Sunday, January 14, 2018

Manikin Part II


So this is my second try on finishing up my little manikin.  She needed something on her head.  I cut a little hat from foam and glued some ribbons sort of floating out behind.  I decided she would have white hair (I mean this is a retirement community after all).  There..that feels more finished.  

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Sketching is Not So Much Learning About Art as Learning About Seeing


I am pulling together some of my sketching resources as I write up the marketing materials for the classes I am going to teach at the Woodson Museum in June in Wisconsin.  One is Zentangle but the other is WC Sketching.  

Information has to go into print months in advance for these sorts of things.  Hard to think of June in January.  (But if you in one of those winter storms you probably ARE thinking about June.)

I was actually surprised by how many books I own that directly apply to sketching.  Several are out of print now.  Precious books!
It will be fun browsing through them again this winter and picking parts that may be useful.  



I am suggesting an inexpensive option for beginners in the materials list. It is a Koi outdoor sketch box and it comes with a water brush pen (still collapsed in the box).  It's only about $10. Has 12 colors including white and black. I decided I needed to try working with this kit myself for awhile to see how it responds.  I never use white watercolor so I immediately tipped that color out.  In it's place I put quin. gold.  I have never understood why companies put white in.  White gouache is sometimes useful.  But not white watercolor.  I carry a white opaque pen with me in case I need some opaque white for something small. 

Once I put together the water brush pen,  I think I might glue in a few empty half pan cups in that area and add a few of my favorite go-to colors like "leaf green" and alizarin crimson.  The empty tiny pans are about 50 cents each online.  A little super glue would hold them in place.  I would squeeze tube colors in the pans.  

There are dozens of empty Sketching "tins" with little half pans to fill that you can find online now.  But if the students are brand new, they are not going to have the tube paints to squeeze into them.  We have 2-1/2 hours to do this class.  So things must be simple and quick.  

I am giving some consideration to teaching a "dry run" to this class at our community park here in FL in March when the weather is more consistent.  Speaking of which it is still in the mid 30s here at night in central FL.  Sunny and maybe 50 in the daytime.  NOT warm like we are used to!  Slowly warming.  We should be 78 on Thursday.  THAT is more like it.  

Sunday, December 31, 2017

We are prophets of a future not our own.


I wish I could give the artist credit above but the little sketch appeared on Facebook awhile back with no clue to as to it's painter.  I liked it and I think it is well to post it on New Year's eve.  

I looked up the origin of the first of January as a starting point for the year and it is credited to Julius Caesar who re-arranged the calendar to accommodate it.  I never liked his choice.  Every teacher knows that September 1 is the beginning of the new year.  

But tradition wins and so here we are looking back at 2017.  Everyone will have something to say about it.  Anne Lamott, one of my favorite writers,  put out a column on her Facebook recently sending comfort to those who are starting their diets AGAIN.  
And we all know about those dratted "resolutions" we are supposed to be making.  

Many many of us found this past year to be a huge disappointment.
Not in the living and loving of our own, of course, but in the government and the tragedies of violence and weather.  Many times through the past year I've need to re-group and re-dedicate and re-think and re-shape and in some cases re-linquish.  As an optimistic person by nature I've had to cling to hope and prayer more than ever.   

So as 2017 draws to a close I'd like to share a prayer:

As the year draws to a close, a prayer by Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador, written shortly before his assassination in 1980, offers this insight:

"It helps now and then, to step back and take the long view. The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is even beyond our vision. We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God's work. Nothing we do is complete, which is another way of saying that the kingdom always lies beyond us.

"We plant the seeds that one day will grow," Romero continued. "We lay foundations that will need further development.

"We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that. This enables us to do something, and to do it very well. It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning . . . an opportunity for the Lord's grace to enter and do the rest.

"We may never see the end results," Romero concluded, "but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker. We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs. We are prophets of a future not our own. Amen."

