January 29, 2014

A couple of things....

OK, OK. it's maybe three things.  I always figured "a couple of minutes" means a few, not just two, although hubby Bob takes the more literal approach.

The fleeting quality of this man's work puts me in a strange mood. I am both excited and distressed by its temporariness. What a joy it would be to come across this art one fine day at the beach.

I am a fan of Mary Ann Moss - as many are - and check her blog daily, which is about as often as she posts. She has just returned to teaching after a year's sabbatical to refresh and renew. Luckily for these students and for her, she is in a 5th grade - the best age of all in my own teaching experience - and she has not wasted time imparting her gifts. I invite you to see what she's doing with them this week for Chinese New Year.
Note 1/14/2016. this link is no longer active but you can see all archived posts on her new site at This post was made in January 2014. 

Oh, and I am in the process of updating my link lists of sketchers and mixed media favorites of mine, because I am discovering a slew of artistry and talent on Pinterest. How great thou art, Pinterest. So many wonderful ideas to inspire me or just to enjoy. Eye candy. Imagination. Innovative. The stuff that moves me on to create or get movin'!  I have added several to my pinboards on the right side or here.


January 28, 2014

New toys

A trip to Elliott Bay Books yielded these gems.

Okay, be honest. Wouldn't you love to build a Marvelous Marble Bouncer? A Stop the Pigeon weather vane? A Spaghetti and Marshmallow Eiffel Tower?

An authentic Snakes and Ladders game?
This one took me over the edge. 
They are in this book:

I have always loved Edward Gorey. I can see lots of decrepit uses for these stickers.

Varmints by Helen Ward is a gorgeous picture book.

A page from Varmints


January 25, 2014

There is no now.

I have challenged myself in this journal to use these two items as part of the art: one of my daily news or comments clippings (alas and alack i am a clipper), and  photo from the hundreds I have in boxes. And, in addition, use a part of the image already existing on the page, since I am using a book from the shelves of Half Price Books. (This one is a favorite choice. It has photographic tricks on each page, showing the original photos and how the images were combined to make the "trick." Provides humor and creative diving board for me.)

I built this spread on an essay that appeared in the paper earlier in the month that spoke of Jewish philosophy that reminds us there is no "now" in the calendar. Our future calendar is rather bare but our past calendar has memories and experiences upon which to build memories and plan futures. It spoke to me, since my past is bigger than my future, much to my dismay, but trying to cope.


January 20, 2014

What a Sunday!

Designer chic football helmets to celebrate and another Downton Abbey. Go Hawks.


See all the helmets at


January 15, 2014

Visiting Hours

Time to revisit some favorite artists from my blogroll, update links, add some new bingobangobongo blogs to shout about.


Visited Four Corners Design, still fresh and visually delectable. Her word for the year is DIRECTION. Loving this piece she did to represent it. You will love the gorgeous digital collages she creates, as well as other mixed media works. Here is her piece representing "direction" ...(I have added the words.)

Check out the header of her blog and enjoy the clean and stunning design of the page. I admire it.


I updated the web address for Oregon watercolorist Helen Brown. Her gallery of work is inspiring; I especially love her figures. I fell in love with one of her award-winning watercolors. This is just a small part of the piece as a tease to go look under "New Stuff." This face, as cool as it is already, gets even better as you view the whole; the background and shadow work are eye candy. 


You haven't seen SketchTravel yet? Hmmm...I think you should. This is an overview of a charity art project from a couple of years ago. A red sketchbook was passed to 71 worldwide illustrators, artists, animators, and comic strip artists. Even if you  just enjoy the opening page, it is worth your time; it is graphically amusing and intriguing (how do they do that?!) There is a short video explaining the project. 


Yesterday in Molly's watercolor class, I was reminded of Trumpetvine Travels. I discovered this watercolor sketch artist and travel journaler years ago, bought one of her zines (a treat!), and then thought she had moved on to other things. Although there is a current copyright date, It's hard to know if she's still adding to the blog; there is no archive I can see to help me. All that said, this is still a bonanza for anyone who loves looking at travel sketches, creating travel sketches, or merely appreciatiing the subject matter. It is a packed resource with links all over the place. 

And who was that who reminded me?  It was Claire Russell. Go see what she does. Now. Hurry. 
Molly Hashimoto has given you a peek here. Claire and I are avid sketchbook journal collectors. Both of us own obscure sketchbooks that neither of us thought ANYBODY else has on their shelves. 

You can see her painting talents in this image, but what you don't see is her skill at layout of pages. Lots of intended space and design, unifying themes, beautiful text. 


January 12, 2014

Mapping 2014

My "assignment" - Create a map of 2014.  Jill Berry's Facebook group, Arty Cartophiles, were challenged to create a map of 2014, share on our blogs, and invite you to see others in a blog hop this week (Jan. 13-17) at her blog or here.   (

Hmmm...I could go abstract on this one. I could use a real map as a background for a map painting. What to do, what to do, I pondered this one for awhile.

