Thursday, December 30, 2010

Knott's Berry Farm

Knott's Berry Farm is an amusement park about ten miles from our house. It started as a berry stand during the Depression, and grew as Walter Knott started collecting buildings from ghost towns and assembling a pioneer town in a field. Until the late sixties it was free and anyone could go and wander around. My family would sometimes go after church and eat at the Chicken Restaurant. Good times, people, good times.

I love this picture of me and my pretty mom because although she is smiling for the photo, she is also giving somebody the stink-eye off camera, most likely my big brother. I'm rocking a velvet and taffeta dress with a white patent leather purse. I'm also wearing matching patent leather shoes. So if you were wondering how the Scott family made it to California, it was dressed like this, gloves, hats, handbags and the stink-eye with a smile.


The highlight of my childhood was making my brother laugh
so hard that food came out his nose.  ~Garrison Keillor

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

LACMA Sketchbook

One of the best things about the holidays is my friend Lynn comes to town to visit her parents. We've been buds since college, over thirty years now, and it is always a delight to catch up on our lives. We often go to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

This year was no exception. There was an incredible exhibition of clothing which I want to see again. Olmec stone heads and a beautiful show on Lucknow, India. If you live anywhere in Southern California I recommend the trip.

Through the course of the day we talked about things that we had done and things that we hope to do in the coming year. How about you? What did you accomplish in 2010 and what do you hope 2011 holds for you?

Happy drawing,



Drawing is seeing.

Friday, December 24, 2010

A note from Santa...

So, I was rushing around the house, trying to find an extra cookie sheet and get ready for Christmas Eve, when this note appeared out of nowhere.

Hey you,

Santa here, tonight's the big night... So, my friend, how are the holidays treating you? Are you frazzled, stressed. filled with angst? Broke? Is your head pounding? Take a deep breath. Hey, I prep for this night all year and stuff still falls though the cracks.

Don't worry, whatever you've done is fine. That's right, fine. Do you think I get every little girl a pony that asks me? And don't get me started on BB guns... Christmas is not about the presents.It says so in the manual.

Let's take a little inventory here, got family? Love them, such as they are, even if they push your buttons. Good friends? That is a great gift. Tell them how lucky you are to know them. Food to eat? Great! Roof, leaky or not. Aces! Everything else is just frosting on the cookie.

Well, time to pack up the sleigh, got a lot of chimneys to climb down.

Hugs to the family,

Nick Claus.


Inner peace through lowered expectations. ~ MSW

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Book Tree

My cousin Jeff is one heck of a fine photographer. He posted this photo on his blog and I just had to share.

Is there anything better than books for Christmas? Well there is chocolate and art supplies but books make the best presents.

What books would you like under your Christmas Tree?

Read on!


These are not books, lumps of lifeless paper, but minds alive on the shelves. ~ Gilbert Highet

Friday, December 10, 2010

Little Pierrot

I don't know if you've seen my Toymaker Facebook page but I post little snibbets of this and that every day.

Like The Adventures of Little Pierrot. 
You can read it here...

Come and share a pot of tea,

My home is warm and my friendship's free.

~ Emilie Barnes

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Artist's Block - Part Deux

Say you are tired of drawing circles and doodling faces. What next?

One the the things that can stump you when you want to draw is choosing a subject. I like to wander through YouTube Videos, hit freeze frame and draw what you see. I have lots of drawings of Fred Astaire.

Or you can go outside and draw a plant or building. Drawing from life is takes concentration but if you do it enough you will really learn to "see" things. 

The most important thing is to tell that little critical voice in your head to shut up. Your inner critic will bang on about how lousy your drawing is, that it's not good enough, and on and on for days if you let it. If you listen to that voice you will never get anything done, so tell it politely that you are just practicing, it's okay to make mistakes and kick it down the stairs.

So, give yourself permission to draw. It sounds silly but it's true. Honor your work, allow yourself the time to practice and treat yourself to decent supplies and materials. I like to buy paper by the ream. With 500 pieces of paper, the pressure is off, all you need is time and a pencil.

How about you? What gets you going?

Draw on!


 Anything worth while certainly takes a while. ~ Mister Rogers

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A question about Artist Block

Fellow artist Licia asked me, "Marilyn, what is your best advice for "artist's block" when it hits? Do you force yourself at those times to sit and draw no matter what?"

Yep, sit down and start drawing. But start small, draw tiny, tiny little doodles that are really crappy. :-)

Draw twenty circles or boxes on a page and then turn them into something, faces, animals, houses. I find when I am blocked it is because I have a perfect beautiful picture in my head and not the skills for getting it on paper.

Another way to get jumpstarted it to try new things, new pencils, paints, stamps, pens. Feel free to explore. Try inking with a brush instead of a pen.
Draw your way through the alphabet. Doodle something that starts with the letter A, B,C...

If you are totally stuck, just practice your lettering. Anything that gets your pencil or pen moving is good.

I have a million tricks for getting to the drawing. Mostly because it's hard for me. Putting that first mark on paper or starting "a proper drawing" is not something I come by easily.

But the trick is to just show up at the page and let yourself play.

More later,


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Pierrot and Friends

More little drawings. I'm working with ink all day so it is nice to do something in color, if only for fun. And I've been listening to this song a lot. I love violin music.

What's been your whimsy?


Monday, December 6, 2010

More of a story....

"We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open." ~ Jawaharlal Nehru

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Doodle du Jour

I scribble all day long. Not proper drawings, mind you, just "scrawly on the the page" sorts of things.

Here's one from today... little characters going about their days.

Wishing you a creative week,


"Time and trouble will tame an advanced young woman, but an advanced old woman is uncontrollable by any earthly force." ~ Dorothy Sayers

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Happy Hanukkah!

To all those gathered in celebration today,Happy Hannukah!

Colorful candles burning bright,
each lit on eight very special nights. 

The Toymaker's Hannukah page