Saturday, February 27, 2010

Six Word Saturday

No Loincloth Worn for This Class

I have missed a few classes so am a bit behind others but did manage to go to drawing class list night. I am by far and away the most untalented, worst person in the class. Some of the drawings that the others do are just awesome, I just hope that they have been practicing for years and years. In the first drawing I took DH's advice and focused on one section instead of getting overwhelmed with a whole body. Maybe if I do it piece by piece it will all come together. In the second drawing, I figured that there wasn't much to see so I tried to do the whole piece. The instructor is really nice, very encouraging - I think sometimes he thinks I might have two heads but is very quiet about that. I like him and would consider taking more courses from him. I'm trying REALLY hard to see dark/light section but it is VERY hard for me to get over seeing the whole form. But I remember the advice from Fern. JUST KEEP looking. Press your nose up against the tree and SEE the colors. Where I see brown or grey...she saw red,yellow, blue, violet.

I am still training my brain to see things in a new way and it is tough, tough, tough!!! but fun also.

I wonder what he would think of Miss Em - might just bring in some of those pieces to show him.

Well, since my ultimate goal is to learn to draw legs for walking fishes, I think I'll be OK. I might learn to draw arms too, so that the fish can carry things. My little fantasy world, with a few bits of reality thrown in.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Good Read

I just finished listening to this book and it was really, really, REALLY a great read. It was even a more wonderful listen - I was completely drawn it.

Go read it.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Animal Wednesday - a pug in the snow

My brother sent me this picture of his pug, Maggie, "enjoying" the snow up in a skiing area in California. Maggie is a sweet adorable pug, totally loving - one of those pugs that is so happy to see you when you arrive that she turns into a comma shape and can't walk straight. I'm very fond of this snorting, snoring dog...but I know that she doesn't like snow. She get's buried in it, and it's wet and cold and she's not used to it! We had a pug while growing up in Brooklyn, and when it snowed we put little booties on her feet and a little red coat with black trim and a tiny pocket. (I always wondered about that pocket; was it for a spare biscuit?) The booties always made her walk like a German soldier with her feet kicked out straight in front of her. So funny.

Anyway, here is Maggie (formal name; Magnolia) in the snow - ain't she cute???

We have a new Animal Wednesday member - Susan - awesome work on her blog - go check it out and do the Mr. Linky thing if you have a chance.

HAW all - enjoy the snow if you have it.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Thankful Sunday

Sunday seems as good a day as any to catch up on thanks for all of the wonderful goodies that I have been receiving from you lovely people. In no particular order - let me show you my booty!

A few months ago, I went down to Rhode Island to meet up with Lolo and KJ - this was orchestrated between KJ and me, and was a surprise for lolo - who had never actually met me in person. I got so f***ing lost that I was about 45 mins late, but finally found the place after calling KJ a dozen times and her pretending that I was a delivery person etc, etc. Anyway, Lolo opened the door and was like "may I help you?" as I stood there grinning and then recognition bloomed, she yelled "MIM" and hugs started.

Lolo has this adorable little dog named Emma who is way low to the ground and cute as a button. I was warned that she was a bit of an ankle biter, but I paid that no mind, and within a few minutes she was happily sitting on my lap, putting her head on my shoulder and snuggling - there was NO ankle biting. Lolo took a picture of us together and sent it to me in this terrific altered card. I don't know what the pooch on the front looked like originally, but lolo altered it to look just like Emma.

Inside is this little magnet thing that has a picture of me and mean, little Emma. Doesn't she look fierce (NOT)
Lolo recently sent out my D for Dinghy (gorgeous innit?) and included an ATC that I had lusted after called Spines and Shadows. I love surprise presents!

Thank you Miss Lolo, treats, treats, treats!!!

I am involved in a Postcard Art Exchange, which is great fun. We make postcard art and sent it out to someone on a list and in the end you have 12 pieces of little lovely artwork. So, the ever talented Lynn sent me this thread painted postcard.

