Monday, October 18, 2010

Let's play a game called "Guess Where I Was While I Was Sketching This".

Learned something - I'm right handed so I should work from left to right.  I was just sort of working all over the place and when I stopped I realized I'd completely smudged the right side of the sketch.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Hi. Yeah.  Long time no see.

I'm trying to find time to do some sketching every day.  My studio, and art or craft work of any kind, has been trailing behind me weeping for attention for months.  I'm determined to finish rearranging and fixing up the house to a new level of "adequate" before allowing myself studio time.  But I had to do something.  So this is it.  Usually while I'm waiting in the car or over the table at a restaurant, free time, y'know.


The Hubby

I've really missed blogging. Just can't seem to find the time for so many things these days. I'm determined to get back to it. I miss the whole blogging community. Wonder if anyone still wanders by from time to time to see if I'm still here.....

Monday, May 17, 2010

When I was in San Diego a few weeks ago I had the opportunity to wander about Balboa Park and the San Diego Botanical Gardens (formerly called Quail Botanical Gardens), just me and my camera. I was in a photographer's/plant lover's heaven in both places. I'll link to the photos I put up of the botanical gardens on my every day blog at the end of this post but I wanted to share these particular images here because they just scream at me to recreate them in other mediums. First thought was to work with them in fabric. Paint. Even collage would be fun. I'm hoping to carve out some time to play with them, maybe I'll even have a series based on waterlilies. Hmmm, why does that sound familiar......?

I'll just let you browse through some of my favorites.

Moving from circles to straight lines, here's some lovely shadow images I'd also like to use as a starting point.

And now for something completely different -

Eyeball trees! At least, that's what they look like to me. I had the very disconcerting feeling that they were staring at me while I was staring at them.

For more amazing plants and garden scenes - check out some more photos I took at the San Diego Botanical Gardens on Beach Treasure.

Friday, May 14, 2010

When I was in San Diego last week my granddaughter had her heart set on having a pink owl. She pretty much has her heart set on having a pink EVERYTHING. You know how some little kids have an imaginary friend or two? Well, Joli has an entire imaginary world she talks about.


It's funny because my daughter-in-law worked so hard to make sure she created a gender neutral environment for her first years. Sure she had a cute pink dress or two (or three or...) but she also had little black and brown and blue and green and every other color dresses in her wardrobe and she had clothes that were obviously meant for "boys" as well as those specifically sold to "girls". All this to add background to the story of how she had her heart set on a pink owl.

So we made one together.

By making it together I mean we went shopping, she picked out the fabrics. I drew some designs, she fixed them. She was very specific - the wings needed to be a big higher, the eyes a bit bigger, the body a bit rounder.... and when it was to her liking, she approved the project.

I cut and sewed, offering her fabric and thread choices at each step, she chose, and I sewed some more.

And Pinkety Tinkety was born.... er, hatched?

She's almost as cute as Joli herself who, ironically, is wearing purple.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

If you ever come through Susanville and need a place to stay, you might stop at the Apple Inn, a lovely small motel owned by friends of my mother. The wife, Lorna, runs a bit of gift shop by the front desk and I stop in from time to time to say hello and see what she has for sale as she and I share a love of faeries.

This lovely faerie scene that she created was on display when I stopped in earlier this week!

An encounter between a human girl and a young fae.

Other smaller fae go about their business in their little home set amongst a "woodland" of mushrooms.

Sunlight streams through while the wee folk play and sing and tell stories.

And I have a story for you if you promise to keep it a secret, just between me and you and the faeries, okay? Come a little closer in, so I can whisper it to you....

Lorna made these beautiful mushrooms out of cardboard tubes and garden supplies. The tops of these large mushroom are made from the ready made sphagnum moss hanging pot liners. Hmmm, these look to be made with shredded plant material. There are several different kinds. She found these at the local dollar store. She painted and glittered. The tubes are also painted and glued to little wooden platform blocks, the caps glued to the top.

These smaller mushrooms are made from a variety of paper seed pots. Softened, molded, and dried again and then painted, glittered and glued.

The woodland floor is created with a variety of plants - both silk and plastic as well as real dried flowers and mosses. Butterflies, birds, faeries, and other woodland creatures are tucked here and there.

Most of the tall mushrooms have added faery lights wound up their stalks and popping through in polka dotted brightness.

Here's an "beneath the scenes" view so you can see how simple it is.

