MICAH six eight: 3x5 Challenge

Micah 6-8 painted You know that 3x5 Challenge going 'round? Where you post 3 pieces of art 5  days in a row? Here were two of mine yesterday. I love this Bible verse, and I think I've done about 5 art pieces of it so far (maybe more). these are art marker (Faber-Castell Artist Pens) and gouache and watercolor on Moleskine watercolor paper. Anyway, enjoy! I'm working on new ink pieces, and Magic Bullet 10 comes out soon! Be sure to follow DC Conspiracy on Twitter @MagicBulletDC; it's awesome comics by DC area cartoonists! Check it out! Meanwhile, I'm trying to live by Micah six eight. But I think it's hard to claim the humble part if you have a blog, and Twitter account, and . . .  and a  PLEASE Like ME PAGE . . . oh what a tangled web . . . I'm trying, anyhow. :) peace, trl

Psych Book Drawings . . .

Thought note: I've been drawing and doodling and designing things on the pages of an old psychology textbook I bought a few months ago. You'll see it sometimes in the collages I do, apropos sections of it worked into designs. This week I started taking out a page at a time and doing a random drawing, doodle, or design on it. This is a great way to repurpose an old book which otherwise doesn't have much else to do . . . and a great economical way to find drawing papers. I have for EONS repurposed my calendar/diary pages (many a card company has taken a cartoon submission from me on a dated repurposed page from Filofax!) I bought this big ole textbook at Mermaid Books in Williamsburg, an awesome used book store. The pages fascinate me for different reasons, the subject being one, but truth be told . . . I luh-uh-uv the smooth, toothless pages . . . great for marker art.

Tech note:

This is done on an old textbook page, with Copic Sketch and Faber-Castell brush pens, with shading in with water soluble pencils (Prismacolor and C'aran D'ache) - more to come!


Here's today's Psych Book drawing.



Let Them Eat

Today's Art Journal Posting

Thought Note: In DC our apartment is in Capitol Hill, and I encounter the homeless every single time I leave the apartment. I keep quarters and Sacagawea dollars handy to give out, and I usually greet them. It's so little to do. My son volunteered at a soup kitchen in DC, and spent the whole day with a homeless man who had a Master's degree. I can never thank God enough for this man, and the impression he made on my son; how he sees a homeless person not as someone who "deserves" what they are getting, but as a human, like any of us, who has, for now anyway, hit on some very hard times. How close we can be to that - and how glad I am that I don't think I'll ever hear my son complain about the poor or their neediness.

This is an Art Journal spread I just finished this morning. The first line of the hymn is "Blessed be the man that provideth for the sick and needy;" and the words "Let Them Eat" speak for themselves . . . but remind us of the "Let Them Eat Cake" attitude that many people have - I've got what I need, so screw the rest of the world. It's a heartbreaking thing to see and hear . . . but, I do believe that most people have bigger hearts than that.

Tech Note: the background was made with watersoluble crayon scribbled, then brushed around with water; the dotted pattern is from dipping small-bubble bubble wrap into acrylic paint and using it as a stamp. I made the envelope from Satin Design 100% rag vellum, and then stamped a design on it with acrylic.

"This it is, and nothing more . . . "

I love Poe. I've loved his work since I was a kid, and have been reading a detailed biography of him - and I've done several pieces with Poe and his work as the central theme.

I live near Richmond, where Poe spent some time - and I think the ravens around here are HUMONGOUS - now I know why one plays a very spooky role in a major work of his. They make their presence KNOWN. We have a couple that sit on the peak of our roof and caw loudly when you go outside. Geeez. Creepy. Birds. Whaddya gonna do?

Last October, I visited the Poe Museum and the Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond as part of my birthday celebration (my birthday is October 6 and I love all things Halloween!). I was inspired by the various items from Poe's life, as well as the photos of him from various resources, to create several journal pages - this one was started and finished today.

I used a popular photo image of Poe (the 1848 William S. Hartshorn daguerrotype of Poe) to get the basic likeness, and then started coloring the background with water soluble crayon and pencil. On top of that, I wrote excerpts from Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven," in pen-and-ink for the darker background and hair, and white pen for the lighter background. After I had put in the high contrast areas with the water soluble crayons and pencils, I scribbled in the background areas and then smeared water all over with a brush to slightly distress the look and to soften the graphic quality of the image.

