My Trip in Sketches

7:26 AM

  I spent most of last week in the mountains of central California, on a staff retreat with my coworkers. I love pretty much any kind of retreat, and it was nice to get away from the office for a few days.

Unfortunately, we had to drive through some pretty windy roads, which left one of my coworkers feeling a little extremely nauseous.

We made and ate breakfast together in the mornings, which felt very family-like. And it turns out I'm more eager to discuss work topics after you've fed me pancakes.

 We were given some free time to go off into the woods by ourselves, which is one of my favorite things to do.

...Aaaaaand after six hours of traffic on the way home...
Don't worry, we still like each other. It was just a reeeeally long drive. We'll call it team-building.

My (Shortened) Week in Sketches

7:37 AM

I'm out of town again this week. Lots of travelling in the fall for me.
But that means I was only able to post a few of last week's daily sketches.

My friends and I have been gathering together on Thursday nights to watch Survivor for many years. We also chat and eat dinner and hang out like normal people...but we still take our Survivor pretty seriously. Sometimes we wear homemade "buffs" like the Survivor contestants do.

This might not seem exciting, but I cleaned my garage Friday night. It was such a disaster area, and now it looks SO much better and I'm so happy about it.

I watched the movie "Blue Like Jazz" this weekend, and sadly did not find it very entertaining. I might have fallen asleep a few times.

I went to a new church on Sunday, and was very pleased to run into so many friends there.

...And then I left for a staff retreat! See ya' next week with the sketches.

Kiddos in Gray

7:25 AM

More black and white drawings with my new markers...I love those things!
Today I was drawing out a few of my friends' children...because when you're surrounded by your friends' super-adorable kids all the time, sometimes you can't resist drawing them.


Stained Tulips

7:23 AM

This is the story of an art project gone wrong.
It started with two tulips that I drew on a piece of wood.
I added some shadowing with gray markers and I was very pleased with how it was turning out.

Then I added some green watercolor to the leafy parts. The green spread a lot more than I anticipated, but I wasn't too worried because I was fairly certain that wood stain would cover it up in the leaky areas (when really, I should have seen this as ominous foreshadowing...)

 ...Aaaaand yup, the wood stain covered it up, all right. It spread and spread and now I don't love it so much any more. The green leaves look sickly with the brown stain spread into them, and the flowers don't stand out as much when they have brown spots.
 Well, you can't win 'em all...


Char(lie) Wars

7:39 AM

I could spend the rest of my life just drawing Peanuts characters as different movie characters. They're so cuuuute! With their short little legs and weird head shapes...These three are meant to be Han Solo and Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia, which I hope is fairly obvious. (If you don't know who those characters are, find a Star Wars DVD and watch it immediately. This is not a drill.) I'm still just having a good ol' time with my new Copic markers, which is why everything's in black and white. But they have mainly black and white outfits on, anyway, so it fits.

Rock Yeti: Part II

8:51 AM

This is sort of a sequel to a drawing I posted a few weeks ago. My friends liked to tell kids that a yeti lived in the rock jetty, yada yada yada, I started drawing rock yetis. The more monumental thing about this drawing is that it's the first drawing I completed using my new Copic sketch markers that my friend got me. I've been meaning to use these for months, with them sitting front-and-center on my desk in anticipation, but I just now got around to it this week. But oh man. It's love. These bad boys are pretty awesome. Now I want to draw everything in shades of gray. Markers were always my favorite coloring medium when I was a kid, and it turns out there's still a lot of love there.


My Week in Sketches

7:27 AM

Starting with September 11th, not August 11th as the date shows. I labeled the first 11 days of September with an "8" accidentally. In my mind, August and September have the same "personality" and I can never remember which month has which number. I kid you not, the way I figure it out in my head is that I know JC Chasez's (from the boy band 'N Sync) birthday is August 8th, and I know it's 8/8. Half the time I can't remember how old I am, but that fact I remember. Sheesh.
I went camping with my friends last week and on our way to the campsite, we happened to spot two other cars from our group at a rest stop, even though we weren't caravanning. It was just a fun, unexpected meet-up at the park where all the kids could run around for a little while.
On the first day we were there, I snuck away for an hour to play guitar up on the mountainside, which was really beautiful. It felt like I was playing on the edge of the Grand Canyon or something.
The next day we went hiking, and found ourselves a little bit lost in some aspen groves. It was so pretty, and I've never been so happy to be lost. 

