual squeak of each rat as it climbed the walls searching a trail to salvation.

“You won’t find it this time, friends,” he whispered.

The ship gave a last, violent shudder as the sea bludgeoned it with her waves. She grew furious at his cowardice. He was the last man. She wanted them all.

She poured down the galley steps in a rage and found him trembling beneath the table – her last juicy morsel.

I had so much fun with this one! My daughter took a photo of me modeling the sea’s rage. So, I guess that is what I look like when I’m angry. Scary. I also had fun creating the narrative and getting all seven of the last week’s words in there.

I’ll probably do one more Inktober piece before the end of the month. Check back next Wednesday! Thanks for stopping by!

Inktober – Cloud and Deep

 If it makes you feel better, I’ll tell you that this little boy was ornery today.

    I don’t advise teasing children, unless they’re your own and you don’t mind if they grow up and pick on you. Yes, sometimes my grown children pick on me. 🙂 For the record, I also pick on my mother. It’s a circle. Haha!

The day I did this, I felt like drawing a portrait and the prompt word of the day was “deep.” I googled “girl with deep set eyes” and got a photo to work from.

Inktober has been fun and it’s not over yet, but I’m going to be busy for the next couple of weeks and won’t get as many done. The next seven word prompts are Furious, Trail, Juicy, Blind, Ship, Squeak, and Climb. I’ve already combined them into a short writing sample and I’m working on one illustration for that narrative. Check back on Friday for that piece. Have a great week!

Inktober – Fat

We grew “fat on Grandma’s secret ingredient . . . love.

     I’ve slowed down a little on Inktober. I have a new dummy book that I really need to concentrate on. But, Inktober is such a fun thing to participate in! It’s hard not to keep going with at least a couple a week. This is a redo of a piece I did in color back in 2012.

Inktober – Shattered and Mysterious

It was so cold, the leaves fell and “shattered” like glass on the ground.

Well, maybe not this year. Where the heck is autumn?

There’s a house that sits back from the road, on 127 in Eaton, that I noticed for the first time about a year ago. Half of it is built like a castle. It’s beautiful and fascinating and I would love to know its story. I’m pretty sure it’s abandoned. “Mysterious” indeed.

The Chandelier – Vegas

This piece done in Procreate on the iPad pro.

    Never will I see such a beautiful lounge as the one at The Cosmopolitan in Vegas called The Chandelier. That’s exactly where it feels like you are seated, inside a three story chandelier. Our kids in Vegas took us here to the mixology bar. We ordered a drink very similar to a margarita on ice but, instead of a salted rim, it is served with a flower bud that you chew on first. The bud makes your mouth tingle and as you sip the drink the taste of salt kicks in. Amazing! My daughter then ordered a drink that was served with a fresh bouquet of flowers over dry ice whose fog carried the sweet smell up to her nose as she sipped. Lovely! Quite a wonderful experience!

Inktober – Days 1,2,3,4

Inktober is here and I plan to enjoy it! The challenge is to do one ink drawing a day, and although I’m going to try for that, I’ll be happy to get 4 or 5 done each week. There are daily word prompts that go along with the challenge and I will probably use those prompts for most of my pieces.

Thank you, Jake Parker and

Happy Inktober everyone!

Inktober Day #2 – DIVIDED

No one is happy until the candy has been equally divided.

Inktober Day #3 – POISON

Inktober Day#4 Underwater

I made the mistake of starting this one on copy paper. (Why oh why did I do that?!) So, I couldn’t add any inky washes. Lesson learned.

Sunday Afternoon Walk

An iPad Pro purchase on Saturday, a beautiful day spent walking in the woods on Sunday, and a free day on Tuesday to view tutorials and play with the Procreate App. I’m loving it!

Inktober starts on Sunday, so for the month of October I’ll be sharing ink drawings twice a week, on Sundays and Wednesdays. (At least, that’s my plan). They will be actual ink on paper, not ink brush on iPad, but as I can’t stay off my iPad right now, there could be some bonus posts throughout the week as well.

I finished my “First Pearl” dummy book on Monday! WAHOO!!  I am currently going through it carefully to make edits and touch-ups before submitting it to publishers.  By the end of this week I will have my next dummy book, “Serenity” in production.

October (my favorite month of the year) is going to be wonderfully busy!

Preparing for Inktober

John Cougar – My first big celebrity crush.

Done with a simple black medium point Bic pen and a brush pen.

     Inktober is right around the corner. Last year I did two ink drawings a week, this year I’m going to aim for the one-a-day for the whole darn month. I’m pretty sure I won’t get 31 drawings done, but by the first of October my dummy book for “The First Pearl” will be complete, and Inktober will be a nice exercise, not only in pen and ink, but in coming up with ideas for the daily word prompts.

Always nice to have a brush pen that’s going dry. It worked great for creating texture.