Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Of Naughty Cats and Notetaking

Perhaps you remember after my last Artist's Date that my husband called my new arrangments of plants on the kitchen counter a "salad bar" for my beloved 16-year-old cat, Stella.
I guess she decided to redecorate while she enjoyed a little afternoon snack!

After ignoring my plants for a week (tricking me into believing that I could finally enjoy some house plants), Stella went after the fern and the Angel's Tears, completely ignoring the fittonia.  Almost every day since, the poor little dead fern has been pulled from the dirt, and upended into my deer knick-knacks.  I just plop it back into the pot, assuming that it distracts her so that she continues to leave the fittonia right next to it alone.

Makes for a heck of a daily mess to clean up, though!

Here is a portrait of the little plant hoodlum, taken by my friend, Sue, a budding photographer with tremendous talent:


When I was in high school, my friends used to tease me because I took so many notes during my classes, and when I was in college, I could transcribe most professors' entire lectures into my notebooks.  I am a fast writer, who stays alert best by writing things down.  I also have a poor memory, and like to have a written record of anything I might want to review later. 

So, naturally, my notetaking habits have spilled into my art-making.  I use my sketchbook to take notes on designs in books and web sites that I might want to incorporate into my work in the future.

I especially enjoy taking note of tangle designs that I will use in future doodles.  Sometimes it takes a few rough starts to get the hang of a new design, and I find that some designs suit my talents better than others.  Here are some of my favorites that I found by checking out the "Look Inside" feature on Amazon for Margaret Bremner's The Art of Zentangle, which is now on my Wish List:
I really like these little stacked rocks.
How pretty is this flux design?

There are all kinds of variations on this Roxi pattern, and I really like how Bremner created a dangling design.
Hollibaugh has been one of my favorite patterns since I first started creating Zentangles, and I I really like the patterned stones standing next to one another, at the bottom of this picture.
As part of my notetaking, I recorded some designs for stylized leaves and trees that I saw on the website I Heart Prints and Patterns:

None of this is much to look at in my sketchbook, but the idea is that I can incorporate some of these designs on beautiful backgrounds for cards or art journal pages.  I can use a little help from online sources for new design ideas, but I will seldom use them unless I take not of them in my sketchbook for easy future reference. 

Another great web site for design and pattern ideas is Print and Pattern.  A person could spend hours just soaking in the inspiration!

I had the most delightfully balanced day yesterday.  I couldn't possibly do everything that I love to do, but the things that I did represented most of the very important pieces of my life:  I went to spin class in the morning, and got a tremendous workout.  After picking up the girls from preschool, we went on a play date to Chuck E. Cheese's--a place that I remembered as dark and dirty from my childhood, and yet it was bright, clean, and fun in my community; I had a wonderful two hours giving undivided attention to my girls as we took turns and played games together.  Then I came home and gave my kitchen and laundry area a thorough housecleaning.  I cooked dinner for my family, and headed off to a prayer meeting, a group that meets monthly to pray for specific missionaries we are in relationship with in Asia.  By focusing on exercise, my children, my homemaking, and my religion/spiritual life, I balanced four of the most important "pieces" of my life; it doesn't always happen that the time in a day is so well used, but it feels very good when it is!


Sue Hare said...

Did you draw all those sketches yourself? I do not have drawing skills. That is why I do rubber stamping. My image is created already and I can image that I drew it. If you did draw those I am impressed.

Patty said...

I love days like that Andria! It makes you feel so good. On another note, I should keep a sketchbook handy for my creative side. Those doodles are so cool.

uncustomary said...

Whoa! These are awesome!!

Naomi said...

I love your doodles! Our cats were terrible with cats. I used to cover the soil with clear packing tape all over, leaving a tiny hole for watering. That was a pain. Now I have zero plants indoors. :)

Christine said...

Oh dear, bad kitty!
The doodles are great, I love the stylized leaves

Parabolic Muse said...

Andria, this all sounds really amazing. It is very hard these days to be balanced!

I love zentangles, but I've only done a couple. I got a little zentagle how-to book and cut my tiles, but I have not done them. I plan to work a bit on doodling while we're on vacation, but I'm not sure I'll get the hang of zentangling just from memory! I will have my white tiles with me, though!

What a sweet Stella!! Get her some catnip and she'll stay only with that!

Caatje said...

Those doodles look so great, especially a page full of all those different designs.
And cats...well cats will be cats I'm afraid. ;-)

aimee said...

"salad bar" -- best description ever for a row of household plants ;))