Wednesday, December 17, 2008

New Daily Painting a Day

Pear 1208a
5" x 5"
oil on hardboard
available for purchase - email me
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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Two portraits for my daily painting endeavors

Portrait of Pam
11" x 14"
oil on Masonite

Pam 2
8" x 10"
oil on Masonite

I had a very good day in painting class today. It seems that months and months of struggling came together really quickly today. I did 'Portrait of Pam' first, not really sure of how to approach the process, how to handle using this much white, and after a brief discussion with Vanessa it just seemed to flow off my brush and knife and onto the surface. I was nearly ecstatic. I rarely if ever get what's in my head out into the visible realm. Part of the reason is that I don't really ever have a clear defined concept in my head - they are foggy and misty and wiggly and very difficult to get a hold of. It's one of those experiences that when I see it I know whether "that's it" or "that's not it" - usually "that's not it." These look like what I have had in my head for a while. I think the digital experimenting has been quite helpful too. (See Dec 3 Two Digital Paintings) I had the smaller 8" x 10" board available and tried a quick second go at it -"Pam 2" is not quite as successful, but I can't complain, I am still pretty happy with it. Now it will probably take forever to dry - it is thick and it is a whole heck of a lot of Titanium white - about the slowest drying paint I know of.

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Garden Update -good news and bad

I am taking these photos around 4:30 PM and it is already so dark that I have to use my flash - and I can't even see well enough out here to really focus and frame these pictures. That's because it's winter and we live in a "hole" - some might call it a valley, or down south they might call it a "holler" - but really it's a hole, and it gets dark down in here very early. It's been about a week since I planted my little vegetable patches. The weather hasn't been so terrific and I haven't been too disciplined this week. As you can see the transplanted peas seem to be doing okay - not growing a lot but they remain alive and mostly healthy, and I can just start to see some of the seeds sprouting. I have harvested some of the lettuce and it is certainly not regrowing as it does during warmer months. I guess that is reasonable. Also, this little patch gets way less sun that I thought. The sun is so low, it is almost completely shaded by the bar-b-que island.

And then there is the spinach pot - hmmmmm, something is missing here -- like the spinach plants! And here is the good and bad news. The good news is that Rick has seen bunny rabbits in the neighborhood on his early morning walks. That means that the coyotes have moved far enough away that some small creatures - besides snails and rats - are now living around here. The bad news is there are bunny rabbits in the neighborhood - and they are eating my spinach! I thought because these are in pots they would be relatively safe from the snails for a while - never thought about rabbits or anything eating them. Today they got wrapped up in bird netting to protect them.

This week my gardening goal is to get some spinach and lettuce seed planted and start a bucket of potatoes. That's my goal anyway - Christmas is coming fast and I still have to make all my annual ornaments, ship and mail stuff, finish shopping and wrapping and haven't even gotten cards yet, and blah blah blah - so we will see what actually gets done.

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Hachiya and a headache

6" x 6"
oil on canvas mounted to Masonite
available on ebay - click here

Thought I'd do a knife painting for a change. You know? I really love painting with the knife, I should do it more often. Not much going on today, it's another headache day. Got my "hair did" and I have to take one of the dogs to the vet, yadda, yadda, yadda. - just one of those days. And all of the appointments are spread out so there is not a good chunk of time to really get anything done. My daughter says a storm is coming and they are predicting snow in San Diego. Snow? but - what about global warming? whatever - my head says bad weather is on the way and I'm off to take a snooze and hope it stops hurting before I have to leave for the vet. Tomorrow is Saturday - a day off - a day for gardening, if the snow isn't too deep - LOL.

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Jean Portrait, Cool Video and Say Thanks

I added a Widget - (AKA fancy link) - over on the right side of my blog, it says "Let's say Thanks" (or just click here)-- You can select a postcard and a message to send to one of our special wonderful heroes that are out there on the front lines doing their best to keep us safe, and to protect our right to complain, accuse, protest and carry on. It is sponsored by Xerox, and they will print it and send it-- and it costs you no more than a couple of minutes - so go ahead, click on it and thank someone, it's free and it might make someone feel good. Do it.

