Thursday, July 29, 2010

Photo of the Day and Workshop Update

Today's photo is another that lives on my laptop and is another attempt at digital framing. I love this photo of a gazania and hope you do too:

Yesterday was a very long, but very interesting day. I was in heaven at times and in the depths of despair at others. I tried very hard to get out of the doldrums reminding myself that watercolor is a difficult medium and that I shouldn't expect that I will be a natural at it. It is just that it looks so simple and easy. I watched Joe do a lovely large landscape of a river meandering through a misty background with a dead tree and rocks and he made a beautiful painting so nonchalantly. I was almost weepy during my first attempt, but quickly pulled myself out of it and turned over my picture and just played with color.

I was really good at one thing - or at least I didn't suck at it. I had never done a value study before and felt that I wouldn't be able to get it, but I kind of like it. What do you think? 

For whatever it is worth, the value was the high point of my day, but the resulting mess that was supposed to result from this study is disgustingly awful. My first impulse was to throw it away; but overnight I decided to bring it home and cut it into ATC sized pieces and use it as backgrounds for small works of art.

And I have a picture of myself with Cheap Joe Miller. This may be the only photo I'll ever have taken with a "celebrity" so I decided to share even though I only like to be on the other side of the camera.

After class last evening, we took a break and then walked about town. What a great area - loads of shops (but they mostly closed at 5:30). We had a lovely dinner at Alpenrose. I had whitefish and Jan had homemade ravioli - delish! We then walked around for a long time and when we got back to the room, I was quite swollen and sore again. I iced and then took Benadryl before bed. Interestingly, while the Benadryl put me to sleep the night before, this time I felt wired and had a very difficult time getting to sleep.

Up at the crack of dawn this morning and the swelling is down quite a bit and my lower leg is no longer red. Tonight after class, I am planning to ice before going out to explore.

I hope to have more to share with you tomorrow.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

New Photo and Watercolor Workshop

I am traveling with my laptop and have chosen a photo that resides on it as my photo of the day. It is a lovely photo of a swan I took in a park south of Jackson and then I put a digital mat on it. I hope you like it:

Now to the health update. I was afraid to share the latest for fear people would think I was a hypochondriac, but the strangest thing has happened. My lower right abdomen pain has completely disappeared for no apparent reason, but just as it was gone, my left leg was very sore and quite swollen. WTF??!!

So I have been gimping along for a couple of days. Yesterday, I iced it a lot and took some Benadryl before bed and lo and behold, it is not totally back to normal, but it is much better. I will take some Benadryl before bedtime this evening and hopefully by tomorrow I will be able to get out and walk some without pain. I can't take Benadryl in the daytime as it zonks me.

We had a lovely trip yesterday. My SIL drove and first we went to my sister's house for a visit and lunch and then took a leisurely drive up the lake shore to Holland. We are staying in a lovely hotel called City Flats. It is very elegant and green. I'll take pix to share later.

Today we start the class and I am anxious to see how things are going to be set up and have no idea what to expect. We will drive over in about 1/2 hour and I can't wait. 

For those of you who have asked about the workshop, here is a link so you can see just what it is I am doing.

I will take my camera and if permitted will take some pix to show you. 

Gotta go,


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Photo of the Day and Packing for Watercolor Workshop

Today's photo is a favorite of mine that I never get tired of looking at - it is a poppy from the side and shows the wonderful color of the underside.

I am getting packed for my 3-day watercolor workshop with Cheap Joe at the Holland Art Center in Holland, Michigan. I don't have much watercolor to take, just the pansies I showed you. I am so hoping this will be a wonderful introduction to watercolor. Cheap Joe has a reputation for putting on great workshops - I'll keep you informed. I am taking the laptop and a camera so should be able to post all week. 

The hubster and I have been talking about buying a new car for a couple of months now and are planning to give my son a good deal on my car. Yesterday we went and chose the car we want and we are finalizing the paper work this morning before I take off on my art trip.

I need to finish packing as my sister-in-law is arriving at my house around 11 this morning and she and I will be driving to my sister's house for lunch along the way. I hope to have a lovely day! We'll then drive to Holland and get settled into our digs and be ready to start class tomorrow morning.