With that hope and thought in our hearts let us set out to do what we can letting God's grace enter in and do the rest.  Happy New Year.  




Saturday, December 30, 2017

A Challenge for Square One


This is a combination of 3 different tangles: Organic, Dragon Eye, and Krinkle. I also used the new bold PN Micron Pen for this.  

Done on 3.5 square tile it is my offering for the weekly challenge on the Facebook group called Square One.  As in "back to square one".  All entries must be black, white, and gray.  No color to be added and all must be abstract (no bunnies or elephants please).  

In other words exactly how the founders intended them.  I must add, however, that Maria and Rick DO embellish their tiles by using gold ink and bits of color now and then.  They use white and brown pens on various color tiles as well.   

But the founder of this Square One group decided to challenge the members do see how they can come up with beautiful and authentic work using the basics.  AND it is impressive.

I love looking at what folks come up with!  Amazing.

It is time to welcome in the New Year.  
And much of the country is gripped in a terrible freeze.
Temps are dangerous in many parts of the country.  
Central FL is going to be only a high of mid 50s all week.  
(For us that is cold.). But at least no ice or snow.
And I hear that the flu is becoming epidemic now...I suppose we all shared our germs over the holiday?

Darn.  

So I do make the wish that all be safe over the holiday and decide to celebrate in warm easy-to-get-to places.  Also wishing you elude the flu please.  And that your resolutions are gentle.  

Hoping that making more art will be one of them.  It's one of mine!
Happy New Year.



Wednesday, December 27, 2017

A short visit to Beaufort, SC


A stop in Beaufort, South Carolina on our way to visit my sister in York, SC was an excellent idea.  An old and beautiful little southern island town filled with pre-Civil war historical houses and lots of interesting history.  One long afternoon was NOT enough to even dip our toes into the ambiance of the place.  We hit town last Friday and Saturday and the temps held about 72 and sunny.  A lucky time as the current cold front had not come down yet.   We took the nice buggy tour and really want to come back soon.  




Friday, December 22, 2017

A Little Bit of Art


Like so many Zentangle fans I've been following Rick and Maria's blogs during the holidays.  This is one of the very simple but elegant tangles that Rick drew.  (Rick and Maria are the founders of Zentangle®.). Watching these so accomplished tangle makers is such a privilege.  So this is just a lovely version of Crescent Moon that most of us teach our beginning students.  Rick did his with white pens of different sizes so that the center crescents were thinner.  I didn't have 3 sizes.  So I did the best I could.  I still like the effect.  (And if you've been following along you'll know that I enclose these in birthday cards!) 




Just a tiny little sketch I did during the band concert at Hawthorne Park last Sunday afternoon.  The tree and wreath were actually up above our heads and above the stage so therefore close to the lights on the ceiling.  

We leave for SC today and am taking some sketching materials along with me.  So hope to post during the week sometime.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Zentangle Birthday Card


It is time now (even though it's Christmas) to make up a few birthday cards.  And since the founders of Zentangle® (Rick and Marie) are gifting us all with 12 different ideas about tangles, I thought it might be fun to combine these events.  

This is a standard 4x6 blank greeting card onto which I have glued two Bejou tiles (2.5 square).  So they are pretty small.

The black/white background for the tiles was made by cutting a black tiles and a white tile at the same time and then piecing them back together.  Ying/Yang style.  

The tiles were then tangled with a PN black Micron pen and a #8 white jelly roll pen.  

I am also packing up some gelli print supplies to take with me to my sister's in SC AND putting together some of my sketching supplies in hopes I'll get a few sketches done while I am off traveling next week.   I am itching to get back sketching again!!!

I love all the lights at Christmas, don't you?

Saturday, December 16, 2017

A little Rumpus


This is one of the newer tangles introduced by Rick and Marie (founders of Zentangle®) recently.  It is called "Rumpus" and is really quite fun to play with.  

