This evening, to beat the back-to-school blues I prioritized painting. This is NOT to say I am not enjoying the chaos and excitement of being back in my library with all the new students and returning students… just that I need this part of my day to keep me sane and to recharge.
Dragon was enjoying her favorite window ledge snoozing spot and I enjoyed listening to the rain coming down as I painted. My best friend from high school entrusted me with her precious yellow tea cup years ago and it is my watercolor painting vessel.
This ongoing body of work, “Portraits of Portales” created entirely in sketchbooks and en-plein-air (outdoors) since early 2014 is finally coming together online. Visit my website dodington.us to see some of the sketches as this series builds. As I’ve mentioned before, the final goal is to publish them in a book. Or publish anything like them in a book. Hire me now.
Has it really been four months since I opened the virtual door to my studio and shared what was going within it? Wowzahs.
Let me tell you, I knew this year would be busy but I really miss sharing my day to day – or at least week to week – progress with you. I don’t think there is an easy way to catch you up on all my work but I will try my best to give you a taste. I apologize for the poor quality of the photographs : I’m using my phone camera to maximize efficiency!
1. Illustration for the biology textbook has been an ongoing project since the Christmas/holiday season. This consists of researching, traditional sketching and working with digital illustration programs. I usually spend my mornings on this project. Below is a drawing in progress from the past week.
2. Next, I give you three 8 x 10″ oil paintings in progress that are being worked en plein air in my town, Portales, New Mexico. (They’re just sitting on my easel to dry between painting sessions… it’s the only place my cats don’t seem to mess with them!) They belong to a series of paintings of the Southwest I have been developing sporadically for the last few years . Working on them has been a nice complement to my “Portraits of Portales” project which I focussed on all autumn, and have tried to make a bit of time for in 2014.
I believe I have mentioned the “Portraits of Portales” project before and will certainly mention it again. My intention is to publish them in book form, rather than display them in a gallery. This will heighten the intimacy of the pieces and embrace my intention of creating a “keepsake” of this small town. But I will share more on that project at a later date. This week it has not been worked on so no progress pics here for you!
3. Also still in the works is my Crafty Coloring Book. I only decided this week that it needed to be pulled to the top of my priority list after the biology textbook illustrations. It’s delightfully fun to work on and provides a break from the technical illustration while still keeping me “in shape” drawing-wise.
4. Lastly, I have been spending my evenings finalizing three new knitted shawl designs. Two are in the test-knitting phase and the third is close behind. The motivation behind this project? A fast-approaching deadline!
On April 1st the Multicraftual Podcast Ravelry group will be casting on any of my knitted designs. For two months participants will post their progress and finished object pictures in the corresponding group discussion threads to win prizes. There will be coupon codes for discounted pattern prices and other random goodness distributed via the video podcast I host with my long-distance bestie Liby Ball. If you are interested in watching our podcast while sitting down with your own knitting or crocheting, go check out the Multicraftual blog or subscribe on iTunes!
As you can see, if you’ve read this far… I’m keeping busy! In fact… a little too busy. I’m the kind of person who can sprout in every direction and need intense pruning to look at all respectable. I’m currently reading “Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity” by David Allen. Perhaps I will give a review on that when I finish it… hahahahahaha… first I will have to learn how to reign in my many projects, harness my creativity and GET THINGS DONE.
Wish me luck!!
If you’d like, tell me about what projects you’re working on and what creative activities you’re most excited about in the comments section below. Are you a see-one-project-through-to-the-finish-line kind of person, or a wildly-sprouting-crazy-face like myself? It’s time I get to know YOU more and try to enhance the online creative community.
I’m working on illustrations for a biology textbook today, while the kitten is hard at work grooming.
Can you see the beetle on the computer screen? I totally took a picture of that beast yesterday… it was very dead and preserved nicely in the ENMU biology lair of course… but it was still fantastically cool.
It’s the good life.
Yes, that is a drafting table to the right… I just haven’t quite made the transition to drawing on it full-time yet… it takes some getting used to after more than 25 years drawing on flat surfaces. That, and who could kick that adorable kitten off the drafting chair? Not me, no.
I thought I’d offer up some insect illustrations for your Monday viewing. It’s so interesting how making artwork, no matter the style or purpose, usually fills my head and heart with inspiration and a million other works I want to make.
As the spring arrives and I’m spending more and more time in my backyard garden, walking around town and making summer travel plans, the ideas are filling my sketchbooks and I sincerely hope I can make the time to bring them to life in the near future.
I hope everyone is enjoying a few signs of spring if it isn’t fully warm where you live yet. Perhaps I can post some more photos of my recent adventures in New Mexico for those of you who are still getting snow…
Day six of the drawing challenge calls for your favorite book character and specifies, “can’t be a movie” so that one doesn’t just grab a dvd case and sketch a hollywood actor/actress.
I chose Princess Cimorene from the Enchanted Forest Chronicles. I’ve only read the first book, “Dealing with Dragons” in which the princess, unwilling to remain in her castle and succumb to an arranged marriage, runs away to become a servant to a female dragon named Kazul. There she is in charge of making tea, cherries jubilee, and doing much of the cleaning. When princes begin to arrive one after another to “rescue” her from her dragon she turns them away – at one point telling a fib about a sprained ankle in an attempt to prevent more potential suitors from making the journey to rescue her. She is quite happy serving Kazul.
I thoroughly enjoyed the young adult book and recommend it to anyone who likes a somewhat unconventional fairy tale or two.