Sunday, May 27, 2007

Sunday May 27th - Memorial weekend

Yesterday we spent the day on Martha's Vineyard with good friends, had a wonderful picnic on the beach and then flew home. Beautiful, wonderful day but no camera with me except my phone camera and I have yet to figure out how to get picture off that thing yet.
Today I have been gardening and getting ready for a cookout tonight at our house. My garden looks beautiful, and I spent alot of the day adding annuals to get some instant color. The Perennials look beautiful and the lilac is blooming.

Korean Lilac

The Shed

Phlox and Lupins

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Friday Night Pizza

Isn't this agreat sight after a long work week. Hubby makes pizza on Friday nights. Too bad it has anchovies!

IFN - May 25th

I had to start getting in touch with my darker side, my more sarcastic side for IFN. Here is my most anguished looking piece, submitted as "Jane Eyre" - who was a tortured soul!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Illustration Friday May 25th

Dogs in cars - what could be better. Think he's using paw controls?

My First Quilt

I am so stubborn! Read directions? Not me! My way of learning is to jump into the middle and make ALL the mistakes that are possible and learn how NOT to do something. Why don’t I follow directions? Well, I try to but if they are not explicate enough or don’t have pictures…well; I’m just not good at following directions.
I wanted to try making a quilt so bought a “kit” - figuring that would be easy. The directions were pretty good but the things that were not spelled out became obvious very quickly. It started out with cutting the material. Rotary cutter was predicted to be the way to go, pile of quarters, template. Great, here I go. The Problem quickly became obvious when I started to sew. What the instructions didn’t tell me was NOT to cut to the edges of the pile of fabric – probably something that I should have figured out for myself. So, even though’ it appeared that the pile of pretty fabric was even at the edges, I ended up with some pieces that were smaller than others. Hence the non lined up blocks. Other problems were keeping the seams ironed in opposite directions – that didn’t work at all!
Why did I keep going to the end? Stubbornness I think! I figured that I had sunk costs and should just go ahead and keep making mistakes and get them all out of the way. Machine quilted without drawing lines – don’t do it!
If you squint at the quilt from across the room, it looks good. I just know about the errors and it bugs me but I am chalking this up to A Learning Experience and will enjoy this quilt anyway. Or someone will someone who doesn’t know enough to ask the hard questions – like a baby! Yeah, this will be a present to someone who has a baby and they can use it on the floor. Hurray for babies, we get to give them our mistakes and they like them anyway!
So…now onto my next quilt and I can’t wait to see the mistakes I make on this one. Usually I don’t make the same mistakes twice so projects are always interesting to me – what can I mess up next.

Bad lineup

Good Lineup

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Illustration Friday - May 18th

Don't ask me where this sign came from! I wanted to do a road with astrological signs but this came out instead. I'm still working on the "Road Signs"

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

May 15th - Tuesday - Maidstone England

Ideas about Me and Art
(Written on a plane to London, May 14th)

I have always been fascinated by creative people; artists, performers, singers, , and have been fascinated by people who could bring a drawing to life with a few flicks of a pencil, I have spent my life surrounding myself with artistic friends, married an artist, love to go to see other peoples work but aside from one or two classes in high school and college, have never studied art in any serious manner. Okay – that’s the background. I am/was the scientist surrounded by talented artistic friends.

About a year and some bit ago, something bit into me and the urge to create struck. I like to think that it was the joint effort of two of my dear departed girlfriends, talented artists themselves, poking at me from beyond and deciding that if I wouldn't draw or paint, then they would make me do it somehow. So I started making “memory boxes” for friends, and started learning about color and paper and glue and working with different materials. I gave some boxes to friends, sold some at the church fair. I started making decorated cigar boxes. But the desire to work with other materials began to bubble up and I started reading about other peoples art work, reading instructions on web sites, bought instructional DVD’s. My poor husband is continually bugged about techniques for watercolor, or pastels, and what in heavens name is underpainting? And perspective – what the hell is that all about?? I’ll copy paintings, using whatever I have handy at the time, copy techniques, copy and learn. The more I do, the more I realize that I know nothing – but will keep plugging away learning new things every day. Sometimes it’s collage, sometimes it’s watercolor, sometimes acrylics, sometimes sewing or quilting. In my studio there is no favorite medium yet, no specific technique, nothing dominates. And I like it that way. I like to try new things as I see them, try new mediums. I like not being defined or pigeonholed in any way, and not having my ego bounded up in completing a specific piece in a specific medium. Some of my stuff is good and interesting, and some is trite and cliché – and I don’t give a damn. I have no issue with showing anyone anything that I have made, for some reason I don’t really care at all if anyone likes my stuff or not. It’s such a great feeling.

