Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Moon Never Bores Me

I do hope my (seeming) obsession with photographing the moon does not bore you... I can't help myself. Before you say anything, I do realize that this photo is ridiculously noisy/grainy. Setting my ISO to 1600 seemed like the right thing to do given the darkness and I was too lazy to get out the tripod. I will keep experimenting with that. Noise aside, I thought it was lovely!

In other news, it has been an interesting week. The weather appears to finally be giving us a break; temps are dropping slightly. Not a moment too soon for my electricity bill either! With the change in the weather I am happy to see an improvement in my energy level and mood. Summer in Phoenix can suck the life right out of you!

Page 1 - Pie in the Sky?
I have started working on my sketchbook for the 2012 Sketchbook Project. My theme is "I Remember You." I will illustrate memories of people and experiences that have made a lasting impression on my life. This year I will complete the book. I think I have a better handle on budgeting my time...(we shall see). Here is a sneak peek of my first page (click to enlarge). One of the few things that can cause me to stop & ponder is a beautiful sky full of clouds so I figured what more appropriate subject for the opening page. I have also decided to start working through  The Artists Way again, if only for the sake of completing it. I have a small problem with finishing things that I start, can you relate?

Last night while trying to avoid working on my drawing (it takes a lot of energy) I was scanning through a few of the blogs that I follow and came across this article that centered around the idea of making changes in your life by changing your focus, "focusing on the No to become clear on the Yes, defining the Yes to clarify the No." Although I am not a follower of Zen philosophy, I do try to be open minded. There were some very interesting concepts, you can read that here.

Time to have a rare (these days) early evening cup of coffee and walk the dog, I need to relax, it has been a stressful day!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Image Transfer/Tip Jar Thursdays

I just came across this Facebook post from Arthouse Coop. It is an installment from their blog called "Tip Jar Thursday." This weeks feature is on image transfer; a technique which I will be including in my 2012 Sketchbook for The Sketchbook Project. Hope this information is useful to you. I know I needed a refresher on the finer points. After reading the post, it is all coming back to me. Needless to say, I had a flashback to Mrs. Yen's Intermediate Art class way back in 1975. Whooh.... You can check out a few pages from my 2011 Sketchbook and some random portfolio pieces here. I am just getting started on the 2012 Sketchbook but I will be uploading to this site as I get pages done. Maybe you should sign up for this project too, come on, whaddayasay???

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Closed out the Sabbath today up on the roof watching the wind blow the magnificent clouds around in the sky. The beauty of creation is really all around us if we take the time to see it. Thank you to the Honduras crew for a wonderful program today at Camelback Church. I haven’t been that inspired in some time. It thrills my soul to see the changes that are going on at Camelback and I am grateful to those who had the vision to start turning us in a new direction.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Best Dad I Know

 Is, of course, my husband. He was 35 when we got married and I think he assumed that fatherhood had passed him by. Which is why, I believe, that he embraced it so strongly when our daughter was born. Now my husband is not a conventional man. He was not all that concerned about our child learning table manners or getting straight A's in school. Mind you, he knows those things are important. He just figured that I would take care of that.
   Oh no, from the beginning his department was FUN. Dad in charge of making sure all the kids who ever came to our house had a story to tell when they left. We had go-karts and a trampoline. We had a zip-line and lots of animals. People still talk about the time he brought the 13 ft. Python to vacation Bible School.

Sometimes he worries that they don't have much in common any more. After all, she is twenty three now and off doing her own thing most of the time. I'm not worried though, once a Daddy's girl, always a Daddy's girl. She'll be back.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Crazy for Mosaics

You may remember our Dream House Project. Well, Miss Leo has been residing there now for about six months and for the most part the inside is finished. There are some small touches that still need to be attended to, in due time. One of these days I will get those photos posted...

One of the outside projects we are working on is an archway that will have a customized wrought iron security door. Inside the archway we are going to cover the walls with mosaics that will hopefully tie together into a cohesive design. This will be my first attempt at mosaic so we'll have to see how it goes. Here is what I've got so far.


