Friday, February 26, 2010

Attempt No. 2

First thing this morning I started in with a fresh eye and decided to change three things - the distance from her nose to the back of her chignon (I'm not sure this "hair in a snood" qualifies as a chignon, but I've never before had a chance to use that word in a sentence and couldn't help myself.); the eye; and the nose.

The first one wasn't too difficult and I am pleased with the result, but still don't like the hair that is free near the front of her head. I am actually not too displeased with the new eye. It appears to be a bit more defined than the original, but is certainly an improvement over the first attempt. The nose is still bothering me a bit, not so much for itself, but for how it required a redraw of the mouth and chin. That is my biggest disappointment at this point, but I am going to walk away from it now and maybe try again later in the day.

Today's version

Yesterday's Initial Attempt

The Original

I would sincerely appreciate any comments or suggestions you have for me, and a big thank you to all who left comments yesterday.

I need to spend some time today gathering the supplies I need to take to Hollander's on Sunday for the 
Found Book Concertina class and in the process clean up my art room (it is quite a mess). I also need to prepare for the watercolor class that begins on Monday through the A.R.T. Yahoo! group.

The second Molly Murrah free watercolor workshop at the Creative Techs site is today and I am hoping to watch and learn. I don't have the supplies yet (there is lots of overlap between her list and the list in the Claudia Nice book), but am anxious to watch anyway and take notes.

I have an Algebra student coming over after school today and am looking forward to working with him again (I tutored him in Geometry last semester).

Sounds like a busy day, but I also have to find time to get on the treadmill. I am trying very hard to give about 1/2 hour a day and am becoming addicted to it.

Hope to see you tomorrow!


Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Little Art

I've decided that I have to just jump in and start drawing, so I found a sketch that I liked and decided to try to "copy" it. I still haven't learned to just do a piece of a drawing and work at that before going on. That is something I am trying to teach myself.

For now, here is the original:

And here is my first attempt:

It is pretty clumsy and heavy handed, but I think if you couldn't look at what I was trying to copy, it would look okay. My goal is to try again until I get the look of the original.
I had intended to start with one little piece (say, the eye) and just work on that the first time I sat down to draw it and then add something at the next sitting. Once I got the pencil in my hand, though, I totally forgot about doing it in pieces and tried to draw the whole thing in one sitting.

I really need a drawing class!


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I'm Home And Playing Catch Up

We got home on Monday afternoon to about a foot of snow. It would appear that either my muse moved out while I was gone or traveled with us and got tired of waiting for me to do some art and got lost somewhere on the way.

Life has not been boring, though. While I've unpacked and done laundry, the clothes are not all put away yet. By unpacked, I mean out of the suitcase. There is still the next step of getting them put away. The house needs a serious cleaning even though we left it pretty clean when we left. Dust doesn't go on vacation.

We had Momo (the 2 1/2 year old) yesterday and we have her again today. Also today the first grader will be riding the bus to our house and they will be here until 9:30 or so.

Yesterday just after my daughter got home to meet the bus, her car broke down. I have given her mine to use until she figures out what is wrong and how much it will cost to fix it. I can use the hubster's truck, but I don't like driving unfamiliar vehicles, particularly in winter when it is snowing every day.

According to the extended forecast for this area, we will have some kind of snow activity through Sunday, but high 30s and sun afterward. C'mon Spring!!!

I'll share a few pix with you from the trip to brighten up this drab post and hope to break out of the art doldrums soon. I am "taking" a watercolor class with Molly Murrah through Creative Techs which started last Friday. I missed that one, but watched the Q&A video to find out about supplies and what is planned. I am also "taking" a watercolor class beginning on March 1 through Artists of The Round Table using the book "Watercolor Made Simple" by Claudia Nice. The supply list and the techniques look very much like the Molly Murrah class. I am so hoping to learn something from these classes and try my hand at watercolor. I'll share with you when I begin the classes.

Meanwhile, here are the pix I have to share now:

Pensacola Beach finds.
We have the shells soaking in a bath of mostly water with a little household bleach. Is this the way to clean them? We picked up some small, brown sand dollars and some small starfish on Hilton Head Island that got really mushy and smelly and had to be thrown away.

Englewood pelican.

This pelican was in the shade when I saw him with his head turned around and his beak tucked between his feathers and appeared to be sleeping. It was so cold there, I think he may have been depressed because fish were hard to find. He was nice enough to come out into the sun and pose for me though.

Osprey near nest.

