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