Day Two Hundred Sixty Seven

It was sooper hot today.
Did anyone else notice that?
Not okay, Kansas, not okay.

Mid-afternoon found me curled up in the back stacks of the library
on an air conditioning vent.
I returned home, coughing like an elderly man with pneumonia (okay...not really), made cookies (yes, really), and then settled down to work on some art.

shade tree n. A type of tree which is grown for the purpose of providing shade.

After coming across someone today, I couldn’t have asked for a more relevant word. Well, I could’ve...but I wouldn’t have gotten one.

This word made me think of long afternoons in the park, lounging there with you...just content to exist. It made me think of that moment when you look up at the sky, and the branches of each tree are so long and full that they almost form one layer.
I remembered opening my eyes; kind of sleepy from the sun
and looking up into that layer of thick green leaves made bright and transparent by the warm light.
It was cool there in the shade and I knew, as I lay under the trees, that I should treasure it much more than I had.
That’s the way it goes, though, and there’s nothing to do but keep going forward.



Day Two Hundred Sixty Six

Spent the better part of the afternoon spray painting on the porch like a madwoman. The porch was littered with stencils, papers, cans of paint and wadded up tape by the time I’d finished with it. I managed to get a few good posters finished, though, and stapled them up as advertising for our little zine.
On to today’s post...

parch v. To become very dry from intense heat; to become dry from thirst or the lack of water.

I rather liked this word; it tied in nicely with today. I’d really thought it’d be quite a bit cooler than it turned out to be (looks like we won’t be getting a break—the next coupla days should be in the 100s) and, as I ran around maniacally downtown, I became rather parched.
My brain is a bit fried after today, and, as I sat trying to think of some way to apply this word to an illustration, I drifted off...deep into my own world. After being pulled back by a rather amused, slightly nervous nudge from my father (I guess I make crazy eyes when I space out) I began to draw this.

I really am not sure what it has to do with being “parched” other than having an oppressive sun.
Who knows.
In case you’re curious, go ahead and check out the zine at MojoHandZine.Blogspot.com...


Day Two Hundred Sixty Five

Well, I’m officially sick...
Which, if you don’t know me, makes me the whiniest person you will ever, ever, ever come across.
Oh well. I’ve got a cup of tea and am shutting up for the moment.

I really liked today’s word, and not solely for the fact that it provided an easy way out, artistically speaking.

sage n. A person recognized for judgment and wisdom.  

Well, I disregarded the provided definition, and went, instead, with the one below it (sage brush). After all, sage is sage.
The form of sage I’m most often around is that of sticks of heavily-scented incense.

I tend to burn sage when I need to clear my head, or when as I listen to a storm move in. It reminds me of home, and of the cold.



Day Two Hundred Sixty Four

Wow!! Well, the zine was sent to the printer (meaning, photocopied and folded by hand) this evening, and 15 fresh, beautiful, crisp, clean, and other adjectives...zines lay here on my desk, ready to make their way out.
At last.

So! On to today’s word...

This word fit perfectly with, well, everything.

Middle America n. The mid-western states of the U.S.; the class of American citizens with conservative values and attitudes; considered to have average income and education.

This cracked me up.
It went well, though, with a thought I had earlier.

I had been thinking about the Midwest, and the attitudes people often have towards it (yes, yes, including myself). After getting to know the art community a little better here in Lawrence, I have to say that my view of the Midwest has changed somewhat. There are, indeed, still plenty of closed-minded, conservative, beef-eating, corn-growing Midwesterners populating our little community, but there are also quite a few pockets of incredible individuals.
It’s different, though, than something you’d see from either coast. It’s a gritty, creative attitude borne not from the polluted streets of large cities, or the crisp sunlight of sandy beaches. It’s the tough, feet-planted-firmly-on-the-earth attitude one adopts after surviving the oppressively humid, dusty summers and the bone-deep, brutal winters of this area. The attitude one gets after realizing that, because there is nothing here, we must have the knowledge and the perseverance to bring what we want to see and experience into this world with our own two hands.

The Midwest is not where I will stay, but I’m glad I grew up enough here to get a good foundation-to get used to making happen what you want to happen without relying on those around you to do it for you.
It’s a good place to get your head on straight,
Before you venture out into the world of the pompous, the rich-the coastal creative types.


