December 30, 2009

Remains of the Day

Have you heard of this online class? I came across it with some linking around the other day, found that Teesha Moore had taken it, went to her site, read about it a bit, and found Mary Ann Moss's exciting, colorful, and witty blog, Dispatch from LA. She holds a few online classes that have lots of videos, instructions, discussion and humor. I couldn't resist, so I signed on. The journal I'll end up with uses no liquid adhesives, gessos, gels, but lots of scraps and stitches. The travel journals are very fun. This is not for the carefully organized, clean and pristine journalers, so I'll fit right in. Measuring and straightening have never been my strong points. Neither do I do well with detail work - although I admire and love Teesha's pages - who couldn't - I don't have the patience to do the beautiful detailing she does. Wacky and wild, though, I can manage. It might take me longer once school starts, but I'll enjoy this one - this woman is hysterical and creative!

December 29, 2009

Lots of ways to remember the year and decade. I note that financially we are collectively and individually at the same place we were a decade ago but we feel a lot less safe and secure all the way around. Can't obsess on it. I think the year could have been better for most, but I really have little to complain about and am thankful to be healthy, if not as wealthy and wise as I'd like.
Hubby and kitties, too.

Enjoy Time's "TOP TEN" lists here.

Here's sample: Top Ten iPhone apps:

Top 10 iPhone Apps

  1. Tweetie 2
  2. Yelp
  3. Slacker
  4. FlightTrack Pro
  5. Mint
  6. SlingPlayer Mobile
  7. The Small Chair (McSweeney's)
  8. RunKeeper
  9. Mobile
  10. Locavore

December 26, 2009

A Paris Sketch Blessedly Photoshopped

The original is above...


I'm trying to get my December Postcard Exchange pieces out today. I have been tardy too often this year. I used a value sketch I did for a watercolor piece in Molly's class and played around with Photoshop to make it more interesting. Actually, the little sketch I did turned out better than any of the 3 attempts at the big piece. Like Edison, I learned a lot of things that didn't work, at least to my satisfaction.

December 19, 2009

Tribute to Wayne Thiebaud

My 5th grade class is working collaboratively on a tech/literacy/art all-year project with a 3rd grade "buddy class." The first artist we've looked at is pop artist, Wayne Thiebaud, who paints those delicious cakes and pies and everyday items. Being no fools, when we planned this event, we figured we'd do it around the holidays, so we could get a buddy party of "Wayne Thiebaud cupcakes" and maybe have a few --ahem - extras around afterward. (I'll take chocolate, please.)

The cakes were painted in watercolor. I brought some of my lesser expensive tube paints for the kids to use, since those cake pans at school have so little pigment in them. The kids mostly used them like tempera or acrylic, though - and there wasn't much time to give them lots of practice in "the light watercolor touch." But they did get the idea. As for the cupcakes, a lot of kids really took time to pick a design they liked and we had some thrilling!! cupcakes. I am "the queen" of my classroom and never let them forget it. Michael make an extra one for me. I've trained them well.

December 16, 2009

French Photo Booth

Well, THIS is fun!

Learned about "lephotocabine" from Deanna at her blog Mischief and Madness (you should definitely check it out!) She calls it a "time waster" - yup, it is, but oh what a blast. Enter the Parisian photobooth and take a four-shot. Save it, print it, send it. Cute cute.

November 22, 2009


Today I discovered through Mixed Media group the online e-journal Bonefolder. Beautiful journal on the book arts that you can download onto a disk to read at your leisure. Free.

November 21, 2009

We have joined the Flat World.

...although Ziggy and Rose don't appear too impressed.
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August 2, 2009

Unraveling my art

Getting ready for Art Unraveled in Phoenix. Gathering materials, doing some packing. I've had practice for the hot weather this week with Seattle's record 103 midweek. Looking forward to classes by Traci Bautista, Judy Wise, Jane LaFazio, and Jacqueline Sullivan. It will be my last fling before I have to think about getting ready for the school year. I plan to do a lot of art and enjoy. Staying with friends in the area, so even better. My only regret is leaving the beautiful Seattle sumer (this past week a rare exception) to wither in the Arizona heat. I am a heat wimp.

This photo will be made into a stencil for Judy Wise's class. It's been made from favorite photo of mine - my mom in a kindergarten costume. I'm looking forward to creating something magical from it.

