Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Art Rage 1

I got this program and haven't figured it out yet. It's on my list. Here is the first attempt.

Drawing for Dummies - Monday July 31st

After I was done kayaking on Sunday I settled myself down with this book and did the first excercise which is this little hairy beast. Then a Teddy bear. Didn't get much further than that but if dummies can do it, I can too.


Is it considered multi-tasking to blog while drinking morning caffeine and waking up?

For Kisrsten, here is SP 1 starting out with green and purple hair (hey, I was trying to reinvent myself) and the finished one. Too much orange on the face but not enought color elsewhere. This is a strange technique - you really have to go overboard on the color, but in a funny way. I like this one before the tissue.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Self portrait

I wanted to try this self portrait, using the same technique that I used for Sarah's portrait. Not as good, but not bad! I didn't overwork it as much and that shows in some tentative way. I'm going to keep trying, this is interesting. The one of me with black hair is really something but I won't post that. It's sort of an Elvira look.

Donations for the Dogs

Bernie needs money for a special dog that she picked up. Please help by doing the donation thing with the badge on the sidebar of my blog. Lot's of you have this badge also. Look how much we all managed to contribute for her last trasnport.

Please help, the doggies need you

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Taking a Walk - Sunday AM

Samson was a tiny pup when we got him in 87, 8 weeks old, pink belly, cuddly. He grew up to be an 85 lb typical lab, with a typical destructive otter tail but with a personality that transcended even a lab - such a sweet dog and so biddable. He and I had a connection that went way beyond dog and mistress.

There is a wildlife refuge near my house that where I walked him almost daily. We did about 2 miles a day, maybe more. We both loved it, I loved to see his joy in swimming, or sliding on the snow and he, in doggy fashion, just loved it like he loved everything.

Samson died when he was 15, a grand old age for a dog but it was just after 9/11 - I was traumatized from being in the air that day, and moving houses, and husband's health issues. He was my link to ...I don't know...something good I guess. I just adored that dog.

Today, for the first time in 5 years, I walked up to that wildlife refuge and could be there without crying. I owe it to myself to keep walking, to keep in shape for when another Samson comes along and wants to have long walks everyday.

Illustration Friday Night - July 28th

I don't know what it up. Sarah thinks I am spending to much time at the Death Clock. Maybe. I certainly feel like I am resetting my public image with this one.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Time Budget

After commuting, sleeping, eating and working - I have 4 hours left in the day (weekdays) to spread amongst excercising, art, blog, phone, reading, cleaning, shopping, friends, sewing, relaxing. I need to add excercise into every day so I'll give that 0.5 hours/day right now (better than the 0 that I currently have budgeted) . I can eliminate reading as I listen to books on tape on the way to and from work (just love double dipping) . So I have about 3.5 hours for art, sewing, blog, phone, cleaning, shopping, vegging, TV, cooking, Dr. appointments, hair and nails, etc, etc, etc. Adding the weekends into the total time makes me feel better, unstructed time always does.
Obviously, something has to give. I don't want it to be time with friends and family, or art, or sewing - cleaning and shopping sound like the first things to go if you ask me.

The prettiest quilt yet

I found this green fabric with roses on it, and just fell in love with it. I first used it for a green and pink quilt binding but went back to get some more. I tried the two triangles format for this one surrounded by strips of the green with roses, backed by pink polka dots and bound with a green stripe. The triangles were a learning experience, as I guess I was sewing in such a way that allowed the fabric to stretch somewhat. I had to do alot of trimming to get things to be even and boxed off. I did the binding by machine and by hand on the back to blind stitch. Maybe not so blind at all times but it works.

I tend towards girly quilts and am going to make a consious effort to get more "gender neutral" or boyish. I am going to make a quilt for a friend whose wife just had their first baby and they are both in their mid forties. got some wonderful fabric coming from Purl Bee, called Monkey Funky - it should be fun to decide what to do with that fabric.

