INKtober day twenty-one–come as you are

yesterday was sad. today is happy!

i feel like a weight is lifted. a spell cast has been removed. the sun has come out. sadly, i feel all this because dusty has gone away to wisconsin for a visit. i know. i know. i know. if his going away causes me happiness….

i feel mean that his being gone brings me such a sense of relief. but it does. like i’m not being judged every minute of the day. i’m not being brought down by negative energy. i get to be me, unfettered.

so this is my ink blot test for the day. come as you are. iggy found the duck. he & i both found the guitar. coincidentally, my co-inker for inktober also did a duck today…and a bunny yesterday. i swear i’m not copying!

i like this one. i really do. i like that splatters turn into music.

tomorrow, we are going to venture into the color blue. i already splattered some pages.

INKtober day twenty–eye just feel sad

so the thing about me is, i am an empath. i feel things deeper and more intuitively that a large percent of the population.
i have always known this about myself, but i am just figuring out how to embrace it as a good thing and to not let it destroy me.
being an empath makes it difficult for me to be around a lot of people. i can sense their anger, their sadness, their different energies.
it makes it difficult for me to work in positions where i care for others because i give too much of myself–but also helps me to be a good caregiver, if i could learn how to not cross that line.
it makes it difficult for me to be in relationships because i cannot keep my feelings separate from those of the other person. i am trying to learn boundaries and ways to protect myself…but i have a long way to go.
it makes it difficult for me to be a mom sometimes–sometimes it helps. when many small bodies need me to care all at the same time & i am prone to forgetting to listen to my own needs….

i get overwhelmed. so easily. by all the energy from all the people around me.

the more “bad” things i see or hear, the deeper it seems to go. so the internet is a treacherous place for people like me. though i want to know about wrongs being done–so i can help–if i can help…it is draining.

this election is a goddamned nightmare for me. both major party candidates are bad people. i know this on an intuitive level and on an educated level. one seems much worse than the other. i feel like a vote for that one is a vote against people like me. however, i will not vote for the lesser of two evils, that would be giving up on hope.  i wish that everyone would actually vote for better candidates (there are other candidates) and send these two to the hell they deserve….

but! i digress.

this is not a political blog.

i just wanted y’all to know why eye feel sad.

INKtober day nineteen–catapult?

i’m off. out of whack. my zen is broken. i started one inking today at misha’s speech therapy appointment, and it somehow ended up with a puppy in it?? then this one has a unicorn? i dunno. i’m not feeling it today. i just kept adding more & more ink until i didn’t absolutely hate it.

my zen is off. i’m a mess.

i had two birthdays in a row. poppy & then fidgit. i managed to bake cakes for both of them…but i still felt like i was somehow phoning it in.

i think i am exhausted by my non-relationship with dusty. i have asked him to leave. i have asked him why he is even living here in the first place. he said, “you are totally discounting my relationship with the kids.” i told him he can have a relationship with the kids while living somewhere else. other divorced people don’t live together. i really think we should try that.

so he is squatting at my parents house. not paying rent. not paying anything. not working. sometimes helping with the kids. he thinks mowing the lawn & burning things has given him some sort of helper status….

okay, this has nothing to do with my art other than the fact that i am letting his energy sapping ways drain my creativity.
or, i am going to blame him for my sucky picture today.
but inktober continues, and i refuse to miss a day.

so here is my sucky picture.

it is another ink blot test. and i resisted & resisted & resisted and then finally gave in to the sheep that i could see being catapulted at the dragon.

i blame dusty.

INKtober day thirteen–the backside

long day!
i ran errands all day with the whole family. then i came home. made a late lunch and then retired to the garden to dig. i am digging a winter garden/cold-frame. i also need to get my garlic into the ground. fortunately it is beautiful weather here still.

needless to say, i totally forgot to prepare paper this morning and didn’t even think about what i would draw until the sun had set. so i used the backside of the page i did yesterday’s seahorse picture on. it is poor paper for the purpose of ink & brush. ink shows through to the other side. poor paper, but a second opportunity to use the same ink stains…differently.

the backside. a two-headed person. which is the front side? it’s my relationships with men. i can’t get rid of them. the man face even looks a lot like my first ex-husband, who, coincidentally, proposed to me today via email. “we should get married…again,” he writes to me. meanwhile, i can’t get my second ex-husband to find his wings and fly away.

which brings us to another backside in this inking. why am i drawing so many apes/chimps lately? wow. i have never drawn so many non-human primates in my life. but they are flying out of my pen lately. showing up in every ink spill.

