Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Almost autumn

Here in Virginia there is an old saying, “If you don’t like the weather, stick around for 24 hours.”  Yesterday it was hot and humid in the upper 90’s like it has been for most of this horribly hot summer.  There isn’t a hint of fall in the air. 

So why am I talking about the change of the season?  It’s simple, 24 hours from now it will be September 1 and that month signifies to me that summer is officially over.  It doesn’t matter if the thermometer is still in the triple digits; I’m ready for autumn to begin.

Doesn’t it always seem that by the time a particular season is over one is eager for the next one to begin?  When the umpteenth snowstorm has left another 19 inches on the ground, spring flowers beckon. After you’ve sneezed 600 times and rubbed your eyes so much you look like an old wino, you are ready for summer. Finally, while you are sweating like a pig just going 10 feet to the mailbox you realizes that yes, you are ready for fall.  By the time December rolls around you are looking forward to that first flake. 

Even so, there are many people who will bemoan the loss of long, hot days.  They will wish they could be at the beach getting sand stuck in places sand should never be.  To these summer lovers I have but one thing to say…anyone looks good in a fashionable, light jacket.  Can they say the same for a bikini?

Sunday, August 29, 2010


I have always been entranced by color.  I am, I believe the human equivalent of the Australian Bower Bird, who gathers and displays colorful items.

 When I was a child I received my first box of 64 count crayons.  As I opened that box my heart leapt with joy.  I had never seen so many different colors.  I didn’t use them right away.  I couldn’t destroy their pristine perfectness even though the box had a sharpener built right in. 

Eventually, though, I had to give in and use them to create something.  My choice was a unicorn.  I drew the outline in Burnt Sienna, added a Blue Green mane and a Carnation Pink tail.  After that I put lemon yellow and cornflower spots all over his body.  I made him trot through an Aquamarine and Blue Violet pond. His horn could be nothing less than gold and silver.  It was childish, it was kind of dumb but it had to be the most beautiful thing I ever created.

That was long ago and that drawing resides now only in the bowers of my mind, along with Orchid, Maize, Thistle, Cadet Blue, Mahogany…

Saturday, August 28, 2010

What to do with the buttons from center of horse show ribbon rosettes

As Promised, Mary came over last night and we crafted, mother and daughter.  We decided that the rosettes from the center of the horse show ribbons would make a nice wall decoration in a shadow box.  So we got out the hot glue and the shadow box and spread out all the buttons before us. 

Overlapping them looked the artiest.  The hardest part came when we had to decide what would go side by side.  This color would look good next to that color and how many reds or blues would go in each row, all decisions that had to be made.

All in all I think it turned out pretty nice.  What do you think?  Have a great weekend.

Friday, August 27, 2010

10 ways to jumpstart creativity

Every so often creativity takes a vacation.  When this happens there are several things I do to jumpstart it again.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it takes a bit more but hey, nothing beats a try right?

1.     Go on a Hike.  The mountains around Virginia are invigorating and inspiring.  The scenery and wildlife can be awe inspiring.  The key word is inspired.

2.     Go to an art supply, craft, or home improvement store.  I know it sounds weird that I have included a home improvement store here but honestly the things they stock there can make the mind think outside the box so to speak.

3.     Visit an art gallery or museum.  Sometimes viewing great art and creations start ones own ball rolling in new and different ways.

4.     Get in touch with ones inner child.  Remember the freedom of expression when you were seven and told to create something?  You will never hear a child say they can’t, all children are artists, and there is no right or wrong way to do something. 

5.     Get plenty of rest.  A tired mind cannot think straight much less create.

6.     Leave the stress of daily life somewhere other than your creative spaces. 

7.     Listen to music.  Choose genre’s that soothe rather than rev up.  Let it be an accompaniment and not the main event.

8.     Try a new medium.  I am not only talking about the visual arts here.  If you are cook try a new recipe, an artist a new paint, a writer a new form.  Experiment. 

9.     Be kind to oneself.  Don’t be your own worst critic.  Remember that all creative endeavors are relative. 

10.  Finally, go out and get a new box of 64 crayons.  Open that box and take a whiff of that familiar aroma.  It never fails to create a smile and spark the imagination.

