Thursday, May 29, 2008


You know how sometimes your mother or brother or friend or husband will frequently mention a colleague/acquaintance/sandwich artist with whom they converse with on a daily basis but you yourself have never met? And after enough passing references to this person, you begin to construct your own semi-unfounded, often stereotypical perception of what he or she might look like? Sometimes based on conversational description, sometimes not. Are ya with me?

And then occasionally, the informant will mention one physical characteristic that causes a metaphorical swarm of locusts to wreak havoc on your visual imagination? Case in point:

My husband is working on a project right now which requires him to meet on a weekly basis with City employees. There is one person in particular, a project manager who will remain nameless (however I will say that his name rhymes with the word jazz), who has come up in conversation several times, and I sense that my husband has a great deal of respect for the guy based on the pleasantry of his tone when he talks about him. " [Rhymeswithjazz] is paying a parking ticket for me since I was in a meeting with the City," "[Rhymeswithjazz] drives a really nice truck," and the observation that got this whole thing going: "I saw [Rhymeswithjazz] downtown today on his day off. He was wearing one of those hats that snaps together in the front."

", you mean one of those preppy pseudo-gangsta golf hats?"


As in:

Only, in my perverse mental processing, I instantly pictured that it was baby blue nylon and probably matched a shiny, oversized one of these:

Are you beginning to grasp the twisted image I was manifesting for [Rhymeswithjazz]? Civic employee by day, hoodrat by night...

I began telling my husband that I needed to meet this guy, if only to clear up my misperception. Afterall, a snapped golf hat is in and of itself a perfectly innocent garment. Why should I associate it with an image of a badass rapper dude who, incidently, also wears dollar-sign bling around his neck in my evolving characterization?

Come on, Sarah. Snap out of it (pun intended). The guy is a suit. He sits at a desk in a municipal building. I highly doubt he loads the bypass tray in the photocopier one minute, and the next he's lip-syncing to Akon while he drives home in his lowered irridescent purple truck with the bed permanently covered, 'cause this dude ain't haulin no two by fours anytime soon. (Says something about my confidence in my husband's taste in trucks, doesn't it?) Not to say that gangstas don't have stuffy office jobs. Fo shizzle.

Because I guess he could be like one of these guys:

Especially the scene at the beginning when Michael Bolton is stuck in traffic.

Parenthetically, if you have not seen the movie Office Space, leave this blog now and never come back. KIDDING!!! but seriously....

Anyway, then my sister-in-law came for a visit. And I told her of this whole snappy-hat saga and how I'm sure I will be shocked and chagrinned when the day comes that I finally get to meet the real [Rhymeswithjazz] face to face, and all preconceived notions will be slain by locusts.

Then she met him.

She came home and exclaimed "I met [Rhymeswithjazz] on the street!"

"Well? Am I right? Am I RIGHT?!?!? Is he hardcore?"

"Mmmm....not really....I don't know."

Exasperated, and in an attempt at an iota of clarification, I finally had to draw a caricature of this phantom man who haunts my conscience. I have been told I missed the mark. Behold:

Do you get why I was dumbstruck when my husband mentioned that [Rhymeswithjazz] offered to take him charter fishing this summer?

Important note about this post: I have absolutely no issue with snappy hats, North Carolina jerseys, or even dollar sign bling. I also don't have a problem with lowered irridescent purple trucks, although I personally choose not to drive one. And hey, there was even an Akon song played at my wedding (albeit on an impromptu party bus). This post is simply a commentary on how we all sometimes imagine people a certain way, and it turns out they are nothing like we expected. Even if we should have known better, Shorty.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Twilight Zone

Just a sketchy little experiment with charcoal, photoshop, and an afghan-knitting cat.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Here is my latest sketch, although I'm not sure where this little one is going to end up ultimately:

My process for this style that I often work in is to first sketch with a combination of pencil and charcoal, and sometimes a smidgen of ink on watercolour paper. Then I scan the drawing and play with it in photoshop a little, usually adjusting the colour balance to get a sepia tone:

And I know it is largely frowned upon to use photoshop filters, but sometimes I can't help it....

So there are three versions of this little hatchling....I can't decide if I'll incorporate him into my Animal Alphabet wall cards somehow, although "B" (bird) and "C" (chick) have already been taken by Bumble Bee and Chipmunk. Or maybe he'd make a really cute "Congratulations On Your New Arrival" card. What do you think? And which of the three versions do you prefer? All comments are happily received and appreciated.

Here are a couple of the Animal Alphabet wall cards I mentioned. Process is the same, except with these critters I stitched fabric onto the paper for some added texture:

Thanks for checking in!

Monday, May 19, 2008


"I hope I learn something from knowing the creatures of the Earth. I hope I learn something from looking a long way, from looking up, from being much alone. We simply need that wild country available to us, even if we do no more than drive to its edge and look in."
--Wallace Stegner

Friday, May 16, 2008

Friday's Favourite Phrase

"Knock a buzzard off a shit wagon"

def.: so rank, it cannot be described.