Wednesday, December 20

Christimastime is here

Santa's Generous Surprise

It's definitely Christmastime! Santa's eaten as many gingerbreads as he can so it's time now to surprise his lil' helpers once more, hanging up the remaining plateful as decorations around their cozy cabin.

I just realised this morning that I forgot to post the sign-up last night! Funny thing is, I actually had this all completed and reworked a bit over the weekend.  Too many last minute things going on, I suppose. Well, as it is, you still have until midnight MST to sign up your piece below.

Needless to say, I'm bringing a few of these (pre-frozen) nibbles to the frigid picnic this week! Where's the fireplace? That's where you'll find me, sipping Welsh tea and joyfully dunking gingerbread galore. :) Oh, and I really should bring some up to the cabin we're renting the next two nights in Estes Park, about an hour from here, for our family xmas with the kids, before we depart for Kentucky,* Christmas Eve, to go meet Alex's family and post-celebrate her mother's wedding (first time in 20 years) which happens tomorrow (after the funeral,same day, for her fiance's brother who just passed away)! They just met three months prior but at this stage, there's no time like the present! :) It's going to be an interesting time indeed.

*Silly me, such a romantic idealist: as we're flying into Nashville first (where we'll be picked up), I'm dreaming of some kind of Tennessee Christmas with good old classic Amy Grant songs lofting in my memory, but I've heard Campbellsville, KY, is nothing like that! Hee, one can still dream though right? :)

Let me end this by saying, HAPPY CHRISTMAS to each of you and holly jolly New Year. I'm doing an end-of-year fabulous Christmastide giveaway to celebrate! Sign up below and get TWO extra entries along with 1 per entry since the last giveaway. The winner will be announced in the new year, along with a recap of the year which I think you will all quite enjoy. Please keep your eyes out on that. In the meantime, enjoy the well needed break, no doubt, with family and/or loved ones. I close out this year with our weekly Scribble Picnics certainly being one of the highlights of this year. Thank you.

For those of you on Instagram, you can follow along our winter's travails there, if so inclined. I might even publish a few oddball IG video stories too. Let's see. I do know that it's meant to snow tomorrow and get down to10F! Brrrrr... but, oh, how delightfully seasonal too.


Wednesday, December 13

Spinning tops and dreidels

Happy Hanukkah to our Jewish friends out there! Yes, I went with the dreidel as my choice for this week's theme. One of the more recent theories out there as to its origins suggests that it was actually first developed from an Irish or English top later introduced to Germany as the teetotum, eventually making its way into Yiddish communities, where the ascribed Latin symbols mean the same as those found on the Hebrew version of today's holiday favourite. Regardless, spinning tops of all sorts are found in ancient archeological sites the world over — they were that popular. And to think, most of us never even play with them today! Well, if nothing else, I could always make a statement with my very own interior design pattern. Maybe it would even take off in places like Brooklyn? It would certainly make for a fun splash of sky blue in an otherwise often drab grey sky this time of year.

So, how about you? What did you spin up for our Scribble Picnic this week? I'm bringing along Sufganiyot, which may be a traditional Israeli treat but sure looks a lot like, ironically enough, that classic British jam filled, granulated sugar sprinkled doughnut found in any bake shop in England (my favourite btw!).

P.S. I plan to visit everyone sooner this go around and will be sure to leave comments to all those who played along last week too. Sorry to have not got to that yet but am going to! I'm looking forward to it, actually. Thank you!


Wednesday, December 6

Happy Finland Day!

(Independence Day in Porvoo, Finland!)

 Update: My piece is finally done! Thanks for checking back to see it. 

This week in Porvoo, they have beyond frigid temps and lots of snow but, never mind,
there's plenty of coffee, baked goodies and holiday cheer to go round!

  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * 
Guess what? I haven't Finnished my piece yet! At least I already have a rough idea in my head and have gathered various photos from which to create my own rendition. Sorry to have to ask you to once again pop by and see my piece with last week's that still needs completion (although it's about halfway coloured now).

The reality is that Alex and I drove up into the mountains away for the weekend at a little Airbnb studio condo up in the town of Breckenridge, CO, to celebrate our (4 year) anniversary. Since returning though, it's been quite busy. We both have a lot of work on our plates. In fact, I really don't see it dying down until the official 12 days of Christmas kicks off on Christmas Day itself!

In the meantime, whenever ready today, please show us how you've artistically honoured Finland or Scandinavia. Happy Independence Day to any Finns out there btw! Before this week, I had no idea they invented ice skates, have more saunas than cars, let alone drink 4x the coffee Brits enjoy. Not only that, their forests cover a larger area than the whole of the UK or Italy and yet there are actually more people in Colorado than Finland, with the population just under 5.5 million! Makes me wonder, who among you has ever been? Mary, perhaps? Let's Finnd out... :)


Wednesday, November 29

A Generous Winter's Picnic

Work in Progress: Stringing Gingerbread Surprise!