Right now I am learning to think in layers – which I have realized its one key to an interesting piece. I have to teach myself to slow down, learn to start at the bottom and keep adding layers. I have to learn to SEE and not let my scientist brain tell me that “the sky is blue”. Maybe I need the sky to be pink for this piece? I really struggle with anything aside from primary colors, and it is very hard for me to understand the differences between tone and value. I have to learn composition and not “having the eye wander off the page” (what the heck is that about??). I think that my eyes don’t see the same colors as other people do, it is REALLY hard for me to see subtle differences in color.

Self taught? I am self teaching and can see where this process will take many many years! This is one reason that I realized that I had to pack up my basement studio and redo the space – now is the time to reorganize and set myself up to have fun, yet be efficient and have fun.
I have so much respect for people who make their living from art – they constantly have to market themselves and put themselves out on a limb emotionally. I read the web blogs of artists who are just exhausted from juggling teaching, marketing, taking commissions, advertising…they just seem to put out over and over again.

I will never be able have that flick of the hand talent that I have always admired,but have realized that’s OK. If I can understand how not to make mud color when I mix paints I’ll feel well rewarded.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mom's Day

I am not a mom but have been blessed with a myriad of nieces and nephews and godchildren who are the light of my life. I get the fun (and worry) of kids - minus some of the fighting, and with alot of Joy. Two of my closest nephews, twins - have lived within 10 minutes of my house until the last year when they moved about 1 hour away. I don't see them as much as I used to, but they are teenagers now and are starting to want to be with their own friends on Friday nights anyway. Yesterday, we went bike riding with these wonderful kids and had a sleepover. I am just so lucky! Teenagers who want to hang with their aunt! How good can it get? Above is a picture of them with Uncle Tony.

I have been reading alot today about being a mom, losing your own identity, loving being a mom and more. But being a childless aunt has incredible and wonderful responsibilites also. I helped raise these kids and are as proud of their accomplishments as any proud mama. I worry about them if they seem insecure, or if they've been hurt (physically or mentally). I want to be there for them whenever they need me, but also am SO proud when I see them tramp off on their own - trying their wings but knowing that they have such a secure base to fall back on. I can't imagine a life without them and like any mom - can't believe the amount of love that one can feel for children and how deep that well of love is. And now I know ( and have for 14 years) that asking the question: who do you love more? is just rediculous and silly. How could I love one more than the other. I love them the same and also differently. I love them for who they are, the different interests that they have, their differnet ways of communication. It goes on and on.

Enough for now - it's time to wake them up so that we can take them home (to my BEST FRIENDS HOUSE) for Mother's Day!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Illustration Friday - May 11th

She loved orange - it brings out her blue eyes!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Minneapolis - May 8th

I have spent the past few days in Minneapolis on a visit to a Public Heath meeting - and my impressions of this city have undergone a rapid change. I have never been here and expected - cold and dreary and bland. Instead I have found beautiful weather, eating dinner outside at a sidewalk cafe, no overwhelming traffic, nice people (really nice), a great used book store and easy to reach (walking) shopping. Wish I had my camera, but I never thought I would need it or want to take pictures. It's been a nice surpise and I now wish that I had the chance to see more of the city.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

IFN: cardboard box

He lived his life in a box.
Funny story. Pink Purses got posted by mistake, by me, on IFN - to great hilarity. Here is the true cardboard box guy.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Pink Zippered Purses

Friends of mine recently returned from a whirlwind trip to Asia - business of course - and they were sweet enought to bring me back a beautiful pink little zippered bag. They know how I love pink!

Imagine my happy surpise when I opened the zipper and found this. It's like the Russian Doll of Chinese Zipper bags.

Illustration Friday 2 - May 4th

Okay - I think I jumped the gun this morning and got the wrong word somehow. Anyway, now the right word is "Neighbors". My entire studio is packed up in boxes waiting to hear it's fate - so all I have out is 3x6 watercolor blocks, pencils, black ink and some really wild DecoColor Glitter paint pens. I wish I had the talent and knowledge to do a pen and ink drawing only, but really also wanted to use that strange glitter paint. So here is Neighbors 1 and 2. Which one do you like if any at all?

Illustration Friday - May 4th

OK, good word. I don't know why I posted to this word a few weeks ago, so I can't remember what happened. So here is another "Remember"

Thursday, May 3, 2007

scribbler - fun

Try this, I found out about it here- it's so much fun! Tried to show an example but couldn't get it to save as a .jpg - oh well, try it anyway.