Monday, February 25, 2013

Morning Thought...

My art is the tangible result of an ongoing conversation between me and God.

It's about me...
Asking. Listening. Acknowledging. Experiencing. Feeling. Expressing. Changing. Sharing. Informing. Capturing. Remembering. Growing. Appreciating. Obeying. Following. Trusting. Recording. Creating. Receiving. Giving. Waiting. Expecting. Blessing. Trying. Failing. Trying again. 

Sometimes its about the process.
Sometimes its about the product.
Always its about Him.

Even if others don't know it.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

An Fun Update on Rice Rice Baby!

I was prompted to try and locate the actual owner of the photo I used for the baby drawing yesterday. Come to find out, he is her daddy! She was born in Jan 2010 so is a little over three years old now! 

Thank you! I love the drawing. I will print it and put it in my daughters room! Thank you! :D Also I am going to put it on my blog, if you don't mind,

In his email he gave me some background on the photo:
In your description you mention that she was a wee one enjoying rice, but that is only half of the story. She is enjoying the first rice of our harvest that year. The fresh rice is always the best. Please send me your address and remind me to send you some fresh rice next october when we have harvested :)

After seeing his daughter's delight I can't wait til October to try some!

And...I am pleased to tell you that my original drawing will be on its way to them shortly. After all, who should have it besides them? I hope they enjoy it as much as I enjoyed drawing her! I love when art can connect people worlds away to one another.

DSC_0086               Untitled

Friday, February 22, 2013

Rice Rice Baby

29 of 29 and 74 of 100

I found this delightful photo of a wee one enjoying eating rice and knew I HAD to try and draw it! I rarely draw babies (this might be the third one ever?) and certainly never one with its tongue out but it was just too darn cute to not at least try.

I use my fingers to smudge lines which can tend to create quite a mess so I am reminding myself to use a tortillon instead. I also knew that I needed to ignore all the proportions of an adult head so this  one was far more intuitive and free flowing.

I am happy with how the baby's hand  turned out as well and this makes 29 of 29 faces done! What an amazing challenge this has been. I am so glad I gave it a try and hope to be able to join in the next one.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Mandala Respite

Just two sweet little hand drawn and water colored mandala I painted last night waiting for Randy to come home from class.just hand drawn mandala

Shell Mandala

Slowing Down the Process

28 of 29 and 73 of 100

I chose this particular image because I wanted to try and incorporate all the details I logged into my notes and see if I could see any difference in the overall outcome. I will tell you that I certainly was more critical as I drew than normal. I also found myself working hard to stay away from my natural intuitive approaches in order to stretch myself. I don't know that I recommend this but for my purposes here it was needed as I am trying to have these techniques become part of my natural process. Once I have practiced enough I am sure they will become more relaxed and happen much easier. 

For instance, I usually do not lay in so many planes as I did this time. I think my eye goes right past them and straight into the detail work. Another example concerns placement: I was fully aware of thinking "The ears are higher than the tip of the nose because there is a slight downward tilt to the head". And, "Don't forget to foreshorten the mouth and chin"  HUH? Intuitively I just see that and draw it. At least I thought I did. As I look back over my work I see that isn't always true. In going through tutorials and lessons (and tons of practicing!) I am trying to slow down in order to capture the finer details and create more accurate looks. 

So 2 questions for everyone...
1) Did I over think it? 
2) Do you see any improvements? 

And if you are a fellow artist  -  I would love to know if you have gone through this process and how do you handle it? So please leave a comment and share!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Stirring Things Up

2013-02-20 10.06.14-1

I took a quick break from faces and mandala to capture this simple line drawing in my journal for A Year in the Life of an Art Journal's 15 Feb prompt "favorite quote".

Here's the back story - I am trying to document my new journey with Type 2 Diabetes using the prompts this year. For me this is not going to be so much about the art as it is the emotions and responses to having this challenge. This is a fairly recent diagnosis and with the life style changes/improvements I have made (including medication!) I am learning to manage it. I have had some roller coaster moments with conflicting information and opinions from medical personnel which truly has been the most aggravating thing thus far.

