Archive for the ‘Drawing’ Category

All of us show bias when it comes to what information we take in.
We typically focus on anything that agrees with the outcome we want.
[Noreena Hertz]


[Note: This post is likely of little interest to anyone who doesn’t use design software, but I did want to share my experience with the few who do. I’ve had trouble finding information about real experiences with this hard and software.]

I select art supplies, computers, hardware and software based upon how each assists me to achieve what I want to achieve. I’ve used Adobe Illustrator since version 1.0 (over twenty years) but am crashing into the brick wall of my bias.

Several years ago, Adobe Systems switched their software distribution to a creative cloud plan. Instead of charging for software and shipping a disc for installation, they offer a subscription plan where the customer pays a monthly fee to use cloud computing that ties the user to Adobe servers through an internet connection. They tout this as being a less expensive and more efficient method of keeping up with the upgrades and taking advantage of a variety of publishing services. That may be true for some customers, but that does not suit my needs nor the way I work, plus I don’t want to be tethered to Adobe’s cloud. Therefore, I happily use Adobe CS6 (the last non-cloud version).

I treated myself to an Apple iPad Pro and Apple pencil for my birthday. It is my new best friend. I use it in place of a TV, and I draw on it. I looked for two types of drawing programs (pixel-based and vector) and settled on Procreate for the pixel-based software, and Autodesk Graphic for the vector-based software. My first challenge was compatibility so I could open the illustrations on my computer as well. Compatibility has been a challenge for me in one form or another since I started using a personal computer in 1982 so I knew I could figure something out.

  • Both of those iPad apps let me transfer documents to my computer by way of iTunes file sharing. My Adobe Illustrator won’t open them.
  • Then I installed Adobe Illustrator Draw on my iPad, found it usable but could only move the drawing to the creative cloud Illustrator for desktop work (unless there is something about it I don’t understand). It won’t transfer via iTunes. So I uninstalled it from my iPad.
  • I ended up purchasing Affinity Designer and the computer version of Autodesk Graphic on my Mac. Wow! I could spend the rest of my life exploring these pieces of software. Also, they open the iPad illustrations.

Now I am on a roll. I love drawing with the Apple Pencil and only need practice getting used to drawing on such a smooth surface to produce images that look like they were drawn in a sketchbook.

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Merry Christmas

Christmas, my child, is love in action.
Every time we love, every time we give.
It’s Christmas.
[Dale Evans Rogers]

Whatever holiday you celebrate this time of year, I wish you the very best—a time full of love.

I celebrate Christmas and have learned over the years how to fill it with love. One Christmas over forty years ago, I felt sorry for myself.  I was stationed at a Navy hospital a thousand miles from home and assigned to work Christmas day. I nursed my self pity through part of my shift until it dawned on me that my attitude influenced the folks around me. They deserved better. It didn’t take a Charles Dickens ghost to jar me loose. I got the message and hunted ways to do something special for each person on my ward. By the middle of the afternoon, we were all feeling better and sharing memories with each other. About then, one of the patient’s mothers brought us a party in big baskets and bags. I shall never forget standing there with a mouth full of cookies thinking that self pity is a person’s worst enemy.

I have filled the Christmas socks (Santa lives at my house so really smart folks hang their socks here–there are six socks hanging). I’ve also gathered in the last bit of food for tomorrow’s brunch and run the vacuum. I have Christmas songs playing on my iPod, a warm dog on my lap, snow out the window, a pretty Christmas tree to look at, and knitting to do. Life is good.

My warmest wishes for your happiness,


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Nursing is an art: and if it is to be made an art,
it requires an exclusive devotion as hard a preparation,
as any painter’s or sculptor’s work;
for what is the having to do with dead canvas or dead marble,
compared with having to do with the living body,
the temple of God’s spirit?
It is one of the Fine Arts:
I had almost said, the finest of Fine Arts.

[Florence Nightingale]

My mother and aunt received fine arts degrees back when few women thought of going to college. Not being competitive by nature, when my turn came, I went to nursing school instead. Imagine my surprise when the first classroom I entered had a sign on the door that read, “Nursing Arts Lab.”

The first thing I learned was that Florence Nightingale’s word was almost sacred so, if she said nursing is an art, then nursing is an art. I had to rethink my idea of art. I’d always thought of it by its traits—creative, innovative, excellent craftsmanship, personally expressive . . . . I usually ascribed it to visual arts, performance arts and writing. How does nursing fit into that?

