Pages

Monday, November 30, 2009

Seems a Bit Fishy to Me

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

So. It's the last day of November (Happy 47th Anniversary, Mom and Dad!)

Thanksgiving is over. I ate too much. Of everything.

NaNoWrimo ends at midnight. I wrote too little. Which I'll be writing about later.

Ahh. The irony.

After waking at 3 am yesterday, we drove many miles for many hours and arrived back in Arlington, where I've devoted my entire day to doing as little as possible. I did manage to clean a bathroom (50% success rate there...both needed cleaning), straighten the school room (although school consisted of a Mathtacular marathon and some, ahem, "home economics"), and send off my guest post to IndieFixx for the week (great website...please go and read all the posts, not just mine).

I also finished a painting I started last night. This is not it. This is one I did in Knoxville, while watching TV or something. I didn't have any of my regular art supplies out and I was just planning to play, but this dolphin popped out so I went with it. I used my boys' Crayola markers to color it in, then added the white gel pen scales over the top.

Then I fell in love with it and adopted it and named it Henry and wept over the fact that I used such fugitive colors. Actually, I don't know the lightfastness rating on Crayola markers. I should check into that. Maybe they'll be just fine.

Poor Henry.

And because every fish needs a school, I set to work making Henry some classmates, but they are better and fancier than Henry because I used artist grade supplies on them, but Henry doesn't mind. He's just happy to have company.

They'll be popping by all week, then flopping into the shop to get adopted by other fishy people.

I'll also resume my interviewing activities on Thursday, and Blind Contour Friday will be back on, hmm, Friday.

Now I have to go and snuggle up with my pint-sized pooch and take a little nap before supper. Gosh, I miss Daylight Savings Time...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Glow

Glow

Hello, internets.

I've missed you.

But...I'm very tired and road weary.

So I'm sending you a glowing bundle of love, and promising I'll be back tomorrow with new art to share, and stories to tell, and a shop update or three.

Until then...

peace.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Connections

Webbed

Visiting families.
Connecting with those we love the most, but see the least.
Sharing joys and sorrows.
Laughter and tears.
Cares and concerns.
Mingling together the best parts of each other.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Blind Contour Friday - Week 6


Welcome to Blind Contour Friday! I hope you all broke out your pens and paper and played along this week, or that you'll play sometime before next Friday. All you have to do is create your own blind contour drawing, post it on your blog and leave your name and a link to your post in the Mr. Linky there at the bottom of this post.

If you're having trouble thinking of something to draw, you can check this great list of ideas and just pick one. Relax, pick up your pen and S L O W down while you observe what you are drawing carefully.

Please make sure you link your post back here so we can spread the word and add more and more players. If you use Twitter or Facebook, feel free to post it there, as well!
***********************************************
Blind Contour Bottle

My new Liquitex ink bottle...for full disclosure purposes, I have to tell you that I went back and added in the text, "Liquitex" after I was done drawing.

***********************************************
Linda took this picture of me, blogging from McAllister's Deli...because I'm an internet-stealing, sandwich eating kind of girl...


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Etsy Excavations

Still digging up the goodies over at Etsy...

*************************************
I've been a fan and follower of Ann Thompson Nemcosky for a while now, and I never get tired of looking at her beautiful work. She may be the first artist that helped me to understand how colored pencils create paintings instead of drawings - the way she layers color is really magical. Go check out her shop - you won't be disappointed, I assure you!

What’s your story, Ann? What kind of journey led you to become an artist?

