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Sketchbooks and journals are the street lamps that illuminate the artist’s journey.

~Neil Waldman


I decided a couple days ago to start keeping a sketchbook.  This is not my first attempt at this, but it will be the one that sticks. I figured I’d show you a few of the things that have come out since I first cracked open the cover.

two-handed drawing

I am still waiting for my street lamp to turn on, but so far it’s been enjoyable.

5 min sketch

I think one of the keys for me is trying new things right now so it doesn’t get boring, and seeing what draws me in.

pen sketch

So far I have done two-handed drawings, short timed drawings, and drawings in ink rather than relying on the safety and erasability of pencils.continuous line

It is after all, about enjoying the journey is it not?




My Not Failures

library chair

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.

~Mahatma Gandhi


Last night I went into the school, grabbed some light reading, and got to work on my first paper.  Or at least signed some books out so I could start to work on my first paper.  Two books safely in my trunk I headed to the ceramics lab where I messed up the project I started on Saturday.


Three plates, varying sizes, with lips. Plates seems an odd word to me since they are more of a dish, but really, what’s the point of arguing? Now, on Saturday I just loved working on them and shocked myself with how much I really enjoyed it.  My type A did a great job on the construction on my first real ceramics project.

What I learned last night was two fold.  First I learned that I don’t like painting with slip.  Not at all.  I declared my plates ruined and even took a damp sponge to one and started over.

The second thing I learned was a little more altering than “I hate painting with slip”.  It was simply that I didn’t fail just because the outcome was hideously ugly.  No people, I would have failed if I hadn’t tried.  I will fail if I keep this from trying something new again.  I succeeded simply for the fact that I did it and learned, and am open to seeing if there are other ways I can do this that I will like (glazing perhaps?).  I’m not in art school to become an artist, I’m here to try new things and expand my love for what I do.  I will run into things I will never do again, find things I like, and fall in love with other unexpected things.  Each and every one of those is perfect.

Interestingly enough I read these amazing words from Neil Gaiman just yesterday as I was sitting there not failing:

I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.

So this week I’m going to go and make more ugly things, and not fail.  I’m going to try new things, and surprise myself.



New Journeys

Not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you.

You must travel it by yourself.
It is not far. It is within reach.
Perhaps you have been on it since you were born, and did not know. 
Perhaps it is everywhere – on water and land.

~Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass


It’s strange to be sitting here staring at the screen trying to think of what to say on a blog again.  Sakes alive, it’s been ages since I wrote and hit “publish.” Please forgive my rusty wheels and fingers as I navigate through this awkward transition.

My life is full of journeys and transitions right now, two of which are this blog and art school.  I won’t spill the beans on the rest, I can’t give you all the goods in one sitting.

School.  Wow.  HOLY HUGENESS!

Some would say the journey to school started when I decided to allow myself to be persuaded into applying for art school.  Yes, some teacher, who had never met me and who had never seen my art before, felt inspired to push that button and tell me to apply.  I had never thought about it really before, and certainly didn’t think I had a chance, but something spoke to me and I decided to go for it.

Others may have thought the journey began when I started working on my portfolio which I needed to submit in order to apply.  This I needed to start from scratch because as some of you may not know, before Jan 1, 2013 I only painted three wee pictures ever before.  Yes, you heard me right, I never really did art before apply to art school.  Seems totally reasonable I’d jump on that boat right?

What about the day I got the call that I got accepted?  Besides being totally gobsmacked I’d assume some people thought my journey started there.  My disbelief lead to me not telling a soul about my acceptance for three weeks, I really needed time to digest it, after all, I had heard things like, “you know you won’t get in, my friend is a great artist and she applied x number of times and never got in.”  Not that these comments (not said to be mean or hurtful) made me think I didn’t have a chance, the reality of it was simply a girl who just decided to start finger painting doesn’t just get accepted into art school when people who’ve been doing it for ages don’t.  Until I got in.  Can’t blame me for having some serious shock issues there.


For me, it hasn’t seemed real yet, so I can’t say that I’ve really started a journey as of yet.  I could have done so many things along the road up until this point which would have stopped the boat from pushing away from land.  But today, things have changed.  I bought my boarding pass and my journey starts on September 2, just a few days away.

I’m excited, and under that I’m even a touch nervous, but less than I anticipated, maybe Monday will be a different story.  For now I’m not going to think too much on it, I’m going to go paint.