December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas from our house...

to yours.  And now that the work is done, I plan to sit by the fireplace every day and take it all in. Also, there's a new (Not-so) Daily Amazing on the web site.

Painting inspired by the work of Jill Mayberry.


December 20, 2015

Deck the hall

Finally....5 days before Christmas Day...we have a finished tree.   A couple of years ago I cleaned out the ornament bin of ornaments I didn't like anymore. (Bob has no opinion on the ornaments and leaves me to my executive decisions regarding Christmas decor. Good and bad. But I digress.)  What is left are all my favorites. Last year we took a break from having a tree, opting for decorating the house.  I need the break because it comes around so dang fast; really, it seems I put it all away (hours of work on both ends, isn't it?) and it's time to take it out and start over again. And find a place for the autumn things, which replaced the spring things. And the wheels go round and round.

This is one of my favorites. Looks like carved wood, love the jester he's holding. Probably one of the only more traditional ones on the tree.  I'm instead into shoes and spheres and whites. More than you needed to know.

AND over at the web site home page, the Daily Amazing highlights a 3 meter long children's book that struck my fancy. Where's Waldo on steroids.


December 17, 2015

Hadn't had my quokka of smiles until...

After a 10-day vacation to take care of business and spend some time with my BFF in California, it's back to spending some time in the red chair studio. The cats continue to spend their time in the red chair.

I posted a Daily Amazing on the web site. You will LOVE this, I guarantee.  If only for the reason to introduce yourself to a quokka. A quokka with a charming smile, may I add. How can you resist?

Photo by Allan Dixon


December 10, 2015

The Girls Do Oceanside

A little noir

Interesting things hanging around...

Are those really bananas?


December 5, 2015

Lightning in a Box.

One of the special effects in the photography of this photographer. Over at The Daily Amazing on the web page.


December 2, 2015

Run, Spot, Run. See Diane's new Etsy shop. It has a calendar!

My Etsy shop is tied with a ribbon and ready to go. You can always find the way to it on the website.
My 2016 calendar is available for sale. It is a collection of prints from artwork I did this year as I celebrated a new flower each month. Painted, printed, collaged, carved images from real life, photos, and one from my imagination. I am sure there is a flower blooming in November somewhere, but not in our yard, for sure.


Map lovers...attention, please!

They Draw and Travel is a book now! 100 maps of American places illustrated with charm and creativity by sketchers from all over. Maps have been previously published in the web site. You have been to the web site, yes? No? Get thee over there, my friend, if you call yourself a map lover and fellow traveler.
This map by Silvia Sponza of Milano, Italy is on the website; not sure if it in the book, but is representative of those that are!

Here is information about the book.


November 28, 2015

Daily amazing and a thought for the day

        There's a new Daily Amazing on the web home page. Meanwhile....

                   Capitol Hill on a recent walk...

November 26, 2015

File: Letter Artists

                                                               Hannah Rabenstein

Typography Mania 
a large resource of typography, lettering, illustration, and daily inspiration.
Am still searching for the specific artist who submitted this to the site and will post his or her name when found.


November 22, 2015

15 years ago and coulda been yesterday....

I have posted a video of one of my past visual journals in my quest to get them all up on the Red Chair website. To encourage you to visit there, I'm sending you over with the link instead of posting the video here.


I struggle a little with the whole idea of posting these anywhere. Art journals are the rage and they are all over the internet. I enjoy looking at what others have done and being inspired by them. I kept visual journals for a long time before they took off. Mine were never meant to be public, although I hope they will be passed on after I meet with the angels. I love revisiting them, and often do, filling some pages left undone before. Some of them are less about "art" than being"visual" in journal form, though I use the terms interchangeably. I use these journals occasionally for celebrating and for some venting about little frustrations - nothing too deep and diary-personal here -but mostly for making art, experimenting with ideas, and recording the times in which I live. I let the bits of news I save and the quotes I use reflect my opinions. (It probably wouldn't take long for someone to figure me out.)

Creating videos of these journals is a ridiculously long process, and I am wavering whether worth the time it takes. Then again, it feels a little like the book you write but never publish, the journeys you take but never record, and the shared histories you never share.


November 19, 2015

My Magic Place  Sorry for the abrupt ending. I said quick and dirty.