They have introduced a new "technique" they call "enthatching".  
This is actually "shading with a pen" instead of with graphite.
This is done with the brown pen in this example.  

Would you believe this is not really a paper bag above?
This is a "picture" of a paper bag and I just stuck my tile on it and took a photo.  

During the holidays Rick and Marie (and Marie's daughter Molly) are sharing some delightful "how to" videos.  If you subscribe to the Zentangle.com newsletter you will be getting them too.

You can see this one drawn for you if you go to tanglepatterns.com and type click on "R" and scroll down to "Rumpus".    

So now we come up on the 3rd Sunday in Advent... 
Waiting is hard for me.  But then when Christmas Eve finally comes and I hear those words again...

"In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken..." and Luke tells us the story that is engraved on our hearts, then I remember why we wait.   I've heard it every year for over 70 years now.  And it's always new.  

Below is a photo of my grandson in the Christmas pageant last year. He was 10.  And he was the only shepherd that saw the star.


I feel like that every Christmas.  Like I am seeing it again for the first time.  

I wish the same for you.  
Merry Christmas.






Saturday, December 2, 2017

Putting Art on TV


Thinking and talking about art...what could be more fun?  Yesterday it was my privilege again to interview on television one of the many great artists that live in our retirement park...Hawthorne Park.

This time it was Coralee Burch who teaches the watercolor classes here once a week.  (Everyone is a volunteer.).  Lucky us!!!  Wow.

We have some wonderful folks willing to share with us their time and talent each winter season in so many different medias...watercolor, acrylic, oil, china painting, pastel, colored pencil, and ink.  

Once a month on the first Friday, I get to interview one of the participants and talk about their art, their backgrounds, their joy in expressing themselves in whatever media they love.    We talk about how we began our journeys and where they are headed now.
The half hour just flies by!!!  

Our in-house TV is broadcast to the 1200 homes in the park.  One show each day of the week and then re-broadcast at a variety of times during that day.  So the programmers have fun with a wide variety of subjects.  

Christmas is coming to our park now...decorations are popping up all over...lovely lights and trees.  

Friday, November 24, 2017

The Diva's Zentangle Challenge for this Week...and more



I haven't posted on Laura's challenge for awhile...since the trip to Florida for the winter, I seem to have gotten side tracked with like a millions things.  Ya know? Suddenly it was Thanksgiving!  Whew!
But it was a delightful gathering at an old friend's home.  

The tile on the left is Laura's challenge for this week...using Paradox and Bunzo.  I love Paradox but have never had much affinity for Bunzo.  But that is what challenges are for...to get you to try out a tangle again.  

The one on the right uses a new tangle for me...Abukas.  It is the sort of flower petal shape in the center of the tangle.  I liked it!  
I added Checkered Flag, Chillion, Hollibaugh, Btl Joos, Cirquital and Dimroth.  

The Zentangle class last Tuesday was well attended and enjoyed meeting some new friends and seeing some old ones!  

I have NO intention of going anywhere today (Black Friday) but will get out some of the Christmas decorations, play some Christmas music and maybe even start my Christmas Letter!  It's been rainy here in central Florida over this holiday but expect sunshine back by tomorrow.  

So it's a perfect day to dry out my new Red Rose tea in Carmel Apple Flavor.  Hope your day will be just the way you hope it will be too.  

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Practice, Practice.


I am preparing now to teach a LARGE Zentangle® class on Tuesday.  One of the best ways to prep, besides actually packing up my supplies, is to do some regular tangling to get "in the mood".  
I forget how pleasurable and relaxing Zentangle is sometimes.
Tangles I chose here are Irradial, Lollywimple, and Rain.

I'll have over 20 in the class so I've asked friend and tangler, Cynthia Vose, to help me out. What a good friend!!!  

