Blog Intentions

Having a blog is like having a personal journal that you occasionally let other people read. I don’t share Polyvore sets to gain followers. I don’t write posts on Facebook for likes or comments. I don’t tweet products expecting for the tweet to be re-tweeted or Favorited. You get the idea.

I express my first amendment right to free speech by posting my thoughts, feelings and creations – good, bad and indifferent, in separate social media outlets. Usually, I share something if it is meaningful to me. In this case, I share my artwork to build my online portfolio, and to potentially gain feedback from visitors. Blog engagement is truly appreciated though. It reaffirms ideas we have and gives value to the messages we are trying to share.

I say what I mean and I mean what I say, even if it may make some of my posts disagreeable or controversial to some. For that, I do not apologize because that is part of who I am, and I am not physically hurting anyone by expressing my thoughts online, even if they could be dark or unpopular at times. I love beautiful fashion and bright happy colors, and nature when it’s thriving, and even when it is dying. I am hopeful that I will eventually succumb to an overwhelming sense of optimism, as I meditate on bringing mindfulness into my life.

Excerpt from TaoDeChing – Lao Tze

2. Abstraction
When beauty is abstracted
Then ugliness has been implied;
When good is abstracted
Then evil has been implied.
So alive and dead are abstracted from nature,
Difficult and easy abstracted from progress,
Long and short abstracted from contrast,
High and low abstracted from depth,
Song and speech abstracted from melody,
After and before abstracted from sequence.
The sage experiences without abstraction,
And accomplishes without action;
He accepts the ebb and flow of things,
Nurtures them, but does not own them,
And lives, but does not dwell.

Here are a few stress-relieving pieces I have created as part of my sequence of artwork that is uninhibited.



Bold Dresses


Let It Be.




Colonial Porch Watercolor

For my grandma’s 78th birthday next month, I promised her I’d paint her another colonial porch watercolor like the one I did last year in my sketchbook.

See below:

colonial-porch-2016 001

Approximately 8.5″ x 9.5″ (2016)


Here is the 2017 version, which I completed on 8/20/17, after 10 daily 1 hour to 1.5 hour long sessions. It is 11″ x 14″.

WP_20170820_00_51_19_Pro (2)

11″ x 14″ (2017)


Here it is, double matted and framed in a 16″ x 20″ frame.


Dark Selfie


No more lame excuses.
No more empty truces.
The nuances of experience have become a nuisance.

With each passing second, I remember.
Running from my youth; now only an ember.
Pain is just another part of being,
Learning to draw is really about seeing.

Naivety is not alright anymore.
I have to fight with intelligence to get through the door.
Every decision that will I make,
Reflects in the direction that my future will take.

Progress with Digital Art 7-20-17

After my trip to western Maryland, I found inspiration in nature for my digital artwork. The following pieces reflect a few things I encountered, from the choppy lake at sunset on the 7:00 PM Independence Day boat tour, to vintage glass bottles for a cabin on the lake style charm, and beautiful mountain perspectives and birds. Though I didn’t actually spot any brightly colored tropical birds there this time, the trip gave me a renewed sense of appreciation for flora and fauna imagery.

Vintage Glass Bottles

Vintage Glass Bottles

Before the trip, near the end of June, I rendered this Vintage Glass Bottles sketch. I was excited, hence the bubbles rising. Most of all, I wanted to experiment with the opacity of glass and color saturation through digital painting. As with the majority of my digital artwork, I used an old-fashioned mouse to digitally paint the image above in the following online application:

Mountains and Lake

Mountains and Lake

Ah, there’s nothing more refreshing (in my humble opinion) than fresh mountain air and lakes. I painted the above on while day-dreaming about my trip.

Wisp Lift Tickets

Wisp Lift Tickets, July 4, 2017

On July 4, 2017, I took the lift up to the top of the mountain at Wisp Resort, for a better view of the landscape.

Dayna (me) on the lift at Wisp in Deep Creek Lake, MD, July 4, 2017

Dayna (me) on the lift at Wisp in Deep Creek Lake, MD, July 4, 2017

Sunset on the Lake at Deep Creek Lake, MD 7-4-17

Sunset on the Lake, Boat Tour at “Fun Time Water Sports” in Deep Creek Lake, MD, July 4, 2017

Abstract Lake

Abstract Lake

OK, so this was very abstract, but on July 4, 2017 when we went to Deep Creek Lake, MD, there were many other boats on the lake. That is why I drew several sails protruding out from choppy waters.

Tropical Bird in Flight

Tropical Bird in Flight

Today I finished this digital painting of a Tropical Bird in Flight. I concentrated on defining shapes with color, and varying line widths.

Thanks for viewing. 🙂

Let’s Get Digital

In a digital agency of thriving, young professionals, I stood at my desk and squinted to read the tiny font on the screen in front of me. Gathering my composure to keep up with production, I copied and pasted another ticket number into a new folder, and started a new HTML file.

Oh great, another email marketing campaign rush. Are all of the necessary assets attached to the ticket? What was the campaign name again? Which template did the client want to use? God, I hope this isn’t a custom email.

