Posted by: shelleyjo's life beat | October 2, 2012

Sketching through sorrow

Hello, everyone!

I have not been able to come up with any words while my brother was dying, or since his death.

His memorial service is this coming Saturday. I am not good with this sort of situation on any condition, but especially since this is the first loss of my immediate family members. I am just taking it one breath at a time right now.

The good and happy part of all of this, is that my sister-in-love, Halogirl1 is close with me, and we are as tight as we ever were. That is a treasure, since quite a few people have asked me if she will remain my friend now that Myke has passed, or if she will still want to be part of the family. She is hurt by this, as she has been with my brother for 28 years or so. We are her family. It is that simple. And she is ours. Together for life, and we are all happy with that.

The other great and happy thing about all of this is that I have seen more of my family in the past 2 years than we have seen in a very long time. And, for the memorial we will see most of them again. I love them. We are a fun lot, and we can find laughter, fun and funny things in any circumstance. We seem to fuel each other the minute we are together. We all need each other right now. I am so looking forward to the fun ahead with them.

In the  meantime, I realized I had just stopped creating altogether and didn’t want that to be the case. So, a week ago I went with Halogirl1 to our favorite scrapbook store in Marysville, Ca.

Before we went to our store, Elliot’s Photography in Marysville, we stopped in Yuba City on the way and split a burger and fries at Red Robin. I love that place. Always a wonderful burger, and the best french fries around. Then, on to our store.

While she spent hours choosing the right paper colors, textures and patterns for the scrapbook of their wedding pictures she is working on, I decided to try to finish the sketches that were half done from the Craft Olympic days. Mind you, some of these faces are scary! I did learn that I should look at something to draw, as my own interpretation was not so good.

How do you like her little nose ring? (Ha-ha-ha!)

Do you remember the girl with the right side of her face smeared as I tried to erase it? And then the one with the left side smeared?

And the baby Budda face I never put hair on? Well, I sat in that sweet shop in the crop room and finished them as I was surrounded by so many friendly and sweet ladies.

One thing we love in that little shop is that the people who work there, the customers and croppers are always so friendly and supportive, no matter what you are doing. I finished my horse filet crochet in there one day, and worked on my bead projects in there on other visits. They don’t mind a bit and always love to see what I am making as much as they love to see what Halogirl1 is doing with her photos and pages.

Yesterday, I saw a post about a woman who posted a 75 day challenge to sketch only in ink, no pencil. I have never done just ink, without pencil first, and nothing but calligraphy in just ink, so I was interested in this. I haven’t decided if I am accepting the challenge as I am so green with art, and not even sure of how to know where to put shadows and light, which is important if you can’t shade the way you can in pencil.

But, in spite of my lack of knowledge or training, I decided tonight to sketch from the cover of an excellent book I had just finished. It is by Steven James and is a thriller called Pawn. He has a series titled after chess pieces. I have never played chess, but the book was excellent. He weaves a good story. I finished it in 2 days. I borrowed the book from Halogirl1, and will borrow the next one when I take this one back. It was a good diversion from real life for a bit.





Sketching with ink-only is very different. It’s scary! I just used an old sketch pad from the dollar store, and a Uniball 207 pen that I use to write checks. It has black ink.

I also realized that I still have the same problem I did when I started learning to write in ink. I am left handed and tend to smear my pinky finger into the ink and leave marks on the page. (laughing here.) Actually, in looking at the pencil sketched faces, I do that in pencil, too!

I think it is time to pay attention to where my hands are, don’t you think?

Have you ever tried to sketch with just ink? Or ink and watercolors. (I did notice some used watercolors with their ink. Just no pencil lead.)

How did it work for you?

Did you like it?

What did you like about it, and what did you not like about it?

This is a new world for me, and I would like to know your experience with it or interest in it.


  1. I am so sorry for your loss. I too lost a brother. this book is very helpful.
    Wishing you some peace at this terribly difficult time.

  2. Wonderful blog! Love the pics :)

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