Small Art Things

Every piece of art has a story even if it’s as simple as “I was bored and drew a line and it turned into a fish” or “I needed something to send to a friend in a letter.”

It’s one of the reasons I love art so much, and one of the reasons why I love scrolling through endless art posts and hearing people talk about their pieces (or wandering the halls of art museums and staring at paintings and naturally questioning one’s existence).

So… hello and welcome to my first art dump on my blog! I hope you enjoy my little edition of small art things from the corners of my sketchbooks. Feel free to copy any of these ideas or pieces with your own pens, paints, and paper.

That’s all this is.

On to art…

First up, some yellow themed quotes and doodles that I sent in some letters this summer to friends.

Apparently I took the picture of the sunshine quote before I finished thickening the lines of the letters so oops haha. It’s also not the entire quote. I messed up on the second half and ended up cutting it off. The rest of the quote is “and the shadows will fall behind you.”

For those who mess up on quotes when writing them out know you are not alone. It happens all the time. One just has to learn how to adapt. (AKA where to cut the quote so it still makes sense.)

I’ve been learning a lot about watercolors as I continue to use them more and more. Here we have galaxy girl and as my friend described it “the homicidal leaf choking a small child.”

I painted this one in anticipation for autumn. Any one else excited for it’s arrival??

My brother and his wife got me a watercolor sketchbook and I’ve been filling it quickly. For the longest time I painted in my multiuse sketchbook but it’s really not built for water at all. It’s been nice working with watercolor paper for watercolor paintings (which seems obvious but oh well).

I still haven’t figured out how to watercolor hands (exhibit a: the butterfly girl) or how to keep the right balance between micro pens (my favorite) and watercolors.

I’ll get there. Eventually.

But speaking of micro pens… sheep!

(why? because why not)

I’m not sure what’s going on with most of these little guys. One seems to be invisible, one is missing his back legs and they all seem to have a bit of a neck cramp, but who says they have to make sense? They can still look at you and make you think they are some of the most adorable things that have ever lived within my sketchbooks. And I don’t even necessarily like sheep…

(no offense to all of you sheep herders out there)

Maybe sheep aren’t your thing either… so maybe some cats?

Some day I get around to writing a poem about these fellas, but for now, let me introduce you to a couple. The yellow ones are all related and named (left to right, back to front) Jerry, Larry, Harry, and their cousin Berry.

Or maybe if you’re having a bad day remember Edgar the smol inchworm who wished he was an elephant.

(true story)

For those who have been around for a while, you will remember the thrifted 50 cent copy of Emma that I’ve been using for blackout poetry, card-making, art pieces, and dΓ©cor. I’ve worked all the way to the scene in which Emma is being reprehended by Mr. Knightly.

Out of which I made the black out poem, Society.

I’ve also restocked my store of paper butterflies and roses. I like to keep these around to use, from slipping one into a letter, to giving someone a bouquet of flowers that will never die. I’ve also used the butterflies instead of tissue paper in a gift box and another time strung them with thread and needle to tie to tie to a gift bag.

They are really fun and easy to make. Here are the directions I use: for the roses and then for the butterflies.

The only thing to add is for if you’re like me and not terribly good at origami, I staple the last fold of the butterfly so it won’t come undone. XD

(and I just realized I have been cutting too much as I do it from memory so that’s why my butterflies have more rounded wings… oops)

Next up, here is some galaxy tea, some cover art I copied for a song recommendation to a friend, and Frankenstein’s monster (also for a friend and a surprise).

Honestly you can add “galaxy” to the beginning of anything and it sounds fabulous.

(*totally not how I come up with painting ideas*)

For example… galaxy soup.

Galaxy hair girl.

Galaxy games.

Galaxy dominos.

Oh I really like that one.

Anyways… the paintings.

I must say my friend was blown away by my Frankenstein’s monster but that led to her refusing to hang it up in her room… it being creepy and all ahahaha.

(I am very proud of that moment.)

I also penned a quote about fear on the side (though I messed it up) (the truth comes out) (I know you’re reading this) and I didn’t have time to fix it.

Speaking of which, that little gift was a while ago, but the most recent one to friend was a baby plant from my plant Pineapple:

Plants have feelings too.

On that note, speed round of sketchbook:

(first plant seen is Pineapple)

And at one point I tried scanning a bunch of little doodles to see if I could digitalize them…

And I never did much because it washed out the colors but this is all the trace I have of these doodles because I sent them away in thank you notes and pen pal letters.

And lastly, a week ago I set out on my biggest watercolor piece yet. It was a project inspired by a request from my sister-in-law. She saw one of my (worst) paintings (ever) in my sketch notebook and said it reminded her of my favorite poem, Refugee Blues, which I have memorized and recited for her multiple times. She said if I had a bigger version of it then she would hang it up.