A photo taken without a flash to show you you it might look when the sun sets. It would be fun to add a garland of garden lights above the scene to enjoy it after dark.

The only thing stopping me from rushing out to create my own beautiful faerie window is the lack of a proper site free of clutter and safe from cats. But I can dream. A midsummer's night dream. Maybe someday...

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I'm finally posting that second round of photos from the wonderful sculpting beach retreat I promised you. Mostly just shots I snapped of all the amazing creatures in various stages of being created. After they were sculpted and baked, there was painting, embellishing, and dressing to be done.

I think the best idea is just to let you grab another cup of coffee or tea and let you scroll without comment. Keep in mind, these are photos of unfinished dolls. Most everyone still had more to add to them once they took them home. These are all "in process" shots.

I love how much some (most!) of these totems ended up looking like their people. Or, if not physically similar, had the same personality.

Here's Ash's amazing baboon faced totem. It was probably the most interesting story in the group as she was working so hard to make him go in a different direction and struggling, really struggling when she went to bed Saturday night. Sunday morning a friend suggested she simply ask her totem what HE wanted and suddenly he just took off in this amazing direction!!! Such good advice for any adventure or goal.


A tableau of characters posing for us. Mine are the creatures on the right, starting with the white raven. You can see mine are the least finished.

I did finish my little owls though. They were really fun to make. I used the same process for both and yet they each came out with their own personality.

Unlike most of the group, I didn't finish dressing my creatures, but I sort of made up for that by making FIVE things. White Raven wasn't finished because I had my heart set on using a few things I had at home for her apparel. So then I made Spike the Chihuahua so I could have a doll to dress. He didn't get baked soon enough though so I went on to create little owls while I waited. And then, messing around with some leftover wire and clay, I created the little mossy stick guy you can see painted but undressed in the middle there.

And that's it, I forgot to take any other photos of my own creations. I hope to get to finishing them all soon and I sure hope I remember to take photos of the process.

We couldn't travel with open bottles in our cars so the last night we did the environmentally proper thing (waste not want not) and polished off the rest of the wine and mead. And that, sadly, was the end of the workshop. Until next year?


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Here be dragons......

With steely eyes and dangerous claws....

...a powerful tail

.... and teeny tiny friends.

This gentle soul (most of the time, don't ire her!) is Penelope, and she guards the northern approach to the city of Yreka from all dangers that might come her way. Her maker is local sculptor Ralph Starritt.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

This last weekend I spent at a seaside house full of wild artist folk and fae. We gathered together for a workshop/retreat organized by the lovely art doll and painter Patricia Hedegaard. (The link goes to her old website, she's in the process of putting up a new, upgraded site, but it will give you an idea of her work.)

There was about a baker's dozen of us. Here we are starting to gather at the set up tables, before the creative chaos began.

The first step in the process, making our little wire armatures. They looked a little bit like a small army of "burning men".

We were told to put on our "creativity caps". Almost all of us took the instruction literally.

Another step in the process - picking out new eyeballs...

....for our art dolls.

The theme was to each make a totem doll. I wasn't sure what I was going to make almost up to the moment I began to work. I chose, or perhap she chose me, to make a white raven.

In the serendipitious way these things happen, there was a whole flock of raven makers and we were all at the same side of the workspace. This particular raven looks like he had a few too many beakfuls of that brewski.

Some of Patricia's finished (but undressed) ravens were hanging out on our table and it looks like there might have been some imbibing all around.

Most folks followed through outfitting their totems. I had some ideas that I couldn't complete until I got home, so raven wrapped herself in a feather boa and sat watch, unfinished, while I made some other creatures instead. I think she looks rather wise. I need to read up on the legends and stories of the white raven.

I made this wee owl.

And then I made him a friend.

Not everyone made ravens, not at all. There were several large totem owls.

Little owls finished, I went on to create a chihuahua. There were quite a few chihuahua lovers in the group.

This little guy is a masked creature - wolf? Coyote?

There was even a kind eyed elemental taking shape.

Of course creating is hard work. So we took breaks to take walks on the beach.

We also took time to sing and play (some of us very melodiously, some of us *cough* (me) enthusiastically if out of tune). We drank a lot of coffee and a lot of wine. We ate an incredible amount of delicious food. We took photos. So many photos that I'll stop here for now and post a part II in a day or two.

In the meantime, I've put some scenic photos from the trip up at Beach Treasure, nature's art.