Archive for April, 2010

The answer?????

April 22, 2010

Another nest egg.

Ever wonder how that pair of words came to represent what we think of today?  Me neither, until I wrote that so I looked it up on my favorite online etymology dictionary and this is what it read…

nest (n.) Look up  nest at Dictionary.com
O.E. nest “bird’s nest, snug retreat,” from P.Gmc. *nistaz (cf. M.L.G., M.Du., Ger. nest), from PIE *nizdo- (cf. Skt. nidah “resting place, nest,” L. nidus “nest,” O.C.S. gnezdo, O.Ir. net, Welsh nyth, Bret. nez “nest”), probably from *ni “down” + *sed- “sit.” Used since M.E. in ref. to various accumulations of things (e.g. a nest of drawers, early 18c.). The verb is O.E. nistan, from P.Gmc. *nistijanan. Nest egg “retirement savings” is from 1700, originally “a real or artificial egg left in a nest to induce the hen to go on laying there” (1606).

Perhaps if I continue to paint nests and eggs, some hen will lay retirement savings in it.  Or on it. ????
I told my husband this settled the question of which came first, the chicken or the egg (referring to the egg falling from heaven)  and he responded  “Then who built the nest?”  I guess the query continues.

back to painting

April 19, 2010

Thank you all so much for your congratulations.  It was very encouraging to me to keep on painting (which I have been doing while taking a little sabbatical in blogging).  Floorcloths got into my psyche and for almost a week, I painted one with large bold flowers and dragonflies.  The bug’s bodies were painted in and I waited until the very end to paint the wings.  I wanted to use a glaze for transparency.  I was so pleased with the floorcloth until that point.  I should have left off the wings and had dragon-sticks instead.  Oh, well.  It’s only time.  But I finished it, varnished it and placed it in front of my sink for some color for the summertime.  Good news is, it got me back in the painting mode.

Marsh Wren with Nest

acrylic on board  18″x18″

Bird of Paradise

acrylic on board  12″ x 12″

These are done in reverse (rather like reverse applique).  I painted the board, masked out the plant forms and painted the background on top, then added details and birds nests.  I love painting birds nests.  Hope you aren’t tired of seeing them.  I am painting more of these!

I will let you painters in on a little secret.  Home Depot sells small container samples of acrylic paint.  The paints are thin (think wall paint which it is) but they have a wide range of colors pre-mixed and the price is $2.79.  You get more than twice as much paint with the Martha Stewart brand than the Glidden. Go figure.  I used these paints for the backgrounds and the blues on top.  I am pleased with the result.   And that is a lot less than Golden fluid acrylics.

This and That

April 10, 2010

My pastel received an honorable mention at the Rome Art Coterie!!!  I was honored and pleased;  it was in great company!  The juror was there and explained why she chose the top 8.  It was very informative, a little awkward (I just don’t handle compliments very well) and quite satisfying.  Maybe I am an artist after all….

Yesterday was spent doing fun stuff with the First Friday Play artists.  We made floor cloths (or doggie placemats because it won’t cover much floor).    All it needs now is 5 coats of polyurethane.And for you readers (I know there are at least two!) in the Cherokee County, Georgia area, go by and get a cup of coffee at It’s a Grind in Holly Springs.  You will get a great cup of coffee AND get to see some birds and bugs I have painted over the last few months.  You have seen most of them here but this is your chance to see them in person!  Susan Wright hung the paintings on the wall in close to perfect symmetry placing my favorite moth in the middle.

Struggling on

April 8, 2010

You know, if there is as much struggling going on with other artists out there, as there is with me in here…

Here are two experiments.  The first is my attempt at whimsy.   I think the whimsy showed better in my thumbnail sketch than in the final piece.

The piece below is more in keeping with what I saw that inspired me  to create with thread.  It is done on  tear away stabilizer and I really like the movement created by that.  I could get “moth holes” or the appearance of age, a fragment of something potentially much larger, causing you to wonder.  The problem with it is that it is a magnolia flower.  No matter the medium, I think magnolias are the most difficult flower to capture.  Those transparent petals with just a hint of color…

After proofing this post, I realize that pushing on is the right thing to do.  Explore all that I can, while I can.    Long ago, my children would attempt to do something and after the first failure,  give up.  My response ” you expect to be perfect the first time?”  hit deaf ears.  I am thinking, perhaps I too, have this same issue…the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

The Rome Art Coterie’s opening reception  is tonight.   I have a pastel in it, go here to see which one.  Better yet,  just go to the show.  It is thru April at the River City Bank on 2nd Avenue in Rome, Georgia.

lots and lots of thread later…

April 6, 2010

Time passes too quickly these days.  All of a sudden winter has become summer (springs are sometimes too short here) and the trees, which were devoid of all leaves last week at this time, are fully leafed (is that a word?).

I have been working on a small art quilt that I am going to enter into a contest to win a new Bernina sewing machine.  I will be shocked to win (and extremely happy) but am doing it for the challenge.  You need to represent the image given and this one happens to be a swan on her nest in colors I don’t find very appealing.  The point is to use as much visible machine stitching as possible.  If  this don’  count, I dunna wha’ does!

Lessons learned on this piece:

  • Don’t expect white thread to fully cover dark fabric.
  • Don’t free hand cut the fabric and expect it to appear straight.  I didn’t want the inner rectangle to read as a straight edge parallel to the top edge, but it is too close to being square that it makes it look off (as in a mistake)

The feathers are stitched on water soluble stablizer and then stitched onto the quilt for a little 3 dimensional effect.  I liked this and want to try it some more.

As I critique this myself, I see where improvements can be made.  Back to the sewing machine.

On top of a little work work (vs. play work), Easter, family, cooking and cleaning (to be honest, not much of that going on) this is how my week has passed.  Way too quickly.

Here is the link to the contest, just in case you want to enter.