Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A Winning Day

Oh, yes, we are on vacation for two weeks in Hilton Head. So, I will be posting periodically (as our Wi-Fi connections permits....grrrr) and whenever I can take time away from all the fun, sun and son.
Yesterday our resort scheduled a sandcastle/sculpture contest which Cameron was very eager to enter. He was confident we had it locked down, but we took the time to sit down in the morning and plan our project carefully since we knew there would be a time limit during the competition. We have seen families in this contest before and we knew that, without a plan, chaos reigns. So, Cam came up with a brilliant plan (as seen in the sketch above) which we tackled brilliantly during the 45 minutes of competition. We even allowed Dad to help (he is not artistic at all, so he was relegated to hauling water and packing sand).
For our planning, strategy and effort, we were awarded first place and received certificates for free ice cream! We think our castle is wicked good.
Oh, and as for me, my oldest son called later that evening to tell me that I had just received notice that I had won first place in an art competition, too. (I'll tell you more about that later.) So, it was truly a winning day.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Elephant Ears, Corn Dogs and Steak-On-A-Stick

Yeeha! Just found out that I have two of my drawings ("A Sticky Situation" below and "Teddy & Me") accepted into the Ohio State Fair Fine Arts Exhibit. Now, if you're not familiar with this exhibition, you might be thinking "big deal", but trust me, it is. This exhibition showcases some of the finest artists' work in Ohio and I am very honored and pleased to be included in this group. Plus, I get to go to the fair! Can you write off an elephant ear?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

WIP Slideshow

Rest from "Respite"

18 x 20" colored pencil drawing
It is finally finished! I was up until 2 a.m. this morning finishing this LARGE piece. (If your medium is colored pencil, you understand how long a large piece takes to finish.) Even though I loved working on this one (my sister was my muse), I was ready to finish it. I am leaving for a well-earned and long-awaited vacation with my family tomorrow and will not be back in the studio until next month. But I plan to blog a bit about my vacation (taking a laptop) and hopefully take some fantastic reference photos. And, of course, I'm taking my sketchbook.
So, stay tuned and leave me some comments once in a while (just so I know you're out there.)

Friday, June 15, 2007

Just a Dish - Not a Wish

"Buddy's Bowl"
2.5 x 3.5" colored pencil drawing
The past two days have been about a wish, but today it's just a dish. Buddy's outdoor water bowl, to be exact. I really liked this little piece because of the colors, the reflections on the water and a little piece of garden hose. Hope you like it, too.
By the way, for those of you who've been reading this for a while, my dog, Buddy is doing very well and recovering from his knee surgery nicely. Last night was the first time he had been able to run with me for a very long time. He only had to slow down and walk twice.....or was that me?
Yeah, I'll blame it on Buddy.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

I Wish I May....

"Make a Wish II"
2.5 x 3.5" colored pencil
I do not spend much time gardening and when I do, I throw things into pots or buy a couple of perennials a year and put them in the ground. So needless to say, I do not have a koi pond, waterfall, sculpted landscaping or "yard art" much to the chagrin of my neighbors. But, this wishing well was in our backyard when we bought our home and has usually only been used as a paintball target for my son and his friends (I did not include the paint spots in my drawing), but I thought I would start my series of ACEO's by drawing "stuff in my yard". Yesterday's drawing of a dandelion (Make a Wish I) was, too, and is typical of what grows in my yard (much to the chagrin of my neighbors.)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

First One

"Make a Wish"
2.5 x 3.5" colored pencil on paper
Here's the first one. Let me know what you think. (I managed to get this done with four kids in the house. Ain't I something!)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

New for Me: ACEO's

"Respite" - Phase 9
18 x 20" colored pencil

Here's the next phase of my WIP, "Respite". I know you are probably as eager as I am to see it finally finished. But it's a very large piece for me and I have a little boy home with me now (see previous post!) so I hope you will bear with me.

