Monday, September 17, 2018

Autumn Zentangles: Initial challenge


The challenge on the Face Book Zentangle group this week is to put together a tile that includes your initial (s) as part of the string or design.  V is Virginia and so I used some inspiration from another artist in the group and was inspired to use Hollibaugh and Purk as the two tangles to accomplish this.  Sometimes simple is more elegant.  V is a rather unusual initial.  Not a huge number of names start with V.  

Gorgeous autumn day in the Northwoods today.  Probably the last one in the 70s and 80s as weather man predicts a huge drop tomorrow and some rain on the way too.  So I hope to do a little sketching outdoors this afternoon.  

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Inktober Tangles anyone?


Inktober is a on-line challenge that appears about this time each year.  There are places to post the work AND there is list of suggested words so that you are challenged to find some image to match the word.  NOT easy by the way.  

Several of us did this a few years ago.  Fun but actually pretty time consuming!  It also comes while I am traveling which adds to the problem for me.  

So this year one of my Facebook Zentangle Groups has proposed a Zentangle Inktober challenge.  The group is called Anything Goes: Tangled Art for Everyone. Inktober Tangles sounds more reasonable to me.  However when I looked some of these up I found that they have picked some VERY challenging tangles for this!!!

Step-outs I believe are all located on line and should be available in hard copy or with videos to demo for you if it's a new one you need to see (or to refresh you).  Oct 1 is Mooka which is below. I did this one ahead as a sample.   I am challenging my art group in FL to see if anyone will take me up on it.  (Or any of my blog followers).  If interested you can put something in the comment section below.  



Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Art Display About Sketching



On Thursday our church (Lac du Flambeau, WI Presbyterian) is sponsoring an "arts" evening.  Along with music and finger food there will be a reception in the evening where members of the church can share their creative talents...carving, knitting, pottery, painting, etc.  Totally fun.  

I decided to share my sketchbooks.  Well, a few of them.



I brought along a few "how to" books that I enjoy just to give people a bit of a hint that there are ways to "learn" about sketching and enhance one's abilities even on your own.  



Sunday, September 2, 2018

Creating a Dali





This oak leaf was the inspiration for my abstract leaf below.






My art friends say this looks like a Salvador Dali inspired leaf.
I have to agree.  It is about 8 x 10 on watercolor paper done with crayons (of all things) and black marker pen.  

This was the result of a short class one evening sponsored by Lakeland Art League on using crayons in art (again).  Because my paper was textured the crayons took that texture on. 

This is a very "free form" activity with drawings done in graphite first and mine turned out the most abstract of anyone's which was a surprise.  It was fun to do but I am not very excited about the result.  Still it did give me some ideas about how to start out free form art.  
And it's always fun to think outside the box now and then.   

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Farewell to Summer



A fun last day of summer sketching at a local hang out in Minocqua.  I almost didn't go as it was 48 degrees when I woke up!  You have to be HARDY here in the north woods!  

But by 10 am it was close to 60 degrees and I layered up with a nice wool sweater on the top layer and off I went.  We got sun on and off and a bit of a cool breeze off Minocqua Lake.  I sat on the pier facing the restaurant.  (I am tired of painting water.) And the restaurant had not opened yet so all the umbrellas are still down.  

Enjoyed the darkish scudding clouds and started off with a string of festive lights strung across the deck...worked from there.  

The little map shows that the Boathouse is close to a bridge that actually makes Minocqua an "island city" technically.  The bridge signals you are leaving town heading south and heading back to central or southern WI or wherever you go when you are not in the Northwoods.  

On Monday of Labor Day weekend some locals gather at a private home just south of the bridge to have an annual end of summer party and wave to the people heading south.  It's cute.  It's become an annual event.  A wave-party.  

Expecting my daughters later today for a "Girl's Weekend" celebration of our own.  Lots of wine and chatting. Weather not looking too good unfortunately.  Rain most of the weekend.  But a bit warmer at least.  We might see sunshine on Sunday.  

My Outdoor Painters are officially done now for the summer but sometimes we try to meet one more Thursday if enough people are around.  Actually September can be a nice month with color beginning to creep in around the maples already!  

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Most of Alphabet book is finished!

Just a few more pages to go and then the cover and the little alphabet book for my great granddaughter will be finished. 
A great way to ignore the rain up here in the Northwoods!  
This is actually my new knee.  



My granddaughter, Maddy


Play "find the nose". Violet's nose is one of them and her mimi,  my daughter, Beth.  

Couldn't resist since Maddy is big into yoga.  

Got a little drippy here.  

