• Inktober 2021 #27 – Spark

    My dad was a metal worker by trade. He was a welder at Jeep for over 40 years. He worked on various parts of the jeeps over the years. We are a huge jeep family, always have been. I always thought it was cool to see them on the road or even driving our own and I would think, Yea, my dad made that. He obviously only welded one part of the vehicle but I gave him all the credit.

    He would also work on projects at home. He had his own welder so he did repairs for various things and every once and a while he would do fun projects like a coat rack made from horseshoes and stuff like that. He would show me what he had done once he was finished. He told me about the different types of welds you can do. He was very talented and his work always came out clean and perfect. At least it looked perfect to me.

    The number one rule when my dad was welding was to not look at the light. He always made me turn my back or go somewhere else for the moment. I was always tempted to look but it was so incredibly bright I never actually did. Okay, maybe from a distance I glimpsed for a split second one time but I immediately looked away and never did it again. My dad always wore the welding helmet and the gloves for protection. Although, he usually had a t-shirt on with little holes all over from the burn marks. I always wondered how it didn’t hurt when the sparks would hit his arms and shirt but it didn’t seem to bother him.

    My dad was a jack of all trades and a master of a few. I think metal working was definitely on the mastered list. I’ve always wanted to get into it artistically and make sculptures or something but I have yet to do so. One day.

    Thanks for reading! I’ll be posting #28 later today so check back soon!

    Master your craft, free spirits!

  • Inktober 2021 #26 – Connect

    I’ve been wanting to do a sketch related to my dad and my grandmother(his mother) for a while. Their relationship always stood out to me. My grandmother was around a lot. She would always come with us on vacations and trips and she would come camping with us at the fair when I would show my horse. My dad would always invite her to come to things and pick her up because she didn’t know how to drive. I always thought it was nice of him to always pick her up.

    He was always very respectful and never said a bad word about her. He cared for her and genuinely wanted to spend his time with her. He would go out of his way to do anything for her. I learned a lot by watching him. I try to treat my own mother the way that he treated his. They had a strong bond that anyone could see. He took it really hard when she passed and my heart always broke to see how sad he would get. He said sometimes at night it felt like someone would sit on the bed beside him and stroke his hair when he was sleeping. When he would open his eyes there was no one there. He believed it was my grandma visiting him.

    Right before my dad passed, when he was very sick, he wanted the blanket my grandma had made him to keep him warm. It was a tiny, old afghan that barely reached to his knees. I laid it on his chest so he could feel it and covered him up with a quilt on top so he could get warm. Although, I think the love from that holey afghan did most of the warming.

    I miss both of them dearly but they both inspire me everyday.

  • Inktober 2021 #25 – Splat

    I had a hard time thinking of something to do for this prompt but I have already skipped a couple prompts for lack of inspiration and I don’t want to skip too many. So, with that being said, this was the best I could come up with for the word splat!

    My parents property had a creek that ran right along side it. It traveled through the fields and was a pretty long stretch of water. My dad would walk down the creek and go duck hunting with one of his dogs every once and a while. One of the days, I wanted to go with him. I didn’t care much about hunting but I was always up for an adventure outdoors.

    We walked for a while and didn’t see much until finally we saw some ducks in the water. They started to fly up and my dad shot one before it could get too far. His dog retrieved it, like a good hunting dog does. My dad handed the duck to me and told me to hold it by the neck, so I did. I carried it for a few minutes like this.

    It seemed pretty large when it was up close and I held my arm out so it didn’t knock up against my body. It’s body started to sway back and forth from the weight and then before I realized what even happened, the duck’s head popped off and it’s body fell to the ground. I stopped and stood there for a second, just staring at this now severed duck head I was holding in my hand. There wasn’t a bunch of blood or anything. I don’t remember any blood at all to be honest. Just a duck head…in my hand. My dad was ahead of me and didn’t see what had happened until I finally said, “Uuuuummm, daaaaaaaaad!?” I was so shocked at that moment that I didn’t even know what to do. I wasn’t scared of it but just totally shocked by what had happened. I don’t know how else to explain it. So I just stood there, holding this head and staring at it. My dad carried the duck the rest of the way home but I don’t really remember what happened other than that. I just remember being completely paralyzed by the headless duck…or rather a bodyless duck. I also remember that I never went hunting with my dad again. πŸ˜†

    So…yea…that’s my “splat” story! Sorry, I know I have a lot of animal lovers that follow me but then again it is Halloween time, right? Just a spooky story about the headless duck…bodyless duck…something like that! πŸ˜›

    Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed my sketch. It was nice to do an animal again after drawing so many people portraits. I am not good at drawing people nor do I really enjoy it but that’s the point of Inktober right? To practice something we’re not good at so we can get better. I feel like I have improved, or at least see where I can improve. Plus, I just like having this collection of sketches that I can go back to and remember good times with my dad. …Or traumatizing times! 🀣 Sorry Mr. Duck.

