Friday, December 31, 2010

Winding Down 2010....




The old year is winding down and soon it will be 2011. A clean slate. A new beginning. A blank page. What will you put down on your pages? I plan to fill mine with art. I won't tell you I'll do art every single day because we all know that won't happen! But I will tell you that I plan to do art as often as possible. And I'll share it with you here on my blog.

Now I leave you with this .... I hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year. I hope 2011 will be fantastic for you. I hope all your hopes and dreams become reality....and most of all I hope for a peaceful year for the world.

Monday, December 27, 2010

It's Been Awhile....

All the excitement is over....all the craziness is behind us for another year. And I can get back to art again.

Yesterday I planned to spend time in the studio but then it just didn't work out so this morning I went straight there when I got up and I made myself do something....anything....just get something down on paper.

Since I never got around to choosing a word for this year I decided to start thinking about it before 2011 was here. The first word that popped into my head was focus. And since that's what I plan to do in 2011 I thought it would be a perfect word for me. I want to focus more on art and less on my blog. That's not to say I won't be blogging but it may only be once or twice a week.

So it seemed appropriate to do a journal page using my word....



I began by covering the page with phone book pages. Then a light coat of gesso. I began writing down my thoughts about focusing and just covered the page. Then I turned it sideways and printed the word focus all over the page. Then another layer of the word only this time I wrote it on a slant. I just wanted to create a background of pattern. The larger letters were stenciled and painted, and I found the eye online. Easy, simple, and got me going again.



Under the eye it says "keep your eye on your goal" and that's my plan. It's nothing special....no new technique or anything....but it got my hands dirty and that's what I needed.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and that Santa was good to you.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy Holidays....



Thank you to each and every one of you who visit my blog. Many of you leave comments and I appreciate that. Others just pop in for a quick visit and that's ok, too. I know that lately I haven't had much art on my blog but I plan to change that in 2011. But for the rest of this year I may not be blogging all that much. I'm re-charging my batteries and making some artsy plans, getting caught up on some reading, and just enjoying the holidays season. I hope when all the hub-bub is over that you'll all come visit me again. Until then....

Happy Holidays to everyone!!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Just Waiting....



This is what my work table looks like. No art has been done for quite some time but I'm going to be getting busy again very soon. I hope you can hang in with me for a little bit longer and then I'll have something to show you. Until then, the studio is neat and tidy and waiting for me....

Monday, December 13, 2010

I Love Christmas Lights!!!

HB did a good job with the decorating this year. He always does the arches. I took these pictures last night with just the Christmas lights on so they're a little dark but this is how the arches and the tree look right now....





Happy Holidays!!!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Getting Mail is So Much Fun!

Well, here I am again with another week of no blog posts. This time of year is never my best time for creating. There's just so many other things to do and sadly my art takes a back seat.

I've been baking cookies! My kids would be very upset with me if they didn't get their box of cookies for Christmas so as of yesterday the cookies are officially on the way to Alaska and Delaware. Now HB is wondering where "his" cookies are so guess I better keep baking!

Several days ago I had some fun things arrive in the mail. The first item was from Kate....does she know me or what??



She sent me the lavender apron with lots of pockets. Don't you just love it? Here's a close-up of the apron minus the chubby gal!



As I told Kate, the apron would be great for the studio but I'd hate to get it all messed up so I'll use it in the kitchen because everyone knows I never cook! That way it won't get all messy!! Thank you, Kate! I love it!

Also about the same time, I received some art that I won over on Tinker's blog. Aren't these great?



They're all skirts of different styles. I think my favorite is the barefoot woman sitting on the steps. That one really speaks to me. And of course the skating skirt in bright red for the holidays is also a favorite. They're all favorites! I want to find a frame so I can put these in my studio. Thanks, Tinker! You know I love your art!!

Other than that I have nothing to show you for all the time I've been missing. There has not been one bit of art created around here unless you consider the decorating of the house as art....or baking cookies. I guess both of those things are creative. Just no pictures of any of it yet.

