November 30, 2011

Goodbye November

And just like that another month is gone. I know time is not constant, but dang it seems to be going by really fast. Except when I meditate. Then 6 minutes seems to last about 45. Maybe I should meditate more and see if that slows how fast the days are rolling by any. Will experiment and let you know.

I've been playing in my journal - have not scanned the new pages yet, but here is one that ended up nothing like I originally planned. Not that I had a plan to begin with. Simply started by drawing that fruit shape in the upper left and this is what I ended up with. Ink, acrylics, watercolors, markers. So fun. Hope you are getting in some play time too.

November 26, 2011

Reading with kids

Had a lovely day with my nephews yesterday. One of the fun things we did was stop at the library so Jonah could pick some books for us to read.

1. I Need My Monster
This was hands down our fave book yesterday. Luke (who will be 9 in a week) read it and loved it. I read it aloud to both boys over hot cocoa. A fun story that is wonderfully illustrated.

2. Bones and the Dog Gone Mystery
Jonah (who will be 7 in less an a month) read this one all by himself. Cannot even begin to tell you how proud I was to hear the words "detective" and "magnifying" come out of the little guy. He liked the story - it has a dog - one of his fave themes. He actually asked the librarian for books with dogs.

3. The Spooky Old Tree
Jonah read and quite enjoyed the illustrations and easy to read story.

4. Buzz Boy and Fly Guy
Jonah picked this book for the ride home and Luke read it aloud to us. Cute little story about friendship and self-publishing.

November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Bucking tradition, we are having pheasant instead of turkey this year. It is a beautiful day and I for one have lots to be thankful for.

This is a quick sketch of my sister done while she was flipping through travel books at the bookstore.

Ink on a background of acrylic wash.

November 23, 2011

Art Play Date

I met up with a member of the local art journal meetup group this past weekend for a play date. I usually assign a prompt and we get together and share what we created.

The prompt this week was to draw/sketch/paint/capture an object in your home. Then bring that object to the meeting for a sketching session.

This is the object Monique drew in her sketchbook and brought along. I did a quick pen sketch and added shading with a watercolor pencil and water brush. At home I added the stamped text and a bit of journaling. Love how it turned out. You can see my object page here.

November 22, 2011

Recent Reads

126. The Catcher in the Rye
My book club had a lively discussion about this book this past weekend. My first time ever reading the author and I loved this book. I was the only one in the book club who had not read this book when they younger, and I wonder if that affected how I felt about it. I kept putting the book down, not wanting it to end. A coming of age story, filled with teenage angst and despair. I loved the writing, and the story got a hold of me from the very start. A young man who does not want to grow up and be a "phony" adult, and loose the innocence of childhood. I smile to think that this book was once banned for racy language and themes - seems so tame compared to what kids are reading these days. Am going to add all of Salinger's works to my TBR list.

127. Sketchbook Confidential
I love books that give me a glimpse into how artists use their sketchbooks, and loved this book. A wide range of artist styles are covered with both photos and thoughts about the sketching process. Chock full of inspiration.

128. Habibi
At about 680 pages, this weighty tome of a graphic novel is as satisfying as it is hefty, and is an wonderful example of this adult genre. Loved the story, and the illustrations are fab. This might be my fave book by the author so far. You can watch a quick interview with the author here.

November 21, 2011

Imaginary Animals #2

Another page for the sketchbook challenge this month.

This cutie lives with me and was found abandoned at the marina a couple of summers ago. Pen and watercolors.


I loved the Hunger Games trilogy - especially the first two books. Dystopian books are all the rage at the moment. To get your next fix look no further than here.

November 20, 2011

Lovely Sunday

We are lucking out with some fab weather for November this year. Weeks of temps in the 60s - love it.

Today is another such day. The sun is shining. My body feels good after a walk in the fresh air. The house smells wonderful - salmon frittata anyone? Music. Waiting for my book club gals to come over for a fun afternoon romp.

Hope you are having a lovely Sunday too.

November 19, 2011

Food for thought

It always surprises me when I meet people who find science boring. Maybe they are upset by all the math.

How long has humankind chased the holy grail of eternal youth? Since the very beginning, when we realized that we die probably. You can listen to a fascinating talk by Cynthia Kenyon on experiments that hint at the possibility of longer lives here.

November 18, 2011

Journal Page

I sketched this girl at the local Barnes and Noble store during the power outage a couple of weeks ago.

One of the fun things about that week was how everyone suddenly talked to everyone else - we were all in the same boat. Cafes and book stores were filled as people came in for coffee, food, or wifi access. Made me think again about the cafe culture in Europe when all the writers, painters, artists got together for long hours every day in cafes to talk, challenge and inspire each other. The did not have heated Mc Mansions with flat screen TVs to hide away in.

