I love productive days!

So much to do! Today was spend entirely in the studio. I cut out my submission for the "Year of the Rabbit," drew a ginger root for the Baren Forum #47 print exchange and transferred it to the woodblock, and worked on a couple pieces for Bliss Bead's Holiday Art Show.

Ginger root transfered to block

Tomorrow, I'll be documenting, packaging and pricing my most recent works. Hopefully there will be enough time left over to cut the the ginger root block. I also would really like to get at least one small holiday piece into my Etsy store.

A framed"Ellison Bay Bluff" print sold at Plum Bottom and that is a very good thing! Thank you so much! I'm running low on nori paste and papers. I have been wanting to get some Aquacolor inks and bake brushes, too! The purchase of the print will go a long way to purchasing some needed supplies!

Al mentioned today that the Sandhill Cranes are back at Afton—just passing through while migrating. It was very cold and I had too much work to do in the studio, but it did my heart some good to know that they were there.

Elinor was kind enough to share her delicious homemade three layer chocolate cake with me while I was on break from carving. So yummy(!) with boiled frosting and a tall cold glass of soy milk. That really hit the spot!


This is my son

J., originally uploaded by pejnolan.

I love him. He is growing into quite a man, but how can it be that I have a young man as a son? The core of me, the soul of me, feels no older than he is.

When I was 17, I saw the world very much in black and white. The older I get the more gray I am able to view and to incorporate into my thinking. Exceptionally few issues in the world remain the simple black and white of my youth.


As a teenager I wrote in my journal that God gives everyone a glimpse of certainty when they are young. Adults seem to think of this as a negative because they will say, "That kid thinks they know everything. Wait until they get older."

I say God gives us this sense of clarity to fuel us with a passion for the rest of our lives. We form the deepest parts of who we are when we start making our own choices as teens. Real choices, not because someone has taught us to think this way or that, but choices made through our own judgment and critical thinking.


I see the choices that Jacob is making and he is making some good moves towards the path to adulthood. Part of me wants to hold him back. I miss my little blond-haired boy. More than I miss that small little guy, though, I am looking forward to meeting him as an adult. He is compassionate, thoughtful, intelligent, and handsome. (He would say that I HAVE to say that because I'm his mom.) A mom couldn't ask for much more.

Photography by Chrissy Demming.


Commissioned Pen & Ink

Commissed Pen & Ink, originally uploaded by pejnolan.

Saturday, Sunday and Monday I did these pen and inks for a corporate commission. I'm very happy with the results, but saddened that one of my last Rapidiograph pens went kaput. It may come back to life with some cleaning, though.

Commissed Pen & Ink

Drawing marathons are fun despite the fact that I can't feel the tip of my thumb and my old college callous has returned. I carry those injuries proudly like they are war medals. It means I have done something well (and on time).

Commissed Pen & Ink

I haven't entered any shows for next year as of yet. I've been lazy in that area and need to get back into it. The "Year of the Rabbit" show and exchange is coming up. I've been researching different types and positions of rabbits and hope to enter this one. Last year for "Year of the Tiger" I didn't get my act together. Rabbits seem more natural to me though. I don't generally see real tigers living in the rural Midwest, rabbits are more plentiful out this way.


"The Best Job in the World"

Interior Design Graphics, originally uploaded by pejnolan.

I've long stated that my current employer has given me "the best job in the world." I've worked with them since August, 2006 and they have allowed me the opportunity to use my graphic design, Illustration, and organizational skills to their fullest. It has always been challenging and very rewarding.

Along the way, my boss would bring in donuts and treats, plus buy us pizza every so often. The people make up more than 50% of my job satisfaction rating. I work with some great people.

The economy has forced a reorganization or sorts starting in December. Ahh, thanks for the memories.


cricket & sparrow show

After all the hard work and all the worry, the cricket and sparrow show is up and running. Gallery director, Michelle Erickson-Goettel and her assistant, Ronna did a fantastic job setting up the show. The lighting and placement of the pieces was just right.

As always there are things I will do differently next time around. I am so very glad to have had this opportunity to learn more about marketing and the display of artwork in a gallery setting.

cricket & sparrow show, Kishwaukee College Gallerycricket & sparrow show, Kishwaukee College Gallery

That is one of the most difficult parts about being an artist. I'm not just creating art, I am a business person, accountant, advertiser, marketer, promoter, etc. All that other stuff takes me away from the artwork itself. I have to be extremely focused and targeted about what it is I'm trying to achieve because I only have a limited amount of time with which to do it.

Many years ago when I was a student, I naively thought that it would be easier to be an artist because that is all I would do. Instead you have even more work with tighter deadlines and more of the un-art activities to accomplish. That is just talking about the art side of my life. My husband does A LOT of housework, he spends A LOT of time alone and home-cooked meals are disappearing fast. I regret parts of this new set-up. Luckily he understands how important this is to me.

That is a good thing in the long run. Every time I push myself to do something new, I am learning and building the groundwork that will lift me to the next level. I have been very blessed.

me at the cricket & sparrow showcricket & sparrow show, Kishwaukee College Gallery

I'll continue to do the best I personally can; hopefully growing as a person and an artist along the way. Years ago it was all about balance: juggling family, home, art, day-job. I'm thinking now that if I want something, I have to go after it.

I no longer subscribe to the idea that balance is possible. Balance to me equals not being particularly good at anything, just so-so at a myriad of things. I've done that and felt like a failure because I could not do EVERYTHING well. God gave me a mind and a talent and I want to use them. If that idea is selfish, so be it.

I have lived 40 years, I may have 40 left. I have to ask myself if I want to spend the next half of my life the same as the first. No. No I don't. So, I have to at least try. If I fail, then ok. I will at least have the knowledge that I didn't go down quietly. It's the trying that counts.

cricket & sparrow show, Kishwaukee College Gallery