Friday, February 28, 2014

Winding up Georgia . . . at least for now

While traveling last week, I spent some time copying some more of Georgia O'Keeffe's works as part of the "Studying Under the Masters" class I'm taking.
Georgia's original:

My copy:

I then took the next step, which is to incorporate Georgia's style into a work of my own.  I started with this photograph:
And tried to paint it in the style of Georgia O'Keeffe.  This is what I came up with:
I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. I learned that O'Keeffe, while representational, is not strictly realistic. I'm not sure I got as much energy and emotion in my flower as she does in hers, but I liked how I captured different shades of color in the flower.
I'd still like to copy a few of her paintings using pastels or acrylics, but that will have to wait until after I finish setting up my creative space.  And I definitely want to do some Chagall pastels as well. Got any favorites in my creations today

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Come on over for a beer . . .

Once a month, my blog friend Abi invites people to stop by for a cup of tea and a chat, and I like to link up whenever I can.  This month, I'm inviting you all over for a beer.  Let's sit on the deck and enjoy a brew and the sunset. If it starts to get chilly, we can bundle up. 
Because the weather is like that these days. It's warm one minute and chilly the next. 
It's the weather we have when we're in between winter and spring. 
As we settle in and sip our beer, I'd tell you that "in between" is actually a pretty good description of how I'm feeling right now.
In between winter and spring. 
In between the first part of my academic term and the second. Next week is "spring break," and I don't have to teach classes.  I plan to spend the week working on a law review article I'm writing and working on moving things into the guest room/art studio I'm creating.
Because I'm in between my old art space and my new one. 
I've done well purging and organizing my supplies. I've got a plan for what furniture will go where, and how I'll organize my stuff. Paul painted a book case that will go into our bedroom, freeing up the other book case to settle into the guest room/ art studio as the primary home for my supplies. I'm excited about finally moving things in. 
Our talk might turn to my kids, and I'd tell you that I'm feeling in between a doting mom and a hands-off parent. It's great that both the kids are standing more and more on their own two feet, but I really, really like it when Henry calls to ask for help.
And, finally, I'm feeling in between sports seasons.  Clara has started track practice, and her first track meet is a week from Saturday. She's nervous because she's not sure which events she will run or how she will do. I have all the confidence in the world in her, and can't wait to see her run. 
Yes, right now I'm feeling in between, but by next month when we get together for a cup of tea or a glass of beer, I know I'll have lots to share.
How are you feeling these days? In between? Or already arrived?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

ZIZO #9: Donations

On Monday, I gathered together all the boxes and bags of supplies that I planned to donate to the High School Art Department.  Before I loaded them into my car, I zoomed in on the bag of stamps to complete my Zoom In < Zoom Out pair for this week:
Maybe not the best photographs technically, but they definitely capture what I've been up to this week. To check out other ZIZO  posts, click on over to Helena's blog here.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

How much x do I need?

How many scraps of paper do I need?
And how many ink pads do I need?
And do I really need a three inch container just for green paper?
I've been thinking about these questions a lot lately as I've been organizing my art and paper crafting supplies as part of transforming Henry's old room into a guest room/studio. I have a lot of stuff, and it's been hard to pare it down. 
I did move from four baskets of paper scraps down to one and I gave away two big plastic bags of ink pads (plus tossed out another bag of dried out ones). The paper was a tougher go. I planned to keep 50 sheets of 12x12, plus 20 sheets of 8.5x11 of each color (plus keep all my white/cream, black and orange). I did pretty well with most colors, except for green and brown. I don't know if it's because they were the last colors I sorted through or because I had so much to start with, but I probably kept double my goal for those colors. I still managed to give away four pizza boxes stuffed with paper. I've also made a pretty good start on culling my art supplies.
Through it all, I've tried to keep my one little word for 2014 in mind. My word is illuminate, which means to lighten and to clarify. As I go through my stuff, I realize that what I want is to have room to be able to create the art, cards and scrapbook pages which I love. And I want to be able to easily find the supplies I need for those projects. So that when I have time to sit, I can create the things which really make my heart happy and which make my soul sing. Anything else needs to be cleared away. And with that as my guiding principle, I'm making progress. 

