Painted River

7:50 AM

You may notice that I'm a big fan of drawing things that eventually turn into something else. That was the main idea I had when I drew this - a paintbrush whose strokes eventually end in a little pond. I still like the concept a lot, but I think I could re-draw it better. We'll see if I can find the time...


Prison Break

9:58 AM

I always love a good prison escape.
At least, in movies and stuff. Maybe not in real life, because then there’s a convict running around in society and I don’t want that. But in movies and TV shows, I find it so fun to root for prisoners to escape from prison. “Escape from Alcatraz,” “Shawshank Redemption,” “The Great Escape”…I watched the show “Prison Break” for years, even after they escaped from prison and broke into another prison and escaped from that one. I love the idea of hatching a plan and carefully carrying it out bit by bit, until it’s finally time to make a run for it. I wish there was some sort of practical application for this in my own life…but alas, I never have to escape from anywhere.


Drawing Myself

7:52 AM

I think self-portraits are a funny thing.
It’s interesting to see what artists translate different on paper than in reality. For instance, I don’t really have prominent freckles, but I refuse to draw myself without them. I loved having freckles when I was a kid and I didn’t want to lose them. To me, freckles represent youth and mischief and joy…so I always draw myself with freckles. I also draw my hair parted to the wrong side, because I’m drawing it how it looks in the mirror. But I really do wear my watch on my right hand, even though I’m right-handed, which is something no one else seems to do. I stick my tongue out when I’m concentrating, I wear boot-cut jeans, and my hair is currently at a point where it curls inward and then flips out at the bottom. I’ve become pretty comfortable with this version of cartoon-me, and it’s consistently looked like this for a while. At this point, I’m not sure I could change it if I wanted to. I mean, this has become a part of me. Cartoon-Annie, the only self-portrait I’ve ever been able to come up with.

I Should Be More Embarrassed By This

7:09 AM

I work at a camp. It's wonderful, because I'm very campy.
We use walkie-talkie radios to communicate (which is of course, awesome). One summer when I was on staff, my friend and I were jealous that we didn't get radios, so we actually bought our own and just talked to each other. Anyway, in radio "lingo," people always try to get a hold of you by saying "Annie, do you copy?" One time, years ago, I heard someone respond to that question by saying "Like a Xerox machine!" And while I know this is a very cheesy response, I thought it was hilarious (I told you, I'm campy.) I think it's clever.

So when I decided to make a folder to keep everything I have to make copies of during the summer, the logical thing to do was to draw this. Because I do copy. Like a Xerox machine.


8:03 AM

With this drawing, my original intent was just to draw somebody else with giant forearms, since it's on the same page in my sketchbook as Popeye. Then the guy sort of evolved into Tarzan, still with giant forearms. It's like Tarzan's been eating Popeye's spinach. I added a monkey for good measure and pulled the ol' reaching-for-a-vine-but-instead-it-was-a-snake routine on Tarzan. He was not amused.

Balloons + Rat

7:49 AM

Just a little something to brighten your day...a rat holding a balloon.


Big Foot

7:55 AM

For a girl, having a size 11 shoe size is a real pain.
Several shoe brands only go to size 10, leaving me just out of reach of normal-shoe-size-land. (I have a Spinal Tap joke brewing about how more shoes should "go to eleven" but I can't quite get there.) Half the shoes I own are actually tens, and I can't wear them for more than a couple hours without my feet getting sore. This drawing is an exaggerrated verison of what it feels like to have giant feet. It's like Gulliver's Travels up in here. But for all my complaining - I do know a girl who has size 12 feet. And finding shoes in size 12 is almost impossible. So let that be the lesson learned here matter how big your feet are, there's always someone else with feet even bigger. It could be worse.


Popeye Drinks Red Bull

7:48 AM

This is just a silly doodle of Popeye and me.
As I sat down to draw him, I realized he is the most out-of-proportion cartoon character I've ever seen. I mean, those forearms are no joke. And his weird little knee-bumps? He's definitely on steroids. It made it difficult to draw my cartoon character proportionally correct because I'm next to such an odd individual. I always thought it was peculiar that Popeye got his strength from spinach...even as a child, I rememeber wondering if it was some sort of subliminal advertising (like the Drink More Ovaltine bit in "A Christmas Story" - Popeye says "Eat more spinach, kids!") So anyway, I just figured I would expand Pop's beverage arsenal with some sugar and caffeine.