Well, that's kind of a long story. I'll try to summarize. I was always doing something creative while growing up, making clothes and designing houses for my dolls, doing crafts, that sort of thing. I went to the University of Cincinnati, where I got a BFA in painting. After getting my degree I worked for almost a year and then spent a summer in NYC. I took a painting class at the Art Student's League and lived in the West Side Y, which is just across from Lincoln Center. That summer in New York was one of the best things I ever did. From there I attended East Carolina University where I graduated with an MFA in 1986. I also met my husband there, another grad student in painting. There were a couple of moves and time spent working in advertising while still continuing to paint until we ended up in North Carolina. Once here, I again worked in advertising for a while and continued to work on my art. Then I began teaching part time which allowed me more time in the studio and I worked fairly consistently for a few years on my painting, including showing in a local gallery and in some regional and national shows. I pretty much stopped making art when our dream for having a family was finally realized. It wasn't until late in 2006 that I began to start creating again, after about 8 or so years of doing very very little art work. Although I did do lots of other creative things during that time. For example, I learned to needlepoint and cross stitch and created my own patterns for needlework. But by then I didn't have a studio space or long blocks of time to work on art. So when I did begin again, I started drawing with graphite. It was portable, and I could start and stop with short or long breaks in between working times without anything drying or changing the process. About this time I spotted an article about an artist that used colored pencil along with graphite and was intrigued with this concept. It seemed like a workable approach for getting color into my art work again. My husband gave me a set of colored pencils that year for Christmas and I started playing with them and researching colored pencil artists first through books that then led me to internet research. In my absence from the art world I had no idea how much it had been changed by the internet and was thrilled to find the endless variety of artists' blogs and online art communities like WetCanvas.


Tell us a little about your creative process – how do you decide which media to use, which subject to draw, and which size to work in? What are your largest sources of inspiration?

Once I began using colored pencil I was, and still am, inspired by the possibilities presented by this unique media. I don't think it has totally come into its own as a fine art media but that is slowly changing. It is a perfect media for me as I can incorporate my love for color with my fascination with drawing. I have found drawing with pencil to be a very meditative activity and totally unlike painting, which for me is very active, full of movement and quick decisions. When I am drawing I have slowed down and am completely present in the moment. I will also sometimes use pastels, but for me that is a more similar process to painting than drawing. Most recently I have been concentrating on colored pencil or graphite.

For my pencil drawings I am usually, and have been for a long time, even back to when I was painting, very intrigued with landscape as a subject. There is something about a sense of place and time that continues to fascinate me. Graphically I am interested in the edges in a landscape, where the various shapes and planes meet, like the trees at the edge of a field, and the interaction of shapes through color and light. And lately I have become more interested in the still life as subject. So more and more still life compositions have been showing up. Deciding what subject to draw next is usually a difficult decision for me in that there are so many ideas that I would like to explore I have trouble settling into just one for any period of time. This is something I have been trying to work through, as I would like to explore subjects as a series, or theme, to see how much I can get out of it. And for this reason I usually work fairly small. There are colored pencil artists that do create pieces of some considerable size, and they are amazing when you think of what was accomplished with a small pencil point. But by working smaller, I can explore so many more ideas than if I did just one large drawing.

I should probably also note that all of the imagery I use for my drawings is my own. My camera is actually an extension of my sketchbook and I am constantly taking notes with photographs. Because my drawings are such a slow process, using a photo reference is almost always necessary. And I make many descisions about my work by playing with my images in Photoshop, and many more as I translate my reference into a drawing.


I know you’re a homeschooler, like me – How do you balance the demands of educating your daughter with your own need to create?

You know that it's not easy. That is one of the reasons that I didn't really make any art for so many years. First it was just the demands of new motherhood, and I was teaching part time for a while, even after I began homeschooling my daughter. When that got too crazy to keep up with I stopped teaching and stayed home to give all of my attention to homeschooling. It wasn't an easy decision for us to give up one income but homeschooling was a priority because of our daughter's life threatening allergy to peanut. We live in the wilderness (not really) and the schools here didn't have a clue about food allergies. I wasn't about to let them figure it out with my little girl. But homeschooling has remained a priority. I consider it my first job and everything else is second. It can be very difficult to balance everything, especially when I also do free-lance graphic design work occasionally. Then it can get stressful and my art time vanishes for a bit. Finding time to create has become easier as my daughter has grown older. And I like that she sees me persuing my interests and challenging myself to learn new things. It's a good lesson for her. I also keep in mind that we waited a long time to become parents and children grow up way too fast. I want to enjoy my daughter's childhood while it lasts and not wish it away.

Your shop name is lovely – kind of nostalgic and peaceful, I think – how did you come up with it?

