Friday, March 27, 2009

A Happy Birthday, A little further a long and Spring break. 3-27-09

First, Happy Birthday Tigger... My sweet Tigger is 7 today. He is getting special treats all day long and of course my other two greys are sharing. Second..This week is spring break. With the three kids home, my hubby and I have been playing Entertainment directors. You would think that at 16 and almost 14 (the twins) that sleep would be a good thing. No, my poor under privileged children are bored. We have taken them on day trips which have included hitting the mall and that has helped some. In the same breath, I need my own personal vacation! No art work has happened all week. Yesterday we hit the Field Museum in downtown Chicago. My oldest could earn extra credit in her Spanish class (which she is getting a D in) if she visited one of the special exhibits there. We decided it would be a great learning experience for everyone and hit a very special exhibit on the Aztec culture, called the Aztec World. The exhibit had many artifacts from Tenochtitlan and it's sister city of Tlatelolco. I have been to see the Pyramid of the Sun and Moon and the Avenue of the Dead. I was there in 1978 just as archaeologists discovered one of the most important finds ever...the Templo Major. Anyway, the exhibit takes the viewer through the entire history of the great Aztec empire, from its origins, to it's demise at the hands of the Spanish. We learned about daily life, warfare, the societal structure, and religion. One of the most interesting things for me was seeing what is currently going on down in Mexico City. The excavations of the Zocalo (the major plaza, if you will, located in the heart of Mexico City) are going on in earnest. It is amazing what they have unearthed there. And I would think this excavation is a bit tricky because the National Cathedral sits over this site. Regardless, to have discovered the major religious site of the Aztecs is incredible. I hope we can see more of the unearthed treasures from the Templo Major as they are discovered. I learned more about the Aztec at this little day trip than I did when I was at the actual sites back in 1978! I took this photo at the museum. I am not sure about copyright here but I place it on my blog for educational purposes only. Please do not use it. My gut feeling is that the Field Museum would not be too happy about that.

Third...Here is what little I did on my latest (last weekend). This is simply a roughed in drawing of the figure. The background will no doubt change quite a bit as the picture evolves. Facial features are lightly sketched in. I want these features to be delicate and innocent rather than over exaggerated as some of my portraits have. Not sure if I will be successful. The face does not have to be highly detailed just suggestive. The work looks really busy right now but that will for sure change. Kids will be back in school next week but alas, I have filled my 2 days off with errands!


Thursday, March 19, 2009

In the zone... Live by Faith

I started, yes finally, I started. It has been a great while since I stepped into my messy studio. But after slathering some gesso on an ampersand panel, I am off. Let me begin by saying that I was having a hard time with some details about this work and they were really stupid. I could not decide what substrate to use and then I was worried about how I would present it. I get so caught up in stuff that I should not have even worried about till I am done! But that is how my mind work. I have finished the collage in my brain and am trying to frame it before I even start. My original thought was to go with what I like to use the most and that is 300 lb watercolor paper....mmmm I love Arches. But I knew I did not want to donate the piece without making it ready to hang. I had the paper cut and was prepared to start when I decided to take a trip to Michaels (dangerous I know) to pick up some clear gesso and a frame for a picture of my son. Now, I love the museum board quality of anything Ampersand but those panels are very expensive. I rarely purchase them even for works that I am going to sell unless there is a big sale. But I found myself wandering in the direction of canvas panels and papers. And there they were...I had never seen the lower end line of Ampersand products. Where have I been! I bought a 6 by 12 panel mounted on a 3/4 inch cradle of some inexpensive hardwood. It took me about 30 seconds to pay and get out of the store. All I did to it when I got home was sand the sides and then apply several coats of gesso and boom...ready. Here is about 3 hours worth of work. The background is more or less established. I have the main figure to draw and then will also draw some free elements in the background...we will see how it unfolds. I absolutely love this unusual size and it is perfect for what I envision. Just hope my stored away in the brain imagine looks as good on the wood panel as it does in my brain. Yipee I am excited. I definitely have to become more aware of art materials out there....


Monday, March 16, 2009

Slum Dog Millionaire

My husband and I finally got a break and had an entire Saturday afternoon to ourselves last Saturday. We went to see this years big academy award winner, Slum Dog Millionaire. I heard all the hype and after watching the awards, was intrigued. How could a relative bunch of unknowns hit it so big with Slum Dog. Well, after seeing this movie, I liken it to the story of David and Goliath. David was a nobody, through his faith and quiet determination, became the King of all Israel. Slum Dog had a limited release before the awards and now has been viewed by millions. The story is so timely and poignant. It transcends, it soars, and it inspires. This "little" movie touched me, made me cry for many reasons, both happy and sad tears. There is so much poverty in the world and here it was on the screen coming to me in technicolor. Thankfully the story was so much more than making me brutally aware of the dire need in India. I fell in love with the actors, Danny Boyle, and the music. Here is the official clip of my new favorite song and if you cut and paste the link below, you will see a clip of the Pussycat Doll's new release of the same song. Enjoy and please please please, go see the movie.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

OWOH Thanks and an Award.

