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Sketchbooks and Human Experience

Vanessa Lemen

One thing I really love about sketchbooks is that they're all about exploring. What’s on the pages doesn’t need to look or feel a certain way. The sketches can be of anything. It doesn't have to be fancy, but requires a human being making some marks on some pages, open to exploring and discovering. It’s completely open in terms of the content and the act of creating. I really enjoy seeing all kinds of different…




Art Department Hijinks

Arnie Fenner

March 27, 2023 - In recent months I've been reading a lot about the reluctance on the part of many employees to return to the office after months (or longer) of working remotely while the COVID pandemic played out. There's something to be said for doing your job in your jammies and not having to worry about getting the stink-eye from the boss...but at the same time, getting out of the house, going to the office big or small, seeing other people—in other words, separating your work life from your life-life—is, I believe, incredibly important. Some readers might recall that before becoming an art director for Andrews McMeel Universal for a couple of decades, I worked as an artist for Hallmark Cards for 19 years; I was young and impressionable when I started in the 1970s, still wet behind…



Recent Comments

  • Sarah Finnigan on Loosening UpWhere would one find your initial 5x7 studies?
  • Deirdre Britt on Art Department HijinksAh, thanks. Truly. So nice to hear. Trust you enjoyed Gary’s old stomping ground at Andrews McMeel. They threw great parties!
  • Bob Cosgrove on Loosening UpDavid, two questions: 1. I gather this posted originally in 2017. Have your views modified in any respect in the six or so years hence?…
  • Felipe Gaona on Loosening UpReally great article and advice, I've been working on a painting for a while now and transitioned from tiny brushes to bigger ones mid…
  • Arnie Fenner on Art Department HijinksThanks, Alex. It's a classic story. And what I neglected to mention was that after Boss Barrie Maguire had gotten the ill-fated call fr…
  • Alex Kreicbergs on Art Department HijinksThanks for the shout-out. I can only add that there was so much more that extended beyond "Creative" and exemplified what happens when…
  • - Login on Go With Purpose Part Two: One Year Later[…] Go With Purpose Part Two: One Year Later | Muddy Colors […]


Muddy Colors is a collective of more than 20 artists, dedicated to providing a free, online resource for aspiring and professional artists alike.

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