In honor of Great Grandpa Greg's love of trains.  Learning position words.
This one is done colored pencil and used a stamp for the train.  


learning about containers


This photo says it all.  


Hand printed papers teach about shape. 


Hey...we get our own page!  And G for Greg and G for Ginny too.  


Proud dad.  
Quilt is made of bit of my hand painted Washi tape.  

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Outdoor Sketching by a river...



Looking Out at the Scene by the river...


Final Sketch including a little sketch of the outside the deck and a map of where it is.  
Note the interesting metal fish Welcome Sign.  


In another journal...I did a quick 15 minute sketch of the interesting restaurant architecture.
I was taken with all the dormers.

This past Thursday, the Outdoor Painters met at a restaurant in Boulder Junction,WI called Headwaters, about 40 minutes north east of our cabin in Lac du Flambeau. Somehow we got a lovely sunny morning and about half dozen of us spread out over the hillside leading down to the river just beside the restaurant.  It was quiet (except for now and then a car passing over the bridge).  

The moments were magical there. There were no mosquitoes and just a slight breeze.  We were all in shirt sleeves....and later at lunch time, 4 of us were able to stay and enjoy a quiet visit together talking about art and food and life.  Perfect morning.

The summer season is drawing to a close...we only have one more scheduled outdoor art gathering next Thursday in Minocqua, WI at the Boat House restaurant near Lake Minocqua.  We don't try scheduling for September.  Although I have found September can be a lovely time to sketch.  And I try to find sometime around my area to do that before the temperatures begin to plummet.  

Fall comes quickly here.  We are already contracting for someone to come and pull in our pier and boats about a week after Labor Day.  We will start seeing some leaf color in about 2-3 weeks. Every year for this is slightly different.  Some years wild color...some very subtle.  No one really knows why.  The amount rain fall, number of cold or warm days, etc. all impacts the color.



Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Violet Virginia's Alphabet Book

The first 13 pages of my great granddaughter's alphabet book are now done.  (The fist two pages were posted previously).

I'm skipping around the letters.  
Of course these things take longer than you first imagine!!!
The pages are small (4.5" x 6") on wc paper.
So here I thought I'd zip right through this!  HA. 
Well, I am half way.  

A few of the pages will be photos.
G will be grandma and great grandma for instance.
Mommy and Daddy will be photos. 

Then a cover.  
My daughter (grandma) is thinking she'll take the book and have it finished for me.  Bound in some way.  Maybe scanned?  







This one has the poem "This Little Piggy" as a border.














So tomorrow is my outdoor sketching group is meeting in Boulder Junction, WI for the morning.  And we think we might actually have nice weather.  It's been up and down in the Northwoods here.  45 degrees at night here but then often warming up 30 degrees by mid-afternoon!!!  Crazy days.  

Days are shorter now...acorns are falling and mushrooms on the forest floor.  We'll start to see some color in about 3 weeks if things are normal.  I know we are all amazed that it is almost Labor Day weekend!  The kids are all back in school.  

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Outdoor painting at Dillman's Resort


What a beautiful morning out at Dillman's Resort today.  Sunny and  close to 80 degrees!  And we only had 5 people out today!  I think it's high season and lots of folks have company. 

This is the entry way for the resort.  I've taken lots of art classes here over the years.  I plan to do a little writing in the white spaces later.  

Then around 2:30 the clouds rolled in and down came the rain.  
Now at 7:30 pm it looks like it is clearing off.  Hoping that we have good weather for OUR company arriving tonight...Greg's son and daughter in law and grandkids.  

Hope you all have a good weekend.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

August Painting



This is on very inexpensive card stock (4 x 6) with envelope.  Just an experiment.  So this is another example of idea of just laying on some paint spontaneously and letting it flow around.  After it dries you add details.

The inspiration is Simon's Feed Store in downtown Leesburg...an old time store that sells everything from bedbug poison, to grass seed, to potted plants.   So fun.  In the back there is a pool with fish, parrots, chickens, dogs, etc.  This is the back porch lined with plants.  The outdoor paint group meets there and off through the winter.  Always something to paint.

This is a Happy Birthday greeting for our granddaughter, Abby who will be 19 next week and is heading back to Coe College in a few weeks where she is a sophomore.  

I am working on a little alphabet book for our great granddaughter, Violet Virginia.  She will be one month old on Aug 12. 

Here are the first two pages.  I am thinking of laminating it and then having it bound.  I am using lower case letters in the book because it always frustrates me that kids come to school knowing upper case letters only!  We use lower case much more!!!  

Watch for more pages as the month proceeds.  




