Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Slacker and her Cat

With 2014 hours away, I would normally wrap up the past year.  That was mostly covered, however, in What a Difference a Year Makes.

Since October, this artist has been slacking off quite a bit.  A bit of sketching here and there, a touch of watercolor and the end of clay time.  All types of artists have periods with no desire to create.  Some keep plugging away and some go on hiatus.  I've mostly been on hiatus.  Perhaps those few months of extra stress and the time-consuming pottery class are to blame.  Or maybe I needed the time off.  Or maybe I'm just making excuses because it's difficult to make time for art every day when you're not in the mood.  It's easy to not pick up the pencil… work, family, cooking, cleaning, reading, TV, perusing art blogs… all those things can be easier than starting and failing and learning and failing and trying again.  My sister showed me this talk by John Cleese about what it takes to make your life more creative… space, time, time, confidence, and humor.  Yes, he mentions time twice.  You have to put in the time and be willing to play with the problems and ideas and not grab the first solution just to avoid the discomfort of indecision.  He's humorous and wise.  Go watch it.

On a lighter note - I received multiple art journey gifts for Christmas, one of which was a chair to sit at my art desk.  No more stealing the kitchen stool!  It took Milo less than a day to claim my new seat.

Apparently, I'm supposed to share… or just give it to him.  I have a feeling it's the latter.

Friday, December 20, 2013

A Case for Christmas Letters

Time out from art today.  This post is devoted to a subject I've pondered much the past few Christmas seasons.

I absolutely completely adore Christmas letters - long, short, funny, braggy - whatever, bring it on.

I've noticed, as the years go by, Christmas letters are disappearing.  Greetings are sent via e-cards or festive Facebook posts.  I do understand people are busy and letter writing is falling (has fallen) out of fashion, but it's still sad.  We may have seen the post about your new cat or heard about your new job last spring, but there's a good chance we've forgotten it or the details are fuzzy now.  Christmas letters are reminders - connections - a moment to reach out and say "Hey there, you have touched our lives."  Whether long ago or yesterday, the recipient is part of your story and you want to hold on, to let them know what's happening, and hope they feel the same.  It's not (or shouldn't be) an obligation or a bother.  That's not to say it's all stress-free, but it's good in the same way planning parties can be a bit of crazy fun.

When Christmas cards and letters arrive with the bills, the day is brighter.  I sit down and savor the greetings and yearly news.  They are then put aside for my husband, who follows the same routine when he gets home.  We chat about their new news or news we forgot and I tuck the cards in a basket by the fireplace.

After New Year's, when the house returns to ordinary decor, an evening is spent sorting through the cards and letters.  Everything is saved until next year's cards are addressed.  However, I first pull out letters and photos for my Christmas binders.  My hubby and I started dating in the mid 80's and married in 1988.  Since then, every letter and every card with the slightest bit of news or touching thought has been saved.  I got ambitious several years ago and made a home for them.  We now have three fat Christmas binders.

I treasure those memory-crammed binders.

There are letters and photos from some no longer with us - the old boss & friend who brought my husband and I together, a fun-loving cousin who lost her fight with cancer, and aunts and uncles now dearly missed.  How important those pages are now!


The "title" page gains a little creativity each year.

Smiling family and friends begin the yearly parade, followed by the letters.  There is some hilarious exaggeration - one cousin discovered oil in his yard and his wife won the lottery - wink, wink.  There are sad stories and funny stories.  Of course, there are boring stories and plenty of bragging, but that's life isn't it?  It's sad and funny and boring and exciting.  Stay connected - share it all, not just the Normal Rockwell version.  I've included my son breaking a window and my small daughter sharing fender bender details with cashiers.

The binders also hold letters I've written since 1993 - the year we lost my mother-in-law and the year our second child was born.  I used to write a few lines in every card.  That was the first year I had too much news and not enough time.  So, I typed up a letter and tucked it in the cards.  Good or bad, haven't missed a year since then.

