the challenge


Yesterday and today’s draw are a combination: Scenery and What I Don’t Like. There are many things in this life I don’t like… rudeness, thoughtlessness, one-uppers (you know the type), and generally anything that brings down the human experience. However, I leave for Istanbul in two weeks and as a result, all I can see (scenery) is clothes, shoes, more clothes, skirts, boxes, more shoes, more clothes, coats, more shoes… you get the idea. And it’s not just the packing. The bags can only weigh a certain amount and be a certain size. It’s totally understandable from the airlines point of view, but ugh, from my point of view it stinks. I really want to hire a personal assistant to do all of this for me. True story.



Today’s draw is A Couple. This was so obvious… my parents. I mean they just (happily) celebrated their 5oth wedding anniversary and they are just too darn cute. However, I thought this time obvious might be too easy – plus, my portrait drawings need some work. So, like the Best Friend draw, I thought of the things that make a good couple and I put them in a heart. I got these from thinking of my parents, asking my mom, and reflection on couples that I know that really have it together. I am positive there are more, but these seemed like a good start.



What I Need – I thought about it and realized that as a person, I really need to listen more. Sometimes I rush to help or solve a problem when what I really need to do is just sit back and reflect. So ‘hear’ is my rendition of an ear using the app ASKetch Lite:



Anyone who knows me, understands that my stomach is in charge. Seriously, I wouldn’t wish my stomach on my worst enemy. Not surprisingly, my stomach does not get along with cheese. Everything else about me adores fromage but for some reason, my stomach refuses to cooperate and get along. Hence, eating cheese, particularly in other countries, is a big no-no although my mom’s homemade pizza is worth just about any disagreement.

So for today’s draw, what I miss the most is el queso.



I combined the daily draws for yesterday and today – something orange and something I want. I really want an orange, 1974 Bronco with off-road capabilities. I picture myself getting up early, mocha in hand, photography gear in the back, heading out onto the open road. I am off to take some photos and just enjoy the cool breeze and good tunes on the radio with my black lab, Max… dinner ready when I get home… bliss.



Something New – I recently got a very good deal on a fantastic bag straight from the designer herself – Stephanie Aramis Wells. I love, love, love this bag and cannot wait to sashay around Istanbul with it. For this drawing, I used the app DoodleBuddy.

If you have a chance, check out a great article about her here and check out her website here – you will be inspired!



Just A Doodle today… thinking about Istanbul…



Favorite Plant… Nightblooming Jasmine.  I must admit it doesn’t look like much at first, but the fragrance from these tiny flowers is like an angel’s wings! Seriously.  One of my favorites.

For this drawing, I combined two apps: ASKetch Lite and Paper.  I drew the flower in ASKetch, then saved it to my photos, opened up that file in Paper and voila!, added the yellow stem and some leaves. I realize I am not going to put the art world on it’s ear with this one, but I felt pretty tricky.




Posting a few hours early… helping a friend’s daughter move tomorrow (in Palm Springs). So, using the app that my friend Yves introduced me to (Paper), I drew my version of Inspiration.

In a nutshell, many people inspire me which in turn, helps me follow my heart. And for me, that’s what inspiration is.  Listening to and following your heart. Whether through Instagram, going to a museum, or just watching a person up on stage with a guitar, I just love that a particular artist is throwing it out there. Even if I don’t really find the art inspiring or the music that good, I am inspired by the trying. There is just something about that act, the act of creating, that just puts a smile in my heart. It makes me so happy to be a part of the human race… to be alive. Life is grand.



Family Picture… I love oak tress. They are truly majestic. So when I think of my family, I think of an oak tree. It takes patience and a bit of luck for an oak to grow. The branches grow out widely and open… like a hug! I bit ‘acorny’ but you get the idea. Plus this tree represents strength, courage, and stability. Additionally, oaks provide food, shelter, and shade on a sunny day.

Have you ever seen an oak in just the right light or felt the rough bark underneath your fingertips while the leaves rustle above? Like I said, majestic.



My favorite fairy tale… my first thought is Princess in the Pea because well, I love that she is so high maintenance (bruises??) and she proves everyone wrong. However, the one that makes me laugh is the fairytale parody ‘The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs’. If you haven’t read it, it’s telling the story of ‘The Three Little Pigs’ from the wolf’s perspective. Loves it.


DAY THIRTEEN (skipped due to dental work… bu hao)



Today’s draw is my most recent accomplishment… I organized stacks of my old journals and photos as well as any necessary paperwork when living and working abroad. There was not a hint of how long this would take when I started.  I mean, the journals were easy to get rid of. At first I thought I would feel weird, but then after the first shred, it was oddly liberating. Simply put, I am not that person anymore.

