low and gray and hanging rain
shrouded cloud drone of a plane 
yet light seeps through the fabric
begins to bleed the static 
we hope for sun and for light
we hope god will do what’s right
but day yawns and night withholds
our naked freedom enfolds
us in grit of our choices
and chokes the song of voices
just hoping to enjoy day
with endless sun with child’s play

(Words and images Copyright 2016© by Michael Kallstrom) 

in the rushing time of green
and rivulets of rain we
wonder how the light goes on
how the sky can continue
to be blue and deep and soft
with clouds when twisted metal
dives with shrill screeching silent
to a darkened hemisphere
asleep in peace or anguish
of its own a lightning flash
a shuddering fall and all
is quiet the sea waves hush
the wind smooths them down nightmares
are swallowed in blue waters 

(Words and images Copyright 2016© by Michael Kallstrom) 

Today I pulled up blank project on my iPad and just began sketching. Faces are so interesting to me and that is usually what emerges when I doodle.


I added another layer of shading. By the way, I’m using the “6B pencil” in the app, Procreate.


I felt like experimenting a bit with this work so I added another layer using a colorful work of mine I finished a couple of days ago. I set this layer to “color burn” and made it a foreground layer so it would show up only in the drawn and shaded areas. I had to adjust the opacity of the shading layer so it wouldn’t be too dark.


As often happens, I liked the result quite a bit but also liked the simpler version with just the shading. This is how I sometimes begin making a series of variations, by experimenting to see what else I can come up with.
(Words and images Copyright 2016© by Michael Kallstrom) 

I haven’t made many landscapes in the past but usually they are of the ocean and the shore. Others are of trees and the sky. Often, I make iPad realizations based on pen and charcoal sketches.

(Words and images Copyright 2016© by Michael Kallstrom) 

I grew up by ocean and I will move back there one day. It has a calming and rejuvenating effect on me. I can sit for hours watching the waves and the slow movement of the tide. 

(Words and images Copyright 2016© by Michael Kallstrom) 

streaming sail blue ocean rolling out
until sea is brushed into noon sky
this world that god created and then
sank beneath the waves disappearing
in myths of kingdom never coming
abandoned at the edge of waters
dark with swirling silent deep shadows
we wade into the waves – home again

(Words and images Copyright 2016© by Michael Kallstrom) 

Often I mix traditional drawing or painting with my digital work by importing the traditional work to the iPad. In the case, I began with one of my morning sketches – ink marker on paper.


Next, I color the drawing, almost like a coloring book.


Then I remove the original drawing and duplicate the color layer to deepen the texture. I also added a paper texture in the background layer.


I like working like this as it blends the spontaneity of my original sketch with the more developed digital work. Sometimes I will add two or three layers of background texture. Here, I added some metal:


I also added some printed text to the background. I like sketching with pen and pencil on old phone directories or out of date dictionaries and wanted to add that element to the digital work.


Then I usually make a series of variations by manipulating the layers. The possibilities are endless. Here’s a few.

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