Each year, I look through our calendars, photos, and (nowadays) Facebook and blog posts.  A list is made, a theme is planned and a draft is roughed out.  Sometimes it's just a letter, sometimes a quiz, sometimes a list.  Last year it was illustrated - a benefit of the art trek.  This year has been nutso and I'm limited on time, so we're keeping it to a month by month wrap up.  Since a few of you may be on my card list - that's all I'm saying for now.

And that's my case for Christmas letters.  Maybe, if you tend to groan a little at Aunt Fannie's yearly missive, you'll cherish it just a bit this year.  And maybe, just maybe, you'll consider penning your own letter next year.  Go ahead, mark it down for the end of November.

Our basket of family and friends saying "Hey there!"

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Put a Lid on it

The pottery class finally came to an end tonight.  I am relieved (We get our evenings back!), somewhat triumphant, and a tad melancholy.  Did I accomplish what I set out to do?  Well let's see…

  • Step out of my drawing comfort zone - check.
  • Relearn wheel throwing - check (mostly).
  • Create a bunch of nicely formed pots - eh, not so much.
  • Fight bossy, perfectionist voice and accept wabi sabi - check, uncheck, check, uncheck...
  • Add to the creative well - check.

Tonight we informally presented and critiqued our pieces.  A wonderful array of styles and skill levels were displayed.  It's interesting to hear artists (regardless of age and experience) explain their work - their disappointments and triumphs.  We are so much alike - generally too hard on ourselves.  I got a little windy explaining mine (kind of like this post).  The complementary and insightful comments of Josh and my classmates were much appreciated.

One of my first pieces - creating something a little bit lovely out of an oops.

One of my last pieces.  I'm quite happy with this dish and lid that actually fit together.

Everyone who knows I took this class asks if I'm taking another one in the spring.  The spring class focuses on throwing - probably should've taken that first.  Josh encouraged me to come back and I may consider it, but not right away.  Give me unlimited time, funds and a chef, then yes, I would.  If you've been following these posts over the past year, you know I'm not good with follow through.  I want to learn and master too many things and I have a hard time focusing on one.  Time to get back to pencils and brushes and see if the clay bug bites again somewhere down the road.

Oh. … sudden realization moment...

Criminy…. while typing "pencils" the thought came to me that I signed up for The Sketchbook Project... several months ago.  Oy vey.  That needs to be done and sent in by January 15.  My husband asked me last night what was next on my artistic agenda since my class is ending.  At the time I said "Not sure, I think I'll work through one of my drawing books."  Well, I guess I just found my next project - at least until mid January.

PS - I'm never doing NaBloPoMo again.  More writing - less arting - not good.

PPS - Homework is for the birds, or maybe just young degree-seeking college students.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Snow Art

I blew it - missed two days of NaBloPoMo.  Wednesday night rolled around and we were out in the garage cutting out snowmen shapes.  I decided the family time and all the activities on Thanksgiving were more important than posting every day in November.

Partially fueled by the creativity going on around here, I decided we would try a different Thanksgiving activity this year.  When I mentioned it to my husband, his response was "Whatever you want darling."

I drew shapes.  He cut them out.  My son sanded the edges.  The next afternoon, after our turkey-induced naps, we all sat down to blank snowmen and a table of possibilities.

My husband dubbed them our "Snowldiers."  I absolutely love how different they all are!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

One of Those Days

Some days inspiration abounds.  Some days creative types delve into the tools of their trade with extra enthusiasm.  Some days are filled with new color and line.

Today is not one of those days.

Some days you simply do not want to pick up the pencil.  You should.  It's best to create at least a bit every day, but sometimes the waiting sketchbook brings only irritation and you're not in the mood to argue with it.

Some days you just want to veg on the couch with your furry and not-furry family.

Some days you'd rather get lost in a book, find lovely things on Pinterest, or plan your Thanksgiving gathering.

Yeah, today is one of those days.