    Don’t lose your heads, free spirits!

  • Inktober 2021 #19 – Loop

    Some may not believe it but there was one point in my life when I had tons of bows and hair accessories. Those were dark times. πŸ˜†

    My family and I were sitting in the living room watching TV. I asked my dad if I could do his hair and he agreed. I didn’t have much to work with but I made do. πŸ˜‹ He was the belle of the ball when I was through with him. I had bows anywhere I could get them. I had those little hair loopies making tiny ponytails all over his head.

    He sat there straight face watching TV the entire time. He was a good sport like that. Lucky for him, I grew out of that phase quickly and became more of a tom boy so I hope he enjoyed the salon treatments while he had the chance.

    Just another one of those short but sweet memories. Thanks for reading. This one is a little out of order…and late…but better late than never, right?

    Stay stylish, free spirits!

  • Inktober 2021 #22 – Open

    I instantly knew what I was going to do for the prompt Open. I have a picture on my wall in my studio of my dad and I participating in my 4-H groups Open Fun Show.

    My 4-H group put on an Open Fun Show every year. It was called an Open Show because anyone was allowed to participate, not just 4-H’ers. It was called a Fun Show because it had classes that were fun and quirky. One class you had to balance an egg on a spoon while on horseback. Another class was called Ribbon Pleasure where you had a partner that you rode your horse next to, each of you holding the end of the same ribbon. Whoever was the last duo riding without tearing or letting go of the ribbon won!

    The class that I did with my dad was called Lead Line. It was a class that got the parents involved. The kids would lead there parent atop their horse, walking, trotting, whatever the announcer said. Then half way through, they would switch places and the parents would lead the kids.

    My horse was named Phoenix. He was technically a horse but he was only one inch taller than a pony’s height. So my dude was still pretty short. Plus, he was a lazy little horse. He never wanted to do anything but graze and sleep.

    My dad was 6’2 and not a small man. Phoenix wasn’t thrilled about having to carry my dad around. I think he would have rathered my mom on board but she had recently hurt her ankle so she wouldn’t have been able to lead me around the arena, trotting along. So my dad it was, sorry Phoenix. He had this look like, Great, lucky me.

    He was a trooper and hauled my dad’s heavy ars around the arena. Luckily he only had to do a few laps around so it wasn’t long before he had me back in the saddle. He would much rather deal with a little girl than a full grown man.

    It was the only class I ever did with my dad and we took 3rd place. Good job Phoenix! I guess we got marked down because they saw Phoenix rolling his eyes. πŸ™„ Just kidding! 😜

    I hope you enjoyed today’s story and sketch. Check back soon for more Inktober sketches!

    Have some fun, free spirits!

  • Inktober 2021 #18 – Moon

    It was a dark and stormy Halloween night. The moon was full and the ghouls howled down the streets.

    Just kidding. It was dark but it wasn’t storming. It was just really, really cold though. And the ghouls howling was more like the wind blasting past you and making your eyes water. I don’t even think the moon was full. I don’t remember what the moon was doing that night.

    I just remember my dad took me trick or treating. It was just me and him. He was in his truck slowly driving down the road and I was jumping out and hitting a couple houses then jumping back in the truck. It was pretty miserable. There wasn’t any snow but it was still a frigid cold that pierced your skin. I don’t even remember what I dressed up as that year. I was wearing my winter coat over my costume so it didn’t really matter anyways.

    My dad looked at me and said, “You want to just run to the grocery store and buy some candy and hot chocolate and go home?”

    Even though I always looked forward to trick or treating, it still sounded like the greatest idea ever! So that’s exactly what we did. We went to what was then called IGA but has since been changed. It’s interesting to think about how different things are from back then. Anyways, we grabbed our favorite bags of candy and went home to enjoy it in the warmth!

    Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed the sketch. Seeing it finished makes me laugh. It felt like we were cheating Halloween and it made me snicker as a kid and even now. See what I did there (snicker, like the candybar) Anyways…

    Stay warm, free spirits!

  • Inktober 2021 #17 – Collide

    Now this is an interesting story. It’s one that I will never forget. I was pretty young. My dad and I went trail riding together. Usually, it was a group of us going or at a minimum it would be me, my mom and my dad. But for some reason this day, it was just me and my dad. I was on my first pony, Prancer, and he was on his Tennessee Walker, Albion. He was quite a bit taller than my little pony but we kept up good.

