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Thursday, 9 January 2014

Every day starts a new year

I don't like to forget that each and every day is the beginning of a new year, a new 365-day cycle. The whole January 1 thing is just a day, hot for some, cold for others, a day picked out for us by a few men in the somewhat distant past, to reset to Day 1. While the every-day-is-new-year's idea could conveniently lend itself to nightly partying, for me it's a powerful reminder that each day has the potential to kick off something amazingly awesome and excellent.

Having said all that, since January 1 or so I have been focused on organizing my journal sketches and am at last thinking maybe I can do something with this jumbled collection of words and pictures. So today I am posting a mini-movie of a few of my sketches with acoustic accompaniment. The added sound animates the pictures to more closely reflect what was going on in my head when I made these drawings of what I wore and the adventures I imagined with my furry buddies.

Scene 1 Alley Cats: I'm wearing my thrifted pastel nicotine faux fur coat (also here), my green shag Fluevog boots (also here), my red knit hat (see Hat Attack 5), sample sale Bardot low-rise jeans (also in Wendy Brandes' Huff Post article, in the scroll part at the bottom).

Scene 2 Outdoor Ballroom: I'm wearing a brown mid-thigh knit tunic with bell sleeves, denim jeggings, thrifted slip-on shiny brown buckle shoes, thrifted red beret.

Scene 3 Cat Holiday: I'm wearing almost the same as what I wore in Scene 1 - thrifted pastel nicotine faux fur coat and red knit hat. 

Scene 4 Tea Party: I'm wearing my thrifted silky dress (also here) with a thrifted brown turtleneck underneath, turquoise tights, thrifted D&G shoes.

Scene 5 Shady Ladies: I'm wearing my thrifted muslin black maxi dress (also here), thrifted wooden platform/leather upper Michael Kors sandals.

*Thanks to and all the incredible people who have posted sound effects under a Creative Commons License for their contributions to this soundtrack.

Doing "sweet" art was strictly taboo in art school, so it has been a very long process, decades in fact, to once again accept that sweet and even hokey are not only okay, but have incredible restorative power. That's why I do these sketches in my journal. And how thrilled I would be if you get positive energy from them too.

I'll be back to posting what I wear in real photos soon. Hope you're kicking each day off like a new year's day, but without all the fuss. 


  1. So true that sweet art was an art school taboo. I've thought it was sad, I mean to always be serious. It took us some time to work it out. Now I just don't care what others think so much. I went in the '80 when everything was political. Not that this is bad but it's not everyones cup of tea.

    I love your drawings. They are charming and lively yet childlike in a good way. Very fun in this clip. You are so talented in many ways!

    blue hue wonderland

  2. SWEEEEET! Your art is wonderful, and it keeps alive the dream that we can have tea parties with kitties underwater, and have villas and cool little sports cars. All we have to do is believe!

    I read an interesting article on The Guardian website suggesting that we split the year into quarters. Then our goals might be more manageable, and we could focus of different things from "year" to "year." Another blogger also mentioned making resolutions month by month rather than for the whole year. Sometimes I can't even remember what month it is, but I seem to live from weekend to weekend. And thank god tomorrow's Friday!

  3. Consider yourself thrilled! I'm vibrating with positive energy right now...seriously, I can feel the tingle! Thank YOU! If ever you offer restorative power workshops, I'm there with bells on!

  4. Is "sweet" the right adjective? I am. It sure I would describe your sketches as sweet, Melanie. For me, they have charm and wit and elegance and quirk. Yes, they are soft and smiley, but they aren't saccharine or sickly at all. I would like to live in that world with your creatures!

  5. I hadn't finished! How did that get posted? Anyway, I am a big fan of your journal drawings, and it is delightful to see them accompanied by a soundtrack. When you get a book of them published, I will be first on the list for a copy, please. I'll pay, of course.
    Yes, every day gives us the opportunity to start over, make changes, do it differently. I'll try and remember that.

  6. I am SO impressed! How multi-talented you are!! Your drawings are lovely and cool and the music samples fit so well. Love it! Thanks.

  7. Qué bien has comenzado el año, los dibujos los ví en pantalla grande en casa y me parecen tiernos , originales y me recuerdan a los libros de cuentos dde mi hija, la ropa siempre linda y nostalgia onda parisina, el sonido y música muy bonitos, felicidad para tí, besos,ana.