Quiet down paper.  I'll deal with you tomorrow.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Flowering Frustrations

The idea people who designated November as National Novel Writing Month and then National Blog Posting Month should have their collective heads examined.  Ugh.

I dedicated an hour to art endeavors today.  First, painting the flowers sketched yesterday and, well, ew.  I'm already out of practice with watercolors and am so not happy with most of this.  I'm okay with the top two blooms and the top of the vase.  There - that's my attempt at optimism.  I'm sharing just because it's part of the process.  However, I can't make myself share a straight on photo.

The top yellow daisy was obviously first.  I was losing interest in completing this and regretted sketching all the flowers in the vase.  My mind was on cleaning and prep for Thanksgiving.

And a quick sketch before tackling supper.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sunday Sketching

The plan today was read awhile then sketch & paint awhile.  I started The Book Thief so I can finish it prior to the movie.  Great book - I lost track of time.  Oops.

I started sketching later than planned. Then Milo came to investigate and now it's time for football.  Painting will come later.

Whatchya' doing here?

I need to check this out.

You're done.  Go watch the game so I can commandeer your lap.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Books and Crannies

This is day 23 of NaBloPoMo.  Good grief, the month is speeding by!  The main realization so far is how little I am sketching.  I take some solace in the pile of recently created pottery.

We're taking a detour today.  I enjoy reading, but tend to put it off until late evening.  Unfortunately, reading at that time guarantees sleep within minutes.  The book is soon set aside to catch dust.  There are a couple dozen unread books scattered about the house.  I remember buying each of them and thinking "This looks great.  I'll be reading this tonight!"  Yeah, right.

Thanksgiving is near, so I started in on cleaning and reorganizing.  It was a very productive afternoon - for awhile.  Then a forgotten book caught my eye.  Hmmm, I should round up all the unread books.  I found one to return (from 10 years ago - fairly certain I'll never get to it).  The rest were carefully rearranged.  Perhaps I'll read this novel if it's stashed by the recliner.  Maybe the spiritual book would beckon to me from the nightstand.  That old classic seems to fit the couch atmosphere.  The strategy is similar to organizing the art tools.  The perfect spot guarantees future use, right?  Does anybody else have this problem, er… I mean... incredibly brilliant plan?

They all have new homes & I have a plan to make time for reading and sketching earlier in the day.  It's kind of a winter resolution now that the cold weather is here to stay.  Plus, as resolutions tend to wilt away, January 1 is just around the corner to bring renewed motivation.  Smart, right?

We shall see.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Watercolor Doodling

The watercolor painting in the online class earlier this year was done with dry pans of a lesser quality than the tubes mentioned last night.  They work well enough for this beginner, but I've also wanted to check out Winsor Newton tube paints.  With the newest members added yesterday, it seemed the right time to try them all out.  I've been researching pigments and the true color wheel recently.  The most significant thing I've learned so far is to buy according to pigment codes instead of color names.  As an example: Though they appear very similar, quinacridone gold (purchased a few months ago) contains three pigments and gold ochre only one and it seems cleaner or something.  I need to use them more to understand the differences, but I'm learning.

 It's really quite intriguing - at least to me.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Pants on Fire

Out of town today for more medical tests on my man.  I took a few sketching & painting supplies, but the nurses kept me busy most of the time and I only had time to doodle a quick birthday message for an old friend.

It turned out all is well!  We celebrated by driving home on icy roads.  First, however, a quick stop for office and art supplies.  I've been slowly building a watercolor palette and added a few colors today.  As the cashier slid the small tubes across the counter, she noted the price and asked how long they would last.  "Oh, it varies, but for me it will probably be a year."  The realist in my head yelled "Liar! More likely 3 or 4 or 10 years!"

I'm intent on proving her wrong.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Magical Hot Box

I helped load the kiln tonight.  There's a whole lot of time and creativity on these shelves.  Two of my pieces are visible - tear drop vase on the very bottom and the similarly shaped jar & lid at the front of the second shelf.  It will be like Christmas when the door is opened again to a riot of color.

