Saturday, March 25, 2017

Zentangle Fun



The top Zentangle® is 8.5 x 11 on a piece of good quality computer paper.  This has been on my desk for well over 3 months...shoved here and there and then I feel like adding something and then pushed aside for other things.  Stephanie Jennifer's Tangle Calendar Facebook group posts things slowly and I am now 10 months ahead of the rest of the group.  I know this is obsessive.  I won't say which month this actually is but I was humming "Jingle Bells" when I finished it.  🎄

I'll take a little break now...maybe.

The second tangle tile is just 3.5" square...a normal size tile.
I started a demo when my daughter Julie was here in February and so I just finished this one up.  Added a little colored pencil to that one.

We had a gorgeous day here in central FL AGAIN.  But if we do not get rain soon we are going to have some serious water shortages here.  I have never seen our pond this low.  The park turned off the fountains yesterday.  First time I've ever seen that in the 10 years we have lived here.  And no rain in sight and 88 ahead next week.



Friday, March 24, 2017

Sketches this week...



Two recent sketches in my Stillman & Birn Beta Series Sketchbook.  Both very quick...less than 30 minutes but without color which was added later.  The words cut off at the bottom left say "Pete's Houses".  

Beautiful central Florida weather but we are getting concerned about how dry it is here.  We had a 5 minute shower yesterday which did nothing.  Some possible rain tomorrow.  But need we need big time inches now.  Am worried about the water table. And by Wed we'll be up to 86.  

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Mac N Cheese Tangle: Diva Challenge


In Zentangle® the tangles (patterns) that you love and that come to mind as the most relaxing and fun are known as the "Mac n Cheese" tangles.  Like home cooking.  

What is your home cooking favorites changes on and off.  One month you might revert to one and a few months later it'll be another one.  For a long while I almost always reverted to "Wheelz" when I was dreaming.  

Over the last 6 months or so it's been "Lollywimple". There is no logical explanation for what you choose except for me it has to have curving lines, be open to the mood to interpret, and be able to fit into almost any shape or string.  It doesn't need to be planned much but it has a lot of creative options.  It "plays well with others." (here it plays with "Hollibaugh".)

I like that it makes a cool border and it shades well.  

A Haiku Morning

We had a humming bird on the hibiscus this morning.  
I am not sure why I mention it but it was the cause for an instantaneous smile on my face.  
There was thick fog here this morning. Somewhat unusual here.  
So even seeing the little bird out the porch window was a gift.  

Reminds me of this painting I did of a hibiscus some years ago on masa paper....

Today looks like a haiku poem.

Wild pink hibiscus
Sweet gift for a hummingbird
Slipping through the fog.

I stored some of my old paintings on google photos.
You can see them here.



Tuesday, March 21, 2017

En Plein Air



What a lovely morning to be outside painting!  Wow.  Started at 9:30 with temps around 75 and ended at 11:30 with it about 82.  Gorgeous clear skies and bright sunshine.  

My neighbor Pete just put in a little waterfall in his garden in the yard so friends gathered around and we enjoyed visiting and laughing and drawing and painting. Birds sang...we saw an osprey fly by.  This was a group from my Hawthorne Park Art Club.  Painting right in the park.

Hoping to catch up with the Urban Sketchers NEXT Tuesday at Venetian Garden Park on Lake Harris.  

Saturday, March 18, 2017

The Colorful Zebra


I just dabbled a little on this one today...need to finish painting the grasses.  It might be fun to try this one again some day.  Try some different color combinations.  He is kind of a Dr. Seuss zebra but I like the effect just for something different.  Everyone has a black and white zebra, right?  

Today was a day to kind of do my own thing...boy I sure needed that.  Did a few household chores but mostly I worked in the studio working on several projects already started and thinking about a few new ones.  

Caught up on emails and started a new book...The Daughters of Mars by Thomas Keneally.  (He wrote Shindler's List).  

Hubby was off to a model train show today so things were very quiet.  

Friday, March 17, 2017

Joey's Challenge: K is for Kindness


Just a little exercise in Zentangle® this evening.  Unwinding.
This challenge is obviously alphabetical!  I had a little fun doing a rubbing with crayons too. 

Hubby and are winding down after a rather busy week...me gone to art class for 3 days and him holding down "the fort".  

