Doodling for Dummies

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Wispy something-or-other…

Ok so, first off, hello again everyone!  I hope you are all doing well and staying über creative these days!

For anyone following my Facebook Page you may have seen my post the other day about starting up a doodle-a-day challenge for myself and anyone else who might like to join (Please join me so that I don’t feel so lost and alone in the world :P).  My idea has been to doodle for a minimum of 15 minutes everyday until I have a chance to actually do some “REAL” art again.  I use the word “REAL” here only because I have never really found doodling to be much of an art form… *For me*.  I love other people’s doodles and, in fact, find something called “Zen Doodling” to be quite fascinating and beautiful!

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Kinda nifty

I even hope one day to find my inner Zen doodler! Has anybody else out there actually attempted doodling just as a way to keep the right brain open and functioning (or simply to shut that part of your brain up when it keeps bumping around in your head like it is some kind of irritating, caged animal trying to break free)?  I wonder how you have fared in this, I would like to say, challenging feat?  Seriously, I can’t believe how difficult and even frustrating it has been for me to sit down and… Draw? Write? Create? Be?  Maybe that is the problem here. I don’t ACTUALLY know what I am supposed to be doing.  Everything I have doodled looks like a big mishmash of craziness (Although I don’t know what else I would expect from a crazy person like myself)!

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Mishmash

Last night I took my sketch book to bed with me and while I was sitting there staring at that bright white paper like a complete idiot I finally figured it all out.  “Stupid Melissa” my dear brain said to me, “What in the HECK is wrong with you!?  This is supposed to fun, a way to be a little creative WITHOUT having to make it look perfect!  How anal can you be? Does everything you do have to work out? Be pretty? Look like the Sistine Chapel!????”.  Ooooooh, *CLICK*.  Of course it doesn’t! ENJOY THE PROCESS!  At this point I was rather irritated at myself for berating me but, despite this (Ican deal with me later), I took the cap off of my pen and just started moving it around the paper.  Guess what!?  I actually did have fun!  I didn’t really think about it at all, just drew and wrote stuff that popped into my brain.  I have to say it was definitely freeing.

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Three days worth of doodling. I do love this one.

So, yay me!  I guess I figured it out. So, if you are out there, trying to do a doodle-a-day, please please please just have FUN!  Enjoyment in the process is what it’s all about.  Nobody has to see it except for you so just… Let Loose!  Nobody is asking you to be Michelangelo here.  And if you do like any part of what you have drawn, coloured, written, please feel free to share it with as many or as few people as you might like.  Feedback is always fun and you might just get a few more ideas out of it too.  HAPPY DOODLING!

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“Just do SOMETHING!”

Blogger FAIL!

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Hey there everyone!  I can’t believe that April 16th was the last time you heard from me.  HOLY man, I can’t even tell you about the craziness that was the last few months.  I hate that I haven’t even had the time or, if I did, the energy to write for so long… much less do any art or allow any creativity into my life.

New door and windows.

New door and windows.
Renos are fun… 😛

Last time I left you we were waiting on the sale of my house.  Well, we DID sell it and we HAVE moved and renovations have taken over my life ever since.  You wouldn’t believe the speed in which we had to do everything.  Example: we found out the house sold less than a month before the new owners wanted possession, we had to drive 3 hours back and forth over the course of a couple of weeks to try and get the new place ready for us (as in, I had to put in a new floor and rip a TONS of stuff out of here before we could move our stuff in), we also were given only 3 days notice from the moving company as they were very booked up and were fitting us in.  After going crazy beginning renovations down here and packing at the old place, the movers in all of their glory showed up to our place on moving day, looked around, and told us that they weren’t going to move us!!  We were absolutely flummoxed (yes I just used that word… It is the only one that best describes how we felt)!  SO, we ended up having to secure a U-Haul and move ourselves.  With only 3 people to move us out, myself, my husband and his dad, I can tell you, THAT was a job and a half.  Thankfully we had a couple more hands unloading on this end.  ANYWAY, since we moved in, cleaned the other house and *sort of* settled here, we have spent nearly every day finishing floors, tiling, fixing walls, painting, painting and more painting (NOT the fun kind).  We are still not finished but I decided today that enough is enough, I MUST blog NOW, so here I am.

Although I have had zero time for creativity to take me under it’s wing, I suppose I could say that I have made some attempts at being creative with the renos. The tile surround that I did for the bathtub looks kind of artsy, or at least I think its pretty.

Completed tiling project

When this was finished and we could start showering in our own house after 2 months it felt like HEAVEN!