If you have any more tips to add to my list I would love to hear them.  Thanks and I’ll be wishing everyone endless creativity.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Kindle or regular books, electronics vs. good old hard copy

I love books, often reading more than one at a time.  A historical novel is bookmarked on page 129 in the family room, a biography on page 67 in the bedroom.  I may not remember what I had for breakfast but I can keep up with several plot lines at once.  Nothing beats a brand new book, the scent of the pages, the color of the covers all drugs for a read-o-phile like myself.

Which is why when my husband bought me a Kindle for Christmas last year I was a little intimidated.  Electronics and I just don’t get along.  Sometimes I think that I must emit some sort of invisible force that causes devices to quit operation.  I can walk by a computer and it will spontaneously freeze.  In addition, I am a real ninny when it comes to operating anything that plugs in or uses a battery.  Our blue ray player is a real challenge considering I never quite figured out how to operate the VCR.

A kindle can store thousands of books on a device that is smaller and lighter than even my smallest book.  I can bring the bookcase with me, something that is exciting for someone who reads as much as I do. A kindle can read to you!  Yes, audio is available, haven’t tried it yet but its there if I need it. If I stumble upon a word that is foreign to me all I need do its insert the cursor in front of that word and it is defined right there!  And there will be no more flipping back through the pages looking for the entrance of a character in a book with too many characters.  I simply push a button and every mention of that character appears like magic. As an added bonus the cost of books are substantially lower than bookstores.

But I like flipping through the pages.  I never enjoyed having something read aloud to me, and my bookshelves while overflowing, are quite attractive. I discover that while downloading samples is convenient to say the least, it is extremely easy for someone like me to buy a book by mistake.  I’ve never walked in a bookstore and had the salesperson charge me for a book that I just picked up, and kindle smells like, well, nothing.  Real books may cost more but they will remain for years, kindle depends upon batteries and power sources.

I have discovered in the war of electronic vs. hardcopy there are no winners or losers. Each has its pros and cons, so… My bookcases will still receive new additions and sag a little lower and I’ll still check out books on Kindle and count on that “bought by mistake” button.  And I’ll read.
"Books" pencil sketch

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Oh What to do with Horse Show Ribbons

Oh how I remember those lazy, hazy and hot days of summer Horse Shows.  My daughter who is in her 20’s now started showing when she was right around two years old.  She got a blue ribbon in her first lead line class and she beamed with pride.  If I had known that this was just the start of years of expensive shows and horses perhaps I would have stopped it right then and there.  As I Remember her happy face that summer day I realize that, nope, it wasn’t an option.

Now she has moved in her own place and all the ribbons remain in her old room.  When my husband decided he wanted to paint that now unused room, a dilemma arose.  What do we do with hundreds (yes hundreds) of horse show ribbons?  They hang on all four walls from floor to ceiling on wires strung from one side to the other.  She really didn’t want to do the same to her “adult” living space but of course, they are and will always remain special to her. 

How could we use these ribbons in a more useful and adult manner?  Some people create quilts but that is a bit more time consuming than I can manage at the moment.  I chose the next best thing, pillows. You can never have enough pillows.

I whipped up my first pillow in record time and I was pleased with the result.  When I finished preparing all the ribbons I realized that I have enough to make approximately 4,000 pillows.  (I did warn you all that I am prone to exaggerations) So one day I may have to take the time and actually create a quilt that will cover the state.  Until then the more special ones will become a soft and plush remembrance of horse shows past.

Now what to do with all those unique and cool buttons from the centers of the rosettes…coming soon!

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Rodney Dangerfield of mediums

Many artists I know shy away from using pastel as their medium of choice. Could it be the ability of the unfinished piece of artwork to smear at the slightest touch? Is it the fact that if one chooses to use a fixative the resulting tones may change from the one originally intended? On the other hand, could the reason be that when showing said work, it just does not get the respect that say, oils or acrylics receive? When have you ever seen a pastel win a“Best in Show?” No there is just no respect for a good pastel drawing, from neither man nor beast.

