Wednesday, December 5, 2007

#25 Draw a Glass

Glass is really difficult. so I don't do it that often. There are so many shades of gray. The thing I really love about glass, though, is all the reflections and the way that lines are skewed and travel from thin to fat. The way the surface that the glass is sitting on becomes broken up and moved around like one of Picasso's cubist images. There are amazing shapes in glass, but I find it hard to slow my eyes down when I am doing glass. For this reason I allotted myself 10 minutes for this sketch and no more. I'd like to do more glass and do it well... it's on the list! 2B pencil in my small moleskine. This marks the halfway point in my sketchbook.

Days 7 thru 10

I am becoming more familiar with noses. Almost to the point where I can do them from memory. Practice makes perfect after all. My kids are wonderful models. They will do anything I ask them to. Dave sat with his head tilted back for a good five minutes while I sketched the upward angle. I'm trying to sketch the negative space instead, but sometimes it's hard. I really want to draw a line instead of shade the background, but I can feel I'm becoming more confident. I can't scan these every day as we are way too busy here, so I will be scanning and posting every few days. My oldest son will be graduating in the spring, so we are working hard to make sure he has all his ducks in a row. I'm so proud of him! 2B Pencil in small moleskine.

Doodlin' Fool

More doodles, not much else to say about it except that they are fun.

Friday, November 30, 2007

More noses

Since I didn't post anything yesterday because I was not feeling very well, here's two. One is my youngest son David and the other is my older son Ian's nose. My kids are great. They have been my models since they were babies and I've never heard them complain. Thanks, guys, for helping me out!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

#40--Draw Something With Folds

This is one of my many scrunchies that are all over my house. I have them on the shifter of my car because I like to drive with the windows down and I usually leave the house without one. I pull my hair up a lot depending on what I am doing around the house. But, my husband loves it so I will not cut it. Yet. I thought about doing this in colored pencil because the color is a really nice shade of magenta. But, Teri's goose really got me thinking about plain old graphite, my standby, so here it is. 2B pencil in my small moleskine.

Another Nose

This is Day 4 and this time I drew my youngest son's nose because it's just so cute. I can't say that to him since he is 15 and a mom just isn't supposed to say stuff like that! Anyway, a couple of things I noticed that I have observed before: children's nostrils are not as defined as an adult's. This makes it a challenge to define where the nose ends and the cheeks begin totally by tonal values. No lines here. Tomorrow I will have him sit for me so I do a side view. And when my husband returns, it will be fun to do his nose and he has a great nose! The other thing is that tip of the nose doesn't protrude as much as an adult nose does. Just some observations. 2B pencil in small moleskine.


This is from so very long ago, but I'm catching up so here it is. I was doing this from out of my head and without the benefit of a model, as you can see by the foot that's searching for the rung. Could've been better if I'd had a model, but I decided to work outside of my comfort zone, so here it is. Not too shabby.

More Noses

Here's Day 3. All 3 of these noses have been mine. Kind of hard to do anything other than straight forward. But, tonight at least one of my sons will be available to pose for me. After I'm done with them doing the straight, left, right, up and down poses I guess we'll have to resort to the pushed up against the window pose and the wrap the head with duct tape pose to make things bit more exciting. lol!

More Doodling

Here are more doodles I did yesterday from the Keys to Drawing With Imagination Book. I started getting pretty goofy with them so I thought it was time to quit.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

#17 Draw a Musical Instrument

This is a drawing of my son's electric bass leaning against my piano. You don't know how hard it was for me stop here at a line drawing! There were beautiful shadows and highlights on the neck and bottom of the bass and I was so tempted to go ahead and do a full blown finished drawing, but I held back. These are sketches. If I want a finished drawing, I can go back and do that later. 2B pencil in my small moleskine.

