Friday, November 30, 2007

Happy medium

Highly coveted Pilot Hi-Tec-C pens

What? Where are the ... Cookies?
A little bit of playing with the new FC Albrecht Durer w/c pencils

A great train of thought from the design conference from Sir Ken Robinson:

"People who are most creative love the medium that they work in.
Everyone is creative.
You simply need to find your medium. "

I have been working with my Pilot Hi-Tec pens and markers quite intensively the last few days. I’m looking forward to spending the weekend working a little more with chocolate, fresh produce and the Albrecht Durer watercolor pencils that arrived yesterday.


Did someone say cookies? Join in on the fun!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

I've been

Busy working!

Oh all the pretty colors...
Geh! This isn't even the half of it ...

But before this work frenzy, I got these in:

Carry a big stick!
Click on any of the images to see them larger. >click!<

More half-eaten meals

This last one was done with the Prismacolor Premier ("OOooo. 'Premier'! ") Fine Line marker they passed out at the Learning Product Expo in Pasadena. It's brown with a fine tip, so I'm not sure how well you'll be able to see the linked drawing, full screen. Squint a little. That might help.
Amazing, isn't it, how you can finally discern where the perspective is wonky, only when it's finally scanned and on your computer screen. And published where the whole world can see it too. Ehhhh, back to drawing board! (Yes, pun intended)

Back to work! Tonight in class I'm planning to have 'em all working very hard on perspective line drawings and little experiments of how to render different materials in marker. Lots and lots of industrial design product drawing today. I predict that I'll be wearing a lot more marker by the time today is finally done. Sigh.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving recap

Yup, looks like this. Pretty much!
Intense watercolor pencils

What'd you do for Thanksgiving?
- We cooked, ate, slept and watched a whole lotta football :) The whole time.

Oh, look at the Intense pencils!
- Yeah. So much fun. I figure I need to be a little more methodical in at least understanding the colors and how they react with water. I ordered the Faber Castell Albrecht Durer ones, too. I heard they create really nice washes...

Huh? You ordered more? How many different brands of these watercolor pencils do you need?
- All of them.

Oh. Um.. Right.
- Cheaper than a shoe habit. Or ... you know, worse.

Right. Hmm, talk to yourself much?
- [Furrowing brows] Huh? I'm not going to answer that.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Virtual Cookie Exchange!

Yes, that would be SO Low-Cal!

After several years of wanting to do a holiday open house and getting sick each year (lying dejectly with the flu on the sofa when I ought to have been baking instead), I've decided to try it the smart and all-inclusive way. This way I can still plan a party, without having to clean; can still bake, but not have to save all the cookies for one big party.

I mean, let’s be real:
Saving several batches of cookies in the freezer around here would be impossible.
[shaking my head]

So, you are invited to the 2007 (Progressive) Virtual Holiday Cookie Exchange!
Where else but TheFridgeDoor, eh?

Create a tasty little treat* to share:
You can bake, draw, paint, sew, draft it.
Whatever. I won’t be picky.
You could even discover it and share a photo of what you’ve found.

Then, send a digital image of what you’ve created to me.

Or, better yet, why don’t you share a few warm holiday memories and plan a Blog Entry to bring to the Cookie Exchange?

In December (let’s say starting around December 10th), we’ll share all the yummy goodies, nice little coffee breaks for the busy, bustling holidays.

I’d be happy to post images, but it’d be even better to share a list of blogs and postings. It’d be a great excuse for everyone to visit each other and share a memory or two.

Go ahead and forward this post to your crafty and artistic friends and have them whip up a batch of creative (digital) yumminess, too!

My guy, reading the artwork, said "Virtual Cookie swap? Sounds disappointingly low-cal..."

Best wishes to you all.

*Tasty little treats like these, and not like these.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


You've done this, I know you have...

With the holidays pretty much here, it's time for us to indulge in rituals of comfort, food, tradition. Every Thanksgiving, I wonder if this is the great American holiday. Forget the Fourth-of-July and corn on the cob, barbeque and burgers and dogs! No matter where you are in the world, I imagine that everyone has at least a teeny craving for roast turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie. At least, this is what I like to think - that we're all sitting down to a national dinner.

There are the quirky traditions, too, like olives, celery sticks filled with cream cheese, the universal method of drawing a turkey (see above), eating too much, turkey soup a few days later, and everything else. There's so much at stake in preparing the food that I've seen all-out mayhem break out in kitchens. It seems more and more that there's more stress and expectation involved in preparing this one meal than Christmas! OMG! And sadly, that stress and craziness has become part of the ritual for a lot of people, too. Sigh.

People do pause to say Thanks, but it really has become just a moment, that lingering pause right before we all start digging into all that food [Lips smacking: Nom nom nom nom!].

There's a lot of gratitude floating around the blogosphere, though. I don't think we need to save it all for just one day. Expressing Thanks is a good thing; it keeps you humble, happy, keeps things in perspective and spreads the light and warmth of a smile on your day.

I am thankful for my man, his warm hands, warm words and warm heart.
I am thankful for notes of courage, friendship, encouragement and support that I get.
I am thankful for the beauty that others capture and create and share so openly, work that inspires.
I am thankful for the chance to teach and to continue to learn.
and I am so thankful that for the better part of my job, I get to draw! Yay!

What are you thankful for?

Now! Let's get to the cooking part of it all!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving! xox -w

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Catching up a bit

I've been ..

And this time it didn't cost $1200!
... waiting around getting my oil changed ...