My studio is located in my basement. Although a large portion accommodates my work area, a separate section houses various outdoor items. There is a sliding glass door at the far end and, of course, there are those in my household who will use that door frequently. One being a teenager bringing out this bat or that skateboard, or bike often enough as to resemble a revolving door.
Not too long ago, this door remained open a tad too long. Do teenagers ever shut anything?

To a tiny bird, an easel is such a perfect place to perch. Unfortunately, for me, what perches must purge, and purge it did right on the half complete art in progress.

I have found that wrens can be extremely harsh art critics, and birdy doodoo, on pastel paper leaves a stain that is, well, permanent. The tiny interloper must have flown in made his opinion known and then flown out again.

I now cover all works in progress, even if I am using a more respected medium.

"Autumn Palomino" Pastel

"Deja View" Pastel

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Drive on...

Drive on…

Let me say that getting on an interstate highway has never been one of my favorite things.  When I took Driver’s Ed in High School the instructor had to force me to get on 95.  The traffic, the cars weaving in and out at 70 plus MPH, the trucks whose wake can force a compact car to fly off the road, all give me the willies.  Perhaps it’s my inability to be aggressive behind the wheel.  I give in, I let people cut me off, and I sometimes drive slowly. 

So I decide to take the interstate and as I reach the entry ramp I see cars barreling towards me at a high rate of speed trying to be in the exact place that I am!  So feeling like I’m one of three stooges, I zigzag my way onto the highway.  Surprisingly I make it on alive so I relax until its time to get off and I have to try and avoid the cars trying to zigzag around me in order to get on get on.

Perhaps we should just all go back to horse and buggies, or maybe just a horse.  No one can move all that fast and the horses can avoid each other.  The only road rage we will experience will be when one horse kicks another and usually the tougher one will win.  Our energy source will no longer pollute the air because it is now hay and grain.  What’s more, the byproduct it produces one can use to, yes, fertilize the ground to make more grain! 

No longer will you have to purchase tires that cost $300 apiece.  Horseshoes are pretty inexpensive and what’s more, they bring you luck!

When you go horse shopping you don’t have to look under any hood, you just have to open his mouth.  And the best benefit of all is that the horse will love you back.  You can’t say that about any car.  And do you know of any car that can create another little car?  It’s a win-win situation.

Ok, so it may take you a few days to go over the hill and through the woods to Grandma’s house.  And vet bills can add up pretty quickly. Come to think of it I never heard of a car spontaneously bucking a person out the window.  And that little vehicle your horse just spit out will not be ready for the road for a few years. So although there are benefits in the war of car vs. horse, I think I’ll just tough it out and continue with a Toyota.  Hmmm, I wonder, are Asian horses better than ones from the states?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Olivia's (the cat) Choice

Olivia showed up one day at my door.  She was just a wisp of a thing and weighed close to nothing.  She meowed and rubbed against my leg.

I have never been what you would call a cat person.  I liked them, don’t get me wrong, but I would keep my distance, considering that I am highly allergic. My siblings and I always had cats when I was young, always picking them out as kittens, but whenever I touched anything feline, my eyes would tear and I would sneeze.   

Here was this supposed half grown kitten looking at me as if I could change her lot in life.  I fed her, my first mistake.  She had no collar and she was starving.  She wasn’t feral and therefore unable to take care of herself after her abandonment.  She was a stray.  Given a home as a kitten and then deserted, left alone. 

There she was every time I opened the door, meowing and rubbing, seeming to say “More Please.”  Since she wasn’t a male, I couldn’t name her Oliver, so I started to call her Olivia.  I knew the old adage that if you feed a stray you will never get rid of it, and if you give it a name, well, then it’s just too late.

I had to find her a home. I visited a local pet store and asked about stray adoptions.  They were more than happy to give me a number to call and I stashed it in my pocket.  Problem solved.

Arriving home I could see Olivia sleeping peacefully on the porch swing, waiting.  When I would appear she would jump down and greet me.  I fingered the slip of paper with the phone number.  I picked her up and carried her inside, allergies be damned.