Nose Study

I was over at my friend Penny's house on Sunday for some drawing time and we got to talking and looking at artist's sites and painting videos. Inspired by Anita Davies, we are going to do 30 days of nose studies. I admire Anita's dedication and enthusiasm for her work and enjoy perusing her blogs and following her progress. Seeing her works is very motivating for me and I often wonder if I hadn't gone to art school, would I still feel the enthusiasm for drawing that I use to? Don't get me wrong, I learned immensely from my instructors! Especially Dave Leese who I admire greatly. The one thing I remember about Mr. Leese was that he was a very artistic person in soul. He lived artistically, if that makes sense. Robert Buchanan fueled my obsession with photo-realism. I could not paint to save my life, and I exasperated him and in turn he made me cry (I can laugh about that now!), but I was determined to "paint" with my pencils. Curtis Doll was a huge influence on my drawings also and I learned a lot from the critiques he held. So, I'm not discounting my education. But, art school tends to put many rules and restrictions on a young artist. I've broken some of those rules as in my portrait of the old man, but I look at Anita's work as see how free and vibrant it is. I also see where going back to basics for me is going to be beneficial. So, for 30 days (!) Penny and I are taking our cue from Anita and doing nose studies. And during this time I hope to manage my time better which is a huge hurdle for me. But, I've set goals for catching up on the challenges, doing the exercises in Keys to Drawing With Imagination and catching up on the IF challenges. Lofty goals for me, yes. But, time management and limited exposure to technology are my stepping stones. A big thanks to Anita for all the inspiration she gives me without even knowing it, and for inviting us into her studio to see her growth and her beautiful works. I'm grateful to the folks at EDM for all their support and encouragement as always. Hope this wasn't way too sappy! And now in the name of "time management" I am off to do some art! 2B pencil in my small moleskine.

Keys to Drawing With Imagination

I had also started to read the book Keys to Drawing With Imagination and was really enjoying it. I did these four exercises before I let myself become distracted by other things in my life. I swear, if they tested me now, they would probably say I'm ADD. The inside of my brain is a messy, cluttered desk. But, I've redoubled my efforts to work my way through this book because I think it will be beneficial to me and I'm happy when I'm doing the exercises. Doing these exercises brought back some memories for me. When I was in elementary school, I distinctly remember my friends and I doodling like this. We would make words using block letters and then fill them in using those undulating lines. So, one of the doodles I did was of the word love. We would put these on our book covers and use a pen that had 4 different colored inks in it and each line would be a different color. Amazing what you can remember as you're drawing! Micron pens in my small moleskine.

#108 Draw a Lightbulb

I drew this months ago and am now just getting around to posting it. I'm not happy with it. It's ugly, but I don't want to do it over again. Maybe at some point I will, but right now I'm just fulfilling a promise to myself to work through the challenges. 2B pencil in my small moleskine.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Chinese Leather Brush Painting

The woman who I did these for sent me a personality description for her kids and I used characters that met those traits. Catie is strong and very peace loving, so I used the pandas and bamboo for her. Anything can be done with names!
This is something I've been working on for about a month now. Leather Brush painting comes from Chinese calligraphy. In ancient times people thought it was good luck to have their name painted. They were given at special events and occasions such as birthdays. It evolved into using symbols to make up the letters, each standing for a trait. Bamboo trees signified strength. Phoenixes stood for birth, and swans show gentleness and kindness. Dolphins are a purely American innovation. They didn't appear until the art showed up in the states. I first saw it at Busch Gardens when we went there a couple of months ago. I have a friend who is teaching my oldest son Japanese in exchange for me teaching her daughter art. We were walking along and passed a shop where they had a group of artists doing these paintings. My friend said her daughter wanted to learn how to do them. I went in and took a look around and thought, how hard could it be? lol! That was an understatement! I came home and searched the net to no avail. This must be the best kept secret. I ran across employment listings for the amusement parks looking for artists, but I couldn't find anywhere to learn it or for supplies. Finally, after looking around on WC, I found someone else who had been looking for the same info and someone had posted a couple of links. I got a kit, complete with books showing the technique and let me tell you, it takes some time to get it down. I'm still working on it. There is an event every year in our town called the ArtStock Studio Tour. The artists put out red balloons and maps are given out to people so they can find the studios, and all weekend long the artists work and people come to see them and sometimes buy a piece of work. I was sitting at a friend's coffee shop just playing with my new art form and people kept asking me if I could do their names. I had just gotten the kit 2 days before and I sadly had to tell them I wasn't ready yet. So, I'm not completely there yet, I still have a long way to go in perfecting these skills, but tomorrow I'm going to my friend's coffee shop again (at her suggestion) and we'll see if anyone wants their name painted. It's actually kind of fun. Can be done pretty quickly and with the holidays coming up, I thought they might make fun gifts. lol! Let me know what y'all think about this. I've mostly been doing individual letters, but I've been practicing with my oldest son's name because it's short. I can finally get the letters uniform in height and they don't slant upwards to the right anymore.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Heartwrenching Good-byes

