30 Dec 2005

office phone

office phone, originally uploaded by Tifty's Art.

It was quiet at the office this week with lots of people out during the holidays. Good thing I brought my new sketchbook with me to work... and a loaded *new* iPod (!)

A co-worker of mine stopped by and, like so many times previously, he shook his head and said "Why are you here? You should be illustrating childrens' books."
But this time I said something like, "Okay, why don't you write the story, and I'll illustrate it."

Fifteen minutes later he brought over a sheet of paper with a story printed on it. It's enough story for at least 20 illustrated pages, maybe more. Gosh.

Why not? It'll be fun, and good practice. I love looking at childrens book illustrations, there are so many illustrators I admire, there are so many styles. We'll see where this goes, this little challenge placed before me. Who knows?

26 Dec 2005

Illustration Friday - Holiday

Guest artist: My Dad. From a series he drew in 1964.

18 Dec 2005

Wallpaper Collages

A while back I was shopping at the home improvement store when on a clearance rack I noticed a stack of sample packs of wallpaper for $1.00. The added scraps of office doodles seem to balance out the collages...

Magazine clippings and wallpaper samples make great collage material.

Not all my collages have wallpaper samples.
Other collages are made entirely with wallpaper samples.

I think I like the simplicity of these recent collages. Maybe it is a respons to the otherwise very hectic and stressful pre-holiday weeks?

17 Dec 2005

Illustration Friday - Imagine

The other day while doodling at the office, this little coffee pot suddenly appeared on the page under my pen. I imagine it could be a creamer, or a syrup dispenser... or maybe a brain could be put into it, which is what my imaginative son suggested.

Open For Business

Annelito has opened her SHOP!
Check her out, don'cha know.
She has a groovy style I like, and now her art is available for purchase. Hurry, because those cool brooches, rings, vases and magnets will go fast!

8 Dec 2005

Beatles Songs

Here's a thing I found on Susanne's Ventil, and hey, what a day to sing a few Beatles songs.

Choose an artist (or band) and answer only in song TITLES by that artist:
The Beatles
Are you male or female: She's a Woman
Describe yourself:
Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da
How do some people feel about you: Day Tripper
How do you feel about yourself: Think For Yourself
Describe your ex boyfriend: Dear Prudence
Describe where you want to be: Norwegian Wood
Describe what you want to be: Good Day Sunshine
Describe what you want: Money
Describe how you live: Too Much Monkey Business
Describe how you love: Act Naturally
Share a few words of wisdom: All You Need Is Love
- - - - -
Check out Laura's sketches form her trip to Sweden.
- - - - -

6 Dec 2005

Ilustration Friday - Blue

Blue, originally uploaded by Tifty's Art.

Blue - An office doodle from today.

Two things happened today:

... I recommended a co-worker, a peer, for a leadership position.

... J supported me as I made a huge decision.

2 Dec 2005

Illustration Friday - Small

When I think of "small" I think about the size of me and my selfish ego in relation to the universe. And it makes me feel free, and light and happy and not angry and not hateful and not judgemental.

(This is my first ever Illustration Friday topic/participation! And it's already time for a new topic, Blue, and I hope to submit a drawing for that also.)

19 Nov 2005

Time Goes By

Diagram of my average weekday.

15 Nov 2005

Clay Day

Played with my son's clay today.
This guy had a body, made of clay. It was smooshed. The head was spared. So the new body was drawn.

This is temporary art. Not made to last, not meant to last, not gonna last.
Sometimes, a liberating creative burst happens when the creation is less important than the creating itself. And every now and then, that freedom yields really fun stuff!

I look at this clay head and I just smile. It's CLAY. It's smooshable.

2 Nov 2005

A little book

The other day when I found PocketMod.com (via Susanne) I printed out some of these Food Diary sheets for a handmade book I made. So practical.

On the page above are a few quotes, and the one that says "Don't make rules, just follow them." is a reminder to myself to do the things I am always declaring I shall do. In other words, when I make a personal declaration like, 'get up early and practice yoga,' it's better to just get p early and practice yoga than to declare it.

The pin in the head is just one of those doodles gone wild. It started out being a pin in a pin cushion, and suddenly the pin cushion became a head!

You can view the series here.

30 Oct 2005

Here's a doodle from a meeting at the office. The meeting was a big overview on Sherman Anti-trust compliance.
I've really played around with this doodle in photoshop, using some neat brushes I found at rebel-heart. Miss M can make some groovy cool brushes!

