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


I obsessively design, draw, and doodle paisleys, when I'm not cartooning, and I have for years. I have a fantasy about going to the PAISLEY MUSEUM in Scotland and just spending ridiculous amounts of time staring at paisleys (or IS IT ridiculous? I should make a plan!) This is a piece I'm working on currently - with a new Holbein gouache set I got at New York ComicCon (from Vermont Art Supply/HOLBEIN booth, on the main floor! It's always a great one.) The colors are SO deep and rich! AND the HOLBEIN gouache is smoooooooth. In a word: JUICY. I carry travel paints with me most of the time - a very minimal set, usually black and white plus one other color, usually red (this time blue). This travel set is an AVEDA eyeshadow compact I'm upcycling - it has a magnetic strip in the bottom, and these are beer bottle caps with gouache in them. I've added a tiny travel brush which fits in the case when it's closed. The silver pill bottle can carry a tiny amount of water, which is all I need when working with a limited palette (and it's easily changeable with a water bottle on hand, which I usually have anyway!)You could easily do this with any old compact, which has a metal bottom, by adding magnets to your beer, wine, or soda bottle caps.

This system also easily works with old ALTOIDS and MYNTZ and FISHERMAN'S FRIEND tins, as well :) If you follow me on TWITTER or INSTAGRAM, you've seen my concert drawings - this is a great system for that, too, easily takeable in a small bag. This past Wednesday I went to hear Daniel Lanois at The Hamilton DC and got some fun drawings from that - I always give them to the artists after. It's great figure drawing practice to draw musicians on stage (fun, too!)

In other news, please check out my MUSE CRUISE 2015 FACEBOOK page - we have a great group going so far, but plenty of room for more! I'm teaching Art Journaling, and the amazing writer Vicki Kuyper is teaching the writing (she's authored well over 50 books - for many publishers!) Art journaling, writing, and photography on the Caribbean. Some of my favorite things in the world, combined! You are welcome to sign up, details on our FACEBOOK page, and feel free to PM me with any questions!

In FURTHER other news, I've become obsessed (yes, I've overused that word today) with podcasts, particularly those from Nerdist Chris Hardwick (you might know him as the host of Talking Dead, the WALKING DEAD aftershow?) - they are frickin' hilarious, and great to listen to while I work. Yesterday, though, I had to lift my brush from my work because I was cackling too hard to keep it steady. So, it can be risky . . .

Have a great weekend, y'all. peace, trl





I like making visual journals of all sorts - and even my sketchbooks have pages in them which I've devoted to inspiration-to-go - collaging images and colors which get my juices going . . . here are three of those pages. Hope you find some inspiration in them! peace and happy Friday, y'all! trl

Great Wave at Paisley-gawa

Today's art journal post (with apologies to Hokusai!):

Thought note: Today's art journal post is an homage (a modest one, of course!!!) to Katsushika Hokusai's "Great Wave at Kanagawa," which is a gorgeous piece of artwork, which I never, ever get tired of staring at. I dunno if it's because it's such a technically amazing work of woodblock cutting and printing, or because I love the ocean so much, or because there's a picture of it on a ruler I got at The Metropolitan Museum of Art many years ago . . . but I love it. I doodle paisleys sort of obsessively . . . and am working on some acrylic works incorporating designs such as these. Will post when finished with those . . . I plan to start showing them publicly by early fall.

Tech note: Faber-Castell Superfine pen + a Faber-Castell grey brush pen (#272) . . . in my Moleskine notebook (thick pages, 5.5x8.5 each page); if you want to buy the thicker pages and they don't have a sample open at the store, just look at the page count. The ones with a lower page count (which are the same thickness) are the ones with thicker pages. These take watercolor and acrylic and gel medium, and Mod Podge, and collage, and almost everything else I've thrown at them.

Happy Art-making,


Psych Book Drawings, Day 15

thought note: i love to draw angels - and iconic women - Anywayz. Yesterday, i buried a little tiny baby bird  - outside my studio window, between the daffodils. I found him on our driveway, i think he left the nest a bit too early - and just didn't make it. made me really sad, even though i'd like to be all philosophical and talk like The Lion King "circle of life" stuff (remember when Simba asks, "hey why do we eat our friends, Dad?" - Yep. "Circle of Life."  i like to think he's in a better place now (the bird, not Simba), but i don't know how all that works . . .

tech note: Faber-Castell artist pen, "F" (fine)

Psych Book Drawings, Day 13

Thought note - This is a vintage psych book, and the subject of this page is frustrating . . . but there it is. I was thinking of this, driving around in Williamsburg, VA (aka "the obstacle course"), and then listening to politics on radio and TV. Sooooo, this is my response.

Tech note: Faber-Castell brush pens and Copic Sketch pens (brush end only)

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 . . .