12" x 16"
Oil on Masonite

I finished Jean and I am happy with it for the most part.
This painting is available for sale - email me if you are interested.

I found this video on Mary Beth Shaw's blog. Mary Beth does some great collages so check her site out.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Portrait from yesterday

This is about 11" x 14", or maybe 16" x 20". I forget and I am too lazy to get up and go measure it right now. It doesn't really matter at this point anyway, as it is not quite finished, but very close. I love the lack of detail and the looseness of it. Today was a busy day - Christmas stuff you know. I did not get to paint at all. For some reason I am super tired today too. Tomorrow is another day...

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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Salad and Ebay

It is just getting too dark too soon! Today is portrait painting day and I got a good start on one, but it got too late and too dark to get a photo of it today. So instead I give you a photo of the very first salad from my garden. Just enough for the two of us. Yummy.

Here is a wooden container that I painted a few years back. I've always liked it but never used it and now I don't have any place for it in my house, so I am going to offer it on eBay. Yep, I am back on eBay. The last 2 pear paintings are now on eBay too. This box measures 8.5" high, 8.5" wide at the widest point(from the front lip to the outside edge of the handle), the base is 4" deep (front to back) and tapers toward the top, which is 2.5" deep (front to back). The lid is hinged and flips open. The interior of the container is not painted. I think I painted this in oils, but it's been so long I am not 100% certain, but may 85% sure - maybe. The back is plain and it is signed on the front. I think that is it...until tomorrow.

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Monday, December 08, 2008

Daily Painting a Day

Yellow Pear on Blue
5" x 5"
oil on Masonite


Not much to say today, a little painting, a bad photo of it. I usually take my photos in natural daylight but it got late and too dark, thus a bit of glare on this one, trying to take a decent shot with lights. Today was an unusual day for this area - the sun did not come out even once today. I really don't do well on gray dreary days, I become just as gray and dreary and don't feel well. I need to live at the equator or something - in the land of eternal sunshine, where the days never shorten and the sky is never cloudy all day. Sounds like the old song "Big Rock Candy Mountain" or something doesn't it.

Tomorrow is another day and Christmas is creeping up on me quickly -at some point I am going to have to actually go shopping and get ready for it all. Not today.
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Sunday, December 07, 2008

Gardening - not painting

Okay - I know - it's not art , it's not painting, but it is Sunday after all - and I do take weekends off normally. I have a couple of reasons for showing you my "victory garden" endeavors. The first reason is my husband reads my blog and I want to show him (hi Honey) how the garden is coming along, while he's out in sub-zero Chicago on business. The second reason is we used to be "urban farmers", that was 25 years or so ago - way before it was cool or P.C. or "green". I was pretty much always into self sufficiency. Reusing and re-purposing things was always (and still is) an interest, it was a challenge and fun and Euell Gibbons was my hero - I had all his books and living off the land, alternative building methods, and independence was always a huge interest and priority for me. I don't normally like to talk about this stuff now as it is just so P.C and trendy, it just annoys me.
With moving, kids, and life in general, we sort of got away from all of it, but lately with all the concerns about poisons from China and people getting sick from our foods - I figured it's time to get back in the saddle and see how much of our own food we can grow on this very tiny piece of land we have. Also becasue we have decided to probably stay in this house for longer than we originally planned - becasue of market conditions, but it's a nice place to be. But boy howdy - it is a tiny, tiny yard, the smallest we've ever had. The third reason is I am horrible at keeping a garden journal and so I never know what I did or when - by keeping my notes in my blog I will be killing 2 birds with 1 stone (figure of speech - I love birds - I would never kill them, in fact I've been looking into the possibility of squeezing a few little chicken into the yard) - keeping track of my gardening on the blog will motivate me as well and act as my journal. OK - "nuff chat" - here are some pictures -

Sugar snap peas and mixed lettuces. I've never tried planting pea transplant as I've always been told they don't transplant well - so here we have some transplants to see how it works - but I also have 2 rows of seeds in here too, just in case the transplants die. They are surrounded with cheap wire border fencing and covered with bird netting mostly to keep the dogs out and then I tied ribbons on so they could see it was there - so far so good.

