Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Great Mouser at Rest

These are some quick sketches of our cat Toby. He came to us one day 2 years ago with his mother and two siblings. Someone had dumped the mother out here in the country, possibly because she was pregnant. She showed up at our door "one dark, stormy night" meowing for food. I fed her, and off she went. I told the boys she probably had kittens, and sure enough, the next day she returned with her young. For the next couple weeks as we tried to find homes for them, it was quite chaotic with feral kittens running around the yard. The mother, whom my youngest son named Tammy, may have been domesticated, but the kittens were feral and very fearful of us. Before we went anywhere we had to check under the hood of the cars because the kittens would crawl up in the engine compartment. We would lift the hood and 3 kittens went in 3 different directions so fast it made us jump! We eventually found a home for the mama, but in the meantime 2 of the kittens disappeared. We didn't know what happened, coyotes, hawks.... so all that was left was the last little male. I fed him and sat on the porch and talked to him until he gained enough courage to walk by me, eat and then stay and play a little. My youngest son finally pleaded with his dad to let us keep him. And here he is. He is our mouser. He tore up the house last night while we were sleeping chasing a mouse and he caught it because he showed us very proudly while I was fixing breakfast. So this is the great mouser at rest after a long night of working.

Where I Get My News #107

The question was where do you get your news? Truthfully, I try not to watch, listen or read the news because I just get upset. And there's nothing I can do, so I try to limit my exposure. The news I do get is from the Times-News out of Burlington, NC. The newspaper is owned by Freedom Communications which is owned by a libertarian family. In this day of such extremes (left & right) it is hard to find a good balance and I feel the libertarian sources provide that balance. It still can't stop the murders and horrible things that happen to people, so that's why I limit myself. I know there are bad things and people in the world and that's enough for me. This wasn't really an interesting scene, so I just did a line drawing for this one. My head really wasn't in it. This is my corner of the world; the corner of the kitchen counter where my mac lives. I can see the livingroom and dining room (where my husband usually is with his laptop working), so I can see what the kids are doing on the family pc.

It was ugly here today because of the rain and grayness. So, I didn't get to sketch my bearded iris shoots. Maybe tomorrow. It's been beautiful and apparently we need the rain rather badly because I overheard some of the tv news my husband was watching last night and there were reports of wildfires across the state due to the dryness. And some of the bad news I don't like to hear: a bunch of people lost there homes (an apartment building) when some people smoking outside tossed a lit cigarette on the ground and it ignited. Sad. Hope your weekend was a good one and that your coming week is full of light and warmth and art!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Something Sour #106

I have to thank my husband for the idea for this drawing. I was going to do these candies that my kids love, Warheads, they're called. But, then my husband suggested drawing our son's face after he tasted something sour. Now, my youngest son is notorious for making faces. In almost every picture that he's ever been in, at the last moment, he pulls a face. We have group soccer pics with him in the back row with his tongue sticking out and his face all screwed up. We've had to warn him before picture taking time, and stand there and glare at him to make him behave. So, it was just natural to ask Dave to pose for me. He's the ultimate poser. I wanted to do this drawing from life, but Dave couldn't hold his face like this for long, so I snapped a pic of him. I did the drawing sitting in front of the computer and just sketching quickly so I wouldn't be tempted by the details again. I put in more than I wanted to, but I was afraid if I didn't shade it, it would look too flat. I'm happy with it! What do y'all think?

Monday, February 19, 2007

Autumn House print on Ebay

I've decided to sell some of my prints on Ebay as some other friends have chosen to do. This is the first piece I've posted. If you'd like to see it, you can find it here: or go directly to my website:

Sunday, February 18, 2007

These are my iris' busting up through the ground and it's only February! I just love the south! I'm a transplant from the north, but I've always felt my heart belonged to the south. When I was a kid, my family would travel down here to visit my brother who is 16 years older than I. I would always go back with a southern accent after only 2 weeks of hanging out with my nieces. Now I'm actually here and I am just tickled with how things are turning out. It was a bit chilly today. Very warm on the deck which is southern facing, but when I got down into the yard, it was much colder. So, this was done quickly. It was very windy today, but it seemed so much like spring with all the birds singing and chirping, and the woodpecker squawking for more peanuts. This is only one clump of shoots. They are in a raised bed and there are a whole bunch. I can't wait to see the blooms. A friend gave all these to me after they had bloomed in her garden. I planted them, but then we moved before spring that year and I wasn't able to get them until we went back to ready the house for sale. I planted them last year, so this will be ther first time I see their wonderful falls and colors. I'm going to try a sketch them every week until they bloom and then I want to paint them in pastel.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