There were babies in the nest. I could just see their heads once in a while. I took this with my little point and shoot and wished I'd had my better camera and longer lens with me. But I am pleased with the quality anyway. I was able to crop it and still get a decent picture.

I was up most of the night sick to my stomach. I am severely lactose intolerant and am sure that along the way I have gotten some things that I would be able to avoid at home. This has been building for a long time, but was almost unbearable last night. I am hoping to have a quiet day with the little one and get a nap when she naps.

Meanwhile, I will be trying to either find my muse or adopt one that has been lost by someone else and get some kind of art begun that I can share with you tomorrow or the next day.

See you then, I hope.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

On The Road Again

We are spending the night in Chiefland, Florida, in a Best Western with internet access. We had dinner at a restaurant that we checked out online and it had a couple of rave reviews (I am guessing they were written by family). The food was mediocre, at best. The sweet potato was delicious, but then how hard is it to bake a potato.

We drove about 8 hours from Pensacola Beach today going from the Central Time Zone into the Eastern Time Zone. We are planning to drive to Englewood tomorrow. Including a stop for breakfast, it should take about 4 1/2 hours. We will be staying there for 2 or 3 nights and then beginning the long trip home. We are planning to return via South Carolina to stop to see a nephew. We expect to be home around the 24th.

I took some pix along the way that I would like to share. I haven't done any art, but have played a lot of Yahtzee and Cribbage and worked numerous crossword puzzles. So far we've had a great time even though the weather didn't cooperate. Yestereday was the only nice weather day we had while in Pensacola Beach and today was lovely.

This is last evening's sunset in Pensacola Beach.

This is arches at Fort Pickens used in the Civil War.

A lovely beach near Mexico Beach.

A beach near Carabelle taken through the car window.

I am hoping to get back into art soon, but for now I am enjoying my hiatus. I am missing my friends Nancy and Tina and, of course, my little girls.

I hope to post again while I am on the road, but no promises. Internet access is spotty at best.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Hello from the Cold South

We are in Pensacola Beach for a week and it is freezing. Yesterday we were able to walk the beach and collect shells in the morning, but this morning when I went out to try to get a picture of the sunrise, I froze. I found out when I got back inside that it was 32º with a wind chill of 25º.

Here are a couple of pix of our trip:


This is a picture of the morning sky about 1/2 mile from out house at we set out on Sunday morning. Isn't it beautiful?


This is a picture of the blizzard we drove through on Tuesday in northern Alabama. It was the worst driving we have done all winter - 45 mph with flashers on for about an hour.


These pelicans were resting outside of Joe Patti's fresh seafood place. Aren't they spectacular?!
My internet access has been spotty at best, but I will try to post as often as I can. I notice that Michigan is being slammed with a snowstorm, and are expecting about a foot. I am hoping that things will be clearer when we return and that we don't have to drive through any awful weather.

Take care!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Artsy Blogger Links

I am trying something new here. I just downloaded a 21 day free trial of Blogo, a Mac program for blogging.

Here are some really great links to some artsy folks you might want to visit:

Beading Arts
A beautiful glass bead becomes the focal point of a Valentine's Day necklace!

Creative Dreamer
I've been inspried to coordinate a fabric ATC swap...Everyone is welcome...come join us and be part of the fun!

Faint Heart Art
Vicki has a different take on inchies

Gadabout Media
Chloe has found some sweet Valentines Day projects to work in cross stitch or needlepoint

Hankering for yarn
This week, Noreen designed sweet little Crocheted Love hearts for Valentines day. Here's the pattern for them....

The Artful Crafter
Do you dream of designing and making your own jewelry? Here are some tips from Eileen to help you get started.

I have a really busy day tomorrow, but will try to get some art posted.


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Another Busy "Little Girls" Day

It is Thursday and I am going to be entertaining my little lovelies again. The difference between yesterday and today is twofold: Dana works during the day today and will be done around dinner time, and the hubster will be home today.

I still need to go through my Spring clothes and try them on and see what fits and get them laundered so that I can get packed for our little road trip to the south. I think that with both of us here today that will get done. I was going to drive into town and get my manicure and pedicure today using the gift certificate that my dear son gave me for Christmas, but that will have to be done tomorrow. If my little angel was just a bit older than 2, I'd take her with me and get hers done too.

After the hubster returned home just after dinner time last evening and we had dinner, he drove into town and got the girls bathed and into bed and then stayed there to await their mother. He didn't get home until almost 11. While he was gone I got some laundry done, cleaned the kitchen and did the vacuuming.

