Archive for August, 2012


August 31, 2012

I have been working on a series I call “thru the fire” for almost two years now.   I haven’t done any art quilting in a long time and I actually started this piece at the same time as this one (which will explain why “thru the fire” if you missed it), but then let it sit because I wasn’t terribly thrilled with it.  I pulled it out of the discard pile yesterday and worked on it more.  The face is a bit ghostly.  The idea is not for these pieces to have an eery feel but to capture the surviving image and to remember the family who didn’t survive.  Maybe the eeriness helps…

Here is the photo…

I don’t really believe in ghosts.  Lots of people do, but I believe our spirits go directly to our afterlife.  (hmmm… wonder why my computer chooses now to do all kinds of weird stuff…????)  I believe that because that is the way I read it in the Bible, besides, how could it be a peaceful existence if we are caught up between this world and that?   But since I watched The Ghost and Mr. Chicken from  the back seat of our station wagon, with my hands over my face, at the drive in theater when I was 7 (yes, I was a scaredy cat), I am still spooked by non-existant ghosts; especially the ones I catch glimpses of from the corners of my eyes.

Etymology of Chicken – Adjective sense of “cowardly” is at least as old as 14c. (cf. hen-herte “a chicken-hearted person,” mid-15c.); the verb meaning “to back down or fail through cowardice” is from 1943, U.S. slang; as a game of danger to test courage, it is first recorded 1953.

my day just got better

August 28, 2012

My husband paid me the best compliment tonight.  He told me the watercolor below looks like a Sargent.  Of course, I realize he is trying to make me feel better, I have been struggling lately with life in general  and painting specifically (and then I woke with a cold this morning!).  And he was standing a good distance from the screen.  BUT, if you ever want to get on my good side, compare my work to Sargent’s!!!

This one is also 8″x8″.   The contrast is perhaps a little stronger than it is on the original, at least on my screen.  Wondering how you are seeing it…

Working my way up to 100 faces… maybe.  I do get bored easily.

back to basics

August 19, 2012

Used crayons this evening just to have something to do with my hands.  This was done like the old fashion scratch art we did as kids, cover your whole crayoned drawing with black crayon and scratch it off.  Then burnish the wax in the crayon until it is very shiny.  I like the technique…looks like a block print.  Sort of.

Can you believe I was able to place -ed on the word “crayon” and spell-check overlooked it???  Think I could use it in Scrabble?

Irene and Katherine

August 17, 2012

At the risk of being maudlin, I am showing you a pencil drawing of my mother (as a young child) and her sister two years (to the day) older.  I realize I am immersed in Mama and her family at the moment, I did the same thing after my father died 26 years ago.  I don’t know if it is healthy or unhealthy, but it is what I need to do right now and the book on grieving told me to do what feels right!  So…

Irene and Katherine, pencil, 8″ x 10″, done from an old photograph

I don’t normally look at a painting and start thinking,  this makes me feel (insert emotion), or doesn’t she/he/it look (insert adjective), but looking at this drawing, I am doing just that.  Irene died at such a young age (six) and when I look at her photograph, I see such innocence.  I don’t see that in Katherine even though she is two years younger.  I see intelligence in her.  And I know I am projecting my feelings into my subjects but… I see it in the photograph, also.

I think my pencil phase is over (after only two drawings!).  Looking at the above, I want to put color on these girls… just a touch somewhere.  I am not as pleased with my technique as I was in the last drawing…

You may see this again!

Keep your HB pencils for test taking…

August 12, 2012

My son has discovered drawing and is quite good at it.  Well, he really has always been good at it but lately he has been drawing more and doing more of most anything makes you better.  Looking at his drawing made me want to draw using graphite alone, something I don’t do much of.  Here is the result…

Another face with some weird hat done from an old black and white photo.  Image size is 8″x8″, done on bristol board.

I have lots of pencils.  Every art/drafting class I have taken since college days, I would buy more pencils.  My father-in-law would give us pencils from his pickings at farm/estate sales.  Some pencils somehow found their way into my studio.  I drew this using two of those pencils, a 4H (about the hardest lead you can find) and an Ebony (about the softest lead you can find).  So why do they make all those in-between pencils?

Back in the days of board drafting, we didn’t use pencils.  We used lead holders and leads.  The leads were thicker than those in mechanical pencils and required a little “lead sharpener” to sharpen them (which you constantly had to do).  Most old school drafters will still have their lead holders and lead sharpeners tucked away in some drawer, now useless reminders of days gone by.

One of the most memorable compliments I ever received involved pencil work.  A drafting professor told me I should not be using pen and I was using pencil.  What kind of compliment is that, you say?  It meant I was getting a crisp, smudge-free, even line and I took that as a compliment.  I said memorable compliment…not necessarily best compliment!