Fall Posting Schedule

Seasons are changing once more and, as always, we must change with them.  At the beginning of summer, I crafted a blogging schedule and my follow-through was pretty dismal.  However, the beautiful thing about failure is that it provides opportunities to learn and grow.  I’m all about learning and growing.

Here we are at the beginning of another season and it’s time for another attempt.

Without further ado, I present to you my Fall Posting Schedule!  (With new banners!)

Orchard Moments: This is a revamped version of my attempted summer feature, Pleasant Valley Thursday.  My original intent for these posts were to give insight into what it’s like to live at an apple orchard while simultaneously complaining about my field labor job.  The problem is that the formatting just didn’t work.  When it came down to it, I just didn’t want to make big long posts explaining the details of farming.

In the new feature, I’ll post brief glimpses into orchard life–photos, blurbs, funny things that happen, etc.  This way, I can still share a significant part of my life with you all without getting bogged down.  These posts will come out on Tuesdays.

OrchardMoments banner

On the Shelf: These posts became regular over the summer and quickly became one of my favorite parts of blogging.  Each week, I pick a book that I’ve recently read and do an informal review.  I provide a brief summary of the text, rate it on a five-star scale, and discuss my thoughts/experience.  If the book has been adapted into movies, I sometimes share trailers or favorite clips.  Occasionally, I share fan art.  Sometimes, I’m juggling multiple books and am not in the position to write in detail about any of them.  When this happens, I like to make a big post where I briefly touch on everything.  During the summer I published these on Tuesdays, but have decided to move them to Thursdays.  This way, I have time during the week to draft quality posts throughout the week instead of scrambling to pull them together the night before.

On the Shelf Banner

#WeekendCoffeeShare: I know several other bloggers who do these and I’ve recently joined in.  The idea is to draft a post where you discuss your week as if you’re meeting up with your readers for coffee.  It’s a great way to casually talk about things I normally wouldn’t blog about–random happenstances, complaints, and all the in-betweens that make life fun.  It’s hosted by Part Time Monster.

Month in Review: At the end of each month, I’ve decided to pause and look back, focusing on three areas: Blogging, Books, and Life.  I feel like this is a good step towards regularity–it’s a way to look back on my blogging habits and find ways of improving.  It’s also a good way to help position myself in life.  By reflecting on where I’ve been, I can figure out where I’m going–a theme at the heart of what Keep Your Feet is all about.

Month in Review blog heading

Sketchbook Corner: One of the ways I de-stress is by creating art.  I’m not amazing, but when enough art piles up, I like to post it.  This feature is infrequent, but fun.

I’ve also decided to participate in the WordPress Blogging University Writing 101 course.  This means four weeks of daily assignments that will help me find inspiration to write every day.  I attempted to take the course last month, but never received any of the emails, so I am trying again! I’m looking forward to the challenge.  It will definitely be a time commitment and I know that I might not be able to keep up perfectly.  But I’m going to try!  I really love that WordPress offers these classes.  I love polishing my site and exploring new styles of posts.  As always, I hope this opens opportunities to get to know other bloggers and find new sites to follow.

I’ll also be working on updating my features tab found at the top of the page to match the new schedule. Such things take time.

It should be a great fall!  Feel free to join with me as I embark on a season of apple orchards, books, and fun! I’m excited to see what the next few months holds for Keep Your Feet.

Sketchbook Corner: End of Summer Haul

It’s been ages since I did one of these.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what to do with my art–especially my paintings.  In the last Sketchbook Corner, I mused on the possibility of selling my work at the small store attached to my family’s apple orchard.  Since then, I’ve decided not to sell my work.  I make art because I love it.  And I love to give it away.  Since I began painting a year ago, one of my favorite things aside from the joy of creation is to give a piece os my art to someone who will appreciate it.  Countless bookmarks and little landscapes have found their ways into the hands of people I care about.  The delight on their faces when they look at my work is more valuable than any money I’d make by selling.

Lately, I’ve been revisiting colored pencils.  I’ve avoided them for years, but picked up a set of new ones on a whim.  So far, I’ve been happy with them.  They are less time-consuming than watercolors and there are more color blending options.  Check out my usual batch of ladies and mermaids:

I’ve been doing my best to pick up my paints at least once a week.  I’ve been working on (more) ladies…

… as well as some nature.

I like doing Sketchbook Corners, but they’ve become infrequent.  Which is sad.  If you’re reading this, I am in need of feedback…

Would you prefer art posts that are large and substantial, but infrequent OR more frequent, small posts?  Please let me know!  Your feedback is appreciated!

