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What’s on my art desk?


What’s on my art desk today?  Well this funny character…….


I’ve used the same kind of image before to illustrate the art journal jam i facilitated a few weeks ago.  I plan on using him to illustrate a quote.


I created this cover (in black and white) for a friend’s book club meeting. The club was covering the book “The Absolutely true diary of a part-time Indian” and i thought I’d riff on the title to create a collection of pages the book club members could colour, illustrate and complete. In the book the author Sherman Alexie has wonderful cartoons which illustrate the main character Arnold’s life and those around him.  The book is written for youth however i think it’s a great read for anyone who is interested in what it’s like living on a reservation and the hardships endured by the residents.


One of the funny pages illustrates the main character’s beloved grandmother so i thought i would create a simple outline of a grandmother that the club participants could fill out and personalize.  This is what came up for me when i drew my grandmother/meme.  She was a sewer, used to make lentil soup a lot, made bricks from mud to create a new room on her house, wore a black rosary and when she was a child she found a small doll in the crack of a brick wall which she created some clothing for. She was very poor especially when my grandfather died leaving her with a bunch of kids to raise on her own.  As you can see my meme was very resourceful.


Here are two of the pages i created. Isn’t it amazing how the pages come alive when you add a bit of colour and a few lines?

I think the book club members were a bit intimidated by the exercise even though it was all laid out nicely and the instructions were pretty easy. Sometimes people have difficulty getting out of their comfort zone.  My friend asked me to come and give a bit of a talk about how art had saved me since the main character of the book was able to use cartoons (which saved him as well) in a manner that explained his life. Getting the feelings and characters of his life on paper helped him survive life as it unfolded around him.

I was DEFINITELY out of my comfort zone teaching and delivering a bit of a speech to folks who mostly wanted to chat, drink wine and visit with each other Smile. It was a good experience for me as i always wanted to know what goes on in book clubs! 

See you on Friday!

Love, Violette xo

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    5 Comments to

    “What’s on my art desk?”

    1. On January 2nd, 2013 at 11:17 am gemma Says:

      The Absolutely true diary of a part time Indian
      is a popular book among 7th and 8th graders at my school. I loved the book as well. Great vehicle for art inspiration. You rock!
      LOVE you Violette happy 2013.

    2. On January 2nd, 2013 at 11:23 am Wendy Fedan Says:

      I love the title idea! One thing I plan to add to my routine this year is begin work on a daily/weekly Art Journal. This title gives me ideas about what to do with it.

    3. On January 2nd, 2013 at 12:01 pm Sheila Heichel Says:

      I love this title also. I need to start putting some journaling time into my day but art journaling looks so much more fun. I just added Journal Bliss to my wish list on amazon yaaaaa.

    4. On January 2nd, 2013 at 12:31 pm julie :) Says:

      What a wonderful warm story about your grandmother. Looking back on it, grandparents have an important influence on us.

    5. On January 2nd, 2013 at 4:56 pm Suzana Says:

      Happy New Year, Violette! I love your ‘grandma/meme’ page – what a wonderful way to remember her gifts.

      What a great idea to create a ‘generic’ prompt page for the other members of the group! I agree, it’s wonderful to see the difference adding lines and colour can make – and the different interpretations that various members of a group come up with using the same model. It would be so interesting to see a ‘collection of grandmas’….

      Your image is the perfect model for a page about my own grandma – in Hungarian, we call her ‘Momam’. :) Our grandmas had a lot in common. :)

      Love from Oz,

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