I’m a creative, experienced, multi-purpose artist and art director
who can take projects start to finish in a variety of styles.

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Saturday, November 23, 2013


My Shadow
Robert Louis Stevenson
I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow--
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;
For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball,
And he sometimes goes so little that there's none of him at all.

He hasn't got a notion of how children ought to play,
And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.
He stays so close behind me, he's a coward you can see;
I'd think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!

One morning, very early, before the sun was up,
I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;
But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,
Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.

There are moments when I feel like skipping and quoting RLS – and then I remember I’m a grown up and not supposed to skip.  Being an adult sucks.  Sometimes I skip anyway.

A couple of years ago I did a post about drawing shadowsAll that’s still true, so I thought I’d talk about color instead.  It’s really simple.  Colors that are closer to the light source are warm, colors away from the light are cool.  Warm colors are yellower, cool colors are bluer.  Vary that as much as sensible to your heart’s content.

I just saved you a lot of expensive college education.  Donations can be made to me at…

This was a self-portrait I did when I was in college at a time when I thought I would scream if I had to stare at myself for another however many hours.  I asked if the self-portrait had to be my face.  My teacher said “no-ooo” with another one of those looks of “oh crap, what is she thinking of now?”

He was a great teacher, but not such a great painter.  He knew it, and I felt sad for him when he mentioned it.  His paintings were technically perfect, they just weren’t inspired.  I’d see his surprise when I’d do something like painting vibrant colors where they didn’t belong, but he couldn’t seem to get past his studious, analytical nature and have some fun with paint.  I enjoyed making this painting even if it’s not really that good – and isn’t enjoying the process part of being an artist?


  1. I would skip without hesitation if I *could* skip, but my joints won't let me anymore. Do it lots while you can.

  2. I still skip Linda....it makes my hubby laugh if I do it when we are out and I am beyond caring what anyone thinks....perhaps I will be wearing purple at some point too ;0) I love the shadow poem, it's one of my favourites. Your drawing is stunning and I am sure your tutor blanched at the thought of which body part you would use! Great post today, it put a smile on my face for my Sunday morning x

  3. Skip mentally Debbie, or find another way to let your inner child play :) Somebody said youth is wasted on the young. Wishing everyone a wonderful week, and happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

  4. That is one very brave and spontaneous way to make a self portrait. I'm sure you got a kick out of showing it to your teacher! Love the vibrant colors, Linda, I wish I had more guts to use them in my work.

    So... how do I make that donation? :D

  5. I love this "self portrait" and all the rules you broke making it :)

  6. We are all lucky that you didn't "skip" that lesson. Great tips!

  7. A great way to draw a self portrait. Much more interesting than just a regular plane way of doing it. Kind of fun to look at this in perspective of all the selfies of today.

  8. Beautiful painting -- the vibrant colours work so well. Fascinating composition too.

  9. "And isn’t enjoying the process part of being an artist?"

    Yes, I think so.

    (You may return the donation for an expensive art academy.)

  10. Sometimes we can forget that it's just paint -- if it doesn't work out, we can do it again or do something else. Failures and risks are part of the learning process. I'll admit I was more concerned at the time of this painting that my fellow students would look at me weird, but I went to school with a great group of people. It still makes me smile to remember their expressions when I brought this piece in to class for critique :) Thanks for the comments!!

  11. I suspect that using one's imagination in art (or in any area of life) is a learning curve, and some of us seem to start out at one point on that curve, and others before or further along. I'm always amazed when my husband sculptor in clay has trouble just *playing* with that very forgiving medium, especially when I compare it to myself painting in a transparent paint like watercolor on a semi-unforgivable surface like paper. "Get a grip!!" I think, but then I am quickly humbled by seeing how free some *other* watercolor artist can manage to be with the same materials I work with. Sigh. Definitely a learning curve...and an adventure!! I feel blessed to have a range of delicious colors as part of my tools, and I think you do too? Really like the hand on this one Linda!

  12. I can't recall ever seeing anything like it. It's very "outside of the box," which is much of the fun/process of life - skipping, painting what you'd like to in vibrant colors...

    The RLS brings back memories.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Linda!

  13. Sometimes playing in art is as simple as picking up a medium that we don't use, so maybe your husband ought to get away from the clay sometimes Susan? I remember taking a watercolor class and how frustrated I was that it's such a messy medium. I abandoned it for 15-20 years before trying it again, and now that's what I use most of the time because now I can enjoy the happy accidents that happen with it.

    Thanks for the comments and HAPPY THANKSGIVING everyone!!!