August 29, 2013

August 28, 2013


It's thirty-five.
As husband and wive....

We spent the weekend at a cute little resort in Cottage Grove, Oregon, where there are many gardens, 

a cat named Bob, who came when I called out my husband's name, 

a labyrinth,
(Do you know the difference between a labyrinth and a maze?) 

That's license poetic
(not spelling pathetic).

...And my daily dose of  apostrophe and spelling crimes.  


August 25, 2013

Photos: New York Times 
A couple of posts ago I celebrated my new book The Day the Crayons Quit, here, and lo and behold, today the New York Times Book Review highlighted it and three other picture books that, to quote, affirm the inspirational power of art! The books are about art, artists, and the raw enthusiasm and self-confidence of the very young artist. Go read.

"Ask a group of kindergartners how many of them are artists and every child will enthusiastically raise a hand. Ask that same question to progressively older groups of kids and the numbers of artists will diminish with each advancing grade...." 


August 23, 2013

Spouting Off

Everyday Matters 269: Draw something annoying
For an Everyday Matters entry, I have vented my frustration at those glued down spouts on milk-and-the-like containers. No amount of finger manipulating works, and the first instinct to use a knife is even more hopeless. Pretty soon I just rip it to shreds, and so much for a sleek and beautiful pour. Think drips and drops instead. Do these guys ever try their own products?? And by the way, same goes for the way bread is wrapped these days. There. I feel better now.

August 22, 2013


Our high school class (Class of 'That Many Years Ago?) meets again this year. Reposting a bit of nostalgia.


August 18, 2013

Summer Shoes

I started this in the middle of winter. I finished it today. No grass grows under MY feet.

Everyday Matter #1: Draw a shoe. 


August 17, 2013

Thinking About Crayons. And a New Book About 'Em.

I am intrigued by Crayola crayons. And memories of fresh new boxes the first days of school. And my curious, serious attraction to color when making purchasing decisions. And the conversation at the tables of Naming Committees for crayon, nail polish, and wall paint colors. 

I wrote a poem once about crayons that I posted previously.  I am posting it again in honor of the new school year and the book I just bought. 

from "Crayola brand crayons were the first kids crayons ever made, invented by cousins, Edwin Binney and C. Harold Smith. The brand's first box of eight Crayola crayons made its debut in 1903. The crayons were sold for a nickel and the colors were black, brown, blue, red, purple, orange, yellow, and green. The word Crayola was created by Alice Stead Binney (wife of Edwin Binney) who took the French words for chalk (craie) and oily (oleaginous) and combined them."
My new book is called The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers. 

 When Duncan opens  his box of crayons, he finds instead that his crayons are on strike. Among the complaints are red's, who thinks he has to work too hard because of all the red things Duncan likes to draw. Dark Tan feels unloved and unused. 

Orange calls yellow a whiner who doesn't really know the color of the sun. 

And purple thinks Duncan is a pretty bad colorist and should color more inside the lines. 

I love my new book that I bought at Elliot Bay Books. You should check it out for  your pleasure. 

You can see a list of all the colors, past and present names, and colors "retired" here. You KNOW you want to see this!  


August 13, 2013

Clipped from My Sunday Stash

"When I read a physical book, I remember the text and the book - its shape, jacket, heft and typography." Verlyn Klinkenborg wrote that in the Sunday Times in "Books to Have and to Hold."

...I also liked "Reading is inherently ephemeral, but it feels less so when you're making your way through a physical book, which persists when you've finished it." The writer states she's read nearly 800 books on her iPad, which is nearly 795 more than my ebook experiences, but says she feels differently about the physical books on her shelf. Room for both, I think

One of the physical books I'm reading right now is this translated Swedish mystery, The Absent One.. The author, Jussi Adler-Olsen, also wrote one of my favorite books of last year, The Keepr of Lost Causes. 


August 12, 2013

Getting Ready to Get Ready

I decided to draw my newspaper experience from yesterday into an Everyday Matters contribution that had been eluding me. Drawing something I am thankful for (#42) was an overwhelming idea ; too much to choose from, a happy problem to have. But with this week's sale of the Washington Post, maybe it's time to express my gratitude for the daily paper. And my Seafirst Bank mug, sturdy, tall, and a memory of my first days in Seattle 18 years ago this week.

My clippings await, but first, a mental warm-up to a day of preparation for my upcoming trip to Italy, Prague, Budapest, and Paris. What's a trip to Europe without Paris, methinks.

