Friday, November 24, 2017

The Diva's Zentangle Challenge for this Week...and more



I haven't posted on Laura's challenge for awhile...since the trip to Florida for the winter, I seem to have gotten side tracked with like a millions things.  Ya know? Suddenly it was Thanksgiving!  Whew!
But it was a delightful gathering at an old friend's home.  

The tile on the left is Laura's challenge for this week...using Paradox and Bunzo.  I love Paradox but have never had much affinity for Bunzo.  But that is what challenges are for...to get you to try out a tangle again.  

The one on the right uses a new tangle for me...Abukas.  It is the sort of flower petal shape in the center of the tangle.  I liked it!  
I added Checkered Flag, Chillion, Hollibaugh, Btl Joos, Cirquital and Dimroth.  

The Zentangle class last Tuesday was well attended and enjoyed meeting some new friends and seeing some old ones!  

I have NO intention of going anywhere today (Black Friday) but will get out some of the Christmas decorations, play some Christmas music and maybe even start my Christmas Letter!  It's been rainy here in central Florida over this holiday but expect sunshine back by tomorrow.  

So it's a perfect day to dry out my new Red Rose tea in Carmel Apple Flavor.  Hope your day will be just the way you hope it will be too.  

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Practice, Practice.


I am preparing now to teach a LARGE Zentangle® class on Tuesday.  One of the best ways to prep, besides actually packing up my supplies, is to do some regular tangling to get "in the mood".  
I forget how pleasurable and relaxing Zentangle is sometimes.
Tangles I chose here are Irradial, Lollywimple, and Rain.

I'll have over 20 in the class so I've asked friend and tangler, Cynthia Vose, to help me out. What a good friend!!!  

Below you will see some small little people sketches done during a recent meeting.  I have a big problem with hands! So that is something to be working on in the next months.  My goal is also to have the people look like they have personality and are not all the same person!  😟

I attended an Urban Sketching workshop a few weeks ago and the the main thing about this form of sketching that makes it different from say a travel or nature sketch is that an urban sketch should "tell a story" or "record an event".  Having some people in the sketch helps the story part immensely.





Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Joanne Sharpe's workshop



Here is Joanne (from upstate New York) leading Day One of the two day workshop on "Whimsical Watercolor and Fonts" at The Villages.  FAST PACED would be an understatement!! Some samples of her folded books are on the table.  I think we are headed that way for Thursday!  


This is just a small portion of the day...wow, it went so fast.  Beginning to focus on some of the variations of your own handwriting that one can practice.  


If you look back at the first photo of Joanne you see her holding a fold out booklet (4 parts) that are just plain silly fun.  The theme is a warm-up helping to relax and get into the mood of a "second grader".  A time in our lives when we were up for most anything and still thought of ourselves as artists. The theme was just wild and crazy dresses for the 2nd grader in us.  And a chance to play not only with wet watercolor washes but Tombow pens in wet washes.  



Hard to show here but this is a simple inexpensive composition notebook (like $2-3) from office supply that each of us creating to hold "work samples".  The pages are thickened by using Washi Tape to "bind together" three- four pages thus making it relatively stable.  

So on to day two...wish me luck.



Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Traveling at the Speed of Butterflies






Traveling at the speed of butterflies
You notice things.
Silence surrounds
Loud with sounds
Cacophony of crickets
Hawk on the wing
The river sings.
Traveling at the speed of butterflies 
You notice things. 
A human heart
A small kindness
A bee
A butterfly.
—Sara Thomsen. Written along the Missouri River Water Walk, www.nibiwalk.org

My daughter Julie has just come from attending the Women's Congress held in Minnesota from Nov 3-5.   Sara Thomsen was one of the people she heard there.  The themes were "climate, health, and justice".  You can read more about the congress here.

I love that Sara's poem exemplifies again the "theme" of my own blog (see the quote under the heading) as I pursue my goal of "paying attention".  I am sure that Julie will blog about her experiences in the days to come and I'll share some of what she learned.  

It's nice to think that even though I am "slowing down" as I get older that there are SOME benefits to that!  

I am, as I have blogged before, preparing for a two day art workshop up in The Villages on tomorrow and Thursday.  So watch for my sharing on that in the next few days.  


Saturday, November 4, 2017

Sketching in the Leesburg area




A little time for some outdoor sketching this week...friends Pat and Pete were here from WI and so we managed to get out and about with them a bit.  On Friday afternoon we sent up to the Farm-all Tractor Museum in Leesburg.  Who would have thought to go there?  But the guys were all excited about it.  It was actually quite an amazing collection of just about every tractor and machine they ever made!
Plus some retro things that were fun to see.  

