Friday, January 30, 2009

Nesting again...

birdsnest in watercolor

I am starting another watercolor.  I wanted to capture the birdsnest in watercolor, which will take some time.  I cleaned the studio... finished my projects.... and did some free hand watercolor with my group this morning.  This afternoon, I am working on this project, and looking forward to starting up some sketches for future projects.  

Enjoy your weekend - I plan to enjoy the few good weather days coming our way, before winter pops back in and says "brrrr".

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Finishing projects this week

a snapshot of the completed journal

Can you appreciate the crooked binding on my journal?  It makes me laugh - just can't always get those perfect finishing touches.  Do you think I should put some black  finishing tape on the binding or leave it be?  There is an Amish idea that letting the flaws show lets those you love know that life is not perfect.  While I didn't do this on purpose, both projects that I completed this week were a bit flawed.  I KNOW that I life is not perfect... but I do wish my hands and my eyes could coordinate a bit better.  I also worked on knitting a scarf for a friend in need.  I had to hurry to knit it (in three days) as she is going out of state for medical care to a much colder climate.  The scarf had lots of mistakes, but it was made with love and will be a warming hug around her neck in the next week.

In these challenging times, I am worrying less about perfection, and just trying to reach those I care so much about with little touches of love.  That will hold us together much better that a perfect binding.  Hugs to you today.  Let go of 'perfect'.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Under a Palm Tree....I wish.....

I wish that I was under the Palm Tree today!

It's cold outside.... but the sun is trying to warm the frigid air.  I had to run errands after Tai Chi class... and it was a bit too bitter out for me (totally bundled from head to toe).  The crazy part is that today it is 15 degrees, but the weather woman says that it will be 50 by Saturday.  I hope so, because I am itching to get into my studio and work.  However, I am going out there now... and clean it up so that I am ready to go as the temperature warms up.  

Maybe, I will just take a few minutes to dream under my Palm tree... sip a Mai tai... read a book (haven't been doing much of that this month).  Ah... breathe that ocean air...

Okay.. back to reality.  Happy Birthday to my brother today!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Winter Weather dictates art!

What a difference a few days make in Colorado!

It's a perfect day to dig in and get a lot of work done..... but not in the studio which is back in the 50 degree range.  I am cleaning up the basement and doing laundry & ironing (yes, even ironing!!) and running errands as quickly as I can.  

Brrr.... when it has been cold this winter, it has really been cold... and then we get these amazing temperatures in the 60's and even the 70's.  Now, that is unusual.  Today, is a very chilly one, with temps in the teens - definitely not my kind of day.  However, the sun did come out this afternoon and it all looks rather sparkle-y out there. 
This is suppose to be a botanical arts blog... but I find that the weather does dictate the arts.
Tomorrow, I will show you photos of what I am now working on and what plans I have for the future from the studio.  I still have some wonderful squash and pumpkins, that are really 'ripe' for the painting.  I am working on sketches.  

Friday, January 23, 2009

Amarylis in bloom....

Last year's Amarylis Bloom!

The Nice weather is over and the gloomy, cold stuff is back in town.  What a treat to have those warm, balmy days surprise us in January.  So, is your Amarylis blooming?  Mine is so very slow this year and the stalk is slower than usual ... with no flowers in sight.  I am hoping that the blooms will come, to surprise me in February.   Patience in everything.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Larger photos of the journal

I realized that you could not read the notes on the photos, because the photos were too small.
So, here is another look at the photos - hope you can read the writing more clearly.  See you next time.

Working on a project...

Creating another journal

I have been working on making a new journal.  It is not too difficult, but it is time consuming.  I hand rip the paper, using a large metal ruler.  One correction on the paper.  I usually use the 140 # hot press Fabriano.... but for the journal, I forgot that I had ordered and used the 90# hot press.  It is a bit lighter, but I still get a good painting or sketch, using this weight.

Next I will attempt to bind this using the coptic method.  I plan to add a few goodies to it, and I will share that with you next week.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Yes, We Can....

