Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Look Closely

My Friend, Honor, Magnifying the World

Looking through a magnifying glass at leaves, letters, skin, etc. is a great way to see wonderful designs that inspire new creations.

Side note:
Magnified bugs look positively Science Fiction.

; )

Monday, July 30, 2012

Friends for Life

With My Niece, Sarah
Sarah is my niece. And, since she was a little girl, she's been one of my best friends.

When she was 4, I moved to New York City. Back then we spent hours on the phone planning parties...talking in great detail about every kind of food and drink we would serve, how we would decorate, and who we would invite.

Over the years, long conversations expanded into life, politics, religion, crafts, school, boys, clothes, and food - all the biggies. We may not always agree, however, we are always respectful of the other's opinions - keeping humor a part of every conversation.

Just like it was and is with my parents and siblings.

Years ago, I worried that I would miss Sarah being a little girl. However, I have found that I love each phase of her life as much as I loved the last.

That's how it is with life long friends. We may not always want them to change, still, we love the core of the person and we embrace who they become...and find we love them more.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Paintings of the Day

Paintings for Sarah

My niece, Sarah, requested some paintings for her new, and very first, apartment.

So, today, we painted on 3 x 3 -inch canvases.

This is the set I created for her.

It was fun painting beside Sarah...creating, laughing, talking, taking breaks for snacks, meals, and a bit of shopping.

My kind of day!

What's your kind?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Book Spine Poetry

My niece, Sarah, showed me this book spine poetry photo.

I thought, "How cool!"

So, I looked up Book Spine Poetry on the Internet. It turns out that it's been around for years. I'm just a bit out of the loop.

Still, if there's someone else out there who hasn't seen these...here you go.

What a great way to write a poem...and to get kids into the act of writing.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

What Art Inspires You?

Selection of Hanging Sculpture by Emery Blagdon

When I saw this hanging sculpture by Emery Blagdon at the New Museum, I was completely blown away.

I love wire and all the ways it can go together.

This piece triggered my imagination. I just wanted to stand and get lost in all the little details and lines of wire.

It made me wonder...what can I create?

It also brought to mind how we are each moved by totally different things.

What art inspires you?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Lose Weight Fast

My Keys Before Editing the Number to Half

Quickest way to lose weight - get rid of all the old keys from your keychain.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Nature's Free Art Supplies

Completed Centerpiece
One of my favorite activities in France was hiking along the Seine River and through the local park with my young friend, Jasmine.

She and I picked up everything that caught our eye: leaves, twigs, sticks, dried grass, rocks, rocks, and more rocks.

We would take these treasures home and create arrangements, collections, and groupings on paper, in jars, and across the floor.

When I was young, my grandmother would do the same thing. I remember her collecting cattails, tall dried grass, and tall flower pods, then making beautiful arrangements. 

Using nature's art supplies is in our DNA.

The lines of branches, the shapes of rocks, the feel and smell of it all, remind us of infinite possibilities...in nature and in us.

Monday, July 23, 2012

We're Eating Our Way through NYC

Inside Li-Lac Chocolates
My niece, Sarah, is visiting from Baldwin, Kansas. 

She and I are well matched...we like the same foods, sights and stores.

Today, we traveled through my Upper West Side neighborhood, Times Square, then down to Greenwich and the West Village.

We ate Thai food at Sura, bought candy at Li-Lac, cake at Amy's, pizza at John's Pizzeria - Bleecker, then artisan ice cream from Cones.

We went in and out of thrift stores, bookstores, a cheese shop, a tea shop, and, of course, a NY souvenir shop for postcards.

It was a great day...because it was shared.

Have you shared a great day lately?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

100 Mouse Project - Paints

Vintage Water Color Set
These are the paints that I am using for the 100 Mouse Project.

They are vintage Colorama water color paints. I found them years ago.

For all this time, I have just admired them. This past year, I thought, "It's time to use them."

Colorama - Artistic Quality English Paints

I have plenty of professional quality water color paints, but I chose to use these for this special project because they set a fun and fantasy tone.

They make me think of a different time...of being in England...about when people made a lot less money...when $1.25 was a goodly amount...about who owned them before me....and how fun it is to paint.