I decided to add a quote that encouraged me and represents where I am at in this moment of time. I totally cheated and searched on goodreads for one that fit! *L*

So tell me...what message do YOU get from this little drawing? What does it say to you?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Faces of the Weekend

My faces project went in a different direction than I thought it would but one I think is ultimately beneficial to me. I planned that I would draw more faces from my "Draw This Face" board but somehow ended up finding a tutorial to watch and follow from proko which then lead to another and another and another etc. I have not worked through all of them yet but it is on my agenda! After I posted "Another Face" and remarked about her eyes needing to be changed and then seeing other things I wanted to fix on her I thought I really needed to get specific about some of things I want to change about my portraits. I am always wanting to grow and improve in my work, aren't you? I felt these tutorials addressed a number of the specifics I was concerned with. I spent the rest of my free time over the weekend drawing tons of tiny little heads and faces and features in my "Body Parts" sketch book! Here is a mosaic of some of the work to share with you!

(Sorry about the bluish cast; not sure where that occurred - in the camera, mosaic maker, flickr?)

Now there are at least 15 more faces shown here that I am going to count toward my 29 for this challenge and 100 Faces collection (more in the sketch book of course!) This puts me at 27 of 29 and 72 of 100 but I am still going to be working on as many more the rest of the month as possible. The only way to learn and grow is to draw, draw, draw! Right? 

I do want to comment about the face on the upper left hand side - I am not happy with this one at all. It is completely over worked, has too many texture lines, tons of erasures, and still needs fixing. But! It stays as is because 1) It is merely an exercise 2) It lets me know what issues I need to continue to work on  3) It reminds me to switch to some other materials I have been wanting to play with again!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Another face

This past week I didn't work on faces (too busy doing mandala!) but I started this one last night and worked for about 90 minutes on it. 

2013-02-16 11.13.01-1

This morning my youngest said I needed to change the eyes and she was right. So I just changed those and decided to stop. I wasn't going for hyper-realism ( have never even attempted that) so at this point I am satisfied with her. 

2013-02-16 11.42.34-1
12 of 29 and 57 of 100

And in the time it took me to post this far....I go from being satisfied with her to noticing two things that I kinda wanna change - her nose is too long and her eyes are showing up as two different tones. ACK.  GO AWAY PATRICIA PERFECT. (My Inner Critic)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Deep Observations or I Am Kinda Strange

While working on mandalas the other day, I began to think about things that I am attracted to and love to draw, collect or am just purely interested in. This prompted me to look at a few of my pinterest boards (and this is why I like pinterest) in order to gain some perspective. I began to notice some connections and as I did things began to become more concrete in my mind. I see a long time pattern of these things that weaves through out my life time. In reading this you may discover much about me including that I am big geek.


Take a look at my boards and see how many times these things are pinned to numerous ones. These types of things are all over my house and included in my sketchbooks regularly. My husband informs me that no, not everyone collects this stuff and has boxes and jars and bowls and shlves filled with them. Hmmm. But its not just the circle that reappears - its the patterns. Though I do not know what it is all about I do know that I draw comfort and peace from these things.  Has anyone else ever seen this type of connection in your art, personal preferences, collections etc?  I would be fascinated to hear about it. If no one else does then it gives credence to my alternate title choice and I readily admit I am kinda strange.

BTW...I have one daughter who loves triangles.
I am not quite sure what is wrong with her.

Just kidding you crazy-bohemian-artsy-fartsy-hippie-weirdo-wild-child-of- mine!

Note: I know for many mandala, circles, etc are a spiritual symbol and it is for me as well. I welcome others to share their beliefs but please do not debate or disrespect any one else's beliefs or values if you choose to comment here. This space is not to bash any one or convince anyone they are wrong and you are right. Just like in my home, all are welcome here!

For what its worth: I am a Christian and just like Jesus, I hang out with everyone! Otherwise, who knows? I might miss out on making a great friend.