I wanted this piece to feel a little bit "haunted," by Lenore and The Raven, so I used the nib form of pen-and-ink for more character in the linework, and then the white pen on the grey background for a wispy ghosty feel. I love the irregularity a pen-and-ink lettering style gives . . . I love the blotches and the spots and personal feel it gives a piece of artwork.

I'm planning to start another Poe piece tomorrow!

I'm including some photos of the phases of this piece.

BTW, are you looking forward to seeing the movie The Raven? John Cusack as a badass Poe? I am.

peace, bubulas


Space Invaders . . . Or, Me Last Friday

I love city life, but I am also a bit of a claustrophobe. Not big into crowds. Don't like that feeling when there are so many people milling around that you get stretch marks just trying to get off the Metro. Also, do NOT get me started on that semi-catatonic walk many sight-seers do. Dear Sight-Seers: I wouldn't mind so much if you didn't hold hands 5-across. And shuffle aimlessly like extras in The Walking Dead. My favorite show, but I wouldn't ride the Metro with the Zed Ones. The Walking Zed!! A new title for my fav show in Canada and Eng-uh-land! You never know when genius will strike. See? But I digress. Saturday was kinda wonky in DC - Cherry Blossom tourists, St. Paddy's Day tourists, and the Rock-n-Roll Marathon tourists. I spent the day in the National Gallery of Art. Me = Happy Puppy.

I live kinda in DC and kinda in Virginia. Long story. Won't bore you with it. BUT, I spend a good amount of time in both places. So, my world is a contrast between sloburbia, full-on country (I find I'm such a swamp-lovuh!!), and full-0n city (my comfort zone). I am a fast walker, and I like to sorta land in my own space. As in, I like to sit and listen to Amos Lee and Jack White and Imelda May and cartoon away awhile slamming water, Diet Coke, or a prissy latté - and I like public places now and then, because I'm a people watcher. These people find their way into my cartoons. hee hee

Last Friday, (why does she go back in time in today's blog? I dunno) I went to Pret A Manger (a coolio little sandwich place - they make everything fresh and give their leftovers each day to the homeless. AND they are inexpensive. I love all those things.) So, I'm sitting there, in an empty section, eating my yummy little half-sandwich, and this woman is hovering behind me, waiting on this nice young man to clean the counter next to me. Then she steps forward and runs her finger across it to see if it's dry enough for her. It isn't. Still no one but me at the counter, facing the window out. She hovers more, then sits. Right next to me. In an empty section. Hmmmm. Then proceeds to stare at everything I do. Everything. What I'm eating. What I'm drawing. When I go to the trashbin . . . So, I used an iPhone evasion tactic. Look at me, whoa, I'm soooo into my music!! I don't even notice your laser stare at my paper and pen and my face, ugh!!  think sometimes people think if you draw in public you are asking for observers. Like those plein air painters with the floppy hats who start conversations with strangers about the virtues of cerulean blue and hemp studio wear. I would understand if I were leaving a little hat with change next to me, inviting onlookers, but I'm just mindin' my own biz.

Anyway, it's a little unnerving sometimes. Feels like Space Invaders. Fo reelz.

Then, I went to the movie theatre to see "The Forgiveness of Blood." It's an Albanian movie, very good, btw. If you cannot already tell, I'm VERY comfortable doing stuff alone. The theatre was completely empty when I got there. And then two women came in, separately, and about ten minutes apart. One sat next to me. One sat behind me. Whut the - ?!! REALLY? THREE of us in here. Taking up about 6 square feet of space. Brrrrrr.

Soooooo, here are the cartoons. I only drew ONE of the women in the theatre, because, frankly, I didn't turn around and look at the woman behind me. I just sorta shifted in my seat. THAT burns calories, right?!


peace, trl


p.s. - Are you a fan of The Walking Dead?!! Omigosh, I'm ADDICTED. Must find activities to fill time until Season 3. (she pretends her taxes are done) Perhaps watching Prometheus trailer in an endless loop? I'm a-skeered . . .