Gee it has been so long since I have posted. I have been sort of busy I guess, and not very artfully motivated. It is tax season and the last couple of days I have been getting all the paperwork in order for that lovely task. My show is still hanging at the conscious Cup (thank you Mike). No sales to report but that is the state of affairs right now. Art is not a number one must have on ordinary people's list right now. Am I bummed, not really. It has been nice to hear all the wonderful comments. I even received an inquiry from Barb of the Palantine-Inverness Art council about displaying my work at an annual show in the autumn: . Once my show is taken down (in the next couple of weeks) I will post some originals for sale in my Etsy store. It is really hard to create more art when I have so much now. Although I guess I should be thinking in terms of my series and new venues to display the work.

On a brighter note, I received two of my prizes from the One World One Heart give away event. Thank you to Elizabeth. You can see her lovely collage here: The collage with the key in it is the one I received. Really nice! I like Elizabeth's site. She has some wonderful "how to's" on her blog. I really appreciate those instructions because I am one of those artists who will try a technique or new medium once and then forget about it. Elizabeth's blog is loaded with a variety of techniques that are great for backgrounds and collage work. In addition, I received my second prize from the Altered Pages site: Jackie has a variety of collage sheets that will be perfect for some of the collage that I do. I especially loved all the images of windows, doors, arches, and gates. This gift certificate (of $50.00) was offered through the Collage Contessa's blog: I thank you Kris for introducing me to some awesome collage sheets!

So you would think with these wonderful prizes I would be really motivated to get my act in gear. I need to get started on another piece that I wish to donate for this years Susan Komen's Walk for the Cure. Our church group, The Pink Ribbon Angels, are gearing up for another walk. This would be my third year donating to the Cure. My friend Michelle suggested a theme of faith. I have a quote I want to work around and even a thought or two in my pea brain but I can't seem to get myself motivated. I need to finish by the end of April. I have time....

Last but not least. Through the OWOH give away, I rediscovered some "old" (sorry Lorrie) art friends. And a couple of days ago, to my pleasant surprise, Lorrie gave me an award for my blog. Lorrie's bog:, is indeed very creative. I have been an admirer for several years. She makes the most beautiful paste papers, she teaches workshops, and her work is very different. I am honored that she would think that my blog is creative. From what I understand about this blog award, the recipient should list 7 items that inspire them and then pay it forward to other bloggers. Lorrie chose three others that make her stop and stay for a while. So my 7 inspiring items are:

1. Santa Fe: I have been there over the years maybe 8 or 9 times. After arriving home from a stay there, it would take several days before I could empty my heard of all the ideas I formed. The landscape, the mountains, the people (both Native American and city dwellers, the artifacts, the archeological sites, the air, the water, Georgia O'Keefe, the art gallery scene, Canyon Road, the get the pciture...I could go on and on. If I could, I would relocate there and die with a smile on my face.

2. Great Artists: like Frida, Pablo, Rivera, Redon, Johns, Matisse, Van Gogh, Da Vinci....are but only a few whose works have inspired me to draw again.

3. Great writers like Harper Lee, Shakespear, Jane Austen, Victor Hugo, Hemingway, Tolkien, Dickens, Burnett... If only I could use words the way these authors do. Their stories can carry you away..their prose is magical.
4. Color: Lorrie mentioned that color inspires her. I love the colors in nature. The greens and soft shades of brown. I also like contrasting or shocking color combinations, like the bright red cardinal a top a redwood roof. I saw that one last Spring...I had to look twice.
5. Music: All kinds. When I am in my studio, I listen to a variety of music from Led Zepplin, to Josh Grobin and everything in between. I love Mozart and have been on a Mozart kick having just watched (for the third time) Amadeus.
6. Dance: As my readers may remember (LOL) my children dance. My most recent series of paintings revolve around ballets that my children have performed in. I will be watching a performance and all of a sudden I will see a fairly like being that will become a new mixed media piece.
7. Other bloggers: Misty Mawn, Rosa Murillo, Linda (undaunted), Kelly Rae, and so many others whose art work and words touch my soul. I wanna be just like them. No just would be too boring if we were all alike out there in bloggers land.
Of course, seven things that inspire me really does not cut it but this award made me stop and think for a while... I try to inhale all that surrounds me...There is so much beauty. OK for my thoughts on who I would give this award to... I am thinking Rosa Murillo, Undaunted, and a newer blog that I discovered in the OWOH give away, Cetta who lives in Kauai I love Cetta's photos. Those in themselves are inspiring. She writes well too, not to mention that there is plenty of other eye candy on her blog. I hope that covers everything...Lorrie, thank you!