Click here to see my full list of goals for 2010

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sketches III

More sketches!

I know... this is getting sort of lame. But I really am working primarily on sketching right now and, theoretically, this should lead to some more concrete work.

Below is a series of sketches based on some classic family photos. I'm thinking about possible images that might go with my poem 'Nan' and I`m looking for a combination of images that might work.

Part of the reason I've been doing so much sketching is that I'm trying to loosen up my drawing style a bit. I want to have the ability to move a little bit more into caricature, but it's hart to let go of the desire to be precise. Most of the time my quick drawings are pure horror, but every once in a while something works out. Needless to say, my reign of terror over the rain forest continues. I really do need to get some newsprint.

On a totally different note, I tackled what will likely be the most muscle-wrenching of all my goals today: Number 83 - Spin Class! I was lucky enough to find an experienced spin class buddy to guide me through my first class (thanks Jordanna!). There was sweat. There was yelling. And I'm pretty sure there will be some sore quads in the morning. It was a lot of fun though and another goal down.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sketches II

I had an art night with my friend Bethany on Friday and made some solid progress of the text component of one potential graphic story. I might have only produced fifteen lines of poetry during our lengthy creative session (far less creative output that Bethany's fabulous bead work!), but I'm really happy with what I've got so far. Plus, I got a few more sketches done.

I'm so glad for the art night because lately it seems that the universe has been telling me not to create. No drawing. No painting. No writing. No blogging. Big or small. Messy or perfect. I've been hitting roadblocks. And be it time or energy or whatever, it's been a little frustrating and more than a little unproductive. I won't give up on my list though, even if it means that, come December 31st, I'll be simultaneously folding origami swans, stuffing ravioli, watching Breakfast at Tiffany's, and sketching at the zoo.

One thing I shouldn't be doing on December 31st is finishing my second of twelve novels-to-read. This time, I opted for something a little closer to home - a novel set in Toronto called Girls Fall Down by Maggie Helwig. I didn't know much about the book before I picked it up other than it's partly about hysteria and it comes from the ever fabulous and bizarre Coach House Books.

I'm thinking I might skip the gym tomorrow to give myself a little more creative time in the evening, so hopefully this little artistic (and blogging) dry spell will come to an end. Hopefully.

Monday, April 12, 2010


I started some preliminary sketches on the weekend for what might eventually become a graphic novel (or, more accurately, graphic story). I've never been particularly strong at cartooning, so my idea of a graphic text is a little less Superman and a little more traditional pen and ink... with some text thrown in for good measure.

I have a few pieces of writing sitting around in draft form and ideally I would like to use one of these as the text inspiration for the images. I'm also brainstorming a second graphic project that would work in the opposite way - drawings first, then text - which would be based on some of my New York photos, but I haven't thought that one out enough yet.

These sketches are based on a poem I've been working on called 'fame lit me up'. I intended the poem to be snappy and humourous, but it has taken a slightly darker turn. Here are the opening lines:

I was born with a thirst for humiliation

I pinned my headshot like a missing dog poster to every post in town.

When it rained, I shivered with self-loathing. In the sunshine, I was exposed as a lonely amateur.

My other weekend creation (with some serious grilling support from T): Chicken Satays with homemade peanut sauce:

It looked so pretty I just had to take a picture.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Back on Track

Wow. I didn’t expect there to be such a long break between my previous post and now.

I’m not really sure why my desire to write suddenly wandered off. It might have had something to do with the summer-weather-in-March miracle we've been enjoying in Toronto. There are other things too – maid of honour activities, long weekends out of the city, newborn babies (Anna!) – Lots of lovely moments to pull me way from my projects. I hope you didn’t mind the absence. I’ll try my best not to be so delinquent again.

A big part of getting back on track has been surveying my list and figuring out what items I’m going to tackle next. We’re a quarter of the way in to the year and I should have 25 items accomplished, but as of today I only have ten. TEN! So it’s time to prioritize and start working.

Up next:

16. Re-read 'Meanwhile'
17. Learn to draw a new font
19. Complete an acrylic painting
21. Brainstorm ideas for a graphic novel
31. Update mailing and contact lists
40. Write 'constellations' poem
43. Begin an ideas journal
46. Enter a poetry competition
52. Start a new literary journal subscription
54. Brainstorm etching ideas
62. Enlarge and frame a group of photos
72. Research the history of the motion picture
76. Watch an Audrey Hepburn movie
83. Buy a blues album
84. Learn the lyrics to the hymn from 'Junebug'
…although not necessarily in this order…

I did manage to make some forward progress on a few of my projects. I finally finished The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles (yes, that would be January’s fiction book for those of you keeping track). I also tracked down a copy of The Emergence of Cinema to satisfy Number 72.

Just flipping through and looking at the old drawings and photos is inspiring!
More updates to come!