Monday, February 24, 2014

A Little Monday Randomness

Hey all, spring has sprung around here, and I've been too busy to do much blogging. But I'm loading up the posts for this week and planning to get out to visit you all soon. In the meantime, here are ten bits of randomness from my life . . . 
1. Clara and I had a great time visiting Henry at the University of Oregon.  We loved taking the train, which was quite a bit cheaper than flying. I was surprised that so many of my UK friends said that train travel is more expensive than flying. 
2. And I'm happy to report that the boy is happy and thriving; just check out this picture of him and his roommate:
3. Meanwhile, back at home, the chickens continue to get bigger and bigger. We hope they start laying soon. Over the weekend, Paul and Clara installed some laying boxes in the coop:
Those are fake wooden eggs in the boxes, designed to tell the hens where they should be laying.  Can that really work?
4. I've watched a couple of movies lately. I liked Dallas Buyer's Club pretty well; it definitely took me back to the 80's, but it seemed a bit redundant of some of the other movies and plays from that time. I really did not like Blue Jasmine. Have you seen either?
5. This month, my book group is reading a long book called The Golem and The Jinni by Helene Wecker. I'm about half way through and enjoying it so far, but slowing down a bit. I just don't think I'm made for long books. Anyone else reading or read this one?
6. Ali Edwards had a really inspiring post on how to complete unfinished projects. You can check it out here. I'm going to return to it next month after I finish setting up my craft room/ guest room. She also blogged about setting up a "block schedule" to get her work done, and that's something I planned to do at the beginning of the year (Monday - art and blogging; Tuesday - work focusing on class; Wednesday - work on articles; do stuff around home; Thursday - work focusing on class; Friday - art and home stuff), but I've fallen away from it. I hope to get back to it soon.
7. I lost ten pounds last month on a great eating plan sponsored by my gym. It focuses on eating a balance of macro nutrients at certain times of the day (either 3 or 4 hour intervals) to become a fat burning machine. It really worked for me, and has helped me get back on track with nutrition, portion control and exercise. It feels so good to be able to fit comfortably into my wardrobe again.
8. My craft supply purge and craft room/guest room set up is going great guns. My rough deadline to have it done is March 20, which is the day Henry returns for spring break.  Today, I donated all these supplies to the High School art program: three pizza boxes stuffed with cardstock (three with 12x12; one with 8.5x11); one pizza box stuffed with decorative papers; one large black bag full of wood mounted stamps; one box full of paper scraps (the one in the upper right hand side of the photo); one box full of assemblage and collage supplies; and one box full of fine art supplies and tools, including art books, ink pads, a light box, a glue gun, mannequins, and more. They were thrilled to receive it, and I was so happy to get it out of the house and to someplace useful. I'll have more thoughts on this process soon.
9. The most recent artist for the "Studying Under the Masters" class I'm taking is Marc Chagall.  I haven't had a chance to do anything with him yet, except find some pieces of his which I love (and which aren't necessarily his most famous works). Check these out:
Paris through my window
Blue lovers
The juggler
10. On Saturday, Clara and I are going to the Humane Society to be trained to volunteer in another program - the kitten nursery. It runs in the spring, during "kitten season," and volunteers feed and take care of the kittens which are too young to go to foster care or be put up for adoption. It will be challenging work, but we're excited to help.
And that's it from here! 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

ZIZO #8: Zooming Around the Track

Hayward Field, the track and field complex at the University of Oregon, is a mecca for all runners.  While we were there, Clara soaked up the ambiance
And while we were there, I decided to capture some photographs for this week's Zoom In < Zoom Out meme, sponsored by Helena.  I actually captured three photographs.
Zoom In
Zoom Out
Zoom Down
Thanks Helena for the weekly reminder to think about perspective. I love the flexibility of this meme. To see other selections, check out this link.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Simple Moment: Moonset and Sunrise

The train is still dark; the lights dimmed since midnight. But I'm awake. I peer out and see that the moon is still up. I wonder at our plan to take the train to visit Henry at University. We could have been there in a couple of hours. Instead, we boarded at 10:30 p.m. and will roll into Eugene at noon. We could have waded through security at SFO, been herded onto the plane like cattle, worried about making the flight, wedged our way into our seats, inhaled stale air, deplaned, found a rental car and driven to our hotel. Instead, we giggled and read and painted before we drifted off to sleep.  My girl and I are spending time together, enjoying the trip. I look up. The moon has set, and the sun has risen.
Yes, in that moment, I realize what a very good decision we made to take the train.
Linking up my simple moment with Alexa at Trimming the Sails.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