No art yet. I have some to post, just haven't gotten around to it because I have a project in the making that is taking all my time. And it's crunch time for my oldest son as he graduates in the spring. And since we homeschool, I'm in it just as much as he is. But, that's not what this post is about. I try to keep this blog for my art only, but I witnessed something today that ripped my heart out and I will be doing a drawing to capture what I saw. And so I never forget it. My husband and I and our oldest son went to the airport to pick up my husband's brother who was flying in from Wisconsin. It's guy weekend and a bunch of them are heading for the shore to go tuna fishing. We were early, so we sat down to wait and I love to people watch. I saw them as we were walking through the terminal but I didn't think anything about them at the time except that they were a family traveling. I did get the vibe that they were very sad. I'm very intuitive like that. A few minutes after we sat down they came walking up. A man, his wife and their daughter. The young girl was maybe 12 or 13. As soon as I saw them, I knew. He had close cropped hair and he was stocky. Probably late 20s or early 30s. Strapping young man. I could see his wife was anguished. He kissed her and held her for a long time. They said their I love yous and said good-bye. The little girl was trying really hard to hold back her tears, but when her daddy turned to her and wrapped her in his arms, she broke down completely, sobbing into his chest. It was heart wrenching to watch and I'm tearing up just writing about it. He held her for a long time, telling her he loved her and I couldn't hear what else he was saying to her. But, you could see it was tearing him apart to leave his family behind. He got her calmed down and they said good-bye and he walked into the security area and they turned and walked away down the terminal. I couldn't take my eyes off the little girl. She was wiping her tears with the sleeve of her jacket and her mom was walking with her arm around her. I could see her lean over and talk to her as they walked. I had been especially happy this week as my husband is home and may be taking a job locally which means he will be home more. I know how hard it was on us when he first began traveling for business. But, my husband comes home every weekend. Now I was sad for them because I knew that little girl would be worrying every day about wether her dad would be coming home alive. And it just reinforced my opinion that this war is just plain wrong. Families are being torn apart; fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters being killed for something I (and a lot of other people, too!) don't believe is a just war. It should have never happened. My heart aches for this family and all the other families that I haven't seen that go through this dance every day. I will hope for the end to this war and for them to bring our boys and young women home to their families. Kids should not have to worry about losing their parents. Maybe our president should have to witness a scene like I did today.

Friday, September 21, 2007

What's Yer Pirate Name?

My pirate name is:

Mad Charity Flint

Every pirate is a little bit crazy. You, though, are more than just a little bit. Like the rock flint, you're hard and sharp. But, also like flint, you're easily chipped, and sparky. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from
part of the network

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

9/11 Tribute

I did this right after 9/11 happened, thinking of all the kids that were left without a parent or other family member. Every year on this anniversary I want to include 9/11 in our homeschooling, but I can't. I can't watch the documentaries that have been made about it, or the news reports from that day because it hurts too much. All those innocent people who went to work one day and had their lives end there. Where the plane went down in Pennsylvania is not far from my hometown and I've been there several times. A senseless and horrific tragedy. Instead of focussing on the cowardly terrorists who brought this day about, I wanted to focus on the children.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

IF Missing

I may get bored with the EDM weekly challenges, but the Illustration Friday projects really challenge me, because coming up with an idea from one word is, simply put, challenging. As soon as I saw the theme for the week I immediately knew what I was going to do. This drawing could be interpreted in many ways, but I'd love to hear what you all see when you look at it. A big interest of mine is child abuse and stopping it. I was abused as a child, and I took some very drastic measures to insure that it would never happen to my kids. When I lived in PA, the one way I found I could help was to support a Crisis Nursery for children who were at risk of being abused or neglected. If a parent was so stressed out and they needed a break, they could drop their child off, no questions asked, and pick them up later after they had calmed down. I don't know how many lives the Lehman Center saved, but I do know the people working there were caring and supportive people, not only to the children, but to the parents as well. Intervention and anonymous support for stressed out parents and art therapy for the children. Every year they hold an art auction to raise money for the shelter and I would donate a piece of my art. When I drew this picture, I was thinking how a child would feel if they were missing love. Or encouragement. Or the simple things that each one of us needs to survive; food, shelter and clothing. Maybe something as simple as someone looking at them when they are talking so that they know they are being heard. IF you have kids, give them a hug and tell them you love them, every day, no matter what, no matter how old they are. My kids are teenagers and I make sure they hear it every day.

