Category Archives: Brushes

Cartoon Craziness Challenge – Memories of a Childhood Vacation

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I have a funny vacation memory! Yay! Well, it’s not exactly funny. It’s something that probably should not have happened – it shouldn’t have been possible and it wasn’t technically legal – but it did teach me that my dad’s word was as good as gold.

We lived on the Gulf Coast of Florida, so we went to the mountains in North Carolina a couple years in a row on holiday vacation (back then a ‘holiday’ to me was a real one like Christmas). We rented a cabin on the lower slope of a mountain, and just chilled out. I loved it – the people who ran the cabin rentals lived at the bottom and had goats and sheep and let me interact with them. There were rocks and trees and giddy little rivers, and panning for gemstones. The panning was most likely seeded with stones, but it was fun for me anyway. I still have a chunk of flaky mica I found all on my own, too.

I was, I’m going to guess, between 9 and 11. So we’ll say I was 10 when this occurred. Not sure if it was raining out or what, but we were all inside the cabin. I also don’t know who came up with the idea, but I’m assuming it was me: I bet my dad that I could hold my eyes open without blinking for one whole hour, if I could have one whole can of beer all to myself! I always did like beer…

Dad agreed and timed me and made sure I didn’t blink. I wouldn’t have cheated, either – I wanted to see if I could do it.

Of course my eyes welled up and streamed tears. But after a good while, they tapered off. They got used to it. My eyes felt dry, but I didn’t have the urge to blink anymore.

I made it the whole hour. Mom might have protested a bit, maybe, but dad didn’t hesitate and popped the top on a can just for me. I can’t remember if I managed to drink the entire can of beer, but I can guess that I was just as stubborn about finishing it as I was at winning it. I do recall a sense of satisfaction at being able to kick back with a beer of my own, with my family. Maybe I was just a happy drunk!

So here is my cartoon – and it sure did need that explanation or you wouldn’t have a clue what it is meant to be.

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A Little bit of Button

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Babies are hard to draw! They are missing all the wrinkles and lines that us auld folk have, and so a picture can only be a few simple lines that gives the faintest suggestion of who they are. Maybe that’s on purpose – at just a few weeks old, a baby is not yet who it will be.

Another reason to be proud of our lines; they tell a story of personality and experience. There are our crooked smiles, our frowns. A lifetime of physical efforts writ upon our faces, our hands, and even our knees.

Or maybe I’m just making excuses for why I haven’t put up any drawings of Button yet! I’ve been working on one for a while. I wanted to do something that just wasn’t working. The joy of digital art is that I can save and share what I have now, and play with it again at any time. Just in case I figure out how to do what I see in my head, of course.

So, this is, indeed, simple. Just a few lines and a little shading. Socks took a photo when her Super Lady was just a few days old, and I loved it so much I had to create something from it.

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Sorry about the HUGE watermark. I get a lot of Google Image searches and I don’t like the idea that my work is being stolen. If you really like this, I’d be glad to email a copy without the watermark.

And of course, Socks will get an extra-special version :)

Perhaps it is time to get serious…

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First, let me swear on whatever you find worthy of swearing upon that I have not ever clicked on my own blog link after doing a search for ’11/22/63 art.’ (Proof: it isn’t purple in my browser!) I only ever looked because I kept seeing it pop up in my stats, along with ‘Siamese cat drawing.’ So, being curious, I wanted to see where I ranked. The last time I looked, I ranked just below the official Stephen King website. Today, I rank above it.

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WTF WTF WTF.

I actually feel a bit ill seeing this. It scares me. What if King finds me? I might have my first-ever panic attack… and then invite him to Ireland to drive around Mayo on a rented Harley with me (on my own bike, of course). I know better than to ask him to the pub.

What if the publisher sees it, or the person who did the book jacket, and says I’ve infringed on copyright by reproducing the first page? I want to do more of these, and I even started one for ‘IT’ but the movie’s images kept getting in my way. I’ll have to read it again (oh darn, the hardship) and find a good image to use. So right now my idea is to do a couple more, then go ask the publisher if I’m in trouble and need to stop…

Brushed still life of random junk

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I have no idea why I’m putting this up here, instead of doing another drawing… well, yes, I do. I was reviewing older works – in preparation to create a new one – and this picture caught my eye.

Backstory: After Christmas dinner, I loaned my iPad to my hubby’s uncle and he spent ages drawing my mostly empty glass of Pepsi. He’s an artist – and a retired art teacher – and what he did with Brushes blew my socks off. (Even though I had to continually tell him how to work the app.) Everything I would have considered a horrible mistake – undo! undo! – he left in. And wow. I’m totally not posting his work here, uh-uh, no way. My ego is too fra-gee-lay.

Instead, here’s my attempt to follow his lead. I’m intrigued (in retrospect) by my own effort here. I started with the scissors, and it shows. They look terrible, complete shite. The rectangle thingie is a lighter a friend brought me from Russia. It has a famous bridge on it – not sure where, as I can’t read Cyrillic. That was second. It just kind of sits there, a boring mark on the canvas.

But the last thing I smeared on the page, as I was getting steadily happier and drunker, was my nasty ashtray. And I love how it turned out! I almost cropped the pic and just posted the ashtray part. But a lot of you have come along with me on my art adventure and I felt I would be cheating if I didn’t share the whole picture, warts and all.

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Usyaka has inspired a Brushing!

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HOORAY!

Sorry for shouting, but I got to play tonight and finished up the picture that Usyaka inspired. It’s not exact from the photo, I managed to use my imagination a bit. My favorite part of the original photo was the sheer power in her hind legs – the beauty of muscle in motion and the line of her leg and tail. Hope you like it!

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New art… 11/22/63

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Art inspired by Stephen King’s latest book, 11/22/63.

Hey there hi there ho there! I’m going to share my first attempt at something I’ve been thinking about for a while.

First, I have to apologise for the quality of the background photo: I used the iPad. The iPad camera, as we know, is terrible. The color is all wrong, and the page is curved at the top from holding the book open to take the picture. This is, without a doubt, an experiment in progress. But the hubby loves it, so I think I can eventually get where I want to go with this…

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Now, I’ll tell you just what the hell this is! It is the first page of Stephen King’s latest book, ’11/22/63′, with John F Kennedy’s head (from the US fifty-cent coin) drawn between the text.

I got the idea from how occasionally on a typed page I will see a pattern in the white space between words. My desire and intent is to do a drawing relevant to the book (say, a whale on page one of Moby Dick) but in one continuous line, not broken like this one.

’11/22/63′ is about someone getting the chance to go back in time and stop the Kennedy assassination so I found a good, and easy, picture of Kennedy. I really wanted to use a horribly gory one of his autopsy – it seemed to fit with King so much better! However, the pics I found could be of anyone’s black and white brains and hair on an autopsy table. Anyway, with this picture from the coin as a first attempt the subject is indeed recognisable but still not what I wanted. As always, a learning process!

Ps: I’ve not finished the novel yet, so no spoilers please!