Sea Turtle Mandala

This is from Guada's year long challenge and I couldn't have been happier to see that the first one was honu! If you know me you know these are special creatures for me. I miss my time with Malama na Honu and hope to pick it back up once we return! Until then, I have this (and at least a thousand photos of the basking gang) to remind me of wonderful friends and precious memories!

2013-02-15 00.06.49-1
If you are interested in mandala in general see this post for more info!

Initially I thought I would do this in color pencil but the paper was too slick to get the effect I was hoping for. Plan B - pull out my copics and see how that goes. Much better but not perfect. I didn't like all the circle lines that showed up so I chaned my technique from the normal suggested one (make tiny circle and get coverage then reblend) and was able to get a smoother finish on the orange areas and did a more marbled effect with the rest of it. I hope you can see in the jellyfish (and yes I know jellies are not usually green but that was the color scheme I wanted *S*) that I simply placed the tip of the copic down and lifted it without making a stroke to get a water like effect. I think it shows up okay? If you want to see other sizes click here

And just so we are clear - I only did the coloring on this - Guada provides the template in her challenge and collaborated with Jay on the design!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Mandala Inspiration!

My focus on mandala is based on form versus function so I thought I would share some places where I have been able to find the information I found helpful in constructing them. If you are interested in the function or more spiritual side of mandala I would suggest doing a search using terms like mandala spiritual, healing, art therapy, etc. As you can tell from my list there are numerous directions to go in with this art form so look around, find what is YOU and give it a try. This should get you started...

"Guada" has a free mandala classThe Seed of Life and a Mandala Challenge all generously offered free of charge. These 3 items are on 2 separate sites and you will need to join both communities to participate. They are self-paced workshops with videos and templates to help you along. The challenge began Jan 2013 but you can join in any time! Donations are welcomed and she other classes to offer as well!

Stephanie of biffybeans is so gifted I have to include her right away!

Art is Fun explains how to create one and has a downloadable coloring book available.

Tammy at daisy yellow has info on them and I suggest you check her doodling too.

Speaking of doodling....alisa burke. Nuff said!

A lovely set of mandala on flickr but you can see the tutorial here much easier! And that is where I found this link to basic henna motifs which work great in zentangles and mandala.

A nice collection of mandala on her blog and flickr and though they are kind of hard to find it is worth looking! Brilliantly talented artist here!

Specializing in birth mandala Amy is a gifted artist! She has other types as well so check them all out.

Celtic Art Studio

A great article about them here!

The Mandala Project

The Bright Owl has a weekly Zendala Dare where she even creates the template for you.

Though not about mandala specifically this page has tons of links about patterns, symmetry and tessallations.

An online Tessallation Maker (requires Java) Don't worry I am not going all MATHY on you. Those days are behind me now - just have fun and play!

Among all her fabulous work, Luna has 2 AMAZING photos of mandala.

I do not think she is adding to her blog any longer but you can still view pages of lovely mandala along with poetry written by Teri

I have not spent much time here yet but Sacred Circle Mandalas has begun to create digital mandala and offers a free tutorial in pdf format, baeutiful work to view and a HUGE list of others that are creating works of art. I need to check out her facebook and flickr pages!

Project Organization

At the beginning of Feb I mentioned working on my goals and how I use post-its to keep track of progress. I am in need of tweaking them a bit today, if only for myself. So feel free to ignore this post unless you want to see the chaos that is my life for now. I think I need to impose a deadline of August 31st on myself because I will need time to get ready for the retirement ceremony/guests and then moving (during the holidays just to make it interesting!) And let's not forget we have a daughter's wedding in April, a god-daughter's graduation and a friend's retirement in May along with another daughter's graduation in June (which may lead up to a cross country drive to relocate her).