Forty-five years and a subsequent art degree later, I still haven’t answered that question to my satisfaction. Although nursing is heavily based upon science (microbiology, anatomy, physiology, chemistry, etc.), it doesn’t strike me as being a science so the closest I can come is to think of nursing as a performance art.

Here is another thought which might sound heretical to some. For me, nursing and art are both trades. I studied information and practiced skills to learn these trades. I’ve strived to meet high standards in these trades. I’ve kept a roof over my head and food on my table earning a living plying these trades. At times I’ve even been able to show the traits I listed above, but mostly, I’ve enjoyed my work and it has enriched my life no matter what I called it.

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Sometimes you gotta create what you want to be a part of.
[Geri Weitzman]


I bundled up in a borrowed electric blanket and shivered while I watched sleet pile up on the garage roof. I’d just come in from shoveling snow. My nose was running and my spirits hit a low as the dark sky triggered the streetlights to come on in midday. I knew in my heart that flowers would bloom again, but I needed a mental exercise to convince myself of that. Think tropical vacation, I told myself. That was a month and a half ago.

What is my concept of the color of the tropics? What is my concept of the look of the tropics—you must understand my concept is formed more by picture postcards than actual travel experience. My journey started with colored pencils and is currently flying on the wings of my knitting needles. I returned the blanket to its owner and stored my snow shovel until fall. If it snows again, I’ll just let it melt best it can. This isn’t finished but, I couldn’t wait to share it.

I’m using three colors of Saucon Sock yarn from Kraemer Yarns, Nazareth, Pennsylvania. Here is what they say about their yarn:

Saucon Sock is a cotton, acrylic, and nylon blend perfect for year round socks. It comes in many bright, vibrant colors with more on the way! Although it is designed specifically for socks, Saucon Sock can be used for lace shawls, baby blankets, and sweaters, if you have the patience! Whether you are looking for a cool washable sock yarn or even if you just have an allergy to wool, Saucon Sock is a beautiful no-wool yarn that will hold its shape.

I’m knitting two garments. One is a sleeveless shell that has horizontal stripes. The other is a short lace bolero with short sleeves and V-neck. The shell has a deep ribbing that will show from the bottom of the bolero. I’ll keep you posted about its progress. I wish I could knit faster.

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Food is an important part of a balanced diet.
[Fran Lebowitz]

The trade edition of Kitchen Table Stories, edited by Jane Ross and published by the Story Circle Network, is now available at Lulu.com. This edition is 160 pages and perfect bound. Some of the inside pages can be previewed at Lulu. When you place your order, the books you order are manufactured especially for you and then shipped. The manufacture can take a couple of days. The book includes recipes along with very short stories.

In addition to being an SCN member, I’m partial to this book for personal reasons. I volunteered to do the cover illustration and contributed one of Mama’s recipes to this book. The proceeds go to SCN which is a non-profit organization for women who enjoy writing.

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As a child my family’s menu consisted of two choices:
take it or leave it.

[Buddy Hackett]

Kitchen Table Stories

This anthology of short stories and recipes is being assembled by The Story Circle Network. The book is not yet published, but I will post an announcement when it is launched. I am excited to have contributed a story, a recipe and the cover art. The cover illustration started with a scan of the pencil drawing shown below. The drawing was placed on a top layer in Photoshop with “multiply” applied to the layer. The color was then applied to layers below the drawing layer.

Kitchen Table Stories

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Palm Sunday

The day the Lord created hope
was probably the same day He created Spring.

[Bern Williams]

jonquilThis time last month, I was trying to remember why I choose to live in a place where sub-zero temperatures soak through the walls of my house in the winter. Today is why.

Leaf buds on tree branches strike a red contrast against the April blue sky. Crowds of daffodils visit along the curb. I can almost hear their voices. I think they are singing. The sun pushes warmth through the morning chill, promising a shirt sleeve kind of day. What would life be without contrasts?

The elation I feel when I’ve completed a difficult job is enhanced by my memory of the challenges it offered—the hours when I wondered if I’d ever finish it to my satisfaction. My usual solitude is offset by the warmth I feel when I sit among my friends at the cafe and listen to them talk about nothing in particular. Grief is offset by joy; pain by respite; fear by faith; winter by spring.

I’m from the generation who read the words of Kahlil Gibran. When he spoke of joy and sorrow, he said, “The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.” I read that when I was 23. I’ve been reminded of it frequently ever since. Today is another reminder.

(This little drawing is one of the pencil renderings that I tinted in Photoshop.)

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