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Monthly Archives

August 2014

Tortoise table

August 30, 2014

So I’m getting two baby tortoises and I am pretty excited about it! The tortoises are hatchlings so they’re pretty tiny. The both of them will be able to fit in my hand. Photos to come soon, but I won’t get them until Tuesday. I will also have to apply for the necessary permits to be a good and responsible Tortoise mom with the department of fish and game. Since the California Desert Tortoise is a protected species the little guys will be tagged and registered with the state of California. :)

Part of being a good pet owner is providing your critter with appropriate animal enrichment. In the wild they would get a wide variety of flora to munch on, dirt to dig in, shelter, and would eventually find a place to hibernate for the colder months in the desert. Since these two fellas (or ladies) will be captive, I have to provide the appropriate housing. Being me… I am not a big fan of ugly stuff. If my tortoises want animal enrichment- they better enjoy it to the theme of Frank Lloyd Wright! I Imagineered this little mockup in Photoshop so that I can prepare for making a fashionable tortoise box this weekend. The new family additions will have a spacious sandbox with some turf, a few edible plants, themed food dishes and a shelter/hibernation box inspired by a famous architectural style of Frank Lloyd Wright.

I’ll have my work cut out for me. I not only have build a box, model a modernist home, make fake trees and pick up reptile sand- I have to line the box in plastic for easy cleaning, and rig a heat lamp into the little building I’m creating. No straight heat lamp for this household. Party on little dudes.

Here is some cool info on the tortoises!

The California desert tortoise is a native species here. I grew up in the Mojave desert in California and later moved to Lake Havasu City Arizona. While turtles were not common they would sometimes make an appearance on hikes. More than likely you’d find a hollowed out shell. Some predation had taken place at some point when the turtle was still small and vulnerable. They are a threatened species, but a species that has made some progress! They have made it off of the endangered list and are now listed as “vulnerable.” Progress is progress right!

This particular species grows very slowly and unlike their Galapagos brethren don’t get massive. They remain rather petite by tortoise standards ranging from a foot to a foot and a half. They can live up to 80 years in captivity. They’er a neat little species that burros and can survive in climates of up to 140 degrees fahrenheit. That’s pretty dang hot. I think the worst it ever got in the desert when I was a kid was 132. I’d imagine these guys would hang out in their burrow until it cooled off to a balmy 117 at night. Rough life, but they’re adapted perfectly to it! They can store up to 40% of their weight in their bladder. Imagine going to life constantly having to pee… but if you did it means dehydration. Weird.


Rikki Tikki Tavi

August 27, 2014

This used to be one of my favorite movies EVER. It was on a VHS tape with the Velveteen Rabbit. You can watch the awesome 1975 Chuck Jones version HERE! Anyway. Mongooses are sort of ugly. I never realized that until the sketch_dailies challenge yesterday. Woof.

A boy & his fish

August 26, 2014

I’ve never done animation. I don’t really think it’s a course Art Center College of Design offers. I was a straight up illustration major. At the time I was attending ACCD (2001-2005), there wasn’t an entertainment track. Publication was celebrated, everyone who was anyone did editorial illustration- or they’d suffer the harrowing hardships that is the fine art gallery world. I never really bought into that whole thing. I loveeee illustration and it’s obviously great. It takes a lot of work to create a story in a single image. Illustration has it’s value, and the skills I learned in the foundations at Art Center were beyond measure. I didn’t want to do editorial though, I am not one for continually trying to sell myself or hitting the streets with constant barrages of self promotion. (I know, I know, I have a blog now; the irony isn’t lost on me that I am self promoting).

Instead of going the editorial route, I wanted to have a “real” job or somewhere I could have some type of security. I have no issues psychologically with being a “corporate artist” in fact I rather enjoy it. I like working for Disney and I like the collaborative nature that a film, animation and gaming bring to artistry. While I am pretty introverted personally, I never particularly held much value in my work as an individual. So while I was at Art Center I changed majors twice to get classes I thought would be more valuable than Illustration 1,2 & 3 along with the other required editorial based courses. Instead I took film classes, storyboarding classes, and 3D modeling classes. In the early 2000’s computer graphics were just starting to get good, the computer was being utilized more and more as an industry medium and physical painting was on it’s way out. So I sort of paved my own way through the education system of Art Center and created what I thought I needed to make it as a corporate artist. I guess I was successful!

