by robin gayle howard

Monthly Archives: February 2013

Occasionally I write morning pages (Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way) as part of my quiet time.  I usually write them when I wake up at oh-dark-thirty because I have MUCH more time to write.  The other day I just started to jot down a series of words . . . direction-guidance-focus-path-steps-choices-mistakes-misreads-errors-bloopers and blunders.  Then I started to write using these words in the appointed order.  Here is the result:

I’m not sure the direction my brain is taking this morning.  Here’s another adventure that I need guidance on so that I can focus on what needs to be accomplished and keep my eye on the path.  As I walk down my path day-in and day-out, I find that each step has hundreds of choices to evaluate.  3 birdsTurn right, turn left, go lighter, go darker, make it smaller, make it bigger–the wrong choice will lead to an obvious mistake.  A mistake can lead the observer’s eyes in the wrong direction, causing a misread and a misinterpretation of the entire point.  What may originally appear as a small error in choice of placement, or lighting, or color can lead to an extreme blooper that affects the entire composition.  I feel like I don’t have a clue to what I am doing in composition and that I am just blundering through to put something together.  I desire to be much more thoughtful in the process. 

I would like to work from a plan or a distinct vision to be able to create something that is much more aesthetically pleasing.  I am learning.  I know that I will make mistakes, but like Thomas Edison said, the 999 mistakes are ways you’ve learned how to not achieve your goal – or something like that (talk about creative license ;op – the actual quote is “I have not failed.  I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”)  Every practice piece is leading me to something better, something more dynamic, something that I will be pleased with and will make me smile.  My hope is to bring a smile to the face of another.  That’s when I know I have accomplished my goal.  That seems like a very minute goal, but that’s a good place to start.  The lofty goals will come when each smile is achieved along the way.  And it all begins and ends with direction.  Guidance from my Creator.  I seek to retain the proper focus so that my eyes are ever on the correct path, that each step is carefully placed, and that my choices are made looking for the result of advancement of His kingdom.

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a fabulous weekend!


The long awaited day finally arrived. Yesterday I spent several hours with the fabulous and talented Mira Reisberg, “The Picture Book Whisperer,” in a review of  my portfolio in preparation for the Northern/Central California Spring Spirit Conference on April 6 (check out the link which just happens to have my logo as the masthead-grin).

Bee oh honeyMira went through each piece, showed me where improvements could be made, helped me learn more photoshop tools to make the revision task much easier, and checked through my sketchbook for pieces with possibility to add.  She also gave me advice on the order of my work and how to enhance the look of the portfolio.  Then she designed two business cards for me.  She really achieved a tremendous amount of work in three hours.  Thank you thank you thank you, Mira!  I will be ready for April 6.

So you’d like amp up your portfolio, but you don’t live in the Sacramento area?  No problemo!  Mira will work with you over Skype. Check the link on her name above.  Yay! 

I have been in many different classes and an on-line course with Mira and would highly recommend her courses to anyone who is willing to be challenged to grow.

I’m so glad I took the week off of work.  Revisions, here I come!

One of my favorite pencil sketches, the one originally posted on my home page, was bugging me.  Something just did not look right.  Today I was determined to find out what was wrong and knew I needed to learn a few new tricks in order to fix it.  Looking at it, you can tell it is crooked.Learning Color Theory

  So I loaded it back into Photoshop, learned how to set grid lines, and lo and behold . . .   I must have used a crooked ruler when I drew these lines.  Or maybe my desk isn’t level.  So I set the grid, drew new lines, reprinted, redrew, and VOILA!  It looks so much better that I had to make it my logo.  What do you think?