24 Oct 2005

It was twenty years ago today

Today I called work and left a message for my boss that I would not be coming in because I had to take care of a family situation. Since I did not elaborate it may have sounded strange, and tomorrow I will have to explain, I suppose.

The long version or the short and for-good-company version?
How about this: Marriage enrichment. My hubby and I both needed to spend a day together just the two of us, no kids, a whole day, at least until we had to go pick up the boys from school :)

We had a really nice time, relaxed, and stress free, and we were able to carry on conversations without interruptions or trying to give one another a status update or instructions or "constructive criticism!"

Today, I just realized, marks twenty years since our first ever date, when we were 18. We went to a high school football game. It started to rain. We had to sit pretty close together on the bleacher under my umbrella. I have no idea who won that game.

18 Oct 2005

Against the Wind

"Only a fool wishes for what he wants. A wise man works for it."
-Peter van Winkle

16 Oct 2005

Doing My Work

What is holding me back from doing my creative work? What is holding you back from doing yours?
Sometimes I wonder if all the surfing around and finding "inspiration" in the so many wonderful and beautiful, and brilliant and clever designs, creations, and images among all the internet bookmarks is getting in the way of my own creating. The inspiration is so big, so great, and so much fun to find that I choose 'finding inspiration' over doing my own creative work.
Does this make any sense?

Maybe all this inspiration is really building up a kind of resistance in me.
Maybe not.
I don't think the idea is to always come up with something new and different. As if.
There is nothing new under the sun.
I think the idea is to do creative work. No matter what. Now. Today!
"The highest treason a crab can commit is to make a leap for the rim of the bucket."
"The awakening artist must be ruthless, not only with herself but with others. Once you make a break, you can't turn around for your buddy who catches his trousers on the barbed wire. The best thing you can do for that friend (and he'd tell you this himself, if he really is your friend) is to get over the wall and keep moating."
"The best thing and only thing that the artist can do for another is to serve s an example and an inspiration."
-The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield,
who writes from the hip about breaking
through blocks and winning inner creative battles.

13 Oct 2005

On a Day Off...

When I take a day of vacation to stay home with the boys because they are out of school I always think I'll have all this extra time to "catch up" on all my little projects, errands, housekeeping, and maybe even get something creative done too.

I was off on Monday and today this week and so far the most 'creative' thing I have done is videotape the hairstylist while she was cutting my hair. Oh, and I embroidered a little too.

Tonight I'm cutting and gluing. I want to fill up my sketchbooks so I can buy more.
This is the challenge: Fill Up The Sketchbooks. By January 1, 2006.
How hard can it be?

12 Oct 2005


Polaroided, originally uploaded by Tifty.

Since it's been a while since I scanned anything to upload here I thought a neat polaroided picture would be about right here. It's a Flickr Toy, found here.

I'll have a little time to update tomorrow, I hope. Fresh doodles coming soon!

2 Oct 2005

Art Studio

There is a new group at flickr. It is called Art Studio. The idea is for people to post pictures of their art studios, or creative spaces, or art nooks, craft corners, or hole in the closets where they usually spend time creating.

Every February the magazine Home Companion will feature well-known artists' studio spaces, and this is my favorite issue, sometimes the only issue, I buy all year. I love seeing artist studios.

Several years ago, on one of my visits to Sweden, we visited the (now a museum) home of the famous Swedish artist Carl Larsson. It is a home where every wall is a work of art, painted and decorated by Carl and his wife Karin. If you ever get a chance, go there! Carl Larsson also drew and painted his own home and studio interior many times. So inspiring!
We also visited the museum home of another Swedish painter, Anders Zorn. On the property it is possible to peer into his log cabin art studio, or ateljé, I imagine what it was like to paint by the light from a lantern at night, or from the light of the sun streaming in the small windows.

My "studio" is the top of an IKEA hobby table, in a spare bedroom. It used to be the space on the kitchen counter before we moved the boys into a room together, after we bought the solid oak bunk beds at SAMs. I like my space. Sometimes it's a mess. Sometimes it's tidy.

Autumn Apples

Just the other day when I was cleaning up my hobby table, I found a box of water soluable crayons amid the mess. They were bought a while back and I guess I sort of forgot I had them.

