Cold Air (wip)

Beginning lineart for “Cold Air” artist card drawing.

Getting started on the lineart for my next song inspired artist card drawing. This came to me while listening to The Hics “Cold Air”. It’s a bit reminiscent of my drawing “Succulent” except this time I’m going with daisies and pansies in the hair. 


Gumball Challenge

“Gumballs”. Photo reference by Sally Robertson

If I wasn’t into pen and ink drawing, I would definitely be into colored pencil. Actually I have a box full of colored pencils just to play around with. There aren’t that many artists out there who do pointillism, far fewer who use color, so when I look for inspiration, I often turn to the work of colored pencil artists and one of my favorite sources is Colored Pencil Magazine, which I follow on Facebook. Frequently they have these challenges for fellow artists and recently they posted this “Gumball” challenge, which caught my attention. For those interested, the point is to create a drawing as realistically possible using colored pencils. Although I’m not a colored pencil artist, I felt inspired to take on the challenge for myself but instead of doing it in color, I’m going to do my drawing in black ink only. Technically that would make it a stippling but we won’t get all wrapped up in semantics. Anyhoo, I plan on working on this in between my colored artist card pieces. It’s a larger work, 8×10 to be exact, so it won’t be done anytime soon but it looks like it will be fun and challenging. 😊

Hanging On

“I just can’t keep hanging on…” ~ Active Child

I hope everyone had a pleasant holiday weekend. I’m still recovering from a food hangover but I’m in good spirits.

As promised I completed my drawing “Hanging On”. This is the first piece in an on going project of drawings inspired by song lyrics. The source of inspiration for this piece comes from the song “Hanging On”, by a group called Active Child. When it comes to being inspired by song lyrics with me it’s usually either something that resonates with me on an emotional level or it’s something that sparks visual images in my head. With this particular piece, the lyric “I just can’t keep hanging on…” sparked the image of a single water droplet hanging on to a rose pedal. The rest of the lyric goes “…to you and me.” I envisioned the rose symbolizing love and the water droplet symbolizing the individual trying to hang on. Now I’m not sure if it’s a good thing to always explain my thought process behind my drawings simply because I don’t want to influence others interpretation. I want people to see the drawing, read the lyric and pull from it what resonates with them. So with that in mind from here on out I won’t explain too much in regards to what I’m trying to convey unless asked. I’m always open and eager to hear people’s interpretation, so please feel free to give your thoughts in the comments. 

If you’re interested in hearing the song you can do so here on YouTube and if you’re interested in owning “Hanging On” you can purchase it online at 

So now, let me pull out my list of lyrics and get to “conjuring” up my next drawing. ‘Til next post, take care. ~ Q. 😊

A Little Note

Because I don’t want anyone to think I’ve skipped town and forgotten about you lovelies, I just wanted to let you know I’m taking the week off from blogging. I’m saddled with Turkey Day duties and attending to family, which leaves me little time for blogging or drawing for that matter. Luckily, come Friday, when many people will take to the streets in the Black Friday madness, I’ll have time again to pick up where I left off and get back to drawing, which by the way is coming along nicely. My goal is to have my current ACEO, “Hanging On”, finished and available come Sunday evening. So until then I’m wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving to those who will be celebrating it and safe travels to those who have to leave home to see family and friends. 

Take care. Q. 🙏😊

Dreaming Big?

Currently I’m reading “The One Thing” by Gary Keller. At the moment I’m on chapter 10 and I have to say that so far Kellar makes a lot of good valid points that truly resonate with me. I won’t go into them because that isn’t what I want to focus on in this post, just know that the fact that I’ve actually gotten past chapter three in book on business inspiration is a good sign that there’s some useful information in between the front and back covers. What I do want to talk about is something that I keep coming across when I read inspirational, motivational self help books as well as when listening to speakers on self improvement, entrepreneurship and business. And that’s the idea of dreaming big. 

