Thursday, June 21, 2018

Milledgeville, GA on the trip north

So here is my first sketch on this trip starting with Milledgeville, Georgia on the first leg of our trip north. Part of an antebellum trail with beautiful old homes and buildings.  

OH my gosh it was hot when we got there!  96 degrees was the REAL temp.  I got to this building about 10 am and it was already 90 by then.  So I did the the ink sketch with the shadows and gave up.  NO way, even in the shade I could sit there any longer.  Whew.
I started to feel light headed from the heat!

I took a photo and filled in some color later.
Later that afternoon our car temperature gauge read 100 degrees as we headed to SC.  

This building is the old Baldwin County Courthouse with an "empire" clock tower.  Used as the capitol building from 1806-08, it burned in 1861.  Rebuilt and in 1886 it has been enlarged several times after that and is used primarily by Georgia College now.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Here We Go Again

This is the whole page now from my travel journal (mixed media paper) page one that starts the cross country journey.  

The car is packed (done in 106 degree temperatures).  And the house is tidy.  Just a few more closing chores this evening and then in the morning Greg turns off the water and power before we leave.
Off to find happy adventures.


Sunday, June 17, 2018

Mapping the Route

I love maps in journals.
It really helps me to remember where I was at the time.

This is "graphic facilitation" of our upcoming trip north.  
It looks ambitious for two old folks who like to take naps after lunch!  

But it takes that into account and we never drive too many hour in a day and every now and then we stay for two days and rest up.
Hoping for good weather.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Travel Time ahead

Sketchbook/Lamy Pen & wc

What happens each spring (and fall) is that I risk boring my blog followers to death with lists of things I am doing in order to leave one place and get to another.  As in "oh no, there she goes again."
When I start posting sketches of the suitcases and bags you know we are nearing departure.  

The packing list is fairly routine, after all.  
So I promise no more lists. 

We have a nice itinerary.  There is always a little twist here and there and we try hard to find places to make the sights a bit new.  There really is a LOT of country between central FL and northern WI.  And it's rare we make a direct route.    

Some of our past back and forth travels have taken us as far west as Omaha and south as Baton Rouge.  So watch here for some of the travel adventures.  Tuesday morning is the "take off" time.  

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Thanks to my physical therapy team!

Zentangle tiles 3.5" square

Finishing up my physical therapy today...and I've spent so much time there that the staff has come to be like family!!  Many kudos and thanks to the Radnothy/Perry Physical Therapy team in Tavares!
I created a tile for each.  Trying to get me in shape for the summer after my double surgery has been a long haul.  

The tiles are inspired by some beautiful work done by Freda Littleton who I recently met online.  She has a really artistic and bold style of drawing!  

We are shutting things down here now at the Fl house and it's day 6 and counting.  
Hope to be at my sister's house in SC a week from today. Let's hear it for for some good travel weather!!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Wrapping up a project.

Happiness is finishing a project.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Following the Journey

This painting (watercolor) is a half sheet of Arches 140#.  The home of my friends Fritz and Catherine in Lake Geneva, WI.
It has quite a bit yet to go...lawn, large forested area to the left, driveway..all in lovely shadows.  

It's fun to watch something "emerge" of the flat plain into the dimensional plane.  

I hope that a few more days I will have it done.  I need to get started in packing up the studio now.  And my energy level is still pretty low.  I find I have to stop and rest quite often.  

But leaving date is less than two weeks now.  The count down is on.  We are having pretty steady rains in FL in June.  I try to sneak in some pool time in between.  We are having a hard time adjusting to the heat in between...mid 90s with high humidity.  We try to get to the pool now and then.  My knee is making small improvements as I attend physical therapy 3 times each week.  

Sunday, June 3, 2018

8 x 10 Sketchbook

Yesterday (Saturday) Greg and I attended the Ocala, FL model train show and swap meet.  Sponsored by the local Lions Club.  

I've been to many of these over the years but this was our first year as "sellers" and not just "buyers".  Greg, bless his soul, is making an effort to start clearing out his hobby room here in Florida which is very small and dearly needs some wiggle room.

It was also our first BIG outing since my knee surgery on May 7 and a chance to see how a longer car ride would go (an hour each way) and how my endurance would hold out over the rather long day.  We had to be out of house by 7 am!!!  OMgosh.  

