over the river and to the beach

snow-transparent-2017

For the past four years or so I’ve sent illustrated Christmas cards to friends, family and clients.  Last year I also made ecards, basically, adding snow and creating a gif then emailing or texting to the people that cheer me on throughout the year. Since we’ve moved to a new house I decided that I’d feature my furry babies with a packed car and Christmas tree, 2017 on the license plate. Not to get too “deep” about it (yes, I know it’s “just” a cartoon) but it’s a transitional time for us and a the car makes sense in this way…the inside of this year’s card continues the theme with an illustrated version of our new living room:

2017-card-©AimeeMcEwen

It’s Saturday and I’ve got a million things to do but first I’ve got to get dressed and drive out to the beach to talk with a client about a new project – which sounds much more glamorous than it actually is, really. Then I’ve got to go to the tiny townhouse to continue packing. Can’t get the big stuff until next weekend so I’ll be cramming boxes into my teeny Nissan with all my might.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, guys! ♡

 

farm fresh desktop wallpaper

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click to download 2560×1600 desktop wallpaper

We’re going to get cold weather this weekend in Jacksonville! Below freezing on Sunday according to the news. I’m planning on cozying up with hot cocoa and the furry children, watching Christmas movies and, of course, continuing to move my things from the tiny townhouse to the new house…which I don’t have a cute name for yet. It’s a “flip” house, built in 1975, cinder block and brick construction…my favorite part is that it’s all one floor and of course the new washer/dryer combo we finally got delivered this past week.

Since I was feeling wintery today I decided to whip up some desktop wallpapers. I was eyeing some whitewashed wood “pallets” in the craft section at Walmart yesterday and wished I had the time and space to modpodge this fresh cut Christmas Tree sign before Christmas or even New year’s. (heavy sigh) But it’s just not going to happen this year. I’m seeing these kinds of signs all over Pinterest lately. (extra heavy sigh) This desktop wallpaper will do for now. The office is not even set up yet, to be honest…needs a new desk (ikea to the rescue). I’ve got a temporary desk (ahem, folding table) and internet so I’ll plop this wallpaper on my mac and be glad.

I actually did 2 versions of this wallpaper, the version above is the plain one and then I did a “fancier” one, which I think I may actually prefer, since it’s brighter. What do you think?

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click to download 2560×1600 desktop wallpaper

Welp, that hot cocoa’s not going to make itself, so I better git. I hope you have a chance to rest this weekend before the holidays completely take over! ♡

 

credits:
Artwork © Aimee McEwen. Personal use only. Not for commercial use.
If shared, please link back to this post.

merry and that

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Almost completely moved in to the new place (did I mention I’m moved/moving?). I put up the tree and hung the wreath. There are boxes everywhere and lots of things need to be done, but I’m damn tired and doing my best.

Which is all you can do, right?

2017 has drained my energy and I’m running on empty. The internet trolls, the hypocrites, the ugliness of strangers toward other less fortunate strangers (or sometimes it’s been the other way around.) The complete LACK of fucking EMPATHY that we’re witnessing on a daily basis. The casual coldness of an internet comment that lays waste to group or community’s struggle in such a way that makes you wonder if we’re all just monsters in people suits.

Nice suit.

If you’re dealing with something like shame or anxiety or regret right now (or always!) please know that your struggle (WHATEVER IT MIGHT BE) is VALID. You are flawed AND beautiful and I truly believe that if we can see that those two things are not mutually exclusive in others maybe we’ll finally be able to accept that it is TRUE for ourselves as well. I friggin’ love you, y’know?

Stay warm, practice gratitude and show empathy toward one another and let’s hope for the best together in 2018. ♡

downtown

This was the song I sang (quite poorly) to myself today while I was trying to figure out what to do with that extra hour we got from Daylight Savings time or as I like to call it…the “the only reason I am on-time for work this week” time.

Since inktober ended I’ve been catching up on sleep and (finally) brushed my hair. I sketched a little over the weekend and thought about creating a series of wonderland works…maybe including prints/printables. This is the time of year I usually start thinking about diy (giftable) projects, calendars and my holiday cards. We’ll see, still feelin a little sleepy.

