Thursday, July 31, 2008

guess how many paintings i finished today?? ...just guess ....did you guess .... really .... guess!

i had the most fabulous productive paint day today!!! rah for that .... the nicest thing about it? in the morning, i also helped my children with sewing projects simultaneously ... i'd paint, thread a needle, paint, undo a knot, paint, give advice, paint, tie a knot ..... two pillows completed by the big kids .... two sleeping bags for two american girl dolls ....(little.e.beck.artist sewed one sleeping bag for her doll and one for her best pal's)......then there were three kid dental appointments ..... and then a painting play date....so i had to keep painting while i supervised that ..... and all the while, 12 collages for me ... that's right ... i finished 12 collages today!!
this mosaic is of the 18 six inch square canvases that i've done in the last week or so .... 8 you've already seen (assuming you've been reading my blog loyally, consistently, avidly) ... the other ten are new TODAY .... and then, since little.e.beck.artist had that painting play date, i finished two more on backgrounds that were just sitting there waiting on my table to become what they were meant to become .... i think these will make a nice display at the art fair i'm doing in october/novemberish (note to self, check that date!) ..... 

and drum roll please .... 
winners! of the contest! 
aimee.... rah! the first to ask a question ... a prize to you! 
kelly c..... who says she loves edamame too ..... congratulations for the best vegetable question....a prize to you!
3rd eye muse .... oh my gosh .... procrastinate much? you asked by far the most questions ... and for that you get a prize!!!

so, you three lovely things, go to this flickr set .... and pick a print you want .... and tell me what, if any, personalization you want on it .... and give me your addy too ..... congratulations ... and thank you everyone for playing!! 

do you think i'll work on the humongo canvas tomorrow? time's a ticking .... 

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

art and answers ....

i worked on these ten canvases today .....they are the rest of the set of 18 i started last week ..... the first 8 are done ..... these should be done soon ... then i'll do another set of 18, i suppose ... i think in another color scheme ..... 

on to the questions ...... 

28.... 3rdEyeMuse asks : chocolate, strawberry, or vanilla ..... and the answer is vanilla ... i don't like chocolate ice cream ... because it doesn't taste like chocolate to me! strawberry is ok ... but i love vanilla .... but never order it ..... i like cake batter icecream, mint choco chip icecream, cookies and cream icecream, keylimepie icecream .... and i love sherberts and sorbets too ..... i'm definitely an ice cream girl ... came by it genetically ...my parents both adore ice cream ... and i married an ice cream kinda guy too ..... 

29 ..... 3 asks: what scents make you think of summer ..... wind and water beach smell ..... chlorinated hair on my children's heads ..... grilling ....... 

30 .... 3, i did, and i do, play with legos ..... not as much as i did five years ago and 35 years ago .... but on occasion, yes .... and i sure do clean up lego a lot for not playing it every day ..... 

31....3, i believe, wherever carmen sandiego is, she's just there to hide from you ..... 

32.... 3, great questions, favorite card game? i play rat a tat cat the most ... and ruckus ..... and cheater .... and top trumps .... none of those are with a traditional deck of cards ..... but i do play them a TON .... the last card game i played with regular cards was crazy eights ..... the last card game was ruckus (two days ago, three kids, kitchen table)

33.... 3, do you know that my 2007 resolution was to play five hundred games in a year ... and i played 514 with my kids? i am a game guru ..... my favorite board game might be monopoly or life .... i love scrabble .... the last one i played (yesterday) was sequence .....and there is no board, but rummikub is maybe my really truly favorite game .....

34....mind games like i'm messing with you, 3, or my favorite mind game, like you have to think to play it? i'll go with thinking games .... scrabble, rummikub, whonuuu, hit or miss ...... yup .... i'm game for games ..... 

35... mom, cake batter ice cream is just that, ice cream that tastes for all the world like cake batter .... just like the beaters you used to let me lick .....

36  .... lynn asks Oh, did you graduate college with an art degree? And if not, what kind of formal training have you had? .... i graduated from college with a major in art history, a minor in french, and ....just to be overzealous, another minor in anthropology ..... then i got a master's degree and became a teacher .... somewhere in there i did post bac classes in drawing and painting at a local university ..... and i've taken art classes and workshops and such all along too .... i've had a smattering of formal training ... i've had loads of "hobbyist" classes .... and i read and read and read .... i've recently been reading on davinci, picasso, and richard scarry .... ha! do you know who richard scarry is?

37....chris asked a seed bead question .... here's my seed bead answer ... don't ever buy them too small .... they are too hard to deal with!! ... i always try to get ones that are easy to sew on to my canvases .... with tiny, glue is just not reliable ... but, if you need to glue, copious amounts of mat medium will hold anything down ... and e6000 is the strongest glue in the universe... i'm certain that alien visitors left the formula, cause it is certainly not of this world ..... 

38 .... 3rdEyeMuse, who really seems to have enjoyed this game!!!. ..... asked if i have a favorite piece of art .... and i used to ... but now i don't ... i have favorite new ones at the moment .... and some old ones that hold up to my scrutiny better than others ..... but, really, i have three types of paintings ... still LOVE it, still like it, and want to paint over it ......

39 ... 3rd, favorite piece by another? well ....   mona lisa ...   i actually find her lovely and inspiring ... 

whew ...i'm done!! 

tomorrow, i'll study my answers, and pick winners from the various categories ..... 
happy day ....



Tuesday, July 29, 2008

wow, jeannie asked a load of questions .....

i have no photo documentation of my art today ..... but, luckily, i am still answering the questions from this post ..... 

the last two posts have answers 1 to 17 .... so here we go....