Before the magic happens.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

All Glazed Over

We unloaded the kiln from last week's firing tonight.  Then it was the last time to glaze - last chance for artistic expression possibilities.  The final evaluation will happen sometime soon.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Planting Hope

We found daffodil bulbs 75% off at Ace yesterday.  The forecast called for two 60 degree days, then it's 30s and 40s with a chance of snow.  I pushed the end of the season envelope and planted half of the 99 cent bulbs.  The rest will go in the ground tomorrow and we'll see what happens in the spring.

Those are Milo ears behind the sketchbook.  
He was desperate for lap time when Daisy & I returned to the house.

Update:  Yes, the bulbs did survive and bloomed early in the spring.  Nice investment indeed.

Sunday, November 17, 2013


Colorado is my home state.  I've been a Broncomaniac since grade school.  If you follow pro football at all, you know tonight was a big night for my team.  I knew I would be busy yelling at the screen tonight so the afternoon was spent writing a paper for class.  Then came supper and it was game time.  My hubby's comment yesterday reminded me again how I've been neglecting sketching.  The game would end late (after 11:30 now).  So, at halftime I grabbed my big sketchbook...

What else could I possibly sketch while football watching?

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Saturdays and Metamorphosis

Saturdays always wind up being the hardest days to work in some art.  Today - cleaning up leaves, shopping and a trip to the farm.  Suddenly it's after 11 and we finally sat down to watch a late movie.  Me "Oh, I need to do a post real quick.  I'm blogging every day this month."  Hubby "I think it's more important you catch up on drawing."  I love that he just said that.

He is right.  Regardless, I'm sticking with NaBloPoMo.

The caterpillar sketched a few weeks ago is now a chrysalis - along with the other six.  Four additional little guys came in with the dill picked to feed the first half dozen.  That's what is going on in our garage.

stages of change - in the garage... in the studio too

Friday, November 15, 2013

To Turn No More

All is quiet in the ceramics room.  Sort of.

Last night we were instructed to finish all damp pots and glaze everything already bisqued.  A riot of glazing and kiln-loading ensued.  No more throwing.  No more trimming.  No more carving.  The four remaining class periods will be dedicated to glazing and cleaning.  I only have 3 pots to glaze.  I do need to write a reflection paper on the various lessons learned.  Otherwise, the crazy hours in the evenings have drawn to a close.  I shall miss the fickle spinning wheel.

On the plus side, we will be eating way less fast food.  Oh yeah, and I can sketch more.  (sheepish grin)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Following Everywhere

I believe the animals appreciate my artistic endeavors.  Sitting in one spot means they can snooze while I sketch - as shown in the past two posts.  

Bonus for Milo - a shipment of art supplies means the arrival of a new cat trap.  I order sketchbooks solely to give him new boxes.

Side note:  As I type this, he is attacking a small carpet sample while eyeing Daisy.  She is giving him the "I'm not amused" growl...  Aaaand, he just zoomed out of the room.  Full kitten mode tonight.

Cooking time.  Another activity that keeps me in one area.  Plus, Daisy can nab every spill, dribble or drop.  Of course Mr. Milo is too good for such things, but he hangs out with us anyway.

Sorry for the fuzzy photo, but it's the best shot of the bathroom attendants.

They really do follow everywhere... even the bathroom.  Hey, you're sitting down!  Obviously you want to scratch behind somebody's ears and you know laps are meant to jump on.  Don't want visitors?  Shut the door tight or a furry nose will nudge it open within seconds.  The scene above often greets me outside the bathroom door...  "Where to now?"

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

When it's Cold

My fan club also follows me in the snow - but only if it's not too cold or windy.  
They are wimps.

Trying to sweep the steps with "helpers."

Daisy generally ignores Milo in the house, except when he ambushes her from the couch.  
On the rare occasions he is allowed outside, she keeps a watchful eye on him.