Our Thanksgiving break was truly just that! Not taking any work with me—no computer even—and arriving back here Tuesday morning (2:30 am) means I'm still catching up with things! So, as with last week, please check back here later to see the finalized version.

Sitting in front of the fire, Santa's been musing on how truly incredibly smart and delicious these gingersnaps are that Mrs. Claus bakes up this time every time year, helping fortify him for the long journey ahead. His trusted staff of jolly helpers can always be counted on too. If it wasn't for them, he'd surely be in such a peppermint pickle! So, why not surprise everyone with a little something completed unexpected? They love decorations after all, and while Santa's certainly generous, he's not exactly known for sharing his delicious morsels of fresh baked ginger joy. That is, until now! :) (I'm sure the reindeer will enjoy reaching down from the rooftop for some energy snaps too.)

Time now to show us how you've been generous!


Wednesday, November 15

Gift-wrapped or not, what a gift!

OK, it's a wrap! Pretty much completed. Yes, definitely inspired by Lissa here while thinking exactly what gift would this girl get to unwrap? (Funny, as when first illustrating her a few months ago, I had actually pictured that she was sending something to someone else.) Anyway, I like the look of surprise on her, and perhaps some delight too, as she watches this gift of winter wonder love keep growing and growing! You never know what you might unwrap if you'd just give it a chance...

  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

I want to start by saying that the 15th would have been my mother's 87th Birthday. Writing this tonight (on the 14th), I'm reminded that this day last year was the last time I saw my mother. We had taken her out (with much difficulty) to celebrate her birthday as Alex and I were leaving our stint in the UK and heading back to Colorado. Saying goodbye, as with every time over the last 15 years or so, was poignant, understanding it was likely to be my last. This time of course, as expected, it truly was. I told her how much I loved her; thanked her for all her sacrifices over the years raising us a single mother; prayed for her, and whispered that she would be loved and remembered forever.

So, why this photo with my younger sister and I flanking our mother? I believe it was my cousin's wedding at HTB and therefore one of the few times we got to really dress the part and even get a photo with our mother! She hated having photos taken and as such, apparently my older sister in England now has endless photos where Mama had cut herself out. Ha. So this photo is rare indeed and shows her a bit older than those black and whites I've shown on Instagram from her younger days before thyroid kicked in, etc.

Anyway, whilst thinking of my mother and the gift of parenthood, I got quite mixed up, being tired from an already long week that began Sunday, and started drawing something for "gift UNwrap" not "gift wrap!" Rather than not show anything at all, I've decided last minute to add the former as one of the prompt options — call it creative license if you will, or more so, the advantages of being the host! :) My hope though is to have my drawing coloured in and up here (at the top) later in the evening. Please stay tuned!

In the interim, what lovely wrapped gift-wrapped or unwrapped presents did you have to bring to this Scribble Picnic? Come join us and let's celebrate those good things in life that continue on even in the midst of our sorrows, loss, tragedies, etc. You know, some of the greatest gifts we can give is simply to acknowledge unexpectedly another relative stranger or colleague for something unique that they offer. Genuine, thoughtful kind words can never be over-stated. We all need it! We all have hearts that need continual filling, no matter what our circumstance or personality. So, let me start by saying THANK YOU to each of you who make this art co-op what it is — an extended on-line family of sorts. Each one expressing works differently encourages us all to tap into that creative muse, considering all the different ways we can express any one theme. I'm delighted we have this group to keep our creative mind muscle alert and flexing... getting in shape before the holiday nosh, as it were. And let me tell you, I love Thanksgiving, let alone Christmas! :)

P.S. Preferring that we try to keep our posts succinctly focused on our art piece for the week to help us get through everyone's, my apologies for this long heartfelt ramble!

Wednesday, November 8

Did you say, "Cookies?"

Moove on over, peeps, I've got the milk and cookies! 

It's time once again for our weekly Scribble Picnic meetup group. I'm so looking forward to seeing what kind of cookie (or biscuit perhaps) each of you chose.

For myself, I wanted to put on my Graphic Designer hat and do something a little more corporate, less hands-on than the Inktobers, and certainly more mainstream... cute, even! From my initial pen sketch to the final Illustrator vector art above, I must have rendered at least 5 versions of this cow, simplifying each time and making it more child-like/friendly until getting it to where I wanted.

You know, the funny thing is, waaay back when I was still fresh off the boat, so to speak, it seemed disgusting to me that anyone would actually want milk with their "cookies," let alone dunk it (as few admittedly do here). No doubt, in part, it was because I detested the creamy, clumpy, often spoilt milk we used to get delivered by the milkman each day back in London. To me, of course, the perfect compliment to any biscuit was a hot, strong yet milky cup of tea but as one couldn't easily find electric kettles or "real" English tea then, I didn't have that either for yonkers. Needless to say, imported tea is now in abundance (thank God) and whilst still loving to dunk a good chocolate digestive in a hot cuppa, I have now been known to enjoy cookies with milk... and yes, even dunked! Shocking, I know. What can I say, but one learns to rightfully, thankfully, adapt! (Well, OK, I still am not into camping and hiking, endless beerfests, and most things typical Coloradoans yearn for but, hey, I'm getting there... sloooowly!)  :)

So, that's my cookie story, what's yours?

