Saturday, December 27, 2008

Art Goals for 2009

Do you procrastinate where your art is concerned like I do, letting other responsibilities take precedence again and again until nothing creative ever gets done? I have known since childhood that what I want most in this life is to be able to create works of art, whether it be painting or drawing, or sculpting, or fabric arts, or any of the other myriad applications that feed the creative hunger many of us feel. And at times in my life, I have been able to do this. Lately, my muse has been playing games with me and disappears for days, sometimes weeks, at a time. My game plan for the coming months is to confine her to my studio and produce some manner of art work on a weekly, if not a daily basis. (I know better than to promise daily results!.
First and foremost I MUST resist the urge to commit to swaps, challenges, and the like because they always take over my creative time and focus to the detriment of any original ideas I might otherwise develop (operative word here is "might").
I want to continue to work on my drawing and watercolors. I plan to take another in person watercolor class with a local artist....a different one this time who comes highly recommended. I hope to keep searching until I find a teacher who will help me do the kind of watercolor paintings I want to do.
In addition to that, a small online group I'm happy to belong to has proposed a project for January which involves, not drawing or painting, but just photographing areas of our local environs daily and posting the photos on our blogs. This should serve to help form daily artistic habits and maybe will carry over into other artistic areas, like drawing and painting and sculpting as well....wouldn't you think? Anyway, I think it's a wonderful idea to provide us with something creative to do in those dreary January days when the weather usually does nothing but depress us!
So, in order to participate in this project I have taken the plunge and ordered myself a new camera. Didn't even wait until my Christmas bills are all paid! I've already been notified that it has been shipped and will hopefully arrive next week.
I had a wonderful Christmas (hope you all did too), but this gives me yet something else to look forward to. With any luck at all, I should have new photos to post next week!!!!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Autumn wildlife

Are you up for yet another bluebird story? The old bluebird house was getting so rundown and rickety, Roy built a new one, preparing for spring nesting season. He went ahead and put it up yesterday afternoon to see how it would look in the yard. He did do a nice job on it and it looked fine. Wouldn't you know we had a passing thunder storm last night, so he looked out this morning to see how it had weathered the storm. To our complete surprise the bluebird pair who had checked the old house a month or so ago, were there to check out the new "digs"! I thought they had long gone to more southerly climates since we hadn't seen them at all for at least a month, maybe more. But apparently they've been checking the yard frequently, and wasted no time in declaring this new house theirs! We were both delighted to see them, and of course the house will remain up all winter for them in case they need it for shelter.
We've had very little activity in the backyard this fall. There has been a roving bear in the area who has taken a liking to our local scene and we've been advised to take down our bird feeders and make sure garbage cans are tightly covered. My poor yard looks very sad not to have anything moving about except for the silly little squirrels who bury all manner of walnuts...then forget where they planted them. So to see the bluebirds was a special treat!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

EDM #15

I have a talent! A talent for making simple things difficult! I pencilled thie drawing days ago and have been "waffling" over how I wanted to finish it. I couldn't seemt to get on with anything else until this was completed so I sat down today and started slapping paint on. I'm not overly thrilled with the way it turned out, and I don't know why the background looks slightly green. The seed pods are more yellow in the scan than the soft green they really are. But here they are, and now I can go on to something else!

Monday, July 21, 2008


What a day we had yesterday! We've had bluebirds nesting in our yard several times over the years we've been in this house. But English sparrows discouraged them so much that they hadn't been here in 3 years or more until this year. We put up the house in a different spot, more convenient to the part of the house we spend the most time in, and were lucky to attract a nesting pair right away. The first set of eaggs didn't hatch, but the second ones did....born on the 4th of July! Four little bluebirds finally fledged yesterday afternoon (and evening). Sometime after lunch I noticed that mama and papa weren't coming to feed their babies anymore and were flying from tree to tree and perch to perch, just watching the nest box. We'd been seeing the little ones sitting at the door of the box and sort of hanging halfway out to look around for a couple of days, so I knew they'd be out soon. So we watched carefully until finally I saw one little baby pop out of the box, desparately flapping those little wings to get himself across the yard and into the tree. The next one went in the other direction and landed on the deck railing, but then he, too, flew across and into the tree. Number three got confused and flew toward the house and down behind the garbage can! We worried that we'd have to go rescue him, but he finally came out and got himself over to the tree, too. But number four just wasn't ready, and it took Mama and Papa over three hours to coax him out! I sat here and watched almost all that time....I couldn't bear to think they might abandon him if he wouldn't come out. But he finally did, around 7:00 as I recall, and Roy and I both applauded, and had a glass of Roy's latest batch of Merlot to celebrate! We loved having them here to watch, but we are both glad to have the freedom of our backyard back again. We sat out on the deck until about 9:00 enjoying the quiet. Haven't been able to do that for fear of disturbing the birds! And Roy can practice his golf swing out there again now, too! He's thrilled about that.
You can tell it doesn't take much to entertain the old folks!!!!!! But I already miss thosse babies.......wish I had a picture to show, but my camera wouldn't zoom far enough.


