Saturday, January 30, 2010

On the Job Front

Wow! What a crazy few days at work! Crazy busy, crazy good. The photo I posted on January 5 of dash plaques I'd layed out on a mat board had to be re-done. The shape wasn't proportionate to the page it would be printed on. So, after the boss set up a 'field of green' paper for the background, I re-did the dash plaques, removing each one of them and starting over. One by one by one... This photo was needed for the publishing meetings this week. (Replete with group lunches of great sandwiches and homemade soups from my crockpot.)

I was happy with the finished layout. More importantly, the publishing team was happy with it. My boss made a prototype vault case for the book --- and a photo of 'my' dash plaques will be on the back of the case. It will also be on some pages in the book. There may even be a jigsaw puzzle made of it. (Funny that I used those very words in describing the layout on January 5.) Color me excited!

Today I worked with the team on the book itself, making inclusions for some pages. I definitely feel a part of this publication and can hardly wait to see it published this summer. Whoo woo! There was talk today of a launch party. Fun!

More fun - I asked for press credentials for the Derby. Have been told it 'could be arranged.'

I love my job!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Life Drawing - John

Last night's Life Drawing class began with several gestural drawings of 20 second poses. John, the model, was long and lean in physique with long red hair which he put up in a pony tail after the first several 20 second renderings. I found the longer body a bit easier to draw than last week's petite Caroline, though she was an excellent model too. These first two drawings of John were shadows only. They are not complete drawings, but only drawings of the contouring shadows on him. I think my first, partly due to the pose, was the more successful of the two. In the first one, though, you'll notice the left shoulder has an added shoulder off to the left...this is from a previous drawing and isn't a part of this one. The line for the left buttock I think was the instructor's pencil line to determine where it should was bathed in light from my vantage point, therefore not to be drawn. It was interesting to see everyone's final drawings of 'shadow only'. Some obeyed, some did not, but all were fine work. It was difficult, but a worthwhile exercise.

Hmmm. I thought this (below) was my best drawing, but now that I see it from this vantage point I can see all the flaws...not the least of which is John's small feet (not in real life, folks!), the oddly configured spade, and his less than accurate right calf. This was the end of the night, a 25 minute pose. Late in the session the instructor discussed proportion with me and suggested some changes. The torso was elongated and the legs were too short. He was not deformed, my drawing is. Why did I like it last night? I was very tired! My excuse for you tonight is that due to these changes, I didn't get everything corrected? Side note...John jokingly said he always does his farming in the nude.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Abstracted Dressing

My latest digital collage is a bit different for me. I may be the only one who likes it. : )

Here's an early stage of the piece. Doesn't look much like it ended up, does it?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Last of Christmas; First of Life Drawing Class

Clearing up some last Christmas is Max silhouetted against his first snow.

He loved the snow and wanted to play in it every minute! And he sleeps so well after playing outside!

Another view of Christmas.

I'll bet my neighbors will be glad when Steve takes this mess down!
He promised he will on Thursday, when we'll have warmer temps.

This is a snowy night view of the
Louisville Water Tower
on the Ohio River.
This is the setting for my life drawing classes. (Inside, thankfully!)

There must be fifteen to twenty students in my class.
Most of them are MUCH better than me. There are many professional artists in the group, many with MFAs, and a few who are just trying to get better at what they love to do.

Yikes! I have a LOT to learn. Fellow students a) had fantastic work, and b) were very encouraging. Proportion and learning to draw what I really see instead of what I think I see are the main issues here. These were very quick drawings (but that doesn't excuse my giving the poor girl a pinhead.) We began with 20 second gestural drawings...yes - 20 seconds! I was terrible at those. We progressed to 5 minutes. I think these may be in that range.

Just when I thought I had learned
...I opened up this snapshot of my final project
from last night and the first thing I see is how tiny I've made her foot.
I had a hard time drawing this petite woman. She was an excellent model, but drawing from life was a brand new experience for me. I am learning to see. She held this last pose of the night for a full thirty minutes.

Speaking of nudity - what? Here is a naked tree on my path to work this morning, its bare branches raised up to the blue sky. I don't think I could draw this guy very well either.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Lights in the Snow

I'd been wanting our Christmas lights taken down and stored away for another year, but today I was glad to be met by them when I got home. In the four inches we got today, the lights glowed so prettily. The lights will remain up a while longer. Temps are going to be sub zero this weekend.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Project Progress and Leftovers from 2009

The photo below represents a lot of work! This project (for work) began months first big assignment at Automobile Quarterly. I called so many wonderful people and persuaded them to send me their collectible plaques to be used in a montage as background pages in a very special 75th anniversary vault book for the Antique Automobile Club of America. Alas, I set them up as 'bleeding' to the edges instead of leaving a margin - I may have to re-do this tomorrow. No matter - the hardest part is done...until time to reorganize and mail the plaques back to the proper owners. Can anyone say 'jigsaw puzzle'?

Catching up on some 2009 activities I don't think I shared. Here are two photos from the extremely cool Children's Museum in Indianapolis. The dinosaur exhibit is primo! I believe these are life size. (I know they are humongous and much bigger than my life size.) The coolest part is that inside the building you could see the rest of the creature's bodies. So much fun! I know my kids would have loved this when they were young.