Blogger is currently having a known issue so no one can comment here or on some other blogs currently. Please come back and post your comment later. Thank you!

Wednesday, November 1

The Toys are Having their (own) picnic!

Sorry for this rather creepy toy doll. Does it spook you at all? Perhaps old dolls in general or those that "talk" or even mannequins possibly frighten you? If so, you just might suffer from Pediophobia, an actual disorder that, while it can be easily cured, is commonly left untreated since those afflicted consider it unique and silly themselves. Yet, they are gripped with fear enough that it secretly can keep them from visiting even a sibling, say, in fear of seeing a nephew's or niece's dolls, let alone going into a clothing store! It can be more debilitating than you might imagine.

This particularly unfortunate doll is inspired by one my daughter had for many, many years, named "Annie," after her "Grannie Annie," all the way in England who she only met twice very briefly. We didn't have much money as a family on one income and I think had found this at a thrift shop or yard sale or something. Nevertheless, Rachel adored it, carrying it around with her wherever she went. Eventually, it started literally falling apart, its stuffing coming out, an arm that would fall off and either an eye that would roll back or the others' eyelid usually half way shut. To make matters more traumatic, the poor thing's head kept falling off and even with multiple attempts of sewing it back on, it never lasted!

I'm not sure whatever happened to poor old Annie, but it certainly showed us all early on that Rachel was made for unconditional love and nurture and has found her calling as a mom in her own right, taking care of twins and a brave husband who himself is a an injured (triple amputee) Marine veteran. Like him, she takes it all in her stride and never ceases to amaze us just how incredible she is at making everything whole. Her love knows no bounds and, of course, we love her no end! So proud of her. :D

So, what doll did you bring to our picnic this week? Time for show and tell...


Wednesday, October 25

It's a Scribble Picnic Boo Fest!

The Secret History of Max Shreck

For this week's picnic, I decided to follow along with my Instagram theme of myths, folklore and fables for the online Inktober challenge. As I'm doing these in alphabetical order too (with Mummy being my last rendition), today's is based on the German-expressionist 1922 silent b&w movie, Nosferatu. I've never actually seen it myself but is considered today, one of the greatest movies of all time! In fact, there's a curious story behind its making that was almost lost in the annuls of history since Bram Stroker's family took the film production company to court over copyright infringement. While ordered to be destroyed, one copy had already been distributed and from that others were later made, eventually growing into a cult-like status for its dark romanticism and becoming a classic in its own right.

Although borrowing Gothic elements, it really is more drama and Hitchcock-like suspense than true horror per se, which, btw, I don't really like anyway, being far too easily scared by such!

Much credit is given not only to the cinemaphotography but to Max Shreck, the lead actor. Portraying Count Orlok, he stayed in character the whole time, on and off set, and is acknowledged as likely the first official character-actor. Decades later, a whole mythos developed that, actually, Shreck was quite possibly a closet vampire himself! He was too, curiously, known as having an off-key sense of humour and while married with no children, often spent hours walking alone through dark forests and renowned for his ability playing off-beat characters so well. Consequentially, a 'secret history' behind the movie and the man developed, even spawning a spin-off movie exploring that very myth!

So, how did you explore this curious Boo! theme? Perhaps some of you decided to avoid it altogether, I don't know. Let's find out...

P.S. Yes, btw, I still plan to visit everyone from last week! Please bear with me as I slowly catch up with everything else. Thank you so much!


Wednesday, October 18

Fill in the Blank Week

For the lines (shown below), I decided to use each of them in fact for teeth on this carved pumpkin that I did for my fables theme on Instagram last week. So, it was actually in time for what would have been our picnic except for the delay! Funny things is, I've never actually carved a pumpkin myself. This is as close as I've ever come as we never did Halloween growing up in UK.  BTW, I used a manuscript pen with India ink and painted the brown background using Bombay ink and water — all a first for me!

Originally carved out turnips & gourds, the Jack-o-lantern dates back to a Victorian Irish fable about a wretched drunkard, Stingy Jack, who was left to roam the earth damned because of his life of deceitfulness & excessive drink. 

Sign up below and show us how you imagined the rest of the space. I should tell you too, I'm in an all-week meeting with work stuff where most evenings run quite late so will likely not be able to visit everyone until end of the week, sorry, but definitely will do so at some point! Thanks for playing along though. Can't wait to see what each of you do!

P.S. Reminder, here's the choice of lines from which we were to choose...

**New themes will be posted later this evening!

Sunday, October 8

New Theme with New Due date

Choose one shape below and fill in the blank/negative space:

Sign up here on 2017.10.18.
— OR —
Use #ScribblePicnic and join those of us using Instagram or Twitter.

