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

Monday, March 31, 2014

Scathingly Brilliant Idea……

Doesn’t pan out quite like I thought it would! 

I went to the big box store and bought a piece of nice wood thinking I would cut it down to the size I wanted the finished pieces to be (saving the cost of buying cradle boards.)
I bought molding to frame them.  
Then I experimented to see if it was better to prime and glue everything first before adding the artwork, or after.

I glued and primed one hundred pieces.

Then I commenced on the artwork. 

The idea was to ‘transfer’ my faces onto these 4x6 mock cradle boards to hang as another gallery.  (Making a one of a kind, able to hold in your hand piece of art as opposed to a digital file.)
This is as far as I’ve gotten! 




 Not quite one hundred, but I’m done!
 It wasn’t quite the brilliant idea I thought it was going to be. LOL

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Elaine

Elaine lived next door.
She was a funny and personable girl but she had entered that ‘awkward’ stage. 
All arms and legs.
We used to watch her leaving her house for school.
Invariably, everyday she dropped her books.
Not so much dropped them but somehow managed to scatter them across her driveway. 
And then chase after them kicking them farther away at each attempt to retrieve them.  
No sooner had she picked up her books and she would drop her purse spewing its contents everywhere!
She reminded us of a young fawn, all gangly and unsure on new legs.
Or like a comedy routine with no audience.  
If she only had this stylin’ pink backpack she wouldn’t have had so much trouble! 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Is It Just Me…..?


Why can’t we be satisfied with our own style?

I have been in a sort of funk lately.
It’s business as usual.
Everyone has them.
I go through this periodically. It’s a cycle. And I realize it.
Intellectually that is.
Emotionally it hits me every time.

I draw every day.
Sometimes it’s okay, sometimes it turns out really well, mostly………it sucks (I’m not fishing for compliments here.)
I’m used to that, the whole 10,000 bad paintings thing.

But lately I’m finding myself wanting to paint like some of the other artists I see in the blogosphere.
To be able to produce watercolors like Nora McPhail……swoon.
Or to toss off everyday sketches of my dog the caliber of Ann Hyde…..sigh.

I know it’s wrong to feel this way, yet I do.

This too shall pass, as my mother used to say.
But I thought it was important to get it out there.
Maybe I’m just venting to feel better. But maybe it IS important to share the down times, the disasters, and the failures.

I try to strike a middle ground here. Somewhere between Suzy Sunshine and Debbie Downer.

I get so sick of reading blogs and Facebook posts that are all sunshiny and positive and uplifting and make it seem that their lives are a series of nothing but successes. Blech!

So instead of sitting in a corner and crying by myself, here I am baring my soul for all to see.

It’s not pretty, but it’s real. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Idea Chamber


It’s magical!

The only problem is remembering the ideas long enough to dry off and write them down! LOL

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Digital ‘Crutch’

I used to think that drawing/sketching/painting digitally was cheating.
It’s not authentic.
You’re not a ‘real’ artist if what you created was done on a computer.
Plus, how can you sell your art if the only place it exists is on a screen?

I’m not so sure I feel that way anymore.
I no longer think I’m cheating.
I’m creating no matter what the medium. And a computer or Tablet is just another medium in an artist’s arsenal.

Both digital and ‘hands on’ art making have their place, but I find myself leaning more and more towards the former.

Pros and Cons of Digital Drawing as I see it……

Tablet: Pros:
Portable: I like that I’m not tethered to the computer in a room cut off from other people. I like that I can take it outside and to places to sketch.
Tactile: I like that you sketch ON the tablet, like sketching on paper. As opposed to sketching on a tablet while looking at a screen elsewhere. The whole patting you head while rubbing your stomach thing.
Erase-ability:  rather than having to trash a drawing/painting I can just erase.
Layering ability: really cuts down on ‘mishaps’. You can try out different ideas and if you don’t like them just delete the layer!
Apps: much less expensive than full computer programs.

Cons:
Battery: dying in the middle of a sketch. (Sometimes I forget to recharge Tablet……….)
Limited memory: this then limits drawing programs.
Apps: can be glitchy.
Media: can’t always do what you want it to do. (I would like a watercolor app but haven’t found a decent one.)
Learning curve.

