The thrill of a challenge...daily drawing = awesome!



For the past 22 days, I've been drawing based on a list of prompts I wrote for 30 Days of Friendly Faces. 

I can't say they're all marvelous; there's no pressure like knowing you're supposed to be drawing an example for others to learn from. But I've always been the type of person thrilled by a challenge, and this is no exception.  

Because no one draws perfect or good every time. We all have off days. I know I do. Some of these were drawn at 11pm after a long day of errands or painting or being sick. In fact, I was really sick for five days and all I could do was one little drawing in between sleep and watching movies from the couch.  

That's the lovely thing about a challenge, and being accountable. Even when you don't want to, when you feel like giving up, you push through and surprise yourself. My little red storybook may have quick doodles, but it has 68 days of words and secrets and lessons learned and instead of trying to catch up and paint in all those days, I can paint today's, and tomorrow's, and keep going forward.  


 (You can always join us! Start on your schedule and begin illustrating your life!)

Finding the Right Sumi/Brush-Script Brush...!



I didn't know there was a wrong Sumi brush to be writing with!

You see, years ago, when I first saw art Journalers writing with Sumi brushes, I hit my local art supply shop to grab one. The ones I found had brushes about an inch long and cost about $3-5. But when I got home and started working with it, I found it hard to work with because the brush didn't really maintain the tip after the first wide swirl of a letter. I thought I just needed more practice, and have been doing so ever since. 

And have been for ages. Practicing, that is. But I'd still get frustrated. That is, until today.  

You see, I saw a few pictures of some artists working, or just their supplies, and wondered why my brushes were shorter (both the brush and the handle) and didn't have a little loop at the end. So I took to the internet and soon found out there was a whole world of Sumi brushes I'd never researched!  

I found one on Amazon that wasn't too expensive (and had a great review) and bought it during a bout of insomnia gift card shopping. This is the one I bought.  

The difference is night and day! 

This one keeps its shape after you do a deep, thick curve. It is easy to write with. I got great results after my first try and ended up spending a little more time than I budgeted for experimenting today. 

I used India Ink since I didn't want to mix up any gouache, and worked on cardstock and newsprint. A bunch didn't work out (I would run out of room on the paper or just write words too big). I usually work by loading the brush and writing the WHOLE thing first, and then go over each word/letter slowly. This works great for me and my shaky hands! 

I'm super excited to dive into my new work now that I have a proper brush! I already sold one of the pieces I shared on Monday! Woohoo! 

The one on the far left was the first I did, which is why 'you're' is so much bigger than the other words!

The one on the far left was the first I did, which is why 'you're' is so much bigger than the other words!

I made B&W crops of the two quotes from The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I've been connecting with a lot of spoonies on Tumblr and wanted to make pretty things for them! And if you haven't read that book, DO. One of the best books I've ever read...and the movie comes out soon!



I take lots of photos while I'm working, both to document my process and share things on Instagram/Tumblr. I have pretty shaky hands, which makes photo-taking with a cell phone tricky, and I usually don't know which shots are clear until I get home & look at the pictures on my laptop. 

And I'm thinking that blog posts don't need to be overly-complicated; they can be process shots or journal pages/paintings you're proud of or things you're trying or places you go. 


I'm enjoying this new vein of work so much, I'm constantly excited by the ideas I dream up & the time I can spend in the studio. My mind is already begging to share it, so I may teach my first in-person class of the year on the art of mess without a brush. 

The last two are what they look like at the end. I have piles & quotes & containers of gouache just waiting to be transformed into words and doodles. I'm in love. And thanks to some help, my Etsy shop will be re-opening this month and stocked full of originals and prints. *swoon*

PS. Thank you to everyone who participated in the Pay-What-You-Can flash sale last week. It was a dream to be able to do my little part in making life all that more artful and positive. I'm so happy for the conversations started. I feel like I got more out of it than you guys...thanks for being awesome!

24 hour sale!

Just a quick note to say: all my current online classes are on sale! Send me an email with what class you'd like to take and how much you can pay, and we'll work something out! Just be sure to do so before 10:30 am MST tomorrow (Thursday).

Currently offered: Art Journal Summer Camp, Digital Adventures, Gelli Plate Junk Journal, & Friendly Faces!

Use the contact form to get in touch!

<3, Samie

ETA: I'll be replying to all emails tomorrow in one big batch. You have about 12.5 hours left to get in on the sale!