What a year. Let's recap some happenings and look at a small fraction of the nearly 300 artworks & creations from my latest ARTventure around the sun! I'm proud of all I accomplished this year and am grateful to all those that have supported me and taught me along the way.
Warning, to authentically recap my year I will be discussing some heavy topics. If you're not in the headspace for brief mentions of tough subjects right now, this might not be for you. I'll see you around the Internetlands another time.
That said, let's jump in:
The last time my Christmas cactus would bloom. Years ago, a clipping was gifted to me from a dear friend. After being a bright spot of color in my winters for many years, this past winter was the final time it would flower. However, the shell of it, would feature again throughout the year. I also got to revisit a past painting on display at a collector's home! Here are some pics of the cactus, the art on display, and a throwback to 2020 when I delivered this Van Gogh inspired artwork. Van Gogh would also feature again in the year ahead...
Russia invades Ukraine and the world, as usual lately, seems like it's spinning out of control faster than usual. One of the channels I follow to restore my sanity and calm is Beau of the Fifth Column. Here is a nod to Beau's many t-shirt easter-eggs and how those shirts frequently cut off. Around this time I also felt the need to start wearing my "I read banned books" earrings a lot more and drew this line art. Also, we continue to pick up trash around our neighborhood when we can. Sadly, we average 6-8 pounds just going around 2 blocks. Sign my litter pledge here and take action in your community and beyod.
This spring, I took a leap, and began streaming art on Twitch. The thing I've come to like most about streaming is that it helps me to stay accountable to showing up and putting in some work. I sit down for a few hours, a few nights a week, every week to work on art. Art can be a lonely, solitary, isolating process sometimes. Given my introverted inclinations, I was surprised at how much I enjoy engaging with others while working on my art. For this month's highlighted photos: I created a digital version of my marker piece "Two Lost Souls." (BTW, The first and only print is currently available in store (: here.) The center art is a comic called, Coffee Cups in Controversial Conversations (Holy alliteration Batman!) Finally, here is one of the first sketches, for the first of many, emotes I would make this year. This one was a for a music streamer. I learned a lot during this process.
PS: (Because, March was a busy month!) I also created my first ever batch of stickers! Here's a fun video I made opening them. As much as I like streaming, ironically making videos like this, is not my jam, because editing is a time suck.... There are only 5 still available in my store.
In April of 2022, I spent way too long messing with the comic pictured on the left. As a self taught artist, only venturing into the digital space in the last 2 years, this idea was probably my most ambitious comic scene to date. Only, 17 hours of fidgeting, tweaking, redrawing, and running out of layers later... I came out the other side with a better understanding of Procreate and the tips and tricks of the digital art creation process.
The center photo marks the promised return of the husk of the Christmas cactus. Birds had sought shelter under it's remains, and made a nest. The eggs soon gave way to hungry sounds of baby birds. Unfortunately, the final image of a 'Draw This in Your Style' (DTIYS) character, foreshadows their fate... What began as wonderment and fascination for my family - shattered as we witnessed the harsh realities of nature unfold. The event brought back some of the severe anxiety I discussed in a blog from 2019 titled, Snakes, Birds, and Anonymous Online Stalkers.
In May, I made lot's of Twitch emotes, they are basically emoji's you can only use on Twitch. I made quite a few of emotes for others as well as some for myself. After less than two months of streaming, I somehow managed to get affiliate status. Having that status, allowed me to start offering channel rewards, points, emotes, and challenges. The first image is of several versions of my depiction of a 'Biblically Accurate Angel' for a fellow streamer's channel. The second is an emote I made for my channel because pink bears became part of our stream lore.
The epic of the pink bears started with one person jokingly telling another that I wouldn't draw pink bears for them. They had never asked me to draw a pink bear so I was understandably surprised by this. Pink bears suddenly starting being requested and mentioned a lot in chat during streams. I thought it might be amusing to set my chat bot to respond with different jokes and phrases any time it was mentioned again. Except, basic rules of HTML can get one around the bot. I know this now, I didn't know it the night I went crazy trying to figure out how people were doing it. If you do visit me on Twitch, mentioning pink bears still prompts a bot response. (:
Finally, the last image was inspired by a challenge that I didn't participate in. While watching the showcase of the art of those who did participate, I drew this to match the theme and try to be funny. The theme was 'Saturday Morning Cartoons'. Side bar, I don't watch a lot of TV but I'd watch it if they rebooted or remade the show I'm referencing. Leave a comment if you think you've got it.
In June, I finished the witchy DTIYS challenge piece. I had a lot of fun creating that one and am proud of how it turned out. Participating in challenges such as this has helped me learn a lot and pushed me outside of my own comfort zone. Next up, among the emotes I mentioned creating, was this heart. This heart that says Eye Luv U with it's face, became my second ever sticker. I love this as both an emote and a sticker. (Still a few in the store if you want one!)