EDM #7 Draw a Jar

I finally completed another challenge. And these are challenges to me. I always go into it excited, but I quickly become bored. That's what happened here and that's why it looks a little wonky. I did it in my small moleskine with a 2B pencil. Good thing it was sitting on the drawing table for so long, otherwise I would've felt compelled to draw all the condensation on the glass! I think the reason I am bored is because my motivation is back and there are other things I'm working on. So, I probably won't be pushing myself to do the challenges as often, but I'd still like to do them, because after all that's how I got my motivation back in the first place.

New Iris

Here is my newest iris done completely in pencil. I had to do it in pencil because that's what I'm most comfortable with. This was done on a scrap piece of matboard from sketches I had done in the spring. I used photos for some of the details. 4 x 4.5 inches, 2B pencil.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

You Are 94% Creative

You are an incredibly creative person. For you, there are no bounds or limits to your creativity.
Your next creation could be something very great... Or at least very cool!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

7 of 7

In keeping with the Mustang theme, I've also done the gas cap to one. I used to collect these when I was young and dumb. It was the closest I could get. Pretty pathetic, but, back then we were poor and you took what you could get. 2B pencil in my small moleskine.

Six of 7

Most of you don't know this about me, but when I was a teenager growing up in the seventies, I wanted a Mustang. Not just any Mustang, either. My dad told me he would buy me a car for my 16th birthday, but it would not be a Mustang. He would buy me a Volkswagon Bug. !!! No way! Young and stupid you are, Yoda would say. If I had been smart, I would've taken my dad up on his offer, and then after a year, sold the Bug and bought my Rat, but this is what growing up is all about, right? I grew up surrounded by cousins who were mostly male, and I was quite the tomboy. I could play basketball and beat any of them one on one. I was the only girl they allowed to play baseball with them. And of the many names I was called, Camhead was one of them. My dad knew me too well. He wanted me to have something that I couldn't wrap around a phone pole. Needless to say, I never did get my Mustang. Until now. My husband is doing well in his business and he's decided that I should have my Mustang. So, I am on the look-out, but I have very specific specs. My dream car is a 1967 Mustang with a 351 Cleveland engine and that's just the beginning. Too many extras to list here. Dark blue paint. To be christened the Mad Rat II in honor of a guy in my hometown who had the baddest Mustang around. And no, my kids won't be allowed to drive it, because I know what I was like. Now that I'm older, I realize just how smart my dad was. Can you read the plate? 2B pencil in small moleskine.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Greed, Lies & Corruption

I am not given to doing politically charged artwork or even controversial subjects, but the other day while driving I got this idea. I don't think it needs any elaboration. I'm not trying to get any discussion going on the subject either. It's just my opinion.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Day 4 of 7

Last night my husband and I drove to Cary to check out a table tennis group that meets there. My husband works all the time and is looking for something to get him out and meet people and get a little exercise. He used to play in college and really enjoyed it. So, off we went and I took my sketchbook along. It is really difficult to draw people in motion, but even more so when people are playing ping pong. I did notice that all my faces, though of men, were coming out quite feminine looking. I would get the faces mostly done and then they would change partners. I just kept at it trying to get the limbs to look natural, but they were moving too fast for me to draw accurately. Then, I got bored and drew my foot and a window and then drew some people in the bleachers across from me. They were a bit easier because they weren't moving so fast. All in all I think it was great exercise and I will continue to sketch moving figures because I learned a lot about the body and how it moves. I am now one quarter of the way through my moleskine. 2B pencil in small moleskine.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Diggin' Up Up Holes, Dig it!

When my kids were younger, they really enjoyed the movie Holes, and the book of the same name. Every once in a while they will still listen to the music, too. This was done while my oldest son, Ian, was doing some yard work for me. The shovel across his shoulders reminded me of the movie and I said something to him about it. He grinned and suggested I sketch him. So, I did! I am not completely happy with it for a few reasons. Number one was I was working so small, and usually when doing figures, I work a lot larger. I didn't realize just how hard it is to work so small on the human figure. Secondly, I think his head is too small. It was around noon, so I have good shadows on the shoulders and arms, but not on the rest of the body. It was hot out when I tried to do this, so that figured in with my discomfiture. I feel like I didn't have enough time to really work on the shadows, so I outlined them which I don't normally do, then when I actually tried to shade them, the lines worked against me. The figure itself is too big for the page. I have had this idea for a drawing for a long time now. I may use this sketch as a guide and do that drawing now. I would like to use a large piece of paper, place the figure in the upper left corner with the outstretched arm running along the top of the paper so that there is negative space to the right and underneath the figure. There would be no background except for the cast shadow under his feet. I will need to wait for the sun to be in a different position, tho, so the shadows on his body will be better defined. I think I like studio work for the figure better because you have more control over your light source. I am happy with my progress on the hands, tho. Me and hands (and feet!) have a love/hate relationship. But, even though these hands still need work to look natural and relaxed, they are probably the best hands I have ever done. 2B pencil in small moleskine.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Day 2 of 7