We had rented a table ($25) and were wondering if we would at least break even.  We priced everything "to go".  We brought in about 10-12 big boxes of train parts and "stuff".  We needed up bringing home only 3 small ones.  THAT was considered a thumbs up for us.  We didn't make much money...probably after we paid the table fee, $15 maybe.  But our happiness was great.  I packed a lunch since the food at these events is pretty limited to hot dogs and chips and soda.  Plus it would have wiped out our $15.  

I suppose if you throw in the gas money and the ice cream cones on the way back, you could call it even.  

I still have 5 Physical Therapy sessions scheduled before we head north.  Will see the ortho doctor once again too.  We have started the dreaded "count down" and I am sending off mail holds and forwards first.  Our leave date is June 19 and I have a lot to get done before then moving slow!  

Sun is shining here in central FL and we'll be 90-95 all week.
It is my hope to finally get the the pool this week!  

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Trying to get that feeling again...

This is the same Zentangle tile I posted previously only now it is finished.  I just want you to know how it turned out.  

I've been trying to do a tile a day or every other day.  It is very calming and it helps to feel like I am "finishing" something.  

My energy level is low.  I blame it on two surgeries since March 21 both requiring anesthesia which can really knock you for a loop.  I work on something for 45 minutes to an hour and feel exhausted.  But I hope that will be less and less.  There is nothing wrong with a nap after lunch but not too long.  It is frustrating to want things to progress and then they don't.  

I am walking without a cane now.  Encouraging.  Of course not walking too far but trying farther each day.  As I try to get more involved in the last weeks of the FL studio time, I find that doing short organizational things are helping me along.  Example:

I have just re-filled my palette with fresh tube colors this week.  Decided to do a strip of color samples to remind me of the various hues I have chosen over the past year or so.  The black line helps to remind me if they are transparent colors.  Which they are. I keep track of the brand names...Winsor Newton, Daniel Smith, Graham, Holbein and Qor.   

I have a few projects in mind for the last three weeks in the FL studio.  Then (and even now) I am going over inventory recognizing I am not taking so much with me this summer.  

I need to find a nice way to store my favorite drawing pens. 
I will take watercolors, sketching materials, and some colored pencils north.  Zentangle will go with me.  And some of my gelli print things.  That's about it.  Not so many books this time.  Too bulky and heavy.  

Friday, May 18, 2018

Reflecting on Today

3.5 x 3.5 watercolor paper

Dear Sharon…

We all know that every experience, painful or joyful and those in between weave the fabric of our lives.  
The painful ones especially need some time and distance before you can even begin to imagine anything of value coming out of them.  

As distance widens you begin to think again…dream again…love life again.  You know. Get hopeful again.
Your body begins to recoup…and you let go of fear and open up fully to receiving the healing prayers around you.

I’ve rejoiced in such wonderful friends and loving family who have surrounded me with comfort and gentle care during this mystifying ordeal.  My dear husband who I really have not appreciated during this.  He suffered maybe more than I did with worry and fear.

Yes, I wonder about that “golden years” myth too.
It surely is an interpretation that mystifies most of us in that category.

But you must admit there often “golden moments” and these I gather up like fallen flower petals and drop them into my journals to press so that I can smell the perfume again, hear the music again, touch the memory.  I've chosen mostly flowers to remember this event.  

I like this unfinished “zentangle tile” I found this morning.  
Done in a doctor’s waiting room where I spend quite a bit of time.
Unfinished…hopeful…comforting…it indeed reminds me of today…
Love, Ginny

Monday, May 14, 2018

Getting Well...AGAIN

Well, it's time for Autumn's tulips to say fare well.  They are really lasted pretty long for cut tulips!  She wondered what they looked like before I said good bye.  Below are my sister's Calla Lillies in amazing gorgeous pink and yellow.  

Granddaughter Maddy sent gorgeous cut Lillies and we have so enjoyed watching them open daily sending sweet perfume all over the house!  

I got back from the second stay at the hospital on Thursday and am making a very slow recovery...but moving forward.  It's tougher the second time and with far more stomach upsetting meds.  But moving slowly forward.  Starting PT again on Friday.  We'll be heading north way later than ever before.  But there you are.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Kalanchoe Plant

Carrying along with the theme of plants and flowers at my home...
I had a surprise plant left by another was a mystery plant but now I have discovered it is Kalanchoe Plant...a succulent.
One I have never heard of before!  