July 29, 2009

Can't go out to play. Think we'll nap.

Rose and Miss Ziggy in one of their favorite spots. They don't have to really beat the heat, since they are lucky to live in air conditioning. We remind them of that all the time, but so far we don't get that much gratitude attitude. Ho hum.

It's a new record for heat in Seattle today. 103.

That "open book" on the trunk (said trunk yet unfinished for another year) is a collection of postcards from my time with Postcard Exchange and other mail art exchanges. Wish I could have kept up with them. Maybe when I retire...

Anyway, I periodically wander through the book to get inspired and appreciative of the talents of so many of my mail art friends.

May 2, 2009


Make Something Cool Every Day is a link of Behance Network,
a free platform for creative to admire and inspire...includes a "Tip Exchange" which in turn included a link to Spoonfed Design's "20 Sites to Find Design Inspiration.
Thanks to Samantha Green on Twitter for mentioning this one!

April 26, 2009

I'm in love. Again. With Slide.


April 19, 2009

Two New Discoveries

I have found two artists whose work I love. Spent a recent afternoon in the art section of the library and found lots to look at and check out. Two books impressed me so much I had to have them myself so I bought them - so I could enjoy their art often! Maggie Taylor: Landscape of Dreams is a book of work she has done with Photoshop. Whimsical, eccentric, etherreal combination of images that I think are out of the ordinary. William Matthews, Working the West: beautiful strong watercolors and excellent artistry and techniques with a subject matter that doesn't usually excite me. Love and so admire his work.

April 1, 2009

Great fun. Watch an artist build a woman from inside out!

March 22, 2009

Rose's Red Chair

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Rosie the cat in One Red Chair. I'm testing my new laptop and playing with this picture using Picasa. I don't often use Picasa since it was a Windows program which I only use at school, but my new school laptop led me to Picasa 3 which really does have some cool effects. Course this blog can't be read at school, since anything remotely named "blog" is blocked with the biggest, brightest, orangest screen you ever did see. Really, when you hit a site that's been blocked, you know it for sure and best you beat it immediately. Jiggers, the cops. I have an ongoing conversation with the powers that be about the fact that perfectly reasonable blogs (classroom blogs, professional educational blogs, for example) are automatically blocked in our school district but only at elementary level. Unfortunately, that includes the staff at those sites, too. Of course, as I'm often reminded, I can select to fill out the 3-ply (4-ply?) NCR forms to request unblocked. (There's something innately oxymoronic about NCR forms to unblock a tech site - How about, instead, "Investigate this link, please, and here are the reasons why"?- but that's another story.) I gave up the chase finally. One day they''ll catch up - but hopefully by then I'll be drawing and painting and traveling and reading, my teaching days behind me.

February 22, 2009

A recent very cool find!

This image is from a site Danny Gregory blog led me to. It is a very cool piece from video portrait artist Laurie Munn. Among other works (presidents, first ladies), she's done portraits of all the members of class of '65 from a yearbook she found. They're amazing, as is the video story that accompanies it. Especially fun for one like me who graduated about the same time - true nostalgia! Go find her!

February 19, 2009

Crayon Love

three crayons inside
my new box so clean
and pristine
numbering sixty and four
(safely named “pine” and
“forest” not “peasoup” or
“lizard”) waxy rainbox of color
too virgin to use.
i’ll first sniff and sort them
and then I may muse
over why in their number
is no longer raw umber,
why green-blue is gone
but blue-green lingers on.
when one searches one’s mindmap
for memories archival
can anything rival
the annual ritual meant to anoint
that bright box so yellow?
(take crayon to paper
press hard on the point
tear off the wrapper
to christen that fellow

Mine, written awhile ago, but I still like it

That's life in the big city

Today, I wanted to leave town.
Spend a week in the country.
Take books, art, iPod.
Get away, far away from everything.
Veg out.
Not wear make-up.
Be unproductive.
Everything lately seems so complicated.

