December 26, 2008

Checking Michael Nobbs blog - randomly selected from my previously-posted "web of sketchers" and remembered why I enjoy it so much. One of his portraits made the NY Times set of artists portraits submitted by readers. Check it out here.
or the December 5 "City Room" edition online.

Some others: 


A favorite photo I took on a walk in my hometown in northern Illinois a couple of years ago. Lots of old Victorians that I never noticed growing up (or didn't care about!)

Have you found "Dumpr" yet?

In looking over wonderful journal work done by Kathrin Jebsen-Marwedel, found through Everday Matters I found this. One of her photos (of Coptic markers, no less - work of art indeed!) was posted as if in a frame in a museum being observed by museum visitors. Saw the credit underneath and followed it to Their slogan is "Have fun with your photos." - It's free with a sign-in. Put your photos in a museum, Give it a lomography photo effect. Make it a jigsaw puzzle, Create circular art with it. Save it to file, Flickr, a web page...I loved what "pencil sketch" did to an architectural photo I took. The one here is a lomo photography effect of a daylight shot taken in Italy. Lomography without the camera - cool!

For a $12/yr fee, there are even more things and you can create a hi-resolution printable photo. Could be a nice reward for photos shot by students - a display - a calendar effect - gifts they make for Mother's Day, Father's Day

I signed up for the premium- seemed reasonable and offered more choices.

October 24, 2008

Chicken a la King

I re-created out an oldie but goodie for this month's postcard exchange. I don't rubberstamp as much as I used to, but I have great fun when I do sit down with them to. I enjoy humor and find that's what I usually create. I have stamps numbering in the thousands, having rubber-stamped since 1978, owning a store that sold them, and working at Stampa Barbara.  I'm whittling down, parting with many. I still use stamps for collage, textures, journal pages, and occasions of general silliness. My stamps are stained and well-used. I am a loose and free-wheeling stamper type and don't have the patience to keep them in pristine condition. They are still a go-to tool.

Rooster Elvis's suit is of course glittered! 


October 12, 2008

It's been a long time

but not because I haven't been thinking about it. I wish I wish. BUT, I did the summer traveling to Italy, Paris, so. California...and totally redoing the art studio. Then I ran out of time to actually do some art.

Returned from a long weekend at Art and Soul in Portland which has rejuvenated me to the extent that I spent some time on my visual journal, although I should have been grading the hugest pile of papers you ever saw and deciding what to do in the classroom tomorrow. The way the economy is tanking, I may not get to studio "full time" for a few years - not next year as I hoped. That, and the dismal drowning of the Cubs in the playoff could bring me down for sure - except we have two new lovely ladies, 1- and 2- year old kitties named Rose and Ziggy. Since we had to put Wrigley to sleep in mid-September, we were needing some tiny things around our house, which had gotten way too empty.

Hope to have some things from Art & Soul up soon and to keep up better. To all the 5 people who even know I'm here ! (It's okay...not ready for prime time.)

October 8, 2008

New Occupants at 624

After painfiuly saying good-bye to our long-time pal, Wrigley, last month, we needed new life in our home. Welcome, Rose and Ziggy.

Home, James! 


September 30, 2008

Artichoke Dip

I pulled out an old favorite to send to September's group of postcards. I carved the artichokes, my favorite vegetable. A student I once had wrote of artichokes: You must really love artichokes in order to eat them. Eating artichokes is like cleaning your room.

June 28, 2008

A Warm Penzian Hang-Around Day




Time for some sketching.
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May 11, 2008

WHAT A CRUMMY MAY we are having so far in the Pacific Northwest. Cold, overcast. Let the sun come, warm my body, give me light! It's cold in Chicago, too - almost frigid, wind blowing like a small hurricane at Wrigley Field. I'm ready for Sunday mornings on the deck with the NY Times and nothin' else to do.