Interested in joining? Learn more.

Oops! Just realised that  I never put up the new shape to work with for this week's theme! With only two days till Wednesday, that's not going to give any of you enough time so am extending the due date a week out.

My apologies for  not getting this up sooner. I got carried away with doing #inktober where one submits something every day using that hashtag, and likewise, checking out the others. Being able to choose ones own theme, I've decided to narrow in on Victorian and Medieval fables & folklore. It's been quite a challenge drawing something daily, let me tell you, let alone using pen and ink. On top of that, I'm also going through the alphabet!  It's fun though having some of you joining in the challenge there too. (Let's see if we can make it through the entire month.) For me, I'm keeping those sketches to about 30 mins tops or there's no way there would be any time for much else. :)

OK, see you later here ... or every day this month on my Instagram and Twitter! Keep creative and happy doodling. I wonder what each of you will do with one of these shapes? Door perhaps, anyone?


Wednesday, October 4

Under a Scribble Picnic BLANKET

Under a Hedgie Blanket of Blue

As this title suggests, I was inspired by that swooning classic, Under a Blanket of Blue, specifically, Doris Day's rendition.

If I've got to be out camping, let it be with hot cocoa in hand, snuzzled under wraps with the twinkling stars above. Now, that sounds romantic. :)

How about you? Time to bring your blankets to this week's picnic...


Wednesday, September 27

Scribble Picnic: Bring the radio!

Tune into Happy

Our picnic this week reminded me just how long it's been since I've listened to a proper radio! In fact, we don't even own one. And, technically, don't own a TV either since it actually belongs to our landlords. It just goes to show how much our lives are centred around the computer and internet which is how we download TV shows/movies too since we don't have cable.

The last time I really properly listened to the radio was probably when a teen, trying to catch various songs in hope of recording them onto cassette. Ha, can't say I miss that, but somehow this does make me feel somewhat wistful for the "old" days when things were just far simpler. Actually, scratch that! They weren't. Modern technology has made such tasks far easier, especially for accessing information without having to go the the library.  Still, I wouldn't mind some retro kind of radio, updated to work for today. Here's my own take on one of the pink ones shown here.

So, who's bringing along their radio? Do you even own one anymore? I wonder what kind the rest of you chose. How about we tune into each others' below and find out? :)


Wednesday, September 20

Scribble Picnic's full of suprises. Watch Out!

Watch Out! when you go to the woods today because the wolves might be having their own picnic! And I'd really rather not lose any one of you.

You remember my Red Riding Hood version from last year whilst in England? Well, consider this the updated one, perfect for this week's theme. So, how about you? What did you consider worth a warning? Sign up below and let us know... before it's too late! :)


Wednesday, September 13

Scribble Picnic's Black and White Samplings!

What's black and white, black and white, black and white?
- A penguin falling down the stairs!

Sorry, heh, just couldn't resist. One of the few jokes I remember from my good ol' days at Glengyle Preparatory School in Putney.

I know. Penguins are perhaps a bit predictable for the theme but I worked on giving these "chinstrap" penguins (as they are called) some individual character and took ages redefining the lines, negative spaces, etc, until finally arriving here. My fave part? His bendy wing* holding onto that cozy scarf lest it blow away. You know, sometimes you've just got to rise above the predictable clatter and strike your independence... tuxedos aren't for everyone!

Your turn now to share cheesy jokes and something black and white for us all to sample — um, visually, that is... unless they're Oreos, of course! I'm guessing no one would dare munch on penguin blubber, would they? Surely not. Is that even legal these days?

*Come to think of it, is it "wing" or "flipper" for a penguin? I'm not actually sure. Haha.

Wednesday, September 6

Tie it up and join in!

Here's the final version of my tie it up piece for Scribble Picnic, making this particular lil' girl the centre of a triptych of sorts with the flower pot and love letter versions alongside. I really think this series would be fun to offer as sweet note cards, what do you think? Hmm... I wonder if my assistant (Alexandra) might be willing to help get these done for me? Heh. After all, she's pretty busy building her own lil' illustration empire too!

While mine is a very literal/obvious interpretation of this week's theme, I wonder how many of you thought outside the box for your own versions? If last weeks "curly" contribution is anything to go by, I'm guessing several of you did something more unique. Time to find out...


Wednesday, August 30

Fancy Curls with that?

Time once more for Scribble Picnic... with curls! My idea was to show a different kind of curly, one not involving hair on animals (as I initially imagined) or even including people, as depicted the last three times! Once settling on this idea, putting on my Graphic Designer hat and doing something harder-edged allowed it to be more pop-art punchy and probably have more commercial appeal too. The colours are in anticipation of Autumn and could be representative of those up-coming Fall holidays without necessarily having to borrow an obvious element from any. All said and done, I'm happy with the Kasbah feel to this and will probably offer it as a card later. There were some other colour considerations too for the background by the way, but, really, I prefer this palette the best.