My son had the very best video on this blog, and so I am plagiarizing it for you today.
It is a YouTube video from Starbucks... but the message is all there, and more.  I hope that you click on the following:

Yes, a bit of commercialism, but a message that we can all take to heart on this momentous day.  How lucky I feel today, to be a citizen of the United States, where, honestly, dreams do come true.  That is not to say, that they come true without hard work, perseverance, and some help from family and friends.  Opportunities are there, if we all work together.  

There is an old Shaker saying, "Many hands make light work".  Together we can do so much.  Yes, We Can!

Congratulations to the new President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, and God speed to George W. Bush, in his new life in Texas.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Another sketch

Here is another sketch that I did last week.  It was just a little piece that is not finished, but it was fun to play with the paint before I went to work on the rose.  

It is a beautiful Monday - warm, clear weather in Colorado.  It's been a pretty amazing weekend, with everyone in shirt sleeves (well enough that I would notice, as I continue to wear my vest....I am never totally warm, unless I am on the beach in the sun and it's 85 degrees!).

I love this 'poloroid' version of picnik... so fun.  

We are weathering the hard times, but it is tough to watch so many struggling beyond measure.  I am so looking forward to Tuesday, January 20th.  I pray that Obama can find the difficult answers to so many problems overcoming our nation.  I look forward, with hope.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Friday art group

I used picnik to give you this "poloroid" of my onion

Yesterday, I spent the entire day working on art.  

In the morning, I joined my art group and worked on this onion in pencil.... and in the afternoon, I worked on the  watercolor of  the 'rose'.  I am quickly finishing it up.  It is beginning to please me... which, I then hope, will please the client (keep your fingers crossed!).  

I am also trying to get back into drawing with my pencils again - anything to get my eye retrained to nuance.  I seem to lose track of my form... and value.... which, you might note on the onion.  It's good for me to pop these on to the blog... as  I see the work in a different light.
Now, I know where I need to go with this drawing.

I will show you my other work on Monday, as it is a perfectly 'perfect' day and I want to be outside... just a minute longer.  (These day are the magical days of winter in Colorado!)


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thinking "Warmth"

I am keeping the warmth of summer in my mind, today

Today, it is a foggy, cold and gray day in Colorado.  We are catching the tail of the frigid weather hitting the northern states.   We are not so used to the foggy conditions (being humid is rare here) so, it makes the day a bit dreary.  I am not complaining though, as it is still possible to go out with out mittens and hats and so many layers, to keep you from freezing.

Growing up in Minnesota, I remember frequent bouts of bitter weather each winter (the -30 degree stuff!).  Everything aches in that weather - it's just not fun.  I recall that when it finally popped back up to +30 degrees, it felt downright balmy.  I am aching for all of you, who are struggling with the bitter weather.  I hope that soon it will be a balmy +30 degrees, and you feel like going out without a coat.  Eventually, it will be Spring, and the blooms will start again.
So, Think Warmth... drink cocoa..... snuggle up in blankets....and know that this won't last forever.  

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Light as a feather....

No, that would not be me... I am definitely NOT light as a feather, but some days, I feel lighter in spirit... that is for sure.

Last night, after I worked on the rose for awhile, I decided to play with my pencils a bit.  I took out an old #2 (the yellow school pencil) and started sketching a tiny feather that was stored  in my 'tin'.   I ought to take a photo of my tin, as it is filled with any number of objects from nature.  

This feather was about 2.5 inches... not more than 3, for sure. It has a touch of pink in it, which I delight in.  So, for a few minutes last night and a bit longer this morning, I worked on a quick study.  It just felt good to change it up.... think that was what I was getting at in yesterdays blog.

Lucky us, we are having some mild winter weather compared to the Northern states.  They are freezing up there, with expectations of even colder temperatures.  I hope that you can find some down parkas, mittens and hats and pile them on for warmth.... along with a nice woolen scarf.  Stay warm, any way you can.... and have some hot chocolate today!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

An apple a day...