Day Two Hundred Sixty Three

Sorry, sorry.
I meant to post yesterday, but ended up without a computer so here we are...

luck n. Good fortune; the force or power which controls odds and which brings good or bad fortune or success; fate.

I decided to illustrate a mojo bag/hand.



Day Two Hundred Sixty Two

I very nearly forgot about the blog today...I got home with the nagging feeling that something was missing...and then it hit me an, with a yelp, I grabbed the dictionary and began.

lop-sid-ed adj. Larger or heavier on one side than on the other; tilting to one side.

I really liked the idea of a petite little character with a strange little quirk.

Kinda dig this.
Especially because the entire illustration is about an inch and a half tall.



Day Two Hundred Sixty One

I’ve been slaving...SLAVING over an idea for a good part of the day and haven’t gotten anywhere. It’s not that I’m stuck-I know exactly what I want to see come out of it...it’s the actually making the connection between my brain and the pen that is frustrating me.

That’s it.
I’ve lost it.
I can’t draw anymore.

But first, a drawing...

in-su-late v. To isolate; to wrap or surround with nonconducting material in order to prevent the passage of heat, electricity or sound into or out of; to protect with wrapping or insulation.

Reminded me of bundling up in winter to go out shooting.
That period in winter where it’s just
biting, bone-deep, bitter and windy cold,
and you may put on three
or four layers of coats and sweaters,
but the second you set foot outside
it cuts all the way through you.
I love that.

This, however, eh...

Back to work.


Day Two Hundred Sixty

I’m not sure if it was the two shots of espresso and cup of coffee, but today seemed to be an incredibly productive day. I had all but two classes finished by about 12:45...
Thank you, caffeine.

Where was I?

pur-fle v. To decorate something with the use of a flowered border.

I loved this word.
It appealed to my old-lady sense of style, I think.
I had several false starts with it, though, and it proved to be one of the more difficult words I’ve had in a while.
Maybe I was over thinking it.

I like this one-she looks very odd.
Sort of like a lampshade.
There is a floral border, though, and that’s what counts in life, isn’t it?



Day Two Hundred Fifty Nine

Bleh. Over 100 degrees?!
I think we deserve a taste of fall already.
I’ve decided not to leave the house tomorrow. Maybe I won’t even get dressed.
No, you know what? Definitely not getting dressed.
Ah, the joys of learning from home.  

So, today’s word did something very strange.
The second (I’m not kidding...the second) I saw the word a very clear image came to me. I knew exactly what I wanted to put on paper.

in-built adj. To be built into something.

As I scanned the page (yeah, yeah, I scan a bit...bite me) anyway, as I scanned the page, I just glanced at this word and ended up with an immediate and complete image before I even realized I had read the word.
Very strange.

I kinda liked the way this turned out.
It’s pretty strange, though-that idea.
I’m not sure what tomorrow will hold, but I’m sure I’ll be here after the sun goes down. Whining away.



Day Two Hundred Fifty Eight

Oh, wow. Yeah, uh...yesterday may have been a bit of an overreaction on the school front.
Today breezed by; even the bit of trig I managed to get done only made me slightly nauseous. But, really, I think this year’s going to be a good one.

Alright...time to post this thing.

ob-so-lete adj. No longer in use; out-of-date. Biol. Something that is imperfectly developed.

After spending the better part of my afternoon searching high and low for a supplier of double-run 8mm film for an old Bolex-Paillard, I was thrilled to get today’s word and, with it, a chance to illustrate what I had been working on.

I dunno, I kind of like it...as far as simple drawings go.

I finally found a sort of shady source (jesus, it’s easier to get...nevermind) of film-some guy in California who only takes checks mailed to his P.O box...
I’m uh...yeah...I’m not sure if I’ll be mailing him anything.



Day Two Hundred Fifty Seven

Today, today.
What was today?
I think I waited so long for today to begin that, by the time it started to go somewhere, it was most of the way over.
I guess, it was my final day of summer...classes begin tomorrow-I’m sure the day will consist of me battling my urge to toss aside my schoolbooks and zone out on the floor next to my vinyl collection. I've started to draw a tiny bit lately...things are coming back to me slowly. It's just a trickle right now, but it's here.

Ah, well...it had to come sometime.

So, today’s word went just...oh-so-perfectly with my guess as to what tomorrow will hold.

per-plex v. To confuse or be confused; to make complicated.

I’m pretty sure getting into trig will be more than perplexing tomorrow morning. I thought about my day, stuck at a desk behind a stack of books...occasionally screaming at my computer screen as I try to work my way through a bit of schooling.