At first she was fearful.  Who knows what experiences she had in her short life.  I buckled on the pink-belled collar I had purchased, and set up the new litter box in the laundry room.  I filled a bowl with some canned cat food and she started to purr.  She ate till she was full, and then used her new bathroom facilities.  She rubbed against my leg and climbed into the new soft fluffy pink cat bed and stretched.  She slept.

It is one year from the first time Olivia chose me.  Yes it was odd this time.  There was no going to pick out a kitten from a litter.  It was the first time in my life that a cat, had picked me.  The wonders of Zyrtec have kept my once unbearable allergies at bay and Olivia is now the queen of the house.  She walks around as if she has always ruled this realm.

 I know nothing about her life before she walked into mine.  I don’t know what her mother looked like or how many littermates she had.  I don’t even know her exact age only the estimate offered by my vet.  One year, she said, at least one year old. 

As she sits in my lap she stretches and loudly purrs.  This time, the shoe, as they say is on the other foot.  In the past my brothers and sister would go to a house, look at the kittens, and pick the one we liked the best.  This time a cat went to a house, looked at the people, and picked me.  

Monday, August 16, 2010

Things to do while waiting at a traffic light

There is a traffic light near my home that last for centuries.  Sorry, I am prone to slight exaggerations.  Anyway, in order to go anywhere in my town this particular traffic intersection must be navigated. More often than not one must sit through several cycles. In order to keep my sanity, I have come up with several suggestions for passing the time while waiting…

1.  Get to know your neighbors.  By neighbors I am referring to those unfortunate individuals who are in the same boat.  You can learn a lot about people from observing their cars or trucks.  For example you now know whose kid beat up your honor roll student.  You also know for whom the person whose bumper you are staring at voted for in the last election and their favorite sports team.  You even discover how many stick figures live in their homes by order of size and species.  Due to the popularity of vanity plates you can even be on a first name basis. By the time the light has changed you might be able to invite said persons over for a barbeque.

2.  Now would be the time to touch up that lipstick or straighten that tie.

3.  If you are mathematically inclined you might want to figure out exactly how much of your life you are spending at this particular light.  Start counting the seconds and keep a tally, one thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three….

4.  You may want to check the map. Is this really where you need to be?

5.  Take a sip of that hot coffee so that you won’t be wearing it after you start moving again.

6.  Look for another station on the radio.  You never know what you will find especially if you have satellite radio.

7.  If you really get bored try waving to the people in the adjacent cars.  Trust me, they will always wave back.  It will drive them crazy the rest of the day trying to figure out who the heck you are.

8.  Pay attention to the light itself.  No point in contributing to someone else’s road rage.

Something you’d better leave for later:

Cell phones unless it is the hands free variety.  Seriously, texting is never a good idea, in a moving or non-moving vehicle when are the one moving it.  You will never get to finish the sentence and you may end up getting closer to your neighbors than you would like.  At the risk of sounding preachy, when I went to get first aid, CPR certified, the instructor made a point of letting the class know that many times EMT’s find cell phones in the hands of serious accident victims.  So it’s no joke.  Ok, preaching done.  Enjoy.

Titled, "Start of a perfect day."

Saturday, August 14, 2010

What color is your thumb?

Mine, unfortunately is a rather pale shade that is just a bit further from green than most people. 

Every since I was little, I wanted to be a farmer.  I wanted to bring armloads of fresh veggies to my table and listen to the oohs and aahs of my family.  I wanted to cut fresh flowers and fill vases up in every room, the scent of fragrant blossoms wafting through my home. 

Too bad the armloads were really handfuls and the blossoms were a few scraggly buds.

My first experience with gardening came when I was eleven.  During a particularly long summer, my mother gave me a few packets of seeds and told me to go outside and amuse myself.  Amuse I did and I raked and hoed and planted those seeds as delicately as I could.  A few weeks later I was able to harvest my bounty.  My beefsteak tomatoes turned out to be the size of peas, my cantaloupes, while ripe were the perfect size for my Barbie’s.  My veggies were cute, yes, but not really a bountiful harvest.

I was never a quitter and subsequent summers brought me more gardening experiences.  Let me be perfectly clear here.  I come from a long line of gardening geniuses.  My grandfather, a garden guru, would sell his rare created seeds. His garden was a showplace.  Somehow I felt as if I was a bit of a failure.

