No. 27: Random Thoughts and Recent Drawings
And some holiday gift ideas
My husband recently sent me a photo of these two dogs waiting outside of a coffee shop in Dumbo. He knew I would love them because I have been taking photos of waiting dogs for years. This portrait is part of an ongoing and slowly growing series. Many people have asked, so I have decided that once I have a substantial collection, I will make a small book or zine. You can see more of the series here.
Perhaps you’ve noticed: I’ve been a little quiet lately. I am finding it hard to focus so this post might feel reflective of that. The news is hard, and I am trying to hold it all while heading into the time of year I pretty much dread—and then also love—each year. The holidays have always been tough for me, filling me with mixed feelings that rock back and forth every hour or so. I don’t like cold weather, but I love being inside under a blanket with a warm cup of tea. Workwise, I don’t prepare well by making special holiday products or festive illustrations, and I always feel guilty about that, but I love supporting my friends’ efforts and seeing what they have created. When out shopping, I feel the stress of doing and spending too much while also feeling like I’m not doing or spending enough. I love giving gifts, but thoughts of too much stuff and we don’t need this loom over and take a bit of the joy away. We celebrate Hanukkah and Christmas, which feels like double the pressure leading up but in the end is double the fun. The end of the year makes me feel sad about fleeting, precious time but also promises a fresh new start. It really is a love/hate time of year for me, and there is comfort knowing that I am not alone with these thoughts. Please do share if you can relate. And better yet, if you love this time of year, tell me all of the reasons why so that I can feed off of your energy.
This week we decorated the tree at home in Brooklyn. Each year since we moved to Brooklyn (fifteen years ago) I have given our boys a new ornament to add to our collection. We have also made many of the ornaments by hand, and for all these years we use the same homemade star at the top of the tree that I made from wrapping a piece of cardboard with tin foil and then winding some yarn around it. At this point we can never replace the star. Each year when we unpack the boxes of ornaments, and the boys carefully hang them on the tree, it is like a game of memory and storytelling. I love the excitement of this ritual. I begin to tuck gifts under the tree immediately, and already the collection is growing. I wrap everything, even little snacks or what might be considered stocking stuffers, and also gifts for the extended family. The Hanukkah gifts are under the tree as well. Each day my younger son will take a peek and say, “Oh, there are a few more today!” I probably don’t do all Christmas things the right way, but I imagine all families’ rituals vary. Even though I didn’t grow up celebrating Christmas, I am so thankful that my kids have been able to experience it, in our own unique way.
A Collection of Gift Ideas and Some Promo Codes!
Even though I don’t have any new products to sell, I have some other fun gifts to share from my artist friends and also from some of my collaborators. Oh, and my books are always a great gift for any artist at any level.
My clients and friends at Creative Art Materials and Orange Art, who distribute all Caran d’Ache materials in the US, have given me and my readers a special discount on the Orange Art website. There you will find so many great products, including my favorite sketchbooks (when I am not using the sketchbooks I make by hand) Travelogue Linen Watercolor Journals. Use code SDB10 for 10% off now through December 15.
Use this link to find all of my Skillshare classes and get a one-month free trial on either a monthly or annual membership. And I also have one more free year to give away before the end of the year. I will be sharing info at the next subscriber meetup on Dec. 13 (details below).
As always, Canvas lights and accessories are 10% off with my discount code: SDB10.
My friends Gayle Kabaker and Jennifer Orkin Lewis both sell beautiful scarves and bandanas on their websites that make perfect gifts. I have a small collection of their scarves and wear them all the time!
April Hannah’s Brutalist Candelabra for the minimalist design lover.
Through December 3rd, Katie Jane Hughes’s new high lite kit is 30% off with code BF30.
If you are paid subscriber, you can always reference my favorite tools list for gift ideas, or share the list with loved ones so they know what you would like to receive!
And finally, click the link below to get 20% off a year subscription to my Substack! The support means the world to me, and I work hard to make the membership worth every penny. If you just want to support me and my work, then feel free to join, skim through the paid subscription emails, and drop into meetups when you have the time. We have a wonderful community here, and I/we would love to have you join us!
Two-point Perspective Drawing and Painting with Derwent
My next FREE class with Derwent is on Monday, December 11th at 2pmEST.
In honor of the holiday season and gift-giving time, in this one-hour class we will be sketching and then painting a pile of presents stacked on top of each other. By first establishing a horizon line and then two vanishing points, we will be able to render the boxes with proper perspective. Once the first sketch is made, we will add some ink, erase some of the pencil, and then paint with the Derwent Inktense paint palette. Ribbons and patterns will be added as you desire. Watercolor or gouache paints are also fine to use if you do not have the Derwent paint pens. Feel free to follow along or simply watch and be inspired to create a pile of gifts in your own personal style. This is a great opportunity to learn some basic rules of perspective that you can incorporate into future work. Click here to book your free spot.
The Next Meetup on Zoom
My next paid-subscriber meetup is Wednesday, December 13, at 12pm EST. Be sure to check the subscriber chat to find the link to register.
We will be drawing and painting leaves together. Please gather at least five different leaves in various shapes and sizes, also in various stages of life. I don’t like pulling live leaves off of plants or trees, so I encourage finding ones that have fallen. We will be drawing them in various sizes on a page, filling the entire page, with some bleeding off the edges. I am going to share a new approach to using the edge of the page that we can experiment with together. Bring your favorite art materials and a pencil for planning and light sketching. A water-soluble pencil is always a bonus, as the lines will wash away if you decide to use paint.
If you would like to make a donation this holiday season to an organization working toward peace in the Middle East, here are two that I find are doing amazing work: Seeds of Peace and American Friends of the Parent Circle Families Forum.
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