Computer: Pros:
Memory: HUGE  capacity.
Power source: unless we have a power outage, not an issue.
Programs: many more available and what they can do is much more than a Tablet, although they can be overwhelmingly cost prohibitive.
Layering ability: Photoshop (the program I use most of the time) does have layers, although I find them less intuitive than Sketchbook Pro on Tablet.  (I thought I’d be an optimist and put this in the pro list.)
Erase-ability:  Photoshop has ‘step backward’ button also an eraser but again it’s less user friendly.

Cons:
No Mobility: tethered to the computer. (I have a desktop.)
Hand eye coordination: drawing on a tablet while looking at the screen is tricky to get used to.

Both have their merits.
And each serves a purpose.
Although I lean more towards Tablet the one thing I like about BOTH of them is I don’t get my hands (clothes, floor, walls……) dirty!  

What do you think? Have you jumped on the digital drawing bandwagon yet? 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Still Working on the Boat

This is how Husband looks every time he turns the key to test the latest ‘fix’ on the boat engines. 
'Cringe'

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread


I am sooooo excited!

I finally found a way to produce digital watercolor paintings!!
It’s not a full program or even an app but it’s the very best watercolor simulation I’ve seen so far.

Downloadable watercolor brushes for Photoshop.

Kyle T Webster develops and sells all sorts of brushes for Photoshop here.

And here’s the YouTube video of the watercolor brush pack. 

Of all the ways I've seen 'how to.....digital watercolor....sort of....' out there, this is by far the very BEST!

Do go have a peek, if only for entertainment purposes! 

My first 'quickie' playing with the watercolor brush! ♥♥♥















More playing.....
















Face refaire.

I'm hooked! 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Why I Never Bought a Second Used Rental Car

I once bought a used car from a car rental company.
People thought I was crazy. ‘Don’t you know how those cars are treated?’ they all asked.
I thought they were treated better than the average person’s car. They got a good going over every time they were returned. They got regular maintenance (probably more than your average car.) They were washed often. Detailed often. 
I thought I was being pretty smart.

Besides, it was a four cylinder Ford Pinto station wagon. What were the chances the renters were pulling wheelies, doing donuts in the parking lot or power braking in a drag race? I don’t think a Pinto is even capable of those things!
It was a good price with relatively low mileage. It worked for me.

So when the time came that I needed another car my thoughts turned once again to the rental company.

Until………
My mother came for a visit.

Her car was in the shop so she rented one.

As the old cliché goes…..it was a dark and stormy night. 
Actually it was a ‘nor'easter.

Our neighborhood was at sea level and flooded on sunny days. During a storm we were mostly submerged.
We were lucky, our street was slightly higher than most of the other streets in the neighborhood so we usually only got about six inches of flooding. But the street around the corner….the one that we used to leave the neighborhood by….that was another story.
That street turned into a veritable swimming pool.

I don’t know why I never mentioned this to my mother. I just didn’t think of it I guess. Or I thought she knew…….

We had a lovely visit, said our goodbyes….hugs and kisses and she climbed into her rental car and left.
About twenty minutes later she knocked at our front door, shoes in hand, slacks rolled up to her knees,  hair matted to her head, wet to the bone.

She had driven the rental car around the corner and straight into the dip in the road into what she called ‘the gaping maw of a lake’.
She had tried to restart the engine but soon realized it was a lost cause.

Being the good children we were we donned our raingear and went to try and rescue the car.

There in the middle of the street was the car…….in all its glory.

The driver’s door was open; the water was covering the seats. The lovely cream colored leather seats of the brand new Cadillac Seville.
The rental company told my mother she was the first one to rent it!
The brand new submerged car in the middle of the street that was now, for all intents and purposes, a community swimming hole!

The tow truck had a heck of a time getting to it much less hauling it out of the puddle.

You know how in movies when they pull a car out of a river and the water pours out of it……forever?
Yeah, like that!

Needless to say I didn’t but my next car from a rental company.

(Yes, she had taken the extra insurance when she rented it. Smart woman!)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Gordy

Just a little silliness. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Do You Ever Do a Review of Your Life…..?

I don’t mean reliving fond (or not so fond) memories.
Or the big events of your life.
But those tiny, seemingly insignificant moments.

In the quite times when your mind drifts in and out of memories.
Do you ever think, ah….that, right there, was noteworthy.

Little memories sometimes filter up out of my past and I think that I should have done differently.
Not that I’m ashamed or have regrets.
I guess it’s just hindsight and maybe a little more wisdom now.

One of these moments I think about occasionally happened in high school.
We were walking down the hall going to out next class, my boyfriend and I, when the huge and immensely intimidating math teacher bellowed at us, “Let go of her hand!”

