Sunday, May 29, 2005


This is my favorite gardening tool. It digs, hoes, loosens dirt, chops, transplants ... you name it! If we have one rule in this house regarding tools, it is that DH keeps his hands off this one - it's MINE! :-) Posted by Hello

Thursday, May 26, 2005


In the comments section of the previous post, Chuck asked about the Everyday Matters Weekly Challenges, and how they work. There is a great FAQ somewhere on the Everyday Matters List site, but I thought I'd also take a shot at the answer, just in case anyone else is wondering.

Chuck -- we get an art "challenge" thrown out once a week. The goal is to do that week's challenge by Friday or Saturday, but there isn't really a time limit, except that doing them on time keeps the momentum going for the entire group. A lot of new members will go back to the challenge list and do several in a row, just to have a list of things to draw when inspiration is otherwise lacking. It isn't uncommon for folks to say, "hey, I finally did Challenge number 3, go take a look" no matter how far in the past it is. The point is to get out and draw.

I have found them to be a really good way to stretch myself out of my comfort level, and draw types of things I would bother to do otherwise. I mean, I NEVER would have drawn my glasses, or desk lamp, or messy desk if left to my own devices. I actually wouldn't have thought that I could enjoy drawing green beans, but ever since the "draw your dinner" challenge, fruit and vegetables have had a different type of attraction for me. I actually bought a blood orange the other day JUST so I could paint it. Of course, like most food, once I cut it and took a taste it didn't stay around long enough to make it to the painting stage, but that's beside the point! I never feel like the point of the challenges is to do a "finished" art piece, either. My personal challenge is to learn to work more quickly and with more spontaneity, so I have the goal that it can not take longer than 20-30 minutes, and preferably just 15. However, I guess if my tendency was to always work fast, my personal challenge might be to slow down and be more detailed. I wonder if others impose similar "rules" on themselves? It would be interesting to find out.

This week's challenge is to draw a tool. I decided to find and draw my little hand trowel, which, of course, I'd left out in the yard. Beside the trowel was this six pack of yellow squash plants that got sketched instead. I wonder, would I have looked at the squash as an art opportunity if I hadn't been looking for the trowel with the THOUGHT of art in my mind? I doubt it.

Thank goodness I didn't go looking for the mop. We might have had drawings of dirty floors here now if I had... Posted by Hello

Sunday, May 22, 2005


The weekly challenge for the Everyday Matters group this week was to draw a tree. Now, I live in East Tennessee, probably one of the greenest places in the country, and have upwards of 30+ very tall hardwood trees in my yard alone. Still, I couldn't find a tree to draw! It was a matter of not being able to see the trees for the forest, if you know what I mean. Today we went out on the boat and I brought my handy little sketchbook along, thinking I could sketch a nice tree or two while DH did some fishing, but found that every time we settled to one spot the wind or current would move us long before I finished any drawing. Sigh. Oh well. I did this little postcard watercolor last night from a photo in a book, so I guess it will have to count! I tried to work fast and wet, as the experts almost always say to do, and muddled it up a bit. The little dirt road on the left isn't TOO bad, but the mess on the right is supposed to be a creek ... use your imagination, people! Posted by Hello

Sunday, May 15, 2005


We spent part of this weekend in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Saturday, while DH was in a day long conference, I headed up to the Chattanooga Nature Center and Reflection Riding, just to check it out. Expecting a small 1-2 acre area with formal gardens and greenhouse, I was surprised to find a really wonderful and well maintained area with comfortable walking trails through the woods. Although the plan was to spend a couple of hours there, I ended up staying for 5 hours, and walked about 7 miles in all.

A litle past midway on a 3.4 mile loop, there is a pavillion with a cute little herb garden. I sat under a huge honey locust tree and began sketching this foxglove. After a few minutes I began hearing a strange tap-tap-tap sound, which turned out to be a light rain shower. The honey locust tree was so thick that I hadn't felt a single rain drop, but I stopped the sketch midway and quickly bagged pencils and sketchbook back up into their giant zip lock and into my little back pack. The rain stopped shortly after, but the sky was so grey that I decided to head back in. Of course the sun was back out within 10 minutes. I got a couple of photos of the foxglove, so maybe I'll do a little watercolor study of it one day.Posted by Hello

Flame Azalea

At one point on my walking adventure Saturday, I found this gorgeous flame azalea blooming. No way to catch it on film or paper -- it actually glows like flame! Posted by Hello


Walking around the Reflection Riding in Chattanooga Saturday I saw this Arrowwood bush in bloom. Some of the leaves were on the ground, so I used one to make leaf prints with watercolor. Posted by Hello


The treehouse on the Blue Heron walk at Chattanooga Nature Center. I want one!! Posted by Hello

Treehouse door

The back door of the treehouse at CNC. Beside the front door is a Shel Silverstein poem which reads:

A treehouse, a freehouse,
A secret you and me house,
A high up in the leafy branches
Cozy as can be house.
A street house, a neat house,
Be sure and wipe your feet house,
Is not my kind of house at all --
Let's go live in a tree house.
I couldn't agree more.Posted by Hello

Friday, May 13, 2005

The Rhodies Hit the Stage

The rhododenndron bushes outside the living room window are covered with blooms. They stand about nine feet high now, and I'm always thrilled with how well they bloom. I'm thinking of doing a large painting of them, as usual -- hopefully this year I'll get around to doing it before the blooms fade! Posted by Hello

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Happy Mother's Day

A quick watercolor of part of my Mother's Day bouquet. Here's hoping all the Moms out there have a wonderful day! And to my mom -- I love you so much -- thanks for all the support, even back in the day when I wasn't bright enough to realize that's what you were doing! Posted by Hello

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Phone: EDMWC

The Everyday Matters weekly challenge this week was to draw our phone. I wish I had a lovely antique phone to draw, or even a modern one with some character. It was hard to get excited about it, but then I really warmed up to the page when I decided to draw an ear to go along with it all. The plan is to write down all my important phone numbers on the white spaces on this page -- that way I have a backup list, and I'll remember where it is!

Its been a busy week, but I have gotten in a bit of art, although it isn't anything anyone would really want to look at. I bought a new shade of yellow watercolor -- Winsor Yellow, which I'm thinking will compare to Hansa Yellow, a shade that I've been advised to get but can't find in the local art supply store. If this yellow doesn't suit me I'll be sure to order Hansa Yellow when I next place an order through Jerrys. I also picked up a nice deep staining purple, since I really only had one purple and it seemed a bit reddish to use to deepen the shadows on my greens, as advised by Jim. I know, I could have just "blued it up", but then what would I have gotten to BUY this week??? Posted by Hello