Mar 26, 2009

That sneaky old artist's block

So this is what I *want* my desk to be looking like right now:

But alas! It is pretty clean. No paints on it, just a cup of tea and my computer that hates me. Hopefully soon I will be getting a new computer -- seriously I've had to do hard drive re-formats about 7 times now on this thing. Four Windows installs and three Linux installs (may have lost count). Woohoo! This poor old thing wants to retire badly.
Anyway, I'm having some artist's block at present. I think what it is usually is that I have struggles with Big Bad Time Management. Time Management is scary to my nebulous brain. I would love to learn how to deal with it in a way that is nebulous brained creative person-friendly. Prescribed routines that last too long tend to be rebelled against. So this all leads to me constantly feeling pressured to be DOING SOMETHING (!!!) and that isn't a very healthy place for art, not even art with deadlines. Deadlines are a fact of this business, painting with or without inspiration is a fact of this business -- but I am not helping myself by this constant pressure of guilt about time management. Just thinking out loud. :) Also I did not eat very well nutritionally yesterday and that often brings these things on. Blah!
So, lastly -- I decided to join Twitter and give it a whirl. I don't know that I love it yet, but I'm giving it a try! Random thoughts are appealing to me. This is me:
Until next time!

Mar 24, 2009

Illustration Friday: Subtract

Just One

These two naughty mice don't think anyone will notice if they steal one of the apricots off of the table.

Mar 23, 2009

Notice the small things

Howdy and now for some random thoughts...
It seems our society is very interested in bigger, better, more exciting, more flashy, MORE period -- and I thought it would be nice to step back and look at some of the *little things*, simple things that I enjoy that would probably not even be noticed usually.
1. I like how the little drops of water line up on the top rail in the shower, all in a row. I like to take my finger across the rail and make all of the drops go down my hand -- and they're always cooler than the hot water of the shower. Maybe that's weird, but there it is. ;)
2. A patch of moss on the ground can be almost irresistible! Velvety green and squishy and I like to touch it.
3. I like when my cat's fur is in a patch of sunlight, and if I look real close every hair has rainbows in it.
4. I like how when you stir a cup of hot chocolate, you will get a spiral galaxy in your cup.
5. I love to smell a box of crayons.
6. My favorite word is "susurrus", which means the sound of the wind through the trees. It reminds me of Psalm 96 where it says, "Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy before the LORD". I really think they are singing, with a little help from friend wind.
7. The smell of wet, fallen leaves = mmmmmm.
8. I like to watch people write with a pen. Just how they move their hand and how the letters form.

Wasn't really going for a set number here, but that'll do for the present. Wow, I *really* need to stop eating these kettle chips. Help!
Lastly, here is a tiny woman riding a rabbit from the ol' sketchbook:

Mar 22, 2009

Afghan mishaps, etc.

I've been crocheting an afghan that looks like a garden of flowers, and realized today that I forgot to make a whole bunch of the squares (and I've already made ever so many joining seams). Rats! Guess I'm not as close as I thought to finishing.
Anyhow, I have a new little painting to show:

Garden Dance
Click here to buy original
Click here to buy prints & such

I thought we might have a little more "random photos from my life" today. Well they're really not that random, because it is all about how I spent my morning once I got home from church. I really did not want to go to church at all at first but I am glad I did -- I'm always blessed when I go despite my morning grumps. (Not really a morning person).
I had this for breakfast:

Grilled onions and bell peppers with seeds sprinkled on! It was so tasty, I wish I had some more to eat right NOW. I've been on an absolutely no sugar, no caffeine and no white flour detox for a couple of weeks, so I have learned to eat my veggies in new ways. Bah, I'm such a grain-eater. I really miss chocolate too. I am trying to do this for about a month.
Here is my morning tea ritual:

Peppermint, yum!
Also I practiced my alto recorder for awhile -- shame on me, I haven't practiced very much for a couple of months. When my niece was here I played it all the time since she enjoyed it and I couldn't really do a lot of painting and such. Now she has her own green one, too that I keep here for her when visiting. ;)

Off I go to figure this afghan thing out! :P

Mar 20, 2009

Sometimes I feel impish

Ah, so it is Friday. The week has slipped right past me! I didn't get an Illustration Friday done, bah. Better luck this week I hope.
Today I bought a couple of coloring books from the dollar store -- I've been coloring in them like mad lately. My dad likes to tell me I'm too old for coloring books, but I say nonsense! You're never too old for coloring books. My grandma used to go to her good friend's house often and color in coloring books when my mom was a kid, I'm told. Apparently it was good stress relief. :) That's one thing I love about Grammy, is that she has never lost that impish youth on the inside.
I give you all permission to have your very own big box of crayons and a color book! If anyone tells you that you are too old for them, just stick your tongue out and blow a raspberry or three. That's what I do.
Well I have an ACEO to share! I sketched it out on St. Patty's day, whilst sitting in the sunny yard. That day I had decided that I needed to do as much of my work as I could outdoors, so I plucked out a clover sprig and came up with this little girl:

In His Light
Click here to buy the original on Etsy
Click here to buy prints & such on ArtWanted

And now I will share one of the weirdest trees I've come across....

