Hello! Long time no see. It’s been an intense couple weeks.

I’ve spent the majority of my time sketching. I was able to complete a sketch of a commission I’ve been asked to do. I was also able to compelete a sketch of the next Taiga Series drawing I plan to do, which is going to be of another lynx. Unfortunately, I haven’t yet been able to start the final drawings of either these sketches, so I have no in-progress drawings to show. I’m thinking, then, as a way to show more of my art making process, I’ll post the two sketches, which are rough digital collages I made from personal and copyright free photos and will serve as references for the final drawings.


This is the sketch for the commission, the first drawing I plan to do. The prompt for this commission is a blue hued colored pencil drawing of a crying highland cow.


This is the sketch for the next Taiga Series drawing depicting a lynx.

Both these sketches aren’t completely indicative of what the final drawing will look like. Sometimes I make changes, both major and minor. I also do my best to better blend the collage elements together using color pencils or graphite.

Hopefully I can show some in-progress shots in the next week! But maybe I won’t. I’ve been extraordinarily anxious lately, like there’s a ticking bomb inside me and if I spend any time relaxing, I’ll blow up. So, lately, instead of working on art, I’ve just been running an insane amount of errands, compulsively walking and driving, doing all the laundry, etc, because I don’t want to blow up. I’m scheduled to get my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine next week and, for whatever reason, this has brought up all kinds of feelings of terror. What if I have a rare allergic reaction to the vaccine and, yeah, die? What if my immune system freaks the **** out and I spend another couple months in some kind of Long Covid limbo? What if I get COVID-19 while waiting in line to get vaccinated with all the other people waiting in line to get vaccinated? What if I get COVID-19 before I’m even able to make my appointment? What if all the doses at the vaccination center get destroyed and my appointment gets canceled? What if, what if, what if?

Maybe I feel this way because I believe I am so close to finding my resolution to this pandemic. Getting the Pfizer vaccine, to me, is symbolic of stepping out of the shadowy land of self-isolation I have inhabited for the last 13 months. It is symbolic of warding off the most severe form of COVID-19, allowing me to work my day job with less concerns, less anxiety. I am five days away from getting my first shot. Given how unpredictable life has been throughout this pandemic, five days seems like a long time, a period in which anything could happen, and I’m really struggling to be patient and acknowledge that it’s possible for things to go smoothly.

All that said, I will still do my best to get some drawing done.

“Moonlight Watcher”
Graphite
7 x 8.25 in

Here’s my 6th drawing for the taiga series. It’s titled “Moonlight Watcher” and is a graphite drawing based off the lynx I saw at the Minnesota Zoo. I had so much fun doing this. It felt refreshing to draw an animal that isn’t a deer, haha. While I absolutely adore deer, I realize I had recently gotten a bit bored of drawing them.

I’m going to be taking a detour with my next drawing. I have a comission next. This comission is going to be a small drawing in blue hued colored pencils and will feature a crying animal. That’s all I know for now.

I am not as familiar with colored pencils as I am with graphite, so I am looking forward to the challenge! Some part of me is thinking it’d be fun to include colored pencil drawings in the taiga series, just to add a bit of color. This commission will be a great way to test whether that is something I want to do.

See ya!


Another progress shot of the drawing I’m doing. My phone’s camera was not centered when I took this shot, I apologize for its crookedness.

The lynx is getting close to done! I still have a decent amount of work to do on the rock, tree, sky, butterflies, well everything else. But it should go quickly. I’m anticipating I’ll be done in a few days as long as I keep working on it each night.

In the meantime, here’s a beautiful song…

Be back very, very soon! (Probably.) =)

I had such a vivid dream last night. Want to share it.

There were two parts to it. In the first part, there was farmland every which way I turned. It was almost like I was lost out at sea, but instead of being surrounded by water, I was surrounded by wheat, grass, corn, that kinda stuff. And there was this dirt road I was standing on. And some semi-trucks off in the distance behind me. I remember thinking I need to be wary of the semi-trucks because they won’t see me on the dirt road. I should make sure I don’t get hit. Then I began to walk down the dirt road and, as I did, the wind picked up dirt and it swirled all around me, making it impossible to see what was in front of me. Instead, I’d look ahead and just see a dark orange haze. Worried about the semi-trucks, I dove into the grass on the side of the road and hid. A semi-truck came roaring down the road and kicked up so much dirt it buried me. I layed there for a long time as more semi-trucks passed and made what looked like a dust storm. Then, I saw an image in my mind of a stranger who had also been on the dirt road get hit by one of the semi-trucks and die. That was the end of the first part.

In the second part, there is a whole section I can’t really remember. I had been in some sort of dark, haunted building. There were people there who I couldn’t recognize, but, for some reason, I called them my friends. And something had gone wrong, I don’t remember what, that prompted me to leave the building. Once I did, I was greeted by a downpour of rain that completely soaked me. I escaped into my car and then was transported to the roof of a very, very, very high skyscraper, like so high it was above the clouds. And I became an airplane. Inexplicably. I was no longer human, but an airplane hovering over the edge of this very, very, very high skyscraper. I looked at all the airplanes flying below and around me and wondered, “is it wrong of me to be up here hovering on this roof? Should I start flying, maybe?” I looked out at the sky. It was so beautifully blue and pristine looking, like heavenly. I felt compelled to fly as far as I possibly could into the direction I was looking in. So I said, “screw it” and flew away. And that was the end of the second part.

Weird.

