Keeping It Simple

I can be easily distracted, especially by colorful, shiny things. When it comes to my art I can get distracted as well. I can get so caught up in trying to find the right tint or the right value for something that the fun just sort of fades away and the art becomes a chore. That doesn’t leave me in a very happy place. So the other night I grabbed a piece of colored pencil paper and my graphite art pencils and had a little fun.

My husband likes barns and I’ve been trying to draw him a nice barn for a while now. I’ve tried pastel pencils, soft pastels, and colored pencils, but the outcomes have been less than what I would have liked. It seems I just needed to keep it simple, stupid!

By using graphite I was able to concentrate on the subject, on the light, on the shadows, and not get caught up in tints and trying to blend colors properly. Don’t get me wrong. I love bringing color to my art, but sometimes simplicity should rule the day. Life is filled with enough frustration. Why bring that to our art?

Here’s the finished barn sketch. Unfortunately I didn’t realize until I was well into the piece that the paper had some scoring on it. I was so excited to get started I didn’t even think to check for that. But my husband loves it, and so do I. When I look at it not only do I see a barn and silo, I also see simplicity and the freedom it can bring.

Graphite Barn

You can find my paintings at Smurgles Art!


My Art Buddies

A few days ago I finally put together some wire cubes so that I could better organize my art stuff – paper, supplies, finished pieces, you know, stuff. The great thing was that the two bottom cubes were empty and just happened to be in front of one of our furnace registers. I really wasn’t planning on using those bottom cubes for storage as my back doesn’t like it when I bend too far, so rather than let the space (and the heat) go to waste I outfitted the cubes for our cats! It didn’t take long before Benny (on the left) and Dusty (on the right) settled right in.


I’ve written before about how art is great therapy, and it is. But I’ve found that our animals (five cats and one guinea pig) are even better. In fact, I think they’re just about the best therapists around! It’s always a joy to be able to give back to them and help them stay comfy and happy after all they’ve done for us!