Sketchbook Corner

One of my favorite features here on Keep Your Feet is Sketchbook Corner.  Since I’m participating in Blogging 101, I feel like I should explain the history of these posts.  They began sometime last fall during school.  Unless the class is completely gripping, I usually find myself needing to do something to do with my hands.  I took up doodling in the margins.  Eventually, I was struck by a thought: Why not share these on the blog?

Thus, Sketchbook Corner was born.  Every couple of months, I like to share the art I’ve been working on.  I’m no studio art major… just a self-taught artist who enjoys creating things.  My primary medium has always been pencils–I’ve been drawing for over ten years.  Over the past year, though, I’ve expanded into watercolors!

At least once a week, I put in a movie and settle down with my paints.  It’s a wonderful way to relax after a long day of work.  I enter my own little world and, for a while, time stops.  I’m always completely shocked when an episode of a show ends–did an hour really just pass?

Enough rambling from me… here is the art!

I’ve recently taken up colored pencils again and have been revisiting some old doodles in my sketchbook.  Here are some colored ones below:

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Top left: Ginny Weasley Bottom left: Random mermaid Right: Some of my original characters

I really enjoy painting bookmarks–they’re functional and make for great gifts!  Normally I paint people, but have recently pushed myself into the realm of flowers.  My dad told me that if I can find a way to market them, I could make larger flower paintings and sell them at our family’s apple orchard store in the fall!

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Other paintings… Be sure to click into the gallery to see my comments about them!

Stay tuned for another Sketchbook Corner in a month or so.  Thanks for stopping by!

Sketchbook Corner: End-of-College Edition

When I was ten, I decided that I would teach myself to draw.  Eleven years later, I’m still pushing myself to get better with my pencils.  At the beginning of this school year, I decided that I would teach myself to paint.  I’ve never been particularly good with the medium.  They’ve always felt like foreign territory.  I’ve never known what to do with all the colors.  But I’ve stuck to my goal and this post is a testament to how far I’ve come.

Because finals have been fairly low-key for me this semester, I’ve taken to my painting with a vengeance.  Lots of nights have been spent working and plowing through Game of Thrones.  (I’ve watched a season and a half in less than a week.  Yay college.)

First, I’ve been experimenting with variations of water and trees.  This image has been in my mind for a LONG time.  While driving home from the North Shore over Spring Break, I remember looking out on Lake Superior.  The lake was pure gold, reflecting the sunlight, and was framed by an assortment of purple-looking birch trees.  The gorgeous image stuck with me.

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My other paintings have been primarily of people.  As you can see, I’ve been really interested in pretty women in flowing dresses–particularly those of ancient Greek/Roman style.  Be sure to click on all the images in the gallery to see my comments on each of them.  Aside from the first, I used stock images as references for these from the wonderful Faestock on Deviantart.

This final painting found its origins in a sketch from my Shakespeare class.  We were discussing A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the time and I found myself drawing fairies all over my notes.  Although I actually picture her a lot differently, here is my exploration of Titania.  She’s not quite finished–I want to revisit the background and give it more depth.  But I’m rather pleased!

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Now I’d like to know… which is your favorite and why?

Sketchbook Corner

It’s been quite a while since I’ve done one of these.  I’m proud to present more of my art!

I’ve been sketching more than usual lately.  Here are some snippets:

See the uncolored Cinderella sketch in the above gallery?  I transposed it to watercolor paper and here is the result.  I wish I had been more bold with some of the colors, but it’s a start!

IMG_4259Also, I’ve been continuing making bookmarks.  Just as I did with the Cinderella painting, I take doodles from my class notes, copy them on narrowly cut watercolor paper, and paint them in.  I love creating art that’s actually useful.  These sure brighten up my assigned reading.

Finally, this is a project I’ve spent this week working on.  We just finished reading and discussing Tennyson’s Idylls of the King in my Courtly Love class.  At the end of the poem, Camelot ultimately falls because of Guinevere’s infidelity with Lancelot.  This painting is one of the few instances where I consciously construct the image.  I put a lot of thought into her pose and color scheme.  The text is a quote from the end of Tennyson’s fantastic poem.

From doodles to bookmarks

Artistically, I’ve been challenging myself to try new things.  Before this school year, I wasn’t much of a painter.  Pencils were my anchor and sketches my speciality.  I occasionally dabble in digital art, but drawing in Photoshop just isn’t the same.

Then I decided to teach myself watercolors.  Why?  For the challenge.  For the fun.  For the joy of doing something new.

On a different note, I’ve been struggling this semester with a lack of adequate bookmarks.  With three literature classes, I’m usually juggling three or four books at once.  Given the fact that bending pages makes me cringe,  I need lots of paper place holders.

So… why not combine my classroom doodling with watercolors?

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For the past few evenings, I’ve been copying my classroom doodles onto my special painting paper and have brought them to life.  My technique still needs refining.  I’m not fully satisfied with some of these.  With practice, I’ll hopefully find a method and style that works best.

