Happy Holidays

Taking a break this week for the holidays. 
Check back next Friday for more Hair-raising Thoughts.

In the meantime, please share your Hair-raising Thoughts...
I've extended the deadline for the 2012 Hair-raising Thoughts Contest!
Come up with your own Hair-raising Thought and submit it to:
All entries must be received by December 31st at 11:59pm.
The winner will receive their own original Hair-raising Thought illustration.

So start thinking!


HRT #43

 Fragile Souls in a Fragile World.
The evil of one hurting human being has reverberated throughout the world. 
We are left with a sadness so deep it goes beyond language and becomes universal heartache.
To express what goes beyond rational thought, I turn to art—a vehicle 
that silently conveys pain, and in the process of creation, allows for healing.

The 20 ripped squares represent the 
20 children lost in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
Separated, but still part of the whole.


In Memoriam

I originally created this in honor of the lives lost in the Colorado shooting. 
I am reposting it in honor of the young lives lost in the Sandy Hook shooting and 
for all the other children and families forever traumatized by the event. 
I hope I never have the need to re-post this again. 

It is time for us to come together and take action
We need to create strength through a collective voice. Join me in writing to 
your elected officials urging them to make changes in our gun control policies 
so that we can try to prevent these senseless tragedies. 

Just click the link below, type in your zip code,
 and you will get all the addresses and phone numbers you need.


HRT #42

As children, one of the first things we are taught in school is not to daydream out the window—
it's wrong and frowned upon. I think this is unfortunate. 
Daydreaming is an essential tool which links us to our deepest creative thoughts. 
It looks as if a person is idle, when in fact, they are doing a great deal. 
With spare moments filled with screens and noise, how will we have the space and time 
to be our best creative selves?


Hair-Raising Thoughts Contest 2012

Now it's your turn!
Come up with your own Hair-raising Thought and submit it to hairraisingthoughts@gmail.com.
All entries must be received by December 25th.
The winner will receive their own original Hair-raising Thought illustration.
So start thinking!


HRT #41

I'm surrounded by nail salons, banks, and laundromats. What chance do I have?


HRT #40: Black Friday

This is in honor of Black Friday madness. 
I never shop on Black Friday (or Thanksgiving for that matter.) 
I boycott the concept of workers being pulled away from their families at unGodly 
hours so that consumers can indulge in a materialistic frenzy.
If we didn't shop, the stores wouldn't open. Unfortunately, I am in a minority.

I used an actual photograph of Laura Ingalls Wilder for my sketch reference.
She was the perfect model!


HRT #39

I am a slave to my to-do list and it never reads, "Go and have fun!"
It's like a hole dug in the sand that keeps refilling itself the more I dig.
I've often said that I will have a to-do list in my coffin.

Not one of my best drawings, in fact probably the worst one to date, but
part of this project is sharing my highs and lows with you.
The point is to meet the Friday deadline and then keep going.
This one will end up in the "re-do" pile, but I hope it gives you a chuckle.


Taking a Pause

After two huge storms and a gas shortage, my creative energy was spent this week on reaching out to friends without power and keeping my son (who has been out of school for two weeks) happy and fed. My drawing table has been busy collecting dust, but my thoughts keep coming. I will try to post a new HRT, a bit late, but please stay tuned...


HRT #38

I promised myself, come hell or high water, I would meet my Friday deadlines for my blog.
Well hell and high water came.

Ironically, I did this sketch about six months ago. 
It seemed the perfect thing to express how I am feeling this week. 
With all the craziness of Hurricane Sandy (I'm at my mom's house where they have power), 
I didn't get to do a "final", but perhaps the unfinished feeling of a sketch 
captures the way we are all feeling this week.

I can't stop thinking about all the lives that were lost, especially the children, 
and all the people who have had their homes and sense of safety taken from them.
This type of suffering just  goes beyond my understanding.


HRT #37

This, of course, is a bipartisan statement!

One of Gertrude Stein's most famous quotations, "Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose," 
was part of a the 1913 poem Sacred Emily. I am intrigued by Stein because they say 
her salon at 27 Rue de Fleurus in France was the first "Metropolitan Museum of Art." 
Her walls were hung to the ceiling with the early works of C├ęzanne, Renoir, Manet, 
Gauguin, Matisse, Picasso, and Toulouse-Latrec. Gertrude and her brother, Leo, had the foresight 
to buy these works before they were well known.

Imagine a party at her house with all those artists gathered together! Ah, to go back in time...


HRT #33

"Create" can mean so many things. 
Yes, it can be a painitng or a drawing, but it can also be a great meal cooked for loved ones,
 a song beautifully sung, an extra tight hug given to someone at just the right time. 
Go and create and fill your life with life!


HRT #32

Ah yes, the unexpected. 
Like the fact that I had to get a cavity filled and attend two wakes yesterday
when I hadn't even begun my illustration for this week. But a deadline, is a deadline. 
So here is the best I could do in such a short time. Normally, would have 
started over again, but this is all about sharing my process with you, warts and all.
(And it is bothering me that she looks like Drew Barrymore...weird!)

— Art Connects Us —

Nothing touches my heart more than when someone 
tells me my art inspired their art.
Here is a Hair-raising Thought created by a young artist named Emma.
She took her favorite quote and created her own version of an HRT.
Bravo Emma!


HRT #31

Didn't think I was going to make my deadline this week.
Life has been crazy—including all the toilets and faucets in my house spewing 
black water this afternoon. Can't plan for things like that.
But my art prevails! For better of for worse, I have met my 31st Friday deadline.
(FYI: Turn your head to the left to read this one.) 


