GentleSoul Arts

Living a Creative Life


Ghosting Life

I haven’t felt like writing, or really doing much of anything lately. I thought it was seasonal and I’d feel better once the days became longer. I have moments when I feel okay. Only moments.

I’ve deleted some of my social media – I should update that here too. Everything feels overwhelming. Nothing I could do would really matter in the grand scheme of things. I follow my routine. Wake up, care for the pets, go to work, come home, care for the pets, go to bed. Rinse and repeat. If I didn’t have the pets I’d spend as much time as I could sleeping. A way to escape.

I’m sure I’ll feel better eventually. It’s like a carousel where the horses move up and down, up and down. Right now I’m in a down phase. No need for alarm, it’ll cycle through like it always does.


Urban Sketching

I had a busy weekend with a couple of Urban Sketching events. One in Tulsa, which is about a 2-hour drive, to sketch the Art Deco architecture of the downtown area. My husband went with me, and we enjoyed the road trip although the morning was cold and windy. I sketched outside as long as I could, then went inside the meeting area to watercolor my work.

E 6th ST and S Cincinnati Ave – Tulsa Oklahoma

The next day, the Oklahoma City Urban Sketchers met in downtown OKC. It was an afternoon event, so much warmer but just as windy. I decided to sketch the view outside the window of the reading room at Oklahoma Contemporary. I made a game out of counting which color the trolley would be.

NW 11th and N Broadway Ave OKC

As I was journalling about my weekend, it dawned on me, I don’t really enjoy urban sketching. I like visual journalling, but there’s usually a connection to my life somehow. I’ll sketch a meal, or a favorite object. Sketching the view outside of the hotel window when I was in South Carolina for a business event had meaning since that was my first time there. That building in Tulsa has no meaning to me. It was just an interesting object at the time. I should have sketched the banh mi I had for lunch, but I was too ravenous and my hands were still sore from the cold.

I’m surprised I feel a bit bad about not enjoying it. Maybe it’s a matter of finding a style of sketching I enjoy. Maybe I just need to practice buildings and perspective of downtown cityscapes. Maybe I need to find a different media than ink & watercolor.

Maybe I’m overthinking it.


Forced to Slow Down

Last week during an indoor cycling ride, I really pushed myself. It was the 1st stage of the “Tour de Zwift” event titled “Flat is Fast” on a route I had ridden before so I wanted to see if I could break any previous PRs (personal records).

Two days later, my knee hurts whenever I straighten it. I could go back and look at my stats to see if I set any personal records but I don’t remember off the top of my head. I do know I have to walk slowly, and mindfully. It feels like my knee needs to pop but I’m afraid if it does, I’ll go down and it’s going to be painful. So I’m alternating propping it up with some ice packs, and taking a hot bath.

I’m missing stage 2 “Mountain Madness”. I hate hills and inclines while riding, but it’s what I want to work on this winter. I’m tempted to see if I could do stage 2, but then stage 3 “Round and Round” (Crit style race) is tomorrow. I don’t think there are any inclines and if there are, they’ll be minimal.

So I’ve done more art this past week. I signed up for Carla Sonheim’s 2022 Yearlong Course and the 1st lesson from Starheadboy came out so I’ve made some stickers on regular sticker paper. I have vinyl sheets coming so I can make stickers to go outside. I’ve made my acrylic painting of the character that came out when I was doodling for sticker ideas. It was fun to create without really worrying about the end product. I think I try to convince myself it’s all about the process and not the product but I want something “Instagram worthy” when it’s all over with.

Cat or Gremlin?

There’s a phrase that has come up a few times lately. “If you’re not having fun you’re not doing it right” It really does apply to both art and cycling. It applies to a lot of life if you think about it.

Slowing down, having fun. That will be my focus for the upcoming week.


Lazy Day

My intention for this year is to write a post on Sunday mornings but yesterday after waking up to care for my corgis at 7am (which is really late for them to sleep!) I opted to go back to bed.

I slept until after 11am. It was glorious.

I then started laundry and my husband mentioned needing to pick up some things a the grocery store. I needed to get more dog food & cat litter at the pet store. I got dressed and we went to run the errands.

I didn’t have an agenda for the day, other than laundry. I have been trying to do more things throughout the week so I don’t have to spend the weekend playing “catch up” on housework.

I cleaned my art area in preparation for the 1st lesson in Carla Sonheim’s yearlong course. I went through my files, shredded old items, and cleaned off my computer desk. I’ve kept the kitchen sink cleaned & the dishes caught up. It makes a huge difference when nothing is piled up to the point of being overwhelming.

I’ve noticed that even when it seems overwhelming, like dishes piled in the sink and on the counter, it takes less time to tackle it than I expect. What in my mind is going to take hours, may only take 20 minutes, if even that long.

It’s the same with art. I feel like I need a large chunk of time to create, but 10 or 15 mins in my sketchbook consistently adds up. Consistently. That’s the key.

I tend to be an all-or-nothing person. I don’t want to do things halfway, and sometimes drawing the sketch and coloring it later feels prickley. Like a pebble in my shoe, or the seam of my sock going sideways. If I can’t do it <this way> then why bother doing it at all. Then nothing is accomplished.

So I’m practicing doing small bits. So when they add up, I can see the results and have some time to be lazy, or get to the large creation without feeling like other things are undone.


Rewind: Bead Swap!

I found some old blog posts on an external drive & thought I would share them here. This is the 1st one in the folder, dated 2010. I think I ended up putting some of the paper beads bracelets I made into geocaching caches for SWAG.

I received my beads from Janice Mae at Aubrey’s Beads swap last week and I’m so amazed!  Some of these guys look like glass beads and the ones rolled in sand in Aruba are probably my super favorites!  There are some so tiny, they look like seed beads. But they’re paper!

There are some really neat bell shaped beads I plan to use for earrings. Just need to pick up some more finding (dropped a post & it’s lost now!).  The large circle bead is 1” in diameter and I plan on using as a center for a drop necklace.  I know what I want to do, I’m just not certain how.

BeadSwap 002

I did pick a few of the brown & natural tone beads to use for a bracelet.  Janice Mae also sent some accent beads and there were some pretty brown glass beads I used as spacers. It’s a nice solid feeling bracelet 

BeadSwap 006