I hope you're all enjoying the holiday season....and thank you to everyone who has sent me Christmas cards. I'm going to be sending mine out tomorrow. I hope they aren't too late!

Friday, December 03, 2010

Confessions....

Time slipped away and I didn't realize how long it had been since my last post. And I left you all hanging with the news about LuLu. First of all, little Miss LuLu is doing better.


This is an older photo but this is how she looks now after she's feeling better.

She's been eating a little and keeping it down. She's getting to be a bit perkier, too and she's being so good about taking her medicine. The nurse (a really talkative guy) at the vet's office gave us a couple of good tips about how to get her to take medicine and they seem to be working. Thanks to all of you who emailed me about LuLu. I finally realized I better update my blog and let everyone know!

Now on to confessions! I confess that I did not do the final three words for NaNoJouMo. There was just so much going on right then that I got too far behind and didn't catch up. And now I'm behind in Dawn's mini holiday journal workshop, too. It began on the first and I haven't done any of the pages yet. I know I've said this before but I think this coming year I won't be joining as many challenges as I did this year. I simply can't keep up with everything! I guess I really must be getting old!!!!

HB and I did accomplish a few things though. We got the big tree up in the living room....of course it sat there naked for several days before we got it decorated but it's finally finished. The same thing is going on with the smaller tree in the family room. I'm hoping to get the ornaments on it today. Then I can move on to other things.

This is how my house has looked for several days now!





Here's a picture of the big tree right before we finished it....



You can see that I didn't even have the skirt on her yet. But she's all dressed now and has her legs covered with a pretty red velvet skirt.

Here are a few of the ornaments....







Every year we do this tree with red and gold ornaments. I'm not one of those people who buys all new decorations each year. Many of the ornaments I use are 30 to 40, or more years old! I like using red and gold for this tree. It looks so much better in real life than any picture I can take. The smaller tree in the family room is the one where I use everything....all the ornaments that my kids remember, and even a few that were on my very first Christmas tree 67 years ago! Each year HB and I buy ourselves one new ornament that is "special" for us. And I usually buy a few new things but I never change my tree completely. I guess many of you would think that's boring but I love the tradition or the ritual of having it the same each year.

Ok, that's about all the "news" from here. Maybe one of these days I'll have some journal pages to share with you but not today! I know there are lots of people who update their blogs daily, keep up with all the other social media like FB and Twitter, and are still able to turn out art every day. I'm not one of them! I wish I knew their secret.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Kitties and Art....

The best laid plans.... I told you I'd show more of my pages a couple of days ago. But that was before we had to spend most of Saturday at the vet's office! Our LuLu is sick again. I won't give you all the messy details but Friday afternoon she started getting sick. Friday night I slept on the couch in the family room so I could keep an eye on her. She wouldn't come upstairs with us so I thought I better stay with her just in case she had trouble in the night.

So I didn't get much sleep Friday night and then Saturday we spent a long time at the vet.



LuLu is very patient. She just sat quietly in the bottom half of her travel crate while we waited for the doctor.

They ran some tests and observed LuLu but came up with nothing definitive. Today she's doing a little better. She's on an antibiotic with an anti-nausea medicine added to it. She's drinking a little water and eating a few bites now and then so hopefully this won't turn into something huge like last time. At least her blood work came back looking good.



She's such a sweet kitty....and spoiled rotten by HB!

********************************************

I do have a couple of pages for you and I promise I'll keep posting a few at a time until I get you all caught up.

Nov 24 - word was courage



The background of this page was already done and just waiting to be finished. I love having lots of background pages ready. It makes it a lot easier when I'm rushed for time.

Nov 25 - word was gratitude



Another background all ready and waiting. This page isn't much....just a bit of writing. Some of the words this month just don't resonate with me. That isn't to say gratitude is one of those words! I say "thank you" hundreds of times each day. I say silent thank you's for just about everything in my life. But making a page is not always something easy for me....especially when there's a theme or word to be used. That's why I join so many of these journal prompt challenges. It doesn't come easy and I keep hoping that if I do it enough I'll get the hang of it. So far that hasn't worked!!