Completed tiling project

Completed tiling project
Looks pretty nice, eh?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have played around with the paneling on the walls a little so it’s not the same old boring up and down stuff (which looks nice but when you are putting it EVERYWHERE it gets a little tedious).  I have played with designs for our trims, etc. though I had yet to add them into the house.  Despite all of this I have really been missing my art, my colours… I need colour back in my life and I swear, ANY day now, I am going to get it!  I am about 4 hours away from completing our art studio (give or take depending on how many more coats of paint I have to add to the walls… Painting white over navy blue walls is, um, really quite horrible).  Once that studio is finished nobody is going to see me for a week.  I would say longer but 2 weeks from now I have to be in Winnipeg sooooo I SHOULD try to get a bit more done before that.  Let’s see how that goes.  😛

The Waiting Game or “May The Odds Be Ever In Your Favor”

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Our Home: How we shall miss you (Also this is an old picture... We still have a crap ton of snow here) *grumble*

Our Home: How we shall miss you (Also this is an old picture… We still have a crap ton of snow here) *grumble*

So, yesterday we were supposed to find out if the sale of our home was actually going through or not… We have been up in the air so much in the last few weeks, thinking that it wasn’t going to go through, then thinking that it was, then no, then maybe, then… Well you get the idea.  The potential buyers have been jumping through hoops all over the place trying to make this happen, and yet here we sit, a day after we were supposed to find out if it was a for sure yes or a for sure no, and it is still sitting at a maybe…. AHhhHhHhHHHh.  Melissa (me) is going crazy with anticipation. We should hear today, our realtor promised… Please please please make it so.  I need to get on with things!  IF everything goes through and we get the yes, we have 1 month, ONE, to get the new place completely renovated and get ourselves packed up and out of here. Stress bubble growing wildly in all directions!  However, it will be pretty wonderful to finally get on with life after having this baby up for sale for nearly 12 months.  Relief.

Portolan Chart

Portolan Chart

Who here has heard of Portolan charts before? I certainly hadn’t until yesterday.  I have been doing some research for my Camino project, getting ideas for how to portray oceans in my painting of the first day (my travels from Calgary to Paris).  Also, because of the medieval roots of the Camino, I thought that I would really like to utilize the ideas of olden day map makers.  In my internet travels I have come across some very wonderful ideas, one of which is a type of map called a Portolan chart.  I was looking through Google images and I saw this wicked cool chart with lines criss-crossing the page in all sorts of different directions and I LOVED the look of it so much that I decided that I would consider using it in my painting.  It sat with me for a few days, and my mind started getting more and more curious as to what those lines might possibly be.  Finally last night I did some research, may as well know what I am painting… Right?  So, the Portolan chart is a nautical chart first used in Italy and later in Spain (sweet, since that is where this journey of paintings is heading toward) and Portugal (among other places).  It has 32 lines radiating from various “centers”, criss-crossing each other all over the map, and was used for ocean navigation.  Maybe you think it’s cool, maybe not, but now you know just in case it ever comes up in conversation (which I am definitely sure it will SOME day 😛 )

Day One (In Progress)

Day One (In Progress)

For those of you who would like an update on the progress of my Camino project, here is a sneak peek.  This painting corresponds to the first chapter in part 2 of my book, so there is a story, and I will tell you what it is when I am finished!  I am liking it so far, what do you think?

