About This Weekend

Saginaw Chippewa Annual PowWow

I can’t say I got any work done this weekend. So I don’t have any finished drawings or anything new to show. Instead this weekend my in laws and I took a trip to the Saginaw Chippewa Annual Powwow. This is kind of a thing for me since I like to get out and experience something different every now and then.
Last time I went to the powwow was back in 2016. This time I invited my hubby’s family along for the adventure. We all had a good ol’ time despite the husband and I ending up quite exhausted from cleaning house, preparing food, driving (it was a two hour hike both ways) and grilling food once we got back. The family has decided that they want to make this a yearly thing. My hubby says I’ve created a monster. Oh well, it’s all good to get out and expand our horizons. I guess we’ll all be doing it on a yearly basis now. 😊

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Frequently Asked Questions

Over the few years that I have been sharing and selling my art I’ve been asked various questions about what I do from loyal collectors, other artists and those who are just curious. Most are quite innocent, some are rather inquisitive and occasionally a bit obnoxious like “Did you really draw that?” Thank goodness thought bubbles don’t appear over my head during such moments. But most people tend to ask me the same basic questions so I thought I’d put together this rather short list of my most frequently asked questions.

1. How long does it take for you to do a drawing?
Actually it depends on the size of the drawing, the complexity of the subject, my schedule and whether I’m doing the drawing in just black ink or in color. Taking all of that into consideration, a drawing can take me from 3 days to 4 weeks to complete.

2. What pens do you use?
For the most part I use Pigma Microns with 0.20mm or 0.18mm nibs. I like these pens because the ink in them are permanent and archival. Plus they’re relatively cheap compared to technical pens which can be rather expensive. Twice I spent up to $40 on a technical pen only to have issues with ink flow or a broken nib. After that I switched to Microns and haven’t used a technical pen since. I have to admit though, technical pens produce more uniformed and crisp dots when it comes to stippling.

3. What paper do you use?
When it comes to paper, I’m all about the pounds. I’ve found that for the work that I do paper that is smooth and 80 lbs or more works best.
All of my art card drawings are done on Strathmore Bristol art cards which are 100lbs. Larger black ink drawings are done on Strathmore natural white 80lb drawing paper while my color drawings are done on Strathmore bright white 100lb Bristol board. The bright white brings out the colors more and the heavier weight is able to withstand the layering of color that needs to be done.

4. How long have you been drawing?
Well, unlike most artists who usually answer this question with “I’ve been drawing since I was three.” I was a late bloomer in this respect. I mean, yes, like most kids in elementary I played with crayons and drew houses, Big Bird and what not but it wasn’t until I took my first art class during my senior year in high school that I discovered I had a knack for this drawing thing. I was 17 and up until I took that art class, I wanted to write. Matter of fact, I still have my very first 50 page short story that I wrote back when I was 13.
Anyhoo, it was in that class that I was introduced to stippling and over the years, whenever I did a drawing it was done using this technique but I didn’t officially start to get serious about my work until the summer of 2015. So, in a nutshell I’ve been drawing for over two decades but seriously and consistently for three years.

5. Where do you get the patience from?
I have absolutely no idea. I assume it’s part magic and part insanity. ☺

6. Can you draw me?
Yes, of course. It will cost you….(Once I bring up cost the conversation usually stops.)

7. Can you design a t-shirt/tattoo for me?
I could but it’s not my field of expertise. If I do it will cost you…(Once again conversation ends.)

This Growing Season

Lemon Balm

This year the hubby and I are having what I’m calling an “off year” for growing. It wasn’t something we planned or decided on. Rather, due to weather and a bit of procrastination, it just kinda happened. First off a late frost threw us off schedule. Then we got a lot of rain through May and the early part of June. My favorite thing to grow are herbs and jalapenos. While the rain wouldn’t have bothered the herbs much, it would have made some “duds” out of the jalapenos. Too much water effects the capsaicin, the compound in peppers that give them their heat. Hot, dry climates create a beneficial stressor which activates the capsaicin. The more water a jalapeno plant absorbs the more it will taste like a green bell pepper rather than spicy flames in your mouth.
It hasn’t been particularly hot and dry in our neck of the woods so we held off getting starters to do any planting. By doing so we missed out. This year we went to our usual gardening center to get starters only to discovered it had been picked clean. Fortunately the hubby was able to get a few tomato plants from a co-worker since his thing is growing tomatoes.

So as I mentioned before, I like to grow herbs, particularly those from the mint family, which tend to come back on their own. But as I’ve discovered, they can be pretty invasive. Last year my garden bed had lemon balm, chocolate mint, apple mint and anise hyssop. This year the lemon balm turned into pac man and completely took over the whole bed. It now looks more like a shrub than an herb plant. Luckily I managed to get a good cutting of the apple mint before the lemon balm devoured everything. So for this growing season it’s just two tomato plants, some apple mint and this monster of lemon balm.

Apple Mint

Actually not doing much this year is a welcomed break. Last year we went overboard and grew way more than we could possibly use. We were up to our eyeballs in tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapenos, lettuce and herbs. Lets just say my poor hubby heard a lot of fussing from me. There’s only so much salad, salsa and tomato jam a woman can eat. So this year we’ve decided to keep things small from now on for both our sanity. 😊

Found some clover in our backyard. Hope this brings some good luck. 😊

Another Year Under My Belt

Is there a remedy for cookie hangovers? It’s my birthday and I’ve eaten way too many of these things… topped with ice cream. (Yes, I know, I’ve completely regressed into a 12 year old kid.) Dear Double Chocolate Chip cookie…”I wish I knew how to quit you”. 😳

Signs

Sometimes life can be a bit…odd, to say the least.
I have this art box, which pretty much looks like a plastic tool box for art supplies, that I’ve keep since the 90s. It’s stuffed with all sorts of things, pens, erasers, pencils, exacto blades, glue, watercolors, pretty much all the stuff I’ve experimented with over the years. So today I went rummaging around in it looking for some watercolor pencils I knew I had buried in this eclectic mess when I came upon this rock, which clearly looks like it has a pictogram of a rabbit on it. Obvious at some point in my life I either got this rock for some reason or someone gave it to me. I just can’t remember from where or from whom but I suspect it either came into my possession from one of the pow pows I’ve attended throughout the years or from that little Native American shop in South Bend I used to frequent some time ago. Either way I find it rather peculiar that I would find this little thing at a time when I’m just now getting over my issue of being creeped out by rabbits. To cause my eyebrow to raise a bit more, just last night I was researching black American folktales, when I got to reading about Br’er Rabbit and now here, I find a rabbit in my art box. Is this a sign? I have this saying that if something happens once or twice, it’s a coincidence. If it happens three or more times, you need to stop and pay attention.

I’ve now given the rock a permanent place in my Sacred Space. 😊