The amazing thing is that Lynn took a fish picture of mine and computerized it somehow and then threadpainted it. Can you believe this? I was stunned when I saw it, that girl is SO creative and talented. (please note, the orange dot in on my scanner and wouldn't come off, it's not in the item) Lynn also knows that I love old postcards, and have a huge collection, so she sent me this 1935 doggie card.

Thank you Lynn, these are such treats

In the postcard exchange I also have received this amazing hand painted card from Marianne - can you believe this? It's just wonderful in person, a little work of art - she does such amazing work. I remember first "meeting" Marianne and her Mandalas - which are wonderful and gorgeous. But seeing her other work, her outdoor scenes or paintings of animals - this is one talented watercolor artist!!

I also received A is for Alligator from Marianne - I love him, since I always manage to see one or two of these guys when I am in Florida - I have a fondness for Alligator artwork.

I have been receiving wonderful ATC's for our second round of ABC ATC's around the World. I got E for Earwig from Gina; C for Caribou from Patty (all cut out is that caribou, can you imagine that detail work!) and Vav from Lynn.
My B for Buddha is from Soulbrush, he is an adorable skinny Buddha and he came in this wonderful.....
...Snuffles card! Snuffs with flowers in her everywhere. It is so cute to have this little card of adorable Snuffs!!!
I have more to post, but will do it at a later date. I'm embarrassed at how behind I am in Thanks but you all know I LOVE my presents and everyday jump on the mail to see what goody is coming my way.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Six Word Saturday

My Heart is Breaking for Renee

we all knew this was coming someday
it's coming too soon.

no real "goodbyes" said
no last words
no Hollywood ending

just misery and pain
surrounded by much love

This all just doesn't make sense, it really doesn't.

Friday, February 19, 2010

What a week....

I am home since late Wednesday night. I am WAAYYY behind in everything - laundry, unpacking, artwork, postcards, ATC's, sketchbooks, friends, phone calls, bank stuff, thank you's, hellos, work, HAW, posting, comments, new ideas, etc, etc, etc. Everyone at work is cranky. Everyone at home is cranky.

What to do.

Just try to catch up I guess! I should start with laundry...but think I'll start with art work instead. And tonight I have that figure-drawing/painting class. oh my....

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Somewhat stuck... Florida due to snow at home. I actually made the decision to change my ticket this morning when the airlines hinted that I should get a hotel room in Charlotte, NC "just in case". So got to spend another day with mom, which was good. I took a 2 mile walk to my MIL's house, and visited with her for awhile, then rode my bike back to moms. Showered and changed and off to visit my 90 year old aunt who just went into assisted living. Then dragged mom off to the yarn store, where I had a quick lesson in sock knitting. Then off to the Dr. office for mom where they told her the thing on her leg was nothing. THEN we went shopping mom and I, which is a thing that we do well together - I got a dress for a wedding in April and a something else for a BarMitzvah in October. and some other stuff that was fun like a lilac purple sweater with ruffles on the front - but classy - real classy I swear. We came home and had hamburgers and watched "Some like it Hot" on TV and then rattled thru her closet for accessories for this wedding. I found the Russian shawl that she wore when she had her Town Hall debut in 1945 - I think I'll wear that wonderful item.

My mom has always been elegant, and well dressed - tall and slender with red hair, she was always a knockout. She's an old lady now, more comfortable in sweats and sneakers but oh boy, does she still love fashion and clothes and bit and pieces. And hats since her hair is flyaway thin now - no matter what - she always manages to look well, and pulled together. I've never had the clothes talent, and had such a different figure and coloring from mom that I could rarely wear her clothes. But we always loved going shopping together, trying on stuff in the dressing room - who else will really give you an honest opinion but your mom???

Dad loved to see her dressed up and to the very end would insist on the two of them going out together dressed up as much as they could. He was hunched over and she was tripping on her high heels but off they would go together, mr and mrs elegant.