    I don’t remember seeing any other people that day. It was quiet and peaceful in the woods. It was nice being the only ones around. We came down a part of the trail that was a little narrow but plenty of room to get by. We were in a single line at this point with Prancer walking behind Albion. Ahead of us, to our surprise were two deer laying on either side of the trail. They were right on the edge of the path and directly across from each other. My dad and I slowly walked the horses towards them expecting them to jump up and take off when we got close. We would see deer all the time on trail rides, sometimes in close proximity. They were more comfortable around the horses so they wouldn’t run off until the vary last minute.

    Not these deer though. They didn’t budge. They must have been pretty comfortable because they stayed right in there beds and watched us walk towards them. We were shocked and looking back and forth from each deer as we walked right up beside them and stopped. It was unbelievable! If they stood up, I could have touched them. Prancer noticed them but didn’t really care. Albion was in the lead so the deer were towards his back end. I don’t think he ever noticed them really. They did have good camouflage and they weren’t moving a muscle. We stood there for a few minutes just enjoying the encounter and not saying a word.

    I’m not quite sure what the deer had initially planned but one of them started to stand up. I don’t know if she was going to leave or walk up to us to give us a sniff but there wasn’t any time to figure that out. As soon as the doe moved, Albion realized there was a creature there! It literally scared the sh!t out of him….no, im serious! It…. literally …. scared the crap out of him. Please excuse my vulgarity but he blasted a poo out of his rear so fast it shot Prancer right in the chest! It splattered all over him in the blink of any eye! The intensity of the blast then spooked Prancer because he had no idea what just hit him. So Albion bolted in one direction from fear of the deer, Prancer turned around and started booking it in the opposite direction in fear of the blast and the deer were just as shocked as we were and they took off in opposite directions as well! Everyone chose a different path and ran like hell! My dad and I didn’t even have time to know this had all happened. Luckily, neither one of us fell off but Prancer certainly caught my surprise when he whipped around in a split second and bolted. We got our horses back under control and met back up with each other. That’s when my dad saw the evidence all over Prancer’s chest and we realized what had happened.

    I was not thrilled about having to clean poo off of my horse when we got back to the house. Now that I think about it, I should have said to my dad, “You should clean it, your horse did it!” πŸ˜†

    It was quite an experience that I will never forget. It was something that at first seemed so poetic….and then it turned into a comedic tragedy. 🀣

    I wasn’t exactly sure how to put this in a sketch so I tried to give you a birds eye view of how close we all were and what the setting was like. It’s interesting to try and put a whole story into a quick, little sketch. I hope you enjoyed this one. It’s one of my favorites! It’s been a while since I have told this story.

    Check back soon for more to come!

    Stay vigilant, free spirits!

  • Inktober 2021 #16 – Compass

    I had a lot of thoughts pop in my head when I saw the word compass. The first thing I thought of was the compass on my dad’s boat. We took the boat out on Lake Erie often. It was one of my favorite things to do with my family. We would go fishing and enjoy the sunshine. I would take a million pictures on my camera.

    The second thought I had, was how my dad could navigate an atlas for road trips or give directions from memory when I needed to go somewhere. I remember one day when I was a new driver, I had a class at the art museum. It was in a part of the city that I didn’t go to often and it was a bit of a drive. This was before cell phones had google maps and I surely didn’t have a GPS. I don’t even know if that was a thing yet. But I had my trusting directions printed out on paper from google that I could follow to get to my destination. I got there okay. On my way home though, I missed something somewhere and kept getting turned around looking for my way back. I definitely did not inherit my dad’s natural compass. It was getting late and I was so frustrated and lost at this point. So, I pulled up the antennae on my dinky little cell phone and called my dad. I told him what roads I was on and he said, “How did you end up there? Roll up your windows, lock your doors and keep moving!” I thought, Holy Crap! Okay, Okay. He scared the πŸ’© out of me because it was obvious I wasn’t in a very friendly part of town. Luckily, he directed me back in no time until I recognized where I was again and I made it home! That story has always stuck with me. What a day. I’m a little better with my sense of direction now…a little.

    My third thought was kind of cheesy but lets be honest my dad has been my compass through life. I’ve always kept in mind what he would do in situations and it helps me make better choices. I’m a better person because of his morals and values which have become my own. It helps my stay on the right path.

    I really didn’t know how to put this all into a single sketch but I thought drawing a compass at my dads back would be a cool way to show that I will always have his direction to guide me.

    I hope you enjoyed the sketch. We’re half way through the Inktober challenge. I’ve enjoyed this exercise so far, even if I do get a little overwhelmed sometimes. It’s been nice looking through old pictures and coming up with interpretations of memories with my dad. I think he would have really enjoyed reading these posts and laughing about how goofy he looks in some of the sketches. I can’t draw people very well okay! I think this one came out pretty good though. Thanks for reading!

    Follow your compass, free spirits!