Now, I have plenty of bookmarks to choose from.  Once I have enough of them, I might start giving them to friends as gifts.  Why not share the love?

(For more of my art, check out the link to a collection of related posts in the header!)

Sketchbook Corner (Watercolor Edition)

Or shall I say… Watercolor Corner?

One of my favorite Christmas gifts this year was a set of new watercolors from my little brother.  For the past few months, I’ve been scraping by on an eight-tint Crayola set that is five years old.  Yuck.  The new set has a massive array of colors and when I combine it with the big set of brushes I got for my birthday, I’m capable of achieving so much more with my paint.

I’ve been exploring some different techniques/subjects, which has been a blast.  Since this is a watercolor-only edition of SK and I’ve put a lot of thought and time into all these works, let’s take things one by one…

(Please excuse the crappy image quality)

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These mountains were the first thing I painted upon receiving my new paint.  I gave this one to my best friend as a belated Christmas gift.

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I had a blast painting this sunflower on Christmas day.  I gave it to my summer partner, Eva, (who loves yellow).

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This is my amateur attempt at capturing The Lonely Mountain from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit.  It took forever to paint–so many layers!  I rewatched one of the films while I painted, staying up WAY too late to finish.  But, gosh, am I pleased with the result!  I loved it so much I sent it home with my older brother, who shares my love of Tolkien.

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Okay, so the picture quality is REALLY crappy here.  It looks much better in person.  This was my first real attempt at painting people since getting the new brushes and paint.  I originally started out doing lots of people (see previous Sketchbook Corners for examples), but it was difficult with only one brush to work with.  I started this one on a whim–the basic sketch took only a couple minute.  I finished her up at a sleepover, which was actually pretty challenging as I had to balance the paints on my friend’s couch while avoiding her over-excited pomeranians.

Did this one last night as well.  I wanted to experiment more with painting people, and I'm quite pleased with the result!  I've been reading several YA fairytale retellings, so I imagine she's either Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, or has a story of her own.

I painted this last night while watching the premiere of Marvel’s Agent Carter with my mother. I wanted to experiment more with painting people, and I’m quite pleased with the result! I’ve been reading several YA fairytale retellings, so I imagine she’s either Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, or has a story of her own.

Finally…

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This took FOREVER.  I did the background and sketches of the trees before New Years and didn’t pick it back up until last night.  The details on the trees took what felt like hours.  And yes… it’s inspired by a Taylor Swift song.  (My favorite on her 1989 album).  Painting all the black got annoying and adding words with white felt like a risk, but I’m definitely pleased with the result!

That’s all for this edition of Sketchbook Corner!  Check by in a few weeks to see what else my hands come up with.  If you haven’t seen them, do look at my previous SK posts and see how I’ve improved!

Also, because I’m curious… What painting is your favorite?  Let me know in the comments!

Sketchbook Corner 4

Welcome to another edition of Sketchbook Corner, a feature where I share various doodles and artwork I’ve been creating.

Click the images to enter the galleries for a closer look at the art, as well as descriptions and comments.

Watercolors:

Sketchbook:

 Class Doodles:IMG_3398-0With finals hanging over our heads, my tendency to doodle in class has curbed a bit.  I spend most of class these days scribbling down as many notes as possible to help with final papers and tests.

That’s all for this edition of Sketchbook Corner!  Keep your eyes peeled for next time, which will probably be in a few weeks.

Previous edition:

Sketchbook Corner 3

(All sketches, doodles, and artwork belong to me.  Do not take and repost without permission.)

Sketchbook Corner 3

It’s been a few weeks, so time for another edition of Sketchbook Corner!

Class Doodles:

IMG_3299Because I have the tendency to draw pretty girls with pretty hair in the margins of my notebooks when professors are lecturing.

Sketchbook drawings:

I need to do something with my hands when sitting around for extended periods of time, such as while watching movies or sitting around with friends.  I’ve been re-watching The Office, so there’s some Jim & Pam (also known as one of the greatest t.v. romances of all time), as well as more pretty ladies with pretty hair.  (Can you sense a theme?)

Watercolors:

This past week, I was given a new set of paintbrushes!  I haven’t had the chance to use them yet, but I’m looking forward to giving them a shot.  As you can see, I’ve been experimenting with landscapes and hope to be expanding my horizons in that area in the future.

That concludes this edition of Sketchbook Corner!  I post one of these features every few weeks.  As soon as I have enough doodles and sketches to make a post, I do so.  The feature is still a work in progress, so bear with me as I find a style that fits.

Do check out the other installations:

Sketchbook Corner 1

Sketchbook Corner 2

(All art posted in this feature belongs to me, DO NOT USE ON OTHER SITES WITHOUT MY PERMISSION.)