Sunday, November 21, 2010

Doll Challenge at Cloth and Clay...

A new doll challenge is brewing as part of the Cloth and Clay Doll Workshop. Voting is currently underway for the kind of challenge and the suggestions are great: Angel dolls, dolls based on nursery rhymes, anthropromorphic dolls, modest women, winter wonderland and so on.  There are many suggestions and all sound exciting.
I suggested the challenge be based on characters from children's stories.  This is the book I had in mind - wouldn't a doll based on one of the fabulous illustrations from Fern Bisel Peat be wonderful? As the images below show, some of her characters are drawn as doll-like to begin with. The doll I would make would have a cloth based with an application of paper clay and paint.  It would probably stand on a base.  Cannot wait to see whch challenge it will be.  If it is not the characters from books, I will have to find another subject. What fun !

Saturday, November 20, 2010

My Favorite Season

The end of November, just before Thanksgiving, is beautiful. The air is crisp and chilly. The sky blue and bright but silent as the loudly honking geese in their famous V-formations are long gone. The lawn is covered with Juncos, sparrows and chickadees as they sprint about grabbing seeds from the dried garden flowers. The trees are bare; their leaves all curled and folded on the ground. Their bright colors all but gone. The crunch of the leaves under my shoes is a joyous event; so familiar and welcome.
It is dusk at 4:15. Throughout the year Cardinals linger at the feeders and call. It is the same now except the Blue Jays jostle for the coveted position of last bird at the feeders. 

Late fall is the very BEST season. (But then, I say that with every season)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Home Sick on a Rainy Fall Day...

I love fall but with the change in weather everyone is getting sick.  So today I rested and in between played around with some of the features in Picassa. This was so much fun.  I hope you enjoy the results.


Monday, September 27, 2010

The Changes Fall Brings...

I love the fall. For many years my 'summer vacation' has been in the fall.  Two weeks used to explore the changes fall brings. Here is just one example.  

The pictures to the right are of the same flower. The flower on the left was taken yesterday. The one on the right was taken in late July.  I love the change in color - each has it's own unique beauty.

I also love the smell in the air, the long shadows and the coolness of the evenings.

Do you have a favorite season?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

of Jon Gnagy, Elizabeth MacCrellish and Squam...

I am aging myself by even mentioning Jon Gnagy.  If you remember him, we are most likely around the same age.  Jon Gnagy was America's first television artist with his initial broadcast airing in 1946. I watched him in the late 50s to early 60s.  Whenever he appeared on that small black and white TV screen I was transported to another world.  Completely mesmerized as he explained his step by step approach to drawing. I especially loved the way he added shadows and the ease with which he used the chalk to fill in the sky or other structure. When my father brought home the Jon Gnagy 'Learn to Draw' kit I was thrilled.  The first time I held those chalks  in my hand, 1 black, 2 shades of grey and 1 white, I knew I too could learn to draw. The kit included  sandpaper to grind the chalk and a 'stomp' to rub into the ground chalk for shading.  A few carbon pencils, a booklet and several sheets of paper rounded out the kit. My father was a tool designer and already a talented artist, but he would sit with me and talk as I drew and shaded the 'cube, ball, cone and cylinder' that are staples of the Gnagy lessons.

These are a few of the pages I did as a child of about 8 or 9. My father passed when I was 10, so for me, these examples of our collaboration are priceless.

BTW, the paper is beautifully naturally aged.
So by now you may be wondering just what it is that Jon and Elizabeth have in common? Maybe the following quotes will help.
In 'A note from Elizabeth' the introduction to 'the journal volume one'  the beautiful book about the Squam Art Workshops retreat, Elizabeth writes:
Something magical happens when creativity gets to come first, when it is encouraged and celebrated, when it is honored as one of the  best ways we can spend our time. I can't explain why this is, but I know it is to be an immutable truth.
And as thrilling as it is that people travel from such distances to experience a retreat here, I am also keenly aware of those who would love to join in, but simply cannot make the trip at this time. It matters to me that everyone gets to share in the magic.
So this journal has been specifically designed to share the beauty and spirit of Squam Art Workshops with everyone, whether you have attended or not. Our hope for this small volume is that it will accompany you on the subway, in the cab, on the train, in the airport, on holiday etc.
May it remind you of what you love and what captures your imagination, as well as introduce you to new people and ideas, but most of all, may it prove to be a good companion on your journay.