When my daughter was still very small, I opened an e-business selling Waldorf art supplies for children. As I was trying to come up with a name for the e-business, many of the names I wanted were already in use. There was already a website for a farm or something using Bluebird as a part of their name as well, but I was running out of ideas so out of desperation I just went with separate words, Blue Bird Hill. This was one of the things I tried to do to be able to bring in income from home. I taught myself how to set up a basic web site, and did okay with it for a few years, until gas prices went up and shipping got too expensive. So I closed up shop. But I kept the name, Blue Bird Hill, and started using it for my blog, and at Etsy. It seemed to fit there too.

Let’s end with a few favorites! (feel free to elaborate!)

Who is your favorite artist?

Just one? My first favorite was Georgia O'Keeffe. I enjoy John Constable's paintings, especially his sky studies. Jim Dine is a long time favorite of mine for his expressive drawings of common objects. And Wolf Kahn, for his use of color and shape. Of course, there is also the work of those artists who are closest to me, my husband's amazing art work (Gary Nemcosky) and my daughter's drawings and paintings that are so filled with wonder. She has the best intuitive sense of color and design that I could learn a lot just by watching her draw!

What’s your favorite thing to listen to while you create?

Usually I like the silence. Sometimes classical music. Or big band and swing.

What’s your favorite colored pencil color?

Faber Castell's Walnut Brown. It makes a wonderful grisaille. Caput Mortuum is a really nice color too. I probably go through Naples Yellow pencils than any other color though.

What is or favorite book and/or who is your favorite author?

Walden is my all-time favorite book. Right now my favorite author is Sarah-Kate Lynch.

************************************
Thanks Ann!

By the way - as next Thursday is Thanksgiving, Etsy Excavations will be taking the day off the dig into turkey and dressing instead. It will return the following Thursday!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mall Blogging

IMG

Yep.

Sitting in the food court. Blogging over Kung Pao Chicken.

My children love me.

Are you done, Mama? (although Derek has taken to calling me "Mother." Eww.) Can we go to the Disney Store? HOW MUCH LONGER?

Ahem.

I drew this egret from life. Or rather, death. Uhm. From taxidermy. I found the magical section of the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History that is dedicated to birds of the DC area. They're all stuffed and in poorly lit cabinets on the lowest floor, tucked behind the bathrooms in a hallway.

I'd say it's shameful, but it certainly doesn't draw much of a crowd, which makes it much easier to look at them, so I'm going to keep my mouth shut about that, people.

**************************************
Now - I'm off to see what hidden treasures lay within the hallowed halls of the West Town Mall - other than babies. Lord, at the babies. Joshua looked at me a minute ago and said, "Hey Mama, there sure are a lot of babies in here. They cry a lot. A LOT."

And you know what?

They do.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Hobnobbing

My house is infested with spiders.

One of them tried to build a web on a visiting friend. She'd been in the driveway for 5 minutes.

It's bad.

So - that means I have to cut my internet time short and run back home to meet the Orkin man before we all end up like Frodo, dangling from a web in HER cave...

Please tell me you've all read LOTR. There. I'm not even going to write the whole thing out. You know what I mean.

Anyway - I'm running behind, so I'm giving you a photo that Dr. SmartyPants made of the boys hobnobbing with some stellar luminaries over the weekend...I'll be back tomorrow with something of substance, I hope...

Hobnobbing

OH - by the way - please don't give up trying to comment - I'm limited in my ability to tweak the Disqus system right now, but I promise I'm going to make it better soon - if you can comment, please do, but if you can't, send me an email (diahnott AT gmail DOT com) or tweet me a comment @diahn (if you do that sort of thing...)

much love...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Shadow Shot Sunset

Shadow Shot Sunset

At the end of a long travel day...a Florida sunset on the wall of the hotel room.

For more spectacular shadows, visit Hey Harriet! and click on the links!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

What City is This, Anyway?

Oh, my people. We had a great trip, but I'm completely befuddled. I'm pretty sure I'm in Knoxville, because I don't have an internet connection at the place where I slept last night, and I had to make up my own bed.

Okay - that's not true.

Dr. SmartyPants made up the bed.

In the past six days, I've touched five cities and six airplanes and six cabs and well...you get the picture.

All I do know is that our family is back together and muddling through as best we can.

Now...on with the glamour shots...
*********************
Hotel Mirror Portrait. With iPhone

We got dressed and ready to go, and had to do a little portrait in the hotel room mirror...