We all have them, don't we? The place we go to when we need to be calm and reflective or to have our inner creativity nuzzled awake; you know the place. This is a Magic Place for me. It is a special garden at the Village Green Resort in Cottage Grove, Oregon. (A blog here.) A walk in this immense garden...even in October when blooming season is over...reveals surprises around every corner. Mailboxes greet you at every themed garden, beckoning you to open it up and read about the garden and its plants. Little things sit in the trees and under the benches. A grassy labyrinth leads you to my favorite thing in the garden, a statue of a young woman in peaceful repose. I put on my playlist for meditating and wander through. Each time I find something I did not see before.

The architect of this garden is Cyndee Eichengreen.  Yes, green.

I put together a quick and dirty Magisto video with some favorite scenes, but one day soon I will gather my photos and make something special. I encourage you to visit it sometime. Cottage Grove is the "Covered Bridge Capital of the West" and also close to wineries. It appears to me that you don't need to stay at the resort to see the garden....we have stayed at the resort (term used quite loosely!) and enjoyed our stay, but from the very mixed reviews, it all depends on the building and wing you are in (and a little about your need for perfection?)  Our room was updated, cute, extra chair for reading, all the amenities AND with a patio and seating, comfy beds, updated bath. I noticed that one unhappy  reviewer even dissed the garden as unmaintained, but it was February and, me the  northwest February garden that doesn't look winter weary.

For me, it's a magic place.


November 8, 2015

Too pretty to eat

...don't you think? Autumn squash sitting in my Italian bowl.


November 5, 2015

Like patterns? Love colors?

Well, then take a gander at this artist. Leaves me breathless.

Her name is Elena Nuez from Spain. I found this on Pinterest and am in love.

Elena Nuez

Elena Nuez

Elena Nuez

Elena Nuez


October 29, 2015

Catching up...

Now that the longer subbing gig is over, it's back to art and catching up. Three months behind in the monthly postcard exchange.  August....check!

A couple of versions of the carved pansies I just finally finished (although I started them in August!)

Note added a month later:  I pretty much decided that ain't no pansy.  Later versions are morning glories. As they should be! 


October 13, 2015

It's That Time Of Year... I painted a pumpkin.  


October 11, 2015

Holy Crop!

Not my original title for this unique artistry....

Photo from Minneapolis Institute of Art 

Indeed, I must give credit to the article here which I found through Quipsologies here. (It's not called a web for nothin', folks.) The article explains how this artist planted (pun intended) his art in the middle of a field. Pretty dang spectacular, if you ask moi.

Here's a video of crop artist, Stan Herd,  explaining his project, Van Gogh's "Olive Trees,"  funded by the Minneapolis Institute of Art. The field was chosen for its location near the airport, camera-ready to departing and visiting travelers from the air.

Stan Herd, Of Us and Art: The 100 Videos Project, Episode 30 from Minneapolis Institute of Art on Vimeo.

This art institute is involved in several other quite unique projects you may enjoy as well:


October 9, 2015

Henning Mankell

As when any favorite author or artist dies, the recent death of Swedish author Henning Mankell saddened me.

Drawn from a photo on back cover of one of his books, 1998. 
Drawn from a video of a recent interview.
I drew on painted paper and regret the rather
ghoulish spots on Mr. Mankell's face. 

Probably is was the Steig Larsson trifecta that got me enthused about translated mysteries, but it was Henning Mankell's Kurt Wallender series that hooked me for good. Quite by accident, my first read was also the first in the Wallander series, Faceless Killers...and maybe that I read it while in Paris helped increased my  enjoyment with good memories attached. Or that the BBC series on PBS began about the same time. No matter,  I had to read them all. And then I sought out other translated mysteries and found so many more authors: Karin Fossum, Karin Alvtegen, Jo Nesbo, Ake Edwardson, Arnaldur Indridason, Jorn Lier Horst, Camilla Lackberg, Juddi Adler-Olsen, Häkan Nesser, to name a few. And, though written in English, Donna Leon's Venice mysteries always satisfy.

And, in case you are a nut like me, did you know that you can get uncut versions of the Swedish Steig Larssen series? Because they are subtitled, you have to pay attention but it's a great rainy night diversion, and the uncut versions have many more details from the book. And if you are a Kurt Wallander fan, Netflix and Hulu stream a Swedish subtitled series. Just sayin'. 