I'm going to put a quick load of laundry in the washer and get out a small suitcase - I haven't really thought about clothes yet. I think I'd better get a bite to eat, too, as it will be going on 2 by the time we get to our lunch destination.

I think I'd better get on my horse.....


Monday, July 26, 2010

Photo of the Day and Watercolor

Good morning, all! I absolutely have no answer for it, but I no longer have the pain in my lower right side. Is the anti inflammatory that good? Is it just as mysteriously gone as it appeared? Is it gone for good? I don't have the answer to this; I am just so glad that it is gone.

For today's picture, I have chosen a close-up of a honeysuckle. I hope you like it:

I am going to a 3-day Cheap Joe's Watercolor class in Holland, MI, this week and am supposed to bring some examples of previous work, some that I like and some that I consider disasters. I haven't done watercolor before so I am playing with it now. Here is what I have so far:

I don't think I have to tell you that I consider both of these to be disasters!

I am working on a couple more and will share them after I tweak them a bit.

I am tutoring this morning and need to get in the shower and eat a bit before she arrives, so I am off. I hope to see you tomorrow.


Friday, July 23, 2010

Photo of the Day and Playing with Blogger

Today's photos are not new to me, but they will be new to you. They are a couple of my favorites.

I think I particularly like this one because of the branch she is sitting on and how it "frames" her.

This one I like so much I printed it out and it is matted and framed and hanging in my art room.

I am still in much pain and have not been out and about carrying the camera. I have an ultrasound today that I hope will shed some light on my problem so that a solution can be found.

I don't have any sketches to show you today, but I think you probably noticed that my blog looks different. I decided to change it up and will continue to play with it until I think it is just right. I like this one, but am not sure this is how it is going to stay.

I'd like to add some of my own art as a header, but haven't figured that out yet. Perhaps someday when I am feeling better??

Thank you so much for all your well wishes and concerns. I hope to have a resolution to my pain when I "talk" to you on Monday.

Until then, 


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Photo of the Day and Drawing in Public

Here is today's photo:

 I just love the rose breasted grosbeak, don't you?

And I decided to be brave and show you my first try at drawing in public. I'm thinking there must be a learning curve to this. People move so much it is hard to get anything down before they are gone. I will try this again and hope to get better at it.

I had a doctor's appointment yesterday afternoon. She was attentive and concerned. She ordered a series of abdominal x-rays that I had done right there and a pelvic ultrasound that is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon. 

I am still in a great deal of pain and wouldn't you know - while I was still in the examination room with the doc, she sent a prescription for a pain killer/anti-inflammatory to the pharmacy at Krogers, where I was planning to stop to get some produce. Between the time she "sent" it from her computer to the time I got to the pharmacy at least 45 minutes had elapsed. The prescription had not arrived yet. I will have to call today to see if it is there and filled and then send the hubster to pick it up for me.

Oh, by the way, today is our 32nd wedding anniversary. I don't think we will be celebrating just yet. Maybe next week some time - at least I hope I am not still in such pain by then.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Photo(s) of the Day and EDM #17

I have a couple of photos to share with you. These are my favorite birds. I actually took these pix at my sister's house, not mine, but I get orioles too.

I am in more pain today than previously - now it seems I can't find any position in which I don't hurt. I am being seen at 2:40 this afternoon and am hoping to get some kind of relief and perhaps even a diagnosis. I know that is a lot to ask for, but c'mon I've been hurting long enough and this has just got to stop.

I've not been doing much art, but I do have EDM #17 to share. It is to draw a musical instrument. This is not a great drawing, but at least it is recognizable:

I've been contacted by a company that makes a product you might be interested in and she is going to send me one to review on my blog and is sending a second one for me to offer as a giveaway. How cool is that??  Stay tuned.....

I am hoping to know what is wrong with me by the time I "see" you tomorrow and hopefully be on the road to recovery.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Photo of the Day and EDM #16

Today's photo is not a new one, but it is a favorite. It was taken in the Leelanau Peninsula from my vantage point on the beach at Good Harbor Bay. This is the picture as it came out of the camera; it is not enhanced in Photoshop - just cropped.