The phone cord looks pretty interesting over there
... killing time between meetings and classes ...

Gee. I want a classic chair ...

... drawing study sketches of classic chairs with my class ...

Another gnarly tree!
... and killing more time between meetings.

And (over the weekend) watching a lot of football and napping. The napping part is hard to draw, so you'll have to take my word for it.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

And finally, Cylinders

See? Empty wrappers. Drawing food as it's lying there is almost impossible. Better to eat first.
Passing time.
Ellipses and cylinders
We did cylinders in class last night, finally. One cannot live on cubes and spheres alone.

It's always nice to be able to sit and draw with my class, working with them individually. But, mostly, it's nice to be able to just draw with them.
We plug into a different student's iPod for music when we draw, more or less rotating through the group. Better than having everyone wearing earphones, off in our own secluded worlds. The chatter is nice, and I get to listen to different music.
Last week, we sampled Korean rap.
I have to say: Life is pretty cool.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Eva Zeisel exhibit

Been doing study sketches of this for a while

When you hear people gush about industrial design, you’ll typically hear words like, “Cool! Juicy! Sexy! Aggressive!” Boy, I’ve just, uh, enhanced the traffic to my site from search engines. We all love the sleek, hip, new, crazy stuff, yup. I love to look at it all, too, but I also crave the soothing pause of very lovely and graceful design that doesn’t feel the need to smack you over your head.
Sunday, I went to see the Eva Zeisel exhibit at one of the smaller museums in Los Angeles, the Craft and Folk Art Museum, across the street from LACMA.

Seeing the work in person is much like seeing any other kind of classic work in person. You know how great it is from lecture slides and books. But in person, it’s just so much more lovely and so enchanting. Yes, it is so wonderful that you just wish you could pick up the pieces and hold them, as they were meant to be, in your hands. The quotes and video add layers of warmth to the exhibit.
One quote, up high on a wall, seemed to sum up the overall theme and tone quite nicely:
“Years ago, when I was asked about good design, I answered ‘Love is a very personal matter’ …”

I wish I could share it with you. Photos weren’t allowed in the gallery (yes, imagine my great sigh of disappointment!). If you’re in the area, stop by and see it. It continues through December 30th. Yes, it's a small museum. The exhibit is small enough that you don't mind sitting through the whole video, but not so small to be completely underwhelming. Maybe. It'd be a good pause for your day.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Yes, people,

Jell-O! Jell-O!  We all Yell-O for Jell-O!

it's the last of the Jell-O cups.

Have a great weekend! :)

Oh, my Bad

Yes, you're right:

This would be the last of the Jell-O cups.

Thursday, November 01, 2007


I had to fight the urge to sit and color in the floor, to balance all the volume of the forms a bit, help settle it in space, especially the table. Mmm, maybe later.

OMG, no, I don't draw these freehand. I rough-in sketches and work on proportion (or, not) with pencil and go over it with pen, then take out the pencil lines with a kneaded eraser.

The past 5 days, we’ve been recovering from some kind of stomach ailment/flu/bug. You know it’s bad when neither one of us wants to eat. I mean, seriously. You’d think that padding around all day, napping, it might be nice and soothing to draw, but no! (Gasp!)
See? I told you it was bad.

I can (but probably shouldn’t) work through a cough, sniffles and allergy attacks and fever. But, when I’ve got a seriously upset stomach and can’t eat, well, heck, there’s no point in facing the rest of the world until I can eat and have more energy. Bleh!

um, yeah. Bleh, indeed.

I’ve had plenty of chicken soup (canned), saltines and jello (talk about comfort food) for a while. Feeling better today, though, much better, Thanks.

I’m having to dig through my backpack to figure out what I had last done before the intestinal unhappiness, what I need to do to follow up with that stuff, and what was is that I had to do today? I dunno. I have piles of binders, with papers from different jobs and classes. I’ll get home from the day, unload one group of binders and books from one school, plunk it down on the floor. Then I grab stuff from the other school and class and load it into my pack. If I’m ambitious, I slip in a sketchbook and work files. Everyday, it’s something different, a different pile of stuff. After even just a few days, it’s like an archeological dig on the floor of my office; the deeper I go into the piles, the further back in my most recent past I can investigate and figure out where the heck my brain was.

I knew I was in trouble this morning when I went digging, thinking, “Now, where are my brushes…”.


You know what I want? I’d really like one job. Maybe two. I have the two, and then freelance, and then the faculty council, and then recruiting, and then the professional design society. I don't want to sound ungrateful or anything, but I’d like to be able to pack my bag with just one, mostly unchanging load of books and ideas, and go about my days. I’d like to be in one place often enough during the weeks to actually have co-workers. That would be really, really great.


Today I need to get back to documenting the stuff I’d compiled from Monday (it was remarkably a good, industrious day, apparently. I’d forgotten), and from the conference, already a couple of weeks ago. Good grief! The conference, for industrial designers, had great talks about design thinking and education and creativity and imagination and all that good stuff. I have lots of scribbles on talks in the little moleskine they gave us in our registration packets. I need to get to transcribing that, because there are really great thoughts to share and to think about. I wish they’d just collect slides from the speakers and publish them. In the meantime, we all have our notes, furiously scribbled in moments of inspiration. Little seeds, waiting to germinate.But right now, I have to take a shower, grab my first coffee in a couple days, and tackle some of this work stuff.

... Want to read about someone doing really tremendous good? Visit Jane.