Some nice evenings out and a chance to see the movie Moonlight.  A somewhat troubling and sad movie, don't you think?  A reminder that resilience is what keeps people afloat in the hardest of times.  

Worrisome news continues to come at us every day...a strange health care plan that would leave so many afraid and vulnerable.
Who would take away Medicare and Meals on Wheels and Planned Parenthood?  Our world is spinning out of control.  And now North Korea is in the news again.  Some say the anxiety level of this country is at full tilt while the president seems to think he has a part-time job.  

K is for kindness.    

Just Words

Just Words 
by Tony Robinson

They are just words
Not hard things, like guns
Not precious, as gold
But ink on paper
Lines, this way and that
Or sounds invisible, vapors

Words – how many fly, fall, are carelessly flung in a day, in a minute
We are as wanton with words as the dandelion with its winged seed.
But just words are sometimes
The best we have
Sometimes all we have, 
And even all we need.

A right word
A true word
A sharpened word
A clean word
A graceful word

Is all we need

To create the world again.

Been working all week on "images", not words.  BUT today I am thinking about words again and words that describe my images and how I think about these images in words in my head.  And what words I put on my blog, my emails, my Facebook, etc.  How powerful shared words are.  (Think tweets by powerful people.) 
Or more the wonderful words like "I am proud of you" or "I love you" or "I like you" or as in Avatar.."I see you".  

Saw the movie Moonlight last night...an academy award winner and thought of how few words there were in it. And how the words that did exist were between people of a different ethnic group than me...sometimes almost shutting me out.  The then the power of image again and of silence and human compassion and the need for love.

I wish you good words today...graceful words, comforting words, and supportive words.  Happy St. Patrick's Day too!




Thursday, March 16, 2017

Completing the watercolor workshop




None of the above are totally finished yet...the zebra is "just" started.  If you follow my blog you've seen them progress so far. All 3 were started in Sandy's class up in Summerfield over the last 3 days.  Seeing as she spent at least 1/3 of each day in demo, I think I got quite a bit done.  All are quarter sheet...the zebra is slightly larger in square format.  And he still has a lot of masking fluid on.  

The top painting: Unlocked, is almost done...just a little tweaking I think.  I don't know about Pete's Boat yet.  I have to live with that a little bit.  I enjoyed the class and would recommend Sandy to anyone.  She also teaches some exclusive Yupo classes.  

The New Way to Do Art Workshops


I just finished the 3 day workshop with Sandy Maudlin up in Summerfield.  Great time.  

I'll comment more on the art in another blog but I wanted to show the set up that the art group had that was quite splendid.  Never seen it done this way before.

The camera/screen set up made it so easy to follow the artist.  The camera was above her with lighting and the screen off to the side and then there was another identical TV screen off to the left side of the room.  
(No more mirrors!)

We could gather chairs around either screen or even see her from our tables.  (Or you could walk up beside Sandy and watch her too, of course).  


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Watercolor and Tape




The two pieces that are now left hanging out there unfinished after two days in Sandy Maudlin's class are stressing me a bit.  The darkest darks now have to go into them and I am not at all liking how either of them are progressing.  You can see the tape "bits" on the second one.  This is a painstaking process of taping, painting, drying, and then doing it over again.  The tape has been removed on the "box of keys" and now the final darks need to go on.

Sandy also did a demo on yupo (not this technique) but one just so people could also see how that technique works.  I LOVE yupo and it was fun to be reacquainted with that technique too.  

It'll be interesting to see if I post the finals on these tomorrow or not.  As I say, I am not really too pleased with how these are coming along.  But it's all a learning thing, right?  


Monday, March 13, 2017

How to Interpret a Box of Keys using tape and a lot of Faith




This is just the thing for a rainy Monday in central Florida.

Get yourself a box of keys.  (just kidding).  This wonderful box was  photographed at the Steam Punk festival last Monday in Mount Dora.  Although perhaps some of you have some keys collected?  They are so fascinating and what a metaphor for examining life!  