Friday, August 3, 2018

Outdoor Painters in northern WI


The Northwoods Outdoor Painters meet every Thursday morning (during the "high" season of summer) in the Minocqua/Woodruff/Boulder Junction/Manitowish area of northern Wisconsin.
That would be June-August primarily.  

Our fearless organizer, Florie, sets up a schedule (usually before the season is even over), for the next season and posts it on our own blog and then on the Manito Art League blog as well.  It's open to everyone and is usually 8:30 to 12:30.  

People bring easels or sketchbooks and spend time enjoying some art work out of doors. Then we go out to lunch!  This week we painted at JJ's Acres which is a local nursery...lush and colorful at this time of year!  It's located just north of Minocqua in Woodruff.  

I am using my Stillman & Birn (Beta Series) journal for this sketch.
And a Lamy pen and watercolors.  It's fairly small...5 x 7.  







This is the way the two page spread looked after I got home and added the map and the writing.  This is something I don't always do but it is nice for a memory to add a little personal note to it when I have the time.

We ate lunch at the Wild Boar restaurant in Woodruff.  


Monday, July 30, 2018

Spontaneous Painting


Spontaneous  painting...no drawing.  I used Bristol board for this one (small...about 5 x 7).  I think a slicker surface is nice for it. It seems to work better for landscapes or outdoor scenes where you can kind of "dream up" the scene.  

I am just trying it out. This is "sort of" the view from my studio window down by the lake where our boat house is located.  
The watercolor is just loosely painted on first...I used pretty large brushes.  Then let it dry and go back and "interpret" it with ink.

I used Sakura pens...mostly a .01 size.
My friend Susan sent me an video that inspired this. Thanks Susan.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Sidetracked temporarily


I follow a number of wonderful blogs.  But when people stop posting I sort of lose interest.  Well, I figure they are off doing other things and the blog gets left by the wayside. 

That is sort of what has happened to me and I wanted just to chime in and say I am still here but not "art-ing" very much right now, unfortunately.  Don't give up on me!!!

I just got done with the Manitowish Waters Art show and that was fun.  I didn't sell anything or win anything this year but it was a good show and nice to get caught up my art community.  The rain and cold up here has prevented me from connecting with my outdoor painters group!  (Am hoping to catch up this Thursday).

And it seems as though we have been distracted up here since arriving (in a good way) with visitors and other commitments.  Living in the Northwoods for the summer has it's ups and downs.  If you've followed me through this before you know what I mean.  You weigh the joys of living by the lake and all the beauty and peace that can bring against the mosquitoes, rain, cold and inconveniences.  

This year... arriving late with my knee rehabilitation on going and Greg's back problems AND the well problems... art takes a back seat for awhile.  I am hoping that after this week I can get back on track again.  

Oh...and I made my goal in WW this week.  (Weight Watchers).  THAT is a very good thing.  I started on this project on September 26 and worked on it ALL winter.  35# off.  I feel SO much better.  The program now is called "Life Time" for a reason. 😉

So now the goal is to keep at this weight or slightly below it.  This is a challenge...for your lifetime.  As I said at the meeting last week...you can easily celebrate the loss of weight because people can see the difference and offer encouragement.  But then once you arrive, people sort of forget and take it for granted.  So you can slip again.  (called the "yo-yo" syndrome).  There is some financial incentive built in to WW as you can continue to come to meetings and use the app for free as long as you keep on track.  They insist no more than 2# over goal weight!  So wish me luck on that!  

I hope to send some "art" in the next blog post!  

  


Monday, July 16, 2018

Tangling Birthday Cards Again

4 x 6 Greeting Card

Seems as thought the birthday card art is a theme these days!  As I mentioned this keeps one rather busy.  Not all my cards are as personal.  I sometimes take out my paints and do some generic ones and make cards ahead.  I just can't bear to buy off the rack.  

Zach will be 14.  
He is our 3rd youngest of the 9 grandsons.
Hoping he'll visit yet this summer.

This is the week of the big Manitowish Waters Art show.  
I'll post some photos of that later this week.  It's always a wonderful show and lots of fun.  The open reception is Wednesday.


Friday, July 13, 2018

My First Great Granddaughter: A picture worth a thousand words


Violet Virginia Bhavnagri
July 12, 2018
7#1oz

She is just about an hour or two old in this photo.  Is this not the sweetest face???  She is responding to her Aunt Abby.  Who is apparently fascinating!  And is telling Violet her first story.

I don't think any other words are necessary here.
Love, Great Grandma Virginia


Thursday, July 12, 2018

Another Zentangle Birthday



When you have 12 grands it seems as if you are making birthday cards all the time!  We have two birthdays in July.  

