Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Jury is In

In my last post I reported that I had one new work and was trying to complete another for a juried show at work. I couldn't finish the second painting so I framed a print of "My Feet." The new Photoshop version (sans excessive crosshatching). This painting was an assignment from the Drawing class I took last semester where I work--The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. This is the class that made me eligible for the show.

I dropped off both works yesterday and got the call today. They chose the drawing of my feet--not the bird ("Hope in the Dark"). I knew if they were going to choose one, the feet would be the one. After all, it is a Fine Arts School and the bird--if it goes into any catagory besides trite--is in the illustration genre. I am dissappointed. I worked hard to get that done for the deadline, and I think it is a better drawing. But, I got something into the show--my first! My mom and TOMA are going to come to the opening. It will be fun!

Anyway, I have been thinking that maybe I could start producing greeting cards and put them in my Etsy shop. You have to start somewhere and even though probably 5 friends/acquaintences know this blog exists, if I don't try, I will never know (see the Mark Twain quote in the sidebar regarding regret).

So this is the idea: my first give away with a cause. Once the cards are ready, I will post a drawing (pick a name out of a cat food bowl kind of drawing). Apifera Farms is my inspiration. Make a donation to PAWS (Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society), then let me know in the comments. I will set a deadline and then draw a winner. Easy Peasy! I will figure out all of the logistics prior to the contest. PAWS is a no kill shelter and can use our help.

Let me know if you think this is a good idea.

BTW, I just finished the second drawing and will scan it and post it soon.

Baci e abbracci

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Everyone out there suggests taking a camera everywhere. I used to, but then with the sketchbook, pencil bag, watercolors, IPad or book, and all of the contents of my handbag it just got to be too much. But today I thought since I was going to Walmart I would have something to do while TOMA was shopping for bird seed. 

I decided to record color combinations that work. The pet food, candy and all other industries pay a lot of money to study successful color combinations, so why not take advantage of their marketing dollars.

Some of the photos are even nice quilting patterns. The bunnies, well there is just something about gold foil bunnies with a red ribbon and the pattern a bunch of them make that makes me happy. Or is it the Lindt chocolate inside?

I penciled and inked a new drawing today. Even if it isn't ready for submission tomorrow, I am happy I at least made an attempt.

Baci e abbracci.

New Work

I believe I wrote about the opportunity to submit work for a juried show where I work. Well, I actually finished one work and while I wait for the fixative to completely dry I thought I would post the painting.

This work was created with watercolor, fountain pen with Noodler's Bulletproof black ink, colored pencil, and gel pen on 140 lb. Aquarella paper.

I hope it gets in... Now I must create something new today so I have 2 entried.

Baci e abbracci

Thursday, March 24, 2011

We booked our trip to Italy

Today was a good day. Last night I baked the Apple Cake (recipe in earlier post) for a bake sale at work to benefit the survivors of the Japan disasters. I took it to work and a co-worker purchased the whole cake to share with our co-workers. It was such a compliment.

I hope to have some new work to upload in the next day or so, but in order to do that I must go upstairs to paint in a drawing.

Baci e abbracci

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

New Toy

Today I received an email from the Continuing Education department where I work. There is a student show for anyone who has taken a class during the last 3 semesters. I took a class last fall so I qualify. So now the big question, what do I put in the show? I thought how about some prints of my sketchbook pages--then I don't have put myself under the pressure to create new work to meet the deadline in the next two weeks. But, then I thought I could create some nice watercolors in the same genre as my sketchbook paintings. On good paper??? That pressure in itself makes me mess it up! So I decided to first see if I can improve some of the photos of my work in Photoshop to print on the good paper--if it will go through my printer.

I've had Photoshop Elements 8 for some time, took a class over a weekend (at work), and then never used it again. The story of my new toys. I started with the sketch of my feet on the sidebar of this blog. I was always bothered by the excessive cross-hatching, wishing I had stopped before I went overboard. Look! It is gone. Like a magic eraser of permanent ink. Actually, I was cloning, not erasing. I am pleased. I've put the old version below just for comparison's sake. No more "hairy" feet!

