.....and other random stuff......

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

One a Day (and then some!)

I kept myself to the promise of drawing at least one imaginary creature a day for this month’s Sketchbook Challenge theme.
Sometimes I got on a roll and did more than one a day.
Some I really like, some….meh.
But I did stick to it! 
Regardless of the outcome I DID IT! 
Yay me! 
(A little self congratulatory happy dance is in order here I think! LOL)
So here’s a collage of all the creatures I created this month. Some made it to the Flickr group, some didn’t. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Good Company

I came across this quote the other day:

“I cannot tell you how happy I am to have taken up drawing again. I’ve been thinking of it, but I always considered the thing impossible and beyond my reach.” 
Vincent Van Gough in a letter to his brother Theo

If Vincent Van Gough felt this way too, then I guess I’m in good company!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Perfect Paula


Perfect Paula with her nose in the air
Criticizes everyone with nary a care
She looks down upon others
With disgust and disdain
While thinking herself perfectly sane

Sunday, November 27, 2011

What I Think About When I Draw


As I draw, my mind wanders. (Actually, it wanders all the time, but I digress, LOL!)

If I am drawing a creature or a person I start to wonder what is the back story to this character?
What is his/her name?
Where do they come from?
Do they have a family?
What is the family like?
Do they have siblings?
Do they live in a house, or a tree or an apartment?
In a city or in the country?

If I’m drawing a ‘thing’ I begin to wonder where it came from.
How it was made?
Who made it?
When was it made?
Who owned it before I did?

I think this comes from a game our family used to play when I was growing up.
My father started the game. 

He would pick out a person in the crowd and start a story about them. Then he would look to one of us to continue. It would pass around to all the family members, becoming more and more convoluted and funny until it got back to my father and he would finish it.
Some of them were hysterical, although I don’t remember any details; I do remember laughing a lot.
He would always pick out a person who, how shall I say this…….had an outstanding attribute.

And later on if we saw someone similar, just a single word from my father (referring to the story and the person it was about) would send us into fits of laughter! 

This would bring stares from the people around us which would only fuel the laughter!

So…..what do you think of as you draw?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Felix Flamoucan (n; Fla-moó-can)


He was a genetic accident and he knew it.
The scientists thought crossing a Toucan and a Flamingo would solve the problem that each bird had in obtaining food.
The new species would have legs long enough to reach the higher branches while their longer beaks would have the strength to crack the nuts they were now able to reach.
The problem was, he didn’t like nuts. 


Friday, November 25, 2011

Keurig

It’s 11:51 PM as I stand in front of our new toy. I should be in bed but the siren song of the “deep rich dark chocolate” has called to me.
So there I stand.
Debating whether or not to give in to my craving.
The angel on my shoulder warns me not to give in, “You shouldn’t be doing this. It’s not good for you. You know you’ll regret it. “
The devil on my other shoulder urges me on, “Oh, go ahead! You only live once. Life is short.”
You know how this turns out don’t you?
The steamy rich dark hot chocolate was delicious!
And yes, I was remorseful afterwards! LOL

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving—The Perfect Holiday

Husband says Thanksgiving is the perfect holiday.
There is a copious amount of good food.
Family gathers together.
There is laughter.
And you don’t have to buy presents or dress up!
Perfect!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you who take the time to come to this little spot and favor me with your kind and thoughtful comments.  
I am thankful for each and every one of you!
Enjoy your turkey day!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sketchbook Challenge

'The Devil Made Me Do It' 
This is #23 in my month long, self imposed; draw one a day in the Sketchbook Challenge's theme 'Imaginary creatures".

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Opposite of Sophistication


When I was fifteen, we moved back to New York.
I was thrilled. 
Moving to the most exciting city in the world was, well, exciting!
My parents looked for places to live in different areas, one of them being a high rise. 
This was exciting too. 
I had never lived anywhere except the ‘burbs in a single family house.
To live in an apartment building set my mind to racing! 
(I thought I was going to be so cool! LOL)
As it turned out my parents dismissed this choice when they found out I would have to take the subway to and from school each day.
My mother said, “No way! They’ll eat her alive!”
I was totally insulted!
So much for my sophisticated life!

Monday, November 21, 2011

King of the Jungle--yoga pose

I only had a pencil to do this quick sketch. He kept asking me if he was doing it right. I told him I didn't think so, but what do I know! I don't do Yoga. It didn't look quite right to me, though. LOL

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Skeletons in the Closet

Growing up I always knew there was some sort of scandal in the family. When we would visit the grandparents there would be hushed conversations that would abruptly stop when I came within earshot.

As I grew older, I found out that the skeleton was Great Grandpa.

