Monday, February 28, 2011

Weekend Update: Ice-Fishing

I didn't have much opportunity to update my blog over the weekend because I spent it up north in the land of snow and faulty internet. It was fantastic.

I went ice fishing for the first time. I am not usually one for winter activities, unless those activities involve drinking whiskey in an 75 degree room.. but ice fishing was pretty fun.

We piled all of the equipment into a sled and towed it behind the snow mobile out onto the lake. Snowmobiling out to the spot is one of the best parts! However, my face did get really cold from the wind - even under a giant helmet, goggles and scarf. (check out awesome photo below..)

Unfortunately, we didn't catch anything, which I suppose is fortunate for the fish. Regardless, I had a really fun time.

And as a bonus, check out my adorable puppy Wally! (Cue awwws from viewers:) Look at that face! You can't tell me you don't have a smile on your face after looking at him. :D


Friday, February 25, 2011

Blow Dry

Wally was pretty adorable this morning. As I was getting ready for work, he just quietly walked into the bathroom and laid down on my feet.

copyright Karen O'Bryan, 2011

Thursday, February 24, 2011


This morning on my way into work I witnessed a wonderful moment of humanity. I was stopped at a red light and I watched as an old man was trying to cross the street. We've gotten quite a bit of snow in the past week, and not all of the sidewalks have been cleared off.

The old man was treading very carefully as he inched his way towards the edge of the curb, trying to get over a snow bank. Right before the light turned green, a young man, who had been walking a head of him, turned around and reached out his hand to help the old man over the snow bank.

What a great thing to see to start the day off right. A little act of kindness that stuck with me through out the entire day.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I've been thinking a lot lately about my personal outlook on life, which I'd like to think is fairly on the "glass half full" side of things, but of course, I too have bad days and chunks of time where I feel very.."meh.." for lack of a better term.

I know I am effected by weather - as cliche' as it sounds - but honestly, when it's below 10 degrees for weeks on end, it's pretty difficult to stay motivated. We recently had a glimpse of spring. For a solid week it was above freezing! We were rockin' a solid 50 degrees for nearly two days. Two whole days! For those of you who've never had to deal with sub-zero temperatures, let me tell you, 50 degrees is a BIG deal.

Don't forget that I said we had a "glimpse" of spring, for it didn't stay warm for very long. We are now back to the land of snow and ice, but that one glorious week of warmth re-awakened something in me: Motivation.

I recently found this article (*see photo above) which got me to thinking more about my outlook on life and it gave me a great idea.

For the next month (or however long this winter decides to stick around) I'm going to post something positive that's happened to me on a daily basis. I'm putting a cap on a month long period of time because for me to say I'll do this FOREVER is just not realistic.

I've seriously been lacking in my blog-posting as well as simply doing anything worth posting (drawing, picture taking, Friday Fundays.. etc.) so this is my plan to remedy the winter blues. Even if it's something as seemingly small as finding an awesome parking spot or hearing a funny joke on the morning radio show. I just want to take the time to be grateful for wonderful things and reaffirm positivity by illustrating or photographing happy moments.

For my first Optimism Post:
Today I've officially booked a booth for this year's Art-A-Whirl! (May 20-22nd, 2011) I'm pretty stoked about it.

For those unfamiliar, Art-A-Whirl is a massive open studio / art sale / street festival in NE Mpls. I will be outside behind the Modern Cafe and 311 Club.

I've never participated in an outdoor art sale before, so it will certainly be a learning experience. Anyone who has any fail-safe advice, I'm all ears! I've been researching other blogs for tips and I've found some really great ones: THIS ONE is great for display ideas. THIS ONE has great overall advice.

I'm really excited for the opportunity to reach a much wider audience (like thousands more..!) And talk about motivation to make new work! I have a lot of work to do in the next couple of months, that's for sure.

Well I'm off, but not for long! Check back for tomorrow's Optimism Post.


Monday, February 21, 2011

TATTOO :: Amanda Wachob

I'm sitting inside on a cold and very snowy day, so what better time to dream about warm colors and update my blog simultaneously? I discovered the work of Amanda Wachob this past fall and was blown away, and now I'm sharing the discovery with you.

I've been toying with the idea of getting a tattoo for years now, but have been hesitant to delve into the land of permanent ink because of just that - it's permanent. You can't erase if you mess up... no going backwards if you decide you don't like the design you came up with.

Now that I finally have a pretty solid idea for what I'd like to have a tattoo of (someday..soon?) I've started looking into tattoo artists. For as you know, even if you come up with a rock solid design, you have to have a rock solid artist to make that transition from paper to skin.

I have seen some really, really horrible tattoos - but there is absolutely nothing even close to horrible about Miss Wachob's work. I've never seen such vibrancy, nor vibrant "abstract" tattoos.

Check it out for yourself (*photos from Wachob's website.) Perhaps you know of another artist who does similar work?

Friday, February 18, 2011

New Find: Solntsev Gleb

I recently stumbled across the work of Russian artist, Solntsev Gleb. His work is colorful and playful, and yet there is technical draftsman quality to it. I'm a huge fan! Check it out for yourself. (*All images from artist's website.)

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Self Portrait

I've been playing around with a new idea for a series, further exploring the theme of masks and alternate identities. I've started with a self portrait. I'm not sure if I'm going to stick with doing actual portraits or not, but I'm liking where this is heading.

Graphite and watercolor on paper

copyright karen obryan