Awesome Shoes.  Awesome.

And a shoe shot, because, oh my word, I love these shoes. Really. After my toes went numb, they were completely comfortable. I even got a pedicure JUST FOR THESE SHOES.

iPhone Selfie

Look! It's the dress WITH the shoes. I'm totally planning all my outfits around these shoes from now on.

R&D 100 Cocktail Reception

We did finally leave the room and someone else took our picture, although he didn't seem to understand that the shoes needed to be in the picture. But I forgive him.

Really. I do.

Because regardless of how much I loved my shoes, this is what it was really all about...

R&D 100 Awards

Look at my sweet man up there, holding the plaque.

My patent-holding, innovative idea-making, moving-and-shaking, at-home bed-making sweet man.

Congratulations, my love. No one ever deserved it more.

(And you look really hot in a tuxedo...)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Blind Contour Friday - Week 5

Welcome to Blind Contour Friday! I hope you all broke out your pens and paper and played along this week, or that you'll play sometime before next Friday. All you have to do is create your own blind contour drawing, post it on your blog and leave your name and a link to your post in the Mr. Linky there at the bottom of this post.

If you're having trouble thinking of something to draw, you can check this great list of ideas and just pick one. Relax, pick up your pen and S L O W down while you observe what you are drawing carefully.

Please make sure you link your post back here so we can spread the word and add more and more players. If you use Twitter or Facebook, feel free to post it there, as well!
******************************************

IMG_0002

I did this blind contour drawing whilst watching the BBC's mini-series version of Pride and Prejudice. I had paused the DVD to get up and stretch and find some chocolate or something to make it through (it is a 6 hour mini-series...) and when I sat back down, Miss Elizabeth Bennet was framed so lovely on my TV that I decided to make her my subject for a blind contour drawing.

She's really much lovelier in real life.

Her eyes are even approximately the same size and on the same level as each other.

Mr. Darcy was quite taken with her eyes.

I heart Colin Firth.

The end.
*****************************
By the time this is posted (I am writing it on Thursday morning), our big black-tie event will be over and we'll already be on an airplane, heading back to Knoxville.

via Atlanta.

Because every plane in the world goes through Atlanta.

Eww.

I'll try to snap a photo or two before we go to the award and upload it to Twitter or Facebook or both. If I don't, well...you'll just have to wait, then, won't you?

Much love, my peeps...




Thursday, November 12, 2009

Etsy Excavations

Still diggin' up the goodies over at Etsy...
******************************************
This week, we're heading north to talk with Jeanette Jobson, up in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada! Jeanatte's shop, IslanderNL, is full of oil and watercolor paintings, prints and even lovely and delicate jewelry.

Tell us about yourself. How did you get your start as an artist? What's your own personal art history?

Like many creative people, I started dabbling in art at an early age. It wasn't until I lived in the UK that I really got serious about it and started looking for training in art. Most of my training came from Tom Greenshields, who was an artist and sculptor living in Devon, in the southwest of England. Tom trained at the Slade School of Art in London and was a member of the Royal Academy. I met him through life classes at his farm and he sort of 'adopted' me. I think I spent more time at his studio or in his house than I did at home.

I lived and breathed every medium under his tutelage for about 5 years and that is where my love of drawing came from. I took in and participated in exhibitions, networked with some of the best artists and creative minds of that time and was fed a diet of art and classical technique. I was very lucky.

I took workshops with other artists to learn additioanal techniques in mediums or specializations whenever I could.

I continued off and on in portraits of people and animals, then set art aside to some degree while my children were growing. There never seemed to be a lot of time or space available to dedicate to art but when I moved back to Newfoundland, and the children were grown, I started in again in earnest.

You live in Newfoundland and Labrador, which, according to my Google Earth is not only really far north, but really remote. How long have you lived there? How has that environment shaped your artistic vision?

The world's best kept secret is Newfoundland. Its an island in the North Atlantic complete with its own time zone. Its rugged, ancient, pristine and beautiful. Its a perfect spot for artists to be inspired through all senses and with all elements.