My friends and I went for a short hike on the last day, and it felt like we were on top of the world. We had lots of fun taking dramatic "I conquered the mountain"-type pictures. Oh, and "pretending-we're-falling-off-the-side-of-a-cliff" pictures, too.
 The five-hour drive home flew by due to sleepy children, snacks, and good conversation.
Back to work! This was my first day in my new office, and it seemed like I had to search through five different drawers every time I was looking for something.
I was torn between going to bed early (since I was still exhausted and almost-sick from camping) or staying up until 10 to see the season premiere of "New Girl" and "The Mindy Project." My compromise with myself was that I could stay up later if I exercised while I watched. So I sort of did.

I babysat my friends' 4-year-old on Wednesday, and he was so pleased to see that we were both sitting cross-legged at one point. I love when little things make a kid happy. And bonus points for him using the phrase "criss-cross applesauce."

Tuna Melts my Heart

7:35 AM

This is a dog named Tuna. A real dog. In real life. That I drew.
Tuna has a pretty crazy underbite which makes him...distinctive-looking. He has his own instagram called "Tuna Melts My Heart" and I couldn't stop laughing out loud when I first saw pictures of him. This was actually the first picture I've ever drawn completely on the computer, with my pen tablet. While I still prefer hand-drawn lines on paper, the coloring was super easy, and a method I've grown to really appreciate.


Where You're Planted

7:53 AM

 Is this even a phrase? Does anyone say this? I'm not sure, but it's what popped into my head when I was drawing this, so there it is. To me it's rather telling, like this is secretly what I need to tell myself, and that's why the phrase came to mind. I've been feeling restless lately, idealizing different versions of where my future could take me...and sometimes I think I lose focus of the present. I forget to make the most of where I am now. And, you know, grow and stuff.


Choose Joy

7:47 AM

This is another little bit of lettering I've been working on. I wanted a simple little phrase that would leave room for lots of swirlies. A friend of mine has a tattoo that says "Choose joy," which is where I got the idea. And, you know, I like joy and all. I would like to choose it more often.



7:50 AM

This is a (super-creepy) self-portrait I drew, thinking it would be less creepy than it turned out. I just thought that it would be like a normal self-portrait, except my face is actually a crazy mask that I'm pulling off. Normal stuff. I colored only the face/neck in color thinking that it would be artsy to have the rest in black and white...but really, it just looks like I have some sort of skin-graying disease. And it's a pretty bad self-portrait to begin with. Sooo...not my favorite. But, you know, it was something to draw. And I like anything that keeps me drawing.


My Week in Sketches

7:31 AM

This week I'm going camping with my friends in Bishop, California!
As we were discussing the long five-hour drive to get there, my friend Heather (who drives from California to Montana twice a year and is used to long road trips) replied "Fivey-schmeezy!" Which made us laugh because that's not a thing.

Back in my hometown for the weekend, my friend's little 8-year-old niece challenged me to a game of tetherball. She was all trash talk until I started winning, and then she tried to play the sympathy card. I was all, "Sorry, I can't hear you over the sound of me winning!" I'm so good with kids.

Lately I've been really into my ancestry and figuring out my family tree. My mom and I spent a lot of time talking about it last weekend, and I typed up our family tree online.

I'm in an NFL "pick 'em league" with my friends, just for fun. I don't take it that seriously, but my dad, who loves sports, is so excited for me to be playing. And thanks to beginner's luck, I'm somehow in first place. Dad's so proud.

At work this week, we did some reshuffling of offices. My whole team is moving to another building, leaving behind the office I've occupied for the past seven years (which was named "Beachmore".) I have so many fond memories of that office, it was a bittersweet kind of day.
And then I left to go CAMPING!! So fun. It'll show up in the sketches next week!


My Latest Tree

7:33 AM

 Yup. Sometimes I just draw a tree and then don't know what to say about it.
I drew a tree. It has many leaves. I would like to climb it. 

