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April 10, 2009

EDM Challenge #217 (Umbrella) and Signs/Hopes of Spring


Our weather is currently bizarre, with April showers, several snow showers, and teaser days for Spring.  We just returned from a morning of play in Central Park with 4 of our grandchildren and while they have quiet time, I thought I would try to upload a few journal pages from one week ago. 


While two of my grandchildren painted and colored at our dining room table last Friday, I played with my grand daughter's Sargeant watercolor pencils - obvioulsy hoping for lots of tulips before long.  The magnolia blossoms were partially open this morning and I see tulip buds in the huge beds of tulips in my neighborhood.


Last Sunday there were beds of daffodils blooming in Central Park - and they still looked very fresh this morning.  My 2 year old grandson doesn't understand why I won't let him pick all of the pretty flowers he sees!

April 3, 2009

EDM Challenge #216: My Inner Critic


This is ME with my Internal Critic pictured in front of my "right brain."  I  tried to assign a particular human form to my internal critic, but I know that it is just a piece of me that I need to deal with. I feel as if I’m fooling myself when I try to create a person to blame. 

My critic likes perfection and can make me unhappy every time I make mistakes. This puts emphasis on product, not process, and I have to remind myself over and over that "play" is an important component of creativity, and perfection should NOT be my goal. Mistakes are a wonderful opportunity for growth to occur.

I also deal regularly with "fear of failure" and it is sometimes strong enough to keep me from trying something new. I think that working small, in a sketchbook, and everyday helps me overcome some of the doubt. But I have to really work hard to step out of my comfort zone and create tricks to get past the Internal Critic in my brain.

What does my Internal Critic look like? Half of my brain? A really small part of my brain? If so, where? Maybe I should have sketched a really small person and put her on my head - as if she were in my brain. When I try to picture her, I see a "bag lady" if I see anything - someone with an incredible number of opinions but no creativity, passions, skills or products of her own - just a mouth, thick frame glasses, and a bag of scripts.  The major scripts that she repeats over and over are the ones listed above.

I really haven’t made much progress changing my perception of my creative abilities. I’ve read enough about creativity, the origin of creative ideas, and how to stimulate creativity - so I am developing skills to deal with my critic. And every once and a great while I do something that even I feel is original.


March 20, 2009

EDM Challenge 215: Draw a Thumb

I need hand drawing practice so much, that I did two drawings of hands with thumbs.   But I found myself smiling much of the time, remembering that my 4 year old grand daughter Sydney called them "flums" not very long ago.  We all took every opportunity we could to have her say it, especially her 5 year old brother Henry who thought it was adorable because she was so earnest.





March 15, 2009

EDM Challenges 212-214

I still love doing the EDM Challenges 3+ years after joining.  They always take me out of my comfort zone in some way, and at least give me a fun project for one of my daily sketches each week.  We were away during challenge #212, which somehow always means that I fall further behind.  But now I can post the last three weeks and begin anew.


 My Washington DC grand daughter and her Mommy


My very uninteresting microwave.  Our kids think we were the last family in town to buy one when they were growing up and this was recently passed on to us by one of them when our last one died.


I started quilting when we lived in San Antonio, TX almost 30 years ago.  There was a resurgence of interest in quilting right after the US bicentential, and I was working full time, had 3 small children, and loved to make things.  I always worked with fabric, so it was the perfect "new passion" for me - allowing me to carry around small pieces of a big project and make otherwise boring soccer practices, swim meets, or car pool waiting more enjoyable.  They loved the quilts and pillows that I made for them and now I'm making them for their children.  These are the tools in my basket as I hand quilt (belatedly) a wedding quilt for one of my sons.

February 16, 2009

EDM Challenge # 211: In the Style of Seurat

I fell in love with Seurat drawings during the MoMA special exhibit in 2007 and learned that there was a local source for the Michallet paper that he used.

Arches MBM Ingres (Michallet):  Originally designed by the mill for the artist Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, this type of paper set the standard for charcoal and pastel drawing and has been duplicated by many other mills around the world.  The letters MBM refer to the owners Morel, Bercious, and Masure who introduced the first mouldmade machines in 1883 (Info from NY Central Art Supply website).

Last year I bought a sheet at New York Central Art Supply and copied 3 Seurat drawings to try to learn the technique.  Then I used a photo of my son-in-law and two grandchildren to draw "in the style of Seurat" using a Derwent Ivory Black drawing pencil to try to develop the method for myself.  Today I used a photo of my 2 year old grandson with his elephant that we took Saturday to do Challenge #211.