Want to win $500 worth of books?

 I thought so!
Chronicle Books is giving away a stash of books worth up to $500
to one lucky reader. Not only that, but it is YOUR book selection!
NOT ONLY THAT, but if you comment here (and like what you see)
you can win a copy of my list of books too!!!
How awesome is that? 
If you comment and you want to put this in your blog
(and unless you don't like books *gasp*, you should)
I will comment on yours! I like to increase chances of winning things :)
So here goes...my much debated list:
Handmade Nation: The rise of DIY Art, Craft and Design
Reprodepot Pattern Book: FLORA: 225 vintage-inspired  textile designs
The Paper Marbling Kit: Materials, Techniques and Projects
Graffiti Art Coloring Book  (Umm..AWESOME!)
Music Listography:Your Life in (play) Lists

Lennon Legend: An Illustrated Life of John Lennon
The Exquisite Book: 100 Artists Play a Collaborative Game (one of the artists is Dave Eggers...and I L-O-V-E his writing. Please read What is the What)
Sketchbooks: The Hidden Art of Designers, Illustrators, and Creatives
Angaza Afrika: African Art Now  (isn't the cover just lovely?)
Street Sketchbook: Inside the Journals of International Street and Grafitti Artists
Rex Ray: Art + Design
Patterns: New Surface Designs
1,000 Journals Project
Artist's Color Manual: The Complete Guide to Working with Color
Stencil 101 Decor
Paper Cutting: Contemporary Artists, Timeless Craft

WHEW! That took awhile.
In my next post I will talk about all the art I am not making.


Coloring Birdies, and Painting Pottery

In case you haven't noticed, I love Eden's blog.
Last week, she did one of her awesome birdie drawings,
and decided to stop at the line drawing, 
letting us color in the little guys ourselves!!
I needed an activity where all I needed to do was
sift through my box of markers and color.
This picture doesn't show it, but the birdies "skin" is colored using sparkly gel pens.
Thanks Eden for this fun little activity. I loved it!
Sunset shot whilst driving home. I don't recommend doing this, but I couldn't resist
This weekend I went to Annapolis with some friends
to paint some pottery. I've never done that before, and it was F-U-N
My friends knew I desperately needed a fun day, 
and they are sweet enough to make it an arty day.
blank moon canvas and colors
working on the sun
friend #1
friend #2
rare shot of me working!


Zentagles a form of "cheating?"

I love the idea of Zentangles.
A structured form of doodling!
Perfect for people like me who's mind goes blank when trying to doodle.
I have never been a doodler, but when I ran across the
Zentangle website, I was awed. 
These were intricate pieces of artwork, and were structured!
The thing is, I feel guilty.
I would love to be able to let my mind go and make beautiful
doodles, like Eden or Lori or Dawn.
To me these are super-creative forces.
I have to think, plan for any sort of design.
With both of these Mandalas, much of it was Zentangle inspired,
or inspired by other doodlers around Flickr.
I like the end result, but it feels like cheating
What do you think?

On another note, I received War of Art by Debra!
I have made partially through the first chapter.
I have to read it in slow, small doses...Resistance at its finest!
Check out the lovely gifts Debra sent me!!
I have always coveted her handpainted papers, but to see them in person..
pure joy and happiness. 
And check out the awesome stitching!
The blue bookmark is this really cool plasticy material.
I hope that I can really take in the book.
Still slow going around here


NaNoJoMo, Colored Pencils and assorted thoughts

I was hoping I was getting my mojo back,
but it is coming ever so slowly in fits and starts.
At least I am still interested and inspired
even if I don't sit down at my art desk very often.
That being said, I have been intrigued by
Dawn Sokol's NaNoJoMo prompt for art journaling this month.
Every day (the idea taken from NaNoWrMo) she posts
a word prompt on her blog, and you just have to put
something down on the page. It doesn't have
to be a full spread, even a mark will do!
Of course, I'm a "gotta finish" this page
before I move onto the next kind of gal.
So, I've done Day One so far. Woops
Inception was the word.
I immediately thought of the movie, and knew I wanted
to try and draw the little spinny thingy that Leonardo DiCaprio
uses to ground him, lets him know he's not dreaming.
That movie was fantastic and surreal.
I really connected with having a solid object 
that keeps you grounded.
This may sound sort of crazy, but Jack does that for me.
At night if I have trouble sleeping, I can cuddle with Jack
and it calms me.
I have also been fascinated by the work people can do with colored pencils.
Arlene Steinberg
This is all done with colored pencils!
Fascinating is it?
I am amazed the perserverance that goes into colored pencil work.
It takes hours and hours of patiently layering light layers
of colors to get this look. I pretty much know I don't
have that kind of patience, yet  I want to try.
I bought a book called Painting Light with Colored Pencil
and played in my moleskine last night.
I am still brewing ideas for these paintings I have to make
for my aunts. 
I'm scared that they won't turn out good enough.