One day Great Grandpa went out for a paper and never came back.
Just up and left.
Abandoning his wife.

My grandfather never forgave him.
Apparently my grandfather was the only one who knew the whole story and it went to the grave with him. He never even told my grandmother.

Grandma told me that, years later, she thought she saw Great Grandpa down the street, staring at the house. She said he just looked for a long time and then went away.

I’ve always wondered why he left. But as I grew older the why didn’t seem as important as the where.

Where did he go? Did he have a mistress that he went to? What did he do? Did he marry again? Did he have more children?

I suspect he was quite the rapscallion!
I only have a few pictures of him. But this is my favorite. 
This is circa 1924, and the little girl is my mother.
How can you not like a guy with a mustache like that? LOL


Friday, November 18, 2011

Woeful Wilbur


Woeful Wilbur was a poor soul.
He lost his body in a goldfish bowl.
He wants to find it once and for all.
But he’s limited by the way he can crawl.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Wooden Spoon

When Son2 was little, I was his Cub Scout den mother.

The den consisted of about ten boys.
One of the boys was, how shall I put this kindly...... challenging. He was a good kid at heart, but came from a broken home. He had a step-father who tried to discipline him, but his mother was very lenient with him (I suspect because of the divorce.) Add to that, the fact that he was slightly ADHD.

He was NEVER still. He ran, he jumped, he skipped, he squirmed, he was always interrupting and always had his nose in whatever it was I was doing.

At one of the meetings we were making homemade ice cream and I was totally out of patience with him. He kept leaning in to see what I was doing and interrupting me, so with wooden spoon in hand……..I whacked him on the forehead.
Yup, I lost it and thumped him!
(Not hard, mind you, but enough to get his attention!)

I have to say, it shut him up fast. He sat quietly for the rest of the meeting.

But I was in agony!
I felt so guilty!

I don’t believe in resorting to physical violence, and on a kid no less! And not even my OWN kid!

The next day I went to his house.
And apologized. 
Profusely.

This has become one of those ‘family stories’ the boys love to retell to all their friends with great delight and much comic detail!
And to illustrate it they bring out the original wooden spoon!

I’m thinking I should have it framed, because surely someday it will become a priceless and sought after heirloom! LOL

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Elephant or Dragon

I didn’t intend it to come out this way, but......
It could be an elephant, looking to the right.
Or a dragon looking towards the left.
Which do you see?


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

All I Can Say Is……..


Cats are definitely weird!

For some inexplicable reason the cat has taken to using the utility sink in the laundry room as her personal potty!

Do you think she read the post where I complained about her litter box and took offense? LOL

Monday, November 14, 2011

Birds of a Feather


There is a high wall that I frequently pass in my travels around town.
And on this wall the birds like to congregate.

As I pass it, I always wonder…..what are they gathering for? What are they thinking? 
And I begin to imagine different scenarios.

If there are many, I wonder if it’s a meeting of some sort.

When there are only one or two birds I think they must be saying, “Well, looks like nobody checked their e-mail today for the meeting time.”

Or are they planning an attack on the humans, à la Hitchcock? 

Perhaps it’s a retirement party and they’re there to give Herb his gold watch.

I’m glad I have this space to share these thoughts, because when I tell them to Husband he just looks at me funny!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

More in the Ink Blot Series


I made a copy of this blot because I saw two different images in it. (Two for the price of one! LOL)



Saturday, November 12, 2011

Reflections in a Golden Eye

Another in the self imposed challenge of ‘a creature a day’.

I made several ink blots in different colors and left them on my work table.

Every day as I walk past the table I turn them this way and that, until I see something.
Most times I see several different creatures, so I have to decide on one (or make copies.)

When I settle on something I sit down and start.
And when I’m done it’s totally different than what I saw! LOL

This is a very interesting experience. I’m forced to let go of control and just let it develop. Sometimes I like what happens, sometimes I don’t.

This is one of the ‘I like what happened’.
(Originally it was was going to be a face. I started with the eye and this little guy just popped out!)
ink blot on card stock, micron pen, vine charcoal (thank you Carla, it's growing on me! LOL) Photoshop (for the swirls.)

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Non-Bucket List

I am a compulsive list maker.
I can’t help it.
It’s inherited.
My father was a big fan of pro/con list making and my mother was keen on to-do lists.

I realized early on that I was going to run out of life before I was going to run out of things I wanted to try on my to-do list.
But I am compulsive.
And I don’t want to leave with lists unfinished.

Therefore I have devised a plan.

The non-bucket list!
It’s inspired!

I will make a list of things I never will do or want to do; therefore I will be able to cross them ALL off my list!
I will be able to go with a clear conscience that my list is complete.

