Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Eve...

The best gift we could give and receive…

Wishing everyone a very Happy Christmas!

Monday, December 14, 2015

A Couple of Things...

Hello friends.
I hope you're doing well during this busy season!
I just wanted to share a couple of things I've completed recently.

I made this flag for a local business. It took 12 hours to cut, fuse and sew it, 
(It is two sided) and the experience taught me that, although I've done flags in the past,
 I no longer want to do this kind of work. A lot of concentrated work!
 But I was glad that it came out well.

I also finished this little embroidery.
My friend Barbara had given me some pieces of her beautiful Liberty 
of London fabrics, so I made this little girl (with a L of L jumper) for her.

I used colored pencils in addition to hand embroidery. A little cutie!

And last weekend my husband and I went to an open studio event where
we purchased this beautiful stained glass art from an artist friend, Joanne Jolly-Kay
We hung it in our front window as soon as we got home and it's such a pleasure to
see it every morning when we get up. Love it!

Finally, I got a kick out of our cat Rosie tonight. I was watching the movie 
"Winged Migration" when Rosie suddenly plopped herself down in front of
the TV and watched with great attention for twenty minutes! I think the sounds
of the birds caught her attention, then the motion of their flight pulled her in.

I hope that everyone who reads this is having a lovely
holiday season, not too stressful and including some time spent with friends.
I'm looking forward to a Christmas party tomorrow night with my 
Arts Collaborative friends and colleagues!!

See you soon!!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

A Giving Challenge

One of my favorite magazines is Flow, subtitled "A Magazine for Paper Lovers".  It is a bit pricey and  I usually walk by it a couple of times in a book store before giving in and indulging - but it calls to me, with its beautiful illustrations, interesting articles and great inspiration. I also follow the Flow Facebook page and today I read an inspiring post about an article  in the magazine's newest issue. The article is called "The Gifts of Giving" and is written by Nina Siegal. In it, Nina writes about being inspired to give something away, every day for a month. The experience was transformational for her, and her personal life began to improve as she found something to give away each and every day.
I've decided to take on this challenge, especially appealing during this giving season. I had already given away something today, before even reading the article, and there are so many other things I could share, be they donations, compliments, gifts, help, kindness… I find giving to be a bit exhilarating, so this should be a very happy month!
Would you like to join me?

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Monday, November 2, 2015

What I've been Working On

Hello Friends!
Last Thursday we had our Arts Collaborative show, on the same night that our town celebrated "Fright Night". Our high school students carved what looked like a hundred or more pumpkins and they were lit and displayed on the expansive outside stairs of our library. An awesome display! (Of course I forgot my camera!)
Our show was at the former Gas and Light building downtown, which is going to be used as a Cultural Exchange in our town. A new G & L building was erected and this old building is going to be a wonderful resource. Our show was the first event held there and very exciting!!
Part of the night was a chance for little trick or treaters to visit local stores and get candy, so we had a flow of tiny princesses and superheroes milling about, along with their parents. A fun night!

In preparation for the show, I worked on a couple of older pieces, adding new elements and borders. This first floral is above in the header of my blog, as it looked before. I added more leaves, embroidery and beads, and a new white outer border.

This second piece was done quite a while ago, and I added embroidery, beading and appliqué in the foreground. I remember spending a long time machine embroidering this picture, but I think the hand work adds texture and interest.

This piece never quite got finished. You can see the thread where I left off beading. The elements are ready, the vase shape needs to be modified, and all I have to do is finish it before I tuck it away!!

Now that the show is over, I really want to take a breather. I feel myself wanting to try some different things, different materials, different subjects. I'll still keep up my sketchbook and will share with you whatever I decide to do.
To my friends and readers, you are just a handful of people, but very dear to me. I really appreciate your comments and friendship. Thank you!!