Thanks to my dear friend, Shashi, in the UK, I must tell you five things about myself. Hmmmmm......
1.What was I doing 10 years ago? Making cloth dolls and amassing a huge stash of dollmaking supplies and books.
2.Name five things on today's "to do" list. Do the laundry, fill the bird feeders, take down the bluebird nest box(the babies fledged yesterday!), water the deck plants, and DRAW.
3. Snacks I enjoy...WW Giant Latte bars, H&D Moose Munch
4. Things I would do if I were a millionaire...downsize, upgrade, and travel, maybe.
5. Places I've lived: Nine different states all east of the Rocky Mountains.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

EDM challenge 178 (or 8)

I got confused about the challenge number as you can see. But here is today's effort, a favorite pair of earrings. Ink and wash in my new pocket Moleskine. I think I'll do most of my challenge drawings in this little book, I liked working in this size.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Challenge #4 Draw your mug

"Draw your Mug." In an earlier vernacular (like from the thirties!) this could have meant "draw your face"! But I'm taking it to mean the vessel you drink your morning coffee from. Many years ago I was a potter and these were purchased from a fellow clay worker along with matching plates which I still use today. They're still as bright and beautiful as the day I bought them.
My drawing was painted using my new set of Neocolor II watercolor pastel crayons. They are delightful to work with and I love the brilliant colors you can get with them. This drawing shows almost the exact coloring on the mug itself.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Well I tried!

I've tried uploading this picture several times and it always comes out tilted on its side! So bear with me this time, please. Just ink with a little wash in my Moleskine sketchbook.

Topsy-turvy onion

Yes, it's upside down! It just seem to have more character that way. I liked the movement of the root tendrils. What do you think?

Sunday, May 25, 2008

EDM Challenge 165

Also the beginning of a new water color Moleskine journal. The EDM challenge to draw the front of one's house fit in perfectly with the theme I've chosen for this journal. Prompted by a fellow journalist's entry of the floor plan of his boyhood home, I'm planning to use this journal to leave some mementos of Grandma's house for my family....or more accurately, "Grandpa and Grandma's House". This is from a photo taken when we first bought the house in 1993...the trees and bushes have either grown considerably and/or been removed or replaced in the meantime.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Okay, new stuff this time!

I've re-drawn some things from some of my old sketchbooks to use for watercolor practice and here are some of the more successful results. I'm still very uptight with the color, and the little journal I was using for the first two drawings isn't the best quality watercolor paper, I found. For the third one, I used a piece of 300 lb. Arches I found stashed away upstairs from my long-ago efforts. I wish I could make myself a journal with that paper, but I'm afraid it's too heavy for that.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

More Old Stuff

I probably shouldn't show was a less than successful attempt in an effort to loosen up my brushwork and deal with watercolor washes. I keep thinking that if I had just kept at it, I might just have learned something by this time!

This one was a bit more successful, but done with colored pencils this time, in an online class with the very talented Angela Jarecki.

Older work

Here are some things I did some time ago. The first was a watercolor study for a small table I was painting.

This one was one of many I did at that time in an effort to gain some insight into painting with watercolor....never did master it, but I'm still trying!

This one I did in a watercolor class at a small local college. It was done from a photgraph and it felt much akin to painting by number!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

They're ba-a-a-a-ck

For the first time in 3 years or more, a pair of bluebirds appeared in the yard this past week looking for a nesting place. I called Roy to see them and we hurriedly went out and put up the bluebird house we used in previous years. Within a half hour or less they were checking out the house. An aggressive robin made a valiant effort to chas them away (I never saw an aggressive robin before!) but they persevered and have been carefully surveying the neighborhood to make sure it's safe before building the nest inside. Today they seemed comfortable enough to begin and have been diligently scurrying back and forth with twigs. They build beautifully constructed nests with no leaves or other unrelated materials, just twigs. I do hope that no predators discover them now that they've decided to stay.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Drawing May 3

Well, it's an attempt at a watercolor actually. I'm teaching myself from a book by Cathy Johnson (Kate) and having a great time without feeling pressured. I've wanted to learn watercolor for a very long time, but haven't had the motivation to just sit down and do it! So this is a start...........