18..... sherry asked When you are in your studio creating art, do you listen to music, have the tv on in the background, or work in total silence? ...sherry, the answer is yes .... some of each ..... my kids' computer is in the basement, so i sometime do xm radio through that ..... there is a tv on the far side so i listen, don't really watch, the today show, the view, hgtv, and (blush) mtv ...... i also do silence .... which isn't that silent ... cause i tend to talk to myself and my paintings .... we won't worry about that til the paintings start talking back ..... 

19...3rdEyeMuse, my favorite word? key lime pie .... oh wait, that's three words .... and a different question ..... it might be joy .... i say joy a lot .... when other people say, oh great ... i say oh joy .... and when my kids ask me why something .... i say, for joy ..... we're going to allison's house ... what for? for joy .... call your dad for me ... why? ... for joy ..... it's a nice thing to work towards .... and to keep in the back of your head .... 

19.... 3, and my least favorite word? chores, laundry, mortgage, dirty feet ... oh wait ... that's two words .... i've actually always thought that cauliflower was an ugly word for such a pretty veggie ... cauli ... ick .... and attaching it to flower doesn't make it pretty ...  

20....donna .... i am the wrong person to ask!! ... here's her question : 
Why can't men/boys put a fresh roll of toilet paper on the holder? Why do they always set it on the counter instead?
.... oh, donna .... i'm sorry ... but i'm bad about it too ..... i just don't care enough .... i usually just prop the new roll on the old roll ..... our last house? my husband and i actually CHOSE the tp holder cause it was just a hook .... slide it on .... no effort, no spring, one handed ...... i guess i'm a titch slovenly? or preoccupied .... i'll give you a question back ... why on earth do people really care if tp rolls over or under? clearly that's a too much time on your hands perfectionist thing .... 

21... lynn .... uh oh!! you aren't supposed to feel fulfilled by my art endeavors... they are supposed to inspire you to trot out and do your own ..... so, off you go now ... step away from the computer .... go doodle in a journal, or sort some buttons or paint some papers ... you can do it! 

22 ... jeannie, you are my favorite loopie .... obviously, since you asked the question ..... 

23... jeannie, my favorite day of the week ....ummmmmmm ..... friday during the school year ... cause we do dinner in the family room and a movie off the tivo ......or the walton's .... or little house on the prairie ..... during the summer, lots of nights are friday night like ..... so maybe sunday .... cause it is relaxed ....and i like my church .... especially when i'm teaching sunday school .... i teach artsy sunday school .....or .... i like days that i do art all day .... which is never really a weekend ..... so ... there's no day i dislike .... they all have their good parts.....

24 ... jeannie, you are neither a day late, nor a dollar short!!

25.... jeannie, your car is making a thumping noise because you haven't been talking kindly to it enough .... it is having its version of a temper tantrum ... try sweet talking it .....

26... jeannie, my favorite artist? well ..... van gogh? i've read lots of books about him and what people say he was thinking feeling doing was pretty extraordinary ..... and his art is just so gorgeous ... and was quite ground breaking ....  and kandinsky ... he was the first abstract artist that i really studied and understood ..... and when i read the agony and the ecstasy about michelangelo, the same summer i saw his pieta ... and david .... and the vatican .... 
and actually, i was an art history major in college .... and there are SO many artists that i love for a wide variety of reasons ... andy warhol ... roy lichtenstein .... wilfredo lam ... i bet you've never heard of him ... he was a cuban cubist i loved him in college .... five or so years ago i saw my first of his paintings in real life at MoMa in nyc .... i about flipped ... everyone else was rushing by him to get on to picasso and warhol and i wanted to stop them all and make them look harder at my wilfredo .... i guess each of these artists have a very specific reason why i love them ...a book i read ... a painting i know ......... lucas samaras ... if you make a chair that can't be sat on ... is it still a chair ....is it a chair just cause someone says it is .... is it art if someone says it is .... he had a big exhibit at the high museum in atlanta 20 years ago .... and i went through a chair building and painting stage ..... claes oldenberg .... that lipstick missile at yale? do you know that one?  and he made the ginormous hamburgers too? ..... anyway .... i don't think there is any era of artists that i don't appreciate ..... i could write ninety nine posts on favorite artsists ....
jeannie? are you sorry you asked???

27 .... jeannie .... you grand inquisitor, you ..... i have no idea how i thought this post up ... but it is working out nicely .... blog reading can be bleak in the summer vacation days ..... but we're doing pretty well, huh?

i was planning on finishing out the questions tonight ..... but now i'm not .... that who's your favorite artist question bogged me down looking for links to enlighten and educate my lovely readership out there in blog land .... 

tomorrow .... LOADS of time for art ... rah for that .... so maybe some photos in tomorrows post ... and some answers ... i'm nearing the end of the questions .... and the drawing for the prizes ..... note ... prizes is plural .... 

happy day to you .... 

p.s... i'm sorry ... there was NO proofreading or editing of this post ... i'm too tired .. usually i at least do a half way attempt at spelling and typos ... but not today ...eep!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

key, kite, feather, nest, apple

i have finished five more paintings in my six by six series .... you can see them close up and individually on my flickr site .... i have eight done now .... just ten left to go of the canvases that i've already begun ..... 

i have a new conundrum .... i think i'm trying to find a time to run to my brother's house for a few days ... my kids have been BEGGING for cousin time .... but that means days away from my art studio ... and i haven't even BEGUN the humongo canvases that i'm supposed to be doing for the september show ...... my time management skills are decidedly lacking at the moment .... i'm just doing the paintings that make me happy ..not the ones that have deadlines ... and i have three different deadlines ... oh my ..... and yet .. tomorrow? i hope to do a few more of these small happy canvases .... oh well .... i'll work on time management skills another day .... 

and now ... back to the questions at hand ..... 
if you missed the first set of answers, they are just one blog post down .... that's why i am starting here at number 13....