Ah, wonderful.
I...can’t hold onto one thought long enough to type it out, really, so I’ll take this as a sign that I should stop writing a blog post that will be published publicly.


Day Two Hundred Fifty Six

It’s been a lazy Saturday so far.
Spent the morning (okay, early afternoon) hours playing dj...working my way through the jazz, folk and blues portion of my vinyl collection. It’s cloudy today and cool enough to have the doors and windows open; I think it’ll be a splendid afternoon/evening.
I wanted to do this post earlier than usual because I felt some drawing inspiration coming along, and because I have a feeling I won’t have much time later on.
Possibly shooting the Buskerfest tonight-I highly recommend stopping by and checking out some of the acts.

Now, it’s business time.

I found an old, loose page from the dictionary that had been torn out and left at the bottom of a seldom-used backpack this morning, and decided to use it to find today’s word. It had quite a few really great ones, but I settled upon one that I could really talk about and that left the possibilities somewhat open in terms of subjects to illustrate.

glim-mer n. A faint suggestion; an indication; a dim unsteady light. v. To give off a faint or dim light.

So, I decided not to think it over to much-just to begin drawing. I had the vague idea of wanting a more darkly styled, filled-in illustration...but specific plans were not coming to me. I think I’ll just post the piece first, and work on explaining it after...

Alright, so, after the first character had been laid on the page, I began to think about various uses for the word glimmer. I liked the first part of the definition: “a faint suggestion; an indication” and decided, because the character seemed to be watching; almost waiting, that I’d have him catching just a glimpse of something (or someone).

The idea of subtle, fleeting things really appeals to me, especially lately.  I’m not sure why...but I’ve been especially focused recently on details and small moments in both art and life. I think that there are so many things that most people never see; we tend to take in a generalized version of the world (there’s so much of the world to take in...I think it makes it easier to skip over most things and only focus on the large events/objects/concerns) in our everyday lives.
I want to get away from that, especially as an artist, I think it’s incredibly important to not only pay attention to the things around you, but to really process them. To take as much of your surroundings in as possible and appreciate them.
After some practice, everything seems to be so much richer.



Day Two Hundred Fifty Five

Ah, Friday. How wonderful.
Today seemed like one of the longer days I’ve had in a while-the impending madness of the full-time, AP-filled start of school is inspiring me to make the most of the 48 or so hours of freedom I have left to my name.

So, today’s post...

pho-bi-a n. A compulsive fear of a specified situation or object.

I wanted to illustrate a little character that seemed very afraid. Because phobias are kind of ridiculous, I didn’t want to have an actual fear represented...I left the possibilities open with this one-the character seems quite afraid of...everything.

As a very jumpy person, I can identify with this. As far as phobias go, I’ve been fortunate enough not to pick any of those up...so far.



Day Two Hundred Fifty Four

First day at work today. It’ll take a bit to get the swing of things, but it’s good to have something to do.
Very much dreading the start of school-it’ll be rough getting back into it...forcing my brain to absorb information it doesn’t care about. Dunno...we’ll see.

Today’s word made me think of the odd bits of writing I’ve been working on lately...and the process of filling up a notebook. But...I’m getting ahead of myself.

mole-skin n. The dark gray pelt of the mole; a heavy, durable cotton fabric with a short, thick velvety nap on one side.

Thank god for brand names, because I wouldn’t have known what to do with today’s word otherwise. Now, the word I’m thinking of is “Moleskine” as opposed to “mole skin” but, either way, here we are.

So, I’ve always loved the process of filling a notebook. Not just with writing, but found objects, bits of art and so on. I love, as the notebook fills, how it warps and wears down...breaks in and eventually starts to fall apart.
Anyway, I wanted to illustrate that with a simple sketch.



Day Two Hundred Fifty Three

I think today went alright. Went through enrollment...failed a math exam. The usual.
I’ve been writing more. Nothing incredible...nothing that really makes much sense, even. I guess they’re just strings of thought-written down before they leave my head. I don’t know. It’s a start, I guess.

Today’s word may not be that interesting, but it applies to an incredible number of things...I was able to chew it over and find something interesting (I hope) to do with it.

right-an-gle n., Geom. An angle of 90 degrees; an angle with two sides perpendicular to each other.