Went to Target yesterday to peep the Hearth and Hand collection by Chip and Joanna Gaines (Fixer-Upper/Magnolia Journal). I loved everything, I’m such a sucker. I’ll probably get this Galvanized Metal Tree Collar and a couple of their mugs – I’m still looking at moving out of the tiny townhouse (away from downtown) by the end of December though. I’m focused on getting rid/editing my belongings – trying not to add to the mess, you know? Some of the other Hearth and Hand seasonal items I loved I’ll include below for your perusal. ♡

 

made it!

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Inktober is officially over! We made it to NOVEMBER! Only one month left in the 2017 Hurricane Season! (Hurricanes, BOO!)

Speaking of boo, last night I attempted to give out candy for Halloween. It was the first time in a while (ahem, 6 years) and I had a “perfect” plan for participating without having people knocking on the door and completely freaking out my poor beagle (also, if you don’t answer the door there’s no murdering…I mean they’re safe from me and I’m safe from them, this is commonly excepted, sound hermit logic.) Back to my plan…

STEP ONE: BUY CANDY, MAKE A SIGN (see below)

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I got some decent candy, you know,  stuff I already like in case nobody shows up and I “have” to eat it all myself. Kidding, sorta.

STEP 2: ATTACH SIGN TO BOWL, FILL BOWL WITH CANDY

I didn’t put ALL the candy in the bowl, it was a modest sized Trick or Treat pail that I removed the handle from – to discourage traveling…

STEP 3: TURN ON LIGHT, LOCK DOOR (recheck locked door, check window 16 times)

That’s it! I quietly sketched my very last Inktober drawing while listening to small children and their parental units read the sign and choose their candies (perfect!). Some complained that they could only take one, some were clever enough to note the cheeky (okay, two!)…I sat there, Ghostbuster’s DVD playing in the background, feeling mildly proud of myself for finding a way to keep the dog calm AND give out candy to possible murderers but probably mostly costumed children (sigh).

TEENASAURUS REX

Halloween lasted about 30 minutes, my friends. The first group of teenagers that showed up grabbed the entire bowl and ran. Yeah, I wasn’t shocked, but still, it was a little soul crushing. After that, I personally handed out candy to a few more groups of tiny humans while the dog screeched from behind my front door.

Once the candy was gone, I went inside to finish drawing and console my beagle. I’m proud of myself for making the effort, quite frankly. Teenagers are actual monsters though. But, I’m sure you already knew that. ♡

 

artwork/images © Aimee McEwen, if shared please link back to this post

It’s Time

JACK

Lastnight for inktober I drew this Jack Skellington. Then I turned him into a desktop wallpaper for myself…and decided to share it with my tens of readers! Click the image above to download the wallpaper (do I really need to still tell people how to do that? I’m so old). I’m not a huge Halloween fan but I’ve always loved Tim Burton movies and Nightmare Before Christmas. So, enjoy the wallpaper and hop on instagram to see the other inktober projects. I drew Sally earlier in the month…they look cute together, yeah??

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Happy Halloween, guys! ♥︎

 

faux fall

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There was a time when I posted at least every Friday here about my week or the weekend or just silly thoughts that had been rolling around in my brain. I’m getting myself on a better schedule so I can go back to regular posting in November through to the new year. Hopefully they won’t all be about the weather. After inktober is finished I’m going to find another art prompt or make one of my own. Last night my drawing took a lot less time than usual…maybe I’m gaining momentum?

As far as my weekend plans, I’ve got a lot of sorting to do. Toss, donate, or keep? I’m sure the keep pile will be the smallest. I’m just ready, you know? I try really hard not to write about the weather on here…since there are so many other interesting things to write about (are there?). I live in Florida, so aside from natural disasters we’ve got it pretty good here. We had 2 mornings this past week that were a little “chilly” and it was awesome. The cold never lasts though. Still, I wore my fall boots and jeans and a light flannel and pretending it was a mild Fall day in New York, where I grew up. I always hated those cold gray days (which was most days, to be honest). Here in Florida I can pretend it’s “Fall” and get away with cute fall boots, light scarves, fingerless gloves, and not worry about rain and mud and chapped lips and achy bones….but I’m not gonna write about the weather. Happy Weekend, stay warm. ♡

 

catnap fever

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Wow, I’m tired! It’s my own damn fault for staying up too late, working on drawings and fighting with the cat. I’ve slacked off a bit on Inktober this week, recharging my brain I guess. Tonight I’m going to try some ink washes instead of just the ink pen…I’m hoping I’m just a bit tired of the pen.

