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!


Progress has still been so slow with this one. It hurts. Particularly, the tree branches have been taking a long time to render. I believe once I finish those, I will be able to finish everything else pretty quickly. I hope so. I keep thinking of other things I want to draw and it really, really makes me wanna get started on a new piece!

I’m also noticing I have a long ways to go with getting the value scheme of this one right. There’s too much dark on the bottom, not enough dark on the top, so I will need to find a way to better balance the values.

Rendering tree branches is boring. So having good music to make it less boring is a necessity! I was on a mission all last weekend to find some new music, as what I’d been playing just wasn’t really motivating me. I wound up finding this incredible song that is so strange and beautiful, almost poetic… I shared it below. I love that feeling when you find a song that really blows you away and you can listen to it on repeat for 2,000 hours without going mad. I’ll be sad when my addiction to this fades, but at least there’s all sorts of other stuff by this artist to enjoy once that happens.


Here’s a progress shot of where I’m at with the next drawing of the series. It’s a close up – there’s more to the piece, but I haven’t started those parts yet.

I’m trying my best to hunker down and put my everything into making art. I’ve been feeling an undercurrent of anxiety about getting infected again, especially now with the U.K. variant being present in the U.S., and I want to make sure that doesn’t happen before the vaccinations reach the general public. This means around 3-8 months of isolation, I guess.

The important thing is I find some sense of purpose in these next months. I can’t spend too much time idle because that’s when isolating becomes painful. When I’m working towards the completion of something, such as a series of graphite drawings, I’m less likely to dwell on how much I miss being able to leave my house for reasons other than going to my job or the grocery store.

If I wanted to, I could take away the positives from my current predicament. While living alone during this pandemic has been hard sometimes, there is something to be said about my home always being safe. It’s my haven right now, a place where no virus can reach me. And for that reason, when I’m here by myself, I can relax, I can make art with no distractions.

Soon life will be closer to what I once knew it to be.

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