With quite a few shows coming up this fall and frustrated with Hobby Lobby almost to the point of making my own picture frames came to mind with today’s word. After some thought, though, I decided to skip the frame idea (how interesting can an illustrated picture frame really be?) and go for something else.
I began running through ideas..objects and scenes in everyday life that involved right angles.
I kept returning to walls or, rather, corners. Without knowing where I’d end up, I began to sketch out a brick wall. In case you haven’t tried to draw a wall by hand and keep the perspective correct, it’s quite the task. I’m still not sure I got everything where it should be but...you get the idea.

I kind of like this one.
I enjoy the highlight on the wall to the right-you get the detail of the brick on one side and, on the other, it fades into darkness.



Day Two Hundred Fifty Two

The weather heated up a little bit today. I just couldn’t think...with the heat like that. I don’t know. We wandered, and moped, and I returned home slightly too sweaty to get to work on re-discovering the floor of my room. A few hours later, able to see the carpet through the layer of clothing, I emerged ready to take a break with some art.

Today’s word made me think of the seemingly long-gone days of truly dressing nicely. Not just to go out, but as an everyday affair.

mid-i n. Slang A dress, skirt, or coat which extends to the calf.

Frankly, I wish more people put thought into their attire. I’m tired of getting stared at like an alien for wearing heels in Lawrence. Hmmmph.


Day Two Hundred Fifty One

Apologies for skipping the post yesterday-the art WAS indeed made...

The word went right along with a project I’ve been meaning to get started on...and just haven’t gotten around to. Obviously, it’s still on the brain, though, and I’m hoping to get around to it sometime soon.

­reel n. A device which revolves on an axis and is used for winding up or letting out fishing line, rope, or other string-like material; a lively and fast dance; a bobbin for sewing thread.

I really enjoyed the look of the reels; the rest of the projector...not so much.



Day Two Hundred Fifty

mar-gin n. The edge of border around the body of written or printed text; the difference between the selling price and cost of an item. 



Day Two Hundred Forty Nine

Alright well...I’m not quite sure what I did today. Found a decent post-punk album at the antique mall...spent the afternoon with the family.

So, I decided to start early with today’s piece in an effort to actually get some work done this evening.

kes-trel n. A small falcon, that hovers in the air with its head in the direction of the wind, having a gray and brown plumage, common in Europe inhabiting coasts, moors, and farms.

Alright! I was pretty excited to get today’s word. I’d been wanting to learn to draw birds for a while-the detail and shading of feathers really appeals to me. I decided to try to illustrate a bird from an angle that would allow me to really experiment with the feathers.

I’m not entirely thrilled with the way this came out but, because it’s one of my first times drawing a bird in flight, I’m not super disappointed.



Day Two Hundred Forty Eight

Today, the bit that I saw of it (note to self: get your ass outa bed before noon) was wonderful. It was rainy in the late afternoon and, by the time I got out of the house, it had cooled on and that kind of rain that you don’t mind was falling down between bits of sunshine. I wandered down to Mass street to check things out. Ended up perching up on an old doorstep in an alley for a while...trying to get to the end of the Henry Miller book I checked out oh-so-long ago. The sky was really, really dark at that point, and the air was almost chilly.
Just the faint hint of the coming fall.

In between rounds of Scattergories, I found and illustrated today’s word. I hadn’t intended on a humorous take on this word-in fact, just the opposite, but art is strange that way.

sweep v. to touch very lightly; to remove or clear away with a brush, broom, etc; to move with an even action.

As I got to drawing, this turned into a sort of funny illustration about passing the time while working.

Hah! I remember getting my first ipod, and stepping into our living room to find my mother very, very into a Beastie Boys song while sweeping our living room floor. Oh, the old days.



Day Two Hundred Forty Seven

Oh, jeez...I waited a little too long for today’s post. Let’s hope I can make sense through this entire bit of writing.

So, today’s word applied perfectly to a sort of conundrum I’ve been in lately.

lon-er n. A person who avoids the company of others.

So, most of the time, when the word “loner” comes up, it’s in a negative context. As someone who prefers to spend time alone, I really don’t believe that being a “loner” should be considered an issue. I wanted to illustrate the fact that being alone, without people, does not mean you are alone, without happiness.

To be honest, although I wouldn’t want to spend all of my time without people around me, when I am alone...I don’t feel as though I am missing something. With my art and my work, I don’t always want or need anything else.

So, I think I’ll go to sleep now.