Castle Part I

9:59 AM

I’m sorry this sketch isn’t really complete, but I’m posting it anyway. It’s all I’ve drawn. I recently saw the movie “Tristan and Isolde” (I think it’s technically called “Tristan + Isolde” because they were being all artsy with the plus sign) and, while I didn’t love the movie, it reminded me of how much I love castles. Drawbridges, moats, secret passageways…I love it all. I drew this castle for a project I’m working on, but I’m not quite finished with it. I want to make the tall open tower into something else, like a smokestack or an arm or tree trunk or something, but I haven’t made up my mind. More to come.


Raining Roots: The Process

8:07 AM

I have to admit, I really like the Raining Roots design I did a few days ago.
As I was looking back over some pages of doodles, I found the original "concept drawings" for this. I thought it was kind of interesting, so I'm posting it. The first thing I drew was (on the far left) a man with an umbrella. I originally was going to draw a torrential downpour over his head, like a raincloud that follows him around...but as I drew the waterfall coming down on him, I realized it looked more like tree roots than water. I circled the sketch, as if to proclaim "Eureka!"

The second sketch is only slightly more detailed, as I was trying to figure out what this drawing would really look like and if it would indeed look cool to have a guy with an umbrella under some tree roots. Then I went for it (third drawing) and drew what would be the final version of the tree. It was still only one guy beneath the tree, so I later made it a girl and boy together, added some color, and that's how I got here.


The Jesus Napkin

7:57 AM

I was going through my desk drawer at work yesterday and I came across this.
It's an old napkin from a lunch long ago, and apparently I was trying (repeatedly) to draw Jesus on it.
I know I make Jesus look like a hobo, but I still enjoyed finding these. It was a funny surprise.

West Side Starry

11:45 AM

This is what it would be like if Star Trek and Star Wars were fighting for our galaxy.
I originally wanted to draw them all walk-snapping like the Jets and the Sharks, but I figured it would just look weird - like they were all hunched over giving innapropriate hand gestures or something. So instead, they're just throwing down some intergalactic trash talk and I had to break it up before somebody gets tasered or cut in half by a light saber.

My favorite thing about this drawing is, of course, the fact that Chewie is carrying Yoda on his shoulders like a toddler...and I also like that I have a bo staff with me, in case I really have to get involved. Sure, they all have guns, but I can handle myself just fine. I studied ninjutsu with the Ninja Turtles, after all.

(If anyone's wondering, Star Wars always wins.)

Raining Roots

8:29 AM

I drew this yesterday. It's just a simple drawing with no meaning, but I'm in love with it.

Peter Pannie

3:00 PM

When I was a kid, I adored Peter Pan (and still do.)
I wanted to fly, I wanted to play with the Lost Boys in the forest, and I never wanted to grow up. Peter and I would have gotten along splendidly. This page in my sketchbook was just a plain brick wall, so I decided it should have me and the boys flying off to Neverland. In this scenario, I'm replacing Wendy...I didn't "forget" to draw her. I did, however, leave out Tinkerbell on purpose. She and I have never gotten along, as I'm annoyed that she has so much merchandise in the Disney store while Peter himself has so little. And who does she think she is? In the original book, she is SUCH a brat. So, to show my love for Pete, I've been boycotting Tink for a decade or so. (That'll show her!)

Anyway, I recently bought a white-out pen so I could draw the characters against the brick background and have them show up. And since the background was just plain gray (see below), I brightened it up when I scanned it into Photoshop so it almost looks like we're gliding across a beautiful brick night sky.


Creepiest Jack Donaghy Ever

2:28 PM

I've been watching a lot of 30 Rock reruns lately, and it might just be my favorite show of all time. It's at least in the top 3. I think it's so clever and Tina Fey's Liz Lemon is the most relatable TV character (for me personally) I've ever encountered. So today, as I stared at a blank brick page in my Walls sketchbook, I decided to draw someone near and dear to my heart...Jack Donaghy.

Let me clarify: Alec Baldwin is not near and dear to my heart, Jack is. Jack is Liz Lemon's boss on 30 Rock, and his constant ridiculous management advice and thinly-veiled insults are the perfect balance for Liz's naive, optimistic, I'd-rather-be-eating-a-donut-right-now character. Unfortunately, when I drew Jack on the brick background, he looks sort of evil. But hey, I tried.

I leave you now with some of my favorite Jack Donaghy quotes, and maybe eventually I'll draw Liz on the other page.

My fave: Jack to Liz: "I don’t know what happened in your life that caused you to develop a sense of humor as a coping mechanism. Maybe it was some sort of brace or corrective boot you wore during childhood, but in any case I’m glad you’re on my team."

Liz: "Why are you wearing a tux?"
Jack: "It's after 6. What am I, a farmer?"

