Sunday, December 28, 2008

Wii Interrupt This Blog

Well, I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas. I know my family did. My wonderful daughter came home from Florida, and we all joined my sister to go to my parents' house, about an hour and a half away from here. My other sister's family stayed at their new home in Kentucky, but we texted fairly often during the day and talked on the phone several times. I have the best family. I hope they all know how grateful I am for them and how much I love them.

My hubby gave me a Wii Fit for Christmas, and we had the best time all together playing sports and doing balance challenges. The evening after Christmas, of course, I was at the stores picking up Guitar Hero -- World Tour. Oh yeah. I loved this gift -- it had us all DOING something together. Let me repeat -- TOGETHER.

Of course, now we're back home, the wonderful daughter left this morning, and Doug is really more interested in watching football. Fortunately, one can also Wii SOLO. Wheeee!

Therefore, it is with some wii-grets that I have to announce that blog postings may temporarily interrupted, as I quit my job, cancel all social engagements, put a hold on all hobbies, and set the telephone on standby while I work on my new careers of professional bowler, fitness instructor, and Rockin' Guitar Heroine.

Fond wii-gards,

Lead guitarist stage name -- Lindora
Bass guitarist stage name -- LindyB
Band -- The Venom Spitters
Other Band -- D Legyndz (Rock On, Alexandra!)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Bing and Bowie

Oh, it has been sooooo very busy. No good art to show. But there's always a minute to fit in a song, don't you think?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas Candy

Off shopping today! Maybe I will end up at the mall after all. Sigh.
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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Pencil sketches

I'm back! And although I said there would be art today, I'm only showing pencil stuff. I'm playing with some mixed up acrylic stuff on watercolor paper, and it is waaaaay slower going than I'd expected and there's nothing to show with it but a bit of a mess right now. Meanwhile -- I realized I was letting my day planner Moleskine go to waste, so I started using the paper for pencil sketches. I think that I'm going to find a way to carry a little one and a pencil with me from now on -- I'd forgotten how fun quickies with a 2B or 4B could be!
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Of course I have to figure out how to keep the pencil from getting all "smeary" as I don't relish the idea of spraying fixative every day in a sketchbook. Not that it matters....

Anyway, maybe I'll manage to do something Christmas-y tonight! How is everyone doing with their shopping? So far I've managed to avoid the mall COMPLETELY.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Happy Snow

Happiness is...
A Dog Having a Blast In the Snow

I mean really -- who could resist this?

Art tomorrow!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Dear World

Dear World,

I'm back from my week with no Internet access just in time to take 5 minutes to post and then run out of town for a couple of days. The problem WAS the modem and it took him less than ten minutes to get a new one out of the truck, replace the old one, and check that things were up and running. HOW WONDERFUL is THAT!!! It's been a busy week, and I spent the weekend in Kentucky visiting my sister, so will tell more about that when I return.

Meanwhile, while I'm gone, I will have the chance to look at some of YOUR stuff, just not the chance to post anything myself. See you soon.

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Monday, December 01, 2008


And the theme for December will be ...

(Look, I have an internet connection -- I'm on! Then I'm off ... then on ... then off... and I've tried to make some comments with no luck. Oh well -- great work out there tonight, what little I've been able to see! :-)

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More Gremlins

I can't believe I just got on! Our Internet connection is spotty at best right now and has been all weekend -- I called our provider who figured out that we had NO signal to/from the modem (at that moment, at least).

"Yeah, we can get somebody out there. We'll have to make a service ticket. Um, our first available appointment is the 7th."


"Uh, yeah. That would be next Sunday."

"Well, we can't on the seventh. Do you have anything a little bit EARLIER?"

"Uh, well, no. The first available would be on the 7th."

"Well, how about Monday. Can you come Monday in the evening?"

"Uh, well, no. We can come Monday between 12 and 2. On the 8th."

"This is the first. That's a week."

"Uh, well, yeah. Monday. The 8th. Between 12 and 2."

"Okay. I guess that will be it."

"Uh, well, yeah. If it DOES start working between now and and then, you call us right up and we'll cancel."


Not bloody likely. I can't believe I just noticed the little light on the modem and run up here to catch it in a good moment now. If it keeps working from now until then, I'll call them Monday morning. Otherwise, they're replacing that modem!

