Monday, August 31, 2009

Dust Bunny Monsters Under The Bed

ink blob drawingsI redid the ink blot monsters with an aspirator to spread the India ink.

We used to do these in grade school with tempera paint or with milk on the lunchroom trays.

EDM Every Day Matters Challenge #237 draw what's under your bed.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Remainder of the 88 Boxes

apple thumbnail ink and marker drawings

apple thumbnail ink and marker drawings

apple thumbnail ink and marker drawings

apple thumbnail ink and marker drawings

apple paper cutout Minneapolis
I finished this creativity exercise. The top photo is a pop-up card of the big apple. The view is my version of Central Park in New York and the lake in the park is also shaped like an apple. The card is a little over 2" in diameter.

apple thumbnail ink and marker drawings

The last page includes - apple of my eye, appletini, dunking for apples, apple cheeks, apple skull, positive negative apple, bird eating apple, pig with apple in it's mouth, floating apple peel, apple shadow,apple slide, big apple, view through a binocular machine of an apple, melting apple, apple glasses, wind vane apple, stained glass apple, skeleton eating an apple, apple comet, Saturn apple, spaghetti and apple meatballs, worm eating an apple, fierce apple monster, raining apples, apple guitar, earth apple, miniapple Minneapolis Minnesota, biggest ball of twine in Minnesota twine ball museum apple, embroidered felt apple, dart board apple, falling apple stuck on picket fence, basket of apples, Rastafarian apple bong, iceberg apple sinking ship, flamingo hat apple, 60's pop art apple.

I feel a little like the guy in Bubba Gump talking about all the ways to eat shrimp.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Free Recycled Book Art Journal Giveaway - the drawing is over

9/10 The drawing is over. I printed the comments and had a neighbor draw a name. I was a little late posting this since we had coffee and cookies.

The lucky winner is Melissa Sabin.

artist journal made from vintage books
I got some new books in the mail today, 9/5/09 so I'd thought I'd share these gems.

artist journal made from vintage books

I am a huge fan of the books at and the owner has graciously offered to let me give away an art journal.

They are made from recycled books, have some of the original pages scattered throughout and contain about 75 sheets of acid free paper.

I had written about the books previously if you'd like to see the other ones I purchased.

If you'd like to have a chance to win your choice of one of these journals (not the ones I previously purchased) please visit, look over his selection, and post a comment on my blog. I'll choose a winner at random on September 10th at 9:00 pm central time. Good luck!

I Learned A New Word, Pareidolia

photograph of rocks

Pareidolia is the psychological perception of seeing images of animals or faces in objects. For example, seeing pictures in clouds or the Madonna in a grilled cheese sandwich.

I see an otter on it's back in this rock.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

88 Boxes

I'm working on a creativity challenge, draw 88 thumbnail sketches of apples. Each sketch is 1" square. Most were done with a Micron pen and markers. I have 48 more to go.

apple thumbnail drawings

top left to right

apple seed sprouting a tree, apple on tree, apple on curly tree

Kandinsky style apple, Georgia O'Keeffe inspired apple (when my daughter saw this one and I explained it to her she said "you are such a dork")...she's right, Picasso inspired apples, pointillist apple

Pop art apples, Hamburger apple, watercolor pencil drawing of spilled apples, box of apples

Fuji apples, Granny Smith apple, pink lady apple

apple hot air balloon, apples in stages of use

apple thumbnail drawings

apples and ants, apple graffiti being painted by ants

witch on paring knife flying in front of a yellow apple moon, vampire apple, Frankenstein apple and his bride

bat wearing apple bling clock, ant in apple jail

crosscut apple slices, apple with arrow

rotten apple, apple pie with a horrified apple running away, peeled apple

Monday, August 24, 2009

Dust Bunny Monsters

ink blob drawing of birdsEDM Every Day Matters Challenge #237 draw what's under your bed.

I didn't have anything under my bed except for some dark spots that looked a little spooky when they were inspected up close.

I was going to put some India ink on the paper and use a straw to blow out tendrils (I think I'm channeling grade school). I couldn't find a straw and we lost the aspirator in our last pottery class so the bodies are blobs.

I got a new aspirator and made proper monster bodies but they are still wet so I'll have to wait until tomorrow to finish them.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Dry Erase Board Wall Stickers

dry erase drawing of a whale as an island

How cool is this? You can buy a set of three, 13" diameter dry erase boards that go up like heavy duty post-its.

The boards at Office Max came in green circles or silver squares and the brand is called Wall Pops.