And in that second, that inconsequential moment my boyfriend tightened his grip on my hand, and I loosened mine.
We didn’t let go but right then I knew I had made an important (albeit unconscious) choice.

I guess I do regret it.
I should have tightened my grip too.

We still defied the teacher, and paid a hefty price for that defiance, but still, in my heart I knew I let him down.




Friday, March 7, 2014

And Then........

I took some of these:
















and these:
















and used this to melt them together:
















and then painted it with this:





















and added a little bit of this:
















and a couple of these:





















and these:















and more of this:
















put it all together and ended up with THIS!:






















































































He/she/it (I haven't decided yet......) isn't ANYTHING like I envisioned. I love when that happens! ♥♥♥

Thursday, March 6, 2014

It Took Some Trial and Error…….

But I finally got it!
 I took this: 
















and this:




















and this:














and this:





















and this:















and used this to hold it all together:
















And made this! (four of them!)



















They’re so stinkin’ cute! 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Pansies

My mother wasn’t much of a gardener, but one year she decided it would look pretty if she planted pansies next to our front door. There was a small raised bed there so she filled it with multiple colorful and lovely tiny plants.

I would sit and play with them for hours, pretending they were little people, because they all looked to me like they had smiling faces. 
But then they started to fade and die and I was so disappointed.

Until…….

My mother told me the more you ‘pinch them back’ or pick them the more they will grow. 

Wonder of wonders!

So…..I started to pick pansies.
And pick pansies.
And pick pansies…….

Every little girl likes to pick flowers to give to their mother.
But to find out the more you pick the more there are to pick was icing on the cake!

My poor mother. 

First she put them in the favorite little blue vase reserved especially for pansies.






















Then she put them in juice glasses.
Then she floated them in dishes.
Pansies, pansies everywhere.
The house was overflowing!

That was the only year my mother ever planted pansies in the garden.
Year after year I asked (read: begged) her to plant more pansies.
She never did.

Years later we were out together and we saw a large expanse of pansies blooming in full magnificent color!
I gasped and said, “Look! Aren’t they beautiful?”
She snorted and said, “I HATE pansies! After that year I planted them and you filled the house to overflowing I couldn’t stand them anymore!” 

My poor mother! 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Ancient Aliens


I LOVE watching Ancient Aliens!
For two reasons:
1 Georgio’s hair! (seriously, what's up with his HAIR!?)
2 The theories are hysterical!

One of the episodes theorizes that ancient aliens live at the core of the earth and the portal to get in and out is at the North Pole.
My theory of why we have no proof of this is because one of their toddlers got hold of the ‘garage door opener’ that opens the portal and lost it in the cracks of his car seat in the space ship! And now they can't get out! (Or in depending on.......oh, never mind!)

Seriously though…. I don’t think out of all the millions of galaxies out there we are the only beings. Whether or not they are like us I have my doubts, but I do have another theory…

I think we are some alien fifth grader's science fair project.
It explains so much. 
Why we always see ‘things’ in the night sky (he’s checking up on us to see how we’re doing!)
Why some cultures just disappear for no apparent reason (he forgot to feed them!)

My only real concern with this theory is he will get his grade and then lose interest and we’ll all be dust.



Monday, March 3, 2014

10,000 Bad Paintings


They say you have to make 10,000 bad paintings/drawings before you produce anything good. And the sooner you get the bad ones out of the way the better.

That’s a lot of drawing!

It would take 27.39726027397260273972602739726 paintings every day for a year to meet the total.
Or:
192.307692307692307692307692307692307692 Per week for a year.
833.333333333333333333333333333333333333 Per month for a year.

I’m not sure that’s doable.

13.6986301369863013698630136986301369863013 Per day if you stretch it into two years.

9.1324200913242009132420091324200913242009 Per day if you stretch it into three years.

6.849315068849315068849315068849315068849315068 Per day if you stretch it into four years.

5.479452054794520547945205479452054794520547945205 Per day if you stretch it into five years.

4.566210045662100456621004566210045662100456621004 Per day if you stretch it into six years.

3.9138943248532289628180039138943 Per day if you stretch it into seven years.

Well, you get the idea.

If you did just one a day it would take 27.3972602739726027397260273972602739726026 years to reach that total!

I figure with what I’ve done already and figuring sometimes it’s more than one a day and some days it’s none….I’ll produce my first ‘really good’ painting/drawing around 2039!

I’ll be 86

Just call me Grandma Moses! LOL