Creatively Stuck

 I have been, as previously mentioned, working on a Project 365 called “Doodle a Day,” where I’ve dedicated to drawing at least something every day for my personal “fiscal” year (I start each P365 on my birthday each year. 2011-2012 was Vol. 28).

Throughout this process, I can tell that my skills are growing and getting better. I am able to (much more quickly) “see” in my head what I want to draw and get my hands to be able to create it.  I don’t hesitate nearly as much as I did — I draw without fear of mistakes or “messing up.”  I doodle constantly. It’s been a creative awakening that I didn’t even know I needed.


We come to this piece.  At the moment, it’s called “Clouds.”  I will start off by saying I love this piece. I am so happy with where it’s going. This is the style that I have been trying to get out of my head and onto the paper or the iPad for well over two years now.  I think I’ve finally “cracked the code” of how to get this whimsical, Eric-Carle-meets-Pixar-and-cut-out-construction-paper look and feel.  I look at this piece and just feel that inner artistic “YES.  This is what you were striving for.”

Which is all well and good until now I can’t figure out what else to put on it.

In my head, I see a few red balloons bobbing through those clouds.  But each time I try to put them in, it ruins the piece. I can’t get the balloons in the same style as the clouds. After a few hours of trying, I gave up, and saved my little piece of blue sky for tackling on another day.

What do you think? What’s missing? What belongs? What flies through the skies in your mind?

Created in ArtRage on iPad 2 with Nomad Brush.

Vitruvian Muppet Mash Up

There seems to be a huge surge in the artworld in a certain genre: the Mash Up.   It seems to be every where I look, every blog I click, every new artist I find.  Everyone is putting their own unique spin on the Mash Up.

What is a Mash Up?  Our friends at explain it this way:


  /ˈmæʃˌʌp/ Show Spelled[mash-uhp] Show IPA


1 Music, Slang . a recording that combines vocal and instrumental tracks from two or more recordings.
2 Slang . a creative combination or mixing of content from different sources: movie mash-ups; a Web mash-up that overlays digital maps with crime statistics.
This blog is in honor of definition #2, the “creative combination or mixing content from different sources.”  Today’s sources: #1 Leonardo DaVinci’s “Vitruvian Man,” a famous icon of Renaissance thought and innovation, and #2, Grover, my favorite Muppet. (Partly due to the fact that my father would read me stories in his “Grover” voice since I was very small.)
This is a work in progress, hence the screen shot from the iPad to include to toolbars.
Created in ArtRage on iPad 2 with Nomad Brush.

“Picasso, The Rooster, and Me” — Unexpected Art: Scribbles with Light

I have had the great honor of being able to study photography under Christine Walsh-Newton, a Certified Professional Photographer who just happens to be located near my neck of the woods.  I have long had great respect for Christine and her work, and I feel pretty darn lucky to be able to call her my friend. (You should check out her website, linked above, and her blog, which is phenomenal.)

CWN offered a series of photography classes this past year that I participated in, and I learned a great deal about photography from her.  I most certainly learned to respect it as its own art form, and that despite the cool effects one can get (from Photoshop and “the website that shall not be named” that everyone uses for free photo effects to my beloved iPhone with Hipstamatic), no amount of cool effects on a poor photograph will make it any better.  You have to know what you’re doing and why when you’re capturing light with a camera.

But I digress.  My mini-dissertation on why everyone should take a photography class before they start thinking they’re amazing just by using processing software is going to have to wait.

Today’s post is about drawing with light.  Yes, I typed “Drawing With Light.”  It is possible.  How, you ask?  Easy peasy if you happen to have a camera with an adjustable shutter speed, a tripod, and an endless supply of sparklers.  Add three friends, a warm summer’s night, and the occasional (perhaps adult) beverage, and you’ve got yourself the makings of a par-tay.

Now before you start thinking this was just some sort of lark on which we embarked, there’s legitimate artistic street cred for such a project.  Pablo Picasso (Yes, the Great PP!) experitmented with light drawings and was featured in a spread in Time magazine for said experiments.  You can view his work here.  Basically, the Great PP used a flashlight and drew his creatures in the air, and the photographer was able to capture the “trail” of light left by the flashlight by delaying the shutter speed. (There could be a gigantic technical explanation inserted here to explain why extending the shutter speed captures light trails, and I’m not qualified to give it.  If you are curious, that’s why there’s Google.)

To create this light drawing, I used a sparkler.  Yup, a lit sparkler and 10 seconds was all I had to create this lovely rooster drawing in the air without being able to really see what I was drawing.  Yes, some might call this result “dumb luck.”  I prefer to think of it as eccentric talent.  My friends and I spent a whole night of me being the “Sparkler Arteest” while they tested their camera settings and manipulated shutter speed to capture my photon doodles.  It was a fantastic time.