Liz: "Okay, very funny. You bought a pager from Dennis. Will you take it off now, please?"
Jack: "Oh, I can't. I'm expecting a call from 1983."

And I love that every now and then they actually have genuinely sweet moments like this:
Liz: You know what I hear? It's the hug plane, and it's coming in for a landing.
Jack: [weeping] You are cleared for landing. [They hug.]



3:42 PM

When I was ten, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were the greatest thing in the world.
I remember someone mentioning New Kids on the Block in my 5th grade class, and I remember thinking "Who would be into NKOTB when there are Ninja Turtles?!" as if they were mutually exclusive. I loved the Turtles. I dressed up as them. I watched them. I was one of them.

I called myself Annatello, the top secret fifth Ninja Turtle member. I chose the name "Annatello" because Donatello was my favorite, and because Annanardo and Annael and Annangelo sounded silly. I chose a bo staff as my weapon, again because Donatello was my favorite, and also because I hurt myself when I tried to play-fight with the other weapons - nunchucks in particular...I always ended up hitting my face. I would tie two drumsticks together with yarn, which I'm pretty sure causes more pain than actual nunchucks. It was not pretty. Oh, and my chosen color was pink...intimidating, huh?

When I was in high school, they came out with a girl Ninja Turtle named Venus. I was so annoyed with that. I was like 16 when I first heard about her and I was filled with extreme jealousy that she got to be the fifth Ninja Turtle instead of me. I felt that I deserved it more, because I'd wanted it longer. I was the original fifth Ninja Turtle. So anyway, this drawing is an ode to my childhood, the color pink, and the most beloved heroes in a half-shell, to whom I owe all of my ninja training.

Super Annie Bros

9:07 AM

This is just a silly drawing of me in Mario Land.
I thought it was appropriate since it's on the same sketchbook page as my Human Tetris drawing.
Now I have a video game theme happening.

Who WOULDN'T want to be Mario? You get to wear overalls all the time and hang out with flying turtles and giant mushrooms and cloudmobiles...that's the good life. I found these images (below) and they make me want to have a room in my house devoted to Mario (minus the girl in the weird boots.)


10:03 AM

I would like the band Arcade Fire 600% more if their lead singer didn't always looked depressed.
Dude, act like you're happy. You're a rock star. Own it. Lighten up a little, eh?


Lions and Otters and Beavers...Oh my!

9:05 AM

This is my office.
It might not look like an office, but this is what it's like.
Most of my coworkers and I recently took a personality test that tells you what type of learning style you are. It's a test developed by Gary Smalley and John Trent that ends up assigning an animal mascot to your personality to represent your learning style. There are four different possibilities: Lion, Otter, Beaver, and Golden Retriever.

I think every female in my office is a lion (except me). Lions are intuitive, energetic, aggressive, instinctive risk-takers. And then most of the men in my office are otters. Otters are imaginative, spontaneous, idealistic, and enjoy the lighter side of life. They like to play.

And then there's me.
I'm the only beaver (please hold all beaver jokes until the end of this post). Beavers' characteristics are being detail-oriented, factual, consistent, dependable. I'm not all those things all the time, but they do describe me. It's my job to support all the lions and otters, and the beaver is designed for just that. As silly as this animal-personality-test seems, I like that it confirmed what I already knew - that I'm in a job that suits me. And every now and then, when I feel like I'm different from the team I work with...I can remember that I am.
And it's a good thing.

Telekite Pole

11:58 AM

This is just a simple drawing I did today, but for me it was a stop-what-you’re-doing moment when I came up with it. I had to drop everything, find some scratch paper, and put this on paper immediately. I was afraid I would forget the concept if I waited a single minute before drawing it. So I drew it immediately.

I wasn’t sure if it would “work” or not, but I love it. I know it’s such a simple idea, but for some reason I feel like it represents more, like finding joy in ordinary things…you know, like finding kites on the end of telephone wires, that sort of thing. It makes me feel breezy.

Human Tetris

1:38 PM

What is the greatest video game of all time? (Say it with me now…) TETRIS.

You know it’s true! It’s simple, yet addicting - and I spent so many hours of my childhood playing this game on my Sega Genesis (If you’re thinking that sounds awesome, it really was.) I used to pretend that there was a lot riding on each game, like I was on a game show, and with each level I passed, I'd pretend I was earning more prizes. I'd clap for myself and cheer...I'm an only child. This is what we do.

So this drawing is a tribute to the wonderful game of Tetris, and how it probably wouldn't be as fun if we were actually in the shapes as they were dropping from the sky. The cat seems to be having a good time, least there's that.

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