Gusty Beaches and Things that Look Like Things, a.k.a., Drawing on the Windy Side of the Brain



It was windy at the beach for awhile. Like, really.


blowing hair 2



Even the dogs’ ears were a-blowin’.


Glowie ear blowing 1


Daisy with her ear blowing


Glowie ear blowing 2



You can’t see it in these photos, but sometimes the wind was so strong it lifted waves of sand from the beach and blasted it against our skin. It was like walking through a desert sandstorm, especially if you’re corgi-height.

So we all settled down for some indoor pursuits. Like learning how to draw.


sketchbook page with cat drawing

a page from my sketchbook



And obsessive pet photography.


addie looking up


Shnoodle looking up 2



And trying very hard not to be ridiculous. (This is a difficult task.)


harmony with shnoodle




In between Glamour Cat Photo Sessions, I cracked open a classic drawing book, “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain.”

Here’s the strangeness (cue eerie music):

I feel this undeniable urge to draw Real Things. For the First Time Ever (except for eighth grade), I’m drawing Things that look like Things. Not just cartoons. But cats and dogs that, well, resemble cats or dogs.

I know — crazy. 

The sketchbook page above, several photos ago? I drew those a few days before I opened Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain.

Since I’ve started working with the book, my drawings have gotten, um, worse.

Of course, these were just the book’s first assignments, the pre-instruction exercises.



sketchbook page004

On Left: “Quite Obviously Not a Self-Portrait”
On Right: “Hand, Possibly Mine (But Most Likely Not)”



Okay, maybe I only think they look worse because they are drawings of humans and/or human parts, and not cats and/or dogs, and I happen to prefer the company of furballs.

(A tiny confession that you absolutely did not know about me because I have never told a soul, really, I swear it: I’m kind of crazy for animals. There. Confession is so good for the soul.)

Actually, now that I look at these drawings again, they’re not that bad. Well, the hand’s not. The portrait? The one that is quite obviously not a selfie? Hmm. Folks, let’s just say I’m much cuter in person. Shorter, too.



On the wild, windy days, my other indoor adventures included:

  • Obsessing over towers of watercolor books from the library.
  • Drawing a snide cartoon about my obsession over towers of watercolor books from the library. (I’ll reveal it soon, but you might want to dampen your hopes, just in case.)
  • Turbo Ninja Knitting. (The Turbo Ninja part: I actually finished a project. That moment when you felt the Earth’s orbit wobble? Yeah. Right in that moment.)
  • … And having an eensy thyroid crash — a several-day-long bout of bad fatigue (but it’s fixed now).


Since all these acts of in-house derring-do, the wind has died down and paradise has returned to the Oregon coast, where balancing on logs at sunset is one of our favorite sports.


Russell on a log



Russell balances on dogs at sunset, too. Who knew?


Daisy and Russell and Glowie



Now, I’m happy to say, my thyroid is balanced, too. Which means that I can walk longer than twelve minutes in a row, and I’m not a ball of anxiety, and lifting a paintbrush is not a monumental task.

More good news: I visited my superheroic nurse practitioner this week, and I should be at this graceful, healthy place for quite a good, long while now. Hallelujah!

Till next week, my friends: May your coastlines, real or imagined (or even cartooned) be as much like paradise as my own.




24 Responses to Gusty Beaches and Things that Look Like Things, a.k.a., Drawing on the Windy Side of the Brain

  1. What a fun post. Love your windy adventures, and now you have me jonesing for a kite day. And that earth wobble – I felt it. So glad to know there was a knitting-project-completion involved in it. Fabulous photos and wonderful peeks at your sketches Harmony. I’m so glad you’re feeling better!
    Deborah Weber recently posted…What is this Crow Moon calling for?My Profile

    • Harmony says:

      Deborah, why does it not surprise me that you felt the Earth wobble? I knew you would. I love my energy-sensitive friends!