Below you will see some small little people sketches done during a recent meeting.  I have a big problem with hands! So that is something to be working on in the next months.  My goal is also to have the people look like they have personality and are not all the same person!  😟

I attended an Urban Sketching workshop a few weeks ago and the the main thing about this form of sketching that makes it different from say a travel or nature sketch is that an urban sketch should "tell a story" or "record an event".  Having some people in the sketch helps the story part immensely.





Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Joanne Sharpe's workshop



Here is Joanne (from upstate New York) leading Day One of the two day workshop on "Whimsical Watercolor and Fonts" at The Villages.  FAST PACED would be an understatement!! Some samples of her folded books are on the table.  I think we are headed that way for Thursday!  


This is just a small portion of the day...wow, it went so fast.  Beginning to focus on some of the variations of your own handwriting that one can practice.  


If you look back at the first photo of Joanne you see her holding a fold out booklet (4 parts) that are just plain silly fun.  The theme is a warm-up helping to relax and get into the mood of a "second grader".  A time in our lives when we were up for most anything and still thought of ourselves as artists. The theme was just wild and crazy dresses for the 2nd grader in us.  And a chance to play not only with wet watercolor washes but Tombow pens in wet washes.  



Hard to show here but this is a simple inexpensive composition notebook (like $2-3) from office supply that each of us creating to hold "work samples".  The pages are thickened by using Washi Tape to "bind together" three- four pages thus making it relatively stable.  

So on to day two...wish me luck.



Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Traveling at the Speed of Butterflies






Traveling at the speed of butterflies
You notice things.
Silence surrounds
Loud with sounds
Cacophony of crickets
Hawk on the wing
The river sings.
Traveling at the speed of butterflies 
You notice things. 
A human heart
A small kindness
A bee
A butterfly.
—Sara Thomsen. Written along the Missouri River Water Walk, www.nibiwalk.org

My daughter Julie has just come from attending the Women's Congress held in Minnesota from Nov 3-5.   Sara Thomsen was one of the people she heard there.  The themes were "climate, health, and justice".  You can read more about the congress here.

I love that Sara's poem exemplifies again the "theme" of my own blog (see the quote under the heading) as I pursue my goal of "paying attention".  I am sure that Julie will blog about her experiences in the days to come and I'll share some of what she learned.  

It's nice to think that even though I am "slowing down" as I get older that there are SOME benefits to that!  

I am, as I have blogged before, preparing for a two day art workshop up in The Villages on tomorrow and Thursday.  So watch for my sharing on that in the next few days.  


Saturday, November 4, 2017

Sketching in the Leesburg area




A little time for some outdoor sketching this week...friends Pat and Pete were here from WI and so we managed to get out and about with them a bit.  On Friday afternoon we sent up to the Farm-all Tractor Museum in Leesburg.  Who would have thought to go there?  But the guys were all excited about it.  It was actually quite an amazing collection of just about every tractor and machine they ever made!
Plus some retro things that were fun to see.  

Saturday the guys went to a model train show up in Ocala so Pat and I headed over to Yahala to the Bakery which has live music and outdoor seating on Saturdays from 11-2.  We had a lovely outdoor lunch and enjoyed 70's music!  So relaxing.

Just nice to have a pen in my hand again.  
I have so many projects half done or unstarted yet in the studio.
And a busy week of many obligations coming up!  

Hope to have more artsy fun to share again soon.
Weather beautiful in FL...80s.  
I remembered to set my clocks to "fall back".  
Have a good week.




Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Preparing for a Joanne Sharpe Class


Preparation

We finally got home to Florida...a week ago Sunday night.  An uneventful but exhausting 3 days and 2 nights down from northern Illinois.

I think we slept for two days straight enjoying our OWN bed again!
Then we woke up and discovered nothing was unpacked...you apparently have to do that yourself.  😉

So that took 5-6 days (with lots of interruptions).  So now I trying to figure out how everything in the studio actually FITS in here.  Stacks everywhere.  Sigh.