Saturday, May 5, 2018

A Walk With Friends and Family

6 x 9 sketch in ink and wc

Sometimes you walk in a valley for awhile.  All seems pretty darn dark and scary. But friends, loved ones, family all find you there and take your hand and your heart and help to turn things around.

Some friends (like Autumn above) remind you of cheer and sunshine and light with some flowers.  Her lovely yellow and red tulips are lighting up my home this week.  Others, like my daughters, call me (Face Time) with loving faces.  Or hop on a plane and leave home to be with us for a few days.

Friends come to visit, email and text, call, come to pray, come to laugh, and come to share.  Thanks everyone.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Quiet May Afternoon in FL

It's so lovely to have a little secluded spot in our back yard near the pond with the fountains where we can curl up on a warm afternoon.  

This small sketch faces neighbor Pete's home with his palm tree and our little grill with the black cover scrunched on it sits waiting to do up a chicken or a burger.  

Temps run mid 80s this time of year and into the 90s some days.  
Just a rumple of a breeze and very few bugs!  

Nice to have AC for cool sleeping at nights.
Missing those sketch crawls with Sketching gang right now but hope to jump back in next fall when this knee decides to finish healing up.  Am so missing my art these days.  But hopefully soon.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

A Few Wild Acrylic Cards to send off

I admit it.  I posted these paintings before (I am pretty sure) in September probably.  At least that is when I did them.  They are little acrylic paintings in the manner of Bob Burridge.  The two on the right are my conception of Hurricane Irma which was happening at that moment although I was safe in WI at the time.  Still my house was suffering through it and I remember quite a bit of anxiety!

The top left called "Summer in the City" came from somewhere in my head. Where do those things reside?  

So coming upon them the other day I trimmed them to fit on 4 x 6 greeting cards and glued them down with PVA glue under weight.  All are done on wc paper.  

It is time to send grandson, Ben, his birthday card.  20 years old.  Ben is completing his sophomore year at UW Superior in WI.   
And then I have two graduations that need cards.  Eric from high school and Missy from college.  When you have 12 grandkids you have to have a special fund for cards and gifts!  

I hear that the midwest is getting some really nice warm weather now.  All those spring flowers will just burst out!  Won't that be wonderful.  Peony are my showy and beautiful.  And when my daughter bought her home in Madison, WI she inherited a  peony tree.  Who ever heard of that??? Sounds like something from Alice in Wonderland.

Wishing blog friends a good week.
Am thinking of trying out a new tangle this week for the Back to Square One Facebook group.  Here is the step out.  

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Making Simpler Plans

One of the perks of being in my beginning sketching class was to have received a teensy sketchbook. Something very small to toss into your purse (this one barely 3" square).  

But alas, due to the slow healing and recuperation after my knee surgery I have had to postpone both classes here in FL in April and in WI in June.  I am SO disappointed.

If you were thinking of either class, don't give up hope.  But it's going to be in the late summer or fall now.  

But there are innumerable set backs, an infection, medication complications and slow Physical Therapy.  I am not giving up, of course,  but I am at the moment just worn down.  I need to simplify the next few months so that I have no big commitments.  

My major issue will be finding the energy to pack up some of my art supplies for the trip north in less than 3 weeks.  Right now that seems so out of the question.  

Send me good healing thoughts.  

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Using Inktense Color Blocks

The last blog post had a bit of information about Derwent Ink-tense color blocks.  These are a new purchase that has been sitting in the studio for a month untouched while I try to deal with all the effects of a full knee replacement.  

So the fact that I even got out the materials and spent an hour or so playing with them is a good sign.  

I admit I've been having a pity-party here lately.  Some of it is understandable.  There has been quite a bit of physical discomfort involved in this AND then I had a set back with an infection AND then an allergic reaction to the antibiotics!   

Okay but now it's time to move forward and get serious about the Physical Therapy in the last 4 weeks before we head north.  
It is EXACTLY one month to the day now before our planned leaving date.  More on this another time.

I wanted to mention that the original colors for this 4 x 6" greeting card were extremely light.  See above.  Inktense is VERY intense and just explodes on the page.  You can color in too much before you add water and there is no way of scaling back.    

