Day One Hundred Fourteen

Oh boy!! I spent a long day searching for frames and such for upcoming shows, and was out way, way past dinner time in search of various shiny objects that might perfectly compliment illustrations encased in shadow boxes. Oh, the minutia!! When did being an artist become so difficult?! Oh, well. I think things are coming along nicely.

Well, it’s time for some making of art... So, I hauled my tired butt to my room in search of my dictionary. I flipped through, and stopped languidly at the following word:

shad-ow n. An area from which light is blocked; a shaded area. v. To cast or throw a shadow on.

Because there are so many options when it comes to “shadow”, I decided to simply begin to draw. I liked the very flowy, windy look that this character took on. I decided to incorporate today’s rainy, cold, blustery atmosphere into this drawing with the use of pastels. The blending of the pastels proved to be pretty difficult-I think my hands were frozen! 

I enjoy the way this turned out; although it is not the cleanest, most in-perspective illustration I’ve done, I like it.

Thanks so much for reading; I hope you enjoyed today’s post.


Day One Hundred Thirteen

I cheated.

Today, I broke the rules.

Scratch that, I bent them.

Now, before you click away in disgust at this blogger’s shedding of artistic integrity, would you like to know what happened?

Since this is really a one-way conversation, and I’d like the chance to explain myself, I’ll go ahead and tell you anyway even if you really don’t care to know.

So, it goes like this...

I collect my ripped and pathetic dictionary from its resting place on the floor under the couch (what a poor abused little book) and stop on the first page I come to. My eyes rest on not one, but two words! Both incredible, both great sources of inspiration, both incredibly fitting! This is where I bend the rules a little...I read the definitions, I ponder, I brood...and I PICK one of them. Although the words are intended to be chosen randomly (so as to keep this artist on her toes) I believe making the choice between “flounder” and “flounce” was a necessary and meaningful one.

flounce n. A gathered piece of material attached to the upper edge of another surface, as on a curtain. v. To move with exaggerated tosses of the body.

I illustrated a strong, determined character to incorporate the choice between “flounder” and “flounce”. Despite a certain amount of floundering, I wanted today’s character to choose to flounce. To choose the light, the airy, the bubbly, over the frustration, fear, and discontent.

As usual, the hemline came up a bit short (I tend to draw the mile long legs last and, as such, have no way in which to cover them up to a decent height.) but I like the way this turned out. I incorporated my new favorite shade of orange, adding bits of pink into it to redden it up and make it blend more successfully with the bright raspberry color of the rest of the dress.

I hope you enjoyed today’s post, and can someday forgive me for rearranging a few rules.
As always, thank you for reading.



Day One Hundred Twelve

Hmm. Waiting, waiting.

 I’d like to say happy birthday to my one and only older brother-so grateful you are with us. After a bit of celebratin’ around some Chinese takeout and a disturbing movie, it was time to retire, full and sleepy (thanks MSG) to my room and see if I could churn out anything about my art today that made sense.

I really enjoyed today’s word, especially since we have a running joke in the family about miniature and, for some reason, hysterical objects originating with the “Penny Pizza”. For those of you not “in” on the joke, it is incredibly hard to explain just why this is so funny. I think the whimsical notion of baking pizzas the size of pennies in a penny pizza oven just gets us going. Once you start thinking about it, so many bits of everyday life fit into the penny pizza story. After, I’m sure, confusing most of you poor folks, I will continue on with our word...

thim-ble n. A small cap-like protection for the finger, worn while sewing.

I remembered, as a young girl, receiving sewing kits for birthdays and at Christmas. Although they always included a thimble, I was never able to use them (except for spare Monopoly playing pieces) as they were always too large for my fingers. However, I’d always thought the texture and shininess of the thimble was interesting.
For today’s piece, I wanted to imagine a very different (and impossible) use for the thimble to go along with the whimsical memories it brought to mind. I decided to greatly alter the relative size of the thimble to other everyday objects, and use it as a dinner table.

I thought the sweetness of the flowers and the white tablecloth contrasted nicely with the bumpy and tough texture of the thimble “table”. I like presence of the high backed chairs and their distance from the table-as if a nice dinner had been interrupted before it began. The text below the illustration means “a little table” in French.
I sincerely hope you enjoyed this post; thanks for tuning in!



Day One Hundred Eleven

Missing: Monday, March 28, 2011 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.  
If found, please return to Ruby Love.  

