first scribbles in sketchbook pro

Here is the work in progress so far. Some observations:

Sketchbook Pro has some great similarities to the old Fractal Design Painter application, like the hue-value-saturation wheel. There is not a lot of difference between each media option, but it’s fun to play around with different line widths, sharpness of line, and opacity. And this is excellent for a $6 app.

Using my finger to draw/paint on the iPad is fun, but not very exact. I keep wishing it was like drawing on a pressure-sensitive tablet, but nothing except my finger works on the pad… I will keep trying pencil-like objects to see if they work, and practicing.

On the work itself, I first flattened it a bit by drawing outlines in yellow. Not a lot of tonal progression yet… more like tonal spray! Luckily I can keep working this layer or try again with another.



combining traditional and digital media

Here is a drawing I started on paper, using colored pencil. I’m going to use Sketchbook Pro on my iPad to create better color progressions. The coolest thing is that I’ll still have my original in my journal. I can leave it, or use what I discover digitally to add to it. Bear with me… While I’m no stranger to digital artwork, I’m new to the iPad and to Sketchbook Pro.


fall fuel

Fall is a busy time. Every year I need to get ready for delivery of the wood pellets for the winter. I supplement my city gas heat by burning wood pellets in the cast iron pellet stove which sits in the middle of one wall of my main living space. The electrician who installed the stove also delivers my pellets. This year, I ordered two tons of 40-pound bags, which arrived today on two pallets.

Last year, Hymie, who operates the delivery fork lift, had trouble maneuvering the pallets to where I wanted them at the side of the garage. I wound up re-stacking the pellet bags myself… not a task I wanted to repeat this year. So, instead of writing blog posts for the last few weeks, I’ve been rearranging my garage to facilitate a straight-in pellet delivery.

It worked out beautifully— despite the fact that pallet number two took a dive off of the fork lift as Hymie turned into the driveway this morning— he was marvelously quick at stacking the bags back on the pallet (lots faster than I would have been) and I am now ready for the winter.

I took today off of work to take delivery of my pellet-pallets. Hymie has been notoriously unpredictable in past years. I was pleasantly surprised to hear the beep-beeping of the forklift at 7:30 this morning. That gave me the day to work on my art-fueling.

Everyone who works in the visual arts needs to draw their energy and ideas from somewhere. For me, it’s a lot like stocking a third of my little garage with wood pellets. If you’ve been reading this blog (bless your heart), you know I’ve been really attracted to patterns and motifs lately. My self-imposed quandary— and challenge— has been to find what I want to express through pattern and motif.

I tend to be non-objective (no recognizable realistic forms) in my paintings, but this has been a source for some anguish. As I work, I start to ask questions about purpose, and meaning, that can be big-time mood killers, pushing me to the brink of stagnation.

Today, with the hours granted me by Hymie’s early arrival, I first went to the web for some visual inspiration. On, I wandered through my pin boards ( and let them take me beyond, into the great visual inspiration collection that is pinterest. I happened upon a very inspiring (for me) Canadian artist by the name of Mandy Budan, who does wonderful acrylic paintings which are abstract, yet realistic. Her color sense— and use of pattern— is incredible.

Her work inspired me to head out for a visual fueling: a walk at the nature center next to my city. It’s a bounty of prairie and woods, and an excellent resource, ready to be collected with a digital camera. Late summer, here, was quite dry, so the vibrancy overload that makes Wisconsin falls unforgettable didn’t have a lot of oomph this year. However, I was able to find some vibrancy here and there, with plenty of visual purpose, now collected in a file on my computer, just waiting to be incorporated with pencil and crayon and paint.

I am ready to get back to my journal now. I will take some of Mandy’s inspiring ideas and make them my own. I’ll peruse the images I collected today for a starting point, and will let them continue to warm me through the cold and the snow.