Category Archives: journal entry

In the margins (more or less)

It’s been a while since my last post. I took a summer art history course that ate up all my free time, and I let my blogging slip so I could concentrate on getting a good grade. I don’t regret it (I haven’t taken a serious college course since 2005), but I miss the process of picking a topic and art to talk about.

But then when I got back to my art journal, nothing seemed to go right. The words wouldn’t come, the art felt stiff…like I’d forgotten how to access that part of me.

I started with a shouting bird (redundant, I realize). Sometimes words have to be forced out, and the art reflects the strain.

Is shouting the serenity prayer counterintuitive?

Then I tried some Egyptian motifs, but my mongoose went poorly and I put the page in time out.

Egyptian motifs…not entirely successful

Finally, I just put random paint down on a new page and let whatever was lurking there decide what it wanted to be. As usual, I found weird creatures:

My next class starts in a few days, and I’ll be learning to write specifically about art. I’m excited! Maybe it’ll help me find my voice in this area…I feel like I’m still too stiff from all of my years as a tech writer. I wanted to take a drawing class so that I could have some formal training and learn some discipline, but the only classes I feel comfortable with are remote only, and I’d have had to attend an in-person lab session. Oh well. Maybe I’ll take some online workshops instead! If you have any suggestions on good resources on YouTube or CreativeBug, I’d appreciate it!

Sunsets in my Mind

There’s something about the colors the sun paints across the sky at sunset. Giant watercolor masterpieces, painted with light and air movement. It’s so stereotypical, right, for an artist to find inspiration in the event that defines the day?

But look:

Sunset light on the Organ Mountains, Las Cruces NM. September 2019
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What to draw during a pandemic

I worry too much, all the time, about all sorts of things. Whether they matter or not, are likely or not, regardless of the actual danger involved.

I did not think to worry about a pandemic, and now I find myself unprepared! What do I draw or paint when I don’t know how to begin to think about what’s going on? How do I visualize this virus that’s raging across the planet, on every continent but Antarctica? That we know so little about, and yet are becoming so intimate with?

Sometimes I can draw the thing that’s scaring me. I kept looking at the virus picture the CDC put out, the one with a gray body and red triangular spores haloing it. But I couldn’t get anywhere with that reference. It felt too real, too scary to caricature. So I went in a different direction and thought about the growth aspect of the virus, how it spreads so fast. Like a molecular pinball machine that sprouts with every bounce.

March 16th, The Coronavirus Pandemic (journal entry). I couldn’t find a way to draw the virus that looked anything like the version from the CDC that they show in the news. But I finally settled on rings and lines and vines.
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Doodle times

I love to doodle when I write. I like how the words and the visuals interact, and it thrills me when I subconsciously end up creating something that reflects what I’m writing about. I’m not entirely sure how to make it happen. Maybe it’s a kind of meditation… It works best when I don’t try to force anything in particular. Sometimes I draw towards a feeling, if that makes sense?

February 20, 2020. Box Office.
Journal entry from February 20, 2020. I knew what I wanted to draw. It came out differently than I’d first imagined, but I like where it ended up! I’d gotten a job offer that day, after a long run of rejections (being unemployed is so hard on the ego).
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Been scribblin’ in some journals

…and now I’m ready to open them up to the world!

Okay, I’m not actually ready. I’m more than half-convinced that this is an exercise in egotistic delusion, but whatever. If no one ever visits this blog and reads this, then it’s substantively no different than just scribbling away in my paper journals, and thus I haven’t embarrassed myself because no one is looking anyway, right? (If a tree does something embarrassing in the forest, does it matter?)

Continue reading Been scribblin’ in some journals