I like quilting now and am getting better at it, but still do not find it relaxing. Maybe my machine is at the wrong height as I do get tension in my neck like crazy. I am getting better at understanding the machine's abilities which are OK, but I can't get a quilting foot for this machine as they don't make them anymore. And I'm not one with the tension thing - never understood how to adjust that at all. But I do love the finished products.
I scanned the quilt pictures shown here, did not take pictures with my little camera as the battery is charging from a week of neglect, somehow this technique makes the yellow fabric look wrinkly. It isn't so wrinkled in real life but is a litte looser than the green.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Illustration Friday - July 27th

The theme this week is "Moon". I had this piece and know that I probably won't have much time this week to work on something else. This little one is flying thru the sky on his canoe - see the swirly moon in the background?

one annoying thing

An artist called for work, put the request on her blog. No names! So I sent in jpgs of three items. Now, I ain't good and I knows it. But I do expect honesty. No answer from this chick. No comments, no nothin'. I am a little bit peeved. If she didn't like them (which is obvious) then say so! I can take it! The pieces weren't Horrible, perhaps just amateurish. I don't expect to hit the big time - I am very conscious of my abilities (or lack thereof).

I got the inspiration for this piece from a book by J. Cirincione a wonderful collage artist (and when I sent it in I explained where I had gotten the inspiration from - no hidden agenda's here) This was made for for Dad's 93rd birthday. Dad taught me to play cards, and ice skate and a million other things. Bad picture but a piece made with love.

Anyway, the moral is - if you ask for work follow up with the person who sent it to you. You can be polite and reject something without being nasty. Just follow up!!!

Manikin - July 26th

Drew this guy last night. I was thinking that I felt happy but after drawing this I realized that I feel like a manikin whose limbs are being pulled in all directions, none of them what the manikin wants. I need a vacation, am very stressed. Hiatus? From blog? From art? from work and home? I won't make any pronouncements but will try to get to a less stressed mode. Try to eliminate the thumping heart, the 'gotta move, gotta go' life. I know that a day by the pool doesn't fix this type of stress, it's more of a life style change. More excercise? We'll see,

IFN - last week 20th?

I never posted these here - from IFN - illustrate your favorite pop tune. Well, what if you are a classical music nerd and also love country music and bluegrass. I could have illustrated "Big Rock Candy Mountain" but chose to go with these instead.
Eleanor Rigby - wearing a face that she keeps in a jar by the door.

Mack the Knife

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Sung to the tune of "neener, neener, neerner"

Notes are: A,A, F sharp,B,A, F sharp

( In case you don't know this tune, it is a children's ditty sung when number 1 child is lording it over number 2 by having either done something better than poor child number 2 or having something better, or bigger, or done it faster - in other words it is a singing taunt. AKA "I know something you don't know")

Now that I've gotten that out of the way

I finished Harry Potter
I finished Harry Potter
I finished Harry Potter

Neener, neener, neener...


I lost my little iPOD - actually it's lost in the house somewhere - so had to buy a new one. Here is n unfinished drawing of it, again done on a plane.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Wriggley Line guy

Was sitting across from me at a lecture today. He couldn't sit still - not even with my brain screaming at him to SIT STILL.

Illustration Friday - July 22nd - Poem

I am not a poetry fan and have very little in the way of poetic references. The first one that came to my mind starts out "Lizzy Borden took an axe..." and you can take it from there,

Shadow and Head

My cousin took this picture and I got it off his phone. I love the headless guy and the shadow. Possibilites here

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Rocks - inspired by Jeannette

I love rocks. Love piles of rocks. I found these in Arizona and am posting them after having rock envy lusting after piles of rocks at Jeannettes blog. Maybe I'll play in photoshop with this picture.

Also an airplane flight drawing of rocks, not the rocks from Arizona just ones in my head.

California to NYC - almost too much to take in

Usually on a plane I go into "the zone" and take little notice of the people around me. But this guy caught my attention. I swear he looked just like this and had the tie too.