October 7, 2015

September 13, 2015

A bit of soapbox and a lot of gorgeous lettering

I am subbing in a 6th grade classroom for awhile, so trying to keep my head afloat in my art life. And gym life. And blog life. And personal life.

Teaching is all-consuming, even at the subbing level; so many things to put into place to start a classroom on a good track. I suspect I am preaching to the choir  here, but don't ever, ever fall for the line that teaching is an easy way to make some money, the 3-month vacation storyline included. I have learned to dismiss without argument those people who spout that falsehood. I know for a fact they have not spent a week or a month or a year in an elementary classroom either as a teacher, para-educator, or volunteer. Or they have no teacher who lives under the same roof. They can't have. The only thing that could change that tune would be to take on the job in any of those roles themselves. Even worse - those in power who speak in glowing terms of teachers as heroes and education as the motor that moves our democracy, but refuse to fund at the level that makes a difference, argue that classroom size has no effect, and establish the latest and greatest systems that require teacher buy-in, set up teachers to take the blame for failure of the systems to work, ignore solid research and teacher input, and change at the next whim of politics.

Off my soapbox.  Thank you to my friend Claudia for sending me over to this lettering artist. Beautiful calligraphy. Enjoy.


September 1, 2015

Ode to the Powerless

Between studio clean-up, out-of-town guests, and a last-minute commitment to sub for an indeterminate length, I've not been able to draw, paint, mix my media, create, ponder, read, save the world or blog. So I've pulled out a poem I wrote and included in our 2007 Christmas cards to explain why we sent no cards the previous and infamous December 2006. I was reminded of this because our area still has  several hundred homes without power from serious winds last weekend. We here at 624 were gratefully not one of those affected this time. But we have already paid our dues. Our days of Powerlessness numbered TEN. as explained here:

On fourteen Dec two thousand six
We 3 Molines got in a fix                                         *Bob, Wrigley the Cat, Diane
From winds and rain so fierce and strong
That Northwest WAh had to get along
For days that numbered two...three...four...
The Northwest day, (eight hours, no more),
No heat, no phone, no "You've got mail."
For most, after 4 days, ended the tale.                      Power returned for all but 100 customers.
Not for THIS cold house at six two four.
Day six...the patience wore
As neighbors lit their homes again
Day eight...still dark and when
We finally left for Illinois white
On 22 Dec in the dead of night                                 Actually, 4:00 pm but may as well have been
We were one of a hundred
Without heat and light
So that's the story behind the fact
And why your mailbox last year lacked
Our greetings and wishes for holiday cheer
A Merry Christmas and Happy New  Year.
But here's our wish for peace, felicity,
Love, and joy, and electricity.                                  
Power returned to the last 100 homes on Dec. 23 as we discovered when we "called Wrigley" from Illinois and, well, he didn't answer, probably under covers deep, but our answering machine had the juice to answer!

Wrigley spent much of the time  under the blankets


August 25, 2015

You must see...

this man's sidewalk art.

David Zinn

 His name is David Zinn. Check out all the tabs at the top of his art,  Sluggo, all of it!  You will thank me. Trust me on this one.


August 23, 2015

This is my friend, Claire....

...who creates the most lovely watercolor travel journals, photo books, and artistically-rendered class notes.

They are for the most part, in style, the exact opposite of my own. So I love to travel with her via these delicate watercolor images, surrounded by serene white space and lettered masterfully. I asked her to share a few pages from her recent travel to Paris which she graciously has done.

Claire Russell

Claire Russell

Claire Russell

Claire Russell
Handcrafted front to back, Claire Russell

We have a mutual love of travel and other sketchbooks and journals and probably would win prizes for our collections of them. Both of us find obscure titles and proudly share them with each other, as well as the other new artful goodies we have found. At our last lunch, she showed me this accordion photo book she created. Her work is immaculate - another trait I admire but pretty much lack in my own style.

Her name is Claire Russell. You won't find her on a blog or web site, because she doesn't have one! I am working on that...trying to convince her to do it!  But you can find some other work she has done on Molly Hashimoto's site here.
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