  2. Seeing your photos makes me want sunshine,(it came today) open water (not frozen 3 feet thick with snow on top) and wind that does not hurt my face cuz it’s blowing in -26 degree weather…..:)
    Love the sketches. You make me think there can be hope to develop my creative drawing side a bit more. 🙂
    Glad you’re doing better physically.
    Kelli Spencer recently posted…Full Moon Magic Might Be Messing With YouMy Profile

    • Harmony says:

      Kelli, if I could, I’d bottle up some of our springtime and send it your way. The wind here does hurt, sometimes, especially when the sand is airborne. Thanks for your kind thoughts on my drawings — I think you could certainly develop a creative drawing skill, too. If I can do it, then you certainly can! LMK if you decide to work with Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. 🙂

  3. Such richness here, as in life. <3
    I love the photo of your corgi's ears (and tongue?!) blowing in the wind. 😉
    Thanks for the peek into your sketchbook. Lovely.
    Heather Koshiol recently posted…Learn: What It Means to Feel GroundedMy Profile

  4. Sue says:

    Harmony- I love what you are doing with your drawings. I find portraits and animals the hardest to draw but I do know that practicing everyday makes such a huge difference. Can’t wait to see your progress.
    Sue recently posted…Comment on Ride on by Harmony HarrisonMy Profile

    • Harmony says:

      Sue, the author of “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain” says that drawing portraits is very difficult for most people because we have pre-formulated ideas of what facial features “should” look like, and each of us has a pre-existing visual shorthand for representing said features — pointy ovals for eyes, a particular curl for the nose, etc. I think drawing animals might be very similar: We have preconceived ideas of what their faces look like. If I take a look at any of my past cat cartoons, I can see all of my concepts of cathood right there on paper. Cathood, obviously, is cute, round-cheeked, and sassy-eyed. CATS, on the other hand, may be entirely different.

      Thanks for the note on practicing every day. That’s something I want to incorporate more into my daily life. 🙂

  5. Linda Watson says:

    Harmony, that is one of my very, very, absolutely most favorite books of all time. Not only for drawing, but for living. Congrats on the thyroid and love peeking into your part of the world.
    Linda Watson recently posted…Kay Small, WeaverMy Profile

    • Harmony says:

      I love that you’ve extended this drawing book out into the rest of your life, Linda. Someday, I’d love to read a blog post from you on how “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain” has influenced you on a whole-life level.

  6. Poppy has just popped in. She is demanding a walk as I’ve been sitting staring at this glass square for far too long. It’s a gorgeously warm day here – much like the ones in your photos but much less windy. So I shall pay attention to her pleading eyes and shut this down. But first let me say I adore your photos and your drawings (I lean toward stick people) and I am so delighted you are feeling better.
    Kelly L McKenzie recently posted…Remember To Spring ForwardMy Profile

    • Harmony says:

      Thanks, Kelly! There is no finer thing than to leave the computer to take a dog outdoors on a glorious day. I am honored that it was my own website you ignored for the sake of your dog. And I love that you know I’m not joking! 🙂

  7. Oh, Harmony. I just wrote this long comment that was witty and complimented you in every way and then I randomly touched a key and poof! Like that. Gone. I said I love you and your sense of humor and how you make me laugh. I love those wind blown ears and how those cutie pies just sit there for the photographs that we get to look at and enjoy. I also said that I’ve drawn using the exercises in Right Side of the Brain and came up with some pretty good drawings. Not as nifty as your selfie and hand, but distinguishable.

    And guess what? It’s been windy here too. Not just bend your ears wind. But, bend the trees over windy. The wind whistles over the valley and by the time it gets here, it sounds like my mom put her index fingers in her mouth, curled her tongue, and stopped anyone who heard in their tracks. Daisy’s wind-bent ears make me wish I had a picture of my mom making that whistle that sounds the wind.

