Drawing a Day: RSM Day 34

Snuggly Suzy cat

Another drawing for my drawing a day personal promise. This is another one of my Suzy cat snuggled on my lap. It seems that the only time I have to draw occurs at the end of the day when I finally sit down. Logically, this is also the time when you will most find Suzy sitting on my lap. Thus, the easy subject matter. Drawing done on my iPhone 4 with the Brushes app.

Enjoy RSM.


Drawing a Day: RSM Day 33

My Suzy is a lap kitty

Trying to keep up with the drawing, here is a quick drawing I did on my iPhone using the Brushes app of my kitty cat, Suzy, curled up on my lap. Anytime I sit down, she is quick to jump up and snuggle up on my lap. I allowed myself about 10 minutes to draw this one, and kept it fairly simple in order to finish it in the time given.


Sometimes They Hear You

They hear even when they aren't lookingEvery once in a while, I learn that my kids really do listen to the things I tell them. One such time came about this weekend with a story my sister shared about her most recent time with my kids.

A couple weeks back, my sister came over to watch the kids for me. I had a meeting to attend at my son’s school and my husband was out of town (again). My kids love their Aunt and they had a fantastic time. They spent the evening drawing pictures and watching cartoons.

My sister related a story about the drawing portion of the evening. My daughter asked her to draw her a picture. When asked what she would like her to draw, my daughter suggested a drawing of her.

I must interject that if I weren’t a Rocket Scientist, I’d have become an artist. I love to draw and paint and have taken many classes in my spare time to improve my craft. It is one of my greatest joys, that my children have taken after me and are both budding artists in their own right. Knowing artists as I do, and being sensitive to the creative spirit in myself, I know that you only improve through practice. Sometimes you go through a lot of paper until you reach a drawing you like. I spend a lot of gentle time with my two artists in training. I try to teach them to be patient with their art and with themselves as they get frustrated when something they are creating doesn’t look the way they want it to.

When asked to do a portrait, my sister cautioned my daughter that she’s not that good at drawing people. My daughter responded as follows: “That’s ok. Everyone is different. Look at my drawing. Yours will be different but it will still be good. We all do things differently and that’s good.”

When my sister related this to me, I cried. Not only had my daughter heard me, but she believed enough to offer the same council to one of her favorite people in the whole world.

Sometimes when you think they don’t hear you, they surprise you with just how well they actually did.

by Rocket Science Mom
Reprinted here with permission. GNMParents.com and Forever Parenting.

My favorite Map of all time: 1976 Walt Disneyworld Park Map

1976 Walt Disney World Park map

From time to time, I go back through the things in my closet that I keep meaning to frame and hang somewhere. I always stop at this map and stop. I want to hang this one. It’s so very special to me. But I do not want to take it to a frame shop and risk them losing it, or tearing it or somehow destroying it. It is irreplaceable.

This map was my family’s park guide map on the very first vacation to Walt Disney World. It is probably hard to see, but my Mom actually drew on the map. Over breakfast, she softly traced out the route we would take on our day. This was long before crowd calendars and touring plans. Long before the internet and advice from Disney Moms Panel (Which I should so totally be on by the way!). This was back when going to the park was a huge adventure and probably a family’s once in a lifetime trip.

As it turns out, my family would travel down to Walt Disneyworld two more times before I graduated high school. Since then, I’ve gone probably another 20 times either on my own, with my fiance then husband, and as a family with our kids. To say that I am a huge Disneyworld fan is to put it mildly. I love the place, and I always will.

Looking at this map immediately brings back the feelings of that first trip. I was 7 1/2, and it was 1976. There was a fourth of July 200th birthday parade and celebration going on all summer long. It was hot as only Florida can be in the summer. My brother and sister (only one, since the second of my sisters wouldn’t be born for another two years) were at times happy and crabby. I just remember enjoying every single minute of the fun and once we got home, I could not wait to go again.

I wish that they still made large fold out Maps like this one still in the parks. You get the small hand outs at the front gates, but the Disney merchandise folks have cut way down on the individualized park materials on either coast. Perhaps someone at WDW merchandise might see this post and think, hey that’s a great idea, let’s make them again.

Back in 1976, this map cost $2.25 (the price tag is still on the back of it). The picture doesn’t do it justice to the detail or the size, except to cut off the top and bottom, but it really is huge. It is easily 3 feet wide. I can only imagine what they’d charge for one today.

I was going to do some research to see if anyone else has put up photos of their own copies of this map on the internet somewhere. I have two more maps to post in the coming days. Both are fold outs, and both are almost as large as this one. First one ist the Walt Disney World resort area, Pre MGM studios. The other is of EPCOT.

With that, I am off to plan my upcoming Walt Disneyworld vacation. Our MEI Mousefan travel agent just put down our deposit today. We’re going to Disneyworld!


Drawing a Day: RSM Day 32

Sunday drive in the country Over last weekend, we did some errands on Sunday, and I decided to take advantage of some of our commuting time to do a quick sketch. This drawing captures the area out where we live. We purposely chose to move out near the farmland and country quiet before having children. I find the driving we now have to do (it’s 30 minutes to anything), more than compensated by vistas like the one I captured on my iPhone in about 15 minutes. At the close of this drawing, my daughter wanted the iPhone, so she could do some drawing.


Drawing a Day: RSM Day 31

I present another drawing to continue the week. This was drawn early in the morning, as I lay in bed, not quite wanting to wake up. I watched the sun rise and fight its way through a thunderstorm to shine in my bedroom window. The light and colors were muted but beautiful, so I grabbed my phone, and spent about 15 minutes capturing what I saw.