13 ... kelly, orange shoes, you ask? ...... i adore orange shoes ... i don't have a good answer .... or a pat answer .... i just like them .... i like the color orange ... and i particularly like it in shoes because most people wouldn't dream of wearing orange shoes ..... so i do ..... i actually bought some cute orange sandals the other day ... i didn't need shoes, sandals, thongs, anything ... but they were orange AND on sale ..... so there ya go ..... here's a shoe thing about me you might not know ... i despise, passionately, high heels .... i think they are misogynistic .... there is not reason to walk around on our tip toes and shrink our achilles tendons .... and throw out our backs from having our balance out o' whack ..... so ... i don't wear them ... but i still want cute fun shoes .... and i have more than my fair share of cute shoes ... and a good portion are, in fact, orange .... 

14....aimee .... um.... you answered your own question .... thanks! 

15 ....sherry! .... great question and one i can COMPLETELY relate to ....Why is it I have tons of housework, unfinished art projects and swaps to get done, and I'm on your blog asking this question instead of doing them?! ... it is the lure of the internet .... the joy of blog hopping from one artist to another ..... the search for inspiration! ..... and the trick is limiting your time online .... i've not mastered the trick, obviously (says the artist who is answering a jillion questions on her ART blog)

16...allison ... you don't have to bring anything for lunch .... just fun you ... and i'll feed you .... 

17.... allison .... my next big art goal? hard question, honey .... i'll tell you a couple .... 
a) do a piece for a 37 days art challenge
b) do two el grande pieces for a show in september
c) complete 50 six inch square pieces for an art fair i'm going in november ... fifty? did i just say that out loud? eep!!
d)get going on the painting that i need for my two man show that i'm doing in the new year with my mom .... we are working on themes together .... and she is WAY ahead of me ..... go back up and review my time management issues!
....is that enough ..... that's a bunch of goals .... i'd like a website to be in my goals too ... but i'm not feelig it yet .... 

......mr.e.beck.artist and girl.beck.artist just made pizza for dinner ...mine has artichoke hearts and mushrooms ... rah!
must go .... more answers, more art, more me ....next time ......

ps ... it isn't too late to ask a question and be in the contest for prizes and joy...... 


Friday, July 25, 2008

i have art .... and i have answers .....

i originally started my "ask me a question" post because i wasn't up for the whole picture upload/edit/attach chore that my usual posting entails ..... but i wanted to say something ... with nothing to say ... so .... we got the "ask me a question" post .....and i even threw in the notion of a prize .... 

now, my problem? i have all kinds of art to blog about , but instead ... i have to get onto these questions ... there are dozens to answer ... and some are FUN ..... 

so ... in this post ... are two more paintings from my newest series ..... we're up to a whopping three .... with fifteen others started and planned and close to done ..... sort of close to done .....

but enough about art on the art blog .... on to the questions that i solicited from you all ......

1 ... aimee, yes you may play!
2....aimeewhy does blogger blow up at the very moment i try to post a comment or publish a post? .... well.... clearly blogger is out to get you .... no one else ever has trouble ..... sorry 'bout that.....
3.... 3rd eye muse, nope, no limit to your number of questions ....
4... 3rd, yes, that counted as a question .....
5 .... 3rd, i heard it in the car today .... the song that i can hear over and over and not get tired of is ..... katrina and the waves singing ....i'm walking on sunshine .... i don't much love some of the other folks singing it lately .... but really like it always .... in 1985 i went to my brother david's college graduation .... and he took me to toad's to see katrina and the waves ... i LIKED it then ... but somehow it has grown on me .... i call my littlest one sunshine .... all the time really .... when she was an infant she smiled all the time .... easy third child sydrome turns into "gosh, i better be cutest, happiest and easiest if i want to get any attention" .... i've been singing walking on sunshine to her for her whole life ... including tonight when i tucked her in .... 