Today’s word took a bit of research. I have been vaguely interested in perfume and the science behind it for a while. I thought today’s word provided the perfect chance to explore that interest and do a bit of research to get just the vintage look I was going for. I did a bit of research on the word itself, and decided to incorporate different aspects of perfumery in addition to illustrating part of the process of today’s word.

Right, today’s word...

en-fleu-rage n. The process to extract perfumes for flowers.

Looking up the classic methods of perfume making, I learned that flower petals were spread atop a sheet of glass coated with fat. (eew) As the fat pulled the essence of the flowers out of the petals, they would be replaced with fresh ones. As I was hurried, and only trying to get the basics of the structure of these frames, this is as far into the process as I got. But, what little I did learn was interesting. I decided to incorporate a perfume bottle, a curly-haired maiden, and several French words in addition to the frames.

I began in pencil,

Then inked and colored the illustration in pastel.

I like the way the flower petals are distributed throughout the picture, and I think the new addition of the color orange made a difference in the texture.
I hope you enjoyed today’s post; thank you for reading!



Day One Hundred Ten

sa-vor n. The taste or smell or something. v. To have a particular smell; to truly enjoy. 


Day One Hundred Nine

I spent a long day inside; curled up and hidden away from the sudden and unwelcome return to winter. Not much to report on as far as the day is concerned. Ah, well. I’ll just get down to work. After packing away some incredible, delectable, cream-and-cherry-filled G√Ęteau Basque courtesy of my pastry chef of a mother:

it was time to get to posting...
Today’s piece signaled the return of the drawing pen, and the temporary abandonment of my beloved pastels. Without really thinking, I grabbed a sheet of paper and began to doodle. Oh, wait...the word! I’m getting ahead of myself...

tack n. A small, short nail with a flat head; a sewing stitch used to hold something temporarily; the changing of a sailboat from one direction to another. v. To change the direction in which a sailboat is going.  

I had forgotten about the other use of “tack” as a verb (Maybe I’d blanked out the memories of dashing across our sailboat, nearly missing knocking myself out cold on the boom, lunging for the rope to pull hard against the winch while bracing my feet against the side of the boat and finally tying off after letting loose a stream of cursing aimed at the captain for letting the boat tip more than 5°.) and decided to focus more on its use as a noun. I thought it would be funny to illustrate a celebration of sorts centering on a tack. I, myself, have found that I have an ongoing love/hate relationship with tacks. As soon as I am hanging up a bit of art, they are the greatest invention mankind has yet to create. The story changes quickly, however, when a floor-residing stray decides to embed itself in my heel. Despite their occasional scream-inducing effects, I got a kick out of creating today’s piece.

I hope you enjoyed this post, and your night. Thanks for reading!



Day One Hundred Eight

I'd like to start of by mourning my poor dictionary, who, in his old age, has finally become two dictionaries. I believe the introduction of tape will be required if we are to continue in our partnership. 

As I have been bringing my camera with me everywhere I go for a week-long project, I had plenty of material to share with you about my evening. As some of you art folk might know, today was the Final Friday art walk on Mass. There wasn’t much going on, though, as it was incredibly windy and cold and something to do with testosterone and sports was keeping the whole town around any large screen they could find. But, we stopped in to see our friends at The Phoenix Gallery

And paid a visit to the Hobbs Taylor Lofts to check out some art. I practiced shooting from the hip so as not to alarm the people gathered around the art. (I always feel as if I will get pulled aside and accused of stealing ideas.) Anyway, I ended up with an interesting shot taken indirectly into a couple of halogen lights. Although it doesn’t actually display any art, I thought it embodied the sort of low, jazzy, vibe that pushed its way through the crowd.

After seeing some art, I returned home to snarf down some long-awaited food and throw together some art. I was inspired today to attempt a piece *gasp* without the aid of pen or pencil. Pastel and the abstract stayed heavily in my mind this evening as I tossed the use of fine lines to the wind and stared, in a somewhat terrified manner, at my box of pastels.
Taking a giant, dizziness-inducing breath, I got down to work.

em-press n. a woman who rules as an emperor’s wife or widow.

My first attempt ended in disaster as my father yelled in exclamation at an item on Antiques Road Show.

Having gotten an idea of the piece I wanted to create, I ran, cursing, for another piece of paper before “the magic left my hands”. The piece came together nicely, though it did not exclaim “empress”, but seemed to whisper “geisha”. I added a background of cherry blossoms-I have always found them to be one of the most beautiful backgrounds.

I started by drawing the piece lightly, 

and then blended the pastels to soften the look. 