OK, now it's your turn to present us what curly offerings are in order for our Picnic this week! Ooh, anyone offering curly fries, or at least brewing up some hot, strong, swirling Moroccan coffee? :)


Wednesday, August 23

Scribble Picnic: Moonlight Garden

 "She found solace in the shadows of her moonlight garden..."

Here's my piece for this week's challenge — all coloured in now, lush with deep hues, and just begging for a story!

Your mission was to use this kind of shape and come up with the rest of the picture. I went with the windows. What did you do?


Wednesday, August 16

Flower Beds at midnight

Mistress of the Night Garden (work in progress) 
This is currently still a work in progress to give you an idea where I'm going with it. All along, I've had this idea of showing a gothic type garden of sorts where the flowers chosen are ones that are actually dark in colour, often illuminating deep blues and purples in the moonlight, and so on.

I've often thought finding such a garden would be so unique! And you know me — always have to to push that creative envelope. So, when this piece is completed, there will be Black Irises, Black Pearl Calla Lillies, Nigra dark maroon Hollyhocks and this pensive lady will be holding her favourites: Gladioli Black Stars. It's just begging for a PBS/BBC Mystery Masterpiece Theatre, isn't it? Of course, they'd have to pay me for art direction! :)

OK, time to step out from this eclipse and into our growing Scribble Picnic wonderland. Speaking of which, I wonder what you've cultivated in your flower beds?

P.S. For your "Fill in the Blank" challenge next week, the shape to use is shown above in the windows. Can you see it? Please be sure to employ at least one square with an "X" in it! The possibilities are endless — anything from wallpaper to treasure maps!

Wednesday, August 9

Buttoned Up for Scribble Picnic!

Do you remember getting into your mother's or father's big grown-up clothes? Actually, I never did (Dad was overseas and I wasn't interested in Mama's), but I wonder if Mr. Rogers' kids' ever snuggled into one of his infamous cardigans? Hmm...Well, this chummy lil' guy is certainly all buttoned up and ready to go to this week's Scribble Picnic, regardless. You know, it's been positively Autumnal around here these last few days....and I'm loving it!

(BTW, if you haven't seen it already and are interested, you can now check out my finished, coloured version of Bear's Bare Cuts. Hope you like it.)

OK, time to show us what YOU buttoned! Sign up below...


Monday, August 7

Queue up for Bear's Bare Cuts!

Voila. Here's the completed coloured version for my bead curtains rendition submitted for last week's Scribble Picnic! Phew, this took ages but I'm happy to have taken the time to get it right so that the lights and darks help draw you into this lil world of fuzzy creature comforts! Even a hedgehog needs a trim now and then and Suzy Hedgie's quite chuffed by hers, let me tell you! I'm still not sure what lil' Battie's doing up there (just hanging out, I suppose?) but will leave that to your imagination.

Wednesday, August 2

Bead Curtains - Scribble Picnic

 Bear's "Bare Cuts"

OK, look sharp. It's time for another Scribble Picnic and we've got lots of catching up to do!

Here's my entry for our current "Curtains" theme — just the sketch thus far — which took plenty long enough! (I couldn't seem to draw a badger or bear, for starters.) And the colouring is taking way longer than expected so I'll either post that later today or on another post entirely. Stay tuned!

Can any of you guess what that cheeky lil' turtle is doing there? He's hoping for a Turtle Wax! I mean, look at the chap — he's even brought along a  special towel for the polishing.  :)

Your turn now... to show us what's behind the curtains! Hope everyone enjoyed their break and perhaps a few of you even took advantage of the extra week? Let's find out...


Wednesday, July 26

Scribble Picnic Postponed One Week!

Sorry, folks, due to some unforeseen time commitments and now with Alexandra sick (from eating something with seeds in it which her liver can't tolerate), our weekly picnic challenge is washed out, as it were. (I haven't had to previously delay a picnic but in this case, inclement conditions warrant otherwise!) Please hold onto to your pieces and link to the sign up next Wednesday, August 2nd, instead. Consider it a summer break! :)

Yes, I could have published the sign up anyway, so hope you don't mind waiting another week as both of us have some cute curtain concepts we'd like to draw up and show at our next picnic! In the interim, here are some fun ideas others have done...

Thanks for your patience! I hope your week is going well.

All the best,

Your Scribble Picnic Enthusiast, Organizer and Host

UPDATE (Wednesday pm):
Alexandra is on the mends. Thank you for the good wishes, all! :)

Wednesday, July 19

Ladybirds and bugs are welcome at Scribble Picnic!

Another bug collector of sorts — this one far more lovely... and utilitarian. While obviously not owning any ladybug/ladybird buttons or embroidered edging, not even any socks with such fun, I'm sure some of you do, right? Well, regardless, the picnic blankets and tables here are laid. Time to show us your own cheery bug collection...

