Friday, February 27, 2015

Snow Day and Some Time to Draw

It has been a long, quiet spell here on my blog.  Life has been zooming along!  After driving 15 mph for over an hour, I made it to town this morning just in time for the powers-that-be to cancel school.  I had a coffee break at the convenience store and headed back to the house.  I've had a nap and some stew, and now I've got some time to spend in my craftroom.

Although school has had me jumping through hoops, I have been making art, of sorts.  Learning, I should say.  I've been studying and practicing - taking on some challenges to improve.  And, let me tell you, there's a LOT of growing room!  It's inherent in my genetic makeup that I am a life-long learner.  I can't help it.  I don't think that's a bad thing, though.  I had given a quote to my students this week from Pablo Picasso -
I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.
That's a normal motto for me, but we talked, as a class, about what it meant.  Later in the week, I had one of my students quote it to another one when faced with a state practice test.  That made me smile.  So what am I doing these days that I cannot do, so that I can learn how to do it?

Drawing.

I know... I do a lot of that, but I've decided to learn to do new things like inking.  I've taken on a personal Design 100 Somethings Challenge posted by an artist on YouTube.  I've only reached #5, but I'm having fun!

The goal is to create 100 different designs of the same recognizable "Something", to get out of the box and stretch creative brain cells, and to have some low-stress fun drawing.  I am a terrible inker, but I am practicing that which I cannot do!  Maybe #100 will be a little better than #1!

I've also been learning to develop characters and to create turn-arounds of the characters I've created.  I've never been able to draw the same character in different positions... such as would be needed to write a children's book.  :)  But, I'm learning!  Here's a peek into the sketchbook at a Space Punk... I know, who even knows what that is, but here he is-


And, no, I don't know why he's in space shooting a bow and arrow, but check out the perspective, another of my weak spots.  Still needs lots of practice!

I've been loading up on YouTube tutorials from some great artists who people-watch and sketch interesting characters.  I've been people watching and sketching - kind of like the old USA network slogan, "Characters Welcome"!  I saw the skinniest skinny jeans EVER at the tech conference I recently attended.  It's quite a challenge to sketch on the fly as people walk by.  I've not been too successful, but "Skinnies" was a successful capture.


The Blue Purse Lady was a semi-success..


I just love learning, and who knows, maybe it will pay off one of these days.  Why don't you break out the pencils or markers and create a something, or why not 100 Somethings?  Catch a character and share it with someone to give them a smile, or practice that thing you wanted to do but were never very good at.  

What are you learning these days?  Leave a comment and share!

May God shake out the blessings on your day!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!

What a year it has been!  I can't begin to thank God enough for His daily blessings.  I hope your year was filled with His gifts, as well.  We're iced in and hunkered down by the fire - quite a drastic change from the 60 and 70 degree weather we've been having!



We had lots of fun with grandkids over the week of Christmas! And, although the new den is still under construction, we were able to have Christmas in there.  The time we spent with our family was the best gift of all (I do LOVE my new ceiling fans in the craftroom and my new Shark, though!).



With the cold weather and some relaxing vacation time, I've been thinking about where the new year will take my creativity.  I flipped through old art magazines, dared myself to make a paint mess.... those who know my "OCD"ness will understand the challenge in this...




To be honest, it just doesn't thrill me.  Now and again, I get the feeling I need to be creating what others are - to expand and try different styles.  That is true, to an extent, but in the end, it comes down to the fact that God has given me certain talents for creating and joy that comes when I'm creating things that I like.  Occasionally, I get the notion I need to be creating something that interests the rest of the world, but that never plays out the way I imagine.  

I guess my art journals and canvases will be filled with horses and mules, old boots, and such, and God's Word, of course.  Earlier in the week, I watercolored the imfamous Ima Jean...

Now, that's what makes me smile!  So, I guess in a long-winded explanation, my art will continue to reflect the things I love, and my hope will be that God will use it to make someone else's days brighter.

I am super excited about the New Year and bringing more thrifty art challenges to the work table for those of you who play along with me.  Let's really step out for God this year and make the ol' devil wish he'd kept his mouth shut!  

Happy New Year
from Sherry's Cabin
and
the Hall Gang! 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sunday Ponderings and Birthday Wishes

I hope this post finds you enjoying the Birthday celebration that is upon us!  Anyone who knows me at all, knows how much I love this time of year.  If you are too busy to enjoy the most precious Gift that has ever been given, you need to slow down, unload a few things, and check your spiritual thermostat.  God wants folks that are sold out and on fire for Him, so turn up the heat and join the Birthday Celebration for the King of Kings!

So, where have I been?

It is an annual event in my life - school starts, and it takes me until the Christmas decorations start coming out to get my life back!  