Actually, I think the photo below is from 2008. It was taken at night and was too dark to use, but I loved the idea of it and worked on it with Photoshop tonight. Not perfect, but it's readable now. I believe the building has been demolished. All the old department store windows may have been destroyed. I have dark photos of most of them and hope to make them usable for my artwork. Victoria Secret, anyone?

Just after Christmas we went to a holiday store. I bought nothing, but snapped this photo of a lifesized Old World Santa. Just because I like him, I am sharing him. Hmmm - he may be my 2010 Christmas card.

Here's my newest little piece. I made multiples I had so much fun with it. I haven't done collage in ages, though it's a favorite medium.

Calligraphy. A few end-of-year envelopes. I'm loving lettering again and want to do more! (I have just accepted a small volunteer job for a former student who works with the needy. A 'positive message' sign to hang in her office.)

My 2009 birthday card exchange offering. Different sizes and colors, but most were basically like this one.

Life at work and at home is getting busier. I have a wedding job coming right up, want to take a life drawing class beginning this month, will join some friends for a monthly greeting card class (also beginning this month), and have signed up for an out of town spring watercolor workshop. In addition I have to quickly determine if I can attend a week-long calligraphy retreat in September that I've been honored to be invited to, whether I'll attend Odyssey, the annual calligraphy conference and hardest of all - figure how I'll have enough vacation time to do everything I want to do - including entertain a friend from Argentina in the spring and visit him in the fall. Whew! At work, I've been assigned a few new projects. I'm digging in, working hard and enjoying every day. I'm also wondering about cloning.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Making lemonade

Mapquest sent me on a detour of gigantic proportion today when I searched for an out of town estate sale. I made it - an hour late - but took a photo of a cool looking old gingerbreaded house on the detour. Love the way the stars shadowed onto the old frame house. Had I not been in my car in the middle of the road I might have taken another photo with the sweet old dog guarding the front door. If the shadows were the same it would have been a better photo. I like these anyway.

Didn't buy anything at the estate sale, but bought a 'shabby chic' handmade blanket chest (complete with interior removable tray) at my favorite resale shop on my way home. It's Max-proof. I won't have to kill him if he harms it...which the almost pony Mr. Claws is sure to do. I'd been wanting a chest downstairs in front of the sofa to use as coffee table/footstool, but didn't want to have anything too precious to enjoy. I'm going to like this old piece. I'll clean it up a little and - store blankets in it!

Friday, January 01, 2010

Creative Matrix - I'm back!

Creative Matrix is an online group for digital artists that I've belonged to for several years. However, for the past two or three years I've been a lurker due to heavy demands on my time by my previous employer. (My time was never my own.) Now that I'm in a new job with a wonderful employer who is respectful of my personal time, I have jumped back into this great group with both feet. I created three digital collages today - a great way to start a new decade. Two of them have been entered with Creative Matrix, all three are entered here. (The third one doesn't yet qualify for CM because it only uses one of their images. I may do more with it. A minimum of two of the proffered images must be used to create a 'weave' or a digital collage.) It feels good to be creative again. (I've already finished all 12 of my birthday card exchange cards too. Waaaay ahead of schedule. Yay for me!)

Fanciful old truck.

Through a lace curtain.


2010 - Welcome, Brand New Year, Brand New Decade

We had plenty of reason to celebrate 2010 and gleefully say, "Goodbye, 2009". Crises in abundance. We want only to forget the bad and look to the good of a brand new year. How best to do that? We did it by partying with good friends. So much fun. Oh my gosh! It's a new year all right. And here I start it posting more pix than I ever have before. Enjoy the party!

Aleks and Rob - here's to 2010!

Rob and Zeljko cut a rug.

Laura and Jan - Laura took the photo!


Le Croupier. It was fun playing roulette - learning how to play it with play money. Here Steve takes on a role he'd love to have in real life.

Laura, Aleks and Josh at the roulette wheel. Fun!

Laura and Josh give karaoke a try.

Brian, Laura and Diane search for the perfect song.

La Multiani! (Happy New Year - Romanian style.) Diane, Josh and Nicole.

Diane and Brian singing.


Josh and Nicole play nice.

Aleks and Rob - - playing tackle ping pong?

Zeljko, Aleks and Nicole. (Dad, daughter and friend.)

Isaac pretending to be far out of it.

Aleks and Mirjana - daughter and mother.

The throng waits for the midnight hour.

Mark and Diane.

Contraband! Romanian plum wine (AKA Rakia) in camouflage. POTENT!

Rob tooting his own horn. (Who else's?)

Steve tooting his.

Here's Laura preparing to give 2009 the boot. (2009's tension and stress-caused pain in her neck kept her from wearing boots, actually. Thanks to the chiropractor for a good session that morning allowing her to be on her feet a bit.)

Brian and Carrie - here's one for Diane.

In the last minute of the old decade hosts Rob and Laura prepare to cheer the new year.

After the ball dropped. Confetti everywhere.

First kiss of the new year? Rob and Josh. Tell me it isn't so!

We even had fireworks, compliments of Brian, Diane's son here from Colorado with his wife.