Experimenting with calligraphy pens

This summer I had a wall of mirrors in my sublet and when I wasn't laying on the mattress on the floor in front of my fan, trying to escape the 100+ heat, I had some time to mess around with some sick calligraphy pens a friend gave me. It was pretty fun.

Ink and calligraphy pen on paper.

Ink and calligraphy pen on paper.


Whimsy and Walnuts

Just learned about Nathaniel Russell's work via Austin Kleon's weekly newsletter. The fake fliers are amazing - especially the ones for lost pets that don't want to be found. The news is so dark lately. My weekly Austin newsletter is sandwiched between an email about the loss of affordable birth control that could come from changes to the ACA and an email about the environmental impacts resulting from the changes imposed by this administration. Keeping some sense of silliness and creativity alive is necessary.

In progress. Felt-tip pen.

In progress. Felt-tip pen.

And on an unrelated note, my completely unsilly inspiration tonight as I do some pre-bed drawing is the beautiful voice of Julien Baker. And walnut trees. Walnut trees are always inspiring.


Ten years later...

Back in high school, my art teacher assigned a project where we had to rip up pieces of magazine pictures to create another picture. Easy enough. I started filling my 18 x 24 poster board with dime-sized scraps of magazine photos. It looked rad. Also, I burned out by the time I was half way done. The due date came and went. My teacher kindly gave me an extension - I had til the end of the school year to finish. That...also didn't happen. This poster board of shame sat under my bed in my parents' house for 10 years and every time I'd come home and see it I'd think - too bad I never followed through on that one.

HOWEVER, TODAY, TEN YEARS LATER, I finally sat down and finished the darn thing. BOOM. Next task - hunt down my art teacher's contact information and send her a photo. Maybe I'll still get partial credit?


No photography allowed

The Lightning Field is maybe the most famous work of land art in America (is famous land art an oxymoron? No shade intended, land artists of the world, only love from this corner of the internet. But that was an honest question) and I've been dying to go since I first heard about it in 2010 in an art class at LMU.

I finally made the trek this summer along with a gang of five friends who were great sports and gamely agreed to spend 30+ hours in the car with me as we journeyed to the high desert of New Mexico to see this work of art and (we hoped) some epic lightning storms.  

Photography is not allowed at the Lightning Field, so I drew our view from the beautiful wood cabin where we stayed instead. The colors in the desert were striking so it is too bad I wasn't able to capture those, but imagine sage greens and grey-blues and the way the light looks when it's about to rain.

Tip for anyone who wants to check out this work of art - spots fill up very quick and I highly recommend that you sign up at 12:01 am the day registration opens instead of getting up "early" (6:00 am) the day of and trying to register then, as I did the first time I tried to sign up to go in 2016 (I was informed all spots had been filled in the first 6 hours of the day and had to wait another year to sign up).

Felt tip marker. 2017.

Felt tip marker. 2017.


Feet, cameras, and (blog) responsibilities

My camera has been sitting on my desk for weeks. "Use me to take pictures of your portraits so you can post them on your website!" it yelled at me. "Nag, nag, nag- it's all you do, camera! Leave me alone, I'm trying to watch the new Gilmore Girls trailer." But finally, the camera won out and this morning I took advantage of the early afternoon sun in our living room to take some photos of the portraits I've drawn over the past 7 months. In the process, I accidentally took this nifty picture. I kinda love it, so here you go.

The actual photos of my portraits are forthcoming....


January painting

I'm working on a painting of San Francisco streets. I've been working on it lackadaisically for months, and need to force myself to do an hour a day now if I ever want to get it done. Which I do. Today as I walked to work in downtown SF, I looked up at the buildings which have been giving me a hard time in my painting. Because where does the light come from in a city? The buildings are tall and cause odd shadows. I'm painting off a photograph and cannot tell for the life of me where the light is coming from. The best I've got is 'overhead.' As the painter I'm pretty sure this was one of the first things I was supposed to figure out when I started this painting. But here I am 70% done and am trying to convince myself that the light is coming from...right above...right? Like an overcast, San Francisco, half-blocked by buildings kind of right above noontime light? I'm not finding myself particularly persuasive on this matter.

And one other question. Look down a street at a row of buildings. See how the windows and lines of the buildings angle down? IS THE LINE ON ONE BUILDING AT THE SAME ANGLE AS THE LINE ON THE BUILDING NEXT TO IT? Or is it ever so slightly off? Seeing as I didn't have a straight-edge with me on my commute, I kept stopping in the middle of crosswalks, one eye closed, holding my finger out in front of me, trying to figure out if the lines on different buildingsfell along the line of my finger. Tomorrow- I bring a ruler.


September Inspirations

Last month's inspirations:

The Ask Polly advice column by Heather Havrilesky on The Cut (and older columns on The Awl):


This interview with Cheryl Strayed, which I found on Brian Pickings but originally came from Longform:


And comic strips, of all things. I've never been much into comic strips but the times are changing apparently. I love this particular artist (do we call her a comic? a comic-strip-writer? a cartoonist? I don't know the proper term here), Erica Meon, whose "Super Girly Top Secret Comic Diary" has inspired me to start my own Top Secret Illustration Diary. DAILY. A DAILY DIARY. BIG STEP. COMMITMENT. DOING IT.


                     Entry number 1 of Top Secret-apparently not so top secret- Diary

                    Entry number 1 of Top Secret-apparently not so top secret- Diary


What I'm reading

Show Your Work! by Austin Kleon and Art Inc., by Lisa Congdon

Show Your Work! by Austin Kleon and Art Inc., by Lisa Congdon

My current reading pile = Show your Work! by Austin Kleon, Art Inc. by Lisa Congdon, and my Gen Biology lab manual, open to a procedure on how concentration affects the activity of an enzyme found in turnips. Art+Science= Sart, or Aience... Yeah. I'm not sure how to combine those two yet either.



Forget your perfect offering

"Forget your perfect offering/
There is a crack in everything/
That's how the light gets in"

- Leonard Cohen, from Anthem

I created this lighted wire sign for our living room. Perhaps perfectly in step with the meaning of these lines, as soon as I finished it the first string of lights broke. So back to the metaphorical drawing board for me! I'll post a new picture once I've finished re-doing it.

Forget your perfect offering (Inspired by Leonard Cohen's Anthem). Aluminum wire and cooper lights.