Saturday the guys went to a model train show up in Ocala so Pat and I headed over to Yahala to the Bakery which has live music and outdoor seating on Saturdays from 11-2.  We had a lovely outdoor lunch and enjoyed 70's music!  So relaxing.

Just nice to have a pen in my hand again.  
I have so many projects half done or unstarted yet in the studio.
And a busy week of many obligations coming up!  

Hope to have more artsy fun to share again soon.
Weather beautiful in FL...80s.  
I remembered to set my clocks to "fall back".  
Have a good week.




Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Preparing for a Joanne Sharpe Class


Preparation

We finally got home to Florida...a week ago Sunday night.  An uneventful but exhausting 3 days and 2 nights down from northern Illinois.

I think we slept for two days straight enjoying our OWN bed again!
Then we woke up and discovered nothing was unpacked...you apparently have to do that yourself.  😉

So that took 5-6 days (with lots of interruptions).  So now I trying to figure out how everything in the studio actually FITS in here.  Stacks everywhere.  Sigh.

In between I am preparing the material list for Joanne Sharpe's class up in The Villages next week.  Thus all the pens collected on the table tonight.  I didn't have to buy any new pens as I am a pen freak anyway.  I just bought some wc paper that she suggested and some commercial washi tape...although I really like my own hand painted tape better.  And will take that too.  

I really let the Inktober challenge fall through the cracks.  Darn.
Once I got in the car and headed down I just could not figure out when to do it.  It is fun to look at the sketchbook and I need to start back into this.  Then friend, Sandee, sent me her marvelous ink sketches and boo hoo, I wish I was sketching too!  

Tomorrow I am meeting with a group planning to paint a mural by our swimming pool this winter.  Friend, Susan, has invited me to join the Friday morning class at the center for the arts on the 10th to see an Urban Sketcher give a demo.  Love urban sketching.  And I am prepping to do an art interview on local in-house TV channel THIS Friday morning.  I am beginning to see some actual space on my art table...that's a hopeful sign.  

Don't give up on me.  I'll be "arting" again soon.
Hope you all had a Happy Halloween!


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Sonder

My daughter's blog featured a new word today.

Sonder.

Is it a real word?...I guess it just depends on how you come to define words..as someone said...every word is made up at some point. Until it become real due to usage.

I like the idea of "sonder"...a word my computer's internal dictionary certainly does NOT recognize.   It is a small word for a very thoughtful and complex meaning.  

And I like that it causes you to reflect.  As I am in the midst of traveling now heading from WI to FL and amidst so many new people...it is a great travel word.  


sonder


n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.

I found a tiny video that I think really is THE best definition for this word.  Take a look here.  See what you think.  




Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Inktober Drawing Challenge Day 1-3


Inktober is a wildly popular event each year with artists.  Just a fun encouragement to draw with ink every day for 31 days.  

There are many "prompt" lists... there is the official one but then lots of groups post their own prompts.  Last year I used the official list and it was sort of challenging to try to get something each time that fit.  But this year I am a bit lazy and am in the throes of the annual packing up from our north woods cabin to Florida.  

So I've decided that I am going to post every 3 days or so and am going to do 1/3 of a sketch at a time.  The idea being I'll have a page sketch every 3 days.  But I warn you this is just an idea that could go out the door as things get crazier here.

 So the above inked drawing is a very sketchy view of one wall of our cabin drawn in 3 parts over 3 days.  (That funny snowshoe shaped thing on the far left is actually a grill for grilling fish!).  

Some artists like to draw with graphite first and ink over.  Makes for a little more planning freedom but I am just carrying on right in ink for time's sake. Hoping I'll get better in 31 days.  By the last day I'll be in Florida again so you get a sort of travel journal of the trip.  

Fun fact about today:

In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII declared that the day following October 4, 1582, would be Friday, October 15, 1582. By leaping over 10 days, the pope corrected the Julian calendar, which was 10 days out of sync with the seasons. The new calendar became known as the Gregorian calendar.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

In Between Times



The in-between time...when you are neither here or there has arrived at the lake cabin.  

The leaves are turning but it appears it is not going to be a splendid colorful autumn this year.  Two years ago we were mesmerized by the color.  But last year and this...the colors have been muted and many leaves have fallen without much color at all.  Everyone has a theory: it is too cold, too wet, or too dark or some combination.  Indeed it has not not been memorable for weather this summer. 

On the roads slippery leaves pave a way through the tunnels of dark dry ferns.  Day are definitely shorter and we rise in the dark many mornings...lingering over the hot coffee in hopes of seeing the thin sunshine arrive to bring some color to the forest.   