I'm Not OK, You're Not OK . . . But That's OK

We are all on a journey . . . and we should remember that. People can change. We can grow. And we are all in the middle of silent (or not-so-silent) struggles . . . in which we try to better ourselves, we beg God to make us better and/or we beat ourselves up for not being better. Hang in there. A cliché I love.

A Very Different World

Illustrating yesterday's Tweet . . . I think that if when people had sex, we didn't know whether the man or the woman would get pregnant, we would have a VERY DIFFERENT WORLD. So, here's my art journal page about that . . .

Revival Meeting?

I like juxtaposition. Here's a photo of an old-timey revival meeting (very UNlike the ones I attended growing up in Tennessee!) - and a photo ad from a 1960s mag - advertising what they thought air travel should be like. LOL!! If they made her pack her toiletries in a quart bag, take her hat, sweater, belt, and shoes off, and inspected her laptop and her Aveda foot cream it would be more accurate. But, that snifter of brandy looks quite pleasant. I know a pic is worth a thousand words - but I just had a lot more fun at church than these ladies are . . . and this pic seems to be the antithesis of anything being "revived!" People of faith, hello . . . what ARE we up to? Anyway . . . compare and contrast. peace, trl

No Regrets - really?!

You know sometimes when you hear that movie quote "LOVE means never having to say you're sorry," and you think, well that's a crock o' crap?

That's how I feel when I hear people say, "No regrets," meaning, I presume that they don't regret, or allow themselves to think about regretting, ANYTHING. Which would be either, that they have delusions of perfection, or that they are totally in denial. Though, I'm sure I could use summa dat denial stuff, now and then. Like I'd like to forget about posting that Calista-Gingrich-has-woman-arrested-for-breastfeeding-in-public article, only to find out that it totally wasn't true. That is totally what I get for breaking my never-talk-about-the-candidate's-family-members-unless-it's-Todd-Palin rule. (Because, I mean, how can you NOT?)

Anyway, not to be sidetracked by my temporary dopiness, (hey, that IS a word!), THIS post is about regretting not having said or done certain things. When you lose a friend or family member, and you wonder what you could have done or said that would have made everything better . . . made things easier for that person in their last days, communicated how you felt and how much you truly loved them  and were glad they were in your lives. I think the best we can do in this life is to make sure we are more OPEN than CLOSED.

It causes a lot of embarrassment, of course. Exposing yourself in certain ways can cost you.

But I remember when I decided to leave my job as an artist/writer at Hallmark - it was tough. I got to write and paint all day, and had lots of cool friends! But, I knew if I didn't leave to learn the craft of comedy, I would always look back and be sorry. I never wanted to get to my death-bed and be worrying about myself in that way.

I probably won't die by something like parachuting out of a plane, it will be something stupid like "She fell off her platform shoes into a tub of water while holding a plugged-in radio," or "She drank her turpentine instead of her Diet Coke while painting her last masterpiece," which, btw, is something I've actually done. Yes, I once drank a sip of turpentine by accident instead of my Diet Coke. Not much, obviously . . . I'm still here. (DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME.) Also, now, I keep the turpentine v. far away from my beverage while I work. Also, I've switched to acrylics, so now it's just murky water tempting me.

Anywayz, I want to be more like Oscar Wilde and say something like (slight misquote): "Either that wallpaper goes, or I do."

Try to achieve great things, fail a lot, make fool of yourself, achieve some stuff, love your family and friends, (and your ENEMIES, too, if you are VERY evolved, like Jesus), and laugh a lot along the way.

Allrighty, then.

No regrets.




p.s. - In tagging this latest post, the auto-fill jumped in when I typed "Jesus," and tried to fill in "Jerry Lewis." That was jarring.


Put Your Game Face On

"Any idiot can survive a crisis. It's this day-to-day living that wears you out." - Anton Chekhov I'm so worn out by the day-to-day living lately (a hard fall on concrete, some freak virus (or maybe food poisoning?), and total car breakdown, all within a day and a half), that I don't really have the wherewithal (a word I use whenever I can, sorta kin to "lemon zest!") to write much more than this. BUT! As you know, I always seem to have energy for art . . . so, here's a little of what I've been doing lately . . .