P.S. BTW, the "fill-in-the-blank" challenge was a huge success and actually garnered the most curiosity and views (close to 500) I've had here! So, how about we do that again? The variety of interpretations from a simple dot and line were fascinating, don't you think? I wonder what you'd do with a blob-like shape perhaps? Hmmm.


Tuesday, July 11

Scribble Picnic's Fill-in-the-Blank Challenge! (Sign up)

For the next Scribble Picnic theme, your challenge is to take the above shape and fill in the blank! That is: imagine what this dot and line might be part of for a larger image. Any ideas? Feel free to download the image above and/or trace directly from the screen or you could simply redraw it but please keep the relative size of the dot and line to each other to what you see above. Thank you.

You know, you could simply print this image out and then draw in the rest of the diagram or even cut and paste it into some created collage. The possibilities are endless! Oh, and finally, feel free to change the colour from black to whatever you like. 

Still stuck? Well, to make sure it wasn't too hard, I worked on various possible shapes until coming up with this one and then gave the challenge to myself and Alexandra to quickly render something that incorporated it. Here are just a few very quick examples but, of course, you'll probably want to spend longer on it, and as you'll note, the shape can also be rotated to whatever you prefer.

It's going to be really interesting seeing how each of you interpret this, don't you think? Maybe we'll even get a glimpse into your psyche... sort of like a Rorschach test but where you get to add to it. So, have fun and be creative!



Scribble Picnic's Fill-in-the-Blank challenge is upon us. Here's my entry, using that dot and line as a starter and working out from there. A stately yet quirky drawing room seemed like a nice contrast to the unexpected. :)

I certainly didn't expect to end up with some tongue-in-cheek, pseudo Gary Larson's Far Side* type image, but after placing that dot and line on the page, this is just what came to me. All I knew was that I wanted some element of surprise whilst telling some kind of story.

It's surprising how we approach the same problem, isn't it? Can't wait to see what the rest of you decided on!

Sunday, July 9

Summer scribble picnic winner is.....

What better time than these summer days to throw a Summer Scribble Picnic Giveaway?! As you can see from above, there's a lot of goodies in there and some surprises in the art tin itself! Among the picnic delights are, of course, art supplies but also English tea from Harney & Sons, Artesian crafted chocolates, and for your leisurely perusal, a choice of one of these fabulous magazines: Bella Grace, Frankie, Artful Blogging or Where women Create Business! (The winner just needs to tell me which one she'd prefer.) 

Ready to find out who won? Watch below... and be sure to congratulate our worthy winner who had 12 entries for this go around (the max you could get was 13)!

Again, congratulations to the winner! I'm excited for you. Please simply contact me with your magazine choice and mailing details so I can send off these goodies to you el pronto. :) Thank you for playing along! 

If you didn't win, remember, there's always next time...which will be around September when I'll do an Autumnal Scribble Picnic hamper theme. As always, keep in mind, you get one entry per theme just for joining in! Maybe it will be you next time? (See other ways to increase your odds and promote our art collaborative.)

Wednesday, July 5

Watermelon Summer

Happy summer days of celebration!

For those of us coming off of celebrating July 4th or Canada Day, I hope you're good with another outdoor venture — this one, the Scribble Picnic kind! As you'll see from below, watermelon is in order. To begin our own festivities, we had turkey, cheese and avo baguettes, chips and salsa, veggies and cherries, but of course, I also found time for these crisp clean cuts of sweet thirst-quenching design goodness. How about you? Show us what you've got! Oh, and by the way, did anyone bring lemonade perchance? :)

P.S. To keep the celebrations going, my next post will be a sneak peek into our Summer Scribble Picnic Giveaway! Not only that, you'll also learn about next week's imaginative challenge... which is a first of its kind here. (Reminder: one entry will be awarded per picnic attended, so even if you've just entered this week for the first time, you have a chance. Better odds than the lottery, let me tell you!)


Wednesday, June 28


Picnickers, watch out for your sandwiches! That old sly fox is out and about, ready to pick off whatever you leave around. He's not picky, you know?

I had fun scratching in lines for this in the background. In fact, I started with covering it all in an orange and then scribbling vertical yellow lines from top to bottom to get that feeling of bristle hair. After almost finishing this piece though, I decided it was lacking depth, so added the dark brown to the top and the right where his left shoulder might be. Of course, that meant re-scribbling yellow and now orange lines above it. This was all done at a very frenetic pace with me working fast and furiously, really focusing my passions on each of the 100s, if not 1000s of strokes! I wanted this to be quite impressionistic yet somehow stylized regally, making his nose very long and straight, adding a glorious white mane, if you will, and so on.

Happy with the overall results (although it could always be better), I'm planning to offer this as a 6"x4" card in my shop at some latter point. Oh, and kudos if you can find my signature! (Hint: it's scrawled in red.)

OK, time now to stop skulking about! Grab your goodies and come join me down the fox hole to see who or what else we might discover...