Besides reading and taking some notes, and learning a little more French (read, very little, I fear), I want to decide on journal and sketchbook format. Like these artists I highlight below, it is one thing to plan for sketching and painting one's experiences, and quite another to have time or energy or patience of traveling partners to do them. Also, I learned long ago that I do best when I carry light signature sets of pages instead of full journals. I am also a variety junkie. With that in mind, I will soon decide how to divide up the trip to meet all these self-imposed demands and begin to prepare some luscious and/or fun pages: a little of Mary Ann, a little of Molly - two very different approaches to travel journaling, I might add - and a lot of me.

Always enjoy finding new artists and sketchers. And so glad they share.  I just found two that speak to my travel journal mindset today. I found both  from Wendy's (Quirky Artist) post in the Ticket to Venice Yahoo group.

There is a whole lot of artistry out in them thar woods!


August 11, 2013

Sunday Afternoon in the Park

On this summer Sunday, another drink-it-in-lovely-day, after spending the morning on the newspapers, I went over the bridge to Capitol Hill, where people busied about at the farmer's market, yogurt shops, and outdoor cafes. You could find me at Dick Blick's and Elliot Bay Books. At the latter, I was seeking out
a new picture book to add to my collection. I found two. Only two, because I knew my personal chef would be waiting at home to make dinner...(I know, I know)...and also one must be frugal when planning a trip where Euros will purchase French and Italian picture books. And art supplies. And beer and wine and bread and cookies. No. Croissants. Many. 


Another Sunday Morning Newspaper Fest

clipped collection of articles and tidbits of a 3-hour sunny Sunday deck read.

And the Done With pile.


August 10, 2013

Loves Me, Loves Me Not

I started drawing a daisy this week. It was my assignment and I always do my  homework. Krista Peel in Carla Sonheim's Summer Camp series asked us to draw first 3 flowers or 3 versions. So I did. The same flower but with different tools and views. Then it grew right before my eyes. I didn't plan the layout; if I had I might have planned better. But I like it anyway. Mostly because I got to spotlight my little girl bud vase, an exceptional yard sale find. Oh, and these are the last of the daisies from my previous post. Three lingered on so I could posterity-ize them. But they were spectacular this  year. Just like our summer. 

Oh, and, in that post, I said this: I have noticed that real daisies look like doodle daisies. Every attempt to make them look realistic came out looking like the happy doodles they really are. I stand corrected. 


August 9, 2013

Frock Think

Planning stage for packing for an overseas trip this fall. It all has to fit into carry-on size bag. My trusty Chicos travel black and gallon freezer bags will once again save the day....she said. With fingers crossed.


August 8, 2013

Totally irritated right now

With technology. It is becoming a love-hate relationship. Now I depend on it and too many times it's either out to lunch or thinks it will anticipate my every move.

While I'm on the subject, Anthropologie, nobody loves you as much as I do, but..really?

I think not. What I think is I just want you to email my receipt. I don't want to be your best friend.


Wherein I Paint Pears....

I was so inspired by Angela Anderson's video on how she guides her students in painting acrylic pears. So inspired that I painted four of my own large size. I did revise a few things along the way, and next time I'll definitely need to go off on a tangent of my own. Nevertheless, we needed something for the mantle, book club was coming, and I had an itch to paint. Great fun. The two best things were a reminder to paint an undercoat of red. I first learned that from Teesha at a Play retreat. It makes the pears almost glow. The second was the white reflective spots. When painting them, it is hard to imagine it will look like anything except a white spot you stuck a perfectly good piece, and, it does take a little manipulating, but voila! love the look. All of a sudden the pear is really truly round!

Angela has a rich, resourceful site with great ideas for teaching students that can also be inspirational for one's own art. You should check it out! Here is the video and here is her YouTube page.

Not sick of pears yet, I painted ten postcards for two months' worth of a postcard exchange I am invariably late for every month. I added some textures to the backgrounds and worked the colors a bit differently. Each one had its own personality. I got a lot of mileage out of those pears, yes I did. I blogged about the first set I sent out. I took the photo before I added the spots, though. The spots really make a difference, I think. Thanks again, Angela!


August 4, 2013

One Book Out

"...culling overcrowded shelves is never easy..."
This article was in the NYTimes Sunday Book Review

"Am I really going to read Middlesex again?"

I wrote this article. Yes, really, I did. I must have!
No? I didn't? Well, who is this person, my alter ego? Every word rings true.

To wit, here is my latest culling, a giant tubful waiting for its trips to Half Price and the library sale.

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