July 1, 2015

In The Neighborhood...

I've just started walking 30 minutes first thing in the morning... and, in order to encourage myself to keep at it each day, I'm taking iPhone pics of beautiful & interesting things I see in the neighborhood while I walk.

I saw these purple coneflowers today & thought they were lovely, planted against a simple white picket fence background... Made me smile! :)

June 16, 2015

Tell Me A Story . . . .

I like to write... and if you're a regular blog reader of mine, you'll know this is so very true! I can also be kinda, just a little bit, overly wordy (*wink-wink*).

I don't have any aspirations to write books... My hat is off to those who are called to put deep & inspiring thoughts or delightful characters who have amazing adventures down on paper for others to read. That's such a great calling!... but it's not my calling.

Lately I've become more aware that I want to add words to my illustrations. Not lots of words... just a small taste of a story or a peek at what's going on 'behind the scenes'.

Mini-Stories For Tiny Art

And so... I thought I'd show you today what I mean by posting this silly doodle of mine. The illustration style is all me, the mini-story mine too... and so is the lettering. No downloaded fonts here!... It's all done from start to finish by hand... my hand. And I kinda like that!  :)

I'm sure as I play with this 'tiny pictures with mini-stories' idea that things will eventually evolve. But for now, I have no idea what will come of this... It's just another fun avenue to explore as I keep putting my pen to paper & doodling my little heart out!

May 15, 2015

Moore Doodles

One of the talented artists I enjoy 'following' is Stephanie Ackerman, whose colorful doodles & lettering style are whimsical & straight from her heart. As a Christian artist, Stephanie has been an encouragement to me to combine my faith & my love for color & illustration & journaling in a fresh new way. You can take a peek at Stephanie's Doodle Gallery here.

Just recently I decided to take one of Stephanie's online classes... 'A Whole New Doodle'. Honestly, I've had the BEST time playing with my pens, doing some 'freestyle doodling' and learning some basic lettering... and I'm just beginning!

While I was at our family's farm recently (and away from all my internet distractions!), I got out some basic supplies... a stack of plain old lined notebook paper, a pencil, an eraser, a medium sharpie pen, and a box full of Prismacolor markers... and I doodled my little heart out!  :)  I drew the borders 'freestyle' (no pencil sketching first), but the alphabet required a little more pencil & erasing!

Above is a little 'freestyle' border doodling...

...and some decorated capital letters below. My capitals are 'embellished' using Prismacolor markers... but you could use colored pencils or paint, really whatever you want!

I left these 'little' letters simply colorful, but they could have had some funky doodles in them too, just for fun.

The last Sunday afternoon of our farm visit, I sat at the kitchen table next to a sunny window, spread out all my art supplies, and colored a whole page of borders I'd inked up on Saturday. You would have thought I was a little kid with a brand new box of 64 Crayola crayons!... I was one happy 'colorer.' (that's a word, right?).

Color Me Happy!

If you like to doodle like I do... then I totally recommend Stephanie Ackerman's 'A Whole New Doodle' online class! Before you know it, you'll be doodling your heart out too!

April 10, 2015

Spring Has Sprung!

It always seems to happen this way... temps are in the 40's, I'm wearing my turtlenecks, fuzzy socks & fleece... and overnight SPRING suddenly appears! It teases at first with a crocus or two in my neighbor's front yard... and then unveils itself with drama & flair.

This year the cherry trees that line the streets in our neighborhood were truly spectacular! And now the dogwood trees are beginning to blossom... and yes, the azaleas are not very far behind. So far, I've watched out my kitchen window as a mama starling built her nest... and I was entertained by a squirrel very carefully filling a notch in the big oak tree to make her cozy nest. All the baby leaves are unfolding, making the whole world green again.

NEW LIFE!!... Just when it seems that winter will never end, along comes HOPE, and the whole world sighs in relief.

Thank you so much Lord!... for the gift of beauty, for the promise of hope, for new life that springs up when we least expect it. We can see You in all You have made... The whole world is praising You!!

March 17, 2015

Find Me On Flickr

"Animal Kingdom"

For a long time now, I've wanted to create a 'gallery' of my illustrations so I could share them here on my blog. But Blogger ...which I love 'cause it's so easy!... good old Blogger just doesn't have an 'app' for that.

So... I went back to my old flickr account, which was dusty & neglected... did some major housecleaning... and set up new PholkartStudio albums to show off my art, especially art I'm creating for the Doodle-a-Day challenge (having so much fun with that!).


Right now, I have some "Oldies But Goodies" illustrations there from my first blog (circa 2006!), along with a bunch of ACEO's (Artist Trading Cards) I created to sell in my Etsy shop, PholkartStudio (currently on an extended vacation to some undisclosed tropical paradise or other exotic location... haha!). No doubt this little 'gallery' will evolve over time. But for now, I'm just happy to have a little 'home' where my art can stay... and you can visit. And I really do hope you will!  :)

February 26, 2015

Apples vs. Oranges

See Photo Credit Below

From time to time I can really get myself into a creative 'funk'!... and unfortunately, February has ended up being a very 'funky' month for me. As much as I love having access to so much arty inspiration & creative community online... if I'm not very very careful, I start comparing my abilities with other artists & end up feeling blechh about me! (...and yes, I'm sure that blechh must be a real word and not just something I'm making up!).

So... it was interesting that I stumbled on this quote yesterday:

"Comparison is the thief of joy."
- Theodore Roosevelt

Hmmmmm... Well, thank you Theodore... I really needed to hear that! In my mind, I know that this is true... but my heart forgets from time to time.

When it comes right down to it, I have a choice to make every time I enter my creative online community. I can hold my arty talents up against the talents of others and evaluate how I measure up... or I can choose to embrace joy by refusing to compare. Instead, I can appreciate how uniquely the Lord has made me while also appreciating & encouraging the giftedness of others.

Thank you Lord for reminding me once again to trust my thoughts, my talents & my heart to you.

photo credit: Apples & Oranges - They Don't Compare via photopin (license)

February 18, 2015

Snowbound in North Carolina

Here in the Piedmont of North Carolina, we don't get snow very often... but when we do, the whole city comes to a standstill. This week, I've been snowbound in our little house on the hill with two inches of snow on the ground, all covered by a thick coating of ice. I've decided that walking our dog Winnie is hazardous to my health, since I've fallen & bonked myself twice so far. So as much as I love the IDEA of snow, with all it's beauty & quietness... this girl is choosing to enjoy the snow through the windows of my cozy warm house while sipping hot coffee & tea! Afterall... snow days make perfect art days!