Of course this little discovery warranted immediate cease-clean-up, and a full engagement into Operation Explore Potential Fun While Using Watercolor Crayons! An old magazine was laying open on the hobby table, where a picture of a box of apples smiled at me.
There was my subject.

Some of the outlines were drawn with terra coloured PITT artist pens, but this drawing (click to view larger) is basically all done with the watercolor crayons.

25 Sep 2005

An Old Abstract

Found a stack of old photos of some of the paintings I did my last year in school, 1992. The photographs were taken outside in the sun, using a 35mm point an shoot camera, and the white balance was way off. In photoshop I just let the automatic color adjuster do it's magic, and here is a result I think is as close to the real colors that I can remember.

This watercolor was the result of trying to make something out of an accidental spill from the brush water jar. (There was no way i was going to waste a $13.00 sheet of heavy coldpress) Turned into something that has since reminded me of other artists' abstracts along the way. Maybe they were also creating something new from a spill?!

Today this large (24x36 inch) watercolor painting is hanging framed at pappa's house in Sweden.

22 Sep 2005


It's official. This evening it occurred to me, and now it's there, looking at me, asking me, "now what?"

I am an artist.

Having denied this all my life, perhaps embarrassed by the haughty aire the word seemed to have, I now see there is no use in trying to hide from the truth.

I am an artist.

It is what it is. It doesn't mean this or that, it doesn't change anything, because it always has been. The only difference is that I can say it now.

I am an artist.

This is a preliminary sketch - a concept idea really - for a card design I've been asked to make.

This is a page from my art journal. When I look at it I see a big influence of the styles of some of my favorite artists who post their art online. There's a bit of Camilla in the side-ways drop-shaped bubble, I see some of Kim's style in the stick legs of the bird, the bird itself is reminiscent of many artists, because the bird motif is rather popular.

I think artists find inspiration in each others art, and often the influence shows up in their creations. Though unique, they recall faintly a kind of common spirit. When I page through a magazine like Somerset, for example, or when I'm browsing the flickr art pictures, I always notice trends. Maybe it's the trading card trend, or collage trend, or art journal trend, or the trend to illustrate something based on a word each Friday, or a technique each Tuesday. I love this awesome art community online! What an amazing way we can, via the internet, communicate, share, influence and inspire... how cool to want to try to sew a sketch (sketch-sewing!) after seeing Fiona's wonderful work, and how exciting to participate in an Art Challenge when a package of supplies arrive from Joleen?

Now, I am not going to quit my day job. What I am going to do is answer "Yes! Yes, I am." the next time someone asks me, "Are you an artist?"

18 Sep 2005

2005 5x5

This is my entry for the Art Center of the Ozarks annual 5x5 show.
The deadline for turning in our contributions was actually last week, on the 15th, and I hadn't had a chance to complete mine. I had started a painting of a road disappearing into the horizon, with a blue sky and white fluffy clouds, but I really didn't now where it was going, the painting I mean... so it just sat there on my work table, going nowhere.

Today I found out from my friend (who is also contributing to the show) that they would accept late contributions through Monday (tomorrow.) So, after dinner and while the big boys went fishing and the little one played outside in the yard, the painting I had started began a new journey.

In less than an hour the canvas was coated with a new layer of paint, covering the original image, and had dried enough for me to add a little bird, using pastels and pencil to begin with.

Eventually the 5x5 was completed. It will need to hang in a lit location for the colors to really show, the overall is much darker than I normally paint. The scan makes it look a bit darker than it is really as well.

Here is the photo that inspired me.

11 Sep 2005

Driving Log

I haven't posted this until now even though it's a part of the vacation pages from this summer, because it just seemed (yawn) uninteresting to me. Then today when I paged through the journal I took the time to read what I'd written, and suddenly it was like I was there in the car on the road again, on the tail end of our vacation.

Yepp - I have very carefree handwriting. Care-free!

9 Sep 2005


A lot of the office doodles find a new home as part of a collage in this book that is a lined journal but has now become a book with pages and pages of collages. After supper and after kids are in bed, it's a great way to end the day - making collages.

7 Sep 2005


Don't want to do my work review.
Would rather cut and paste and draw.

I do what I want. More of what I did tonight on my mostly in Swedish crafty blog.

I'll do the work review later.

These doodles are from today. There was a big meeting at work, the top dogs had flown in from the G.O. While I listened, I doodled.

2 Sep 2005


Just some of the headlines from our local paper Aug 31 and Sept 1.