Have a wonderful week!!!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Moving From Reality to Whimsy

If you've followed my blog, you know that I love to create faces.
I start with an oval or squarish shape and draw, erase, draw, erase, etc,
until I'm satisfied with the outcome. I let the personality and details emerge as they will
and look at the drawing upside down or in a mirror to see if anything is grossly uneven.
And usually I'll let a day or two go by before looking at it again, at which time I can see
more clearly what I want to add, subtract or correct. It's a process!

I apologize for such murky photos, which I edited as best I could, but it is a cloudy day!

I made this sketch recently and finished it today. No one in particular, just an earnest looking girl...

Then I decided to get whimsical and went for a more illustrative look. I like 
this look because it's less serious and I can see her surrounded by flowers and butterflies.

Next I went on to a look I've been playing with lately - this lady has a longer face and
 eyes that reming me of those in paintings by the artist Modigliani. I can see her and her
children in a storybook! 

Here are some of their neighbors - they look like gentle people, don't they?

And all of these remind me of this lady, whom I created a while ago, as well as of my daughter Kate's face, as she is always in the back of my mind!

I think I'm on to something I like! What do you think?
Meanwhile I've been working on a few pictures for our Arts Collaborative's 
Fall show this Thursday night. I'll share them with you soon!

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Sketchbook Drawing - Home sweet Home

I finished this sketch of our house today - note the two kitties in the front window! I have to say, I was very disappointed with this sketch, for many reasons, but decided to show it anyway. Our lawn is not quite that overgrown and the colors are off, etc, etc!! Not every attempt can be successful!

Meanwhile, we had a mild day today, with very cold weather predicted for later in the week, so I opened the doors and windows to enjoy this last vestige of summer. The cats took up their post at the front door, getting excited about every leaf that skittered across the front walk.

And for a while, Rosie took up a solitary watch,

and Angus relieved her for awhile.

By mid afternoon, the day grew cooler, doors and windows were closed, the cats took to their fleece beds, and we settled down to a hot dinner and a cozy night. (with the heat turned on!!)

                       Hope you're having a terrific week!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

A New Project

I'm taking a new class in quilted collage. I had taken this class before, but love the sense of community in working with others as we build our individual collages and watch them grow into embroidered and beaded wall hangings. This time I'm especially enthused about my subject matter.
I went through my various sketchbooks and found some drawings I had done while touring Greece a few years ago. I studied ancient Greek culture and language in college, so this is a subject which is dear to my heart. 

I had taken many photos of statuary in Greece, and made note of the hair and expressions on the faces. 

I decided to do Athena, who was the goddess of war. Although she is usually depicted with a helmet and shield, I left those items out and tried to give her a regal pose.

I did some reading and learned that Athena had a young owl as a pet. This delighted me, as I'm currently obsessed with owls. I found a photo of an ancient Greek coin with an owl on it, so that was a nice jumping off point.

I did several different drawings, refining the image a bit more each time. The drawing at the top of this post is what I ended up with. I spent an hour in a fabric store today looking for materials and was rewarded with some good finds, including ribbon with a Greek key design, which will make a nice edge. I'll post photos as this piece progresses.

Autumn is definitely in the air here in New England!

Thanks for visiting -
Hope you're having a great weekend!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Sketching and Greeting Fall

Time seems to be flying by lately. I can see already that Fall will be a busy season.I've done a few drawings in my sketchbook and I'm liking the look of  a grey pentech marker outline and colored pencil. Of course, underneath it all is a pencil sketch. I'm going for a graphic rather than a realistic look. 

Our daughter Kate was visiting recently, taking a break from her artist's residency at NYU, and we had a great time watching the lunar eclipse on our front walkway together with my husband Bill. We all took turns taking pictures, and this was the one time I wished I had a better camera. It was a wonderful experience!

And finally, we had a few gloomy days of heavy rain and the cats flopped on a bed
 and never came up for air except for meals. I was tempted to do the same thing, but didn't!

Hope you're having a good beginning of October, my favorite month!
See you soon!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Sketchbook Venting!!

Don't worry - I'm fine.
But don't you feel at times that things are overwhelming?
I know I do!

I like to express a bit of emotion in my sketches, obviously!

