Thursday, January 05, 2017

The Middle

From time to time I will write about my Arizona adventure.  After living in one place for so many years, it's interesting to note the differences and at the same time the similarities.  I love that in California we call it the DMV (Dept of Motor Vehicles) and in Arizona it's called the MVD (Motor Vehicle Dept).  California's Transportation Dept. is called CalTrans.  Here in AZ  I kept wondering what the signs were that read ADOT.  Finally figured out it was Arizona Dept of Transportation.  Minor details but fun to note.  In Gilbert, the city where we live just outside of Phoenix, trash is put into one bin, and it must be bagged.  The second bin (blue) is for recycled material.  They are very specific what can be put in the Recycle bin - no plastic film bags as they clog their machines.  I find myself collecting them and taking to the grocery store recycle bins for that purpose.  At Home Depot we get the 15 gallon white trash can liner bags and have the pretty stainless can in our kitchen.  Just pull out the bag, close the ties, and voila - the trash is bagged. 
 Okay, this is the second layer of my sunflowers.  I added leaves, background and blue table top. 
I checked out the art group in my little community here.  They meet  two days a week and we can pretty much bring our own work and work independently.  Although they do have TV monitors, can play instructional DVD's etc. Sometimes they work collaboratively.  It seems like a pretty active group, so I will take my art journal and supplies next Tuesday. 
Have a great one!

Believe
     

Monday, January 02, 2017

The Beginning

Starting the new year with a painting.  I dearly love sunflowers.  This is the first layer.  
What does your first layer look like?


BELIEVE

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Welcome 2017

I welcome the new year.  The past four months have been waaaay too occupied with selling our property in Southern California and moving to the Phoenix area in Arizona.  It's hard to believe
we did it, but for many reasons it was the right decision for us.
So far, we love it. Of course we have yet to live through one of their famous summers here.  We may lock ourselves in the house with the A/C for those months. We are in a very active 55+ community and are taking advantage of some of the amenities like their gorgeous gym and fitness center.   Everyone is very friendly in our community and I suspect it's because we are all transplants from somewhere else.  They do fireworks here for New Years Eve as well as July 4.  I was so concerned about the dogs but we barely heard anything - dual paned windows really helped!  People in our little community didn't do fireworks.  We're past that stage in life.  So, it was an enjoyable evening for us.....and the dogs.
I don't know if artists are even blogging anymore except for my friend Jacki.  
My first piece of "art" for the new year is a piece of mail art which I'm sending to her.  Sorry, Jacki, you'll get the hard copy in a few days .


Glue stick is my friend these days and you know what they say about it.......


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

FaceTime

This is my latest #36.
I'm using "100 Faces on Cheap Paper" as a reference for many of my faces.  This one is from that book.
~ Create ~

Friday, July 08, 2016

Faces, Faces, Faces

It's a beautiful day in sunny Southern California 75 degrees and lots of sunshine.  Would love these temps all summer.  
Dina Wakley says to get better at faces draw 100 of them.  I haven't been consistent but below are some of my attempts.  Almost all of them are drawn with Stabillo All.  I like this pencil because it interacts with water.  I usually start with gesso (that way I can use a baby wipe to "erase" if I don't like a line).  However, I try to be spontaneous and not worry about the lines being perfect.
I wipe my brushes (from painting) on these pages that have been gessoed, coming back later to draw on  them.  Some are easier to see than others.  

I like the Stabile pencils because they react with water, so I can darken my lines after the drawing.  I can also paint the faces in if I wish.
The ones I like best are the gestural sketches
I've done about 30 of them and still trying to find a style unique to me.  I seem to be all over the place but I guess that's what Dina means.  Maybe after 100 I'll have nailed down a style.  And then who knows?  It will probably change.
~
~ Create ~




