Owl-Light

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Watercolor and gouache on illustration board. 14.5″ x 18.5″
Click for larger image.

Owl-light is an archaic term for dusk.  If you linger in the woods at dusk, you never know what may step out of the shadows.

 (Lately I’ve been fascinated by owls.  They have such curious faces.)

The Tablet

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My Wacom tablet arrived this week.  I was so excited to unpack it.  It’s the first tablet I’ve ever owned.

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It came in a box inside a box inside a sleeve. As my mother said, you can tell something is special when it comes in complicated packaging.

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Inside the box in the box in the sleeve was a card that said “Welcome.” I feel special: officially welcomed to the world of digital art.

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Now all I have to do is set it up and learn how to use it.

The Winter Soldier

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Pencil and white pastel on toned paper.

The Winter Soldier, from the end of the film. I really enjoyed drawing this, though open mouths and teeth are always a bit of a challenge.

“I’m with you ’til the end of the line.”

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Odette’s Secrets is the story of a Jewish child in occupied France during WWII. The book is based on the real Odette Meyers’ autobiography, Doors to Madame Marie.

Continue Reading »

Skinny Steve Rogers

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Pencil and white pastel on toned paper.

Skinny Steve Rogers, when he was five feet tall and ninety-five pounds of stubborn courage.

I almost wish the Captain America movies had kept skinny Steve, and told a story about a man who used his art to fight Nazis– like Dr. Seuss. He didn’t need the muscles to be a hero. But I suppose it’s easier to make an action movie about Captain America punching Nazis than Captain America building up the home front’s morale with the power of his pencil.

His medical history, according to Marvel’s database:

Asthma, scarlet fever, rheumatic fever, sinusitis, heart palpitation, family history of diabetes, contact with tuberculosis patient, high blood pressure, and easy fatigability.

Bucky Barnes should get more credit for keeping this kid alive long enough for him to be pumped full of muscle serum.

I’m hardly the best in the world when it comes to time management skills.  I’m easily distracted, especially on the internet, when I have a thousand worlds at my fingertips.

These are a few tools I use to make sure that I Get Stuff Done.  I am one of those people who enjoys inflicting to-do lists and schedules on myself.   You may not like them.  But if you do, I hope a few of these ideas may inspire you.

1) My planner.

Earlier this year I shared a few New Year’s resolutions, and a photo of my Moleskine planner.   This is my second year using a Moleskine daily planner.  I love these fat little books.  They’re about the size of my hand, so they fit easily in a purse.  They come in bright colors, they have a nice ribbon bookmark sewn in, and an elastic band to secure the cover.  They also have a pocket folder at the back.

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Fancy unfocused “artistic” photo of my planner.

2) Microsoft Excel.

This habit I picked up from my job.  Every week our supervisor gives us a schedule made on Microsoft Excel, and it was so useful that I decided to make one for myself.  Here’s a screenshot of this week’s schedule (click to zoom in):

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It’s very simple, no fancy colors. Mostly I use this to lay out my week and see when I need to schedule important tasks.

3) Computer alarm.

I installed Free Alarm Clock to my computer a few days ago in an attempt to make myself shut down at a reasonable hour.  I really want to wake up earlier, but to do that I have to get to bed earlier, and that means turning off the internet rather than staying up until 1am exploring the sparkly depths of Pinterest.

The program is very simple: you can set an alarm to go off at any time, and there are several different alarm sounds to choose from, or you can upload your own.  (I have a Chinese flute with a chirping bird.)  You can also name the alarm anything you want, so I’ve set mine to be little reminders of how pleasant sleep can be:

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Why yes, that is Tom Hiddleston as King Henry V in the background. Henry V believes in the power of getting up early to defeat your enemies at the Battle of Agincourt.

So, how do you manage your time? Let me know in the comments!

Getting Started

It’s been a while since I’ve done a post on writing.  I haven’t stopped writing, in fact, I’ve been writing more regularly this past year than any year before in my life.  But writing doesn’t yield an image to post on the blog, or anything that I can share at the moment.

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(Meanwhile, the roses in the backyard are blooming.)

The most difficult part about writing is actually sitting down and writing– at least it is for me.  Once I’ve gotten past the hump of starting, writing is usually easy.  The words tumble out, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. Continue Reading »

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