Ok, this is day 2 and I've succeeded in actually following through. This is my front porch, drawn from my favorite chair at the end of it. This took longer than I thought it would. All those lines and I screwed up the perspective in places, but it's ok. It's just a sketch after all. I didn't put in the plant stand at the the far end with all the plants on it, because after fussing with the porch lines, I just wanted to get it done! lol! You can't see our neighbor's house in the summer time, it's wonderful. So many trees and shrubs. Feels like we're the only ones here during the day when everyone else has gone off to work. And I have at least 6 windchimes hanging on the porch. All have a different tone and the one is a huge bamboo chime that I really love to hear when the wind blows. If I ever get my studio built I will call it Windchime Studio. Hope you like this. 4 x 6 inches. Pencil in my small moleskine. 3 hours.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

7 & 7 ?

I was inspired by Anita Davies to do a 7 day mini challenge. I think I need it. I did not participate in the EDiM challenge because I do know my limitations and I knew that 31 days would be too much of a challenge with my full schedule. But, I thought 7 days might be workable. It's summer, and even though we will be doing schoolwork straight through, there is no pressure to have anything done on time. So, in an effort to improve my time management, I have decided to do seven sketches in seven days. So, here is my first, done last night. It is my youngest son playing a favorite video game. Video games are a thorn in my side. It was my husband years ago who bought the first game system for the kids against my better wishes. If I did not nag, encourage and push, my kids would do nothing but watch tv, play video games, and chat with friends on the Freelancer forums all day. So, we have a simple kitchen timer in our house that we live by. They get 1 hour of video game play per day, and only after all schoolwork and chores are done. They also have a half hour time limit when they are on the computer, and they cannot go straight from the computer to the tv. The hope being they will get interested in something else instead of being stimulated by technology all the time. So, this was also a timed sketch for me as Dave only had about 15 minutes left on his timer when I started to sketch him. I'm happy with how it turned out. It does look like him, and if the hands hadn't been in the crease, they would have looked pretty good, too. 2B pencil in moleskine.

Black & White Savannah Iris

This is another in my iris series. It's not how I envisioned it, but it's been about 20 years since I did any pen work. Tell me what you think about the black and white balance, cross-hatching, and how do you know how much pen to use and how much is too much? 4 X 4 inches, Micron pen on Bristol board.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


I'd like to thank everyone who voted for me in the Best of Artists contest. The voting was closed on the last day of May. I did not win, but I am not sad because of all the wonderful comments from people regarding my work. Congratulations to Mike of EDM fame who won first place! Many wishes for success to Mike and his career.

Thank you also to everyone who visits here each week leaving kind words and encouraging messages. You are very much appreciated.

Iris Bloom

This is a Savannah Iris from my garden. This is the bud that I had sketched so long ago. I took someone's suggestion of using matboard to do colored pencils on and I did like it. I loved the way to pencils took to the matboard, very smooth and mixing on it was easy. The only problem I had was, and I thought I had a piece that was pretty smooth, there were horizontal ridges running through the matboard. And in some places the colored pencil really built up on a ridge and then it was really difficult to smooth it out. You can see where that happened in the drawing. The little swatches of color were my attempt to find the perfect color for the very center of the iris. I worked from both sketches and photos that I had taken. Sketches for the overall drawing and photos for the color. I loved that luminous color of red and was having trouble finding the right colors to capture it. Turned out all I had to do was put hot pink under pale and red vermillion and crimson lake and there it was. I also applied the old standby of using complimentary colors for my darks and shadows. I'm very happy with how this turned out and will continue to experiment with papers and media. This piece is a housewarming gift for friends of ours that just bought their first house. Savannah Iris, 4 X 4 inches Prismacolor and Verithin pencils on matboard.

The drawing on the right side is the updated one after my friend J from art school critiqued it for me. She is so wonderful with color and really understands it. She worked hard at learning so I am very grateful for her thoughts and advice on this piece. Below is her critique if you'd like to read what she wrote to me.

