Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Off to the Show

"Red Trunks"
ACEO Original Colored Pencil Drawing
2.5 x 3.5"

I am off to the CPSA International Show and Convention this week. I'm looking forward to seeing people I met last year, meeting some new ones (some I've been talking to on-line) and seeing the fantastic work. I'll fill you in when I get back. TTFN!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

New Work In Progress

I have been very busy working on a new colored pencil drawing which measures 12 x 16". I am using a light warm gray colored matboard for this piece.

My computer has been down for a couple of days with a drastic case of BSOD (Blue Screen of Death). Michael, our Super Computer Guy, made a housecall today and set it right. Whew....

But, having no access to my computer (which can be as you all know, a HUGE distraction from making art) has allowed me to really breeze along on this piece. Expect it to slow down a little now that I am up again!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Wee-Wee-Wee-Wee All the Way Home

ACEO Original Colored Pencil Drawing
2.5 x 3.5"
Today I laughed out loud while sitting alone at my computer, having gotten way too tickled by a domain name suggestion which popped up on my computer. Silly, silly, but still it made me laugh.
Growing up with a name like Bartoe, you'd think at my age I would have heard all of the "improvements" that could be made to it, but apparently not. While using my name to search for available domain names, some alternative name suggestions were compiled by their search engine: "HindranceDigit", "PubDigit", "PubToe" and here's the one that made me laugh: "Pub Piggie".
I know, I know, but my mind went wild designing a line of t-shirts, mugs, bed linens, martini glasses, posters, purses, my own line of martini mixers, all with these slightly inebriated, slutty little pink pigs on them. And all with my name on them!
So I enjoyed my cheap belly laugh and bought the domain name.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Less Talk.....

ACEO Original Colored Pencil Drawing
2.5 x 3.5"
"Time and money spent in helping people to do more for themselves is far better than mere giving." Henry Ford
Besides looking at my work today, I hope you will take a moment and go to the Kiva website and read about the organization and what they do. Amazing, brilliant, simple and something that is WORKING. Be sure to check out the stats on loan repayment history and the media coverage.
Because it's been so easy to say to myself "What can I possibly do?" and become overwhelmed with "negative stuff", I was thrilled to find this opportunity to really make a direct hand to hand difference. So take a moment and check it out.
By the way, I found the Kiva site through Julia's blog "How I Changed the World Today. Check her out, too.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Funeral for a Friend

"African Violets"
ACEO Original Colored Pencil Drawing
2.5 x 3.5"


Yesterday we attended a very small, intimate funeral in our bare feet and shorts...in our backyard. But Speedy the gerbil would have wanted it that way. He was a loving and loyal little rodent to Cameron for over 3 years (is that 99 in human years?). He had passed away quietly some time on Saturday. By his side was his life-long companion, Pluto, who was visibly shaken and unable to attend the funeral. Speedy was preceded in death by a distant relative Fluffy who passed away approximately 4 years ago; Speedy was buried by Fluffy's side next to the wishing well.

We will not bew earing black or covering the mirrors as Speedy was a happy kinda gerbil and would have wanted us to celebrate him in death as in life. So we did just that, and once Cameron's tears stopped, we all went out for ice cream.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Perfection Flaw

"Shade Cascade"
ACEO (2.5 x 3.5")
Original colored pencil drawing
I am a perfectionist. There I said it. I used to be fiercely proud of this and thought it was a gift. Especially when it came to my drawings. Note, I did not say my "art". Yes, I can almost always render nearly "perfect" drawings but I cannot always produce a great piece of art. Great and perfect do not go hand in hand.
A friend and fellow artist, who is also my framer, taught me a lesson not long ago and it has affected me in a powerful way. I took a small work in to her shop for framing and while laying it out, noticed a slight roughness along the edge of the work where I had "colored outside the line". My first reaction was "Oh, no, I have to fix this". She stopped me and said: "This work is very good and very personal. Leave it alone. Good art is never perfect and should indicate somewhere where your hand has touched it." Wow.
I've also read Bet Borgeson's book "Colored Pencil for the Serious Beginner" (which I HIGHLY recommend for any artist) where she writes "Goodness lacks perfection. Superior art often has a scratchy, unsettled quality about it. Imperfectness of expression, executed powerfully may be the crux of attention-getting and holding greatness. Perhaps a surplus of perfection would lessen its humanity." This, too, really hit home with me.
So, these days I am really, really trying to lessen the perfection of my work in order to increase its humanity. I am trying so hard to color outside the lines.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

My Work's on E-Bay!

"Make a Wish - I"
ACEO original colored pencil drawing
I've spent most of my morning fiddling with E-Bay setting up my account and listing my first item. Whew! I hope this gets easier. It's almost like going to a restaurant with a huge menu; too many options to choose from. Just give me the burger and fries, please. So, right now that's what my E-Bay listing looks like: basic fare. Oh, well, hopefully it's the art that will catch the bidders eye.
So, take a look, hopefully you'll bid, but if you don't just drop me a line of encouragement or advice. If you are an expert E-Bay-er (is that a word? is now), I can use all the advice I can get!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Where I Spend Most of My Time - More If I Could

Because my 9 year old son is not in school right now due to an outdated need for summer breaks from school; and because he is grounded from all electronic gadgets for the time being (why do the punishments always affect the punisher, too?); and because he is the one child I have birthed who cannot entertain himself, I spent most of my day answering to the phrase "Mom, can you take me....", "Mom can you fix me....", "Mom, can I...., "Mom?"..... (I told him that tomorrow my name will be "Queen Bee Head Honcho" and not to use "Mom" ever again. See if that fixes things.)

So, in order to create, I am one of those artists who needs a little quiet time and today that just did not happen. But I did surf the web and read a bit about other artists and what they're doing, how they're doing it and got pretty inspired. I'll be back on track soon, I hope.

One of the most fun things I found was a website www.onmydesk.com which shows artists' studios and where they work. I have always loved to see where people live and work and this is an opportunity to peek behind the scenes. Most artists function in what others would find to be too much chaos; but it's nice to see that I am in good company.

I am also very lucky to have my own studio space in our house, which was converted from our "formal living room" we only walked past for 6 years. My husband was aghast when I told him what I was going to do, but after agreeing to put french doors with frosted glass in the entry, he reluctantly agreed. But it has worked out wonderfully and I am very happy. (Lee is smart enough to know that if I am happy, life is good.)

Thought I'd share my studio with you today.

The windows face west, not north, but I'm not complaining.

Control Central: my desk where I control my universe. Right....
However, do note the "I Heart Mom" banner over the door. Priceless.

Saw Bet Borgeson's studio in her book "Colored Pencil for the Serious Beginner" where she kept all of her working colored pencils in jars. Loved it; had to do it.

These are from Bob Burridge who handed them to me in one of his workshops. Loved him, loved the message. Always tell youself "yes". They always hang on my light over my drafting table.Personal stuff: my running training calendar, personal photos, painting hat and a painting I bought from a local artist who, in spite of have Muscular Dystrophy, creates some wonderful work. He inspires me.
After ripping up the blue carpeting (yikes!), we screwed some MDF boards down and I painted them with some wonderful colors I need to surround myself with when our winters here are too grey. They remind me of the beach in summer.
One of my other hobbies is making jewelry (actually it's just buying and collecting beads, but don't tell Lee) and here's a corner where I do it. We made this long table out of salvaged card drawers from an old Hallmark store and two $10 doors from Home Depot.
More Mom treasures. Who couldn't love a pipecleaner spider?
My view. There is a creek behind those trees. Bliss.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Home Again, Home Again

Home at last!
My husband, Lee, my youngest son, Cam, and I spent two weeks in Hilton Head, where have gone every summer for the past eight years. There was much relaxing, reading, golfing, beach-sitting, boogie boarding, running, biking, eating FRESH fish and just (as I call it) ratcheting down. We all needed it.
But, after two weeks, I really miss my oldest son, my dog, and my studio. I'm not sure if that's the correct order for the list, but it's close.
We took a detour on the way home to see a show at Franklin Square Gallery in Southport, NC, where it is housed in a wonderful old building smack in the middle of the town. I had, as I told you in my last post, won an award and wanted to see the gallery and the other work. I won first place in the 2D category for "Early Autumn Meditation"; but to make this show even sweeter for me, the piece sold! Yeah!
I also was very smitten with the town of Southport. We spent some time there and ate some wonderful seafood at a dockside restaurant. Becuase I could so picture myself living and working in one of the town's charming cottages, I made Lee drive around to ogle the properties for sale. Of course, the one I truly fell in love with would requre a lotto win.
I took about a bazillion (that's a word, just ask Cam) pictures and got some very good reference photos. I'm going to try my hand at some landscape work and hope to have something started later this week.