Saturday, December 31, 2005

2005 Review

December 31 and it is time to stop and take a look at the last year, and plan for the next!
Things I've learned this last year:
That quick little sketches can bring back as much memory as more elaborate sketches. I look at this scribble of a ski lift and get chilly!

That the simplest little things around you can be good subject matter, and the closer you look at something, the more you understand it.

That a fast sketch that I don't really like at first
can turn out to be one of my favorites after all.
That if I loosen up a bit and quit worrying so much
about the outcome, it usually turns out okay in the long run.

That if one is going to
read good art instruction books...

it is usually beneficial to also
put some of that instruction into practice
and actually TRY some of the recommended exercises...

and learn, therefore,
that you can add a little orange or purple to make fun greens...

...and that you REALLY can make black
without actually using the color black!

Finally, I've learned, that the key is


Thanks so much to all of you who have offered such
wonderful advice and support and encouragement!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Menagerie finale

When Santa is making his rounds, he stops at the edge of the Arabian desert, letting the reindeer out of their harnesses so that they may go to Switzerland for a brief break. Santa then changes over to a camel to complete his desert rounds.

Santa changes from reindeer to a camel because:
a. The reindeer are tired about then, and need a break.
b. The reindeer have difficulty managing the dry sandy terrain.
c. It is considered traditional for a wise man to come on camel when he is bearing gifts.
d. Because of the political climate in that region, it is wisest for Santa to travel in camelflauge.

And, speaking of strangers bearing gifts, here is my little Christmas gift to all of you. Turn the sound up if you like, but it can also be played with while the sound is muted. Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 23, 2005

Christmas Cactus

An old sketchbook page. This was the best Christmas cactus I ever had -- and it has never bloomed as well since.

Inspired by Laura's upcoming retrospective of her 2005 art, I may just have to do the same. You'll notice this page is from TWO years ago. I thought I'd really improved until I looked at this, although there is no telling how many hours and hours I spent doing this one. At least the work goes faster now. It makes me consider re-introducing that darn brown again, though!

We've been in Texas with relatives the past few days and are now on our way to visit others, so I'm not able to post any new stuff until Christmas afternoon. Don't worry -- y'all will get your Christmas present then!

AND, by the way -- while in Texas using my sister-in-law's computer, I was horrified to see how terrible my template looks in her browser. What is a nice cream color on my computer is a ghastly yellow color on hers. If it looks as horrid on your screen, try looking at it in Internet Explorer -- let me know, because if everybody gets that nasty color I'm changing templates!

You've made my year a joy! Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 19, 2005

Merry Menagerie Two

our favorite Christmas song
(and possibly one of the greatest Christmas songs ever written.)

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Merry Menagerie One

Posted by Picasa
As we all gator around the Christmas tree this year, let's remember our friends on the Gulf Coast who are still struggling to rebuild from the storms they suffered this last hurricane season.

And if you've ever wondered what a southern-Louisiana cajun style Christmas parade is all about, be sure to go see Annie's pics and great commentary from her hometown parade this year. It's sure to make you smile!

Merry Christmas to Ms. Annie Oddflower and all her buds in Louisiana -- this one's for you guys!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Done Shopping

I decided that during the month of December, at least until Christmas, that is, all my blog posts would have a holiday theme of some type or another.

In the spirit of the season, therefore, here is a litle ditty just for you, dear readers.

(to the tune of Jingle Bells)

A day or two ago,
This idea sounded fun,
I'd leave work at noon,
And get my shopping done. (all done!)

I'd be home by dinnertime
To eat, then wrap them all,
But now it's nearly nine p.m.
And I'm still at the mall.

Oh! Jingle hell! Jingle hell!
Shopping all night long!
It's no fun to be someone
In this obnoxious throng!

Jingle hell! Jingle hell!
Who knew it'd be this hard?
That's it! I quit! The rest will get
A Target gift card!