The Entire Palette

There's a plentiful palette of these paints.
Of course, I use mostly my favorite colors. However, I'll need to branch out to new colors soon, or I won't have enough paint to finish all 100 mice.

If you haven't already, and you want a small water color painting of a mouse, send me a note with the number you want to reserve, along with your name and address.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Real Life is Art

Shell of a Pay Phone
Went to the New Museum in New York City today...

Full of very interesting stuff...then walked around Chinatown, through Little Italy and up to SoHo...at Houston Street, I entered the subway to come home...

There on the subway platform, I saw this shell of a pay phone...

Fascinating piece of art and real life combined.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Locate Your Glow in the Dark Objects!

Glow in the Dark Lizard That Prompted
this Announcement
Public Service Announcement:

Before going to bed...make a mental note of where your glow-in-the-dark objects are located.

That way, if you wake up in the middle of the night and you see something that looks like shining ectoplasm and start to freak out that you have tiny ghosts...

You can say to yourself, "Oh yeah, that's nothing to worry about, it's a glow-in-the-dark lizard."

Thursday, July 19, 2012

100 Mouse Project

Flying Mouse
As a fun way to be drawing, inking, and painting more, I started my own 100 Mouse Project.

Over the next months, I will draw, ink, and paint 100 mice. I've already inked 33.

Each picture is numbered. Family and friends have started to reserve their favorite numbers. When all 100 paintings are complete, I will send them to the person who reserved their number. A painting grab bag. : )

Contact me to reserve your favorite number.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Did You Remember to Play Today?

Sarah REALLY loves chocolate!
A little dose of fun every day is a good way to ward off mental and physical upsets...or at least lighten their effects.

While cracking jokes with other people is fun...like this picture of my niece, Sarah, pretending to drink from a giant bottle of chocolate sauce ... if you're shy...there's nothing wrong with cracking yourself up.

I spend alot of time alone...and I'm one of my funnest companions. ; )

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

What Time Is It?

Subway Platform Near My Home
If you were running out of time, what would wish you had done?

When I asked myself this 18 years ago - the answer was go to art school and live in New York.

Within several years, I began art school and moved to New York where I continued to study.

Now, I ask myself this question again...

The answer is - create more art, write more stories and move to the United Kingdom for an extended period.

"What Time Is It?" for you?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Steal Like an Artist

Don't let the title, "Steal Like an Artist," throw you off, it's not actual stealing...it's what we do when we admire someone's work. It becomes part of our vocabulary as we work on new visual, written, musical, etc. projects.

Austin Kleon created this great book for those of us who want to be reminded to just going for it and do the work we love...whatever that work may be.

Don't hesitate...buy it, borrow it, whatever...just read it!
You'll be so happy that you did.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Down a Sunny Dirt Road

This wonderful book, "Down a Sunny Dirt Road" is the inspiring autobiography of Stan & Jan Berenstain. The couple that most of us know for having written the Berenstain Bears books.

What I love about the story is how this couple made their dreams come true.

They wanted to work together as artists and that's exactly what they did. For their more than 50 years of marriage, they worked side by side on the same projects as cartoonists, artists, and writers.

They weathered the ups and downs of life and career holding onto the dreams they had. One of them being these bears that they created and loved.

I highly recommend this book, especially the second half that follows their career and their time with the famous Dr. Seuss as the editor of their first Berenstain Bears books.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Colors and Shapes

Looking out the Window from My Friend's Home
This is a photo from my recent trip to France. It was taken in the lovely village of Carrieres sur Seine where I was staying with dear friends.

I love how this old village was/is put together - the narrow streets, the interesting geometric shapes of buildings, the neutral colors on the outside walls, with colorful roofs and shutters, and how these buildings meet each other and touch the sky.

It was such a gift to be able to stroll down these streets to a park along the Seine River -to walk and dream where Monet had once painted.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Favorite Books

When asked this week by the lovely people at Behind the Book to write about one of my favorite books, I chose "There's No Such Thing as a Dragon," by Jack Kent.

Click here to read what I had to say.

Then find this wonderful book and read it yourself. : )