Monday, May 20, 2019

Workshop Time Yet Again

Well, hello all.  Here it is May 20 and I haven't posted since April.  It's been pretty busy with a lot of work at the office (can't WAIT till we retire).  We will celebrate 40 years in business this September.  I can't believe that as the years seem to have flown by.  It's been fun, a headache, and an experience for sure.  I wouldn't trade any part of our life being self-employed for all the tea in China!  

The past week I've been at yet another workshop in Arkansas.  This was billed as a portrait workshop but started off as still life.  Linda and I were a bit confused but I think he just needed to see what he had to work with as far as students.  I usually go into these workshops very antsy and unsure of what I can do.  I can't seem to get started and end up frustrated by the end, but this time, WOW!  I don't know if he was just blowing smoke, but by the end of the first day of drawing and painting these globes and drapes, I felt like the golden child.  He was constantly taking my effort to the front of the room or telling the other students to come look at what I had done.  He seemed very impressed by my drawing capabilities.

At one point I put a stroke as he was standing behind me and he scared me to death as he said "FANTASTIC", then quickly grabbed the painting again to show the class my "perfect" stroke.  He said my drawing was STELLAR and that at the end should be framed!  Wow, usually the workshop stuff ends up painted over and in essence trash.  
I won't deny that by the end of the day I had a big head.  It felt really good.

Day 2 and we finally were on to actual people but quickly realized the portrait workshop was a figure workshop.  I was okay with that but I know Linda really wanted the portrait side, to learn how he gets the beautiful skin tones in his portraits, as I did too.  But, I got some practice I needed in figures. 
So Rebecca was first up.  I HATED that damn hat but it is what it is and again he kept coming around and praising my drawing.  Usually I'm not open to criticism and my responses send the instructor on to other people but I decided, with a lot of encouragement from Linda, to be different in this workshop.  I even let him put strokes on the canvas, which I DON'T like.  But, he really put very few and again my drawing was trotted out to the front of the class for praise.  It was getting a bit embarrassing, but exciting.


Day 3 and sweet Nick came to sit for us.  I loved his hair but we were yet again painting red or a shade of red.  Reds are hard to get because if you touch white it can turn pink so quickly.  

The praise was again dolled out and I was beginning to think people may hate me but it really helped me feel as "I can do it!"  He really liked how I did the pants on Nick. 

This is where I really NEEDED the portrait side of the class for skin colors and facial features.  He said my colors were fine but boy did I struggle getting them.  

Day 4 and Rebecca was back and so was the damn red tones.  She was a beast modeling for us.  She sat and sat and sat.
The drawing was a bit tougher but he liked it. 
Finally, paint, and I ended up really liking this painting and where it was going.  Of all the days this is probably my favorite.   
I don't know if I will keep any of these paintings or just paint over them but it was a great exercise and I can't wait to do a real painting of someone I know.  I feel that my drawing skills are really stepping up and that gives me a boost of confidence.  

Hopefully I won't be away so long but seems that life is just so busy lately I don't have a second to share here.  My blogaversery, 13 years is quickly approaching in June.  Can't believe I've been sharing here for that long.  So onward to the day.  Have a great day and stay safe in Tornado Alley as the weather is a beast today.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Green Stuff

I promise that I'm still around here, just so busy lately.  The crochet closet has been calling my name so I dug out my many, MANY partial balls of yarn and found some baby patterns to make things for new baby granddaughter arriving in September.  This is what I do in the evenings as the television is on.

We still are skipping off to the cabin on the weekends, a bit sporadically.  This past weekend was just beautiful, partly.  Saturday started off with such cloudy skies that I could not get out of bed.  I was chilled and depressed so I stayed under the covers with an electric blanket on.  Soon the sun began to gain a foothold and the temps to rise.  Friends were headed to the creek to sun a bit (not necessarily me) but I went to join.

Oh my the green, green, GREEN of northeast Oklahoma is stunning and the reason it is called Green Country! 

Honestly, THIS is the type of green I'm in love with, NOT what is popping up all over town with the green cross shapes over the new CBD/medical marijuana stores on nearly every single corner.  Can you tell I'm not on board with this.  MY OPINION... is that they have the horse before the cart and the growing pains will be evident soon.  Truly there has not been enough FEDERALLY, LEGAL studies on the stuff, because it is ILLEGAL!  I am a product of the 70's where it was ALL bad stuff, illegal and not in my world.  I watched Dragnet with all the bad connotations of drugs.  I read Go Ask Alice and it made a huge impact on my choice to  CHOOSE NOT to do drugs of any kind.  Hell, I barely drink anything, that is a drug too.  I just don't know if I can get over my beliefs and get on the bandwagon.  I know that the CBD stuff has had some good things for kids with seizures and I'm okay with that but lets do our homework correctly, get it legalized for medical applications.  THIS IS ALL MY OWN PERSONAL OPINION don't give me grief please.

The inspiration for my latest painting:

11x14 oil linen 

Sunday, April 07, 2019

Week Wrap Up

Here I am again, yet a week later.  Life has been busy, busy, busy...
Between work, painting, high school reunion stuff, Daddy stuff, work, work, work...It's been hard to slow down to enjoy some beauty.  Easter cactus starting blooming and the funny thing is the first bloom was RED, then these white ones.  It has never done that. 
Then leaving workout on Monday while the sun was barely rising I saw the flowerbed and just had to snap a photo.  Just beautiful...maybe a painting...