Ok, HB just started a fire in the fireplace so I'm going to join him in the family room. I hope you all have a pleasant evening. Stay warm....

Friday, November 26, 2010

A Few More Pages....

Whew! Are you all stuffed from the big Thanksgiving dinner....those of you in the U.S. probably are! HB and I went to my cousin's daughter's house for dinner. It was great! The turkey was moist and delicious, and all the other dishes were good, too. We had a fun time.

HB took a picture of me....sorry for squinting but the sun was right in my eyes!



The shawl/scarf was a gift from my daughter. I love it and don't get to use it very often because I'm usually in jeans. Yesterday was a good excuse to dress up a little bit.

********************************************
Now back to art! I'm still playing catch-up on my NaNoJouMo/AEDM pictures so here are a few more:

Nov 21 - word was atonement



I had cut this girl out a long time ago....she was wearing a dress but I cut legs because I wanted to use it for something and then never did! So she worked good for saying "I'm sorry"

Nov 22 - word was relax



I didn't do much on this one! I love the image and it seemed perfect just as it was so that was it!

Nov 23 - word was evolve



This was a page I had partially done earlier and it seemed to work. So there you have it for today. I'll put up more tomorrow until I get caught up. I have to admit I did not do a page yesterday! I didn't do any art yesterday....but I had fun!

Now it's on to Christmas!!! Maybe our trees will go up this weekend. We'll see....

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Staying With It....

Hi everyone! Remember me??? I just got caught up in stuff around the house and didn't get any posts written for several days....but I'm here now and I'm catching up on my challenges.

I have been doing a little bit of art each day to keep going with AEDM but some of the words for NaNoJouMo really stumped me or simply didn't interest me! Also the last picture I drew (previous post) has been keeping me busy. I've been trying to visualize how she will look with color and so far I haven't done anything else to her. It might take me awhile to finish her.

So here's my AEDM/NaNoJouMo pages from the past several days....

Nov 18 - word was actualize



I couldn't think of anything to do for that word so I just did a page. The quote says: Throughout all Creation, just beneath the surface, joining each person to every other person and to every other thing in a luminous organism of sacred responsibility, we discover invisible lines of connection. - Lawrence Kushner

Nov 19 - fray



I chose to show how I fray some of my jeans! I always keep a couple of pairs that have nice hems but many times I fray the bottoms of jeans I use for casual wear around the house. And it's also a good way for me to have jeans that are just the right length. I seem to fall in-between the height sizes on pants so they're either too short or too long.

Nov 20 - poise



This was another one of the words I didn't actually make a page about....this quote says: Our life is a faint tracing on the surface of mystery. -Annie Dillard

Sometimes
the word for the day strikes a chord with me and other times not so much. When I immediately think of something when I read the word then it's a sure bet I'll make a page about it otherwise I don't.

I have three more pages finished but I'll show those to you tomorrow. I don't want to overwhelm you with pictures on one post!

Also I've added some autumn photos to my photo blog (link is over on the right side under "my other sites")....I added photos taken over three days.

And that's it for today! I hope you're having a fun artsy kind of day.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sumptuous....

I'm just about ready to go get my hair cut but I wanted to share with you what I'm working on now. She is just in the preliminary stages but I think I'm going to like her....a lot!



I'm doing her in my big art journal and this page is not heavy paper but it isn't slick like the page for Mystique/Kalinda. I think this will work best with either markers or colored pencil or maybe a combination of both. The page is actually a light tan so I don't think I'll do anything to her skin....just leave it the page color.



Not sure why the page looks like such an ickky color here. I'm starting to add some details but not much yet. We'll see where she takes me.

Yesterday's word was sumptuous - "very rich, expensive, luxurious, or splendid." I think she will be splendid! But she's going to take a lot more work so hang in there with me.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

It's Divine....

Yesterday's NaNoJouMo word was divinity. This was a snap for me. The first thing I thought of was my grandma's divinity. She made it every year at Christmastime....and she beat it by hand! No electric mixers or food processors for her. And she probably weighed all of 95 lbs soaking wet! But she could beat the heck out of that divinity until it was smooth as silk.