In between I am preparing the material list for Joanne Sharpe's class up in The Villages next week.  Thus all the pens collected on the table tonight.  I didn't have to buy any new pens as I am a pen freak anyway.  I just bought some wc paper that she suggested and some commercial washi tape...although I really like my own hand painted tape better.  And will take that too.  

I really let the Inktober challenge fall through the cracks.  Darn.
Once I got in the car and headed down I just could not figure out when to do it.  It is fun to look at the sketchbook and I need to start back into this.  Then friend, Sandee, sent me her marvelous ink sketches and boo hoo, I wish I was sketching too!  

Tomorrow I am meeting with a group planning to paint a mural by our swimming pool this winter.  Friend, Susan, has invited me to join the Friday morning class at the center for the arts on the 10th to see an Urban Sketcher give a demo.  Love urban sketching.  And I am prepping to do an art interview on local in-house TV channel THIS Friday morning.  I am beginning to see some actual space on my art table...that's a hopeful sign.  

Don't give up on me.  I'll be "arting" again soon.
Hope you all had a Happy Halloween!


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Sonder

My daughter's blog featured a new word today.

Sonder.

Is it a real word?...I guess it just depends on how you come to define words..as someone said...every word is made up at some point. Until it become real due to usage.

I like the idea of "sonder"...a word my computer's internal dictionary certainly does NOT recognize.   It is a small word for a very thoughtful and complex meaning.  

And I like that it causes you to reflect.  As I am in the midst of traveling now heading from WI to FL and amidst so many new people...it is a great travel word.  


sonder


n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.

I found a tiny video that I think really is THE best definition for this word.  Take a look here.  See what you think.  




Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Inktober Drawing Challenge Day 1-3


Inktober is a wildly popular event each year with artists.  Just a fun encouragement to draw with ink every day for 31 days.  

There are many "prompt" lists... there is the official one but then lots of groups post their own prompts.  Last year I used the official list and it was sort of challenging to try to get something each time that fit.  But this year I am a bit lazy and am in the throes of the annual packing up from our north woods cabin to Florida.  

So I've decided that I am going to post every 3 days or so and am going to do 1/3 of a sketch at a time.  The idea being I'll have a page sketch every 3 days.  But I warn you this is just an idea that could go out the door as things get crazier here.

 So the above inked drawing is a very sketchy view of one wall of our cabin drawn in 3 parts over 3 days.  (That funny snowshoe shaped thing on the far left is actually a grill for grilling fish!).  

Some artists like to draw with graphite first and ink over.  Makes for a little more planning freedom but I am just carrying on right in ink for time's sake. Hoping I'll get better in 31 days.  By the last day I'll be in Florida again so you get a sort of travel journal of the trip.  

Fun fact about today:

In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII declared that the day following October 4, 1582, would be Friday, October 15, 1582. By leaping over 10 days, the pope corrected the Julian calendar, which was 10 days out of sync with the seasons. The new calendar became known as the Gregorian calendar.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

In Between Times



The in-between time...when you are neither here or there has arrived at the lake cabin.  

The leaves are turning but it appears it is not going to be a splendid colorful autumn this year.  Two years ago we were mesmerized by the color.  But last year and this...the colors have been muted and many leaves have fallen without much color at all.  Everyone has a theory: it is too cold, too wet, or too dark or some combination.  Indeed it has not not been memorable for weather this summer. 

On the roads slippery leaves pave a way through the tunnels of dark dry ferns.  Day are definitely shorter and we rise in the dark many mornings...lingering over the hot coffee in hopes of seeing the thin sunshine arrive to bring some color to the forest.   

We drift now, hubby and I, just between the time of summer's dimming pleasures and the crisp cusp of autumn.  Hints of the coming winter are around us now.  The loons, hummingbirds and ducks have flown and the song birds seem to have disappeared. 
So the mornings are very quiet now.  When you walk you mostly just hear the leaves crunching underfoot.  Vs of geese fly honking overhead.  

