Monday, May 29, 2006

I really love colors

I have had some watercolors that I started in class, and after I started most of them, some paints I ordered from Daniel Smith in Washington state arrived. I've been finishing them a bit at a time using the new color, and having so much fun with them, since the vivid colors really bring out more of what I wanted to express. It is so nice to have really wonderful fresh colors to draw on for glazing and layering. I experimented with doing some life drawing with them, and I think I can really grow by using what I have bought, in new ways, for me.

There will be contractors here again working on the house on Tuesday, and roofers starting to strip the shingles off the roof Wednesday, so it will be pretty much impossible to work here on anything. I'll be looking for safe and relatively comfortable places to spend the rest of the week, complicated with needing to take my somewhat traumatized service dog with me, and stay close enough to be available as the contractors call me with questions and requests. I am so grateful for the long weekend, because I've been so tired and stressed because this has been going on for almost three weeks, or forever.

I just want to be someplace with a bathroom available, safe from excess sunburn or windiness, ok to bring the dog and have her relatively comfortable, and me relatively comfortable, within fifteen minutes of the house, preferably selling coffee for me! This has been harder to arrange than one might think. I've been wishing I could just curl up somewhere safe, and hide out. B*B, Ysabeau

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Oil Painting - Butterfly box... READY!!!

Several of my friends all sent me the advertisements on a "butterfly" painting box, and I looked at it, and drooled, then the Art Supply Warehouse sent me an ad for it, at $29., and I just caved in and bought it to put my new oil paints in. The brush racks will be perfect for the oil painting brushes I've been acquiring, and then I don't have to search all over for my stuff, but can be all organized to start with. Just set the box down, open the wings, flip up the brushes, and you are ready to go!

I've been reading up on oil painting, and watching a few painting demos, and I think I'm going to like it, although it is the opposite end of the painting spectrum from my beloved watercolors. I think I'll transition to acrylics, then into oils, then it's just a matter of lots of practice. Each one is so different in how you do it technically, but color is color, I hope.



Sunday, May 21, 2006

Investing in myself

Since I won the watercolor award, and sold one picture also in the gallery, I've decided that buying myself a set of oils to try in my painting class this Autumn is something I give myself permission to do. I was going to get one of those $19. sets with student grade paints, which would probably be adequate, but I'll enjoy using something with better color and texture, so I've decided to get myself a high end student/low end professional set, to start with. With some discounts it's still four times the cost of the other set, but my experience with watercolors is that there is a real difference in the results when you use better paints, and they do last a while, so instead of trying to get good results with the cheapest pigments, I'll be trying with better stuff, and it may have the side affect of giving me more confidence.

I also got a starter acrylic set to play with, but they were much less expensive and will probably be ok since they are a name brand, and I already had some of the brushes and mediums accumulated to try with acrylics, so I wasn't starting from scratch.

It's always so hard for me to try something new, especially something I've been told over and over that I "can't" do, so having a class with others also trying new things, is a great place for me to attempt new skills. It helps that I know the teacher, and feel like I can learn comfortably with him. B*B, Ysabeau

Friday, May 19, 2006

E is for...

Exhausted - with art classes winding up for the Summer, both bathrooms torn up and contractors bopping in and out of the house, having to take time away from the house to avoid noises, dust, chemical smells, and to take a shower... then trying to figure out what we can or can't do about our old roof, cost, practicality, and my dh being really unhappy which I hate, picking up some of the stuff to be installed... - I'm wiped out.
Enthusiastic - I'm low on enthusiasm just right now, but usually I have lots to be enthusiastic about, art, gardening, quilting...
Erg - a unit of energy, which I am out of
Encaustic - an art medium I keep hearing about but haven't tried yet, I'm getting a little curious
Essence - part of staying focused is to remember to see the essence of what is going on
Entice - Spending the day painting near the ocean is beginning to entice me (see Escape!)
Ergonomics - I want my dh's desk to have better ergonomics, and I have to remember to be careful with my painting, quilting, and reaching so I don't hurt myself as often
Eagle - I was gifted with three "properly obtained" eagle feathers by my first teacher Pushnataha, a Lakota. Properly obtained = snatched from the live bird, at 96 he still had the scars from the birds. Do not try this at home.
Entertainment - Making things, learning, books, music, nature, movies
Esthetics - with Libra rising, I can talk about color for waaaaay too long. Most people find this unappealing, but I try to be good. Watercolor is a great outlet for this problem for me because I can mix and layer to my heart's content
Enchanted - I have always been a person who enjoyed fantasy, stories about enchantment and beauty and hope, and I see my everyday world as enchanted in a real way, with beauty in little things and new discoveries everywhere
Evergreen - living in Southern Oregon part of my childhood, I love the scent of the forests, nothing like wet evergreens
Eager - I try to stay eager to learn new things, never too jaded to try something new
End - this is the end, I'm wandering around
B*B, Ysabeau

Friday, May 05, 2006

Getting ready for new media, mentally

Next Autumn, I intend to sign up for another watercolor class, but I'm also working up to trying the next media, which is acrylic painting. The class covers acrylics and even oils, but I want to try acrylics THEN work up to oils, so I'm expecting to have six hours of painting on Mondays and Wednesdays, instead of three hours each Mon, Tues, Wed, and Thurs. This is partly because parking is going to be a mess with the parking lots torn up, so less times parking is less stress and wandering around, and partly because I've been working myself up to trying Acrylics.