     Ongoing Projects (Done once a month)
OLW (Complete)
The Monthly
Print layouts! Add to albums
Christmas Albums
i.scrap album journaling
"Where the heck is this?" album journaling
C1s folding frame
Countdown 25 (photos)
Lighthouses (select and print photos)
Summer Travel Album (select and print photos)
Hawaii ABCs (select and print photos)
Twelve Album
Kenji's Album
Clean out cupboard
Memorabilia Boxes (scan/toss)

Identify possible PAS photos from cupboard and category drawers
Mini Books (Decide which ones to use)
Foreign Coin/Money Collection - Locate a good album to use

OLW paintings
29 Faces challenge
100 Faces Collection
Research prints for Chief Painting/Print
Complete 4x3 Zen Page

Starbucks album
Scripture ABC cards
Buy Portfolio and place backgrounds, etc in there
Redo binding on Doodle Book
Update Home Binder
Stitching - small banners/family mon/baby quilt/
Wrap Spools
Brown Yarn - 2 skeins
Blue Yarn - continue crocheting granny squares
Old LP albums - scan covers/then ???
Take sweater apart/then ???
Oak Mirror Frame - repair
Honeycomb book - fold
Life Boxes for girls - ???
Van Gogh Painting - complete
Cut stencils for art journaling (using silhouette)
Prayer balls
Celebration Tree - spray paint branches/add plaster/create decorations
Paint - cup holder/box
Heart Rocks - Paint/replace hangers/remount rocks
Frames - repair/replace glass/paint
Sweet gum garland

GENEALOGY (Ongoing of course!)
Visit NJ for records research and photos (locations and gravestones)
NY/PA/RI ???
Create Jessica Sprague album (copies for brothers)
SCANS (albums/letters/photos)
Secure Daddy's Marine Album

I am curious as to what will truly rise up as important enough for me to deal with and really complete and what will fall to the way side as not worth my time and energy. My question will have to be "Is it worth taking with me unfinished?" Some things the answer is "YES!" And there is a theme as to what those are. Can you see it? Do you have an idea of what will make it and what won't?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

An Elephant Face

This makes 11 of 29 and 56 of 100. I am SO glad I am doing this challenge! It feels great to be making progress toward another project being "complete".
I did not get a face done yesterday because some other things needed my attention but I did manage to do one this afternoon while chatting with my friend back home in Hawaii. Good thing she doesn't need my undivided attention and willingly watches me work. She is a musician so she  gets the need to create RIGHT NOW! (Love you P!) We are perfectly content to sit in one another's company and not have to talk the entire time. Its great! Don't get me wrong - we can TALK - for hours - and we have... many times! (Wow that is some BAD punctuation.)
2013-02-12 16.04.52-1 
I thought you might get a kick out of seeing my piece next to the inspiration piece . This may be one I come back to at some point because I love it so much and it deserves to be fully complete but I am happy with it as is for today! What would you suggest doing on it in the future? I did it with a .05 mechanical pencil, 6B drawing pencil and tortillon. 
2013-02-12 16.03.31

Sunday, February 10, 2013


You may have noticed that there is now a title to this blog other than "trish's art journa". And no, I didn't spell it wrong! *S* I purposely chose perfectshun because it says exactly what I hope to accomplish with my art. After years of struggling with perfectionism, I am far more at peace with myself than in my younger years. Of course there are still times when perfectionism can try and rear is ugly little head but for the most part I keep it in check fairly well. Underneath it all, for me, perfection is really just an excuse for not trying because I am afraid of failing or not measuring up to some unrealistic standard. That takes far too much energy! And I am basically a laid back, lazy kinda gal. Definitely NOT a type A personality here.

Now I create in order to simply enjoy the process of drawing, painting, etc. Now I create in order to express myself. Now I create simply because it is what I do and I am no longer afraid to show it to others. Perfection is highly over-rated. So as a way of reminding myself of who I am and what I hope to share not only with my art but with my life, I "shun" perfection.

Hence ~ perfectshun! It's perfect, isn't it?

another face tutorial

another face tutorial, originally uploaded by Trish Nonaka.