In this information age I’m sure you’ve heard the maxim “Dream Big”. You may have seen quotes warning not to share your big dreams with small minded people or if your dreams don’t scare you they’re not big enough. I understand the point that people are trying to get at when they make such statements which is don’t be afraid to go out and do great things. Don’t limit yourself because there’s no telling what you can achieve. And I also understand that all of this is suppose to help stem the tide of the onslaught of naysayers you may encounter along the way if you set out to do something great. I’m all for that kind of encouragement but I’m also noticing a side effect to it all and that’s the underlying shame that may occur if you’re made to feel that your dream isn’t big enough.

When it comes to all this inspirational and motivational encouragement oftentimes the examples used are gleaned from the lives of those considered big dreamers such as Oprah, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Warren Buffett, J.K. Rowling or that dude who built Wal-Mart whose name seems to escape me at the moment. These are examples of people who have reached a level of fame and financial success in many cases from very humble beginnings that are noteworthy for inspiration. But I often worry that there are many out there who look at such individuals, see what they have accomplished and feel that if they aren’t trying to conquer the world, build schools in Africa, create a platform to bring holographic entertainment to every living room in America or simply striving to be a millionaire/billionaire are being left to feel that their dreams aren’t worthy goals. Where are the books and articles extolling examples of what I like to call “Main Street Dreams”; the dreams of people who want to open up a local barber shop, a dance studio or organics store? Or the dream of someone who just wants to run her own nail business out of her home or the independent artist who wants to make a good living for his art. Where are the examples of people who aren’t necessarily striving to be millionaires but who dream of just being financially stable and independent on their own terms doing something they love? It may not bring in millions or even change the world but it allows them to live comfortably and gives them pride in being self sufficient?  

I admit, maybe I’m reading the wrong books. Maybe there are people out there talking about and encouraging exactly what I’m saying and I just haven’t come across them yet. For now though, I just bristle when I hear or read the words “Dream Big” and then look at the media and see how success is often shaped by the idea of having expensive cars, big houses, jets, yachts, a millionaire or billionaire status and smoozing with those who exemplify that lifestyle. This isn’t to say that anything is wrong with dreaming big or wanting “big” things, it’s just that this one sided idea of success often gives the impression that anything less than this isn’t good enough. As a side note, one of the underlying reasons for why I do small art isn’t just because I enjoy it, it’s also because I don’t believe that everything has to “big” to be worthwhile, beautiful and/or valuable. A part of my mission as an artist is to help bring to light that there can be beauty in small things such as small works of art. With that said all of this brings to mind a video I watched on YouTube where Steve Harvey made some bristling comments about people who aspire to have tiny homes: 

“You need to get a bigger damn dream, that’s what you need to do…This is for people who have given up. This is for people who ain’t got no faith and who ain’t got no dreams…”  

What are some of your thoughts on the idea of “Dreaming Big”? 

A Bit More Time

“Hanging On” (wip)

I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately. Partly from all that’s been going on in my country and partly from coming to the realization that the level of realism I’m striving to achieve in this drawing is going to take a bit more time than I had anticipated. Pointillism is truly a technique that tests one’s patience and will. 

Current mood.

Hanging On (wip)

Getting some inking done on my current ACEO drawing, although at the moment I can’t say that it looks like much. This is going to be my first piece completely inspired by song lyrics. I have a couple of song lyrics written down that I’m working on creating my own artistic interpretation of. I’ve been thinking about doing something like this for a few years and now that I feel most comfortable with doing ACEO drawings I figured I’d give it go. So here I go off on a new project. 😊

A Love For Simple Line

I keep photos of all my art, so every once in a while, after most of them have moved on to new homes, I go through them. There are pictures of pieces I forgot I even did and there are pictures of pieces I sometimes wish I never let go. It’s like walking down memory lane and remembering an old loves, a little bitter, a little sweet.

