Monday, August 30, 2010

Space, the final frontier

Negative space:

White space:

In o
ur yard we have open space!!! A few trees came down and I feel naked and exposed to the world. I can't wait until we stop tearing everything apart or chopping things down and begin the process of building things back up.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Our landscaping project began today.

I thought you might like some before and after pictures. These pictures are before today started and after the guys were here today.

Ginger and Sprecka were excited about all of the new smells. They DID NOT LIKE being cooped up all day or the sounds of mass destruction in THEIR territory!

I'm excited about the project, and a little nervous. I'm hoping it all turns out well and that it will make the yard easier to maintain. It will definately improve the look of our property. I'll post more pictures as the project progresses.

Thought you might like to see my first watercolor portrait. I decided to do a version in one color alone so I could concentrate on values. I wasn't jumping up and down with joy, but it wasn't a terrible first attempt. I put my line drawing on acetate so that I could transfer it down again, which I did. Today I began a color version. I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Spring Training

I had a great talk with Dad the other day. When I explained how I was experimenting and playing around with my art, he came up with the analogy that I was in Spring Training. I like that.

I've had questions about "glazing". A picture (or a few) paints a thousand words, so here is one of my examples of glazing.

There are actually more layers than just four, but this gives the general idea. I've been quite pleased with the results I've been having.

I'm also getting ready to try the unthinkable: a portrait in watercolor! This is me trying to fully embrace the two ideas that:

1). It's only paper

2). The experimentation is the point...not the product

I was relieved that I could still do a line drawing for a portrait. Here it is:
I'll keep you posted about the progress.
I am amazed at how much I want to do and how quickly the day goes by.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Downward facing dog

I'm lying on my back, relaxing. Feeling my energy.

Feeling a lick on my nose, then another one, and another one.
"Ginger! Sprecka! Go lie down".

I'm on my back again, in a kind of hard to describe pretzel position...stretching...feeling the golden bands of healing along with a stretching feeling akin to but not quite reaching discomfort.

A bump from a canine nose pushes me. I lose my balance and my golden bands of healing, roll out of the position onto my side.

I start laughing and I cannot stop. The DVD tells me to relax into the energy of the position. The dogs keep licking my nose, looking down at me. I keep laughing. That just encourages them. They lick me more, nudge me with their noses. I can't regain my focus.

I've been doing yoga for a few weeks now for a couple of reasons. I am really stiff and I know that as I get older it's important to maintain flexibility.
I also am using yoga to keep focused on important things in life and not stress so much.

The dogs don't know what to make of yoga. I do strange things and make strange noises and they worry about me.
I didn't quite attain the yoga workout I was hoping for today but I'm "rolling" with it. Maybe I got something better.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Hawk family, we hardly knew ye

Well, I think they've gone. For good.

Just when I finally realized the treasure in my own back yard, it turns out to be too late. I can't help thinking that if I had been more observant, let the sounds I was hearing permeate my consciousness sooner, maybe I would have had more of a chance to really observe them. I haven't heard them for several days now. I'm sure they need a large territory. I wonder how long it will be until the crows move back in the neighborhood.

I can't help but wonder how much we miss by not paying enough attention.

I'm trying to pay more attention to the sights and sounds of summer. It's been such a beautiful summer. Norm and I went to Greenbluff this week-end and spent today bottling and freezing summer bounty.

In the meantime, I'll try to keep paying attention to the extradinary things around me, before they fly away.

Friday, August 13, 2010

What are YOU up to?


I've gone out to lunch with a few friends and a couple of former colleagues lately and the question inevitably seems to come up...

So, when can I see your work?

So, what are you DOING with all of your free time?

So, what have you DONE lately?

So, what HAVE you done lately?

So, WHAT have I been doing?

I guess you could say that I'm playing: with color, paper, brushes, pencil and paper.

Faced with all of these questions, I have to ask myself if I'm accomplishing anything or just avoiding actually creating art that someone might want to buy (or NOT want to buy). Well, here's the thing: as a professional, not a hobbyist, I feel the need to understand...really materials. I have spend hours researching the properties of paint pigment and then creating charts for myself.

I have created different color wheels, and mixing charts (they look like Mickey Mouse). I've been creating watercolor paper studies. I never realized how different the same paint appears on different paper.

What are my favorite pigments? How do they react with other pigments, with wet vs. dry paper?

What is my favorite paper?


How do I want my pallet to be organized?


I've just either followed other artists or taken wild stabs at things, hoping to get lucky.

Well, I WANT TO KNOW!!! I don't want to follow other artists; I want to decide for myself.

So that's what I've been doing.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Kicking dirt

How was your week-end?

I had a wonderful week-end filled with a returning husband, entertaining baseball, shopping at Costco, running along the Centennial Trail, and the realization that I think we have a family of Rough Legged hawks in our vicinity.

Norm made it back safely from his first solo business trip. Guess what he brought? A t-shirt from the Hickory Crawdads!!! Who are they? Well they're the next level up in for our own Spokane Indians in the Texas Ranger's organization. Norm even saw some of our players from last year. The funny thing is, he says that our stadium experience is so much better than the next level up. How about that? We are so fortunate.

Friday night I went to a baseball game and was highly entertained, not by the play but by the opposing manager. To say that he did not agree with an umpire's call would be an understatement. First he argued. Then he kind of danced up and down. Then he pumped his fists and danced up and down. At that point the umpire tossed him. Ah, but the show had just begun. The manager took is lineup card, folded it neatly and stuffed it in the umpire's shirt. Then he did my favorite thing: he kicked dirt. He actually kicked dirt. (This picture is not from our game. I think it's Lou Pinella) I thought we were at a Dodger's game (or maybe it was the Yankees). Apparently kicking dirt was not enough for him, so he took off his hat, threw it on the ground, and kicked it, again, and again, and again. Then he walked up to a spectator (I kind of held my breath at this point), and.....shook his hand. Walking over to his dugout, he took off his cap and kicked it again. Instead of walking into the dugout, he walked passed it towards the spectators near the bullpen. At this point the funniest thing of the whole spectacle happened. As he passed beyond the view of his players in the dugout, they all stood up and came out of the dugout to see what their manager was going to do! Fortunately, he began shaking the hands of four or five spectators along the third base side. Finally, he took a bow or two before all of the spectators and left the field. At that point, spectators, umpires, and players all kind of shook ourselves, brought back to the realization that, oh yeah, we're still playing a baseball game. I laughed till tears came to my eyes.

I have cherishing my time lately, painting, drawing, exercising, sitting on the deck. I've realized that there is a new sound outside and I think I've identified it as Rough-Legged Hawks. There must be a nest nearby. I think that the babies have just begun flying because Norm and I say them flying around yesterday, calling to each other. What an honor to have them in OUR backyard!!