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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Blown Away By Generosity...

Blogland is so amazing. I have met people from all over the world. Sometimes we trade little bits of art back and forth...and once in a while someone will just blow me away with their creativeness and their generosity. It happened to me yesterday. I met Laila about a year ago. If you don't already know her you owe it to yourself to pay her a visit and browse through her blog. Take some time to go back through her older posts. You won't be sorry.

She does it all...drawing and painting, sewing, embroidery, knitting and crochet, beading...you name it and Laila probably does it. And she does it all so well. Her mandalas are gorgeous...and she never just tries something easy. No, Laila jumps right in and tackles the difficult stuff. Recently she asked if I'd be up for a trade and I said yes as long as she didn't hold me to a tight deadline. You all know how terrible I am about deadlines! Many of you have first-hand experience of it! We agreed to do something small. Yesterday the package arrived from Norway. It was special even on the outside...


The entire envelope was hand painted in this all-over design. I sat and held it and looked at it for several minutes before I opened it because I just loved the leaf design so much...and it was done in my favorite color! Then I opened the envelope to discover this wonderful hand-painted card...


Laila has been doing a series of these doll paintings. Isn't it great! I would have been happy with this painting as the trade but there was more.


She included some bits of paper for me to use plus some book pages from Norway which are so cool...and this yummy tissue wrapped package. When I finally tore away the paper I was stunned. I couldn't even think for a moment because what Laila sent to me is so incredibly gorgeous...


This wall hanging is done in three parts to show the different times of a day.




I left these last three photos fairly large so be sure to click on them to see the beautiful detail in each one of these sections.

To think that Laila spent this much time and effort to make something this special for me is beyond my expectations. I wish you could see it in person so be able to appreciate the quality of her work.

Needless to say I love it and it will hang in a place of honor where everyone will be able to see it. Thank you, Laila!

Now what on earth can I do to compare to this???!!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

A Journal Spread Re-visited...

I'm getting back into a groove with my art journal. The one I'm working in has only a couple of spreads left before it's completed plus a couple of spreads that are partially completed. I worked on one of those this morning. Do you remember this girl from back in March??
At the time Betzie suggested I change the eye color and I did. Thanks, Betzie! I knew there was something "off" about the girl but couldn't put my finger on it. Here's what she looks like now...
I changed her dress color, too.

and added some strips of wallpaper...
and a bit of washi tape...

I saved that spot on the upper right corner for some later journaling.
And I'll work on her collar a bit more...
for now she's semi-finished.

Now I'm off to see if I can keep this ball rolling. I'll try to finish another spread today. The weather is still very cool for this time of year. 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Getting Back to the Studio...

Sorry I've been absent from Blogland for so long. I've been going through a bit of an art slump...not inspired at all...and with my daughter here I just haven't been spending much time on the computer. Today I finally broke the slump by working in my art journal. I finished two spreads that had background paint already on them. The first one I did is here...

I used mostly magazine images for this one.


Right page...


Left page...I may add some writing later.

Then after I finished the above spread 
I began working on this one...

The orange-y background and the stencil had been done quite some time ago. I added some hand-painted paper, stamping, and washi tape. Again, I might add writing later. I haven't decided yet.


Right page...


Left page.

I know the photos aren't very good. We're having some strange weather today and it's fairly gray and gloomy...and very chilly for this time of year! It almost feels like autumn when you step outside today.

Friday, May 18, 2012

AMGEN Bike Tour - Stage Six

Today I have something completely different for you....and there are LOTS of pictures. There hasn't been much art done at Chez Random but there was excitement in the neighborhood as the Amgen Bike Tour came to town for stage six of the tour.

The starting point was only about a block from where we live so HB and I walked down to check it out this morning. Luckily we are having spectacular weather and it isn't too hot...probably only in the low 70's when the race began, but we do have some fairly strong wind which could be a factor.

(click on pictures to view larger)
We were able to get very close to the starting area.

Before too long there was a constant stream of huge
motorhomes and other vehicles
 pouring into the parking area.
The parking area filled up fast.

A local high school color guard
practiced right in front of where we were.



Posing for photos.

Getting ready...



Gotta love the confidence...




Once they got going...

they whizzed by...

in just a couple of minutes!



They will ride 115 miles today! And they'll be going from high desert to mountains. They'll end at Big Bear Lake sometime about 3:50 PM...they left Palmdale this morning at about 10:25. That's a lot of bike riding!! (PS - Jeanie, I took all these photos for your Rick! I thought he might recognize some of the guys.)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Re-Do of an Old Painting...

I'm getting back in the studio a little bit. My daughter started her new job yesterday (and seems to like it) so I had the day to myself. I had been thinking about re-doing one of my older paintings. It was one from back in 2009 when I first took Mystele's Gut Art class...one of the best classes I've ever taken, by the way. I never did like the face on the painting but just never took the time to change it. Here's the old version:
The eyes are terrible...much too big and buggy. 
And I wasn't crazy about the background either. 
So I went to work on her....
Since I always thought of her as either in a yoga pose or meditating I decided to close her eyes and make her more peaceful.
She looks much better with this face although her hair is really BIG! And I like the toned down background a lot better, too. When I got finished with her I got out another canvas...18" x 24"...and prepped it for another painting.
I have no idea what it will be 
but today I hope to begin working on it.

Whatever you do today I hope you have FUN!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Did You Miss Me??



You probably all wonder what's happened to me lately...no blog posts, no art, no emails...nothing. I have a good excuse! My daughter has moved back to California from Delaware and she's staying with us until she finds a place. She starts a new job on Monday so we've been hanging out together and just enjoying catching up with each other.

I hope to be back in the studio soon but until then enjoy the roses (currently blooming in my front yard) and have a very Happy Mother's Day!!!

Saturday, May 05, 2012

It Went Downhill...

I continued on with the flower drawing that I showed you a couple of days ago. I liked the drawing and should have quit while I was ahead. Instead I decided to add color...bad idea!
I truly messed it up!

You can see at the bottom where I "tried out" different colors for the leaves. Didn't like any of them but I used the one lime color anyway. The flowers look terrible and I've just lost interest in this piece...which is weird because I used to do nothing but watercolored flowers! Below are some of my oldies...





These are from back in the 90's. I have a lot more but I couldn't find them this morning. But you get the idea. Flowers were the only thing I drew for a long time. And I added color to them. What happened??!! 

Maybe I'm just not interested in flowers anymore. It did seem like I was forcing myself to do them. Sometimes it's good to challenge myself to do something different but then other times it doesn't work...it looks forced. That's what happened here. So I'll do more flowers if the mood strikes me and if not, then you may not see anymore!!

Have a great weekend!!

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

May Flowers on May Day...

Did you give up on me ever posting something again? It's been awhile and I can't even say I've been busy painting. Each day I've done something in the studio but nothing of any substance...just piddling around with this and that. Can't seem to concentrate on one thing for very long.

But today I have a tidbit to share with you. I know several people have been talking about a May Flower Challenge...I'm not sure who actually started it but I thought I'd give it a whirl. I haven't done many flowers lately and I used to draw nothing but flowers! I had a restless night last night so I got up very late this morning and this is as far as I've gotten but it's a good start...


As you can see, I have several books about drawing or painting flowers. I just pulled out three that I hadn't looked at in years and began flipping through the pages...but I went back to my old stand-by. There's something about the shape of the petals I drew that is so ingrained in me that I think I could draw them in my sleep! My hand automatically wants to make that shape when I think flowers.


The page isn't finished yet but it feels good to be doing this.
And PS - I did this without any pencil!
That's almost a first for me!