So there. Now, let's all go eat some chocolate. Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 09, 2005

You Better Watch Out

...You better not cry,
You better not pout,
I'm tellin' you why,
Santa Claus is comin' to town!

This is for a friend of mine who (in a moment of desperation) told her rather energetic son that certain Santa figures have radio transmitters in them which send a signal to the North Pole letting Santa know if he's been bad or good.
Now the kid apologizes to the decorations on a regular basis.

Yep, you'd better watch out folks! There are Santa Cams EVERYWHERE! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, December 03, 2005

China - EDMWC

See -- I was good and went and did the EDM challenge. And see -- this is why I don't do still lifes! Cups and such are all so symmetrical; flowers and sticks are leaves aren't, so you can't tell if its the drawing or the subject that's lopsided. We can just pretend that this drawing is perfect and the cup ITSELF is wonky... Posted by Picasa


Julie asked about my new dagger brush. Here is a picture of it -- it is a nice flat brush that is shaped like a dagger rather than squared off. Loaded with pigment, you can use the tip to do long thin lines; adding a bit of pressure, the line widens, and turning to the side you can get the wide stroke of a typical flat brush. The past couple of weeks I've done a couple of sketches with bare tree branches using it, and the little bit of line variety is much more interesting than with a liner or other small brush.

And here is a picture of my favorite pen. I use these to sketch and to write with -- they don't run when wet so they're good for checks and other "important" documents. Do you see the note that goes with the pen? I got into the watercolor class that I've been on the waiting list for!!!! Woo hoo!!! It starts the first weekend of January, and I'm totally jazzed!

At the art supply store today, picking up some extra supplies needed for the aforementioned watercolor class (did I mention that I got in???!!!) I saw a pad of Sennellier pastel card, and had to pick it up, too. (Hey, December IS the month for shopping, isn't it?) Anyway, this paper looks like it is going to be great for pastel, which I'm going to play with this afternoon. Gotta get caught up on those Everyday Matters challenges ... Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 18, 2005

That Old House

The Everyday Matters challenge this week was to draw a local landmark. This old house on Middlebrook Pike probably isn't a landmark to many people, but I drive past it every day on the way home from work. My guess is that it was built sometime shortly after the Civil War, and the road has crept up to its front door as the years have gone by. In the evenings, the sun sets through the trees in the back, and the house is just a burned out blur -- I especially love it in the autumn. There are other landmarks that I have in mind to draw, but this one came first!

By the way -- The other day I picked up a dagger brush that turned out to be great for tree branches and foliage. It may be my new favorite! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 12, 2005

EDMWC - Folds

Graphite drawing of a dinner napkin for the Everyday Matters Weekly Challenge. It is so relaxing to work in pencil; studying watercolor has become a lot of work... Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The Day After Halloween

And what are we supposed to do with all this leftover candy??? Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 30, 2005


I finally found a watercolor teacher that I want to study with. Sadly, her classes are full, so I'm on a waiting list. She gave me her list of materials, including her recommended palette, and I've been trying to work with it, along with my additions of WN cadmium orange and MaimeriBlu sap green. However, the other day when I was talking with her on the phone, she was adamant that sap green should NEVER be used, as it is a fugitive color. If this is true, my sketchbooks will be faded messes in just a few years. I just can't figure out how to mix good greens without it, though!

Other things going on --
-- Still re-doing part of the living room to make a painting corner, rather than sitting at the breakfast nook table. I LIKE the breakfast nook best, but the mess is, well, messy.

-- I was at the used book store the other day and found a couple of Nick Bantock books in very good shape for only $3.00 apiece. I've heard about this Griffin and Sabine stuff for a couple of years, but never read the books, so I decided what the heck. Darn it, I gotta admit that they are intriguing ...

-- I'm so behind in the Everyday Matters Challenges that I fear I will never get caught up! Monday night, while sitting by the door waiting for Trick-or-Treaters, I plan on drawing the Halloween candy. That will get one done, at least ...

