Natural Emblems

Have been experimenting a bit with watercolors and illustration techniques.

sleeping in the garden

I particularly like the background on this nap tree scene.

the clouds and the night token

Wild Sonder logo

This is a logo I’ve been working on for a possible shop for my nature-themed paintings and illustrations… and maybe a tree hugger or two…

Inktober 2018

I am so stinking excited for FALL!!!! And it’s here, finally, after several close calls up in the PNW, I feel safe in saying that the summer heat has at last given way to a crisp, clean, cool fall air. I love it: the colors in the trees, the rain, the harvest food, the festivities, and the art.

October, of course here in the Inky Space, is known as Inktober. This is particularly exciting for me because this is when I check in on my practice progress each year (or, it will be, starting with this year, since this is the 2nd year I’m actually working on being a professional artist).


Octopus from Inktober 2017


Chicken from Inktober 2018

I’m overall very pleased with the progress I can see in my own artwork. In my attitude about my work, I’ve seen change in my willingness to share work publicly, stick with project prompts, making time to complete projects, and bring my practice to a more professional level.

While my Inktober 2018 pieces are still very much sketches/ drafts, they are much further along the way to finished pieces than I normally devote myself to. That is my main goal this year: to create finished (or close to finished) pieces as much as possible.

All of my Inktober illustrations are lined with Pentel Ink Brush Pens and colored with Arteza Real Brush Paint Pens, and some fancy random ink like black light glow ink and opalescent inks. I’ve been working up pencil under drawings a few days in advance, so I can get through inking quickly. I think the next step toward finishing pieces ready for print or sale, would be to digitize or clean up edges, although I certainly wouldn’t mind selling original paintings in frames.

I’ll certainly have more to say on the Inktober process over the next couple of weeks… stay tuned!

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Start with Inspiration

Art-makingis like any other specialized activity. If a person wants to do it well, according to their own values and goals, it will take practice and skill-building. The last two posts in this series on arts education pedagogy will deal specifically with supportive habits for strong artistic practices.

Previous posts
Vulnerability in Arts Education
Expectations in Arts Education
Don’t Make Examples

Yesterday’s post was all about not looking at examples for projects in art educational environments. But it’s not meant to suggest to not look at art. Observing art and taking it in are vital to a thriving artistic practice. For me, it’s like drinking water: absolutely necessary for creative life.

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Art Education: Don’t Make Examples

Arts Education Week was started in 2010 by Congress, to recognize the significance of the arts in education. I have been an educator for nearly half my life; I’ve literally grown up with arts education. This is the 3rd installment of my series of posts about arts education pedagogy. This project is also a personal challenge to me to embrace my own expertise and practice illustration. Thanks for reading!

Previous posts:
Vulnerability in Arts Education
Expectations in Arts Education

Moving right along on the circuitous journey through arts education pedagogy, today I bring you straight from my cranium to yours: don’t make examples, make art.

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Vulnerability in Arts Education

In celebration of Arts Education Week coming up, I am putting out a series of posts about my own arts education practices and philosophies. Everyday for the next… many days, you can find all my deep inner thoughts about teaching and learning through art.

Credibility: I’ve been an art educator for 15 years… which is nuts, really because I’m in my early 30’s, so we’re talking about half of my life so far. Naturally, I’ve developed my own philosophy on arts education over that time, based on my observations of other educators, experience in what has worked so far and what has definitely not worked ever, and what I think can help the world think a little more creatively.

In this series of posts, I’ll ramble on about my own philosophies, and then top it off with some practical advice for arts educators and arts learners to enhance an artistic practice.

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