Good Intentions

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St James Harvest Festival, View from Burdett Commons

 

As TS Eliot once said, most of the stupid stuff in the world was done by bloggers with good ideas and not enough caffeine. Or something like that.

In my case, the good idea was consolidating my online split personality into a more cohesive unit under my own name. Yup, riding the high from a successful craft/art fair last night,  I was ready to take all the stuff on these pages – the toons, the tales, and the ahtsy stuff – and call it put it all under the heading of My Sketchy Life (which is pretty accurate).  And I got it all moved nicely to www.rachelbarlow.com.

You can still get to new Toons and  Picking My Battles stuff from days of yore by typing www.pickingmybattles.com into your browser.

And you can click Home and look at Art (or Ahht if you’re from New England pronunciation of the word) or find a new HOGA pose (Thing1 and Thing2 were working on Brotherly Hoga last night).

But (here’s where the stupid stuff comes in)  you might not get all the goings on in your inbox (hopefully you’re here anyway). As the caffeine left my system, I managed to remove the feed that sends this chaos to your inbox.  Said feed should have redirected here, but if you come to this page wondering where the heck your next diet cartoon is, it’s here.

You just may need to re-enter an email address to get it in your inbox.

Management is having a good talking to with the webmaster this morning who has decided, after a night of good intentions almost gone awry, not to risk any further snafus and leave  cleaning for another day.

 

Kissing Frogs

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For the last few months I’ve been drawing and painting like an addict. The truth is, I’ve been a drawing addict since I was old enough to bored in school, but art school wasn’t an option when I graduated high school, and it’s even less of one now.  Like a lot of people, I swallowed the mantra that art is a hobby, not a job.

Not too long ago, however, I heard a really happy story on NPR about the health of most of our 401(k)s and IRAs.  The upshot was that if you’re middle class and in your 40s, you’re almost as likely to be hit by lightning twice as accumulate enough retirement funds to, well, retire.

The danger of that happening is reaching crisis proportions.

Unless, like me, you’re a Simpson’s fan and are familiar with the term ‘Crisi-tunity’, where in crisis there is opportunity.  If you look for it. Sometimes you have to grasp at it like a straw, but I’m good at grasping, and the crisitunity came at a time when upheaval at work had me questioning what I really wanted to do with my life.

Then my sister reminded me of two things.  The first was that I had never been able to really stop drawing. The second thing was something universal – the idea that if you can find a way to get paid to do what you love, you’ll never work another day in your life.

She’s pretty smart for being two years younger – it’s one of the things I love about her.  That universal was the opportunity, and, after spending two blissful weeks of daily drawing on vacation, I decided to take that opportunity.

The first step on that journey was to get better.

A lot better.

Everyone knows, the more frogs you kiss, the sooner you get to that handsome prince – or that painting someone wants to put on their wall or in their children’s book.  So, I’ve got a nice and growing collection of frogs in my studio right now, and I haven’t slept more than 10 hours since I began feeding my addiction.  But I’m pretty sure there’s a handsome, salable prince – or even two – waiting in the stacks of paper somewhere.  Finding them may be a big job, but the zietgeist and my sister are very right.  It definitely doesn’t feel like work.

 

The Opposite of Deep

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I started sketching for a new painting this morning.  I’m finding kids are a favorite subject – not too different from the cartoons.

I used to wish I could make my artwork dark because dark meant deep.  Instead I end up drawing the opposite of deep – the people and things that pull me out of my dark spaces.

 

Housekeeping

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It’s time for a little housekeeping.

I know, I know.  Not a word I use very often, but the blog has been undergoing some renovation as I try to organize cartoons and blog posts, as well as sketches and paintings.

I’ve added a new page (My Sketchy Life) just for illustrations and tried to organize the two cartoons I do now.  I’ll also be adding a serial comic to that page in the near future, so keep checking back.

I know many folks come here to feed their inner smarty pants, and, fully supporting that, have decided that doodles and any other art for art’s sake  will appear on the blog but will not appear in the feeds.  If you want to check out artsy posts on a regular basis without having doodle in your inbox, you can also like me on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/PickingMyBattles).