Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Pond Doodles

Pond doodles.  Feeling froggy.  Playing around with paint.  Hee hee, every time I try to think of a good, catchy name for this tote bag in progress, I come up with something silly or something that sounds like it means something else.  I give.  Words, you win, at least for now.
The right name might not be on the horizon, but I sure am having fun with this old pair of Levi's and my assortment of acrylic paints and helpers.  In this case, the helper is a bottle of fabric painting medium, which makes it easy to use the acrylic paints I already have in my canvas painting stash.  I bought a set of fabric markers, but the lines they make are sharper than the faded look I want for this project. 
Do you know what memory those fabric markers brought to mind?  When I was a kid, my mom would make pretty painted pictures on fabric using little tubes of paint with roller tips.  I'm thinking the name of those paints was Artex?  The name had an "-ex" sound in it, or maybe I'm completely on the wrong track with the name.  Handydandy Google can probably answer my question.  Be right back.
Here's where you wait.  I suggest humming the tune to Jeopardy and pretending you are Alex Trebek, waiting to see whether or not the champion will have the correct answer to the last big question.
Score!  Here they are, lots of Google images showing those paints I remember asking to use! Did any of you use them to create projects?  Memory can be fickle, but I think I remember my mom making quilts with blocks of white fabric on which she painted pictures with the Artex tubes.  Was there a Holly Hobby style one?  Wasn't there an alphabet one?  Did she use tracing paper to copy pictures from our coloring books onto fabric?  I do remember applying the paint in a small circular motion, squeezing the tubes, and being disappointed when a tube clogged or ran out.
Back to the tote bag at hand, though.  It needs handles.  The hubby let me pile lots of little goodies into the cart at Harbor Freight the other day, and one of those goodies was a package of small grommets and grommet pliers.  Small, in this case, is shoelace grommet small.  I'm considering playing around with groups of grommets and thinner strings/ribbons braided together as they come out of single grommets.  I'll let you know if that works for handles.
Time to hop back to the project!  See ya later!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Let the Paint Move You

 That beautiful red paint, pyrrole crimson plus quinacridone crimson, brought joy to my eyes as I spiraled it onto the canvas.  Streaking the carbon black through the spiral to accentuate it, my muse danced with the color.
 Mixing mars black and carbon black into the paperclay, forming it, smoothing it to some degree, and watching as it dried over the course of days made my patient bone happy. 
Copying the mantra in gold and black, with brushes thin and thick, I concentrated on only each image. 
Sometimes, you let the paint move you.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Poop Happens

My defining moment this week:  poop happens.
Seriously, the kids' midterm grades were wonderful (go, James and Kate!), there's a new marriage in the family (congratulations, Steve and Jennifer!), the little kids at work are starting to follow the routine (and the big kids make recess duty outdoors a fun hour!), the hubby turned __ on his birthday (Happy Birthday!), and my defining moment involves poop.  Good grief.  What a warped brain I have.
So, we're sitting in Chuck E. Cheese's, celebrating the all A's and the A's & B's on the midterm grades, and Rick and I both notice a little kid standing close to our table by himself.  He appears to be staring intently at a video game being played by some older kids.  He looks to be about 3 years old, so it doesn't seem unusual that he'd be fascinated and satisfied to simply watch a game being played. 
Boy, that kid sure had an intent look on his face.
Very intent.
And, then, all of a sudden, with a casual shake of the leg and unloading of the pants, he was gone, game obviously forgotten.  Yep.  He pooped in his baggy jeans, the ones that obviously were not concealing a diaper or big boy underwear, shook the turds down his leg, and walked away.
Tell me he hadn't done that before... he was too nonchalant. Now, I still don't know what the message is in this story, but my brain keeps telling me there has to be one.  When I figure it out, I'll let you know.
Yeah.  Shook that leg just like he knew exactly how to get rid of his smelly little problem, and walked away. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Never forgotten.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

I Wanna Go

Did you ever google a place or thing, without knowing if it actually exists?  I did, and that's how I ended up painting this lighthouse on this beach.  My sister requested a painting for our cousin.  I made the beach and water, but I was thinking of painting a pier reaching out into the water, not a lighthouse on the beach.  Then my cousin saw a picture of the canvas and said she didn't think "you can ever go wrong with a lighthouse."  Well, it would need to be a lighthouse in tropical waters, because those aquas and almost greenish blues in the sky and ocean sure didn't look like anything except tropical scenery. 
"Hmmmmm," I wondered. "Are there lighthouses right on sandy beaches?"  The only lighthouse I've actually visited was near Daytona Beach. In fact, visiting Ponce Inlet and the red lighthouse there this summer changed my mind about lighthouses... it made me understand the interest in them. That one isn't right on the beach, though.  It's surrounded by a lawn and small cabins turned museum.  So, I wondered if there were any lighthouses like the one I needed to find.  Turns out, there's at least one.  It's called the Cape Florida lighthouse, and you can almost feel the ocean breeze blowing off that picture!
I wanna go!
I wanna walk that beach, listen to the waves, feel the wind on my face, taste the salt on my lips.  I wanna wade out in that water in the early morning, torn between staring at the sunrise and searching the sand for sea shells.
I do love where I live, and I don't think I could give up having four distinct seasons...but you know, I surely wouldn't mind being able to visit a lighthouse on a sandy beach every other month or so.  Yeah, I think you know the setting for my dreams tonight!  Have yourself some sweet, peaceful dreams, too!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