I live on a small farm and with an affinity for animals, they provide their own inspiration. The environment has a unique edge with rocks and trees and water dominating. While I'm not a landscape artist by choice, I have explored the water

more since joining Watermarks, another blog of nine individuals around the world who draw or paint water and its many forms, including fish, animals and birds. The potential is endless in this environment.


I see that you have primarily watercolor and oil paintings in your shop. Do you prefer one over the other, and if so, why? Do you have another favorite medium?

I was locked into the grey shades of graphite for many years and it is still my comfort zone. I know how the medium performs and I can create the tiny details that I so love at times. Charcoal and coloured pencil are my staples that are in every day use in my sketchbook and for times when painting frustrates me,.

From a practical point of view, colour sells and often has more visual appeal. Watercolour and oils provide their own set of challenges and creating something beautiful with these mediums is very satisfying. Both have their own appeal and if I had to choose I don't know if I could. Each one is my favourite while I am using it.

Tell us about Gyotaku. How did you get interested in the art form? Is it smelly? ;)

Gyotaku is fish printing or rubbing. A fish is inked then covered with paper and manipulated, providing a perfect anatomical print.

It all started with my drawing of a fish eye. A friend suggested that I might be interested in gyotaku which is a Japanese fish print technique from the 1800s. I looked into the technique and experimented with some local fish then I was hooked.

I usually go one step further with my gyotaku prints and add watercolour washes to enhance them, still leaving the original print visible. And now I have taught my first gyotaku workshop with some enthusiastic beginners, so I hope to see more of it locally.

There is a 'smell of the sea' when using fish to print with, depending on their freshness. I usually get about three days out of a fish before it heads to the compost. The smell, if any, dissapates quickly from the paper that you use to print on and I have never found it to be overwhelming at any stage of the process.


I like to end the interview with a list of favorites:

Who is your favorite artist?

From the past, Lord Frederick Leighton. This Victorian painter created masterpieces of detail and story in oils. His portraits are exquisite.

What is your favorite thing to listen to while you paint?

When I draw I can't listen to anything, it becomes too distracting. While I paint, especially larger impressionistic works, I listen to a variety of music. Currently its Emile Benoit, a Newfoundland fiddler, now dead; but with a unique voice and 'joie de vivre'. Nigel Kennedy's version of The Four Seasons by Vivaldi is a constant.

What is your favorite fish?

Capelin. They are perfect little fish that come to spawn on the beaches of Newfoundland each summer. Silvery with lovely irridescence, they make good eating, printing and painting. And tourists love them as a souvenir of the province.

What is your favorite book and/or author?

Very difficult to say as I have such a broad range that I dip into for both pleasure and for art reference. Robert Hughes, The Fatal Shore is memorable, about the colonization of Australia. Mike Sibley, From Line to Life, is well thumbed in my studio for inspiration and reference.

****************************
Thank you Jeanette! I really enjoyed this - it's so much fun to learn about how other artists work!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My Readers are the Prettiest

Thank you all for your sweet words and sympathies. I appreciate them more than you can ever know. The reality of losing our sweet Oscar hasn't fully sunk in yet, I think.

It's likely because two hours after we had make that awful decision, we got on a plane and left town, so we haven't had to live in our house without him. I have a feeling it will hit us hard on Friday.

IMG_0448

My parents are with the boys, which has been just the medicine they needed. Papa Ray is full of surprises and silliness and distractions, while Nana has lots of hugs and encouragement to give out. Plus...she's an awesome substitute teacher. (thanks mom)

If we were at home, we'd probably all be crying our eyes out and eating ice cream right out of the carton...Instead, Dr. SmartyPants and I are on the second leg of our journey, in Orlando. The big black-tie event is tomorrow night.

I'll be sure to post photos of us all in our finery as soon as we get all prettied up...

Much love...

Monday, November 09, 2009

Unspeakable

Oscar

This, my boy, is how I'll always remember you.

Hale and hearty
Romping through surf
Chasing your shadow and your boys
Snapping at crabs on the sand

My heart is breaking at the thought of never seeing your sweet, smiling face again.

Of all the dogs
In all the world
You were the very best one.

Oscar
5/31/2000-11/9/2009

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Shadow Shot Sidewalk

While I'm technically posting this on Saturday, it is Sunday in Australia, where the project originates, and therefore it is still a Shadow Shot Sunday post...

