The Professional Dog text for my in-progress childrens book is solid enough that this week I focused on the illustrations. I’ve done about 12 of them in ink and have established a pattern for the artwork that relates to the text. I’m working on bringing the illustrations up to the same semi solid level of preparation as the text.
As per my last post I’m still looking at this project somewhat sideways. It’s more in focus and it’s now moved into my “main project” work time slot but it is still becoming itself, so rather that looking at it head on and making declarative statements about it – it’s just a project I’m working on every day now. That attitude helps me keep it playful.
In my last post I spoke of picking up a box, a cube really, from the Caplan Art Designs gallery. The Gallery asked several of their artists to do something in their art style for what the Gallery is calling the “holiday box project”. Over this week I put 3 coats of gesso on my box. I also did some brainstorming in my sketchbook about what I might do with the cube.
Allowing time for gesso to dry between coats gave me time to think and try stuff with The Professional Dog project as I mentioned above and also experiment with other things…
… one of the things I thought about is this: It feels urgent to me to practice patience and to encourage decency as much as I can. The selfish meaness of a small group of people during this time in U.S. history is toxic. The majority of people are generous and kindhearted but I see the kind people, particularly my friends in the medical and teaching professions, being worn out by the few meanies. Sometimes even I feel worn out. So I have taken it as a creative challenge to do whatever I can to give the kind people a bit of care. Yes, my attempts to give care via art sometimes feels small, it feels like trying to refill a dry lake by the teacups full. But art is what I can do. And I do firmly believe this quote on my studio wall pictured below. Art is all we have. It’s certainly all I have.
Every time we’re kind, loving and supportive of each other – even in small ways – we’re enabling ourselves to not only survive but thrive. When we share art and beauty we help each others spirits – moment by moment. These moments add up. We are truly stronger together. And helping each other helps us feel better too. Self-care is community care and vice versa.
As I waited for gesso to dry I rummaged in my files, and my sketchbook for art pieces I’ve done that might encourage people. So I’m beginning a “For pleasant encouragement” art prints series on my Society 6 shop. Perhaps this series may also become a book someday? Anyway here’s one from this series.
Also while gesso dried I added a few more recipe postcards and odd cards to my collections on my Zazzle shop. I have been enjoying mailing cards to friends and they’ve seemed to like getting them – so these cards fit with my overall project of encouraging people.
This week my book This Rabbit was featured on the Read Aloud by Kidz Stories And More YouTube channel! I am honored to be called a “favorite author”! Kidz Stories And More reads childrens books aloud very well and they welcome submissions from self published childrens book authors. They can be contacted via social media.
As I mentioned above during one of my “gotta let the gesso dry” times I set up my new video thingamajig and did my first Creativity Chat!
I haven’t figured out how to embed video in blog posts yet so to view it you’ll have to click here.
I’ve written short scripts for about 15 of these chats so far and my main point of doing these is to encourage people and discuss the intersection I see between creativity and good mental health. Some time ago I had planned to do another version of Dr Bob’s Emotional Repair Program First Aid Kit and focus the new book on creativity. But other projects took precedence … so I’m excited about doing videos on this topic! I can squeeze a short chat on video into my busy life!
The yummy comfort food this week was homemade biscuits and gravy! See recipe postcards above or via these links: Judy’s Biscuits and Good Gravy. It was a fun collaborative brunch!
Some books I’m reading in the evenings: Death in D Minor by Alexia Gordon – a mystery novel with a ghost in it. (It is October after all.) I’m finishing A Swim In The Pond In The Rain by George Saunders. Both are very delightful to read and transport me to other worlds smoothly! Technically I’m rereading the Saunders – I read it first as an ebook and am rereading a print version now and making notes. Thank goodness, I say almost daily, for writers – how dismal our lives would be without good soul-satisfying books.
Temperatures here in the Pacific Northwest are now cool to cold as the sun goes down so my reading evenings often have hot chocolate or hot tea to go with a book. Last night as I returned to my chair I thought “this is one of my happy places” so I took a photo.
I hope you get to spend time this week in one of your happy places. See you next Monday.
9 thoughts on “Professional dogs, box project, cards, books, the first chat and some biscuits with gravy”
Your comment about approaching your professional dogs project sideways immediately put me back in one of my first fiction workshops. Our prof advised us to approach the story on the oblique, after Emily Dickinson’s tell it slant poem: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/56824/tell-all-the-truth-but-tell-it-slant-1263
I just treated myself to watching the “This Rabbit” video. It’s a great way to start my day!
Love that poem by Dickinson!! Yes, that’s exactly part of my approach to creative projects!! Thank you for understanding. I find it is so true – if I get too serious about a project, too direct, the project falls flat. In my armchair reading of neuroscience there are physical biological reasons that the human brain “hears and understands” stories, anecdotes, metaphors… the “slant”…better than bald directions.
Oh!! I’m so glad you watched the This Rabbit video and that it was a good way to start your day!!! Your comment certainly gives a lift to my day! Thank you!!! ❤
You’re most welcome, Sue!
As I commented over on Instagram, I am perpetually stunned and impressed by how prolific you are. You are always so creatively busy.
Oh thank you. I really enjoy playing creatively and I’m lucky enough to be able to do it constantly- so I do. I feel better when I have a project or two in progress- the project itself is a side benefit it’s the *doing* that I love! Thank you so much for all of your comments and encouragement- it helps me too sometimes to think “perhaps Laura will enjoy seeing this..?!”
Well I always do so please keep sharing.
You make my artist heart smile!! Thank you!! I will do my best to keep sharing!
I like seeing that gesso-coated box. Potential for new ideas and images to come to life. I used to love prepping canvas boards with gesso and often used masking to building up textured shapes without yet knowing what I’d paint over them.
I love the lighting that your new video gear casts on you. Your Creative Chats intro is engaging and well done. I subscribed, and I’m looking forward to enjoying that new venue to connect and learn with you.
Also fun to see the photo of your ‘Happy Place’ with books and hot mug of yumminess. Perhaps I’ll take a shot and share it next time I’m in my writing room enjoying a good read or a bit of editing time. 🙂
Wow! Thank you so much for subscribing to my Creativity Chats! I hope you’ll find them encouraging. So glad to hear you like the lighting too! Whew! This is very new for me…
I totally agree: gesso and prep for an unknown work to come is such fun!!
I’m glad too that you enjoyed seeing my happy place! I will look forward to seeing yours if you decide to share!! 😊 Thank you again for your comments!!