    • Harmony says:

      Commenting on blogs has become an exercise in non-attachment for me. As in, once I write the comment and click “post,” I never know where that comment has gone. Will it appear on the page? Will it disappear into the mists, never to rise again? I am honored that you resurrected your comment, wit and all. Thank you.

      I’m fairly certain that the wind you’re getting in Italy is the same exact wind that’s been gusting its way up the Oregon coast. How could it be any different? When I hear that lonesome whistle blow, I’ll think of your mom (and Glo and Daisy will sit for the post-whistle treats).

  8. I love to laugh, and Harmony, you make me laugh. Those pictures of blown ears. That just cracks me up. Those cutie pies are smiling away at you as the wind pushes.

    I like that book, Drawing from the Right Side of the Brain! The turn things upside down trick. I imagined asking Daisy into a headstand so you could get proportions right and she said, “Excuse me, I have work to do (like ball chasing),” and it all works out because a drawing from the right side selfie is pretty nifty. I knew it was you.

    OH MY GOSH, LOOK. It’s here, that comment I thought was gone. So, I’m sending it even though I wrote another. xo

    • Harmony says:

      Daisy can’t yet do a headstand, but I suppose that’s okay because my brain is having a devilish time with those upside-down exercises. Because most things look the same to me upside-down as they do right-side up.

      For anyone who hasn’t worked with “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain,” one of the key techniques is to learn to draw things when they’re upside-down. This is supposed to short-circuit the logical functions of the brain, which then allow the creative functions to become highly functional.

      But maybe for those of us who have discovered that we can read upside-down, that short-circuit doesn’t happen, and upside-down things look like, well, things.

      I’ll bet you can read upside-down, Susan, because you were an educator for so long, and upside-down reading is a good trick for a teacher to stow in a handy pocket.

      Upside-down, right-side up, or sideways, I’m glad that you posted both your comments. Double the delight!

  9. Debbie Goode says:

    I love the photos…especially you and all that glorious hair. Just awesome girl! As to the drawing…I’ll let you in on a little secret…would you believe I’m just terrible at drawing. I can usually get enough information (in the form of a sketch) down on my canvas to have some direction when I start the painting process, but truly for me the ‘magic’ is all at the end of my brush! Having said that….I too have been drawn to draw….LOL! I’ve been really taken with some animal artist who work primarily in colored pencil and I just love what I’m seeing…so who knows where this might lead…..
    Debbie Goode recently posted…Burning the candle…..My Profile

    • Harmony says:

      Seriously? You’re terrible at drawing? But your paintings are so realistic! How does this happen? You’re the artist I keep thinking of as I learn to draw Things that look like Things, or in this case, animals that look like real, live animals. So, ha, the joke’s on me!

      If you’re drawn to learning to draw realistically, perhaps we’ll be sharing this journey. 🙂

  10. Janet says:

    Harmony, I love your animal drawings, so much personality! And what a humorous, fun glimpse at your experiences. Congratulations on your return to health! I’ve been drawing, too, not sure what part of my brain these drawings are coming from, 🙂
    Janet recently posted…Everyday BeautyMy Profile

    • Harmony says:

      Janet, I have no idea what part of my brain the drawings are actually coming from, though I suspect the stem is involved.

      So glad you’ve been drawing, too. Would love to see some of your drawings on your blog. And thanks for the kind words! 🙂

  11. Suzanne says:

    Harmony, loved your post… drawings and all the lovely pet photos. It’s wonderful to hear that you are doing better with your health at this time. Yay!!
    Suzanne recently posted…Never doubt the power of prayer!!My Profile

    • Harmony says:

      Thank you, Suzanne! I’m so glad I’m doing better with my health these days, too — the challenges have been coming and going, but overall I’m getting better and better. 🙂

  12. […] No one told me, when I wielded a pencil to cartoon my very first corgi over a year ago, that I might someday paint something kind of real. […]

  13. […] doodles, I have also been drawing on the right side of my brain (my earlier post about it is here, and the wonderful book by that title is […]

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