 In the introduction to Jon Gnagy's 'Learn to Draw' instruction book he wrote:
I BELIEVE that you have an unexplored talent. My conviction growns stronger every year as I find thousands of people just like you searching to express something. If you have not made a prefessional career of art I'd like to talk to you all the more.
I BELIEVE in the life of everyone there comes a time when the Art Spirit is dominant. You may have passed it when you were 5 or 7 or 11 years of age. But it will come again several times in your life when you are looking for something outside your practical everyday routine.
I BELIEVE that you have moments when you drop your cares and wish that little spark of immortality that needs nourishment from the beauty of the world around you. This universe is full of wonders that few of us see until some part of our brain and soul is reawakened, when we again become aware of 'the long reaches of peaks of our song, the rift of dawn, the reddening of the rose,' as poet Edwin Markham has so aptly put it.
THIS NEW BOOK is my contribution to you the beginner to help you awaken that hidden talent so you may fnd happiness and genuine fun in the world around you through the hobby of drawing and painting.

Both Elizabeth and Jon, each in their own way and 60 plus years apart, work to provide the tools we need to embrace the creative impulses within us. As I pack to leave for Squam I am grateful to Elizabeth for creating a environment where my days will be filled with creativity.  I also cannot help but remember the first person that provided so many simple but effective drawing lessons and for sparking my creative beginnings.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Where Did the Summer go...?

Wow - just yesterday it was June and now it is September and I am getting ready to go to Squam.

My summer was beautiful. Lots of creativity due to my art classes here. I am taking a class in oil painting and one in drawing. So much fun and great to connect with other creatives.

We have also continued work on our garden. We built a new trellis and added new plants. Here are some of our new plantings this year.
A new hydrangea
A Hummingbird moth visited the new butterfly bush
as we were planting it.

Close-up of the flocks

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Brown Betty Meets Pastel ...

I inherited a beautiful Brown Betty Teapot from my mother. It belonged to her mother. This teapot was one of my favorite household items when I was a child and is easily one of my favorite possesions; beautiful shiny dark chocolate brown with a gorgeous round design. I often pair it with Fiesta Ware pink/peach teacups and plates. A green napkin completes the setting.

This past Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in a last minute panic that comes from procastination, I grabbed Betty et al and hastily arranged the picture below. I needed to have a plan for my 7:00 p.m. art class and Betty seemed perfect. My plan was to do a quick sketch and paint it in acrylic.

My art teacher had other plans and suggested I complete a quick study using pastels. I had one hour and did not finish it but here is the result. Pastels are a brand new medium for me and I love the results.

This weekend I tried the pastels again with Brown Betty as the main subject.

If you have worked in pastels and have tips to share, I'd love to hear them.
Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

My Commute...

Like many people I work long hours and I have a long commute. The way I manage to stay awake while driving is to change my route frequently. I also love to watch the seasons change; the way the light plays in the trees and on the road. The views are beautiful no matter which route I take and I feel so very fortunate to be witness to such interesting scenery. This is one in a series of acrylic paintings on wood of my commute. This is Route 2 West in Ayer, Ma.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Spring in My Step...

Hello everyone. Did you ever have one of those days where everything just went wrong. Today was one of those days for me. As one example, I decided to have a healthy salad for lunch and ending up wearing a tomato with balsamic vinegar. I was wearing a brand new top! That's what I get for being healthy!

Now it is almost bed time and I just finished downloading pics from my digital camera. With the exception of the pesky 'no-see-ums' that zoom around my head and the high pitched screech of mosquitos, it is the perfect time to be outdoors - and I could not let one more day go by without checking in here. Hope you enjoy the pics.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Beautiful weekend...

Another beautiful weekend. The weather was perfect and we did not have to be anywhere. So we hung out at home. Of course we did some yard work but it was enjoyable. We also had visitors...some were camera shy but we caught this little fella and my favorite bird - a robin.

Here is our chipmunk friend. He watches everything we do and complains quite loudly if we get out of line.

and I cannot resist another pic of flowers.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Beautiful Spring...

After a weekend of rain, today was chilly and partly sunny early in the day but sunny and warm later in the day. The sun was very welcome. It is Patriot's Day and the 114th running of the Boston Marathon was this morning. I would think the chill in the air with a slightly overcast sky made for ideal conditions.

No work today, so by 7:00 a.m. I was checking out of the grocery store and by 8:00 a.m. I was painting. Lately, all my spare time goes into some sort of creative endeavor.