Addictions

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About 4 years ago my hubby tried and tried to get me to watch “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” after having been introduced to it himself by a fellow cast member who was a big fan.  I had NEVER been interested in watching such a show.  I grew up with it on the TV while I was in my late teens, and I loved shows like “Charmed” and “Roswell”, but for some reason I never, ever, ever wanted to watch Buffy.  I had seen glimpses while channel surfing and thought it looked really stupid.  Not my cup of tea.  So, when hubby brought home the entire series and begged me to give it a try, the hard-headed person that I can sometimes be (always actually, but whatever 😛 ) told him to return them to his friend… I was NOT going to watch it.  He didn’t return it right away so it sat beside the TV taunting me for weeks, begging me to watch, pleading… It was ridiculous.  Well, one evening while my husband was at work and I had nothing to do (believe me, I tried to find something, ANYTHING to do, but alas it wasn’t happening) I stared down the seven seasons of Buffy with great contempt.  I started thinking that maaaaybeeee I could watch one episode, just to kill time, what could it hurt?  Suffice it to say, one episode turned into two episodes and then three and then I ended up watching the ENTIRE series in less than a month.  SICK!  I then proceeded to watch the entire series of “Angel” because, well, it was “Angel” and the “Buffy” series didn’t feel complete without “Angel”.  Talk about severe addiction to television shows!  The reason I am writing about this right now is because the bright person that I am recently went out and bought the “Buffy” series so that I could re-watch it with my mom who had never seen it, she had watched all of “Angel” so I knew she would love it.  Now I am re-addicted.  Like, REALLY re-addicted.  Like the “I have been dreaming nightly about the characters” addicted.  I am starting to feel like I should get a life… Except, I love being addicted to TV series.  Don’t you?  How wonderful is it to buy a new TV series and get into it hardcore for a while?  Especially when you know that you have AT LEAST 3 seasons to watch right away so that you don’t have to wait for stupid cliffhangers?  Ya, I know what you are thinking… It IS great!  😛  Addictions are such a weird thing, I really have too many to name, and I sit here sometimes wondering what inner workings in our SELF allow addictions to happen?  Addictions to food, TV, music, travel, Facebook, art (I do have an addiction to my art so that’s good I guess)… Addictions to love, and hope, and sometimes even addictions to despair…. What is that all about anyway!?  Why do we get addicted!?  So weird.  We are weird beings people… Face it.  At least we are also pretty cool for the most part!  🙂

Now, maybe I will go do a pencil sketch of Spike… (If you watch Buffy, you will know, how can you not?)

Robins and Butterflies and Wasps, Oh My!

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Well it seems that spring may actually officially be here… At least in some parts of Alberta.  We were visiting my home town in Southern Alberta this week and, well, I finally got a taste of it!  Yay!  20 degree weather on Tuesday, wasps chasing me, robins laughing.  The butterflies were actually out!  At one point, while sitting on our friend’s deck, 20 deer ran through the yard.  It was BEAUTIFUL!

It has been one heck of a week!!!  Yikes.  Reasons for not being on here since the garbage truck incident:

1) We had friends visiting on Easter weekend.  We had SO much fun!  We painted eggs, coloured some pictures, ate lots and… yes ok, we had some drinks too… I am generally not much of a drinker but it is always fun to let loose once in a while!  😛  This year we decided to actually paint eggs with acrylics after blowing out the yolks.  I had never done this before and since I didn’t feel like mixing a whole ton of dyes and hard-boiling a bunch of eggs, we decided to try it out.  It was SO much fun, we got very creative and had some good laughs when some of them turned out badly.  Nice thing about the acrylics on the eggs was that we were able to wash the egg completely clean if we REALLY hated what we had done.  Here are a few of my creations:

Easter Eggs

Easter Eggs

2) I showed the house 3 times over the course of 5 days and LO AND BEHOLD we got an OFFER!  I am so excited!  After meeting and spending a bit of time with the people who are planning on buying our place, I just know they will love it here if everything works out.  I am happy to know that the house that I put so much blood, sweat and tears into is *hopefully* going to such a lovely family!  Anyway, of course there was much paperwork to be had, hence the second reason that I have not been on here.

3) We took possession of our new house on Tuesday!  We are calling it the wacky shack since, well it needs a TON of work… Including lifting a section of the house…  The floor is a little wonky (and by a little I mean a lot).  After the house that I am in now, I said that I would NEVER buy another fixer-upper.  Alas, that is what we got, for next to nothing.  Cheapest home EVER!  Ah well, I am excited to get my hands into the renos again, I actually kind of miss it, call me crazy.  😛  It’s just another kind of creativity… right!?  That being said I probably won’t get much in terms of my writing or arting done in the next couple of months… we shall see.  When all is said and done, it will be nice to be back in my home town with good friends and happy memories.  It will also be nice to see my mom all settled into a place where she can be happy and I can travel with my husband during his acting gigs.  🙂  Things are looking bright and rosy.  Hehe.

Art projects:  I am trying to finish the paintings that I have had on the go for far too long.  So far I have done well, but I have one in particular that is giving me some headaches.  Time to sit with it for awhile.  When/if I have time, it will get done… It HAS to!  Also I am starting to plan out my series of 41 paintings for my Camino trip.  Each painting will go along with a day of walking and correspond to a chapter in my book!  I am pretty excited about it and I think it is going to be great,  IF I can get to it.  Let’s all hope and pray that these 41 paintings don’t take me 41 years to complete!!  At the rate I usually paint, it could happen.  HA!  Let’s see.  Wagers anyone?  I will be posting my progress on my Facebook page so if anyone is interested in seeing that, go ahead and give me a “like”!  😉

Ok…. This is long, long, long and I should go and do something, productive… Maybe… Have I mentioned I am a procrastinator, and a have a little ADD?