Transparent Sheep - July 22nd

Transfer on Watercolored background

Friday, July 20, 2007

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Portrait Party - official one of Sarah

See entry below for numerous explanations and itierations of Sarah's Portrait, but here is the official one.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Three Portraits of Sarah - july 18th

Sarah Wilde and I agreed to exchange portraits for the Portrait Party. I've admired Sarah's work and am so glad that we started corresponding - I feel that I have made a new friend.
I got a photo from Sarah and started working on 3 portraits at the same time, as I know myself and my screw up factor. And...I still have millions of things to learn...

The one I like the best one is small and I really like the way it came out. (Its actually the second try - keep reading down to see the whole story) Perhaps it needs a bit more dark and light but I was pleased with this one. The eyes need some work, I'll have to learn how to soften them - and not have them pop as much.
The next one (third try) was a shock to me! What I did was to make a grid on watercolor paper and start my drawing from there using pencil, paint and pastel. It was coming along pretty good but not very exciting and I felt that it needed more contrast. Well, I overworked it SO badly that I was completely disgusted with myself. Oh my, it was so bad, like a bad cartoon. I came home from work one day and in absolute disgust with myself I plopped a ton of gel medium on the portrait and plastered it with thin tissue paper. And what was once an overworked cartoon, came out looking great! I think it looks too much like a photograph but Sarah doesn't agree with me. My husband made me peel up the corner to prove that I had done the drawing, he also thought it was a photograph. I do like working from a grid and found that it helped me with the shape of the face.
On the first try, I wanted a green background so I did a green under painting - not realizing how bad that can be. The portrait could have been good, but only if poor Sarah is a member of the Addams family - the green around her eyes makes for a great corpse picture. In the spirit of total disclosure - here is the first VERY unfinished try.... I couldn't even look at it without feeling weird - and wondering how one would go about fixing this!

I love doing this challenge - it's alot of work, and you really end up putting your ego on the line...but...something about completing it feels good....

On a business trip - shopping?

No I haven't been shopping on this trip - no time so far. But I like this piece, with her slip falling down. Makes you wonder what she't trying on!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Still Sunday - cleaning the basement

In trying to get ready for a business trip - after not having traveled for about 8 weeks (whew) I am trying to find my iPod. It is lost somewhere in the basement, leaving me resolved to get that situation ironed out when I get home. But I also found this funny drawing, I kind of like it. Wierd conehouses? Should have done more shading, perhaps I still will. Shading - one of my weaknesses.

Darn Airlines

Over the years I have become a very efficient packer, and can get two or three weeks worth of clothes into one medium size suitcase. Now they won't allow the suitcase to weigh more than 40 lbs, about 8 of which is taken up by the suitcase. What is a shoe lover supposed to do?
I drew a picture of a suitcase using art-rage, but have no idea how to load it into Blogger - which only likes .jpg's.
Oh well, of to sunny San Diego - it is pouring rain here in Stow

EDM - Rock 2

See explanation below on learning to see!

Learning to See - July 15th

I read a book by Oliver Sacks and he told a story of a person who got their eyesight at the age of 40 - having been blind since birth or very very young (I can't remember). Everyone thought this was such a wonderful thing and expected this guy to be eternally grateful. If I remember correctly, the guy ended up killing himself, as his brain was not wired for vision and "seeing" made no sense to him. Very sad story, but very interesting.
When I was a kid I had very bad eyesight, and no one knew. Until I was 10 I lived in a blurry world, trees were green blobs, and everything was muted and fuzzy. I never knew who was approaching me. I couldn't see the blackboard. ( I must have had very unobservant teachers!) Now I understand why I was so afraid of everything when I was a kid - I never knew what was coming next!
When I was 10 someone figured it out and I got glasses - I'll never forget the amazement of seeing that trees had actual leaves. That summer I went to Switerzerland to camp - to this day the Alps are, to me, crystal clear, etched against the sky.
Where am I going with these two stories? Well it's about learning to see, wiring your brain and learning new things. When I was a kid I always drew everything with a big dark line around it. Why? For me because I had to define things with edges, because I couldn't see. If I drew the world as I saw it, it would have been one big blob - and I think that was too scary for a kid so I defined everything with outlines. This starts here and ends here. OK, now I know what my limits are.
So just this morning I have been trying to draw a rock for EDM. I keep drawing outlines, even tho' I know that big black crayon edges don't exist. Suddenly I realized that I can leave behind the compulsion to outline my world, I can see now. I have to reteach my brain to NOT draw outlines, but to use shading. My brain can rewire and will.
If you can't see you can only draw what's inside your head. Learning to see is a very tough excercise.

