Professional dogs, box project, cards, chats, contrasting books and soup

A Creative Life, animals in art, art gallery, artist book, books, comfort food, Creativity Chats, dog portrait, Dogs in Art, fabric design, fine art, greeting cards, mental health, sketchbook, words and pictures

I’m steadily progressing on my children’s book “The Professional Dog”.  Here are three art pieces together so you can see how the colors flow from one piece to the next. This project will be both a book an art exhibit. So each piece needs to both work with the others and stand alone. My last post tells more about this project.

Below are closer looks at each of these pieces. The text for the book is below the art.

The Botanist’s dog is a beautiful dog.
The Bus Driver’s dog is a bouncy dog.
The Chef’s dog is a charming dog.

Progress is also happening at an even more rapid pace on my holiday box project for the Caplan Art Designs Gallery. I’ve been in touch with the Gallery, sharing photos of my progress privately with them and it’s been agreed that I won’t post much publicly yet about this project. It wouldn’t be good to get too far ahead in posting… the art isn’t due at the Gallery till November and the exhibit is later still… so we don’t want to give too many clues too early.

It’s hard to keep my excitement to myself but I can do this. Right? Right?

I trust it won’t be too much of a spoiler to say that doing dog paintings in black and white is helpful when I’m  also doing a series of dog portraits in color. Nothing like painting in black, white and shades of grey to sharpen my observation skills. Very carefully I made sure that both of my main projects are dog related. This way the project concepts strengthen each other. Kind of like how doing similar but different physical exercises strengthen muscles better that just doing one kind of exercise.

Anyway, here’s a few sketchbook pages related to this holiday box project that we’re very carefully not talking about too much yet. Mums the word. Shhhh…

I heard this week from someone who got one of my fabricdesigns so they could sew nice things for a teacher in their life!! This makes my heart happy that my reading, literacy, fabricpattern on Spoonflower made someone smile!

Also this week my spouse and I sent some greeting cards to friends and family. I really enjoy making greeting cards! By now I’ve done over 35 card designs on my Zazzle shop – not nearly  enough! Lol!

Another one of my Creativity Chats  is on my YouTube channel now! This one is about my strategy for picking  topics to write, draw or paint about.

Creativity Chats: picking topics-

Here’s the direct link to the emotional health book “Dr. Bob’s Emotional Repair Program First Aid Kit” that I talk about in the video. Our brains and emotions are what we create with and taking care of them can be fun as I mention in the video.

Anyway, speaking of taking care… it’s soup weather here in the Pacific Northwest! So I got out one of our favorite cookbooks “The Big Book Of Soups and Stews” by Vollstedt and made the recipe for chicken noodle soup. I used precooked chicken as a shortcut but otherwise followed the recipe. It’s so yummy and really feels kind to the soul.

Speaking of kindness – I saw this in my local newspaper and took a photo so I could save it and share it. It feels important to me. Crucial even.

One of the other ways I’ve been gentle with myself this week is knocking off work a wee bit earlier so I can spend more time reading. I finished the George Saunders title I was reading in my last post. Saunders talked about and included stories from Chekhov which I enjoyed. So I’m reading more of Chekhov’s work.

I’m also reading “A Perry Mason Casebook” by Erle Stanley Gardner. Talk about two almost polar opposite kinds of writers! Chekhov’s characters, generally speaking, consider the feelings of other characters – the stories seem emotion driven. Gardner’s characters, generally, don’t consider or respond much to the emotion of other characters – these stories seem situation driven.

My response to each book is so very different that it almost seems unfair to compare them at all. They were written in such different era’s. Chekhov wrote in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s. Gardner wrote in the 1950’s. But reading both books at the same time is a fun mental contrast – rather like the experience of contrasts that I remember from visiting the state fair; enjoying the quiet exhibits of quilts, animals, jams and jellies alongside noisy rides, carnival games, street performers and aerial acrobats.

Anyway, my spouse and I got a nice syrah wine from Burnt Bridge Cellars and had a glass of wine with our books in the evenings. Such fun!

Here’s hoping your week will give you many opportunities to be gentle and tender with yourself and the people in your life. See you next Monday.

15 thoughts on “Professional dogs, box project, cards, chats, contrasting books and soup

  1. It is always great to see your book series paintings sitting side by side in order to really clearly observe the connections between them and how elements such as colour palette gradually evolve.

    I love that idea of picking subjects for art projects being one example of feeding that good wolf. I think I have instinctively been doing that all of these years but now. thanks to your video, I have a better understanding of why some ideas on my Art To Do list have malingered there for years while other ideas go straight to the front of the line.

    1. I’m glad to hear you like seeing the paintings side by side! I will continue doing that.

      Thank you! I instinctively did it too and learning to “feed the good wolf” on purpose/with awareness has had that added benefit for me too – helped me understand why some projects stalled, or I felt frustrated by them. That understanding helped me to be more gentle with myself and just let some projects fall off my to-do list altogether – without angst about letting them go.

      Thank you for your comment!! It delights me to know that you understood what I was saying! ❤

  2. Your latest creatvity chat gives me some insight into a question I’ve had for quite a while: how do you make your animals so darned appealing? My immediate to each new one is “I like you very much, and I want you to be my friend.” That’s the essence of the artist coming out in the work.

    1. Thank you!! I loved paper dolls too when I was a kid except for the issue that there weren’t enough animal paper dolls to suit me. So as a grownup artist I hope to fix that issue 😁

  3. Such wonderful illustrations! I can’t get over everything that is happening your way…and you still have time to read and make soup! You must be very organized.

    I enjoy your newsy posts. Enjoy the rest of that bottle of Syrah!

  4. Fun to see more of the dogs. 🙂 Looks like the projects are progressing nicely! I especially like the newspaper clipping. I hadn’t thought about the choice to soften where circumstances try to harden you. Intriguing. I have noticed that some people become bitter and brittle and others compassionate and flexible when they go through hardship. I’ve always realized there is a choice to forgive or let it go, but I hadn’t thought about choosing to soften. That choice seems to imply that you would work with feelings throughout the painful process and/or during healing to make sure the scar tissue doesn’t tighten and become rigid. Like physical therapy or massage for the soul. Both of those processes can be more painful or require effort during them, but the pain then disperses and healing is more complete. I also thought about how massage and physical therapy most often involve help from another person. It reminded me we don’t have to deal with hardship and healing alone.

    1. Yes!! Yes!! Absolutely!!! Great analogy of physical therapy or massage!! I choose to soften because I want to maintain flexibility of mind and emotion. Softness helps me as a human-in-community and it also helps me as an artist to maintain a well rounded range of emotions. Having a wider range of emotions helps me connect with more people… which means not having to deal with hardship and healing alone. It means being able to share…
      Loved your comment!! Thank you!!

Thank you for reading and sharing encouragements!