Saturday, November 24, 2012

Dare to........................................

Dare to..............
Pare things down to essentials
Tear it up
Wear it out
Stare someone down
Prepare for the unexpected
Bare your soul
It's just one little word

A bit of this and that........

Whenever I am a busy girl, I just don't seem to find the time to blog so here's a little recap:

I am taking a watercolor portrait painting class at the museum - we started with value studies, and here is mine of this photo of Herbert Hoover(assigned).  The drawing took quite a bit of time but the painting was done in one shot - about 1 1/2 hours.  I could do more to make the darks more intense but at this point I am busy working on a drawing for the next painting of my choice - this time in color.
My kitchen is on the east side of my house so it gets dark there quite early this time of year. For some time I have had a lamp on the counter near the sink - I love the warm light that it gives, so much friendlier than the overhead spots.  I had a wood and metal lamp there for several years but it blew over a couple of weeks ago when I had the window open - the socket got too loose to use so I put a new lamp on my thrifting list - and amazingly the very next time out I found this porcelain lamp - it was only $12 and they also had 35% off everything in the store so it ended up only costing me $8, including the shade! Yay!  I love how it goes so well with the cream pitcher that I got from my mother - just perfect!
That same day I found this incredible book Cloth and Culture, Couture Creations by Ruth Funk - for only $1.50!!! It is filled with the most fantastic and creative garments - what inspiration!!
And finally one of the lilies from the arrangement on my Thanksgiving table - I put together lilies, a few roses, some mums, and eucalyptus in a beautiful old vase that I inherited from my mother. I surrounded the vase with orange tulle to match the lilies and then arranged gourds around the bottom.  I so love doing the table up for the holidays - and now it's time to decorate my house for Christmas and the Solstice - I bought a new reindeer for the collection at Pottery Barn, and I am really looking forward to getting the herd out as well as the swans and the village.  I plan to decorate a small tree with birds like last year - I am just like a little kid at holiday time!
Have a super weekend!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

May your Thanksgiving be filled with good food and good company

"This morning I ask only
the blessing of the crayfish,
the beatitude of the birds;
to wear the skin of the bear
in my songs;
to work like a man with my hands."
- Joseph Bruchac
and in my own words:
This morning I ask only
the blessing of the food before us,
the company of those I love,
to wear the pigments of the earth and the sky
in my paintings ;
to work like an artist with my hands.

May your day be blessed with abundance!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Frida Kahlo has always been one of my idols: she was an innovative artist and an icon of style.  Some years ago I saved a photo from Vogue or one of the fashion magazines showing a model holding a Frida mask - the above is my interpretation of that photo.
I was recently thrifting and came across this book for a dollar - what a treasure! 120 pages of photographs and commentary about Frida - she is not only an artist but also an actress and political activist; she is seductive, innocent, mysterious, and above all, iconic.  I find it fascinating to compare these photos taken of her throughout her life with her own image of herself as seen through her self-portraits.

I have drawn myself a bit, especially parts of me like hands and feet - where can I get a better live model? I have never painted myself but perhaps that is the next step - who am I?

Have you created a self-portrait of yourself? I would say that anyone who keeps an art journal is creating a visual self-portrait of their thoughts and daily life, their dreams, their disappointments, their creative journeys. It seems that journey is a short one but perhaps it is the longest journey we can ever take - as T.S. Eliot wrote in Little Gidding:

"We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time."

Happy exploring!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

C'est la Vie - right now

C'est la Vie Restaurant in Sarasota, FL
a new watercolor

RIGHT NOW........
I am working on landscapes and portraits - trying to get away from flowers

I went to the Art Museum and enjoyed the Norman Rockwell and Pop Art Revisited shows - the Museum sponsored a charity soup day and you could get in by bringing a can of soup. (I had to forgo joining the Museum this year and also next year - money is tight and since I am saving to go to Italy next year for two weeks, I have had to be brutal and cut almost all of my discretionary spending.)

I received a beautiful handmade soup bowl for my birthday from one of my best friends - as part of the charity soup day, many local potters have been making soup bowls, and then they are sold for $10 as part of the event. My bowl is so perfectly wabi-sabi - ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh - I bought 2 pears at the store and put them in the bowl - a still life
I know you will be seeing it soon in a photo

I just finished Veronica Roth's book Divergent and can hardly wait until I can get Insurgent from the library. I really enjoyed that book! What are you reading?

I am almost finished with my Margaret Dashwood shawl from the Summer 2012 issue of Jane Austen Knits. I am a very slow knitter but I need to get this done: (1) so I can wear it and (2) so I can knit a few presents for Christmas - little cell phone bags and fingerless mittens - fast and very colorful!

I am buying the ingredients for my mother's English Christmas Cake recipe so I can get it made and let it soak in brandy for 4-6 weeks - so so good!

I am enjoying every day as it comes - the weather here is absolutely stunning and I eat lunch on the lanai almost every day - so glorious! 

Hope you are having a beautiful day!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

November Sketchbook Challenge

the November theme over at The Sketchbook Challenge is the Spice of Life - and this time of year (well really all times of the year) my life gets spiced up with food - pumpkins, squashes of all varieties, and then add a few olives for their piquant flavors.
we have a brand new French bakery in town, Patisserie - check it out - yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm - and I hope you noticed my little "I voted" sticker on the cup of coffee. DID YOU VOTE?
we had a wonderful Halloween but very few trick or treaters - not sure why.  We were so very fortunate to be spared any real effects of Sandy but I am so moved by the suffering in the New Jersey/New York area. Having been through this before, I totally sympathize and empathize with them - and they have the added problems of the cold.  Sending thoughts and prayers and donations.............................

Hope you have a great day!