Drawing with my Kids

Our children are still quite young (2 and 4 ½), so while they do enjoy drawing and doing crafts, their artistic abilities are obviously limited. But I still relish the few moments we sit down together to draw. One of my favourite things to do is collaborate with our son, and turn his lines and squiggles into more complete drawings. I often see images in the things he makes, (like I posted about here), and the other day he drew a shape that looked very much like a bird to me. His work is still evident in the drawing below—he is responsible for the general orange outline of the bird, including the wing (just for the record, he wasn’t trying to draw a bird):

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Another line he drew greatly resembled a large rock, so I threw in a few extra squiggles and being a boring regular adult simply added a gecko climbing the rock. I asked him what else we should put on it, and being a bright-imaginative-think-outside-the-box child he suggested a school bus.

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One day my husband got in on the action and started making a curvy pattern. He never had time to finish, and later on I turned his drawing into an alien (my husband’s work includes the main outline of the creature as well as the outline of his eyeball):

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Cream Cheese Swirl Blondies

This week’s dessert is, once again, from my all time favourite dessert cookbook Martha Stewart’s Cookies.

Cream Cheese Swirl Blondies

11 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick plus 3 tablespoons)
1 ⅔ cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon baking powder (I used ½ baking soda)
¾ teaspoon salt
1 cup packed brown sugar
3 large eggs
1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
6 ounces cream cheese
¼ cup granulated sugar

Whisk together 1 ⅔ cups flour, baking soda and salt. Using an electric mixer (I just use a handheld one) beat 9 tablespoons of butter with the brown sugar until pale and fluffy. Add 2 eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add flour mixture on low speed. In a large bowl mix the cream cheese, granulated sugar, remaining 2 tablespoons butter, 2 tablespoons flour, 1 egg, and ½ teaspoon vanilla until smooth. Pour half of the “blondie” batter into an 8 inch parchment lined baking pan. Spoon two-thirds of the cream cheese mixture on top and spread evenly. Drop spoonfuls of the remaining blondie batter on top and spread. Finally, top with the remaining cream cheese batter and swirl the cream cheese mixture into the batter with a knife. Bake at 325 F for about 45 minutes—until a cake tester inserted into the centre comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet.

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Super yummy. If you ask me, any dessert that involves cream cheese turns out tasty no matter what!

Here’s a bonus photo of a carrot I picked up from a local farm last fall:

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New Projects

I haven’t posted in a long time, but I have been busy. Especially these last few weeks; I’ve forsaken many chores, and the piles of dirty laundry continue to grow exponentially, but I don’t feel bad or guilty about it because I’m getting some drawing done! I haven’t actually completed anything yet because instead of working on my many drawings in progress I’ve started a heap of new projects.

Here is a winter scene from a neighbourhood near ours:

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I’ve made some decent progress since I took this photo, I may actually finish it soon.

This is the maple tree in our back yard:

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I was making progress with this drawing as well, but things came to a halt when I decided to draw our daughter’s home daycare provider’s house (as a thank you gift; our daughter will be starting preschool in August):

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I only started this one three days ago, but since I have an actual deadline for once it may get done quickly (“quickly” by my standards anyway!).

This scene has been on my “to do” list since 1995 (!) which is when I took the original photo on a small island in Foça, Turkey:

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My husband took this photo a few months ago:

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He was working late and the sun had mostly set when he walked out of his building into the parking lot. He correctly assumed that I would be very interested in drawing this scene, although I’m not sure if I’ll ever tackle it with oils. For now I’m sketching it with the Paper 53 app:

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I’m also working on a portrait of my friend and her husband:

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She doesn’t know about it, so I have to remember not to share this post on Facebook!

Finally, this oil painting was started a few years ago while on maternity leave with my son—when I actually had time for oil paints! It’s 90% finished, I just want to add some snow here and there. Hopefully now that I’ve posted about it I’ll feel some extra pressure to get it done!

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