April 27, 2011

On the road

I'm delighted to be off on another adventure.

Will post updates as often as I can.
Until then my pretties, be well.

April 26, 2011

Recent Reads

1. Hungers of the Heart
I had heard the author on a podcast and was interested to read his book. Lots of good material to chew on. Love people who can articulate their position without arm waving. This is a little gem of a book.

2. Yosemite: The Promise of Wildness
Read this for an upcoming trip. Essays on conservation success and failures in the park and a look at photos of Yosemite through the seasons.

3. Outstanding Mini Albums
I am a fan of mini albums and make them every now and then, but this book is a little too cutesy for my taste.

4. The Decorated Journal
How many times have I read this one? A dozen times? Probably. And it does not disappoint. Am always inspired.

5. 365: A Daily Creative Journal
Fun book with fun ideas. More like a calendar with creative daily prompts. The idea of an everyday project for an entire year is intriguing. What will it be? Hmm....

6. The Glass Castle
This book has been on my list for ages, and I finally sat down to read it and could barely put it down. The story got a hold of me at the first sentence and I simply could not break free until I was done, and could come back up for air. I would highly recommend it.

7. Street Art
I am a fan of graffiti art and this was a fun book to peruse.

April 25, 2011

Journal Page

On of the fun things about long walks outdoors is that there is always the chance of finding treasures.

On a recent walk found this cuddly, much-loved guy, and wish that he had a return address on him so I could take him back home.

April 24, 2011


Happy Easter.

I loved every museum that I explored while in DC, but I'd have to say that one of my faves was the NMAI.

Loved the building, the exhibits, the fab Mitsitam Cafe, well everything really. Loved how there were no sharp angles. Even exhibits that would normally be displayed in grid format were not. For example, a collection of arrowheads were arranged to look like swimming schools of fish. Love that.

I'm playing in a new journal. 6x6 inches. A new size for me to explore. So far am loving it. This journal page is a sketch of beaded art on a bag I saw on display at NMAI.

April 23, 2011

Branching Out

The Sketchbook Challenge theme for this month is Branching Out - Out On A Limb.

I decided to explore creating graffiti - a street art that I love, and have no idea how to do. To get some ideas I flipped through this book. Fascinating.

This page is so not my style. There are no words, and there is something unsettling about the image. Fits the theme perfectly.

April 22, 2011

Palo in DC

We've cleaned and put away all the stuff from the DC trip. I've been going through my photos and thought I'd share some pics of Palo's first trip to DC. In spite of some mishaps, she loved it and cannot wait to return.

April 19, 2011

Recent Reads

1. The Unthinkable
Read this book a year or so ago based on a reco from a friend and found it fascinating. It was my book club selection this month, so decided to listen to the audio version on our drive to DC. Thought provoking. And lots for my book club to talk about.

2. Rogue Wave
I was in the mood for a thriller so picked this one based on reviews, and honestly do not understand the rave reviews. This book is poorly written and the characters are rather one dimensional and not flushed out. The only positive thing I have to say about the book is that I learned a bit more about the tsunami warning system in the Pacific. My recommendation: don't bother.

3. Subterranean
I was still in the mood for a thriller, so picked up this book. Have read several books by the author and this is not one of his better ones. An okay, fast read, but not a book I would recommend.

Am still in the mood for a thriller, so if you are a thriller reader, what would you recommend?

April 18, 2011

Art Journal Page

Here was the prompt for my local art journal group this month: for this meeting, you will need to find a photo of yourself as a kid - baby, toddler, grade school. Find a photo that you like, hate, whatever. Is it in color or black and white? How will you use this image in your art journal? Come with your finished page to show and tell.

Here is what I ended up with. The idea that came to me involved colored photos and the concept of time. I scanned a photo I have always loved and played with colors. I used Tim Holtz masks to create the clock images. I love seeing how other members interpreted the prompt. Such creative ideas.

April 16, 2011

The wonders of DC

Am back home from a quick trip to Washington DC. It has been several years - maybe even a decade, since I was last in DC and I forgot how I walked around in awe the last time I visited. This trip was no different.

I need time to digest all the wonders I experienced. I could spent my entire life exploring just the museums. So much inspiration.

These pages are a couple of quick sketches done in the National Gallery of Art - East Wing, where I spent some time. Special exhibits included Gauguin: Maker of Myth and Venice: Canaletto and His Rivals. Both are incredible - if you get a chance, you gotta go experience it for yourself.