I also have a quick sketch that I drew for EDM #16, a favorite tool.

Yesterday was a very long day. My daughter took me to Allegiance (formerly Foote) Hospital in Jackson where I went in to be triaged so they could decide whether to see me in ER or the walk-in clinic. They chose ER.

Everyone seemed, from the beginning, to think it was my appendix and so all day (I arrived around 8:15 am and was released around 4 pm) I couldn't have anything. I so wanted a glass of ice water! At any rate, they took blood, started an IV with saline into which they twice put 4 mg of morphine. There is something strange about morphine (or maybe this is what it is supposed to be like) in that it doesn't relieve my pain, but makes me woozy and sleepy.

At about 10:15 they had me drink this awful tasting stuff in preparation for a CT scan. When I finished it, the nurse called CT and told them that I would be ready for the scan in an hour. An hour came and went, two hours went by, the nurse called back down to the CT area only to be told they didn't have a record of her call to tell them when I had finished that awful liquid. WTF??!!

At 1:10 I was taken to the CT area and had something put into my veins through the IV site and the scan was done. At 2:30 the doctor came in to tell me the good news - "You can keep all your internal organs", but the bad news - we don't know what it is so we are calling it a stomach virus.

My son came and got me (he still has my car) and brought me home. I took the Vicodin and Motrin they gave me and promptly went to sleep. I was so dopey from the Vicodin that I took at 4 that I couldn't stay awake to watch the Tigers (which is just as well since they lost AGAIN!).

I got up this morning at 6:30 and feel pretty much as I did yesterday. If I stay in a certain position, I feel no pain, but if I move the wrong way - YIKES! I can't take any meds today as I am tutoring math this morning and even though I am sure I could do Algebra in my sleep, I don't want to have to prove it.

I am supposed to be driving up north tomorrow to stay at my Mom's and attending my 40th class reunion on the weekend, but haven't decided if I will be able to go or not. For now I am taking it one day at a time.

Thank you for all your well wishes. Here's hoping either this thing resolves itself or I can get in to see my family doctor and he has some other ideas.


Monday, July 19, 2010

Photo of the Day and More Drawing Lab

Why is it that when you think you need to be seen by a medical professional it is Saturday or Sunday. I have been in pretty serious pain in my lower right abdomen for a couple of days, today worst of all. I am just waiting to call until they open at 8:00. I've decided that if they can't see me today, I will go to an urgent care center.

There is a complication - I still don't have a car. My daughter has agreed to come and get me and take me wherever I decide to go to be seen. I hate going to the doctor, but today I will take my sketchbook and make myself do some quick sketches of people/things I see while I am waiting.

Today's photo:

Don't you just love dahlias?!

I'd also like to share some drawings I did for the Drawing Lab that I am participating in with the Artists of the Round Table group. The book is by Carla Sonheim and is a really cool, useful book.

These are non-dominant hand drawings. A really tough, but fun assignment!

As the name implies, these are cheater blinds - almost blind contours, but you can check your position once in a while. These are drawn from family pix.

This lab is called "100 Faces" As you can see, I wasn't at my best for these and it is messy, but it is my journal/practice book. For now we are being asked to draw 3 out of 100.

Stanley Steemer is on the way to clean my carpets, so I'd better get some breakfast and get organized so that I can call the doctor precisely at 8. Here's hoping I can get in and that it is not something serious!!


Friday, July 16, 2010

Photo of the Day and More

I hope you aren't tired of photos of roses because here is another one:

I think I want to draw this and try to paint it with watercolors.

Remember my blind contour drawing of the wooden cats that I couldn't find. Well I found them. I mean I found one of them and the hubster found the other. The one with the long tail was discovered in our bed. I guess Miss 2 had a nap with him. Here they are:

I didn't get to the non-dominant girls drawings yesterday. I went to the library to pick up a book I had asked for through MelCat and browsed the new books. I found one I wanted to read and read it in one sitting. I am really awful good about reading and disappearing into the world of that book. It was a good day. I must remember to read once in a while because that kind of afternoon is fulfilling and enriching and good use of the imagination.

