Drawn2Life

Discovering my life Beautiful…one drawing at a time!


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Harvest

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If I look back over this year as if my life were a field that should produce a crop, it appears at first glance to be spare and thin. Surgery in June and its aftermath, from which I’m still recovering, makes me think the bumper crop will be sparse this year and for good reason.

Yet I’ve been looking through my sketchbooks and artwork I’ve made this year in preparation for my upcoming Art Show at Southwinds Gallery. Last year’s show was an epic event that should have proved to me that much rain and storms often yield a bounteous crop! I’ve been marveling, once again, as I prepare for this show, that indeed there has been a profusion of art growing from these fields of creativity I tend. It is humbling. It is head-scratching. How? How has this happened in the midst of what has felt like turmoil?

I really don’t know the answer to that. All I know is that what I thought would be a sparse harvest, actually looks much like the drawing above, made at the Ciener Botanical Gardens this fall…a profusion of color, flora and fauna springing out of much rain and not a few storms.

I’m grateful. This is an understatement. Gratitude to my heavenly Father who is bringing me through a year of difficulty, all the while having planted and sowed such beauty along the way. As I flip through my sketchbooks and look at the pile of knitting and crochet wrought this year, I’m humbled at how I’ve been allowed to create despite the churned soil and wretched storms.

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It occurs to me, as it has in the past, that each and every drawing I make, is a chronicling of something I’m grateful for. It is putting down on paper, a visual recounting, of what I find beautiful in my life. Wow…there really is A LOT that is beautiful. And I don’t often realize this truth unless I stop and view the harvest.

It is my hope that this post does not seem self-congratulating in any way. Oh dear, it really could be perceived in that light. My intention is to confess to you that my natural tendency is to view my life as meager, sparse, UNDERwhelming, UNexciting, and thin. I realize time and time again, that this gift of art could quite possibly have been granted me for no other reason than to reveal to ME the breath-catching beauty that is all around me in my life no matter the circumstances…to show ME that the yield of a life is not measured in huge accomplishments but in the day to day small things that add up to a satisfying harvest. This is a lesson I seem to have to learn over and over and over again. Truly humbling.

This makes me excited about the art show this year! Especially since I get to share it with my dear friend and fellow artist Debbie Schiappa! She and I have, for a few years now, drawn together on Friday mornings in and around Kernersville. We will be showcasing some of our drawings and paintings of our town along with other artworks of various kinds. Saturday, November 22nd from 4-7 will be a wonderful day to view just some of the harvest from each of our year’s crop. I would love for you to join us there!!

It will truly be a harvest celebration!


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Our Hero!

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My husband and I often say to our youngest (age 12) daughter (pictured on the left in the above drawing)–

“You are our hero!”

We say this for many reasons, but mostly because of the amazing way she handles living with Type 1 Diabetes.

We said it to her when she learned this year to give herself her own inset WITHOUT any lidocaine!

We say it to her when she has to repeatedly prick her finger to get enough blood to test her sugars.

We say it to her when she recounts how a substitute teacher treated her poorly when her pump alarm went off in class.

We said it to her when she stood in a choral group to sing and a teacher ( who did not know her) went off on her about getting rid of her “cell phone”. No alarm had gone off. The teacher just didn’t like the “look” of her pump being visible.

We say it to her when she comes home from school telling us how a student asked her for the umpteenth time–“What’s that?” After she has explained it to her numerous times.

We say it to her when she chooses to do all the things necessary for keeping her blood sugars under some sort of control…testing and eating something when she feels “low”, giving a correction and drinking water when her sugars are high, exercising, etc.

We say it to her when she patiently endures people saying stupid things to her like, “You don’t LOOK like you have diabetes.” Ugh.

We say it to her when she goes to a birthday party or a sleepover and makes wise choices about what she eats and boluses the insulin needed for her to enjoy the party.

Time and time again, she models to us a fortitude in spirit and a graciousness of character to endure on a daily basis, living with Type 1 Diabetes. Randy and I want so much for her to be free of this disease. We want all children and adults who live with Type 1 to have a cure available to them.

And so we Walk.

On November 8th we will walk with her, proud to be her parents. Her older sister (pictured above) and brother are also heroes for the countless times they have stepped in to care for Maddie and to learn all they need to be able to help her live with this disease. We Walk for the amazing heroes of Type 1 Diabetic children and their families who bravely face each day together!

Please join us on our Walk! We would love for you to walk with us in Winston-Salem! Or you can give to help find a cure for our daughter and so many others! Every year, for the past four years, we have been amazed at your generosity!! Should you wish to donate to Maddie’s Mission to find a cure, click here.

**Thank you! To each and every one of you who gives, you are our heroes too!**

***To read  more posts about our life with Type 1 Diabetes, check the Category here.


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Dixie Classic Fair!

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Just popping in to say HI from the Dixie Classic Fair! I went on Monday to draw the sights at the Fair and had a fantabulous time! I’m planning on going back today to draw more!! I love, LoVe, LOVE the FAIR!!!!!

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I’m posting as I go over on Instagram, should you wish to follow my sketches there. The above is the first of four drawings I made on Monday while there. There’s so much to draw at the Fair, I’m “fair”ly dizzy with possibilities.

Oh me…could life be any finer in Carolina than during Dixie Classic Fair days?

