Currently Browsing: Self-evaluations

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Self-Assessment: 2018—Filling Journals, Using Up Paint

  Some Background and The Brand of Paint I’ve Been Using Lately Yes, this painting actually has something to do with self-assessment and goal setting. First I want to say something about the materials… While I did sketch some more after painting this image yesterday (Dec. 31, 2018) this turned out to be my final […]

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Focusing on Doing and Not on Naming

Several people wrote to me after my last post When Drawing Isn’t Fun. Most said that they found it helpful in starting an internal dialog with themselves about their creative practice. But one of my Urban Sketcher friends Tina Koyama wrote a very important point in her comment on that post: Grief. The grief of letting […]

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When Drawing Isn’t Fun

Recently a student wrote to my Drawing Practice group that she wasn’t sketching daily and wasn’t having fun when she did draw. Despite the fact that what she was drawing looked great and showed that all her hard work was paying off, she couldn’t see the value in it. This can happen to anyone at […]

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Limited Choices Lead to Successful Projects

  After my post last week about doing creative projects many people wrote in to tell me that they were inspired to start a project. One accomplished artist wrote in to ask advice: Just looking for advice. After listening to the podcast on projects I’ve decided to take up the challenge. Over the years I’ve […]

Detail of the eye area. Dry strokes of paint stumbled over the top of dry lower layers take texture from the paper and create a fun broken-color effect that helps mimic the texture on a chicken's face.

Everyone Needs a Side Project

A few weeks ago my friend Danny Gregory called me up to discuss my thoughts about projects. Most readers know my Daily Dots—daily drawings of my Alaskan Malamute bitch Dottie made the last 4 and a half years of her  life. But friends and students know that I’m always engaged in whatever the latest project […]

I  find that even a quick sketch of dogs will bring me out of a funk and get me back to focusing on actions I can take to turn things around. Dogs are about living in the present moment. If we can't live with them (and currently I don't have dogs) we can still remember and learn from them as we draw them. (These are two lovely dogs on Sktchy.)

Project Friday: How To Deal with Crappy Days in Your Visual Journal

Here’s a question I’m asked frequently: How do you deal with crappy days in your journal? Not long ago a student explained to me that when she kept a written journal she would often write about the stress and frustration in that journal, but then never look back at it.  She felt that her visual […]

Pen and watercolor sketch, with acrylic marker background, done over a note Dick left me, which I'd previously stuck in my journal.

At Least I Wasn’t Abducted By Aliens: Keeping Your Sense of Humor and Productivity

Note: This blog post was originally set to run during the second week of January but technical issues with the blog delayed it. This version was edited for publication today. Anyone who bothered to stop by or call me from October through January this year knew things were tough. I was beyond grumpy because of […]

Letting Things Go, Even in the Pursuit of Goals: The Little Journal That Got Away

Note: This post was originally scheduled to run at the end of December 2017. Due to technical issues with the blog I’m just getting to it now. If you read my blog you’ll know that I keep track of the number of pages that I create each year. I do this because it is a […]

My sketch of Dick when I was in the emergency. I can see by the line that it is less fluid than normal, stopping almost artificially and turning at various points in a way I don't usually do. Additional there are restatements that I've obviously zoned out in—making more and more marks in one area instead of balancing marks across the surface. And there are several places where I can see and remember I made marks even though I was telling myself, "Don't." I just couldn't hear myself through the pain.

Why Drawing Practice Matters and What Your Line Can Tell You

Readers of my blog know that I love observing my process. I can’t help myself. Even during emergencies. I think you can learn a lot about yourself and find ways to always sketch. On November 19 I fell in a friend’s foyer. I was rushing across the foyer to my fanny pack to change my […]

This quick brush pen sketch with an acrylic marker background allowed me to assess a new type of illustration board in under 5 minutes. (6 x 9 inches)

Two Reasons to Work in a Series

Background Information You Should Know Yes, I have a collection of plastic dinosaurs. They are scale replicas. Yes they are technically toys but did I mention they are scale replicas. If you’ve taken any drawing class from me you’ll have heard me talk about these subjects—still life subjects who are great stand ins for live […]

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