The Butterflies are Free

I love this Dickens quote . . . and I did this piece in my art journal using my palette page pieces - the turquoise pattern is where I blotted my bubble wrap I was dipping into paint. I actually like the way the blotter turned out better than the pattern I put down on the original piece! Happy accidents. I'm catching up on a busy couple of weeks, where I've been cranking on work, doing a couple of outdoor art fairs (the next one is in front of the Blue Talon, Williamsburg, October 9th!), and helping my son recoup, as much as I can, from having his wisdom teeth yanked out!! Today's remedy is a mango-pineapple smoothie from Mickey D's. Have a great Monday, y'all! peace, t


These are from the mini-journal I keep with me at all times - I do backgrounds randomly, in addition to whole pieces, so that I'm at the ready with just a pen . . . I keep black and white pens with me all the time. Nerd alert! Get over it, I love this time of year! New pens everywhere in the stores! Here are a few spreads I just finished. These are in my Moleskine mini-journal - the ones with fewer page counts are the ones which have thicker pages :-)

Fruity Rappinghood

Named after my favorite TomTomClub song, Wordy Rappinghood, This piece was started when I just began throwing  a lot of fruit and veggie pics into a folder. This is a great idea starter - to just start gathering photos you like, or color you like - or similar objects, words, together in a folder or page protector - and keep it for later. I was visiting my folks in Florida when I put the visual part of this page together. I loved the fruity colors ("the fruity rumba!!" like Strictly Ballroom sez!!) I started gluing images of fruit down, and then decided I wanted an Adam and Eve with a flap over them, then to add other flaps as well. I still wasn't sure of the theme. I came back to this visual two weeks later, and started brainstorming, fruit of the womb, fruity rumba, fruit basket, forbidden fruit, low-hanging fruit - and just kept that note on my art table. I want you to know these are not all instant for me - some of them, I just create a visual and come back to it now and then. Tonight I came up with what I wanted to do with these - to connect a fruit quote to other quotes and sayings.

Sort of an acrostic of sorts. Sorta.

So, here we have "Don't be afraid to go out on a limb. That's where all the fruit is," (Shirley MacLaine), and when you lift the top large flap it uses the "Don't be a," to lead to "stranger," (under the berry flap) which leads to "stranger than fiction," and then a quote from G.K. Chesterton, "Fiction is a necessity," which scrolls into "necessity is the mother of invention."  When you lift the flap to Adam and Eve, he's saying, "SHE DID IT." :-)

Clear as mud? Here are three pix - maybe I need to upload a diagram? A video? You let me know!


What makes you happy?

Our power finally came on last evening - just in time for me to watch a new episode of Ghosthunters! You know you're addicted to a show, when you've spent five days without power, without a/c or cold food - and the only thing you can think of is dangit, I'm gonna miss Ghosthunters tonight! But, the power stepped up to the plate about 18 minutes before the ghostie show aired. Yaaaay!! So glad to have power back on, though I know a lot of people are without it still, after Irene. I realized I was getting into the groove of candlelight and Coleman lantern each night, reading, or drawing with a book light on my lap. It works for me, actually! The main thing I missed was easy internet access, so I would drive 25 minutes to Starbucks, take a power strip, make some friends, and charge up. I don't talk on the phone much, but I missed texting, too. (Kept my power usage to a minimum because of the "trouble" it took to power up!) Plus, more than one person advised me to switch from white to red wine . . . but I'm not exclusive to either, thank you very much. I misspoke! The MAIN thing I missed was my icemaker. Sad but true! I was tired of  daily trips to buy bags of ice. So, I made some art about it!

Also, I was going through magazines from 1962, and 1965, and I saw the view of women was that we LOVE our cleaning products so much, that we find it downright fulfilling when paired up with a fine one!! I guess that attitude hasn't changed much, else we would see mostly MEN cleaning toilets on TV . . . anyway! If that's what melts your butter, you go, grrrrrl!!! Or come, rather, to MY house, and enjoy MY cleaning supplies for a few hours. I would LUH-UH-UHV that!

Have a great day, y'all! peace, trl (enjoying the cool air in my house . . . aaaaaaahhhhhhh)

what i missed most when the power was gone . . .