Inktober Week 2

It’s been a busy week – I’ve done a drawing a day as well as some Boss’s Day cards for my dear Supervisor, Team Lead and Manager.  I truly like these people so the rest of the team is joining me in signing them.  In addition, I’ve been doing more sky color sketches.  I’m including the best of them here.

The A-10, the dolphin, and Batman are done with a combination of watercolors, colored pencils and watercolors.

Card A 10Card BatmanCard Beast DuckCard DolphinEddie GhostEvil TreeSunset in the desertWerewolfYuurei small

 

 

InkTober is back!

As you may know, InkTober is an annual event where visual artists of all types commit to making art every day.  Some are strict about it, saying you should use ink specifically, others are a little looser about the standards.

I got a bunch of my coworkers into this and we have a fairly nice InkTober gallery wall started.  If you are joining me, feel free to leave a link in my comments, I’d love to see what you do!

This year I’m not doing a post every day, but rather with each post I’ll be putting all the art I’ve done up until that point.  So far I have five drawings and a quick digital paint sketch.

Headless 760Lucky Cat 1000morning sky snip 2Pumpkin Face 1200pumpkin Maniac 1100Tragon trick or treat 1200

Just click to see them at a larger size.  I hope you enjoy, and more importantly, I hope you join me!

Argh! Midlife crisis!

I jest, I jest.

Well, maybe I have a little midlife crisis.  I’m about to…. (drumroll please) switch from acrylics to oils.

It happened like this.  Due to the neighbor problems that caused me to buy a house in the first place, I hadn’t felt much like painting in quite a while.  Who knew acrylics can go bad inside a sealed tube?  When I was transferring my stuff from apartment to house, I realized that nearly every tube and bottle of acrylic paint was lumpy, half coagulated, and resistant to re-mixing.

ART DISASTER.

Or is it?

Living in this house with all its possibilities has caused me to think a little more creatively – and since I’ve always wanted to try painting with oils, and have rediscovered the wet on wet painting technique via Bob Ross, why not replace my acrylics with oils?

Problem solved, opportunity found.

The cost is a little higher, yes, okay maybe a lot higher, but like the watercolors and colored pencils I used on the greeting card you see above, oil paints take a lot more punishment before going bad.

For cleaning I am going to use orange oil (similar properties as lavender spike oil, used by artists before turpentine was common) and for those really hard jobs, stinky mineral spirits.  I don’t want to use odorless mineral spirits because most of the danger is still there without the warning signs.  This will be supplemented by an open window, and open door, and an exhaust fan in my study/studio.

Some of my brushes will still work.  My canvasses can be reused.  Same with my gesso.  I think this will be an interesting adventure, and hopefully start a love affair with oils.

So there you have it… my version of a midlife crisis.

 

The Moon and Clouds

Tonight it’s so beautiful.  The bright, round moon is picking out the clouds in such a fascinating way, and the trees and other objects in the area make a deep contrast to show just how bright the sky is tonight.  This little digital painting was my attempt to capture some of the light values so that someday I might do a much better, more detailed work, possibly in chalks.  It made me happy to paint it.

night sketch.png

Unhappy Accidents

Fred Rogers’ mother told him as a child that when terrible things happened he should always look for the helpers.

That advice hasn’t stayed with me as firmly as it should, not all the time anyway, and I admit my faith in humanity often slips.  Today I had cause to be reminded that there are still good people out there, even if they aren’t as often captured on cell phone video or posted on YouTube.

I was sitting at my coffee shop this bright and sunny morning, with my spouse.  She had a cold brew and cacao, I was celebrating her negative pathology results with an iced chai.  Deliciousness in a glass, that.  We were having a peaceful time.

The front porch of the coffee shop faces a busy, six lane street.  We see plenty of near misses and traffic on that street and often comment on the interesting or colorful cars that we see.  Not long before, a bright green VW van had gone by, with huge daisies impeccably painted on it, followed by a gorgeous deep purple Dodge Challenger.  Lovely car.

A little while later we saw something that wasn’t so lovely.  A rental car stopped too fast in order to turn in to a driveway, a small sedan was following a touch too close.

CRASH.

In an instant, the one who had been rear ended was driving away up the street, carried by instinct I think, and the car who had been behind was a wrecked and smashed mess that was bleeding fluids everywhere.  Radiator fluid, steering fluid, brake fluid – it was a pinkish red, spreading puddle.  I sniffed the air and did not smell gas, to my relief.

My spouse headed up the street to check the other driver.  I stayed to watch our stuff.  A young man and woman got out of the car, along with a cat carrier.  Spouse came back after a bit, gave me the license plate number and said the person in the car was all right and on the phone with 911.

The forlorn couple with the smashed car were on their phones as well.  I ran over to let them know I had the license plate number in case they needed it.  When emergency services came, everyone migrated to the front patio of the coffee shop, it was the nearest place with chairs.

What I noticed then was all the helpers.  The cops being gentle with the drivers, the EMTs putting patient care above all else, the woman nearby who brought water for one of the drivers. The people who came to help both drivers, offering comfort and support.   We had our own job too.  We got to cat-watch.  The occupant of the cat carrier was an older kitty with a broken arm, they’d been taking him to the vet to get his cast changed.  I was happy to see his owners loved him enough to get him a vet’s help.  We looked after him a couple of times as the young couple had to take care of various things related to the accident.

Soon I saw people coming to help both sets of drivers.  I checked to see if the young couple needed a ride anywhere or a cup of coffee.  At the end, when the wrecks had been cleaned up and the cops were gone, I saw the drivers of both cars shake hands – young man and older woman, showing respect for each other.  There was no screaming match, they behaved like civilized people.

I tell you it almost made me cry I was so happy to see it.

It was a terrible thing to happen – but in the end, everybody was all right.  No one was hurt, and I saw so much caring and regard on that coffee shop patio.

I saw helpers that day.

Happy Accidents

Silence would reign in the house of my young parents.

A bump.  A crash.  Then a suspicious silence.

A young voice, maybe two or three, calling in a rather brash way…

“ACCIDENT!”

 

I did that when I was little.  My poor parents.  Hey, at last I let them know something was up!

Accidents are generally bad things, and I strive to avoid them.   However, sometimes the more I try to avoid them, the more I make mistakes!  It’s a nasty cycle.

Here comes Bob Ross with a nugget of wisdom that is deeper than it seems.

“There are no mistakes, only happy accidents.”

Much like Yoda’s “try not, only do,” this isn’t saying you shouldn’t try to do your best.  After all, would it be a mistake if you weren’t trying to do well?

After some thinking about this statement, I came to realize that he’s talking about learning to work with whatever happens, whether you planned it or not, and that will lead you to turn some mistakes into opportunities, make fewer mistakes in general, and be happier with what happens.

In art, and in life, I think we could all use a dose of that.

It’s a wonderful and relaxing attitude and I think I may turn it into a tattoo.