Finally, a bright spot for this month was that I got to teach a couple of summer workshops at The Artists Hub of the Ace Basin! Many of my originals are available exclusively at AHABs, including my recycled artworks. Recycled art was the topic of my workshops. AHABs is a wonderful place.
July brought more streaming and more draw-this-in-your-style / prompt challenges. The coffee queen was a DTIYS challenge and the scientist was from a character machine draw along. All of these challenges have helped me grow, improve, and learn.
In the middle of all the art, was a much needed weekend away with a friend. We went to Poinsett State Park. It was a refreshing trip. The park was beautiful and serene. A break from the monotony of everyday routines and responsibilities was to repeat, MUCH needed.
In August the Rona finally caught up with my family and me. It sucked. This would be a month of battling sickness and depression and a duck... It was also a month of inspiration and of trying new things. First up here is another DTIYS challenge drawing. Once again, this took me out of my usual comfort zone and got me to try some new things. Another artwork from this month is this Merman. This was an experiment in applying a variety of textures.
The next photo is of that duck I mentioned... that was the same day I got to attend the Beyond Van Gogh experience with a dear friend. I and many artists I know, often do ourselves the disservice of comparing our works and selves against others, and drawing negative conclusions. This time, I had a different, better experience. I could have beat myself down as some one who would never be as prolific and good as Van Gogh; instead, I recognized the imperfections, saw the draft lines, noticed the work grow and change as Vincent experimented. I recognized and appreciated the parts of the process Vincent and I might share and took mental notes of things I could try in my own work.
The experience was immersive, invaluable and enlightening.
September brought autumn and of course art. I drew more DTIYS challenges such as this pumpkin lady. I also drew more zen-line art like this black & white design. The last one here was a pose/theme challenge. We had to use the pose(s) from given reference material, and incorporate a witch theme. I liked how this one came out.
If you've been following my ARTventures for a while, you may know that September is the calm before the art-storm that is October...
October was probably, as usual, my busiest month of 2022. First, after streaming exclusively digital art a few nights a week on Twitch, for 6+ months, I really felt the need to complete the annual Inktober challenge on actual paper. I had a small sketchbook with just over 30 pages that was perfect for this. I decided to stick to black and white to keep it simpler and quicker. I also decided to layer the prompt words with the theme of nostalgia. I think I pulled off the nostalgia factor, but during the first week I dropped the black and white rule because I drew Carmen Sandiego and couldn't help but color her signature coat... After that the markers were already out so I ended up coloring many of the remaining drawings.
I'm not going to name each of the characters depicted in my scans of my drawings, but I think many of you will recognize all or most of them. Some of you may even hear one of them in particular. (; You can see all the drawings in a secret gallery here. (Note, the give-away aspect of that page is no longer active so please disregard that text.)
I also got knocked on my butt for a while in October after getting a cracked tooth pulled. Despite that, I was still able to create a recycled scarecrow for the annual display in my town. This trash art installation was intended to be a Gorgon. Sometimes though, when you set out to make a Medusa, you end up accidentally making a mermaid. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ This year's display made use of 112 soda bottles and 925 plastic lids/caps. Much of which was picked up on those litter clean ups in my neighborhood and beyond. ):
November brought a brief exploration into test patterns of the past. I also participated in a challenge to "draw your inner spark.' The Pastafarian gnome, AKA Gnomeghetti, was the beginning of a 'Seasoned Greetings" series as we entered the holidays. The microphone was a new emote I created. It was inspired by a channel that has had a hand in bringing many in my community together, Neil The 604 Atheist. The emote is a nod to the hosts of the show, who chat with people about their journeys away from religion.
We made it through the year! If you're still here, thanks for sticking with me! First up for this month's highlights I attempted a digital acrylic painting for the winter wonderland-bridge. Next up is from the first prompt drawing using prompts from my community. The words they chose were donut, green beans, gingerbread, snow balls, and whiskey. Donut Disturbed was another drawing prompted by a redeemed reward prompt. A signed print is in the shop! (:
On the last night of 2022, I finally did something I had wanted to do since I started streaming. Instead of digital art, I streamed while painting an actual acrylic painting! It felt good to meet an intention I've had for a while and it felt good to paint again. It a was a nice note to end the year on.
To Sum Up:
Days ~ 365 | Twitch Streams ~ 100+ | Arworks ~ <300 | Soda Bottles ~ 925
It was a profound and productive year for me. I am proud of all I got to accomplish and I am grateful for all who share the journey with me and support me. Thank you.