Now -- off to work on putting together a Halloween costume for myself for tomorrow. Our work group is going as the Gilligan's Island bunch, and I have one of the easiest costumes of all -- Mary Ann. Just gotta figure out how to get a poof in the top and back of my hair while still doing pigtails... life is sometimes kind of weird, isn't it! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 16, 2005

EDM Leaves?

Yes - I've been able to do a little bit of painting and drawing in the past couple of weeks, but not much. Last weekend, DH's parents and family came in, and were here until mid-week. This weekend, MY parents came in to visit. All in all a wonderful two weekends in a row, and as I very much love all parties involved, I've been more than happy to put artwork aside for a bit.

However, I did find time to begin this full size (!) watercolor of autumn leaves, inspired by the Everyday Matters weekly challenge a few weeks back, and based on a photograph I found on Morguefile. This is just the upper left hand corner. I left the largest leaves unpainted, because they will need to be really detailed and I was afraid that even an initial wash would mess me up -- I don't know yet if that was a good decision or not! This has really been fun to work on, as I've only drawn a few of the leaves at a time, then worked on them, then drawn the next few. Rather than being anything close to a precise copy of the photo, this painting has evolved as I work on it. Hopefully it will continue to feel this good!

I should be back on a more regular schedule by Wednesday and hope to begin then to catch up a bit on challenges. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 06, 2005


Everyday Matters weekly challenge from a couple of weeks ago -- draw your eye. Being a bit short on time tonight, I only did the one, and just like in a lot of photos of me, it looks a bit drunk or something! Oh well. It feels good to get a pencil in my hand again this week! Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 03, 2005

October Sunday on the Lake

To the lake on Sunday with Sis and our friend, while DH stayed home to watch football. We rode around in the boat, beaching it a few times to explore the shore and trying to gather enough wild persimmons to make pudding. Summer seems to be a bit prolonged this year -- and that suits me just fine!

I did this quickie watercolor sketch last time we were out, taking only about 5 minutes so she wouldn't know I was drawing her. Yep, I'm just another step closer to sketching total strangers in coffee houses and burger joints ... Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 26, 2005

Sad Pear

Our friends lost their 18 year old daughter in an automobile accident early this morning. Tonight I tried to sit and draw this pear (which found its way from a box lunch into my pocket at a business meeting this last week) but just couldn't get excited about it. I hurried through and sat with a deck of cards playing game after game of solitaire instead.

I just want to say, love your children well, folks. You never know what tomorrow may bring.

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Brown Blues

Now that September is here, and things are beginning to turn brown AND now that I've banished browns from my watercolor palette, I find I have a problem ... HOW DO YOU MAKE BROWN???

Really, I'd like to know.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 12, 2005

Blackberry Lily

Blackberry lily, from my sister's yard. NOW I know how it got it's name!

This is in a new sketchbook -- it is 11" high by 13" wide, and is 140# watercolor paper. Much fancier than I'm used to, and I'm having a blast with it!Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 09, 2005

EDMWC - Collection

This week's challenge for the Everyday Matters group is to draw a collection.

I have a silly collection of cheese spreaders (with the RULE that they have to have a goofy, tacky figure on the handle) that I keep hidden away ... it was fun to do a silly drawing to match! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 08, 2005


Magnolia seed pod -- blown down by the recent winds, from the tree in the front yard. Inspired by Laura, although I could never do as well as she does! The details of the thing are driving me crazy. ANY ideas to "fix it up" would be very welcome! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 04, 2005


This is not the most successful of paintings, but it IS a very important one to me. I'm getting over my fear of drawing in front of people, or of even being SEEN drawing ... I actually pulled a seat up to these flowers in the front yard, right at the end of the driveway, right where everyone could see me it they wanted... and drew.

Next thing you know I'll be sitting at coffee shops, drawing total strangers! :-)
Posted by Picasa