I think that’s why I don’t really get tattoos. When I wrote in those journals, I really meant it.  I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED the Impressionists, or really, really believed certain quotes/ideas from books.  However, I look at the quotes/ideas now and wonder who that girl was who held on so tightly to those words? If I had them tattooed on my skin permanently, I would forever be carrying around a version of myself that simply doesn’t exist anymore. It’s like taking the same roads to get to a new destination. Of course I wouldn’t be where I was today without those people or ideas, but a Degas ballerina on my arm? Yikes.

Photos took much longer because I wanted to make the albums all the same, more aesthetically pleasing. There are still some odds and ends, but those now reside in matching boxes.  Next are my piles of old slides. I am going to sort through them all… keep or shred. Please keep your fingers crossed for me!



Turning Point in My Life… living in China for two years… it completely helped me realize what and who I want in my life… it was brutal but worth it.



Truffles. Favorite Candy. So rich and creamy…  a complete treat for the senses. Pure deliciousness.



Favorite TV show – I was going to pick The Sopranos because let’s be honest, no show can touch that one.  However, I am way into the show Justified at the moment. Love, love, love me some Raylan.



Ugh, favorite cartoon character. I have never been into cartoons… even when I was little really. But since since this is a challenge, the animated character I picked is Cartman from South Park. I have only watched it a handful of times (the Tom Cruise one = FUNNY), and I would characterize Stan as my favorite but Cartman is someone I would consider the antagonist and therefore, completely mixes it up.



Favorite word…many come to mind: befuddled, lovely, concur, listo (Spanish for ready), soccer, love, happy, road trip, porsche, money, quiet, etc.  But the one that sticks out in my mind at this point in my life is home. For me, home is always where my mom is.  If she was your mom, you would feel the same way.  Also, I am getting ready to move to my new home in Istanbul, so let’s just say that word is on my mind this summer.



Scarlett O’Hara… today’s subject was easy peasy for me! I know the challenge says it that the book can’t be a movie, but like Scarlett says, “Fiddle-dee-dee! I’ll think about that tomorrow.”



Anyone who knows me knows that I had a huge falling out with my BFF in China. While the situation absolutely broke my heart, I know it was for the best. So when I thought of all of my friends, the people I admire and enjoy spending time with, I began to think of all of the qualities that I look up to and seek out in the people I let into my life. Below are the ones that stuck out in my mind. I am very blessed, for sure.



Today’s draw was a challenge… favorite place. I love the beach, but when push comes to shove, nothing beats the desert a sunset. Nothing beats Joshua Tree National Park at sunset to be specific.  The quietness and stillness; understanding at the very moment you are insignificant in the scheme of things but also a part of it all… it’s magical.



Today’s draw was difficult for me because it was about drawing my favorite food. After much internal debate, I came to the conclusion that ice cream doesn’t count. So I decided to think about it as my last meal. As I went through my options, I realized that Italian food was the theme soooo… here is my rendition of pasta:



I woke up this morning looking forward to today’s draw… your favorite animal which for me is the elephant. The trunk is actually just a big nose, and they are social creatures. Sometimes they hug each other by wrapping their trunks together – cute ! However, I am also of the understanding that you simply don’t mess with an elephant as they are fiercely protective.

Below are two photos: one of where I was drawing this morning and then my rendition of an elephant.  Enjoy!



I took up a drawing challenge from a Twitter friend, Jabiz. I love the idea of doing this. It’s motivating, inspirational, and a bit uncomfortable.  And as I do this, I need to not apologize. I am just going to throw it out there and have some fun.  Anyone want to join in???

The Drawing Challenge:

Day 1: Yourself


  1. Love this! Nothing like exercising both sides of the brain! I have done something similar a few years ago…and was surprised (pleasantly) at how well I did….considering I was “horrible’ at art!

    1. I agree, it’s just fun! Thanks for taking a look!

  2. Terri Martinson

    Claire, you constantly amaze me how your life is NEVER dull!! You rock, girlfriend. It’s been so much fun to follow your adventures, but even better to spend time with you now that you are home!! Love you!!!

  3. Emmanuelle & Yves

    Hey Claire! From Marseille, we enjoy seeing your drawings. We hope that you’ll have a lot of fun this summer and then… Istanbul baby!

    1. Hey!!!! Hope you are enjoying France! Thanks for looking at my drawings – it’s actually really fun! How’s the apartment coming along???

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