The one about Bush was includes because it is so typical and so out of line. (it's the discord, if you will.) Seriously, at this time, oil is the last thing on my mind.

The picture in the middle is from a Colorado vacation guide I picked up this summer. It sort of represents higher ground.

29 Aug 2005

Art Journal Pages

This one (above) is an office doodle, technically. After lunch, I had to be on a conference call, and it was kinda slow going for a bit, so... I got my markers out and started doodling.

Here's a page from my art journal that has mostly collages in it. The color is really washed out here. The green is a gouache, and the images are from magazines and catalogs.

I like this kind of collage. It is so relaxing to cut and paste, and it can be whatever! The image has no planning or preconceived idea guiding the process, it just emerges on it's own. As I cut out colors and pictures, images and shapes that appeal to me they end up together somehow, during the process. I might find connection between some of the images after I've already laid down half the page, and then I'll find something in the scrap pile that seems like it also belongs on the page! How cool is that? !

22 Aug 2005

View to a Hill

(from vacation journal pages)
This is one I haven't wanted to post because it doesn't seem finished. I guess it is though... I would have liked to spend more time on it.
From our camp spot, our view of Prospect Mountain changed all day long. It would change from a dark blue in the morning to a dusty grey-tan in the afternoon...

The neighboring RV's changed avery couple of days also. I guess people either live in an RV park for weeks, or a couple of days. Yepp. It's either, or.

I just joined the flickr Art Journal Group. Now there's a place to share journal pages for folks who prefer to write and draw over typing and posting pictures. (I like doing both !)

19 Aug 2005

Office Doodles

The one on the bottom, it was drawn during a meeting. The top one came to life during a phone call.

17 Aug 2005

Drawing in Public

Fiona, of Leap-of-Faith (I love that blog name!) shared a poignant passage on the subject creating in public. The author, whom she quotes (Eric Maisels) talks about overcoming embarrassment and imagined criticism when writing in public, at a restaurant or on a sidewalk or whatever. I love that quote. It's about creating in public, in front of strangers, among eyes that may judge, mouths that will comment aloud, and brains that will mutter quietly to themselves.

I love Fiona's own words even more. She writes about drawing, how she thinks of drawing...
"...as a tool for being more creative. I can see the need to play and to use it to quiet that inner critic."

I love that! Nevermind the eyes and mouths of strangers in public. My biggest critic is me!

When I sat on the floor in that traffic class I noted with words some observations around me that I didn't draw. Just random visual images and quotes, moments in time. For example:
  • The girl with the black pants, loose hanging pants, like a skirt, got her ticket on Dickson street. She's wearing an orange tank top with a gold sequined trim around the arm holes.
  • The guy with the gallon jug of water is from New Jersey. He's never been to Tulsa. He asked someone where the fountain was so he could wash off his apple.
  • A tall dude with big curly hair has a piercing below his bottom lip. He was going 20 mph over the limit.
  • Black lace trims the neckline of a thin black tank top worn by a girl with long blond hair. She is talking to the person next to her about the movie Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. She loves Johnny Depp, "but not because he's aesthetic. He's such a good actor and chooses such interesting roles to play."
  • There is a tattoo of some kind on the top of the foot of the woman sitting next to me on the floor. She has a cool bag. It's a white canvas bag with large round lime green spots.
  • The instructor is telling us he used to play bass in a band during the 60's and 70's and how the loud speakers and amps caused his hearing loss.
  • The girl who was talking about Johnny Depp earlier just asked me, "are you an artist." I answered, "I like to draw."
That question, "are you an artist?" is a curious one. Do people who are writing in public get asked, "are you a writer?"

I think everyone is an artist. Everyone. Some folks just haven't been practicing for a very long time.

13 Aug 2005

Traffic Violators

Traffic Violators, originally uploaded by Tifty's Art.

This morning I had to go to a driver safety class in order to avoid a higher insurance premium because of a speeding ticket I got a few weeks ago when I was caught going 11 miles per hour over the limit in a 25 mph zone.

The class was over capacity and several people had to sit on the floor. I was one of those who sat on the floor.

I brought my sketchbook with me even though the instructions said we only needed to bring an ink pen.

11 Aug 2005


Again a vacation sketch.

