Outside The Box

As you all know, I’m just in the beginning of this re-dedication to the basics of my drawing and sketching, but I’ve already found out at least one super-important thing:

I need to step outside my usual, go-to ideas and ways.

It seems I have a formula to not only my approach to art, but in subject-matter, style… everything. There has recently been a familiar, run-of-the-mill-ness – dare I say a stagnant? – approach.   And result.

Now, I’m not saying it’s bad or wrong, nor will I abandon it completely because sometimes it’s what I’m feeling at that moment.  What I am saying for sure though, is that it’s time for me to push the boundaries and try new things. And if I don’t, can we say:  b-o-r-i-n-g?!

Which brings me to today’s sketch of the week.

My list (that I referred to in the last post) suggested a skull & crossbones. (What?!) Interesting. Definitely not something I’d have considered in the past. In fact, in the past I probably would have skipped over this idea and gone onto the next, more “me” idea.  But not today!

So I did a little searching for ideas and I found one that jumped out at me.

Now, keep in mind this is just the beginning of this & there’s a lot left to do. But I wanted so share because it is so out of the ordinary for me – and quite frankly, I think it’s a good start.

Skull with Snake

Definitely a skull. No crossbones.

Funny thing, too – I actually feel kind of excited about this one – and that hasn’t happened for a long time. Could it be that after a bunch of years I’ve finally decided to break out of my previous “normal” and, in doing so, might actually stretch my art muscles?!

Who knows where this will lead? (hint: I certainly don’t! hahaha!)

Thanks for stopping by!


A few tips…

When I began as a photographer with a digital camera (I specify because I actually began in photography with a 35mm film camera!) these are some tips that helped me get going ~ and still help me when I’m feeling ‘stuck’ (which happens more than I’d care to admit!)

1. Don’t go crazy buying the most expensive equipment right away.
It is possible to get good quality photos with an inexpensive point and shoot. In fact I have even won a few contests with photographs from my first point & shoot camera. The more you practice & learn now, the more you’ll know about what kind of camera to get when it’s time to upgrade.

cool cloud formation!

cool cloud formation!

2. However, do consider a tripod.
Some photographs are just plain better when you take out the “shake factor” ~ especially good for when you’re using dim lighting and/or longer exposure time.

feeding time

feeding time

3. Enjoy the learning process.
The best part of photography is never running out of things to learn. Inspiration is all around you. Look at everything with the eyes of a photographer and you’ll see opportunities you never noticed before.

can I interest you in some insurance? haha

can I interest you in some insurance? haha!

4. Keep your camera with you all the time.
I’ve mentioned this already in previous posts. Photo ops often come when you least expect it. If you can keep your equipment relatively simple – just a small camera bag and a tripod – you might be able to take advantage of some of those unexpected opportunities.

wave crash

wave crash

5. Make a list of shots you’d like to get.
For those times you can’t carry your camera around (for shame!), keep a small notebook to jot down places you’d like to come back and photograph. Or, if your phone has a camera, use it to take “notes” on scenes you’d like to return to with your regular camera. Make sure to note any important details, like the lighting, so you can come back at the same time of day or when the weather’s right.

I think that last tip is key. I have an ongoing list, one that I add to when something new strikes me as photographable.

Or maybe…

The key is to actually use the list and take the photographs?!

Photowalk 11

We made it to Jacksonville! That means we’re nearing the end of our time in Florida. (boo! sadness!)

There are tons of places in Jacksonville that I could photograph and share, but my favorite spot to shoot photographs is at the Zoo.

Interestingly enough, one of my favorite books when I was little was “Put Me in the Zoo” by Robert Lopshire. (who am I kidding? I still love this book!)


Anyway, I take tons and tons of photos when I go to the zoo (any zoo) because you just never know what an animal is going to do.

Here are some of my favorites from Jax, starting with the creepiest one! Thank God it was 1) behind the glass and 2) I wasn’t touring with Harry Potter (c’mon, that’s funny!):

Green Mambo

Green Mamba

Rainbow Lorikeet

Rainbow Lorikeet

Squirrel Monkey such a cute face!

Squirrel Monkey
such a cute face!

Female Southern Black Howler (males are black, females and young of both genders are this color)

Female Southern Black Howler
(males are black, females and young of both genders are this color)

Female Bonobo

Female Bonobo





This was a fun photowalk. Relaxing. Entertaining. Educational.

And HOT! Geez, it’s hot in Jacksonville!! I know, it’s Florida, but… geez!

Regardless, this Zoo is a place I love to visit and will return again and again.