Thursday, July 31, 2008

Playing with pencil...

The third piece in my presentation is this colored pencil drawing of a nasturtium.  One of my favorite medium to use is colored pencils.  I like to use the prismacolor pencils, as they have a great variety of colors and I can get a nice layered look with them.   I see so many places where I could improve on this... but then, I could 'noodle' it to death - a big problem for me..... knowing when to stop.   

Tomorrow is the big day - the critiques.  I am nervous and excited to hear what each teacher will tell me.  I can almost guess what several will say because I still have so much to learn... and re-learn (for me, this learning curve is a very slow process).  I think of this as a beginning, not a completion.  Everything that they will tell me, will be another learning experience.  It's sort of a 'win-win' for me.  

So... learning takes many years, many more paintings, drawings, sketches...and practice, practice, practice.  I can't think of any other thing that I would rather do.  I am a 'lifetime learner!"

What new thing did you learn today?  I hope it was something exciting and interesting for you.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Cool off with melon

I finally figured out that no one could leave a comment, because I had blocked the comments.  Only those who registered could leave a note... so I think I have changed it.  My technical skills are definitely challenged.  I will look forward to comments... and if not.. I will assume that there is yet, another thing to figure out on this blog.  It is a fun learning experience.

Okay... today is still hot... so I am thinking of the cooling taste of watermelon... thus, the photograph of this happy fruit.  

Stay cool as you can!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Next up.....

The second of my entries for my portfolio... is a 'pen & ink' drawing.

Again, my photography needs work, but hopefully, you can get the idea....  my sweet dumpling squash (it has many, many, common names) is my attempt at pen and ink.  I used the RAPIDOGRAPH pen by KOH-I-NOOR, to produce this piece.  It took many hours .... and many dots of ink... and I think there is still much room for improvement.  This was not a favorite medium... but it was a good challenge for me, and I do expect that I will use these pens again.

Today, the heat wave continues in Colorado.  It would be nice to go back up into the mountains and sketch....    

Monday, July 28, 2008

So, now I am back....

Wow!  It seems like I have been gone for a long time.  I was having a great time with my new daughter-in-law (an amazing artist) and my son (an amazing writer).  I love doing the blog, but time with my children is what I call "precious time" and I need to savor the minutes, as they live far away, and our visits are not as frequent as we all would like them to be.  So, now I am back....

Today, I dropped off the kids at the airport and then turned in my portfolio... to be reviewed on Friday... pretty exciting stuff for me.  I wanted you to know that the photo from last weeks blog was not matted at that crazy angle... but I did photograph it at that crazy angle, so just imagine that it is squared up, and you will get the picture.

Tomorrow, I will share another photo from the portfolio... but today, I thought that I would share a photo of the Mariposa lily, which frequents the front range of the Rockies in late June/early July.  It is a delicate masterpiece, which I hope to paint one day.  I am collecting data and sketches.  I love it's delicacy.

Celebrate the delicacy of today.  It's the only one you will have.

p.s.  My brother gave me a quote from my Grandmother, which goes like this:  "Eat all the peaches that you can and those you can't ...."can"!  It's a fun memory of "Gram".

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Sneek Peak,,,,

It has been a hectic week, but much fun.  My DIL (daughter in law) and I have enjoyed a Rockies Game (sorry, all you Pittsburgh fans..) and lots of shopping all over the front range.  Today we head to the Denver Art Museum, for an amazing day of art.  We will also stop at Meiningers - an art store extraordinaire!

Here is a sneak peek at my first presentation for the portfolio review.  It is a pencil drawing of a peony at the end of it's bloom (essentially the pod).  I hope that you enjoy it.  There will be more later.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Head in the Clouds!

For the next week or so, my blog will be sporadic.  My head is in the clouds, as I am thrilled that my daughter-in-law is visiting, and my son will join her next week.  She is an artist as well, so we will have our minds on all things creative... but, most likely, not blogging.

I am working on photographing my final work for the DBG Portfolio review on August 1... then it will be on the blog.

See you when I can....

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A Metaphor for Life

Ah, Thistle.... 
It's full of 'prickles' and points and most people just are not that fond of it.  I  love it... well, maybe not in my yard, but honestly, it is one of the most beautiful plants to paint.  I painted this one last year and have enjoyed it so much.  I chose a small piece of paper to work on, thinking it would just be a quick sketch... but before I knew it, I had turned it into something more.  

Thistle is a great metaphor for life.... those sticky situations, and difficult times that challenge us all.... well, sometimes, if you turn it around into a life lesson, and look at the beauty of the challenge, it can turn out to be something quite special.  

I hope your day is a great one (even if it's challenging!)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Junior has found a tasty morsel...