6... 3rd .... what am i really happy with? all kinds of things .... my family, my dog, bagels, twizzlers, my mac, blogging ...... in fact .... have you read this post .... i'm pretty much a happy girl ....or ...i'm happy way more than i'm unhappy ..... and ... so as not to cop out on this question ... i'll give a fresh answer .... i 'm happy with tennis .... i've been playing for less than two years .... and....quite honestly, i'm not that good .... and i'm not just saying that ....i'm in the lowest possible division in my tennis league ...but .. the good news is that i'm about nine thousand times better than when i started .... and i'm even 100 times better than i was two months ago ...i've taken lessons this summer ...i've been playing a lot with mr.e.beck.artist and some pals.....  and ... it is exercise .... i feel strong ... i want to play tennis all the time .... i'm always planning my next outing (tomorrow morning, 8am) ..... so ... there you have it .... i am so happy with tennis .... 
7... 3rd, hands down my very favorite dessert is key lime pie .... we had a key lime tree growing up .... in florida .... we had pies all the time ... my mom froze the juice so we could have it year round ..... my brothers and i all made our own version of it ... the big question is green food coloring or no? my family went both ways ...mom added green .... we sometimes didn't .... and i've had purple and blue and orange key lime pies that tasted perfectly fab ....if you shut your eyes...... and ... just to give you full disclosure ....tonight, cake batter ice cream for dessert .... yum.....
8.... courtney! welcome to e.land .... thanks for asking a question ... and an art related one at that ..... Where do you find the inspiration when that dreaded block comes and your hands will not listen to your heart??? .... well.... when i don't feel inspired, my solution is to keep plugging along ...to keep creating and doing and hanging out in my art studio ... one of the things i do is have multiple pieces going at once .... so even when i'm not feeling it, i am making backgrounds or finishing off a piece .... or painting papers..... or sorting supplies ..... just being in the art studio can get me to come round to some sort of art notion ..... another thing that helps me is always having a "next thing" .... for a long time i was working hard to prep for my FIRSt gallery show ..... now that is done ... but i have two HUGE canvases to do for a show in september (i'm currently procrastinating those pieces...eep!) .... and then i'm doing an art show in november so i need to bulk up on paintings available to sell...... so ... with something to work towards, i try not to give myself the luxury of lack of inspiration ...i try to treat this as a job with deadlines and productivity expectations .... i'm hard to work for ....no slack! 
9. darla, darla, darla ..... i can't just send you the prize..... the suspense is really what it is all about ... 
10 ... sharon, i believe i have done 29 pear canvases ... two of them today!!! all of the ones in this flickr set ... as well as 8 others, 2 sets of four, that i sold before i took pics ... and i think, that is 28 canvases for a 40 pear total ... who knew? i never would have guessed that many .... i've sold most of them .... rah!
11...alison, thanks for visiting me...all the way from australia ...glad you found me at coffee yogurt ..... and you are really stretching me ... a cat question is way outside my comfort zone ... i'm a dog girl .... but .... i'm pretty sure that when a cat is staring at a human, the cat is wondering why that big ole creature doesn't respond properly to the telepathy ..... 
12.kelly c.... hooray ... love your question ... my favorite vegetable is edamame ..... i eat it frequently and fervently ... with dinner tonight it fact .... and the funny thing? it's a "new" vegetable .... and i bet some of you haven't even heard of it!! is that right? edamame (ed-uh-mom-ay) is a soy bean ... it's looks like a spring pea in a pod .... and tastes a bit butter beanish, i suppose .... edamame is also my dog's favorite vegetable .... she goes nutso when the microwave beeps for them ..... other faves? artichokes, asparagus, corn on the cob, and tomatoes ... tomatoes especially if they are in a sandwich)

ok... surely the first 12 questions is enough for today .... i'll answer more sooooon ... and once i've answered them all, i have a grand notion of what the prize will be .... tra la la ...you'll just have to stay tuned .... while you wait, go do some art .... 

Thursday, July 24, 2008

HUGE artsy endeavors ....

today was a joy!
yesterday was a joy!
day before that? yup ... a joy .... 
i've had the good fortune of having loads of art time on my hands ..... 

i started with 18 small canvases .... six inches squared .... i chose 18 cause it fit nicely into the tidy spot on my table .... 

i papered all 18 canvases with a map of north carolina ... that i had carefully cut into nearly square 5 3/4 by 5 7/8 rhombus .... good thing i'm not a perfectionist .... cause there were none that remotely squared actually ...... so, anyway ..... 18 maps on canvases ... and then some yellow ....and turquoise and green and orange and a titch of pink ..... all dry brushed heavy acrylics over the map ... but thin enought that the map is still entirely evident ..... 
then i took a deeper yellow and used it to stamp letters on .... for a bit of texture, some color interest, and to hide some map bits ..... 

then? i added words .... and i was nervous ... so i started with easy (for me) words ..... egg.... nest .... but feather? i'm not sure that's easy ... but it certainly thematically goes along with the artist i am becoming ..... 
and then .... this photo is from near the end of today ..... i have 18 canvases with backgrounds... 12 canvases with words ..... and four with iconic pictures ..... 
here's one ..... egg ..... ta dum ... finished ... the 73rd painting of the year ... and officially the first of a new series ..... 

and one happy shout out to my pal al ... she spent the afternoon painting with me! rah for that ..... 

and now .... the truth about me ... yesterday's post ? prizes and questions and fabulous participation from my faithful readers ..... did you read it? did you see it? did you participate? are you going to be the prize winner(s)?  .... so.... back to the truth .... i did that post because i was too tired to upload my egg picture ..... 

but tomorrow ... or the next day .....the next time i need a happy blog diversion, i am going to answer each and every one of those questions ... some of them are excellent and well worthy of a prize .... so keep asking them .... quantity is a lovely goal ..... i'm loving getting them .... 

any questions .... ?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

PRIZE available!

i did art and took no pictures .... 
but i had an idea ..... 
i want to do a give away .... and couldn't think of what ... so ... 
here ya go ....
ask me a question .... any question really ..... no criteria, no limit .... 
and then someone will win ...something .... either for having the best, the worst, the longest, the most, the coolest, the oddest, the blandest ..... any question(s) ... what do you want to know? 
who's playing? 
(an undefined game with an undefined prize and an inderterminant amount of winners with no deadline? ..... i might be kidding myself here ....)

p.s.... this is the PERFECT time for you lurkers to shout out a hello! (you know who you are)

Monday, July 21, 2008

just a monday ....

summer is zzzzzzzzzooooooooooooming by and i don't seem to have enough hours in the day to do all the things i want and need to do  ..... 

but i'll update you on the artarama things at my house.....
-went this weekend to a bead show with my pal dana ..... she's a beader .... i used to be .... i still have gobs of beads for the stray mixed media art that needs beading ..... these two are pics off my camera ..... bead shows are so gorgeous ..... 

