Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Wow! Where does the time go? Has it really been another six months? And how busy can a person be not to write a little roundup? If you are out there making art, you'll understand. Time gets away from you, and the only place you really want to be is with sticks of color in hand, applying dreams to the page. As usual, I can be found in any one of a dozen online classes or subgroups on Facebook. I must be meeting deadlines I set for myself, because, after all, there is no grade or punishment for tardiness or incompletion in the virtual classroom. But I feel the clock ticking, and I know what I need to accomplish to make me happy. And it does. Make me very happy!

In just a year I have come so far in my skills and knowledge, it is starting to feel like a college degree and more. I can't imagine I could have possibly had the time to make this much art in college, what with all the "core" courses and the outside work, and the clubs and friend time, and hanging out. No, I am in a different frame of mind and I am driven, and it feels so good.

The End? No, it's time for a restart!

You may recall that in 2013 I was taking the giraffe as my muse in Carla Sonheim's "Year of the Giraffe" class. This is a frame from a class video animation I contributed to. My portion was titled "Spot Goes Spot Shopping".

In October we did four "mini" projects. This was "Cardboard Giraffe" week, made entirely from boxes I had sitting around in a box, and old fashioned brass paper fasteners.

Another October week was "Famous Artist Giraffe". "Frida Giraffe" was one of my favorite creations of the year.

But back to the blogging and why I haven't kept a schedule there. I think it has to do with a big change in the way we are relating out there in the ether. I notice fewer and shorter blog posts by many of the artists and friends that I followed. Generally, I am not finding the time to read them and unless a post is under my nose with a link on Facebook, I'm not seeing it. Most of the time I only go looking if I want to find a tutorial, or just check up on an old friend I've lost touch with. I am also finding that while Facebook is the social medium we love to hate, many of my teachers are finding it the most expedient way to connect their students' work and commentary to the class.

In addition to giraffing in 2013, I continued to stretch my mixed media drawing talents and imagination for visual storytelling with the Jane Davenport class, "Joynal", nine weeks of fairytale type characters from fairies to unicorns to mermaids. This altered photo of my toddler self was the basis for a "fairy godmother" illustration.

"Joynal" was inspired by both joy and journaling, part of which was creating an altered book in which to do some of our artwork. I also created a larger format book out of several types of watercolor and mixed media papers. Both are still be used in my current Jane classes.

Since we were encouraged to draw characters, the classmates began to collect not only myriad art supplies, but shelves full of studio muses. The "Monster High" dolls are great posable tools for use as manikins.

A journal page showing my research in the shapes which fairy wings can take was a lot of fun, with a few tongue-in-cheek references.

Over the three and half years I've written this blog, sixty-four posts, I have only received 339 legitimate comments, an average of five per post (and some of those are my replies). So I am often left to wonder, who exactly is reading it, and would they notice or care if I stopped writing? When my original intent was for this to be a diary of artistic growth that I didn't mind sharing with the general public, I guess I was really satisfied just to know I had a running record for myself of what I'd been up to. If I touch or inspire others along the way, so much the better. But really, why should I always be filled with angst that I am not making my "story" a well crafted piece of literature, or making it too long or short, too frequent or sporadic?

For the week on fairytale heroines, I chose Alice, and later did a "tables are turned" illustration of grownup Alice judging the Queen of Hearts in her courtroom.

Galadriel served as inspiration for this elfin queen.

For those old enough to remember the movie, South Pacific, you will recall the intro to the song "Bali Hai".
After drawing two unicorns based on horse photos, I went on to create this creature totally from my imagination.

Our parting lesson was based on a painting Jane had designed of "girlimal" twins. She invited us to create our own combination of animal and female. What else could mine possibly be to end "The Year of the Giraffe"? This is a digitally altered version of my full color Copic marker painting.
The complete set of all the classwork can be found here on my flickr page.
So in the spirit of fairness to all, I'm going to try to post more often in whatever form strikes me creatively that week, and I'm going to be very happy to read and respond to your comments about what reading blogs like this means to you and consider that we could make this a dialogue, or not. I am finding that most of that is going on over at Facebook, and if we are connected in any way in the real world, (say, we both love Jane's classes) you can contact me over there. If you "like" my page, Second Part Art, we can be in touch without that friending business. Oh, and it still makes me glad that you stopped by for a visit. 
Kitty and I showing you a miniature journal we made with instructions from Tracy Moore in the Artstronauts club, one of our new online inspirations.


  1. I know what you mean about blogging, as I strugggle with the same questions myself. I seldom have time to read other people's blogs, and I tend to go for those with an emphasis on images and little text. My own blog doesn't receive many comments or followers, and I continually ask myself if it's worth the effort. When I started it, it was a way for me to get going with things and finish them, as I knew that I was going to blog about them afterwards. I guess I also wanted to show the world what I was up to, as I don't have many arty-crafty friends here in Helsinki. And it's a form of visual diary, a place where I collect and record what I've been doing. How soon I forget how much I've actually accomplished, when I fret over everything that I haven't had the time to do! I guess that is the reason that I still keep the blog, although I'm not as active as I was the first couple of years. I'm moving towards the 'more images and less text' format, but it's difficult for me as I'm a wordy person, and I also want my blog to have some sort of educational value apart from inspirational. I've also noticed that things tend to move over to Facebook, and fair enough: on FB things are often easier and more immediate than leaving comments on the blog, where you might have to log in, wait for things to process, or decipher weird looking numbers and letters.

    1. We do think alike on this Annika. I am still torn over wanting to tell a bigger themed story or having more readers, and I'm not sure if one is related to the other. Most of the time when people do leave comments they are thoughtful and appreciative of "the journey" and so I don't want to make it entirely newsy. I think I will use my Facebook page more for the frequent updates, and try to commit to twice a month here.

  2. dropped by to to what you are up to and got a pretty full update! wow you HAVE been BUSY
    your blog is your space to use in whatever way you want to - we are the grateful spectators, delighting in the ramblings of others, sometimes arriving by chance but always enjoying what you take the time to share - how much, how often and what you share are your gifts to give