P.S.  It's way past time to do another give-away so be sure to sign up! Don't worry though, I'm keeping track. Reminder: you get one entry per theme entered since last giveaway and, remember, there are other ways to increase your chances too! Maybe you will be that lucky sly fox this time around? :) Check back here later for some details on the prize on hand. Fun! :)


Tuesday, June 20

Scribble Picnic's World of JARS

The Obsession of the Peculiar Masons and their Family Name

[Queue Music]
"There is nothing wrong with your [computer screen]. Do not attempt to adjust the picture..."*

...or so goes the intro to The Outer Limits. If you've not seen that classic old TV show, it's much like the original Twilight Zone. That rather unsettling kind of feeling is what I wanted to portray here, not just with the subject matter but employing off-kilter angles and spacing, perspective, etc. This piece began Monday as a stream of consciousness type drawing with no particular end plan other than to show the strange Jar Collector's collection of other jar collectors' photos.

Time now to sign up and enter the world of creative license...

[Queue Music]
"You are moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You're [about to] cross over into... [Scribble Picnic]."**

* Excerpt from "The Outer Limits" TV series' 1961 intro.
** Excerpt from "The Twilgiht Zone" TV series' 1959 intro.

Wednesday, June 14

Scribble Picnic and BIRDs

Golden-headed Manakin

I flew in so many different directions in my mind's eye with ideas for the bird theme before settling on this one. Coming across various photos of the golden-headed manakin, however, I just knew I had to do my own imagined tween-aged version of this fuzzy lil' creature. Cute, isn't he?

My initial idea, actually, was to show a family-tree (depicting it as a feather instead) with "Family Flock" for the title below. Coloured circles would have shown the heads of various bizarre looking birds, like the Royal Spoonbill, Shoebill Stork, Potoo, and the Secretary Bird, among others. With time winding down though, necessity as the mother of invention took over and... voila.

So, let's see what the rest of you did. Come join me now in some of our very own bird watching... and do pass the cucumber sandwiches whilst at it. The weather is lovely and the picnic cloth is laid, but for the sake of our feathered friends, we'll skip the curried chicken, shall we?  :)


Wednesday, June 7

Scribble Picnic and Letters

With another cold upon me, no doubt from all the travels, I decided to redraw the redhead from a few weeks ago, imagining her this time opening up an envelope and discovering a lil' love note inside.

This picture actually reminds me of the one and only time I ever gave a Valentine card to someone (before adulthood, that is). I quickly learned, however, that this was not copacetic! In fact, not only that, it turned out I was the only one in our little village school who had sent such a card to anyone and to make matters worse, it was to the Headmaster's daughter, no less!

That morning I had carefully drawn a heart on a piece of paper, folded it and declared my 7-year old admiration and "love" to her. While unable to remember now the exact words, I do recall taking my time to write it legibly enough, very much feeling that romantic stir within my buoyant boyish heart whilst scrawling out my note in red crayon. I just wanted her to know that I thought she was sweet, kind-hearted and pretty, to boot... and, of course, signed it with love. Oh dear me.

Waking up a bit earlier, I rushed across the village green to the school, hoping to be the first one in class so to simply drop the note onto this girl's desk and she would never know who sent it. Trouble was, while Catherine White was not there, other school kids were! Quickly, I determined to non-challantly slip the note into her desk while no one was looking. Of course, as soon as the desk table lifted, it creaked, and the girl who sat next to her (who happened to also be her best friend) inquired as to what was I doing? Telling her it was just a little secret and nothing more was not good enough for her though. Rushing over and grabbing it out of the desk, she proceeded to read it aloud to all the other girls there with everyone having a good laugh, pointing their fingers at me, etc. Ha-ha, at this point, I wasn't so put off by the embarrassment as much as distinctly fearing expulsion from the school by her father and then what would my mother do? We had only recently moved to Norfolk (from London) and there were no other schools around in this little village of Briston!

All day long, I tried to avoid the headmaster and just waited for him to call out, "MacVean, come here at once!" Thankfully, nothing happened and later that week I think chicken pox broke out or something so people had other things to worry about. A few weeks later, I do recall that when the boys would try to round up the girls as "prisoners," pulling their hair and so on, it was always me who protested treating them as such and was very much the egalitarian. Catherine would then sometimes wryly smile at me for my chivalry, I suppose, nothing more. :)

OK, well, with that lil' diddly out of the way, it's time to discover what the rest of you conjured up with your picnic mail or letters....


Wednesday, May 31

Scribble Picnic with Books!

Turns out there's a lot of pictures of hedgies and books so had to figure out something not done before since I really wanted to draw this adorable lil' creature again. I actually did a colour version too but still prefer the original pencil drawing above so that's what you see here for my own take.

Thanks to everyone who's joined our picnic again this week after the break. I wonder how many of you did any sketching whilst away? I know I didn't! Just as well I had this picnic to attend! Funnily enough, before even starting today, I kept falling asleep (remains of jet lag). Perhaps it's no wonder then a pillow found its way into this piece? :)

Thank you to everyone who sent well wishes, prayers and/or support my way. I certainly felt buoyed by it, as it were, and if you followed my instagram, you'll have seen the funeral was small but beautiful and so very English. Everything went as well as it could have, all things considered, and I even learnt a few new tidbits about my mother along the way. (More on that later perhaps.) 