-my nest show at lola's gallery is done ....kristy at lola's has about fifteen of my pieces hanging still .... and she kept maybe fifteen more for the folk fest (huge show in the atlanta 'burbs) ... that's in august ....

-the rest of my art is home and up .... in my kitchen, in my family room .... hung with care ..... now i know what my favorite pieces are .... they are the ones i HAD to put up! 
insert photo here .... oh wait ... i didn't take a picture .... oops!

-i'm working on a monopoly house piece...still .... i'm liking it ... but not being decisive .... i spend quite a bit of time in my studio dithering about it ... and when i'm not doing art, i go downstairs to visit it .... i guess to see if any elves or fairies have changed any bits in my absence ..... they haven't ....yet

-i plan to have an artsy afternoon tomorrow ... and i have a FRESH idea ... so hopefully i'll be full of fresh for you soon ..... 

-the potato heads are still on the mantle ..... 

and ... last but not least ... i have some new fab blogs that i've been visiting ... you might want to see them .... here are links.....
artsyville .... 

happy blog browsing ..... 

Thursday, July 17, 2008

thursday art

i've spent the week working at my church .... we are sponsoring a week of camp for some at risk kids from the inner city .... if you look at my last post, you can read about the coloring class i am leading .... i have children helpers ... and they help by sitting around the big table and coloring .... and encouraging the visitor kids to color, as well ..... all in all it has been a happy and easy experience .... which makes me astonished at how utterly exhausting it is ....  i think part of it is being needed .... and being "on" .... and being in charge ..... and trying to meet the needs of so many that need so much .... in 45 minutes of coloring i can't really do much about some needs.... food, safety, security .... and i have to make do with being supportive (nice pickle, love your color choices, how did you think up something SO creative) ....and being helpful (here, use my pen) ..... 

i have some feel good stories from the week ... some of them are about my own kids "getting it" .... figuring out that our differences have nothing to do with skin color and everything to do with life circumstances .... and poverty .... but one is much more concrete .... 

on monday, a sweet girl was squinting at me during my story telling ... i noticed right away ... it was entirely apparent that she could not see me! .... at the end of the storytime, a leader brought the girl glasses .... you left these on the bus .... she held them up to her face ... the glasses had no arms ... they'd broken off ....but at least she could see .... when she came to my classroom, she sat right next to me and was so charming and chatty and sweet .... i asked about her glasses ... they were old ... she broke them .... she couldn't get them fixed yet .... of course, i didn't ask why .... i looked at her glasses ..... and decided i would go insane if i had to hold my glasses to my head .... so ... i asked her if i could try and work on hers .... just an easy quick fix and two green pipe cleaners ... and i had a happy, smiling, pipecleanerglasses wearing girl... drawing caped, flying pickles by my side .... and very happy that i'd chosen green pipe cleaners .... much better than blue she said ...... 

well.... fast forward 48 hours .... and the same sweet child runs up to me ... wearing new glasses .... i have a pal at church who is an eye doctor .... and my new little bespectacled friend had been introduced to her ... and wahla (i know, voila) ... real glasses ... no pipe cleaner ....  i have never been so happy to be outdone ... i was thinking SO little ... oh, i'll maguyver it with a pipe cleaner .... but her shepherd had thought BIG .... i was blissfully happy for that sweet child ... and she was way happier than that even .... 

i maybe just taught them to draw turtle ice cream cones ... but my two friends, one by thinking and asking, and one by doing and giving .... had a huge impact on one child .... and really isn't it all about changing the world one small bit at a time .... 

this camp we are leading is volunteer intensive ... we needed lots to make it run well .... so i recruited my best pal, al ..... she's teaching another art class .... my children spend a lot of time in her classroom as helpers ... her kids spend a lot of time in my room as helpers ... funny how it works out that way ..... today, after camp .... al's family all came home with us ... and she and i snuck in some art time .... 
i finished these two tiny canvases ....the backgrounds were just sitting there waiting for me  ..... there's something soothing about falling into the art room ... and doing something sweet and familiar and happy ..... 
they are small ... six inches square ... i've done another tiny poppy like this in the last couple months .. but it sold at lola's gallery last month .... so clearly, i needed to make another ...or two .... 

one more day of camp ... and disco bananas and polka dotted zebras and giraffes on roller skates .... what have you been doing to stretch yourself?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

pickle super heros, turtled ice cream cones, and bananas that play the guitar













i've had a week of camp .... my church is hosting 80 children from the downtown area .... through the emmaus house .....













i am the story teller that starts the day out ... and then i'm leading a class ..... and the groups pass through my room all day .... 45 minute sessions .... 
 












i gave each kid a notebook ("do i get to keep it?") .... and have piles of crayons ....and black sharpies on the table .... i have one huge table so we are sitting around it family style .....about 15 at a time 













if you count all the kids and shepherds and helpers .... and me .....
 ... each day i've read the kids a story ... as a starter for what to draw ... 
and we let it go from there .... somehow we stalled out on pickles for quite a while ..... 













the prompt was : draw a pickle ....and then once everyone had a suitable pickle (it is amazing how many think they can't draw a pickle ... and 
nothing is easier than a pickle) .... once everyone has a pickle, you are meant to make it extraordinary ... and there was lots of extraordinary ......













some of the prompts were as simple as draw a square .... or a cloud .... or a circle .... 
it was fun to see how many different things a single prompt could produce ....













 in three days now, i have about 70 drawings  .... all as peculiar as these .... and two more days of disco pickles and banana bowling ..... 
 
which is your favorite?