Good Luck Symbols EDM 200

drawing showing lucky symbols
EDM Every Day Matters Challenge #200 draw something lucky

I chose a horse shoe and added other good luck symbols, lucky seven, four leaf clover, wishbone, dice, acorn, star, Chinese coin and crossed fingers. The background is red, a traditional lucky color.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

We Went To Taylors Falls Today

art journal drawing page of taylors falls
We used to take our kids to the Falls to go on the paddle boat down the St Croix River. We haven't been their for years so it was fun to revisit the area.

The state park adjoins the river and the hiking trails include potholes (not the highway kind) and beautiful views of the bluffs.

The ink sketch was done with a Micron pen .
art journal drawing page of taylors falls

This is a quick marker sketch of the St Croix River from an overlook in the park.

EDM Every Day Matters Challenge #83 – Draw a nearby body of water – ocean, lake, pond, river

Friday, August 21, 2009

A Map Of My Left Palm

drawing of the lines on my palm as a vintage map

This is for EDM Every Day Matters Challenge #236 draw your left palm. I looked at my palm and envisioned an old map. I used a micron pen for the drawing and colored with watercolor pencils.

Drawing Idea List

Here is a drawing idea list. These ideas were slowly assembled in my
journals from things I saw, read, or random thoughts late at night after
too much spicy food.

1.    Draw a jar and fill it with something that would not normally be in jar.
2.    Draw an upside down light bulb and fill it with a bright idea.
3.    Draw the view from a hammock.
4.    What would your pet draw a picture of?
5.    Design a box for an unlikely product. i.e. goldfish taxidermy
6.    Draw a necktie, bow tie or scarf and design an interesting pattern on it.
7.    Draw a city on another planet. What is the view from your window?
8.    Draw a landscape and redraw it how you’d imagine it in other 3 seasons.
9.    Draw a logo and design a business card for a favorite TV Show or book.
10.   Draw a movie poster for an imaginary movie.
11.    Draw your view from an airplane window.
12.    Draw from the viewpoint of an insect or bird.
13.    Draw an amazing sandcastle.
14.    Draw what a spaceship cadet would see on the viewing screen.
15.    Draw a portrait but make the person a robot.
16. Draw what you see through a magnifying glass and include the magnifying glass. (my daughter did this in grade school with conte crayons and watercolors)
17.    Draw the view through binoculars and include the circles of the binoculars.
18.    Draw a mad scientist’s project.
19.    Draw a sculpture or whirly gig for a garden.
20.    Pick a repeating shape such as a square and see how many drawings you can do incorporating the shape.
21.    Combine a plant and an animal to create a new species
22.    Draw a modern device as though it existed in Victorian times—steam driven?
23.    Illustrate a favorite word or quote.
24.    Draw from the point of view of a fish. What would the Loch Nest Monster see?
25.    Draw a how to poster; ie. how to make trees grow upside down.
26.    Draw a map for a journey to the center of the Earth.
27.    Draw a CD cover for your favorite sing in the shower song.
28.    Draw a pop art poster
29.    Do a cubist portrait.
30.    Draw an object from 4 different points of view and have it all exist in one drawing
31.    Draw a bubble and what is reflected in it.
32.    Draw a magic mirror and what is reflected in it.
33.    Draw the contents Elvis’s trashcan
34.    Draw a holiday window display.
35.    Draw a picture of a word or feeling.
36.    Draw the view through a keyhole
37.    Draw the world upside down.
38.    Create a mythical creature, what does a Bandersnatch look like?
39.    Draw a bad idea
40.    Dreams vs. Nightmare
41.    What does Atlantis look like?
42.    Draw a force of nature
43.    Draw a cyborg.
44.    If you found a lost city what would the artifacts look like?
45.    What would your view be it you were an amoeba?
46.    Draw the Seven Deadly sins
47.    Draw the monster under your bed or in your closet.
48.    Draw a well known product but make it a silly variety—Campbell’s Elephant Toe Nail soup (Warhol style)
49.    Draw tea leaves in the bottom of a cup, what do you see there?
50.    Draw an x-ray of a suitcase or purse filled with objects that you couldn't take on a plane.
51.    Draw an elaborate mousetrap.
52.    You’ve been chosen to colonize Mars and you have 5 minutes to pack; what are you bringing?
53. Draw your neighborhood in a Dr Seuss style
54. Draw you surroundings if you lived underground, what does a mole's world look like?
55. What's living in the bottom of a spooky old well?
56. What was your favorite childhood story? Illustrate it.
57. Make a poster of something people do every day i.e. tying shoelaces but make it look interesting.
58. Illustrate a favorite recipe and mail it to friends and family.
59. Do a cave drawing as though you you are a prehistoric caveman.
60. Flip through a magazine and design a logo for something that doesn't have one.
61. Make a card to use for Christmas, Valentines Day, Birthday or a Thank You card.
62. Design a T-shirt
63. Draw caricatures of people in a magazine.
64. Illustrate a cliche
65. Turn your name into a piece of art
66. Draw a pirate's treasure map
67. Design signs for silly things, I saw Bigfoot crossing signs last summer.
68. Draw a cartoon strip of the travels of an escaped helium filled balloon
69. Stuck what to fill a page with, doodle a border around the page.
70. Write someone a real letter and illustrate it.
71. Draw the negative space around an object, make it the focus.
72. Draw something in extreme closeup
73. Draw a sound, i.e. car crash, running water, gargling.
74. Pick an object and see how many ways you can reinterpret it or incorporate it in a drawing.
75. Draw a silly or impossible world record
76. Design a postage stamp.
77. Design a tarot card
78. Draw impossible track and field events, i.e. pole vaulting over the moon.
79. Draw a spooky cemetery at night
80. You are king or queen, design a flag or crest for your new country.
81. Design alphabet cards
82. Where do socks go when they are lost?
83. Draw a smell. i.e. cheese
84. Design a candy bar wrapper, tasty or gross is fine.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Markers May Someday Be My Friend