And then I discovered zucchinis.  Zucchinis are the vegetable version of snake plants.  You just plant them and they will do their stuff with very little help from anyone.  That summer I picked zucchinis the size of baseball bats.  I gave them away to everyone with unabashed pride.  My family was sick to death of zucchini fried, baked, boiled and sautéed.  They ate it baked in bread, and as a meat substitute.

“What’s for dinner?”


In addition, something else strange had happened. All of a sudden my flowerbeds took off too.  The blooms were abundant!!

That summer ended and this year I aimed to repeat my performance.  The hottest and driest summer on record put an end to my success. 

I have gone, as they say, back to the drawing board.  This summer may not have facilitated the great zucchini explosion, but there is always next year.  I think I’ll go outside and pick some snapdragons; they will look terrific in that new bud vase.

Pastel Dogwood ACEO
Acrylic Iris ACEO

Friday, August 13, 2010

Do you have Triskadekaphobia?

I don’t, but maybe I should.  I just discovered that is the phobia name for those who fear Friday the 13th.  Triskadekaphobia…geez the word just doesn’t roll off the tongue does it?  With a superior attitude, I would laugh at anyone who felt this superstitious fear.  Afraid of Friday the 13th?  That’s ridiculous!

This morning I woke up from a nightmare at 3.  Yes, it was the start of Friday the 13th.  I rolled over and closed my eyes, perhaps just a bit tighter than usual, and tried to go back to sleep.  Needless to say it took a while and my poor suffering husband had to sleep with me velcroed to his backside.

I got up late, no surprise considering my lack of sleep, and rushed around trying to get to work as near to on time as possible.  I didn’t have any time for breakfast so I rushed outside, bombarded by raindrops the size of Texas.  I got in the car and noticed that my gas gauge was precariously close to the fume level.  Why didn’t I get gas last night when I came home?

I jumped on the interstate in hopes of getting to my destination that much quicker.  Wrong!  The traffic was barely moving and at that rate of speed I would be lucky to get to work by Saturday the 14th.  I got off at the nearest exit. 

Oh no, I almost forgot, I need gas and a cup of strong coffee wouldn’t hurt either.   So I stopped at the gas station, pumped the gas, spilling some on my shoes.  I could see that this day wasn’t going to get any better so I sloshed through the puddles like a three year old and went in the store to get some coffee.  What is it about umbrellas that always seem to turn inside out even when there isn’t a wisp of a breeze?   I squeaked through the door (puddles will do that to shoes) and got my coffee inhaling deeply the pleasing aroma.  This day is going to get better I just know it.  As I went outside the umbrella rebelled yet again and I spilled the coffee down the front of my shirt. 

I finally arrived at work a half hour late (it’s a good thing I’m a partner) bedraggled, wet and definitely chastised. 

Do I now have Triskadekaphobia?  Maybe.  It is Friday though and at the risk of sounding like Scarlett O’Hara, tomorrow is another day ;-)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

TV Food!!

I think I have finally figured out the cause of obesity in America.  It’s right there in your very own family room. No, I don’t mean the veggies sitting on the couch; I’m talking about the TV itself.

Think about it.  You’ve been strictly adhering to your diet.  You are eating healthy all day, and then you sit down after dinner to watch a little TV.

It’s like a parade of temptation, all sorts of junk food, fast food, restaurant food, and all pictured in high definition. If it isn’t in one of a zillion commercials, it’s on the shows and movies themselves.  Sitting mesmerized in front of that new 50-inch plasma you start to salivate and you’re not even hungry.  Even the diet foods look terrific.

You press those buttons on the remote hoping to land on a channel that focuses on a medical mystery or a situation comedy.  This is safe or so you think, until an actor starts to eat a plate of fried chicken and you know that for the next week or so you are going to be searching out any Popeye’s you can find. The next day, eating that gloriously delicious and greasy, cardiologist’s nightmare,  you wonder how you can be so easily led on this path of dieters ruin.

