Monthly Archives: June 2008

Be Creative When the Mood Strikes

OK, I’ve got basically two windows of opportunity when I’m able to be creative.  One, when my son is napping – currently twice a day, and I only get to be here for that on the weekends, and two, after he’s put to bed in the evening.  This painting was started during number two.  I got the urge, but didn’t know what to draw/paint.  I broke out the watercolors because they’re the easiest for me and sat in the middle of my living room, back propped against the couch, then looked around for inspiration.  Across the room was this plant that’s served me for almost 8 years now.  Done!  I sketched the outline and went at it.  It took me many nights to touch up, and I’m still not completely satisfied with the “final” result.  As with anything I do, it could be classified as a work in progress.


Plant Still Life: 9"x12" Watercolor on Paper

Painting the Ordinary: Watercolor of the Dinner Table

Another quickie painting done while my infant son was napping.  I sat down at the dinner table and just went at it.  At the bottom you can see where I started painting the painting too.  It was in my field of view, so I figured, “Why not?”  This was done with watercolor pencils – another medium I’ve experimented with, and I really like.

Dining Room Table

Table Top: 9"x12" Watercolor Pencil on Paper

Vintage Doodling: The Art of Bordom

Back in 1993, I was an instructor at the Fleet Training Center in Norfolk, Virginia.  I taught the operation and maintenance of a satellite communications system.  Part of my duties was to install electrical faults in the system to test the students’ abilities to troubleshoot and repair the danged thing.  Well, when the faults were installed, we sometimes would wait for hours while the students flailed about on the test (sounds evil, huh?).  This doodle was done while that was going on.  My other favorite thing to do at the time was to think of words and use the dictionary and thesaurus to find their root meanings.  Yeah, I was REALLY bored then!

Bored out of my skull at work in 1993

Abstract Face: 8.5"x11" Pen, Markers, & Colored Pencil on Paper

Abstract Pastel

I sat down one evening, intent on doing something abstract, and this is what happened.  I love abstract art, but I don’t seem to do it well.  I lack the freedom to just do whatever comes up, which is how I see abstract art.  It shouldn’t be premeditated, or follow convention, but should be about feeling and flow and energy.  This one started that way, but I quickly felt the need to make it all fall into neat little lines and color schemes.  Overall, I was pleased with the end result until I decided to apply a fixative.  Pastel is a marvelous medium, but applying fixative dulls the colors.  If anyone knows of a fixative that doesn’t change the color, please let me know.

Crazy Head

Abstract Head: 9"x12" Pastel on Paper

Self Portrait

I find self portraits to be boring for the most part.  Really, the only self portraits I’ve liked were by Van Gogh.  This one isn’t a finished product, but I find it hard sometimes to take self portraiture seriously, so finishing it is not high on my list of things to do.  It was a fun way to pass some dead time (won’t say where I was when I was passing said “dead time”).  I had someone take a picture of me with a disgusted face, and I was going to put this picture in a presentation at work that had to do with why our production was sucking wind at the time.  It was frustrating… that’s the look: frustrated.  Isn’t it funny how everything has a story?

Me at work

Office art: Doodling in meetings

I doodle a lot while at work during meetings or phone conferences.  Below are some of my doodles since January this year…

This one was at my desk, and consists of my thermos (we have coffee here, but it’s horrendous, so I bring my own in), a coffee mug, pencil holder, and some paperwork.  I was on the phone with one of our suppliers during this one.

Desk doodle

Again, on the phone here.  This is my Logitech track-ball mouse.  I love this mouse!  It never has to move… yaaaaayyy!


This one is a pair of safety goggles laying on the table in front of me during a meeting.

Safety glasses

I was sitting kind of behind and next to this guy named Dwane in a meeting.  Everyone, meet Dwane!


Same room, different day – the desk (table) across the room from me.


The face was originally doodled without picking up the pen.  There’s a name for that style, I’m sure.  I just added to it until it got to this point.  This meeting was about transferring our equipment to Mexico… ick!


Oil Painting

This oil painting was done a couple years ago.  It started out with an attempt at realism, but towards the end of the initial session I decided it didn’t have any character.  It’s not finished, yet it hangs on the wall in our bedroom.

Oil on canvas