Category Archives: My Favorite Things

My Favorite Things – Flowers Galore at the Conservatory Garden

Yesterday afternoon I took a stroll over to the Conservatory Garden.  The previous week, the tulips were only in bud stage, so I was delighted to find them at their peak this time around.  The lilacs, dogwoods and wisteria all cooperated as well.  Too bad my site doesn’t provide smell-o-vision because the delicate floral perfume was magical, too!

Happy Spring!

 

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My Favorite Things – Flowers, Flowers and More Flowers!

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My Favorite Things – Spring!

Need I say more?

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Filed under Art, Cartoon Illustration, funny art, Funny Illustrations, Humorous Illustration, I Love What I Do, Joana Miranda Studio, live in the moment, Live In The Present, My Favorite Things, nature photography, New York, photography

My Favorite Things – Decluttering!

There’s something about the arrival of spring that always gets me into this mode…

(In case, you’re wondering, I’m the one spending time with the sponge and spray cleaner – not the one goofing off playing broom guitar!) 

I’m also the one making multiple trips with donations to our local thrift store.

Because at the end of the day…

Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold, happiness dwells in the soul.

(Democritus)

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My Favorite Things – Springtime in D.C.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still thrilled to live and work in New York City.  That said, cherry blossom time in Washington, D.C. IS hard to beat!  This week the temps in the nation’s capital have gone from being in the mid-30s and 40s to a balmy 78 degrees today.  Though the cherry blossoms around the tidal basin are still not sure if winter’s gone for good, I’m betting that they’ll overcome their shyness and burst into bloom over the next two days.  (Fingers crossed!)

Here’s what’s blooming so far around the Foggy Bottom and Georgetown neighborhoods…

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My Favorite Things – Free Time to Work on My Cartooning Process

This week I’ve been enjoying simply being “The Wife” while keeping my husband company on a New York City Ballet tour to Washington, D.C.   Aside from my responsibilities (none, actually – though I’ve been happy to shop for the food for our meals), I’ve mostly been busy in our hotel room working on my cartoons.   Having time to buckle down and see how many I can churn out is both a pleasure and a challenge.  It’s easy to chalk up my struggle with writing gags when I’m at home to the fact that I rarely get large chunks of uninterrupted time for cartooning.  However, this week has shown me that having large chunks of time to brainstorm gags doesn’t necessarily make the process any easier. 

Gag writing is hard.  Period.

(If you don’t believe me, try your hand at the caption contest found each week at the back of the New Yorker magazine.)

That said, the gag-writing process IS interesting, and when you finally do come up with something that feels right, it’s truly an awesome feeling.  Besides exercising your funny muscles (if you don’t go insane, first), it’s very possible that the mental gymnastics might also stave off dementia in the long term.  Or so I hope…

In case you’re curious, here are some helpful articles with tips on gag writing and working around mental blocks:

http://www.kaamranhafeez.com/uncategorized/write-cartoon-gag/

http://mikelynchcartoons.blogspot.com/2011/06/how-to-create-1000-gags-year.html

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/250509

Of course, gag writing is only half the battle.  Drawing engaging and funny images is, in my eyes, equally important.  Although I’ve always found the drawing part of cartooning to be easier than the gag writing, I’m constantly challenging myself to get better at drawing, too.  These days my focus is on creating my drawings more quickly so that they look more “tossed off.”  Drawing in pen is definitely a challenge, but one benefit to working this way is that you are forced to pare down to only the essential lines.

(It also gives you something to do at breakfast while your husband checks his phone…)

(Or, you contemplate taking your morning vitamins.)

Of course, it’s one thing to draw a funny solo figure like the ones I drew above, but to actually come up with the layout for a cartoon scene to match your gag involves a little more planning.

Today I hit on the idea of doing my (VERY) rough initial layout drawing digitally in my Corel Paint Shop Pro X8 photo-editing program.

From there, it was a lot easier to proceed to the pen drawing on paper….

And the gag?  Well, for that you’ll have to be patient and wait ’til next week when I can properly scan the cartoon and add in the caption.   After all, there are some limits to what you can do in a hotel room!

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Filed under 10 Thousand Hours, Cartoon Illustration, Digital Illustration, Drawing, education, I Love What I Do, illustration, ink sketches, motivation, My Favorite Things, New work, Pen Drawings, practicing drawing

My Favorite Things – After the Storm

(I’m using the term both literally and figuratively.)

Here’s what it looked like around here yesterday…

And, today, after the storm passed.

Much like the storm, my illness of the past few months now seems nicely behind me.  While small clouds of anxiety still blow over my mood now and then, I’ve learned that there is always a blue sky above those clouds and that I can survive the moods just like I can survive the weather.

For that I am surpremely grateful. 

How about you?  What are you grateful for today?

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