I really enjoy the way this piece came out. I wish I could have let go more and done something more abstract, but, as they say, “baby steps”.

In other news, my website is now live, and will serve as an easier and more interesting way to not only read The Ink Drop, but to get to know this artist's work outside of the blog a little better. If you would like to check it out:


As always, thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed today’s post.



Day One Hundred Seven

I’d like to begin this post with a shout-out to my incredible father who turned 85 today. Happy birthday!! I returned home from an outrageous sushi dinner, and got right down to work before I passed out.

Today’s word was really interesting; I began to draw without knowing quite where I wanted to end up, and the sketch seemed to pour from the pen without much guidance or consciousness on my part.

smash v. To break into small pieces; to move forward violently, as to shatter; to ruin.

Although the final sketch is nothing near this, the word “smash” reminded me of the scene in The Runaways where Cherie Currie (Dakota Fanning) smashes a pill underneath her shoe and snorts it from the stage before the band begins playing. This got me thinking about smashing things under-foot.

This sketch ended up with a woman smashing a heart with her foot. I love the strong, confident expression on her face. As it finished, I looked down and was surprised at how it had turned out-I really enjoy it.

Thank you for reading!



Day One Hundred Six

Today began with a panicky clawing at consciousness-the kind of awakening that begins with a gasp, continues with a desperate flailing about, and ends with a shin being slammed full-force into a bedside table. The morning took a turn for the better, though, after a cup of black coffee and a trip to the auntie’s. I completed a top-secret project, and returned home to labor away on my laptop for the remainder of the day.

As a disclaimer, I will state that someone *cough* my father *cough* stole my only working mechanical pencil, and I was forced to draw today’s piece without the ability to erase. The result? An interesting, out-of-proportion/perspective pen and ink cartoon.

ra-di-o n. The technique of communicating by radio waves; the business of broadcasting programmed material to the public via radio waves.  

As I sat staring at the TV, I remembered (okay, not technically remembered but remembered hearing about) a time when radio shows were as common a source of entertainment as television is now. I thought about the largely lost relationship between families and their radios. Now, when every detail is presented in full; thrown harshly in the faces of audiences, I think it is sad that almost nothing is left to the imagination. It is as if people participate less in their entertainment and, therefore, are less able to play-to be creative. For example, a book, even a radio show, forces the audience to make decisions (consciously or not) about how to interpret the story. After a while, a reader/listener will begin to create their own personal version of the story-to build on the framework provided by the author in order to supply the senses left alone by the entertainment. With TV, this does not seem to be allowed or encouraged. Oh well, I’ll stop lamenting and start drawing.

I drew a quick sketch of a young girl lying in front of a radio. Up on her elbows, she’s listening intently. I like this sketch because the character is in an unusual pose for me as an artist, and I really identify with the posture.

Thanks so much for reading; I hope you have a great night!



Day One Hundred Five

Since I am heading off to a concert this evening, I figured I’d make this an early post as opposed to a desperate, lame attempt at a post around 11:58 when I return home.

Today’s word really made me think. Although I was lucky enough to grow up in a home (and a decade) where the color of one’s skin and the money in one’s pockets was as much a basis for judging as the color of their socks, today’s word has maintained a large presence throughout my life.

e-qual adj. Of the same measurement, quantity, or value as another; having the same privileges or rights.

Thinking back to public school, I remembered the approach to race that most young people seemed to have. Throughout the school (to the great shock and mixed response of the teachers) young men and women wore their races, and, often, racial slurs as badges of pride. If you were black, you yelled it. If you were Native American, you yelled it. If you were Indian, you yelled it. As a little white girl, I didn’t have much to be yelling about, but I was always inspired by the attitude of many of my peers. I thought a lot about the options I had for “equal”. Drawing on my public school experience and my drawing style, I decided to take a girly angle.

I drew three different girls. All of them equally young, equally beautiful, and equally interesting. Instead of doing their makeup, or coloring their faces, I left them as simple line sketches. I wanted to emphasize the similarity, and also the differences between these three girls. Using my makeup kit (I wanted to be authentic) I drew lines of color, creating a color scheme. I don’t really know much about makeup, but I really like the way this came out.

Thanks so much for reading; I hope you enjoyed today’s post!



