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100 Dickens

In January of 2015 I got involved in an online art challenge.  Some of the participants where very ambitious, promising to make a painting a day for the year, or learn a new medium and do something with it every day.  I heard the artist, Roz Stendahl, drew her dog every day for several years.  I thought, "What discipline, what staying power!"  I seriously doubted I could sustain that kind of effort.  But I have a beautiful cat that I've always planned to draw and never really did, so I said, "OK, I'll draw 100 Dickens in 100 days."  I could do that, provided they didn't have to look good.  And so the Daily Dickens began.


If you click on this picture of Sue, the T-Rex, it will take you to a page full of covers of my sketchbooks. I've lost a lot of sketchbooks over the years.  I once lost a dozen of them in a flood.  That was hard.  I'm not fast so it takes me a long time to fill them.  And I get discouraged and quit without finishing them.  But here are sketchbooks from the last 15 years or so.  I'm better about not cutting them apart for Christmas presents, too, so, more to see.


I taught a zendoodle program and I made a bunch of samples to help get things rolling.  I've been doodling forever.  I found a sketchbook from high school and was tickled to see a long rectangular zendoodle in rainbow colors.  How about that!  Anyway, I've only got about 9 or 10 here but the program went well and I'm so delighted that zendoodling has caught on and people have come up with such a cute name for it.  So I gave these drawings their own page.  Lots of fun.

By the way, this is drawn on wallpaper.  The Epco in LaGrange used to give me all their old wall paper sample books.  I'm not too keen on the vinyl papers but the painted paper sheets are great for drawing on.  I cut them up and make sketchbooks out of them too.  The sketch above was drawn on a sketchbook like that.  I like to mix it up.  Brown butcher paper, handmade paper, wallpaper, anything unusual will do.  You'll never have blank page phobia with these.  Nice textures, as well.

public work

My public work is out in the public.  Anyone can walk in off the street and see the prairie mural I made with the kids, or the stained glass windows or the aisle signs.  This is a sign in the kid's department that hangs over the 636's (dewey for pets).  I like to have a big hanging sign over each row to aid giving directions.  I went with the most frequently asked for topics, dinosaurs, ghosts, mummies, sports and pets.  They're made on good white posterboard and cut out and glued to black foamcore board and cut to fit again.  Then the words are added on the side.

I've used this design on lots of things.  I really like it.  I'm not sure why it looks so dark.  There's a doll house in the background too.  Couldn't help that.  It'll have to do.

kids' crafts

I have a million kids' crafts.  I've only just started digitizing them.  But I threw in a few things right off the bat, like this.


The library discards a ton of nonworking cd's and dvd's.  We use them to make Caulderesque sculptures.  These are just the decorated ones I made as samples.  Get a big set of sharpies and go wild.  It's easy.  It takes kind of a lot (a dozen or so) to make a Caulder-like sculpture.  Only a few kids managed it.  But if they only had a few done, I took a fat ribbon and glued the discs to it in a vertical line added a tassel to the bottom and they make a pretty nice wall hanging. for the less ambitious.

paintings and such

I don't have very many painting on my paintings page yet.  I've given most of my paintings away.  So I need to start visiting my friends and relatives with my camera.

I made this painting to complete the 100 Dickens project.  My husband likes to hug the cat.  Dickens has mixed feelings about being squeezed.

I painted quick portraits at St. James' Octoberfest.  It was really difficult for me.  I wanted to try to do 15 minute portraits but I usually took twice that.  I was there for 5 hours and only managed 9 portraits.  That's quite slow but it's faster than I've ever worked.


This link is for all the miscellaneous projects I do.  This picture is of my first thumb pianos.  I've made a few more since then and taught it as a craft in the library.  I used bobby pins as tines.  I'm looking for something that is a little tougher and harder to knock out of tune.  Until then, I'll just keep making them with wooden bowls from Goodwill, popsicle sticks, screws and metal tubes from the hardware store, paint markers and bobby pins.  They sound beautiful, so sweet and mellow.  I made them so that we could have music in our Bible study meetings.  Unfortunately, I can't play them very well.  In fact none of us can.

Still, they look folksy and I hope to find someone who can play them someday.

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