Thursday, May 01, 2008

EDM #169

This is my first response to a weekly challenge on EveryDayMatters, a drawing/painting/journaling group I joined recently. The motivation to hone my drawing skills, and even finally learn to "master" watercolors, has been very good for my lazy, good for nothing muse, who had just about abandoned me this winter.
As you can see, I had a battle with that plate over perspective. Unfortunately the plate won! I'll have to work on that....
So I'm off again on a new direction....or perhaps more to the point, on a quest to get back to areas of creativity I've let atrophy! I hope I'll have much more to share in the days to come........

Saturday, April 26, 2008

One More flower

I couldn't resist posting this photo of my pitiful little orchid plant that I have neglected so badly all it's life. It's sorely in need of repotting but when it blooms so beautifully as you see here, I'm afraid I'll kill it if I disturb it. I should take it to the garden center and get them to do it for me.

More flowers

As I explained in the entry before, these reference photos for some drawings I hope to get done in the near future, with the cooperation of a muse that tends to desert me at the most inconvenient times. The first is a patch of what I believe are grape hyacinth at the foot of what appears to be a giant paw! It's actually the base of a poor twisted mulberry tree that was distorted by invasive vines in its early years. My husband spent the first several years after we moved in clearing the vines from this part of the yard.
This next one is of some flowers that appear in a couple of places in my yard, but whose identity is still a mystery to me. That's the joy of buying an older home that belonged to someone who is a much better gardener than I am! I get all kinds of lovely volunteer blooms each spring without lifting a finger!

Again, I can't seem to get the photos placed as I'd like, so I'll try again another time. Have a great weekend!


I've been enjoying an online journaling class that has renewed my interest in drawing/sketching, so I've been taking some photos of the flowers that appear in my yard each year, hoping to get some of them into my journal before my muse deserts me again.
These are the lovely tulips that volunteer every year. We've been in the house for 15 years now and they were here when we came.
Here is the lovely pink dogwood that hides my dining room window, but it's so lovely in the spring that I wouldn't dream of removing it!
I'll add more photos in a new post since I can't yet figure out how to get them placed where I want them. I hope I'll have some drawings to show soon.


Thursday, April 03, 2008

I've Been Tagged

My Vegas friend Fran has tagged me and I must think of 5 things to tell about myself (that you don't already know).........hmmmmmmm, let me see.......

1. I'm totally addicted to books. I feel that if I can read a book about it, I'll be able to do it! Which of course isn't necessarily true, but I keep trying, to the tune of three bookcases, two built-in book shelf units and one double closet filled with the evidence!
2. I hate to shop! I think it happened when stores began to place their garment racks so close together you could hardly walk between them and it became difficult to see what you were looking for. Except for shoes......I always loved to shop for shoes, and still do! But........
3. I wear a size 7 1/2 narrow shoe and stores don't often carry that size anymore, especially in the very fashionable casual shoes that look so stylish now.
4. I enjoy many different aspects of the craft world, and have projects in the works now involving sculpting, journaling, knitting, dollmaking at the moment, but that's always on the back burner.
5. I'm a procrastinator. Projects often intimidate me until I plunge in and begin. Then the flood gates open and I enjoy every moment of the process.

Okay, that's my five confessions. Now to find five more, tag!!!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Dress form in Progress

I've made a slow but sure start in Jean Bernard's Dress Form class, mounted the form on its base, apoxied the base with shapes that strongly remind me of banana leaves......not what I intended, but I decided to live with it! Gessoed the whole thing and painted with random strokes of about six different colors! What fun that was! I'm fashioning a finial of sorts to go on top, and the rest will get covered in variegated leaf. Then it will get some floral embellishment and then on to the second half of the class which will involved creating a garment for it. Jean incorporates myriad techniques within each project, so her classes are great for keeping your interest! Stay tuned!!!!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Ghillie is home!

Our round robin is coming to an end, and my little Ghillie has come home from her travels! She started out as just a torso and head with a bit of an identity crisis...she wanted to be an elf, but decided that most elves seem to be male so she was helped along the way to develop her own true identity as a woodland faery!
Fran gave her hair, ear studs, and a lovely necklace. JudiW in her own unique fashion gave her a "crown of thorns" gourd cool is that? Sherry made her a darling little hat and a bodice for her bare little torso. Natalie gave her a much needed make-up job, some cool fairy wings, and some painted embellishments for her bodice.Then JudiA gave her the means to be able to stand on her own with a charming wire stand, embellished with her(Judi's) new favorite creative tool....Apoxie! She added more apoxie vines and flowers at her waistline. Finally Jandee created the most fascinating arms made of heavy wire and some kind of coil, with beautiful clay hands, and puffy sleeves at her shoulder! Is this not the most adorable faery you've seen lately??? Thanks, everyone, you did a most wonderful job, and I love her!

