Tag: Art 2016

First Fountain Pens
sun 10 apr 2016

Entry #1 on this page (tagged: art, )

I did my taxes last weekend and my reward for this unpleasant task was to place an order for art supplies! I opened up my box today. Some washi tape, some shaped punches and some fountain pens...

playing with the art supplies I ordered

During LetterMo, I became vaguely interested in the conversations about fountain pens and inks. I have one fountain pen from my day job, and it was a disappointment to me: it felt scratchy to write with and you have to hold it at a fairly precise angle in order for the ink to flow. bah.

I also have one dip pen with which I have only experimented a little. I bought some inks for it, but never broke them open.

My interest was piqued, because people have a serious love of their fountain pens, not to mention their inks. But I had no idea about what to get. All different brands, all different price ranges, nibs, colours, inks, converting stuff, and all levels of tinkering. Overwhelmed. I don't even know what needs to be tinkered with!

But then JetPens had an article about Great Beginner Fountain Pens and I decided to get a couple to try out.

Pilot VPen 7pack

The Pilot Varsity or VPen is a disposable that came in a pack of 7 colours including black for 15$. These are ready to write and my first couple of scribbles had smooth ink flow, not scratchy, and nice, solid colours (tho the purple is too close to blue for my taste). The ink doesn't dry immediately, which I noticed right away on the green pen, the ink moved around quite a bit and puddled in parts of my letters. But maybe that's just the cheap copier paper I was using.

green Pilot Metropolitan

I also got a Pilot MR or Metropolitan. This is more of a "real" fountain pen: it cost 15$ and uses cartridges or an included converter if you want to use bottled inks. The pen comes with one black cartridge, but I got some purple ones and that's what I put in.

I had trouble starting the ink after I put in the cartridge. I actually opened up the pen, carefully, to make sure the cartridge had opened! It was open, and then I read the rest of the directions! ha. You have to squeeze the cartridge a couple times to get the ink flowing. I squeezed until a huge blob of ink came out... after cleaning that up, the ink still wasn't flowing through the nib. I kept messing with it, and in a minute or so it finally started working.

experimenting with new fountain pens

I'm not sure how I feel about these fountain pens. It's definitely not Love at First Write. But new pens are always fun to play with!

Out Walking
sat 20 aug 2016

Entry #2 on this page (tagged: art, )

Every weekend, and any time I can get an extra day off, I go out walking in my neighborhood.

It's not just exercise, although that's important. Walking also fuels my creativity and my passion for my creative pursuits because I've got my camera with me and I take all kinds of interesting photos along the way. In this way, walking is what keeps me sane.

I have decided that the perfect temperature for walking is 52°F / 11°C. At 52° I am comfortable in jeans and a teeshirt with a long sleeved shirt over it. It's a little chilly when I leave the house, walking warms me up but not enough to sweat.

I hate sweating.

And I'm not too fond of summer time, either. You have to get up pretty darn early in the morning in order to walk comfortably... and I'm not exactly a morning person.

We've been experiencing a heat wave the last few days, and I knew I'd have to get up at first light in order to enjoy a walk. The nice things about such earliness: Not many other walkers, bikers, or drivers (I have to cross a couple streets). Also there's a better chance to see wildlife first thing in the morning.

Sure enough, I caught a glimpse of my Belted Kingfisher friend. I first came across him last November. At the time, I got a couple blurry photos of him, but nothing worth displaying. In January, he was gone. I'm so glad to see him again... another chance to get his portrait!! But not today, he flew off before I could even turn my camera on. :)

And last weekend, I finally discovered the speaker of a most extraordinary sound...

a male Bullfrog hanging in the water

An American Bullfrog! Unfortunately, he's an invasive species on the western side of the US. But that's not his fault.

I had been hearing his voice all summer. There's audio on this page. I honestly had no idea this sound was coming from a frog! haha.

My usual goal of my neighborhood walk is the community garden, where I attempt to take photos of the hummingbirds.

Hummingbird silhouette

There are so many hummingbirds, this time of year, that I've totally lost track of my Anna's friend who I watched every weekend this spring. He's around, though, I'm sure I've seen him a few times this summer.

Walking home, and it's still first thing in the morning. At home, I can still drink my morning coffee. I get my photos off my camera and work on them. I'll print the close-up of our 2nd sunflower and turn it into an envelope. The photo of the moon behind the neighbors sunflowers is going to make a very unique and spectacular postcard. Have to think about the gold finch, and google and identify the plant he's standing on. The Green Heron is sadly surrounded by litter, but I can't believe I even saw him. And then there's the cat...

Bike Path Cat

All these lovely beings who I meet while I'm walking. Do you see why it is that I drag myself out of bed?! These creatures keep me going, their portraits remind me, and sharing my photography makes others happy as well.

sat 5 nov 2016

Entry #3 on this page (tagged: art, )

Creative Every Day .com

The daily sketching is going amazingly well. There is little complaining in my head before I start my sketch every evening. There is little indecisiveness about what to draw... if a drawing topic isn't immediately apparent, I just go to the mirror and draw myself.

And yes, I need a lot of practice drawing humans, but so far my sketches actually look like almost human -- or maybe more like a human-alien hybrid -- but still: recognizable as a human, even if it doesn't look specifically like me.

faces messy desk


I really like the scribbly mess that I drew of the stuff on my desk! And I really do not like the fox drawing... I was trying too hard!

Stay tuned, I'll try to post the rest of this week's drawings tomorrow!

sun 6 nov 2016

Entry #4 on this page (tagged: art, )




Sat myself in front of the full length mirror and sketched my whole self for a couple days.

After the first sketch, I realized the proportions were off: the body was too big for the head.

For the second sketch, I blocked off the head, sketched the body, then came back and adjusted the size of the head before working on it... much better!

Hands and Feet are hard! Yikes!

I am very much appreciating my chosen size of 4x6inches... A small size and it's a lot easier to keep the fine details "suggested," rather than actually drawn. Perfect for my imperfections! :)


Along with the daily sketching, I'm also continuing to create mail every day. This week, I've sent 25 postcards and notecards!

Daily Sketching
sun 13 nov 2016

Entry #5 on this page (tagged: art, )

stamp roll holder

track ball

Sketching in front of the full length mirror is fun... I especially like to draw the folds in clothing, and foreshortening (like my drawing arm in the above sketch) is challenging! But, the mirror is not in my room, so I don't always have access to it!

So, what catches my eye? The shadows and swoops of the sticker paper coming out of my stamp roll holder! and the curves of my track ball on my computer desk.

hand holding a drink

toes in my work area

work area photo

And then I wanted to try drawing some hands. The first one looked terrible when I finished it, thus the "foo"... but now that I see it with fresh eyes, it's not too horrid.

The sketch of my work area actually began as a sketch of my hand on my knee. Then Significant Other walked in and said "nice drawing of your toes".

*laughs* I looked at the picture, erased most of it, abandoned it. And started this drawing of my toes. huh, much better!

This has happened a few times now. Sometimes I keep the bad sketch, because it is so far along, and sometimes the bad sketch is tossed in the recycling bin! But there is always a decent sketch of the day to scan in for the web site. So far, at least!


And 26 postcards and notecards sent this week! I need to work on some thank you notes and letters in the coming week, so my total for next week will be down.

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