Done on the Beach - Big Pear on the Water

Saturday, July 14, 2007


This is the list of what I did today
6:00 am - got up and had coffee then went to the basement to obsess over some seams. Ripped the seams, redid them. Cleaned up the basement a bit, checked email.
9:00 stopped at the drycleaners to pick up clothes that I left there yesterday to pick up last night. Then went grocery shopping and just had to stop into TJ Maxx to see if they had anything that I could wear to a conference next week. $15.00 got me pants and a jacket.
Home by 11:00 - made lunch for our weekend adventure.
12:00 - flew to Provincetown
1:00 - biked 3 miles to the beach. Three HILLY miles
1:30 - 3:30 - hung out on the beach, tried to relax
4:00 - biked back to the airport, back over the HILLY bike trail,
5:55 - got home and took a shower
6:30 - friends came over for dinner
10:30 - friends left.

All this after a week of leaving the house at 6:30 am and coming home at 6:30 pm.

And I wonder why I am tired.

Everyday Matters

I just joined this group and am sort of starting in the middle. This is going to be a real challenge for me, as I am just, just learing to see and draw and it's tough.
The first one that I am tackling is rocks... and here is a pen and ink, watercolor interpretation. I am doing more rocks, having spent last weekend taking photo's of rocks to draw. I love rocks as you might be able to tell. This drawing is more interpretative isn't it? No real dimension to the rocks - well, time to try again with new rocks.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Illustration Friday - July 13th - Discovery

I thought about this topic during the day and was going to do discovery of a microbe, or something scientific. I came home and started playing around with bits and pieces and discovered that working with paint, paper and stitching, glue, words, transparencies etc can be fun.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

what does this tell me

I was on the phone with mom the other night, a little bit frustrated as we were discussing computer issues (where the heck did that .jpg go?)..and it is annoying to try to explain over the phone what a folder is - etc etc. I was doodling while we talked and this is what came out. It's so darn cheery! I thought it would be dark with frustration, some angst, annoyance. Instead it tells me that I really was having a good time. The little cocooned doll in the middle - you tell me what that means! And flowers and hearts. Guess I enjoy my frustrating talks on the phone with Mom!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Memory of a Day on the Beach

With thanks to Claudine for (1) the overall theme for the background, (which I shamelessly tried to copy as I had ruined the original paper sheet! ) and (2) the feet stamps - I created this memory thingy of a day on the beach with my brother and nephew. My husband thinks that the blue "waves" look more like mountains but what does he know. I was going to make the pants come up above their belly buttons but they looked so nerdy when I did that - that I just couldn't stand it! I sent this off to California today and hope they enjoy memories of our day on the beach in Sarasota.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Isabella's Quilt - July 8th

I finished the little "out of my color palatte" quilt and have bound it with a blanket stitch and have embroidered (badly!) "Isabella" on the back. I was going to embroider "Love from Auntie Mim" also but that is too many letters - I haven't embroidered in donkey's years. This will be her one year birthday present - hopefully a little bit early. I was having trouble with the binding on another quilt and the nice ladies at the quilting store told me that I needed a Walking Foot. Whatever - I got it and it has made a world of difference.

My other hobby

Aside from sewing and learning to draw and paint, I have worked on miniatures for years. Here is a box in progress. I made most of the furniture myself, and the drapes. Purchased the mirror and some other items. I love this hobby, my own little world!

A close up of the serving table with cake.