For the reference of this story I will show the original:

It doesn’t look much like a human but that’s part of the point. I always look at that page and think of dehumanization and hopelessness, which is probably why it reminded my sister-in-law of that poem.

So I set out to make it on a larger scale, but as I began sketching I took the liberty of changing some things. First I added a child in the woman’s arms. The third time I recited the poem to her one night she said it made her picture a mother trying to explain their situation to her child.

Second… the painting just changed. As you can see the first one was dark red and dark blues and very rough and ragged and a mutated face. (Hence why I think it’s one of my worst paintings to date.) But with this one as it was bigger and less of a five minute sketch, I found myself being naturally more methodical about the shapes of the color swatches

All that to say, here’s the painting:

While I think the first one more accurately captures the broken, despairing side of human nature, I love the second one so incredibly much.

As my brother put it “she looks like the lima bean girl if she lived in America and hunted bison.”

For those unfamiliar with the lima bean girl, welcome to my childhood:

(also I just realized you can make out the top of an unfinished owl painting sitting on my bookshelf from when I painted half of it last year so you’re welcome, bonus Easter egg painting for you)

Well I hope you’ve enjoyed getting to (virtually) flip through my sketch books and enjoy some of my doodles.

The moral of the story is:

  1. messing up is 100% normal (if not for you then you are not human)
  2. you don’t need a lot of paper, time, or talent to make things to send to people that will brighten their day
  3. I use my bookshelf a lot for taking pictures

And as a final note, I realized something when talking about the paintings I’m most proud of with my brother and his wife last night: copying paintings/sketches/pictures is good but there is a point where the differences between yours and the original are not mistakes but due to the fact that you’re a different person than the artist of the piece you are trying to copy.

There. Art dump done.

**all art in this post is mine and mine alone in case you were wondering, and, in case you are wondering, please do not take/use any of these photos beyond the purpose of getting inspired because they are also mine. thank ye kindly in advance**

56 thoughts on “Small Art Things”

  1. oh evelyn.
    these are beautiful.
    so so beautiful.
    i love them all.
    until this point, i had never heard the poem Refugee Blues. it’s a favorite now. thank you so much for introducing me. ❀️

    aahhhh, all of these are just so wonderful. i love your style and how much feeling you put into your art. it’s just all so…amazing.

    this whole post made my heart happier.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. thankssss
        I am very proud of my bookshelf haha
        it was different than I expected (though also my first book by Nadine Brandes so fun fact). i expected it to be filled with more movement? if that makes sense. so that threw me off.
        i’m not huge into romance in general but i didn’t mind it. i thought it was pretty good. a nice fluffy read that only took up a saturday.
        have you read it?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. as well you should be. it’s lovely. 😊
          ah, really? that’s cool! my first book by her was fawkes (which i think you know my thoughts on that haha)
          yes, totally makes sense. and no, i haven’t read it although i want to at some point.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. hahaha yes. i think we shared the same opinion.
          you will have to let me know what you think of it!
          personally i thought she wrote them for her specific fandom and so the characters are very fluffy and you know *coughs* it’s a romance.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. β€œthe homicidal leaf choking a small child.”

    What an inspiring art museum of emotions my dear, thanks for sharing your soul with the world. ❀️

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I love the Emma piece, with the cut outs for words. Wonderful idea and one of my favorite books. Just read it for the third time in my life a few months ago. Other favorites are the blue elephant watering the earth and the bees, the sheep, the worm on the finger. What fun.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Do you like that song too?? I’m afraid it’s one of two of theirs I have listened to. πŸ˜†What are your favorite songs by them?

      Hahahaha says the person whose every post is the essence of gorgeous breathtaking art. πŸ™„


  4. Ahhhhhhh, this is so cool! I feel like the cats and the sheep could each have their own picture book πŸ™‚ Oh, I love the galaxy girl (and the galaxy tea)! And the Emma blackout poem is so PERFECT. And the one you did for your sister-in-law! And…and…ALL OF THEM.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This made me so happy. I love how each little piece is filled with a simple, child-like wonder that is just so full of joy. I keep thinking about the elephant raining onto the city and every time it makes me smile. Also I wholeheartedly agree with that galaxy observation (and btw that teacup illustration was magnificent.) Galaxy in a comb, galaxy in a mirror, galaxy in a window, aaaah, I could be here all day. XD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww thanks Elisha! I love to make people smile especially with whimsical things. ((:
      (But then elephants always make me smile haha)
      I knowwww right??
      lol your comment is a galaxy comment that has made my galaxy day. πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

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