So if I'm spotty in posting this week, I'll catch up when I can!
(And as fast as I can I'll put Twitter up on the sidebar...)
(And really, they're a pretty good provider company and are always very polite and as accommodating as they can be. I'm GLAD that their business is good enough that they're busy. I just wish they had a spot in their schedule NOW for me. TONIGHT. Sigh.)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Failed Experiment

A friend's daughter came to work the other day and waited for her mom to take her to dance lessons. I got her to give me some dancer poses (hilarious!) but most liked the one where she made a turn, pulled her skirt up, and waited for me to tell her what to do next. This one WILL be done again -- maybe in pastel or colored pencil or even watercolor.

This was where I started -- watercolor plopped down on Bristol. I really thought I would be able to get more detail and a better quality of shading with graphite over this, but it just didn't work like I'd planned. I went back in a time or two with a wet brush to lift a thing here and there, and to put in a little more color here and there, and was surprised to find that the graphite smeared. Ooops.

Oh well. Lesson learned!

AND I just realized, today is the last day of NaBloPoMo, and I made it! (I think -- I'll have to go back and check.) December starts tomorrow -- what shall THAT month bring, I wonder?
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Well, after a few days of rain and cold, it was kind of nice to think about warm sunshine. Never happy, am I!?

So... now I'm wondering about throwing down some ink lines, and now that I see it up on the screen, I know I need to add a touch of dark to close off those light lines in the underside of the sunbrella. Hmmmm. That's what happens when something sits for a day or two around here.

By the way, here is the reference photo. I snapped the pic without pausing as I was walking into the restaurant -- hence the odd angles...
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(P.S. I remember that I promised two drawings. The second one is still underway, since we spent the ENTIRE DAY Christmas shopping. I'm trying watercolor on Bristol with graphite over it, so I'm not sure how the experiment will turn out. We shall see...)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Gremlins in the Machine

I don't know what's up, but we seem to be having major internet issues at our house. This is worse than the days of dial up -- hopefully it will be fixed soon. But no pics tonight, folks ... see you tomorrow, and there will be TWO sketches, I guess. I promise! Uh, hopefully. Yikes.

(I see an error that says 'Saving and publishing may fail. Retrying...' YIKES.)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday

Black Friday and everybody is packed into the stores. I NEVER do the "shopping thing" on the Friday after Thanksgiving ... one of these days I may have to try it.

On the way to one of the buildings this afternoon I stopped by a music store, just to browse around for a minute, since I was feeling a little left out of the action. I picked up a book of music to goof around with and plunked around on a few pianos for a minute. Note to self: If I ever win the big jackpot lottery, a 9' concert grand goes on the wish list. Yep.

So. Who found really great bargains today?
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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Home for Thanksgiving

Big Sister...

... Little Sister ...

...and leaves. Sometimes an interesting combination!

And if you look closely at the next photo, you may see some escapees on the hillside ...

Listen ... (gobble, gobble, gobble...) ... See up on the hill there? There is an entire flock of them just over the rise ...

Hope YOUR turkey didn't get away from you today! Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

(Shannon -- we missed you honey! See you at Christmas! Love, Mom)
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Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Do you ever pick up a book, planning just to read for a few minutes, and then realize that you've spent the entire evening enchanted and have, therefore, accomplished nothing at all?

Okay, so, so far the book Ireland by Frank Delaney is wonderful. There's nothing like a great story-teller.

'Nuff said. Happy Holidays, everybody!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

No Cranberries Were Harmed

... in the making of this sketch. But I'm fixing to crush the you-know-what out of them for the cranberry mold. Everybody has their own version, but mine is cranberries, celery, sugar, orange peel, apples, pecans, pineapple, and enough Jell-O to hold it all together.

Thanksgiving -- the one time of the year when it is still OKAY to eat Jell-O. At least it is at my house.
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Monday, November 24, 2008

NOT a Cactus IS, however, a succulent. I just don't know what KIND of succulent, just that it was a cute little plant with pretty little cerulean and pink leaves and only cost a couple of bucks. I forgot about it for a while -- lucky for me it doesn't need much water. What do I mean lucky for me? Lucky for IT ...
This is in honor of Cactus Monday and Teri (The Queen of the Cacti) and all the other Cactuteers...Cactuseers...Cactiteers... I don't remember what they're called! One of these days I'll find a real cactus to draw on Monday...
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Sunday, November 23, 2008


I just finished my final day of Tai Chi for Arthritis Instructor training, and it's official. I can teach now. I was exhausted and sore last night, but felt good this morning -- then this afternoon hit a total low point, but got my second wind in time to finish up the day.