I Love a Good Storm

I don't know about you, but I do love a good thunderstorm.  A good thunderstorm has plenty of lightning in the distance, lots of pouring rain, a cool breeze, and of course, ominous cloud formations.  A "good" storm does not, for me, for the record, involve any rotations or damaging hail.  This was a good storm when it passed our way. This was the view from my front porch, looking southeast.  That big blanket of black clouds came from the west and northwest, slowly covering the Earth for the evening.  Buckets of water fell from those clouds, and there were still a few small puddles of rain on the road this morning.
Cozy, cozy, cozy!
Ooooh, and the cooler temperatures followed close behind the storm clouds!
Wow...all that rain soaked into the ground, and immediately the grass grew another foot!  Okay, I exaggerate.  The grass in our yard was already jungle-ish, and this rain didn't slow it down any.  That's why I'll have to say this post was meant to be short 'n sweet.  We've done the football game this morning, cooked lunch, baked a few cookies for dessert, and now it's time to ride that mower.  See ya! 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Delapidated Denim and Salvaged Sticks

You're looking at strips of denim and a piece of the squiggly tree.  The denim was worn soft by my brother, painted and distressed and slit by me, and raveled out in the dryer...all in the name of making a unique, blue-toned, flowing skirt for the Grandmother Moon painting I'm currently creating.  Talk about yet another lesson in patience!  Have you ever washed, dried, and then untangled a dozen or more half inch strips of ragged denim?  It's like untangling a knot in a jewelry chain, *if* a metal chain could melt and then re-meld into all kinds of crooked and twisted joints all along its length.  The good thing is that I *wanted* the raveled look.  The almost-turned-into-bad thing is that I could easily have ripped all those strands completely in two!  Uh huh, it takes a wee bit of time to untangle all those threads and twisted knots of denim.  It was oddly comforting, though. 
Quite possibly, the comforting part can be attributed to my love of worn denim. I love the colors of a pair of worn jeans-- pale blues, bleached out whites, and stray streaks of stubborn indigo.  I love the feel of a pair of worn jeans-- soft but strong, slighty rough but supple.  Call it a bit of tactile therapy, this unraveling of a big knot of denim strips.  Call it insanity.  Call it what you will.  It was fun!
I'm hoping ol' Grandmother Moon will appreciate her rag skirt, as well as her walking stick made from a fallen branch of the squiggly tree.  I've been sneaking a few sterling silver beads and tubes and scraps of wires out of my jewelry making stash, too.  Those should make for some very pretty silver touches to the whole picture! 
Sounds like a lot of trouble for a painting celebrating the August 2012 Blue Moon, since the blue moon has come and gone and the painting is still a work in progress, huh?  Yes and no.  Yes, this could be "wasted" time/work/materials if the blue moon reference is relegated to the "been there, done that, it's over now" bin.  You know, the who buys a Nativity scene in February unless it's on clearance train of thought could doom any interest in her.  But do I really think she's wasted effort now that the blue moon is waning?  Heck, no.  Creating this deep blue, primordial apparition of wisdom and oneness with the sky is fun, fun in a deep and thoughtful way, fun in that it makes my heart light every time I figure out another step and continue the canvas. 
I'd liken this feeling to the satisfaction that comes from a season of  gardening, except I generally lose interest after the seeds are covered with soil.  But, yeah, it is the same kind of satisfaction, the slow build-up to a wonderful finish. 
So, that's what's not-so-new on the painting front as this new week begins.  As for home, work, school, football, and soccer, everything keeps right on rolling!  James' football team has won two games now, and he's starting to look like a football player instead of an uncertain kid in shoulder pads and shiny tight pants.  Kate has her first soccer game this week, and I think she's going to like it a bunch.  Homework is homework... and I don't like Junior High as much now as I did when I was a kid (instead being the mom experiencing it secondhand through fairly constant nagging about homework and responsibility and such).  They're growing into it, though, and I understand that if I blink, when I look again they'll be in college.  Hey, it's starting to feel like fall here, too, so all in all, it's a great time :-)