drawing of blueberries and cereal

I've never been drawn to markers as a medium (no pun intended, OK maybe a little...) so I'm trying to make friends with them. I did this with a Micron pen and Crayola markers for my other blog 365 Drawings of Food.

I'm keeping a visual journal of what I eat for a year and this is my sketch of blueberries and bran flakes.

I'm not adult enough to keep a traditional food journal but I do love to doodle.

Monday, August 17, 2009

A Griffin Without A Bicycle is Like...

sign with griffin riding bike
This sign of a Griffin riding a bicycle was spotted in the Uptown area. I love Griffins and one on a bike cracks me up.

Why fly when you can ride?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Look What The Mailman Brought

cover of a recycled book turned into an art journalI love art journals and these are extra special. I bought them online from They are made from recycled books, have some of the original pages scattered throughout and contain about 75 sheets of acid free paper.

The paper is similar to what you would find in a typical artist sketch book, not heavyweight, but nice. The images are a little askew since I took the photos outside and barely avoided the oncoming rain.

Fairy Tales From France is dated 1920.
 recycled book turned into an art journal

This is the front inside cover art and the following is the back, inside cover.

 recycled book turned into an art journal

The book also contains illustrations of Cinderella, a king and jester from the story The Magic Whistle, a giant from The King's Messenger, and text.

cover of a recycled book turned into an art journal

 recycled book turned into an art journal

Art Stories Book 3 has color and black and white illustrations of children doing art, plus art and design. The end papers have lovely blue and yellow art related illustrations.

cover of a recycled book turned into an art journal

Nikos and the Sea God has a library card pocket inside and nice color illustrations.

cover of a recycled book turned into an art journal

 What's Next is a reading book from my first grade. I was very happy to see the color illustration of the girls dancing around the maypole inside. I've looked for this book on eBay but didn't know the name so it was amazing to finally find it this way.

cover of a recycled book turned into an art journal

Trade Winds was another old school book that I had.

cover of a recycled book turned into an art journalI bought enough books to qualify for a free one and The Face in the Mist had an appealing cover.

I can hardly wait to start using these delightful books.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Fish Carousel Sculpture by Guy Baldwin

Fish Carousel Sculpture by Guy Baldwin. Minneapolis, Minnesota

Fish Carousel is a whimsical sculpture on Lake Street in Minneapolis near Lake Calhoun. We took this photo from a moving car so I'm rather pleased with how it turned out.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Dandelion Fountain, Berger Fountain in Loring Park

Dandelion Fountain, Berger Fountain in Loring Park

Dandelion Fountain, Berger Fountain in Loring Park

Dandelion Fountain, Berger Fountain in Loring Park

Dandelion Fountain, Berger Fountain in Loring Park

This is my favorite fountain in the Twin Cities. Loring Park is connected to the outdoor Sculpture Garden and the Walker Museum by the Whitney Bridge.