I did get more work done on my third Faces in Technicolor girl. I don't think she is done yet, but she is getting better. What do you think?

Sharon has suggested another flower to the left on her neck and I think I will do that. I also think her eyes are way too "staring". I'm not sure what to do. For one thing I think I may need to lower the top line of her eye a bit and I think I need to put a hint of a lighter color between her eye and the crease.

I also spent some time putting a bit of color on the plover from yesterday.

The most exciting thing about the plovers wasn't adding color, although that was fun! It was trying to print onto watercolor with my printer. I took a large piece of 140 lb cold press watercolor paper to my guillotine cutter and cut it to 8.5 x 11. I used Photoshop to make 4 copies of the sketch and placed them into the four quadrants of the paper. I printed using the matte photo paper setting and printed in grayscale. I am thrilled to find that I can print very nicely onto watercolor paper!

I am spending the day with my friend Nancy today. I don't know where we are going yet, but I know it will be a good time. I still don't have my car so Nancy will drive and I will buy lunch.

Before I go, I have a wonderful video to share with you:

Now I really need want an iPad!!!!

Gotta go! Have a great day!


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Photo of the Day and A Bit of Art

Good morning! I have the day off today - except for the fact that the bathrooms again need a good cleaning, the carpets need to be vacuumed, the kitchen floor needs to be swept, my art room needs a good straighten, and I need to get to the library and the post office - and I still don't have my car back! I think I am just going to ignore this dirty house and do some art.

To begin, here is today's photo. The hubster called me outdoors yesterday afternoon after he and Miss 2 spotted this beauty on the butterfly bush. I ran and got my camera, but he was so skittish, this is the only one of about 6 quick shots that isn't blurry with his movement.

Remember the lovely art and handmade book I showed last week from my friend Sandy? Well, I finally got my exchange in the mail to her, but forgot to take pix first. She sent me a picture with all the goodies in it. Thanks, Sandy!

I had a hard time parting with the technicolor face ATC, but after seeing the really wonderful art she sent me, I felt I had to include the face in her package. The accordion book is printed on a long sheet of archival paper and has pictures of kaleidoscopes I made in Photoshop using my own photos. I had a great time playing and making that book. The covers are made from wallpaper covered book board.

I am currently working on drawing faces using my non-dominant hand. I have one done, but intend to fill a page, so I will wait to share until I have the page completed. I need to sit and work on the Drawing Lab today to get caught up. Plus, it is such a fun activity, that once I get started, I don't want to stop.

Those of you who "know" me are aware that I am in love with faces and birds. Here is my latest bird drawing. I rather like him and am tempted to sketch him on watercolor paper and try my hand at adding a bit of color. If I get to that, I will be sure to share.

For those of you who commented on the lack of the color green on the green heron, I must say this:

The person who got credit for naming birds must have been a bit color blind and perhaps a bit backward in his knowledge of body parts. For example, have you ever seen a purple finch? He is not purple - he is red! What about the red bellied woodpecker? The red he sports is on the top and back of his head - not his belly! And the red-breasted nuthatch. His breast is not red; it is a warm brown! Need I say more??

And before I forget, there is another free watercolor webinar coming up! I signed up for the one Molly Murrah did last year and then life got in the way and I wasn't available during the program. So I will try again this year. I copied this from my email:

I think this year, I am going to make it part of my plan to drive to Mason to the lovely bookstore/coffee and use their high speed wireless connection for this class. Mine is too slow for a smooth class and sometimes a class like this puts me over the limit I am allowed for the day and I get kicked off for 24 hours.

I think it is time to finish my second cup of coffee and then get started on some art.

Thanks for stopping by,


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Photo of the Day and WIP

For today's photo I am using one I took some time ago that I forgot I had. It is a green heron. I have only seen one that one time, but apparently they are around here (unless he was lost). Have you ever seen a green heron?

I am still working on my girl #3 for the Faces in Technicolor class and still am not very happy with her. I have restarted three times now going all the way back to gessoed canvas and resketching the picture. I am having the hardest time getting the paint just the right consistency. It seems to be either too thick and globby or too thin and watery. This is another reminder of practice, practice, practice....