I flipped through an unfinished journal of pages that I had started with backgrounds and found one that had a grid made by a stencil spray. Grids mean maps to me, so that's what I chose. The page was too large for my scanner, so there are two close-ups followed by the full page taken with camera. I see that I forgot to add, on Hopeful Way, Cubs win World Series. I must do that.

I had lots of fun creating little streets and using map symbols and references. I'm not crazy about the design, a bit bottom heavy and lacking a good focus (not to mention a title!)  But, that's a map, eh? I did make a "route" of blue to lead the eye through town. Although it's not a river, it kinda looks like one, so that's a bit mappy, too, I think.  As I add more through the year, perhaps it will come together.

Making this map pushed me to solidify my goals for the house and for my art and for my wish to grow the Red Chair Studio.

Nothing to Get Hung About

Another journal entry....

For this particular journal, besides using news of the day as a backdrop (whatever the news was...probably Governor Christie's traffic jam problem, since obliterated - the paste, not the problem, it would appear -) I also have promised myself to include actual photos from my boxes of photos covering dozens of years and before me, too. I could have filled the page of course with photos of our cats sleeping. Nothing to get hung about, ya know - just take a nap.


January 10, 2014


Inspired by the Sketchbook exhibit, I mosied on over to the Compass Cafe and sketched Sheila.

January 9, 2014

Life-sized fun

I visited the Seattle Museum of History and Industry, christianed MOHAI locally,

Gabriel Campriano's sketch of the museum

and bought membership too, because I know I'll want to revisit and take visitors to the exhibit of the Seattle Sketcher, Gabe Campriano. Gabe, who also started the Urban Sketchers group and edited The Art of Urban Sketching which I blogged previously about, has become Seattle area's Pretty Official visual documenter of all things Puget Sound....

The exhibit is bright, colorful, airy, with walls and walls and nooks and crannies filled with pages from his sketchbook...

including several "life-sized" enlarged versions.

This wall greets the visitor.

 I'm imagining this is a favorite, a view of the Sleepless in Seattle houseboat. 

And sketchbooks from other urban sketchers are also on display. 

It is an awesome display of sketching talent and will be at the museum to mid-May. (Alas and alack, Fraser's chair is now gone, along with the other Seattle in Media goodies. Can't have everything.) 

Read more about it in the Seattle Times article below.


January 7, 2014

I have been a busy (artful) beaver mix my metaphors.  Some journal pages I played with this past week, when the year stretched out before me and it felt like I had extra time on my hands. Not a feeling I get a lot.

I am enjoying building pages upon news of the day. There's an Everly Brothers article and 50th anti-smoking article here. I love the Reagan ad, when he was a mere actor hawking Chesterfield cigs. (In the decorative Christmas carton for discriminating smokers.)  This is the spread with the half-page included. I like to make pockets to hold full articles for later enjoyment.



January 4, 2014

A Done Deal

Two-page journal entry for today. Started with the DONE DEAL Boeing headline, being with mixed feelings about the news:   good news for keeping Boeing in Seattle, not so good news for the future of pensions. Anyway, built up with ephemera from card and gift from a lifelong pal...there's a 1967 picture in there as proof.  Used paper I painted in Mary Ann Moss's SEWN online class and reminded myself to make some more this week. It was such fun and the papers are a blast to use.

Ooo.. just noticed. Must go back and etend those whiskers, poor fellow.

I also enrolled in Making Maps Skillshare workshop. There are some creative and inspirational personal maps other students have submitted. I love maps, so  I know I'll enjoy the map project..still thinking about what to do.  Right now, you can save $10 on your first class (my class was only $20). Go check them out. I saw some good classes listed - calligraphy, hand lettering, poster design, among others.

And, finally, I recently spent an hour at our library so I could view all the videos on Teesha and Tracy Moore's Artstronauts site. Vimeo videos just don't work well on my laptops, either one, but they flowed along like the Mississippi at the public lbrary. Talk about inspiration. Are you an Artstronaut yet?

January 3, 2014

January 2, 2014

January Kings

....a postcard of some carved images that I exchanged in a carving group awhile back.


Wisdom to start the new year off right

I am struck by a Frank Bruni column in the Seattle Times today, first appearing in NYTimes on Tuesday. There are so many thoughts he expresses that I can buy into with hearty "yesindeedies"...
He begins with advice from his mom, "little of it original - she was hardly the first to caution against horizontal stripes for anyone broader than Barbie -but much of it impeachable."  Whether or not you are a tweeter or Facebook user, I think you will find this article meaningful, especially if you are a book lover.  You will also enjoy Reader Comments to this article.

A sampling:

"....What would she have made of a world in which so many of us, entranced by the opportunity for instant expression and an immediate audience, post unformed thoughts, half-baked wit or splenetic reactions before we can even count to three."

"...pauses are the spaces in which passions cool, civility gets its oxygen and wisdom quite possibly finds its wings." (THAT's MY FAVORITE!)

"...I'd bet big on real reading, fiction or nonfiction, as a prompt for empathy and a whole lot more: coolheadedness, maybe even open-mindedness, definitely deliberation."
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