Monday, July 14, 2008

is today bastille day? i think it is?

this week is fully artistic ... i am spending my days teaching a drawing/journaling class to inner city kids ..... my children are at the camp, seventh heaven, with me as helpers ..... i spent the day drawing ... i mostly was drawing exotic colorful chickens ... peculiar, i know ... but i read them the book the talking eggs by r. sansouci .... and in it there are pink and green and purple and orange and red and yellow chickens that don't cluck, they whistle like mocking birds ..... so that's what we drew ... well ... we drew more than that ... but i sure did a lot of chickens with five sessions ..... this afternoon, i had what felt like stolen moments in my studio .... and i worked on a piece that's been going on and on for ages .... blue, three foot square .. monopoly board .... and it is turning into a landscape ... i'm having some composition dilemmas .... trying to figure out how to make it what i have in my head ... but for now, it looks better in my head than it does in person ... so, i'll keep plodding along ..... 
so that's my day more or less .... art with 60 children ... and then art in the quiet solitude of my basement studio ... i'm really actually a total extrovert... and do better with people than by myself .... but this afternoon? by myself was really nice ...... and luckily my kids had had enough of me, and didn't come down and have studio time with me .... 

happy monday ... got anything groovy going for this week? 

Friday, July 11, 2008

big, big, big, big, big, big, big.....


well .... many of you, my faithful readers, have asked what on earth i plan to do with my monstrously huge canvas ..... 

the short answer: i have no idea! 

another short answer: something in one of the themes that i've already been exploring ... a nest or heartstrings or a life sized mona? 

but there's a long answer too .... here it goes .... 

kristy, the owner of lola's gallery, is doing the september show at the roswell cultural arts center ... they give her the space ... she shows something ... the kicker is, the space is huge ... and they only want humongo art there .... so she asked her artists that she is showcasing this year, who wants to do TWO el grande canvases for her ... i said yes ... i'll do two ...the minimum size she's asked for is four feet by six feet ... and that's the size i bought .... but ... do you know i like squares?  so, instead of buying two four foot by six foot canvases... i am considering doing one that is SIX feet square ... now, that won't fit in my car ... or even on my car ..... so i am considering doing a six foot square by piecing together four canvases that are three feet square .... now, how that giant line of demarcation between the canvases will effect my  composition, i'm not sure .... so ... i'm still messing with the idea ..... 

so ... let's just talk about one canvas...... in my mind, i am going to pick a color ...in my mind, it will be orange or turquoise ..... i will edge the whole canvas in dictionary pages....like a frame .... and glaze them (let's say) turquoise ..... and then i will paint all manner of other pages in a variety of turquoise shades .... and fill in the rest of the the canvas with varying shades of turquoise ....  then .... and then worry about the foreground, i guess .....the difference here is that USUALLY i put on papers and then paint the whole thing .... in some paintings though, i paint the pages first so that they are all in the color family ..... and then set them out and glue them down ....  look at these pear paintings .... 1, 2, or  .... or these nest paintings ....1, 2, or  3 ... in these two sets i painted papers prior to setting them out ..... so ... i love doing backgrounds .... and if i have to do 24 square feet of work (on just ONE piece!) then i'm going to do a really extraordinary background .... well.... i think! 

so here's the other think i'm thinking about in regards to humongotoid works .... after the show, where will it go?  i don't really have the sort of house that would easily fit a six foot canvas .... i have walls that it would fit on ....if i took other things down and rearranged furniture ... but who exactly is going to buy that huge a piece ..... so, i'm thinking about asking around .... to girlfriends who might want something huge and grand .... or might know someone who wants something huge and grand ..... and then i could kind of do it as a commission .... and sell it at a rock bottom price .... but then i wonder if that's too weird ...." tell me what you want me to paint based on the art work i've already done .... and give me a color preference .... and then if it doesn't sell for a bajillion dollars at the arts center show, then you can have it for a few dollars"  ...... i dunno ... writing it out makes me less sure that i'm gonna do that .... anyway .... i have concerns about what i'll do with TWO huge things ..... and wanted to preplan their good homes ..... tra la la .... if these are the problems i have, hooray for being an artist ... cause this isn't so bad at all .....

Thursday, July 10, 2008

here's something new ... lots of artsiness today!

yippy, zippy, hooray .... i worked on my artsiness today ..... (lest you think i'm not being summery enough, i played tennis this morning before the artsy part of the day started) ..... 