As I was going through some of my pictures today I noticed that many of the photos are process pics that show the progression of a piece. These are great reminders that show how I’ve evolved over time in my work but also helps me to see where I need some improvement. One of the things I like about keeping process photos is that I have a personal catalog of one aspect of my work that I secretly cherish which is the line art. Line art is basically the line drawing I do before I start adding in the ink. It may not be as appealing as a brightly colored painting but I love it. There’s just something about the simplicity of the line with no color, no solid areas and little shading via cross hatching that just appeals to me. There’s nothing elaborate about it, just pencil, paper and lines. It’s what I like about comic panels before they’re handed off to the inker. It’s what I like about tattoo designs before they’re placed upon a canvas of skin. It’s what I liked about animation before computers came along and the sketchbooks of concept artists before ideas are given to the CG designers. 

Whenever I start inking a drawing I always feel like I’m mucking it up and it takes me getting halfway through before I stop feeling that way. Once the colors and shapes start to come together that voice inside my head finally stops screaming “OH NO! WHAT ARE YOU DOING? YOU’RE RUINING IT!!!” A part of me just feels I should just stop at the line drawing and leave the work unfinished and sometimes I wish I could but ink eventually beckons me and not before long I’m tap tap tapping away with little dots. 

Here are some line drawings I’ve done in the past that are my favorites. Maybe one day I could create my own coloring book.That would probably give me a perfect excuse to leave my drawings unfinished. 😊

Nothing Profound

Quiet Agony

As an artist I never question why another artist creates what they create. I only assume that whatever it is, it is something that moves them. The Creative Spirit is mysterious and I suspect that She uses each of us to express various aspects of Her manifestations. Which is why I think it’s rude for people to tell artists what to create, especially if the advice is unsolicited. The interesting part is that often this advice is given by people who aren’t artist. And even if the advice is given by a fellow artist, if it’s unsolicited, it is probably better to keep it to yourself. But, I get it, some people take pride in being critics so they feel obliged to voice their opinions, which is all it really is, just an opinion. It’s the audacity that such people have to act as if an artist should change their style, subject matter or technique just because they don’t like it or they feel it doesn’t have much “depth” (whatever the hell that’s suppose to mean) is what bristles my fur. If you don’t like an artist’s work then move on, there are plenty of other amazing artists out there who have probably created something that is to your liking. 

I am striving to create beautiful and exquisite drawings. That is my passion. That is my goal, nothing more. I am not trying to make any profound statements with my work. Any statements I do make are clearly personal ones that I wish to share but nothing more. I am not trying to bring about any kind of social change. If I were, I personally would choose another avenue to do so then to have that burden weighing upon my art. I am only trying to capture the beauty I see in the world or that which my imagination conjures up on its flights of fancy. If what I create touches others in some way then that is truly wonderful and it will leave me with the feeling that I have made a small difference in someone’s life. 

In a time where I feel people seemed to be more moved by being outraged, I choose to focus my attention on what I find to be beautiful and touching in the world. If that makes me superficial than so be it. I don’t think I was brought into this life to try and please everyone. 



Well my Dark Wing series has come to an end. “Essence” is the third and final drawing of my avian beings with tattooed moon glyphs. I thought about extending the series but I don’t want to over do it. So I’m on to something new, something involving song lyrics. Music plays a big part of artistic inspiration for me and I’ve been tossing around this idea of creating some art based on song lyrics. So I’m up for giving it a shot. Stay tuned and see what transpires. 😊 

Dark Wing series

Portable Studio

Drawing pens and Strathmore 2.5×3.5 artist cards.

Sometimes I get messages from admirers enthusiastically asking what do I use to create my drawings? Well, here it is, my amazing arsenal of weapons of mass creation. Yep, that’s it. I have a drawing table with a few jars of backup pens but this is essentially all I use. Unlike other artists who may have a studio full of paints and canvases or a spare room with two desks covered in art supplies and a computer, my materials are pretty limited and compact. I know, it’s rather underwhelming but one of the things I enjoy about creating small works of art is the mobility. I can easily move my stuff from one room to another and work on my art without having to worry about space or finding available electrical sockets. Or if I go out of town I can just zip up my supplies in my pen case, toss it in my backpack and be on my way. It’s portable and convenient for me. Now I’ve read many advice articles suggesting that artists should have a dedicated space for creating art and I understand the logic behind that but doing so doesn’t really work for me. I like being able to curl up on the couch with my headphones and getting all intimate with my work. Or sip on some herbal tea as I finish up a current piece while sitting at the kitchen table with the morning sun peeking through the blinds and warming my face. Forcing myself to always work at my drawing table isn’t all that comfortable no matter how luxurious of a chair I get to sit in. 