May 3, 2008

Metro to Sound to Community Transits "Take the Bus"

I've been riding the bus to work a few times. Actually, the busses. It makes for a longer day and little longer trip because I have to transfer 2-3 times, riding 3 different bus services, and there's waiting time. Only when it's light enough at 7 a.m. in the morning am I interested, but I do enjoy not having to drive, wait in traffic, use the gas - really expensive now - and be able to read the paper, take a little snooze, draw....

April 27, 2008

One Thing Leads to Another

...and you find that you have (not only used about 5 hours of your life you'll never get back) found the most incredible place, resource, or eye candy, and how is it you never knew about that before? A page from my journal from Feb 07. Actually, I filled two pages with these webbed distractions! (The drawing is not mine.)

Another more recent typical "journey" that happened yesterday:

Checked recent postings on e-mail from Everyday Matters and went to Karen Winter's site who linked me to Daily Paintings from new Hampshire who told me about Russell Stutler and his amazing sketches and sketchbooks who sketches in Japan and who lists good resources for sketchers. Among them are some Japanese sketchbooks which led me to search for "Japanese bookstores," thinking some of these gems might be there. Lo and behold, I find there's one in my own city connected to Ujiwama - Kinokuniya Japanese Bookstore. So my day's plans changed (one reason I love Saturdays). I headed down to the International District. I didn't find any of the sketchbooks, however, but it was a fun diversion anyway. I'll go back later and get some of their amazing giant "sketchbooks" with heavy watercolor-like paper in them. (They were called Spiral...) I'll also get the twisted bamboo from Ujiwama - I love those and forgot about them until I saw them there.

Anyway, New Hampshire led me to "from Maine" blog who led me to Library Thing. I've been using something similar (Bookpedia) to keep a record of art books I own, but the features in Library Thing - which is FREE - called me in. I'm keeping track of books I read and checking out the lists of others. Sort of a "Delicious" for readers.

April 5, 2008

Tops and Bottoms and Insides, too

One technique I learned in Caroline's workshop was this one. It worked well with a photo of five ladies waiting at a marina with their backpacks and purses nearby. I drew a contour line of just the top part of the photo, looking at the shapes the bodies made. Then a drew a blind contour line of the bottoms parts, including their legs and feet. It worked! I could then fill the inside details in if I wanted. (( rather like just this much, too!)

This is a sketched version of the same scene as Tops and Bottoms but as sketched from a photo. I loved the women's various sitting and waiting shapes.

April 3, 2008

#23 - Draw your foot.

I drew my shoes during a great drawing and painting weekend held (awhile back) through LaConnor Art Workshops, Washington. (A very cool place.) Caroline Buchanan was the instructor. It was a 3-day workshop on travel journaling, and I took a personal day off work to be at all 3 days (and treated myself to a bed-and-breakfast to stay overnight even though I'm within driving distance (60 some miles). I went in expecting a watercolor emphasis, so, at first, wondered why we were doing all the drawing lessons. It turned out to be one of the best classes I ever had; it moved me up a notch or three in my ability to sketch a scene or design a painting. She went over contour drawing, scribble drawing (I don't know if that's the real name of it, but it's done with a series of fast, little loopy scribbles, "fast sketching," drawing from photos, geometric shapes that build the body...I've always considered myself reasonably good at drawing, but always for copying something directly, not for drawing without a picture to look at, and certainly not drawing "on the run." That weekend changed my whole view and made me a better artist, for many reasons, not the least of which, recognizing where and why the errors are in my sketching to be able to keep getting better.

Something that absolutely amazes me is how well the blind contour drawing works, at least for me. I have especially enjoyed sketching people at airports using this method and to get the right pose. Almost always, without looking at the paper, I'm able to outline the right shape of the pose. Drawing people is becoming one of my favorite things to do. Anyway, the top of the page is my blind contour from an "assignment" out of Keys to Drawing; the bottom are my own feet. As I remember, I blind-contoured the outlines only, then filled in the details. These are very comfortable shoes, by the way, and I've bought 2 more just like them. I see them around a lot, but I don't remember whose they are. I get them from, along with my favorite brand, Softwalks, which I walked on all over Italy and France without my feet EVER hurting. And my feet hurt with most shoes and I can't STAND it when they do!

