Art Every Day Month – Days 21-24

Emmett’s antics make great fodder for funny AEDM doodles. It’s either that or stay fuming after cleaning up his mess! Last year his trash can escapades made for some other silly sketches.

On Sunday my dear friend from London, Fiona, stayed over. I was thrilled to get to see her a second time this year (we met up in Seattle earlier this year).

Fiona and me hanging out in Rockridge after enjoying some delicious hot cocoa at Bittersweet.

Just playing with fall colors.

I was thirsty when I sat down to do my doodle for today, so I whipped this up and then refilled my glass of water.

Can’t believe there’s less than a week left of Art Every Day Month!

Book Club and Puppy Love

(Painting of my dog Emmett by my 12-year old nephew Matthew Lee)

This afternoon I hosted book club at my house (we’re on year eight!) and we enjoyed a lovely lunch in my backyard. I always enjoy catching up with my friends and indulging in yummy food. My pick this round was The Art of Racing in the Rain. This endearing tale is narrated by a dog named Enzo and I found the book to be surprisingly spiritual. I chose it because I couldn’t resist the cute little video of Enzo the dog on the Amazon page. I’m a total sucker for dog stories. I remember crying in my sixth grade classroom as our teacher read us Where the Red Fern Grows.

For my birthday earlier this month, my brother got me the movie Hachi. He had seen it on a plane and had a feeling I’d enjoy it as much as he did (and he’s not even really a dog person). The story is so touching that I went through a whole lotta tissue watching this one and even woke up with puffy eyes!

And the other day I watched this episode of Underdog to Wonderdog about an amazing dog named Faith. I got teary within the first few minutes of watching this heartwarming pup.

Like I said, I’m a total sucker for dog stories.

Dogs give such unconditional love and are so present. They teach us how to be better human beings (check out Eckhart Tolle’s Guardians of Being for simple, inspiring reminders from our four-legged friends).

My pup Emmett is getting on in years, which made reading Enzo’s story that much more tender for me. But of course, Emmett has no idea how old he is! In fact, he got himself into trouble tonight by breaking yet another plate that fell from the counter as he tried to lick it. Guess he wanted to enjoy some of the delicious book club leftovers, too!

AEDM Day 21: Fall Leaves

While walking Emmett this evening, a tree caught my eye.  The golden leaves looked so stunning against the midnight blue of the sky.   That inspired my art for today.

I recently finished Keri Smith’s latest book How to be an Explorer of the World and enjoyed her simple suggestions for appreciating the beauty all around us in our day-to-day lives.  She encourages us to pay attention to our senses.  As an “N” (Intuiting preference) on the MBTI, I tend to notice patterns, themes and meaning – more of the intangible qualities.  What I got out of reading this book were ideas to cultivate more “S” (Sensing) ways of taking in information like observing specific, concrete details and literal data.

I gathered fallen leaves and then took them home to do crayon rubbings. I practiced my sensing muscle by trying to describe specific details like color and texture.  I look forward to more exploration of the world!


My husband, Brian Ng, is an amazing wedding photographer. He recently re-launched his photo blog and has some really cool pics of a recent wedding at AT&T Park in the city. He also posted images from a photojournalism intensive workshop that he attended in Texas. If you’re a dog lover, take a peek! He was assigned to shoot dog agility classes and he captured several cute pups in action.

Season’s Greetings


It’s hard to believe that there’s just two more days until Christmas. This year just flew by! I’m looking forward to celebrating the holidays with my family.

Every year since we adopted our dog Emmett, Brian and I have made holiday cards featuring our favorite pooch. We think it’s adorable. We’re not too sure what Emmett thinks of all these antics!

If you’d like to catch up on our annual Emmett holiday card you can get your fill of the last five years… 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, and 2002.

Who Let the Dogs Out? – AEDM Day 5


I haven’t done a pencil sketch in many years, so it was cool to try my hand at it again. Especially with one of my favorite subjects, my dog Emmett. Brian is always taking great photos of Emmett (he’s very photogenic – it must be that “eye liner!”). This sketch is from a photo that Brian took last year.

[tags]National Blog Posting Month, NaBloPoMo, Art Every Day Month, dogs[/tags]

Follow Your Nose

This afternoon, I took a long walk with my dog Emmett to destress from the week. We hiked through the redwoods of Joaquin Miller Park which is just up the road from my house. Actually, I let Emmett walk me. (Brian does this sometimes when he’s curious to see where Emmett will go.) I thought that it would be a good exercise in slowing down.

Dogs live so in the moment. What a great lesson for me as I’m usually in the past or future. My dog loves to follow his nose. He experiences his surroundings by smelling every nook and cranny. Under leaves, in-between branches, through blades of grass.

At first I was frustrated at how he would stop at what seemed like every tree stump to poke his nose around. Then, I noticed that as I slowed down with him… I could hear bugs buzzing about. The cool, damp air brushed against my skin. Different shades of greenery and textures popped out of the trees. I was experiencing the beautiful forest around me. I relaxed into it.

Blog ideas about my walk insights bubbled up (always planning ahead!). I just noticed and let it pass. Instead, I focused on how curious Emmett was. How he seemed to instinctively enjoy going wherever the scent took him.

When I was ready to turn around, I’d get impatient when Emmett was just sniffing around for what looked like no apparent reason. Again, I just noticed and stopped walking or slowed down behind him.

On our way back, I bumped into someone I had just met last night at a gathering to explore the concept of accountability and support groups for projects. If I’d been intent on having my walk be my workout for the day (with Emmett merely tagging along), I might not have recognized this new person. I would’ve probably just zoomed right by.

I have Emmett to thank for a wonderfully refreshing walk in the woods and, more importantly, for reminding me to follow my nose and to relish in the simple pleasures of each present moment. It’s the journey, not the destination.

[tags]dogs, hiking, Joaquin Miller Park[/tags]