April 10, 2011

Screen free days

Well my pretties, every now and then it is fun and restorative to unplug from all electronic devices - especially those with screens. I'll be doing that this week, and will be back next weekend to share my adventures. May you have a story worthy week.

April 8, 2011

Journal Page

I took my journal along while accompanying Babes to a medical procedure.

Am not comfortable drawing a person in situ - am convinced that they will catch me staring, come over and look at my drawing of them, and get insulted by my lack of skill. Did draw this guy across from me - he was busy watching TV.

Went out for a quick walk and captured the view. Buildings are safer to draw - you cannot hurt their feelings.

April 7, 2011

Recent Reads

1. Making Handmade Books
I've read dozens of books on how to bind my own journals. This book covers the usual assortment of bindings - but with lovely photos. Just makes you want to do some binding - and I did.

2. Creative is a Verb
Like other books that Patti has written, this must be read at a slow enough pace to savor the writing and give the inspiration time to marinate. Beautiful, Thought provoking. Inspirational. Loved it.

3. How to Draw Animals
Not a how-to book as much as a little reference book.

4. An Illustrated Life
I have read this book (devoured would be more apt a description) at least a dozen times. Love everything about it.

April 6, 2011


I believe in the power of stories. Stories captured. Stories shared.

Take 18 minutes out of your day and listen to Sarah Kay in this talk. I dare you not to be inspired.

Brown skin

In keeping with my last post, here are some lovely ladies with brown skin.

I had such fun drawing the hair - it was rather meditative. I considered creating a textured background, but ended up with what seems to be my style - lines of text.

April 4, 2011

Skin color

On this rainy day, I'm thinking about the fuss over skin color. I mean, we do all know by now (I hope!) that the color of our skin is due to melanin. More pigment, darker skin. Less pigment, lighter skin. An evolutionary adaptation to the climes we evolved in.

So why all the fuss over skin color? On trip to Thailand several years ago, was hard pressed to find any lotion or potion that did not lighten my skin while I slept, ate, or otherwise went about my day. What are these lightening ingredients? Who knows? Surely that is not as important as having the highly prized lighter skin no? So what if the mercury destroys your skin over time? We are all dying anyway, so we might as well look fair and lovely while we are alive no?

A distinct memory from many years ago floats up through my neurons. My sister, my cousins and I are sun bathing on a very crowded piece of sand in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Why, since we are already dark skinned are we sun bathing, you might wonder. Because the heat of the sun warms you from the inside out. Because the sun rays seem to lightly stroke your skin. Because in short, it feels good. So there we are, all spread out on our beach blankets soaking up the rays, when we hear loud shouting. In Malayalam. It is my Ammachi, on a balcony at least fifteen floors up, who happened to look down and could not believe what her eyes were telling her. Surely those could not be her grand daughters lying in the sun making themselves darker. Could it? Her yelling got no reaction. Figuring that for some reason we did not understand Malayalam, Ammachi switches to English, and yells, “Girls! Get out of the sun! You will become black!”. People on the beach start looking up to see what all the hullabaloo is about. Our response is the only sensible one given the circumstances – ignore the strange, crazy woman who seems to be yelling at someone else.

Skin color is just that. The color of our skin. Nothing more. Nothing less. All the baggage we assign to it is just that. Our baggage. I have spent much of my life hearing some well intentioned person say that I am too dark. That I should spend less time outdoors, and try to keep my skin fair. That no one wants to marry a darkie. Proved them wrong, and on this rainy day, I think about the sun and miss how it feels on my skin.

April 3, 2011

How to steal like an artist

Read this fun reminder to get outside our comfort zones and play.
Check it out here.

Words to live by

While reading this book I came across this: "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity" - Hanlon's razor, and it stopped me in my tracks. It is like someone just told me that the earth was really flat. That is how much my mental maps just quaked. The world is a different place today.

Am playing with faces again in my journal. I was playing with dreads - something I had considered doing to my locks while in Thailand a couple of years ago. What stopped me? The heat. That simple. I added color using Portfolio water soluble oil pastels - love the creamy colors and texture of these pastels.

April 2, 2011

The future of education

If you are interested in a cool and free way to get the kids in your life hooked on learning; or even interested in a refresher course or two yourself, you gotta check out this talk.

April 1, 2011

Recent Reads

1. The Roads Taken
If you love to travel and love to read, this is a fun book of essays to while away the hours while sitting in your comfy spot planning your next trip.

2. Oryx and Crake
Decided to read this book before diving into this sequel. I am not a big sci-fi or post-apocalyptic world fan, but quite enjoyed this book. Lots to think about.