Shadow Shot Sidewalk

The boys and I are heading south tomorrow, so I had to go ahead and get this posted. We will be traveling the entire month of November, it seems (I keep writing that as "Novembeer." I wonder if I'm trying to send a subliminal message to myself...)

Anyhow - Dr. SmartyPants and I are off for a few days of alone time - first we've had since...uhm...well...summer of 2008? Something like that. We'll be making our way to Orlando for his big black tie banquet award smarty pants thing there, which means I'll be setting aside my usual yoga pants, t-shirt and bare feet for an evening gown and (freakin awesome) high heels. I'll be sure to document the occasion with an overabundance of photographs.

Because that just doesn't happen every day.

We'll hang in Knoxville the next week, then we'll be off to Alabama for all the Thanksgiving festivities. I cannot even believe that it is time to write that sentence.

Thanksgiving, people.

That's just around the corner from Christmas.

Dang.

A Snippet of Time

Homeschooling is Messy

We try to keep it clean - really we do.

We just aren't any good at it.

But we still learn a lot.

And that's what really counts...

Right?

*whimper*

Friday, November 06, 2009

Blind Contour Friday - Week 4

Welcome to Blind Contour Friday! I hope you all broke out your pens and paper and played along this week, or that you'll play sometime before next Friday. All you have to do is create your own blind contour drawing, post it on your blog and leave your name and a link to your post in the Mr. Linky there at the bottom of this post.

If you're having trouble thinking of something to draw, you can check this great list of ideas and just pick one. Relax, pick up your pen and S L O W down while you observe what you are drawing carefully.

Please make sure you link your post back here so we can spread the word and add more and more players. If you use Twitter or Facebook, feel free to post it there, as well!
*************************

Blind Contour "Snapper"

Obviously, I still haven't cleaned the scanner...

This is a blind contour drawing of my youngest son's stuffed dog, Snapper. WOW, those soft edges are difficult to follow. I seemed to do much better when I tried to follow individual hairs on the right side.
*************************************
In other news - reviews are mixed regarding this commenting system - I'm going to try to see if I can make it easier, but if I can't, I'll be going back to the plain old Blogger comments. I appreciate all your help in reviewing it for me.

The main thing that is bothering me about it right now, is that it isn't immediately evident that you can use it without registering for Disqus, and that you can use your Google ID to sign in so that there is a link to your blog (you should be able to do that via the Open ID option.)

I'm going to give another day or two, but if I can't resolve those issues, I'm axing it...
**************************************************
Have a great weekend, peeps!





Thursday, November 05, 2009

Etsy Excavations

Still digging up some artists for you over at Etsy...I hope you're all enjoying this series. I know I am!
********************************
Today, we're talking with Candace Squire, wanderer turned artist, currently living in Austin, Texas. Candace paints hauntingly simple and serene landscapes in oils and watercolors. She sells her work at her Etsy shop, shanti shanty.

Tell us a little about your story - how did you get started painting?
i started painting (like most) when i was a very little girl. i like to dream that i've been a painter in former lives, for me this is a good explanation of why i have always found the smell of the art rooms so intoxicating. i was very fortunate to have had an incredible art teacher in high school. he was a professional watercolorist and an inspiration. my life has taken many twists and turns as an adult, and none of them have involved art school, so the instruction i received from him is just that much more valuable to me.

What's the story behind your shop name?

"shanti" is a sanskrit word meaning peace. i am an enthusiastic yogini and i chose this word as a focus for my shop to remind myself of what i am seeking through my art. i believe these small creations, filled with love and color and dreams and wonder, are a piece of my own puzzle to come to a place of peace in my life.

What is your creative process like?
i have a sketchbook that goes everywhere with me. i try to scribble in it at least once a day even if it is only for a few minutes during a fresh air break at work. my watercolors are always set up at the dining room table for easy access. when i have the time to paint with oils, i turn up the music on the record player as loud as i think the neighbors will tolerate, and dance around my workspace palette knife in hand. somehow some of the paint makes it to the canvas. the whole ritual of it, getting my whole body into it, helps me relax and nudge the perfectionist in me to the side.