one of the things i did today was go to my favorite art store, binder's ..... and i bought something....... a 48 by 72 inch canvas .... that is big ....big .... BIG .....yoinks .... 
that's little e.beck.artist... she is tall for her age .... but sure looks dainty next to that .... bringing this monstrosity of a canvas home was a big deal... both girls shopped for it with me .... it was exciting to figure out what size to get ... who on earth buys a six foot square? how do they get it home? or to the gallery? ...my four by six feet barely fit in my mini van ....  but it did ... and it is home ... and, oh my goodness, it is a large dominating white mass in my studio ...... in this shot above, my studio that i always show you is off to the right of the pic .... this middle section has the kids' computer and that small table is for my overflow .....quick..... look at it again ... those three canvases, yellow orange and blue, that i did the other day? i finished the yellow one today ..... 
see? above is that yellow canvas i did earlier in the week ..... i had no notion of what to do for it ... but it was a nice yellow ocher on it .... and i thought a raw umber horizon line would be nice .... it's been a while since i proclaimed my true and long lasting love of raw umber .... raise your hand if you remember that ....anyone? .... raw umber is just the most useful glaze ever! ...... but ... that's not what we're about today... another day i will reproclaim my umber love and explain the how and why of such an odd choice for unfailing admiration.....so .... i did a horizon line ... and thought i'd do red flowers ... thinking red would pop on that background ..... so i shuffled through my red stash....see the red bingo pages i did the other day? rah, i put them away! ... this clipboard has all my red papers that i've painted with leftover paint on a palette when another project was done .... those two novel pages on the left are what looked best to me .... a deep red ... not too orange ....not too pink ...not too thick .... so i'd be able to paint over it to give it shading ......but still see the text .....and this picture is what i did to finish my background...give it some more texture ... some more visual interest .... make it look me! .... the bottom letters are raw umber in a heavy body acrylic .... the top letters are a raw umber glaze mixed with yellow ochre ..... so, really, i've used two colors on the canvas so far .... umber and ochre ..... but i've used it in a glaze, a fluid, and a heavy body ... 
ok... this picture above is where i tried on the red papers .... just to see what i could envision ... i didn't envision flowers .... i was going to do a vase ... some greens ... and bright popping red flowers .... but now ... i didn't see flowers when i tried on the red papers .... .... i saw pears .....

and they are done .... sitting in my family room .... i named this piece "red pair".....
it is the 70th piece that i have finished in 2008 .... cool, huh? 

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

just another happy day ..... or ... almost a potato themed post

all my art is cleared out of my house and still at lola's gallery for my show .... what's a girl to do when she is used to having her mantel filled with art? 
 
i had a tennis lesson this morning ... it was fabulous ... it made me happier than you can imagine .... i am happy to be strong and healthy ... today, for the first time ever, my serve looked fast and strong .... now i just need consistent ..... 

i talked with my boy.beck.artist about a book he is reading .... about setting goals, dealing with obstacles, persevering ..... i don't think he even knew how important the conversation was ... he was just telling me about a boy climbing a mountain ..... 

i did the in between time grocery shop .... i bought bananas, grapes, watermelon, mushrooms, asparagus, cantaloupe, roses, and chocolate covered pretzels at the grocery store .... ok ... i bought bacon bits too... but that doesn't fit with the rest of the list ..... but did make the kids happier to have baked potatoes with dinner .....

i bought roses because little.e.beck.artist asked me to .... "they're just six dollars ... you can afford that for ROSES, right?"  .... i let her pick the color .... 

i uploaded two photos to flickr .... this one... and this ......  

i'm still working on my yellowstone photos .... uploading is not fast ..... my plan is to make a photo book online while it is all fresh in my head ..... we'll see how that goes ... i'm not how long fresh lasts! 

and i didn't get around to any art .... but just wanted you to know that this artist is having a happy summer in between the art moments .....

what are your happy moments?

Monday, July 7, 2008

art again....

whatever day, a while ago, that i told you i was going to do lots of art? i did .... and then i never blogged it .... or even got my photos out of my camera .... why? you ask...... because i had been to yellowstone! you know, i told you about it ..... trip of the lifetime, yada, yada .... (does anyone say yada, yada anymore?) ..... anyhooooo ..... on that fabo trip, i took 550 photos on one memory card .... 250 on my other memory card (room for 300 more, clearly i wasn't trying hard enough) ..... 384 on boy.beck.artist's camera ..... 265 on girl.beck.artist (clearly she needs to be trained up on the true glory of the digital camera... she is underperforming) .... little.beck.artist took 27 on a disposable camera .... there was a waterproof camera for the white water rafting trip ... and i had to get it all out of the cameras, onto my 'puter, and i have it about half now uploaded to my shutterfotogalleryonline spot of choice ...... if i worked outside the home, i would clearly need a week off to deal with the post vacation tra la las that need to be accomplished ..... as it is, i'm on the slow and steady and i'll get there eventually path! ..... 

so .... all of THAT said .... i'm still working on my finishing touches of my travel journal ... PLEASE remind me to post about it one day .... i'll try to put that on my list of things to do! 

and ... i did have a FABULOUS fourth of july ..... i have never been THAT close to the fireworks before ...... we were RIGHT under them ...on the top of a parking deck (such a city girl i am, eh?)  ..... and then on the fifth we had friends over and did grilling and sparklers and more yippee fun ....  

but back to the art .....
here's the play by play ... i had to do a bit of a tidy (seems to be ALWAYS the case) to get to the table to have a spot to do some work .... i ambitiously set out four 18 by 18 canvases ..... i was also working on a BLUE 36 inch square .... that i think will have a monopoly board on it ... but i digress ... that, too, is another post! .... so the pic above is my table, one old cup, one fresh with diet coke cup (orange is fresh, red should have gone back to the kitchen pre-yellowstone...yes, i'm slovenly...and yes the orange cup is in a different spot in each of these photos) .....underneath the table you can get a peak of a letter stencil that was painty and put to dry there ... also ages ago ...... 

in this picture, you can see i've use my mat medium to put background papers onto all of the canvases .... i used maps, dictionary, novel pages mostly ..... with a few other bits of odds and end papers that were in my odds and ends paper bin .....as opposed to my map bin, my bingo bin, my novel bin ... or IN the dictionary ... my dictionary is binless .... (note to self: might should snap a pic of that pitiful, shadow of its former self, dictionary) .. the second one up, i've put a glaze on ... before i remembered that i was doing a photo thing ... documenting steps ... so ... that's a photo of me having forgotten i was documenting steps ... the two towards the top look fairly tan ... but they aren't .... i guess the flash didn't get to them to make them show true ..... 

