Handbook Feb.13-20

Feb 13:  I apparently have a thing for Wendell Berry lately, too.  There are worse addictions.(44/365)

Feb 14: Unapologetically schmoopy today. (45/365)

Feb 15:  I”blame” @mrs.amanda.c for this one. She was talking in her Stories about the dreary gray weather they’d been having and how she was going to soak in the rare sunshine today, and I swear the whole sketch came right to life in my head. ‘Dreaming of Spring’…See the little sprigs of green in the snow, and the robin returning?  (46/365)

Feb 16: This quote…sheesh…One of the hardest things to do in this life. I had a lot of chances to test my skill at it this weekend and failed miserably. Thank goodness each day is new! (47/365)

Feb 17: Sometimes you don’t know what to say. So you paint.

Feb 18:  It’s always fascinating where things head. I seem to swing wildly between highly detailed and evocative landscapes to very simple straight line, flat illustration. This was a house we drove by on a wandering drive on Saturday, but it is very much a sort of Virginia Lee Burton inspired rendition. 49/365

Feb 19:  If there is anything this project teaches me consistently, it is to show up, make mistakes, and then walk away. I always learn something new. But the small size of it keeps me from feeling wasteful. (The bird was driving me nuts, and the more I tried to fix it, the worse it got.) I was listening to the On Being podcast with Maria Popova (Brain Pickings) while doing this one, and her quote about the bridge between cynicism and hope struck right to the crux of why I’m doing this project, wrestling. 50/365

Feb 20: I’m in a suspended waiting space for something, wrestling with time. The answer is right on the horizon and I just. have. to. wait. I’m not good at that. Rilke is talking me off the ledge of doing something stupid in the waiting.  51/365

Handbook Feb 4-12

The week kind of got away from me last week. I have so much to say but so little time to say it in at the moment. I promise more soon.

Feb 4:  Josiah gives the best hugs. (35/365)

Feb 5:  This one has been on my brain since Candlemas. Finally got it out on paper. (36/365)

Feb 6:  Was feeling sort of relentlessly homesick tonight, trying to recreate what I used to see out the window at our very first house in that sort of flat Secret of Kells-ish animation style. I love how the clouds came out, though it’s hard to see in this late night lighting. Man those Tennessee hills. Miss ’em fierce. (37/365)

Feb 7:  Watching Elly watching Lorelei is one of the true gifts in the world. I was so tired tonight but I wanted to capture the thought before it left me. I still have so much to learn about drawing faces. (38/365)

Feb 8: If there is any set of hills that call to me more than the Appalachians, it is their sisters in the Scottish highlands. I walk there often in my dreams. (39/365)

Feb 9: We are in the middle of Prince Caspian. I’m starting to feel as if I should put a warning on these audiobooks: “Don’t listen while driving!” You will be, at some point, completely overcome and tear up and struggle to drive straight at least once a book. Ask me how I know.  This book especially- for a while only Lucy can see Aslan, and while Edmund can’t see Aslan, he trusts her, and they are walking the most dangerous cliff side path in the middle of the night because Edmund perforce drags Susan and Peter along. Anyone would be rightfully scared, especially when they can’t see Aslan. Aslan is speaking to Susan here just after this scene I painted- they all finally see him as they are crossing the river. Lucy would see Aslan at the top of this promontory and look on with hope. All the rest would see only the dreadful drop. “Are you brave again, daughter of Eve?” (40/365)

Feb 10: Two themes are consistently running through my sketches: celestial dark skies, and light- especially warm lanterns. And hills. And mountains. Hmmmm. This quote though. Sometimes we lose sight of what we’re fighting for and why. I needed the kick in the pants today. (41/365)

Feb 11: We embarked on a somewhat unexpected (but good!) adventure Saturday morning, so I missed posting yesterday. Catching up! (42/365)

Feb 12: We finished listening to The Voyage of the Dawn Treader yesterday as we were driving. It’s got everything you’d want in a sea story: pirates, treasure, dragons, daring sword fights… (43/365)

Also, by popular demand, the Practice Resurrection print is now in the shop in 8 x 10 and 5 x 7 sizes.

Handbook Feb 1-3

Feb 1:  I don’t think I realised how hard it is to render waves until today. It’s a lot harder than I thought! (32/365)

Feb 2:  We finished the Horse and His Boy running errands this afternoon. I was struck by how many times Aslan said this line to different people…the compassion and mercy in his voice as he spoke it, too. Lewis and Tolkien…They knew what it was to live in great darkness. It amazes me how true and good their words are, even now. (33/365)

Feb 3: Lost in thought at twilight, watching the stars come out. (34/365)

And…

The Sing in the Dark canvas was added to the shop this morning.

There will be prints of a few favorites from January soon. Trying to find quality printing is much harder than I expected!

Handbook 01.31.17

I found some snow drops today, just as I was moaning and groaning internally about how over it I am of gray skies and cold. And then a bit later the sun came out. Nature has a gentle sense of humor, me thinks. (30/365)

I am caught up and I’ve been working in this handbook for a full month. It has been a fascinating ride so far. I never know where it will go…The point is just to show up. This quote is especially poignant to me. My art only came after great pain. It had always been a part of me, but it took the darkest time for me to finally give it space to flourish. I had to let go of so many things…I will write about it more in depth in the coming month, but for tonight, marking this milestone feels both joyous and bittersweet. (31/365)