Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Few Words From Jack

"The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn,burn, burn, like a fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like a spider across the stars and in the middle you see the blue center light pop and everybody goes Awww!" 
Jack Kerouac

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Eyes and Ears, Etc.

I have been trying to draw something every day. This does not come naturally for me as it does some people. Heaven knows I need the practice. I wish I had an over whelming passion and desire to draw, draw, draw. I have heard so many artists talk about this feeling and I wonder a lot what I can do to change and be more like them. I am trying very hard not to be without my drawing materials and this past week it has been pencil drawings of facial features whenever I can. I do love drawing with soft pencils. I like smudging and shading and my drawings aren't as stiff with pencils as they tend to be with a pen. I'll post some pen drawings, soon, so you see what I mean. I drew some of the pics below when I took Poppy to the vet this afternoon to have her stitches out from her spay. It all went very well. Poppy was beside herself to see Dr. Schimdt and the three legged cat that lives in the office. We have the ok for our walks now so tomorrow it will be back to pretending we are at the beach and drawing, of course.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Happy Birthday, Mom

Today is my mom's 84th birthday. When I was little I pretended I was the zoo keeper in If I Ran the Zoo for several days. My mom made sure I had all the paper and supplies I needed to create the animals in my zoo. She let me tape the pictures to the walls in the living room and make cages for them out of the furniture. Another time, she made me a red cape and I "became" Little Red Riding Hood. I would stalk past the dog (TBBW) in the back yard. My dark woods. This went on for several weeks and it is to her credit that she never took me to a psychiatrist. She put my jammies in the dryer every night so they were toasty warm for me when I was ready for bed. I could tell you many similar stories but I think you can see what a lucky daughter I am. Thanks, Mom. I love you. 

Friday, November 12, 2010


I like painting portraits and I practice painting them in different mediums. As you can see, I am not a photo realist painter. I like color and chunky paint. It seems that when I return to my portraits, sometimes months later, I see things I don't like about them. I haven't quite figured out why I don't "see" these things when I'm working on a painting so I can correct it. It is a mystery. Take the painting right below. I painted "Carlos" in a portrait class. We were suppose to paint a portrait of someone from our imagination instead of a model or photo. Now, when I look at him, I like the right side of the painting but the left looks unfinished to me. I think I have too much light coming into the left. I love the blue background and his groovy green shirt so overall I am pleased but I can't help being my own worst critic.  

14 x14 oil on canvas
 Gracie is my first encaustic portrait. Wax is a very hard medium to control. It is also hard for me to blend colors so they often look simply placed on top of one another. Overall, I love her, her expression and, of course, her red hair.
12 x 12 encaustic on maple panel
 I saw a painting that combined skin tones with bright colored hues for shadows. That is what I was trying to do in this painting. I like the way it turned out but I think she looks sunburned. Ouch! Next time I do this I will abandon skin tones altogether and just go with bright and interesting colors.
14 x 24 oil on canvas

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I found Elukka on Etsy. Elukka lives with her husband in Finland but she is originally from Hungary. Their shared language is English. She calls it their "love language." Very romantic. These tiles are very tiny (1x1) and I have twenty five of them. Elukka calls them My Land puzzle tiles because if you are patient enough you can put them all together so they "connect" through lines she has drawn into the clay. Though I love all the pieces, my favorites are the two that form a small beach. You can see them in both of the photos below. I want to tile the pieces into a wood frame but for now they are sitting on an end table in my living room. I look at the little beach and imagine myself walking from my little house with the red roof to the bench. I sit for awhile and watch the waves and Poppy running on the beach before walking home again.

Nuno Felting

Recently, I took a nuno felting class from Zaynab Falconer at Upstairs Studio here in Anchorage. Upstairs Studio is a co-op of artists who share a several rooms on the second floor of a downtown business building. They have a large common area where classes are held. It also serves, several times a year, as a gallery for art shows. There were five of us in the class so we all got a lot of attention that day from Zaynab. The process is amazingly simple and the results very cool. I can hardly wait to wear the scarf I made when I am out walking with Poppy! 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Poppy Update

Poppy is doing fine. As you can see, she has resumed her favorite position on the couch. We are not suppose to go walking for 14 days or until her stitches are removed. I discovered a few things about her during this process. She resists medication in all forms. She can still seek out and chew whatever she wants while her head is covered with a plastic hood. The plastic hood becomes a pretty decent snow shovel when she goes outside and she holds grudges. I know this because she has not come when I  call her in five days. I took the hood off yesterday because her ears were not drying being hidden in all that plastic. She is much happier. She might even come when I call.