Final straw to a complicated day, in a hurry to get started on my 22mile commute after a meeting after a long day anyway. Tried to give ARCO $30 cash in their machine. It took the $20, thankyouverymuch, spit out the old $10. Fussy, fussy. By the time I retrieved another from my purse, machine closed out. Well, I really wanted to fill the tank so I wouldn't have to go to the gas station again so soon - I hate getting gas. (Yes, I do miss full service. Did you know it is ILLEGAL to pump your own gas in Oregon?). Went into the ampm24hourconveniencestore there to the new owners (?) behind the counter who spoke a different language and are new to mine. It took 10 more minutes just to get through the conversation (No, I paid with a bill, not debit. No, I haven't gotten the gas yet, so I don't get 1.67 in change. Number six. Yes, I would like to add this $10 bill. Number six. May I have a receipt. Number six.) I was nice and polite, because it's hard for them, too, and we're all tired, but still - something that should have taken 3 minutes took 15. Life is very complex.

I know I'd have a limited patience for doing nothing - I figure about a week, maybe two (and, actually, doing "nothing" would last a day or two at the most: I'd have to have the books, magazines, paints, sketchbooks, too, to work their magic.) But right now I do so want to sit on a beach or in a mountain cabin or in a lovely farmhouse and sketch and read and not look at piles and piles of papers to correct - boy, am I tired of that! - budgets to work out, oh blahblahblahyou know it all because everybody knows and it's the same for everybody.

On a brighter side,I found some new sketchers today and will add them to my favorites list on the blogroll. Tommy Kane, Zooman.

February 18, 2009

A Muse on "Flesh"

Watercolor Portrait class:

In Molly's portrait class tonight, once I got there, I painted a portrait from a picture of an African-American musician. Still working on it but discovered I LOVE painting the colors of their skin. Lots of exciting possibilities. Did you know that there used to be a crayon = sort of light peachy colored - called "Flesh?" We've come a long way even if we're not there yet. I do miss "raw umber" though.

This is a definite work in progress I hope to finish this weekend. And pardon me, I didn't "see" that his one eye is "glaringly" needing work! I tried to be much looser and splashier with colors: alizarin crimson, quin gold, and phalo blue for his skin. This was great fun for me, and there's work to do!

It was, however, another GPS tragic story, another night of getting lost in a neighborhood this time with a brand new GPS that didn't help me because I forgot to put the antenna up on it. That's about six times, 3 different ones, when I really needed it, and for one reason or another, it and I didn't marry well. I'm usually not such an doofus and I generally have a great directional sense, but get me in one of those winding Seattle neighborhoods, whose names are 145th NE and NW 65th and NE 62nd St and 62nd Place SE and...well, I'm a mess. I actually had to get out the Thomas Guide. All because I went a different way than usual tonight. Gutsy broad.

February 14, 2009

Unraveling my art

I said I'd never want to be in Arizona in the summer (I hate the heat!), but here I am signing up for Art Unraveled in PHoenix. It's summer vacation from teaching, I've got friends in the area, and I couldn't resist the line-up they have this year. Sending in registration today, a few days after registration opened - we'll see if I get my heart's desires with artists Judy Wise, Tracy Batista, Jacqueline Sullivan, and some others. Probably won't do Portland Art and Soul then - there's only so much money and time around until I win the lottery.

I'm finding it harder and harder to devote time to the stuff (and stuff and more stuff) of public school teaching and want to spend my moments on art or reading or thinking about art. The economy has changed my plans, but I'm grateful for the job right now and that I have enough extra money (well, not really extra, but I tell myself so) to do some fun things.

January 8, 2009

Today's Inspiration....

I am so enjoying Arty Veldarde's sketch blog. You should go there! She participates in Everyday Matters and creates a lot of other great art.I found it very enjoyable. She has done some watercolor sketch portraits, really good, of Obama's cabinet and other names in the news. She also does comic strips for daily journals. She directed me to 25 best resumé site (she was named one of the 25!) - and THAT is a great visit. The creative juices inspire. I will enjoy looking at these over the next few days and plan to revisit often.

January 4, 2009

snowy trees all around

Inspired by our week's heavy and unusual snowfall around Christmas, I experimented with masking fluid and the Incredible Nib, which Molly Hashimoto told us about in a demo at Daniel Smith. It wasn't a great success but it was a very small canvas and with practice I'll do better. Each one, of course, took on its own personality. Some I hated and the more I kept putzing, the worse it got, with an occasional surprising exception. These two were favorites. Interestingly, the bottom one was build from one I washed out what was there, not liking it. It left a surreal hazy image that I built a little on, but mostly left as is. It turned out to be much better than the original! I mounted and sent them for my December Postcard Exchange group.
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