And now today we are getting our first GREAT granddaughter.  She'll be born (C-section) at 5 pm (Pacific Time) in CA.  We are SO excited.  Now another birthday card!  OH my.  Stand by for more on that!

So this next week it is Nate's birthday (in Madison, WI).  He is 22.

Below is a photo of us with our two youngest grandsons, Mike and Pat from Lemont, Illinois. (11 and 12) This was Monday evening.  They were here a week (with their parents) and left that evening.  We miss them. It's SO quiet.  

We are standing in front of the "back side" of the cabin that faces the lake.  You can see the loft windows that all the kids love.  They climb the ladder and it become their world.  We rarely go up except to vacuum and make sure the mattresses are blown up.  The kids have drawn pictures on all the rafters up there.  


Sunday, July 8, 2018

Life Begins at the Summer Cabin...sorta

View from where I sat at the 4th of July parade


15 minute sketch of our old fishing boat from the deck

Summer has never started quite like this.  
First off we are a month late getting here (due to the knee surgery saga that all my blog followers have heard about for months.)

Then we got here to the cabin only to discover our well has decided that 50 years was all it was going to give us. And this about 3 days before our company was due to arrive!!! (It was also 97 degrees which is unheard of in the north woods of Wisconsin!)

No water at the cabin is a lot like no power.  
You are really "camping" out at that point.
Needless to say the estimate from the well guy was not good news and that he couldn't come until the next week.  Oh my.

But, it was an adventure and the new well DID arrive eventually with better water and more pressure.  AND the local internet company DID finally arrive (on the same day) and put in the "real" wifi connection which I hav NEVER had up here.  Wow.  Things are looking up!

AND the company..my son and daughter in law and two grandsons (11 and 12) were spunky and fun and of good humor through the whole thing.  AND were delightful guests AND helped us so much with the opening.  The weather dropped back to 80 degree days and 50 degree nights (like perfect) and although we had one rainy afternoon the rest of the guest days were perfect...full of games and swimming and fishing and wine.  

We now are taking some real deep breaths and looking forward to some "more" normal times here...with time to paint, time to canoe, time for wine on the pier and visits with old friends.  The birds have found our feeder again and the smell of the pines is nice.

More relaxed news to come.  Right now I am counting the minutes to Thursday (July 12) when my first great granddaughter will be born C-section in CA.  Photos to follow.  

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Winding up the itinerary





























Coming to the end of the itinerary now...sorry there is no art for a bit.  There has not been time.  We made a stop to visit two more grandchildren in Poynette, WI (Eric and Missy) and then we headed to Watertown for lunch with old friends Al and Lillian.  Then on up north to the cabin.  Got in about 7 pm.  

All looks well except it's 87 degrees there.  We've never seen anything like this up there.  It's nuts.  We unloaded the car, turned on the fridge to chill overnight and headed back to Minocqua for dinner at Culver's and a nice sleep in the local motel (with AC).  

This morning we'll get basic groceries (you know like milk and bread) and head back for a day of trying to put things together.  We've hired someone to help prime our pump and get the water on. Hoping it won't be 90 all day.  That would make it harder.

I'll be back to "art" soon.  We are prepping for company over the 4th so that will be fun too.  Happy 4th everyone!

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Keeping to the Itinerary


We are visiting with friends Roberta and Jim and their darling dog in Williams Bay, WI.  This is the town where my children grew up.  
So it's lovely and nostalgic to be back here for a few days.

Roberta loves to sit on her screen porch and this sketch is part of her view out into the woods.  Deer come to visit.  We had some rain while here but it seems to have blown off now and we are to get some nice sunny and warmer days...just the way I like them!  

We enjoyed some family time in the area while here.
These are two of our grown up grandsons on either side of Greg.
Everyone enjoys cars so the photo is in front of some of them!


We are off to Poynette, WI later today to visit more family with a stop at Oak Hill Cemetery in Lake Geneva to put fresh flowers on my mom and dad's graves.  This is something we try to do once a year while passing through southern WI.  

Sticking with the itinerary we will head to Watertown, WI on Friday for more friends and then make the final trip north to the little cabin on the lake.  Our plan is to unpack on Friday afternoon and turn on the electricity so the fridge will chill.  

Then we'll stay in Minocqua 12 miles from there for the night in the LAST motel of this trip.
We have no water on at the cabin yet.  Then we'll get some groceries on Sat morning and meet friend Scott back at the cabin to get the water on (it's no small task) and begin to "settle" a bit.  

Crossing fingers that the 4th of July week is dry and warm as we have my son and his wife and two boys arriving!  Hoping to get the pier in that week.  







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