There must be some sort of science fiction subliminal messaging going on.  Or maybe it’s the way the actors themselves eat the item in question with such obvious relish.  Don’t even get me started on the food channel.

 So you turn on The Travel Channel thinking you are safe but you are wrong.  There is even more foods on the programs and in the commercials.  Even though some of the foods are a little more exotic, you are still wondering where you can go to get some of that camel curry.

A commercial comes on focusing on how a once famous actor has lost 40 lbs. on a diet plan…here is something you can sink your teeth into.  Your ears perk up and you raptly watch the screen wondering what can be the key to her amazing weight loss.  Is it counting calories?  Is it a strenuous exercise routine?  Is it mind over matter? The answer appears in the form of Chicken Parmesan, Shrimp Primavera, Cheeseburgers, Spaghetti and meatballs…..

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Shopping List

Imagine the scenario.  We’ve all been there.  You’re out of milk and you will need it for coffee in the morning.  So you get in the car in car and drive to the nearest grocery store with that one item on your mind.  First you think, “all I need is one of those hand held baskets”, then you reconsider realizing that a gallon of milk can be a little heavy.

You start to browse the aisles; since you are there you may as well check out what is on sale.  You pick up a box of this and a can of that and before you know it your cart is half full so you head to the checkout, pay for your items, and drive home.

Once you arrive home you unpack the bags and put the items away.   Did you really need those packages of Oreos?  Well, they were on sale at two for one, you reason.  You forgive yourself that one little indiscretion until the last bag is unpacked and you discover there is no MILK!

This little mini drama works equally well with bread, eggs and tampons.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Music Muse

The music Muse

Have you ever had a song playing in your head that just wouldn’t quit?  You didn’t even particularly like that song, maybe you even hated it, but it just continued on and on.  When you weren’t paying attention you even caught yourself mouthing the words. 

Recently my artistic creative muse has taken a summer vacation and been replaced by the Music Muse.  For no apparent reason a song simply pops in my head and I am humming it or hearing it play in stereo right between my ears over and over again. When I catch myself, I flip on the radio to drown out the sounds but as soon as I turn it off, there it goes again.  It could be “In the Air tonight” by Phil Collins or “It’s a small World” from the annoying Disney ride.  Maybe it’s even something from a “Barney Episode.”

Don’t misunderstand me.  I like Phil Collins and my mother’s favorite ride was “it’s a small world” but something about the thousandth time a song is heard kind of kills it for me. 

Last night I found myself humming a Beatle song that I hadn’t heard in ages.  A few days before that, while washing dishes, I caught myself singing a lesser-known song by Harry Chapin. 

Considering my guitar has been in the guest room closet for many years collecting an audience of dust bunnies, what good I ask, can come from this music muse? Perhaps it is nudging me to stop complaining about the heat and go downstairs to my studio, pick up my brushes and do what I do best.

I turn on my radio.  I add paint onto my stay-wet palette.  I take out a piece of acrylic paper and attach it to my easel. The music starts to play…”Oh lord….OH looooord


Monday, August 9, 2010

You hear the word “Green” everywhere these days.  People are becoming more and more aware of the environment and the effect that they themselves can have upon it.  We bring our own bags to the grocery stores in lieu of plastic.  Bottles and cans are recycled on suburban streets and from what I hear, made into sweaters and picnic tables.

I have always been one to create things from nothing.  I have made usable items from brown paper bags, and discarded items.  I have created from nature’s bounty.  I have ground up my junk mail into molded paper ornaments.  It was only a matter of time before I would find yet another recycling outlet. 

How many of us have visited a local home improvement store and picked up paint chip samples for one project or another.  We may take a few more than needed in order to decide the correct color.  Some of us just cannot part with these miniature pieces of paint in various colors.  Some of us file them in color schemes to be used at later dates.  What, you may ask can you use these samples for?

Well, I have finally found a way.  My technique is easy enough for anyone to imitate.  I simply draw a picture on a piece of heavyweight paper.  I then cut and glue small snippets of color to the drawing.  It matters not whether the colors are exact or the drawing perfect.  One could create abstract images or cartoons to fit individual tastes.

