Thursday, January 30, 2020

Old Oak by the River

A few blog posts ago I showed the first draft of this painting.  But I noticed this morning that I never posted the finished painting. It's16 x 20 on Yupo paper.  It's definitely an "interpretation" or "impression" of the photograph that Russ Lewis took a few weeks ago along the river here in Hawthorne Park.  Actually with Yupo paper you are forced to work in this way.  

My favorite Yupo artist will always be the late George James.   He was very amazing.  I have 3 of his DVDs which I treasure.  If you google his name you can find snippets of him on YouTube advertising his DVDs.  If you are serious about trying the substrate out I'd recommend his first DVD as THE most comprehensive.  I've been asked to do a short intro to Yupo at the Art Club a week from tomorrow.  

Yupo is but mid-range in price as far as paper goes.  You can buy large sheets 26 x 20 for about $4.00 and this painting is half that sheet.  You can buy it in tablets 9 x 12 for about $12.  It comes in different weights but all are about the same surface.  

Mostly the painting is just celebrating warmth, sunshine and an old tree that has given pleasure to many and helps to hold the river bank together...and home to probably a million different life forms.
Once you become a "tree whisperer" all trees take on a somewhat holy reverence.  

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Enjoying Steampunk

It's hard to explain "Steampunk" to those uninitiated folks.  It sort of "grows on you".  I think I am drawn to it because of my interest in "time" in general.  But Steampunk is also has an "industrial" theme.  Just to confuse the issue.  

There is also an element of surreal nonsense involved. 

steampunk, before it became the full-blown sub-culture it is today, started out as a science-fiction sub-genre in the 1970s. Its fundamental inspirations go all the way back to 19th century Victorian writers, such as Jules Verne (author of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea) and H.G. Wells (author of The Time Machine).

  • a style of design and fashion that combines historical elements with anachronistic technological features inspired by science fiction.
    "the essence of steampunk is homage to vintage fashion with a modern, sassy twist"

People often dress up (although it's not necessary) and there is a costume contest. There are usually fire eaters and wild dancing and fascinating and funky music with titles such as the "Dancing Taco" and other silly but fun things.  It's a wild chance to forget reality which in many cases is a good thing to do for bits of time.  

You can buy jewelry with cranks and gears on it, fanciful artifacts that seem to have no real purpose other than to amuse. Most everything has a time piece on it.  Top hats are the de rigor of the costume and goggles are a must.  Not necessarily worn but often on the top hats...a symbol of cyber-punk, I read.  Leather bustiers for women and backpacks that seem to have the ability to send the wearer back in time.  

Mt. Dora had the annual January festival this weekend.  Saturday was THE perfect day to go.  It went up to 70 and had full sunshine which made it seem even warmer.  Fun.  

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

January Art

Yes, you have definitely seen many of these entries before...I sort of  got to Florida and started dragging my feet on my weekly entries here...but I am getting warmed back up now.  The last 4 or 5 are new now.  

I have had the "itch" to work on Yupo plastic substrates's been a long time.  I really had to work at getting back into this way of working again...the tools are different and the whole attitude is different.  This is just the first draft and with Yupo you can redraft limitlessly.  

The 16 x 20 is based on a photo by Russ Lewis from earlier this winter along the river here at Hawthorne.  It is very "interpreted" of course.  And looking at the photo has given me lots of help in seeing what needs fixing, shaping, and changing.  I'll post it again in the future.  (You won't be surprised I am painting trees.)

When I Am Among the Trees
by Mary Oliver
When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.
I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.
Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.
And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”

Friday, January 17, 2020


Since my serendipitous meeting up with trees certainly seems that trees are in my life everywhere I turn. 

So when I found this video on my Face Book page I was totally not surprised

You may have already seen it.
Just passing it along.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Getting the art genes warmed up again...

I've been off the blog for a little happens.  Nothing special, just distracted with mostly good things.  

