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“Birds” from my sketchbook, watercolor and pencil, probably unfinished.

Yesterday I put up a little survey using the tools over at Survey Monkey  (super easy, and free!). So far I’ve had 85 responses to the questions, and a lot of positive remarks about what I’m doing here (which has been very nice, thank you!).

Just so you know, I didn’t do the survey because I want to change what I’m doing drastically or to have people tell me what to do. (I am the boss of me, and I can only do what I do!) However, sometimes my mind is a blank when I go to write a blog post… what to write? what to write? Ahhhhh!! 

So now, after getting your feedback, I have at least a starting point when those times happen. (For example, now, when I’m stuck, I can work up a little eye tutorial just because it was put in my head by someone from the survey. Or, I can start writing the eye tutorial and end up writing about toes. But you get the idea. The suggestions give me a starting point.)

Let’s jump right in!! Here are a few of the suggestions and some quick answers/responses:

Random musings of a tortured mind.

You got it.

What you do when you are uninspired.

I will come back to this again, I’m sure. But right off the top of my head, the best and first thing I usually do is take a walk around the city of Seattle. The people, trees, trash, sidewalk cracks, people, bookstores, people — these do the trick every time!

(Obviously, most of you can’t walk around downtown Seattle if you don’t live here! But “walks,” “people,” “trash” and “bookstores” can be found in a lot of other places, too!)

Info about art materials, reviews & sources.

I should say right now that I’m not a huge “materials” junkie… my “favorite” pen is an ultra fine point Sharpie and my favorite pencil is a cheap mechanical pencil that I get at the office supply store in packs of 10 (they are yellow, and made to sort of look like real pencils). However, I will keep the suggestion in mind when I do use specific materials!

In the meantime, go to Roz Stendahl’s blog… she knows EVERYTHING!

I like it when words and writing are added in.

Do you mean on the blog? Or in the artwork itself?

Take more pictures.

Gosh. There are so many bloggers out there who are great photographers, too. I am not one of them!

I wish I were better at that part. I’m sorry I’m not better at that part.

I specifically would love to better understand how you layer gesso and watercolor to get the wonderful fuzzy textures in the backgrounds of your paintings.

I am working on an online class in the fall that would incorporate this technique. I can and will definitely show what I can for free here, but I can’t see how to properly communicate the process except by video demonstration, and so it will need to be part of the class (since I have to pay my son/daughter-in-law to make the video)! However, this tutorial gives the basic process…

What’s your process for getting out of a drawing funk. When you have lots of ideas, but you just can’t get going. What’s the magic formula for that?

Goodness. The thing with magic formulas is that they only seem to work the first time you come up with them.

It’s like having a crying baby. One moment the magic formula is the breast. The next it’s to be held. Then it’s to NOT be held and left alone in the crib. Then it’s the diaper. Then it’s a combination of diaper and food. Then it’s the combination of being held and left alone. Then it’s a combination of all of the above, but there’s something ELSE that needs to happen before the baby stops crying.

Do you get what I mean? Every day is new. Every “funk” has come about from a different set of circumstances. So every solution is a little bit different.


(But YES, of course I will try and share the things that work for me in future posts!)

How’s the photo class going? I hope you offer it again, I’m a bit up to the gills right now, but I want to sign up sometime this year.

Well, the Photo Silly class hasn’t started yet! It starts June 13th, and runs for a reasonable two-weeks. Steve is working hard on the material now. I think it’s going to be a good one!!

It would be fun to go through your book on your blog.

Thank you. I have thought of that, too, but just haven’t felt I had the time to really commit to doing it “right.” But I will keep thinking about it, and perhaps one day I will!! In the meantime, you can join some others who are going through the book (like Angie Allen and her family are), and be sure to go over to the Drawing Lab flickr group for inspiration!

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Okay, that’s it for now. Part II coming “soon.”

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BTW, astute readers will notice that I got the “And the Survey Says” quote RIGHT this time. (I had put “And the Survey Shows” as yesterday’s title head. I am a big one for mixing things up, just ask my husband.) When I went to write today’s post, I had the idea to Google “And the Survey Shows” to see if I had gotten it right. When yesterday’s blog post came up THIRD on the Google search, I knew I must have gotten it wrong!