also! while i was waiting for the paper to dry so i could ink some more on it, i drew a picture for my friend who is doing inktober with me. she is sick today, so i thought i would be nice and draw her a picture for the day in case she is too sick to draw. she does portraits, so i thought, i will do a portrait. a self-portrait.

doriangray

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!!!!!!!!!
what the fuck is that?
studio 365 makes it look so easy…but, alas, i am not good at portraits. i named this one “portrait of the artist as dorian gray.”
now i am very afraid to open my journal.
i was going to post this on her facebook page…but i don’t think that will help her feel better.

moses jones page 43

always with the mixed feelings about this comic.
where am i going?
do i like my art work? my style? or should i strive for something bigger & better?

always the self-doubt and urge to just take a match to it all.

i wonder about doing my graphic novel pages in a way that they could stand alone. maybe even on canvas? or mass produced as prints?
is there a purpose to my prose?

maybe i should just do one page comics with no words that i can sell as “real art.”

poop.

i haven’t seen the sun in days. monday is the next time it is forcast to appear.
and we are having the second new moon of the month.
a black moon.
new beginnings.
new beginnings.
what new beginnings do i need to make?

well…here is page 43. i have some difficulty with drawing laslo. and always difficulty with drawing susan. even some problems drawing moses jones. but i like the layout.
i am going somewhere with this.
i just don’t know if it is worth going there.

fuck it. i need to meditate or something.

moses jones page 42

when did i last post a page of moses joneslast spring? late winter? and now it is the first day of fall. holy moly.

i’m not sure how i feel about the page. as always, my style keeps evolving. i look back on the prototypes for mojo that i did in my art class…what was that? in the spring of 2013? wow, three years ago. i like the style there. i want to move back in that direction. i don’t like the close-ups and larger images i have done. and i forgot that in episode 2 i indicated something amiss about lucy’s pregnancy…but have not addressed it. and she is still pregnant here and looking fairly comfortable.

this dialogue was written while i was waiting for an “extinction of species” class to start in fall of 2014? i adapted it to include dusty’s return, but i have been waiting that long to get to it. graphic novelling takes some time, y’all. it is a slow process. throw in a dysfunctional relationship, four kids, several changes of address, and a full-blown homestead experience…and wow…it takes forever.

but here it is. page 42. a bit sloppy. susan looks possessed. mj looks like she has had work done. and i tried to use perspective & candle light–both of which i am terrible at. also, i had some blank space, so i put in title, author, & page number on a whim. how do i feel about that? i dunno. and as i write this, i have a sobbing toddler in my lap who is running a fever. but i did finish the page. even if i’m not sure how i feel about it.

also. as i keep drawing this. i wonder about all the shaved & half-shaved heads. do they have electricity? a generator? electric shears? or are they using razors? straight blades? i need to get to the bottom of this.

as a side note, i am reading how to sell your art online by cory huff. i just started it, but i have also checked out his website and started wondering if there is hope for me yet.

thanks for reading my comics!

sylvia plath, lynda barry, and a sheep named tyler durden

i am going to get some pages of moses jones done. i really really am. i have been busy…a bit suicidal…depressed…and busy.

i would be lying if i said i had been working on this zine that i started by drawing the cover. although i have worked a bit on an essay about john irving and also lynda barry. but that is all. and i did this journal page thinking about doing some ink brush paintings of livestock:

journal-page-2

livestock!
so now i have ten chickens and four sheep. i have a tendency to just wing it in many areas of my life. like i never seem to get adequate directions, do not have a smart phone or gps, yet constantly set out on adventures saying, “we’ll find it.” so i got chickens before i had a coop built. i got dogs before making sure my chickens would not be harassed by them. and i got sheep before i had a fenced pasture. long story short. i have lost one rooster to an over-zealous herd dog and have poisoned one sheep by not researching very well and just thinking, “it’ll be fine.” strange that someone as neurotic as me would be so okay with winging it. but i am. another example of my oxymoronity.

we named our sheep after favorite characters from favorite movies. i got to name the ram. i really wanted to name him tyler durden…but decided on harold (from harold & maude) because i was afraid a sheep named tyler durden might be prone to fighting as well as challenging the status quo. but harold the ram got really sick after eating something (acorns? toxic lambsquarters? too much chicken food?) and was looking awful. so i re-re-named him tyler durden and “drenched” (which means to force liquids on–not to douse with a hose!) him with apple cider vinegar and began my journey towards being a holistic shepherd.