I get a little inspirational "tip" from Sketchbook Skool on Tuesdays and the tip yesterday was to "DRAW something".  Anything for 10 minutes. Whatever is in front of you.  Just do it. 

So while Greg was getting his hair cut yesterday I began just a line drawing of the various things in the room...folded chairs and bins and hair cutting supplies.  (about 15 minutes actually).  My gosh it felt so good to be drawing again.  Like taking a shower after you have been required not to while something was healing.  Ya know?  AHHHHH.   

So then I went back and watched the TED talk about the value of drawing...I mean really how drawing can change your life.  Have you seen it?  About 18 minutes long so it's a commitment but I really think the guy has the right idea here.  It's like therapy and it can change your view of the world.  No matter how poorly or wonderfully you draw.  Those of you who get my monthly CHAT newsletters already have this link.  

So then I got busy and finished up a small "crafty" project that was in the studio.  I had watched Bob Burridge play in his studio on a video recently and he "freshened" up his old painting smocks by taping off a square, applying white gesso and then when dry just used anything he wanted to have fun playing with acrylics.  Total play.

I have accumulated several old aprons through the past years...and being fairly messy when I paint they were looking fairly yucky.  The two green ones were former aprons from our old church which had our names on them and the name of the church (which I painted over).  One I had to Zentangle®, of course. On that one I used an oil based paint pen. I shaded using Ecoline grey water based brush pens so  I did give that one a quick couple of coats of clear acrylic varnish just to maybe give it a little longer work life.  Wearable art.  Just fun.  

Here's a quick sketch done at the model train show up in Deland, FL last Saturday. It's really hard to find a place to sit down in a show like this.  Greg is off to see everything and after half an hour that's enough for me.  This was a Lionel layout where the folks who set it up had the kindness to put out some folding chairs.  

We are having a string of amazingly warm days in central Florida...with highs in the mid 80s.  January is NOT usually that warm down here so we are happily at the pool or outside in the yard as much as possible.  Looking like snow up in the Northwoods of Wisconsin where our summer cabin is located and low temps at night in the minus figures.  This is the place to be!  

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

A little train and a few Wonkies

Trains plays a role in my life, as you may note, since hubby is a big train buff.  The Folkston Funnel Train Watching station is in GA.
It just happened to be on the route back from SC after Christmas.
Funny how that worked out.

We bought a picnic lunch to eat there and did get to see two trains pass by at the same time each going the opposite direction on separate tracks, thank heavens.  The graffiti was amazing.  

Across the street from the picnic area was an old yellow caboose from the Chessie System.  (Chessie is a cat).  Apparently you can visit the car and see the inside but we didn't have time this trip.  

The signature symbol of the Chessie System was its "Ches-C", a large emblem incorporating the outline of the C&O's famous "Chessie" the kitten logo. The Ches-C was emblazoned on the front of all Chessie System locomotives, and also served as the "C" in "Chessie System" on the locomotive's flanks, and on other rolling stock. The Chessie System itself did not own any locomotives or other rolling stock; rather, equipment would be placed on the roster of one of the three component railroads. While all three companies shared a common paint scheme of yellow, vermillion, and blue, actual ownership of the equipment was denoted by the reporting marks C&O, B&O, or WM.

We didn't stay too long was our 3rd time to visit Folkston Funnel.  

On a completely DIFFERENT Zentangle Reunion will take place tomorrow afternoon at the Hawthorne Park Art room here in Leesburg.  We'll be making those crazy Wonky Houses that Margaret Bremner got us started on quite some time ago.  (I've posted those already) There are 21 people signed up for the class.  So friend Maureen is co-teaching with me.  She has done a lot of the prep work for it too!  Thank you Maureen!  

Along with the houses I am giving every student the traceable figure of a Wonkie who lives in the Wonky Houses.  They are an optional fun tangling project.  My idea is that we'll bring our houses and Wonkies back together again for a show and tell at the March 1 Art show...and have a display table of all the houses.  These will look fun scattered among the houses.