At any rate, here she is as a work in progress. She is definitely not done yet.

I am still trying to do a blind contour every day and here is what I have to show for it today. First I must tell you I attempted this while sitting at the drop-cloth covered dining room table with Miss 2 trying watercolors for the first time and Miss 7 watching to see if she wanted to try this blind contour thing. I used a couple of wooden cats that I have that Miss 2 has fallen in love with and actually I can't find them this morning, but will post what they look like when I do find them and I think I will continue to try to do blind contours with them until I like what I get.

And last, but not least, is my next girl with an edited ear. I really appreciate all the input I received yesterday. I moved the ear in a bit and up a little. I didn't change the eye because that is where it appears in the original picture that I am using as a model. I may have to adjust the chin line and side of the face opposite the ear in order to show the tilt of the head more clearly.

Here she is with her new ear - I feel just like a plastic surgeon...

I like her better and think she may go on the new background I am smooshing from leftover paint from my latest Faces in Technicolor babe.

Here's what that background looks like since my latest addition:

I sent my trade to my friend in Niles and she already received it and sent a very nice email telling me how much she liked it, but I forgot to take pix before sending it off. I'll see if she can take one and send it to me so I can show you what I sent to her.

I read the book she sent to me to the little girls yesterday and they thought it was a really nice story. As a matter of fact, Miss 7 had me cut paper and fold and staple it to make a small book that she could write a story in and illustrate.

Another busy day with the girls today. I think we are going into town to do a bit of grocery shopping and then will pick them up and bring them out here. Their Mom works until 9 pm, so it will be a very long day. I must say, though, I love the time I get to spend with my sweethearts. They grow so fast. I need to treasure each of these days.

I hope you like what you see in today's post and encourage you to leave me your comments/suggestions/critiques as usual.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Photo of the Day, the Zoo and Murphy's Law

I have a few photos to share today. They were taken at the zoo before my camera battery died (that is where Murphy's Law shows up). Wouldn't you know it, the animals were all performing wildly for us and I had to just watch with my camera dangling around my neck in its case. The lion actually woke up from his nap and roared half a dozen times much to our delight, but alas, I have no pictures to document that wonderful event. We are planning to go to the zoo again later in the summer or early Fall. I sure hope the animals are willing to put on another show for us.

There was some very distracting wires and the like in this picture, so I used some creative license to edit it.

I love the sun and shade in this one.

I just love the eagle, don't you?

We had a change of plans since my daughter had to drive about 20 minutes to pick me up (I still don't have my car). We went to Potter Park Zoo in Lansing instead of driving to Battle Creek.

She stopped in Leslie on the way so that I could mail out my package to a friend and then went on our merry way. I had no idea that I had dropped my cell phone outside of the post office. Actually when I got home, I quick called my daughter because I thought I had probably left it in her car, but while waiting for her to answer, I found it on the cupboard. I still had no idea I had dropped it. 

I was on the computer looking at the few pictures I was able to take before the battery in the camera died when my tutee called to ask me where I had lost my phone. I told her that I hadn't lost it, that somehow I'd left it at home while I was at the zoo. She proceeded to tell me that someone had called her because she was the first contact on the phone to try to find out how to get the phone back to me. The woman who found it got hold of the hubster and he drove over to her house - a mere 3 miles away - and brought it back home. What a lovely woman! 

It was a wonderful day. The 2 year old pushed the umbrella stroller instead of riding in it most of the day. She said her pet wolf was riding in it and she would periodically walk around to the front to talk to him. Miss 7 used the map to decide where we were going next. She is a good leader.

I have sketched a face for my next canvas (once I get the courage and time to finish the current one I am working on) and am quite pleased with how it turned out. I used a picture of my daughter taken as part of her senior picture package a dozen years ago. At least I think I am happy with it - now that I look again - is her ear way too far back??? or is it just me??? I would really appreciate it if you would look carefully at her and tell me. I am tempted to move it up a tad and about one ear's width closer.