But I digress...

March 29, 2008

#99 - Resolution

The same as always. I resolve to get through the ginormous pile of reading I always have around: library books, bookstore purchases, long time wannareads, magazines and news features. I am hopeless.

Ginormous is a new word my students are using a lot. Rarely do I pick up such hybrid vocabulary until it's already out the fashion door. But I like this word.

I'm writing this on a here-and-there gloomy day that doesn't know what it wants to be but it's the first day of my spring vacation and I'm also watching the first Cub game of the new year. The season starts on Monday and I'll be home to watch it! Sweet pleasure.

Image was carved and I did draw it! Hope that counts.

March 26, 2008

I Won't Grow Up

I inherited the family photo at the bottom. I had saved the top magazine photo because it captured my imagination. It sat around for awhile wanting to be used!

March 11, 2008

Hiding in Plain Sight

One of those days.

March 10, 2008

#8. Draw your watch or other piece of jewelry.

I am lost without watches. I have several, and all of them are fun, funky ones - the "Oh, No!" and "Life is chair of bowlies" Engelbreit designs, a rainy day watch, and other such nonsense. Time is a large element of my daily life; I am always checking it, often late but not trying to be, in awe of how fast it goes, and live with a constant dread that I won't have enough of it to do all I want to do (in a day, a week, a lifetime.) It amazes me that people get bored with nothing to do.

This watch is a Teesha Moore watch I bought at one of the earliest smaller Artfests. The band has broken, so I strung it with an elastic cord and wear it around my neck now. It always gets comments.

I just realized I forgot its hands, though.

Is there an EDM Challenge for Best Medicine?

I'm intrigued by Cathy Johnson's scheduled online video workshop for on-the-go journaling. I have admired her work, both in and out of her books, and, though I have journaled visually for years, I find I don't do mobile journaling as much as I think I want to when I start out. I bring it with me, of course, but never find enough space, energy, time, solitude, right temperature, blah blah to actually complete the task. The best I usually do are some quick sketches, mostly of people. So I'm still looking for the magic, so I can feel that lugging my art things around is worth it (I HAVE learned to minify, but then always want what I don't have with me, it seems!) Anyway, I may do this. My techie gene loves the concept of online.

I stayed home today with the biggest awfullest toothache I've had in years. Having recently had a dental checkup, I can't imagine what the problem is, but I knew I couldn't teach today. Why do I feel like I am playing hooky, though? Midwestern Guilt.

March 9, 2008

#129. Draw people doing something

While traveling with my husband, I was able to set aside nearly a whole day to linger at a bookstore while nobody waited for me to "finish." THAT, my friends (uh, oh, there's a phrase we'll hear for awhile...) is a supreme treat for me. While I waited for one of my top ten favorite places, The Tattered Cover in Denver, to open, I sat at Starbucks and watched people in conversation, reading the paper, or biding their time like me. This was a quick sketch with another favorite tool - a Rotring Artpen with watersoluble brown ink - another trick I learned from Molly. I love the feel of the pen and like to write with it, too. It's not cheap, and I seem to misplace at least one at a time - I have two, one with black and one with brown - despite my best efforts.

#76 - Draw some flowers.

Just one flower this time. A watercolor I did last summer. We have the most periwinkle of blue hudrangeas in our back yard and their bloom in July is a sight to behold. I took a garden journal class from a favorite watercolor artist of mine, Molly Hashimoto, and was inspired to paint this. The scan isn't as good as the real painting which isn't as good as the real flower. There's lots to be said for real life: digital is fine and dandy, but real is life's eye candy.

Everyday Matters #162. Draw your breakfast.

The grapefruit was much more appealing than this painting gives it credit for. I had it, but then overworked it. I always overwork watercolor, even when I'm telling myself, "Don't do this. Leave it be." It's amazing how just one teeny thing can send it over the edge. Oh, well; I'll try again. I brought the handpainted bowls back from Chianti region in Italy. Time for me go to back to get some more! (This June, as a matter of fact!)
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