So here it is. If you’ve been wondering to yourself what material and supplies I use, here you go, marvel at the grandeur. I’m afraid that if anyone were to ever ask for an interview with a tour of my studio, they would be sadly disappointed when I pull out my pen case and say “Oh here. This is my studio. Feel free to look around.” 😋

Have a pleasant day. 😊



Here’s “Hope”, the second completed drawing to the Dark Wing series. Just one more to go, which I am calling “Essence”. I’m hoping to have it finished some time later on this week. At the moment I feel myself in need of a brief break from doing series so I’ve been thinking of doing a few stand alone pieces. I’ve also been mulling over the idea of possibly adding short prose, quotes, very short fiction pieces or even song lyrics to accompany my drawings. I’ve have bits and pieces of stories and prose floating around in my head that I want to do something with so I figured maybe I could illustrate these stories and write them out on the back of the matte that my drawings are mounted to. It’s just a thought. Nothing definitive just yet but I’m open to here your thoughts on the idea. 😊

Essence (wip)

To Carve or Not To Carve

It’s been 10 months since I started this blog. I know, it’s not much cause for celebration but I feel that anything you can stick with for longer than three months (they say it takes about three months for something to become a habit) is a worthwhile achievement. So here’s to consistency. 🍻 

Anyhoo, when I came up with the title of this blog I wanted it to reflect what I do as an artist, hence “Carve & Draw” because that’s what I do, I carve and I draw. But to be honest, it now reflects more so what I used to do. You see, I do draw but I haven’t carved anything in some months now. Which isn’t unusual for me because typically my carving streak begins around September and ends in early March. It’s a seasonal thing for me that harkens back to my childhood years of staving off cabin fever during those long Alaskan winters. I’m far removed from Alaska now and it’s mid October but no urge to carve has fell upon me. Actually I’ve been so wrapped up in trying to better my craft in pointillism/stippling that I haven’t given much thought to designing carvings. So I woke up this morning with a question on my mind, “To carve or not to carve?” Well, for the time being I’m gonna have to go with letting my carving tools rest. I don’t feel that it’s a permanent decision, at least not for the time being. I still have a 12×12 piece of mounted linoleum that is collecting dust, so maybe one day I’ll eventually get around to carving it up, but for now, I’m going where my creative energy is flowing and it’s all gung ho on drawing. 

I’ve done quite a few carvings over the last year and a few are still available at

P.S. I’m not changing the name of this blog though. 😋


“Rise” – Dark Wing series

Well, here it is, “Rise”, the first completed drawing for my Dark Wing series. When I started this series I really had no idea how this was going to pan out. I mulled over what colors to use without full confidence on how they would work. From the completion of this one, I think it turned out pretty good. I have to admit though, I originally thought about going with a green background instead of blue. I’m glad I didn’t. I initially wanted to ink some of the feathers in red so the thought of a green background had me concerned that the drawing would end having that Christmasy (is that even a word) feeling, you know, green and red…Christmas colors. Anywho, the blue seems to fit better to me, although the red, blue and white now makes me think of Captain America. Smh. Oh well. I’m still working on titles for the next drawings but I’m sure they’ll come to me while I’m working on them. Stay tuned to see how they turn out. 😊

Dark Wing Update

Well, I’m halfway to the finish. I caught a bug that had me down for two days but I’m back in the swing of things now. I’ve been mulling over the individual titles for each drawing in this series. Right now I’m going with “Rise” for the current drawing that I’m working on. If you look closely there’s a moon glyph on her back, it stands for “fire”, hence the red feathers in her wings. In the drawing to the top left, the moon glyph around her neck is “hope” and in the right drawing, there’s a moon glyph on her shoulder for “energy”. I’m open for suggestions on naming the top two drawings so feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments. 😊