I'm pretty impressed with the Savannah Iris! I think that your choice of colors was right on. The detail that you always achieve is remarkable. These are my suggestions:
When I squint, the values or tones are pretty similar. Shadowed areas don't recede like they could. This would really POP the highlights more. Get more of that background depth and color into the foreground shadows. Not everywhere mind you, but just a bit more. Here and there. I like that you are using the tertiary group green, orangeyyellow and violet. One of the more interesting groups and easiest to work with! One other thing, get more interest into your background. I like the colors that you used to create the overall background color, but suggest a little more rawness in the process. Let me see a little more of the individaul colors used. Think of an unfocused photogragh background. Suggestive imagery; shadowy, blurry . You've done it with some of your other pencil drawings. Photographers call it bokeh.
Fear not! I'm glad that you are working with no expectations of great masterpieces. You'll learn and grow soooo much more. It always took the burden off my shoulders. I think working as a designer for so many years got me used to doing things over and over and over again. I was given ALOT of criticism and I learned a great deal from it all.

Monday, May 21, 2007

What's in YOUR wallet?

I started this drawing more than a month ago, and I just couldn't bering myself to finish it. I wanted a finished drawing because at the time, others were posting finished work and I felt compelled to do the same, but what happened was I found myself bored with the subject. And because of my personal rule about finishing what I've started before going on to something else, I inadvertently paralyzed myself. I couldn't finish this one, therefore I couldn't move on. So, I decided to just not finish it and a huge burden lifted from my shoulders. Now I am free to draw what I really want to, my iris'! This isn't a very good scan. In order to make the file small enough to be manageable, I lost some detail. The original really does look pretty good.

Monday, May 14, 2007

I'm it!

I've been tagged by Anita of Art by Anita fame. I'm supposed to list 7 things about myself that no one knows about me. Hmmmm, this was hard for me to do, but I think I've succeeded. So following is a list of things about myself, followed by the 7 other blogs that I've tagged. :-) This is too much fun! Thanks, Anita, for tagging me and allowing me to play.

1. I have a habit of twisting my hair. I hate it, but it is a compulsion that I cannot stop. My mom did it, and my brother, too, so it must be genetic. My dad told me the story that when I was a baby, before I had hair, I would lay in the bassinette and twirl my finger next to my head like people do when they motion that someone is crazy. My oldest son does not do it, but my youngest does. We fortunately do not do this in public, only at home where everyone loves us and accepts us with all our eccentricities.

2. I have a small scar above my left eye in my eyebrow where my cousin hit me with a rock when we were young and dumb. We were bored one day at the bold age of 8 and decided a rock battle would be a good idea. I needed 3 stitches to close the skin.

3. When my then boyfriend and I decided to get married 21 years ago this August, the priest from our Catholic church refused to come to my parent's house to marry us, even though I had gone there all my life, been baptized and took first communion and been confirmed there also. (Since then I have refused to go to their house to worship ) My dream had always been an outside wedding in the garden. My dad, always prepared, had a back-up plan and invited a very good friend of his to perform the ceremony. The friend was a wonderful man that looked as old as the earth he walked upon. He was a Baptist minister and ours was only the second wedding he had ever presided over. He was very nervous and ended up marrying me to Bil twice, but never married Bil to me! So, it's a running joke within our families that we are living in sin. And since we are not considered married in the eyes of the Catholic church anyway, it's an even bigger hoot. But, both PA and NC are common-law states, so he's stuck with me. *smile*

4. I love snakes. I think all reptiles are beautiful. I've passed this love of reptiles on to my sons who now volunteer at a local science center and are educating children on the benefits of reptiles in the environment and teaching them not fear, but to respect snakes. We are also a cat loving family!

5. When I was in elementary school I took ballet. Quitting is one of the few regrets I have of my life. I resigned the year I was supposed to get my pointe shoes. I also took classical piano lessons for 10 years as a child and recently I bought a piano and am now getting familiar with it all over again.

6. My maternal great grandmother was a full blood Black Foot Indian. There was also Indian blood on my father's side of the family, but when my brother was trying to get information from relatives to trace our genealogy, the old timers were too embarrassed and would not talk about the subject. Clammed up tight. We kids thought it was the coolest thing to have Indian blood. My 3 cousins, who I spend a large amount of time with, were of Italian decent on their father's side, but they told everyone they were Indian and they looked the part with their dark skin and long black hair. My other decendants were primarily Irish and Scottish, so I always have an internal struggle going on about my background even though I refer to myself as an American, not a hypennated one. Our family has been here much too long for that. My first relative immigrated to the US in 1781. They were a farming family.