(10 of 29 and 55 of 100)
Let me begin by saying how much I dislike this this effort and how hard I am laughing at this poor elfish looking oddity! The tutorial I was following is an excellent one its just that I do not follow written instructions very well for this sort of thing. I did not trust the artist with the steps and botched up right off the get go. My proportion lines didn't look right to me so I changed them. I didn't use the pencils listed in the order described and I messed around with the hair line once I thought it looked too feminine and thought I would change it to a female. 

However! Here are some things I learned (the hard way of course!) 
Follow the instructions as written the best you can.
Don't try to learn too many new things in one drawing. - This artist does not use smudging for shadowing - only hatching which I rarely use. The way he sets up his basic lines is different from how I do it which tends to be more instinctively and less structured. He also puts in the hair earlier than I do. And - he does not allow erasing!
Trust the artist's process and don't worry about the outcome being in your usual style!

So there you have the un-erased, non-corrected, what the heck happened along the way version of this tutorial I tried to follow! I may have learned more from this than I realize! 
I thought about going back and "fixing" it  but I think that will defeat the purpose of stretching myself and learning new things so he stays as is. Just try not to laugh too hard - he has tender feelings!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Caught up!

With this post I am officially caught up (9/29) in the 29 faces challenge (if you are doing one face per day through the month).It also is #54/100 for my personal collection (which I still need to upload to my board at some point)
  2013-02-09 18.35.47

2013-02-09 18.33.40

I enjoyed the challenge of the tones in this piece. I used a 2B, 6B and Sketch and Wash pencils.After doing the shadows with the wash I went back in and re-added details to the eye and lips. What do you think? 

53/100 Faces

2013-02-09 19.49.40

This is from a photo on pinterest! I did it in my moleskin journal which does not seem to allow me to "push" the Sketch and Wash the way I can on other surfaces and it seems to warp and crinkle more than I would like. This also is #8 of 29 faces.

51 and 52

A couple more of the same anime/cartoonish style. Again, not my favorite way of doing faces but this is all about trying new things and stretching, right? 2013-02-09 14.58.48

2013-02-09 14.59.01


This makes #49 and #50! Halfway

2013-02-09 14.57.08

2013-02-09 14.58.09

Let me say that I do not love these much at all. The tutorials were okay and you can find them here but this is not my style at all and my daughter even said "Too much like anime for you Mom". I agree but here is what I DID get out of it...the placement of the features is a new method for me. You draw a circle, place the eyes toward the bottom, add the nose at the bottom of the circle then add the jaw and chin and finally the mouth. I also tried to keep my lines clean and SIMPLE and not as "sketchy" as I usually do. This would make these easy to duplicate if you practiced enough and sometimes its good to have a easily reproducible facial image for journaling if that is your style.

Facial Features #48

Again, this one comes from a tutorial pinned on my pinterest board and just to be clear these are not my tutorials just ones I felt were worth trying to work through. I am counting this as a face even if there are no eyes! (Artistic license rules!) BTW...I did this in my moleskine journal. 
2013-02-09 14.56.45

Faces # 46 and 47

I have a number of tutorials on my pinterest boards that I pinned in order to check out at some point so today I thought I would go through some of the ones that deal with faces, facial features, expressions, etc. I will also be using them toward my 29 faces challenge and ultimately my 100 faces collection.

So here we go with #1 and 2 of 29 (hopefully!) I thought this was a really cool tutorial because you a doing a comparison of male....
2013-02-09 14.55.21

and female facial features...
  2013-02-09 14.56.02

Here is the side by side....

2013-02-09 14.53.45

Cool huh? You can find this tutorial on my pinterest here. I would love to know if you try it! I actually found it quite challenging and loads of fun. I am thinking I am going to do a couple more at some point.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

29 faces art challenge

After deciding to join in the 29 faces challenge I needed to create a post in order to add my link so here it is! Although I didn't think to put my "100 Faces" project on my "complete" list I am now saying, "Why not?" Even if I don't complete it I will hopefully be 29 faces closer to my 100! Now if you are one of the 2 people who reads this blog you will recognize this photo but I had never added it to my 100 Faces set so decided to do that now. Currently I am at #45 of 100 in the set on flickr.