Our ground here is so hard that you need a jack hammer to work in it - really. When we moved in I watched landscapers break several jack hammers while trying to install sprinkler systems in the neighbors yard, so we do raised beds and tuck them in where ever we can. This spot doesn't get a lot of sun, but peas and lettuce don't require a whole lot. In the box on the right are 3 broccoli plants and bunching onions. I've never grown bunching onions - not sure exactly what they are but I think they are like scallions.

Here is my little salad box - mixed lettuce and a few bunching onions all crowded into this plant stand which I lined with a garbage bag and planted. Looks pretty and easy to do because it is REALLY raised - in a few days I will under-plant this with more lettuce seed to keep the lettuce coming as we harvest it

Above is an herb pot with thyme, bar-b-q rosemary, parsley and some more bunching onions. The bar-b-q rosemary is called that because this variety grows straight stiff branches that can be cut and used for shish-ka-bob skewers. I will eventually probably want to get this into the ground - it will grow about 6 feet tall if it is allowed to. On the right is a pot of spinach, and below are a few left overs, I am looking for a place to plant them

I am out of dirt and time for this weekend. I'll go tomorrow and get a few more bags of dirt, and maybe this week I will start a worm-composting bin.
Back to art and painting tomorrow.

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Friday, December 05, 2008

Return to Daily Painting a Day

Yellow Pear
Oil on Masonite
8" x 8"

Today is my first day back to painting daily - YAY!! I feel very rusty and a bit awkward after not painting for 2+ months, but it is wonderful. I totally lost track of time and was late to meet my friend Linda.. She had to call and ask me where I was - in painting-la-la land, that's where I was - fortunately she is an artist also and completely understands. I feel like the rocking of my boat is calming and settling and pretty soon I can loosen my grip on the sides and row off on a new adventure.

Now I have to resolve whether I return to eBay to sell my paintings , or Etsy, or both - or somewhere else. I have some research to do - any suggestions are certainly welcome.

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Thursday, December 04, 2008

Another digital version

Here is today's painting offering, digital again. This time I worked in watercolor and chalk. And once again it is a very dark painting - not where I want to go but can't seem to get away from dark, dark, dark. Today was not a great day - I feel kind of cruddy, and spent some time cleaning house. I also planted some sugar snap peas and broccoli in the back yard. I still have to resolve all of my online issues, but tomorrow I paint - with real paint.

Well, darn - I just looked again at this portrait - and I do not like the forehead area - I guess I may have to go back in and rework it a bit - or not. I should spend my time trying to go for a light version again.

OK - so I thought I was done - but I couldn't go to bed with that dark painting on my mind - sooo, here is this one. Lighter, pinker, differenter. :) Yes - it is from the same sketch - I just took some liberties, and sort of got away from the original a bit more. I did this one mostly in oil pastel - digital of course.

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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

2 Digital Paintings

Here is the first attempt at turning the oil "Sketch of Natalie 1" from Tuesday into a painting. It's a start and that is about all I can say. Not at all what I had in mind.

This is attempt #2 and much, much closer to what I had in mind! Much happier now. This has been quite an effort to do these digitally, and it will be interesting to see what happens when I actually paint it on canvas. But learning to paint digitally is going to be a real problem solver and time saver. The learning curve is steep and long, but it will be worth it.

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Tuesday, December 02, 2008

PlayingTag and Oil Sketches

Sketch of Natalie 3
8" x 10"
oil on Masonite

Sketch of Natalie 2
8" x 10"
oil on Masonite

Sketch of Natalie 1
11" x 14"
oil on Masonite

I went to painting class today - finally... and forgot to take paint. Can you believe that? DUH! It worked out okay though. Vanessa gave me some peach-black, which is basically just a slightly warm black really, and I had a little cad-red still on my palette. I've had these ideas kicking around in my head about color values, and layers, and abstractions, and working more creatively from my head, but based in reality and representation. This just seemed like a good opportunity to start some sketches that I can experiment with later. We will see what they turn into, if anything.
Now,back to playing tag and 7 interesting things about me.

Kellie Hill tagged me and the rules are pretty simple. I tell 7 interesting things about myself and then tag 7 other people and on it goes. Actually it's a fun way to introduce people around.