Here's wishing you a wonderful week!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Daily Sketch - Angie!!

My nephew's wife Angie is celebrating a special birthday,
so I made this sketch for her!
She loves owls, as I do...

and all of nature!
She is one of the nicest people I know and a wonderful 
companion for my nephew Dave.
Lucky guy!!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Daily Sketchbook - "One of Those Sleepless Nights"

Just a quick sketch. I guess I was inspired by the people on Facebook
who talk about being insomniacs.

Other than a rare night when I'm really stressed about something,
I'm usually a good sleeper, thank goodness, unlike this poor fellow!

Hope you have a restful weekend!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Daily Sketchbook

This sketch took two days, done in between other tasks.
Here is the original...

and here it is "antiqued" with my computer's editing program.

Hope your week is going well. 
Thank you for stopping by!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Daily Sketch - Angus and Rosie

My two little guys, always wary around each other.

We can never figure out if they are friends or enemies!

Hope you've had a great weekend!!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Daily Sketch - Shades of Blue

Today was a sleepy day, after a very late night before,
so I randomly colored with my watercolor pencils and
gave the squares a dash of water!

Actually, it was very soothing, if not very inspired.

Hope those of you in the USA are enjoying this holiday weekend!

Post Script - my head has been in a whirl lately with my sister being in and out of rehab and the hospital. I had read and commented on my friend Ann's post here about a week ago, and completely forgotten it, except in my subconscious memory, I guess, because I had no recollection of it when I did this. We had spent the night before in the emergency room with my sister (who is OK) but lack of sleep does crazy things to my brain! Sorry, Anne! I should be caught up on sleep now!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Daily Sketch - "In My Dreams"

The nice thing about drawing yourself is that you can make yourself
 younger, thinner, and sillier than you normally are.
I had to keep reminding myself that "this is only a sketch"!
I needed some stress relief and this was fun to do!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Daily Sketch - Nana and Nessa

I confess, I did this sketch years ago.
My friend Lorna and I were going to write a book 
about a little girl who goes to visit her Nana on Nantucket Island every summer.
We never quite got the project off the ground, 
but I did do a few sketches for it!

Hope to have a new sketch to show soon!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Daily Sketch - Color!

I painted this early this morning, with gouache paints and white acrylic ink.
I wanted it to be a splash of color and I guess I succeeded!

I think I needed to "let go" a bit!!

My sister is doing better, but it's been stressful, so art is keeping me sane.

Hope you are having a good week!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Daily Sketch - "Sandra"

Today, a little sketch in pencil. I decided that her name should be Sandra.

This has been a tough week, and it's only Monday. My sister had a heart attack,
which came as quite a shock, and, although she has been stabilized, 
it opens up a whole discussion about whether she'll be able to live by herself.
It's difficult - so I'm escaping for a bit of time each day, into my sketchbook, 
and that is a very nice place to go.

Hope your week has started off well!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Daily Sketch Completed

Today I added watercolor to the sketch I had done yesterday,
along with some markers. I took the photos on our front stairs, 
where geranium petals fell on my sketchbook! Perfect!

I hope you've had a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Daily Sketch - To Be Continued...

A sketch with Micron pen today - 
tomorrow I will paint it with watercolors
and photograph it in the daylight!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Daily Sketch and Quilt Shows

This is a little bird statue that lives in my kitchen windowsill.
I've been having to photograph my sketches at night and they 
come out this yellowed tone, despite my efforts to edit them.
Anyway, I'm getting bored with what I'm doing, so I'm planning to do
some more colorful themes and even some collages.

Also, here are a few photos I took at quilt shows this week.
These first images are from a quilt exhibit at the 
New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, MA -
"Carol Bryer Fallert: A Retrospective"

Exquisite work!!

And these pictures are from an exhibit called "Out of The Blue"
at the Whistler House Museum of Art, also in Lowell.

Artist: Betty Busby

Artist: Sarah Ann Smith

Artist: Deborah Babin

Also a very enjoyable show!

Hope you have a great weekend!