The worktable has been a happening place, though.  Several pumpkin heads and custom Christmas ornaments have passed through here over the last couple of months.  Clay just makes me happy!  Many of you have probably noticed that I dabble in all sorts of art mediums.  There's just a little piece of me that says, "Hey, we've got to try that!!"  That little voice packs a punch, too, because I usually give in without too much of a fight.  As of late, I am trying to learn digital painting.  Digital brushes will never replace my real ones, but it was driving me crazy that many of today's children's book illustrators work in nothing but digital art, and I don't know how.  That's how it starts....
The voice, "Hey, we could do that...." "Pssst, we should try that..." "Surely it can't be that hard..."
...and, in the blink of an eye, I have given in.  Anyone else have that annoying, little art bug in your ear?  
Before I knew it, a few of my pumpkin heads were sacrificed to purchase a little Wacom tablet, Photoshop's free trial was downloaded, and I was running blindly through the digital forest!!!
I've done lots of photo editing over the years but not true digital painting.  There is a HUGE learning curve!!!  I am shouting a big THANKS to all of the folks who have taken the time to put tutorials on YouTube... bless you for knowing that some clueless person (me) would come along and desperately need your advice!

Last night was the first time I actually sat down and tried out some of the tutorials which left me with a digitally painted tree -


and an ornament completely made through manipulating the photo I too during last year's snow!  It's not an added picture, but made from scratch!


Ok, ok, I know there are millions of folks doing much more fabulous things on Photoshop on a daily basis, but I'm not one of them...yet.  :)

I guess I'm just an art junkie.... Jacqueline of all trades.  Master of none.  But enjoying every minute of it!

What's on your worktable these days?  Leave us a comment!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Life at the Hall House

This time of year always finds us busy, but no so much so that we don't stop to see the gorgeous mornings that God paints for us each day.  The sun is slow to show its face this morning, and the air is so thick it could be sliced and served with strawberry jelly!



While everyone at the barn was munching their breakfast, I happened to notice an oddity...


Green grass.... in September....in West Texas....unbelievable!  Thank you, Lord!  This time of year, as most times of year around here, we are enjoying various shades of brown.  Incredible!

What else is happening, you asked?  Somebody out there had to have asked, right?
Gayland is buzzing along on the den addition, and the walls are getting closer to be muraled.  I think I just made that word up according to spell check...


It's also the weekend to drag out the fall decorations!  Ok, I cheated....I started last weekend with the tree in my craftroom...



and the pumpkin heads are still growing... I think they may be plotting against the Christmas decorations...


What's that, Santa?  You demand a mustache and hair?  
But it's fall decorating weekend...

I know you're feeling nekked.  

You say you'll incite an elf strike?  Really???

Well then, it seems Santa may just have to get a little hairdo this weekend, too.  I would hate to be the cause of an elven strike!


Just another beautiful day at the Hall House!  What's on your weekend planner?  Leave us a comment and share what's going on in your neck of the woods!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Pumpkin Heads Are Growing! 29 Faces Challenge 2, 3, 4,....7

Hallelujah!!  
I broke out the clay today.  When I don't sculpt for a time, I forget how much I love it.  I've been doodling and dabbling in cartoons, and digital art (clueless dabbling here) without much satisfaction.  On the way home from church today, I was counting the days until Fall...with Gayland just shaking his head... and had an itch to start the fall decor.  I have such a great husband!  When I asked him to drive the get-away truck while I clipped wild sunflowers along the road, he didn't even question my oddball request.  Come to think of it, he doesn't question much...he's come to expect the oddballness...is that a word?  After 21 years, he doesn't hardly even blink... :) 

Anyway, after getting my sunflowers arranged on the butcher block, I headed to the craft table with Pumpkin Heads dancing around my pumpkin head.  These little pumpkins just happen to fit perfectly into the 29 Faces September Challenge which I am playing.  Days 2 through 7 are sprouting nicely!  Here's a peek at one little Punkin -




May your week be filled with blessings!

Monday, September 1, 2014

29 Faces September Challenge - #1

It's that time again - The 29 Faces Challenge!  I just had a few minutes to get my first face onto paper this afternoon, so I thought I'd give you a little peek into my view of life...

This is how I see me...

(all credits go to DC Comics for this me)

And... from my comic sketch book...

This is likely how my students see me....



:)  Yep....


Finally a Little Rest and Some Time at the Art Table

I cannot believe it is already September 1st.  I see the last time I posted was in July...that is somewhat disheartening for me, as I had plans on sharing ideas with you throughout the year.  I know, however, that when it gets close to the beginning of the school year, I go AWOL from my blog.  I now have much of my dad's business handled after his passing, the first week of school under my belt (what an awesome group of students I have), and a day off from the regularly scheduled programs!