  8. Wonderful! The soundtrack is perfect. And I love the images, and the happy feelings they inspire. Thanks for this, it makes my day better xoxo.

  9. Hi Melanie!

    Sweet art! what a wonderful term, do you think it could be applied to fahsion, sweet fashion! Maybe we are sweet fashion!
    Anyway love the sketches, always loved them and nice you put them together and did a litlle video -

    Everyday should be amazing, or make it amazing - Each day is a new day to do the best we can be - We are lucky to have so many new days, so many chances to start all over again with a new outlook!

    Take care

    Big hugs


  10. I just love your whimsical drawings. So much fun and so colourful.


  11. oh how I love your videos and drawings! and I do feel enlivened, they make me feel happy! I have had an 'art' day today, well a novice one (I'm in the process of learning) and I feel very satisfied now x x x

  12. Such a worthwhile observation, one we tend to forget. Every day truly IS the start of a New Year, full of opportunity. . . I do like your Sweet Art very much -- I can see some reasons for the forbidding of it (really? forbidding?) but do you think many/most of them are caught up with gender stuff? And then that need of women in the art world to prove how serious they are after centuries of being shut up . . . hmmm, food for thought here, as always . . Happy New Year, again. . . ;-)

  13. Your awesome sketches give me tons of pleasure...I love whenever anyone embraces the whimsical in their creativity, whatever that means to them! Great sound effects!!!

  14. OK, prepare to be THRILLED beyond measure. Lots of us love your sketches! They are so sweet and delightful. I can well imagine that they were frowned upon in the art world-- the art with a capital A world. Glad you've moved on from that and that the drawings are uplifting and inspiring for you too.

    One sentence: KEEP IT UP! Your fans expect it.

    Much love from England,
    Rose from

  15. When I tell people I do not celebrate holidays they look at me like I have serious issues. Then I add....I celebrate every day. Then they think I am being stupid. I schedule at the very least ONE fun thing every day and dress up for the occasion. People at work ask me why I always dress up? Because every day is a party.

  16. Yes, no cutsey in Art school! Altho in graphic design it was more acceptable; cards and such. Yours are still very artistic tho and I have to say I'm waiting for your videos now--you inspire me so. Xoxo

  17. You always give off positive energy, Melanie. Your sketches and this video are no exception. So fun!

    I love your idea of daily new beginnings. Magical in concept and so very true. Making today a little slice of heaven!

  18. Awww, I loved your art video with audio accompaniment. It was soooo sweeeet. I like sweet. Share more of these please. :)
    (My apologies if this is duplicate comment. I got error message.)

  19. That was wonderful! I especially liked the burbling water. Your drawings are awesome.

  20. LOVE your sketches!! They are whimsical and adorable and so much FUN!!

  21. OHHHHHHHH, that darling video put such a smile on my face!
    I'm so jealous of your skills, you clever wench! XXX

  22. To hell with what they said, right? Now you can do WHATEVER you want!!! Hahaha!!! So there, art school, drama school, school school!!!! I loved this post and I know I'm not the only one.

    I had to link to you again, BTW. You can't escape me (or vice-versa...?)

    Have an excellent week. XXOO

  23. That is one cool cat driving you around, man. ooo, ooo, ooo. Your drawings are fab, always.

    As far as I'm concerned, my birthday starts my new year. yeah.

    Oh, and when I was in art school, there wasn't sweet, there wasn't even any women artists! Nope, no women artists listed in the official History of Art book. No women art instructors, except for the "watercolor ladies" as they were called.

  24. Well pah to the taboo-ness of 'sweet art' at art school. I'd rather have a variety of art styles to savour, where sweet and sour have equal status. Can't have darkness without light, or depth without heights of joy.
    Your journals are SUCH an inspiration. So glad you let us enjoy them too.

  25. Gosh. I just love your turnip heads. Those art school meanies. They' were just jealous that they didn't have a heart as pure and guileless as yours....and a wit as pointed as a newly sharpened pencil!

  26. I hope you share even more from your sketchbooks, it's a gift to everyone. Here here to artists giving themselves permission to do whatever kind of work!


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