On the Road with Georgia O'Keeffe

I was talking to Clara this evening, and she said:
"You know what's cool, mom?"
"No, what?"
"You're going to be in three different states today!"
And, yes, it's true. Although I don't know if it's cool or just exhausting.  I just got back from a quick business trip to Chicago. With three hours to pack and eat dinner, Clara and I are just about to head off for Oregon to visit Henry for a few days. 
While I'm traveling, I'm working on copying and channeling Georgia O'Keeffe. I created the shell photo above on the plane, using Inktense blocks and pens. It's my copy of this:
I'm taking my art supplies with me.  I'll share what I create when I get back. In the meantime, enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

I shot this photograph last week while playing around with the lesson for the Frugal Still Life Photography class offered by Cheryl McCain.  I saved it for today, though, because I wanted to send it out as a Valentine to all my blog friends. Thank you so much for being there. I appreciate each and every one of you! Happy Valentine's Day!
p.s. I got the best early Valentine's present this week. Paul went in for a PET scan and got fantastic results. It's been a year since his last one. . . . remission is such a lovely word.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Zoom In < Zoom Out #7: In the City

Hustling down the streets of San Francisco to grab dinner before my night class, I spied a mural which I thought would be a perfect subject for my weekly zoom in < zoom out pairing. It wasn't until I got home that I realized how well this fit with my Georgia O'Keeffe posts. Linking up with Helena's Creative Maven. Are you playing along this week?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Channeling Georgia O'Keeffe (Part 2: Flowers)

Yesterday I posted about how much subconscious inspiration I have taken from Georgia O'Keeffe in my artwork, and I shared images reflecting our shared love of bones and shells. O'Keeffe is also well-known for her flowers, and I have a few flower photographs in her style.
Here are two of my favorite O'Keeffe flower paintings for comparison:
Jimson Weed
Blue Morning Glories
What do you think? Can you see the similarities? I can't wait to get started creating more directly in her style!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Channeling Georgia O'Keeffe (part 1: bones and shells)

{This post is photo-heavy. It was originally even longer, but I decided to divide the post into two parts. So, if this intrigues you, come back tomorrow for Part 2: flowers.}
I gave myself the morning off to spend some time watching the videos in the "Studying Under the Masters" class I purchased. The class is now in Week 5 and, while I enjoyed doing a few projects for Matisse in Week 1, I had no time to play in Week 2 (Cezanne), Week 3 (Gaudi) or Week 4 (Botticelli). I'm sure I'll get back to those later this summer, but I definitely wanted to jump into this week's lesson on Georgia O'Keeffe. I have lots of ideas percolating around in my head for creating in soft pastels, acrylics and water color, but in the meantime, I wanted to pull a few things out of my archive where I feel connected to or inspired by O'Keeffe. The first is the skull photograph I took several years ago in a nature museum. 
Another is an assemblage I did in a Michael DeMeng class (read about it here):
I also made this art journal page,with an image of an antlered fashion model:
Can you see the connection to these stunning works by Georgia O'Keeffe?
Deer's Skull with Pedernal
Ram's Head, White Hollyhock and Little Hills
Black Door with Snow
I hadn't ever seen the Black Door with Snow before looking at O'Keeffe images this morning, but I really like it.  Another unknown (to me) work which I really, really like is this one, titled Red Hills with White Shell:
It reminds me a bit of some of my shell photography:
I guess I can see now why I'm so interested in this week's lesson. I'm obviously drawn to many of the same influences that called to her. And I'm sure that my interest is an internalization and reflection of how much I have always admired her art work. I just don't think I realized it until today!  Are their artists whose work inspires you on a conscious or unconscious level? Can you see where I am channeling Georgia?

Sunday, February 9, 2014

1 Photo, 20 Words x 2

Joining in with Abi's meme where we share one photo, described in just 20 words.
"Clara, look at this beautiful web."
"You should take a picture mom."
Ah, she knows me so well.
And one more for my friend Sian (see her comment on this post).
I learned to tap dance when I was young. I still do a mean shuffle-ball-change.