Sunday, October 28, 2012

Animal Wednesday on Sunday

I saw these railing decorations in Stamford, CT when I was there for Art is You.   The building might have been  a bank at one time, it had that look.  I believe it's a Hotel now. 

 I love the images - the squirrel hiding his nuts for the winter, the wise owl and the strength of a bulldog - at least that's how I read this.

And then the Cornucopia - with money pouring out of it.  I guess the message is clear - do you agree? 

I have been absent from the blogs as my poor DH had pneumonia last week and I've been taking care of him after his 4 days in the hospital.  He's getting better, and is getting stronger every day.  And I'm heading to Germany for the week, where I'm leading a large meeting.  I've spent months setting it up, have all the presentations, all the arrangements.  And of course I wish I wasn't going at all!   Plus we have a large storm coming.  In order to make it out before the storm, I'm leaving today instead of Monday night.  A few of my colleagues are doing the same, some are taking their chances and waiting to see what happens.   

I hate business travel at the best of times, and this is not the best of times. I am a nervous wreck!  I finally decided today that I'm going to push the meeting to be over a day early, and come home a day early if possible.  That is, if the airports are open.  Oy.  Send good flying wishes my way OK? 

So Happy Animal Sun-Wednesday to you all.  

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Facing Fears

We all have to face our fears - don't we? Sometimes it's harder than others, sometimes its a minor deal.  I have found myself facing fears lately - little ones thank goodness, but things like attending a conference by myself and showing my artwork for the Water Lily Girls to a group of people who don't know me!

Today I went to a day long class given by Suzy Becker, who lives in the town next to mine.  Suzy wrote and illustrated books such as "Everything I know I learned from my Cat" and "I had Brain Surgery, what's your Excuse?"  I liked her, very easy going and direct and an illustrator like that she has no formal training, her stuff is odd in a way - but she's a writer also which I am not.   She was helpful in giving exercises for ways to come up with stories, gave me great advice on what to do with the WLG's and gave personal conference sessions to everyone in the class.   We talked about how to find a writer for my little story - or did I really need one?

I laid out all the illustrations on the table (I was the only one with a fully formed idea) and everyone looked at them, gave their opinions and were impressed.

All in all, it was a great day.   When I got home I joined an organization called Society for Writers and Illustrators of Childrens Books - as a place to start to find writers and agents etc.

Suzy suggested that I redo all my pics on a different paper which is easier to reproduce (darn...that's alot of work) and also suggested that the same techniques that I use in comic class can be used to lay out a book and work out the kinks.   But OK, I've basically got stage 1 completed, and I can move onto the more "production" phase.  

Whew.  Never thought I'd get this far with this story, but I have, and we'll see where it goes from here.  I've faced this fear and it feels great.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Animal Wednesday - caged dangerous rhino

There was a vintage stuff sale at the Art Retreat last weekend and I found this little rusty cage - it's about 5 inches wide and 7 long.  I have no idea what it would be used for as any small animal that I know of would squeeze out of it in two seconds.

But it's a safe place for my little plastic Rhino - and keeps all the other plastic animals safe from harm.
(hee hee)

Happy Animal Wednesday! 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Weekend Art Retreat - Art is.....

 I had such a nice weekend.  Here's the story with - of course - commentary and history.

I had signed up for a painting class in California in June, and planned to stay at my brothers house while doing the workshop.  It turned out that the class was at the same time as my nieces graduation, mom was coming out, tons of friends  - it just got too complicated! I cancelled attending the workshop.  So, to sooth my wounded feelings - I signed up for "Art is You" in Stamford Connecticut.

The few days before the meeting I had a few minutes - or more - of regret that I had signed up and paid for the workshops.  Too busy, don't have time to do what I need to do anyways, too tired etc etc. But, it wasn't cheap and was past the time for refunds so off I went on Thursday night.

I didn't know a soul there, and was quite shy for the first night - but jumped into my first session on Friday where I took a Shrine Making class with Michael deMeng - it was amazing!  He is a wonderful teacher, funny, easy to work with and very creative.  The working area that we had was tight, and I had two tons of stuff to play with - but basically he taught alot of his painting techniques and composition.   Great session, great fun - and by now, I'm chatting up a storm with people. (are you surprised?)  The piece I worked on is shown below, not finished at all, but it'll get done.  


That night I took an iPAD "Sketchbook Pro" session - which was wonderful! I learned how to sketch on my ipad (all the funny art here is from that program).  I traced over a picture of my parents and it actually does look like them.  I drew and played with layers, and played some more.  I have a new tool now - and can sketch and draw and COLOR all in the space of a few minutes. Of course, no paper unless printed, but right now I'm all for less paper drowning me.

The next day I took a class called "Soldered Muse" with Kecia Delaney - because I've always wanted to learn how to solder.  I LOVED it - it was so much fun.  I can now make ornaments, and attach things to other things, and make a mess.  I don't know that I'll use it often but it was a goal of mine to learn...and learn I did.  I even sketched out a plan for a little piece - and used my ipad for the sketch!  woo hoo!!  Watch out digital world, here I come.


After the class I was relaxing in my room and got a text from someone saying "we're waiting for you in the bar!" - OK!! now we're on.   Delicious Cosmo for starters, good food and then there was a "vendor night" where people were selling stuff.  I got stuff... lots of stuff! Mostly stuff I didn't need but the Cosmo was making me very relaxed and happy and I happily parted with money.  I really didn't do too badly - and scored an industrial sized paper cutter for $15.00 and a funny little rusty cage for $5.00.   I put a stray plastic rhino in the cage and I'm happy.  Lots of good fun necklaces too.

Other happenings:

I met a woman with an art gallery in western mass who'd love to show my stuff (gulp).

I met a woman who is a graphic designer and gave me tips on comic production.

People loved my comics - another test run for our Miss Em.

There were 300 women there, and perhaps 5 men.  There was tutu days (I think that was the plan, that part confused me) and "breakfast in your PJ's" morning.  Women talking and exchanging ideas, and learning - that part was even more wonderful.

I met the famous Mrs Pom (famous to me anyways) and she was delightful, welcoming and tiny-er than I thought! Lovely to meet her and take a morning class - thank you Loretta!  (oh dear, as I was linking to her blog, I see that her mom has passed on - so sad).

I came home on Sunday morning, and spend the rest of the day unpacking, and organizing.  It was delightful.

This is the first time away from home where I haven't had family with me, or work to do. Where I could do my own schedule without having to meet people for lunch of dinner.  No one to watch over or take care of or worry about. I kept my own schedule, my own dates, my own time.  Two full days of it - and it was good for me.  I could use a week of it!  Actually, it made me think how good it was to be with other like minded arty people, off on a retreat, and how inspiring it can be.   I came home with tons of ideas and thoughts.    Happy to be home, but happy that I went.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Watercolor class

On top of being busy, I just found out that my drivers license has expired so have to go to the dreaded Motor Vehicle Bureau.  I hope to emerge sometime this month, but one never knows.

My watercolor teacher has a critique for the first part of every class. Oy.  Anyway, here is what I did.

We'll see how she likes them.  The bottom two are postcard sized, and the top one is 9x12.  Learning about transparent watercolors, kinda fun.   The water in the 2nd one is odd, and not finished - my goal was to work on the reflection part.

Have a lovely week!