We now face the inevitable and unloved task of packing and closing up.  It involves winterizing appliances, cleaning out cupboards and fridge and draining the pipes.  Boats come out of the water, piers get stacked on the shore and lawn mowers stowed away.  The list gets checked off as we go along.  

So many things we thought would get completed didn't...I never seemed to have enough time to write or draw or paint.  But there were plenty of times for laughter, friends, family.  We got the porch finally enclosed and with the help of the kids, painted.   

And although the  long, warm afternoons on the pier we love were severely limited this year, there were enough to make good memories.  We know enough at our age to prize the moments and the days.  

I hope to accomplish a few more things in the studio yet this autumn.  We have a week before we get into the serious countdown.  We will say good byes to lake friends in the next weeks. We will enjoy Greg's Model Train Club show in Hazelhurst this weekend and hopefully take a fall drive up to Land o Lakes for gallery visits.  

Susan and I are seriously contemplating doing the Inktober Drawing challenge again.  It will start on Sunday.  







Thursday, September 21, 2017

Greeting Card Fun


The time of year when it seems like ALL the family birthdays converge at once.  When you have 6 kids and 12 grandchildren there is a birthday going on almost ALL the time.  Then throw in graduations and confirmations and etc.   

For someone who has vowed not to keep the card companies in business I am ALWAYS busy!  

Grandson, Alex, turns 24 next week.  His card went out this morning.  I can hardly wait to take Joanne Sharpe's class in November on funky and fun hand lettering!  My cards should take an upturn in creativity. 


4 x 6 on card stock with acrylic ink





My daughter in law, Marie, and my stepson, Mark, both have birthdays this time of year too.  Marie's card is a collage of hand printed papers and Mark's includes some acrylics AND embossed white and gold stars celebrating 50 years!  



Both Marie's and Mark's include "nap coupons" which I love!  And a bookmark handmade with some Zentangles on them.  All held together with hand printed Washi tape.  

I also did one for 11 year old Mike! But I forgot to photo that one.  

We are having Indian summer in northern Wisconsin.  I cannot whine about the weather today...it is PERFECT.  No wind...lots of sunshine, temp about 76.  The smell of pine needles fills the air, leaves floating on the lake water, a kind of glow through the woods.
We ate lunch out on the Adirondack chairs and several caterpillars joined us.  There are mushrooms scattered all over the forest floor.  Leaves float lazily down.  The pier is stacked now on the shore line and the boats are all put away.  The cabin windows are open and it is very still.  We are talking about a campfire tonight.  A day to remember.  







Monday, September 18, 2017

Demo Day at the Great Northern Coffee House


A day at the Coffee House for the demo
9 x 11" Sketchbook - wc and ink

A nice day sketching and doing Zentangle® at the Great Northern Coffee House in Minocqua, WI.  The owner of the store bought the little sketch...which was nice.  I didn't sell any other art that day but the art will remain hanging until Oct 11 so I am hopeful!  And the big "Beef-o-Rama" event comes during this time (Sept 30).  So lots of people in town that weekend.   

Here at the cabin I am now falling into what call "the Limbo days". Being "in limbo" for the last 20 days between being home here and packing for home in Florida.  It's an annual event.

We got happy news Sunday that our power was finally restored.  BUT we also got word that Hurricane Maria is making disturbing progress in our direction.  This seems like kicking someone who has already fallen down, don't you think?  Please pray that this hurricane veers out into the Atlantic.  

Incidentally I looked up the phrase "in limbo":
An intermediate or transitional state, as in After his editor left the firm, his book was in limbo. [ Early 1600s ] Both usages allude to the theological meaning of limbo, that is, a place outside hell and heaven to which unbaptized infants and the righteous who died before Christ's coming were traditionally consigned.

I had no idea about this being a "place for unbaptized folks and folks who were born before Christ".  Think I will change the term to something else a bit more mild like "in transition" or  "feeling homeless" or "A bit detached" or ...any other ideas?  

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...