I have acrylics for fabric painting, so I'll play with those over the Summer, and sun printing, plus I invested in some "heavy body" acrylics to try, because they just look SO interesting. The heavy body acrylics can act like their own gesso, you get actual textures if you want, and they are great for palette knife work, which I really want to try.

The biggest problem is that I put obstacles in my own way when it comes to trying something new, so I have to sort of slip up on new things from the side. I have to get supplies, look at the unopened boxes and bottles for a while, read a bit about how it's done, watch somebody else do it or any related shows on tv, tell myself I can't possibly do it, tell myself "what's the worst that could happen if I try?", look at the stuff some more, and then put on some of my favorite music, make sure nobody can see me, and, and, and....
TRY IT!!!!!

D is for...

Desert, amazing colors, plants, and animals
Dessert, mostly chocolate when available
Daring, trying something new and challenging, something you aren't sure you can do
Doggie, Quan Yin is my rat terrier
Dandelion, my lawn is a little haven for them
Darling, Willie is my Darling
Dreams, happy creative ones, and nightmares, all healing in their way
Drain, everything I do seems to be more of a drain than I expect it to be
Dance, I like to square dance, but haven't done it in years, and I love belly dancing, especially the Turkish and Indian style music to dance to
Dirt, nothing like playing in the dirt and planting seeds and plant starts for real mental health
Dye, fabric dye is fun stuff, especially if I twist and tie and fold the fabric first
Dogwood, there's just something about the way the blossoms look that I like, and I associate them with my Grandma Rachel who loved them
Dragon, I like the Wisdom connotation, anyone else read "Tea with the Black Dragon"? one of my favorites ever
Dentists, one of my very few phobias
Dress-up, I really still love to play dress up, but don't get many chances any more, it was my favorite part of the SCA, to be really honest, especially the ornamentation and anything with lots of veils and floaty bits... but I did make myself a purple crocheted artist's beret to go with my hand dyed purple scarf from a friend, and I wear them!
Doormat, what I'm NOT any more
B*B, Ysabeau

Thursday, May 04, 2006

C is for...

Creativity, create, creative, creating, verb "to create", noun "creation" - a big word in my world
IthinkI Can, IthinkI Can, IthinkI Can - IknewI Could!
Car, very important in this area with very little public transportation
Cartoons, I confess, I do watch them, from classics from Disney and Warner Bros., to Corneil & Bernie, about a talking dog, and the Tick, Kaput & Zosky, and my personal fav, Pinky and the Brain - but can't seem to get interested in Anime
Conte crayons, I've been struggling to draw with them
Charcoal, messy and fun, but I can't seem to get the lovely results some of my friends get, mine are dark and streaky
Carol Duval, a guilty pleasure, still resisting polymer clay, though!
Coffee, my favorite indulgence, even more than
Chocolate, but it's a close race! Chocolate coffee? Coffee chocolate? yum!
Color, maybe my very favorite thing in the world to play with. Color is my friend.
Cooking, I like to combine creativity and cooking, and see what results!
Chili, I make absolutely killer chili, fresh ingredients, and it's even healthy
Coral, symbolizes fertility, including creative fertility, and I love to wear it combined with shell for nurturing and protection, and the sea, or turquoise, a traditional native combination
Chant, talking and singing... The ocean is the beginning of the earth, all life comes from the sea...

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

B is for...

Bonkers, sometimes I go a little bonkers when I try something new!
Binky Patrol, one of my favorite charities, giving little quilts and blankets to traumatized children, I like to donate to them
Breakfast, I get a protein shake every morning
Barbie, I never did like the dolls, but the accessories were so mysteriously tiny they were fun
Bananas, I don't like them
Branches, so symbolic of choices and decisions
Boats, pretty but I'm not a good sailor, but I enjoy painting them if they are NOT under me
Beauty, it's everywhere if you look for it - Navajo prayer - Walking in beauty
Beads, Beads, Beads, one of my favorite creative materials
Bands, I love to hear live music, particularly if I get to "sit in"
Barter, more fun than money
Beginnings, every day is a new one
Butterfly, symbol of transformational changes, and so beautiful to watch
Boulders, really BIG beads
Brown, a really under estimated color, so many lovely places and things are mostly Brown, like bears, tree trunks, earthenware, some people, animals, rocks, wood... many shades of lovely browns from pale sandy browns to deep rich woods, I love them all