Nap time follows snow time.  
This moment was in between cat teasing dog and cat declaring lap time.

Art update:  I learned how to repair pottery tonight since one of my rejoined pots un-joined while moving it after firing.  Once again - learning new things starts out with anxiety and ends with a nice feeling of accomplishment.  I really need to stop fighting the learning process.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

When it's Hot

As previously mentioned, my furry kids like to stay nearby.  Daisy spends many summer hours in the garden or the shade of the deck while I water, hoe and harvest.  Milo is an inside cat and stands at the door yowling until we return to the air-conditioned house.

If it's exercise time, I get the look . . . 

"Sit down.  I need a lap."
However, Milo does not appreciate lap warmth in the summer for more than a minute.  The carpet is cooler and comfy.  This is a common scene in the evenings.  

I believe they prefer me to stay put so they can nap while I procrastinate drawing... er... 
I mean draw.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Furry Fanatics - or - I'm Never Alone

I will be busy in the ceramics room much of my free time this week.  Thus, I've decided we'll take a break from the creative process during the second week of NaBloPoMo.  Instead, I would like to introduce a couple of my favorite followers.

Meet our 14 year old graying mutt, Daisy and her "sibling," 3 year old feisty feline Milo.  Daisy arrived via the animal shelter - from a group of puppies found on a country road.  Milo is the offspring of a bossy stray who found our farm, found a boyfriend and then delivered 6 rambunctious kittens in the cow trailer.

You know the doodads that sometimes follow the cursor around as you move it - bees or sparkles or something?  Well, that's what these two do as I move about the house.  Over the next several days you'll see how they hang out with me everywhere... and I do mean EVERYWHERE.

Sunday, November 10, 2013


As mentioned a couple of days ago - the art focus this week will be clay.  I carved the knob bottoms while watching football today.  I believe I need some wood to sculpt.

Milo showed up after I was all done.  He didn't seem to mind the photo session, not even when I used his back for a little texture contrast.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Day 9

Today's agenda included drawing, but it was a day of unexpected distractions, finishing up the garden cleaning and my husband just started up Monsters University at my request.  Maybe I'll sketch before I hit the hay, but now it's time for some Mike Wazowski!

Friday, November 8, 2013


I sat at the potter's wheel again this afternoon - outside of class time.  The wheels are off limits in one week so we can focus on firing and glazing and finishing up the semester.  I don't know if or when I'll have this chance again, so there will be much throwing this week.

The last assignment is lidded vessels.  I created a casserole dish Tuesday - first the dish, then a lid and finally some knobs.  We're instructed to create a few different knobs for each pot and pick the one that fits best.  Let me just say... I LOVE THROWING KNOBS!  Why?  They're small, have no walls and you can sculpt endless forms from spinning clay.  I want to create knob after knob after knob.  I wish there were more uses for knobs.  Everyone I know would receive Christmas knobs.  You get the idea. 

These were rejects for the casserole dish.  Linda suggested carving patterns on the bottoms and use the bisqued knobs as stamps.  Nice.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Evening Pottery / Evening Sketching

The pottery class time is scheduled for 3 hours and 15 minutes.  Tonight I was there 4 hours and the time flew by.  It was a good night.

Clay time precludes drawing time.  Thus, I'm sharing the pen sketch mentioned back in July - a panorama of the cars behind us in the fading daylight.

Sketching this fast involves some blind contour and gesture drawing - completely letting go of anything close to perfection.

Hopefully you can see the suggestions of fellow firework-watchers in their lawn chairs and a young boy waving intently from his family's pickup bed.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Beneath My Feet II

NaBloPoMo Day 6

We're in process of selecting new carpet for the living room & bedrooms.  The studio / guest room will instead have a not fuzzy, nonstaining surface - due to my messy artist ways.  During the planning process, my husband began contemplating taking out the bed & dresser and moving his office desk into the room with me.  He asked if I was okay with that.  I am.  New floor.  New together time.  This makes me smile.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Artist Pants

I threw a casserole dish then spray glazed a few plates in class tonight.

