Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Trying Something New...

Here are some new things I'm working on. I'm trying my hand at ACEOs! It is a great way to do faces, which I love more than anything --in any way, shape or form. These will soon land in my etsy shop once they are painted. (they're pencil drawings on Rives BFK paper.)
An artist is born!

A few more ACEOs in the making.
We just had another huge snowstorm yesterday... I've spent my daughter's nap time shoveling for so many days!! (it's usually my 'art time' or bath time!) This may be routine for people raised in snowy winter country but, I'm from a milder climate where we may get small amounts of snow, which then melts pretty fast. I guess my mind-set is based on what I knew first.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Saint Marthe Cathedral in Tarascon, France

This was a memorable Cathedral we visited in the town of Tarascon... it's named after one of my best friends! I'm looking forward to painting these drawings I've posted. The holidays seemed to have broken my rhythm, though! Lately, I've been sitting on the floor, knitting while the kids play next to me... or just playing with them. So, I'm sort of stuck in that lazy, post-holiday 'in-between-world'! I've gotta get my groove back... but it is nice to just chill for awhile.

Friday, December 26, 2008


All this snow and cold has caused my mind to go en vacance.... to the south of France, bien sur! I was able to do a few drawings today amidst my poor little daughter - who has a miserable cold - crying, fussing and yelling throughout the morning before nap time finally arrived. My son, however was so pleased with his new trains and toys, there was a whole lot o' quiet coming from his spot in the playroom. (he's usually the loud one, I love role reversal!) Anyway, the Provence drawings were a lovely form of travel today... I'll be doing more all week. Then, the gouache will come out and I'll paint 'em all.

There's something brand new in the shop today... 'art cards' or blank greeting cards which are reproductions of 2 of my ink drawings with gouache. Take a peek!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas... Happy Hanukkah

Our neighborhood is under a blanket of snow... here are a few scenes with some beautiful sunlight. Hope you are all having a great holiday, however and what ever you may be celebrating. We are all happily together, playing with new toys and hanging out together in our cozy house... Happy Christmas night.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Few December Drawings Before a Cookie Party

Just a few fruits of our labor today!

It's been awhile since I've done any drawing... and it shows in that rocking chair... it's not meant to be tipping forward or in the middle of the paper! But, this was a warm up. Plus, I used Stonehenge paper and it does not take gouache well at all! Much prefer the Arches Cover or Rives BFK... guess I spoiled myself using those papers for ink drawings because after today, I won't use anything else!

We had a big cookie decorating party today with all the kids in the local family... sugar cookies with colored frosting and silver dragees, and about a million sprinkles! They all had a great time, and me too. It's so fun to watch them work, talk, sample etc. Hope you are all having jolly times with family and friends.... Happy Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year.... :)
I've been tapering off on posts lately and will probably do more of the same over the next few days. But, there may be a few posts here and there!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Black and White World

Here's one more new painting I've started...(on Wed nite). See the women they love here! Our back yard covered in a blanket of snow! I was thinking the outside looks like my painting, black and white! (well, outside maybe brown and white)
Hard to believe I haven't posted since Wed. I overdid it while snow shoveling and suffered some bouts of nausea, vomiting and 'exhaustion' over the past few days. (apparently aerobically shoveling for 1 1/2 hrs in very low temperatures can do that to a person) But, how can that be?? I must be getting old! :) It's a little embarrassing to admit but that's my story for not being online at all for the past few days. (My family is full of medical people, I didn't come up with this diagnosis on my own.) So, if you don't own a snow blower, take breaks when shoveling! But enough about me...
We hope to do a little baking and playing out in the snow today! Hope you all have a lovely Saturday.
ps I added a new painting to my shop!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Piano Ladies and Night Snow

Already shoveled this out this afternoon!

I worked on the piano ladies today... and many other ones today too! (ahh, nice to get in some good painting days!!) This is another work in progress - I like to have several going at one time. I work on one for awhile... then when I'm 'spent' I'll move to a different one. I'm posting about another wip over at Take 5 Paintings, so check it out! ( I've also added 2 new paintings to the shop and will probably add another one tomorrow.)
**On the flip side... look at all that snow! I'm doing bunches of laundry for fear we'll loose power. I heard on the news this is apparently 'The perfect storm' and much different than the meteorologists could have predicted. It may mirror or surpass a record from 1950 where they got 14 inches of snow in 24 hours. Yikes, I feel the cabin fever coming on already! At least the kids have adequate snow boots this year.. I can tire them out by running around and sledding in it.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tea and Peace in the Village

Here's one of the 'repetition' series (must think of a better name!) Sorry for the crummy quality photos... I couldn't get any good ones this close to winter Solstice! It starts getting gloomy around 3:30pm and dark by 4:30pm. (I'm never ready to photograph in the morning light, gotta work on the paintings first :)
Anyway, I eliminated some of the items that were up top and put in mountains instead. They remind me of the ones from home on the Olympic Peninsula of WA. I'm not liking the smoke... there's still a lot of tweaking to be done but here it is as of tonight!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Stopping by Greenhouse on Snowy Evening

The Conservatory looks down on this French-style sunken garden
This Christmas cactus is over 100 years old!!