7. I am a huge procrastinator which is why there hasn't been any new art posted to my blog lately. lol!

Here are the blogs that I've tagged:

Parson's Daughter Studio
Painted Daisies
Fire Star Arts
Painted Cats
A Creative Journey

If anyone's been tagged before this, let me know and I'll make adjustments.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Three of my pieces were accepted into an online exhibition at This is fun and exciting. I actually entered one of their shows a couple of years ago (2005) and made it into a book that they publish. If I can win the first place People's Choice Award, that would really make it exciting! People that visit the web site of Kennedy Promotions can vote for their favorite artist. Whoever has the most votes wins the grand prize of having their artwork published in a 32 page full color book. The ongoing books that they publish are the Best of Artist book for each state. So, supporting the web site because Rene Kennedy supports artists is a good idea in and of itself. She is working to get artists the exposure they need. You can see my work at this link. I am the sixth entry from the top. You can vote there, too. Once a day, every day until voting ends at the end of May. A friend put the link to the voting on her desktop so she can vote and won't forget. You can only vote once a day because they track the IP addresses for the computers. Thank you to those who vote for me because your support is very much appreciated!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Sad day

Today is a very sad day and I was going to draw tonight but can't find it in my heart to do so. When my husband told me about the shootings on the VA Tech campus this morning, my heart went cold. And then I got mad. I'm so sick of the miserable people who populate this world that think they are justified in killing innocent people and making other families miserable, too. I believe that life is the most precious thing we have and it sickens me that there are others who do not share this belief. I am not religious in the way that some people go to church and pray or practice any number of religions. I was born Catholic, but I do not practice the faith. I am spiritual, but my church is the mountains and streams and remote areas where the animals are free to hunt and wander without human intervention. I am most comfortable in that setting. I would never take another's life because I was in so much pain or filled with so much rage. And I have been both. Other people have set out to hurt me maliciously, and even though I have been angry, I have never once thought of killing them. Revenge yes, but not murder. I have also been the target for people who are so miserable that they are not happy unless everyone around them is miserable, too. I have no tolerance for these people. They are not victims, they are just people who refuse to take the steps to change their miserable lives into something better. There has to be a special hell for people like this to spend eternity in. I feel so sad for the families of the students killed, they will have so many questions and a long road ahead of them with no closure. I homeschool my kids. In the beginning I did it because of the lack of academic quality in the public schools where we lived. Then I did it because I just love spending time with my kids. I never chose to do it out of fear, but I felt grateful for the opportunity to homeschool and keep my children safe every time I heard about a shooting at a school. I felt thankful that my kids weren't harmed. Now, my children are nearing college age and I have something new to fear. What would those innocent young adults have contributed to society had they lived? We will never know because some selfish, self-centered, miserable excuse for a human being ended their lives needlessly. Some things should not be forgiven. Some of these familes will forgive this guy so that they can move on with their lives. I will not begrudge them that. They have to do what they need to to get through this traumatic time in their lives. But, that's not in my personality. I will spit on his grave and hope hell is too hot for his sorry ass. I don't care what prompted this, what his reasons were, because there is no excuse for what he did. There will be experts trying to justify what he did in this politically correct climate, but I say he was wrong, plain and simple. And then there will be the gun control advocates screaming for more laws. Well, when they start enforcing the ones they have now, we can talk about new ones. The fact remains that if the guy didn't have guns, he would've used something else. A knife, a machete (Red Lion, PA), a bomb. The real issue here is that he WANTED to kill. Keeping guns away from everyone, even responsible owners is not the answer. And the liberal left is going to have to accept that other people live differently from them and that maybe hunting is not for them, but for some people it is a way to put food on the table. The answer is raising up our children to be personally responsible for their actions.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Iris buds

I haven't been sketching the iris' because they didn't seem to be doing much. Then I came back from vacation to find buds! So, I decided this time I'd sketch them in colored pencil, and I don't know what happened. They haven't turned out the way I saw them in my head. If anyone has any advice for me, please don't hesitate to tell me. I've never considered myself good with color, and this is my first time at trying plants. It's a pretty bad scan, too, but you can get an idea of what I'm talking about. Off to check the blogs of others and comment. Cya.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Vacation Sketches