The Reading Couch with a handy light. Perfect for sitting by the open window, listening to the waves outside.

The Lady of the house has just come in from outside. The fireplace is on as it is a bit damp and chilly outside.

You can see she is holding an umbrella.

She is about to go over to the other side of the room and have her tea. Bliss.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

More on "the dead"

We went to NH today to get out of the house while it was being exterminated (carpenter ants and pantry moths - yuck). I was still thinking of the IFN topic "The Dead" and came across an old graveyard.

These three stones caught my eye.

The first one is to "Dea. John Holt" Died in Greenfield. April 19, 1869 aged 69 yrs, 9 months, 10 days.
The second one is to "Phebe" Wife of Dea. John Holt, Died May 8, 1862, Aged 65 yrs
The third, and shortest one is to "Mary R" Wife of Dea. John Holt, Died August 24, 1868, Aged 45 years

I saw no Holt children buried near any of them.

I started making up stories - here is one of them.

Deacon Holt was a farmer and a faithful member of the church. He was married to his childhood sweetheart, Phebe. (John had been mature for his age in school, and always went after the slightly older girls)

Phebe and John didn't have any children, but were beloved members of the community, active members of the church and Grange society, she was involved with the Women's Institute and the Quilting Society. They aged together, got fat together, sat in church together, farmed together for over 30 years of wedded bliss. They never had children but had many nieces and nephews to spoil.

Phebe got sick in late April, 1862 with the ague (flu) and rapidly got worse. She appeared to rally in early May and because their hired help had decamped to fight in the Union Army, went outside to help with the early spring farm chores. By dinnertime that night she was feverish again, and it was all downhill from there. On May 8th, Phebe died in the arms of her portly husband. Secretly John Holt blamed it on President Lincoln.

John Holt had always been known as a "catch" in the area. He had land, a nice house which was well kept up by his wife, he wasn't bad looking and he bathed often - seeing as how he was a deacon in the church and a well respected member of the community. After a proper period of mourning, he gave in to the pressures of society and began to court Mary, a spinster of 39 and the daughter of a neighbor. Mary looked like a spinster, she had watery eyes, and had to squint to see past her own nose - but she was an able bodied woman and could help on the farm and in the house. John was secretly hoping that Mary would be able to take care of him in his old age.

They were married for over 5 years, and Mary had suited John very well. She was an excellent baker, always took first prize at the Grange shows, and had taken Phebe's place on the farm, in the Women's Institute and the Quilting society. She was a wonderful housekeeper and kept John well fed and happy in his home. Mary had come into her own after living with her brother, his wife and their 8 children before her marriage.

Sadly, Mary was working on the farm one day and stepped on an old nail that had fallen from their wagon. She washed the cut well, and kept off her foot for a day, but alas, the injury got worse and worse - red streaks started running up her leg. The Doctor was called and he decided that the leg would have to come off. Mary and John begged for a few days to see if she would get better and against his better judgement, the Dr. agreed. Two days later, John sent a frantic message to the Dr. asking for immediate help, but it was too late. Mary died in her husbands arms - delirious and raving.

John Holt was devastated at the loss of his second wife and began to fade away, he wouldn't eat and stopped going to church. 8 months after Mary died, he died quietly, in his own bedroom - in no one's arms.

The End.

Illustration Friday Night - "The Dead"

Interestingly, someone else did a dead phone, so I had to think how to expand the meaning of this drawing. I googled "Dead Telephone" and got a great web site about "Phone Calls from the Dead" The text reads in part: "years ago, I ran across an entry about phone calls from the dead in a paranormal encyclopedia...This was before you could pop online and find out about anything and everything under the sun. The entry mentioned a book about phone calls from the dead. Several years passed, and my sisters and I had ceased to yell, "phone calls from the dead!!" every time the phone rang. Phone calls from the dead are phenomena where a person receives a telephone call that seemingly involves a person who has died. "

I worked on coloring this in Photoshop - which I don't know. What a drag. Gotta learn this program.