I haven’t had as much time this year to engage in the Sketchbook Revival funness, but I have selected a few sessions to try out. Two in particular lead to crazy fun shenanigans.
Create Like a Kid Again! with Charlie O’Shield. I loved his playful spirit so much and got such a kick out of his exercise. Take the first noun you think of and then the first compound noun you think of. In my case my noun was fish and Charlie gave the compound noun handshake. The exercise was to replace either hand or shake with your new noun and then draw it. I decided to do handfish and this was my result:
DAY 9 SESSION 1 – Este MacLeod 123…Let’s Draw Cats. I was so enamored with the idea of this session and the examples people were posting in the Facebook group. My first attempts were less than exciting, but I kept trying.
Eventually I just tried to turn the numbers into doodles…something my brain could wrap itself around.
But then my husband has a brighter idea! Last night he challenged me to do something completely different, but something that set my brain on fire. He challenged me to make one of my doodles out of only letters. 5 minutes later I presented him with the doodle on the bottom right.
Then he suggested I remove those letters from the alphabet and only use the remaining letters. That yielded me the bottom left. I did not expect him to then say I needed to create one with only the remaining letters…and that yielded…
This was a ridiculously fun challenge! I hope you’ll give it a try. You could try with all lower case letters, numbers, or even the punctuation marks found on a keyboard. My husband was not getting off the hook that easily. I challenged him to make fish out of the numbers and he did great!
When I signed up for Karen Abend’s Sketchbook Revival I was immediately blown away by the amount of content that is offered completely for free. There were two sessions every day for fourteen days. The sessions ranged from 25-60 minutes and they were incredibly inspirational. I knew that I would not be able to participate in all of the sessions, but the ones I did do were amazing and have left their mark on my creative practice. I am so excited to incorporate what I have learned into future projects. I have already purchased my first set of watercolors. I have used what I learned in the one-liner class to create whimsical birthday cards for our nephews and I have so many ideas for the creativity boot camp I hope to host one day!
Check out Karen Abend’s site here. She is the mastermind behind this amazing workshop.
Here is a list of the artists who were a part of the workshops. Check them out for sure!
A Vessel of Voices: Handmade Journals for Capturing Creative Conversations with Kiala Givehand I have been interested in bookbinding for a while and I was so excited to create my own sketchbook. I didn’t use it much for the Revival because it seemed too small, but I did use it to take notes and I will use it to doodle in.
You’re A Hoot! with Tamara Laporte. We sketched out an owl and then painted it with watercolors and added fun doodles to it. My first attempt was an abysmal failure. The drawing was fine, but using kindergarten watercolors was challenging. I have since gone out and purchased a nice starter set of Winston and Newton watercolors, so I will be trying that one out again.
Quick Character Design with Alexandra Gabor was awesome. We took five seconds to draw a random set of connected lines, colored them in and then turned them into little characters. This was so much fun! She also teaches a class on the app Procreate where she digitizes her doodles and then creates a whole scene. It looks amazing and something that would be the perfect compliment to my Oodle Doodles.
Meditative Paint: Holes with Amy Marcle was incredibly therapeutic. We literally drew circles with watercolors for twenty minutes or so. While we were painting she talked us through how to be mindful of what we were doing— how the brush felt against the paper, how we were breathing and so much more. Immediately after doing this session, I was so relaxed and took the most amazing and revitalizing nap. I will definitely incorporate this exercise into my regular practice.
Creating Interesting Clothing for Characters with Noopur Thakur was challenging. I definitely struggled with the practice because I was using my Tombow markers instead of the painting colored pencils she recommended. It was an interesting exercise though to think about creating fabrics for the clothes on my characters. Will play around with this more in the future.
The final session was One-liner Drawings with Carla Sonheim where we were given a prompt and had to draw whatever she said without lifting our pens from the paper. This was an awesome exercise and so freeing! I drew a cat, elephant, flowers and a toilet. After we did the one-liners we chose one of them to redraw and refine. I was very excited to try out my cat. I created two versions— one that was a watercolor (I love my simple little W&N set) and then one that was a collage (I finally found something to do with a whole mess of old photograph prints I had!) She has some extensive classes on her site that I am definitely interested in.
I really cannot say enough wonderful things about this workshop. The amount of content is mind boggling. The fact that it is free is just insanely generous. The community that participates in this event is incredible. Everyday there was a ton of activity on the Facebook group where people shared ideas, their work and answered the unending questions by newbs like myself. I cannot wait to sign up again next year!
We survived February in Illinois— not without a few scars, but we survived! I am sure I am not the only one grateful to put the last month behind me. This was a low-key week in The Oodlearium in terms of making, but there were lots of ideas churning. Here’s a quick recap:
My good friend Julia told me about Karen Abend’s Sketchbook Revival and on a lark I decided to join in on the fun. One of the pre-sessions was to make your own sketchbook that would be used throughout the workshop. I have always wanted to learn about bookbinding, so I jumped in. I Kiala Giverhand did an awesome job of walking through how to create a simple journal with the supplies you have on hand. I was sure I didn’t have what I needed to make one, but as she went on, I realized I absolutely could make it work. I ended up trying out alcohol ink on watercolor paper for my covers and also adding a ribbon to keep it closed. Kiala had a ton of nuggets of wisdom that I needed to hear:
We force ourselves to try and be masters the first time around.