Someday they will be paint-splattered artist pants.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Waiting with Pens

My husband had a few medical tests last week (all results normal - whew!) and I spent a couple of hours in a waiting area.  I hadn't expected to wait so long and didn't bring extra art supplies.  However, I did have a thin Moleskine and pens strategically stashed in my purse.  The usual procrastinating first - Facebook, email and such - and then sketching.

My husband sat with me and chatted between testing portions, so sketching time was broken up into three sessions.  First a hugemongous potted plant and then, of course, my shoe.  It soon fell asleep (my foot, not the shoe) and that was that.

fine ballpoint on Moleskine Cahier

The waiting room had a wall of windows with a nice view of some native grasses and the parking area.  I switched to the Copic pen.  My husband walked out as I was adding the framing leaves.  "Is that a Dodge?"  He glanced from my drawing to the pickup outside.  "Oh, nope it's a Ford."  Oops - I had ignored the partially hidden logo.

Copic multiliner on the Cahier

Sketching in public is a little less nerve-wracking now.  The details of the moment are forever connected to these pages, especially the good news!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

New Resources

Day 3 of NaBloPoMo.  I have no photos ready and it's late, so I'm sharing yesterday's mini adventure.

Saturday mornings were made for eating cereal in pajama pants (cat on the lap, dog at your feet) with no particular goals.  The only chore accomplished before noon is a load or two of laundry.  I get up before the sun five days a week.  I do not like getting up before the sun.  I like lazy Saturday mornings.

This Saturday was cholesterol blood test morning - pulling one sleepy human out of the house.  I took advantage of the forced outing to complete several procrastinated errands.  The last stop brought me a block from our only book store.  On a whim, I decided to stop in and check for used art books.  I could live in a book store (or an art store) - hour after hour scanning the shelves and learning new things.  The magazine section sucked me in this day and I was pleasantly surprised at the array of art-related publications.  I haven't read one of these since my college days.  I picked a couple and made a mental note of what to splurge on next time.

One busy Sunday later and I haven't had a chance to read anything.  Excuse me while I crack open International Artist.

Saturday, November 2, 2013


No, I am not typing with mittens on.  The title is correct.  I just discovered November is National Blog Posting Month or NaBloPoMo.  I knew of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).  My sister is a writer and partakes every year in the writing frenzy.  I was oblivious to the blogging event.

Catherine Carey mentioned daily posting today and I thought  "Wow, she's brave, especially in the busy month of November."  That rolled around in my brain a few minutes until I decided to check it out at BlogHer.  Hmmm - supposed to be taking little leaps on this journey.  Plus, I'd conveniently already accidentally posted on day one of NaBloPoMo.  Perhaps, in some odd way, this relates to yesterday's post about doing something every day - badly or otherwise?  Well, what the heck, let's just do it!  I signed up and put the badge on my blog and here we go.  Now I have to put away Halloween stuff, pick out carpet, do dishes and check on the caterpillars before I can make some time to make art to share this month.

2 down... 28 more to go.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Just Do It! . . . badly

"If something is worth doing, it's worth doing badly."

Though an odd twist on an old saying, after viewing the TED talk by Elizabeth Perry, it makes sense.  She wanted to learn to draw and began drawing daily... nine years ago.  She has never missed a day and is one of my inspirations.  Check out the video - "Do something badly" on her blog - quite inspiring.  Really, go watch it and then come back.

Ms. Perry's three bits of advice - draw every day, don't erase, don't criticize - can apply to many things.  What do you want to learn?  What dream are you chasing?  Do it every day.  Learn from your mistakes.  Don't tear yourself down.

An entertaining follow-up... This London artist sketches with a typewriter.  She is remarkably talented.  Intriguing, but I don't aspire to learn this skill.   Speaking only for myself - typewriter sketching is not worth doing badly.  My artistic agenda is plenty full without it.