I haven't felt that I had the time to do any art, but did doodle a little bird and have him both in the original and in exclusion mode. I'm not sure which one I like more. Here is what I did: I sketched him out in one of my little sketch books and then took a picture of it with my SLR. When I opened it in Photoshop to make it look black and white (which it was, but the picture was very dark), I first saved it in the normal way and then played around with the blend modes to see what I would get. When I got to exclusion mode I really liked what I saw so I saved it that way too. Here he is:



Dana will be here soon with the little one, so if I am to get my 1/2 hour on the treadmill, I'd better get a move on. Lots to do today!
I hope to see you tomorrow.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Another Birthday and Inchies

Today is my brother Mike's birthday. He is now officially one year older than I am. I must remember to call him later. I'm not sure he is an early riser and don't know if he works today, but will catch him some time.

I have finally cut apart my doodle into inchies. The theme is black and white and I had to keep reminding myself of that as I wanted to put a spot of color into each one. Sorry, the picture is a bit blurry. I think they turned out pretty well.  What do you think? Would you be happy to get one of these in your mail?

I had such plans for the day:

- walk the treadmill
- do the laundry
- put on loud music and clean house
- go through Spring clothes and see what fits
- do some art
- whatever

BUT, just got a call from my daughter. She doesn't have anyone to watch the baby or get the first grader off the bus, so my plans will have to be put aside. Of course, watching that little one is mostly a joy, so after the initial disappointment all was fine. And the first grader will be riding a bus to my house instead of being dropped off at her house, which would mean that I would have had to pack up the baby and drive in to meet her.

I will be able to walk the treadmill before she arrives and can certainly do the laundry while she is here. She will probably want to help and it will be fun, but it limits what I can do because I like to have her help, but some jobs just become WAY too complicated.

The hubster is getting on the treadmill right now, so I will go get a bit to eat so that when he is done I can do my workout.

Better go! I hope to see you tomorrow.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Groundhog Day and Another Birthday

It is groundhog day and that means the hubster is celebrating another birthday. Dana and the girls are coming out for dinner and I have promised to make her favorite Flu Chaser Chicken Soup. I made the stock last evening, so the next step is to get a head of garlic sprinkled with olive oil and into the oven.

Meanwhile, I have a guest artist in the studio this morning. She is new to the art scene and at this time is mostly concerned with drawing around her hand and what we call "sticker art". Here are pictures of her progress this morning:

As you can see, she takes her art pretty seriously. There are already three finished canvases (read colored card stock) being held up with magnets on the refrigerator. I am now happy to announce that I non longer have two young artists sharing my studio, I now have three.

I'm pretty sure my only art to get done today will be the making of soup and the caring for the little artist who will be with me all day. Right now I am being serenaded by the little one and she is asking for me to find Barney on YouTube so that she can watch it on my computer.

I hope to see you tomorrow.


Monday, February 1, 2010

February - The Longest, Shortest Month

We are already a month into 2010 and I'm not entirely sure how we got here. It is 8º F and the creek in the back yard is frozen over. The moon is still almost full and so looking out the west windows while making coffee, I see the reflection of it on the ice on the creek. And as I make my way to my computer in the art room, I see the peachy, red-tinged sky that is the harbinger of the morning sun. This has to be my favorite time of day.

I have a few things to get in the mail today and the hubster wants to go to Michael's to look for ideas for plugs in the cribbage boards he is making. I think if he twists my arm I may go with him. I have to take the cake pan back to the daughter as tomorrow is the hubster's birthday and I have a feeling that German Chocolate Cake is planned as the next creation.

I also have to go to a card store to get the hubster and my brother, Mike, birthday cards. Mike's birthday is on the third and I have caught up to him until then. Interestingly, when he turns 59 on Wednesday, he will "catch up" to our sister, Molly, until she turns 60 on March 6. I swear my Mom was pregnant most of her childbearing years.

I have done an initial sketch of my Mom. I am not very pleased with it other than to be pleased that it does look like an older woman. So far all my attempts at faces look ageless. I am planning to do a series of these sketches until I get a bit more of a likeness. I will share each iteration with you.


I have to walk the treadmill this morning; do some laundry; go to Michael's; get some obligations and some mail art in the post; clean house a bit; sketch Mom iteration2; prepare for guests (Dana and the girls) for dinner; and clean the refrigerator.
It sounds like a busy day and I've just begun on my first mug of coffee. I'd better go!

Hope to see you again tomorrow. I hope you know how much you are appreciated.