It's very Tim Burton, don't you think? This tree is along Highway 99, near many many almond groves. I've never seen an oak grow quite this nutty! Here it is from a bit of a different angle:

Very snaky, very "too many trunks". Or something. But it is cool!

Mar 19, 2009

Official Spring is only a day away!

This is me, being a better blogger. ;)
Spring has arrived on my little foresty hill, hurrah! Our neighbor's Mimosa tree, although having no leaf buds yet, is covered still with the dried seed pods of winter. Today I heard the wind go through them and they rattled just like little rattlesnakes! It was almost as if each one was being shaken from the inside.
I do have some lovely pictures of the blossoms on the plum trees coming out...

Little white tree brides by the stream. A lot of frogs have been chirping out here!

I'm not sure what kind of tree this is, but it has really pretty pink flowers. They smell good too. :)

Here is a little sketch I amused myself with when I was doing jury duty (not while in court, of course!). What if the wolf really wanted to be friends with Little Red but was too shy to just ask?

Something about Little Red's face reminds me of "Coraline", which of course makes me want to go see the movie. I already have the soundtrack oddly enough -- I have never bought a movie score prior to actually seeing the movie before this, but it is so quirky and lovely.
Lastly today I will leave you with my tiger cat:

He has decided that my shawl makes a perfect blanket for his bed. I hope everyone is having a bit of Spring wherever you are. I have to go kick my hiney and get some work done. I've let it pile up and I'm a little overwhelmed!

Mar 18, 2009

....Crawls out of the muck.....

Well I'm still alive! Combined jury duty and a nasty flu has had me rather wiped out for awhile. I read a really good article on Empty Easel about blogging types, and it got me thinking about what I really wanted out of this blog. My favorite blogs that I read every day are generally blogs of other artists, and they do more than just list their latest work -- they really give an insight into their own little worlds. I want to do that! I'm afraid I've slipped into mainly "look what I've painted next!" out of laziness and uncertainty about what to write. I think that sort of blog is good too and I also read many of those, but my favorites are definitely the ones that share an inner world along with the art. So I will now challenge myself to be better at that sort of journaling. :) It's funny, I have kept regular pen and ink journals all of my life and have no trouble at all with those! It's just that I use those for processing thoughts and emotions and not really a list of what I did that day, so I'm not sure how to do that here. Hm. I'll figure this online thing out somehow!
Anyhow, NOW I am going to share some new ACEOs :) -- and they are on auction here if anyone should desire them...

Whale Watcher

Daisy Girl

I think I need to paint a whale again, it was fun! It's an absolutely glorious day here in Northern California, and I spent some of it wandering around outside in the trees and grass. My tiger cat enjoyed it too, we both needed a good airing out. Some of the trees are blossoming, and the beloved lilac bush is showing baby leaf shoots. I can't wait until it is in bloom! I really have to get on myself to go outside and be out in Creation. I get so wrapped up in my little cocoon of desk, paint, and computer that it can sometimes be very draining. Watching movies on Hulu while I paint is nice but there is just nothing like being outside with the beautiful creatures God has made.

Mar 2, 2009

Girls and Dogs

Well I've gone ahead and put "Sunday Breezes" up for sale:

Original on Etsy
Prints & Products on ArtWanted

Also I have three new ACEOs with dogs in them! I rarely paint dogs so I thought I should get some practice in.
The dog ACEOs are all on auction here!

Best Friends

Dog School

My Yellow Dog

Maybe not very mysterious that they all look like our family dog Lucky, heheh.
It's been a strange kind of half-rainy, half-sunny day. I like the sunny parts. :) But of course, California badly needs rain so it's great we are getting so much lately.
I enjoyed painting "Sunday Breezes" so much I think it is time I did more faith-based illustrations. God is always my inspiration anyway!
I have finally obtained some new rechargeable batteries for my beloved digital camera, so I hope I get some nice pictures of the outdoors, sketches and such soon. I have missed my camera!
I think I'm finally coming out of this brain fog I've been in for weeks... sorry if I've owed you an email or have been slow about commenting. I've let papers pile up, messes creep in and that is never a good thing for this little scatterbrain. I've been spending some time organizing which is helping enormously.
God bless you all!

Mar 1, 2009

Illustration Friday: Breezy

Sunday Breezes

Little Julia is on her way to church one windy Sunday morning, with her Bible in hand.