Defying Gravity

7:34 AM

This is another page out of my "Walls" sketchbook. 
I drew myself four times, each with gravity pulling me in a different direction.
I've always loved thinking about what it would be like to walk around in rooms sideways, if gravity suddenly started pulling in a different direction, and this drawing represents a little piece of that.


Rock Yeti

7:38 AM

When I was on Catalina Island a few weeks ago, my friends kept referring to the rock jetty as the "rock yeti." Or something like that. They would just tell kids to "Mind the rock yeti!" and watch them make a confused face as they tried to figure out if the adult had meant to say "yeti." And whether or not there really was a sasquatch living in the rocks. It was a fun game. Knowing my friends, it may also have been related to the scene in Anchorman where Ron Burgundy doesn't know if jogging is pronouncing "jogging" or "yogging", with a soft j. So that would make "jetty" into "yeti," and thus the legend of the Rock Yeti was born...


My Week in Sketches

7:32 AM

This week was pretty epic. I was happy to capture a few of the memories with some drawings.
We'll start with the flash flood that washed car-sized boulders into the middle of the road where I work...

Then, after the stressful day before...I went to my friend's lake house for the weekend! I was so happy to get away and relax with my ridiculous friends. I can't really "explain" the picture below...the boys just like to take their shirts off for no reason.

The next night, as we were all hanging out, someone said "We should play sardines!" and in an instant, everybody was running to hide. Sardines, if you don't know, is a game where only one person hides and the rest go looking. But we were a little fuzzy on the rules and for about ten minutes, everybody was hiding and nobody was looking for anyone. 

We went tubing on the lake, and I didn't like it when the boat was going fast. I'm kind of a wuss. But when the boat was going at less than five miles per hour in a "no-wake zone", I was happy to give it a go. We were moving so slowly, and right as I happily declared "Now this is my kind of tubing!" the tube sank. Because we were moving so slow, the boat wasn't even pulling us. 

We stopped at a petting zoo on the way home. 
My friends fed goats. I fed myself ice cream.

Some friends of mine let me come pilfer their stockpile of pallets in the backyard, which I will eagerly use for art projects.

This is a running joke I have with a friend who's always trying to convince me that I should let her make all my life decisions for me. (There's an episode of "Friends" where Rachel decides she's made too many bad decisions in life so she lets Monica make all her decisions for her.) That's what friends are for, right?


Happy Camper

7:49 AM

 "Happy Camper" is one of my favorite phrases. I love camp. It makes me happy. So it kind of makes sense. I drew out these letters by hand, but in the end I was kind of annoyed I even took the time to draw them, when I think they'd look just as good (or better) in an actual font...but here we are. Happy camper.


Still Chiller Whale

7:35 AM

This is a sequel to an earlier blog post from last week. My friends and I now mockingly say things are "chiller whale" to express when things are cool or "hip", so I've been having fun drawing what chiller whales look like. In my whale sketch last week, I drew what I think of as the classic "whale shape." Then, the more I thought about it (because apparently I spend lots of time thinking about whale shapes), I realized that the "chiller whale" ought to be a killer whale, but "chill." And I'd drawn a humpback whale or something. So this is an updated version with a chiller killer whale. Seems more appropriate. He seems pretty chill. Although it also kind of looks like a dolphin, and less whaley...but more accurate in the killer/chiller wordplay, so I'm satisfied.

You In?...

7:42 AM

Hey, guess what happened? Yesterday, for the first time since I started blogging, I missed a weekday. I just forgot. But it's okay. I forgot because I was having too much fun with friends to sit down at my computer, and I think that's just fine. I was celebrating "Lakesborday" at a friend's lake house, and we spent the weekend swimming and tubing and boating and adventuring. So it's appropriate that I post this sketch today, since this group of friends is who inspired it...It's just a simple little drawing, commemorating one of my favorite things about them - that they're always about to get into more mischief or start another adventure. And it seems like every time I'm hanging out with them, there's at least one or two times where someone proposes an adventure and throws their hand in the middle of the group, shouting "Who's in?!" And we all throw our hands in the middle like we're making some sort of pact, like we're characters in "The Sandlot" or "The Goonies" or something. I like it. I like adventures and mischief. And more often than not, I'm so in.

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