HRT #29

In other words...insomnia sucks!
(Wrote this at 4:00am after three sleepless nights.)


HRT #28

I would often watch my grandmother enjoy a cup of coffee and a cigarette. 
She would seem so content as she sipped her "nectar of the gods" and slowly exhaled small, gray puffs. 
In this insanity we call life, I long for that contentment. I am a health nut, but 
herbal tea and a rice crackers don't always cut it. Some days I just dream of doing it grandma's way.


HRT #26

"Hair-raising Thoughts Ghosts"
The tracing paper transfers of previous HRTs hang in my studio keeping me company.


HRT #25

I started this blog on February 8, 2012 as an artistic experiment, 
challenging myself to post a Hair-raising Thought illustration (for better or for worse) 
every Friday—resulting in a total of 50 within a year's time. 
Despite the fact that life is full of derailments and everything else tries to 
take priority over my art, I am proud to say that I have reached the halfway point. 

So here is #25!

Thank you to all my supportive followers. You keep me going each week 
(especially when it is Friday morning and I haven't finished yet). 
Only 25 more to go...oy vey!


HRT #23 The Artistic Process

I thought I would share a bit of my artistic process with you. 
I've been struggling with my transitions from sketch to finish. Often the emotion gets lost 
as I go to a finish. A slight change of an eyebrow angle or the curve of a lip 
can completely change a facial expression. If you scroll down, 
you can see my sketch as it appeared in my journal. The written thought has changed 
(that was just a stream of consciousness to fill in the hair), but I have worked hard 
to maintain the "sketchiness" of the face. I also decided to use 
watercolor for the first time and have a change of gender and hairstyle.

Below, is the sketch for HRT #22. I liked the sketch so much better. 
Her attitude was just what I wanted to express, but it got lost in the final. 
I will have to try that one again.


HRT #21

It use to feel good to see the garbage get hauled away. Now I just feel guilty.

(An honest friend brought it to my attention that I have made a grammatical error here. 
Back to the drawing board—literally. Stay tuned for a revised drawing.)


HRT #20

As a grownup, I sometimes get weary facing the realities of life.
I get nostalgic for a time when my biggest concern was eating my Bomb Pop before it melted
or making sure my Dixie Cup was filled with Hawaiin Punch. The fact that I
was consuming red dye no.40, blue dye no.1, and tons of sugar never crossed my mind.
I just enjoyed the sweet, yummy goodness. Ah, youth.


"Gone Fishing"

I promised myself I would complete 50 illustrations this year. 
That gives me 2 weeks of vacation. So I'm taking a summer break this week, 
but please come back next week for more 
Hair-raising Thoughts!


HRT #18

On more than one occasion, a random piece of 
black thread or an innocent piece of lint has sent chills down my spine. 
From a few feet away, those suckers can look terrifying.

FYI: You can now comment WITHOUT having a Google profile! 
Write your comment, select "name/url" or "anonymous", and click the publish button. 
(If you choose "name/url" you can leave the url blank.)
So go ahead and give it a try!


HRT #15

I welcome comments from any of the over 200 viewers I had this past week. 
To comment, you just have to create a quick Google blogger profile, and you are good to go! 
Hearing feedback would make this artistic experiment even more fun, 
so c'mon, let me hear from you. Maybe you have a Hair-rasing Thought to share.


HRT #14

I struggled with this drawing, but deadlines don't wait for perfection—so here it is. 
Consider this a work in progress.


HRT #13

I dread small talk and the inevitable question, "What do you do?"
When I say I'm an artist, most people seek clarification.
I think they expect me to be showing my work at a high price tag in some trendy gallery if
I am to give myself such a title, but an artist is who I am, not just what I produce.


HRT #12

This is a silly one, but I like to contemplate the invention
of things that we take for granted—things that seem to have always existed.


HRT #11

I often find myself behind the ubiquitous mini-van laden with bumper stickers, magnets, and 
stick figure decals that define the life of the driver—to me, a total stranger. 
I ponder what compels someone to display their identity in such a way. A friend challenged me by 
asking, "Isn't that the same as putting your artwork on a blog?"Ah, interesting!


HRT #10

When my son was young, I woke him and asked if he had sweet dreams. 
He looked at me very matter-of-factly and responded with the above phrase. 
He inspired me to follow my dreams while I'm awake.


HRT #8

I'll be banished from the Mickey Mouse Club after posting this one.


HRT #7

My brother-in-law looked at my Hair-raising Thoughts illustrations and said, "I don't get it."
I looked at his shiny head and realized his dry sense of humor 
was emerging once again. So Mike...this one's for you. Hope you get it.


HRT #6

My son said this to me when he was about 4-years-old. What a great way to ask for quiet.


HRT #4

This question put into words how I was feeling after ending a 10-year career as a designer
to live the life of a stay-at-home mother and artist. I thought the fulfillment of the latter would sustain me, but it's surprising how the lack of a paycheck can effect one's ego.


HRT #2

We all know about the infamous "coffee in the lap" lawsuit which resulted in 
warnings printed on coffee cups across the country. While sipping my decaf latte, pondering the approach of mid-life, my mind wandered elsewhere.


Hair-raising Thought: Commit to a Blog

I'm challenging myself to post a new Hair-raising Thought illustration each week for a year. 
Check in on Friday mornings to see a new HRT. These are thoughts that occur to me as I putter around my quiet suburban house trying to live the life of an artist, mother, and wife. 
Since there is no one here to hear them, I thought I would allow people to "see" inside my head. 
Feel free to share your hair-raising thoughts with me.