This is my first, but not my only.
Imperfect is perfect.
I transfer my energy into what I create.
Tom and I LOVE when we get the chance to collaborate on a project. It’s not as often as we would like to though. On Friday night he proposed the idea that we come up with a project that utilizes both our skill sets rather than him just helping me with a project or him just teaching me something. Quite a few ideas came out of that conversation and I am super excited!
One of the ideas that we talked about that was a bit more me than him was to create a new custom top for the patio table we built together last summer. Originally I was going to pour paint the planks and then he would epoxy it and reattach. That was becoming a bit cost prohibitive. While walking around Home Depot, we had the idea of creating a custom pattern out of pieces of wood and painting each one and then sealing it. As I type ideas are flooding my brain. Hope you’ll be at the big bbq we want to throw this summer to see it!
Pop Up Art Classes
I am planning to throw a few pop up art classes this summer. Think things like Painting in the Park and Doodling among the Dandelions. If there is something you might like to learn that we can do out in nature, drop me a message.
Tom and I are currently head over heels in LOVE with the Netflix show Lucifer. I am obsessed with the music in this show— really. Whoever the music director for this show is, s/he is a genius! It is absolutely the kind of music that I would love to have playing in The Oodlearium while I work. I finally found a listing of all the songs this morning, but I have only started going through the process of listening to each one to see which I want to try to add to a Spotify Play list.
I took my first CreativeBug class this week. It was on creating 3D word art with my new Cricut Maker. I’m excited to try this out over my upcoming spring break. I need to order a few supplies first.
Our school ended the textile and clothing program last year and this past week the department held a huge closeout sale of all the goodies in the room. I scored tons of fabric for a whopping $5. I’m super excited to play around with making stuffed animals and a few other things. I already used one of the pieces as a backdrop for my 52F images.
I have not been shy about how much I have been struggling lately as part of our world. There is just too much going on and more often than not it is very overwhelming. On Saturday, Tom and I sat down and created a list (I am most comforted by lists…) of all the ways i could practice self-care. I will write more about ths another day, but one of the ideas I am most excited about is Index Card Art. It is exactly what it sounds like…create something on a 3×5 (or 4×6) notecard.
Last week’s theme was details and I was not feeling inspired. The image I submitted was a commitment shot— a shot to keep my 166-week streak going. That’s ok though. I showed up and I will show up again this week.
This week’s theme was negative space and I am super excited about my image. I did not realize it until after I was done how much it was inspired by the painter Callen Schaub, whom I follow on Instagram.
When we returned from Spain I was craving new food experiences and conversation with new people who shared my love of food, new recipes and travel. I have belonged to a local Facebook foodie group for a few years. So when I conjured up the idea of an international potluck, I asked them first if […]
Yesterday I had coffee with a terrific friend at a new-to-me cafe called Kava Diem. Jen and I met during a Dick Pond Saturday morning run almost five years ago. We are affectionately called the Wonder Twins. We have the same name. We run at the same pace. We are goal driven doers. We love […]
A few weeks ago, the 52Frames challenge was “Break the rules.” I think the overall spirit of the theme was to break a compositional rule. However, I felt that I was not master enough in the different rules to intentionally break one, so I took a different spin. I broke a rule that all people […]
I wanted to immerse myself in every chance I could to explore creativity on our once in a lifetime trip to Spain. On our first walk through the quaint town of Bot, I immediately noticed the beautiful doors and windows. I made a mental note to take advantage of some free time to explore the […]
One of the tenants of a creative mindset is learning new things. What better time to do this than while on vacation in Spain? For as many times as we have stayed in an Airbnb, we had never tried out an Airbnb experience. I think that in my heart I knew that Barcelona was not […]
One of the pillars of the creative mindset is music. The guests at Matt and Cassandra’s wedding represented nine different countries. In an effort to have everyone represented during the reception, they asked guests to share 3-4 songs from their homeland. We heard music from India, Sweden, Ukraine, Mexico and of course Spain. Hearing all […]
As I mentioned in the first post in this series, not everyone can just pick up and spend eleven days in Spain. However, one of our most memorable days in Spain was when Matt and Cassandra shared their favorite places and experiences with us. It gave me the chance to look at our hometown with […]
We knew as soon as we received the invitation to Matthew and Cassandra’s wedding we would do everything possible to attend. After all, how often do you receive an invitation to an intimate wedding in the rolling hills of Spain? Once we negotiated all the chaos of traveling internationally near the tail end of a […]
We recently returned from the trip of a lifetime to Spain. We spent eleven magical days enjoying the Spanish countryside and soaking up every last drop of life spice. It seems hypocritical to talk about feeling inspired after taking a dream vacation, because who wouldn’t? It makes me think of the time I had the […]
I haven’t had as much time this year to engage in the Sketchbook Revival funness, but I have selected a few sessions to try out. Two in particular lead to crazy fun shenanigans. Create Like a Kid Again! with Charlie O’Shield. I loved his playful spirit so much and got such a kick out of […]