She put it into big rectangular pans and then cut it into squares like fudge....and every piece had a pecan halve on top. It was truly divine!

She would make up boxes of divinity for all the family members and I'm sure they were just like me....waiting each year for that delicious box of yumminess to arrive.

Today I wouldn't eat divinity because it's made with corn syrup....I try to stay away from corn in all forms (which is next to impossible!) but back then I loved my grandma's divinity. So in honor of my grandma here is my divinity page....



After seeing the photos of it, I realize how messy my writing is....and I should have put something along the right side. It looks kind of bare.



But I didn't and that's that! Today's word is sumptuous....that might be a fun word to work with. Come by tomorrow and see what I come up with for it.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Shining a Little Light on Things....

Yesterday I worked on "Mystique" a little bit more. And I kept looking at her and thinking she reminded me of someone. It just kept bugging me until this morning the light bulb came on....she looks a little like Kalinda (Archie Panjabi) on The Good Wife. Anyway, here's how she looks now....



I used my Portfolio oil pastels to do the shading and add some rosiness to her cheeks.



I decided to go ahead and glue down the circles along the side and I added another layer to them. I'm very happy with how this turned out. There are things I would change but I'm not going to stress over them.

********************************************
And I even got caught up on my art journal pages for NaNoJouMo. Here is the one for the 14th - the word was portray....



Imagine that! I did a page using purple!! Can you believe it??

And here's the page for the 15th - the word was luminous....



I used black gesso for the background, then drew my lantern with a silver Sharpie. I put zinc white on the glass panels and then added a translucent yellow to give a glow of a light.....printed out the quote and I was finished! I could have used this page for the word essence, too!

Today's word is divinity and I have most of it done but you'll have to wait until tomorrow to see it!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Mystique....

I am terrible at following through on art commitments! I get side-tracked so easily. I think I must have the attention span of a gnat! On Saturday the NaNoJouMo word for the day was mystique and I showed you a sketch I had started.

Long story short - I worked on that page off and on all through the weekend and today. I didn't get much done on my other things because I kept coming back to the image of the girl I sketched.

Here's where I'm at with her now....



She needs more work but I need to move on. I'm behind two pages on the NaNoJouMo, didn't do the Art, Heart and Healing lessons and still have the lesson from Paint Free to complete.



You can see her mouth needs work and everything needs to be shaded a bit more.



The circles along the left side are not attached....I'm still thinking about them. It was difficult working on this page with anything other than ink. The page is in that big art journal I won and this particular page was fairly slick paper. It's a very nice heavy paper in a beautiful creamy tan color....it doesn't show that way in the photos.

If I had just done a pen and ink drawing I think this paper would have been great. I got in trouble when I started adding color. I finally resorted to using scrapbook papers for the beads and other accents. This painting was definitely a challenge! But I love her!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Challenge and a Bit of Mystique....

I'm stumped! Most of this weekend has been taken up with an assignment from the Paint Free class I'm taking. Not to give away too much about the class, it involves taking one of my previous paintings and doing something else over it. Now I'm not concerned with covering the painting with something else but my problem comes from not being able to see anything else there except what I've already done. It's supposed to be a bit like "pulled" art. This is the painting I'm supposed to cover after I find some pulled art....



No matter what way I twist or turn it, all I see is what's there already. I'm driving myself crazy with this one!!

********************************************
And yesterday's NaNoJouMo word was mystique. I started something in my big new journal but it's far from finished. This is what I have so far....



This journal is the one I recently won. It has several kinds of paper in it and this page I'm working on is somewhat slick. I'm having trouble getting the face to look smooth but I'm still working on it. I hope you can see what I have sketched out. I think she will be a good match for "mystique"....what do you think?

Now for the rest of the afternoon I'm going to work on the Art, Heart and Healing class. I promise to have some visiting time soon. I'm just getting snowed under with all my classes and I can't keep up with everything. Bear with me....

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Getting to the Essence....

Here I am again with another short post. And another apology for not getting around to visit everyone. I'm trying to get caught up on some of the classes I'm taking and that doesn't leave me much time for other things. HB and the kitties also need my attention!