How’s that for brilliance? LOL

·        Climb Mt Everest, NON-check
·        Learn to juggle, NON-check
·        Learn to skydive, NON-check
·        Bungee jumping, NON-check
·        Learn to speak French, NON-check
·        Spelunking, NON-check
·        Earn a PhD., NON-check

There are many more but I think this is a good start!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Sketchbook Challenge #10

Crimson Canine
(only 20 more to go! LOL)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Gustav

He knew he was different from the other birds. His feathers just didn’t seem to be the right color. When he played hide and seek with them he was always the first one found.
Through the years he learned that his difference was really a blessing. These days he’s the star tenor at the opera. And every night he receives a standing ovation when he sings Braunfels's opera, ‘The Birds’.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sometimes Parenting is so Rewarding


You know how it is when the kids are growing up and you’re doing your job as a parent and it seems like you’re talking to a brick wall…..?

And then one day you get a text message from your journalism major that says: “This just in: you’re the best parents that ever parented. That concludes this evenings broadcast.”

Kind of gives you the warm fuzzies!

They WERE listening after all! LOL

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Sketchbook Challenge-Imaginary Animals


This month’s theme over at The Sketchbook Challenge is from Carla Sonheim and is Imaginary Animals.
Oh boy! A whole month of imaginary animals/creatures! Now THIS is a theme I can get into!
I’ve also added to the challenge for myself. I will draw a new creature every day in November! (Or at least I’m going to try! LOL)
Pretty soon I’ll be like that old commercial “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!’ except I’ll be saying, ‘Help, I’ve started drawing creatures and I can’t stop!’ LOL
Although I think that has already started!



Saturday, November 5, 2011

I See Dead People


Carla Sonheim has a challenge every Thursday, called Blob Thursday. She posts a paint blob on her blog and instructs you to print it out, turn it this way and that and see what kind of ‘thing’ you can find in it. Usually there are imaginary creatures or stylized animals but this time a face stared back at me!


Friday, November 4, 2011

The Zipper

After Son2 was born it was decided that Mommy and Son1 needed some quality time together so we instituted ‘date night’.

One of these ‘date nights’ went slightly awry.

It was all very innocent (read as: really stupid and naïve mother!)

I thought it would be fun to go to the carnival.

Now, I’m not really big on rides. The most adventurous I get is riding the carousel, plus I’m afraid of heights.
But as we entered the carnival I saw what looked like a kind of elongated Ferris wheel. Except the seats were enclosed in cages (first hint.)

Now, I know what you’re thinking, any sane intelligent person would know that it meant the ride was rather treacherous.
But not me!
Nope, I looked at it and thought, “Cool, nice and safe in a cage. Can’t fall out!”

The operator grinned widely at us and leered, ‘Wanna go for a ride”? (Second hint.)
So we hopped on and he closed the door to the cage.

It started out slowly because he was still letting people on and off. I was chatting happily with Son1 telling him there was nothing to worry about, we were going to be able to see over the tops of the houses and how cool that would be.
It reached the top and………..
We dropped to the bottom at mach1 and zoomed back to the top again! And as we reached the top, it stopped short so the cage SPUN AROUND! 

It was then the full reality of my mistake hit me.

Son1 started to whimper and cry and basically freak out.
I wasn’t too calm myself but being the ‘adult in charge’ tried to keep my cool.
I told him to close his eyes and I wrapped my arms around him and as we sped by the operator I tried to scream to stop the ride.

The operator thought we were just having fun.
It took the man riding in the seat behind us to convince the operator we weren’t having a good time and to stop the ride.

So……..

We disembark the ride, I get Son1 calmed down and we continue around the carnival where we come upon the kiddie rides!
You know, the ones that go ½ mph and only about five feet off the ground?

I swear to him that these are FUN rides and put him on the helicopter.

He sits in his little blue ‘copter with his fingers white knuckled on the steering wheel with a look of sheer terror on his face.
So much so the other parents remark about and point to the little boy who looks so scared and what kind of parent would subject their child to such abuse?

Son1 was about six when this occurred.
He didn’t go on another ride until he was twenty two.
He still doesn’t like them!

He claims I’ve scarred him for life.

I claim him I’ve given him something to tell his therapist!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Newton's Travel Photos

Newton sent me this short slideshow and asked me to share it with you. He hopes you enjoy it!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

My Name is Milton


Call me Milt.
 I am a college professor.
 I teach Semantics.
 I am also an amateur photographer.
At the moment though I am traveling around the world on sabbatical.
I met a lovely fellow in my travels named Newton and we decided to carry on our tour together.
I am the unofficial picture taker on our trip.