Mom and Dad always had tons of friends calling the house, but that has tapered off a bit now. Some friends have moved away, some have died, some are still couples who want to hang with other couples. This house is too big to rattle around in by only one person. It feels empty, and lonely at times. I realize that it's only a year that dad is gone, and that mom is still in the grieving mode - but I am encouraging her to call friends and get out socially. She tends to be happy with her own company - and that is great, but we all know that can lead to other more depressing behavior that could be avoided.

But all in all, this has been a good visit. There are times when it crosses my mind how ridiculous it is that we, my immediate family, live so far apart. We should all be closer together, we should all be in cold NYC living in an apartment building where we can look out for each other - but no, not us! We're the modern immigrants who left home and traveled away from home, away from family closeness (they were driving us crazy!) and then when our parents left the family home, we were devastated!

I want 10 healthy years - OK???

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine weekend - not so romantic!!

Last year we (mr. DH and I) went away for Valentines weekend - we went to Martha's vineyard and stayed in a B&B and had a lovely time. We got home on Sunday night, must have been the 15th. On the 16th I got a 6:00 am phone call from my brother that Dad was in the hospital; I rushed down to Florida - DH a few hours behind me and we had a day and 1/2 with Dad before he passed on the 19th - at home, surrounded by his family.

This weekend I decided to come down to see mom and have a girly weekend, no boys allowed, no one to cook for or worry about. I booked my tickets and right before I left DH seemed better from the cold and bronchitis that he's had for 3 weeks - no temp finally - aha - off I went.

But yesterday DH was back at the Dr. with a fever again - here I am in Florida worrying about someone who is far away. Should I go home..or should I stay? That's not really a question, just a replay of what is going thru my head. If he still has a fever today, I will head home. If not..I'm going to try to stop worrying and let him be for a few days.

And, right before I left we found out that a close friend has terminal cancer - I think he's in his mid 40's or so. Nicest guy in the world..and I really mean that. He is the kind of guy who speaks the way he lives and it's all truth. I literally trust this guy with our lives...he is our airplane mechanic - and I truly, truly trust him. So it was sad and devastating to hear about his cancer which, as usual - came out of the blue.

And a bit worried about Grapes and her mom - love to them both.

And Renee - so worried about her and feeling for her and her family. Sucks!!!

Whew - this post started out as a "here I am, see ya when I get back" post; but I can see my anxiety showing thru. Sorry to dump but what the heck!!!

To look on the good side:
I'm with my mom on Valentines day, (her first without dad and he always got her something) and that ain't so bad. Hopefully DH won't have a temp today and I won't have to rush home. The day is cloudy here so it'll be good for a level bike ride later on today and MIL is doing well.

Hope you all have a good day and find loving hearts ready for kisses and hugs. Be well!! If you think prayer works...please pray for my friend Bob...and for Renee

PostScript: it's cold here in Florida but the early morning walking is great, power workout music helps. DH sounds better, MIL is doing well....and I'm going home tomorrow night!!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

ArtShine Book

I got three books in the mail last week, Kate's ArtShine; Lo's ArtySoul and Lynn's A.S also. I opened Kate's first so worked on that first. Her theme is "inspired by nature" I was.

Paper collage, thread and acrylic paint.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Animal Wednesday

I'm sorting thru some older animal drawings and decided to post some of them again today - for a few reasons.

1) the drawing I was working on for today looks like mush, and is terrible and I wouldn't show it to a dog!!

2) A mini-retrospective is fun, you think "ooh, I like that one" or "why the heck did I color that".

Either way...I still love my fishies.

Happy Animal Wednesday everyone

Monday, February 8, 2010

Miss Em and the naked model

I am practicing by copying life drawings - got a magazine and went at it...but couldn't resist a Miss Em image in the drawing. Ain't she surprised!!!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

A Collection of Bowls - and a few other things.

Catching up with showing some of the things that I have been working on over the past month as promised. So here are the Paper Mache bowls that I have been working on.

