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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Getting Back to Basics...

A few years ago, I used to draw almost daily but somehow I've gotten out of the habit. I decided to give it a go again this morning. I had a new Vogue magazine so I pulled out a few faces that looked interesting, and then decided on this one...

I still need to do a lot more work on her...

especially on her hand but I'm happy with the start.
Maybe later she'll become a painting.

I like using magazine pictures for inspiration. I change things that I don't like...after all it's my drawing. I closed her mouth in my version because I don't like doing teeth. And I may change her hair. Who knows what I'll end up doing with this drawing but it's fun to do something I've not done in awhile.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

More Changes!

Just a quick post to say I've changed the name of my blog and made a new header. What do you think? I also moved all my followers to the top...you're all important to me!

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Poppy Festival...Fairly Boring!

First of all, I must apologize for being very late answering your comments and emails over the past few days. The temperatures were in the 90's for a couple of days and when that happens my energy level goes way down.

The Poppy Festival was over the weekend and it was very hot both days. HB and I got up early on Saturday and headed over to the festival.


You might be able to see how dry the soil is around those flowers. I'm sure by late afternoon they were really dry and limp! I know I was! I wasn't able to get many photos at the festival. Everywhere I looked there were signs saying "No photos"...not sure why because the so-called crafts section was mostly nothing but imported junk! I was sadly disappointed in it. I only saw a small handful of tiny booths that were actually handmade items by the person manning the booth. The same thing has happened to our local Fall Festival. The one good thing about the Poppy Festival as opposed to our Fall Festival is that they have lots of shade and places to sit down...


There were quite a few people but I'm sure later in the day there were even more. During the afternoon and evening they had lots of entertainment but we didn't stay that long. We walked around for a few hours and decided to call it a day. One other good thing they have is a tram to take you from the parking area to the actual festival...

We were lucky enough to park right across from the tram stop.
Just look at that cloudless, blue sky.
It was about 94º!!

 I did get one photo of a piece of art I thought was interesting...
click picture to view larger

This was in an area advertising local art lessons. I took a flyer because they offer beginning Photoshop lessons. I'm going to check into those, for sure.

We didn't buy anything except a couple of bottles of water. I didn't see anything that interested me...no art, no actual crafts, nothing to catch my eye. Very disappointing, over all.

 ******************************************* 
 In the studio, I've started another painting. 
This one is 9" x 9"...much smaller than Georgia.


And I've discovered a way to "see" shadows
 and highlights on the face...


I brought out my head mannequin and put her to work!


I can adjust the lighting and now I can see how it falls on her face. I don't know why I didn't think of this sooner! She used to sit on my "clean" table but then I moved her out and put her in a closet. The other day I was trying to figure out how light would fall on a face when I had a lightbulb moment and thought of Hedy! Now she's back in the studio and I'm sure she'll be working full-time.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes...

Blogger has changed everything again! I'm not sure whether or not I like the new format. Only time will tell. So here goes...I haven't done any new art for a few days. Just been busy with other things. But I did take some of my newer pieces over to the salon the other day and changed things around. I sold one of my paintings from there. Here's how it looks now...

I always have a difficult time getting a good photo because of the lighting.


The painting I sold is the rust colored square in the second column from the right. The buyer is picking it up later. I'll have to get busy and make something to replace it!

Tomorrow we're going to the Poppy Festival. It should be a fun day although the temperature is expected to be about 94º!!! I may melt before I see everything. I'll try to take photos but sometimes I get busy and forget.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Her Name is Georgia...

As I was painting this face, I kept asking her what her name was...and then she told me. Her name is Georgia. Not sure why but that's what she said to me.


I kept her somewhat monotone. I loved the background and didn't want to do too much to it. The number "1" in the lower right was something I wanted to keep since this is the first time I've done an under painting like this. I did the shoulders of her jacket as if they had faded and run a little bit. HB doesn't like it. What do you think?

Monday, April 16, 2012

I'm Still Learning...

Over the weekend I watched the latest lesson videos from LifeBook over at Willowing (there's a link over on the side panel)...the lesson was by Jane DesRosier. She is an artist I've long admired. In fact it was her art that inspired me to do Calypso.

Jane does an under painting before she does the color and so I've started my latest painting using that technique. Remember this is only the under painting...only the beginning.


I like how this face looks so far. Now if I can just get the color to look good I'll be happy.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Storms, Prep Work and Play Time...

Yesterday we had lots of rain and even thunder and lightening. We don't usually have much thunder with our storms so it was a bit unusual. I had my computer turned off for most of the day so that's why you didn't see me around Blogland.

I spent part of the day doing this...


So later I could do this...


Prep work seems to take so much time and usually I just want to jump right in and paint. These all have book pages on them and three of them also have old sewing pattern paper, too. Not sure what's going to happen with them but they're ready and waiting for me. The two tall ones are canvases and the other four are all plaques from the dollar store. Gotta love that place!

Last night I played around on a photo editing site called picmonkey. I had so much fun messing with my pictures. Here's what I did...


This older painting...(before)


became this after I used a technique on it
and gave it a frame.


I also played around with this one...

She now has some faint writing across her face. 
I think it adds another layer to her. 
What do you think?


Then I gave her some cracked and peeling paint.
I played with several of my paintings on this site.
Some of the techniques will not be free after the trial period
but that's okay. I had fun playing with them now.

