First off, Happy New Year every one! Thanks to all of you who have become followers over this past year and thanks also to those of you who may not be followers, but still check in from time to time. It's nice to know that there are people out there who actually read this, especially when there are so many other wonderful and interesting blogs to choose from.
This posting, my first for 2011 is another dedicated to an entry for the 'Illustration Friday' word challenge, which this week, appropriately enough is "resolutions." I originally hadn't planned to do an entry for this week's word. I don't know if it just seemed too daunting or I just didn't want to devote the time to it, but upon reading this week's challenge, I had pretty much decided to skip it. But then the word started me thinking - do I have any resolutions for this year? If so, what are they? and if I have resolutions, could I draw them? After giving it some thought, I realized that I probably make these same resolutions every year, but I guess they're worthy resolutions so they're not bad ones to renew each year. My first resolution is to read more. Now, I do read quite a bit, but since the majority of my reading gets done at bed time, I'm often too tired to get in more than a few pages at a time before I'm falling asleep. So, I'd like to make more time for reading. I'd especially like to read more middle grade and young adult novels. And of course there is a whole back list of classics I'd like to read. My second resolution is to sketch more. Most of my sketching of late has been done on the computer but I would really like to get back in the habit of working in an actual sketch book using real pencils and not digital ones. I'd also like to discipline myself to start taking my sketch book with me on trips to do some on location sketching. Next is a resolution I probably make every year - to exercise more. There was a period when I was doing quite well with this resolution, going to the gym two or three times a week, but for the past four months, most of my exercise has come from walking our dog, Poppy, who we got just about four months ago. It's no coincidence that my drop in gym attendance coincided with our getting a dog. Poppy does need to be walked and it takes a lot of time out of the day to squeeze in 4 or 5 dog walks, so I've sacrificed going to the gym. But here's hoping that in 2011 I can get back to the gym at least once a week. My last resolution is one that I really need to stick to - to spend less money. For the past two years, I've been living off of a small inheritance that I received when my mother died, but over these past two yeas I've watched that money dwindle as it has gone into paying rent, buying groceries, paying utility bills, upkeep for the car, medical bills, etc. These aforementioned expenses are things I can't really control, but some expenses that I can control are those that I spend on books, movies and cds. I tend to be an impulse buyer, a dangerous thing to be when you're on a limited income. I have a weakness for a good bargain and it's so darn easy to shop online by hitting that 'add to cart,' button, that before you know it, you've got a huge credit card bill filled with lots of small transactions. I really need to take control of that impulse. There are lots more resolutions I'd like to make - send out more postcards to publishers, work harder to get published, write more, stay in better touch with friends, etc. I guess I would consider the four that I've decided to illustrate to be my 'core' resolutions, the ones that will help keep me sane. And if the world keeps going in the direction that it's been going over the past couple of years, I'll need to hold on to my sanity.
A little about the artwork - I did this piece 'on the fly.' In other words, there were no preliminary sketches. I created the piece in Corel Painter using some of the calligraphy brushes for the line work and digital watercolor brushes for the color washes. I tried to keep the piece spontaneous by drawing quickly, but I will admit that I did erase and 'undo' some of the lines and re-drew them until I got them the way I wanted. I probably created the whole piece in around 20 minutes.