1. I like to paint round or roundish things. But most of you that know me already know that so maybe that is not so interesting. Okay - how about this then - I love, love, love to go to hands-on museums - yep the ones that are mostly for little kids - love it.

2. I have an insatiable appetite for learning - anything, everything. The only problem is I have really poor retention. When ever I hear of anything new or different I have to research it. I love to research stuff. I've had at least a bazillion minor concussions in my life, I like to blame my poor memory on that. When I was 9I read the Bible through, then a Websters Dictionary and then started on the Encyclopedia Britannica - but I didn't get very far with that one. I would play a Dictionary word game under the covers at night with a flash light where I would start with a word then look up a word in the definition and go on and on endlessly. I used to have a big vocabulary...then I had babies it was reduced to one and two syllable words, I've never recovered.

3. I have some kind of thing abut mail. I can buy cards and address them and stamp them and never mail them. When my daughters graduated from High School and college I bought all the really nice announcements, addressed them, stamped them and two years later threw them all out. I have either a mental or emotional block regarding birthdays and holidays too. It is a problem, doesn't make for a good friend or family member. I have spent hundreds of dollar on electronic reminders and calenders and all sorts of gimmicks to remind me, purchased and pre-addressed crates of cards, and now I have just given up. I think I had one year that I did send a birthday and anniversary card to everyone.

4. Most of what I think are the most interesting things about me I don't like to talk about, and so I don't. That's kind of lame - so how about this? we home schooled our girls on and off up to high school. We were pioneers in the movement, and I was terrified most of the time.

5. I love - well used to love - to play volleyball. At one time I was on 3 leagues at the same time and played indoors and beach volleyball about 40 hours a week. We were homeschooling our girls, and my oldest daughter played too. I quit when we moved in 1994 and promptly gained 40 pounds, which I still have.

6. I am a born-again-spirit-filled-on-fire-pew-jumping-chandelier-swinging-Christian. I love Jesus and the Bible, but I am NOT religious and I hate being called or referred to as religious.

7. When I was about 15 I was told by 3 separate doctors that I had a retina problem. There was no fix, no cure, nothing cold be done for it at that time, and I would be blind probably by the time I was 16. I made it a point to look and see and study and try to memorize everything I could get in front of my eyes. While I prayed a lot asking God to heal my eyes, I knew He could. I would blindfold myself and practice being blind. I checked out braille books from the library and started teaching myself. I did not go blind and when I went back to the doctors, all 3 could not explain what happened but I was totally healed of the problem. I remember one Doctor said he must have written it down wrong. I don't just believe that God can heal, I know He can. I believe in the supernatural. I believe in miracles. I am one.

Okay - there are 7. Now I will tag 7 other incredible artists - be sure to take the time to check their sites:
Lisa Bebi
Jeanne Bauer
Karen Chew
Carolyn Finnell
Carolyn Rekerdres
Shelley Hocknell Zentner

I need to change things up and get them working right and I don't want to lose you :)

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Monday, December 01, 2008

I've been tagged! and another older painting

6" x 8"

Acrylic on canvas

I painted this in late 2007 I believe. I really liked it a lot for a long time - now I want to redo it. I do love the angel in the back though.

So I have been tagged. Interesting - I've heard of this blogging game, but have never played. Kellie Hill (right click on her name and check out her blog and artwork in a new window and then come back here to me) has tagged me and I was all giddy and excited until I read the rules! Now I have to think up 7 things about me and tag 7 other bloggers. I am not sure I know 7 other bloggers. I don't know if I can think of 7 interesting things about myself. I could tell you 700 interesting things about my husband, or daughters, or maybe even a perfect stranger...but 7 interesting thing about me? that takes THINKING!! I know there are many interesting things about me - I am an interesting person, um, I think. It's just having to think of things, put it all in words, decide whether I want any one to know them, put it out there for the world and strangers and stuff to read and judge, - aargh. This feels so HARD....(insert some whining and whimpering here). Ok, attitude check... this will be fun : ) Thank you Kellie Hill for tagging me!
Here goes, 7 interesting things about me:
#1. I get back to you on this?

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