#Rock My Ambidextrousness

Back in March, as fine motor skills returned to the hand of the broken arm, I was at odds. It took time to learn to draw left handed during physical therapy and recovery because the exercises to regain mobility fatigued my hand and arm. In order to get any illustration work done, there was no choice but to learn to draw left handed. In fact, typing one handed was frustrating and using voice recognition software to transcribe was not fun either. I ended up writing by hand quite a bit. That made transcribing one handed, and as I was able to type with two hands, much easier. If the injured arm hand got tired, no biggie it was already written down.

But as the nerves and muscles started talking and working together and strength and stamina returned, the prospect of handwriting was now an option. Though the script was shaky, I found a very cool way to practice letting my creativity flow and keep the away the drudgery.

Now as I share, let me say that this is already a very popular party that I arrived late to, but just incase you don’t know about it let me share for you to check out.

There is a youtube video that explains it –
A Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/groups/RockYourHandwriting/

The organizers are:
Kim at TinyRayofSunshine.com www.tinyrayofsunshine.com
Kara at BoHoBerry.com bohoberry.com
Dee at DecadeThiry.com decadethirty.com
Jessica at Prettyprintsandpaper.com prettyprintsandpaper.com

You can find the monthly prompts at Tiny Ray of Sunshine

Posting on Facebook, pin interest and Instagram with the hashtag rock your handwriting (#rockyourhandwriting)

Check it out.

Fickle Relationships

Each morning during my coffee ministrations a reluctant Daisy Mae, in disbelief of day break, slowly saunters in the kitchen squinting her eyes in rejection of morning. She waits patiently for me to acknowledge her presence; if not quick enough she sighs heavily as her patience wains. Checking her water bowl’s level to fill, when I prepare her food during her morning airing, I make my way around her to the back door.

She waddles over to the back door and stands, sighing in preparation to meet the outdoors, yet again. She stays back from the door’s swing inward and won’t move forward until the storm dorm is swung outward far enough that she can see the yard before her. Taking only as many steps as necessary to feel the air temperature waft into the room, she waits to judge the weather and temperature. This may take a few minutes for her to decide if they meet her requirements.

Daisy Mae’s weather and temperature requirements are quite specific. It cannot be too cold, or warm. She prefers a nice sun shiny day over cloudy, even with the right temperature. The right combination can have her suddenly rush forward playfully, happy for the day. Others, those so far from her favored conditions they are reduced to a snort, she turns from the door and plods back to bed.

My dog experience had been quite limited until Daisy Mae. Never had a pooch that would go back to bed without me. But, Daisy will do just that. This very morning with the temperature in the mid thirties, sun shining brightly was not approved. She stopped mid way through the kitchen.

Grabbing my coffee as I made my way around her standing in the kitchen, I sat to enjoy my morning cup of joe on the recliner. Daisy decided to come join me, but seeing there was not enough room with me, the cup and the journal across my lap was just too much. She walked past the empty couch, blanket on the floor and went back to bed.

There is a huffing sound coming from the bedroom as she hoists herself on to the trunk at the foot of the bed, her self appointed step-stool. Just to be sure, I sneak back to see where she was. Yep, she is back asleep on the bed.

Handlettering Revisited

It was while planning this project some time was spent considering hand lettering; an idea that was dropped because it wasn’t apparent that I would be able to do that type of fine work without considerable practice when I broke my forearm. Thankfully in the last four months things have changed and I am currently revisiting that decision.

To be honest, the idea of making more of it by hand, instead of using so much computer programming seems far more appealing. So in addition to learning a bit more about painting with acrylics, add working on lettering. (My mind might change again before the final galley.)

This is a labor of love. As much as I want to finish it quickly, and still put forth my best effort, I have found myself outside my comfort zone. Invading skills that others I admire have is a bit awkward. They have studied and accomplished abilities that are far and above necessary for this project; I have doubts as to how much of what I have learned will ever be used again. My appreciation for their talents has increased and that will remain even if I never take up another brush or sketch pad again.

Something that has come through to me this last year is that no one has to be exactly like anyone else. Every piece of art has the right to have appreciation, even if the only admiration we can muster is appreciating the effort that has gone into the creation. We aren’t all going to like every painting. Not everything will speak to everyone.

There are beloved writers that just don’t make me devour their words- while others I can’t find enough by them to read to satisfaction. My favorite writers someone else just might not like at all. We all have preferences.

My preferences are priority in my own writing, and as I move forward with illustrations, that too is heavy handed with my likes. Even if sometimes I struggle to try to create images on paper that are merely ideas in my head, I want everyone to like what I do, but that is not how this works.

Remember that your best may sometimes be considered less than by others and not let it get to you. That is a tough lesson, I am still learning it.


So, I could be running errands today, and may still, but I won’t be out and about alone, if I go.
My son’s dog, Daisy Mae, is frightened by storms. This knowledge was somewhere in the back of my brain, but it wasn’t exactly first hand knowledge as to how badly storms scared her, not until some time between 2 and 3 a.m.

There was a very loud, BOOM! The thunderclap sounded like it was outside the window. It could have been over the house, around the house, next door, doesn’t matter where it came from, it came. It woke me up, or rather it woke Daisy, who in turn woke me.

Before we went to bed my feet were cold, this was mentioned aloud by me to Daisy. As in, “If you’d like to sleep on my feet, I’d like that, my feet are cold, Daisy.” A few minutes after closing my eyes, my feet felt something heavy on them. Raising my head up to look down at a furry white and black blob half on and mostly next to my feet; I petted her and told her thanks before laying back down.

Then that loud noise woke either one or both of us up. Daisy Mae moved close to my face, her hot breath on my cheek wouldn’t have allowed me to sleep through the storm, and she just sat there on the bed, breathing on me. The next boom wasn’t quite so intense, but she moved closer still, nearly sitting on my chest.

I patted her head and coo’d to her like you would a child. In a few minutes she snuggled down right up against me. We eventually both feel back asleep and woke late in the morning.

Now with coffee, contemplating the day and what needs to be done, it is very apparent just how frightened Daisy Mae is. She hasn’t let me leave her in a room alone. She wouldn’t go outside by herself either. Only when she saw me pick up the laptop to write did she decided that my position was permanent enough she could curl up on the couch and try to catchup on the sleep she lost last night, staying within arms reach.

So whatever I do today, she will be with me. If any errands are run, she is running them with me. We have a forecast of scattered storms today, and since there isn’t anything pressing to be done that precludes an unwelcome dog, it just doesn’t seem right to make her stay home alone in stormy weather.

Practice Makes Perfect

Looking back over some sketches I did while waiting at various places. Some are not bad at all. Deciding how to incorporate those images and finding the best ones for the story at hand is above my skill level at present. This is proving to take more time than I realized.

Children faces aren’t easy. Found some that were done while practicing new techniques during a picture book course. Very pleased then, and now with some of them. Whether or not I can produce better will be determined in the coming weeks, so it maybe a mishmash of old and new sketches that are pulled together to complete the story.

Taking pictures of the sketches I like before I begin painting or should I say attempting to paint incase they don’t turn out well. That way the decent sketches can be used as a back up plan or even maybe try computer generation coloring. It really boils down to what appeals to me.

This is hard and sometimes I want to quit or postpone my project. I have accomplished far more than I thought was possible. In a couple of weeks coloring the illustrations will start. Practicing with paint mixing and using the brushes is my secondary task each day now.

My respect for artists who can create the images in their minds for us all to view on canvas and paper has grown tremendously. They are amazing. Now, looking at real art, my response is, “WOW!”