I have Miss 7 and Miss 2 today and tomorrow so my art time will be limited, but I hope to find some time this evening to get back to work on the Faces in Technicolor 3rd girl to get her to the point where I dare to share it with you. 

For now, I am going to get a second cup of coffee and chill. The girls will be here within the half hour. I love them dearly and we will have a great day, but they will wear me out.


Monday, July 12, 2010

Photo of the Day, Blind Contour and List Progress

The photo today is a gem for me. I have never seen one of these birds near my house let alone at the feeder. I've only seen them at a friend's house a couple of miles from here. She has a deck on the back of her house and a huge open field behind - no close trees. I am thrilled that he came to visit and angry at myself for having to shoot this through a dirty window. The feeder is so close to the window, it is nearly impossible to focus on the feeder and not get the dirt in the window as well.

We usually get the red bellied woodpecker (go figure, his belly is not red, the top and back of his head are). He looks like an overgrown downy with a bright red (not this wonderful deep red) top and back of his head and striped wings. 

I hope this guy comes back and I can get him through a cleaner window. Unfortunately, cleaning it doesn't do much good as the raccoons come at night and leave their marks from swiping at the feeders.

Now to the list from last time:

- walk the treadmill  I did an hour including 15 minutes of jogging
- unpack
- call the carpet/blinds professional cleaners
- get my trade with my friend, Sandy in the mail  not actually in the mail but ready to go - I still don't have a car!!!! The hubster assures me that he will take it today and get it sent on it's way.
- get my ATCs for the ATCsForAll trade in the mail
- restart my third girl in the Faces in Technicolor class (she was a disaster and is now buried under gesso and molding paste) she is in the ugly stage; I'll share tomorrow.
- do Lab 2 in Carla's Drawing Lab book blind contour giraffes (see below)
- replace the pix on the digital photo frame in the living room
- strip beds and do laundry

Looks like I should make lists more often. I do have the ATCs for the ATCs For All trade ready to go and will see if the hubster will mail them today when he sends the other.

I'm a bit disappointed; today is weigh in day and I am still just over 160. Is it so unreasonable that I should be in the 150s? I walked and jogged on the treadmill for an hour instead of half an hour three times this past week. The plus is that I was in a size 14 and now my size 12s are a bit large. I know better than to be hooked on a number, but it is what it is.

Here is my blind contour from Carla Sonheim's book Drawing Lab:

They are not very impressive, but I think you can tell what they are. My goal is to attempt a blind contour every week (my goal in a goal is to do one every day). 

Meanwhile, I am working on my third girl in the Faces in Technicolor class. I have started and gessoed over twice and finally am to a point where I like some of it, but it needs a lot of work. I will share her tomorrow. When I got to the point where I was afraid to go on yesterday, I had a small palette paper full of a variety of Golden heavy body acrylics and didn't want to waste them, so I opened another canvas panel and smooshed them into it.

I'm loving this as a beginning and am hoping to use it as a starting point when I begin my next "masterpiece" :-o

I am supposed to be going to the zoo with my daughter and miss 7 and miss 2 today, but it looks like it is going to be raining on and off most of the day. Maybe we could go to a mall and have lunch and walk a bit instead.


Friday, July 9, 2010

Photo of the Day and Drawing Lab

I so envy the people with their beautiful long lenses that are able to get those wonderful bird shots like the ones found here, but every once in a while I am able to get a picture through a window with my wimpy long lens that I am quite happy to share.

In one of the Yahoo! groups to which I belong we are doing a workshop using Carla Sonheim's wonderful book, "Drawing Lab for Mixed Media Artists". What a lovely book this is and what a great way to get yourself to loosen up while exploring drawing. I am a little late in getting started, but have completed Lab 1 and here are my fine drawings.

This is "Drawing Cats in Bed"

This one is what I made by choosing one of the cats in the picture above and playing with it in Photoshop.