I’ll be back soon! My lynx drawing is nearing completion.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what direction I want to go in professionally with my art. I’ve spent a great deal of my life feeling confused about that. I went to school for illustration, but, after I graduated, barely attempted to become an illustrator of any kind. The only kind of illustrator I put some effort into becoming was a children’s book illustrator, which professors and colleagues often suggested I be. While I agreed with them and decided to try my hand at it, I struggled to accept it wasn’t actually what I wanted for myself. I went to SCBWI conferences, made lists of agents and publishing houses, wrote drafts of children’s stories and created accompanying illustrations. I did these things, but all while feeling heavy and hollow. There was nothing exciting to me about being a children’s book illustrator, no matter how hard I tried to convinced myself there was.

Since realizing that, I haven’t had much an idea about what direction to go in. I feel like some kind of artist peripheral, hugging the walls of every room in the art world, unsure if I can access, or am even allowed in, those rooms’ centers. There are some things I know I love. I love to frame and display my art. I love to share my art with others. I love to be around other artists and have them share their art with me. For this reason, I’ve felt excited when exhibiting my art in galleries and art fairs. I wonder, then, if galleries and art fairs are the right places for me. I wonder, if they are, if I can commit to them, like really commit to them. There was something safe about trying to become a children’s book illustrator. I didn’t care if I failed. Because I just didn’t care at all. But when I pursue something that brings me real excitement, jerk-me gets all riled up. Jerk-me starts telling me I don’t belong in those places, ’cause my art’s too illustrative, ’cause I’m too quiet, ’cause I’m not enough. Jerk-me tries to protect me, might even say, “why don’t you try being a children’s book illustrator again?” Because it’s so much safer than possibly failing at something you care about.

So, I don’t know. Or maybe I do know what I want, but I’m just struggling to think I deserve it.

Anyway, here’s a progress shot of the next drawing I’m working on…

Hello!

Well I’m happy to write that 5 months since I contracted COVID-19, I’m at last feeling 100% recovered. For about a month now, I’ve been absent of what had been a solid 4 months of chest pain and intermittent bouts of shortness of breath. Last weekend, I decided to see if I really am totally recovered and put my body to the test with a walk. Had no issues . =) And this week I returned to my full work schedule, also with no issues.

I don’t think I am ever going to forget what it felt like to be physically ill like that. In my 31 years of life, that was the first time I had ever had such an experience. And I am aware how incredibly privileged I am to say that, that for the vast majority of my chilhood and young adulthood, I had been what one would call “healthy”, at least physically. (My mental health was a whole different story, ha!) While struggling to move around and walk for 2 months, and feeling generally unwell for another 2 months, was a frustrating and scary experience, I’m certainly going to value it for the things it taught me, because it taught me a lot.

“Burial” (graphite, 9 x 6.5 inches)

So here’s the fifth graphite drawing. Finally all done. It’s what I’ve decided will be the last deer drawing in this series I’m doing. I’m currently in the process of planning the next batch of drawings for this series, which are going to depict lynx. I’m excited!

I’m just about done with my current drawing. I predict it will take a week at most, a few days at least, to finish. As I’ve been finishing it up, I’ve been wondering what I’d like to draw next and have decided it will be an animal other than the deer, particularly an animal that resides in the taiga biome. (This series is ultimately going to depict a variety of animals from this biome.)

I’ve been thinking maybe the lynx. Then, I went to the Minnesota Zoo today, saw the lynx in person, and immediately decided… yes, the lynx is next.

Here are a couple photos I took of the one at the zoo. They are such a beautiful animal. Ugh. Kills me.

I’ll be back soon!

I apologize for the temporary absence. The spaciness I’ve been experiencing lately has made working on my current drawing difficult. Instead of drawing, I’ve often found myself curling up on the couch and binge watching movies and television shows. While I have thoroughly enjoyed all the various movies and television shows I have watched, I’m also feeling a little guilty. I have not made much progress with my drawing.

I’m doing my best to stick with this series. I can visualize it finished in my mind and, when I do, I get all those warm stomach fuzzies that remind me this series is worth completing. I sometimes think this recent spaciness is simply my becoming resistant to the labor required to complete this series. It’s easy to dream up what something will look like, to feel good about just that. But actually doing the work? So much harder. So much longer. Something I can struggle with.


So here’s where I’m at with my current drawing. There is still so much left to do. Particularly, I need to work out the value scheme and find a way to better integrate the deer into the scene.

Random, but here’s also a picture of my adorable 7 month old kitten, Marcel. Every time I see this face, I just melt. Such a cutie.

It’s been a spacy week. Maybe it’s the sub zero temperatures (it’s cold here) or just simply the affects of prolonged isolation, but I’ve been all kinds of everywhere lately. Last weekend, I sprained my middle toe by walking into a ladder. And this morning, when I went to grab a cup from my cupboard, I noticed a bag of carrots had been stuffed in between all the cups, lol. In other words, at some point yesterday, I took my carrots out of the fridge, snacked on them, and then casually stored them with the cups as if that was where they belonged.

Definitely more clumsy and distracted than usual.

Thankfully, despite that, I was still able to get started on the next drawing for the series, which I posted a progress shot of below.

Not a lot to see so far, but it seems to be coming along quickly, especially in comparison to my last drawing. Hopefully I can manage to get it done in the way I want to.

“Deer Queens”
Graphite
6.5 x 9 inches

Here’s #4 in the series of graphite drawings I’m doing. I don’t feel as happy with this one as I do the others, but that’s alright. It still ties in well enough with the others stylistically and thematically.

I don’t have much else to share. I’m just excited to start the next piece!

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