Easter Blessings

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Easter Blessings6″ x 8″Acrylic on Canvas BoardMelissa Stinson

Easter Blessings
6″ x 8″
Acrylic on Canvas Board
Melissa Stinson

Hello everyone!  As promised here is my Easter painting entitled “Easter Blessings”!  Frankly, I can’t believe that I was able to reach my goal to have this finished before Easter… Usually it takes me AGES to finish these things.  Especially since I average  40 hours to paint them.  With everything that has been going on this week, the fact that I fit 40 hours of painting in was no less than a miracle!  Yay, I hope you like it!!!

Updates on my life?  Ohhh sure… It has been one heck of a week.  With the painting and the house showings (3 of ’em, come on people, buy my house!) and my hubby being home for a day (only 1 day BUT he just got home today for the WHOLE weekend, how lucky am I?) and preparing for Easter weekend and grocery shopping… Well you get the idea.  Life is BUSY!  I haven’t even written my book in the last few days.  BOO!  hehe

So yes we had 3 house showings… Our realtor is on holidays right now so I got to show the house to 2 groups of people.  Let me tell you, I may enjoy being a realtor in some other lifetime when I get to show other people’s houses, but for mine? NO WAY!  I hate it when people pick apart every little thing while I am standing right there…. Trying not to take offense, trying not to care, trying not to shove them out my door.  Most of it didn’t bother me tooooo much (Maybe just a bit) but when the couple that came on Wednesday walked into my bedroom said that it “Smelled funny in here”.  I was all like… Uhhh, really… like what?  Like it smelled like my hair conditioner?  The “Lush” products sitting in my en-suite bathroom?  I mean, I don’t have a crap ton of roses down there or anything, and face it… It has been winter for 6… SIX… months and I haven’t had the windows open… and it IS a basement… and we do have 4 cats and a dog… But, but, I think it smells pretty good despite all of that.  IRK!  Thank goodness that the people who came yesterday seemed to like the place… Made me feel better FOR SURE.

Stuck Truck

Stuck Truck

Ooooh, Another fun little thing that happened this week was when the garbage truck got stuck in our driveway… Oh yes, that was amusing. I was so embarrassed and I didn’t know what to do so I hid and pretended not to be home… How bad is that!?  I was pretty stealthy in my photography skills though.  I got a great pic when the neighbor came by to tow the truck out with their tractor… It’s ok, you can call me a chicken sheet, I don’t mind, I am well aware.  😛

Ok… I really have to go and do my laundry and prepare for our company.  They will be arriving in a few hours and I haven’t done any of my planned preparations… EEEeeeep!  S’ok, I’ll get it done, and if I don’t I know they won’t care.  They are good like that.  It’s why I love them.  😀

Solitude

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As I sit here tonight thinking about life, the universe, and everything (Get it?)… I realize that I have nothing to say.  It’s cold in here… That’s boring.  I am tired… Boring. I had soup for supper… Yah ok, tell me to shut up.  😛

Actually I guess it isn’t true that I have NOTHING to talk about.  I started a new painting today. Easter themed and I am liking it so far so that’s good.  I pray that it is not another one of those projects that starts out smoothly and then BAM!  Brick wall.  My goal is to have it finish for next weekend.  Wish me luck, I may need it!  PS: Check out the sneak peek on my Facebook page, and while you’re at it, *pretty please* give me a like… I have been stuck at 209 likes for so long I keep thinking that some unseen force in the universe is holding it’s finger over the like button and hiding it from everyone, all the while laughing it’s maniacal laughter.

Also the snow drift from hell (oxymoron?) has won the war that I started with it yesterday (Or at least it thinks it has).  That 3 1/2 foot tall sucker blocking me in my driveway (Yes, it covered the entire width of the driveway) didn’t see what was coming at first but it sure has fought back… I have attacked 3 times so far and it keeps beating me back!  Never have I missed my husband more, we are such a good team when it comes to stuff like this  (Love you hunny!)  Well, at least I can squeeze the Jeep through the opening that I have slowly chipped away.  I may get stealthy and go at it from a different angle tomorrow, I’ll let you know how it goes.