In searching information on mixed-media for some writing I'm doing, I ran across digi stamps.  I'm sure the rest of the world is much more up on this than me, but I wanted to know more.  I found a very helpful video on YouTube done by AJsArts, and I wanted to give it a try.  I'm not sure what I would use digi stamps for, but I could see sharing some of my doodles with others if I ever got the hang of it!  Here's my first attempt...



So, what can you do with digi stamps???  

Here's a little info I took from The Complete Guide to Digi Stamps by Kate Pullen:

Digital stamps, or digi stamps, are black and white digital images that are downloaded onto a computer where they can be manipulated before printing out. At their most basic, when they are printed out digital stamps are just like traditional rubber or clear stamped images. One of their attractions, however, is the fact that the images can be resized, flipped (create a mirror image) or manipulated in other ways before printing it out and colored in the same way that a rubber stamped image is colored. This gives a stamper a range of new design opportunities. The most significant difference between digital stamps and traditional stamps is that there is no physical stamp. A digital stamp is just the image.
Once they have been printed out, digital stamps are used in much the same way as traditional stamps. This means that they can be colored and embellished. The finished images can be cut out and incorporated into handmade cards, gift tags, scrapbooks and a whole wide range of other papercraft projects.

I have a long way to go in perfecting my digi stamp!  Maybe by next Halloween I'll get him right!

So, is anyone counting the days until we can put out the fall decorations?  I'm feeling the decorating bug coming on!  I'm really curious to see how digi stamps are being used in the creative world, so share ideas with us by leaving a comment.  

God bless.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Weekend Challenge

It has been awhile since we've had a weekend challenge! I have the watercolor pencils out again, and I'm working on a requested project.


This made me think of how people sometimes remark on the artwork that I've done... about how they really like something or how it reminds them of something in their lives.

Weekend Challenge:

Think of someone specific in your life. Create something that is a special sentiment just for them. Surprise that person with it for no particular reason!  Now, go be a blessing!

Project Update:


Friday, July 18, 2014

Summer Wrap Up...Being a Pirate and All That!

Although it is still a month until kiddos return to my classroom, I am wrapping up my summer break this week.  I am attending two weeks at a science camp, teaching a workshop the following one, and will begin getting my room back in order.  I was thinking about what I have accomplished this summer...hmmm....not too many things marked off the gigantic list I created at its start...just like the gigantic list last year...and...well, you get the picture.

I do have to say I have had a tremendous shift in thinking over the last few weeks.  I am a learner.  Always have been and always will be.  It's in me, and I can't help it.  That's perfectly alright, though, because I love it!  An odd combination of books I've been reading really came together for me - The War of Art, Do the Work, and Teach Like a Pirate.  The first two are about being an artist, and the third is an awesome book that reinforced the way I teach AND gave me knew ideas!

Without going into a long-winded explanation that no one cares to read, let me just say I have changed my thoughts on being an artist - the sculptor, painter, writer - to be more like the artist - the teacher.  Yes, the one that teaches like a pirate!  If I were to approach my art the same way I approach my teaching, it would completely change the way I make art!  I think that would be a great thing!

I know you are thinking, "What????"  This post is probably more for me than for anyone else.  One to fix my thoughts, to make the shift a reality, and to step out into new waters.  I guess that also means that others will just have to watch it play out from here!

All I can say is probably better said by WH Murray - Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it!

All three books refer to the power of "shipping" - that committed end you are trying to reach.  I finally took the plunge today and sent my canvas to be scanned for prints...a real step in getting it out there to the public.  Whether the critics like it or not really doesn't matter anymore...I shipped!


Ah, you're thinking right now, "What's up with all this cryptic stuff?  Shipped where???  How does this relate to anyone?????"  Well, I guess you'll have to read the books!  Really...I'm not kidding.  You will be glad you did!  If you are an artist, I recommend you read the first two books.  If you are a teacher, I recommend you read all three!

23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for[a] you serve the Lord Christ.

Colossians 3:23-24




Saturday, June 21, 2014

Thank You for the Rain, Lord

The Living Water brings out the beauty in even the weeds.


Sunday, June 8, 2014

Weekend Challenge – Be Thankful

As I sit here in my quiet craft room waiting for a creative spark to strike, I guess the weekend challenge is more for me than anyone else. Even with the passing of my dad this past week, there were so many things for which I am grateful.



… For the silly smile in the picture one of my dad's good friends sent me. That was his smile... For our church family that pulled together and gave him an amazing service... For the condolences, flowers, food, prayers, support, and hugs of many friends and family members...For my amazing husband who puts up with me rain or shine...For our kids and grandkids just because I love them...
For each day that God gives me...
And a piece of advice for me to you… stick it out no matter how rough the road gets. You will be thankful you did.