This is the beginnings of a cover for a new art journal. The tulips were drawn onto an old page out of a crumbling paperback book; gesso the page, sketch and paint. Easy peasy. I like what I have so far and will add detail over the next few days.

No pics yet of the other paintings I am working on, so I thought some spring pics might be in order.

Thanks for visiting

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I'm Baaack ...

It is hard to believe my last post was in February. Well I am back and it is spring...YAY for the flowers and longer brighter days. Not so much for all the rain and flooding. We were marooned on our street for four days a few weeks ago - no way in or out. But so far we are faring well with this last round of rain.

Here are a few pics of spring - I know some people get tired of seeing crocus - not me. I can never get enough. So if you have added pics to your blog of spring flowers let me know, I'd love to see them.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

February Storms and CED ...

Spring seemed so close - a few days ago it was warm and sunny. Since then we've had 6 inches of snow followed by non-stop rain. It's all good, but I will be so happy for spring and gardening.

In the meantime - here are a few offerings for Creative Every Day. I hope you enjoy them. I love reading your comments so please feel free to say a few words.

Happy Creating

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Spring is Coming - Isn't it?...

This morning I took this picture of my backyard from my office window. I remembered taking the same picture last spring and I thought it may be fun to compare. No filters were used - it was early morning and every picture I took has the same blue cast.

Ah, Spring Fever is Incurable!

Life After OWOH...

Like many others, my on-line life has been consumed with visiting the over 1000 blogs that participated in the One World One Heart Event. Every minute was enjoyable and full of inspiration from the beautiful work of all the lovely creative people in the world. I also want to thank the people that chose to follow my blog over the last few weeks. It is very much appreciated.

So, today is a return to my creative life. Here is my long overdue CED entry. Can you tell I am on a diet and thinking of lovely cakes and ice cream?

Below is another close of up view of the ice cream.

In response to a question, this is how I create the ice cream.
* Draw the shapes of scooped ice cream free hand on card board to use as a template.
* Use the template to trace the scooped ice cream shape onto nice sturdy paper, followed by a coat of gesso and several coats of a base color.
* While the paint is wet, Golden's Medium Gel was used to create texture. A wooden coffee stirrer was used to spread the gel in those swirls and shapes ice cream has when scooped. :-) At this point, if the paint is still wet, the gel will pick up some of the color of the paint.
* When the paint and gel are both dry, paint over the scoops again and add a bit of shadowing.
*Finally, the shapes are cut out and applied to a prepared surface using your favorite collage glue.

The cones are done in the same fashion.

Let me know if this was helpful or if you need more information.

Happy Creating

Sunday, January 31, 2010

CED - new painting

Hi Everyone - I have been very wrapped up in the OWOH event this past week and have not posted to CED. This is a painting I completed last weekend, but never posted.

I definitely need more practice and experience in painting faces but I love to paint them. I will get there. :-) I hope you enjoy it.

Monday, January 25, 2010

One World One Heart Giveaway 2010 ...

Comments are Closed and we have a winner:

bockel24 left this comment 'Oooooh, I love Derwent pencils, and I´d love to win! Please enter my name to your drawing!'. Congratulations bockel24 ! I will send an email to you shortly.

Thank you to the 437 bloggers that left comments and to Lisa Swifka for organizing this fabulous event. It was alot of fun and I loved meeting everyone.

Welcome and thank you for visiting and participating in the One World One Heart Giveaway. This giveaway begins January 25, 2010 and ends at 4:00 PM EST on February 15, 2010. I am excited to be a part of this event and hope you are having fun.

If you are unfamiliar with OWOH, click here find out more and locate other participating blogs. Thanks to Lisa from A Whimsical Bohemian for creating and keeping this event going since 2007. Every year it gets bigger and bigger.

My giveaway is a Derwent Aqua Pencil Library. The collage picture is of my personal set. Yours will arrive in an unopened box - brand new and unused. Use this link for more information about this set. I love my set and use it on a daily basis.

It could not be easier to register to win. There are only two rules: you must have a blog and you must leave a comment on this posting by 4:00 PM EST. Be sure to include your email address for me to contact you. It is that simple.

Please note: If I choose your name, you have until 4 PM EST on February 18 to contact me. Otherwise I will choose another winner.

Best Wishes !!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I scream... You scream...

I love how this came out. It is mixed media; tissue paper, watercolor paper, acrylic and watercolor paints and watercolor crayons on wood.

Better to paint ice cream than eat ice cream. Well, not better - just better for me! This is my round about way of getting to the CED theme of body for this month.

Thanks for visiting