We drift now, hubby and I, just between the time of summer's dimming pleasures and the crisp cusp of autumn.  Hints of the coming winter are around us now.  The loons, hummingbirds and ducks have flown and the song birds seem to have disappeared. 
So the mornings are very quiet now.  When you walk you mostly just hear the leaves crunching underfoot.  Vs of geese fly honking overhead.  

We now face the inevitable and unloved task of packing and closing up.  It involves winterizing appliances, cleaning out cupboards and fridge and draining the pipes.  Boats come out of the water, piers get stacked on the shore and lawn mowers stowed away.  The list gets checked off as we go along.  

So many things we thought would get completed didn't...I never seemed to have enough time to write or draw or paint.  But there were plenty of times for laughter, friends, family.  We got the porch finally enclosed and with the help of the kids, painted.   

And although the  long, warm afternoons on the pier we love were severely limited this year, there were enough to make good memories.  We know enough at our age to prize the moments and the days.  

I hope to accomplish a few more things in the studio yet this autumn.  We have a week before we get into the serious countdown.  We will say good byes to lake friends in the next weeks. We will enjoy Greg's Model Train Club show in Hazelhurst this weekend and hopefully take a fall drive up to Land o Lakes for gallery visits.  

Susan and I are seriously contemplating doing the Inktober Drawing challenge again.  It will start on Sunday.  







Thursday, September 21, 2017

Greeting Card Fun


The time of year when it seems like ALL the family birthdays converge at once.  When you have 6 kids and 12 grandchildren there is a birthday going on almost ALL the time.  Then throw in graduations and confirmations and etc.   

For someone who has vowed not to keep the card companies in business I am ALWAYS busy!  

Grandson, Alex, turns 24 next week.  His card went out this morning.  I can hardly wait to take Joanne Sharpe's class in November on funky and fun hand lettering!  My cards should take an upturn in creativity. 


4 x 6 on card stock with acrylic ink





My daughter in law, Marie, and my stepson, Mark, both have birthdays this time of year too.  Marie's card is a collage of hand printed papers and Mark's includes some acrylics AND embossed white and gold stars celebrating 50 years!  



Both Marie's and Mark's include "nap coupons" which I love!  And a bookmark handmade with some Zentangles on them.  All held together with hand printed Washi tape.  

I also did one for 11 year old Mike! But I forgot to photo that one.  

We are having Indian summer in northern Wisconsin.  I cannot whine about the weather today...it is PERFECT.  No wind...lots of sunshine, temp about 76.  The smell of pine needles fills the air, leaves floating on the lake water, a kind of glow through the woods.
We ate lunch out on the Adirondack chairs and several caterpillars joined us.  There are mushrooms scattered all over the forest floor.  Leaves float lazily down.  The pier is stacked now on the shore line and the boats are all put away.  The cabin windows are open and it is very still.  We are talking about a campfire tonight.  A day to remember.  







Monday, September 18, 2017

Demo Day at the Great Northern Coffee House


A day at the Coffee House for the demo
9 x 11" Sketchbook - wc and ink

A nice day sketching and doing Zentangle® at the Great Northern Coffee House in Minocqua, WI.  The owner of the store bought the little sketch...which was nice.  I didn't sell any other art that day but the art will remain hanging until Oct 11 so I am hopeful!  And the big "Beef-o-Rama" event comes during this time (Sept 30).  So lots of people in town that weekend.   

Here at the cabin I am now falling into what call "the Limbo days". Being "in limbo" for the last 20 days between being home here and packing for home in Florida.  It's an annual event.

We got happy news Sunday that our power was finally restored.  BUT we also got word that Hurricane Maria is making disturbing progress in our direction.  This seems like kicking someone who has already fallen down, don't you think?  Please pray that this hurricane veers out into the Atlantic.  

Incidentally I looked up the phrase "in limbo":
An intermediate or transitional state, as in After his editor left the firm, his book was in limbo. [ Early 1600s ] Both usages allude to the theological meaning of limbo, that is, a place outside hell and heaven to which unbaptized infants and the righteous who died before Christ's coming were traditionally consigned.

I had no idea about this being a "place for unbaptized folks and folks who were born before Christ".  Think I will change the term to something else a bit more mild like "in transition" or  "feeling homeless" or "A bit detached" or ...any other ideas?  

Friday, September 15, 2017

A Tangle for Relaxation


The Diva's Zentangle® challenge this week are "squares overlapping" if I read it right.  I've been off-challenge for awhile this summer.  For one thing my internet up here is VERY slow especially during high tourist season.  After Labor Day it does speed up slightly. 