I hope that your day started as lovely.

Learn something new: iPhone photos to MobileMe

I took a few photos with my iPhone this morning before leaving for work. Photos I wanted to use, eventually, up on this blog (more on that later). I tend to be more tethered than cloud based in the way I get data onto and off of my iPhone. After taking the photos, I connected the iPhone to my Macbook, launched iPhoto, and downloaded the photos to my Mac.

I had intended to move the photos over to either my dropbox or my MobileMe account, or even email them to myself at work so that I could upload them to the blog in a draft post to be published later. Sadly, as it always happens in the mornings, my kids needed my attention, and I was unable to do more than download the photos.

As I sat down at work, I thought that I would just email the photos to myself from within the photo viewer on the iPhone. Then I looked at the options inside the photo viewer, and one was “Send to MobileMe.” I had never noticed that before, mostly because I was only looking for the Email Photo option and just didn’t see it.

As a MobileMe member, I decided to try that option. And it worked. It took about a minute each over 3G for the photos to upload, but they uploaded just fine. Now they sit in my MobileMe account under a folder called “iPhoto Album”. The only trouble with this option is that the MobileMe Gallery appears to be a published page (which I think is going away with the iCloud service in the future) and not necessarily a file share. I don’t want these photos shared on the web. I just want them saved.

So, I think I might delete them, unless I can figure out a way to make the gallery page private. Still, it was an interesting thing to stumble upon as I played around with my iPhone. As much as I consider myself to be the ultimate apple fangirl, there are always things I didn’t know I could do.

I bow to you Cupertino.

Drawing a Day: RSM Day 30

Another quick post here to try to keep the momentum. I painted this one on my iPhone 4 using the Brushes app as we drove around Toronto, Canada, on our way to parts north for our camping vacation. I didn’t have much time to draw, between the kids needing this or that, and my husband needing me to navigate. I spent most of my limited time on this drawing concentrating on the clouds. There were beautiful clouds in the sky our whole trip north.

I hope that I have captured their loveliness.


Drawing a Day: RSM Day 29 and thoughts about painting

old Anglican Church This one took a little while to finally write up, and I apologize for that. Keeping a daily blog is outside of my ability to schedule these days, but having it “out there” reminding me to both draw and publish has helped me to draw more than I have have in years. It’s also helped me to improve my painting, if only a little bit. In summers past, I would never like the first painting I did. It seemed that I’d gotten a bit rusty in the application of paint onto the canvas over the previous year. The first painting always was the practice painting. If I was lucky enough to paint again while on vacation, I typically liked the second painting much better than the first. All of the paintings I’ve framed and hung at home or framed and given away as gifts, were the second painting I’d done on vacation.

The painting shown here is also the second one I painted while on vacation in Canada in July. It is of a former Anglican church, just up the road from the campground where we stay. I say former because over the past year, the Anglican church of Canada decided to close it and rather than donate the land to the town, they sold it to a private citizen. The locals are none to happy with this for a number of reasons. The church is charming. Small. And sits on a wonderful piece of land that looks over the Ottawa River. I liked the spot and the time of day because with the sun over my right shoulder, as I painted, the result was some very striking shadows on the structure. I love the play of light and shadow in any painting I do of man made structures.

As in the past, I like it better than the first painting (previous post) but only slightly so. As I was painting this one and the last one, the application of paint to canvas and the blending of the different paints of different hue, thickness, material felt more natural. I wandered less, and painted more. I attribute this to having used the iPhone painting app called Brushes over the last six months.

The Brushes app, when I set the opacity of the “paint” to medium, which allows the paints to “blend” mimics how I actually blend paints on canvas. I’ve been happy with the results, but was also happy that the time I’d spent using Brushes was good practice to getting back to painting.

The real test will be whether my family will actually let me return to painting outside of the once a year when we go on vacation schedule I am currently holding.

Drawing a Day: RSM Day 28

I took a week off from the blog and from life to go on vacation with my family. While there, I actually managed to do two paintings. I don’t know that either painting is “finished” but I did as much as I could in the time I had, and they are what they are.

Now that I am home, with my full time job and two kids, I rarely have time to paint. Ok, scratch rarely and make it never, as it applies to most of the year. I only paint once a year, in the summer, when we go on vacation, and that’s because my step-dad makes a point of taking me out and leaving the kids with my husband, so that I can actually concentrate. I owe a great deal of my sanity to him for his helping me to get time away to paint.

In my real life, if I even try to paint, my kids inevitably need something by the time I’ve set up my pallet and it’s time to just put it all away again. Painting after they’ve gone to sleep is out of the question too, since I am usually too tired by then to do much of anything.

My first painting of the year

This image is of the first of the two paintings I did. I took the photo as my easil stood under a light source. That’s why a section of it looks all washed out. I will try to snap another photo of it without a direct light source so that I can get rid of the shiny part. Still, the photo captures it. The subject was of an old tug boat that in its day used to push logs down the Ottawa River up in Ontario Provence, Canada. My step-dad had been wanting me to paint this particular boat for years. I actually painted this from the river itself, while anchored in my step-dad’s boat, just off shore.

While I spent a couple hours on sight painting this. I would like to further define the boat and the leaves, etc. but this is all I could get done in one sitting. I used up all of my paint and managed to get color on the entire canvass. I think that’s close enough to success as I can find time. So, I present it here as another one of my drawings a day.