When I lived downtown we used to bike to the park every Monday for movies in the park. They set up a large screen on a knoll and you sit in the grass to watch the movie.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Cool Graffiti, Wall Art, in Minneapolis

These creative examples of graffiti were mostly done legally done on some of our local buildings and are fun to explore.

painted graffiti in Minneapolis Minnesota

The blue bunny is nice but I really like the surly man stencil.

shark painted graffiti in Minneapolis Minnesota

The great white shark is over near the U of M and is amazing.

painted graffiti in Minneapolis Minnesota
volcano painted graffiti in Minneapolis Minnesota
painted graffiti in Minneapolis Minnesota

The abstract school bus, erupting volcano and interwoven arrows are on the Intermedia Arts building; the gallery is covered with graffiti.

Monday, August 10, 2009

I Feel Wealthy


I always wanted the giant box of Crayola crayons with the built in sharpener on the side and my mom said you don't need all those colors.

I mentioned it to my daughter, Nissa, and she bought me a box. I don't use them but it makes me happy to have them on my desk. I look inside, smell them and sense all the possibilities.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Another Alien Cow Abduction Foiled

stuffed cow sitting on stuffed aliens

What can I say, I think aliens vs cows are funny. I do need to stop doing things like this in the front yard. I wanted to toss a Frisbee (flying saucer) and the cow at the same time but it wasn't quite as believable as I had hoped.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Folk Art Painting From Jamaica

folk art painting of Jamaica natives

I bought this vibrant painting in Jamaica. The metallic blue is from a large tabletop easel that I have it displayed on.

I like the simple shapes, and the hub-bub of market day.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

More Food Drawings With Crayola Markers

marker drawing of food

Croissant with Sausage
Orange Mandarin chicken, Beijing beef with peppers, lo mein
A platter with orange slices, carrot sticks, grapefruit, cucumber slices.

marker drawing of food

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Recycled Painted Stool

decorative painted metal stoolI found this metal stool in a recycling bin. Some gesso and paint and now it's ready to hold a plant on the deck. The metal surface was rather rough so I wasn't inclined to spend a lot of time doing an elaborate painting.

My deck is small so it's nice to have plants be layered at different heights. BTW, house paint does not bond well to treated decking despite what the 18 year old at the paint store says.

Monday, August 3, 2009

My Daughter Cleaned Out Her Closet

Painting of a girl flying through the air and her dad catching her.Alethea cleaned out her closet and found this painting I did of her when she was little. She never liked the painting and put it in her closet about 15 years ago.

It was done back in the 1980s when antiquing surfaces was popular and I was inspired by a public TV program called Painting With Elke starring Elke Sommer. Elke demonstrated blocking in the painting, outlining the shapes with a Sharpie, and covering the dry painting with black watercolor. You take a damp cloth and remove the excess watercolor leaving black shaded areas.

I only had craft paint and discovered that craft acrylics don't release the watercolor overlay as effortlessly as Elke's tube acrylic paint. My kids liked to paint and I was concerned about the chemicals in artist's paints so I only had nontoxic paint in the house.

The painting has special meaning for me since Alethea loved to be tossed in the air, she adored flying kites, and this was her favorite outfit.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Watermelon with Ants Painted Wooden Chair Directions

watermelon painted chairI put this painted chair by the front door as extra seating and a spot of color. I found the chair at a garage sale for a $1 and painted it with gesso. I would have sanded it to remove the glossy finish if it still had one. Gesso is an excellent surface to paint on and seals the item at the same time.

I blocked in the green and white areas with acrylic paint. There is a soft line along the hard melon edge that was done by side loading a brush. To side load a flat brush you take a brush that was loaded with water, lightly squeeze the bristles to remove the excess and dunk one corner in the paint. When you stroke on the paint the water that remains in the brush allows the paint to float out gradually. This takes a little practice to get the technique down. If you make a mistake you can wipe it off with a damp paper towel.

watermelon painted chairThe light green areas were sponge painted with a small piece of sea sponge. I sponge painted the melon flesh with 3 colors on a palette and and had bits of the all of the colors on the sponge at the same time. The colors mix slightly and it gives the paint a more translucent appearance.

The ants are painted with simple black shapes and some of the ants are carrying bits of melon. The ants were made by dunking the handles of stencil brushes in black paint and dabbing on dots. The reason the ants were made with dots is it's easier and the dots keep the sizes relatively uniform. I elongated the shape of the ant's tail with a brush and brushed on the antenna and legs.

The watermelon seeds are black and with thinned brown paint used to make subtle lines. If you look closely at a watermelon seed they are not solid black.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Giant Birch Tree Colored Pencils

birch trees carved to resemble giant colored pencilsOver sized things are funny and when my DH hacked off some dead paper birch tree limbs we repurposed them as pencils. You chainsaw off the ends to resemble pencil points and paint on mock colored pencil lead.

The red pencil is about 7 feet long and is my favorite.