Another 'oldy but goody'

Well, the consensus on the roses is mixed.... but leaning towards the watercolor.   Gosh, I just might give this whole 'rose' thing another go - third times a charm.... or I may work on the watercolor a bit... or send both and let the patron decide.  

I decided that "An apple a day" would be good for ones health.  In other words, I am going to switch subjects, throw out this old work for you and hope that it keeps me going.   I seem to get quite stuck in January (a need to hibernate, perhaps?), so I am going through old work, and work that has been stuffed away, to get me 'revved up".  

Also, I am trying "Tai Chi" today for the first time... and then enjoying a tuna sandwich with an old friend.  It's a good day for learning balance and catching up.  

I hope that you find your balance today.... and that you are catching up after the holidays.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Side by side

The watercolor vs the colored pencil

A migraine left me flat on my back yesterday.  We have had fires in the foot hills nearby, and then a  cold front moved in (i.e. the barometric pressure changes dramatically)... Pow..Bang...Wham..... that's not a good combination for went to bed, with meds.  I do get so frustrated when that happens.  I am still not back to normal... could be a few more days.

Okay... feedback..... some like both... some like the colored pencil.  I will continue the quest on this one, and print my final product by the end of next week.  That is a hopeful approach to work, as I expect to get back to the studio soon.  My eyes aren't exactly focusing today, but tomorrow should be better.

Hope you are having a much better day!!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

What I am working on today

This is the watercolor of the rose
...and this is the colored pencil, partially done

I plan to upload several photos in the next few days, as I have not blogged all week.  It's been a 'catch up' week, and a planning week for future family, I have not been visiting with you as sorry.

Well, I am working on a rose - just a simple rose... but it's becoming 'epic', as it is challenging me in many ways.  I am working and learning and trying to figure out where I want this 'rose' to go.

Okay, so in November/December, I worked on the watercolor version, which I will show first.  Now, I am working on a colored pencil version (still in the early/middle stage of work).  

I was not happy with the watercolor... so started again, in colored pencil.  Where am I going?   I will let you decide.  Unfairly, the second one is not completed, so it might be tough to pick that one.  Ultimately, someone else will make this decision.... at least she knows that I am working on this project, with my best efforts.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Colorado Mountains

A Mountain view from hubby's camera

We just got back from a walk, with 50 degree temperatures, and little snow.  It's a lovely day here, before the wind hits and the temperatures sink again, and winter returns for a bit.  We have had lovely days to be outdoors, but the lack of snow, sort of makes it feel "Spring-y".  

With 'hubby' home, I seem less inclined to step into the studio - so his photos will have to do, until Monday... when I seriously get back to work.  It's been a rather long break for me this time.  

I have been known to do that at times.... just stop drawing for a while.  It's certainly not very good for technique and skill level, but it allows me to refresh my thinking and enjoyment of working on a project.  Now, I just hope that I bring that to the rose that I am working on , when I start again next week.  Enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy & Healthy 2009!

a long ago piece of work - reflecting the New Year

Well, it has arrived - 2009!   As I look forward (and backward), I know that the year will be filled with sweetness, along with prickles.... just like the raspberry that I painted several years ago.  I expect fruits along with the pits - life just works that way.   I expect green, lush, healthy times, along with the wormy holes that pop up along the way.  

 Life is good, for the most part, and when the tough times come, I am learning to go along with it.  I know that nothing ever stays sweet all of the time, nor do the darkness and tough times last for ever.  It's the combination of both that we need to keep us engaged in the cycles of life.

This year will mark some very special moments in my life - a marriage that has lasted forty years, will be celebrated with renewal, and children around us.  I plan to work on my art, and expand the marketing of my work.  I hope that my family and friends remain healthy and content.  I expect that there will be bumps.... and I just pray that they won't be huge ones.  I will hope for a happy and healthy 2009!  Blessings to you in the New Year.