Thursday, February 25, 2010

Working in Colored Pencil again...

I have been working on this drawing for a very long time.... just can't seem to get it right. It definitely needs more work on the needles as well as the pine cone... but I can't seem to get the 3D effect as I want it. I plan to continue to tweak it for some time.

Pine cone in colored pencil

I am temporarily 'warming my bones' in a sunny state, but have chosen some work to bring with me (via a thumb drive....which is what I call it), to share with you. I needed to warm up and calm down... so I am sleeping in, walking every day and sitting in the sun, until I can get all my energy back (or my money runs out). I will be back in sunny but cold, Colorado soon enough. Right now, I plan to just enjoy some warm weather.
I have really enjoyed the Olympics...curling, bobsled... I love it all. I think the skiing events were the most fun to watch... seriously, I can not imagine doing such tricks... but so fun to watch. Don't you wish that we could keep the Olympic spirit alive through out the year.... sort of like Christmas.... sharing the love?? Of course, there have been some really sad moments in this Olympics... but most of the athletes 'get it', as far as the 'spirit' is concerned.
I am also reading a book now, by Wally Lamb. It's title is "The Hour I First Believed". Much of this beautifully written book is about Columbine High School, in Littleton, CO. It is hard to read, especially since a Middle School nearby has had another incident with a shooter, this week. Again, I have more questions than answers. Still, I plan to read this book to the end. I love all of Wally Lamb's works... just an outstanding writer.
I am also finishing up on "Mockingbird" which is non-fiction. I have thoroughly enjoyed this one as well. It is a brilliant book about Nell Harper Lee, the author of "To Kill a Mocking bird".
So, til the next time I can catch you.... stay warm, snuggle in if you live in the North East, drink some hot cocoa..... and read, draw, or watch the Olympic skaters.... and share kindness.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Snowing since Thursday......

Good Morning! The sun is out after several days of gray and snow.... and more snow. It started on Thursday evening... and on and on it came, until last night. Still, we only have about three or four inches...but it's fresh and clean and crispy cold out. This serious 'brr' is getting to every one...Some seriously cranky Coloradans around. We are just spoiled and love the sun so much and that Colorado Blue Sky...nothing like it!

Back yard snow and blue sky!

I have gotten some great e-mails and a fine comment, which encourages me to keep 'em coming (as in blog entries). Thanks to all of you who let me know that you are enjoying the blog. I get e-mails and comments, but both are so very appreciated. It just makes my day.

I actually managed to finish some work last week. Now, I will clarify that... finish for now....some work. You know, if you have been reading this blog for a while, that I go back so many times and add a touch... or a glaze...or just a few adjustments. It always takes awhile for me to actually be done..... and ready for the framer.

Rose Hip and Rose hips... playing with the computer!

On Friday, I started playing with the computer. I took a piece of Vellum and copied a colored penciled "rose hip" on it. It really absorbed the color. Then, I found my graphite drawing (shown in the last blog) and popped it underneath the vellum. Voila!! The results are posted above. It is just taped in place and probably won't be framed this way... but it sure adds a bit of color to the piece. I found that by placing the vellum over the graphite, I lose all of the details.... so not sure what I will end up with. However, it was delightfully fun to play.

I hope the sun is shining on you today.... it just makes such a difference...regardless of the temperature.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Pencil me in.....

This week has resulted in a major headache.... a side effect of drawing in detail. While I love the details, they manage to mangle my neck muscles and my eyes end up crossing at some point.

I thought that you might enjoy seeing the detail of this small piece. I spent most of yesterday, working on the leaves, which I felt, needed much work. Getting the light source correct on the 'hips' also took a bit of time. In the end, I am pleased...and will frame this work. finally.

close up of the 'hips'

A little peek at the leaves...dried on the stem

The completed Rose Hip graphite drawing

So, that is my week in review. A lot of work... Large and small.

I hope that your weekend is a good one. We continue to stay cold but the snow comes and goes. I will be hopelessly hooked on the Olympics, with a few breaks to get out into the world.

Peace be with you.... where ever you are.

A touch of turquoise

Having tried this medium for the first time in a very long time, everything I did was an experiment. It's always good for me to throw it up on the screen and take a peek, as well. I always find things that I can change.