Several of the students were REAL martial arts people, and one of them specializes in breaking things. So, after the class was over, he set up and gave us all a demonstration where he broke a CAST IRON PUMP HANDLE with his bare hand. HIS BARE HAND.

I'd never seen anything like it before, other than on TV. I'll confess that I've always secretly doubted that people REALLY did this kind of thing. I doubt no longer. It just takes a minute -- watch this...

Billey Breaking Iron Pump Handle from Linda M on Vimeo.

... and don't think that I'm doing anything at all like this. NOT AT ALL.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Tired Chi

I've been in Tai Chi for Arthritis instructor training all day long today. In the last fifteen minutes of the class, a variation of the series was introduced -- and we have to lead class tomorrow! I've taken a hot soak (my poor muscles) and now have to practice ... Drawing will have to wait.

Just in case you are interested -- here's a bit of a video of the style I'm learning to teach. The knee bends are not as deep as in other schools, and each step is followed by another step in, so that there is more of an emphasis on agility rather than holding deep, wide stances. It makes it easier on the older individual. It makes it easier on the younger individual, for that matter. It doesn't matter how young or old you are though, if you do it for 8 hours and aren't used to it, you get a little bit sore. :-)


Oh wait ... that's yoga. What DO they say in the Tai Chi world?

Who knows ... let's pretend ...

Kung Pow! (See you tomorrow!)

Friday, November 21, 2008


By this time I'm sure that most, if not all, of you know about our fellow artist Cindy Woods, who just entered hospice care the other day. Just as I was going to post this, I clicked over to her blog and saw that she left us today.
I've always been a huge fan Cin's work, and feel a special attachment to her drawings of the people around her -- she and I spend our time in very similar environments, and I love how her portraits look beyond what most people see and show a great deal of love and humor and wonderful spirit.
This one is for you Cin. I've loved "meeting" your friends through your drawings, and especially your Annie. This is my Lil.
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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Random Acts

I had the day off work today because I have to do work stuff all this weekend. Well, I kind of had the day off work. I didn't go into work, and didn't paid to work, although I did set up the computer on the dining room table, check the financials for two buildings for the day, update schedules for two buildings for the day, do a conference call, call both buildings, receive three calls about sicknesses and scheduling, over the course of the day received about eight more calls about scheduling and patient questions and billing questions and family questions and friendly venting about co-workers... anyway. You get the picture. This is what my days off are like during the week.

Which means I didn't get to do many of the things I'd planned on doing*, but one of my top things on my list today was to take photos of this really neat little old motor court that I pass regularly on the way to work. The morning light is usually just perfect for what I was after, and the day was clear, so off I went to get the shots. I DID get my main shot from the main highway as I approached (painting to come later, in the style of The Diner), but really wanted to sneak into the place and photograph those great shadows. Unfortunately, as soon as I made the turn, camera poised over the steering wheel as I drove, I got busted by the caretaker. BUSTED. He looked up and saw me and started walking over as soon as I turned in. It wasn't until that very minute that I realized that having someone taking photos of the outside of what just might be the no-tell-motel could be bad for business. So, as he came toward me, I stowed that camera real fast, smiled and waved at the same time that I reversed the car and pulled back out onto the highway. I guess I convinced him that I'd just pulled into the wrong place because he smiled and waved back. Rats.

So. What's my point? No point at all. Just RANDOM. And Diahn says all that needs to be said about WONDERFUL TRUE RANDOM ACTS on her blog today. I'm just going to shut up now and let you go visit her for the rest.

I'll do something nice for someone tomorrow.

(* Not only was I going to do the under drawing for THREE big watercolors, I was going to CHEAT and do a bunch of sketches in advance for the weekend, since I'll be tied up working. Never got to pick up pencil, pen, or brush. At least not for art. I did get to go shop for new tennis shoes and work-out clothes for my work this weekend -- I LOVE my job -- tennies are a fact of life, and sweat pants often are, too -- but I didn't get to go shop for the Thanksgiving supplies I needed or for D's Christmas present as planned. I did get the guest bedroom halfway cleaned up and laundry halfway done and supper cooked, but the rest of the house looks like it may have recently been burglarized and that the burglars tracked in loads of cat hair. Shame on them. Oh well. There's always tomorrow...)
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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Something Red

This weekend I cut loose and painted something red. Yes, it really is that bright. (This is just a piece of the piece... long story). How did I get a red THAT intense? I'm not sure, but am going to be trying to do it again. Wish me luck.
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Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Long day at work today, but fun. It started out early, at the crack of dawn, and ended well after dark. We had a special dinner for our patients and their families tonight, and the department heads all stayed late to serve. Don't tell anybody this, but I had a good time...