It seems that every week we take a meander up to the nest to see how the baby Hawks are doing.  Today found us participating in Junior's dinner time.  While Mama flew overhead and kept her distance... Junior found some tasty morsels to dine on, and no persuading from Mama could tear him/her away from the treat.  We kept our distance, as Mama was keeping a 'Hawk eye" on us from the air and nearby tree.  We will continue to keep you posted on this delight of nature... right here in our own back yard.  I do promise more art work in the near future... just couldn't resist this special moment in time.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Time to mow the lawn!

Some weekends are spent hiking in the mountains and foothills, nearby, but this weekend was spent cleaning out the cotton from the roof, screens, porch and garden.
We have been so focused on the cotton... that we missed these happily gargantuan mushrooms that were growing in the back yard.  I grabbed a quick photo of them before we gave the grass a much needed 'haircut'.  

Friday, July 11, 2008

Snowing in July

It is snowing in July, this year.  Our old Cottonwood Tree has been filling the back and the front yards (and all of our neighbor's, as well!) with a plethora of "cotton".  Ugh.... what a mess it is.

However even a very small viola can work it's way around all of the clogs of 'white stuff'.  We shall have cottonwood seedlings everywhere, for the next few months.  Today is in the high 90's so hope you are finding a cool place to enjoy the day.  Have a good weekend.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Princess of Quite a lot!

I just thought you might enjoy the salmon colored Rose that shares the limelight with our Clematis.  She is happy in her space in the front yard, and is blooming with abandon.   I hope it continues through out the summer.  

It's hot here today... well into the 90's!  I love it.  It makes the Summer "summery" and these are the days that I remember in the coldest months of the winter.  So, store today and the warmth, and when it is bitter in February... try to recall the heat of the summer (and the beauty of the roses!)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Clematis that grows out front has joined forces with a lovely salmon colored rose.  In the Spring, they are quite a match.  Of course, with the heat of the summer, the clematis has quit blooming, and the rose is carrying on, like it is the Princess of Quite a lot!  However, I painted the beautiful Clematis and it's pale periwinkle blue color.  It really is the Queen of everything!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

First flight... Red Tailed Hawk!

Today, while playing golf, I found the nest of the Red Tailed Hawk that I spoke of earlier.  There are two baby birds (and I use that term loosely- these babies were HUGE!!) in the nest and today was the first try for one of them to fly.  I thought that the hawk was hurt as it was on the ground, flapping it's wings, and trying for lift off.  After much excitement with the greenskeepers, I was told that it was indeed a baby bird and they had been waiting for it to take it's first flight.  Well, the greenskeeper waited protectively ("There are foxes around..", he said) until the baby could get the strength to take off and fly back up to his Mama in the nest high above.  Tonight, I went over to the course, and took this shot of the Mama in the nest (and babies too, but hard to tell).
This is the best photo that my camera could get - but I was excited for this Hawk family - what a great day!

Monday, July 7, 2008

All Branched Out...

I found some time this weekend to complete the branches that I was painting.  This will be part of my portfolio to complete my Botanical Illustration credential at the Denver Botanic Gardens.  My tendency for detail makes this a more appropriate work to turn in.  I really enjoyed discovering the differences with in the branches that I painted, and using different techniques and styles for each branch.

I am grateful to be done with this one.  I will eventually show the other works to be presented.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Bumble - ing along the path

While hiking, we passed some wild sweet peas and the happiest bumble bee, there could be.  He was BIG!  He was Happy!  He was busy!  I caught a few photos of him before he moved along to the next flower.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Done... for now...

The fireworks were fun, beautiful, and made the end of the 4th of July a perfect day.  Though they were short, we thoroughly enjoyed them.

As I said, I would show you some of my finished work this week.  I had the drawing of this tiger lily done, and the painting was just waiting for some blooms.  Last week, I worked like mad and finished up the painting.
It still needs some tweaking... but I will need time to look at it and see what it needs.  I may go back into it with a pencil drawing to compliment the painting.... I will see.

So, for now, it will rest a while and I will revisit it in a week or two.

Tell me what you might add?  post a comment, if you have some fun ideas.  Thanks.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy Fourth of July!

I hope that you enjoy your independence Day with celebration, relaxation, and wonderful food.
All of those ingredients are what make the holiday so special.  If you can add family into the mix, it's even better.  
I especially love the fireworks!  We will walk to the golf course and sit on the grass to enjoy the ones our city provides.  It's tradition.  
So, enjoy your weekend and see you Monday - I have some new work to share.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Today, as I work in my hot studio, I am dreaming of the cooling waters of a mountain stream.  Wouldn't it be lovely to get out into the woods and meander through the trees and over small creeks (even taking a moment to take off those hiking boots and dip your toes in the water) ?

So, what ever you are doing today, stop for a moment and dream a bit about a place that you would love to be.

Okay, back to work! .... but wasn't that a fun respite?