I have many items on my list of things to accomplish today:

- walk the treadmill 
- unpack
- call the carpet/blinds professional cleaners
- get my trade with my friend, Sandy, in the mail
- get my ATCs for the ATCsForAll trade in the mail
- restart my third girl in the Faces in Technicolor class (she was a disaster and is now buried under gesso and molding paste)
- do Lab 2 in Carla's Drawing Lab book
- replace the pix on the digital photo frame in the living room
- strip beds and do laundry

There are probably a lot more things I should be doing, but I am trying to throw off the shoulds and just take it as it comes.

What do you have planned for today?


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Photo of the Day and Home Again

We are back from the wake and funeral in Saginaw, and happy to be home. We saw lots of family and friends that we haven't seen in a long time and I am once again reminded how important they are. How I wish we would remember to get together with them in other circumstances. It seems that too often we reconnect with friends and family at funerals, and the older we and they get, the more likely this is to happen.

I personally despise the funeral tradition, but I think it has its place in providing a way to say a final goodbye and gives closure. The service was nice if too long; the only real drawback being that it was 90+ degrees and the church had no air conditioning and minimal, tiny fans. I was distracted throughout the entire service by the rivulets of water running down my face, neck and back.

It is good to be home and get once again into the routine of photos and art. I have no art to show you - I intended to do some kind of sketching while I was away (I took a sketchbook and pens with me), but didn't find the time to do so.

Today's photo is of the trumpet vine that grows in the crook of the deck and stairs. I love the greens and just that bit of orangey red that is found here and there. The birds love it also.

I have a busy day planned today. I am tutoring at 10 and then am going to make a trip to the coffee shop in Mason to watch the next series of movies from the Faces in Technicolor class. After that I am going to drive to East Lansing to visit the Hobby Lobby store where I hope to get some kind of purple paint and some green to make my face with the colors in the napkin I've chosen. I also hope to find an interactive color wheel to help my color mixing become more planned and less haphazard. Once I've returned home, I hope to begin on my third face, which I will share with you tomorrow. 

I received the ATC exchange from my friend in Niles and was quite overcome by the loveliness and thoughtfulness of what she sent.

This is a lovely story written and illustrated by her. I really think she should contact Sleeping Bear Press or some other small publisher and have this made into a children's book. I would surely purchase it for my little girls.

This beautiful handmade card.

And these beautiful ATCs.

I am just about ready to mail hers and am feeling pretty insecure about the quality of what I am sending. I'll show them to you once I know she has received them.

Gotta go!

Nice to "see" you again.


Monday, July 5, 2010

Photo of the Day

The hubster's older sister has been staying since Friday evening. We are driving with her and a younger sister to Saginaw for the wake and funeral of their brother, Ron, who suffered for years with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease). He died in his sleep in the wee hours of Friday morning. I am feeling a mixture of sadness and joy as the disease had progressed to the point that he was hardly living. I know there will be a large void in the family he has left.

Needless to say, it is very difficult to find art time when life gets complicated and you have a house guest. I have been trying to remember to get out the camera. Here is today's photo:

I call it "tree house". This is my screened porch, my place of refuge in the summertime. I am very fair skinned with light hair (with a bit of gray mixed in) and cannot be out in the sun much. This time of year the trees become so thick with greenery, I feel as though I am in a tree house and I love it! The birds flit around the feeders singing and playing and for those minutes all is right with the world and troubles disappear.

I also took a picture of some of my "art" work that hangs in the house. This one is an alphabet cross stitch that I completed many years ago and entered in the county fair. It received a blue ribbon that I was very proud to receive.

I just had a few minutes this morning to preview the next video in the Faces in Technicolor series and saw that Sharon was using a paper napkin as color inspiration, so I went through my stash of napkins and chose this one as my color choices. Once I get a chance to watch the video in its entirety, I will have a better idea how she is actually going to use it.

It is supposed to be very hot and humid today and I have the two little girls who will arrive around 10:30 and will be with us until around 10 this evening (my poor daughter is working 11 hours today). The hubster is going to the antique mall to put in his hours, so I will be entertaining his sister and the two little girls for most of the day. There will be no art today! Alas!

I am planning to take my MacBook with me to Saginaw and hopefully the hotel will have internet access so that I can watch Sharon's movies while I am there. 

Gotta go - the treadmill calls!