Wednesday, May 10

Scribble Picnic: Potted Plant

Time to gather for another Scribble Picnic but this time bring your pots and plants with you. Hey, we can do a virtual plant swap! How fun! Just sign up below...

For my take this go around, nothing terribly complex or clever, just a simple sketch in my little drawing pad where I've drawn a lot of my more etchy pieces in times past. :)

An aside: I will be attending my mother's funeral and visiting family over the next two weeks. As such, it's unlikely I'll be able to contribute to Scribble Picnic in that time so.... question for you:
Would you like me to pre-schedule the sign ups ahead of time and you continue as normal OR postpone the picnics, resuming again on May 31st with the "Books" theme? Please let me know your individual preferences in the comments. Whatever has the most votes, is the one we'll go with. Thank you! (If we continue as is, I will certainly at least visit everyone as able, even so.)


Sunday, May 7

Details at the door!

It doesn't appear anyone knew most of these cultural references, so for any of you inquiring minds out there, the answers are below...

Left side (top to bottom):

I Brake for Tardigrades - My tongue-in-cheek ode to these microscopic anthropods ("waterbears") that are known to survive extreme conditions, even the vacuum of space. And so, in a sense, you could call them the only extra-terrestial life in our known solar system!

Keep Calm... The Answer is Still 42 -  Again, my own bumper sticker, playing off the ever increasingly ridiculous "Keep Calm" WWII poster versions with mine tying into Douglas Adams'  space comedy, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy." Here, we learn that after 7.5 million years, a supercomputer (named, "Deep Thought") calculates "42" as the “Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything!” Quite funny, really.

Not All Who Wander Are Lost - I thought this bumper sticker works well for those too "wandering" about in space, exploring the cosmos, or even for others simply looking up in contemplation at its vastness, pondering things of eternity, seemingly wandering about but with an end goal in sight. This line is actually first spoken in Tolkien's poem, "All That is Gold Does Not Glitter," showing up in "The Fellowship of the Ring." It is also the title of Chris Thile's third solo album, continuing his philosophical muse begun as a member of the progressive bluegrass band, Nickel Creek.

Right side (top to bottom):

Got Stardust? - Obviously, my astronomy twist on the classic milk ads.

I Have a Feeling we're not in Kansas Anymore - Dorothy says this to Toto in "The Wizard of Oz." It's that sense that we're no longer in a predictable, comfortable surrounding — apropos for such a journey to Mars!

My Other Ride is a [Tardis] - If you didn't recognise the illustration, then you've never watched the long running sci-fi TV series, Dr. Who, and all his various travels through the universe in his time machine/spaceship that from the outside looks distinctly like an old London Police call box. (Speaking of such, if you haven't seen it already, you might rather enjoy my own funny take on being a time lord!)

Chewbacca is my Co-Pilot -  Not that I'm terribly a Star Wars fan but am pretty sure these space travelers surely would be!

So Say We All - This "Amen" like refrain is often spoken by the last remaining survivors in the re-imagined modern version of Battlestar Galatica. Admiral Adama concludes with this rallying cry after the memorial service to all those lost before them in the Ceylon destruction of their world(s), acknowledging that while their journey finding a new home (Earth) will be long and arduous, in the end it will be worth it! This mythical hope drives them to keep striving against all odds. The series itself delves into morality, creation, mythology, spirituality, science and technology to ponder the question of what actually makes us human and how can "life" even be defined? As Adama aptly notes in one speech, "We refuse to accept the responsibility for anything that we’ve done." The series then, of course, warns of the perils of playing God, creating (artificial) life that eventually rebels, becoming humanity's own undoing!

Wednesday, May 3

Scribble picnic - sign up at the DOOR!

 "Another Trip to Mars"

Welcome to another Scribble Picnic. Step right this way through the DOORs  below... Time to sign up YOUR piece for this week! (I'll check out all your versions on Thursday btw*.)

For my interpretation, I decided to show what perhaps the interior of a spaceship traveling to Mars might look like after it's not quite the pioneering venture as before, but not exactly rote yet either, on maybe the 10th trip out there or something where people are getting a little more relaxed, silly even!

Can any of you guess the cultural references for each of the bumper stickers? I would be amazed if you could! You would have to be pretty nerdy to get all these, actually, but hey, I'm thinking astronauts and scientist types just might know... :)

* As it is, my dear mother passed away this Monday. If interested, you might care to see my brief dedication to her, clicking through the pics on my Instagram post. :( Come this weekend or so, I'll publish something here more fitting for Mama. She truly lived a most extraordinary life! While moving so terribly far away, I nevertheless miss her already even though, in reality, it was usually such a long time between visits for most of the time! Hard as such to believe she is actually gone.  💔