Day One Hundred Four

There was a strange feeling in the air today. The wind had picked up, yet the air remained thick and heavy. I’m not sure exactly what it was about today that was so strange; it was simply unnerving. After a brisk walk down by the river:


I settled in on the couch to chow down on an ice cream sandwich and bring you today’s post. Today’s word made me laugh. Not because it’s a particularly funny word, but because it reminded me of a song my father used to play. (By “play”, I mean on his phone and by “used to”, I mean often.) This song always made me laugh; the lovely tune makes the lyrics almost unbelievable.

pig-eon n. A bird with short legs, a sturdy body, and a small head.

Kind of mean to the pigeons, there, right? Ah, well. So, I decided to illustrate this old song. I incorporated the windiness of today into the illustration; it really stuck with me (and, unfortunately, my hair).

I like the tiny size of this piece, and the fact that a few pigeons got away. I would also just like to state that I would never really poison a pigeon.

I hope you had a lovely Monday (hah! Guess who’s on spring break??) and thank you for reading.



Day One Hundred Three

First off, I’d like to explain the recent drastic changes to the look of this blog. I spent most of the day yesterday (as I said in yesterday’s post) working on an online portfolio for my work. Published within that portfolio will be my new, shiny, clean Ink Drop blog! As soon as I have my domain name secured, I will be posting a link to my website to enable all of you readers to have one art-filled location to explore.

Onward! Following a long, long day kayaking on the Kansas River, we collapsed at home.

Yay! Crazy face. 

Rolling off the couch full of enchiladas, I decided I’d better get to work on today’s piece. Having had younger brothers, (Well, I guess I still have them. But, ya know.) I really identified with today’s word.

tug v. To strain and pull vigorously; n. A hard pull; a strong force.

It made me remember having long hair and, also, having it yanked, pulled, and tugged by the younger kids. Gah! I remember how, after a while, I began to get used to it and stopped reacting. Around this time, I think, was when they stopped being amused by it. (There’s nothing fun about getting zero reaction when you’re trying to bother someone.) So, for today’s piece, I decided to illustrate this (somewhat fond?) memory.

I liked that the person doing the “tugging” was much, much smaller than the girl. I thought that her expression was adorable; she’s kind of in pain, but also confused by the rather strange little character tugging on her hair.

Thank you so much for reading; I’m looking forward to getting to show off my new portfolio soon! Have a great night.



Day One Hundred Two

I awoke this morning with a sense of renewal; a motivation to quit wasting time and get down to work. I’m not one that subscribes to the new-age, eh...what-have-you of spiritual messages and such, but when motivation to change, to work, or to grow comes along, I try not to ignore it. Today happened to be one of those rare (almost nonexistent) Saturdays that, leaping out of bed at 8:30 (okay, shuffling out of bed at 9:30) I was ready to go! Not that the cup, or two, or three of coffee hurt my situation, but I really do believe today was a little different in terms of morale? motivation? m...mojo? Well, whichever “m” word it is, it worked.

It took most of the afternoon, but a plan to work at a coffee shop downtown finally came to fruition at a tiny table in a moderately crowded Z’s. Seems like, with the rain and a slight chill, everyone in town had the same Saturday plan. After returning home, I managed to set up (most of the way) my online portfolio. At last! A link will be posted soon; it hasn’t been “published” to the internets yet.

Partially because I was feeling motivated, and mostly because I needed a distraction from 127 hours (Could you? I could. Could I? Could you? *shudder*) I began today’s project much earlier than usual. It started, as it has literally one hundred one times before, with a word...

sky-light n. The light of the sky.

I decided to go with the other definition (well, I guess it is sort of the same definition) of skylight; you know, the one that goes in the roof of a house. I’ve always, always wanted one of those no matter how much they can supposedly leak around the edges. (That’s what buckets/jars/mugs/pans are for, right?) So, with that in mind, I decided to illustrate a small girl sitting under a skylight.

I began with a very simple pen-and-ink drawing of a girl sitting on a bed.

Then, I laid down layer upon layer of pastel. I started with shades of blue (darkness always seems to me to have a blue tinge to it) and then covered the blue with gray and black. I added a smidgen of yellow pastel to the lightest area of the illustration to add a nice soft glow. I then “framed” the illustration with a hand-cut piece of mat board to add some dimension and emphasize the off-centeredness (Woah, is that a word?) of the piece.

I really like the way the shading came out in this illustration; it was a pleasure to create. I’m not entirely sure what direction this piece shows for this blog or for my art in general (or if there is one, or if I should even care) but it’s sure nice to have even the slightest bit of change. I hope you, as a reader, enjoy this post even half as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Thanks for reading.