I like working in a series because everytime you do something new, you learn. I learned alot from making all these bowls - each one is an experiment in materials, and size and feel and finish. Each time they got better...or worse as I branched out into new experimentation.

I learn to do something by doing it as badly as I can - does that make any sense? I have to break things down before I can build them up again. It works for me - who knows why.


My idea was to collect all the PM bowls that I have worked on over the past month and do a photo shoot of them, so I collected them all, and put them on the workbench...and then decided that it was too difficult to photograph them all together. They just weren't acting like live models and moving themselves around to show their best side, and in general were uncooperative.

But here is the test shot that I did, so that you can get the full effect of my obsession.

Most of these I have posted before, so won't bore you again but here are some newer ones The red one sort of have a valentine theme, but not really. I've been completely into gold insides, so these are gold painted inside.

These green ones are sort of strange, I'm not in love with the way the green color turned out. Gold inside again.....

Now this one turned out to be my favorite, because of a few things. I like the shape, I like the bowl I used as a mold, it has a satisfying feel. I also love the color and the gold thingies on the side are from watercolor pens - you have to remove these little white rings before you use the watercolor so I had saved them. Painted them gold and here they are.

with of course, gold inside. (wonder when I'll get over this obsession?)
A purple bowl that is OK, I like the color inside and out but the shape just didn't do it for me.

This one is one paper inside and out and it's a gorgeous paper on it's own. Layered like this it looses its transparency and becomes a bit pasty I think. But I had fun with the shape and the letters and I have a fondness for this bowl. Those little squares are newspaper squares.

So that's the bowl saga. Yesterday I went to a local art store and found a few beautiful pieces of decorative paper, brought some home and might just make some more of these. It's fun, messy, goopy, and different.

I played yesterday with making hearts from canvas and other bits and pieces - maybe for valentines cards. If so, I guess I'd better get busy eh? (gosh - gold again, what's with me? Do I really want to have gold plated items in my house? Should I give into this gold obsession and go for the gold plated toilet?)

While I was downstairs taking pictures I found this box that I had made for Tony a few years ago and thought I'd post it. I started into this whole art challenge by playing with decoupage, and I loved it. But one runs out of places to keep large boxes so I turned to drawing and here I am today. I still love boxes and as you can containers of all kinds.
So that's the update. I could show you other stuff that I've been working on but you don't want to see pictures of all of the clothes out of my closet being sorted and organized. I don't even want to see it - let alone take pictures and share.

So have a lovely day all...

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Six Word Saturday

Well, guess what...I had fun!

I have never taken a life drawing class before, but the instructor was very welcoming (and adorable looking) and helpful and great. So, all in all, I had a fun evening. I am showing you two of the more Human looking paintings (every week it is different, one week paint and one week pencils etc). The others looked like flat bodied martians, perched in strange odd poses.

I was also glad to see that the Iraqie girl from my first painting class was there, happily painting away. I'm not sure if the jock strap that this guy wore was in deference to her, or not, but it was sure odd.

Great way to end a busy week.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Friday night excitement (NOT)

Because my Friday night painting class was cancelled, I'm going to try a figure drawing class instead. I don't really want to do this - NOT interested in doing 3 minute drawing poses - that kind of pressure in not good for me, I'll be drawing stick figures. But if I don't like it I can get my money back.

So here we go again.....

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Animal Wednesday - ducks!!

I can't believe it's been a week since I've posted, this is a long dry stretch for me. Traveling for work and visiting my brother for a weekend takes it's toll on blogging. And I'm still catching up! Laundry to do, large bulky envelopes to unwrap, things to catch up on.

I came home to three (3!!) ArtySoulSister books - one of them is MINE, finished. I'll post pictures of it this weekend. I also got Katies ArtShine book to start, so I have 3 waiting for me to get creative.

I have pictures to post from sunny CA, want to share my paper mache bowl series, show you all a painting that I have started, (hey if I can't take a class, I'll teach myself) but it will all have to wait until this weekend when I come up for air.

Until then, Happy Animal Wednesday