Makes you wonder no? What have we lost? What have we gained?

November 17, 2011

Recent Reads

121. Bossypants
Tina Fey tickles my funny bone, so was delighted to discover that she reads this memoir. I listened to the audio version and there are parts that are laugh out loud funny. Not that surprising really if you know Tina's work.

122. The Art Journal Workshop
This is a good book if you are just starting out with art journals. Traci shows you step by step how she creates her journal pages. While I really like her style, I found the book to be somewhat repetitious - the pages look pretty much the same with different color and collage schemes.

123. Sandman Vol 1 (Preludes & Nocturnes)
I love comics (aka graphic novels) and decided to try this series. I love the colors and graphics and the story is good as well. I've got the next couple of my bedside table.

124. One Drawing A Day
This book is a 6-week course to jump start your creativity and has some interesting exercises. There are examples of different ways to capture objects in a multimedia manner.

125. Painted Pages
I always like to see how people use their sketchbooks - whether as a final product or as a sketch of some future work. While I found the book colorful and full of ideas on how to do just that, I do not particularly like the author's style of work.

November 12, 2011

Imaginary Animals

The sketchbook challenge theme for this month is Imaginary Animals.

We recently visited the Pompeii exhibit at the Museum of Science in Boston. I loved it. It is an amazing thing to me that artifacts buried over 2000 years ago are now in front of me in Boston. If you are in the area, I'd highly recommend it.

I saw this creature at the exhibit. The earthenware bowl had these guys as feet. How cool is that?

November 11, 2011

Maine Day Trip

My sister is visiting for a couple of weeks, and we've been having a fun time. In addition to lots of lobster dinners, we spent a day exploring Southern Maine - a state she claims to never have visited. We spent a lovely fall day in Kennebunkport, Wells, Perkins Cove and Ogunquit. You can see more pics from our outing here.

November 10, 2011

Recent Reads

117. Tokyo on Foot
I love travel journals and loved this one. The author spent 6 months in Japan and captured his experiences with a sketchbook, pens and colored pencils. Delightful.

118. Artist's Journal Workshop
This gem of a book is the newest one from Cathy Johnson, and I loved it. The book is unusual in that it does not start with a materials review, but rather a discussion of why one keeps a journal. What follows are pages of ideas, inspiration, suggestions and examples of journal pages kept both by the author and others. Am sure this is a book I will dip into again and again.

119. Fray
Imagine my surprise when I discovered that Joss Whedon wrote books. I quite enjoy his shows, so decided to give this book a look. It is typical Whedon - futuristic setting, strong yet vulnerable young woman who finds her destiny as a slayer. Beautifully illustrated. Can only hope that there are more of this series to come.

120. The Night Circus
An unusual circus is the setting for this interesting story. There are magicians who use trickery and then there are magicians who can do magical things. The story is about the latter. Two young kids are trained in different traditions of magic and then are used as pawns to determine which master is better. That they fall in love complicates the duel somewhat. This is a delightfully spun yarn about magic, dreams, hopes, family, love and destiny.

November 9, 2011

Journal Page

My sister is in town for a visit, and we are having fun exploring and catching up. We've had a fab weather window - great for being outside.

Here is a page I made prior to her visit. I find that I'll do just about anything other than vacuum - in this case I did a quick sketch of the vacuum cleaner. I did get the cleaning done after the sketch, so everyone was happy.

November 8, 2011

Journal Page

I've started a new journal - back to the 9x6 size and love it. Will post pics when I get a chance.

Owl Cookies are a Halloween tradition and I eagerly await the box of cookies every year. This year we were in A2 in September and I helped Jane make them - easy, tasty and fun. Yum. Of course I ate my way through my stash on the ride home, so need to make another batch soon.

November 5, 2011

Journal Page

We've finally got power back - after 5 days. Grateful for the little things like that today. The simple act of flipping a switch and something happens.

I love graphic novels (aka comics) and quite liked this one. Tried to capture some of the drawings.

November 1, 2011

Power Outage Day 3

Night 4. Thank goodness it is Oct and not late Jan or Feb with frigid temps. The latest forecast is for the power to be back Thurs night.

On the positive side, I've had ice-cream for breakfast ad lunch today - simply cannot let my fave flavor (Bear Claw) melt away. And there are plans for a big surf and turf cookout tomorrow. Yum.

Yes this is inconvenient, but really not that bad. It's kinda like late fall camping, only so much much cozier.