Thinking about moving out of the tiny townhouse, for real this time, I mean it! There’s so much to get done before I can move, though. I have accumulated a lot of crap stuff over the last 12 years. Sometimes it’s difficult to know what I should let go and what I should keep. I do love dropping boxes and bags off at Goodwill. Decluttering will be good, healthy even! Speaking of which, I’m on an antibiotic this week (don’t ask) and I’m worried the meds are stifling my creativity. Is that a thing? Can that be a thing now? Maybe it’s just affecting my mood/attitude.

Do you ever feel like not getting excited about things because you could “jinx” it? Like, don’t get your hopes up because you don’t want to be super disappointed when it doesn’t “happen” or that you stop wanting things for that same reason? Feels that way right now and I’d like to think I don’t have a habit of feeling that way, I’m not a superstitious person…so maybe it’s just this round of meds messing with me and next week I’ll be my old positive-thinking self. Maybe?

In a couple weeks things will get sorted. I’m afraid to say it, but I am looking forward to a fresh start…Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, don’t jinx it! ♡

what’s this?

SALLY

Day 10 of Inktober already. I’ve not missed a day yet, and I’m also a bit loony right now from staying up late every night. My dog is also not impressed. He has a strict bedtime schedule (10pm on the dot) and I’ve mess that up for him entirely. I still prefer my pencil drawings to the ink…because I am a giant baby and I’m not used to the pen yet. I’m only using a sharpie pen, like a 0.3 fine point. The most difficult part for me has been deciding what to draw. I set some parameters for myself on day one to narrow down the choices….all female (humanoid) characters, posed as if they’re having their portrait taken…and most of them from the shoulders up – unless we need more visual info to help make them easy to recognize because I’m not copying them from pictures or anything, just using my imagination. I downloaded Werble to my phone and added snow to the Sally illustration. Last night I drew Luna Lovegood and added some floaty wrackspurts. So far my Inktober has consisted of Maleficent, The Queen of Hearts, Cruella De Vil, The Mad Hatter (female), Ursula, Harley Quinn, Sally from Nightmare before Christmas, Arwen(LOTR) and Luna from Harry Potter…tonight I’m thinking I’ll do another “creepy” one. Usually decide about an hour before I start drawing. The Madhatter is probably my favorite right now.

I’ve started using some color ink, but only sparingly. The last few days I’ve wanted to use watercolor washes then draw/ink over that…we’ll see what happens. Only 20 or so drawings left! I love scrolling through and looking at everyone’s work. Found so many new artists to follow on instagram, glad I chose to participate. ♡

sketch therapy

white-light

In August I bought myself a small chunky sketch book with light brown kraft paper pages. Since then I’ve been choosing random pages in it to sketch people and animals. The first thing I drew was a horse, then some faces, then a frog and some more faces.

I do use references sometimes, especially for the animals. Even then the references are used quite loosely as recreating something exactly is paralyzing for me. When I sketch faces/people I’m not using references except when I’m having trouble with the expression/emotion. Most of the time the expressions are sadness, or grief.  No, I don’t know these people. That question comes up sometimes: Who’s that? I just shrug and keep drawing or I’ll smile and say: a ghost…as if they live in my brain and I’m just remembering them. Which is creepy, I suppose. If I’m happy with the sketch I’ll add flowers, filling up the page with tangled leafy vines and vaguely familiar blooms, it’s a meditative process for me. I prefer low color work, maybe because color tends to overwhelm me or because…you know, ghosts. ♡

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images © Aimee McEwen, if shared please link back to this post.