Now for a bit of nostalgia.  The Hubby, or maybe Bri found this photo in a pile.  Wow oh wow, look at those YOUNG people.  Hard to believe, and SKINNY!  Those were the days.

I was back from LA for a week then it was travel time again to Rogers, Arkansas for a workshop with the fantastic Lori Putnum.  What a generous, gracious and genuine artist and person.  Some workshops can be a bit of a let down and you don't learn a thing but this one was awesome.  I am also a better student which helps.  I don't get so frustrated and put up a block anymore.  I struggle with letting my guard down to let the teaching come into my brain.  Learned a lot this week and I am pooped, a good pooped!

Plus we got to meet so many wonderful artist and made new friends across the United States. 

She taught us to use only four colors, ultramarine blue, titanium white, napthol red and cadmium yellow light.  Amazing the colors were able to make and use.
THIS little lovely now resides in my home!  I love it when I get to buy art from "FAMOUS" artists.   

Then it was our turn to create.  
I'm very please with my painting but will tweek it a bit in the studio. 

The last day was self portraits.  Woo boy.  No really it's fun and every artist needs to be challenged to do it.   
I struggle with get colors right in portraits.  Actually, this one got scraped off but I will try it again.

I have to because next month Linda and I travel yet again to Rogers for another workshop with PORTRAIT artist, Tim Tyler.  We hear he is awesome as an instructor.  Can't wait.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Travel Time

You know me, or at least some do on this blog, but I am a nervous traveler.  I don't mind flying at all, it's the lead up to it.  Like buying a ticket, checking in, checking your bags, SECURITY (although they could strip me right in front of everybody and I would not make a peep!)  Once I'm in the airport past all the "stuff" I'm fine.  

My oldest, Bri, Snicklefritz and I decided that this spring for spring break that we would travel to LA to visit daughter #2, Afton.  Scary part was buying the tickets, but with Allegient Air we were able to fly non-stop, a HUGE plus in my nervous travel book.
It was also Snicklefritz's first time to fly and she was so excited.  Her face when she realized that the wheels were off the ground and we were FLYING was priceless!

Afton was there to happily pick us up and then jaunt off to a quick vegan lunch.  You see, she and here hubby, Nick are vegan's in veganland, California.  I really don't mind because some of the stuff she fixes for us is quite yum.  Bri is vegetarian also so the food thing for her was easy too, and Snicklefritz doesn't eat much meat at all.
Then a quick stop to Hermosa Beach for Snicklefritz to see the ocean for the very first time.  She had a lot of firsts this past week.  We knew that the chance for beach time was non-existent this trip so this was our only chance.   
We could hardly get her off the sand as she rolled and rolled around in it.  

My girls!

Since we were staying a week we decided to rent an Airbnb.  It was an older apartment/condo kind of thing and Bri loved it, me, not so much.  But it was clean and very close to Afton as she was our ride/taxi driver while out there.  I even had MY first Uber ride.

The courtyard was lovely, really charming. 
After the beach and a 16 mile 1-1/2 hour drive to their place Afton was pooped, as were we and so our new son-in-law, Nick dropped us off back at our Airbnb.

The next day we planned on a trip to Universal Studios and Harry Potter World!  I was apprehensive for the walking but stoked about HPW!

Right off the bat when we entered the whole place we saw this, Scooby Doo and his entourage.  Bri loved, LOVED, LOVED that show as a child.  She had/has a Scooby Doo stuffed dog and watched the show for hours when we first got cable as it was on for like 2 hours a day.  She was beyond excited to see them and was nearly in tears with giddiness!   

Harry Potter World was fabulous. 

We bought a wand, scarves and a stuffed puppet Hedwig for Snicklefritz. 

  Food and drink was had at Three Broomsticks.

Boy was I beat that day.  That evening after dinner at one of their favorite Pho restaurants, Lemon Grass, we dropped Snicklefritz off to spend the night with her Auntie Af and Uncle Nick while we got some R&R.  The next morning we walked across the street to the Panera Bread for much needed coffee and food then Ubered to their place to get the kiddo.

The next day we went to Target to check out maternity clothes, yes, I said MATERNITY  clothes.  We are going to be grandparents again.  Afton and Nick are expecting...
a baby girl. 

We got to find out just before we left for Target. While at Target my niece, who lives in LA now and is a budding photographer came over to take some publicity photos of Nick for his use in his jazz music career.
Then we all went to lunch/dinner to yet another vegan place that the name escapes me right now.  Britt was able to join along and then she snapped the baby announcement photos.  It was good to see her and she is doing so well.  I'm proud of her.  

Oh and on the weather front, unfortunately we had one day of partial sun.  Seems we brought the Oklahoma rain, dreary and cold with us.  In fact, on the way to lunch/dinner it rained so hard and then HAILED!  Afton said she couldn't remember the last it had hailed in California.  

Sadly, the visit was over and we were up at 3:30 AM, yes AM, to jet off back to Oklahoma, which they had had an entire week of fantastic weather.  We got back to RAIN AND COLD AND DREARY!  Good Grief.  

Anyway, we are back and they will come here in June so we can see her growing belly and then in September sometime I will fly out there ALONE, ALL BY MYSELF to help her when baby girl comes.  I can do this, I can do this, I can do this!