Yesterday, I played with some light washes of color in the back ground. I feel like it's floating in air.... don't want to stabilize it with a branch either... I like it floating. Most of my pieces are small.... more like 8 x 10 .....maybe, a bit bigger, but this one is on a huge canvas....stretching the size of this nest. I must admit to having fun with this.

The big Kahuna Nest

Since I won't have time to do a blog tomorrow, I will show you what else I have been working on this week, in a second blog this afternoon. I took an old pencil drawing and I have been adding touches... shaping it, adding graphite, etc. It is very close work (opposite of above) and as a result, I have been struggling with headaches all week. My eyes are out of focus after hyper-focusing for days. Time for a break!! But...I'll be back.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

First attempt with Acrylic.....

I have been working in the studio the last few days, trying to stretch, using a new medium. It's odd, because in some ways, it's opaque, but also a bit transparent, if I add some water. I have been painting on canvas board, which I prepped with gesso.

Honestly.... I would almost like to try the acrylic on watercolor paper.... I think I could work the medium a bit better. But, that is the point.... to try something new.

Bird's nest in acrylic

Okay, so I am working out of my 'comfort zone' which is good. I have no idea what direction This painting will take me, but I am learning, and stretching, and growing with this new medium.

I am also working with a different nest... one that was given to me by a friend, several years ago. I have wanted to work with it, but was burned out from the past experiences with watercolor and colored pencil and another nest.

The great thing about acrylic paints, is that this has only taken a few afternoons.... which I like. It's got a long way to go, but it's definitely moving more quickly. So, I will let you know what happens with this one. I plan to keep working on it this week
Hope you enjoy, yet another nest.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentine's surprise

Celebrating matters of the heart can be a challenge after ...oooooh so many years! Sweet hubby and I try to keep it simple. We don't need a thing.... and so, we celebrated this year with a NY Times and Tulips.

He was going for the roses and I 'suggested' that the pink tulips really captured my heart. It's not that I don't love a rose, but I just love Tulips more. So I plan t0 paint them this week...and start a large acrylic painting of a "Nest". I have done several nests, but never in Acrylic. I think it will be an interesting experience to capture a favorite... in a new medium.

2 Lips....or Tulips, which ever you prefer!

The entire bunch, opening slowly...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day 2010!

I want to wish all of you a very happy Valentines Day! This is a special weekend, as it is my Son's and my Daughter-in-law's Birthday weekend. They share their birthday, which, as I have said, is a common trait in our family... with many of the birthdays in February. So, if you are one of those people who celebrates a February birthday... and it's close to Valentines Day, I wish you a very happy Celebration this weekend.

A friend sent me the following:

I like that. I never want to lose touch with friends, which can be hard, if they want to lose touch. It is the one place that I like to put my extra energy... because friends are hard to find and hard to lose. I read an article today that talked about being a friend. It gave six ways to be a better friend (well, better person, too!). Here they are: Selflessness; tolerance; genuineness; sensitivity, integrity, and humility. That makes a pretty good combination and creates an atmosphere of kindness towards others. I plan to work on that.

This weekend, I will also be watching the Olympics. What a way for the world to come together. I just would like a bit of peace between the adversaries of the world. Maybe, this will be the year.

So, Happy Valentines Day....Happy Birthday..... Peace and Prosperity..... and Celebrate the Athletes of the world. What a weekend. Fill yours with love!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Well, so much for the crocus!

Our sunshine has disappeared again... back to the gray and dreary weather. We have had snow for several days, and now the crocus are covered up and have disappeared under a blanket of white. I am glad for the snow. We might as well get a bunch of moisture along with the gray. Also, we are not under 3 feet of snow..... just about 3 inches... which is okay with us. I am convinced that Spring will come, because I have the proof from Friday's photos. Really, the flowers are hiding down under the surface, somewhere.... waiting to come out when it finally warms up.

This photo was taken at 2 o'clock - so dark and dreary outside today.

My mind is wandering ..... thinking of warm places to go. I am dreaming of beaches, sand and a good book. I will check back with you tomorrow. Maybe, I will heat up the studio and brave the cold temperatures.... to draw and paint. Today, I plan to stay warm and get caught up from a hectic weekend.

Hey, How about those Saints!! Way to go!! I am not a huge football fan, but honestly, I loved that game and I am thrilled for all of the people of New Orleans. To see so many people, dancing on Bourbon Street, celebrating a victory. Well, that did my heart good.

