Professional dog, the box project, encouragement, a chat and gnocchi

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My childrens book “The Professional Dog” has moved into color! Over the last week I’ve inked more than 12 of the illustrations just so I could see where I was going. Now I’m doing the same testing with colors. I’m using my butterfly palette (a post about that here) – it’s a fun challenge to paint dogs using a palette based in a scientific study of the color variations of butterflies. I have been using a few extra colors – most notably dark brown- but my primary color scheme is butterflies!

Below is a look at three of my Professional Dog illustrations together so you can see how the colors look.

Then here’s a closer look at each of those illustrations: my book text for each portrait is below.

The Accountant’s dog is an adorable dog.
The Artist’s dog is an adventurous dog.
The Assistant’s dog is an angelic dog.

Progress has also been happening on my holiday box project for an upcoming exhibit at Caplan Art Designs. I now have the overall design plan somewhat in view. In the photos below I’m working in my sketchbook to see if my plan has legs so to speak.

I’ll do more sketchbook work over the coming days towards this holiday box project. The box project has a firm deadline attached to it so I’m playing with it every day.

This is true now too of The Professional Dog. There’s a deadline but it’s not as firm as the box project deadline. Even so I have two main projects to work on every day! How nice is that?!

I am still planning to add to my ongoing “For Pleasant Encouragement” art print project and to my “odd greeting cards” project but progress on both of these is primarily in my sketchbook now. My daily focus is on my two main projects but I’m making regular notes in my sketchbook of my ideas for future cards and art prints for when I have time to do them!

Here’s one of the art prints in the “for pleasant encouragement” collection.

I also did another Creativity Chat this week – this one is about playing on paper

If you’re curious about where I’m filming these chats here’s a blog post from some time ago that has a fun photo of the spot in my studio. It is still true for me what I write in that post that art is love made visible and that this spot in my studio is where I practice loving.

Creativity chats: playing on paper-

This week for the main special get-creative-in-the-kitchen project I added sauteed zucchini but otherwise mostly followed this creamy gnocchi sauce recipe It was tasty but a bit more heavy than we like to eat so I probably won’t make this again. Still, I’ve not cooked gnocchi very often so it was fun to try it.

Contrary to what it may seem like having two main art projects with deadlines actually frees up my brain time. In addition to playing in my sketchbook I can get some reading done! I’m within whiskers of finishing “A Swim In The Pond In The Rain” by George Saunders for the 2nd time. Gosh I’m glad I bought my own printed copy of this book … it’s such a good source of creative encouragement!

Here’s hoping you have many sources of encouragement this week and that your cat similarly saves a chair for you in your happy place.

See you next Monday.

11 thoughts on “Professional dog, the box project, encouragement, a chat and gnocchi

  1. I have found the same to be true for me that if I have projects on the go it actually frees me up in some ways. I find I work more efficiently and effectively because I have that focus. I don’t waste brain energy or time on having to come up with a fresh idea every time I sit down at my art table because I know in advance what I am going to work on. And having more than one project on the go at a time means I can spend time on project X if I am not in the mood for project Y and then I usually have a project Z on the backburner too, a longer term project. I do the same things with books and I believe you do too, having more than one book on the go at a time so you can bounce between what book suits the mood you are in or the circumstance in which you are reading. I really liked the message of your video chat about the importance of playing and being playful when it comes to art. It is something I teach my little students through process art, just that joy of exploring and experimenting, but I need to be more mindful of it in my own art practice.

    1. Yes!! Yes!!! Yes!!!! You understand so very well what I’m trying to say!! Thank you for telling me your thoughts!! Your thoughts are deeply appreciated!! It has taken me years to cultivate a habit of playfulness and still I practice, daily, being mindful of the need for playing. I have a few signs in my studio that help me to remember: one says “It’s a wonderful world” and the other says “Stay close to whatever makes you glad to be alive”. Thank you again for your comment!! ❤

  2. The professional dogs in color are very winsome! I like them so much I can’t help but wonder where can I meet these folks; I’d like to get to know them better!

    I enjoyed your latest creativity chat, which came at the right time for me. After launching my poetry book, I badly needed to get back to writing (not promoting!). This morning, I went back to the novel that I started some months ago–and the first draft so far is awful! But that’s okay. First drafts are awful, and I have tanka in my back pocket to play with.

    1. I’m delighted that you like my dogs in color!! The people, my friends, on the other end of the dog leashes are nice humans (and good friends) that you’d probably meet if you visited me where I live in the Pacific Northwest. 😊
      I’m very glad my recent chat came at the right time!! I too, have to remember to switch from the “serious work” of promoting something back to the playfulness of creativity. And to switch from the neatness-counts presentation head space of promoting to the messy chaotic awful-is-normal-part-of-process head space for first drafts.
      Bravo to you for putting on your metaphorical play clothes again!!
      So glad you have tanka to play with!!! ❤ I’m cheering for you!! Play well!!!

      1. Your creativity chat is wonderful this week too! And while at You Tube I watched a delightful video on the raising and release of a baby stoat which focused on how she reacted when they introduced her to another baby stoat. So cheerful and fun. Both videos gave me a pep up for the rest of my workday. Thanks!!!

        1. Oh I am very glad to hear you liked my creativity chat!! I’m glad my chat gave you a pep up along with the baby stoat!! Thanks for telling me!! That gives me a pep up too!! ❤

Thank you for reading and sharing encouragements!