Last week we went on a much needed vacation to Topsail Beach, NC. We haven't had a vacation in 10 years, so this was special. We found a house, for all intents and purposes, beach front. There was actually a road between us and the sea wall, but I'm not complaining. The house was beautiful, the price was right. I haven't been everywhere, but of the places I have been, I think NC has the most beautiful beaches. Topsail Island is pretty much a family area, so there were no spring breakers to keep me up at night. I got there, took out my sketch stuff and realized I had left my pastel paper at home. Heavy drears! But, I had my pencils with me, so voila! It's very difficult to sketch with the wind blowing around, so I did the best I could. The first sketch is from the park after you cross the bridge onto the island. A really nice park with pavilions and tables and a playground for the smaller kids. This view is down the intracoastal waterway from near the bridge. The bridge which instead of raising up to let the boats through, pivots to the left. The whole operation takes less than 5 minutes and was pretty cool to watch. The scond sketch is of the clouds the greeted me one morning after we had had a tremendous wind storm the night before. And the last sketch is the view from the deck. I spent most of my time here, in a rocking chair reading. We did go on the beach, but towards the end of the week it got really cold, so I was content with the view and the sound of the waves. We watched the dolphins migrating all week. The first one I saw was so amazing because all the way up the coast he was jumping out of the water and diving. The others never jumped out of the water, but played in the waves and fed on the fish. When were in the water on the 2nd day, there was a dolphin not more than 20 feet away from us. I wanted to go out and swim with it, but the water was so cold I was only in it up to my thighs. Legs are one thing, but we all know that the only way to do it is to just dive in, and I wasn't up for that! All in all it was a wonderful week, but it's also good to be home again.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Springtime in the south

These are some pics of my yard in the springtime. The people who lived here planted all kinds of flowering shrubs and plants so it's beautiful in the spring. I'm sad, tho, because we are leaving for the beach for a much needed vacation and I'm afraid everything will be done blooming while we are away. I hope my iris' don't do anything until we get back. The first pic is a small tree and you can't tell by the picture, but the grass underneath is carpeted with little purple flowers. I'd like to do this scene in pastel, so that's why I took the pics. My son was cutting the grass yesterday and he left this part of the yard untouched so I could enjoy the violets. He's a great kid! The next 2 pics are of the backyard from our deck. I have big plans for the grove of trees. Shade shrubs and a small private sitting area with ivy and ground flowers. It will be my oasis from the world. The last pic is of a tulip tree. This is a most unusual tree and I'd love to do a pastel of it also. Happy springtime to all!

Another CL sketch

I had forgotten to draw the table! I was reading more of Danny's book and there it was, staring me in the face and I don't know how I missed it. So, I sat down to sketch one of our end tables. These tables are something to see. When we moved into this house, we were coming from a little starter home that we bought in the mid 1980s. It was only a small cape cod, but it was in a good eighborhood and it served us well. When we moved into it, we were coming from an efficiency apartment in the city and we never dreamed we'd be buying a home. But, at that time the monthly rents and mortgages were running about the same, so we thought why waste our money? Anyway, I raised two teenaged boys in that little house, but we were becoming quite crowded, so we bought this rancher that we live in now. Our old house could fit inside the great room of this house! It's only about 400 more sq. ft., but in our cape we had 3 floors and this is all one floor with a garage where I have the frame shop for now. Anyway, we got a deal on this house. It had been on the market for over a year and the man selling it was going through a divorce. Not that I'm happy about benefitting from someone else's unfortunate circumstances. He was moving into a much smaller place and was going to have to put the furniture in storage and he didn't want to do that. So, he worked out a deal with my husband for us to buy the furniture, too. Which was good, because our furniture from our tiny cape would not have looked right in this huge room. We live near the furniture market area of NC and it is everywhere. I never dreamed of owning furniture like this, at least until after my kids were grown and on their own. Boys are rough on furniture. Anyway, he sold us an entertainment center, custom made dining table and chairs, and this coffee table, end tables and a welcome table. All are solid wood, no particle board. The tables are carved with inlaid, beveled amber glass. They were the most beautiful tables I'd ever seen. So, our furniture is placed exactly like his was in the great room because I lack any creativity when it comes to interior design. This is the leg of one of the tables. It's not done well at all because even though I am sketching, it has not become a habit for me yet. I still have to force myself to complete the assignments. I was sitting on the floor with the top of the table at eye level, and as you can see, my sketch looks like I was above the table instead. Oh, well. I did it, right? That's the goal.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Meryl (Last name removed per request)

Some more sketches of Meryl Pikett who performed at Moby's Coffee Shop on Friday night. Awesome voice and great songs.