8 Aug 2005

Sunset Quickie

One evening my hubby and I enjoyed a short hike together while the kids went to the Estes Park rodeo with the grandparents. We walked a couple of miles or so on the Wild Basin trail near Longs Peak, but since we hadn't brought our flashlights we turned around when it started to get kind of dusky.
As we headed back to Estes Park on Hwy 7 we noticed this gorgeouslicious sunset going at Lily Lake.
We pulled over and parked the car and got out to savour it. With not much more than a few minutes left I scrambled to paint an impression of this moment. Sitting on a rock by the waters edge, I dipped the paintbrush in the Lily Lake and sketched the sunset.

Update: If you are curious, you can see one of the photos I took of the sunset here... though no matter how I tried, my photography skills greatly lacking, I could not quite capture the intense red orange peachy tomato blush colors....

31 Jul 2005


The evenings are a little cooler now. The sunset was the color of a peach a couple of days ago.

30 Jul 2005


There is a little park at the end of the valley in Rocky Mountain National Park where the Fall River Road begins. We stopped here one day after a day of tourist-driving, checking out places like the Lawn Lake alluvial fan at Horseshoe Park.

We spread a colorful red flower patterned cotton tablecloth over the picnic table and pulled out sandwiches and chips from a soft canvas cooler. There were a few mosquitoes. And just a few feet from the picnic table was the fall river, ice cold, rippling over rocks and stones, making music without ever tiring.

A Stellars Jay hung out with us while we were having our lunch. No doubt, he was waiting for a crumb or a chip to fall from our human munchie table. He was patient. While he sat perched in the young white birch near us, I sketched him, standing up with the sketchbook in one arm, the pen in the other. For something like ten minutes.

Thanks Mr. Blue.

28 Jul 2005

On Drawing, On.

When I was young, I drew all the time, and there were no rules. I drew big, I drew small.

Between 1986 and 1991 (a lifetime ago) I spent time enrolled in art and design classes, eventually graduating with an "art degree." I was 'taught' a lot of rules in that time period, and some of them are good, others just make me squint my eyes and wrinkle my nose the way I might when I walk past a stinky garbage bin.

Then I got married, moved, and started working in a bank. Then came the kiddos, and everything that comes along and consumes a working married mother. Drawing and painting was that thing I 'didn't make time for.' Not because I didn't want to, because I did. When I opened a sketchbook, or set up a canvas, or laid out a large thick cold-press watercolor paper and poured water in an empty jelly jar, and opened a tin box of watercolor half-pans, closing my eyes as the scent of the colors brightened the air.... all that seemed like such a tease. Often the process of drawing and painting became meditative. It caused me to zone out.

The act of sketching - the process of looking and seeing and noticing details and putting this on paper - requires some amount of detachment. Focusing, on one thing. Not impossible to do, but an extremely rare event. Ideas were always streaming in, then sadly disappeared like a loved one, waving as he becomes smaller and smaller on a departing train.

It is still a kind of luxury for me to really indulge in drawing and sketching. The purpose is not to be really good or make stuff that could sell, or always tell a story. I draw because - I like to. When I am drawing or painting, a sensation of well-being comes over me. Freedom of thought. Freedom from rules. Freedom from judgment. NO 'have-to's.' No expectations.

As I mature (haha!) I realize that all things I care about and love must be nurtured, watered. Sometimes, when things seem a little wimpy, I like to add some (organic) fertilizer. Discipline is the fertilizer of art.

Drawing is the precision of thought.
-Henri Matisse

27 Jul 2005

Campground Entertainment

Our camper was parked right by the playground and the adjacent activity center. We were 5 paces away from bingo night, pancake breakfast, and live entertainment.

One night a local estes park man played his gig of John Denver cover songs and a few of his own. While the boys played on the playground (or maybe they were fishing by the stocked pond) I sketched another picture in my sketchbook.

24 Jul 2005

Summertime in the Rocky Mountains

This is the first sketch from my two weeks in the Colorado Mountains. It's my father in-law's coffee pot sitting on a little table outside the RV, plugged into to an outside outlet.

There's a coffee story that goes with this sketch. Long story, short: By the second day, each pot perked was twice as strong as the first pot, because each evening my father-in-law handed the coffee can and coffee scoop to me and asked me to prepare the pot for the morning. Black, coffee should be.

9 Jul 2005

At Last. Vacation.

I'm looking forward to the next 13 or 14 hours riding in the car, listening to the kids ask questions and their always poignant conversations. There will be time to draw, read, and write, and just look out the window. We are going on a road trip. Vacation! VACATION!!!

Maybe some of all that will end up here when we return.