Or so I thought when I sent this to Sandy Maudlin for my photo reference and she sent it back in 4 values of black/white and gray.
OH my.  What was I thinking!  But obviously since I was taking her class I didn't know that I should have sent her a pear.  Not a box of keys.  So you begin by tracing or drawing the images.  THAT was a challenge to begin with.  THEN you begin with the lightest values and you "tape" them off with just the special masking tape.  Seriously?  Oh my.  Then you paint a wc wash over it all with your lightest colors. (see first photo).  Then when bone dry you find your next darker images and tape them off.  Paint again.  So now that is where I am...letting it dry overnight and doing the third tape and  wash tomorrow morning.  

The tape must be torn, by the way, not cut.  Raggedy edges are preferred.  I hope that will become evident by the end.  This takes a lot of faith.  Tune in tomorrow.  


Sunday, March 12, 2017

Leesburg Art Association Show



For some reason this painting looks SO small on the wall at the Leesburg Art Association show.  It is 12 x 12.  It just looks dwarfed there on that big wall.  This is acrylic and paper clay on gallery wrapped canvas.  

It was a VERY warm Saturday in Leesburg on Saturday...thus the straw hat.  I didn't win anything this year.  But it was fun to try.

Greg and I looked at all the exhibits and enjoyed the fair and then had a nice lunch at Blooms on Main Street.  



Saturday, March 11, 2017

Line Over Line Lettering


Often when I am procrastinating I find something...some bit of distraction that has been sitting on one of my desks (I have 3 to organize...but that's another story) and I run with it for awhile. 
Wastes a good deal of time but is SO satisfying.  Unfortunately the job you are trying to avoid tends to be still there later.  Hmmm.

Joanne Sharpe, who is my absolutely favorite "whimsical" printer (as contrasted to calligraphy or serious font making) is above doing a demo of her new DVD.  She is so generous with sharing her love of letters.  So she just has a bit of fun with this nonsense.  

Just use your own script (fairly large...at least 2-3" big I would guess) and write a word forward as normal and then...the fun part-- quickly retrace the word going backwards in a wonky way sort of not trying much in the least to really trace it...then go forward again rather quickly doing the same thing.  The point is to make lots of little unusual shapes but still be able to read the word.

Then (and you'll love this if you are coloring book fanatic) you get out your favorite coloring tools (markers, colored pencils, wc) and you spend a bit of time coloring in the bits.  I used colored pencils above.  This is my first attempt.  I hope I get better at it.  But it sure was fun.  I think this would make a great card...journal printing...or a title on a poster or booklet.  I think it is more effective if you stay with 3-4 colors.  Or at least stay in the same color "family".  But you can try whatever!  You can watch her do it here.

ps...the job I was avoiding did not go away and so I had to start packing up art supplies for my workshop with Sandy Maudlin that starts on Monday.  I LOVE workshops.  I just don't like the packing up part.  But it's all done now.  Can't wait to share the workshop with you all.  It is one of watercolor/batik but in a very usual style.  

All this HAD to get done today because tomorrow (Sunday) is our all-day art show here at Hawthorne Park.  40% chance of rain tomorrow...am hoping that it waits until night time!  We usually get close to 400 people there!  Rain could put a damper on things.  I am co-chair of the event and have to be there ALL day.   And I have to leave at the crack of dawn on Monday!!!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Smashing a Paradigm



Sometimes a book comes along and you are just jaw-dropping amazed by how it touches you.  (Of course you have to like trees.)
But who doesn't like trees?

But this is not about what do with wood or how to grow an orchard or how to identify a pine tree.  Or any of the other "tree related" books you have surely come across.  It is not even why you should take a walk in the woods (although that is a good idea, of course.) 

Peter Wohlleben published this in 2015 but it had not fallen into my life until my daughter Julie mentioned it to me this winter when visiting.  I cannot for the life of me remember what the context was that brought it up.  But after I read the review I was absolutely drawn to get a copy.  And I have to pass my delight on.  


The book jacket says "A powerful reminder to slow down and tune into the language of nature".  But I really feel that is a disservice to the book.  It's much more than that.  Another review says "a paradigm-smashing chronicle of joyous entanglement...".  Now that is more like it.  It's a book that will cause you never to look at a tree in quite the same way again.  

And what is even more especially great is that the author knows how to write in an entertaining and purposeful way.  245 pages...it's not that long but I found myself anxious to read the next chapter.  How could I be my age and not know all that much about trees?  I spend 5 months a year in the northern Wisconsin forest!  

I know it will inspire more tree painting in me too!  