I am leaving soon on vacation for two weeks and have decided to try something new for me, ACEO's, Art Cards, Editions and Originals. They are small 2.5 x 3.5" drawings which I plan to do on my trip, as well as hopefully taking some swell reference photos. Maggie Stiefvater, my new art guru and motivational blogger, suggested that I start doing them, and based on Maggie's success with her work, I'll so whatever she says! (Check out her blog; this woman is very entertaining.)

So stay tuned and I hope to have my first ACEO done tomorrow, unless I am taking a small boy somewhere "not boring".

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Tanned All Over

My sister (as seen below) showed up recently with the most beautiful, even, all over tan I have ever seen. Of course, I asked how and where she got it and she confessed that she had gone in for a "Mystic Tan". This is done in a tanning salon with a spray application of "active tanning solution" within a private booth. Thursday, I got my Mystic Tan; here's how it went:

At the salon, I was greeted by a bubbly, very tanned young woman who advised me that I should do this at Level 2. She did not provide a color chart or a before and after photo, so I had to take her word for it and promptly paid my fee. Then I was told to sit before a TV monitor and to watch a 5 minute video on how to get my Mystic Tan. I should have known that, a) any procedure that requires video preparation is suspect; and b) the producers will glamorize any video possible, even one about tanning.

After being completely confused and now, even frightened but still wanting that golden glow, I followed my bubbly, bronzed goddess to a small room number 22, was told to go in and "go for it". Once inside room #22, I saw a large, silver tube-shaped device that reminded me of the sleeping chamber for Ripley from the Aliens movie. The door, I was told, opens and closes with a movement sensor and a wave of the hand. I was also to start the process with another movement-sensor device.

So I undressed, removed all jewelry, put on a hairnet, greased my palms, fingernails, and feet then almost fell down as a slipped across the floor to my space tube. I looked around for the goggles that were to be provided but did not find them. Not wanting to have to go out of room # 22 to look for Miss Bronze Bubbly while greased, hairnetted and naked, I decided I could keep my eyes closed instead and waved my hand in front of the door device. The door opened slowly and a female, robot voice began giving me further instructions. I waved my hand in front of the start device, was told by the robo-voice to step onto the platform and assume the position (legs spread, arms out to side like a scarecrow and holding one's breath) and the countdown started.

I expected a gentle misting to take place; however, this baby shot tanning solution at a velocity I was not expecting nor quite ready for. (Be advised that while "in the position", do not overdo the stance.) But I held on, held my breath and kept my position. The frontal assault stopped and I was instructed to turn around and assume to position for the rear assault, did so, held my breath and took the second volley.

Once the shooting was over, I opened my eyes, at first thinking I was now blind, but soon realized the tube was still filled with a fog, took my first breath and sputtered and coughed. So, I groped desparately around inside my pod to find door sensor to freedom. Once I found it, it opened spilling me gasping and groping with squinting eyes out onto a slippery tiled floor. I lunged forward, found my towel, and wiped off much of what was on my face and body. My vision cleared and my normal breathing returned. I realized that there was tanning solution in my ears, up my nose and probably in various other places where tanning is not normal. (Q-tips are provided to correct this.)

I dressed slowly, so as not to fall on the slippery tile, and gathered my jewelry and other belongings. I left feeling a little shakey. Miss Bronze Bubbly greeted me and asked "How was it?", but, of course, I lied and said "Fine." I stopped in front of a mirror to fix my hair and check my look before leaving and realized that I had already started to get that fantastic, all over, bronze tan I had wanted!

So, I made another appointment.

Respit - Phase 7
18 x 20" colored pencil drawgin

Respite - Phase 8
18 x 20" colored pencil drawing

Stephen Wiltshire: The Human Camera

Stephen Wiltshire: The Human Camera

Yesterday, this post was a flop. So, of course, we'll try one more time. If you can't see the video on my blog, try the link. It's worth it.


Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Feigned Ignorance

"Respite" - Phase 6
18 x 20"
colored pencil drawing
My youngest son has now completed the third grade with flying colors and is home with me now all day......every day. And it has already started. In less than 24 hours, he is actually saying "I'm bored."
Now, having been a mom as long as I have you know there are several translations to this boy-speak:
1. Take me somewhere really fun.
2. Take me somewhere really expensive.
3. Buy me something really fun.
4. Buy me something really expensive.
5. Take me to the pool.
6. Take me to any one of my friends.
7. Feed me lots of sugar.
I, however, have decided, like any smart native, to ignore a rude, demanding person who doesn't know that I know their language. I choose to feign total ignorance of all of the possible answers he would like to hear with one answer: "Then go clean your room."
Usually, that holds him off for at least a half an hour or so.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

On The Street

"Respite" - Phase 5
colored pencil drawing
18 x 20"
Last Saturday evening, during the Gallery Hop in the Short North Arts District in Columbus, four artists (one was me!) from Studios on High Gallery, set up our easels and tables and made art out on the street. In front of a lot of people. The Hops in this area attract thousands every month, especially during the warmer weather months, and this past Saturday was really "hopping".
As an artist, most of us are introverts and are never happier than when we are alone in our studios making our art. However, in order to sell it (which only serves to support our habit of making it), we have to come out of hiding once in a while. But it is WAY out of our comfort zones. (There are exceptions, right Sandy?)
I have heard it said that showing your art in public is like standing naked on a street corner and singing an aria. You do feel extremely exposed. But jumping out into that void with other artist friends felt like a bit of a safety net. And once out there, all of us found a very receptive, kind and admiring audience.
So lesson learned: overcome your fear and jump, it might be a whole lot of fun, especially if you take a friend or two with you.
"Every day do something that frightens you." (Eleanor Roosevelt)

Friday, June 1, 2007

Circus Tricks

"Respite" - Phase 4
colored pencil drawing
18 x 20"
On Thursday night, we took our 9 year old son and 6 year old granddaughter to see "Corteo" which is a Cirque de Soleil show. As usual, their productions are amazing, breathtaking and utterly a joy. As an artist, it is almost overstimulating to take in all of the costumes, set designs, colors, musicians, singers, acrobats, and actors. You could probably see one of their shows several times and see something new each time. For as much as I enjoyed seeing it, I'm sure the kids were mesmerized.
However....some of the acrobatic stunts (which were wonderful) also may give impressionable children several ideas. We threatened them with everything short of calling the police if they tried any of these:
1. There was a very tiny, tiny woman (I think the politically correct term is Little Person) who was harnessed into some extremely large helium balloons (think of each balloon as the size of a VW bug). She was then bounced around the audience like a beach ball at a rock concert. No kidding.
2. A troop of very talented, extremely fit, and very well practiced acrobats did a series of tricks jumping on beds. With much flipping, flying and landing without a scratch. What every child wants (and tries) to do at least once in their life, and if lucky, only wind up with a sore behind and not a broken arm.
3. Four extremely fit and beautiful young women (in garters and stockings, not that my husband noticed THAT) performed some incredible, high overhead stunts on some oversized chandeliers. They hung by their toes...without a net. No kidding.
4. An extremely fit and beautiful young couple performed high, overhead stunts on a couple of ropes. They, too, performed without a net, which we, at this point, were kind of getting inured to, until she hung upside down and he held on to nothing but her ponytail. No kidding.
So now I am waiting for the day when the I see our granddaughter sailing over the backyard suspended by six helium balloons probably where she has just been launched by her uncle from our second floor deck..... Thank God we don't have a large chandelier.


"Respite" - Phase 3
colored pencil drawing
18 x 20"
I am having WITH-DRAW. That's one of my words for not having the time to draw at all for a while.
It's been a busy week for me with all the "artsy busy work" as I call it: taking pieces to the framer, taking pieces to the photographer, setting up an appointment with a printer, talking to shippers, filling out forms for new show entries, filling out forms for current shows, writing new artist statements for current shows, getting ready for a demonstration, designing new promotional pieces for myself and our gallery, etc., etc.
Most people don't know that a HUGE amount of an artist's time is spent on this kind of "busy work". However, if you want to be an artist, you have to learn to love this part of the job, too. And I do. I just have to deal with "with-draw" from time to time.