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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Visit My Galleries!

There's no picture with this post because I want you to look at OTHER pictures — the ones in the two main gallery areas of karensandstrom.com.

Regular readers of this blog will see a lot of familiar work, but there may be a few surprises. There are three main galleries and a Sketchbook section. And if you check out the My Books tab you can take a peek at a few pages from my book-in-progress, Thick Through the Middle.

This now concludes this episode of shameless self-promotion. Have a wonderful day!

Monday, August 27, 2012

On the last weekend before the start of the school year, at least for Lylah, we spent a Sunday afternoon hanging in the picturesque Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland. We perched at the park at the center of the neighborhood and I drew one of the houses nearby. A person could go almost anywhere in Tremont and find interesting things to photograph or draw. This is less true in the suburbs, although of course one of the obligations of the person drawing or photographing is to see what others don't.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

No Problem

In the night, when I couldn't sleep, I opened my book and picked up a pencil without a thought about where the pencil would go.

It did not go to the big question mark of the future.

It did not go to taking K back to college, or to one less person in the house.

It did not go to worst tasks on the to-do list.

It did not go to unanswered letters.

It did not go to the giant scales that weigh and re-weigh and tally one's value in the world.

It did not go to the bathroom scale.

It went to this place and to this horse. The horse seemed to make things especially nice, so I thanked him.

He said it was no problem.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

A Retread — Just Because

I'll admit it. Sometimes I'm in love with my own drawings. Art school also taught me to be in-hate with my own drawings. This has its uses. You sketchpeople understand this. Being in love with your work doesn't help you get better, though it's kind of mentally healthy, I think.

Back to love. This image, posted here in another form a couple years ago, warms the cockles of my ventricles because it's a representation of Flatso, the stuffed bear that has belonged to my younger daughter since she was 6 months old. And the little girl throwing herself on Flatso is, of course, that girl, at about age 3, when she was deliciously, irresistibly cuddly. When I see this image, even though I rendered it, I melt. Sue me.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Say Yes to the Blue Alpaca

I've been working so hard that my new handcrafted leather sketchbook book from Iona, which I bought at the Ann Arbor Art Fair, has felt neglected. I did what any desperate drawer would do (besides climb inside a drawer) and drew a blue alpaca.

The quote at the bottom of the page is something that struck me from a recent interview with Arnold Schwarzenegger. As far as I know, his position in no way represents alpacas, blue or otherwise, but it resonated with me. He speaks of how he "Never heard 'no' as 'no'" in terms of achieving goals. He always just heard "yes."

So many of us take to the no-means-no lesson when we are kids. This makes things easier for adults, of course. But there comes a time when we should learn either to disregard others' nos or simply to turn them into yeses. It would be great if we learned that gradually, say in our early adulthood. But anytime is fine.