I'm still not ready to play with all of the things that Photoshop offers like all the experienced bloggers do (Alisa Burke and Genine Zlatkas) but I feel a little bit better about it.

Also, TOMA and I had brunch with my drawing teacher, her husband, and one of her three sons this past Sunday. She taught the class that gets me into the above mentioned show. She and her husband have a beautiful home and we had a lovely visit with them. I love her work. She owns the work of other artists that I enjoyed seeing as well.

TOMA and I don't really have many friends. His friends are in Italy and I like to be at home when not at work so that makes it difficult to have time for doing things with other people. So it was definitely a treat. My teacher showed me a copy of the New Yorker cover from March 7. It featured the work of David Hockney. What I didn't realize is that 73 year-old Hockney created that work and the work on the inside cover on the IPad. Amazing! Not only is it amazing that a 73 year-old artist is using an IPad to create his work these days, but the work looked like a painting. (By the way I learned this on Roz Stendahl's blog.)

Since I have the ArtStudio app on my IPad, I decided to order a stylus and give it a try--just for fun. I also order an extra fine Lamy Safari. I purchased both fine and medium points on vacation last year, but the fine is not fine enough. I plan to load it with waterproof ink and give it a shot. The .005 Micron pens are just not lasting long enough. The tip gets crushed too quickly.

Some more work...

Altamira Oriole

TOMA on the morning train, resting his eyes

Right to Left: Alpomado Falcon, Yellow Warbler, and a Sparrow that I can no longer find the photo to identify. Sorry.

Baci e abbracci

Sunday, March 13, 2011

From My Sketchbook

Freesia reworked

More finches from the Cornell Lab site

Bacci e abbracci

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Check This Out

Check out Alisa Burke's blog post today. If you like color, you are going to love this post. Great drawing with deep, rich, saturated color. Really inspiring!

Baci e abbracci

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I am a winner!

Guess what??? I won!!! I made a $5.00 donation at Apifera Farm to help Matilda's (a donkey) current caregivers pay for hay until she is able to get to her new home at Apifera. The $5.00 donation allowed me to be included in a raffle from which my name was chosen. Watch the video on Katherine Dunn's site, it is really cute!

I am beyond excited. It is always exciting to win something, but I won this fabulous print! The other thing is I've been spending some money lately and giving money to homeless people on the street, animal causes, etc. Every time I buy something TOMA asks if we are saving enough, so I wasn't going to make a donation, but I thought it is just $5.00 and every little bit helps.

I think Ms. Dunn is doing a great thing helping to rescue abused and neglected goats and donkeys. Running a farm is hard work everyday. If you can stop by her blog and purchase a print or buy some lavender--it will help feed or shelter a loving animal.

I'm pumped so I am going to try to fulfill a baking promise that TOMA made on my behalf.

Baci e abbracci

Saturday, March 5, 2011


As you know from a previous post that when I attended art school it was very clear what was thought of as "cheating." Tracing, a definite no-no. Drawing from photos, also a no-no. I believe the reason is that it is easier to draw from a 2-D photo than 3-D life, so naturally you shouldn't do it. Well, I went down that slippery path and decided easier is what I want right now. I also want to draw what I want to draw and am currently not inspired by the items in my everyday life. So I have been drawing from photos of birds on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The pictures are great to draw from. I am enjoying drawing rather than being frustrated at my limited skills to capture a moving target.

Photography inspired by the talented Alisa Burke

Another great way to get good photos to draw from are calendars that are now on major discount (AC Moore $1 each). I picked a few up with photos of birds, dogs, horses and butterflies.

I am still drawing from life at the bookstore and on the train, but at least if that doesn't work out and I want to draw I can fire up the computer and find something that inspires me and stays still.

Baci e abbracci