Where do you get your inspiration?

places i've been, in real life or in dreams. i am always seeking to bring the lands in my dreams to life on canvas. i also have a fascination with trees. i admire their strength and stillness. their quiet lives. i have favorites, best tree friends, that i paint and draw and meditate on often. my family is also a well of inspiration for me in so many ways.


You have oils and watercolors in your Etsy shop - do you prefer one over the other, and if so, why?

i go through phases...the watercolors offer me instant gratification. since my studio space is also the guest bedroom (and also the storage room for all of my partner's music equipment) it requires more preparation to set up the space for my oil paints, so i will paint furiously with oils for several weeks and then put everything up to dry for a couple months and so on. oil paints are very special for me. and there is no substitute.

Have you dabbled in other media?

oh YES! one of my favorite mediums is clay. especially wheel throwing. i love everything about it and hope to soon be able to afford to rent some space in a pottery studio. i also am in the middle of about a hundred craft projects ranging from knit socks to origami lanterns.


I love your painting, Landlines, for its simplicity and quiet energy - which of your own paintings is your favorite, and what do you think it says about you?

hmm...i think right now it is dreamscape: the color palette is just right for me at the moment and it is one that just flowed out of me it seems. i am constantly struggling against my desire for everything i make to be "perfect" and every moment i am creating without that looming over me is a small victory. i paint to free myself.
I like to end the interview with a list of your favorites:

Who is your favorite artist?

there are so many...but at the top is vincent van gogh. my dream is to go to his museum in amsterdam one day. there is a short film by the director akira kurosawa called "crows" in which he meets vincent van gogh in the fields and then proceeds to walk through some of his paintings. i turn it on when i need some inspiration. it's a brilliant film.

What is your favorite thing to listen to while you paint?

always something dreamy and psychedelic. usually cocorosie, os mutantes, portishead, joanna newsom, radiohead...or the classics: the kinks, beatles, queen, david bowie, willie nelson. i have a broad taste in music and always need something energetic. otherwise i tend to just sit back and watch my paintings rather than actually paint them. my partner is a musician, and when he and his guitar keep me company i am happiest.

What is your favorite paint color...the one you seem to grab every time?

i love all shades of blue and green. there is always one of each on my palette.

What is your favorite book and/or author?

if i pick one it has to be poet rainer maria rilke. he's rescued me in some hard times and always inspires me. but also anaïs nin, raymond carver, rumi...

*******************************

Thanks Candace!



Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Comments?

I'm trying out a new commenting platform, and would love your feedback on it...

You should be able to leave a comment using your blogger, facebook or twitter id. I'm trying it mainly because I like the idea of threaded comments, and blogger doesn't have those...

Is it a pain in the arse?

Does it work just fine?

Comment, and let me know!

****EDIT: Let me know in the comment section if you are able to comment by using your facebook or twitter id, or blogger/OpenID without registering with Disqus...if you CAN'T and don't want to register with Disqus, please send me an email, instead, and let me know that...I'm still trying to find out if this is easier or harder...there are other options, too - THANKS!!*****

It's very possible that this is just another way to procrastinate...it is November, after all...

True Love

Oh, look! Shiny green boots!


Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Bokeh, Baby...

Pine and Bokeh

I've become crazily enamored with bokeh, lately - I love trying to see just how sharp I can get the foreground, while pushing the effect in the background - this photo really shows it off, I think, with the sharp pine needles in the foreground juxtaposed against the yellow leaves behind it.

I'd love to have some deep, philosophical comparison to go along with it, but I'd just be trying too hard, and I'm feeling decidedly lazy lately. I think it's the time-change. I wanted to go to bed an hour ago.

So - hey - I know - why don't all you lovely readers leave me some cool comments about what bokeh says to you. I know there's something deep there...some completely Zen thing that is embedded in the photo.

I need me some Zen, people.


Monday, November 02, 2009

NaNoWhat?

Strange

It's November 2. Have you started writing yet?

I have. But it's not what I expected, and it's kind of freaking me out.

And that's all I'm going to say about it.

Dang.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Shadow Shot Subway

IMG_0340

Holy smokes, I love this iPhone app...

For more spectacular shadow shots, visit HeyHarriet! and click on the links!