Nightmare Driveway

Nightmare Driveway After 3rd Attack

Sweet dreams everyone!  🙂

Spring Awakening (The Four Seasons #1)

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Spring Awakening  (The Four Seasons #1)6" x 8"Acrylic on Canvas BoardMelissa Stinson

Spring Awakening (The Four Seasons #1)
6″ x 8″
Acrylic on Canvas Board
Melissa Stinson

Hello everyone!  As I have promised, here is my newest painting entitled “Spring Awakening”.  Though it is the first painting in The Four Seasons series, it is the last one that I have completed.  I first got the idea to do this series after completing a random painting a few years ago that reminded me of Summer.  3 years later here it is, my interpretations of the four seasons.  I hope you all like it!!  ❤

The Four Season

The Four Season
Melissa Stinson

Spring! Yes!?… Soon?

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Happy first day of spring everybody!  I guess Mother Nature didn’t get the memo but that’s ok, soon me thinks, soon, me hopes… Please!?  Whatever you are doing, wherever you are, I hope you are all cozy and warm, finding inspiration in all that you are doing.  Me?  Yes, today I actually DID find inspiration.  ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED!  I actually painted today after, oh, a little (and by that I mean long) break.  The block is gonzo.  Up next on the uploads (as long as the block stays gone) will be my newest and final addition to my Seasons Series.  Guess what?  That last painting is all about SPRING.  I am not excited for it to be here so please don’t say that I am. 😛  I was hoping to have it all finished up in celebration of today, but as is the norm. in my case, I have had to do some changes of this-es and that-s and so it isn’t finished.  But it will be, soon, I promise.

Me in Santiago 2007

Me in Santiago 2007

I also started writing my book today.  I have been wanting to write this book since I got back from a trip that I made to Spain in the fall of 2007.  It was the journey of a lifetime and yes, after 5 1/2 years I still feel that it is important to record this journey, if not for you all, then for me.  I need to remember and I am thrilled that FINALLY, after an embarrassing number of attempts, I have started this book and I am NOT going to let it go until it is done.  For those of you who don’t know me: I went to Spain to walk an ancient pilgrimage across the country.  Yes I said walk, and by walk I mean, hike, stumble, fall, get up, sweat, ache, twist ankles, get run down by people doing the pilgrimage on their bikes, sleep in hostels with 100 other people, live in the moment, and have a hell of a good time!  It was not my purpose to go and have fun, I went alone and figured it would probably stay that way, but it didn’t, and I was glad.  This pilgrimage is called the Camino de Santiago.  My Camino was a 900km journey from St. Jean Pied de Port in France, across Northern Spain and ending at the Atlantic ocean.  I walked the entire way and it was amazing, a life-changer for sure!  I am SO excited to be reliving it again, just in time for me to get totally revved up about going again next year!  Woop!  😀

With that, I will take my leave.  The wind is howling outside, there is another winter storm warning for tonight? Tomorrow? All week?  Who cares, Spring is coming but for now warm tea is waiting for me and perhaps an episode or two of Buffy.  😉

Can I Paint Too…?

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Well, I figured since I am not doing a whole lot right now, being sick and all, the least I could do was write something on here.  Thing is I don’t really know what to say.  I have been fighting a head cold for the past few days (This was NOT made better by the minor car accident we had yesterday… Snow + Ungraded country roads + 4 x 4 vehicle + 20 km/hr does not = safe driving conditions… We were stuck in the ditch that we slid into for quite some time before the tow truck came and then I got to stand out in the FRIGID cold north wind for half an hour while he tried to get us out… Made for an exciting day!).

"Can I paint too?"

“Can I paint too?”

I actually got my paints out today (yay!), thinking about working on my last installment of my Seasons paintings.  I was waiting for spring for inspiration, but perhaps if I paint it, spring will just show up…   That would be delightful!  I think my cat is telling me to get on with things.. either that or he wants to paint too.  I am sure that everybody around here, including my animals, keep looking at all of my unfinished art projects and wonder what the heck I am doing NOT finishing them.  I am a little A.D.D. in this respect (and by that I mean A LOT A.D.D.) I get super inspired by something, start it, and then get a block (Do other people find this to be a problem too, or just me?).  Makes me go a little crazy when I then find myself overwhelmed by all the unfinished pieces sitting around my studio… THAT is when procrastination sets in.  I start to offer to fix websites (I have done three of those in the past couple of weeks), Facebook Pages (See previous bracketed area)… And when that is all done, or I am tired, I play around on the internet, getting more inspiration for more projects, and well, it is one horrible cycle.

With that being said, I am going to go and make myself some “get well soon” tea, and see where the rest of my evening leads me.  ❤