Tuesday, May 11, 2010

lessons from mass transit

One blog post a week is far from my goal here at Dirksen Dabbles....I apologize the moving process has ripped me away from writing so much! Since I am leaving Boston in less than three weeks (ahhhh!), I have begun my pre-nostalgia stage. It's what happens when I look around while walking or getting groceries and think, "I better soak it all in...because it will all be gone so soon."

My Boston life is very different in a practical way from my previous life in Portland, OR. One of the major differences is the lack of a car. At first, I was scared to death to live without a vehicle. How do people live with out them? I couldn't possible imagine. But over the past few years I have grown to profoundly respect and love mass transit for a number of reasons. I love it so much that I am actually dreading going back to the automobile lifestyle.

Believe it or not, riding the subway system has greatly aided my artistic ventures. Because you don't have to actually be in charge of driving the train, riders get to simply sit or stand and use the time to their benefit. This usually means I read and it has greatly helped me in my Written Artwork Journey. I so value the 30 minutes it takes to get to and from work where I get to escape into a great story.

On top of being a great chance to read, subway time has also been a great opportunity for brainstorming sessions. I have one of those baby memo pads that every once in a while I pull out and start doodling. I look around me as we travel down the road and draw things I see or things that pop into my head. Sometimes these lead to paintings. Here are some fun examples of what I doodled and the paintings that transpired.

Do you have any forced down time that you utilize for your creative process? Do you have to create a brainstorming time? Love to hear how you all work!

Related Articles:
Inspiration - Fire Escape - Sometimes I get inspiration from my photographs instead of doodles
Efforts in Custom Painting - Inspiration that came from someone else's photograph
Acrylic painting for Beginners - What to do after the doodle process :)


  1. it's great to see your sketchbook...i still have mine from art school and it holds so much meaning for me.

  2. UGH I generally agree with you about the T but not today. My commuter train was late, then a train in the T broke down and I had to wait for that, and then I had to wait for a medical emergency. Took me 2.5 hours to get to work!

  3. My only regular experience with public transit was for a summer job in Portland and I rode the Max back and forth. I read a lot and tried not to make eye contact with the crazy drunk people.... but I was coming home late at night, so a different experience! If I were riding today I would probably either read or work on some knitting. I've always got a project that needs finishing and that would be a great use of time! And as a side note, I initially thought your sketch book said "snow cone" and it made me giggle! :)

  4. I enjoyed seeing your notebook! Fortunately, I'm at a stage in my life where I have lots of down time, so I can pretty much sit and ponder or jot down the ideas as they come to me!

  5. It's great to see where your paintings come from! i love how simple the sketches are =)it shows a freedom about how you work, that's nice (^_^)

    My favourite has to be your black & white city scape =) the image is simple, but all the detail is in the brush strokes & it's so striking!

    My ideas breeze in & out of my head during the day..humming away..& getting louder untill i agree to do something about them =) sometimes making something right away..or sometimes just making a quick note of it for later..

    by the way! i Finally watched Julie & Julia yesterday, it was brilliant =D i was shaking laughing during the kitchen scene! It's quite inspiring..if i ever have it in me,i'd love to set myself a challenge like that =)

    Enjoy your time left at home & keep looking forward to your big adventure!

    take care,Chloe x


Thank you for sharing your thoughts!