and this pic above is a close up of one of the canvases, covered up in papers ... partly for texture, partly for visual interest ... and partly cause now it isn't a big white scary canvas glaring at me confrontationally...... instead, it is well under way and shouting, oh! i'm ready to go!

and here, i have glazed all four canvases... you can see the glazes taking up dish space ..... squishing that orange over towards the red ..... the close canvas, i did in quadrants .... and then a yellow a turquoise and an orange .....on the floor you can see some papers drying ... when i have extra paint, i hatehatehate to waste it .... so i paint papers .... on the floor there are a yellow, an orange and two greens ... there are more under the table too ..... i'll file these with like colors .... and at a later day when i need to make some green shoes or an orange house or a yellow flower, i'll grab one of those pages rather than painting fresh pages .....and actually, on the right edge of the pic, you can see a BIG yellow map ... from a couple weeks ago ... i made too much yellow or the wrong yellow or changed my mind about the color ... i don't recall ... but i needed to put all that yellow paint somewhere .... so now i have a yellow map for when i need one .... i guess the question is when will i need it .... i'll letcha know .....
well... good for me... you can see from this pic that i picked the freshly painted pages up off the floor .... they were dry .... i didn't file them .. but i put them on top of my filing spot... you can also see a big blue canvas that i did some work on  ...so then i propped all the canvases up to dry .... and worked on the quadranted one .... i painted bingo pages red ... you can see the end of the table where i was painting on a  garbage bag ... that way the pages don't stick to my table as they dry ..... i needed to paint red bingo pages because in my saved red papers i didn't have enough to do fairly big hearts .... four of them .... and actually i made way more than four ....and knew i would ... cause i had to try on different shapes and sizes to see which would be the best fit ..... 

.... and ... i have a similar painting to this already .... i did it at the beginning of the year .... you can see it here ..... it was my third painting in my current quest for 100 ..... yoinks! .... and it is sold .... so it seemed worth while to do another similar one .... so .... here it is ... the sixtyninth ... and i assume one of those others will be 70 .... or maybe it will be the blue monopoly that i'm thinking about ...... i'm not sure though .... 

i do hope, that for my next blog picture series, there won't be three cups on the table .... surely i'll get the dishes to the kitchen before then ..... or maybe, i'll be so busy painting .... and uploading photos that i just won't have time ..... stay tuned ..... 

Friday, July 4, 2008

JULY

happy fourth of july .... 
if you are one of my far away readers, this is the day that the USA celebrates its independence ....
for most of us, it is a day of holiday, get togethers, and fireworks .....

i have not worked in my studio for about two weeks .... with a long trip in the middle of that time span ..... but i plan to be there today .... mr.e.beck.artist is off work ..... he just whipped out the waffle iron to start our day ..... and my hardest decision this morning will be whether to go paint in my jammies..... or to change into some painty clothes .....

july is a great time to re evaluate new years resolutions .... decide whether or not to go foward with them if they aren't working ..... or figure out if the resolution was successful ..... my jan. 1 resolution was to create 100 canvases this year ..... so at july 1 i should have fifty done .... i amended my resolution to have 10 a month done ... so i could be done with my resolution by october ... to have plenty of time for christmas crafts in my art studio .... if you check here, at my flickr site, this set, called 100, documents my new year's resolution .... i am at 68 ..... ahead of things! ..... more than half way at this half way point .... and only two away from this month's 10 more (70 at the end of the 7th month) ... even though i've not painted a BIT this month .... nice to get ahead!! 

so ... what have i been doing? while not doing art? this week it's been about recovering from our vacation to yellowstone park ...... laundry and unpacking and finishing off my journals ... editing photos .... i even framed a picture and hung it already ...... and then the week has been about finding, re-finding, our summer routine ..... walking the dog, playing outside, having friends over, going to the pool ..... 

but, right now, at nearly 10 am ..... with a waffle in my tummy .... i hereby declare today an art day .... 

what are you doing today .....

on your marks, get set, GO

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

ladybirds

 
my best pal, al, has a new website .... 
it is super cute .... 
with lady birds all over .... 
go see!
 
....oh .... and read this page .... i like it a lot .....

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

yellowstone....

ok .... 
raise your hand if you have been to yellowstone .... 

no...haven't been? ok....take it from me ... you HAVE to go ...... it is the most astonishing place!

yes....wait! yes? you've been to yellowstone before? and you didn't tell me? why not? you should be telling everyone that they have to go .... soon .... now .... right away ..... it is SUCH an amazing spot ...unlike any other in the whole world, i'll be so bold to say! 
i am only part way through editing my photos .... i have one memory card with 550 pics .... 500 have been combed through, cropped, sharpened, brightened ..... fifty to go ....
another card has 220 ... loaded on my 'puter but not looked at with a discerning, deleting eye yet ..... 
girl.beck.artist has about 300 on her memory card ... i loaded them to my computer since i took a good many of them .... 
boy.beck.artist has about 400 on his memory card .... i'll get to them eventually ..... 
little.e.beck.artist used a 27 pic disposable camera...
i had a water proof camera with 27 pics ....for the white water rafting day .....
and i took a few pics with my iphone!!!

ah! photos in excess .... in 20 years they will be my proof, my reminder, my souvenirs of a most astonishing vacation ..... and thankfully the nine loads of laundry yesterday and the four so far today....will be selective memoried right on out of my life! ..... 

so .... what's the best vacation you ever went on? 
what's your best plan for this summer?