Today I think I'll pick one of those prepped pieces and get busy. I hope wherever you are that you have a fun day, too. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Cassandra...

I've been playing again...I started this painting yesterday and then finished it today after HB and I got home from our shopping and errands. I named her Cassandra...


I may do some more work on her eyes but for now this is where I'm at with her. When I do whimsical faces I always make the eyes bigger and the chin smaller but for this one I wanted her to look more real so she has smaller eyes and a bigger chin. Her nose looks better, too. I found some line drawings of noses and I really studied them. Her eyebrows are a little wonky but then again so are mine!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Monica...Two Ways

Yesterday I painted most of the afternoon. I got out early to mail Emily to my friend and then came back to the studio and got busy.


First I painted this long-necked girl and named her Monica.


Then I painted a shorter necked version.
I like them both. Do you have a favorite?

These are both painted on 6" x 6" wood plaques that I found at the dollar store. They had some picture on them but I sanded it off and added my own background of scrap papers, paint, and ink before painting the faces.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Meet Emily...

Recently a dear friend of mine...she lives in Alabama and isn't online...had two very serious back surgeries within three days. She has a long recovery ahead of her. I wanted to make something for her and knowing she likes blue that had to be the color. This is what I painted over the weekend...

You can click on the picture to make it bigger but if you can't read the words, it says "believe you can and you're halfway there"...a quote from Teddy Roosevelt. I thought it might help inspire her when she feels bad. At least I hope it does. The girl in the picture told me her name is Emily so that's what I'm going with...Emily.


I left the skin very translucent so Emily looks delicate. In real life she doesn't look quite as blue as she does here. More like a creamy complexion.

Now I'm off to the post office to mail the package. Wrapping a 12" x 12" canvas is NOT an easy thing to do!

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Making Some Crappy Art and Playing Around...

My techie lessons are not going so good! I think I must be the dullest knife in the drawer when it comes to this stuff. But I did get a new header made even though it has some mistakes.

During the rest of my time I've been doing a little bit of art...
mostly crappy art!


I did another flower painting...Red Vase 2...but I got too carried away with the flowers and it looks like a big mess. I might gesso over it and start again with less flowers.

I also messed around with one of my other paintings. I had it printed at a print shop and I used one of the prints to change the color of her head wrap...this is what the original looked like...


And here's the other version...
I just painted over the print
and gave her a red head wrap.


I'm not sure which one I like best.
Other than that, I've not been doing much in the studio.

Thank you for all your kind comments on the post about my mother. I'm not much of a writer but I think I could have written twice as much as I did. Sometimes the words just seem to flow and that was how it was with that post. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Maybe I'll do some others like that at a later date.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

My Mother Never Danced

Because things are not going so good with all the techie stuff, I thought I'd do something different. Kate recently did a post about her mother after being inspired by this post. So I'm going to do something similar.


My mother never danced. She liked music and we had a combination radio and record player from as far back as I can remember. It played 78's and my parents had stacks of them but she only sat and listened. I still have a box full of those old 78's upstairs.

My mother never had a dirty house. She was extremely organized and everything got done on a specific day of the week. People always said you could eat off my mother's floors. I used to wear white bobby socks and after walking around the house all day in them there was never any sign of dirt on the bottoms. She was an excellent housekeeper...unlike me! Strangely, she never taught me anything about cleaning. I never had any chores to do.

My mother was also a very good cook. Nothing fancy, just good wholesome food. She cooked what my dad liked and that was it. We never had fish because he didn't like it. We never had fried chicken because he didn't like it. We never had cakes because he didn't like them. The only time my mother made cake was for my birthday. But we had pies and cookies and ice cream all the time. Pecan pie was one of my mom's specialties and I love it to this day. My mother never taught me to cook.

My mother sewed most of my clothes but seldom made anything for herself. She liked to do embroidery and it turned up on dish towels, dresser scarves, pillowcases, and tablecloths. It's the one thing my mother taught me how to do.

My mother loved to read. It's one of my best memories of her...my mother curled up on the couch with a book in her hand. And a cup of coffee beside her. She drank coffee all day long.

My mother never wore bright colors until she was in her later years. She almost always wore dark colors but she always looked nice. Every Friday night we went out for dinner. And I don't mean to something like McDonald's either. We dressed up and went to a nice restaurant with tablecloths and candlelight...sometimes one with a live band and dancing. But my mother never danced.

My mother didn't like anything crude or crass or rude. She was always a lady about everything. She would have a gin and Squirt when we went out for dinner but I never knew her to drink much at all. My mother never drank beer that I know of. She smoked Pall Mall cigarettes, and I remember when I was very little she told me not to tell my dad! I guess he must have found out about it because later she smoked in front of him. The only person she never smoked in front of was her mother.

My mother loved my father very much and was devastated when he left us for another woman who had six children! I don't think she ever got over that. When she died I found a packet of love letters my dad wrote to her before they were married. She had them tied together with a ribbon and hidden in her closet. They're written in pencil and fading from time.

My mother was not religious. We never went to church. She grew up with a mother who was very religious and my mother didn't like anything about it.

My mother died early at the age of 63. She had lupus but never told anyone...not me, not her sisters, not anyone. She was a very private person and didn't ever share her feelings with me. I'm sad that we never really knew each other. She was a good person but too private.

My mother would have been 97 years old this year. I miss her and wish she could see how my life turned out. I think she'd be surprised.