Sleep tight, everybody. And tomorrow sit down with your family or friends or somebody and spend just a little extra time with them. That's really what it's all about.
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Monday, November 17, 2008

The Wall

In my painting spot, I have several large pieces of foam core board that I use for my "gallery wall". With all the little paintings I've done lately, it has gotten FULL So, tonight I get to clean it all off and get ready to start over again.

I was able to stick the paintings on paper into an Itoya portfolio, but what about the stuff on the clayboard? I was just goofing around and accidentally put some of them together like this, which gave me an idea that maybe should have been kind of obvious all along ...
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Sunday, November 16, 2008


This one actually goes with this one and this one. Fun to do just shapes and patterns rather than detail.

We went to the Foothills Craft Guild show at the Jacobs Building in Knoxville today. I have to say, it was hand down the best arts and craft show that I've ever been to. Everything was of exceptionally high quality, the vendors were great, the venue was just the right size ... perfect. Bob Meadows, my favorite bookbinder and friend from watercolor class, was there with his amazing books. I won a door prize, which let me pick an item from a table full of donated items, and I picked -- you guessed it -- a book by Bob!

It was a nice day.

It is getting cold here. Stay warm and dry everyone.

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Last Leaves

Brrrrr! Yesterday was warm-ish and drizzly, with fog lasting all day long, even through the noon hour. Last night and today, the winds blew the fog away and brought in heavier rain and, finally, colder weather! The leaves in our yard dropped all at once last night. I hope D is going to get out there and rake them up tomorrow! (Well, okay, I'll help, too... )

This little bit was from a photo that someone in WC class had of the Rockies and the gold leaves. I really liked the light and dark patterns, and didn't worry too much about the exact shape. Yep. Aren't those happy little clouds?

(Note -- this is NOT from the reference photo I mentioned in yesterday's post. I decided to go ahead and work small again today, since the cold wet weather made me not want to drag a bunch of big stuff to and from class. L-A-Z-Y.)

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Saved by the Sketch Part 2

If I'm reading it right, this (above) would be Teri's suggestion for a crop, and the one below is Jim's suggestion. StevieWren thought that the banners helped give it interest, while Diahn also agreed that the angles on things tended to point one out of the picture while the leaves and banners brought the eye back inwards -- so that would explain that. Hmmm... Does this look or sound right, guys?

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Friday, November 14, 2008

Saved by the Sketch

I snapped this photo a few weekends ago, thinking that it might be a nice reference for a painting.

Tonight I'm gathering things together for WC class tomorrow, and thought I might bring this one along to work on. So, I did a rough little watercolor and pen & ink sketch to map it out. I really didn't want the branches in the foreground, and wanted to leave out the tent and the signs.

Well -- this is a prime example of why preliminary or value sketches can be important -- especially if you're messing around with your references!
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See. It just doesn't really work. There's something there that still has possibility, but I have to fiddle with it lots more. I knew that leaving out the banners might be a composition issue (for some reason that I can't put my finger on -- composition is my weak point, and I have the hardest time explaining WHY I feel like something does or does not work.) -- but I didn't DREAM that leaving out the branches in the foreground would make that roof look so ... so ... big. Huge. And I even tried to kind of squish it and make it smaller than is in the photo. It still takes up a fourth of the page! What the heck was I thinking? And the background - well I'm thinking it should almost be blank. I had thought that the dark bit on the right would balance out the gigantic roof, but I was wrong. And I didn't preserve a nice white sunlit pattern on the figures and the umbrellas on the deck, so they look like they're sitting in under an overcast sky and it is rather depressing. Still -- the figures and umbrellas... there has to be something that can be done one day with this.

What do you guys think?

Maybe something like this... But still with something more interesting on the roof and deck railing.

Meanwhile, I'm pretty sure that I have decided on something else entirely different to work on tomorrow. And since I took a pretty good reference photo to begin with for IT, there shouldn't be quite the problems that there are with this one.

P.S. Here's a little reminder -- I used a dip pen over the watercolor, but the went back into a couple of places with a little more color. THAT'S when I discovered that I hadn't used waterproof ink. Hence the ugly black blob at the end of the deck...

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