Super Moon

 I am a bit behind on posting, as if you couldn't tell. I could try and come up with some really creative excuses or I could just get on with my life...

The night that the moon was was supposed to be a super "perigee moon"--the biggest in almost 20 years I decided to take the tripod out and get some shots. It was awesome! The clouds were moving rapidly and just watching it was interesting.. Living in the middle of the city where we can barely see the stars, I forget about the wonders of the night sky.

A New Perspective

It has been a strange few weeks. My husband turned 60 on the 12th of March and that was the beginning. It kind of freaks me out to think that I am married to a sixty year old man (after all, in my head I’m still twenty five). Not to mention how much it is freaking him out to realize his age. Several days later I had a birthday, which was really no big deal (it was not a “milestone” and I’m in my early fifties).

But still, it was another year…

My brother in Seattle called to wish me “Happy Birthday” and I quickly sensed that something was not right with him. This brother has several challenging issues in his life that have been wearing heavily on him for the last few years and I could now hear that in his voice. I tried to be encouraging. What else could I do? I seriously considered getting on a plane.

The next day I was sitting at a light waiting to turn left. As I was glancing around, I noticed a guy walking on the opposite side of the street. I had to do a double take, it was my other brother. Ordinarily that wouldn’t be so weird except that I haven’t seen this brother in over ten years. I didn’t know what to do. A decent person would stop, right? Suffice to say that I must not be that person, because I didn’t stop. The thing is, I didn’t know what I would say to him, there is a lot of negative history between us.

On Monday of the next week I got an email announcement at work that one of our employees had passed away. Sadly, this young woman left behind a husband & three children. It was shocking to me that this woman had worked one floor below me for several years and I didn’t even know who she was. It got me thinking about life & death and what we do in between. How was I spending my time? Did my family know how much I loved them? What about those brothers? What to do…

The next two days came, two more emails, two more deaths. The last one was especially upsetting. The person who died was the husband of another co-worker. This co-worker is one of those rare people who seem to give 110% all the time. She is eternally cheerful, excessively helpful, hard working and sweet natured. And yet, when I see her number on my caller ID, I groan. Maybe it’s because her attention to detail is almost obsessive, maybe it’s because secretly I’m suspicious of people who bend over backwards to please others or MAYBE it’s because all of those great qualities that she exudes reflect back to me all of my worst traits – cynicism, critical nature, selfishness. Quite simply, I have not been nearly as kind to this woman as I should have been. Now she has been dealt a terrible tragedy. I felt ashamed. Again, I thought about life & death and what we do in between and I was grateful to believe I still have a conscience.

I see now that every day we are tested. Every day there is another challenge, another blessing, perhaps another disappointment. If I am lucky and paying attention, I will have the opportunity to think before I speak or act, before I say or do something that will have a negative effect on another person.

Somebody told me a long time ago that I can start my day over at any time. Some days I start over three or four times. Thank goodness today wasn’t one of those days.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Hello Springtime....

Okay, maybe not quite yet, but this drawing does make me think of spring!

I needed a cheery diversion full of bright colors and happy images after spending several months thinking about the negative effects of smoking. While working on my sketchbook for the Sketchbook Project I really thought deeply about the profound impact cigarettes have had in my life, mostly in the taking of loved ones by cancer and heart disease. Did I mention that I hate cigarettes....

Anyway, I will be back on the "Coffee Break" drawing series soon, posting for your critique. Thanks for stopping by!

In My Garden #1

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Rat Bike Lives

My family is very creative. My husbands favorite art form is motorcycle building. Just this week he finished building his 1936 HD Knucklehead and he is very happy about it. See it here, at the Love Cycles blog.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Big Horizon

After spending the last two months consumed with The Sketchbook Project, my brain needed a rest. So, after sending my book off to New York last Tuesday I took the rest of the week off from creative endeavors. I am now ready to kick off the new year! I am starting a series of drawings that will be an extension of the topic "Coffee & Cigarettes." Look for those to be posted as they are completed.

"You Light Up My Life", Sketchbook Project 2011