EDM #105 Scissors

I started this on the 15th and finished it last night. I was way out of my comfort zone and it shows. But, my goal was to stay away from too much detail and I think I reached it. Usually when I draw, I take out my contacts (because my eyes are very, very bad) and my nose is 2 cm from the paper. Ok, I exaggerate (but not much, tho). I also sat away from the composition so I would only do a simple line drawing. I wasn't even going to shade, but sometimes I can't help myself. I originally had the tablecloth sketched in there, but erased it because I was afraid I would get caught up in the detail and it would then never get finished! It's a beautiful autumn patterned one. Maybe I should draw the tablecloth? Not! Anywayz, I was ok for about the first half hour and then I lost my focus. I got up and straigtened up the kitchen, threw in a load of laundry, played my piano, and kept going back to it, but couldn't get my concentration back. So, I walked away from it. Yesterday morning we went to a friend's house. She teaches my oldest Japanese and I teach her daughter art. The exercise for the day was to draw something from the kitchen so we chose a wisk. I had forgotten how hard it is to draw a wisk! But, I was able to show her how to measure her distance from one wire to the next and how to use the negative space also. I drew with her and from that moment on I couldn't wait to get home and finish the scissors. We came home, I cooked dinner (nothing special) and then we did a few chores and I sat down and had this drawing done in under half an hour! I do think that going back to the basics is a the key for me. So, now I have a frame job to finish and then I'm going to sit down with my pastels and books and play instead of trying to produce a finished piece. The music I used to draw this by was Brett Rosenberg's Half Light soundtrack, The Secret Garden soundtrack (I've used this one for many years), Once In a Red Moon by the band Secret Garden, and the Cowboy Junkies Platinum & Gold Collection.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Last Drawing

This was the last finished drawing I did and that was over a year ago. The only reason it got finished at all was because I had been invited to show my work with 5 other artists at the local artist's league. Otherwise it probably would have sat on my drawing table for another year. I should mention that this was done with pencil and Prismacolor pencils.


Ok, I've been thinking about fear a lot since I joined the EDM group. Trying to figure out what I am so afraid of. And to tell the truth, I'm not really sure I want to say it out loud. My style is photorealism, something that I just happened to fall into. The art that I like when I'm looking to buy is impressionistic. But, I fell into the photorealism because it comes easy to me. I'm detail oriented. But, what tends to happen is I get lost in the detail. I always begin thinking that this time I'll loosen up. Maybe I won't fill in the whole sketch, maybe I'll leave this corner clean, undrawn. But, good intentions, I always end up drawing every little fiber of rope, every little hair on the face, every grain in the wood door. *sigh* So, what I'm afraid of is creating something so completley different from what I do now? No. Because when I sat down to do the pastel last night, that's not what happened. I was critical because it didn't look realistic enough! Catch 22. Why do I want to loosen up if photorealism comes to me so easily? Because of the comments I've heard. And believe me when I say I don't really care what people say about me. I know I'm a good person and all that psychobabble, but to some extent there is a point to the comment, why not just take a photograph? I've thought about it myself. I feel like if I didn't have that point of the pencil to work with, I would loosen up. I want to do rough pastels that turn out looking like a Monet. I like my colored pencils because even though I do the same photorealism, they come out looking entirely different than my black & whites. Sometimes even a little more stylized. But, this is the plan for today... take my son to his driver's ed class (yeah, I know! YIKES! and this is the youngest one, too! Not feeling old yet, tho) then come back here and spend a good hour working on the scissors drawing. And if there is time, I'm going outside and sketch my raised bed where my iris' are coming up. I want to sketch them every week as they progress to the final flowering. Then maybe I'll do a series, never did one of those before. Changing is hard, but exciting, too. I'm wondering now if the excitement will conquer the fear enough so that I can create without anxiety. We'll see what the outcome is tomorrow. Abayo

Took this picture early one morning after dropping my son off at the community college for his class. The drive is such a pretty one and this morning I wasn't so tired that I forgot my camera.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day

Hope yours was exceptional because mine was. I usually don't get all teary eyed over holidays, but this year my husband was on the west coast and I hadn't seen him for a week and a half. I sent him a box of chocolate bars from all over the world. I'm sure he'll love it. I got a package from him today in a very humorous box. It was one of those bears from Vermont, complete with smelly stuff and chocolate. Oh, yeah, it was a good day!

I actually started this blog as a way to post my art studies for my Every Day Matters group. So, a lot of things on here will be ramblings with no set destination. And as I'm now done for today, cao!