January 31, 2016

Things I Learned This Month

Oh, jees, January is over. Seemed long, and seemed short.  Between husbands and friends, we had broken clavicle, broken fibula, torn ligament, and displaced shoulder this month. Oh dear. I am intact, I state with gratitude, although the month isn't quite over. I hardly made any art, the studio is a disorganized mess I must deal with Very Soon, I neglected my journal, didn't get to the gym much. But yet I was busy and the days go fast.  I am on a fast-moving jet stream through life.

While at Starbucks (on my way to the gym to work off the chocolate croissant I ate despite my generous rating of pastry shelf of 6 out of 10), I thought about this stuff. And I drew some favorite characters from Plants vs. Zombies. These are my go-to Plants for defeating the rudest Zombies.

So here it is: Things I learned  (or re-learned) this month:

1.  Like pounds on the body, on and off, cluttering takes minutes; de-cluttering takes days. Weeks.

2.  It is not a good idea to overestimate the sophistication of 11-year olds.

3.  Procrastination has its rewards.

4.  I should listen to TED Radio more often.  Many driveway moments.

5.  To keep a decent disposition when the month is gray and days are short, I must either 1) make art or 2) plan travel.

6.  Paying a 90 Euro toll bill Italy for a jaunt which should have cost 5 Euros is painful.

And, finally.  If I don't have the Iceberg Lettuce in my arsenal, it's tough to beat the Explorer Zombie. (Okay. I already knew that.)


January 11, 2016

Having fun.

I've started a magazine project. Have an idea for the cover of this issue...very much a draft right now, but mooo-ving along. Fun and cows pretty much. Big learning curve, but my experience with developing newsletters digital and in cut-and-paste (Plum Pudding days in the 80s, when all the ads and brochures were cut-and-paste!) is helping a bit. Trying to find the right vehicle for it that won't cost too much to keep the magazine affordable. Probably digital, too.

I think it will be fun to build. Where my web site is All Things Art, and the blog is focused on art also, the magazine will be All Things Fun.  Why not?  I'm a fan of fun when you can get it or search it out.  It will still have an art focus, I suspect, since, because of copyright issues, it will need to be
pretty much my photos and artwork. Hoping to get some permissions from fellow artists along the way, too.

Wish me luck in my endeavors. Like any good resolve, I'm putting my intentions out there to keep me focused!

One fun thing I am doing is taking Carla Sonheim's Y is for Yellow year-long online class, because, not only is she a proponent of fun (Imaginary Animals, imaginary flowers, sidewalk crack animals, fairy tales, think?), but the theme this year is alphabets!  Alphabets are my passion, one indication of which is on my book shelves where I combine my love of visually enchanting picture books with alphabet books illustrated to my cuppa tea.

If you've not tried a Carla Sonheim class, you might just want to go to her site and check 'em out.

Having some fun with A. Just a starter.


January 7, 2016

Art Surrounds You

I found a pretty amazing collection of art through the Open Culture website. It's the Street Art Project, the size and scope of which could only be handled by Google. I talk about it on the website in the (Almost)-Daily Amazing section that I posted today.

I have always loved discovering street art and public art when walking neighborhoods and far-off places. I like to draw them when I can.

I have highlighted a few intriguing ones I have found in my travels at the GALLERY tab of the web site, starting with the very apt "ART SURROUNDS YOU" sign.

and here's a few of the long list of more I may want to search out myself, such as these: 


Shepard Fairey in Berlin

Shop Til You Drop, London


and this,
Olsztyn, Poland

Paris, 13th arrondisement. On my scavenger hunt list for next trip! 

....and this, and this, and this............

January 4, 2016

More Hombre McSteez ...Just Because.

Just have to add a note to a recent Daily Amazing I posted over on the web site. It was called Aug(de)mented Reality and is now in the Archives there. I recently discovered that this artist Marty Cooper, who goes by the name Hombre McSteez on his YouTube channel - has a cities video which is short but clever, as well as several other animated videos using actual photos in the background. He draws on transparencies and does amazing and funny things with them. The alligator he draws here gets out of hand, biting chunks from their landmarks of New York, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, and the like. But aha! he solves the problem with his sketchbook...of course!  This kind of creativity just fascinates and excites me so much. Go look!

By the way, I just learned the difference between an alligator and a crocodile. An alligator you'll see later, but a crocodile you'll see after awhile. Don't tell me there's no value to Facebook besides cat videos.


January 2, 2016

Brainpickings and wanderings to begin the new year

Some of you may have caught that I love, love Brainpickings. Over at I have posted nuggets from her site, for example, here and here. I donate a little each month. in my teeny effort to support such a great place to visit each week.

Here is her post of 20 of the best articles from this year (and last year's, if you click the bottom). Have a bit of time? Savor articles like:

 Love, Lunacy, and a Life Fully Lived: Oliver Sacks, the Science of Seeing, and the Art of Being Seen

Meanwhile, over the past couple of days, I've seen  movies I have greatly enjoyed:  The Big Short and The Intern. Highly recommend both. AND, treated myself to Inside Out from OnDemand, because it seems to be on a lot of Best lists. Am I glad I did that! Wow! I LOVE that movie! The creativity, expression, concept, art, humor, and big idea - can't get enough of it. Must have it for myself to enjoy over and over.  Sorry I missed it when it came around. I was in a hole somewhere, I guess. Or maybe I was having schnozzlepopps in Bavaria. I could be excused then, don't you think?

quick pen sketches; a few  likenesses, a few not

I found a new place for coffee and general musing. The chocolate croissant with chocolate drizzle was pretty darn good, too. It's on the other side of the lake, so not handy, but I'll return next time I go to the Crest, an old, nonplex theatre that shows 2nd runs at a neat price, for those of us who missed them the first time around. Love theaters like that. No six previews with their  LOUD, ear-splitting action scenes and blasting music. You know...those. Sign of age, I guess.

Finally, Daily Amazing on the web site: Aug(de)Mented Reality. More amazing creativity. 

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