I did a quick flip through of my Mac n'cheese tangles and stopped on "Mosaik" which is portrayed in variation on the center of this tile.  

The whole drawing got sort of out of control at one point...you can tell I am slightly stressed out...and so I couldn't seem to stop.  I kept adding and adding beyond the time I should have called it quits.  

But the nice thing about tangles is that it doesn't really matter.  If you need to tangle than tangle on! That why Sandy Bartholomew called her book Yoga for the Brain.

And by the way, Sandy has a pretty amazing blog post this week.
Have a look at how to transform a closet into a creative art spot!





James Richards interprets Hurricane Irma


These sketches by James Richards  are a wonderful interpretation of Hurricane Irma.  James and his wife had to evacuate Siesta Key on the west coast but the storm hit him inland in Lakeland, FL as well.  Although he avoided the storm surge by coming inland.  I found his ability to do this amazing.  Click on his name to read his comments about doing this and how sketching during the storm relieved some of the anxiety.  

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Gallery Show begins



The show at the Northern Coffee Shop in Minocqua is now displayed as of this morning.  My friend Karla, helped me set up the display.  The top photo is the wall is in the back of the shop where the Lakeland Art League has a gallery and the second photo is one of the walls in the front of the coffee shop itself.

The shop is open 7-2:30 Wed-Sunday.  
215 Front Street Minocqua
The display will be there today through Wed October 11.
Lots of parking across the street in the municipal parking lot near the post office. And a delightful menu of quiches and fresh breads.

On another note here is the update from our lovely park in Leesburg, FL northwest of Orlando.
There was extensive damage from Irma but everyone is rallying.

This photo below is from the front of the main clubhouse where a wonderful old oak was torn up roots and all and one of our street lights came right up with it without even breaking the bulb! Think of all the years that old tree has made it...until this week.  

Reports tell us that our own home made it through unscathed.  Thank you God.  But some others were not so lucky.  No power there yet but hope by this weekend. 

Prayers for everyone who is living through the aftermath now...no power in many places, no AC, no showers, no coffee, no street lights, loss of belongings, angst from the noises of generators and chain saws, loss of sleep, loss of food and belongings, not much gas and frayed nerves.  We've heard reports of short tempers, and looting. These make us even more sad.   





Friday, September 8, 2017

Thinking of those in the path of Irma


"Irma" 4 x 6" Acrylic on paper

My hubby and I have the most delightful little home in central Florida just northwest of Orlando, FL.  It is a gated retirement park of about 1,200 homes.  It is the joy of our lives and we spend 7 months of our lives there...Oct-May.  

SO...now it is in the DIRECT path of a category 5 hurricane.

Blessing: We are not there.  We are still in the north woods of Wisconsin.   THAT is a very good thing as we would be preparing to evacuate if we were.  This darling Florida place is a "manufactured" home (not site built) and they are not good shelter in severe weather.  

Worry: We have many friends that do stay all year round there and  now we pray that they get to safety and remain unharmed.  AND that our little homes can somehow withstand the storm.  

Huge storms like this seem to be happening more frequently  lately...and along with the fires out west the loss of homes from natural disaster is frightening.  Your home is your  "shelter" and it grounds you...and the loss of their personal space leaves people full of anxiety and sadness.  

So do keep everyone in the path of Irma in your prayers this weekend.  



Monday, September 4, 2017

Claims from Time A Rhythm Not Yet Heard

Upsa Daisy by Ginny Stiles
Acrylic 16 x 20

A Blessing for an Artist at the Start of the Day
by John O'Donohue 
from his book To Bless the Space Between Us

May morning be astir with the harvest of  night;
Your mind quickening to the eros of a new question,
Your eyes seduced by some unintended glimpse
That cut right through the surface to a source.


May this be a morning of innocent beginning,
When the gift within you slips clear
Of the sticky web of the personal
With its hurt and its hauntings,
And fixed fortress corners,

A morning when you become a pure vessel
For what wants to ascend from silence,

May your imagination know
The grace of perfect danger,

To reach beyond imitation,
And the wheel of repetition,

Deep into the call of all
The unfinished ad unsolved

Until the veil of the unknown yields
And something original begins
To stir toward your senses
And grow stronger in your heart 

In order to come to birth
In a clean line of form,
That claims from time
A rhythm not yet heard,
That calls space to
A different shape.

May it be its own force field
And dwell uniquely
Between the heart and the light

To surprise the hungry eye
By how deftly it fits
About its secret loss.


