A hot mess with mud

All the while I was telling myself, “Cheryl you’re making mud” but I just couldn’t stop.

What’s up with that!

Like the Energizer Bunny, I kept going and going and going and I ended up with this hot mess using Derwent Inktense Blocks to sketch a spray paint tin and a broken piece of a refrigerator magnet.

If I were to grade this page in my Stillman and Birn Beta sketchbook:

Perspective F – Effort A

Shadow F – Effort A

Colour F – Effort A

Unfortunately, I don’t use the blocks often enough to truly understand them.

Derwnt Inktense Blocks. I cut a small piece of each colour in the 12-colour tin and wedged them in full pans in a metal palette.

Sometimes, I get a pretty decent sketch and other times, well, let’s just say that the results are not so pretty. And yet, I bought a few of the Derwent Inktense pencils, which I find much easier to use.

Bought a pack of 6 Derwent Inktense pencils and ordered two additional colours: Hookers Green and Ultramarine blue

Oh well, if I don’t do another, I  could still say that I stayed true to my mission to do at least one sketch every day.

It may be mud, it may be a hot mess but at least I showed up,  I honored my daily practice and I can honestly say that I don’t feel too bad about the results.
After all, for me, it’s all about learning and playing and having fun on this art adventure.

Sentimental Treasure – Tomato Pin Cushion

Growing up I watched my mother sew and I was always fascinated with her pin cushion. I guess it was only natural that eventually, I began sewing my own clothes and have my own pin cushion.

Of course it disintegrated after a while and I did not replace it for a long time. Instead, I used different little boxes and containers to hold pins.

Several years ago, I went on a search for a new sewing box to hold all my sewing notions and decided that it was about time that I got a new pin cushion. I fell in love with a tomato pin cushion and although I stuck some pins in it, I never really used it much.

Why not you may ask. Well, it was just so pretty, too pretty to use. Silly I guess but I didn’t want it to get old and raggedy. I’d take it out when I’m sewing or mending and just sit it nearby, lifting my eyes every now and then to admire it, while reaching for pins in a little box. Go figure!

Anyway, a couple days ago, while altering the hem on new jeans, my youngest granddaughter (5 years) saw it and asked what it was. After explaining and showing her how it is used, she asked if she could have it, “without the pins because those pins can be dangerous“. Smart girl.

I thought about it for a moment, because although I didn’t use it, I still considered it a sentimental treasure. Then I decided, a sketch will give me just as much pleasure. I can probably frame it and hang it on the wall and I can admire it, the same way I used to admire the pin cushion.

Now Nyssa has the pin cushion and I have this sketch.

Ancora Imparo – we all should be

At the age of 87, Michaelangelo wrote “Ancora Imparo” on a sketch he was working on. Ancora Imparo means “still I am learning”.

This should be true for each one of us as every new day is a opportunity and a priviledge to still be learning – in every sphere of our lives (faith, work, leisure activities, creative pursuits, relationships, etc.) however small and seemingly insignificant the lesson may be.

POV for inspiration

Often, when I settle down for my daily art session, I ask, What could I sketch this morning? Sometimes the answer comes from my point of view. Yesterday was one of those times.

From my kitchen table, which is also my pseudo art studio, I had two points of view that inspired the sketches on this page.

Top: Neighbourhood view. Sometimes I think that there is nothing new or different beyond my front yard – just the same old, same old. Yet, there was something different. A man stopped just outside my neighbour’s fence to check his bicycle.

Bottom: Kitchen view. The dish drainer is just one of the many ordinary things of daily life, which is always available to pose for a sketch.

Oogling the onion

So, I have a thing for onions. Their variety of sizes, colours, shapes and flavors are amazing. I use them liberally to cook with and in salads sandwiches, etc.

Because I love them so much, I like to sketch them. However, because I don’t do them often enough, whenever I sketch one it looks like a first time effort.

Yeah, yeah, I know, Practice makes Progress. So, if I want to learn to sketch an onion, I need to up my game from oogling the onion, to sketching it more often.

This is my most recent attempt.


I wake up. I do my morning chores. I shower. I have breakfast. I sit at the kitchen table. I do a few sketches. I check the news online. It depresses me. I sketch some more. BUT … my mojo is AWOL.

I can’t say that I am blocked or uninspired. I can’t say that Rita, my muse, doesn’t show up or that she doesn’t find me willing and ready and often, already sketching. BUT again … my mojo is AWOL.

You know MOJO, that spark of magic that infuses your ability, talent or skill and ushers you into that blissful state of deep and satisfying joy.

Yeah that, can’t-quite-put-your-finger-on-it feeling that puts a pep-in-your step and paints a glow on things you do or more importantly, things you love to do, filling your heart with immeasurable pleasure, freeing you to engage with your passion with mindfulness and a sense of wild abandon.

GOSH, I hope you get what I’m trying to say.

It’s strange how I can’t really say that I am away that my MOJO is present and active but DARN I am agonizingly aware when it is not.

Sketching without my MOJO is empty and painful. It’s like rubbing a dry paint brush on dry paper. That’s the best way I can describe it at the moment.