I am sad for the Colts... but they are such a great team.... they will be back. This year, it was just time for New Orleans to shine!
Hope you are a bit warmer than us today !!

Friday, February 5, 2010

First sign of Spring???? Can it be??

Wow, I went out for a walk today...brrrr.... chilly, but sunny and the weekend is expected to be cold and dreary, so I didn't want to miss the chance. Actually, sweet hubby, mentioned that I could use some Vitamin D, AND some exercise!! Hint, hint... am I becoming a slug this winter?

So, off we went.... walking briskly to stay warm, but enjoying the sun, immensely. Upon returning home, I took a peek into the garden and guess what was peeking back??? OH JOY!!
Could it be the first signs of the crocus? I dare hope for such. It made me breathe a sigh of happiness to know that the crocus may stay tucked into the leaves for a bit, but they are coming. Yes, they are.

The beginning of our crocus.... Oh, Joy!!

And there, tucked into the vines on the house, a Robin's nest, waiting for the birds to arrive. I am curious to know if they will come back and move in... or will it be a new family. I will keep my eyes peeled. The good news is that most of their work is done...... love it!

future home of Mr. & Mrs. Robin and wee babies...can't wait!

So, Winter remains, but Spring is coming.... sometime soon. I am always anxious for it to come faster than it does, but just to know that wonderful miracles are percolating under the ground is so exciting for me. It is truly uplifting.

May your weekend be warm and cozy. For those of you on the East coast, please hunker down and stay warm and out of the way of the blizzard. Keep this thought: Spring IS coming!!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Framing today...

I spent the morning making the rounds of the Printer.... and the Framer. First, I stopped by the Printers, and had my work scanned.... and put on a CD. Then I had some more cards made, as I am almost out of them. Another artist from my art group came and we helped each other with the sizing and spacing. It makes such a difference to have two of us there to help each other out. Then, she scooted off to her real job (yes, the one that actually brings in money..kind of job).

After my printing project, I hopped in the car, and went to the Framers..... and had found just the right frame and mat for the "pine cone' (colored pencil). Unfortunately, I couldn't find just the right thing for some other stuff, so I will have to go back with 'sweet hubby', who is an immense help with this business. I am hopeless and helpless when it comes to the framing part.

Tomorrow, the start of several birthday celebrations. My Dad officially turns 95 on Friday, as does 'sweet hubby' and x sister- in -law. I have one friend's birthday on Saturday... another a week later, when we celebrate my son and my daughter-in-law's birthday (both on the same day).
We also have several (3, to be exact) who are celebrating birthdays this weekend...and my niece turns 40 (oh, that can't be true)...later this month. Our family seems to favor the Winter months for birthdays...and we are all packed in between November and February..... EXCEPT for me! See, I knew there was something different about me!

A COLLECTIVE 'HAPPY BIRTHDAY' TO ALL OF YOU!!! And the rest of us can celebrate Valentine's Day... if we need an excuse!!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Hanging another show

Yesterday, My art group spent the better part of the afternoon, hanging a show at a local cafe.
It's usually a bit tricky to fit all of our pieces into a space. One of our painters is not a botanical artist, but her work blends with the rest of the botanicals and gives us a bit of a pop. Her pieces are large, so with one wall to work on, we had to scramble to make every one's work fit into the space. I opted to only put in three works, as we ran out of space (i.e. it was starting to look a bit tacky with forcing paintings onto the wall). I must say, that I have only hung one other show, and with five of us trying to 'direct', it does manage to get comical at times. However, it's up and it will be for two months, instead of one..... and I do hope something sells for each of us.

Mine are over in the left hand corner...just three this time.

Tomorrow, I am meeting one of the other artists to create some more cards. Seems I have sold most of my stock, so it's time to replenish. Then, I plan to start framing again. After that, it's back to work on about five pieces that are in the last stages of completion (you know... the nudging, fudging...fussing process of looking and seeing those last finishing touches).

Well, I am off to check out the frames available, locally.... Wish me luck!!

Oh, and HAPPY GROUND HOG DAY!! I do hope that we have had a long enough winter for everyone... and that we are in for sunshine and good weather from now on. How about your area?? Six more weeks?? (I am looking for my crocus....not yet!!)