I think not. :)


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Morning Draw

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Started about a week ago, I’m making a drawing each morning before the day gets going. Perhaps its like my Morning Cuppa Joe (which I’ve replaced with herbal tea) or my Morning Meditation…it just starts the day off right. This was the first one and I didn’t date it like I have the others. This first week’s worth are uploaded to my Flickr account should you care to see them. I plan on uploading about once a week just to Flickr. I haven’t put any of my work on Flickr in a while so this will be fun.

Perhaps you’d like to join me in making a little drawing each morning. I enjoy a slow contour drawing to really bring my thoughts and focus on just what’s in front of me, savoring each line and connection of shapes. It’s a great way to harness the ping-pong thoughts in my head as the day gets started.


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The Brothers Zucchini

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In the vast land of Back Yard, two brothers lived next door to each other through the heat and humidity of Summer. Bubba Zucchini had a goal to produce the biggest and best zucchini ever known, while Jake Zucchini made it his mission to outlast them all.

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As Autumn encroached on the land, Jake held his head high even as his limbs hung limp, weary from the toil of the season. Yet Bubba continued to nurture the over two foot long zucchini growing beneath his mammoth wings.

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Preserved here in paint, the legacy of these two brothers will live in infamy, even though Jake has now succumbed to the natural course of things and is flattened to the ground, disappearing into the soil. Bubba is making a valiant attempt to continue sheltering the huge girth of his progeny. Soon, the gigantic zucchini will join the local Fair to compete for the title of Biggest & Best in the Zucchini family, thus making Bubba the proudest papa in the land.

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**Good grief. What stories come floating in on a breeze as I stand washing dishes looking out the window at our backyard. I’m sure this happens to you too! Oh please do say that it does. Surely I’m not the only one. ;)


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Michelle’s Challenge: “Go Big!”

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One of the artists whose work I admire on the One Drawing A Day blog, Michelle Bedigian, posed a challenge over a week ago. She recounted that one of her former teachers had challenged her to “Go Big” when she went out to sketch on site. This was to shake things up a bit and to make her approach a drawing differently.  The “big” size she was challenged to do was 36″ x 42″…oi!

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I took this challenge immediately! However, not even owning a board or paper coming anywhere near that size, I decided to use the largest piece of paper I had which was 22″ x 30″. All week long I looked forward to taking the hot press w/c paper on a board with my French easel and all kinds of drawing media and watercolors, to our Ciener Botanical Gardens here in Kernersville, NC. I typically draw and paint there with no bigger than a 9″ x 12″ sketchbook, so this was going to be fun! I have certainly done larger paintings and drawings on location before, but this time I wanted to approach it in a similar manner to how I work in my sketchbook and see what would happen. In other words, I wanted to “think drawing”, rather than “proper painting”. This may not mean anything to you, but in my mind, there’s a big difference.

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Friday morning dawned with gray skies and spitting rain. We had been having this weather all week and I was just sure the clouds would part for Friday’s adventure. Humph. Not to be daunted, I hauled my stuff there anyway, determined to find some way to “Go Big”, even in the misting rain. Right as I hopped out of my car, I saw it. Just the view I wanted to draw! Flowers in the foreground, main building behind with the Methodist church in the far background. Yes! And as I got out my stuff, I realized the back hatch of our vehicle would provide some shelter from the spitting rain. Perfect.

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I was joined by two of my dear artist friends from Reidsville who had come to Kernersville to draw with me. They were not daunted either and found a terrific spot under an awning to draw for the morning.  Once my setup was in place (which was truly perfect using the back of my car to open up all the supplies for ease of reach) I attacked the drawing, trying not to think too much. I had splashed a bit of watercolor on the page the night before. I often enjoy drawing over an underpainting (or rather an undersplashing). It helps tone down the large white expanse of the paper and offers lovely surprises later on as you view the finished the drawing. (See the first photo above for the “drawing only” on top of the pre-splash of watercolor.)

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I got really caught up in the moment, only stepping back a couple of times to take a look and dive back in. After two hours, I decided I had hit the “niggling” stage. This is where I begin adding little bits of this and that which aren’t really helping anything at all. Even though I wish I had stopped long before I was near niggling it to death (I almost like the “drawing only” version the best!), I still liked it immensely if only for the fact that I did it! I drew larger and more expansively and oh boy was it fun!

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I can’t wait to do this again! My little brain is hopping with ideas and different approaches and mixes of media! Definitely a challenge worth taking many times over! Perhaps you’ll try it too! I highly recommend it!

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I’m including some close-ups of specific areas of the drawing so you can see it better. It really was a gray day so I apologize if the photos are a bit dim as well. C’est la vie!

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And in case you’re curious as to the media I used, here’s a list:

Faber-Castell watercolor pencils, Feber-Castell PITT artist pens of various tones of black and gray, Prismacolor Premier Fine-Line Marker 08, Loew-Cornell oil pastels, Loew-Cornell 7020 Ultra Round watercolor brush size 14, American Journey Watercolor paints with a few DaVinci Gouache colors.

Here’s a definition of the word “niggle”:

nig•gle (ˈnɪg əl)

v.i. -gled, -gling.
1. to spend too much time and effort on inconsequential details; trifle.
2. to criticize in a peevish way; carp.

***Should you be up for an excellent read about an artist’s life, read J.R.R. Tolkein’s Leaf by Niggle. 

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