Update: The video link has disappeared.  However, you can read about the artist and her work at her website - keirarathbone.com

Monday, October 28, 2013

Capturing Critters

Saturday afternoon was intended for garden cleaning.  Seven little distractions halted that plan.  

While pulling out parsley, I noticed a yellow-dotted caterpillar clinging motionless to the nearby dill.  Closer inspection revealed six more.  Either my activity or the falling temperature had slowed them.  I touched one and his little yellow horns flared out.  My inner child squealed with delight (really, I didn't do that out loud).  I dashed inside and brought out my bag of sketchbooks, pens & colored pencils.  I also texted my butterfly savvy sister & niece for advice.  The light was fading and temperature falling.  One quick caterpillar sketch and a bit of color and no time for more.  I plucked the dill, creatures and all, and placed it into the jars.  They're all hanging out in the garage now, munching the dill and getting closer to chrysalis stage.  We've done this a couple of times before and released the butterflies in the spring, but never with so many at once.  I'm a little bit excited.

I intended to draw more and still hoping I can do so before the little buggers change.  Homework for the pottery class prevents me from doing so now.  Time gets away from us.  Regardless, I'm glad I stole a few minutes to record the moment.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Throwing Dishes from the Roller Coaster

Okay - someone please find the roller coaster operator.  He's been away eating deep-fried Twinkies too long and it's time to give the riders a break.  Oy vey.

Life itself is one heck of an amusement ride (not always so amusing), but lets just focus on ART360 and yesterday's up/down-fest.  Our most recent lesson was bowls and sgraffito.  I finished the sgraffito carving on my split & rejoined bowls yesterday.  When you see the pictures, yes, the bowl is supposed to be noticeably grafted together.  I thoroughly enjoyed the carving and scraping.  Then, as usual, I was dreading moving on to the next lesson - throwing plates.  I was just getting the hang of bowls!  Why do we HAVE to move on?  Well, you know what I love about plates?  Plates don't have sides that go up!  My issues with wobbling off center as the sides get higher is not an issue with plates.  Yahoo!  I created one rather decent plate and am looking forward to Thursday's class.  However, we also will be making and using stencils for the first time.  Sigh.  Another new method to learn.  More angst of the unknown. I'm sure I'll be fine again when I figure out what I'm doing.  I only wish there weren't so many downs between the ups.

Photos from the classroom:

The dark side will be black.  The lighter side will turn dark blue when fired and the stoneware will show through where the leaves and stems are carved away.

There has to be some kind of metaphor here with bowls cut apart and grafted together to make something interesting and lovely.  It's not coming to me now.  Maybe when that slacker ride operator gets back I'll figure it out.

Monday, October 14, 2013

What a Difference a Year Makes

I took the weekend off from everything except laundry and football.  Me and the hubby hung out in the living room trying to banish evil cold germs.  Sipping Sleepytime Sinus Soother tea with honey tonight and feeling maybe almost human again.  I scanned through a few days of blog posts and discovered one artist, Shari Blaukopf, is celebrating two years of blogging.  Her art & blog are a steady inspiration.  Today she inspired me to reflect on the past year.

September 24, 2012: One rusty artist starts a quest with no real idea where it will lead.

Follow-through is not one of my great traits.  This blog, intended to keep me accountable, has done just that.  I have not always fleshed out grand plans hatched in this blog, but I'm still at it.  I don't sketch every day, but I do every week.  A few times a week is better than a few times a decade.

What came out of the tackle box so far:

Sketchbook Project
two newly filled sketchbooks
a few readers inspired to draw or create
a whole bunch of found moments to sketch

I've been beating myself up for not sketching enough.  Daily sketching is still a goal, but it's reassuring to see that list.  Thank you to my family and friends for your support and indulgence.  I am blessed.

Here's one of the found moments this past summer - a quick sketch of the newly cleaned combine as I waited for the guys to finish up a repair.

October 14, 2013:  Time to warm up my tea and continue the journey.
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