So do it lightly first and after the first wash of water..I did go back with a paint brush and add a little more color to most of the blocks to get it as bright as I wanted it.  When dry the color is permanent on the wc paper.  So I could put whatever I want on top of the color.  

Happy 12th Birthday to my grandson, Pat, in Illinois.  
I told him to hang on to the card and in the years ahead he can take it to Antiques Roadshow and they will say, "A card by the famous Ginny Stiles?".  $1,500.  😉

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Something New to tweak the creative buttons

Inktense is solid ink.  That is, it is ink that has been compressed into pencil form or block form.   See blocks above.  The ink is water soluble after you first apply it to paper or fabric.  Then when it dries it is permanent.  It has watercolor qualities because it has a transparent quality to it.  While it is wet it behaves a little like watercolor depending on the surface.  

It can be applied with a brush, poured, grated, and layered.  There are tons of videos on ways to use it on YouTube.  This is someone painting a poppy with the blocks.  Note how little color needs to be initially laid down!  

I have used the pencils for years but have decided to try out some of the blocks now.  The colors do not match "standard" wc hues.  
They match each other..that is pencils and blocks match up.  But the company (Derwent) has developed it's own colors.  

Rather yummy colors including Fuchsia, Teal Green, Baked Earth, Sun yellow, etc.  
More on this another time.

I am busy with Physical Therapy for my knee...I am 11 days past surgery now and moving along pretty well.  Thanks to all my family and friends support!  

Monday, March 26, 2018

Hospital Sketches

The View from my chair...
Behind my TV and the Announcement Board is a little mural.  That's my closet under the clock.  

My view out the window

Yup, it's me.  Finally in a place where I can pop in and say hi again.  Whew...that "knee replacement surgery thing" is really a show-stopper.  Like all stories there is the good and the tough.
I had my knee replaced last Wednesday around noonish at Florida Waterman Hospital in Tavares, FL.  What a wonderful hospital.  Super nice room with huge picture windows.  Great nurses and helpful PT and my doctor (Donald Perry) gets a big thumbs up.  

For those of you who have gone this route already you know that they give you a "pain block" that makes you feel pretty darn good for the first 48 hours.  But as that wears off...reality sets in! I've decided against posting the photo of the surgery scar at this time.  
These sketches were done while the pain block was still working.  I became pretty famous on the floor as "artist-patient" in residence for awhile!  So I waved the staff good bye around 2 on Friday.  And I am writing this on Monday morning.  The home-health nurse dropped in on Saturday.  

The weekend home went daughter is here from Madison, WI answering my every beck and call.  I am icing the knee as much as possible and trying to wean myself off pain meds as much as possible.  I expect a call from PT anytime today setting up the home PT schedule for the first couple of weeks. I am forewarned that this is going to be tough going.  Grrr.

My daughter flies home this afternoon (boo hoo).  
My other daughter has been "coaching" me from Illinois by text.
And my neighbors here have been so delightful!  Can't say enough about the friends.  

Hoping to at least keep up some sketching during the PT and rehab.  I think the real "grit" part of this is ahead.  

Thursday, March 15, 2018

The mural is completed

Keeping myself busy in the week before knee surgery turned out not to be a problem.  Although I would have preferred to have more say in the way my time is being enjoying Zentangle® or doing outdoor sketching.  

Instead, out-of-routine problems like having my glass cooktop decide to "give up the ghost" and having to shop for a new one and planning to have it installed has taken up some inordinate time.  ☹️
But it's a small thing.  I remember reading somewhere when you stamp your feet in impatience you should be rather asking for grace.  Indeed we need to be gentle with ourselves sometimes. 

One joyful thing this week was the completion of the pool-side  mural that ten of us in the Fine Arts Club took on as our challenge this year.  (I am the tallest one in the middle.). I think we actually look at this now and marvel that we even tackled the project!  I know none of us really realized last year at this time the amount of time this would take.  Next season we'll host an actual grand opening and invite the whole park to the celebration.  But for now we are taking a well deserved bow.

I am so looking forward to the arrival of my daughter, Julie, from Madison, WI.  She comes on Monday to do care taking and be supportive through my surgery and the first few days home.  
I am anxious to get on with this now as I am sure you can tell.

Weather cool in central FL this week but looking marvelous next week in the mid 80s.  I am going to check out the Diva's challenge now as I think Zentangle is the very best calming thing now during the stress of this week ahead.  


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