Do not sketch while breastfeeding.

Pen & Ink, Sketches, Urban Sketches

I spend at least 60 minutes per day breastfeeding. Excluding nighttime breastfeeding, which is totally unproductive due to zombie brain sleep. This 60 minutes seems like prime time for doing something because it is guaranteed to be cry-free time*. Unfortunately, due to the nature of breastfeeding, I have between one and zero hands available during this time.

Anyway, sometimes when I’m breastfeeding I’m looking at something I’d like to be drawing and I draw it in my mind. Then flush it right out of there because I will not be able to reproduce something from my mind’s eye. Imposible. (That was in Spanish, it is not misspelled.) Yesterday I tried to draw something later that I spent several minutes looking at earlier in the day. This is that thing:

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I was sitting in a car on a street in Oakland looking at this. Actually, this is the only part I specifically remember.

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The rest I sort of made up.

*One might suggest that I spend this time “bonding” with my baby, but I assure you, I also spend at least 60 other minutes a day changing diapers, and diaper changing time is always spent gazing into the eyes of my beautiful child blasting him with lovingkindness from my face while my hands work at an inhuman speed tossing soiled diaper into the bin and wrangling a new clean one on before he WIGS out. So, we totally bond.

No Mojo.

Pen & Ink, Sketches, Urban Sketches

I didn’t lose interest in art. I swear. I just lost my motivation during a brief two-month period of feeling the morning sickness misérables. I’m not saying my motivation is back. But it WILL be. I’m thinking about arting. And that’s a start. But you know how they say that it takes a month of doing something regularly before it becomes habit? I need to commit.

Here’s the first drawing I did for several weeks. I spent a couple hours one very nice day in January and sat up at the Tilden Park Botanical Garden and sketched some pretty bleak looking winter foliage. Then didn’t sketch again for some time.

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Tilden Carousel with the Urban Sketchers

Pen & Ink, Urban Sketches, Watercolor

Last night I met up with the Urban Sketchers of the Bay Area for the first time. We met at the Tilden Park Carousel Christmas Extravaganza. After a very dark and spooky drive through the woods I came up to the old carousel building decked out with thousands of lights, Christmas village decorations and nice little hut where the kids can talk with Santa and the Elves.

We were there for just 2 hours and I didn’t get a whole lot done. I sat outside and sketched one of the 6-foot tall nutcrackers. The fella working there was kind enough to leave it out for me to finish even though it was closing time.

I also sketched a view of the carousel from a picnic table just outside. It’s tough sketching things that come in and out of view at such speed!

Small sketches

Pen & Ink, Sketches, Urban Sketches, Watercolor

I got a 4 x 6 inch sketch book the other day (because it was $1 and you can’t beat that) and today, I brought it out. I’ve noticed some other folks have participated in a challenge called Every Day Matters, created, I think, by Karen Winters. I came across the list of challenges (which you can see here) and thought my tiny sketchbook would be perfect for it! I made these three today.

My son’s milk cup

Clock in a waiting room

My dog, asleep

I also brought out my colored pencils last night and drew this bird while watching Hell on Wheels. I like to draw whilst TV watching. Makes it feel less like wasted time!

Sketching in Manteca

Urban Sketches

I spent the weekend in the Central Valley and had an hour today to drive out to the country and sketch. I saw this abandoned old crane and had to sketch it. This was out on Airport Way near Avenue D. 

There are so many interesting things to sketch west of Manteca. Tractors, piles of tires, long-horned cattle, dairies, grain silos. I need to spend more time out there.