Yesterday I did another 30 minute painting....this time it was twice that time. But it was done in 30 minute segments. Like a dummy I forgot to take a photo after the initial 30 minutes but here's what I had after the second 30 minute session....



I don't know where these are coming from! I seem to be tapping into some long-hidden tribal connection. I just try to paint without thinking and this is what I keep coming up with.



HB teased me that it looks like I've got "weed" plants on the one side! If that's coming from my sub-conscious it must be from another life as I've never done any drugs! Yes, I remember the 60's! So I guess I wasn't there!!

Also yesterday's word for NaNoJouMo (link over on the side) was essence. I didn't have a lot of time to work on the page so I took the easiest way and used the perfume definition. When I say I took the easy way, I really mean it....



The papers were already on this page. I just found a picture of perfume, glued it down, then printed out the text and put it on and called it a day! Sometimes it's all I can do. Just some simple page. And this isn't even a perfume I wear. Probably couldn't afford it!!!

Ok, that's it for me....I hope you all have a good, fun, creative weekend.

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Blue Reverie....

I'm still trying to play catch-up on several classes so this will be a short post. The word for yesterday (from NaNoJouMo....over on my side bar) was reverie. This is what I did. And remember I'm short on time so this was knocked out in just a matter of minutes. I didn't put a lot of thought into it....just went with my gut feeling.



The background was done with acrylics....laid down a color, spritzed it with water, soaked up the water with paper towel, then laid down another color and went through the same process. I think I put four layers of color on this page. Then a small piece of paper, some magazine images and a piece of black lace paper that I had spray painted. A few accents with some paint pens and I was done.

Also yesterday I did another exercise for one of my classes. I think it turned out hokey but we'll see what I learn from this!



This was painted without any sketching first. I just started painting the image right there on the paper. I don't like how stiff it all seems. I really need to loosen up with paint! My first thought was "Lady Sings the Blues"....

Ok....see you tomorrow. The word for today is essence. I don't have a clue what I'll do for that one but come back and see!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Class Projects....

I may not be around very much the next few days other than putting my daily work on my blog. I'm really behind in the Paint Free class I'm taking and also the Art, Heart and Healing class. So I plan to get caught up on some of that over the next few days. There won't be much time for blog visiting but if I have a chance I'll pop in.

Yesterday's word was liberty. Well, my first thought was "give me liberty or give me death" but I didn't want to do a page around that so I thought about liberty/freedom and came up with this....



This was another page where I had the background done and just sitting in the journal. The girl was even glued down....she was just waiting for the right words to say and there they are.

*********************************************
Back to the Paint Free class....I just finished one of the assignments/exercises and it was fun. We had to paint for 30 minutes without stopping....or thinking! Here's what I did....



It's done on a piece of 12" x 18" sketch paper! I didn't have anything else that big so I just went with it. I am happy with what I did even though it's sort of primitive.

Ok, I'm off to do more painting. I'll share more with you tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Forge Ahead....

Today I'm getting my post up earlier than I usually do. When I first looked at yesterday's word (forge) I thought of a poem I learned in grade school....under the spreading chestnut tree, the village smitthy stands. But translating that into a page wasn't going to happen!

Then I read the definition....that always helps even when I know what the word means. The dictionary seems to boil it down to the bare bones. That's when I thought of forging ahead. That's something I do at times so there was my meaning for the word.

So I used some Neocolor II crayons to lay down some color, then used a brayer and some green to give it some grunginess. I got a little carried away with the green so I added some white to tone it down a little. Then I used some gesso on the edge of an old credit card to do some lines here and there. Added some circles and dots with a white paint pen and it was ready for some words. Here's how it turned out....



I didn't notice that shadow in the upper left corner until I was sizing the photo this morning. I took the photos last night. I think you can still read what it says. Here's a close up of the entire page....



And here's a close up of the top corner....



For some reason I really like this corner with the lines and dots and the purple color along the edge....



So there you have it....forge. Nothing to do with a village smitthy!