Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Hello out there...

Hello to all my little friends out there in blog land.  I'm sorry that I have no new art to share today, but I have been sidetracked by the little things that happen in everyday life.  Like taking adult swim classes for those fearful of water.  I am doing really well.  There are three of us in the class. One lady had never been in a pool and is really still very scared.  The second lady is learning to swim for the first time and she has adapted quite well to the pool.  And then there's Maude....just kidding.  Yep, I am the remaining member of the class.  I never learned to swim as a child, took swimming lessons as a young adult, but never got comfortable in the water.  I am very buoyant and can always go into a back float and make my way to the edge of the pool if I get freaked out.  So when I found out that our local county rec center was offering these lessons specializing in newbies and scardy cats, I just knew this was it.  I knew this time I could give this fear to God and learn to swim. I signed up and got new swimming goggles and after two very gentle and helpful lessons (and being the bravest one in the class), last night I swam.  I actually swam.  Goggles on, face in the water blowing out air with my mouth, feet pointed and arms moving correctly, I swam.  My eyes are tearing up as I type this.  You have no idea what a gift this is. I was unafraid. Completely.  I was concentrating on kicking my legs,  face in the water, blowing out bubbles, and making sure my arms were coming out of the water.  When I needed more air I came to the surface and heard cheering.  I turned around and looked and way down at the other end were my fellow fraidy cats, going crazy, screaming "you swam, you swam".  So you know what I did? I swam back. 

I am so thankful and feel so blessed to be able to have made this much progress. I am still stunned that I did it.  Just like Tom Petty says, "the future is wide open".  It was so awesome.

Now for something else awesome, I'm going to take another trip to see my sister, Peri, in California.  She and a group of friends were going on a fall trip to view leaves and she realized that she needed to be at home during that time, so to make up for her missing her trip, I'm going out for almost a week to visit. I'll be staying at their studio.  I'll  have everything fun at my disposal. It even has an in-ground, saltwater pool and I am going to swim while I'm there. We will dabble in art, swim when we want, do some shopping and of course, eat out.

So if posts from me are few for the next several weeks, you'll know why.  I'm taking my mini laptop, so I can check in on stuff and won't be completely out of touch, but I just might take an "internet vacation" while I'm at it.  Refresh will only apply to me sitting in a lounge chair and close window may only happen if it gets chilly at night.

So be sure to think of me the first week of October and if you're going to be in the San Diego area and want to meet up, just let me know.  In any case, I'm sure everything will go swimmingly.  Groan.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Ducks on a pond...

Using a photo from the reference library at Wet Canvas, I painted these little guys.  Their website is free and has great copyright free photos to use in your art.

I find a picture I like, download it and pull it up on my computer screen to refer to as I paint.

 With the vision problems that I have, this method works quite well for me...better than a photo, because I can zoom in and out as required.

Sorry for the short post, but tonight is the premier show of Survivor and the finale of Big Brother 12. I'm a fan of several reality shows and even auditioned for Big Brother 6.  They had me so convinced that I would be picked that I got anxious and changed my mind.  I had even arranged for time off from work just in case, but when I got down to the last 200 applicants, I bailed and backed out.  Fortunately, I hadn't signed a bunch of waivers at that point.  Anyway, I'm glad that I at least tried out.

Have you or anyone you know ever auditioned or been on a television show?  I'm just wondering.

That's it for today.  When you have time, hop over to my other blog to see what else I'm doing.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

My latest paintings

Well, as we have all heard, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But sometimes what I think will make a great painting just doesn't work.  I am still coming to grips with the fact that even though you can get beautiful detail with pastels, you just can't use the same technique as with pen and ink or graphite.  Even a novice painter like me has to realize that sometimes it's the medium you are using and not you.  With all that being said I present to you two versions of what I thought would be a great painting.  I was thinking of an ultra close up shot of a flower, painted showing sun and shadow and lights and darks. I think sometimes I get confused and think that a painting has to look good close up and that's not always the case. 

Any hoo, I've done a large version on watercolor paper (which in another topic altogether)

and this much smaller version on Wallis sanded paper.  Neither painting really moves me and I still need to work on the leaf in this one, but I'm posting them anyway.

Deciding on what to paint sometimes is a hindrance for me, but I'm working through that right now and I think I'm going to try a much more painterly approach on my next few pieces.  To aid in this I will be trying out my new set of Pan Pastels.  They are super soft pastels that you apply with specially made sponge applicators.  Since I'm not a painter, but a "draw-er" this will entail learning some new techniques.

So there you have it.  Hope everyone is having a great weekend.  Hope you are being creative and loving life.  Take care and be happy.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Just a quick post...

Just a quick post to show several things I have done over the last week.  With my  hubby in DC this weekend, I tightened up several paintings and did a couple new ones.

Here is a still life with a stack of books.  I set this up with two light sources so I could have lots of shadows.  If, during the painting process something seems a bit off kilter, I like to bounce ideas off my hubby.  He knows what he likes, and he can always tell me if he thinks an area needs attention to be more visually pleasing. While not an painter, he is an artist in his own right (musician, singer, videographer and computer guy, just to name a few)  and being a carpenter always helps, because he has such a good eye for angles.  Plus, I trust his opinion.

Next we have a still life painting of a vase. As you know,  I am trying to find my way with pastels. My style falling somewhere between impressionistic and realism.  I really love the look of impressionist art, but have trouble letting go details.  But for what it's worth, here it is.

These next shots are the result of a conversation with a friend. She mentioned that the last time she saw me at our mixed media art group, I was working on the beaded vest.  She asked that I post pictures of it again.  So even though I'm doing pastel paintings these days, I thought I would throw in some of my previous pieces for folks that haven't seen them. (pay no attention to my crazy hair or my tremendously large body)  So Norma, these are especially for you.

All in all, I put in about 40 hours on this beading.  I also added bits of lace and some pewer charms to it.  Perhaps it will soon be cool enough to wear it again.

Well, that's it for today.  Hope everyone is having a good week and is staying out of the path of Hurricane Earl.  Looks like the Carolinas could be in for a soaking.   Hang in there, and even though hurricane parties are 'da bomb, please take any notices seriously and head to higher ground if so advised. 

Take care and enjoy the rest of the week.