Though I don’t do animation I have been trying to get that style in my drawings. I love the fluidity that story artists and visual development artists have in animation. They have such a playful style and their line work and expressive drawings are enviable. Gestural drawings were not all that celebrated at Art Center. Realism and anatomy coupled with technique were definitely emphasized. As a result you end up with that cookie cutter design style you see from the students graduating from ACCD. Not bad obviously because they’re fantastic artists… just sort of stiff.

This mermaid has nothing to do with anything, though it is an animated gif.

Pearls & Hearts

August 25, 2014

Sometimes you just have to lounge about looking fabulous.

River rafting was excellent. My husband flew out of the raft in a two part rapid called “lost hat” followed by the infamous “satans cesspool”. He was rescued by another boat full of rafters and suffered only the laughter of others. We’ve been rafting the same river in a program called Raft 4 Life that is part of a charity drive for the type of cancer I had called Angiosarcoma. It’s a really stupid cancer with a crap prognosis. All the money goes to trying to kick it’s ass. It’s been a long road. It’s one of those events that is so fun, that you forget you have a disease for a little while. You not only forget your mortality you ENJOY yourself, which at times can become so rare when you’re sick.

So FU Angiosarcoma.

Monday’s mermaid was fun. I don’t have a lot of time these day’s with the crazy schedule at work I’ve been keeping but I somehow find the time. I liked this one quite a bit. It seems at though my little social media communities prefer the more rendered mermaids. So I’ll try and keep that up! Even if it takes a little longer.


Mucha Mucha mucha

August 22, 2014

I had some time on my hands for the first time all week. I am taking tomorrow off of work so that I can make the long trek up the 5 freeway for the annual rafting trip. Every year I participate in Raft 4 Life, a charity event where the proceeds go to fund research for Angiosarcoma (the type of cancer I had). Since I wont have any free time this weekend to draw mermaids, this will be my last post for the week. I think it’s only appropriate to take the weekend off! Enjoy!

Thanks Instagram!

August 21, 2014

I have 100 followers! That might not seem like much in the scheme of things, but I am more than happy to take all of you! Thanks a ton for following cute mermaid drawings Instagram. You’re the best! :) I made you a lil’ something.


August 21, 2014

God Yoga is boring. How does anyone legitimately like it? I tried a few moves today thinking “oh, I should have an active recovery day and do some stretching.” I got sleepy in child’s pose and that quickly morphed into falling asleep with butt-in-air pose.

Feminine lines

August 20, 2014

I may have mentioned that I am not a great painter. I LOVE line work though. I was always on my game in a figure drawing class. Contour lines to me are the easiest way to describe a form. I loved doing life drawing, and the more corpulent the model that happier I was to draw them. In my own life I prefer to be fit. I like being healthy and able to run up a mountain if I felt the desire to do so. However something about drawing hips, butts and describing the form in soft shapes makes me happy as an artist.

I like the way this drawing turned out. That’s not something I usually say. I think the simplicity is what makes me happy about it.

Chub on.

Do you even beet soup!?

August 19, 2014

Here is a revelation. I am a CrossFitter. I love it. I mean really, I am strong and fit and could probably outrun a zombie with relative ease for about 5k. After that I don’t really know. I hate running so I haven’t tested my endurance. I pick up weights and throw them down, sometimes with grunts, sometimes with screechy girl sounds accompanied by dances. I love it. If you haven’t tried it, it’s legit the only way that I was able to get in shape. I tried loads of stuff trying to tame my out of control butt-circumference and flabby arms. I can say with all honesty- the myriad of prancercise, Pilates and Jillian Michaels were not enough. CrossFit was though. I was not just in shape but FIT in about 6 months time. I lost 32lbs and learned that I actually can be athletic. The combination of positive community influence and really intense interval training were what made the difference for ME.

This is one of my coaches, Brian. He’s a superb teacher, friend and clean eating guru. It is not unusual to find him pounding a veritable bucket of his homemade beet soup after a workout. He’s a unique and intense dude that is never shy about sharing his knowledge of fitness or nutrition. He practices what he preaches and the sheer hilarity of his offering (entirely unappetizing) fuchsia soup to post worker-outers warranted an illustration.