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Weekend Challenge - Remember Those Who Have Fallen

God has blessed us with lots of rain!!  It has been wonderful!  On this Memorial Day Weekend, I ask you to remember those who have given their lives so that we might live in a free nation.


Borrowing words from Dave Meyer-


Let us not give away 
what these men and women died to protect.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Weekend Worktable

The school year is winding down, and, although my dad's health isn't really improving, the manic whirlwind has slowed for me.  I found myself with time today to break out a new canvas this morning!


I will keep you posted on what appears on it!  So, what's on you Worktable this weekend?

Some advice from the cute, little mints from Hobby Lobby -

Isaiah 40:31

New King James Version (NKJV)

31 But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Are You Afraid of Monsters?

Do you ever need to do something just for the fun of it?  Something completely unproductive?  That's what happened on my last art journal page...
My question to myself was, "What am I thankful for today?"  ....and the answer...

   monsters...

Yes, today I am thankful for monsters!  The world is filled with monsters, but I don't let them scare me.  God handles the heavies - evil, sickness, and sorrow.  He leaves the light weights for me; although, I suspect He's really never far away from even the smallest of beasts.  I know you're wondering if I've lost my mind, and it is quite possible, but let me explain.
I love monsters that make me smile.  Closet Beasts and People Eaters, Under-the-Bed Monsters and Candy Bandits have long filled my imagination and my sketch pad.  Even the most fierce Purple People Eater was putty in my hands when I was a kid.  His wild locks swirled everywhere, and his eye never blinked.  He stood guard hour after hour.  Fearlessly, I stroked his purple locks to keep him under my spell.  Well, that's the way I remember it it, anyway!
The Purple People Eater and I have long since parted ways, but he still visits my sketch pad now and then as a reminder to smile and laugh out loud for no particular reason.  Sometimes we just need to create something silly!  I am thankful to God that He handles the heavies and leaves the little monsters of my imagination to make me laugh and smile.



Weekend Assignment

Create something silly!  That's it - that's your assignment.  I know your thinking we're supposed to be creating art to make a difference for God, and you are right.  So, once you're done, put it in a random place to make someone smile, or mail it to someone with no explanation.  Maybe you could write a story about your silly thing and share it with your kids, grandkids, nieces, or nephews.  Believe me, time spent with them is not wasted in God's eyes.  Go on now.  Make someone grin!

Proverbs 17:22


 A merry heart does good, like medicine,
But a broken spirit dries the bones.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Weekend Challenge - Art Journaling

My apologies for the silence here at Sherry's Cabin.  My dad is still in poor health, and I haven't had much leisure time.  I am currently working on some art projects for ladies going through cancer treatments.  God has had this on my heart for quite awhile now, and all of the details just haven't played out, yet.  I know they will in His timing.  This brings me to our Weekend Challenge in a round-about way!  I have journaled my entire life in one form or another...I should own stock in composition books!  There are those writers and artists who work page by page, like clockwork, to fill each journal....
   And then there are those people like me who start a journal, write awhile, put it on a shelf, find a new journal, dedicate it to some specific writing or drawing....forget what it's dedicated for and write the grocery list in it....get another journal....surely I'm not the only half-cocked journal junkie out there...am I?

One of the art lessons for the the workshop is on art journaling.  There are endless ways to creatively journal, and I don't even attempt to call myself an expert on art journaling; I do, however, know how to spend time with God and how to be thankful for blessings that rain down on me every day.   I know our art journey this year is to be "Movers and Shakers" for God's Kingdom.  Sometimes that requires us to spend some time on ourselves.  God never told you to ignore yourself, hate yourself, mistreat yourself - many of the things some do in trying to think and do for others.
To be on fire for God, you need some fuel - some time with Him.  This leads us to our challenge!

Weekend Challenge:

Begin a new Art Journal.  It can be a purchased journal, or loose pages you later bind together.  Dedicate this journal to thankfulness, blessings, and scriptures that speak to your heart.  There's no time-frame, no number of entries, and no artistic musts.  It's about spending time being appreciative of the blessings in your life - big and small.  Did you have running water for a shower today?  How about heat?  Did you eat?  Talk?

Getting the picture?  We are blessed.  Each page should capture your thoughts for the day - positive, thankful thoughts.  Keep the woe-is-me thoughts for another journal...or better yet, forget about them all together.  What a heart-warming lift this would be at the end of the year to see all of the wonders God worked in your life over the year - the grand and the everyday that we take for granted.

My Work-in-Progress:

The beginnings of my page here may seem quite odd at the moment - bald and faceless, but I've only just begun!


What are you thankful for?  
Share a journal page with us!  
We'd love to see what God is doing you your life!

Journal Page Update: