Monday, July 30, 2012

No, that's not what I do...

If you think that I sit around all day eating bon-bons, no, that's not what I do.  Only because I do not have any.  Seriously though, when I'm not reading or cooking or watching the tube, OR doing needlework, or blogging, or surfing Pinterest and StumbleUpon, I create art.  As I said in my last post, not all paintings are successful, but you cannot have success without practice (that's what I call most of my art, anyway).

Here are the most recent practice pieces...

 (Edit:  I was just told in a very snarky fashion, after posting this painting on my Pinterest page, that this is Mount Garfield in Colorado. To which I thanked her profusely for making my day by recognizing it from the painting.)

This is the painting of the neighborhood at the bottom of the rock formation.  The  picture that I took is so much better than this rendition, but still I can find things about this that I like a lot.  The smaller house on the right side of the scene and the larger one just to the right of middle.  I like these.  The mess over on the left looks like a monkey came in during the night and played with my paints.  This piece was done in lots of layers of thinned out liquid acrylic.  I think I will probably try it again in pastels when the notion hits me.

This next one is completely out of my comfort zone.  Peri calls this style poster art.  It is done in acrylics and I was going for a graphic artist look.   My initial thought was to do several styles of painting using the colors pink, cream and green.  I was wanting to frame some art for one of the bedrooms and that is the color scheme.

I am doing these paintings on watercolor paper, but I may switch over to stretched canvases.  This next one was going to be a companion piece to the heart, but that studio monkey paid a visit and I had to change it significantly...

I went on and signed this, but it still needs a great deal of work.  So far the only thing I like about it is the signature and I messed up the date when I went to put '12 under my name and it looks like 72.  I know I'm probably too picky, but you know how that goes.

So that's it for today.  What's on YOUR easel?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

You are what you are...right?

My next post was going to be a tutorial of a painting that I have been working on, but it turned out so awful that I may not even post the finished piece.  I know that having a piece of artwork turn out to be unsuccessful doesn't mean I'm unsuccessful, it only means that it's a work in progress. 

Speaking of a work in progress, aren't we all just that?  It's all about growing and becoming what you are destined to a certain time.  What you will grow up to be, perhaps.  I remember telling my mother that I would be so glad when I grew up, because then no one would be telling me what to do.  Well, I guess I never grew up, because that never happened.  People still tell people what to do, from what foods are good and bad for them to what clothes and makeup to wear.  Which brings me to the purpose of this post. (nice segue, huh?) In the 1980's I had my colors done by a friend that was working for a cosmetic company called BeautiControl.  It was the home party type of deal where the demonstrator decided what colors you looked best in by placing swatches of different color fabrics under your face and had you to look in the mirror to see whether the warm swatch looked better than the cool color swatch.  It was fun and a new take on the at home selling party.  It was just the beginning of me being totally convinced that I could not, EVER, wear certain colors on or near my face.  She decided that I was a Winter and should only wear silver jewelry and jewel tone fabrics with the addition of black or white. 

I suppose for the most part she was right, but I didn't realize how firmly she believed in her work until I invited her to a Christmas party.  There was another guest who had also had colors done and was not supposed to wear warm colors  or jewelry.  The girl made her entrance in a beautiful sequined party top that belonged to her mother. This was a really high end piece of clothing and the mom had relented and let said daughter wear it to my party.  Well, let me tell you, Cindy, the color lady, almost fainted.  She went from being shocked to being mad.  Her word was law and that girl had no business wearing those colors and to top it off...she had on GOLD jewelry.  Cindy could not enjoy my party.  Ahhh, but I digress...

All of this is leading up to the fact that I went to the mall yesterday after finding that we now have a Bare Escentuals retail store in town.  Good thing I didn't know that it's been here for almost a year now. ( My loving sister got me the Bare Minerals starter kit and lots of brushes and accompanying eye shadows several years ago when I visited her and we went to ULTA, another great store. Thanks, Peri!)

I went in to replenish my foundation, because I have been making do with Merle Norman for several years and it's just not the same as Bare Minerals.  It's pretty good, but not the same.

I was waited on by the nicest young man, by the name of Tyler.  Tyler and I hit it off immediately.  I knew he was a professional because he had his brushes in a apron around his waist and he was whipping them out like he was a gunslinger in a spaghetti western.  He knew his stuff and showed me colors that he thought would work for me and when I told him, "oh, I can't wear warm colors",  he took his wrist and stroked a warm color foundation on his wrist (he is more of an olive complexion) and then stroked the same color on my wrist.  Guess what?  The color worked for both of us.  He told me I can wear any color that I want to, there is no one to stop me.  He reminded me to wear what I liked and not worry about what I'd been told in the past.  He didn't try to push anything on me and simply showed me that sometime things work that you didn't know would.

Well, $150.00 later, I'm restocked on all the colors that I KNOW work for me and I also indulged in the desert colors that I didn't think would work.  So, here are some photos of me wearing warm colors ON and NEAR my face.