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Happy Hour


Just a quick post to show a batik that I did a few years ago...not very large...maybe 8 x 10 on gallery wrapped canvas.  It is called 
"Happy Hour" and is based on a photo taken by my friend Mary Warren (see Flicker).  She took the reference photo in an upscale bar in Boston some years ago and I just loved the photo. I think I may offer it at the gallery in September.  







Just Passing Through


One of the marvels of the autumn season is the migration.  Birds and some butterflies.  The idea of the passing over our heads at night was renewed for me by David's poem below.

After I read through it aloud (as poems should be always read aloud) I paused and thought a bit.  And then I read it again slower.  "Passing through"...yes...aren't we all.  

Invisible Vistors
By David Budbill

All through August and September
   thousands, maybe
tens of thousands, of feathered
   creatures pass through
this place and I almost never see
   a single one.  The fall
wood warbler migration goes by here
   every year, all of them,
myriad species, all looking sort of like
   each other, yellow, brown, gray,
all muted versions of their summer selves,
   almost indistinguishable
from each other, at least to me, although
   definitely not to each other,
all flying by, mostly at night, calling to each
  other as they go to keep
the flock together, saying: chip, zeet,
  buzz, smack, zip, squeak--
  those 
sounds reassuring that we are
  all here together and
heading south, all of us just passing
  through, just passing
through, just passing through, just
  passing through.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Some art preparation for the Northern Coffee House Gallery Show!





Just a few more of my give-away book marks in preparation for the demo on Sept 16 (see sidebar). I included my "corner chomper" in the photo as I "chomped" all the corners on these and I can't believe what a difference that makes!  I left about half a dozen to do at the demo.  Also plan to draw and paint in my sketchbook!



So now I am sorting through paintings trying to decide which would make a nice display at the gallery.  I have a large 3 panel display board to use in the back gallery AND several spots on the front near the door to the restaurant which will take larger paintings. 

Several of the paintings are of local buildings...the one in front (diptych) is the famous Minocqua Brewery Restaurant and the little "house like" wc in the back right is the Minocqua Museum.  I also have one of the Thirsty Whale restaurant.  
The Zentangle® one toward the top is a series of "tree-like" tiles that is rather cool.  15 paintings in all ranging in price from $25 to $60.  

I want to get them all numbered and labeled ahead.  The daughters arrive for Girls' weekend tomorrow night and then friends come later next week for a few days.  Now is the time!  

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Preparing for the Art Demo


I've mentioned before (on the sidebar of the blog) that I am going to be doing a demo on Sat September 16 from 9:30 to 2.  I'll be at the Northern Coffee Cafe and Gallery in Minocqua, WI.  It's just a little over two weeks away!  

The cafe provides a rather nice window table and chair right near the entrance where the person doing the demo once a month sets up.  (They also provide lunch!!)

I am planning to do some sketchbook sketching for one thing and have some sketchbooks to show,  but then I am also going to do some Zentangle® as well.  Signage is important and so I thought I'd have some "tent" signs ready to put up. 



I thought I'd also have some "give-aways" ready.  Some small bookmarks each with a tangle on them.  I have done a little water color wash for the background using mostly bright mica-embedded watercolors called "Sparkling H2O".  They look nice in the light.  

Then I did some tangles on top of them.  I did a few with Brush-o water color powders on them which "explode" when you spritz them with water.  They are fun but a little dark for a background to tangle.  So on some of the others I'll sprinkle a little less rather than use so much.  I still have more to do so that will keep me busy the next few days.  

On the back of each is my blog address and also Zentangle.com which may lead some people to explore that direction.  I may bring a few completed Zendalas or a few books about Zentangle just in case I find some one really interested.  

Next I have to choose and organize what paintings I plan to bring to the gallery to hang on the 13th of September.  I need to make sure everything is wired for hanging and then give the club (Lakeland Art League) a list of the pieces I am showing.  There are tags to be filled out as well.  They will stay for a month (until Oct 11). The gallery/cafe is open Tues-Sunday 6 am to 2:30 pm.  

We had some company last Monday and Tuesday with my daughter Julie and her friend Kate here on their way up to Bayfield and the Apostle Islands for a camping trip.  It will so chilly at night as we have frost warnings now!  But they are hardy.   Then over Labor Day we will host my two daughters up for "Girls' Weekend" which usually involves a lot of laughter and quite a bit of wine! We'll finish up with friends Karla and Brent here from the 11th to the 14th.  After that it will the time of year to bring in the pier and store the boats again.  We'll be having fires in the fireplace by then.  Maybe even some snow!  

I dedicate my blog today to my old friend Bea Walker who passed away this morning in Ohio.  She was funny and smart and feisty and pretty and well read and always ready to learn something new.  Her presence in this world made it a better place and she left us a legacy of joy.  




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