Something destined for the landfill becomes a work of art.  When you are satisfied with the result you simply coat the image with some acrylic matte finish.  You can mat and frame it just as it is or give in dimension in a shadow box.

This can be a perfect thing to keep the kids busy on a rainy day.  Just Supply some paint chip samples, glue, scissors and paper and see what happens. 

Pictured here just a sampling of some of my paint chip creations.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Walking a crooked line

I think I’m going to lose it the next time someone says to me,  “I have no talent for art, and I can’t even draw a straight line.”  Well, here’s some news, I have been drawing, painting and selling my work for years and guess what?  I can’t either.  I am an artist. 

Straight lines are kind of a man made invention.  Nature sometimes imitates straightness.  A tree may seem straight until you see the leaves connected or the tiny limbs and twigs that reach out from its base.  I guess you can say that nature is forgiving, looser and easier for imperfect humans to imitate.

So paint, draw and create because you can.  Leave the straight exactness to the architects and draftsmen.   Create and free yourself from the tight constraints of straightness.  Anyone can learn by using a ruler and level to imitate straightness but real art comes from a place that is already quite capable.  Let the child that resides within you to be your teacher.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Of Mice in a maze and men

Who of us haven’t decided on the spur of the moment to take a detour through one of those cookie cutter subdivisions?  I mean most of the time they have more than one gate and it seems that you have noticed one of them exiting at just the place you need to be, right?
That was my first mistake.

Every single house looked almost exactly alike.  They had the same SUV’s parked in the driveways; they had the same Craft Show wreath on the door, and pretty much the same people outside fiddling with the shrubs.

I turned down one street, dead end Cul de sac.  I turned the opposite way and lo and behold, another cul de sac.  What is it with cul de sacs?  Starting to feel more and more like a rat in a maze I continued driving down one street after another only to be met with yet another, yes you guessed it, Cul de sac!

At this point I really started to feel a bit frantic. Was I now in my very own Twilight Zone?  Fear enveloped me as I came to the realization that I may never find my way out. 

What was that up ahead, another Cul de sac or, no, could it be a gate? At this point I was taking any gate that came my way.  I needed to liberate myself of this Subdivided nightmare.  I turned towards the freedom I craved.  There it was right in front of me after 20 minutes of riding around in circles, ovals and squares, the very same gate that I had entered.

I have learned.  Human GPS I am not.  So I have but one burning question.  How do these people find their way home??

Friday, August 6, 2010

Blogs, ACEOs and other imponderables

Blog…now that is quite an acronym but what does it stand for? I mean everyone is doing them so there has to be something to this phenomenon.  My daughter who is no longer a teenager but know it all like one informed me that Blog stands for Web Log. So I guess its kind of a diary, or perhaps a ships log?  Maybe I should give it star date.  Captains log, star date, today.  Ok, so now I'm ready.

I guess this blog thing supplies the inert desire in everyone to go into a sibling’s room and read their diary.  Oh no, not that, but then again you have to find it first.  So it’s safe right now—or maybe not.

What I should have been doing today (but didn't) was work on some ACEO's.  For those of you who are unaware of what ACEO stands for let me enlighten you.  A is for art, but you knew that didn't you? C is for Cards, got you on that one.  E is for Editions, which means it is some sort of print. And finally O, which stands for Original, and that, my dears is what differentiates it from a print.  So lets review.  We have Art Cards Editions and Originals.

Still not clear?  I suppose a little history on this particular subject is in order.   There are just a few simple rules.  The card size is always 2 ½” x 3 ½.” They can be any medium as long as it conforms to the size, which if you haven’t figured that out yet is basically the size of a sports trading card.  Trading is the operative word here.  These cards started out as a sort of calling card, or basically something that artists traded amongst each other.  Well, that wasn’t very fair to those who felt as if they had no artistic talent. (Which is never true, everyone has artistic talent) So one enterprising artist selling her art on Ebay decided to start selling Art Cards and a movement was born.  Art cards allowed art lovers to purchase art they would never have been able to afford in larger sizes. If an ACEO has Original in the description then it is not a print but an original miniature work of art. Below is an example of one of my ACEO's

Glad I cleared that up for you.  More of this not so hidden journal soon.

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