I adjusted the saturation of this image via flickr and it now appears much more like it does in real life.

2013-01-26 Chief

mandala 1

mandala 1, originally uploaded by Trish Nonaka.

As I mentioned I am going to try and improve my skills in creating mandala. This is a rather large one (it has an effect added to the photo) and done on sketch paper that I truly do not like (daley-rowney 65lb 11x14). I chose this paper because I really just want to get a feel for the design process and don't plan to do much more with these particular pieces. They may end up being designs that I use in future works but for now its the the exercise of creating mandala that I am focusing on. 

Do you draw mandala? If so, what is your process? Do you use ruler, compass, etc or free hand? Pencil or paint? I am really interested in knowing how others approach this so please - comment!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Blog Tweaking and Color Crazy

color crazy, originally uploaded by Trish Nonaka.

Morning all!
A quick note to let you know that I am hard at work revamping my blog in order to make it grow along with my art life. Initially this blog was simply a place to "begin to share my art with the world". I have grown to a place of being quite comfortable with this and am no longer afraid to say, "I am an artist!" And although this coming year is going to be filled with big changes in our life, I am ready to take my art to the next level. What is that? Glad you asked! I am ready to use this blog as a place to begin to connect and network with other artists and continue to step out of my comfort zone. There is much more to this that I won't share right now but I hope you will continue to support me as my creative journey changes and grows! Now back to tweaking!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Completing a Full Circle

So before February gets too far along I figure I best post about resolutions, goals, etc. I don't do resolutions as most of you know and I don't do too much specific goal setting but I do choose my One Little Word for the year and determine certain focuses for the upcoming year.

First, my One Little Word for 2013 is "complete" (along with other forms like completion, completing, completed - you get the point) I mulled over "finish", "ending" and some other similar words but didn't like the feel of them as well. 2013 is truly going to be a year of completing things. For me it means a ton of projects I have had for a while now. Its time to either finish them or toss them. Over the holidays I did complete about 6 of them and was pretty happy with that.

2013-01-11 celtic hearts
(Celtic Heart)
Scrapping Focus - The main thing is to continue using the great plans I already have in place and keep moving forward in my scrapbooking. Although with 40 plus albums I am not sure how much more I need to document! *L* I plan to keep going with Library of Memories for storage, do another section in my OLW album (for now I keep a few years worth in one album), pick back up with creating my  Monthly book, and doing all this using the plan from Twelve! There are a few specific albums and projects I am either completing or tossing. 

Art Focus- This year sort of came about after my OLW was decided. I decided I want to work on mandalas/zendalas this year since they are usually circular and remind me of completions. I've attempted them before and have never been happy with them. It seems they are not as perfectly geometric as I think they are intended to be. I am excited to see if I can either improve them or find peace with them as they are. Expect to see a bunch of them. There are other things that will pop up as the muse and mood strike me so be on the look out for those too.
2013 OLW "complete"
(mandala for my olw "complete")

Life Focus - The biggest thing that we are working on completing is our life in the military. After 30 years in the Air Force, Randy is set to retire at the end of this year. Hence the need to complete as much as I possibly can. At this point we are "staying fluid and keeping our options open" which can be translated to mean we have no idea what we are doing when we grow up. I do know we will be moving again but to where, remains to be determined. 

2013-01-26 Chief
(USAF Chief's Creed and Insignia - done for Randy's office)

Health Focus - Now this certainly will not be something I complete since it is an ongoing lifestyle! I have not shared this directly with most people but I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes late in 2012. It was not a total surprise since I had gestational diabetes with all three girls and it got progressively worse with each pregnancy. I have seen figures ranging from 20% to 60 % of women develop Type 2 later on. I have worked very hard to keep this from happening and did quite well until my fibro hit and I became less active. I need to work even harder at it now. I am trying something different for me and that is to incorporate my reactions and emotions as I deal with this in my art journaling.

2013-01-23 complete