I started teaching art lessons a few months ago, and I am really enjoying it! ”L” is a very imaginative and talented girl. I don’t think I loved art as much as she does when I was eight. It seems that she is constantly drawing and I’m sure she will go far if she keeps it up. Art, like any other skill, needs to be practiced. A college professor of mine used to say that being good at art has little or nothing to do with natural talent. It’s about practicing. Maybe the only natural part is having a love of art in the first place. What do you think?
Looking through the sketchbook of an artist is a bit like peeking into someone’s journal. It’s not like I’d be angry or offended if someone picked up my sketchbook and started leafing through it, but in my opinion, you should always ask the artist if it’s OK first. And don’t be offended if they want to flip through the book with you and only show you certain things.
My sketchbook is not as personal as many are, but it can be a bit embarrassing. It’s where I unload my brain so a lot of the sketches are rather odd like the one pictured below. A cheese tree for mice? Yes.
My sketchbook is also a place where I try things on for size. I’m not crazy about a lot of non-representational art, but this is something that I took from an old Nat Geo photo of the Earth. I guess it represents river systems, but to me it seemed more abstract and I was drawn to the colors and shapes so I sketched it with water color pencils.
My sketchbook is a place where I can practice using different techniques with mediums like colored pencils.
I also like to sketch from my art books. This is a sketch I did of Stieler’s Portrait of Lola Montez.
Of course, there is usually the odd animal sketch in there too. I cut these ones out.
My sketchbook doesn’t have anything amazing in it. It’s mostly a brain dump of creative ideas or inspirations. It has a lot of half-baked ideas and unfinished drawings. But there is still something that feels private about it. Why is that?
A terrarium is, technically, a sealed environment in which plants and/or animals are kept. Like this one that I made last year:
All I had to do was to mist it every few weeks and the water would recycle itself within the jar. I learned the hard way that plants that crave moisture (like moss) thrive in this environment, but plants that need less water (like succulents) will rot. Before I go on about plants, I feel that I must warn you that the relationship is more one-sided. I think this says it all:
Ok, so my secret is out. I’m like the creepy stalker and my plants are all like “Didn’t I get a restraining order?”
But I persevered and assembled two more open “terrariums” for my mother-in-law and sister-in-law. Here is one of them:
My dad, who is an accomplished gardener, gave me a few tips last time I built a terrarium. First I put down a layer of rocks so that there could be some drainage at the bottom of the glass jar. Then I put down a layer of peat moss to absorb water, and a layer of Cactus soil which has nutrients for the plants that I was using (all succulents and cacti). I placed the plants where I wanted, and put some moss (of course!) down on top of the soil. Here’s a close-up:
And a view from above:
Because it’s open, this arrangement will need to be misted with water every couple of days. My only concern is that the plants will outgrow the jar. I guess it’s another wait and see!
Eric is an exceptional man. Life with him never gets dull. His recent bid for the open US Congress seat in our district was a prime example of what it’s like to be married to him. Towards the end of January he made a decision to run for congress, and I can’t say that it surprised me. It was a classic Eric move, and it was brilliant.
Here are some of the campaign highlights:
Submitting our 1,250 signature petition to the capitol after weeks of hard work,
Seeing Eric on TV and hearing him on the radio,
Sign bomb day,
And handing out literature on voting day!
When we first started the campaign, we had no idea what a nerve-wracking and humbling experience it would be. When you run for congress at the age of 26 there are a lot of people telling you you’re too young, or you don’t belong in the race. Eric handled it so well, and I think he proved them wrong. He ended up coming in fifth out of seven candidates, and he ran a good clean race.
Ultimately I learned a lot of things, but I’ll only bore you with a few of them.
- It is really important to be supportive of your spouse. I tried to go to every event that Eric had. Not only did it mean a lot to him, but it meant a lot to the people who saw us there together.
- I need to vote more. I learned a lot about this country and how things work. There are so many changes that need to be made, and on voting day I noticed something really shocking. There was a twenty-five percent turnout, and the vast majority of voters at my poll were over the age of fifty! As a younger generation we NEED to step up and use our voices.
- Every vote counts! Eric edged out the man in 6th place by four votes!
Ok, I’m almost done. I just want to say a special Thank You Soooo Much! to all of the friends and family who helped us throughout the campaign. I still can’t believe how awesome you are! We are truly blessed to know you.
And lastly, here is a compilation of several of Eric’s speeches that our friend Clif put together. Enjoy!
…will give you such a crick in the neck!
I am back, and so happy to be blabbing away in my favorite corner of the internet again! These past couple of months have been a whirlwind, but the election is over and Eric placed 5th out of 7! Not bad for a 26-year-old first-time runner with limited funds, zero experience and Z-E-R-O help from the local newspaper or republican committee. Actually it’s quite amazing, and I am beyond proud of Eric. He was extremely wise and innovative with his limited resources. The true mark of a creative mind. I will share all of the deets in another post.
So now life is starting up again. I am currently working at my part-time jobby, teaching art lessons to a talented 8-year-old, and working on a commission. I’ll do my best to fill you in in the coming posts. Also keep an eye out for a repeat performance involving one of my favorite natural elements: moss! I’ll give you a hint: it starts with a “T” and ends with “Errarium.”