Category Archives: Scribbles

Harmony and me

Have you found Harmony yet? I’ve spent a ridiculous amount of time playing with it since I found the link to the program on Geninne’s Art Blog. And I’m making all my friends try it, too.

{NOTE: A couple of you have written me to say you can’t access the site from my link. It has definitely worked for some people, so I think it’s alright. When you get to the Harmony page, you don’t see much: a tiny black square at the top edge of the page, a box that says “web,” and a couple of control words like “clear” and “save.” Just grab the cursor and move it around–all will be revealed.}

Sort of like a drug.

But look! The things you can do with this! And it’s free!  I seem to have gotten fixated on the “web” tool, but there are others.

I like this one of some hungry ghosts:

And also this, a boatman and his dog:

And this little simple one:

And one more, a bit more complex:

What are you waiting for?

Go . . . play!


Art lessons

I spent last weekend in Vermont with some folks from my dojo at the home of our teacher (a gorgeous cabin he and his family built with their own hands). It was a great weekend. We ate (a lot), drank (more or less moderately), roasted a whole pig, hiked around in the woods marveling at things like the beaver pond, the requisite fall foliage, the dark dark skies (enabling us to see many falling stars–or alien scout ships, depending on who’s doing the telling). We even squeezed in a tiny bit of karate.

One of my fellow students, an artist by inclination and training, has been helping me with my kata and my art. He believes there is a connection, so I packed amongst my weekend gear two cheap sketch pads and a box of conte crayons–relics of the one pathetic art class I took in college (not saying that was a long time ago, but the sponge sheets between the two tiers of the crayons turned instantly to dust the moment I picked them up).

I got these things out during a quiet part of one afternoon when the nine of us were just sitting around telling karate stories (and tales of a few alien encounters) My fellow student/teacher set me to doing quick motion sketches, and when he decided the crayons were slowing me down (“Faster! Bigger! No thinking!”) he had me swap them for a little pot of black ink and a brush.

Now, I’m untaught and awkward. And I think too much. But I had a blast doing these and have kept it up a little since getting home. Not saying that anything I did was “good” (or, in most cases, even recognizable as human beings), but it was soooo much fun.

And I’m not completely convinced it helped my kata. But in class last night I got the kumite set I’ve been laboring over right all the way through. Nobody said perfect, okay? But at least I’ve got the basic choreography down right.

Hee, hee. Where did I put that sketch pad?

Pen and watercolor

Another set of quickies–scribbles using up the last paint in the watercolor box mixing wells.

If you watercolor paint your watercolor paints, how long before you disappear up your own . . . um . . . watercolor paints?



When my sister and I were kids, we had access to all kinds of wonderful art supplies because Dad was very generous about sharing his stuff with us. We had watercolors and pens, acrylics and crayons, calligraphy tools, and all kinds of wonderful paper. The one thing we did not have (much): coloring books. A few crept into the house here and there (in particular I recall one with troll dolls to color in), probably gifts from a grandmother or aunt, but Dad thought most of them were abominations–carefully crafted to rob of us of our creativity and make us color inside the lines.

I think he was right, and I’m grateful for the guidance.

Still, lately I’ve been gravitating towards doodling images of things that can be colored in.  These, for instance, scribbled over the past couple of days in a nifty little handmade journal filled with very thin sheets of lokta paper, make me itch to take crayons or colored pencils or fine-line markers to them. And even to stay within the lines.

But maybe since I made the lines, too, Dad would have given these a pass. What do you think?