Thursday, March 03, 2016

Pretty Petals

I fell in love with Lightroom a year or more ago.  I became so immersed in LR I didn't realize that I was losing my Photoshop skills.  As you all know I've been AWOL for some months and just wasn't able to reconnect the circuits for my art/photoshop.  A good friend basically told me that for me to get re-inspired I needed to "just do it" as Nike says.
I also started to use my iPhone rather than my DSLR.  This week I did a photo exercise using both cameras.  I decided to edit one of the photos in PS.  Wow!  I had forgotten so much it was crazy.
With lots of effort and some frustration I managed to come up with the above image.  I used mostly PS but also relied a bit on LR.
  During all this time I've been learning Instagram.  So I wanted this image for IG.  I shot it on my iPhone for that reason even though I know it is possible to cheat and post DSLR and other types of photos.  Forgive me but my technical skills are always behind the curve.  I'm pretty happy with this.  I will continue using Photoshop more and shooting with both cameras so I don't get so rusty.
Have a great rest of the week.
~ Create ~

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Starting to Paint Again

I lost my muse a few months ago.   I don't think I've ever gone so long.  I wondered where my inspiration was hiding and if it would ever return.  I just didn't feel creative either with photography or painting/drawing. Has this happened to you?  If so what do you do?  Hopefully I have found my muse once more.  I kept looking at other artists' work. I continued to work on Kim Klassen's classes.  I mean if I can't get inspired while watching her videos, then I am in real trouble.  I'm starting to paint again.  I thought it appropriate to photograph a few supplies and a couple base layer paintings.  I don't want to get too serious here just yet.



My favorite paints are Golden.  I have others - Liquitex is good too, but there is something about Golden.  I particularly like their fluid acrylics.  Sometimes I use specialty paints like Jacquard or Stuart Gill's "Byzantine".   The Byzantine line  is metallic and very beautiful.
Hope you all have a great day!
~ Create ~ 



Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Birthday Gift

What a delightful surprise!  My friend Jacki presented me with this silk scarf for my birthday.  I had fallen in love with it when our art group painted silk for a monthly project.  Jacki is quite a creative artist and I love her work. It's a long rectangular scarf (so long that I had to take two pics).
 


It was accompanied by this adorable card which she made.  She does these drawings she calls "stamp people" in which she uses a stamp commemorating one of the US presidents.  She embellishes the stamp by adding a body and colors the drawing.

Not sure which president this is - maybe Teddy Roosevelt?
It was a marvelous gift.  She remembered that I had oohed and ahhed over the scarf at the time, and so she surprised me!  Thanks, Jacki.  I will treasure them both.
~ create ~

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Food for the New Year

After reading Carol Hart's  beautiful post I was inspired to purchase this cookbook.  It has so many wonderful recipes, and it's not about dieting or losing weight.  It's really about eating healthfully.  I've made a couple of the dishes and they are delicious.  
She also posted about a wonderful lemon detox drink consisting of warm water, lemon juice a smidge of maple syrup and cayenne pepper.  It's very comforting first thing in the morning.  I've heard that warm lemon water is alkalinizing to the body.

After my previous post I decided to use some of my lemons for the detox tea.  Yum!
  

Sunday, January 03, 2016

When Life (Friends) Give You Lemons.....


Yesterday we visited with Rob and Sharon who just moved into their brand new home.  It is right out of a magazine....beautiful finishes and a pale gray/cream color palette.
They made lunch for us....a magnificent technicolor raw salad including artichoke hearts, and both black and green olives.  We also had a delicious tuna salad which I put on top of the veggie salad.  Sorry, I did not make pictures of these salads.  They were certainly pretty enough.
They gave us a bag of lemons from a bag they received from friends.
 
I could not let one of these beauties go to waste so I got out my juicer which my mom gave me years ago.  I love this juicer.  It is so old and just keeps on juicing.  It's a Procter Silex "Starflite".  On the bottom, it says it was made in the USA and the warranty is void after Dec. 1969.  Wow, they don't make them like they used to.
I have a thought.  We could keep so much trash out of the landfills if we just made our goods in the USA out of good materials like we used to.  How about that.  You wouldn't even need to have extended warranties since things would last!

I sliced one of the lemons and froze the slices on a tray.  Then I put those in a zip lock freezer bag.  I zested several lemons and put them in a jar to keep in the freezer.
 
 Here the juicer is in all its glory! You can even see some rust marks on the body.  The actual reamers large and small are made of porcelain.
Happy New Year to all.  May you have peace and joy in 2016.