Near the Lake


The Good News


On Thursday hubby was scheduled to complete his 2-part "stress" test for the cardiologist.  Due to some limitations physically, we decided along with the doctor, that a chemically induced stress test would work best.  And because he suffers from ET (Essential Tremor) and has a brain implant to help this and a chest implant to regulate it, this complicated the matter.  

All of this was baseline testing, by the way.  Other than feeling extra tired lately, he had no other symptoms.  But stress tests tend to cause some "real" stress for the ones taking the tests and the ones who love them.  What if they find something?  At our ages, these things happen!  

This 30 minute sketch was during the wait period before he actually completed the test.  He had his IV in but was not uncomfortable physically. But we were tired of waiting and worried about how it would go.  So we chatted quietly and I did this small sketch to help pass the time.  The monitor in the drawing was used for the EKG.  The scan was in another room actually.  Greg was given Valium to make him feel relaxed so he was lying down to wait.

Now looking back at the sketch I can feel the tension, the worry and the sterile and discomforting environment all over again.  

The good news is that when the test was read today...everything was PERFECTLY normal.  Much celebrating this evening!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

One of these things does not belong



There are some challenges that "tickle my fancy".  This one had to do with the letter "j".  I could not help myself and started tangling all the j tangles I could find.  BUT this turned out to be one of those games..one of these things does not belong.  😉
I am sure you'll find it immediately...I got caught up with a new tangle and forgot the name of the game!  Oops. 
Incidentally I cut off the name of one on the left near the point of the j that is named "Joki".  

Folding the Corner of the Page...

Field Guide
by Tony Hoagland

Once, in the cool blue middle of a lake,
up to my neck in that most precious element of all,
I found a pale-gray, curled-upwards pigeon feather
floating on the tension of the water
at the very instant when a dragonfly, 
like a blue-green iridescent bobby pin,
hovered over it, then lit, and rested.
That's all.
I mention this in the same way
that I fold the corner of a page
in certain library books, 
so that the next reader will know
where to look for the good parts.

-----------
I think that no explanation is needed with this poem.  But I wanted to include it today as it explains my goal with this blog which is to drop bits of what I see in life into it and share it with my readers "in the same way you fold the corner of a page in certain library books, so that the next reader will know where to look for the good parts".  

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

"Brush Lettering and Watercolor" by Jess Park




I know of at least 3 other people in my immediate art circle who have enrolled in Strathmore's free "Brush Lettering and Watercolor Class" by Jess Park.  It's too soon yet to know how it's going to go.

The first photo is of one of the handouts.  The second is my practice sheets on tracing paper.

The first lesson which was available last Monday was a sleep-inducing video on how to do the strokes on all 26 letters in her technique.  However, the idea is now to use your handouts as models and trace over them to learn how to make them.  This is more fun (but slightly frustrating).  

You really need her exact brush pens I feel.  She has suggested the Tombow Fudenosuke hard or soft or the Pentel Fude Touch.  I have ordered them but of course they haven't come yet.  So I am making do with a Prismacolor Premier black brush pen.  It's not ideal.  But I can sort of get the idea.  I do think Jess should have been specific in her first video if she was using the soft or hard Tombow in her demos.  

At the top where it says "the fundamentals" she shows how the calligraphy looks when done well.  And I do like the look of this font.  The trick is when to use pressure and when to release it.
There are 4 sessions and the next two are about the watercolor end of this.  The 4th combines the lettering and the watercolor.  I think I better practice some more!!! I am going back now and watching her  do one letter at a time and then I do the letter and so forth.  It's a definite learning curve!! 

I tried putting this under my pillow and sleeping on it, but apparently you HAVE to practice




Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Finishing the Zentangle® Labyrinth


I finished up the Zentangle Finger Labyrinth this afternoon.  I just felt I had to finishing something!  Everything I have around the studio is partially done!  I have coated the finger pathway with gloss medium and varnish and it is drying.  I haven't decided if the tactile edge is the way to go or not.  Have to think about that later.  
The piece is just 8.5 x 11 inches.  Wanted to keep things simple and small and frankly it take quite a while to tangle this even though it is not very big.  

One of the tangles is the Diva's Challenge this week.  Amphora.  It is at the right on the bottom.  

A little more about this project in the previous post.  

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