Saturday, March 15, 2008


I know it's rarity, but I actually worked on dolls this week! Our Colorful Journey round robin is drawing to a close after all these months and I've received what are probably the last two I will get to work on for this RR. It's always hardest to decide just what to do for the first doll you receive in a round robin....and to find something....anything! do to the last dolls, because they seem so complete after they've received the creative touches of all the other participants. I was just about to show you photos of the two I'm getting ready to mail, but I suppose that might just spoil the surprise for their owners! I know, that's really mean of me, but I promise to post pictures as soon as they have time to get back home!
Meantime, my muse seems to have kicked back in with a vengeance. I'm currently working on Jean Bernard's Dress Form class, and will hopefully have photos of that WIP to show soon, too. And I just signed up for an online journaling class over at Cre8it which starts the 28th. I've done some journaling from time to time, but this class will perhaps motivate me to include some drawing and watercolor on my pages.....and perhaps keep me from getting bored with it so quickly. I love reading others' journals filled with sketches and drawings, don't you? Doesn't matter whether they draw beautifully or just seems more personal with illustrations.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Almost Spring!

Well, it's almost spring in Maryland anyway. Not that we might not get more winter before the month is often happens here....but we had a 70 degree day yesterday and it's in the upper 60s today, so I'm savoring it while it lasts!
I am SO remiss in not posting this photo earlier. I posted it to my group lists, but neglected to "blog it", so I'm doing a "mea culpa" now and showing you the wonderful ATDs that I got from dear Jacque in Iowa. She does the most unique ATDs ever, and I keep mine hanging on my computer desk to enjoy everyday. I got the demure lady in green several months ago from Jacque, and she sent me the handsome brave for a swap we made on our sculpting group. Aren't they a darling couple??? Thank you Jacque, they make me smile every morning!
p.s. I'm sorry the photo isn't so great, I took it on such a dreary day I couldn't seem to get a good one.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

New Header!

Header/Banner, whatever they're called, don't you love my new one???? Made by my dear friend, Linda Fleming it's so beautiful it may just motivate me to post to this blog more often! I fell in love with the header Linda uses on her site and asked her to make me a similar one....I'm soooo happy with it!
I'm still knitting. Having arthritis in my lower back from too many years throwing pots on the wheel, I can't sit very long at a time at my studio work table doing the other art work I love. But knitting I can do in my easy chair and I can still feel creative in the process! I'm working on a sleeveless cardigan (vest?) right now and I''m very pleased with the way it's looking. I'll post a photo when I get a little further along with that.
Meantime, I'm taking Jean Bernard's Dress Form class....but am having to wait for supplies to be delivered so I can begin. We have no really good craft shops in this area, but I have to journey across the Bay Bridge next week, so I'll pop in to Michael's while I'm over there. Living in a semi-rural area is relaxing and comforting in retirement, but I do miss the shopping I used to enjoy!
Thank Peace........

Thursday, February 21, 2008

She's back!

The Muse, that is. At least she has made a brief appearance and I hope she'll stick around for awhile this time!
I signed on for a swap with my sculpting group to make a card for spring. We were to include at least one sculpted element along with three other media in the construction. I used paper, clay, fabric(canvas, actually) and micro-beads. The beads don't show up much in the photo unfortunately. Now I'm not much of a card maker, but I gave it my best shot. I won't show the inside so Jacque will have at least that much surprise when she receives it! I got carried away with the inside and it got pretty busy I'm afraid, but I know she'll forgive me! LOL!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

January duties

Since I've been in a creative SLUMP since Christmas, or to be more honest, since Thanksgiving if not sooner I decided to take drastic measures. So-o-o I've started cleaning....not just rearranging, but CLEANING, my studio, including that horror pit, the closet!! I took one large trash bag of junk out yesterday, and have another one almost full now, and that's just the tip of the iceberg! I still have three grossly overloaded shelves to do....and that's only one side of this double closet!
This is mostly dollmaking "stuff", and I'm not making dolls much these days so I need to sell or give away much of this material as soon as I decide on the best way to do that. There are also other materials, including a large plastic bin full of weaving yarn from those days when I had visions of becoming a master (ha!) weaver, wire and other materials from all those crafting projects I've toyed with. Not to mention all the books I've collected through the years......sigh.......
This is all due to Roy's new vow to throw out something from his equally overstuffed office everyday since the holidays. Made me feel so guilty I had to start doing the same...and I got carried away, I think!
More on this later on.