After school today we stopped by the local conservatory to look at all the Chrismas flowers. Every year they decorate and have beautiful lights... it's one of the highlights of the season for me. I've never seen a poinsettia tree, wow. And the cactus/succulent room is all lit up... maybe something like Georgia O'Keeffe's place?! (Probably not, she was such a minimalist!) The kids love going there, but they always try to lick those candy canes along the walkways... and pet the lit up reindeer. (I've been growled and grunted at more than once by the staff.) We love it there... these are just a few highlights.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Baking

I've begun my Christmas baking... so far it's Toffee Bars, Chocolate Chip and Russian Tea Cakes (although my daughter calls them 'Snowballs' after her first taste ever...I think it's a pretty good name!) This weekend we'll likely make the sugar cookies. They are the most work with colored frostings and rolling out the dough but with kids, it's a must - they are insisting this year, so I will oblige. What else? Anybody got something different and creative to share?? We are having a big snowstorm right now... our first of the season and quite late for Spokane. Happy weekend!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Good Mother Series

Painting yesterday, I had an idea to paint a 'good mother' series (and perhaps bad mother too). These are a few beginnings from the easel. I'm really excited about these, I think they're going to be really fun to do. (I have an obsession with doing faces).
On another note... one of my great, old friends is coming into town tomorrow. I've been cleaning like a mad woman! It'll be great to hang out with her and I'm taking her to my favorite place to eat. It's kind of fancy but lunch time seems to be OK to bring kids... we'll see :)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Yorkshire... & Ramble

My great-grandparents came from Yorkshire, England in the 1920's to Los Angeles, CA. They never returned. I have a love of all things British (and French)... the rolling hills and stone fences of England are no exception. Maybe it's the phenomena, 'Primordial Ancestral Imagery'** that drives me to paint these kind of landscapes. I've never been to England but have heard about it all my life and know many customs that we've practised in our family. I could be totally 'off' but somehow in the back of my mind, I'm seeing what my Great Grandma saw through her eyes in these paintings.
**This comes from a theory of Carl Jung... having to do with social anthropology and psychoanalysis. I learned about it in a fabulous cultural anthropology class...back in my social work days.
The images are inborn forms of intuition.
Primordial images originate from the initial stages of humanity and have been a part of the collective unconscious ever since. The images are apparently located in an inaccessible part of the brain. In my class we studied more details about this theory that included discussion about our own ancestors having more specific, cultural imagery - not just pure, primal human experiences from the initial stages of humanity.
Whew! That got way more detailed than I'd planned... but I wanted to explain myself instead of just throwing the term out there :)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sunshine and Televisions

This little painting is close to being done... it's another in the repetition series. I was actually thinking of fabric and quilts when I was making these - they came out very spontaneously! The quilt pattern, New York Beauties and went on from there... I'll try to find a photo of NY Beauties and post it later today just for fun. I'm hoping to get some Christmas shopping done today... So far I have bought one gift. Better get busy. Happy Sunday!

Friday, December 5, 2008

New Painting Progression...

OK, so I should be posting new paintings on my painting blog... but I think I hear crickets over there so far. Must install stat counter to know if any one's visiting!! I'm doing a little series (these are about 6 x 8" or so) of repetitive, patterned paintings. I love those 2 elements, so it's a lot of fun for me. This one started with bobbed-hair ladies, a favorite subject of mine. I've added cameras, handbags and some chairs. Sunday will probably be the next day painting might happen... I'll have to wait until then to see what happens .
On another note... I delivered my goods to another 'trunk-show' style show at another artist's house. Hopefully I'll sell something, you never know with these tight economic times... but I'm happy to participate!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Wild Card Day...

This post is totally unrelated to artmaking and the like... but I thought it would be fun to have a 'Wild Card Day' once in a while. (Unplanned, naturally or it wouldn't be a true wild card!)
When I'm not making art and doing mama stuff, (which is a very small amount of time!) I love to play the piano. Anyway, these 2 pieces are so lovely... my kids adore The Snowman (by Raymond Briggs) book and movie. There is a gorgeous song played during the part when the snowman and the boy fly in the air and see all sorts of magical things. It's sung by one choir boy - it's one of those pieces that gives you goosebumps! In the Bleak Midwinter is also a beautiful piece... a very old song, I believe. Sarah McLaughlin does a version on her Christmas CD that is divine.

Monday, December 1, 2008

A Little Announcement...

Flower Market - acrylic on canvas (??about 26 x 30? can't remember!) - a work in progress.

Well, I was trying to keep it separate... but I just can't keep the secret! As a way to get myself back into painting on a more regular basis, I opened a new etsy shop just for my paintings as well as a painting blog to document my process. Call me crazy, like I have the time to manage 3 different blogs?! We'll see how it goes... I just thought it may be a bit more organized and less distracting to have separate places for different mediums/projects.

So, this painting is featured on my painting blog, http://www.takefivepaintings.blogspot.com/. My plan is to post about once a week over there. You can visit my new painting store at http://www.take5paintings.etsy.com/. The shop is a bit empty but hopefully it will fill up slowly over time!