Tuesday, May 12, 2020

They Declared a Pandemic on my Birthday

20200311-2020-03-11 13.43.25_blog

I had a major milestone birthday on March 11th.  We got to go out and celebrate.  But it was also the day that the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a worldwide pandemic. 

I’ve been meaning to blog about my birthday for a long time now (2 months).  But things have been SO different since then that it’s hard to even go back to when it was kind of normal.  Things like eating out and going to an art supply store.  But here it is, for memory’s sake! 

Todd took the day off work to celebrate with me.  It was also the day that his company declared that everyone should work from home from that day on, until May 1st.  They’ve since extended WFH indefinitely.  The day began with Todd showering me with gifts. 

20200311-2020-03-11 11.53.56_blog

I got an Apple Pencil, a tracing board with lighting, and a Baby Yoda sketch book.  Great gifts!  I had been into drawing already so these were prescient gifts for quarantine, it turns out.

I wore my “Fifty Years Young” Baby Yoda shirt that I bought from Disney Store online.  We were supposed to spend a few days at Disneyland for my birthday.  I was looking forward to all the new Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge rides and attractions.  But the pandemic changed all that.  Disneyland was closed, and I didn’t get to go.  But I still had my shirt!

20200311-2020-03-11 12.01.24_blog

We had my birthday lunch at Bencotto in Little Italy.  They had already instituted social distancing, so the seating was spread out and only at around 50% capacity max. 

20200311-2020-03-11 13.04.39_blog

I had squid ink gnocchi with shrimp and it was delicious!

20200311-2020-03-11 13.05.08_blog

Todd had gnocchi with spicy marinara sauce and sausage.  He really enjoyed it.

20200311-2020-03-11 13.05.14_blog

20200311-2020-03-11 13.05.22_blog

After lunch, we walked down the street to Blick Arts so I could peruse art supplies.  I purchased a few pens in their loose pen section.  Some of my favorite types of pens, where I didn’t have the colors yet.  Then we walked over to Extraordinary Desserts, where we seem to celebrate our birthdays, anniversaries, etc.  We got my favorite cake there, Truffe Framboise, and took it home to share later that day.

20200311-2020-03-11 15.31.22_blog

In the evening, we went to the movie theater and saw “Onward”, the new Pixar movie.  It was great!  It was right before movie theaters shut down, but after people pretty much stopped going to movies.  So there was hardly anyone there and we were naturally socially-distanced.  I really enjoyed the movie.

It was a wonderful birthday! 

Read More »

Friday, February 28, 2020

I’ve Been Drawing

20200226-2020-02-26 09.23.19_blog

Recently I’ve been drawing again and it makes me feel so alive, productive, and happy.  I had listened to a NPR Lifekit podcast episode about how making art is good for your health.  The podcast says that the act of creation reduces anxiety and stress.  It’s not the end result that matters, but the act of creating.  So I let go of all expectations and just followed some tutorials and started drawing.  I loved drawing as a kid.  I took art classes in high school, college, and even post-college in my 30’s.  But I had forgotten how much I enjoyed it.  Until now!  I’m so happy to pick it back up again.

I am NOT a great artist by any means.  I copy other artists a lot when I practice.  If you read Austin Kleon’s book “Steal Like an Artist”, you know that imitation is a form of practice.  Perhaps from that, you will evolve your own art and ideas.  I love to look at all kinds of art, but I would categorize my own style as graphic and colorful.  I have tried sketching still-life and making things look real with depth and shadows and such, and have found that it’s just not my style.  I don’t find it fun.  I like drawing graphics.  I like drawing things that I’m obsessed with at the moment.

In the case of recent months… it’s Baby Yoda!  I watched The Mandalorian on Disney+ when it came out end of 2019 and instantly fell in love with Baby Yoda.  I have watched the 8 episodes over and over again.  So I drew a few different iterations of Baby Yoda…


I integrated my favorite features from these and came up with this Baby Yoda, which I loved.  I colored it and cut it out and put it on a card to give to Todd for Valentine’s Day.

20200214-2020-02-14 14.29.21_blog

And of course I had to also draw the Mandalorian himself.  I watched this tutorial.

20200226-2020-02-26 09.24.40_blog

And I drew Elsa from Frozen, from this tutorial

20200226-2020-02-26 09.24.44_blog

And I’ve been watching drawing classes on CreativeBug.  I signed up for a three month special during their Black Friday sale.  These are a few things I’ve done from Lisa Congdon’s More Sketchbook Explorations class.  I LOVE using the watercolor brush markers with the black micron pens and white gelly roll pens

20200226-2020-02-26 09.23.32_blog

This one I used a watercolor pan instead of the brush pens.

20200226-2020-02-26 09.16.30_blog

Both of the above I painted the colors first and let them dry.  Then I drew on top of it with black and white pens.  This one below I drew the graphics first, and then colored them.

20200221-2020-02-21 18.45.10_blog

20200221-2020-02-21 18.45.21_blog

20200226-2020-02-26 09.23.19_blog

The cool part is that I had a lot of the materials for drawing and painting already, so I didn’t have to buy a bunch of stuff to pick up this hobby again.  I am enjoying it so much right now!  It feels great to be creative again.

Read More »
[feedly mini]