Around me is chatter of the usual sort. Most people seem to be complaining about a salesperson they are working with who isn’t doing their job correctly. Other people are laughing about some kind of nostalgic reverie or inside joke which did not involve me. I’ve always felt so out of the loop when laughter consumed the space.

The place where I work is a large, open concept building with exposed beams, and low hanging day lights. The walls are bright orange, and there are couches, and a mural wall for Baltimore. There are many plasma screen T.V.s hanging on the walls streaming with news and entertainment from different channels. I feel lucky to have a job with a nice environment, but as with any job, there are drawbacks.

The drawbacks begin with the hierarchy of the organization. I have been working there for six years, and have figured out late in the game that certain people play “favorites”. I have been doing the same entry level, b**** work for the entire time I’ve been with the company. Well, the workflow has changed, and different techniques have been learned, but it is basically the same level of work. I realize that it is my fault that I have not progressed much because I seldom speak up for myself, since I am very painfully shy. As a result, my co-workers see me as the underdog, and don’t respect me as much as a newcomer. Whenever it is anyone’s birthday, my co-workers decorate that person’s desk and give them a proper celebration. I mentioned it was my birthday last year near the end of the day because no one said anything to me about it, and one person threw a streamer and said “Happy Birthday”. The same person was nice enough to bring in cupcakes for me the next day, but no one would eat any. It made me feel like I was not appreciated.

If I were to do something different to better myself in my current position it would be to assert myself more, and to stop taking things personally.

As of Late

Lately, I have been fine tuning my art focus from traditional painting to more of a digital approach, using the following tools of the trade: Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, and interactive canvases, such as

Below are a few of the sketches as well as an experimental multimedia digital collage I have been working on lately.

“Chicken Mask” digital drawing


For Valentine’s Day, a few months ago, my colleagues handed out Valentines. The one I received was a dog eye mask. I based this chicken mask off of that idea because I thought it was cute and might be fun to comp later on as a festival mask.

For a visual, here is the aftermath from Valentine’s Day 2017, just to recap and give you an idea of what kind of amazing folks I work with. Yes, we are all adults… I think.


You will see above, there is a Grumpy Cat Valentine in there. It even came with a temporary tattoo of Grumpy Cat, himself!

Moving forward.


The following two drawings were done using references to abstract bronze sculptures.

“Shhh” digital drawing




“Man Playing Violin” digital drawing


Last but not least, is a mixed media digital collage that I had started working on a few months ago.

“Free Fallin'”


The image on the left is before, and the image on the right is after adding detail to the leaves, and cutting the shape of the “Free Fallin'” black background area to be scalloped like the leaves around it.

Here is what I did:

The images were taken from various search results from a Google image search for “leaves.” Each leaf I chose from the photos was isolated and set to separate layers using Photoshop. The magenta leaf with electric periwinkle lines was created by adjusting the color balance in Photoshop. I achieved a color pop effect by selecting the color and brushing it on at a semi-transparent opacity where the most profound veins in the leaf would be.

InDesign was used to set the typography (though I could have used Photoshop or Illustrator just as well). Once the desired look was achieved, I saved it as a .eps file, and exported it to Photoshop.

Finally, using the interactive sketching website listed (, I embellished the leaves by outlining them in a hue a tint lighter than its actual color, and traced the lines in some leaves for added emphasis.

Critically Thinking

Disclaimer: Although this post might not directly show art or design work, I believe that it is relevant to include in this sketchbook blog because it shows my thought process. With art, and even more so with design, it is vastly more important to be able to communicate complex ideas visually and have a strong concept, than it is to merely show a pretty image.

Consider that everyone has a story. Try to refrain from judging someone, until you’ve heard their story. It might seem easier to use stereotypes and prejudices in order to classify someone, or to try to justify their actions solely by their cultural heritage or ethnicity. We need to remove ourselves from doing this. Race, religion, social class and culture are just variables within groups of people, not constants. While a portion of stereotypes do hold some truth, not everyone fits the script. Like I’ve said before, “it’s time to pull off the labels,” as a psych nurse once told me. Listen first, judge later (at your own discretion). Our country needs to listen to its people, and unite for the common welfare of society, instead of worrying about capital gains for big corporations, and what brands each other is wearing/using, etc. We need to encourage critical thinking and not be afraid to voice our concerns and opinions in an open, public forum, or social network.

What do you value more? Your health, sanity and home, or the expansion of big corporations, and building walls to prevent Mexicans from getting jobs in America? I think Trump needs to hear from the lower and middle class citizens. We were all immigrants once, albeit a few generations ago. Most of us want the same basic needs: food, shelter, clothing; and decent and affordable health care. Yes, there will likely be the advent of more jobs available within certain fields when big businesses expand; but what about those of us who are on a fixed income, or suffering from a disability that prevents us from obtaining a job? Or what if someone is experiencing an emergency or loss?

I think the president needs to consider government assistance and occupational rehabilitation services for individuals with disabilities or to those who are experiencing financial hardship. I also think student loans need to have lower interest rates. We need a better insurance policy for the country, or at least a flex savings account for emergencies and student loan forgiveness. If individuals put away emergency funds each paycheck, the government should do the same thing for its health care and educational system. After all, this is our democracy. Voting isn’t the only thing we can do to improve our situation.