The title of this post is "you are what you are...right?" because I decided not to photo shop out my wrinkles and saggy eye lids and double chins.  And yes, I'm wearing that same twenty year old tie dyed shirt that I cut the neck so it wouldn't choke me.  It's a recurring piece of clothing in this blog.

Please do not be alarmed at the drooping eyelid on the right.  It's just gravity taking hold after all these years.

Now my hair is actually longer than this, but I had both arms raised trying to take these pictures myself.  See those lines along my throat?  I am hoping that they are also due to the positioning of my arms, but I'm not too sure.

Here is a similar shot, but if you look closely, you can see the pepper part of my salt and pepper do.  It is still quite dark in the back, but when I wear it down it is covered up by the top layers of silver.  I have so much hair that it's like wearing a hooded sweatshirt.  With the weather in the triple digits almost all of July, that means pony tails and buns for me.

Actually, the main reason for posting these not-so-flattering shots is just to say hi.  Also, to let Peanut know that I'm still alive and kickin' and to remind myself that even though there will always be someone telling me what to do, I'm going to do what I want to anyway.  After all, I am what I am, right?

Monday, July 16, 2012

This is not my art

No this is not my art.

I am seriously considering doing something similar and this tutorial is extremely good.  It shows how a few simple shapes and watercolor washes can create a really nice piece of art.  Check it out here.

Seriously, go to Grow Creative for an excellent tutorial that will inspire those who think they couldn't manage a painting this complex.  You'll be surprised, I'm sure.  I haven't met Elise but she certainly has an impressive blog.

Now, if I can just get motivated enough to actually get my art supplies art and make some room to do some art.  My studio table is covered with everything from beads and wire to polymer clay and saw blades.  My own dear Mother, RIP, used to say to me that if there was a flat surface in the house, I would make sure to clutter it up with something.  I think I can make room on the kitchen table for some watercolor supplies.  I think I can....we'll see.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Happy Sunday

Well, the storm is over and the sound of chainsaws is finally dwindling down.  The streets are stacked dangerously high with tree limbs and branches.  There are still folks without power in other neighborhoods. 

Since it's been too hot to go out to do anything much, I'll show you several pictures of toppled trees from last week.

These were trees at the mall...

Every street in every neighborhood we passed look like this...

and the work removing them began almost immediately...

but the thing I like to remember is that when things are broken and we have survived the storm...

God shines His light on you.  Please join me in breathing a sigh of relief and saying a prayer of gratitude for surviving the storm.  I feel in my heart that those who lost their lives in the storms and the heat and the unusual accidents that seem to be plaguing this country are in His arms.  I try to remember to pray for the ones still here because even though they know their beloved ones are with Him, it is so hard to let them go.  I've been reading Ecclesiastes recently and this verse comes to mind... 

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die ... a time to weep and a time to laugh ... a time to mourn and a time to dance...
(Ecclesiastes 3:1-4)

I hope you have had a good week.  Try to stay cool and comfortable and thankful for weathering the storm. Perhaps this week will be your time to dance.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


Picture this.  Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner getting along well enough to get up on the roof and chainsaw (that's a verb in these here parts) limbs off a tree so it is no longer a danger.  Wile E. (who is wearing very low slung cut off jeans, no skivvies and possibly Crocs), is going to have a severe case of crack sunburn tomorrow. Road Runner is carrying a branch at a time in her beak/hand.  It's 90 degrees before eleven a.m. and no doubt Wile E and RR are hungover from the 4th of July festivities. It seems my neighbor has "saved" a bundle getting his kids and spouses to take care of the results of Friday's derecho wind event.

Such are the viewings from my computer room window.  How is your day shaping up?

Sunday, July 1, 2012

What a Peachy Keene idea!

When life gives you lemons you make lemonade, right?  Well, when life melts all your Popsicles, you adapt also. I have been meaning to try this idea, but I thought it was too simple to work.  Too good to be true, that sort of thing.  For once, and mark your calendars, folks...I was wrong. Yep, you heard it here first. I was wrong. This is the best idea that I have seen in a long time.

Freeze the peaches (in the can-unopened), I used the kind canned in their own juice. When completely frozen, remove them from the freezer and run the can under some hot water for about 30 seconds (still unopened).  Then remove both ends of the can (one end of mine was a pull tab and the other end required my hand opener) push frozen peaches into either a blender container or bowl suitable for mixing with a stick mixer.  Pulse blend the peaches until they start to look like this...  I was astounded.  Not only that  it worked so easily, but at how delicious they are.

I did place the mixture back in the freezer (after several tastes) and am now getting ready to sit down in front of the fan (the storm cooked our air conditioning unit), eat yummy peach sorbet and catch up on my shows.

So remember when life gives you lemons, oops...peaches, make sorbet.

Home again

To market, to market, to buy a fat pig.
Home again, home again, jiggety jig.
To market, to market, to buy a fat hog,
Home again, home again, jiggety jog.
To market, to market, to buy a plum bun,
Home again, home again, market is done.

Back at home. Will have to replace all the foods in the fridge and freezer,  but other than that life is good.