but it is my depression more than anything that has crippled my creative process. i read something recently that said that depression is “living in the past.” you know, with anxiety being “living in the future.” i can see that…but my problem is my depression is a current event. i am very unhappy–not with my homestead…but with my live-in ex-husband. aka dusty knickers. he is happy to live at my folks place, contributing only when he sees the whites of my eyes, and otherwise playing video games and being a pain in the ass. i don’t know how to get him to move on…move out…move! i have come to peace with some things–like that it is not my job to let him know he is an asshole…but i do not know how to find peace with him always here. always being dusty.

but i have not taken the sylvia plath route. mostly because of what it would do to my kids. i decided that suicide is something best done when you are young and childless. i passed my open window of opportunity in 1998 (the last time i seriously contemplated suicide but ended up marrying some guy i just met instead. marriage & suicide are on about the same level for me, i guess. ha!) now i have four kids and have to commit to being here no matter how painful it is.

yay.

so i’m putting together this zine. you can be in it if you want. right now it is in a very loose stage of development. but, you know, art–poetry–essays.
and i’m still working on all my other projects: moses jones, lizard brain, whimsy, one up on sylvia plath, space aliens & serial killers…. kids, homestead, survival, etc. you know the drill. and reading, always reading. i totally recommend david wong. but most recently i finally read lynda barry’s notes of an accidental professor. as you may or may not know, i attended uw where she teaches, but somehow i never made it into her class despite her being an early influence for my comics. self-sabotage? fear of my heroes? just plain goofy? we had a nodding acquaintance, mostly because i took my kids to her monthly drawing jams…but i never became soul sisters with her even though my inner geek dreamed of this.
it’s a regret i have.
so i’m sending her a postcard.
you know, a moses jones postcard.
(who knows, maybe she will be my best friend forever after all.) a postcard, and then i will close that chapter and open a new one.

page 3 of lizard brain

so i started this page weeks ago.
then one of my dogs tore up the page. i adopted two sisters of a cattle dog persuasion. they are only half grown and are so naughty. between their shopping on my desk and my kids’s shopping on my desk, it’s a wonder i get any pages out at all.

also,
depression.
even though i am doing a comic about the destructive voices in my head, it is still difficult to do said artwork when i am depressed. overwhelmed. generally ready to crawl in a hole and never come out.

i’m not sure what happens next. maybe i will get some moses jones done. i have been hankering to work on that comic for awhile.
also! i started playing with a story i started when my niece was like 4. that niece has now graduated from college. so maybe i should finish my story, at least.
i wrote it as a screenplay.
i am adapting it to be prose…with pictures. not a graphic novel. just, you know, an illustrated story.
strangely, the dynamics of the two main characters (written, like i said, 20 years ago?) are reflective of the dynamics between my ex & i. you know, dusty. the male lead even looks like him. i wrote it before i started doing more autobiographical fiction. he came out of my imagination. fuck, maybe i predicted him…or worse, maybe i wrote him into existence. yikes.

speaking of the topic of autobiographical fiction. i just finished reading john irving’s latest novel, the avenue of miracles. i love love love john irving. this novel, not so much. parts of it were amazing. other parts were half-hearted. but! he often discusses memoir fiction vs. fiction from the imagination. while reading it, i started writing an essay. i think i will eventually finish that essay that is not quite memoir…not quite pure imagination…but all me and how i feel while reading a john irving novel.

i think i had another point to make or story to share, but i had to stop typing to have a fight with my eight year old who seems to believe i am not allowed to live a life other than as his devoted and single-minded mother.

poop.

i’m here i’m here i’m here i’m here!

let’s recap.
last summer, a year ago this week, i was homeless for a month and a half while waiting for our new apartment to open up.
then at the new year, i packed up my four minions and moved two hours north of dusty to a different home.
then, this spring, my landlord/housemate asked me to leave so she could have the place to herself.
and i moved again.
this time to another state, to my childhood home, with dusty & the minions.
i wasn’t ready to live with dusty again.
but circumstances….
so now, though i think of moses jones & other projects every day, i have a new place to settle. land & house in serious need of care-taking. a yard & garden. a flock of chickens. two dogs who need training. four minions on hyper-drive as they try to adjust to the fourth move in a year….

i’m here though. never far away. treading water.

i am in the process of collecting all of my poetry from my other blog to put into a collection of sorts. then i will delete the bulk of that blog to convert it (once more) into a different blog. this time about the dysfunctional adventures of a homesteading family.

and i look at my barely started first page of just me and my lizard brain every day, sighing softly.

and i daydream about doing some fantastic & wildly popular chinese ink brush paintings of the central illinois landscape.

and mojo. i think about mojo. her humble beginnings, her journey thus far, and her future in the graphic novel world….